Terror Train (1980, dir. Roger Spottiswoode)

A chartered train hosting a student fancy dress party has a vengeful killer on board. Okay though somewhat tepid slasher pic, enlivened by excellent photography, a decent Jamie Lee Curtis performance, and a sense of production value. A young David Copperfield performs tricks in support.

Here’s the trailer.

The Monster Squad (1987, dir. Fred Dekker)

A group of monster-obsessed pre-teens have to face off against a gallery of Universal Studios villains. Straightforward and very contrived sub-Spielbergian kid adventure post-ET/The Goonies. Some of it works well, and the creature effects evidence love, but too much is perfunctory tick-box stuff that’s being rushed through.

Here’s the trailer.

Class Action Park (2020, dir. Seth Porges & Chris Charles Scott III)

A documentary on Action Park, a notoriously dangerous New Jersey amusement park, and on its charismatic criminal owner. A straightforward and largely enjoyable overview, though one that struggles to balance the human impact of negligence with fond and at times gung-ho 80s nostalgia.

Here’s the trailer.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989, dir. Stephen Herek)

A slacker high-school garage band duo are lent a time machine so the future can be saved by their rock music. Affable time travel comedy with likeable leads, some wit and finesse in the writing, and lightness and clarity of purpose throughout. Two sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Outland (1981, dir. Peter Hyams)

A new mining post security chief on a Jupiter moon investigates a series of deaths. A weak script and iffy science undermine this great-looking SF thriller (emulating Alien and clearly influential on early James Cameron). Doesn’t really deliver on its High Noon in Space promise.

Here’s the trailer.

Evil Under The Sun (1982, dir. Guy Hamilton)

Investigating a stolen jewel, Poirot finds himself at a luxury resort where there is murder afoot. An if-it-ain’t-broke sequel to Death On The Nile, though this time with the camp dialled right up. Solid cast, a fancy isolated location, a puzzle to solve, no-one taking things too seriously.

Here’s the trailer.

Airplane! [AKA Flying High] (1980, dir. Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker & David Zucker)

An ex-pilot with PTSD has to take control of a passenger jet when its crew are struck by food poisoning. Still-dazzling deadpan parody of 1970s disaster movies (and Zero Hour before them). Some gags and attitudes have dated, but the film’s commitment to strong jokes per minute astonishes. A weak sequel followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween 5 [AKA Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers] (1989, dir. Dominique Othenin-Girard)

Michael Myers returns again to Haddonfield, this time to kill his institutionalized niece, who is still traumatised from their previous encounter. Developing new plot ideas from its immediate predecessor, Part 5 struggles for coherence and focus throughout: by this stage of things the franchise is a weary beast indeed.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988, dir. Dwight H Little)

A decade after the events of Parts 1 and 2, Michael Myers escapes again, and returns to Haddonfield once more. Contrived series continuation that, despite some good moments and stunt work, has to rely on soap operatics for a story engine. Still, fun for fans, plus the ending has some verve.

Here’s the trailer.