Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

I think we all knew this would happen some day. After all, B-Movie Enema likes slasher movies from the 80s. I like Jason movies in particular. Twice before, I’ve tackled the exploits our of maniacal hockey fan. In October 2017, I wrote about my favorite of those exploits when I covered, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Then, three years later, on November 13th, 2020, I looked at the little movie that could, the fan-made (by teenagers I remind you) Friday the 13th Part X: To Hell and Back.

I think I proved I like the undead modern monster. But now… Oh yes, my lovelies. It’s time to tackle one of the two films in the Friday the 13th franchise that sticks in a lot of people’s craws. The time has come to look at Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.

Yup… That one with the promise to be truly fun and interesting, but settled on a misleading title instead.

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Mommy (1995)

Happy Mother’s Day weekend, Enemaniacs.

It’s not too often that I actually do themed articles based on calendar dates. Sure, I try to do something horror related for Friday the 13th (keep your eyes peeled for that for next week, my lovelies). I try to be mindful of Christmas and New Year’s, and I definitely ALWAYS do something related to Halloween and October as a whole usually being focused on horror. When it comes to Fourth of July or St. Patty’s Day or Arbor Day… Well, I kind of drop the ball.

So, with this week’s article, this is the very first time I’m doing something Mother’s Day related with the 1995 thriller Mommy!

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Circle of Power (aka Brainwash, 1981)

Welcome back to B-Movie Enema. This week, I’m going to talk about that thing we all love to do in our free time – training retreats! Woot woot! How exciting! Yaaaaayyyy – being forced to give up a perfectly good weekend to be bored out of our minds at a seminar!

Yeah, this movie goes by a few names, but the most common are either the original title, Brainwash, or Circle of Power. It also had the names Mystique and The Naked Weekend. This was based on a narrative nonfiction book called The Pit: A Group Encounter Defiled. That book was written by Gene Church and Conrad D. Carnes and was published in 1972. Basically, it’s about the practices that went on during a four-day training weekend for executives run that involved folks from companies run by one William Penn Patrick. More on that later.

After this movie came out, the writers did a follow up called Brainwash – likely in conjunction with the film’s title. The appeal was that there was this brand new phenomenon called “encounter group training” that began to crop up in the 60s and 70s. This could help people with various business skills or interpersonal communication or even with relationships. Oftentimes, these were kind of viewed as someone, who was seen as something of a guru, trying to train others to think and react the same way to situations. In a lot of ways, this not only evolved for business practices into the 80s but, for personal stuff, think of your Tony Robbinses or other self-help folks who ran seminars.

The book helped expose some practices. This movie came out during a huge explosion of controversy that dropped at a particular event. These things will be covered here in just a moment, but let’s start by talking about our star of the movie – the recently departed Yvette Mimieux.

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Aenigma (1988)

Luci Fulci is back… Or, as I suppose the bumper stickers and various other memes would say, “Fulci Lives!”

Welcome to B-Movie Enema. This week, we’re looking Fulci’s 1988 Carrie-esque thriller, Aenigma. 1988 was a curious year for Fulci. That was the year that his sort of sequel Zombie 3 was released. But Zombie 3 wasn’t really his movie. He got very ill at the start of filming and had to leave and directing duties shifted to Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso. The result? Well, it was kind of goofy, but mostly worked. If for nothing else, it was a fun watch.

Fulci would recover and ended up making Aenigma. He would say this was one of his more favorite films in some time. Fulci’s body of work is curious because, while I like most of his films for various reasons, he is good in spurts and spots. I love Zombie. I love his “Gates of Hell” trilogy. The Devil’s Honey is phenomenal. But this movie, this was the director’s own pick for his favorite during the latter part of his career.

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Phantasm (1979)

This one is a long time coming…

Welcome to this week’s B-Movie Enema. I’ve long wanted to do something with the Phantasm series. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t at least like a lot of the visuals and atmosphere of this first film from 1979. However, where the real analytical gold is in the Phantasm hills come in the sequels. In order to get there, I need to start from the beginning.

This series is the brainchild of filmmaker Don Coscarelli. Coscarelli made this on a small budget that was locally raised. The movie would star mostly local acting amateurs at the time – with some exceptions. Due to the low budget and limited availabilities of the cast and crew, Coscarelli spent almost a year filming on long days on weekends. The finished product would be an instant cult classic.

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Beyond Atlantis (1973)

Welcome back to B-Movie Enema. How do you follow up a titty movie starring Daleks? No, not the Cinema Snob. I already did that last month. No, you do a family movie.

Because of course that’s what you do.

This week, I’m looking at the 1973 Filipino-American sci-fi/horror(?) flick Beyond Atlantis. Yeah… This is apparently a family-oriented sorta-horror movie. Considering it’s made in 1973 and the poster has a mostly naked woman riding a giant seashell and being carried around by bug-eyed black dudes… I have concerns. For one, I saw a trailer that has one of the bug-eyed guys (who was not a black dude, but a white dude in body paint – uh oh) slapping the barely covered blonde chick shouting that she WILL MATE. Then Sid Haig is shooting people left and right. There’s murder action happening.

This is what a family movie was in 1973.

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