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

Thursday, December 5, 2019

PODCAST! "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987) - a Signal Watch Holiday Roundtable w/ SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan!



Watched:  11/22/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

(mildly NSFW) SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan hold a holiday roundtable to discuss "Jaws: The Revenge", which, for reasons unknown, takes place at Christmas. Join us as we puzzle through the chapter in the Jaws saga no one asked for, added psychic powers, Michael Caine, and a plot that doesn't even bother to make sense.




Holidays 2019



Holidays 2018

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sayles Watch: Matewan (1987)


Watched:  11/02/2019
Format:  Criterion BluRay
Viewing:  4th, I believe
Decade:  1980's

Back in the go-go 1990's, I stumbled across John Sayles, as one was want to do if in film school at the time.  People would name drop him as he had a rep as the same guy who wrote Piranha, Alligator, The Howling and other more mainstream flicks, but was basically funding his ability to also write and direct independent film.  It's something he still does (apparently), but given the number of times I've heard his name or seen it online or in print the past twenty years, he's fallen away from film-nerd discussion, I suppose - which makes me really wonder who else we've forgotten.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

PODCAST: Halloween Watch - "The Fog" (1980) and "The Mist" (2007)



Watched:  10/15/2019 and 10/20/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  Second/ First
Decade:  1980's/ 2000's

Things get a little hazy as SimonUK and Ryan take on two spooktacular movies about what happens when the barometer drops, the humidity rises and things go bump in the water vapor. It's our final Halloween movie of 2019! One about ghostly seafaring folks and the other about... I dunno. It's real bad, though.



Music:
The Fog Theme - John Carpenter, The Fog OST
The Host of Seraphim - Dead Can Dance, The Serpent's Egg and The Mist soundtrack

Halloween 2019 Playlist


Halloween 2018 Playlist

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Halloween Watch: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


Watched:  10/25/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  I dunno.  4th?  5th?
Decade:  1980's

So, I love this movie poster.  It tells you an incredible amount about the movie without spilling the beans, but it's beautifully designed for balance, terror, and and the uncanny pushing through into reality. 

It turns out the poster is by Matthew Peak, who happens to be the son of legendary illustrator Bob Peak - but this was his first movie poster at age 25.  Amazing! 

It does remind me of other artists who were bursting on the scene at the time, but that's not a criticism.  If it falls on a continuum of the Dave McKean/ Bill Sienkiewicz/ Drew Struzan, well... okay then. 

Anyway - Jamie alerted me she'd never seen A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and 'tis the season, so we watched it.  But you've seen this movie, and I wrote it up a year or two ago, so.  Anyway. 

I will say - I really appreciate how tight this movie is.  No fat on it at all.  And you can see immediately how and why they wanted a sequel to expand on the concept. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Halloween Watch: Creepshow (1982)



Watched:  10/19/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

No, I'd never seen Creepshow (1982), which, I guess, horror fans find to be a straight up problem.  So, I went ahead and put it on this last weekend while Jamie flew to California to see The Dug.

I like a horror anthology film!  If you're not into what's going on, you just wait til the next segment.  And, honestly, a lot of what folks try to build up as tension in horror but dragging things out in (poorer) horror, I just wish they'd get on with it - so short stories are a great way to go.

Turns out I'd seen all of one segment at some point back in the day on cable (the chapter with Ted Danson and Leslie Nielsen), and parts one or more others.  But I don't think I knew that was + when I watched it back around 1989.

I got not much to say.  It was fun.  I liked the part with the crate monster best, I think.  But it's a highly quotable movie that I'm not sure gets quoted. ("I want my cake!" should be a horror catch phrase.  Is it one?  Is it T-shirt slogan worthy?)

Anyhoo... some terrific make-up effects and some good practical and puppet FX, too.


Monday, October 21, 2019

HALLOWEEN PODCAST! "Amityville Horror" (1979) & "Poltergeist" (1982) with Marshall and Ryan!



For more info and places to listen to The Signal Watch PodCast

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Watched:  10/03/2019 and 10/05/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming (both)
Viewing:  Unknown (both)
Decade:  1980's/ 1970's

Marshall and Ryan throw a Halloween (Haunted) House Party with two favorites of the ghosts & real estate genre! We compare notes on a make-believe story that some think bled into reality, and a real story which feels kinda fakey, if we're being honest. But only one has Margot Kidder. Let's talk what makes for a captivating tale of houses with more than plumbing issues, and we ponder the handsomeness of James Brolin.



Music:
Amityville Horror Theme - Lalo Shifrin, Amityville Horror OST
Poltergeist Theme - Jerry Goldsmith, Poltergeist OST


Halloween 2019


Halloween 2018



Sunday, October 20, 2019

Halloween Watch: Night of the Creeps (1986)


Watched:  10/18/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's (so, so 1980's)

I've been meaning to watch this one for a few years as I've not seen much of the work of Monster Squad director Fred Dekker.  Dekker both wrote and directed Night of the Creeps (1986), and it does feel like part of the lineage of films by the likes of Landis and Joe Dante - a sort of boutique film by horror movie dorks by horror movie dorks.  But it's still broad enough to work even if you don't realize the entire movie is a collection of references frankensteined together to make a narrative.

First - I found this movie to be straight up Rated-R horror movie fun.  And I guess, deep down, if a horror film doesn't have anything in particular to say, or isn't going to be a cinematic tour-de-force, give me a good time at the movies.  Night of the Creeps absolutely delivers.  Aliens.  1950's flashbacks with "the escaped axe murderer" trope on Lovers Lane.  Dorky college dudes trying to get into an incredibly d-baggy frat (in my old age, 1980's frat dudes are just absolutely delightful).  And references.  So many references. 

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.