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MPI Home Video issued this 1985 film to video in the 80s. Directed by Linda Laias and Damon Santostefano (and also known as FRIGHT SHOW), this is a funny compilation of lighthearted kids horror and sci-fi. The first segment (DR. DOBERMIND) is about a little girl touring a taxidermy museum and being haunted by the creepy tour-guide; the second takes place in outer space and is a parody of Alien (ILLEGAL ALIEN); the third is about a little boy who joins a big kids horror club and is haunted by visions of a monster but no one will believe him (NIGHTFRIGHT); and the last story is about some poker-playing geeks who get a meteor through their house that carries an unfriendly visitor. (THE THING IN THE BASEMENT). In between each of these films is in-studio cable-access-styled commentary by two dorks who work for "Starlog" Magazine. All four science fiction films were winners in the CINEMAGIC magazine contest way back in the early 80's. The full title is "CINEMAGIC: A JOURNEY INTO THE BIZARRE WORLD OF HORROR AND SCI-FI"
This is a funny compilation of films - not really horror or sci-fi, more
like lighthearted kids stuff with a good sense of humor (although it gets
little bit corny sometimes).
The first film we see is about a little girl with huge blue eyes, a peculiar face and a half-mullet. She gets a tour of a taxidermy museum with some other girls. The taxidermist (who looks like he would be better acting in a soap opera as somebody's rebelious lover) keeps eying the girl and freaks her out. She thinks she sees him everywhere - ice cream store, at her house, etc. She even starts hallucinating other weird things....
The second one was a little hard to follow, but it takes place in outer space. The rocket they're drifting around in actually has a human nose as the "nose" of the ship. Crazy hijinks make this one a little corny. Like a guy gets attacked by an alien lobster and the crew members attempt to cook it for dinner. There's a lonesome robot who just wants to make out with other machines. There's a computer named "mom" who advises one crew member not to talk to strangers and that he would have done better in a different job, like Pope, or God. There's a whiney crew member named Limburger who just wants to go home. And there are some funny explosions that look really bad.
The third short film is about a little boy who joins in a big kids "horror club", even though he knows he's too young for it. This makes him think he see a monster in his room at night. He keeps trying to convince his family about the monster but they don't believe him. It's a cute story because every kids seems to have this problem. There's a weird shot that didn't seem very PC of a little boy crouching to look under a bed in his whitey tighties. It seemed to be on the almost-sick side. But other than that, it's a cute story.
The last story was my favorite about some nerdy dudes who play poker together. A meteor lands on their house and crashes into the basement. A space alien comes out and starts throwing fire balls at the guys. These guys are really funny - their mannerisms and way of interacting with each other remind me of a lot of people I know. One guy attempts to go into the basement with a big knife after they realized the meteor was down there. His friend says, "what are you gonna do -stab a meteor?" and the guy says quietly, "butt out". This may not sound very funny, but there was something about the way they said that that made me crack up. The ending is kind of funny, too.
In between each of these films is in-studio cable-access-style "commentary" with two dudes who picked out the films, supposedly. They are not very funny. Quite corny and irritating. I think they are the downer of the movie. One guy is all New York and a big dunce, while the other guy tries to be smooth and intelligent but ends up sounding like a big dork.
All in all, it's a good film. I'd show it to mature kids as a "first horror movie" type of thing. Not for real little kids, but ones who understand the difference between real and fake. As an adult who watched it by myself, it was pretty entertaining, too.
I first saw this movie as a child. It's rarity adds to it's darkness. While it may have a lot of comedy involved it's still a very good and dark horror movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone that knows what a horror movie should be.
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