The Lost Boys (1987)Haim! Feldman! Schumacher! Ed Herrmann’s shirts! That guy with the saxophone! This film is an embarrassment of riches – or at least an embarrassment. It veers between boring and batshit crazy. I think Jason Patrick is supposed to be the lead, but he’s easily the least interesting person on screen. He and Jamie Gertz have a stunningly dull romance, considering that they’re both half-vampires (they give Edward and Bella a run for their money). Haim’s standard pose is wide-eyed and slack-jawed, but he does have that poster of Molly Ringwald, so we know he’s cool. As bad as this movie is, it may be worth watching for Tim Capello alone (he’s saxophone dude).SPOILERS – Perhaps the craziest notion of this whole movie is that the ultimate target of the vampires was – Dianne Wiest. Apparently her smoldering sexuality was just too much for Ed to resist.
James Cameron's TITANIC 3D (1997/2012) on 3D Blu-ray.And here it is, what I consider the most successful and expensive exploitation (specifically 'teensploitation') movie of all time. I love "Titanic" to death (it's my #9 favorite one of all time) but it can afford to be taken down a few pegs. Specifically, since the movie's lead characters Jack & Rose are supposed to be teens (played by Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet passing themselves as such), how Cameron 'teensploits' for the benefit of his movie narrative and box office potential both the appeal for teens of seeing themselves on the screen as the center of the universe (the fictitious core of an otherwise accurate reenactment of a real-life tragedy) and anybody older's fond memories of being a love-lorn teen. Even underage viewers get to fantasize that (a) Leo is their movie boyfriend if they're girls or (b) gawk in Winslet at their first pretty naked movie girl if they're boys (with a gay cross-mix that, naturally, can't be measured).With a 'teensploitation' mindset, watching "Titanic 3D" was remarkable whenever I wasn't crying tears of sadness/joy at all the usual spots. From Jack's European adventures drawing French naked chicks (ONE-LEGGED PROSTITUTESPLOITATION!) to Rose becoming a sexy teen clone of Ripley's female-lone-wolf-overcoming-obstacles to save her wrongfully-detained man, and from the dreamy 'one night that changed our lives' romance (complete with steamy car-backseat nookie) to historical figures like "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown becoming Jack's wardrobe assistant, "Titanic" is a monument to the inherent appeal of the narcissism of being a young person in love that knows better than the clueless, bullying grown-ups around him/her. Rose noticing she and Jack are on the same spot of the boat they met while thousands of people are dying around them? Come on!Cameron's ham-fisted dialogue and Billy Zane's/David Warner's over-the-top villainy (with Frances Fisher's matriarch routine somewhere in-between) could almost be considered Douglas Sirk-esque and deliberate, except for the tragedy of the boat sinking being the equalizing factor to all characters (not to mention the reason the movie was made in the first place).
Urban Legend (1998)Released in the late 90s teen horror genre following Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), this film takes place at a college campus where a killer with a hooded coat and an ax begin killing people one by one, with Alicia Witt ("Cybill", "Cecil B. Demented") being seen as the main target. Jared Leto ("My So-Called Life"), Rebecca Gayheart ("Jawbreaker"), Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek", "Fringe"), Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville") and Tara Reid ("American Pie") played the other students where some of them are murdered, plus featured Robert Englund ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") as a professor and Loretta Devine ("Waiting to Exhale") as the campus officer. This film is pretty silly and some of the acting is terrible, yet I like some of the kills that were seen in it. Its director Jamie Blanks made one other teen horror film after that, the godawful "Valentine" (2001) with David Boreanaz, Denise Richards and Katherine Heigl.
High School U.S.A. (1983)A number of early '80s sitcom stars come together for a kind of Fast Times rip-off, minus all the sex, abortions and pirate uniforms. It's broad and stupid and understands the high school experience about as well as Saved by the Bell. Of course it ends with a drag race, because Grease. NOT THAT I MIND because at the center is my hero Michael J. Fox romancing my first girlfriend Nancy McKeon. I'LL TAKE IT.
I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)Michael Landon (Little House On The Prariesploitation) stars in this drive in classic. This has a lot going for it: It's an AIP film. It's one of the first "dangerous youth" movies of the 50s. And because it was filmed in 1957 at the dawn of rock and roll, it acts as a snapshot of a pretty brief period in time, making this movie a rockabilly classic. It's really interesting how similar Teen Wolf is to this movie in so many ways. Great cars, great period writing ("That's right, hide behind Jive Talk!"), and it's awesome to see Michael Landon beating the ever loving crap out of people.
NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984)Although in theory this a parody of 50's sci-fi horror films, this is as much of a satire of the 80's, perfectly viewed through the eyes of the Valley Girl. Catharine Mary Stewart is beautiful, but Kelli Maroney is spunky and the heart of the movie. There is a "Eating Raoul" reunion(Woronovsploitation), and clever nods to Roger Corman. It doesn't drag, and other than some very un-PC slang, still holds up.
Runaway Daughters (1994)Per Patrick's Netflix suggestion decided to throw this one on and not much I can say that Patrick didn't in his review. It's definitely the 50's and Paul Rudd is very funny in a small role (this one seems like an early version of his Wet Hot American Summer character) Overall though this doesn't have that energy I like to see from a Joe Dante film and was just sort of meh for me. Oh well it did have Rudd with some 50's bikersploitation
Grease 2 (1982)Michelle Pfeiffer is the cool girl leader of the pink ladies, and the new, nerdy English boy totally wants to date her. But pink ladies are only allowed to date T-Birds, so the English boy has to become a motorcycle cool guy T-Bird.I've actually watched this a couple of times before and I feel the exact same way about it. It is awful, with bad songs, bad acting, and an even worse message; and I love every minute of it. It's one of those "it's so bad it's good" type of things. Everyone should watch it. You'll understand then.
Let's do it for our country.
I'm thoroughly ashamed of how much I laughed at this.
We'd all better learn about reproduction first...
TEEN WITCH. So this is the secret world of teenage girls: musical numbers and warping the laws of time and space? A girl gets a magic necklace that can grant wishes, so of course she uses it to become popular. Although all it really does to make her popular is change her hair. (Permsploitation!) The movie is frustrating because these magic powers have no rules. She’s basically a god, able to make anything happen just by thinking it, and then she doesn’t do all that much. Oh, and did I mention that this is a full-blown musical?!? The “I like boys” song is horrible in every possible way, so of course that makes it wonderful.
Porky's (1982)Juvenile crap about high schoolers (played by men approximately 5-10 years away from AARP benefits) trying to get laid in 1950's South Florida. Just because it's juvenile crap doesn't mean it's not funny, though. It certainly lives up to its raunchy reputation (for the younger F-Heads among us, it was basically the American Pie of the 80's only with more full-frontal nudity because we 80s kids had it way better than you 90s kids). Hardly worth going out of your way for, but a fun, dopey, incredibly sexist time at the movies all the same. Ebert's one and a half star review is funnier than anything in the movie, so use that as your barometer.
Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976)Good ole fashioned T&A, the type of movie that was on late night TV during the 90s when we were thankful our VCRs had a preset record timer.This movie makes no sense. Not that it needs to. The "plot" revolves around a high school closure/merger so a fat cat can build a shopping mall, and its all up to the cheerleaders to stop it!Boobs, drugs, boobs, dancing, boobs, food fights, boobs, basketball, boobs. Set in a world where big business deals are determined by a basketball game, and your likeability is determined by how much sex appeal you have (fat and unattractive....you're the bad guy).Oh, and you get to see David Hasselhoff's cock, so its pretty much a must see.
Detention (2011)Apparently teenagers today have extremely overactive imaginations, spout non-stop quirky speeches about Patrick Swayze and are TOTALLY in love with the 90s. If only...Shortattentionspanploitat- hey! a time travelling bear! *wanders off....
Beach Party (1963)From the moment we meet Frankie and Annette singing about the beach from their antique cruiser (rear-projected, mind you), I knew I was in for something special. Lots of musical numbers, some cartoonish villains, a peeping-tom/social biologist and a female lead who, although only 21, looks like one of my mom's friends (RIP Ms. Funicello), Beach Party is everything you want it to be. Like the best episode of Gilligan's Island ever.