The air is getting cooler, the leaves starting to turn and the days are getting shorter. September is here and the Season of the Witch is right around the corner.
This month is primed for Halloween with a couple of horror movies and a crazy thriller. There’s also a couple of comedies thrown in the mix.
Let’s take a look at the movies released in August 1987.
Movies from September 1987
The Curse is a fantastic story turned into a bad movie. The original story, called “The Colour out of Space” was written by H. P. Lovecraft in 1927. In the Lovecraft story a meteorite crashes into earth, emits a strange ooze and then disappears. Not long after the meteorite disappears strange things begin happening.
The movie starts out much the same way. Only the movie is a poorly written adaptation of the book, which is too bad.
I like the original Lovecraft story but the writing on The Curse is bad. Writer David Chaskin had one credit to his name before this movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2. Arguable the worst movie in that franchise. Chaskin didn’t do much after The Curse either, he wrote one more movie and faded away.
Stephen King took the idea and transformed it into his book “Tommyknockers.” King’s novel was released two months after this movie in November 1987.
The Curse stars Wil Wheaton and John “Bo Duke” Schneider. Wheaton hates this movie, going so far as to refuse signing posters or anything related to the movie. He wrote about his trauma surrounding the movie in his book and recently posted the excerpt on his blog.
The Curse spawned two straight-to-video sequels. They aren’t any better.
You can watch The Curse on Pluto TV.
Life is full of choices, some good some bad. This movie is about a bad choice that won’t go away.
Fatal Attraction stars Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in a psychological thriller for the ages.
Dan (Douglas) has an affair with Alex (Close) while his wife is away for the weekend. Both agree the fling will only be for the weekend and then they will go their separate ways. Only it doesn’t quite work out.
Alex keeps calling Dan at his office, then at his house. She threatens him, terrorizes him and his family so much Dan moves to another town. That doesn’t stop her. She is relentless.
Fatal Attraction is a fantastic, suspenseful movie. You never know what Alex will do next. Poor bunny rabbit.
Fatal Attraction was a blockbuster. It made over $156 million on a $14 million budget. It’s the second highest grossing movie of 1987.
Did you know Glenn Close was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in her first three movies?? She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for Fatal Attraction. Throughout her career she’s been nominated eight times and has never won. She lost the Fatal Attraction Best Actress Award to Cher for Moonstruck. That’s a crime.
Fatal Attraction was nominated for six Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Film Editing. The movie didn’t win a single award. Michael Douglas would win the Best Actor Oscar but for a different movie which will cover in a couple months.
Fatal Attraction is currently being adapted into a TV series for the Paramount+ network. Filming began earlier this year.
You can watch Fatal Attraction on HBO Max.
Another horror movie to start the Halloween season, this one much better than the previous one. Hellraiser is based on a novella by Clive Barker, it’s a bizarre horror movie about demons, puzzle boxes and raising the dead.
Frank Cotton buys a puzzle box in Morocco which, when solved, is supposed to grant unimaginable carnal pleasure. Frank solves the puzzle in his attic but instead of endless pleasure his flesh is ripped apart by hooks. Then some weird looking creature with pins covering his head pieces him back together before resetting the puzzle box. And that’s just the first five minutes of the movie.
Thinking back the whole thing is disturbing and fantastic. The movie is a descent into the depths people will go for pleasure…and pain. Hellraiser was a fresh take on the horror genre of the 80s which was dominated by slasher flicks.
Hellraiser initially received an ‘X’ rating, Clive Barker cut some of the gorier scenes and shortened some love scenes to get an ‘R’ rating.
Critics are split on this movie. One called it the best horror movie ever made while Roger Ebert gave it a half star saying it was “bankrupt of imagination.” I think it lands somewhere in the middle.
The demon ‘Pinhead’ is now an iconic horror symbol, right up there with Freddy and Jason. Did you know there are nine sequels to Hellraiser. The last one I watched was Hellraiser IV: Bloodlines. There is also a reboot hitting theaters in October 2022.
If you want to solve a puzzle box stick with the Rubik’s Cube. It’s much safer.
You can watch Hellraiser on Amazon Prime.
Jim Belushi, the younger brother of John Belushi is mainly a comedic actor. The Principal is a bit of a departure from comedy has he plays a tough teacher trying to turn around a inner city high school in California.
After a drunken fight and getting arrested, Rick Latimer (Belushi) is transferred to an inner city school by the local school board. His goal is to repair his image by cleaning up the school which is filled with gangs, drugs and violence.
Latimer joins forces with Jake (Louis Gossett, Jr.) the head of security to clean up the school. A gangster named Victor (Michael Wright) rules the school and is intent on getting Latimer out by any means necessary.
The movie builds to the final showdown between Latimer and Victor and it doesn’t disappoint.
The movie was mildly successful making $20 million at the box office.
Belushi does a good job in the role but it doesn’t solidify him as an action star., he isn’t entirely convincing as the tough-as-nails teacher. I prefer him in comedic roles.
While The Principal didn’t create a franchise it did lead the way for other movies in the same genre. We saw another movie like this, One Eight Seven in July. Other movies in the same vein are The Substitute and Dangerous Minds.
There was a short lived Australian TV series based on The Principal but nothing else. Done right, The Principal would be a good series on one of the streaming services.
You can watch The Principal on Amazon Prime and Crackle(free with ads).
The Pick-up Artist
After all the death and murder we need to cleanse our palate with a light-hearted Rom-Com. The Pick-up Artist stars Robert Downey
Jr. ( he wasn’t using Jr. Yet) and Molly Ringwald.
Jack Jericho (Downey) is a womanizer who meets his match with Randy (Ringwald). The movie spends a lot of time watching Jericho practice pickup lines in the mirror and then using them on women on the street.
Randy doesn’t fall for his shtick but he continues to pursue her. She is dealing with her own issues as her drunk, gambling father is in trouble with the mob.
The movie doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. It’s part teenage movie, albeit with young adults and part adult drama with Randy trying to save her father from the mob.
The Pick-up Artist isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. It’s saving grace is the running time, it clocks in at 81 minutes.
Thankfully Downey, Jr. And Ringwald would go on to play much better roles.
Other movies released in September 1987
Here are the rest of the movies from September 1987. A few more than 1982 but nothing really stands out.
I’ve seen parts of Amazon Women on the Moon and Real Men but never had the desire to go and watch them all the way through. Jim Belushi starred in Real Men, giving him two movies released this month.
If you’ve seen any of them let me know.
September 1987 wasn’t a great month for movies. Fatal Attraction is the clear winner. Hellraiser is a great entry into the horror genre and is still going strong today. I enjoyed The Principal too but haven’t watched it much over the years.
The rest of the bunch are mostly forgettable movies released to fill the gap before the Halloween and holiday season.
What are your favorites from September 1987?
Next week we’ll look at September 1992.