B-Movie Madness (Popcorn, 1991)
Popcorn is one of those horror films that fell into obscurity. Starring a cast of genre vets, it features a fun premise and inventive sequences.
Maggie (Jill Schoelen, the Stepfather) lives with her aunt Suzanne (Dee Wallace Stone, the Howling). Maggie is an aspiring filmmaker haunted by strange dreams of a young girl being chased by a maniacal man with a blade.
She and her film club plan to do a fundraiser by showing old B-Movies in the vein of William Castle. They include gimmicks like props and shocking the audience.
But once the movies start, people begin to die. We discover there is someone running around the theater wearing masks of his victims. Not like Leatherface, but latex.
This is all tied to a film they had opted to not show…it was made by a man who killed his family on stage at the end of the movie. There was a fire and all but one person and a child survived…well, and possibly the filmmaker. The film has a good twist and avoid totally telegraphing it.
The cast is terrific, and the scenarios they find themselves in are entertaining. The late Tom Villard (Who kind of looks like a slightly goofier Tom Hanks) is especially likeable. The film appears to have been made on a budget, but the practical effects are pretty good. The villain’s makeup looks great most of the time, until a bit towards the end when it seems like the prosthetics were coming undone as the actor is speaking. Sadly, the film is hard to find. There has yet to be a Blu-Ray release, and the DVD release years ago was sub-par. Apparently Synapse had plans to release a Blu-Ray, but I cannot locate a story confirming it was ever released, and all the stories announcing it are from 2014. If you can track it down, Popcorn is one of the more enjoyable slasher films from the early 90’s.