The movie Popcorn (1991) is an American slasher film directed by Mark Herrier and written by Alan Ormsby. The plot revolves around a group of film students who organize a horror-movie marathon in an abandoned theater.
Maggie Butler, a film student and aspiring screenwriter, has recurring dreams of a young girl named Sarah who is caught in a fire while being chased by a strange man. Maggie decides to use these dreams as the basis for her new screenplay.
Meanwhile, Maggie’s fellow students at the University of California, led by Toby, decide to host an all-night horror film festival at the Dreamland Theater to raise money for their department. They discover an old film in the theater titled “The Possessor”, which was made by a cult leader named Lanyard Gates. Gates had supposedly killed his family and set the theater on fire during the premiere of the film.
The movie Popcorn (1991) takes a turn when during the festival, students start getting killed off one by one in ways that mimic the films being shown. The killer is revealed to be Toby, who was badly burned as a child after attending the showing of The Possessor with his mother. Toby’s mother was a member of Gates’ film cult and was killed in the fire. Toby holds Maggie and Suzanne responsible for his loss and plans to exact his revenge on them by re-enacting the final scene of Possessor onstage that evening, only with the ending that Gates had originally intended.
- Jill Schoelen as Maggie Butler
- Tom Villard as Toby
- Dee Wallace as Suzanne
- Derek Rydall as Mark
- Malcolm Danare as Bud
- Elliott Hurst as Leon
- Ivette Soler as Tina
- Freddie Marie Simpson as Joanie
- Kelly Jo Minter as Cheryl
- Ray Walston as Dr. Mnesyne
- Tony Roberts as Mr. Davis
The original director of Popcorn was Alan Ormsby, who was replaced after two weeks of shooting. The role of Toby was originally played by actor Bruce Glover, but he was replaced by Tom Villard when Mark Herrier took over directing. The Dreamland Theater scenes were shot at the Ward Theatre in Kingston, Jamaica. The film features a reggae soundtrack by the Jamaican band Steel Pulse.
A review from Cinema Retro called the film “not a terrible film by any means, but neither is it a lost classic”. TV Guide gave the film two out of four stars saying “A well-produced, British-made voodoo thriller, Curse III: Blood Sacrifice is short on plot, but director Sean Barton admirably attempts suspense rather than gross-out bloodletting”. A review from Koimoi states that “Pint-sized Yagya Bhasin delivers a monumental performance, subduing the drama”