Popcorn Film Details
Overview: A master of disguise deranged killer begins killing off the college students who are organizing a horror-movie marathon in an abandoned theater.
Tagline: Buy a bag… Go home in a box.
Review: I can remember when the movie POPCORN came out how great an idea I thought they had come up with. Movies within a movie and all paying tribute to one of the greatest promoters of horror films that ever lived, William Castle. Not directly mind you, but a tribute to the ballyhoo he was known for. Combine that with the current style of horror film involving teens in jeopardy and you know it had everything a horror fan could ask for. The story revolves around college student Maggie Butler (Jill Schoelen), majoring in film at the local university and living at home with her mother Suzanne (Dee Wallace). Dealing with some terrifying dreams Maggie keeps a record of them intending to use those nightmares for a film she wants to do one day. Suzanne is concerned about her daughter’s nightmares but has her own issues to deal with when she’s lured to the Dreamland Theater by a voice from her past. In an effort to come up with a unifying project and to generate funds for the fledgling film department Maggie’s professor Davis (Tony Roberts) takes a suggestion made by her fellow student Toby (Tom Villard). The group decides to put on an all-night horror movie marathon. At first concerned about the time they have to do so, Davis agrees when he learns Toby has connections to a Dr. Mnesyne (Ray Walston), a memorabilia collector who has the films they need as well as the gimmicks that were used when the films were first released. Gaining access to the old Dreamland Theater, the group sets up cleaning the building and preparing for the big night. While preparing and checking out the items in the box they come across a short film and decide to watch it to see what it is. What they witness is a film by the legendary Lanyard Gates, a crazed film maker who took things to the extreme in an effort to create the most realistic film possible. So real that the last anyone knew of him he was shooting a film that resulted in his demise along with his followers, burned in a theater while filming the short the students are now watching. Not scared off by the film they carry on with their project. A giant mosquito is rigged to fly over the audience, electro-shock buzzers are placed in select seats and foul odors are prepared for a movie in odorama. The day comes, the audience fills the auditorium and the films begin. But something else is going on as well. One by one the various members of the group are being killed without the others being aware. Who is behind it all, who will survive and what it all has to do with Maggie and her dreams will be revealed by the end of the film. There are several things that make this movie work. The first and most obvious is the movies within the movie. Each of them has ties to old hokum live items that were used at one time or another. And the movies themselves are a hoot. They were also what led to the movie getting a new director halfway through as you’ll find out in the extras. The second thing that works is the story itself. Using the tried and true theme made big in the 80s with a group of young people in jeopardy and being knocked off one by one keeps the theme of the horror films from them intact while combining it with those old movies at the same time. This nice blend combines to make an entertaining film in the end. Two performances stand out in the film. Schoelen does a great job as Maggie. The whole film hinges on her being believable and she is quite that here. The second is in Tom Villard who is great as Toby. The dedicated film fan who puts it all together could be played too broadly but he does it quite well here. The rest of the cast is great in their performances as well. Synapse has once again done a fantastic job of offering this movie in the best format possible with the cleanest looking transfer I’ve ever seen of it. It’s a 2k scan of an archival 35mm interpostive. Extras include an audio commentary track by director Mark Herrier, Schoelen, Malcolm Danare, and special makeup effects artist Mat Falls, MIDNIGHT MADNESS: THE MAKING OF POPCORN documentary, ELECTRIC MEMORIES an interview with actor Bruce Glover, the theatrical trailer, television trailer and TV spots, a still gallery and reversible cover are by Chris MacGibbon. If you’ve never seen this film this is the way to do it, a treat for move fans as well as horror fans. Tame enough with little gore to be seen, safe enough to qualify for a PG-13 in today’s world and still it’s a solid horror film. For me this is one worth adding to your collection.
Country: United States, Canada
Duration: 91 min
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Also known as: Phantom of the Cinema,Skinner …lebend gehäutet,Cineman kummitus,Воздушная кукуруза,Popcorn,Popcorn – O Pesadelo Está De Volta,Попкорн,O Fantasma do Cinema,Popcorn: la otra cara del terror,Phantom of the Cinema – Cineman kummitus,Popcorn – O Assassino do Cinema,Skinner,ポップコーン（1991）,La otra cara del terror