Popcorn (1991) Review


Popcorn (1991)

Directed by Mark Herrier
Alan Ormsby (uncredited)

Jill Schoelen
Tom Villard
Dee Wallace
Tony Roberts
Ray Walston
Derek Rydall

Running time: 97 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A group of teenagers preparing an old horror movie show in an abandoned theatre discover a recording made by an actual murderer who died long ago. Very soon a shadowy figure resembling the killer starts stalking them one by one…


My Opinion:

First of all, this thing may have come out in 1991 but it’s SO 80’s. Second of all, I watched this a good few months ago and have had to read about it online to refresh my memory. So… Apparently it’s not very memorable! Or I’m just senile. Which is also likely.


I’ve mentioned this a few times but there are certain horror movies from the 80’s (and very early 90’s) that I’ve meant to watch for years JUST because I vividly remember their VHS covers in my local video rental store. I never got around to renting some of them (probably because I kept re-renting April Fool’s Day & the Nightmare On Elm Streets). One of them is Return To Horror High. Another is Curtains. Another is Dead Alive (Braindead – which I’ve seen part of). And, yes – another one of those was that glorious Popcorn poster at the top of this post. So I finally get to tick one more of these cheesy old horror movies off my list!


I was thinking I had to remain totally spoiler free but, duh, the poster kind of gives the “wearing other people’s faces” thing away. As will my images. Screw it! I doubt anyone will rush out to watch this after my compelling review anyway. Let’s just do this as a “what’s good & what’s bad about it” review. What’s bad is the horrible quality of the version I watched. I was happy to see this was showing on TV but I swear that channel must just have a bunch of old pre-watched videotapes lying around. Maybe there’s a cleaned up version of this available (I don’t care enough to look) but I do wish I’d been able to see it all a little more clearly. Also what’s “bad” is that it’s totally cheesy & 80’s. Which most of you will see as a bad thing but is kind of more of a “good” thing in my book… 😉


So what’s actually good about this cheesy old low-budget-looking thing? First of all, the story in that above plot synopsis isn’t too bad but most of all I loved the SETTING of the story. A cinema!!! (Or movie theater to Americans). I’ve always thought that more movies should be set in movie theaters. I wanted to see more of the movie theater at the beginning of Night Of The Comet (I just had to mention that one again). It’s also a big part of the reason I love Cinema Paradiso so much, which is all about love of film. Shit – am I comparing Popcorn to Cinema Paradiso?! Well, Popcorn is certainly no Cinema Paradiso but I appreciate the setting.


In this story, university film students put on an all-night horror film festival. Three movies are shown and they’re actually a lot of fun to see bits and pieces of while, behind the scenes, a psychotic killer is stalking and killing the film students. Actually, the fake 50’s B-movie style films within the film were probably the best bits. The story of the killer who’s stalking the students is a pretty basic 80’s-type of slasher plot but it’s not too bad – I’ve certainly seen worse. But, hey – Ray Walston & Dee Wallace are in this! Who doesn’t love a bit of Dee Wallace?? And… Umm… That’s it. I have nothing more to say so I’ll skip my usual “summary”. There’s nothing too original here as far as the “slasher” film is concerned but the setting makes the movie a bit more fun. It’s not going to change your life if you watch it but it’s not going to ruin it either.

My Rating: 6/10