Saturday, February 18, 2012

A little about me...

During the Superbowl there was actually a block of commercials long enough for me to stop my bitching and ranting about the inevitable Patriots downfall to discuss movies with a few of the other less football-oriented Sunday partiers. It all started with a discussion about various Coen Brothers films and mutated into a "best movies ever" challenge.

So here's my top ten films of all time. These are movies that I think reached true perfection - from cinematography to soundtrack to story, FX, whatever. Whether big- or low-budget, these exceptional pieces of celluloid either inspired me to create something myself or give up whatever project I was working on because they proved someone had already done it better then I ever would. I really think they are flawless works of art that can easily withstand most criticism and are (to me) more of an experience then just a "movie." Repeated viewings encouraged for sure.

1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974 - ugh, do I even need to write that?)
2. Easy Rider
3. Alien
4. Pink Flamingos
5. The Shining
6. Combat Shock
7. The Big Lebowski
8. The Thing (1982)
9. Reservoir Dogs
10. Nekromantik

In addition, below are a couple guilty pleasures that could have made the cut if I had been a little more forgiving (or drunk) - even though it was extremely unlikely anyone at the party had ever heard of them (it took me almost twenty minutes to convince the unenlightened yokel that Nekromantik was a legitimate film). Either overly gruesome, twisted, low-rent or fucked up, these are flicks that I don't think are perfect by any means (although with some that only adds the charm) yet I've still managed to watch them a zillion times. Neither technically great nor watershed works of art, when I go through my DVDs for something to watch they always end up being regular grabs. Here they are in no particular order...
2. La Planète Sauvage
3. Cannibal Apocalypse
4. House By The Cemetery
5. Contamination
6. House On The Edge Of The Park
7. Last House On Dead End Street
8. Over The Edge
9. Black Devil Doll From Hell
10. The Angry Red Planet
11. Touch Of Death

These are all personal faves, fun movies for a 6-pack of tall boys and frozen pizza while the wife goes out for girl's night.

So what brought this up, do you ask? I was listening to Ennio Morricone's incredible soundtrack to Carpenter's The Thing today and figured I'd change it up and do the movie tip. If you've never heard the score, check it out. Now. Opening with funereal violins and piano, horns sweating ice-blue angst as strings stoke panic, "Humanity" and its tuba embodies menace without rationalization. "Contamination," a contagion of string-plucked hysteria that succumbs to eerie sawed violin feeds the overpowering "Bestiality." Employing the single-note piano ploy of Carpenter's score for Halloween, "Solitude" leads to "Eternity," which descends with a Phantom of the Opera cathedral organ. Crescendos of string stretch above a coagulating pool of bass on "Wait," prior to "Humanity (Part II)," which both opens and closes Carpenter's remake, its organic pulse of inevitability as taut as a German synthesizer, woodwind warning crowning sustained red organ agony. (thanks Austin Chronicle)

As far as movies this week goes, I've seen Dead & Buried (good but somewhat dated), Scum (excellent) and Shark Night (so fucking terrible it makes direct-to-DVD tripe like Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus look positively Oscar-worthy. $25 million for a gigantic 3-D turd that is somehow even made more worse after the closing credits with an agonizing cast rap video. You've got to see it to believe how bad it is.) OK, time to go class. Let me know some of your faves anonymi out there in Internet land...

Currently watching: The Believer
Currently listening to: Aposepsy Aposepsy


Czar Nicholas said...

If it has zombies, anything occult related, or is any type of exploitation flick, I'm usually game. Old Hammer flicks are the shit, with the Devil Rides Out being amongst my favorites. Fargo is pretty great on a lot of different levels and, I feel, underrated as far as Coen Bros. flicks go.

In no order (and of varying quality): Videodrome, Fargo, Dementia 13, Horror of Dracula, The Warriors, WestWorld, Magnificent Seven, Twin Peaks, Maniac, Return Of The Living Dead.

I don't know why but I love old westerns.

winston95 said...


Yeah, zombies are big for me as well. '78 "Dawn" was a close runner up (probably in the top 20) though I've been a sucker for the supercharged zombie flicks as of late. "Videodrome" was also on the cusp, I think that is probably Cronenberg's best (if not smartest) film.

Funny you brought up "Fargo", that was kind of the impetus behind the Coen brothers conversation Superbowl night. There really wasn't a lot of love for the flick which really surprised me, as far as I'm concerned I really think that brought the guys into the mainstream. Sure, "Blood Simple" and "Raising Arizona" were good but I don't think the Coens were household names until "Fargo". People were griping it wasn't that funny - I'm like, what ISN'T funny about it? Almost every line Steve Buscemi utters in that flick is gold.

I've recently added a shitload of Hammer films to Netflix, I decided at some point to revisit some of the classics, especially seeing Chris Lee in so much stuff these days. Of course I watched them ritually as a kid on Creature Double Feature every Saturday but that ended once good ol' Channel 56 shut down. Horror Of Dracula is first on the list, actually the whole Lee/Cushing 4-pack is what I should be getting.

My only qualm with your list is "ROTLD". I don't know man, I have just never been able to get into it. Sure I jerked off to Trash gyrating on the tombstone about a hundred fucking zillion times when I was thirteen but other than that... I dunno, just never thought it was that funny. Maybe it's Thom Matthews who was so fucking terrible in "Jason Lives" that I couldn't get past my prejudice. Oh well... maybe it's time to revisit...