I’m a total sucker for a cool or super damn cheezy 80’s pop/rock song & I’ve noticed through the years that there are some really awesome soundtracks featuring obscure bands from the era that are almost entirely forgotten. Well NO more! I’m going to start compiling some of my favorite 80’s underground hits that have appeared in some of the more forgotten cult movies of the genre. So let’s get to the first installment!
About a week ago I checked out a cool little obscure australian slasher flick from 1989 called “Blood Moon”. It’s pretty much everything you want from the genre, playing out like a twisted ultra cheez John Hughes wannabe movie done down under. It’s got a ton of crazy horny teens, a ridiculous slasher, cool 80’s style and a total ludicrous plot.
“Something dreadful is happening in the small town of Cooper’s Bay … something more hideous than murder. The victims, usually students, are being strangled with a particularly grisly weapon while making love. They’re then buried … and small-town life goes on.
That is, until Kevin, an outsider, falls for Mary, the daughter of a Hollywood star. Both are on the campus killer’s hit list. They’re also on biology teacher Miles (sic) Sheffield’s hate list. Miles, you see, cannot tolerate his oversexed wife’s embarrassing affairs with the students. Finally, the rage building inside Miles and the insane butchering of young men and women explode in a nightmare of heart-pounding suspense … under a BLOOD MOON.”
Yep pretty much everything that makes a bad 80’s movie a ton of fun. What we also get is some cool obscure 80’s music, more notably a sweet Aussie power pop/glam band called “Vice” who “play live” in the movie during a school dance. I’ve gotta admit the band’s got the chops along with a rad goth glam look (They were forced to sport for the horror movie vibe) and some sweet ass catchy as shit pop gems. If I make a mix of cult horror movie songs this one will probably start it off.
It looks like Vice was a band formed in Brisbane in 1984 and throughout the years supported bands like ‘The Sweet’ & ‘Stryper’ on tours. I guess they started out as more of thrash band and also had some kinda offensive album covers too. In the later 80’s the band put out more polished power pop type of stuff. I checked out the album from ’89 called “Take Me home” that their “hit” song from the movie appeared in and it’s a ton of fun. Anyway here’s the theme song from Blood Moon “Keep Holding On” in all it’s 80’s keyboard kickin’ glory:
It’s pretty much common fact this day and age that ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ is one of the coolest movies ever made. Anyone wanna disagree with me here? It pretty much stands alone as one of the best, most original movies that John Carpenter has ever done and defies any real genre. Carpenter must be a genius right?!
Most likely that’s true, but even genius minds get inspired to create awesome things often from some other source. Sometimes though these brilliant minds can unintentionally take full credit for something great. So I wanted to take a quick minute to address just what movie was indeed the inspiration behind ‘Big Trouble’. Ever heard of “Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain“? I didn’t think so!
This rad Hong Kong flick from from 1983 was indeed the inspiration for Carpenter’s masterpiece! John Carpenter has gone on record several times citing this movie as his inspiration for his 1986 feature film. Yep this little known special effects driven flick was what got Carpenter’s mind reelin’ to eventually compose “Big Trouble in Little China”. This one is an unknown gem, at least here in the United States where it’s extremely hard to find. Director Tsui Hark, who was attempting to break out a s a superstar, attempted to mix the kind of mythological adventures that were popular at the time, with a more Hollywood approach and more western stylized special effects work.
Even more impressive was that he brought in the people behind Star Wars for technical special effects assistance. Add in my favorite chinese actor Sammo Hung and you’ve got quite a stellar movie! So go check it for yourself but keep in mind that there was a remake (which wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the original) and if you loved ‘Big Trouble’ eat your heart out with this one! Hong Kong cinema in the 1980’s was a ton of fun!
Here is the FULL movie uploaded to Youtube!!
Sometimes I just leave my queue on Netflix run it’s course, I still have a Dvd account by the way, meaning that I have like two hundred movies in waiting. Often I forget to move stuff around and I get those weird wild card flicks gracing my dvd player. Sometimes when bored I’ll load up my queue with a bunch of weird shit I have never heard of. Often upon viewing these I end up much a much more elightened movie buff while other times the movies suck so bad I don’t last fifteen minutes. However this week I hit the jackpot! “Deadbeat at Dawn” is easily one the most memorable “bad” movies I’ve seen in quite some time.
Filmed in 86′ and released in ’88 Deadbeat at Dawn was written & directed by Jim Van Bebber who also stars as the films main Character, anti-hero “Goose”. Bebber also did all the special effects and performs all of his own stunts, one of which Van Beeber jumps off a city bridge! This guy pretty much did anything it took to make this film as action packed with such a small budget. Nunchucks, ninja stars, gang fights, drugs, booze this one has got it all. It will make you think twice before joining a street gang that’s for sure! Goose however decides it’s time to quit the gang so that him and his girlfriend can start a legit life together. However when his girl is brutally murdered by gang members with golf clubs, he hits rock bottom and wants nothing more than to avenge her death, and boy does he get the damn job done!!
It’s been quite a while since I have seen a movie with an ending that kicked so much ass. It’s jam packed with so much hyperactive action it’s hard to keep your breath. Seriously, the last 30 minutes, which Bebber apparently filmed first to try and generate interest in this film from the industry back in ’86, is some of the most ridiculously awesome cinema I’ve seen in years. That’s not to say the film isn’t a bit on the nasty side as there’s not really one likable character in it. Nope, pretty much everyone is a mean spirited prick even the lead character Goose. Even when Goose is trying to be “nice” he still comes across as a total fucktard. We really only see glimmers of a good guy toward the films finale, what can you expect from a self proclaimed “Deadbeat” huh? Well all that aside it’s pretty inspiring filmaking by a guy who wanted to make a film you wouldn’t forget, I know I won’t forget this one anytime soon…
Last night I had the pleasure of viewing an amazing movie I had never seen before from the 80’s! Spooky Encounters was something that had sat in my online que for months until it finally arrived for me in the mail. What I saw was one of the coolest horror comedies of the 80’s! I guess for me it was so rad because I have never really seen a movie quite like it-kinda like Sam Raimi directing a kung fu movie back when he still made unique and exciting cinema ( I suppose he redeemed himself with Drag Me to Hell-but it takes alot to recover from Spider-man 3!).
It’s pretty much got all that you need, great kung fu, a great soundtrack, ghosts, kung fu zombies and Sammo Hung’s (the movie’s star) comedic genius! So much that it’s jumped to the top of my list of dvd purchases! Continue reading