(US - 1984)
Directed by Andrew J. Kuehn. Written by Margery Doppelt. Cast: Donald Pleasence, Nancy Allen. (R, 83 mins)
Can you imagine moviegoers lining up today to see what essentially amounts to a feature-length version of one of those Bravo 100 SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS-type TV specials? It's hard to believe there was a time that they would, but that's exactly what happened when Universal released TERROR IN THE AISLES in theaters on October 26, 1984, the same day as James Cameron's THE TERMINATOR and Brian De Palma's BODY DOUBLE. When the weekend was over, THE TERMINATOR landed in first place and BODY DOUBLE in third. That TERROR IN THE AISLES was the second most popular movie in America that pre-Halloween weekend only serves as a reminder of how huge horror was with moviegoers of the time. Horror's always been a popular genre, but it was exploding in the early '80s, with countless slasher films, splatter movies, and the innovative makeup effects work of guys like Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, and Tom Savini. The effects guys were often the superstars of the genre: Savini already had a prominent role as the head of the biker gang in DAWN OF THE DEAD, but was so well-known to fans and had such a gregarious personality that he parlayed his special effects fame into the popular VHS rental SCREAM GREATS, which looked at Savini and his techniques and his career highlights, and a second career as a character actor, starring in one of the earliest straight-to-video titles, 1985's THE RIPPER, and, years later, appearing as biker Sex Machine in Robert Rodriguez's FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996).
|Andrew J. Kuehn, the father of the modern movie trailer