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2016 | 2012

4 items from 2016


Class of 1986: The End of Childhood and the Legacy of Labyrinth

15 July 2016 4:50 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Like all the best fairy tales, Jim Henson’s 1986 film Labyrinth is a much more grown-up effort than its fantasy trappings let on. Sure, it’s directed by the man who introduced both The Muppets and Sesame Street to the world, but don’t be fooled by all of the puppets and cute creatures and catchy songs: this is a film geared at children but actually about the end of childhood. Bittersweet, that.

On its face, Labyrinth offers a traditional take on the hero’s journey codified by Joseph Campbell: Jennifer Connelly’s sixteen-year-old Sarah wishes her baby brother would be taken away by Goblin King Jareth (the late, great David Bowie) and, when he is, must travel to a fantasy realm to rescue him. On a deeper and darker level, however, the screenplay by Monty Python’s own Terry Jones is the story of a young woman maturing into an adult, »

- Patrick Bromley

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Class of 1986: Somewhere That’s Green: Why Little Shop Of Horrors is Still One of the Greatest Movie Musicals Ever Made

14 July 2016 5:19 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

I fell in love with Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors before I even saw a single frame of the film in December 1986. My mom’s boyfriend at the time worked for the Warner Bros. distribution center in Illinois, and sometime in the fall, he brought home an advanced copy of the soundtrack to Oz’s adaptation of the popular off-Broadway show, which of course was originally based on Roger Corman’s 1960 horror movie that featured performances from the likes of Dick Miller and Jack Nicholson.

And as I spent countless hours laying on my bedroom floor, humming along to the different songs (and singing the swear words whenever I thought I could get away with it), Little Shop of Horrors transported me to a place where underdogs could overcome the odds, alien plants could sing and craved human blood, and Steve Martin was a demented motorcycle-riding dentist addicted »

- Heather Wixson

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Class Of Nuke ’Em High: 30 Years of “Readin’, Writin’ & Radiation”

13 July 2016 5:59 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

1986 was a hugely important year in genre cinema—part of the five-year stretch between 1982 and 1987 that arguably makes up the best run of genre movies in history. Major studios and major filmmakers like Fox, James Cameron, David Cronenberg, and John Carpenter were turning out genre classics. New voices like Fred Dekker and John McTiernan were introducing themselves to audiences. Franchises like Friday the 13th, Star Trek, and Psycho were still going strong on the big screen. And in the middle of all this, America’s longest-running independent studio, Troma, cemented their very specific and wholly original cinematic voice with Class of Nuke ’Em High.

Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman had already been producing and directing films for over a decade—first art films and then a series of outrageous sex comedies like Waitress! and Stuck on You!—but it wasn’t until 1984’s The Toxic Avenger that Kaufman more or less established Troma’s house style. »

- Patrick Bromley

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Class of 1986: Johnny 5 Creator Eric Allard Discusses His Iconic Work on Short Circuit

12 July 2016 5:16 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

On May 9th, 1986, John Badham’s Short Circuit debuted in theaters nationwide. The family adventure film with a sci-fi twist starred Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, and Fisher Stevens as a group of humans trying to protect a sentient robot by the name of Number 5—as he’s known to the government agencies chasing him—who goes rogue after electrocution causes him to develop a sense of identity and the constant need for “more input.”

Short Circuit was a smash success upon its release, opening number one at the box office and eventually taking in over $40 million during its theatrical run in the spring and early summer of 1986. And while Short Circuit did as well as it did partly because of the actors involved, there’s no denying that it was the film’s robotic co-star that pretty much stole the film and became a huge part of mid-’80s pop culture as well. »

- Heather Wixson

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2016 | 2012

4 items from 2016


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