Netflix Top Picks: Early 90’s Horror Movie Edition

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With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, and with Netflix streaming now accounting for the majority of all American internet traffic, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where I will select items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue.  Looking for a good bad movie? Revisit the early 1990’s, when bad movies didn’t know they were bad (and were sometimes sort of good).

ShakmaTitle:  Shakma
Type: Movie
Genre: Creature FeaturesB-Movie HorrorHorror
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 hr 41 min
Released:  1990
Directed By: Tom Logan
Starring: Christopher AtkinsAmanda WyssAri MeyersRoddy McDowallRob Edward MorrisTre Laughlin
Synopsis: Turned murderous by experimental drugs, a baboon escapes from a laboratory and roams the research building, where it begins attacking a group of students involved in a live-action role-playing game.
My Analysis: Remember how, in the early 90’s, cool, attractive people had fun by acting out role-playing games? No? Me neither, because that never happened. Ever. Which is part of why Shakma is amazingly good fun. You can’t help but ask yourself what misguided souls came up with such a ridiculous premise. Also, it stars the guy from Blue Lagoon (Adkins) and a celebrated industry veteran (McDowall) as, respectively, a medical student and his professor stuck in a building with a rampaging baboon that chases them, ad infinitum, from room to room. I’m sure PETA hates this movie – at times it honestly looks the crew riled up a dangerous primate and then let it beat the shit out of a flimsy set. The recent glut of awful DTV horror films have given kitsch a bad name, which is why gems like Shakma are so precious – nobody makes movies like this any longer, because we’re all too self aware.

People_Under

Title:  The People Under the Stairs
Type: Movie
Genre: Cult MoviesHorror MoviesCult Horror MoviesCreature FeaturesSlasher and Serial Killer Movies
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 hr 41 min
Released:  1991
Directed By: Wes Craven
Starring: Brandon AdamsEverett McGillWendy RobieA.J. LangerVing RhamesSean Whalen
Synopsis: Master of horror Wes Craven brings an urban twist to the classic fairy tale in the story of Fool, a 13-year-old lad who succumbs to ghetto pressures to steal from a local house. Fool’s instant karma comes in the gruesome form of the house’s residents — an insane, deformed family of murderers. The perils of latchkey kids and warnings about absentee parents are the subtle social subtext as Fool and other victims try to escape the deadly home.
My Analysis: Remember how, in the early 90’s, cool, attractive people had fun by acting out role-playing games? No? Me neither, because that never happened. Ever. Which is part of why Shakma is amazingly good fun. You can’t help but ask yourself what misguided souls came up with such a ridiculous premise. Also, it stars the guy from Blue Lagoon (Adkins) and a celebrated industry veteran (McDowall) as, respectively, a medical student and his professor stuck in a building with a rampaging baboon that chases them, ad infinitum, from room to room. I’m sure PETA hates this movie – at times it honestly looks the crew riled up a dangerous primate and then let it beat the shit out of a flimsy set. The recent glut of awful DTV horror films have given kitsch a bad name, which is why gems like Shakma are so precious – nobody makes movies like this any longer, because we’re all too self aware.

 

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Dust_DevilTitle:  Dust Devil
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror MoviesBritish MoviesSlasher and Serial Killer MoviesSupernatural Horror Movies
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 hr 26 min
Released:  1992
Directed By: Richard Stanley
Starring: Robert John BurkeChelsea FieldZakes MokaeRufus SwartJohn MatshikizaWilliam Hootkins
Synopsis: Wendy drives aimlessly through the desert, pausing only to pick up a handsome drifter. Unfortunately for her, this Dust Devil turns out to be a shape-shifting killer — but officer Mukurob is in pursuit.
My Analysis: Remember how, in the early 90’s, cool, attractive people had fun by acting out role-playing games? No? Me neither, because that never happened. Ever. Which is part of why Shakma is amazingly good fun. You can’t help but ask yourself what misguided souls came up with such a ridiculous premise. Also, it stars the guy from Blue Lagoon (Adkins) and a celebrated industry veteran (McDowall) as, respectively, a medical student and his professor stuck in a building with a rampaging baboon that chases them, ad infinitum, from room to room. I’m sure PETA hates this movie – at times it honestly looks the crew riled up a dangerous primate and then let it beat the shit out of a flimsy set. The recent glut of awful DTV horror films have given kitsch a bad name, which is why gems like Shakma are so precious – nobody makes movies like this any longer, because we’re all too self aware.

 

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About S. Matthew Bauer

Visiting my first seedy video arcade at age four, there was a good chance I would end up a felon. Instead, I became a geek. Maybe the grouchiest writer at the site, I am confused by such modern developments as online multiplayer, achievements and paying money for avatar skins, and am perfectly content playing platformers on my 3DS (although single-player shooter campaigns on my PS3 keep me plenty busy). I’ve written professionally (and unprofessionally) for the past decade, which gives me plenty of time watch just about everything on Netflix Streaming, and cook mediocre meals for my family. I am happily and luckily married to an adorable, brilliant nurse, and we live with our inconspicuously geeky ten-year old daughter and beagle-pug mix in Minneapolis. If you ever meet me and want to see me never stop vomiting, play the theme to Home Improvement or a Rusted Root bootleg.