80’s arcade games-Pit-Fighter




Yes, I am cheating on this one by a few months as it came out in August 1990. Close enough for me. I actually never played this one back then although I had heard of it. I only recently played it for the first time on a collection for the Xbox. This was two years before Mortal Kombat and although it looks very basic and plays almost awkward compared to MK it was still ahead of it’s time for 1990. They used models and blue screen to make these images of the fighters. In 1990 this probably looked pretty darned cool compared to previous fighting games. You can pick from one of two characters and then go through rounds fighting different fighters who have various styles. There are different items including chairs and barrels then you pick up to whack your opponent with. Instead of being able to move side to side you can go around the whole area which makes it easier to avoid or get around behind someone. It does have a few flaws. The actual gameplay is more on the clunky side of games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2 that would soon make the fighting game genre popular. Also if you fight with multiple players and you are fighting multiple enemies you have to be careful because it’s so easy to hit or kick your partner. Kicking someone in the behind is a hoot while they are bent over is a hoot as they just kind of pop up in the air  like that and being able to kick them like that multiple times is a real treat. It’s not a classic but as a lover of fighting games I liked giving it a go and my nine year old son thought it was fun too.


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It came from the bargain bin-Edward Scissorhands



Purchased at-Walmart (recently)


I saw this on VHS once in the late 90’s and liked it, but have not seen it since.

So when they were coming up with a title for this did they have the following brainstorming sessions.

Edward Nailfile hands? No, not scary enough.

Edwars Icepick hands? Too scary.

Edward Hammerhands? You nailed it, well not really

Edward Spoonhands? I’m not digging it.

Eward Spatulahands? I’m not flipping over it.

Edward Sporkhands? Too weird.

Edward Tweezerhands? Too tiny.

Well let’s go with Edward Scissorhands

So there is this town that seems to blend 1967 with 1989. Anyways a struggling cosmetics saleslady stumbles upon a dude with scissors for hands up at the old castle on the hill. She does what everyone would do and runs like invites to come home with her. He does and ends up falling for the daughter  Kim. He begins to fit in a little, but the neighborhood skank talks bad about him after he runs from her nastiness. Kim’s boyfriend is a piece of work too or a piece of something because he is not so nice. Edward gets caught breaking into a house even though his intentions were alright. Pretty soon most of the town begins to distrust. He accidentally cuts Kim and her brother within minutes of each other. This leads to the cops and the narrow minded morons town folk chasing Ed off and he runs back to his old castle. Some where before this point there was a flashback showing the old professor that used to live in the castle. He made Edward, but died before putting the regular hands on him. Back to present day er 1990. Kim follows Edward to the castle and unfortunately so does her drunken boyfriend. He acts like a jerk, Ed kills him and no more Rusty Griswold. Before the unicorns and rainbows can come in the town comes and sees the dead body, but Kim tells them Edward was killed too. They say “aw” and go back to their bright colored houses. Kim goes back and grows old without ever seeing Edward again. Edward makes snow by making ice sculptures..wait is that right…uh, yeah that’s what it says. Roll the credits.

The negatives-The ending is definitely a bit of a downer.

The positives-The cast is solid all the way across. The film looks fantastic down to the tiniest detail. The story is like a (then) modern take on a fairy tale and it works very well in that with Ed playing the innocent seen as a monster by some but as a blessing by others. This was definitely one of Tim Burton’s films that felt magical.

Was it worth $3.50? Definitely, a real bargain bin find. It was actually far better than I remember it being.


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Teenage mutant ninja turtles



So apparently in New York there are these martial art proficient masked turtles who are instructed by a rat. No wait, I’m serious or at least in a Hollywood adaption of a comic book kind of way. Okay back to this movie. People are having things stolen..in the big city..can you believe that? Oh, yeah so can I, but wait this is apparently being done by a bunch young people who have been organized by a ninja guy named Shredder who wears well stuff that looks like it would shred you. The police don’t want anyone to know much of an anything, but a reporter named April goes nosing around. Eventually she befriends those turtles. The shreddie guy and his feet er and the Foot take the rat Splinter to lure the turtles in. Meanwhile the turtles eat pizza, team up with a hockey goalie mask wearing guy named Casey Jones and they try to figure out what to do next. Eventually they throw out more jokes and sillines plus manage to save Splinter, straighten out a bunch of teens who were on the wrong track and apparently defeated the shred dude/thingie/person/guy. All is well until the next film so order pizza and roll the credits.

Negatives-This is geared toward kids to an extent, but not as much as the cartoon of the same time was.

Positives-I think is a fairly strong comic book adaption that has held up well over the years. The personalities of the main characters is decent, the action is adequate and the pace is strong. The back story is simple and things move along fairly quickly. There are some great one liners and I never get tired of the Dominoes delivery scene.



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Erik Estrada as Juan Degas (the S is silent) a gunrunner and all around not so wonderful fellow.

There are other people in this film, but no one that important for Danny Trejo who plays what else a nasty looking guy with an equally nasty disposition. It’s an Andy Sidaris film so the woman run around half dressed trying to act tough and spouting out cornball lines, the villain’s henchman act stupid and die while the good guys smile and show off their hair while they  normally get saved by the woman or by just dumb luck.

So Degas shows up under his fake hair helmet, I mean the fuzzy rodent on his head um very natural looking hair. Anyways he wants this one female agent dead. So hires these two goons-one looks like French Stewart only with his eye open while the other looks like a young John Saxon (only not nearly as cool). The above ugly hit men become even less cool when they dress as even uglier women to pull off their hits. Back to the star, Degas sets up to buy some weapons from a Chinese weapons dealer. We know the weapons are great because our villain uses tone to set stuff on fire, huh huh huh cool! The hit men kill the wrong girl in Hawaii then everyone goes back to Las Vegas because these Andy Sidaris movies seem to happen in bright colorful places. Guess the film wouldn’t work as well in the winter in Minnesota or something. Anyways there are some airplanes tossed in here and cars driving wildly to fill in time of some sorts. Degas gets tense over the female agents still being around and Estrada does some hammy eyeball popping moments to emphasize this for his character. Degas girlfriend kills some of the good people but then she gets it. Eventually of course the hit men in drag bite the dust as well. Despite the fact that the women in these films can’t run very fast and hold their weapons as awkwardly they still always manage to take down some tough customers. Degas captures this woman and threatens the heroes to get what he wants, but one of the female agents blows him up with what looks like a couple of caulk guns together carrying red and blue cardboard rockets. Yet it’s enough to blow Degas to a million pieces and do no damage to the agent who was just a few feet away. Oh well roll the credits.


The negatives-The film isn’t big on plot and if you expecting witty dialog then you need to search elsewhere.

The positives-Estrada tries and he’s decent enough as a villain. There are plenty of explosions and gun fights too. Nice locations as well.





There were several hands involved in the writing of this one including a couple of Raimis and a couple of Goldins. Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider-man) of course directed this thing. It’s like someone took elements of Batman and swirled them around in a blender with parts of Universal’s Phantom of the opera and the Invisible Man. Then they poured out the results then threw in Liam Neeson as Peyton Westlake and his scientific research and sprinkled in Larry Drake as crime kingpin Robert G. Durant. Westlake is trying to make synthetic skin, but eventually he falls on the wrong side Durant and his thugs. They knock the snot out of him, blow up his lab and leave him for dead. Westlake lives although in a crazed, vengeful, scarred state. He can make temporary skin masks to look like others and he has increased strength and doesn’t feel pain like he used to. Of course he uses it to go after Durant and his group. This results in odd bits and pieces with killings of the various gang members until Durant catches on and goes full throttle after Westlake.

The negatives-The movie might be slightly dated and the low-budget shows though at times, but really that’s it.

The positives-There were various anti-heroes in comics and films around this time, but I always took to Darkman quite a bit due to the similarities to classic Universal monsters and the whole quirky nature of Raimi’s style. I have also been a big fan of Larry Drake ever since I saw him in Dark night of the scarecrow in 1981. I also very liked the sets and locations in this film. I think they stretched their limited funds very well.

As a related story a friend of mine was working in a video store when this came out on video and the store had a big Darkman stand-up. After the film had been out a few months my friend got to keep the stand-up and he had the Darkman at his house for a few years. So whenever I would visit my friend I would be sure to say “hello” to Darkman.

Sundown-The vampire in retreat


The case says this film was made in 1990, but IMDB says 1989.

Directed by Anthony Hickox

David Carradine ad Mardulak

Morgan Brittany as Sarah

Jim Metzler as David

Bruce Campbell as Van Helsing

Deborah Foreman as Sarah the vampire who loves Van Helsing

Maxwell Caulfied as Shane the vampire whose stalking Sarah

M. Emmit Walsh as Mort, one of the grizzled vampires who works at the gas station oh and he knocks a dude’s head off early on the film.

John Ireland as Jefferson an old school vampire who wants to go back to sucking blood out of people.

What’s this about? I really want to keep this short because it could get way too long. Okay this film is a horror comedy with definite western elements. Purgatory is an isolated desert town made up of all vampires. Mardulak kind of rules the town and has a factory going to try create a synthetic blood for them to live off of. Shane oversees the plant but they need help they invite the mortal David who brings his wife Sarah and their two daughters to Purgatory so that David can help get the plant up to speed (he doesn’t know it’s for vampires). Meanwhile nasty old Jefferson remembers the good old days when vampires sucked blood from people and he doesn’t want the synthetic blood so he is secretly getting a rebellion together with an army full of mean and nasty vampires. About twenty minutes in the goofiest vampire hunter ever-Van Helsing wanders into town looking for Mardulak. We don’t meet Mardulak until 40 minutes in even though Carradine gets top billing. Along the way there’s like a ton of side plots- a human gets killed, his friends show up, everyone wants to bite them, Shane thinks Sarah’s youngest daughter is his, blah,blah, blah. Anyways all this eventually leads to a big shootout between Jefferson and his old nasties about Madulak and well, everyone else. Oh and Shane might be a wooden pretty boy but he did come up with wooden bullets that splinter on impact. So that explains how vampires can shoot other vampires. Of course you can guess which side wins.


Number of times that David Carradine looks like he’s forgetting his lines? About 1/3 of the time.

Number of times that Bruce Campbell acts like the stupidest vampire hunter ever ? 100% of the time, but he’s funny 100% of the time too.

Number of times that a stop motion bat turns into a naked Maxwell Caulfield? twice

The negatives? There are a lot of positives to this unfortunately barely known film, but to me the plot as it is goes around far too long. There are lots of side stories that only seem there to squeeze in all the B movie actors despite the fact that it doesn’t help the main plot. The gunfight seems to go on forever, it’s fun at first but it gets tedious.

The positives-Look at that cast, all kinds of of fabulous weirdos and I just listed the main people because there are more. The vampires can protect themselves with sunscreen during the daylight and we see wooden bullets. Okay, those are stretches but I liked seeing a few attempts at changes the vampire myth and worlds. The desert location in Utah made me sweat just looking at it, that’s a compliment. Oh yeah there are some stop motion bat beasties in this, strange but stop-motion! Always a plus.

This is a  crazy, messed up film that isn’t the best horror comedy ever. Yet it’s strange enough to be worth a viewing. Despite the cast it’s far from a classic, but it’s just off enough to be a cult classic of sorts.