If you came here for a recipe on how to make the perfect movie theater popcorn I’m sorry but this isn’t the post for you. Today we are not talking about the popcorn you eat but the 1991 slasher movie Popcorn. Popcorn was originally a box office bomb and a critical failure, however, as the movie was released on VHS it gained a small cult following for its quirky style and cheesiness. If you have not seen Popcorn I would recommend giving it a watch, while it is not a great movie there are many aspects of the film that work very well. With the right direction and care I believe a remake of Popcorn could turn this cheesy 90’s slasher into a horror movie gem. There are many good ideas within Popcorn and if it were ever to be remade this is what I would like to see left in and left out of the final project.
Things to keep in:
- The Setting- the setting of this movie is amazing. The idea of a serial killer attacking a group of film students in a theater while they host a horror movie marathon is absolutely phenomenal. It sets up a very eerie mood for the film while paradoxically giving it a light-hearted feel that makes fun of horror movie fans and movie goers as a whole.
- The Short Movies- the films within the film are awesome and definitely one of the best parts of the movie, especially the novelty props used to “enhance” the movie going experience. While I wouldn’t want to see a shot for shot remake of the original films it would be fantastic to see modern spin on bad gimmicky horror movies.
- The Villain- While some people would argue that the villain in Popcorn is not good and one of the worse aspects of the film with the right actor and direction the villain could become and iconic killer. His motives are solid, his kills are innovative and fresh, and how he disguises himself is absolutely chilling in the film he was a little too over the top to be taken seriously and while some of his humor works the majority of it tends to add on to the cheesiness of film.
- The Humor- Some of the humor in the film works. The self-referential style of the movie works and I love how it mocks bad horror movies and the people who them.
Things to Leave out:
- A Majority of the Characters- I enjoyed Jill Schoelen portrayal of Maggie, but the amount of side characters and the time they get on screen is absolutely staggering. By the time I finished I could not remember a single side character’s name or purpose for being in the movie.
- Sub-Plots- There are a lot of subplots in the film that add nothing to the overall plot. For example: a students plowing a teacher, Maggie’s boyfriend trying to make her jealous, said boyfriend being beat up by another jealous boyfriend, another student plowing a teacher, a mother-aunt played by Dee Wallace that has 2 minutes of screen time, the list goes on and on.
- The Reggae– Why is there Reggae music in a horror film?
- Cheese- While I do enjoy some cheese in movies the sheer amount of cheese in this movie left a bad taste in my mouth.
While Popcorn is not the best horror movie of all time it does have its charms. It is a little rough around the edges,but with the right person behind the camera a Popcorn remake could become the next horror remake masterpiece. Synapse Films is releasing a limited edition Blu-Ray in March and hopefully there will be a rekindled interest in this forgotten gem of a movie.