Sunday, November 13, 2016

NEON MANIACS (1986)

As far as I can tell (and I'm really guessing here since the filmmakers did such a poor job of storytelling), a PHANTASM-like portal to another dimension and/or planet has opened up in an abandoned storage garage near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  Out of this portal emerges a bunch of freaky mutants who look like rejects from other horror movies.  They also have their own trading cards!  What?!  Anyway, so the mutants go around killing random people while one-eyed alligator creatures with meat hooks drag off the corpses.  A lone teenage girl survives an attack by the monsters, but the police don't believe her, so now it's up to her and two high school classmates to defeat these "neon maniacs"!  Oh yeah, there's also a battle of the bands contest to win...a date to go on...some sunbathing to do...a midnight swim to take...groceries to deliver...and, in a move right out of the James Bond playbook (in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE), stop to have offscreen sex while being chased by the bad guys!

When I sat down to enjoy NEON MANIACS I was expecting a mile-a-minute low budget gorefest like THE ABOMINATION, but instead the entire movie moved along at a slow pace with only a few poorly filmed action moments sprinkled in to liven things up.  That's not saying it's a bad film...it's more like a disjointed mess hampered by budget issues.  That said, I still liked NEON MANIACS.  Medium pace, goofy creatures that made no sense, unexplained story that made very little sense, very little blood, average acting, nice California scenery (I'm guessing San Francisco and Los Angeles), that one girl from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, cheesy 80's songs during the battle of the bands segment, completely illogical actions by the main characters, stupid ending and zero explanation as to the meaning of the title.

Most people would probably dismiss NEON MANIACS as a piece of shit, but it had a certain goofy charm that won me over...but not enough that I would ever want to watch it again.