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Popcorn(1991)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]

The film-study students of a University decide to hold an interactive film festival at a legendary, abandoned movie theater. They stock it with everything from authentic horror posters, old school pop corn machines, flying animatronics, and even a stink blaster. But unfortunately for them, a psychopath with a grudge decides to exploit the legend of a filmmaker who murdered his family for the sake of filming his best movie yet in front of a live audience which set the theatre ablaze and killed everyone inside.

As the characters plan the marathon with 3 old school films including “Mosquito” (a 3D monster movie with a big surprise), “The Attack of the Amazing Electrified Man” (a Sci-Fi revenge film where the chairs are rigged to shock the audience during key scenes), and “The Stench” (which features Odor-ama by shooting canned scents into the theatre).

The characters are all quirky and set ‘types’, but the film itself is trying to have fun with all the cheese on display. It’s a horror comedy that’s a delightful balance of fun cheese, serious horror, and clever violence. The kills are unique and interesting, the characters all feel lived-in, the setting is a wonderful matinee in a beautiful theater that adds to the experience, and even though the killer is revealed halfway through, the film does not lose moment and actually just changes course. It quickly goes from a supernatural ‘whodunnit’ into an interesting, psychotic direction. The motivation makes sense and the way they are able to get away with the murders for so long without suspicion is rather clever.

It features some strong players like Dee Wallace Stone in a small but important role, some very throwback and clever cuts that are both silly and shocking, and it makes great use of the environment it lives within.

If you’re looking for something that’s heavier on the silliness and bold, but subtle in its creepy, horror aesthetic, then this is a good choice for a late night showing with friends. It has a quick pace and doesn’t give you a lot of time to be bored. Anytime the tension is not ramped up with murder and mayhem, the loveable and quirky characters have fun with their interactions among each other and within their own roles. It’s fun from beginning to end.

“Popcorn” is currently streaming on Shudder.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

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