Deadly Movie Cameos: Johnny Depp in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Back in 1984 a very young Johnny Depp landed his first movie acting gig as Glen Lantz in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. A full seven years later, wit Edward Scissorhands (1990) under his belt, the now teen heartthrob would appear in an hilariously bizarre cameo in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) the sixth instalment in the ‘Nightmare’ franchise. Rather than ‘man in street’ or gratuitous walk on (so often the staple of the Hollywood cameo), Depp features in a Chuckle Brothers style routine with Freddy Krueger (including frying pan to face –pow!) as a TV chef making some sort of curious brain metaphor using an egg . In true ‘Nightmare’ fashion the sequence is a dream and therein masterfully diverts away from the brain pain of duel realities or forth wall destruction. It’s a great blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment and serves as a good example of how big name actors who started life in horror are more than willing to return to the genre if called upon. Oh and if you look for his name in the credits you won’t find it.., he is credited as Oprah Noodlemantra, a name that if you type into imdb.com or Wikipedia.org will divert straight to Depp’s profile.
Deadly Movies Reviews|The Return of Godzilla (1984) aka Godzilla 1985
King of monsters? Can it be disputed? No not really. Godzilla has a massive 28 movies under his belt (29 if you count the 1997 American one, some do some don’t) and this is part 16 and in a way part 2. The Return of Godzilla invites you to forget all preceding Godzilla films, except for the 1954 original. So it’s a sequel, he hasn’t been seen for 30 years, horror fans get into Halloween H20 mode. The Return of Godzilla feels like one of those back to basics films. When a franchise gets out of control, goes too far from the source material, gets too silly, you strip it all back and start again. So there is no Godzilla versus, no other monsters, no hero Godzilla coming to the rescue, and best of all no Minilla (the annoying son of Godzilla). Continue reading
The Last Starfighter (1984)
What it has going for it: Undisputable 80s charm, that comforting sense of adventure that only 80s films seemed to have without the need for 90s cynical scientific over explanation. A great lead in Lance Guest who has that Luke Skywalker boy next-door quality. A premise that should work wonders for a family adventure, a teenager chosen to be a starfighter to go on a space mission, all based on the criteria of arcade game skills…, It’s a narrative device that brings together the dreams and aspirations of little boys everywhere, with a hobby they can all relate to, video games.
Why it’s a letdown: Two major problems with this film. Firstly it opted for CGI just a little too early in the processes development, it really does look awful. Other films of the same time who were using models and stop motion hold up much better today. The model work in other 80s films like The Never Ending Story (also 1984), for example, really add to the sense of fantasy and mystique. This is all the more disappointing given that the practical sets and makeup effects are, in places, fantastic (check out Dan O’Herlihy’s awesome lizard-like makeup). A bigger letdown however is the lack of a real exhilarating finale, a massive epic battle to compete with the likes of Return of the Jedi (1983). Meaning that, in the end, the all-conquering heroism of Luke or Indy is a little lost on Alex.