Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Criterion Channel Presents 30 Film 1980s Horror Showcase: Oct 1 | Genre Streaming for Cinephiles

Looking online this month for seasonal genre film offerings, Shudder remains the home for horror streaming. Their catalog alone could fill any avid viewer's calendar, and while it is more than a bit hyperbolic, Screenrant isn't too far wrong proposing "How Shudder Is Single-Handedly Keeping 2020 Horror Movies Alive". Don't overlook Shout Factory TV's lineup, and the excellent Arrow Films, and their genre imprint, Arrow Video, have also entered the game in recent years, inviting us to "Join the Cult: The Arrow Video Channel". Annually the online cinema that is Mubi offer up a selection of arthouse and deep cult cinema cuts on their platform spanning October. Such as the Trick or Flick: Halloween Horror showcase found in their Library section. But the true motherload can be found nestled in the bounty of The Criterion Channel's October lineup. Much like their previous 1970s Horror showcase of 2020, this year they dive deep into the explosion of the genre the following decade, with a showcase dedicated to the classic Universal Horror, Japan's kaiju king Ishiro Honda, a set of Vampire films, and a 30 title showcase of 1980s Horror. The latter seemingly taking a cue from Nick Pinkerton's Sight & Sound feature, and their "The Other Side of 80s America" focus on the decade of independent and genre cinema issuing from the United States. Concurrent with the pop culture revelry of Reaganite family-oriented dramas, action, teen movies, and sci-fi blockbusters, a more rebellious and independent strain of US movie making explored the darkness on the edge of mainstream society. Anne Billson's supporting article "A Nightmare on Main Street" plumbs the deeper realms of the decade's more assertively subversive low-to-medium budget genre fare, often “unburdened by notions of good taste". These manic explorations of class conflict, Cold War dread, ecological disaster and suburban paranoia defined a decade of cult film issuing from an era that was transgressive, politically voracious, and boundary-pushing. From the Criterion Channel; “The 1980s were defined by style and excess, and the era’s horror movies were no exception. Innovations in practical effects made the nightmares more vivid than ever, and thanks to the rise of home video, the call was now coming from inside the house. While established talents such as Dario Argento, Werner Herzog, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Lucio Fulci, David Cronenberg, Michael Mann, Ken Russell, and Paul Schrader, brought terrifying spectacles to the screen, often with the help of Hollywood studios, home video opened up a new market that allowed the independents to take the genre to unexpected and—in the case of the UK’s censorship of infamous “Video Nasties”—controversial new heights. Curated by Clyde Folley, this ghastly tour through the decade of greed features ambitious art-pulp hybrids, a Hitchcock-inspired trucker movie, old-fashioned creature features, vampiric outsiders, Japanese punk cinema, astute political commentary, and absolutely unclassifiable cult oddities, bringing together some of the eighties’ most stylish, haunting, and outrageous visions.”