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Showing posts from March, 2020

Capsule Reviews: Splatter University

Quick-hit movie reviews for the masses.

Slasher University is definitely one of the dopier slashers of its era, but there's still enjoyment to be had reveling in its endearing amateurism. It feels like a student film padded out to feature length. In fact, 65 minutes of it were filmed in 1981 by director Richard W. Haines, with additional scenes shot the next year to bump it up to a brisk 78 minute running time, then sat on the shelf for several years before Troma Entertainment unleashed into an uncaring world in 1984. As often happens with films like this, though, it eventually turned into a word-of-mouth underground classic.


The plot, paper-thin as it is, involves a string of gruesome murders on a non-specified but totally Catholic college campus, and one plucky new teacher's quest to unearth the identity of the mystery killer - which is so hard to do because everyone on the faculty is acting suspiciously, especially the priests. In between death scenes, we're treated to a…

It Came From the '90s: The Memory of Her

This series looks back at the 1990s and its influence on the generation of people who came of age during the decade. This entry is the result of a friendly challenge to take a brief, seemingly inconsequential moment from my life and explore why it made an impact on me.
Sometimes, when something or other triggers the memory of her, I think about that summer night a hundred years ago when a beautiful dancer invited me to join her in the back room of the strip club, to "get to know each other." I wonder what might've happened had I taken her up on that offer. I wonder how she's doing now.
I'm getting ahead of myself. It all happened one June night in the pivotal year of 1995, when my friends took me a strip club to celebrate my newfound freedom. I had just broken off a monumentally bad several-months long relationship (we were just so wrong for each other) and was currently navigating the start of a healthy, new relationship with an old friend, Naomi, one that would…

Misspent Youth: It's a Living

Looking back at the pop culture mainstays of this Gen-Xer's gloriously misspent youth.

When a friend tweeted recently that the first season of the criminally underrated 1980 sitcom It's a Living, about waitresses at the Above the Top restaurant located atop a swanky Los Angeles hotel, had appeared on Amazon Prime, I literally shouted out loud with joy. Then I spent the rest of the work day eagerly anticipating binging it later that night.


Now, I hadn't seen the show since the 1980s, probably in reruns and when it was in its syndicated run (and retitled as Making a Living). The series debuted in 1980, when I was in kindergarten, and it's entirely possible I watched it as it aired because, as I keep coming back to in this series, we Gen Xers were practically raised by the plethora of excellent pop culture of an era that coincided with the true golden age of the television sitcom.


It's a Living will likely never be considered among the greats, but it was much better th…

Writing Roundup: Cult Classics

It's been a while, so I'm overdue for another odds 'n' sods post, rounding up stuff I've written elsewhere in the great beyond we call the internet. Some of these go back several months, into last year even, and others are more recent, but all of them are about one of my favorite topics: cult classic films. And for me there's no doubt the films discussed in these articles and reviews are absolute cult movie solid gold.


From wisecracking, half-naked interstellar space babes to erotically charged nurses behaving badly, from several different women on brutally single-minded revenge missions to one of the great movie urban legends of all time, these pieces run the exploitation gamut.


For lovers of all things cult cinema—my fellow disciples of Rhonda Shear and USA Up All Night and all you fellow members of Joe Bob Briggs's Drive-In movie mutant family—these are for you. Enjoy.


*****

The Legend of Demi Moore's Backside, Or, I Stripteased on Your Grave
(The Af…