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  • Moondial

    Moondial

    ★★★★

    "Soon, the clock will strike midnight, midnight on Halloween!"

    When I first laid eyes on the cover of this 1990 VHS release of an abridged 1988 British fantasy mini-series, I was instantly simultaneously reminded of those late '80s/early '90s moments spent staring at the Halloween III: Season of the Witch and Paperhouse boxes at the local video store. For me, this discovery was a must-see, and, as it's an '80s adaptation of an '80s children's book featuring time travel, I…

  • The Haunting of Cassie Palmer

    The Haunting of Cassie Palmer

    ★★★½

    "We are inseparable."

    The executive producer of the 1981 slasher X-Ray (aka Hospital Massacre), Geoffrey Rose, brilliantly plays the enigmatic and unsettling 18th-century specter, Deverill, haunting the young clairvoyant, Cassie Palmer (Helen Probyn), in this great 6-part 1982 British supernatural mini-series, which is the adaptation of a 1980 children's novel. Like The Bells of Astercote (1980), it appears that the only way to watch this rarity is on YouTube, in the form of a low-quality VHS recording, and, even after approximately 150 minutes, I was left wanting more from this interesting duo, such as a wishful mystery-solving partnership.

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  • Hack-O-Lantern

    Hack-O-Lantern

    ★★★

    "It's only a dummy, dummy! Happy Halloween!"

    It appears that Mother Nature won't permit us to put out our dummies and fog machines this year. Bummer. I can still watch 31-year-old Halloween-set straight-to-video slashers as a way to tune out the sound of ceaseless Halloween rain.

    I would say that Hack-O-Lantern is exactly what I needed after straying from the '80s path for 30 days. This flick did the trick; it's a fun little '80s treat.

  • Dirty Harry

    Dirty Harry

    ★★★★

    One two three... hail T.V.
    Watching Dirty Harry made a man of me
    Here I stand, T.V. man
    I've got all the angels eating out of my hand...
    I got the good, bad and ugly traits
    But even Dirty Harry was allowed to make mistakes...
    (chorus from The Bolshoi's amusing 1987 single "T.V. Man")

    I can remember catching the opening scene of Dirty Harry (1971) on TV as a kid one Sunday afternoon in the early '90s and being somewhat…