Episode #33: Popcorn
Listen to Episode 33 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In Popcorn, a fledgling college film program needs to make money to continue, so they decide to hold a horror film festival showing gimmicky movies from the 50s in a soon to be demolished theater. Along the way they discover a short reel of film called “The Possessor” which has a disturbing, murderous history and a potential connection to one of the students. At the festival, a mysterious figure appears and it might be The Possessor who has come to finish his masterpiece.
Screenplay by Alan Ormsby under the alias Tod Hackett; Directed by Mark Herrier, and released on February 1, 1991.
The movie starts off strong with a creepy, atmospheric dream sequence with snappy cuts and distorted visuals.
We get quick introductions to the cast of characters including Jill Schoelen as Maggie and the overly aggressive suitor Mark.
Then we see the college's film program. Yep, this is almost all of them.
And, here's the rest. We're not totally sure what role each plays. Tony Roberts is the teacher but Tom Villard in the back is maybe a T.A.? Teacher?
The crowd arrives for the film festival and it's a lot of fun to see the wide variety of costumes each wears.
And oddly fun to see them keep those masks on the entire time.
The theater itself is also really nicely dressed. Who wouldn't want a shock clock?
They do a great job of making this event look like it would be a great time
There was a lot to talk about in terms of behind the scenes stuff. Apparently the title food was going to factor more into the plot at some point.
One of the big changes is that the writer was the first director. He supposedly directed the three films within the film. They look great.
They definitely have a very good period accurate feeling to them and are a perfect parody of the gimmicky flicks.
Too bad the modern lightning effects weren't as cool in the present day part.
The death scenes can be pretty fun, even if they are drawn out a bit too much.
And it was really surprising that this part with the floppy faces really wasn't all that funny. It could have gone horribly wrong.
That's not to say there aren't problems with the plot. It's not clear why this happened, other than to fool the audience.
And how did the marquee get rigged to shoot the letters out and superimpose "Possessor?"
Hopefully, you'll listen to the episode as there is a ton to discuss in this cult favorite. Too much to cover here.
Awards Talk - None to speak of. I guess it was ignored by the Fangoria Chainsaw committee.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week we don't have a crime segment but we do spend some extra time to discuss the later part of Tom Villard's life and his advocacy work.
Moving to music, Nikki outlines the top 5 songs as of Feb 2, 1991
The First Time - Surface
Gonna Make You Sweat - C+C Music Factory
Love Will Never Do Without You - Janet Jackson
Sensitivity - Ralph Tresvant
Play That Funky Music - Vanilla Ice (yes, we'll be covering Vanilla Ice in more detail at some point).
We had a couple additional forgotten shows to talk about when discussing the TV from Feb 1, 1991
Here are the 3 we focused on:
Guns of Paradise - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094473/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Against the Law - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098736/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_2
Dark Shadows - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099363/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - Yeah, we had a lot of fun with it and can certainly understand why it's gained a cult classic status. It would be even better to watch if it was part of a midnight screening to be part of the atmosphere that they create within the movie.
If you want to watch Popcorn, as of this recording in September 2021, it’s available on VHS or DVD. Check your local listings.
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