American Gothic 1988 Review

Inspired by the famous painting by Grant Wood, this low budget horror film from the 1980’s is one of the most bizarre films I have watched in a long time.

This is a classic broken down car movie, in this case its a plane and our five young victims are stuck on a seemingly abandoned island, they begin camping for the night and the next morning they discover an old farm house which hasn’t changed since the 1900’s there is no electricity and all of the decor and furniture is old and worn, they assume the house is abandoned that is until the peculiar owners arrive.

The disturbing family that lives in this house are just as old fashioned as the house, they are all followers of god and live by his rules.

They all play a role and its quite strange, the mother and father are simple enough they follow very strict rules and swear by the lord but its the children that are the creepiest and most disturbing.

The daughter character Fanny believes herself to be 12 years old even though she is clearly a middle aged adult, she still plays with her dolls and cares for her dead baby which is literally the skeleton of a dead infant, its quite disgusting and could be upsetting for some viewers.

The two brother characters also play themselves as a much younger age, the big fella teddy is particularly dangerous and cannot control his own strength going as far as breaking someone neck without hardly touching it.

The ending of the film is quite unsettling and left me with a lot of questions, im going to discuss it now so if you dont want spoilers you may want to stop here !

The last survivor is Cythia, throughout the film we realise she is struggling from PTSD after she let her baby drown in the bath, she is clearly unwell and she becomes more and more detached from reality as her friends slowly turn up dead.

By the end of the film she has a chance to run away but chooses to go back to the house, here she is dressed up like a little child and begins acting that way aswell.

She eventually ends up killing Fanny over the baby declaring the corpse as her child and the rage of pulling its head off (yes I did warn you this is quite gross and in someways aged quite poorly) she winds up killing everyone else before returning to the baby’s room to rock its cradle.

What I was left wondering after the movie is why were these people living in the past? and are they all blood relations? The reason I ask the second question is because the one son Woody is quite old and doesn’t look too different to his “father” are these other people who have been lost on the island and brain washed? the reason why they live in the past I cant figure out apart from maybe its religious choices inspired by the Amish or something like that but I honestly have no idea.

I stumbled across this movie by complete accident and I am happy I did, its a very weird horror movie, its not scary but is disturbing and unsettling from a psychological standpoint. The dead baby is a bit much for me personally and I have to be honest I don’t really want to watch it again because of that, and its not that I’m offended but its just a bit too messed up for me to really enjoy it.

Baby cadavers aside this is an ok film, its a little slow at the beginning and apart from the family the main victims that we are meant to root for are pretty boring and not very relatable, I like the idea of the film but I feel its ambitious ideas do you leave it with more than one plothole and unanswered questions so I wouldn’t really recommend this unless you really like cheaply made, dumb horror flicks.

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They Live (1988) Review

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They Live is a 1988 Sci Fi and Horror movie written and Directed by John Carpenter.

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The movie stars professional wrestler Roddy Piper who plays John Nada a drifter who finds a construction job in LA, in the job he makes a friend called Frank Armitage who was played by Keith David.

theylive1988While visiting a soup kitchen John Nada discovers a church in which a secret meeting is being held, after a police raid which destroys the shanty town where the church is located John returns to the church and finds boxes filled with sun glasses, it is quickly discovered that while wearing the glasses you are able to see subliminal messages such as consume, stay asleep and obey hidden behind advertisements as well as the ability to see alien creatures hiding behind human disguises, the aliens soon learn that John had learned their secret and he becomes a fugitive with his only chance of saving the human race is revealing the secret to the rest of the world.

nh3pffxsxel6cdhrrqfmThe design for the aliens in They Live may look more like a zombie than it does an extraterrestrial,the reason for this design is so that it makes more sense that they could disguise them selves as humans due to the fact that they have similar bone structure and shape making them more believable when they are in disguise.

foster_meg1I have no complaints with the casting of the movie by far the best performance was Roddy Piper who did a lot of improvisation including the famous line “I came her to chew bubble gum and kick ass and I’m all out of bubble gum” as well as also giving a lot of help when filming an epic alley fight scene. Meg Foster also did a great job with her portrayal of Holly Thompson a Cable 54 assistant director and its only fair to mention Keith David who played Frank.

They Live is an awesome movie which is scary because in an odd sense its realistic, advertisements really can be quite corrupt and brain washing after watching the movie I began thinking about the advertisements I see, an ad for Mc Donalds is telling us to consume and things such as the law or general rules are forcing us to obey, perhaps I am thinking too much into the premise of a movie but the fact that it got me to stop and think is a sign of a very clever film.

I hope you enjoyed this review of They Live (1988) if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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Super Mario Bros 2 (NES) Review

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Super Mario Bros 2 is a really strange game, to be honest the version of the game released outside of Japan isn’t even the real version of the game, the original sequel was deemed to difficult for both the Americans and the Europeans, so instead of giving us the game that was similar to the first Super Mario Bros Nintendo decided that they would reskin a game called Doki Doki Panic to now involve Mario character for release outside of Japan and the rest is history.

maxresdefaultThe first thing players noticed in this game was the character select screen,  now not only can you play as Mario and Luigi but you can also play as a Toad or Princess Peach.

Each character has unique characteristics.

Mario is a great all round character with good strength, jump height and speed, Luigi is a little weaker and slower than Mario but has the best Jump height in the game, Toad has the best strength and speed in the game but is not very good at jumping  and finally the Princess has low strength and speed along with a mediocre jump however she can float in the air which makes up for her lower stats, the Princess is my favourite character to play as.

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Due to this being a reskin of another game Mario 2 changes the way you play the game compared to other titles in the series, now you cant jump on enemies to kill them instead you need to pull up vegetables, blocks or enemies and hurl them at the bad guys.

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At the end of each stage you now have to fight a sub boss, some of these are really fun to fight and some will catch you off guard such as the exit door which comes to life and tries to defeat you although most of these sub bosses are Birdos who appear in almost every stage.

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At the end of each stage you will have a chance to use a slot machine to win 1-ups, you can only use coins found in levels on the slots machine, you find these coins in bonus doors that you can open when you find a magic potion and throw it on the ground.

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Visually this is the best looking Mario game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, while all of Mario’s NES era games have smooth graphics with great animations Mario 2 definitely has the most interesting enemy and world designs, this is mostly due to the game taking place in a brand new area with different and unusual landscapes.

The soundtrack is definitely better than the first Mario game although its still lacking in tracks and often loops the same music.

Super Mario Bros 2 is a pretty good game, I wouldn’t say its one of the best games in the series although it is still worth giving it a go if you get the chance, it controls great, has fantastic visuals and a brand new story and location however in my opinion the soundtrack and slow game play holds it back a bit, as I previously stated this is only a reskin of Doki Doki Panic with not many changes at all so consider this a review of both games and due to this I would personally recommend you play one over the other Mario 2 is slightly more polished and a little easier so I would choose that one although if you want the intended experience play Doki Doki Panic, either way no matter which version you choose they are both fun games which I can happily give a fair 7.4/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Super Mario 2 for the NES

Click the following Link to be directed to my review of Super Mario Bros for the NES https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2012/11/22/super-mario-bros-nes-review/

Click the following Link to be directed to my review of Super Mario Bros 3 for the NES https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2012/09/13/super-mario-bros-3-nes-review/

I wrote both of these back in 2012 when I hadn’t long started writing so please go easy on them 🙂

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The Battle of Olympus (NES) Review

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Released in 1988 by a small game company called Infinity, Battle of Olympus is a really interesting game, it was the first game released by the developers and the entire thing was designed and programmed by the companies president at the time, five years later a game boy port was released and its actually a very good port apart from the black and white visuals which couldn’t be helped and a few items and areas being differently designed or found in different locations its a very strong release which is similar to the original.Battle-of-Olympus-The-U

The game takes place in ancient Greece where Hades the ruler of the Underworld is terrorising the land, you play as Orpheus who needs to get to the Underworld and defeat Hades in order to save his girlfriend Helene, in order to succeed in defeating Hades Orpheus must gain help from the other gods you first visit Zeus who encourages the others to help Orpheus in his quest by granting him special items and abilities.

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This game is very similar to Zelda 2 the adventure of Link, for the most part its a side scroller, you will need too get around the game by finding hidden doors, traversing through labyrinths and discovering hidden treasures, fairies are extremely useful as most will fully heal you and some will even give you necessary items, fountains can be used to heal you also but first you need to obtain the flask in order to store some of the fountains water, other discover-able items are also handy but most will come at a price, some of these prices are ridiculous, throughout the game you will need to collect olives from fallen foes as this is your currency but enemies dont drop them nearly enough so collecting enough to pay for things can often become a drag, in the game boy version items cost half of the price of the original game which is a nice update.

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There are nine locations in the game, eight of these are shown above on the in game map while the gate to Tartarus (where Hades resides) is hidden and is only accessible late into the game, a lot of these areas are extremely well hidden and you have to travel back and fourth between these areas often, thankfully you can obtain a harp which will summon a Pegasus which makes getting around much faster.

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The only enemy I would consider to be a boss would be the final battle but you will need to beat some very tough enemies who are lurking around in various locations, personally my favourite was the cyclops but there are a lot to get through including a Siren, a Minotaur, a Centaur and many more, each is defeated in a different manner and all of them are very fun to fight.

The music is ok there isn’t much to it and nothing really sticks with you once you beat the game but the music is fun and doesn’t effect the game-play in anyway.

The Battle of Olympus is a hidden gem on the NES, not many people know about it but its quite cheap to pick up and is a really good third party game, its very difficult and may leave you screaming at your TV at times but with enough patience and learning you can quickly adapt to it, I wish it had a proper save system instead of passwords and some of the grinding for olives became too much of a nuisance but apart from that this is pretty solid game and is well worth your time 8.2/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Battle of Olympus on NES

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