Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Couple of My Favorite 1980's Horror Films...

...resurfaced on NetFlix recently.

Michael Mann's The Keep (1983) is still stylish as hell.  The cast included a Scott Glenn, J├╝rgen Prochnow, Robert Prosky, Ian McKellen, and Gabriel Byrne (playing one very nasty Nazi).  Some of the special effects shots were not that good at the time and have not aged well at all.  The visual effects man, Wally Veevers, died during the production, taking some of his better ideas for the movie with him to the grave.  Others of Veevers' tricks are still pretty awesome.  The film is set in a gloomy gray pass in the Carpathian mountains where Wehrmacht soldiers - who in 1941 still anticipated a quick victory against the Soviets - encounter a force more evil than themselves.  Many Nazis die, which is always a good thing.

Nomads (1986) was written and directed by John McTiernan (who helmed the classic Predator the very next year year).  It has big hair, 80's music, and a pretty nasty French accent delivered by Pierce Brosnan, and draws on ancient Inupiaq folklore being played out in modern Los Angeles.  The idea was not perfectly developed, but it leaves us with nagging questions.  What if some of the cast off, marginal people we struggle to ignore every day were visible only to us?  What if we were not supposed to see them?  Does anyone do creepy and alluring like Mary Woronov did back in the day?  Why did McTiernan think a remake of Rollerball was necessary?