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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turn Back Time Tuesday- Popcorn Review

HorrorBlips: vote it up!

Released in 1991, Popcorn was a film that flew under most peoples radar. Written by Alan Ormsby, the film featured many genre vets including Jill Schoelen and Dee Wallace-Stone.
Popcorn revolves around a group of film students planning an all-night horror film festival in order to raise funds for their cinema club. They decide to show a number of (fictional) 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 Laynard Gates, who murdered his family during a screening of his only film in the 1970s, supplies the decoy killer character, since young Maggie (Jill Schoelen) may or may not be his missing daughter. There are a number of things this film right. For one, the acting was superb, especially by Tom Villard who played the films antagonist. I also loved the fact that with the fictional horror films that were played at the theater, they used gimmicks quite reminiscent of the ones made famous by William Castle. Popcorn always took itself serious and never became self aware, a problem that plagues much of today's horror. The film contains two plot twists that are devulged during the second act and we are given a straightforward ending, something rare for the genre. When viewing Popcorn, I watched my old VHS copy to get the grainy feel that just seems to make horror movies better, especially ones not overly laden with CGI effects. This really is a gem of a film and I know many people that have never even heard of it so I always make sure it is one that I recommend.


  1. This film was what really sparked my interest in mask-making, of course I never DID take up mask making like I wanted too.

    I love this film also, it contains all of the elements of the things I love most...horror movies, movie theatres of yesteryear, monsters in masks, and movie gimmicks.

  2. I enjoyed this movie for what it was, although it still seems baffling to me that it wasn't made in the 1980s! I know that 1991 may as well have been the 'eighties, but POPCORN really seems like circa 1985 cheese.

    Great review!

  3. I agree, this film does contain all the great horror plot elements and really does have an 80's vibe to it. Thanks for the comments!!