TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: KILLER PARTY (1986)

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KILLER PARTY (1986)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1986 horror has a simple plot…a group of sorority sisters host an initiation for three pledges in an abandoned, haunted fraternity house. Once accepted into the sorority, the trio are tasked with setting up an April Fools Day costume party in that very same house…and of course, things turn deadly.

Directed by William Fruet (Blue Monkey) from a script by Barney Cohen, this is a silly, fun 80s slasher, thought it offers nothing new. The flick predates, Night of the Demons, by two years with it’s plot of college kids partying in an abandoned building and catching hell for it, literally. The 80s fashions and music abounds and the cast of mostly unknowns are attractive and adequate for this type of flick. The kills are fairly routine, the make-up FX work well enough and the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, as it is well aware it’s story of a vengeful, dead fraternity member is just plain silly. The characters are fairly likable, especially our three pledges (Joanna Johnson, Elaine Wilkes and Sherry Willis-Burch), though the big “reveal” as to who is possessed, is no surprise. There is little or no scares or suspense, but the film never really tries that hard, opting to have more fun with it’s premise.

Killer Party is a good example of the lighter toned, more colorful slashers of the mid to late 80s (read about the progression HERE). It offers nothing new, but does have fun with it’s silly story of a haunted sorority party. The 80s nostalgia is delightfully thick with all the very 80s fashions and music and there are enough kills to entertain. An amusing slasher from the slasher film’s most prolific era. Also stars cult film icon/director Paul Bartel as a college professor.

-MonsterZero NJ

rated 3 old-fashioned divers helmets, cause that’s what killers wore to costume parties in the 80s.

 

 

 

 

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S SATURDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL and SUBURBIA

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This week’s double feature is a repost of one of my very first double features and it is in tribute to the sad passing of the last of the original members of The Ramones, Tommy Ramone. Farewell and R.I.P.

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (1979)

Roger Corman produced cult classic featuring legendary punk rockers The Ramones and revolves around their biggest fan, rebellious teen Riff Randall (P.J. Soles), and her efforts to see her favorite band in concert. But, standing in her way is the new stuffed shirt principle, Miss Togar (Mary Woronov) who’s out to stop her, ban Rock ‘N’ Roll and end the fun at Vince Lombardi High School forever. Can Riff and the Ramones save the day for the students of VLHS? Musical comedy is light and fun as directed by Allan Arkush and features a lot of the Ramones music, and who can argue with that! There are a lot of funny set pieces to go along with the great music and most of the characters are played for laughs including Togar and stuffy music teacher Mr. McGee (Paul Bartel). Made in 1979, film is actually ahead of it’s time as it comes across more as an 80’s teen comedy like Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Flick made cult icons out of P.J. Soles, Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel, who himself directed the cult classics Death Race 2000 and Eating Raoul. A fun Rock ‘n’ Roll musical and a must see for Corman and Ramones fans. Also starring Clint Howard, VInce Van Patten and Dey Young as Riff’s best friend, Kate.

MonsterZero NJ trivia: Rock ‘N’ Roll High School was shot by frequent John Carpenter collaborator Dean Cundey (Escape From New York, The Thing).

Available now from the great folks at Shout Factory!

A Rockin’ 3 and 1/2 guitars

guitar rating

 

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Farewell and R.I.P. to one of the greatest bands of all time!

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SUBURBIA (1984)

Another Roger Corman produced cult classic about a group of poor urban punk rockers in L.A., who, as outcasts, come together and form the “family” unit, in an abandoned house, that was denied them in their own dysfunctional homes. Director/writer Penelope Sheeris overcomes the minimal acting talent from her cast of unknowns to create a strong, poignant and sometimes shocking portrayal of the poor urban youth during the 80’s era recession, who got caught up in the underground punk movement. Spheeris avoids the stereotypical portrayal of punks that most films, from then till now, have embraced and portrays them as human beings whom society and their own families have cast out. Unfortunately, their need to rebel and nonconformist style brings them into conflict with some of the more narrow minded members of their community, as well as, the police… and with tragic results. Suburbia has a raw and gritty realism to it that makes it a surprisingly powerful low budgeter about urban youth and how they are neglected and misunderstood. Features performances by legendary punk bands TSOL and The Vandals.

MonsterZero NJ trivia: Punker Razzle is played by a certain “Mike B. The Flea” … three guesses what Mr. “Flea” does now.

Also available  from the great folks at Shout Factory!

 A Punk Rockin’ 3 and 1/2 guitars
guitar rating

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: CHOPPING MALL (1986)

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CHOPPING MALL (1986)

Chopping Mall is a fun 80s guilty pleasure that works because it knows it’s a silly film and just goes with it and has a good time…and so do we. Goofy horror tells the story of four young couples, including 80s B-movie icons Kelli Maroney and Barbara Crampton, who decide to stay and party at one of the mall stores where a few of them work, after the mall has closed. But there are 3 new hi-tech security robots on patrol and when a freak lightening strike hits the building during a storm, it reboots their directives and now these 3 well armed machines are out to kill anything that moves…ID badge or not. Now with the mall in high security lock-down, the young intruders are trapped inside with the mechanical security drones and must fight for their very lives as these robots won’t stop until they are all dead.

As directed by Jim Wynorski, Chopping Mall is a fun 80s movie that just has a plain old good time with it’s delightfully ridiculous story. The film plays itself just seriously enough so not to make an outright comedy out of it’s scenario, but has enough campy humor so that we know that at no time are the filmmakers trying to pass this off as a serious horror and we should just have a good time with it. The young cast serve their purpose playing the stereotypical characters that we expect to see in a film like this and that is intentional. They play their parts straight, but we can tell they they are having fun and that the tone of the material has not escaped them. The gore FX are fine though, except for an exploding head, are fairly limited and the robots built by Robert Short do the job as our villains and do have a bit of personality as well. There is a very 80s electronic score by Chuck Cirino and fun cameos by Dick Miller, Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel.

Chopping Mall is filled with 80s nostalgia to go along with the fun with it’s very 80s hair and fashions, as well as, it’s poking fun at the mall culture of the time. A really enjoyable B-movie that has developed a bit of a well deserved cult following. Also stars, Tony O’Dell, John Terlesky, Russell Todd and Suzee Slater. Actually saw this in a theater back in 1986 and it was a lot of nostalgic fun revisiting it.

3 mall roaming security robots.

Chopping-Mall-rating

 
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MONSTERZERO NJ’S SATURDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL and SUBURBIA

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Rock__n__Roll_High_SchoolPoster second-feature Suburbia_DVD 

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Rock__n__Roll_High_SchoolPoster

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (1979)

Roger Corman produced cult classic featuring legendary punk rockers The Ramones and revolves around their biggest fan, rebellious teen Riff Randall (P.J. Soles), and her efforts to see her favorite band in concert. But, standing in her way is the new stuffed shirt principle, Miss Togar (Mary Woronov) who’s out to stop her, ban Rock ‘N’ Roll and end the fun at Vince Lombardi High School forever. Can Riff and the Ramones save the day for the students of VLHS? Musical comedy is light and fun as directed by Allan Arkush and features a lot of the Ramones music, and who can argue with that! There are a lot of funny set pieces to go along with the great music and most of the characters are played for laughs including Togar and stuffy music teacher Mr. McGee (Paul Bartel). Made in 1979, film is actually ahead of it’s time as it comes across more as an 80’s teen comedy like Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Flick made cult icons out of P.J. Soles, Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel, who himself directed the cult classics Death Race 2000 and Eating Raoul. A fun Rock ‘n’ Roll musical and a must see for Corman and Ramones fans. Also starring Clint Howard, VInce Van Patten and Dey Young as Riff’s best friend, Kate.

MonsterZero NJ trivia: Rock ‘N’ Roll High School was shot by frequent John Carpenter collaborator Dean Cundey (Escape From New York, The Thing).

Available now from the great folks at Shout Factory!

A Rockin’ 3 and 1/2 guitars

guitar rating

bars

Suburbia_DVD

SUBURBIA (1984)

Another Roger Corman produced cult classic about a group of poor urban punk rockers in L.A., who, as outcasts, come together and form the “family” unit, in an abandoned house, that was denied them in their own dysfunctional homes. Director/writer Penelope Sheeris overcomes the minimal acting talent from her cast of unknowns to create a strong, poignant and sometimes shocking portrayal of the poor urban youth during the 80’s era recession, who got caught up in the underground punk movement. Spheeris avoids the stereotypical portrayal of punks that most films, from then till now, have embraced and portrays them as human beings whom society and their own families have cast out. Unfortunately, their need to rebel and non conformist style brings them into conflict with some of the more narrow minded members of their community, as well as, the police… and with tragic results. Suburbia has a raw and gritty realism to it that makes it a surprisingly powerful low budgeter about urban youth and how they are neglected and misunderstood. Features performances by legendary punk bands TSOL and The Vandals.

MonsterZero NJ trivia: Punker Razzle is played by a certain “Mike B. The Flea” … three guesses what Mr. “Flea” does now.

Also available  from the great folks at Shout Factory!

 A Punk Rockin’ 3 and 1/2 guitars
guitar rating

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