El Extrano Hijo del Sheriff (1982)

The Sheriff’s Strange Son is the translation of this film’s title and it lives up to those words.

On the night that Sheriff Frederick Jackson’s wife goes into labor, the doctor is nowhere to be found, as he’s tending to the numerous victims of the plague that is decimating the denizens of the small town of Santa Rosa. The wife — not so coincidentally named Mary — dies as she gives birth to a set of conjoined twins named Fred and Erick.

There’s also the matter of some prophecy that the plague and the twins being joined as they are signals the birth of the Antichrist. But the lawman is too busy blaming the doctor for his wife dying and the fact that he has to raise these kids all by himself.

Years later, as the boys near puberty, Jackson kidnaps the doctor and forces him to split the boys at gunpoint. Despite the protests of the old surgeon, the surgery happens and Erick pays the price, ending up buried in an unmarked grave.

Things would have worked out great for Jackson except Fred won’t stop telling people how his father killed him, as he believes that he’s really the dead one. Jackson was a pretty crappy cop — go figure — so he’s finally caught for a murder that he covered up. On the day of the hanging, the ghost of Erick appears with glowing eyes and demands that only he can kill his father. That job complete, he decides to go after his brother too.

This is the first film of Fernando Duran Rojas I’ve seen, but it won’t be the last.

Bloodtide (1982)

When you see the names Brian Trenchard-Smith and Nico Mastorakis listed as producers, you know that you’re probably getting into something good. Also known as Demon Island, this film was directed by Richard Jeffries, who is probably better known for the films that he’s written like Scarecrows and Cold Creek Manor. He’s only directed one other film, the 2008 TV movie Living Hell.

It’s funny, when I discussed this movie earlier today with Bill from Groovy Doom, he referred to it as “the monster movie with no monster.” That’s an apt description.

It’s also about a treasure hunter named Frye (James Earl Jones) whose underwater scavenging brings back an ancient sea monster that demands virgin blood.

Meanwhile, Neil and Sherry (Martin Kove and Mary Louise Weller, who appeared in Q The Winged Serpent the same year as this movie) have come to the island looking for his missing sister Madeline (Deborah Shelton, who also sings the song over the end credits with her then-husband Shuki Levy). Plus, Lydia Cornell stops hanging out with Cosmic Cow on Too Close for Comfort and shows up as Jones’ girlfriend.

Inexplicably, Lila Kedrova from Zorba the Greek and Jose Farrar — well, he’s less of a surprise as Jose may have been the first actor to win the National Medal of Arts, but he’s also in spectacular junk like The SentinelBloody Birthday and The Being — both appear.

Arrow’s write-up promised “blood, nudity and beachside aerobics.” This delivered, as well as some great dream sequences and moments where beachfront rituals seem to go on forever. That said, I had a blast with this movie, as any film that has Martin Kove skipping around the waves holding a miniature engine while the ladies go wild and James Earl Jones yells at everyone will hold my attention.

Arrow has, as always, gone all out on this. Beyond the 1080p presentation — making this look so much better than it ever has before — they went out and got new audio commentary from director/co-writer Jefferies and a newly-filmed interview with producer/co-writer Mastorakis. The Graham Humphreys cover art is more than worth the price of this disc, too.

You can order this from Arrow Video, who were kind enough to send us a copy.

La Furia de los Karatecas (1982)

Before we get into this movie — Santo’s last film — let’s discuss some lucha libre history.

His career was winding down, particularly after facing off with death itself.

In 1981, El Signo, Negro Navarro and El Texano began teaming as a young rudos trio named Los Misioneros de la Muerte (The Missionaries of Death) in the UWA promotion. During a main event at El Toreo de Quatro Caminos, they battled El Santo, Huracan Ramirez and Rayo de Jalisco.

At some point in the match, the man in the silver mask collapsed from a heart attack. His life was saved by Ramirez and the legend of Los Misioneroes del Muerte — that they tried to actually kill El Santo — was born. They became the biggest heels in Mexico, eventually losing in Santo’s last match on September 12, 1982, as he teamed with Ramirez, Gory Guerrero and El Solitario against Los Misioneros and Perro Aguayo.

That same year, Santo would appear in his final film, a sequel to El Puno de la Muerte (The Fist of Death), which was shot concurrently. Both movies concern the sisterly war between twins Kungyan, who dressed in black and is evil, and Queria, who — you guessed it, muchacho — dresses in white and is good. They’re both played by Grace Renat and fur and fabric can barely contain the pneumatic tendencies of her busoms. Russ Meyer must have been going insane halfway across the world and had no idea why.

Renat left home at 14 to become a showgirl in the company of her older lover. By 24, she was a single mother and dancing in Tijuana’s most infamous nightclubs as an exotic dancer. She was then awarded the title of Diosa de la Noche (Goddess of the Night) by Mexico’s Asociación Nacional de Actores. Now, she was a star, appearing in movies like Las Munecas del King KongPink Zone and El Hombre sin Miedo.

The two women are battling over a star crystal that looks like it came from Wicks ‘n Sticks. There’s also a Jungle Goddess who has come from the sky to marry a prince, assassins, zombies, Satanic rituals and no small amount of dance numbers.

Imagine, if you will, Mortal Kombat made with no budget and an aging lucha libre star, as well as the younger star Tieneblas as the evil assistant. This would be that movie and it’s perfect and wonderful and all things special.

There are some out there that will make light of this movie and scoff at it. It’s made on a shoestring, the fights are incredibly fake and the special effects could be done by a small child. I could care less what they think. This is a movie that begins with El Santo parachuting into the jungle while still wearing a cape. If that doesn’t make you start looking for this movie right now, there’s no hope for you.

Let me tell you one more thing: Kungyan dances so hard at one point that she conjures a monster, then still decides to send killer apes after Santo and a karate expert on the day of his wedding.

Ah hell, let me tell you another: Rene Cardona, who directed Santa Claus vs. the DevilWrestling Women vs. the Aztec MummyNight of the Bloody Apes and several Santo films, shows up as our hero’s pal Professor Williams.

Alright, alright. Last thing. This was shot at Vizcaya Museum, an Italian Renaissance home in Miami’s Coconut Grove that also appears in Airport ’77, and Coral Castle, an oolite limestone wonder created by Edward Leedskalnin via either magneticism, perptual motion or outright sorcery. It also shows up in the movies The Wild Women of Wongo and Nude on the Moon, as well as inspiring Billy Idol to write the song “Sweet Sixteen.”

The Impossible Kid (1982)

After For Your Height Only, Weng Weng had another James Bond movie in him. He’s Agent 00, working for INTERPOL and battling extortionists. The main villain? Mr. X, who kind of looks like a Klansman, if Klansmen wore socks on their heads.

For some reason, Weng Weng wears a white Saturday Night Fever suit through most of this movie, which has nothing to do with James Bond. I have no idea why either.

Mr. X sends killers after Agent 00 and even tries to drown him at one point, but you can’t keep a spy down who can hide inside a briefcase.

My favorite part of this movie involves Agent 00 escaping from the bad guys by using beds sheets — never mind the naked woman in the bed — to jump out of a window into a hotel swimming pool. Then, a very large hairy man discovers our hero and picks him up as if he were an infant before exclaiming, “Hey everybody look. I can’t believe what happened. It’s a boy! Where did he come from? Pretty boy, pretty boy!”

There are also numerous punches to the ballbags of many villains.

At the end of this film, there’s the promise of License Expired as a sequel. Sadly, that movie was never made.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime or download it from The Internet Archive.

Aces Go Places (1982)

King Kong (Sam “God of Song” Hui) is a cat burglar who wants to make good, so he teams with Albert “Baldy” Au (Karl Maka), a goofball American detective, and Superintendent Nancy Ho (Sylvia Chang), who is driven crazy by both of these foolish, yet heroic men.

The first in a series of movies, Aces Go Places is very much a spy movie mixed with cop and comedy elements. Known as Mad Mission in the U.S., I hope that more people track this down and watch it. It’s utterly hilarious and heartwarming in the way that it wants to entertain you.

There are also some cool gadgets, like the exploding remote control cars and King Kong’s awesome alarm clock. And hey! The bad guy’s name is White Gloves. I thought that was pretty cool for some reason.

Hotline (1982)

Originally airing on CBS on October 16, 1982, this made-for-TV movie was directed by Jerry Jameson, who also was the in the director’s chair for movies like The Bat PeopleAirport ’77 and the Gunsmoke and Bonanza reunion movies.

Lynda Carter (TV’s Wonder Woman as well as Miss World USA 1972) plays Brianne O’Neill, an art student who is getting stalked by The Barber, a man who claims to be behind several killings in the paper.

Who is The Barber? Is it Justin Price (Granville Van Dusen, who was the voice of Race Bannon on The New Adventures of Jonny Quest)? Deranged killer Charlie Jackson (James Booth, Airport ’77)? Former actor Tom Hunter (Steve Forrest, Mommie Dearest), who has been in love with Brianne for a long time? Her boss Kyle Durham (Monte Markham, Jake Speed, We Are Still Here)? Or her co-worker Barnie (Frank Stallone!, Ground Rules)?

Look for Harry Waters, Jr. in this movie. He played Marvin Berry in Back to the Future, the guy that Marty McFly used to steal rock ‘n roll from black people.

There’s a death by harpoon gun, so this movie has that going for it. Consider it an early 80’s American low budget made for TV giallo and you’ll be fine.

Star Wars Droppings: Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (1982)

The Man Who Saved the World is the true name of this movie, although nearly everyone refers to it as Turkish Star Wars.

Murat and Ali crash their ships on a desert planet that is no way Tatooine. That said, the footage of their crash is from Star Wars and footage of both the US and USSR space programs. Ali thinks that only women live on this planet, so he does a wolf whistle because in a galaxy long ago and far away me too does not exist. The whistle backfires and they fight skeletons on horseback before they are forced into the gladiator pits.

Our villain is a thousand-year-old wizard who has been stopped from destroying the Earth by a “shield of concentrated human brain molecules” or, as George Lucas would call it, the Death Star.

Our heroes escape to a cave where zombies attack and turn the children into the living dead, which gives the wizard more power, so our heroes and a girl go to a bar that is not in Mos Eisley . The villain gets them back and offers them all sorts of power and women to help destroy the Earth. He already has a golden brain and now all he needs is a real human brain.

There are more montser battles and escapes and then Murat finds out about a sword made by the 13th clan from a melted down mountain that is shaped liek a lightning bolt and protected by ninjas. Ali goes nuts though and for some reason, tries to steal the golden brain and this awesome sword and then get skilled by Turkish cinema.

Grieving for his lost friend, Murat melts down the word and the golden human brain and forge them into a pair of gloves and boots. He uses the Force, err, beats the unholy monster dung out of skeletons and beasts and even karate chops the villain in half. Then he does what you or I would — he flies away in the Millennium Falcon.

Making this movie even better is the fact that it shamelessly steals music from every movie that you love. It’s main theme is “The Raiders March” by John Williams. However, it also lifts themes from Moonraker, The Black Hole, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, the Giorgio Moroder’s remix of Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes and Silent Running.

The decision to just steal the footage from Star Wars was a necessity. Suposedly, there were elaborate spaceship sets made on a Turkish beach that were destroyed by a storm and the studio refused to pay for new ones. Director Cetin Inanc bribed a guard at a Turkish film distributor and got the footage from a print of Lucas’ film. However, all of the footage was spliced in from an anamorphic print — while this movie was shot in a different aspect ratio — making the Death Star look positively tiny.

It gets even sillier. The evil wizard has a wife who transforms into an old hag and a spider. There’s a yellow vortex that turns men into zombies. Plus a man turns into a hairy ogre. All of these moments are also stolen from Bert I. Gordon’s The Magic Sword.

Hey, you know how it goes. After all, Lucas stole quite a bit too. Ask Jack Kirby, The Dam Busters and Kurosawa. Maybe this movie brings balance to the Force.

You can watch this at the Internet Archive or just use the YouTube link attached right here.

Don’t Go to Sleep (1982)

This Aaron Spelling produced TV movie originally aired on ABC on December 10, 1982. It’s a star-studded affair, with Valerie Harper, Dennis Weaver and Ruth Gordon in the main roles. It’s also a great example of when TV movies ruled the world.

Plus, you get Oliver Robins as one of the kids. He’s the only surviving child actor from the Poltergeist films.

Phillip and Laura (Weaver and Harper) are the parents of Kevin and Mary, but they once had a daughter named Jennifer who died in a car accident. They move back north after that tragedy and the loss of Phillip’s job to move in with Grandmother Bernice (Gordon), who gets along with no one.

Mary begins hearing the voice of her dead sister under her bed, which soon catches on fire. Even when her brother tries to be nice to her, Mary reacts with violence. She hides under her bed and starts chanting “Kill me” when her dead sister shows up and offers to take care of things.

Soon, everyone dies. Grandma gets frightened by Kevin’s iguana and has a heart attack. Kevin falls off the roof. Phillip is electrocuted in the bathtub.

Then, we learn why. Kevin and Mary disliked their sister, thinking she was always treated better than they were. So they did an innocent prank and tied her shoes together, but after the car accident, this kept her from being able to get out of the car.

This is a fun TV movie ghost story, told well and acted decently. Director Richard Lang was all over 1970’s TV, directing the pilot of Fantasy Island and the movie Night Cries.

Sadly, like so many TV movies, it’s not available on DVD or streaming.

PURE TERROR MONTH: Double Exposure (1982)

A photographer for a men’s magazine keeps having dreams where he’s killing all of his models. Then, it just so happens that the models begin to die in real life, which means that he may be the killer.

Director William Byron Hillman was also behind the Gary Busey dog reincarnation film Quigley, as well as The Photographer, which is similar to this movie, and he also wrote the 1984 movie Lovelines, which is all about a phone romance line and a battle of the bands.

The lead, Michael Callan, was in Cat Ballou and Leprechaun 3, which is quite an arc. There are also roles for Joanna Pettet (Casino Royale), James Stacey (who was Johnny Madrid Lancer on Lancer), Pamela Hensley (Princess Ardala from the TV version of Buck Rogers), Cleavon Little (Blazing SaddlesOnce Bitten), character actor Seymour Cassel, Robert Tessier (who was in The Sword and the Sorcerer as well as Starcrash), Misty Rowe (Class Reunion), Sally Kirkland and Jeana Keough.

While the version you can find in this set and on Amazon Prime is pretty rough to watch, Vinegar Syndrome has released a better blu ray of this.

Honeymoon Horror (1982)

I kind of love the copy that was used to sell this movie: “Imagine every newlywed’s fantasy, a rustic secluded lover’s paradise — Honeymoon Island. What starts as a weekend of love, turns into a nightmare of blood and terror for three young innocent couples. What lurks in the shadows of Honeymoon Lodge? Is it the caretaker, or perhaps something more fiendish and deadly? Honeymoon Island, where newlyweds joined in holy matrimony spend their wedding night screaming in terror!”

This movie was filmed at the Austin Patio Dude Ranch in Grapevine, Texas, which was built at the head of DFW Airport’s main landing strip. In case you didn’t realize, like the filmmakers, this is a busy airport, so all of the planes kept interrupting the movie.

Yet somehow, this was one of the very first direct to video films purchased by Sony Home Video and released to rental stores. Somehow, this movie isn’t available on DVD, despite how successful it was for Sony. They spent $50,000 on the film and made around $22 million off of it. Then again, I got that statistic from IMDB and it could very well be bull.

Director Harry Preston only has one other credit to his name, a movie called Blood of the Wolf Girl that was never released and may have never ran in a theater.

I’m telling you all of these facts to cover up for this film, because it’s one of the more pointless slashers you’ll ever seen. Perhaps the only reason to watch it is for the fat sheriff, who is so ineffectual that he locks his keys in his car, meaning that he doesn’t even catch the killer, who is a burned up ex-husband. Actually, he’s a good reason to see this, too.

Actually, let me be honest again. As bad as this 1982 slasher is, it’s better than any that came out this year. Talk about dwindling returns!