Popcorn – USA, 1991 – reviews

‘Buy a bag… go home in a box.’

Popcorn is a 1991 American horror film directed by former actor Mark Herrier (Freddy’s Nightmares) from a screenplay by Alan Ormsby (Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, Deranged and Deathdream) as Todd Hackett.

Ormsby directed all three of the films-within-the-film but was replaced by Herrier a few weeks into the production. Director Bob Clark (Black Christmas; Murder by Decree) was an uncredited co-producer and the musical score was provided by Paul Zaza (Prom Night; My Bloody Valentine; Curtains).

Main cast:

Jill Schloelen (The Stepfather, Phantom of the Opera), Tom Villard, Dee Wallace (The Howling; Cujo), Derek Rydall, Elliott Hurst, Kelly Jo Minter, Malcolm Danare, Ray Walston, Tony Roberts (Amityville 3-D).

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A group of film students plan 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 Lanyard 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…

Popcorn was released as a Special Edition Blu-ray by Synapse Films on October 3, 2017.

Buy: Amazon.com

  • All-New 2K Scan of an Archival 35mm Interpositive
  • All-New Blu-ray 7.1 Surround Sound Mix Supervised by Synapse Films (Original 2.0 Stereo Mix Included)
  • Audio Commentary with Director Mark Herrier, Stars Jill Schoelen, Malcolm Danare, and Special Makeup Effects Artist Mat Falls
  • Midnight Madness: The Making of “Popcorn” featuring interviews with Director Mark Herrier, Stars Jill Schoelen, Derek Rydall, Dee Wallace, Malcolm Danare, Ivette Soler, and Elliott Hurst, Special Makeup Effects Artist Mat Falls, Composer Paul Zaza, and Distributor Executive Jonathan Wolf (55 minutes)
  • Electric Memories An Interview with Actor Bruce Glover
  • Original Theatrical Trailer, Television Trailer and TV Spots
  • Still Gallery
  • English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Blu-ray Reversible Cover Art by Chris MacGibbon
  • All Region Encoded/Playable Worldwide

Reviews:

“Plain and simple, Popcorn is a goofy, enjoyable romp. The film pulls no punches on what it is: an homage to horror films of yesterday and today. The movie even gives kudos to films like Indiana Jones and old ’50s movies Them! and Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Patrick Naugle, DVD Verdict

Popcorn frequently tosses common sense out the window, with inconsistencies and plot holes abound, but who cares? It’s a wildly entertaining movie, among one of the most thoroughly fun slashers of the past twenty years. The pacing is brisk, and the kill scenes, bloodless though they may be, are suspenseful and occasionally fairly inventive.” Adam Tyner, DVD Talk

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“The three fake B-movies that are shown at the theater during the horror marathon (“Mosquito”, “The Incredible Electrified Man”, and “The Stench”) are pretty entertaining, yet surprisingly authentic, send-ups of sci-fi horror of the 50s and 60s. I really liked the cursed film/snuff/cult film storyline.” Wes R., Oh, the Horror!

Popcorn-1991-DVD

Buy: Amazon.co.uk

“There is one spooky effect involving skin masks but Popcorn is undone by flat acting. Schoelen can muster neither personality nor much of a voice — mostly she whines — while Tom Villard never summons up much energy as her mysterious fellow student Toby, who may or may not be what he seems.” Richard Harrington, The Washington Post

“First-time director Mark Herrier began his career by appearing in all three Porky’s movies, and he brings that same unsophisticated approach to this one.” Mike Mayo, Videohound’s Horror Show

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“This mixture of send-up and thrills is delightful under Mark Herrier’s direction despite a skewered sense of story.” John Stanley, Creature Features

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” … it’s just so damn easy to watch, which is partly due to all the stimulus: A fascination with color, fantastic practical makeup effects, sometimes bumbling but consistently interesting camera work, elaborate sound effects … over-bearing Jamaican music, and of course some satisfying, and often strange, slasher genre kills.” Carly Marie, Best Horror Movies

Filming locations:

Kingston, Jamaica

Wikipedia | IMDb

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