WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In life there has to be that one constant. In the face of work, commitments, bills and demonically possessed kittens there has to be that one source of comfort that you can fall back on, that safe place where you know everything’s alright and that your troubles won’t find you. For me, that safe place is neon coloured and dressed in spandex. The 80s b-movie is an amazing thing and makes no excuses for what it is. It’s daft, it’s filled to the brim with bad hair and it captures a time when mom jeans were just being handed out to women of all shapes, sizes and ages. One can’t overdo it with the 80s b-movie, however, lest we be fooled into thinking the mullet is an acceptable choice of hairstyle, but let’s take this moment to look back on a more strikingly colourful era and on the wonder that is Neon Maniacs.
The scene of the crime is San Francisco, a city of giant bridges, horny teenagers and excessive neon signs. It was a time when all the police were absolute pigs whose powers stopped just short of being able to beat a 10-year-old to within an inch of their lives for any arbitrary reason. Natalie and all her friends are out for the night in the park where they will indulge in the youthful pleasures of football, underage beer drinking and open air sex. That is, until the Neon Maniacs arrive on the scene. I’m guessing that since none of them are particularly neon in colour their name is some allusion to the sins of the city. With each individual dressed as a character from the past (ranging from cave man to Samurai to Native American) they make quick work of the gathered teenagers, hacking them to pieces and dragging their corpses off to their lair. Only Natalie survives the horrible incident, yet no one seems to believe her about who the assailants were.
Natalie’s a tough old broad, however, and isn’t about to let the brutal massacre of all her friends get her down. Displaying no emotion whatsoever she decides to go back to school the very next day. Her friends are dead so I’m guessing the idea is that there’s nothing she can do about it, so why worry? Since the police in town are not only pigs but the sort that wait for clear instructions to come from on high no official statement has been made and Natalie’s friends are officially reported missing. Assuming that it’s all some sort of elaborate prank the families of said missing friends start to give Natalie trouble, demanding to know where their loved ones are. When Natalie can’t provide them with any answers the principal suspends her from school until such time as the situation sorts itself out.
All this tragedy and upset doesn’t mean, of course, that Natalie can’t quickly resume her dating life. Onto the scene comes Steven, the most bizarre nerd / delivery boy / dog walker / aspiring rock star / sex machine combination to ever grace the small screen. Having been enamoured with Natalie for years he whole heartedly buys into the story of the Neon Maniacs and promises to keep her safe and help bring an end to their (rather short) reign of terror. They will be aided in their battle against evil by Paula, an enthusiastic high school amateur director (making her more highly qualified than many of the directors of the movies I’ve watched) and monster fan. Armed with only their wits, some water pistols, their inability to experience emotions and their general teenage angst it’s up to these three to save the world from the Neon Maniacs and their super sharp Shogun Knives.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Nothing hits the spot like $5 champagne.
- You don’t need a bouncer in a supermarket’s fruit section.
- Not having sex isn’t illegal, but it’s considered highly inappropriate in certain slut circles.
- It’s always best to go for a relaxing swim after you’ve witnessed the deaths of all your friends.
- In the 80s some high school seniors had yet to go through puberty.
- Women should be ostracised from the community for surviving a brutal massacre.
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Posted on May 23, 2012, in Awful Level: Medium and tagged 1986, 80s, amateur, b grade, battle of the bands, birthday, film maker, high school, Horror, melt, monsters, murder, Neon Maniacs, police, review, slaughter, slime, teenagers, water. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.