Question Kari

by Kari Koehler

Dear Kari,

I figured since you’re full of useless information you’d be able to answer this question. The ’80s were full of so many bad horror movies. What, in your opinion, was the worst?


First, most – if not all – ’80s horror movies are bad. But there are those that are even cheesier than “Mannequin” and “Dokken,” even more ridiculous than Def Leppard and acid-washed jeans.

The first movie that sticks out in my mind is a little movie called “Troll.” The title kind of gives it away – they weren’t going for the clever title award here – there’s a troll in an apartment building.

A new family moves in and the troll inhabits the body of the young girl to wreak revenge on the other residents. Horrible yes, but wait, it gets better. This movie features cameos by Sonny Bono and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Sonny Bono unfortunately crosses paths with the troll and is turned into a giant fern.

What makes this movie even more horrible – they actually thought it was good enough to make a sequel called “Troll 2” that had absolutely no trolls in it!

The second has to be a personal favorite of mine, the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series. Sure, there was “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween” before him, but Freddy Krueger is in your dreams!

You can’t escape sleep!

Not the most creative idea, but hey, it spawned six sequels. Plus, the guy was creative with how he killed his victims – a glove with blades for fingers. My favorite death scene involves making string come out of a teenaged puppet enthusiast’s arms and then using the puppet strings to make him walk off of a building.

Cinematic genius!

I also get the added satisfaction that my love for these movies as a kid apparently scarred some of my childhood friends for life. But at least when Freddy is killing some teenager, he takes the time to think of a creative situation that will really instill fear. You don’t see Michael Myers use that much consideration.

The likes of Patricia Arquette and Johnny Depp have gotten their start dukin’ it out in their dreams with Freddy.

Third place goes to “Child’s Play” because it scared me off of weird looking dolls for a few years. It’s a familiar story: killer’s soul inhabits doll, soul must possess precocious little boy before time runs out – we’ve all heard that story.

Every kid has that weird looking doll or – “action figure” for the boys – that some relative gave you that you don’t care for. Imagine if it got pissed, came to life and came looking for you? You’d wish that feeling in your stomach was just from horse-steroid ingestion.

Honorable mention has to go to “Maximum Overdrive.” It’s a Stephen King flick, so you’re suckered into thinking it’s good. But then you find out AC/DC did the entire soundtrack, it stars Emilio Estevez and the plot involves machines trying to kill everyone because all the planets aligned.

One of my favorite scenes is when the electric knife goes bad – I mean, couldn’t you just unplug it, problem solved? My second favorite scene would have to be when the pop machine takes its disdain out on a boy’s baseball team.

I guess Hell ain’t a bad place to be – yes, that is an AC/DC reference, and yes, I have no shame.


Kari Koehler