Category Archives: Retro Reviews

It’s Only A Movie: The Forgotten Original Horror Doc, “Terror In The Aisles”

Terror In The Aisles : Cinema Quad Poster

Many moons ago, I recollect curled up in front of our family Magnavox floor TV model and watching a collection of snippets from horror films with my Dad on a VHS rental. I couldn’t have been more than five or six at the time, however, this film of sorts we were watching stuck with me until today. As from what I can remember from said viewing was that this horror film special turned my curiosity on to a LOT of horror movies of which I may have never heard of prior; or at least not a few years down the line anyway. Movies like, The Thing, Carrie, and what I most visually remember Nighthawksyeah I said it! And for YEARS, I (and apparently my father as well), couldn’t goddamn remember what the hell it was we watched! It was one of things that drove me crazy for about 25 years until I began blogging and journalism within the horror community and someone could answer the million dollar fuckin’ question. The film was of course, and correct me if wrong but also the FIRST of it’s kind horror complication documentary, TERROR IN THE AISLES.

Not even slightly joking. This shit drove me bat-shit crazy for half my life.

Released on October 26th, 1984, Terror in the Aisles broke the horror rules diving deep into what makes a great horror film in a mock documentary style way narrated by genre giants Donald Pleasance and Nancy Allen with snippets from landmark films. It was truly a one-of-its-own-kind experience as the setting is in a packed movie theater with the two legends seated amongst the crowd; which served as a set-up as certain members of the audience would ask questions here and there and one of the two would look dead straight into the camera and give us those answers.

The “doc” focuses on great moments in the genre history as well as leaning into sub-genres. It’s really a great commentary piece for both horror seasoned vets and newcomers to the community- even if all the horror clips date back to 1984 and prior. The films featured are pretty much the standard go-to’s; Halloween, Alien, The Exorcist and so forth with a few line-drives thrown; again, fuckin’ NIGHTHAWKS. Also, that’s totally ok because it’s a badass movie. As a young kid watching this, I DO remember asking about the films mentioned at the beginning of this article, and yes Nighthawks was number one because Sly was/is a hero of mine and I adored Rocky and Rambo as little kid. So yeah, Sly in a horror movie (kind of?), YES PLEASE.

Also, one of the scenes highlighted where Stallone is dressed in drag in order to trap the terrorist, wasn’t a sell to me but a total bonus.

TERROR IN THE AISLES is a fascinating time capsule from our generation. And certainly a fun revisit from time to time. Even if you think it’s corny or perhaps a cash grab milking the 80s’ horror money train from its’ time, you have to respect it was the FIRST. And set the bar for many of the horror docs and specials we have at pretty much, a forever disposal thanks to multiple streaming services and how huge the film community has gotten over the past 30 years.

The film was forever trapped on VHS for years up until recently SHOUT! Factory finally buckled for a glorious Blu-Ray release. However, if you want to revisit, and umm yeah I think you should, I would highly suggest purchasing the HALLOWEEN II Anniversary Blu-Ray, as TERROR IN THE AISLES is right there in the special features. May as well get a bang for your buck at a lower price am I right?

Sound off here in the comments Nostalgic Nuggets: What horror snippet from the film peaked your interests so that you had to watch that particular horror movie immediately?

Review: FLINCH (2021) Rides a Wave of 80s’ Mob and Vice Aesthetics

I don’t write new-release reviews very often. But then again, not so often a modern movie comes along leaving me compelled to spread the love and also embodies everything this website is about- NOSTALGIA. So of course, on the heels of a recent viewing of FLINCH, or “The Girl Who Didn’t Flinch”, most appropriately on a shiny and beautiful VHS cassette available from the official film’s website, how could I resist?

Flinch first released on VOD platforms in January 2021, and has since made a splash in the film community scene harboring quite a following. Written and directed by Cameron Van Hoy (Tragedy Girls), the film stars Daniel Zovatto, Tilda Cobham- Hervey, Tom Segura, Cathy Moriarty, and Buddy Dures in an American Crime-Thriller that reeks of sweet retro vibes of the Vice era of the 80s.

Right up my alley!

The movie’s premise is simple enough to flow along with and not overly-complicated to leave you astray. Flinch follows overly successful hitman Joe Doyle (Zovatto) into his next target and the plot-point for the movie- the hit of a city-councilman. His supposed ninja skills are all but shattered when his stalking is noticed by the political figure’s assistant Mia (Hervey), of whom Doyle has developed some obsessive feelings for- overcomplicating his mission and well, existence by him having to choose by him honoring his hitman career and covering his tracks accordingly, or allowing her to live. Because Mia didn’t flinch at witnessing Joe’s murderous crime, Joe takes this as sign from above and holds her hostage for her own “protection”. Pretty wild however, without spoilers, the film does explain the importance of the “flinching” aspect-given the movie its of course, important title.

The film provides plenty of gore, action, and suspense paving the way for all genres of cinema to enjoy. Character development isn’t overly saturated and leaves you with just enough to be satisfied and not annoyed that it’s cutting into the main plot points. There’s a few sexy moments that hover over into cringe territory, but hey if you’re into that sort of thing, then this is something that won’t even phase you.

However, what I really thought to be stand-out was the beautiful visualizing aspect of Flinch. The movie is just so damn pretty to look at. Paired with a stylish synth soundtrack, Flinch is definitely something that should be on your watchlist in 2021. Or hell, how about now?! Here’s the amazon link to check out!

Top That! Teen Witch: The Perfect Film For Young Curious Witches

TOP THAT! TEEN WITCH: THE PERFECT FILM FOR YOUNG CURIOUS WITCHES

Teen Witch is one of those movies from my childhood that no matter what I’m doing or how many times I’ve seen it, if it’s on the TV-you best believe I’m throwing my hair in a halfway side ponytail, grabbing my crystals and watching the shit out of it.

Growing up, my inner-self bonded with this film not so because it was a cheesy tween/teen flick with a catchy witch premise, (and some even catchier tunes). But because I deeply resonated with the craft before I even fully understood it or knew what the hell I was even feeling. And even further, identified with the character Louise, played by actress Robyn Lively (older sister of Blake Lively) Understandably, I was a child and living in a very Roman-Catholic Italian household that I didn’t really connect spiritually with. Even worse, was my birth mother’s sudden devotion to strict Christianity after a long stay away at a rehab center. Of which, was not only very much pushed on me no matter how I felt about it, but that it was expected me to follow this suit. Long story short, I was a pretty large disappointment to her in that aspect. I always felt uncomfortable. Out of place. The black sheep concerning religion in my home. I loathed it and felt like an awkward cow every time I had to go to church, or even simply say a prayer at dinner.

Yes. I’m an out and proud Witch. And I can proudly claim that title as, like our sisters before us, have dealt with many painstaking trials and tribulations that truly tests your strength in the human existence; along with sharing knowledge and helping those along the way to those who legitimately seek it. It’s like a rite of passage for us and all apart of the journey. Up until a few years ago, I was living in the “Broom Closet” for fear of not only my very catholic family giving me all the grief-especially my father who expressed to me during my young teens when he found my Wiccan books hidden away in my room, lose his ever-loving mind on me and proceeded to trash my materials; forbidding them in his home. Of course, this had upset me to no end. And for it to happen AGAIN in my early twenties with an angry, and physically/mentally abusive ex with him burning everything related to the craft, it seemed I was being punished for trying to be myself; and nothing more.

Pretty shitty feeling.

Tragedy teen witch cellularpottsmodel GIF - Find on GIFER

Anyways, it wasn’t until I fully felt safe in my life to blossom into the person I am today- strong and unapologetically ME. Gotta say it’s a breathe of fresh air whereas prior, felt like strangulation. And ultimately, that’s what Teen Witch is all about. BEING HAPPY BEING YOURSELF. No matter what anyone thinks or says. And with witchcraft, the Pagan way, and everything connected to it becoming such a hot trend these days, I feel like this film which I just adore, is perfect for those young curious girls looking to connect with a relatable character in the pop culture film sense.

Teen Witch may have turned out to be a MASSIVE flop theatrically (grossing a whopping $3,875 opening weekend), but that didn’t stop it from becoming a cult classic. Originally written as a follow-up to 1985’s Teen Wolf, I personally caught my first viewing of the film on the Disney channel’s prime time line-up. And it’s since become one of my favorite childhood pieces to vomit all the nostalgic fuzzies all over the place.

The story centers around Louise Miller, an underwhelming teenager with about as much self-esteem and fashion sense as well, the rest of us at that age. Unless you were a Randa- in which case GTFO. I kid, I kid. But seriously, we all felt awkward at some point in the game.

Anyways, poor Louise can’t seem to catch a break either from her walking calamity social status, her snotty as hell little brother Ritchie (played by Joshua John Miller-son of The Exorcist‘s Jason Miller), or the fact the dreamy Brad Powell doesn’t even know she’s alive. That is until after one particularly embarrassing day, she stumbles upon a psychic shop where she meets Madame Serena (Zelda Rubenstein) and Louise discovers her destiny- that she comes from a powerful bloodline of witches’, and her powers will come to her on her sixteenth birthday- which is coincidentally right around the corner. And sure enough, strange things begin to happen within the power of her words, granting her the ability to pretty much, have whatever she wants. And of course being sixteen, what do we all want- to be popular!

And so it is…

The teen musical drama that many shrug off to the side as a campy 80s’ flick, truly is in many ways outlining a witch’s transition into one’s higher self. It most certainly can be in uniform with ascending into puberty-like in the film, and comes with many challenges of self-doubt, ego-trips, and heartache. As stated above, all witches’ face or will face persecutions, whether emotionally tasking or physical, like our ancestors before us. And they are not pleasant. In a softer manner, this is all relayed in the plot of Teen Witch, intentional or not-and yes I admit I might be looking into it too deeply but bear with me.

The Power Is In The Word

This phrase is stated often in the film, and realistically from a true witches’ POV, there never has been a truer statement. Words hold so much power over us, that if we repeat them enough, negative or positive, they soon become our reality. The golden rule of “be careful what you say”, is one that should be held of the highest regard in the craft. Not to say you can wish someone into disappearance like Louise did with Randa’s creep cousin, but if you keep telling yourself you’re beautiful often enough, you soon believe it; and same goes for negative self-talk that sends you into a spiral of despair and ugliness. Words are the root of manifestoing our lives, and if you believe what you speak, they hold a lot of power.

The Power of Your Soul Is Even Greater

Even when Louise thinks she finds happiness in her words, in her heart she of course isn’t and second guesses everything. The man of her dreams, Brad has taken a serious interest in her. But is it because of her popularity spell? Or does he truly like her for who she is? Well, in true 80s’ “moral of the story” fashion being true to yourself is the most powerful spell of all. After Madame Serena reveals to Louise of her magikal heritage, she soon inherits an amulet that has been connected to her via past lifetimes and has found its way back to her. Serena states that the necklace is the source of powers.

Image result for teen witch necklace

Now while tools and stones are often quite helpful in manifesting our thoughts and desires, they are not the source of the power- as that always and forever resides in you. Louise, without being told so but with an instinct in her own gut, came to this conclusion in her finest hour as well in that oh so happy and musical ending. Which leads me to the point, that being yourself and owning the shit out of it, is the greatest power you can possess.

Oh and spoilers…

Brad still dug her.

Now if you can get past some of those sort of out of place, cringey dance scenes (I’m looking at you We Like Boys) and embrace the internal message of the craft for a baby witch, then it’s a film that will be enjoyed well into your crone years. Speaking of musical numbers though and aside from everything else, as random as it is in the film, seeing Polly have her moment with her crush is one of the most goddamn satisfying things ever in a movie.

Nope. Can’t top that.

Buy the movie here!