“Grab a Bag….Go Home In a Box”

Poor Maggie. Her college film department is out of money, her boyfriend just wants to pork, and she keeps having nightmares. Nightmares about her real father, Lanyard Gates, who killed her mother on stage in front of a packed movie theater that was showing his movie “Possessor”. He then died when the theater caught fire. Turns out Maggie’s real name is Sara Gates. Repressed memories are a bitch.

This piece of 90’s celluloid has random cameos, synthesized background music, mullets, inventive kills, reggae, and a fixin’-up-the-place montage. A fucking montage, yes! So the film depot kids decide to put on an all night horror-thon to raise money. They rent out an old theater, but how will they get it ready in time you ask? Well Ray Walston (Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High) randomly shows up right in time to point his cane at stuff and make it all possible. Insert musical montage here.

In the theater they find an old film reel. On the reel is a creepy movie called “Possessor” produced by and starring Lanyard Gates. The kids dismiss the film as a joke, but Lanyard is about to return to finish his masterpiece by killing Maggie (Sara), his daughter.

Opening night arrives and a reggae band plays a reggae song about “scary, scary movies, on the silver screen” on the sidewalk in front of the theater. This is some unintentionally funny shit and draws a huge crowd into the theater. On the docket tonight are three shitaaay movies: Mosquito!, The Amazing Electrified Man, and The Stench. But that’s not all. The film college kids have rigged effects for each film. For Mosquito!, there’s a giant mosquito prop that files down into the audience during the movie. For Electrified Man, certain seats in the audience are rigged to literally shock the asses off moviegoers. And for The Stench someone shits their pants in front of a fan or something (who hasn’t?). You get to see a lot of these mock 50’s horror/sci-fi movies and they’re almost as good as the real movie.

During the movies, the film students start getting knocked off one by one. After each dies, our killer creates a latex mask of the victim then masquerades as the deceased. Some kills are linked to the shitty movie props. One guy gets impaled by the mosquito prop, one gets electrocuted by the shock chairs, and The Stench stank offs another somehow.

Maggie (Jill Schoelen) of course is the only one who suspects anything is wrong, but none of her fellow students believe her. Maggie starts having some more flashbacks and figures out that it’s Lanyard Gates come back to do a 187 on her. She ends up being captured by our killer who turns out to be Toby (Tom Villard) from the film school. Seems Toby was present in the theater years ago when Lanyard Gates screened his movie “Possessor” and Toby lost his mother and most of the flesh on his body in the theater fire. Toby had to learn to put a fake face on when he was a kid so he could look normal, and became a master at making latex masks…and here’s the best part: Toby thinks that if he finishes Lanyard’s work by killing Maggie/Sara in front of the audience, things will go back to how they should’ve been and his mother will not have died and he won’t have been burned. Makes sense to me. The finale is great with the audience, thinking it’s part of the show, cheering Toby on as he’s about to plunge a dagger into Maggie/Sara. Does Toby’s plan work? Get yourself some Popcorn and find out.

This flick is a lot of fun to watch. It’s got some hilarious parts and some genuinely creepy parts. The mock movies screened at the horror-thon alone make this one worth a look. And let’s not forget Mr. Hand and the musical montage.

**This review is of the laserdisc edition of the movie Popcorn. There’s a picture of Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) on the front and he’s in the movie for all of 4 minutes.

**Popcorn Trivia: Popcorn was directed by Mark Herrier, better known as Billy from the Porky’s franchise.

Aloha Mr. Hand,



~ by exploitnation on April 5, 2008.

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