Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2019

PODCAST: "Fright Night" (1985) and "Vamp" (1986) - Halloween 2019 at The Signal Watch


Watched:  09/01/2019, 09/02/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming/ DVD
Viewing: First
Decade:  1980's

Ryan and SimonUK bite into two vampire movies with two very different takes, both landing in the go-go Mid-80's! One is a cult classic for horror fans, about horror fans! The other, a less known film starring artist Grace Jones as an exotic nosferatu. We take a look at what works and what sucks as these films return from the dead to give us a thrill and a chill!





Music:
Fright Night - J. Geils Band, Fright Night OST
Vamp Theme/ Seduction Surrender Longing Fix - Grace Jones, Vamp OST


Halloween 2019



Halloween 2018



Sunday, September 29, 2019

PODCAST - Halloween Watch: "An American Werewolf in London" (1981)/ "Ginger Snaps" (2000) w/ SimonUK and Ryan



Watched:  08/16/2019
Format:  BluRay/ DVD
Viewing:  unknown/ First
Decade:  1980's/ 2000's

It's Halloween 2019! SimonUK and Ryan kick off the spooky season with a pair of scare-tacular films about coming to grips with change. And, of course, discovering you're now kinda undead and become a blood-thirsty kill-machine when the moon is particular round. We talk new-classic An American Werewolf in London (1981) and horror-icon-contender Ginger Snaps (2000).




Music:
The Haunting Main Theme - Henry Searle
An American Werewolf in London Suite - Elmer Bernstein, An American Werewolf in London OST
Bad Moon Rising - CCR, man, Green River


Halloween 2019 Playlist



Last Year's Halloween episodes:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Horror Watch: Hello Mary Lou - Prom Night 2 (1987)



Watched:  09/14/2019
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

I sometimes listen to the How Did This Get Made? podcast, but usually only to episodes featuring movies I've seen.  And it may be a testament to my poor choice in movie viewing that I've seen about 2/3rds of the movies the show covers.  But, I had not seen Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 (1987), which they covered with very special guest stars, Seth Rogan and Charlize Theron.

I'm not sure I share their unbridled enthusiasm for the movie, but as a post-Carrie, post Nightmare on Elm Street, mid-horro-budget Canadian horror film - I could see the charm in the movie.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Sci-Fi Watch: Brainstorm (1983)



Watched:  09/10/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

There are a whole bunch of movies that are not the same movie that I thought were the same movie that came out between 1980 and 1987, that all have sort of meaningless names, and I thought were the same movie.  Brainstorm (1983) is one of these movies.

The thing is, I'm not even sure what is what, but these movies all had pictures of people wearing headgear or having lasers pointed at their brains and often had to do with virtual realities, walking around in people's dreams, stuff like that.  I guess.  All I know is that, from this pile, I had never seen Brainstorm despite very much remembering the box collecting dust at Video Station and Video III when I was a kid.

Monday, September 9, 2019

PODCAST! "Empire Strikes Back" (1980) - What is Love? #4 w/ Jamie and Ryan


Watched:  07/28/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Oh, gosh...
Decade:  1980's

We turned to our wife of more than 19 years and realized we were heading into tricky territory as we asked "What is Love?" Fortunately, she came back with "Star Wars". Join Jamie and me as we use The Force and talk what was maybe the first great movie romance a lot of us clicked to: Leia, Han, a broken down ship and some mynochs to keep it interesting.



Music
Han Solo and The Princess (Love Theme) - John Williams, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back OST
Han & Leia Suite (Theme) - John Williams, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back OST


"What is Love?" Podcast Series



And, snowsuit Leia

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Today is the 31st Anniversary of Siouxsie & The Banshees' "Peepshow"



As was noted today by Post-Punk (srsly, follow these people), and our own JimD (follow Jim, too, he could use the emotional support), today is the 31st anniversary of the release of Peepshow, the 9th album by Siouxsie and The Banshees.

Peepshow was one of those albums that, as the kids would say, got me through high school.*  While I liked the single of Peek-a-Boo when it debuted on MTV, I didn't actually buy the full album til the following year.  In practical terms, I listened to this album over and over, nurtured a fanboy crush on front woman Siouxsie Sioux, and felt things deeply while listening to said album on tape, which I was in danger of wearing out when I got my first CD player.



I tend to think of Peepshow as a very complete album.  It's more than a smattering of songs from a band, and it's not just that every song is single-worthy, or so I believe, but that the band found a flow to the songs that takes you from point to point.  It isn't a "concept album" nor does it tell a story, really, but it just clicks, track after track.  And, mostly, makes me miss the thing where you just lie on your bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to a record.

Here's to Peepshow, the first sexy depressing album with a dollop of S&M and pop fun that got me to hang posters of a woman on my wall that I know my mother did not approve of at all.

I did see Siouxsie and The Banshees in 1991 at the first Lollapalooza in Dallas, TX when they toured in support of Superstition, which also had some great singles.  And, yeah, they were pretty great despite the fact it was 98 degrees when they hit the stage.




*one day I suppose we should tackle this notion of "got me through high school" on the podcast with Maxwell and MRSHL.

Weird Al Watch: UHF (1989)



Watched:  09/02/2019
Format:   Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  No idea.  Must be a dozen
Decade:  1980's

My claim to fame is that I saw this movie twice in the theater.  Once - because it was summer, Weird Al had a movie, and it was mid-afternoon.  The second time I caught it was the day before I started high school, kicking off the tradition I kept up through college where you got and see a movie the day before the school year starts so you're thinking about something else.

You've either seen UHF (1989) or you haven't.  Starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, already quite famous by 1989 thanks to several hit novelty records and MTV airplay, the movie is basically a bunch of music videos and really funny sketches tied together with a razor-thin plot about running a broke, non-network TV station on the edge of town.  It's an underdog story about big corporate stations being run by mean people vs. underdogs who break the mold and come out on top thanks to creativity and a sense of community.  Or something.

It's also a reminder of how much weird comedy could get in the 1980's, with skits like Gandhi II and Spatula City, and that firing a firehose into a kid's face can be hilarious in the right circumstances.

The cast is weirdly impressive when you realize it features both Michael Richards and Fran Drescher just before they broke big just a few years later, but also Emo Philips, Billy Barty, David Bowe, Victoria Jackson, Gedde Watanabe, David Proval and a handful of "oh, that guy!" actors.  And, of course, in a stunning coup of casting brilliance - Kevin McCarthy as the evil network affiliate owner and operator.

I dunno.  There isn't much to say about the film.  It's still fun, even when you know not everything aged well or fallen out of relevance.  But a lot of it still has that magic (ex: Conan the Librarian continues to work all too well). 

And I genuinely like some of the gags, like the homeless guy asking for change to break a dollar.  Just gold.

Anyhow- for some early Michael Richards genius and pre-Nanny Fran Drescher, you can do way worse.  And Weird Al is just funny as all hell in this thing.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New Classics Watch: Wings of Desire (1987)



Watched:  09/02/2019
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  1980's

Originally, I'd put this film on as I've pondered doing my own episode of "What is Love?" for the PodCast, but - like others who took on the task - I am also faced with the dilemma of a stable relationship of many years.  I like movies that include or which are about people finding each other in this mixed up world, but it's almost like a High School movie to me - I have been there.  I have done that.  I am now elsewhere.

Wings of Desire (1987) is part of a movement of film that we called "Art House" back in the day, and which I am afraid is fading out.  A film like this, today, would get festival accolades, play about twenty theaters in the US for a couple of weeks and then vanish, popping up on Netflix with zero fanfare and a description which did the casual browser a disservice.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

PODCAST: "The Breakfast Club" (1985) - High School Movies Back2Skool Speshul w/ Maxwell and MRSHL


Watched:  08/17/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's


It's our first Back2Skool Speshul! We finally pull off the band-aid and talk about "The Breakfast Club" (1985), a seminal movie for Gen-X'ers, that taught us to live, learn, laugh and love and that maybe we're not all that different underneath. Except for how we are, and that's important, too. Or something. And that when we grow older, we're going to either suck or work tough, soul-crushing jobs or both.

Anyway, this PodCast is, like, two hours, so buckle in, every buddy.





Music:

Don't You Forget About Me - Simple Minds, The Breakfast Club OST
I Don't Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats, The Fine Art of Surfacing


High School Movies Playlist

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sick Day Watch: Clue (1985)


Watched:  07/21/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown.  6th or so.
Decade:  1980's

I watched this while I was having my worst day of my cold and running a fever.  I mostly remember clicking through options on Amazon and finally saying "ha.  Madeline Kahn."  And then I was watching Clue (1985) again.

A while back I watched this movie and actually didn't like it that time, except for some particular bits here and there, but on this viewing, I enjoyed it immensely (again.  I used to quite like this movie.),

Anyway.  Ha!  Madeline Kahn!

Friday, July 26, 2019

PODCAST: "The Fly" (1986) - Episode 01 of "What is Love?" - w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched :  03/03/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

It was called @#$%ing Panchos and you losers let it go out of business the last time. Fun flags and all. Absolutely glorious. Don't @#$% it up again, Austin.



Music:
Main Title - Howard Shore, The Fly OST
Unknown Track - Howard Shore, The Fly - Opera
Help Me - Bryan Ferry, The Fly OST


"What is Love?" Playlist:

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Rutger Hauer Passes Through The Tannhäuser Gate



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. 
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. 
Time to die.

This one hit us all hard and never let up.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Netflix Watch: Stranger Things Season 3



In some ways I'm amazed I haven't totally turned on this show.  It can be twee, it's a lot too precious in some scenes, and the "look, we're doing the 1980's!" while getting a lot of details wrong should have pushed me over the ledge.*

Sometimes I wish they'd just turn to David Harbour and Winona Ryder and ask "is this actually right?  As someone who was a young person in 1985, is this accurate?"  Because it works *better* for those of us who were around this age when the show is on.  And it is on *a lot*.  But when it's off, it takes you right out.

The horror was more or less abstracted to a general horror-movie sort of problem this season, giving the characters less specific rules-sorting to do, which I support.   At times the visual and filmic references to other things was so heavy handed, though, the show almost folded in on itself.

Still, somehow, the show works.  I still really enjoyed it, and I know why.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Signal Watch is now a "Cats: The Movie" Stan Site



Look, it's @#$%ing inevitable that I'll watch the movie version of Cats, so I might as well lean into it.  I promise you can now look to The Signal Watch as Your News Site for the movie of Andrew Lloyd Webber's goofiest achievement (and he did Starlight Express), Cats.  And I hereby swear I will watch this movie opening weekend.

Fact:  I saw the musical of Cats touring once when I was sixteen and a theatre-kid in high school.  I mostly remember dancers in very tight costumes bending and flexing a lot and the woman playing Grizabella knocking it out of the house.

Fact:  I subsequently owned the two-tape soundtrack to Cats which I listened to twice before realizing "I do not think I actually like 85% of the music in Cats" but felt that as a theater-kid, I couldn't get rid of the tapes - but I did quietly migrate them to my mom's tape collection.

Fact:  I saw Cats a second time in college when it came through Austin and a friend said "hey, I've never seen Cats", and I was like "well, you should see it sometime," and then me and Peabo got tickets.  We looked at each other during the first number, realizing "oh god, we've made a horrible mistake" and that feeling never let up til the final curtain.

Friday, June 28, 2019

PODCAST! Teens in Space! "Space Camp" (1986) & "Last Starfighter" (1984) w/ Maxwell, Mrshl and Ryan


Watched:  06/17 and 06/20/2019
Viewing:  Second and unknown
Format:  DVD and BluRay
Decade:  1980's

It's "Teens in Space"! We get far out with one kinda-grounded adventure featuring some kids on an unscheduled voyage and then find trouble in Rylos City as playing video games actually DOES turn out to be a life skill (if you want to murder anonymous aliens). Join MRSHL, Maxwell and Ryan as we keep our feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.



Music:
Last Starfighter Fanfare - Craig Safan, Last Starfighter OST
In Orbit - John Williams, Space Camp OST

High School Movies Playlist

Sunday, June 23, 2019

TL;DR: In 1989 I was 14, and I saw "Batman"



The kids are never going to know that there is, literally, in the public consciousness, a world before Tim Burton's Batman from back in '89, and a world that came into being after that movie.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Batman, the Michael Keaton/ Kim Basinger/ Jack Nicholson-starring gothic caricature that changed the public's perception of superheroes in general.  This isn't hyperbole - nothing was ever the same after this movie came out.  You don't get an Iron Man or Avengers without Batman.  You really don't get the idea out to the general public that comics have moved to a teens-and-up audience until you get breathless write-ups about the Batmania phenomenon.  You also don't have piles of merchandise for adults with a superhero logo on it until Batman, or comics movie-related toys flying off the shelf.

But, mostly, you finally got people to stop thinking "Bam! Whap! Pow!" when they thought about superheroes.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Outstanding Watch: RoboVampire (1988)



Watched:  06/07/2019
Format:  Amazon Prime (also on YouTube)
Viewing: First but certainly not the last
Decade:  1980's

So, a couple of weeks back JAL DM'd me and deeply recommended a small film from an overseas production company, and as a patron of independent and international cinema, I leaped at the opportunity to use a free Friday evening to finally watch RoboVampire (1988).

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Baseball Watch: Bull Durham (1988)




Watched:  05/15/2019
Format:  Amazon streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

I was about thirteen when this movie hit, and it was one of those movies that arrived that everyone else saw when it came out, but at the time I wasn't that interested in baseball or Susan Sarandon, so I skipped it.  Well, life changes things in some amazing ways.

I suppose if there's a marker to say "was this a good movie or not?" I can point to the fact that I put this on as I was about to do something else (edit a podcast) but was fiddling around before settling in, and just put it on to have something on for a few minutes to see what it was like, and the next thing I knew I was finishing the movie.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Kaiju Watch: Godzilla 1984/ Return of Godzilla (1984)


Watched:  05/21/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Third/ First
Decade: 1980's

Way back in '86, I rented the American version of this film for my birthday.  And when I say "American version", it helps to know a bit about the original Godzilla: King of the Monsters from back in the 1950's.

Friday, May 10, 2019

PODCAST(s)! "Legend of Billie Jean" (1985) and "Pump Up the Volume" (1990) - Teens in Revolt! w/ Maxwell, Marshall and Ryan!


Watched:  05/02/2019
Format:  LoBJ - Amazon Streaming, PUtV - DVD
Viewing:  LoBJ - First!, PUtV - unknown
Decade:  1980's, 1990s

For more on The PodCast - where to find the podcast with your favorite service, etc...

The Signal Watch blog - we also write essays and review movies and stuff

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*NSFW* Maxwell and Marshall come into the studio to talk TEENS IN REVOLT!  It's "The Legend of Billie Jean" (1985) and "Pump the Volume" (1990), two movies where teens grab the airwaves and tap into the spirit of being a teen and find themselves on the wrong side of the law!  We take a look at two classic teen movies for our generation and try to decide: what are these kids so dang grumpy about?

Part 1



Part 2




Music

Part 1
Invincible - Pat Benatar, Legend of Billie Jean OST
Rebel Yell - Billy Idol, Legend of Billie Jean OST

Part 2
Everybody Know - Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man
Titanium Exposé - Sonic Youth, Goo/ Pump Up the Volume OST



High School Movies