Tag Archives: Corey Feldman

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985, Danny Steinmann)

Someone–whether it be the writers, director, producers, studio, composer, whoever–someone tried really hard to make Friday the 13th: A New Beginning a comedy. It fails miserably, but the attempt is interesting if not admirable.

Wait, it’s not because of the composer; Harry Manfredini plays it straight and ruins a lot of the scenes. Well, not exactly ruins them but he definitely works at cross purpose.

It’s hard to say if it’s director Steinmann working the absurd cliche angle; there are a handful of ambitious scenes in the film, where Steinmann is clearly trying to do something with the filmmaking (never the film). So are those moments the fluke or is the rest of it the fluke?

The actors suggest the former, just because the acting is so bad and there’s no way Steinmann wouldn’t prefer better acting in those parts. He’s got Shavar Ross, who’s annoying as all hell but he’s a capable actor and Ross is stuck in scenes without any professionals to work with. Leading lady Melanie Kinnaman is bad. She doesn’t have anything to do, but she’s still bad.

As the suspect in all the film’s ineptly cut murders, John Shepherd is terrible. Obviously Steinmann saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre for one sequence, but he also borrowed heavily from The Karate Kid for Shepherd’s scenes. It’s silly and awful and the film’s so unsuccessful, it’s actually pitiable.

Decent enough performance from Juliette Cummins in one of Steinmann’s acceptable tangents.

But it’s an awful movie. Just lame.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Danny Steinmann; screenplay by Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen and Steinmann, based on a story by Kitrosser and Cohen; director of photography, Stephen L. Posey; edited by Bruce Green; music by Harry Manfredini; production designer, Robert Howland; produced by Timothy Silver; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Melanie Kinnaman (Pam), John Shepherd (Tommy), Shavar Ross (Reggie), Vernon Washington (George), Richard Young (Matt), Caskey Swaim (Duke), Tiffany Helm (Violet), Juliette Cummins (Robin), Jerry Pavlon (Jake), Carol Locatell (Ethel), Ron Sloan (Junior), Miguel A. Núñez Jr. (Demon), Jere Fields (Anita), John Robert Dixon (Eddie), Deborah Voorhees (Tina), Dominick Brascia (Joey), Anthony Barrile (Vinnie), Mark Venturini (Vic Faden), Richard Lineback (Deputy Dodd) and Marco St. John (Sheriff Tucker); special appearance by Corey Feldman (Tommy at 12).


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Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984, Joseph Zito)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter never tries to be scary. It tries to be gory… but not too gory. It saves the biggest gore moment for the last, when any number of the other ones throughout the film would’ve given Tom Savini better material. It’s supposed to be gory, but not too gory. It still has to be mainstream.

And The Final Chapter is a desperate attempt to fulfill the mainstream expectations of a Friday the 13th movie. There’s pointless nudity, dumb coeds, scary music, a kid with a horror movie fixation. Except Zito can’t do any of it right. He does best on the exploitation of his female cast, but even that is inept because of his direction. Zito shoots everything in a medium-long shot, straight on so the pan and scan video release won’t miss any of the technically competent, but entirely unimaginative gore.

Worse, Zito has a screenwriter in Barney Cohen who give him okay scary setups. Zito flops on all of them. Occasionally it’ll be something as simple as needing Harry Manfredini’s (admittedly somewhat lame this entry) score over a scene instead of the scenic sound. There’s not a single good thing Zito does in the film.

Except the opening tracking shot tying it to the previous series entry.

Lots of bad acting, but also an almost good one from Crispin Glover and okay ones from Kimberly Beck and Barbara Howard.

One scare out of The Final Chapter shouldn’t have been asking too much.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Joseph Zito; screenplay by Barney Cohen, based on a story by Bruce Hidemi Sakow and characters created by Victor Miller, Ron Kurz, Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson; director of photography, João Fernandes; edited by Daniel Loewenthal and Joel Goodman; music by Harry Manfredini; production designer, Shelton H. Bishop III; produced by Frank Mancuso Jr.; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Corey Feldman (Tommy), Kimberly Beck (Trish), Erich Anderson (Rob), Barbara Howard (Sara), Peter Barton (Doug), Lawrence Monoson (Ted), Camilla More (Tina), Crispin Glover (Jimmy Mortimer), Joan Freeman (Mrs. Jarvis), Carey More (Terri), Clyde Hayes (Paul), Judie Aronson (Samantha), Bonnie Hellman (Hitchhiker) with Lisa Freeman (Nurse Robbie Morgan) and Bruce Mahler (Axel).


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The Goonies (1985, Richard Donner)

There’s a lack of consistent mood to The Goonies. The film has its phases and the mood and tone change from phase to phase, but Chris Columbus’s script changes characterizations between these phases as well, which is rather disconcerting. For example, while the film introduces the villains–Anne Ramsey as the mother, Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano as her sons–with some humor, but by the end they’re entirely slapstick.

And Donner can’t really direct the slapstick. There’s a noticeable lag, which editor Michael Kahn (who otherwise does a phenomenal job) can’t do anything with. But Donner does well with the actors. Even the weak performances, like Jeff Cohen (whose annoying overweight kid isn’t just annoying, he’s also the butt of all the script’s jokes), are generally all right thanks to Donner’s direction.

There are some stronger performances–Martha Plimpton and Corey Feldman are both good. Josh Brolin and Kerri Green have their moments too. Jonathan Ke Quan simultaneously has a lot to do, physically, but not much to do acting-wise, which is good… he doesn’t do well in his big scene. As the de facto lead, Sean Astin is more appealing than good, but he does have some fine moments.

Excellent music from Dave Grusin and photography from Nick McLean help through the rougher spots–like the entire third act. Oddly, J. Michael Riva’s great production design shines brightest during that third act.

It’s saccharine and superficial, but Donner’s direction is quite good. It’s a passable kiddie adventure.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Richard Donner; screenplay by Chris Columbus, based on a story by Steven Spielberg; director of photography, Nick McLean; edited by Michael Kahn; music by Dave Grusin; production designer, J. Michael Riva; produced by Donner and Harvey Bernhard; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Sean Astin (Mikey), Josh Brolin (Brand), Jeff Cohen (Chunk), Corey Feldman (Mouth), Kerri Green (Andy), Martha Plimpton (Stef), Jonathan Ke Quan (Data), John Matuszak (Sloth), Robert Davi (Jake), Joe Pantoliano (Francis), Anne Ramsey (Mama Fratelli), Lupe Ontiveros (Rosalita) and Mary Ellen Trainor (Mrs. Walsh).


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The ‘burbs (1989, Joe Dante)

Until The 'burbs gets around to actually having to pay off on its premise–the strange new neighbors are really serial killers–it’s quite good. There’s no way the third act pay off can deliver and the film’s quality takes a number of hits in the last half hour or so. Olsen’s script is, technically, at fault… but it’s hard to think of how the narrative could have unfolded and not had problems.

What the film does have, even with the last act problems, is some of Dante’s most enthusiastic work. The film’s perfectly casted–I counted three times the actors were trying not to laugh during a scene–and he gets these great performances. Olsen’s script sets up these fine characters, Dante and the cast are able to turn them into something even better… then the script abandons them. At one point, Carrie Fisher just disappears. Instead of figuring out how to incorporate her (or even just keep her around), Olsen sends her away. Coincidentally, Fisher disappears about the time the film hits the bumps.

Tom Hanks is very good in the lead. He manages not to get overshadowed by Bruce Dern and Rick Ducommun, who are a lot wackier. Wendy Schaal’s good as Dern’s wife (she too disappears though) and Brother Theodore is hilarious as one of the villains. Corey Feldman is a tad broad… and looks a little old for a teenager.

Amazing Jerry Goldsmith score.

With its marvelous Dante direction, The 'burbs is almost a success.

2/4★★

CREDITS

Directed by Joe Dante; written by Dana Olsen; director of photography, Robert M. Stevens; edited by Marshall Harvey; music by Jerry Goldsmith; production designer, James H. Spencer; produced by Larry Brezner and Michael Finnell; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Tom Hanks (Ray Peterson), Bruce Dern (Lt. Mark Rumsfield), Carrie Fisher (Carol Peterson), Rick Ducommun (Art Weingartner), Corey Feldman (Ricky Butler), Wendy Schaal (Bonnie Rumsfield), Henry Gibson (Dr. Werner Klopek), Brother Theodore (Uncle Reuben Klopek), Courtney Gains (Hans Klopek) and Gale Gordon (Walter Seznick).


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