Category Archives: 1988 Movie reviews

Friday the 13th: Part VII: The New Blood-1988

Friday the 13th: Part VII: The New Blood-1988

Director-John Carl Buechler

Starring-Lar Park Lincoln, Terry Kiser

Reviewed December 8, 2010

Grade: B-

The seventh installment of the legendary Friday the 13th franchise is enjoyable, yet clearly predictable. However, props must be awarded to the creators for at least making an attempt  at a novel idea- this time the “final girl” is not the damsel in distress type, but rather, gives as good as she gets. Friday the 13th: Part VII: The New Blood is a decent offering in the horror genre and certainly better than some of its companion films.

The main heroine is a telekinetic girl named  Tina Shepard (Lar Park Lincoln). Via flashbacks, we learn that Tina’s father was an alcoholic and abused her mother. When Tina’s telekinesis was unlocked ten years earlier, Tina caused her father’s drowning death, conveniently at Camp Crystal Lake. Tina has harbored deep regret ever since and is now treated by Doctor Crews (Terry Kiser). The duo- along with her mother- decide to stay at the lake where a group of partying kids take up residence next door. Apparently none of them have any idea who Jason Voorhees is.

The beginning and end are ridiculous even by horror standards as the action is way over the top and too convoluted to go into, but everything else is fine. The cast seems a bit larger than in other chapters, which is great because that means more kills. Unfortunately, many of the kills have been edited to make an R rating. (I try to watch NR horror films- no edits). My favorite kill by far is the “sleeping bag” kill. Awesome!! Unfortunately, the DVD version of this kill is severely edited from the theatrical version.

Also, Jason looks like a true monster in this one and that is to be applauded. Stuntman Kane Hodder would begin a successful stint at the killer and he looks the part. Friday the 13th: Part VII: The New Blood is a fun popcorn horror flick.

Beaches-1988

Beaches-1988

Director-Garry Marshall

Starring-Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey

Top 100 Films-#93

60011617

Reviewed January 23, 2017

Grade: A

Beaches is a film that can easily be described as sentimental, sappy, and a chick flick- all in derogatory fashion- but that regardless, is a treasure to me and I fall for this tearjerker every single time that I watch it. It is not necessarily a great film, not high art, nor particularly edgy, but a good, old fashioned, conventional film about friendship. Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey give the film believability where other similar films would appear contrived.

C.C. Bloom (Midler) and Hillary Whitney (Hershey) are lifelong friends from completely opposite backgrounds. In addition, they could not have more opposite personalities. C.C. blue collar, outrageous and brash, Hillary, demure, rich, and sophisticated. We meet the friends as young girls on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, C.C. hiding from her overbearing stage Mom, and Hillary, lost and wandering the boardwalk. The two become fast friends despite their vastly different upbringings and stay connected through ups and downs and life’s trials and tribulations, for over thirty years.

The chemistry between Midler and Hershey is great. I completely buy them as best friends through the years, despite having little in common. Throughout their tender, emotional scenes, and the knock-down-drag-out fight they have at the mall (a fantastic scene!), there is never a doubt at what they have. They compete over a man, which ordinarily is a lame plot device, but in Beaches it works because the two stars make it work.

Each actress puts her own mark on the individual role. Midler’s C.C is arrogant, feisty, and is interesting as she begins a “have not” and becomes a “have”. She becomes spoiled and pampered- all of the things she envied about Hillary. She does not handle wealth as well as Hillary because she lacks the education. Hillary, an attorney, is classy and graceful. These characteristics is why it is believable that the women would be at odds.

The last act is a weepy one as one of the women dies, leaving the other to pick up the pieces and move on- alone. This is a sad moment in the film, but the women’s devotion and loyalty are admirable. Beaches may not be high art, but boy will it get you reaching for the hankies.

Hairspray-1988

Hairspray-1988

Director-John Waters

Starring-Ricki Lake, Divine

60025089

Reviewed June 3, 2013

Grade: B+

Hairspray is one of Director John Water’s later and much more mainstream comedies. Influencing the Broadway musical of the same name that was created years later, it tells the story of a cute, yet insecure, overweight teenager named Tracy Turnblad, wonderfully portrayed by Rikki Lake. Tracy lives in Baltimore in the racially conflicted 1960’s, and she battles to appear on a local talent show. With Waters directing, one might expect comedic raunchiness, but Hairspray is quite tame. In fact, it is the only Waters film to be rated PG, the others rated X.

The film itself, while campy and over the top, is an important film as it does its best to break down racial barriers, including interracial relationships, and sends an important message. Those characters (again the film is set in the early 1960’s) clearly look like buffoons and clearly not with the progressive social times. The supporting cast is high caliber- Divine and Jerry Stiller are perfectly cast as Tracy’s open minded yet cautious and concerned parents. Famous musicians appear in cameos- most notable Debbie Harry, Ric Ocasek, and Sonny Bono.

The musical dance numbers are plentiful and perfectly fit the time period of the film. Hairspray is an entertaining, relevant, free for all with a powerful message mixed in with the entertainment.

The Lair of the White Worm-1988

The Lair of the White Worm-1988

Director-Ken Russell

Starring-Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant

60029656

Reviewed April 5, 2014

Grade: C+

This is a very strange film. Set in Scotland, it tells the tale of a giant snake skeleton found in the ground that leads to a series of strange events.

A wealthy Lady, brilliantly played by Amanda Donohue, begins a sinister plot to sacrifice the townspeople. The film is campy and way over the top, though Donohue is delicious and seems to have fun with the role of a slithering, sexy, bisexual creature. The gloomy ambiance is fantastic, mixed in with many psychedelic sequences that entertained.

It’s a somewhat fun, late night B-movie, to be sure, but the plot did not seem to make much sense to me, especially in the final act. It is a trippy experience.