Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults, Part III
August is Movie Madness all month long at Bookmans! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad or the latest Hollywood hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not-very-common, yet have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that Japan based Funai would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging. If you missed Part One, you can rewind to here., or Part Two here, Otherwise grab the remote, sit back and enjoy Part III Of Movie Madness: Tales From The Video Vaults.
Deranged, Jane Hamilton, 1987
Marketed as “the ultimate horror that comes from within”, director Chuck Vincent weaves a tale of mental illness, mystery and suspense. I found Deranged to be an innovative thriller. It builds suspensefully to a violent conclusion. First there was Sybil, now there is Joyce!
From the Video Box : “Joyce’s life seems to be perfect. She’s married and has all of the money she could ever need. But Joyce is haunted by a past she can’t understand: her father’s violent suicide and the will that made her sole heir to his immense fortune. Joyce’s troubles start when her husband leaves her for a month of business in London. Joyce starts hearing voices, and seeing things. When a masked intruder forces his way into their apartment and attacks Joyce, he unleashes in her a frightened little girl tormented by her “special” relationship with Daddy, and a crazed madwoman hungry for revenge.”
Scout’s Honor, Gary Coleman, 1980
Coming off his fame on TV’s Diff’rent Strokes, child actor, author, rap artist, comedian, politician, and fellow Star Wars fan Gary Coleman was everywhere. He had commercials, catch phrases, and even met Knight Rider! This 93 minutes of pure joy is a ‘den pack’ of laughs for the whole family! A delightful tale of love and friendship.
From the Video Box: Gary Coleman is Joey, a clever yet lonely orphan who is determined to be the best Boy Scout ever! Pearl Bartlett is a hard working executive who dislikes children, but must take on a group of Cub Scouts and become a den mother to save her job. On an outing, she takes her den to a nearby park, where the boys discover a cave and decide to explore. By accident, they cause a cave-in and the excitement begins. Joey’s cleverness saves the day and in the end, Pearl bestoes the best gift any orphan could ask for.
The Midnight Hour, Shari Belafonte and Levar Burton, 1985
What isn’t there to love about this rare gem? Originally aired as a TV movie on Friday, November 1st, this comedy/horror has everything! Marketed as “when teenagers unleash an evil witch’s curse, the dead return to liven up Halloween”, they had me hooked. It was always checked out from my local video store; it was hard to come by even then! The Midnight Hour is a cross between Night of The Living Dead, and An American Werewolf in London, a treat filled with tricks and entertainment for the whole family.
From the Video Box: “It’s Halloween night and the local teenagers have unwittingly unleashed an ancient curse that will turn their quiet New England town upside down. A group of uninvited guests, ghouls, vampires, and angry zombies leave the graveyards to join in the Halloween celebrations. Now the spirited teens only have a few hours until midnight to reverse the curse, and save the town from the ghostly visitors. The result is a hilarious blend of humor and horror.”
Still can’t get enough of these forgotten treasures? Are you ready to replace the AA’s in the remote and heat up the Jiffy Pop to satiate your Movie Madness? Well then, join me next week, where we’ve saved the best for last: “Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults Part Four” where we explore even more obscure titles. In the meantime remember to “Please Be Kind, and Rewind”!