Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dollar Bin Review:Popcorn(1991)

By Eric Polk-
As has been rhapsodized by Brandon and myself, the early-90s were not a great time for horror. Other than Silence of the Lambs, the mainstream audience, tired of the decade old slasher formula, turned away from our favorite genre in droves. And that is a shame because they missed out on this worthy gem from 1991.

The plot of Popcorn is simple enough. A group of film students plan an all-night horror film festival in order to raise funds for their cinema club. They decide to show a number of horror films from the 1950s that rely on gimmicks such as 3-D, Odorama, and electrical "buzzers" in seats. Unbeknownst to the group, a homicidal maniac is stalking the theater where the festival is being held. A filmmaker named Lanyard Gates, who murdered his family during a screening of his only film in the 1970s, supplies the decoy killer character, since young Maggie may or may not be his missing daughter.

What makes this movie work for me is the great acting(helped out, no doubt by a great cast of actors/actress who had been in the horror spotlight before). I enjoyed the killer's gimmick immensely. Very believeable, if not a bit melodramatic. The movies within the movie really made me wish they actually existed.

There is a camp factor as well, but I think it was intentional on part of the cast and crew. If you have not seen Popcorn, I say give it a shot. It won't make greatest horror movie lists, but at least it's fun.


Kate@Midnight Book Girl said...

Popcorn is one of my all time favorite horror movies and I am forever making people watch it. I love the movie theater, I love Jill Shoelen, and Tom Villard (RIP, Tom, who was also in one of my fav 80's movies- One Crazy Summer). It almost made me want to see the new Spy Kids film, since it was in aroma-roma... almost...

Lilithmodivic said...

Popcorn is one of the most forgotten horror movies from the 1990's. True,it is cheesy, but the setting for the movie is great. The disused theater was dark and dingy and the killer's methods of making new'faces' to wear out of the skin of his victims was creepy ! also, the scene where Tina is kissing Toby who is wearing the face of Davis, and then the skin starts peeling off revealing the disfigured face was unsettling to say the least. Only wish the ending had been better planned.