Okay, I'm back. We'll see what happens. I've been watching a lot of movies lately, and yesterday, I gulped down a steaming tankard of 1986's Neon Maniacs. You know what it reminds me of? A "retro" slasher that would have been made...well, today. There would have been a poster for each colorful villain, packaged alongside an action figure. If you're ever in the mood to ingest 80's horror without any specific guidelines (as I was), this is the b-stew for you. It jumps right into the action, introducing us to most of its multiformity of twelve creepers. Silly me. I kept waiting for an explanation or an origin story of some sort, but nope. No clue what these things are, where they came from or why they selected the Golden Gate Bridge as their biosphere.
They have trading cards, though! Within the film. Their own fucking trading cards. Did they escape from a game? That could be a plot, but that's a negative. No plots allowed! Let's just move on to the human characters. Natalie is the main heroine, of which there are two. That's one of Neon's selling points. Our leads are believable, and the female cast members are presented as three-dimensional beings. Paula is a little bit younger. Get this...she plays the Tommy Jarvis archetype of a horror freak and budding make-up effect artisan. Her room is wreathed in masks, one-sheets and video equipment (she's directing a z-grade vampire flick). It was so refreshing to see a prepubescent girl pitched as the monster kid. She's awesome.
Steven is Natalie's love interest. They have adorable chemistry, and yes, I am turning into a vagina. The script is alright, but it feels like there are chunks missing. I'm in an apoplectic stupor because I discovered that it was penned by Mark Patrick Carducci, the very guy who authored the screenplay for Pumpkinhead. Pumpkinhead is goddamn perfect! Something must have happened here. I would be interested in learning more about the production history. The ending leads me to believe that an immediate sequel was either planned or promised by producers. There is a rockin' climax at a Battle of the Bands (it's nearly a stalemate, but I'd vote for Jaded) where the majority of the not-so-neon maniacs are liquidated. The rest?
Well, the cops search for them to no avail. The end! What, you wanted closure? No closure allowed! If any modish cult classic required a swell finale, it was this sumbitch. I really enjoyed the first 80 minutes, but the film signs itself out with an inelegant plop. I should only hear that kind of plop in my bathroom. Since you asked, I tried Movantik to treat my opioid-induced constipation and honey, it transformed the opening at the lower end of my alimentary canal into a delivery system for collywobbles. The fucking shits. I had bad diarrhea. It was bad. AND I recommend Neon Maniacs for fans of Nightbreed, Spookies and 80's gook in general. Apparently, Andrew Divoff played the doctor "maniac." That, my friends, is range. Respect.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 5:47 PM