I have been obsessed with the cover art of this movie for as long as I can remember. Who wouldn’t be drawn to an image of a skeleton holding a human face mask?!? Ok, fine. Most normal people wouldn’t. But this image made an imprint in my brain that never left. Unfortunately, this movie is REALLY hard to find unless you are willing to pay over $40 on Amazon. Lucky for me and now all of you- I stumbled upon a site called Horror, Inc., a VOD site that streams obscure cult and indie horror films. It has a little bit for everyone’s tastes. I almost freaked when I saw Popcorn on there, staring back at me with that skeleton grin. And guess what? I got to watch it for 99 cents!
This awesomely campy horror film is about a group of high school film students who decide to put on an all-night Horror-thon at a local rundown theater to raise some money. While preparing the old Dreamland Theater, they find a weird artsy short film with a talking skull that scares Maggie and makes her faint. The group discovers that the film was made 25 years ago by a man named Lanyard Gates. Apparently the guy went berserk and killed his whole family on stage after his film received shoddy reviews. This back story sets the pace for the remainder of the film. While the Horror-thon gets under way, people start dying and Maggie thinks Lanyard Gates is back! Problem is, no one can find the killer in the dark theater because he uses the faces of his victims as disguises!
Now let me be clear, this is a CHEESY horror film but it is oh-so-fun and perfect for the Halloween season. Jill Schoelen stars as Maggie, who at the time had a slew of horror films under her belt including The Stepfather (1987), Cutting Class (1989), and The Phantom of the Opera (1989). She is gothic-ly pretty in this film with her blunt black bangs and dark eyes. Instant crush status. But the most memorable character is the killer. He is irresistibly original and when he is revealed it is hard not to clap in delight watching him talk with his flappy skin face on.
The backstory is a little convoluted at times, but it is a fun whirlwind of a rollercoaster. Classic horror movies can be seen on the walls of the theater throughout the film, including The Tingler, Psycho, Shock Treatment, Hysteria, Anguish, A Clockwork Orange and many others. It’s like a scavenger hunt added bonus. Watching this reminds of the 2010 film, All about Evil. It has an incredibly similar plot with a murderer roaming around an old movie house. It has the same kind of culty, campy feel as Popcorn. If you are a fan of the Scream franchise, you will enjoy this one as well.
What are you waiting for? Head on over to Horror, Inc. If you are a Horror-holic like me, you won’t be able to get enough of this glorious website. Thanks Horror, Inc. for the best dollar I ever spent! This is the ultimate film for horror movie lovers because… well… it’s about horror movie lovers!
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