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Popcorn: Collector's Steelbook Edition (1991) - Blu-ray Review

4 beers“Come into my head.  Come into my head.  COME INTO MY HEAD,” is the hypnotizing command from the crispy mouth of Lanyard Gates, who killed his family and set fire to his own theater.  It is a beckoning for aspiring film writer Maggie Butler (Jill Schoelen) and a challenge to all else that dare interfere with the star of The Possessor’s demented legacy. 

It’s also damned hilarious in this blood-soaked homage to the awesome b-movies of the 1950s and 60s.  With just the right amount of cinema knowhow, Popcorn delivers a matinee-sized snack that is easily washed down with a large Coke.  It is too bad then that its appreciation from print critics, at the time of its initial release, wasn’t a bit more vocal.  We could be living in a better world had more people known about this flick.

In the context of Popcorn, a self-referential shocker that predates (and is much better than) Scream due to its films-within-the-film concept, this moment is merely one of the many black-and-white films that make up the all-night Horror-thon a group of students put on in order to raise funds for their film department.  Doesn’t really matter, though. The mystery is deepened and, on the night of the Horror-thon, the deadly killer returns to finish what was started oh so long ago. 

This time, though, he is going about the killing the right way.  Directed by Porky’s actor Mark Herrier and written by Alan Ormsby (Cat People, and star of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things), 1991’s meta-horror cult classic Popcorn is proof that all good things do indeed come from writer/director Bob Clark (Black Christmas, A Christmas Story).  Popcorn is worth the extra calories. 

Complete with melted face and masks a-plenty, Gates returns in the most William Castle of ways, through gimmicks to be triggered during the showing of the b-movies.  While the students and their teacher, Professor Davis (Annie Hall’s Tony Roberts) are out to entertain with a giant mosquito that flies over the audience during the climax of Mosquito and the electric shocks delivered under their seats during the viewing of The Attack of The Amazing Electrified Man.  The killer on the loose has other plans, upending the whole frame story structure in the process. 

Who it is, though, is a mystery that connects Maggie’s mother, Suzanne (Dee Wallace Stone), to her classmate Toby D'Amato (Tom Villard), and much more, including a steel dress for the public’s enjoyment.  Co-starring Ray Walston (The Stand), Malcolm Danare (Christine), Derek Rydall, Ivette Soler, and Elliott Hurst, this horror film has developed a very strong cult following since its initial release, making this limited edition a must-have for fans.

Watch as horror gets the postmodern munchies in Popcorn.


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Popcorn: Collector's Steelbook Edition (1991) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
91 mins
: Mark Herrier, Alan Ormsby
Alan Ormsby
Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, Dee Wallace
: Horror | Comedy
Buy a bag, go home in a box.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I look like a fucking sno-cone!"
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 1, 1991
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 7, 2017
Synopsis: What could be scarier than an all-night “Horrorthon”? A group of film students finds out when they stage just such an event at an abandoned movie palace. In addition to the three features—MOSQUITO, THE ATTACK OF THE AMAZING ELECTRIFIED MAN and THE STENCH—they decide to screen a bizarre short called THE POSSESSOR, whose creator, Lanyard Gates, killed his family and set the theater on fire after its first showing. Maggie (Jill Schoelen, THE STEPFATHER) has been having frightening dreams that seem to be connected to THE POSSESSOR, and as the festival proceeds, the nightmare comes true for her and her friends as they are stalked and slain by a mysterious killer. Has Gates survived to continue THE POSSESSOR’s deadly legacy?


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Popcorn: Collector's Steelbook Edition (1991) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Synapse Films
Available on Blu-ray
- March 7, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
: English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Released on 1080p courtesy of Synapse Films, Popcorn looks stunning in HD.  It features a brand-new 2K scan from the 35mm Interpositive and is detail-rich.  The 7.1 Surround Sound Mix is also loaded with texture, making the Jamaican sounds of its soundtrack a true loose and easy experience.  While the film was filmed in Jamaica, you’d never know that as we remain pretty much centrally located inside a movie house.  The black levels are deep and lined well, holding their edges even in the blackest of rooms.  Colors are vibrant and even the black-and-white segments from the b-movies shown in the theater look good.



  •  Synapse Films provides a nice commentary track from the cast and crew.  Director Mark Herrier, and stars Jill Schoelen, Malcolm Danare, chat about the film alongside Special Makeup Effects Artist Mat Falls.

Special Features:

The standout feature has to be the making of the movie.  Named “Midnight Madness”, this 55-minute look at the film is a fun-filled journey through the past that features interviews with Director Mark Herrier, Stars Jill Schoelen, Derek Rydall, Dee Wallace, Malcolm Danare, Ivette Soler, and Elliott Hurst, Special Makeup Effects Artist Mat Falls, Composer Paul Zaza, and Distributor Executive Jonathan Wolf.  A quick interview with Bruce Glover follows it.  It you are fortunate enough to scoop up the limited edition steelbook release, you will also get linear notes from Michael Gingold and a new cover design by Justin Osbourn from Slasher Design.

  • Midnight Madness: The Making of Popcorn (55 min)
  • Electric Memories – An Interview with Actor Bruce Glover
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Television Trailer and TV Spots
  • Still Gallery


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Popcorn: Collector's Steelbook Edition (1991) - Blu-ray Review