Halloween season 1987 was good for horror movies. In October five horror movies hit the big screen. There are six if you want to count the Scooby-Doo made for TV Halloween movie. Some are better than others but all are decent entries in the genre.
One of the non-horror movies is one of the most beloved movies released in the 80s. It’s one I re-watch yearly and my kids even love it.
Should we jump into movies released in October 1987?
As you wish.
Movies from October 1987
Like Father Like Son
In 1987 Kirk Cameron was a big star. He was two years into the hit sit-com Growing Pains, playing Mike Seaver. Dudley Moore was a big star in the 60s and 70s and entering his twilight in the late 80s.
Like Father Like Son is a body swap comedy where the son Chris(Cameron) wakes up in his dads body. And the dad Jack (Moore) wakes up in his sons body. The most famous movie in the genre is probably 1976’s Freaky Friday, which was remade three times over the years.
Like Father Like Son is formulaic and predictable but still a fun movie. I’m not a fan of Dudley Moore but he was tolerable in this movie.
Like Father Like Son was panned by most (all?) critics but it was a box office success. It made over $34 million on a $10 million budget.
You can watch Like Father Like Son on Tubi TV.
Prince of Darkness
This is a John Carpenter movie. The mastermind behind The Thing, Halloween and Big Trouble in Little China. Carpenter refers to this movie as the second part of his ‘Apocalypse Trilogy.’ The first being The Thing and the third movie is 1994’s In the Mouth of Madness.
In Prince of Darkness physics students help a local priest decipher an ancient cylinder filled with an otherworldly green liquid. Turns out the liquid holds the essence of Satan and possesses anyone who touches it. Some of the students are possessed and unleash Hell on Earth.
It also features a song by Alice Cooper. He even played one one of the homeless zombies.
Prince of Darkness is a good movie. It had a decent showing at the box office making over $14 million on a $3 million budget. Critics were split on the movie. Like Halloween III, Prince of Darkness has gained more acceptance and popularity over the years. It’s not the best John Carpenter movie, but if you like his movies you’ll like this one.
You can watch Prince of Darkness on Peacock.
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
Poor Mary Lou, she was the Prom Queen in 1957 and murdered by her boyfriend while getting her crown. As she dies, she vows to get revenge on him.
Thirty years later, Vicki is looking for a Prom dress and finds a trunk containing Mary Lou’s dress. When Vicki takes the dress it unleashes Mary Lou’s spirit. Vicki begins to have nightmares before she is fully possessed by Mary Lou’s spirit. Once possessed Vicki (Mary Lou) gets her revenge.
There are a few good twists in the movie. Overall it’s your normal 80s slasher movie. That’s not to say it’s bad. It’s a good horror/slasher movie.
Micheal Ironside plays the school principal and is always a pleasure to watch on screen.
Hello Mary Lou made no money at the box office. It was released on home video within six months and had a successful run as a rental. I rented it multiple times over the years.
Most critics panned the movie but I don’t know of many critics who enjoy the slasher genre. One critic was somewhat complimentary say “It’s Peggy Sue Lives on Elm Street, with dollops of Carrie, The Exorcist and a half dozen other genre stalwarts.”
That’s a good summary of the movie. It has elements from all the movies he mentioned. If you want to watch a decent 80s slasher movie this Halloween check out Hello Mary Lou.
Did you know there are five movies in the Prom Night franchise? I had no idea.
You can watch Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II on Peacock.
Slumber Party Massacre II
Who doesn’t love a slumber party?
Slumber Party Massacre II is produced by Roger Corman, which is about all you need to know. But if you want more here is a short summary:
Courtney and her friends are attacked by a supernatural killer with a power-drill guitar.
It stars a couple of Playboy playmates because it’s produced by Corman and has Slumber Party in the title. The crazy killer is a low-rent Andrew Dice Clay clone. The main character, Courtney is played by Crystal Bernard, best known for her role of Helen on the TV series Wings.
There’s a Slumber Party Massacre III, also produced by Corman.
You can watch Slumber Party Massacre II on Tubi TV.
This one is classified as a Sci-Fi horror movie. It has a great concept and delivers.
The movie opens with man robbing a back, killing a guard, stealing a Ferrari and leading the police on a high speed chase. The police shoot him several times causing the Ferrari to crash and capture the man.
In the hospital the doctor informs the police the man will not survive the night. That night the comatose man awakens, walks over the patient in the other bed and the horror beings.
When I watched the trailer I was impressed it doesn’t give anything away. This movie is filled with twists. The FBI agent, played by Kyle MacLachlan who starts to investigate the events isn’t what he seems and the ‘horror’ aspect isn’t the average killer in a mask.
The movie is well written and well acted. It doesn’t spoon feed you the answers. You’re trying to figure it out like the on screen characters.
Roger Ebert gave The Hidden three out of four stars. I think it’s a fantastic movie. Nowadays it enjoys the Cult Classic status. If you haven’t seen it you should watch it this Halloween season.
You can watch The Hidden on The Criterion Channel.
The Princess Bride
It’s not a horror movie but it is one of the best movies of the 80s.
The Princess Bride has everything you could want in a movie; action, adventure, romance and comedy. All done to perfection.
I hope you have seen this movie. It’s the tale of Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) and her true love, farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes). Westley has no money to marry a princess so he heads out to seek his fortune and marry Buttercup. While he’s away Princess Buttercup learns his ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts and Westley is presumed dead.
The Princess Buttercup is betrothed to the dastardly Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). On her way to the wedding she is kidnapped by three outlaws, a fencing master, Inigo “You killed my father, prepare to die” Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), a Sicilian named Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) and a giant played by WWF superstar Andre the Giant.
A mysterious man in black pursues the trio and Princess Buttercup as does Prince Humperdinck and his men. Who is the man in black? Who will rescue Princess Buttercup? Why was she kidnapped? Will she marry Prince Humperdinck?
Then Princess Bride is an excellent movie. I’ve seen it countless times over the years and quote the movie almost daily. My kids and I watched it a few years ago and they loved it too. It’s a timeless classic.
William Goldman wrote the novel and adapted it for the screen. Goldman has an impressive list of writing credits; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, A Bridge to Far, All the Presidents Men to name a few. He won two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay, one for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and one for All the Presidents Men.
Siskel and Ebert gave it their famous ‘Two Thumbs Up’ and critics across the country loved the movie.
The Princess Bride was moderately successful at the box office. It made $31 million on a $16 million dollar budget. It earned it’s Cult Classic status in the Home Video market. I’ve owned a copy of it since it was released on VHS. I now own the BluRay and 4k version.
If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride you need to drop everything and go watch it now. If you have seen it, go watch it again.
You can watch The Princess Bride on Disney+
Other movies released in October 1987
Here are the rest of the movies released in October 1987 and there are a lot of them. Near Dark is a horror movie I haven’t seen but it has a great cast with Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen. It’s also directed Kathryn Bigelow who directed Point Break, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. She won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker.
There are others that look like they might be worth watching as well. I thought I saw every Charlie Sheen movie from the 80s but I missed No Man’s Land. The Sicilian and Suspect look good too. I’ll be adding all of them to my list along with Near Dark.
If you’ve seen any of them let me know.
October 1987 was a great month for movies and had a good selection of horror movies to choose.
There’s no denying The Princess Bride is the winner for the month. While it wasn’t clear in 1987, the movie has stood the test of time and is still a favorite today.
The only other movie i’ve re-watched is The Hidden. It’s an underrated movie. Give it try and let me know in the comments below if you like it.
What are your favorites from October 1987?
Next week we’ll look at October 1992.