ARROW UHD RELEASE: Children of the Corn (1984)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally covered this movie all the way back on May 26, 2018. We’ve updated this article with some new material thanks to the inspiration we received from watching Arrow Video’s new UHD release. Want to learn even more? Check out our interview with star Courtney Gains!

Children of the Corn started as a short story first published in Penthouse Magazine that was later collected in the 1978 book Night Shift. It’s a story incredibly similar to Tom Tryon’s novel (and the film) The Dark Secret of Harvest Home. You could also draw parallels to Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s Who Can Kill a Child? or Village of the Damned.

Did you know that Children of the Corn was filmed once before? A short film called Disciples of the Crow was made in 1983 that’s an abridged version of this story.

This one was produced in 1984, with Gor and Tuff Turf director Fritz Kiersch at the helm. Burt and Vicky (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) are on their way to California when they drive through the cornfields of Nebraska and accidentally hit a young boy. However, when Burt exams the kid, it turns out that his throat had already been slit. Uh oh.

As they examine the boy’s suitcase, they discover a crucifix made of twisted corn husks. They head to the next town, Gatlin, to alert the authorities.

They come across a mechanic who refuses them service. The truth is that he is the last adult in Gatlin. He’s agreed to supply the children with services and fuel for his life, but the enforcer of the town, Malachai breaks the pact and murders him, angering their leader Isaac.

When Burt and Vicky get to town, everything is out of date and there’s a bad feeling in the air. Even worse, no one seems to be in town. They find a little girl named Sarah alone in a house, where Vicky stays while Burt explores. Malachai soon appears, capturing Vicky and taking her to be sacrificed in the cornfield.

The only thing in town that’s in shape is the church. Inside, Burt learns the truth of Gatlin — twelve years ago, everyone over nineteen was killed and the children took Biblical names after their murders.

Now, they live under this religious order that demands that everyone over nineteen must be sacrificed. During a blood-drinking ritual, Burt starts to yell at the children. They chase him until another young boy named Job rescues him and they hide in a fallout shelter.

Isaac and Malachai argue, with the older boy taking over and ordering his leader to be sacrificed. Isaac warns that this will anger their covenant with He Who Walks Behind the Rows and the children will be severely punished.

That night, Burt goes to rescue Vicky and a horrible special effect devours Isaac. Seriously, this weird chroma key fuzz looks incredibly dated.  Anyways, Burt fights to save his wife and a possessed Isaac reappears and breaks Malachai’s neck.

A storm appears as Burt, Vicky and the two children decide that they must destroy the cornfield with gasoline and fire. They escape the town, taking the kids with them, their marriage somehow saved and they even discuss adopting the kids (but not before a sneak attack by Ruth is foiled).

This overly happy ending stands in marked contrast to the downbeat tone of the novel, where Vicky is sacrificed and Burt is killed by the creature in the cornfield. The creature punishes the town by lowering the sacrifice age to eighteen, so Malachi and the elders all walk into the cornfield to die as Ruth wishes that she could kill He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

If you’re wondering where Gatlin is in regards to King’s connected universe, the next town over is Hemingford Home, where Mother Abagail gathered her forces in The Stand.

There are six sequels to this film — Children of the Corn II: The Final SacrificeChildren of the Corn III: Urban HarvestChildren of the Corn IV: The GatheringChildren of the Corn V: Fields of TerrorChildren of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return and Children of the Corn: Revelation — as well as a 2009 remake, the Children of the Corn: Genesis reboot, Children of the Corn: Runaway and the 2020 prequel/remake that nobody seems to be talking about.

If you’ve never seen this before, the Arrow Video release is the perfect way to start. The film looks great and it’s a great reminder of just how frightening this movie was when it came out way back in the 80s.

Starting with a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films, Children of the Corn is a great purchase for the UHD lover. It has two commentary tracks, with one by horror journalist Justin Beahm and Children of the Corn historian John Sullivan and another with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains, as well as Harvesting Horror: The Making of Children of the Corn; interviews with Linda Hamilton, producer Donald Borchers, production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias; a new visit to the film’s original Iowa shooting locations; the theatrical trailer and an interview with the actor who played “The Blue Man” in a sequence that was cut from the film. You can get this from Arrow Video.

Philippine War Week: Tuareg: The Desert Warrior (1984)

Editor’s Note: We unpacked this war flick as part of Mill Creek’s Excellent Eighties 50-Film box set back in February 2021. We’re bringing it back as part of our “Philippines War Week” of films. Yeah, the Italians made this — and not down in the South Seas — but wow, this plays as good as any Philippine Namsploitation rip. Maybe even a little bit better than a Cirio H. Santiago flick. Maybe.

Okay, ye purveyor of B-Trash, let’s unpack the caveats:

  1. While that looks like a rendering of Michael Sopkiw on the one-sheet, this isn’t a repack of Blastfighter made to look like a First Blood/Rambo sequel — although that film was inspired by the adventures of Rambo.
  2. While it looks like it’s a Mark Gregory War movie — of which he made four, plus three Thunder movies — themselves each inspired by Rambo — this isn’t a repack of any of those movies. (We break those flicks down as part of our “Mark Gregory Week” tribute.
  3. Do not do what I did and confuse this Jim Goldman, aka John Gale, aka Filipina Jun Gallardo’s Mad Max apoc-poo Desert Warrior starring Lou Ferrigno.
  4. No, this isn’t a Stallone Rambo foreign repack with bad art work.
  5. Yes, as incredible as it may seem, the Mark Harmon in the credits — in lieu of Michael Sopkiw or Mark Gregory (!) that should be starring — is the same Mark Harmon you’re now watching in reruns from CBS-TV’s NCIS.
  6. This is, in fact, a Enzo G. Castellari’s production, aka The Desert Warrior, aka Tuareg: The Desert Warrior, aka Rambo of the Desert Warrior, which makes no sense. Why not Rambo, the Desert Warrior or Rambo: Desert Blood?

Now, when you see the dependable name of Enzo G. Castellari — the man who gave us Inglorious Bastards, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Escape from the Bronx, and Warriors of the Wasteland, you know you’re getting intriguing action, and a bag o’ chips.

In a desolate section of the Libyan-Algerian Sahara once ruled by the French, Gacel Sayah (Mark Harmon), a Tuareg tribal leader (in tanning make-up and blue contacts), offers refuge to two government fugitives. When soldiers from the newly-installed Arab regime demand the “war criminals” be turned over to them, our desert Rambo refuses, based on the region’s ancient, scared laws. When the soldiers murder one and kidnap the other war criminal, Sayah mounts a bloody campaign to rescue his charge, for so says “the law.”

If you’ve watched any of Enzo’s westerns — A Few Dollars for Django and One Dollar Too Many — then you’ll know that Enzo was into desert-based mayhem long before Stallone came on the scene, so what you get with this much HBO-aired ditty is a war-modernized Spaghetti Western. And be it western, poliziotteschi, or post-apocalypse, Castellari never disappoints, non-A-List Hollywood budgets be damned.

By the time Harmon went all spaghetti-Rambo in the joint, he got his start with guest shots as cops on Adam-12 and its ’70s sister show, Emergency (which I’ve seen these past months as Antenna TV reruns). Harmon also starred in two, failed one-season series with the cop procedural-dramas Sam (1977) and (the one I remember watching first-run) 240-Robert (1979). He was one season deep into his breakthrough role as Dr. Robert Caldwell in the NBC-TV medical drama St. Elsewhere when Tuareg: The Desert Warrior was released. But I have a feeling Harmon probably film this Italian romp long before production on the series began — with Enzo holding back the film (due to creative or cash flow issues), then released he had a “star” on in his film. As for Harmon: when it came to crossing over to a theatrical career, he went for comedy instead of action, with the flops Summer School and Worth Winning.

When you think that Harmon is the guy from TV’s NCIS . . . made-up to look Middle Eastern . . . makes this spaghetti Rambo an even more fascinating watch.

And you can watch this Mill Creek box set public domain ditty on You Tube.

Philippine War Week: Mad Warrior (1984)

Editor’s Note: We first reviewed this off-the-rails war romp from Willy Milan on September 25, 2018, as part of our “Fucked Up Futures” series of reviews. But regardless of its Mad Max pretensions, it’s still just the same ol’ Filipino Rambo knockoff — only with a coat of post-apoc paint. Amazing what a three-wheeled trike can do to “future up” a movie. Thus, we’ve brought Mad Warrior back for “Philippines War Week.”

Remember when I said, we’ll get to the sequel to W Is War in the future? The future is now. And in this future, everyone will ride a tricycle with armor and flames all over it.

After World War III, the planet is destroyed. But on an island in the Pacific, some survive in a fortified colony and are led by Maizon, a one-eyed cyborg bad guy who makes everyone fight in gladiator battles. Rex, our hero, tries to escape with his son, but he is caught and his son is killed. Oh yeah — Maizon also killed his father and wife, too!

Rhea helps him escape, taking him to the scientist colony Ophelos, where her father, Zeus, leads a peaceful people.

Let me tell you a few other things about Maizon. He often takes off his armor to reveal that his face is all scarred up. He can’t give up on his dream of seeing Rex’s blood stain the sands of his arena red. He has armies of gladiators ready to die for him. He raw dogs a black girl in the dirt while his entire army turns their back. And oh yeah. He’s a werewolf.

Look — any movie that starts with a two-minute long nuclear explosion set to disco music is going to be one that I grow obsessed by. This movie is bonkers. Every outfit is great. Every character is awesome. Every line of dialogue is unhinged.

There’s a scene where a gladiator salesman tells Maizon all about his gladiators that is full of wonderfully bad acting, sparklers and maniacal goofball laughter.

The final scenes of this movie are everything you want a film to be: explosions, tricycles, gladiator fights, machine guns, militaryesque hand signals, an army of dudes with mashed spiked mohawks, literally bad guys by the thousands getting mowed down by machine gun fire to the sounds of disco synth, people on fire, more explosions, a nice wood fence, a subterranean cave base, slow death reactions, leaping martial arts, axes, running, even more explosions, one hit kills, guns that shoot knives, a lightsabre duel, a bad guy blowing up real good, sparklers, a makeout session over the dead body of the previously mentioned bad guy and so much more.

The love interest closes the film by telling our hero, “You’re really crazy. Crazy like a mad warrior.” He rides his horse off into the sunset and I start screaming like a maniac. This movie. This movie!

Cult Action has this. I would advise getting it now and starting your own gladiator army!

Dune (1984)

I can’t imagine being the father of a kid who dragged you to the theater to see Dune without you knowing a single thing about it. This is a movie that spends the first ten minutes explaining the world of Dune and how important melange — spice — is, extending life, expanding consciousness and allow space to be folded. There’s also an insane amount of nonsense words blasted at the viewer, stuff like landsraad, gom jabber and sardaukar. Sure, people who devoured the books — hi, I was 12 and never thought I’d ever see a naked woman ever — were ready for the movie. But man, even I can admit that the film can be impenetrable.

They gave out a glossary before the movie! Yes, a glossary!

For years, this movie lived in development hell. First, there was an attempt by Apjac International — — headed by Arthur P. Jacobs, the producer of the Planet of the Apes films — to make an adaption with David Lean. One assumes that he was picked because he’d already made Lawrence of ArabiaAnne of the Thousand Days and Condorman director Charles Jarrott was also asked, but Jacobs died in 1973 and the rights went to a French consortium.

That’s when Alejandro Jodorowsky started his quixotic quest to make this movie, as told in Jodorowsky’s Dune. If only that movie had come to the screen — planned to star Brontis Jodorowsky as Paul Atreides, Salvador Dalí as Shaddam IV, Orson Welles as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Gloria Swanson as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, David Carradine as Duke Leto Atreides, Hervé Villechaize as Gurney Halleck, Udo Kier as Piter De Vries and Mick Jagger as Feyd-Rautha with music by Pink Floyd and Magma. As the storyboards, designs and script neared completion, the money stopped coming in. All we have to see for the effort are the designs by Chris Foss, Jean ” Moebius” Giraud and H.R. Giger, but man — what could have been*.

Dino De Laurentiis acquired the rights from the consortium and hired Herbert to write a new script and Ridley Scott to direct, but a combination of the pain of Scott’s brother Frank dying and the sheer level of work that would be needed to make the film caused Scott to leave the project.

By 1981,  De Laurentiis renegotiated the rights from Herbert. After his daughter Raffaella saw The Elephant Man, she told her father that David Lynch was the man to make the film, despite the fact that he never read the book, didn’t know the story and didn’t like science fiction. He agreed to make the film, turning down the opportunity to direct Return of the Jedi.

Lynch worked on seven different scripts for the film and his initial cut was four hours long. Universal expected a two-hour movie and that led the filmmakers to cut numerous parts of the film, film new ones and add the opening voiceover that attempts to explain the story. There’s another version that tries to explain even more — the extended cut — that Lynch took his name off of and replaced with Alan Smithee**. As the director would later say — he rarely will discuss the film, won’t be part of a director’s cut and considers it the only failure of his career –“I started selling out on Dune. Looking back, it’s no one’s fault but my own. I probably shouldn’t have done that picture, but I saw tons and tons of possibilities for things I loved, and this was the structure to do them in. There was so much room to create a world. But I got strong indications from Raffaella and Dino De Laurentiis of what kind of film they expected, and I knew I didn’t have final cut.”

As for Jodorowsky, he was upset that Lynch had the opportunity to make this film yet he believed that he was the only other director capable of making the movie. He refused to see the film until his sons made him go and he ended up being overjoyed, seeing that it was a failure. He said that he knew that the fault was not Lynch’s but the money men.

Herbert would say in his short story collected Eye, “I enjoyed the film even as a cut and I told it as I saw it: What reached the screen is a visual feast that begins as Dune begins and you hear my dialogue all through it.”

As for the critics, they hated it. Harlan Ellison claimed that this was because they were denied early access to the film. Luckily, over the years, people have come around to seeing this as a flawed piece of art.

Dune is a movie that simple to explain — a young nobleman named Paul Atreides becomes the leader of a band of rebels on a desert planet — and difficult at the same time to really go into, because the original book is 412 pages of Herbert being inspired by psilocybin and cultivating mushrooms.

I’ve always just tried to go along for the ride and enjoy the astounding visuals and the cast in this. I mean, José Ferrer, Freddie Jones, Sting, Brad Dourif, Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Nance, Patrick Stewart, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Smith, Dean Stockwell, Max von Sydow and Sean Young all in one movie***? And sandworms? And energy shields that look like Atari graphics?

Also, to this day, I remain stunned that they made coloring books and action figures for this movie.

Dune is available in limited edition UHD, blu ray and steelbook editions. Each has the new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, while the UHD and blu ray editions come with a sixty page book featuring new writing on the film by Andrew Nette, Christian McCrea and Charlie Brigden. If you’re into extras, all of these releases are beyond stuffed with them, such as commentary tracks by film historian Paul M. Sammon and Mike White of The Projection Booth podcast; the documentary Impressions of Dune; multiple featurettes on the making of the movie; eleven deleted scenes; the 1983 featurette Destination Dune, originally produced to promote the film at conventions and publicity events; features on the film’s toys and music — with Toto interviews!; and even more interviews with people like Paul Smith, make-up artist Giannetto de Rossi, production coordinator Golda Offenheim and make-up effects artist Christopher Tucker.

If you have any interest in Dune at all, trust me, you need to have this release. Plus, as one of the first UHDs I’ve added to my movie collection, it just looks incredible.

*To be fair, it would have been a 14-hour movie that was only inspired by the book. Herbert said that the script was “the size of a phone book.”

**The name he chose for the screenwriting credit was Judas Booth, which is a play on two traitors and how he felt about the producers of Dune.

***Aldo Ray was originally cast in the role of Gurney Halleck but his alcoholism was out of control. His wife Johanna ended up casting many of Lynch’s films and their son Eric DaRe was Leo on Twin Peaks.

Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Arriving at the end of the video nasty era, when this British comedy was screened for censor James Ferman, the reels were played in the wrong order. Nonetheless, he enjoyed the movie and it passed.

It was created by British comedian, DJ and television presenter Kenny Everett, who got his start in pirate radio before being part of BBC Radio One. He was dismissed in 1970 after making remarks about the British Transport Minister’s wife. She had recently passed a driving test after several attempts and he joked that she must have bribed her driving test examiner. While this joke seems innocent enough, it was enough to get him fired, at which point he moved into commercial radio and TV.

After Everett’s death, the true story came out that this wasn’t the real reason he had been fired. It was probably because he had threatened to go public on the restrictive practices and deals with the Musicians Union. He was even embargoed from giving any interviews while working for the BBC.

Unlike the more leftist comedians we usually have in the U.S., Everett was to the right, openly supporting the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps even stranger, he was a closeted gay man and supported a political party that passed Section 28, which made it illegal for councils to promote gay rights and issues.

During the 1983 general election campaign, Everett appeared at a Young Conservative rally and was dared by director Michael Winner — yes, the man who made Death Wish — to take to the stage, wearing gigantic foam hands and screaming “Let’s bomb Russia!” The media didn’t react well to this and the fallout hurt this movie, which is really a rather silly parody of Hammer movies.

A group of Satanic monks — led by Vincent Price as Sinister Man — have been killing people since the 70s. Doctor Lucas Mandeville (Everett) and Doctor Barbara Coyle (Pamela Stephenson, ) are sent to investigate where it all began: Headstone Manor now known as the House of Death.

This is actually Price’s last appearance in a British movie and makes fun of everything from Alien and The Legend of Hell House to Poltergeist and The Entity, with Doctor Coyle arrdvarking with a spectral lover. It also completely rips its ending off of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s not great, but it’s silly and has plenty of gore, which somehow got through the aforementioned censors.

Meatballs Part II (1984)

Yes, Meatballs Part II may have no Bill Murray, but what it does have is Ken Wiederhorn as the director. Somewhere, somehow, someone saw Eyes of a Stranger and Shock Waves and said, that’s the guy to make a teen movie. Actually, I’m being silly, because we all know — we do, right? — that Ken also made King Frat and that alone probably qualified him for this. Or punitive damages.

Richard Mulligan plays Giddy, the owner of Camp Sasquatch. He’s battling Colonel Batjack Hershy (Hamilton Camp, who played the robot in Starcrash), who owns Camp Patton and wants the entire lake for himself. They decide that an end of the summer boxing match is a great way to settle matters, so Giddy recruits an inner-city tough kid named Flash (John Mengatti, Tag: The Assassination Game) for that pugilistic task, but the kid just really wants to crash the custard truck with Cheryl (Kim Richards).

Also, of course, the kids at the camp have an alien named Meathead staying with them. He’s played by Felix Silla and voiced by Archie Hann, who was one of the Juicy Fruits/Beach Bums/Undead in Phantom of the Paradise.

This movie has some decent actors in it, like Misty Row from Hee Haw, John Larroquette, a pre-Pee-Wee Paul Ruebens, Jason Hervey, Elayne Boosler, Tammy Taylor (Don’t Go Near the Park), Blackie Dammit and Donald Gibb. Just seeing a few of those names and I knew that I had to watch this.

Joy of Sex (1984)

Did everybody’s parents have a copy of Dr. Alex Comfort’s The Joy of Sex? What a frightening book that was, what with its Chris Foss (Flash GordonGuardians of the Galaxy, Jodorowsky’s Dune) illustrations of incredibly hairy flower children engaging in all manner of marital congress.

Paramount Pictures thought that with the name of the book, they’d have a big movie, too. They spent all kinds of money to get the right and then paid Charles Grodin — who was told the movie could be about anything — to write the script. So he wrote a script about writing the script. That movie was eventually made as Movers & Shakers.

Next, John Hughes was to write a script that Penny Marshall would have directed and John Belushi would have starred in, but then Belushi died. That would have been a National Lampoon movie and the studio tried to keep their name on the film before the publisher, Matty Simmons, made a huge deal of the Lampoon having nothing to do with the film.

Finally, Paramount was running out of time and had just four months left on their option. They went to TV producer Frank Konigsberg, who said “They knew that in television you do things quickly. We threw together a script. They wanted me to use director Martha Coolidge, who’d just made Valley Girl. It was a job. We just had to get it done. I didn’t think it was a successful movie at all. It was awful. Martha hated it. I hated it.”

As for Coolidge, she would say, “Paramount insisted on topless girls running down the hall because they thought the formula demanded it and it was totally gratuitous. I hated putting them in for no reason and argued against it. But when the film was previewed the audience, particularly young women and girls, hated the nudity so Paramount then asked me to cut as much of it out as I could!”

She described that experience as miserable, telling her official site, “We were under constant pressure and scrutiny to do the impossible, we had eight days of prep, 20 days to shoot and my A.D. quit because he was so angry.”

By the end, she applied for an Alan Smithee credit for her directing. However, her name stayed on. She’d follow it up with Real Genius, which I hope was a more rewarding experience (It was — despite turning it down twice, once it was rewritten, she came around to the film and really got into it after producer Brian Grazer told her, “Making a movie should be fun!” She said that he ended up being “supportive, great to be around and knowledgeable about comedy and film production.”).

As for the movie, it’s all about high school senior Leslie Hindenberg (Judy from Revenge of the Nerds, who left acting to practice Zen Buddhism), who gets a mole looked at and learns that she only has six months to live. That leaves her with one goal in life: to lose her virginity.

There’s a good cast with Cameron Dye (Valley GirlOut of the Dark) as the love interest and Christopher Lloyd as Leslie’s gym teacher dad, plus Colleen Camp, Ernie Hudson, Darren Dalton and Canadian scream queen Lisa Langlois (Happy Birthday to MeDeadly Eyes).

But otherwise, if you were expecting something better, this isn’t it. I don’t blame Coolidge for the failure of this film.

The Malibu Bikini Shop (1984)

Even my bad movie resolve was tested by this movie, which tells the story of Alan (Michael David Wright) and Todd (Bruce Greenwood, who has had quite a film career after this), two charged up fellows who inherit the bikini shop owned by their aunt who has drunkenly jet skiied her way into the world beyond.

Alan has a mean fiancee (Debra Blee, who is in Savage Streets and Hamburger: The Motion Picture, two movies you should watch instead of this), the girls they hire to work at the shop are really cool, rich people and cops get in the way of the madcap shenanigans and there’s no nudity, but this is called The Malibu Bikini Shop, so that should give you some idea that there is not going to be a lot of bare flesh.

I know this may be someone’s favorite movie, but as you can tell, it is not mine.

Hardbodies (1984)

This movie ran all the time on cable to the point that it was a puberty rite of passage amongst the teens of my hometown, which really seems to come up in so many write-ups this week. Yes, before the internet and sexting, we were all in our rooms alone watching cable and hacking the carrot. The 80s were not an innocent time.

Grant Cramer (Killer Klowns from Outer Space) is Scotty, who gets hired by three old men — Gary Wood, Michael Rapport (Patrick from Black Christmas) and Sorrells Pickard — to teach them how to pick up young women. He has a skill called BBD (Bigger and Better Deal) that allows him to “dialogue” women into bed. Then, you know, he falls in love with a girl named Kristi and starts seeing how sad the life he led once was. Because yeah, that’s how guys are.

I mean, what do you expect about a movie that’s based on an article in the November 1983 Penthouse Magazine that was written by the film’s screenwriters Eric Alter and Steve Greene? Supposedly, this is based on a true story.

Courtney Gains — Malachi! — is in this, as is Darcy DeMoss from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Vice Academy 3, Roberta Collins (Matilda the Hun from Death Race 2000), Kathleen Kinmont (Halloween 4), Kristi Somers (Valerie from Savage Streets), Marcia Carr (Stevie from Savage Streets and Nancy from Maniac Cop), Emily Longstreth (American Drive-In), Leslee Bremmer (School Spirit), Kane Hodder as a geek and the band Vixen playing Diaper Rash.

Is it good? Well, no. Not really. Is it something that I watch every once in a while to remind myself of when I was closer in age to the hero and not the men who hire him?

Yes. I can admit it.

Lovelines (1984)

Lovelines has a central conceit that I love so much. High schools are connected and informed by a telephone service run by J.D. Prescott (Michael Winslow!) that helps teens to fall in love while also sponsoring a battle of the bands, which seems like the kind of business model that I’d love to see someone explain to a loan officer.

Those two kids destined to fall in love are Piper (Mary Beth Evans, Kayla from Days of Our Lives) and Rick (Greg Bradford, who was in Zapped!Let’s Do It! and some other movies without exclamations in the title like Skatetown U.S.A.). They go to rival schools at war with one another, Malibu High School and Coldwater Canyon High, and they are the lead singers of their bands, The Firecats and Racer. Now, as teen movie fate would have it, they’re about to face off against one another in the finals and no one wants them to stay a couple.

Don Michael Paul, the guy who would direct sequels to movies you didn’t know had sequels, like Kindergarten CopJarheadThe Scorpion King, the last three Tremors movies, SniperLake Placid and non-sequel fare like Half Past Dead and Who’s Your Caddy?, shows up in this. So does Tammy Taylor, who was Bondi in Don’t Go Near the Park. And Godzilla, Piper’s maniac old brother, is Frank Zagarino, who was in everything from Where the Boys Are to Ten Zan Ultimate MissionStriker and Shadowchaser.

Lovelines was directed by Rod Amateau, who made some baffling films along the way like The Statue, one of the few movies Roger Ebert ever walked out on, as well as High School U.S.A., the movie that convinced Joel Robinson to leave Hollywood, plus Son of Hitler, a Peter Cushing movie that never played outside of Germany and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. That track record should explain exactly what kind of movie Lovelines is.

Really, you should watch this movie to see Miguel Ferrer show up for a split second and play the drums. That’s my review right there. If this comes out on blu ray someday, that’s the quote I want on the cover art.