Category Archives: 80’s movies

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing 1982

It’s been a while since I watched the Swamp Thing mirror from Marvel Man-Thing, and while they came out in comic book form near the same time, in the movie world Swamp Thing beat it by quite a wide margin. Not only that, but it was directed by horror master Wes Craven best known for the Nightmare on Elm Street series, and yet this is a far cry from a horror movie aside from the creature makeup. It’s rated PG for one thing though it does get away with the brief boob shot that happened once in a while back in the 80’s days of the PG rating. It’s a bit of a monster movie where the creature is a sympathetic/tragic hero, but there’s also a strong villain that he’s pitted against all the while he spends his time trying to protect an instant love-interest. Filled with a bit of cheese, but still a fun movie.
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The Toxic Avenger Part III

The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie 1989

After the drop in entertainment quality between the first and second Toxie movie, I didn’t expect very much from The Last Temptation, and aside from a couple minor moments, it follows along the exact same path as Part II. There’s the childlike exposition narration, the usual over the top hammy acting, though another thing I noticed this time around was the horrible pacing. Even though the effects are nothing to write home about, they often linger on them as if they were a multi-million dollar set piece, complete with reaction shots of crowds gasping and screaming as if they’re watching something absolutely horrifying, and while a case could be made for that, they’re often watching something that they should be cheering for in an odd way, rather than screaming in terror over. I’m hoping that what I’ve heard holds true and the final installment brings it back up a notch, if not in actual movie quality, at least in entertainment value, which as fans of bad movies know are not always the same thing.
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The Toxic Avenger Part 2

The Toxic Avenger Part 2 1989

Since The Toxic Avenger was Troma’s first real hit, it’s no surprise that it became a sequel, and when that sequel originally ended up being over 4 hours long, it turned into 2 sequels. There are a large number of changes from the first movie to the second. Almost the entire cast was changed up, everyone from Toxie’s mother and girlfriend to Toxie himself, even being changed within the movie. The tone more or less remains the same gore-filled action comedy with hammy acting and cartoonish sound effects, though I didn’t have as much fun watching this one as I did the first one. I think they realized what they had and tried too hard to recreate it, giving it a much less charming feel to it. There’s also some odd choices in budget, while it feels like they spent more time or money on Toxie’s makeup, the fake eye moves occasionally, and there are some added effects used later in the movie. And yet there also seems to be less money spent on the other effects. A few people get shot, but there are no gunshot wounds or any blood at all, and the gory death scenes felt much tamer and sillier. If there wasn’t also a larger amount of nudity, I would almost think that they were considering to aim for a PG-13 rating. There are still some laughs to be had, but it’s far less entertaining on the bad movie scale.
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The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger 1984

A lot of B-movie fans, and especially horror B-movie fans likely know the name Troma. It’s a small company that’s churned out a whole lot of low budget films over the years with titles like Yeti: A Love Story, Surf Nazis Must Die!, and Killer Condom. But before doing horror movies, they mainly did sex comedies. The Toxic Avenger was more or less their first foray into horror, even though it’s not what anyone would call full blown horror, it has the death scenes and blood and gore which is a staple of these kinds of horror movies. And it was a success… eventually. It wasn’t quite the slow burn that the Rocky Horror Picture Show would become, but it found a foothold as a midnight movie and is considered a cult classic. Heck, there was even a children’s cartoon of it. As for my own experience with Troma films, I know I was familiar with the Toxic Avenger, but I can’t for the life of me remember exactly how. I think I watched at least one of the films when I was younger, and I know I caught some of the episodes of the cartoon. I also watched Tromeo and Juliet, which was directed by the James Gunn who would later go on to direct Super. But my knowledge of Toxie had mostly faded when he came back on screen in all his cheesy glory. This is a cult movie for a lot of the same reasons the Room is a cult movie. The acting is horrible, the effects are obviously cheap but brutal (for the time at least), but in the end, I had a blast.
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Condorman

Condorman 1981

With a name like Condorman, you’d think it would be a no brainer for a superhero movie, and yet this movie actually turned out much more like a spy movie slash comedy. You may ask why I’m keeping this on my main list and not tagging it with my “almost super” category, at least if you’re someone who follows this site on a regular basis. I decided to let it stay for a few reasons. One is that it has a strong foundation in comic books, the “spy” in question is actually a comic book writer and artist, and second is that his spy persona feels much closer to a comic book superhero than a James Bond or Inspector Clouseau spy. But that’s all really beside the point, it’s another movie that I had never heard of, an 80’s movie that’s been all but forgotten even though it was technically a Disney movie, or at least a Disney production with a little animation thrown in for the opening credits. It’s a fun little attempt at being a Pink Panther movie with a lot more gadgets and costumes thrown in. I had a lot of fun while watching it, even though at times it went a little too far on the goofy side of comedy. And on top of the goofball comedy, there was actually quite a bit of excitement with some fun car chases, boat chases, and explosions.
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The Pumaman

The Pumaman 1980

I had never heard of this movie before starting this site and accumulating my big list of superhero movies to watch. And on top of that, I only recently found out that it was also an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I did end up watching shortly after watching this movie proper. It’s a low budget movie produced in Italy about a hero with the blood of the Aztec gods running through his veins. But what it really amounts to is that this giant Aztec man gives him an ugly belt which gives him an ugly costume and the abilities of the Pumaman. This allows him to shred metal with his mighty claws like a puma, see in the dark like a puma, slow his heartbeat to feign death like a puma, fly like a puma, even teleport… like a puma. And there has to be a big bad villain to this whole story, which ends up being this weird bald guy who dresses like he’s in a bad sci-fi movie using an Aztec mask to put people under mind control.

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UHF

UHF 1989

This is one of my favorite movies from when I was younger. I grew up listening to Weird Al’s parodies and when I saw that he had made a movie, I just had to see it. I was expecting a movie parodying movies just like his songs parodied songs. What I wasn’t expecting was a superhero movie. Weird Al plays George Newman, someone who can alter reality to suit his own means, and he uses his powers to defeat the evil head of the C8 corporation, R. J. Fletcher, a mastermind enemy with his cadre of henchmen trying to eliminate George’s base of operations, his UHF headquarters.
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The Adventures of the American Rabbit

The Adventures of the American Rabbit 1986

On this Easter Sunday, after my daughter’s romp through the house finding all of her Angry Bird eggs I decided to kill two birds with one stone by putting on a somewhat Easter themed superhero movie. It’s got to be Easter themed since it has rabbits in it, right? Anyway I actually vaguely remember watching this movie when I was a kid but man does it totally not hold up in any way shape or form. Even Jena herself got bored with the movie when it was about halfway through and it’s only 80 minutes long. I thought it was great because I recognized a few voices from my childhood viewing, like the voice of The American Rabbit was Barry Gordon who also voiced Donatello in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a smaller part, the gorilla Ping Pong was played by Lorenzo Music who voiced Garfield for a long time, though his voice here reminded me a lot more of Tummy Gummy from the Adventures of the Gummi Bears. But even viewing this movie through a soft haze of nostalgia wasn’t able to save it from the ludicrous plots of villainy and barely there presence of the hero himself.
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Almost Super: Krull

Almost Super: Krull 1983

Nostalgiathon 2012

As you may have seen in my previous post, I just recently watched Krull for our latest As You Watch podcast. We decide the movie for each episode based on a short list of movies from the four of us, and Krull was picked from my list. I’ve enjoyed this movie since I was young, finding and watching every fantasy based movie I could find, so I thought this movie would also be a perfect fit with the Nostalgiathon hosted by Cinema Schminema and Andy Watches Movies, because while I still enjoy the movie, it turns out that practically no one else does. Including all four of my co-hosts for the episode. The pacing may be sluggish, the characters may be weak, the story may be derivative, but I still love this movie.

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Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

Superman II: The Donner Cut 1980/2006

Ever since I had heard about this movie, I was quite curious about it. More so after I actually watched the theatrical cut of Superman II way back when I started this site. For those not in the know, I’ll do a brief re-cap. Richard Donner originally was shooting Superman & the sequel concurrently, and had shot about 80%+ of the film before they had to stop production. For various reasons, when they restarted production Richard Donner didn’t return and was replaced with Richard Lester who re-shot much of the film with a different tone in mind, as well as a smaller budget. While both films follow essentially the same plot, this is a very different film, and well over half the movie is new or alternate footage. The overall tone is much more serious and the humor that is still there is less campy. I personally enjoyed the Donner cut much more than the Lester cut, at least up to a certain point.

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