Directed by: Mark Herrier,
Alan Ormsby (uncredited)
Produced by: Ashok Amritraj, Howard Hurst
Torben Johnke, Sophie Hurst
Bob Clark (uncredited)
Written by: Mitchell Smith (story),
Tod Hackett (screenplay)
Starring: Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard
Dee Wallace, Tony Roberts, Ray Walston
Released: February 1, 1991
In order to help develop recognition for the school’s film program, University of California professor Davis puts on a 24hr horror movie marathon at a nearby old abandoned movie theatre called Dreamland. With the help of some of his students, Mr. Davis obtains 3 films for his showcase from the bizarre Dr. Mnesyne, owner of rare and unique film memorabilia – “Mosquito” a 3D feature with a giant bloodsucking mosquito terrorizing a town – “The Attack of the Amazing Electrified Man” which was marketed as being shot in “Shock-o-Scope” and employed a classic theatre gimmick of buzzers under the seat that would go off at a climactic point in the movie (an homage to William Castle’s 1958 “The Tingler”) – and the third feature “The Stench” a Japanese offering that claims I be filmed in Odorama! The fourth film in the showcase “Possessor” peaks the curiosity of Maggie, one of Davis’s film students. She becomes obsessed with researching Laynard Gates, the director of Possessor who went on to murder his family publicly on stage during a movie performance at a movie theatre. Maggie starts believing that Laynard Gates has come back for her, as a homicidal maniac begin’s stalking the students in the theatre where the festival is being held.
Popcorn is crafted as a pseudo-anthology horror film. First, to it’s credit, Popcorn captures the essence of the horror genre as it was portrayed in the 1950’s – the gimmicks and cheap parlour tricks that helped make cinema-going a more interactive experience. But to it’s detriment, it quickly discards that premise and just degenerates into a run-of-the-mill slasher film — and not a good one at that.