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Remote Control (1988)
Aliens in your VCR. No really!
A cheesy yet very fun horror/sci-fi flick with a great deal of nostalgia permeating every frame. The movie itself is an 80's look back on a warped sci-fi version of the 50's, which sounds strange but works well. It must be remembered that around the time this movie was made, there was a fad for all things 50's and retro, and "Remote Control" makes nostalgic fun of that trend, while also being part of it. Video stores were still mostly independently owned in those days and were sweeping the country, so the writers here took the old "aliens invade earth" scenario and use the VCR growth as a means in which the aliens can infiltrate and infect the human population. How so? Well, whoever watches the video will become hypnotized/entranced/controlled by the secret message, and will turn into a crazed murderous freak! You all of the sudden have this sudden urge to kill anyone around you! Still, it's not as gruesome or bad as it sounds, and is instead a great deal of fun. Kevin Dillon (who starred later in the '88 version of "The Blob") isn't the best actor, and neither is anyone else in this flick, but that strangely adds to the charm. It's cheesy, it's meant to be cheesy, and all these years later it's even better - because now it's nostalgic 80's cheese. Love it!
The Gate (1987)
cheesy horror and nostalgia = fun!
Ah, the pleasures of horror movies and nostalgia. I was about 18 or so when this was first released, and I wandered to the theaters with my friends to watch this movie based on all the TV ads. Yeah, ads that included those little dwarfed demons with mean faces and sharp teeth. Hey, for 1987 that was seriously cool - and done very well! But at the time, I came out of the theater thinking, "Eh, it was okay." Years later, sick and not in the mood to move, I flipped through the channels late at night and found "The Gate" about to come on. I thought, "Eh, for nostalgia, why not?" I was surprised by how much I loved the movie! I'd forgotten it starred Stephen Dorff (he was unknown back then), and I was disappointed to learn that his sister in the movie (Christa Denton) didn't really go on to do much else. She was cute. Whatever happened to her??? Besides the cool suburban and 1980's atmosphere (not to mention the clothes and hair - oh yeah!), the movie's story is the fun type of cheese that still keeps your eyes glued to the TV. Cool effects, a no-brainer but engaging story, and the kids are fun to watch. It's also on DVD at a cheap price, and I bought it the other day. Not bad. It's full screen (bummer), but the picture is pretty good. No extra features though (bummer again). But still, very worth of owning. I just watched it again lastnight. And yes, it's still so fun!