Tagged: 21 jumpstreet
VHS Verdict: 1991’s ‘Children of the Night’ is a Forgotten Horror Gem!
Been on a VHS binge lately watching tons of old forgotten movies, some are of course are steamin’ turds but every now and again you come across something that’s a total delight! I ran across a copy of 1991’s ‘Children of the Night’ and was fairly certain it was again going to be another crapper, however this one proved to be a totally sweet romp of a horror comedy. I’m a giganto fan of 80’s horror and this one while being from 91′ has still got that great old school vibe and charm coming off the tail end of 1980’s. In my opinion a lot of flicks up through 1994 more or less continue to keep that feel in tact. That being said, I had a good feeling about this one when I’d seen that Peter Deluise of ’21 Jump Street” fame was billed as the star, I watched the shit out of that show as a kid in the 80’s and he was one of my favorite characters from the series for sure. Then I noticed Karen Black also starred and then that the director was Tony Randel of ‘Hellraiser 2’ & ‘Ticks’ fame.
Well I’m pleased to say from the start of this one (which I found out later was actually a Fangoria production) it fully delivered the goods and then some in all the ways I’d hoped for. Playing much more like a horror comedy we get a sweet little story of of teenage girl played by Ami Dolenz (also in ‘Ticks’ from 1993) who lives in a small town and accidentally awakens a wicked vampire lord while swimming in an underground pond below a church. Yeah that’s what she and her buddy do for fun…..well schoolteacher played by Peter Deluise later comes to town to see what’s up and ends up in the thick of a vampire attack where he teams up with the teen girl and a local town drunken preacher played by vinatge SNL alumni Garrett Morris. I gotta say when he arrived it was the icing on the damn cake, he’s known also as “Chocolate Chip Charlie” from the horror classic ‘The Stuff’ from 1985 and in this movie he drives around town at night drinkin’ mad amounts of whiskey in a crazy van that’s got a giant glowing cross spear mounted on the front it it to impale vampires with. By that point in the movie I was already in, but this solidified the deal for sure.
At the end of the ‘Children of the Night’ day plays a bit like ‘Evil Dead 2’ none of it can be taken too seriously but it’s not a full on spoof either. There’s a lot of cool FX work going on here as well as cool spooky inventive sets and locations. It’s a neat little horror adventure that’s not afraid to add some heart to it either. A lot like gory teen horror comedy that’d fit quite nicely along with 80’s cult classics like ‘Vamp’, ‘Critters’ or the highly underrated ‘Night Life’ from 1989. There’s also some cool ass action sequences and you also get some Karen Black super weird vampire lung moments to ponder upon! If you’re looking for some super fun lost nostalgia to watch with a gang of movie maniacs ‘Children of the Night’ is a prime choice in my opinion!
VHS Score: Richard Grieco Totally Ditches Summer School for Big Time Adventure!
I’ve been picking up a ton of VHS while out on the town doing while doing vintage shopping for my business here in Portland Oregon, that means that I’m watching a ton of awesome old flicks that have been somehow lost in the shuffle for years, at least for me! So the other night I decided to put on an interesting looking one called “If Looks Could Kill” way back from 1991, starring none other than fan fave from 21 Jumpstreet (the original series yo!) Richard “Booker” Grieco! Ol’ Grieco was destined for stardom when he exploded onto Jumpstreet & briefly rivaled Johnny Depp as the series heart throb. So Grieco quickly got some offers to make some movies-some bad and some good in a bad way. This particular film is pretty awesome, directed by William Dear hot off the success of the brilliant “Harry and The Hendersons”.
What we get here is a great obnoxious teen comedy (which I’m a big fan of, well, since I myself was a teen!) with a heavy dose of James Bond & equal parts Indiana Jones! What’s not to love there?! Dear clearly had a budget for this box office flop and it shows as it rarely skimps on cool set pieces and rather impressive action sequences. The flick was panned by critics, but like me, Roger Ebert got it and awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars. The plot’s simple, Grieco is a high school student flunking out of his french class while too busy boozin’ it up and slackin’ off. Now before I continue I have to ad that Grieco is clearly no teenager, nope- he’s got a serious dark ass five o’clock shadow the entire movie and the body of an olympic athlete, truth be told that in 1991 he was nearly 2y years old, though to me he looks more like 37!
Anyway because he flunks French he’s forced to…get this….go France for summer school!! Boo hoo what a life huh? Fail and get a free trip to France? Yeah right!! So that’s where things get crazy, as he’s quickly mistaken for a secret agent bearing the same name as his and begins an adventure of his own! Mistaken identity never felt so good. He’s almost tempted to reveal that he’s simply a high school student until the British Gov’t gives him a Ferrari to roll around in, so then at that point he decides it’s totally like worth playing along! Duh!
This begins a zany chain of events that involves Grieco playing his teenage luck with deadly sexy secret agent ladies, explosive chewing gum, wall walkin’ suction cup LA Gear sneakers, killer scorpions and a dastardly villain with a robotic Terminator style hand. It’s pure camp gold and a entertains with quite an impressive finale with Grieco trapped in an Indiana Jones style deadly villain castle hide out! So if you’re looking for a fun flick to watch with friends and a few beers check this one out-it should have made ol’ Grieco a star like Depp! Oh well!!