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  1. Children of evil, sons of night, and daughters of darkness the evil is loose, the evil is loose!!!! Film: Popcorn Chosen by: Nate This is one of those film that tried to ride the "slasher with the scarred face" wave that was kicked off by the success of "Nightmare of Elm Street". Add to that one of my favorite conceits in genre film - the fake film within a film (and three of them, no less!)- and you've got the ingredients for one of my favorite early '90s horror films. Reviewed by: driver This little gem from 1991 stars Jill Schoelen as Maggie. At the time Schoelen was the go to actress for B horror. In this movie Schoelen has a look that reminds me of Winona Ryder in "Beetlejuice". Anyways back to the review. Maggie is a college student and the she has a nightmare to begin the film. A student in her film class states that "Police Academy 5 has more character development than anything Ingmar Bergmann ever did." Okay. Sure why not. Her class goes to a film theater that is soon to be shutdown and demolished. It was once a library. Seems that every building was something else when it was built. The class decides to put on an all night film festival in "Projectovision". Ray Walston turns up as a the owner of a shop that has all of the gimmicks needed to pull off the festival. There is a nice "training montage" of the class getting the theater into shape for their festival. A reggae tune called "Saturday Night At The Movies" plays during the montage. During the screening of a movie(Possessor) Maggie passes out. The professor tells the tale of how "Possessor" came to be and that the director filmed all of the scenes except for the final one, which he performed live on stage during the movie's premiere. Maggie goes to her motherDee Wallace Stone) and asks if she had ever heard of "Possessor", Lanyard Gates. Her mother begs her to drop out of the festival and that she will get tickets so that they can go away on a vacation instead. The mother, Suzanne, receives a phone call from a mysterious voice saying that they need to meet and talk. She goes to the Dreamland theater where bulbs burst on the marquee and the glass falls at her feet. As she walks into the theater she finds Lanyard Gates face on the screen. The screen goes blank and Stone is left wandering around in the dark with a revolver as strange sounds come at her from all sides. She is snatched and pulled off into the dark. Cut to the opening of the film festival where almost every customer is wearing a mask or in a complete costume. A longhaired man in a cowboy hat steps up to the window where Maggie is selling tickets and tosses some crumpled up bills on the counter. As she takes the money and he steps away she hears the voice from her nightmare and the same one from her mom's phone call. She immediately leaves the ticket booth and begins following him. The first film to be shown is "The Mosquito". Highlight of this black and white film-within-a-film is a car being attacked by the titular beast and a man getting a skeeter needle into the top of his head and having everything sucked from his dome until all that is left is an empty husk. Later as the mosquito is being attacked by the military a giant mosquito flies out from behind the screen and over the crowd, which freaks out. The scene ends with the student who had been controlling the skeeter getting impaled when some nefarious ne'er do well uses his own remote to gain control of the beast. The film is directed by Mark Herrier. He is probably best known for his role as Billy in "Porky's". This was his only feature directing job, other than directing a few shorts in the Otts, he hasn't done much and his last acting credit was in '01. The second movie with in the movie is "The Attack of the Amazing Electrified Man", which has a gimmick known as "Shock-o-Scope"(which is a buzzer under a seat that shocks the seat's occupant when a button is pushed). Tina is the second to be done away with when she asks her professor for a quicky up in the catwalk. Maggie and her boyfriend run into dead Tina, but the killer disguises his voice and Tina's and moves her body around so that Maggie and her bf think Tina is still alive. The next person(the guy controlling the buzzers under the seats) is killed when "Tina" walks up behind him and binds him to his chair. As the Electrified Man kills people onscreen and people get shocked in their seats Buzzer Controller is electrocuted as he desperately tries to unplug wires from the console. After the second film ends a reggae band takes the stage and rocks the house so much the audience really gets into it. Okay they didn't rock the house, it just seemed like they did. As the reggae band is onstage Maggie runs into the killer who calls her "Sarah" and says it's time for her to rejoin her mother. Understandably Maggie takes off running and the killer lumbers after her. Cut to Maggie's nightmare replaying. Cut to Maggie running and bumping into another student(Toby) from her class. Cut to the reggae band on stage again. Volume cuts out. Found this on Youtube. At least this version isn't dubbed in Hungarian. And we have sound again. Maggie tells Toby that her name isn't Maggie, but Sarah Gates, and that Landon Gates is her father, and that Suzanne was really her aunt and not her mother. And Gates has come back to "finish the film" by killing her on stage. Reggae band IS STILL on stage and Gates has captured Maggie/Sarah. The reggae band is FINALLY done and the third movie with in a movie starts(this time the gimmick is AROM-A-RAMA!!!!). The killer reveals himself to be Toby or any other multitude of people due to his extensive collection of masks. Toby says that Gates really died during the original performance and that he had been sitting in the front row when Suzanne shot and killed Gates. His mother was a member of Lanyard's cult. Toby suffered extensive scarring from burns received in the fire and he demonstrates to Maggie/Sarah what he goes through on a daily basis to "look normal". Toby is waiting for midnight to "finish the film" and it is revealed that Suzanne is still alive. She is bound and strapped to a contraption directly across from Maggie/Sarah. Toby goes out into the crowd, next thing I know he's on stage with Maggie/Sarah preparing for "The Big Finale". As the original movie plays on the screen, Toby acts out it backstage perfectly mimmicking Lanyard Gates' movements. Cut to a scene of Mark climbing the marquee, the curtain opens and Maggie/Sarah asks for the crowd to save her because Toby is going to kill her. The crowd begins cheering because they think it is all a part of the show. The crowd begins to the countdown to midnight because that is when Toby is going to killer her. As the countdown reaches zero Mark slides down a wire and gets on stage and Toby starts whining "YOU'RE RUINING IT!" as he is impaled on the mosquito's suckers. Cut to a scene of a cheering crowd. Suzanne and Maggie/Sarah are reunited in front of the theater. Then Mark holds Maggie/Sarah as the end credits roll. Not a bad movie. It doesn't suck. That in and of itself is a good thing. There is no tension or suspense at all. I liked it and this was the first time I'd seen it since the early 90s.
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