Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Invaders From Mars (1986, Tobe Hooper)


I think I’ve seen some of the original cult flick Invaders From Mars which came out in the 1950s. What I saw of that was good, yet dated. You can make the same argument about Hooper’s remake, still I rather liked this one well enough. The ending is gusty, the cast is good, there’s some awesome freaky moments and the movie is very 1980s. Which is fine as Hooper did some pretty good work during that decade and became further established in his own right.

However compared to other 1980s remakes this one isn’t as good as the other ones, although I definitely prefer it over Not Of This Earth, which was not a good movie. Louise Fletcher is wonderfully sinister in this movie, the parents are played by famous actors Timothy Bottoms and Laraine Newman, and Karen Black has a prominent hero role as the school nurse who believes the kid protagonist. Hunter Carson is quite good as young David, the hero, and James Karen plus Christopher Allport pop up as high ranking soldiers who come to David’s aid.

There are several pretty cool sequences too, particularly the one in the saucer alien lair yet also one involving a swirling sand vortex of doom. Stan Winston and John Dykstra do a fine job with the special effects, and even though the movie drags a bit in the middle the finale more than covers for the weaker aspects. I’ll have to view the original in it’s entirety to compare the two, however for now I’m very satisfied with the remake.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Crawlspace (1986, David Schmoeller)


Sure this is a trashy slasher thriller, yet Crawlspace has great set design. Oh and Klaus Kinski running amuck, murdering people in ways that would make Jigsaw smile. The film toys with the audience, only showing certain murders and also playing with the voyeur angle. Kinski is the kind of actor who could carry a film, and here he gives a quiet, intense and creepy performance.

Oh and Kinski playing Russian roulette with himself is not even the strangest thing about this film. Talia Balsam is a really likable final girl, and a chair trap is a nasty highlight. Also having Kinski dress up in full Nazi uniform in the last act results in a finale that is a bit, um, eerie. Despite being really dated I still liked this flick, and one has to watch this just to watch Kinski use a little cart to speed through his own elaborate tunnel system. More slasher films should be this unique and interesting. “So be it.”

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