Terror in the Aisles is a 1984 American documentary film about horror films featuring clips from Friday the 13th I and II, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween I and II, Jaws 1 and 2, Alien, John Carpenter's The Thing, The Shining and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and The Birds. The film is directed by Andrew J. Kuehn, and hosted by Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen. The original music score is composed by John Beal.

Terror in the Aisles
Terror in the Aisles FilmPoster.jpeg
Original film poster
Directed byAndrew J. Kuehn
Produced byAndrew J. Kuehn
Stephen Netburn
Written byMargery Doppelt
Starring
Music byJohn Beal
CinematographyJohn A. Alonzo
Production
company
Kaleidoscope Films
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • October 26, 1984 (1984-10-26)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$10,004,817[1]

PlotEdit

Director Andrew J. Kuehn has excerpted brief segments of terror and suspense in a wide variety of horror films and strung them together with added commentary, as well as some enacted narrative, to create a compilation of fright-inducing effects. Halloween actor Donald Pleasence and Dressed to Kill star Nancy Allen provide the commentary on topics such as "sex and terror" (Dressed to Kill, Klute, Ms. 45, The Seduction, When a Stranger Calls), loathsome villains (Dracula, Frankenstein, Friday the 13th Part 2 (although, surprisingly, not its 1980 original), Halloween I & II, Marathon Man, Nighthawks, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Vice Squad, Wait Until Dark, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?), "natural terror" (Alligator, The Birds, Frogs, Jaws 1 & 2, Nightwing), the occult (An American Werewolf in London, Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Omen, Carrie, The Fog, The Fury, The Howling, The Shining) and spoofs (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Hold That Ghost, The Ghost Breakers, Scared Stiff, Phantom of the Paradise, Saturday the 14th). In one segment of the anthology, legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock presents his concepts of how to create suspense in a clip from Alfred Hitchcock: Men Who Made The Movies.

ReleaseEdit

The film was released theatrically in the United States by Universal Pictures on October 26, 1984. The film grossed $10,004,817 at the box office.[1]

ReceptionEdit

Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film zero stars out of four, explaining, "Scary movie scenes work best when they're set up by some expository foreplay, which is why this compilation of horrors doesn't really work."[2] Vincent Canby of The New York Times thought the commentary from the hosts was "pretty dumb" and concluded, "Because 'Terror in the Aisles' is composed entirely of climaxes, it has none of its own."[3] Variety called the film "poorly conceived and executed," adding, "Applying the rapid editing and juxtaposition techniques to a feature-length project results in simply ruining many classic film sequences rather than preserving them."[4] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times thought the film was "often fun" but criticized the "cornball, patently phony audience reaction shots."[5] Richard Combs of The Monthly Film Bulletin called it "The That's Entertainment of horror movies—in other words, its dexterity at pasting together clips from a selection of scaries, old and new, is not matched by a glimmer of the historical awareness, or even filmic appreciation, that would make the exercise worthwhile."[6]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS and CED Videodiscs by MCA Home Video in 1985.[7] On September 13, 2011, the film was released to digital format as a special feature on the 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of Halloween II (1981). On October 15, 2012, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released the film on DVD as part of its Universal Vault Series.

The film's DVD and Blu-ray release is presented in the same 1.85:1 aspect ratio of its original theatrical release, which also cropped any segments from other films that were originally produced using the anamorphic process.

Archival appearancesEdit

Films shownEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Terror in the Aisles". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  2. ^ Siskel, Gene (November 16, 1984). "Siskel's Flicks Picks". Chicago Tribune. Section 7, p. E.
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (October 26, 1984). "Screen: 'Terror in the Aisles'". The New York Times. C18.
  4. ^ "Film Reviews: Terror In The Aisles". Variety. October 31, 1984. 24.
  5. ^ Thomas, Kevin (October 27, 1984). "'Terror': Dipping Into Bucket of Blood". Los Angeles Times. Part V, p. 8.
  6. ^ Combs, Richard (April 1985). "Terror In The Aisles". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 52 (615): 122.
  7. ^ "Terror in the Aisles". IMDb. Retrieved 2011-04-09.

External linksEdit