Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Watchers (1988)


The 80's was a special decade, a decade of horror movies that obviously had a younger audience in mind. You have more kid-friendly stuff like Gremlins and The Monster Squad, movies that still manages to be far more adult and interesting than movies for kids nowadays. Then you have flicks like Silver Bullet, Fright Night and even Troll 2! With young actors in the leads, starring in movies with violence and gore, foul words - and still having that cool youthful imagination that 2011's Super 8 tried - and succeeded - to generate. Watchers, one of the few Dean R. Koontz movies who's been produced, is also one of these odd hybrids of full-blown horror and entertainment for older kids. It also got three sequels, all produced by Roger Corman. Gonna get to those someday, but tonight it's the original movie and nothing else!

A secret lab is destroyed in a explosion and two creatures escapes from there, a hyper-intelligent Golden Retriever (what else, this is a Dean R. Koontz story!) and a ultra-violent hairy monkey-something-beast who wants to kill the dog. Anyway, the dog - named Furface later - takes shelter in a car belonging to a young Corey Haim (who also was the star in Silver Bullet by the way...) and they instantly fall in love - in a non-sexual way of course. But guess what?! The monkey-something-beast is after them and starts killing everything that comes in it's way! A government official, the forever-bad guy Michael Ironside, is also on the hunt for both the dog and the monkey-something-beast and he's also one of those fuckers that stops for no one!

Watchers is more or less a child of it's time. It couldn't have been made earlier or later, it's just a very typical eighties kiddie-horror with some gore, violence and bad language. And it's also quite good. It was years and years ago since I read the original book so I have no idea what's left, but the storyline is very typical for Dean R. Koontz: very straightforward, a damn dog and a monster killing lots of people. It might be annoying with a smart dog (the second worst to a precocious Japanese kaiju-kid!), but at least it's not playing basket or using a skateboard!

I've mentioned gore a couple of times, but it's not that gory actually. But still an okay amount of bloodshed and nasty human remains. The attacks are vicious and violent and that little hairy critter is sure hungry for human eyes! A couple of squibs and a little bit and a little bit of that makes it a bloody movie, but never extreme. It was enough for me, mostly because I like monsters and even a monster movie without a drop of blood can be worth watching.

Michael Ironside is a good baddie, as usual, but does his routine in his sleep here and never feels as dangerous as he should be. But he's good, no complains really. Corey Haim was a good teenage hero and carries the whole movie on his back, which is something I rarely acknowledge when it comes to stars in his age. But this was also a time when the roles in genre movies was a bit meatier and less childish. They took the young adults serious instead of spoil them with McDonalds-chewed easy watching crap.

And have you noticed how strange a dog looks if you looks at it for a longer time? The eyes! The eyes! It's a like deformed freaky human on four legs and a constant urge for disgusting food! Which reminds me of my wedding night... but that's a whole different story.

Fun movie, I liked it. One day I will watch the sequels also!

5 comments:

Tommy Söderberg said...

When I first saw this I was SO into Michael Ironside and SO anti Corey Haim... I have it on DVD now but haven't seen it again yet.

Ninja Dixon said...

I never had any special relationship with Haim, but he's good here!

Anonymous said...

"You have more kid-friendly stuff like Gremlins and The Monster Squad, movies that still manages to be far more adult and interesting than movies for kids nowadays."

Well....I always felt that The Monster Squad (1987) is too dark...should have been R rated.

Same thing for Super 8 (2011).


Joe Dante has very dark sense of humor and knows how to create comedy out of horror, I guess thats why I prefer Gremlins (1984).

"Watchers is more or less a child of it's time. It couldn't have been made earlier or later, it's just a very typical eighties kiddie-horror with some gore, violence and bad language."

I haven´t seen this one yet, but I think I know what you mean.

Check out Dreamscape (1984), should have been R but is ok as PG 13.


"Which reminds me of my wedding night... but that's a whole different story."

Whoa!!!

Young man, think of the poor children reading this.....hahahhahahhah.


Good review Ninja.

Megatron

Chris Hewson said...

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http://notthistimenaylandsmith.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/not-this-time-nayland-smith-has.html

raculfright_13 said...

I like this movie. People that love the book hate this movie though. Apparently this movie makes a mockery of the book.....