Tuesday, March 23, 2010
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.