Monday, January 2, 2012

Tyler's 2011 Top 10 First Time Older Viewings!

2011 is now over and we're well on our way into 2012. Usually one releases a Best of 2011 list at the end of the year for their favourite new films they've discovered over the course of those 365 days. However I am going to be holding out a bit on that - the reason being that there are still a bunch of films I have yet to see that have been on my watch list. I won't have the opportunity to see them all but a few of those are coming to cinemas, VOD, or home video during the month of January so I'm saving my list until the end of January to see if a few of those make it to the Best of list or maybe the Worst of list.

In the meantime I'm going to entertain you with a different Best of list, something that I've seen populate a lot of critics' and reviewers' lists this year, so I'm joining in on the fun since I do also see a LOT of older films for the first time every year. Here are my 2011 Top 10 First Time Older Viewings!

10. 8½ (1963)
Frederico Fellini's masterpiece weaves a tale that mirrors reality and the filmmaking process. A trip through a creative road block of obsessions, loves, and memories that is both complex and in itself vastly creative.

9. Down Terrace (2009)
One of the darkest black comedies to come along in a long time. Ben Wheatly's English mob family story (and first feature) is pitch-perfect and as brutal as it is hilarious.

8. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
French New Wave film combined with the nightmare-dream nature of a David Lynch film, pre-David Lynch. Alain Renais' visual brilliance and dream-like narrative is mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful.

7. Night of Fear (1972)
Clocking it at only 54 minutes and featuring no dialogue whatsoever, Night of Fear is an Australian rarity that was initially banned and lost until 2005. Expertly paced suspense with a rather unusual cinematic storytelling experience, I immediately watched this a second time after my first viewing as my jaw had hit the floor.

6. Wicked, Wicked (1973)
The only film shot and exhibited in Anamorphic Duo-Vision, this split-screen film does not utilize split-screen in the sense everyone is used to seeing on the big screen. Let's just say 3D is still a gimmick, Duo-Vision was not. As the tagline says "See the hunter, see the hunted - at the same time!" A grandiose and campy MGM thriller that really needs to be officially released!

5. Violence and Flesh (1981)
A Brazilian Pornochanchada film (Brazil's term for sexploitation) that takes the Last House on the Left-esque structure and completely shatters what you'd expect from the characters and situations. If you're a connoisseur of sleaze it's not to be missed.

4. Effects (1979)
From the Pittsburgh filmmakers and actors whom all worked with and around George Romero comes a sinister and effective horror film where a film crew making a slasher film get killed off one by one when fiction becomes reality. Brilliantly twisted, acted, and executed. Another lost gem unavailable until the DVD release a couple of years ago.

3. Science Crazed (1989)
This extremely rare Canadian oddity cannot be described in any number of words. A fever dream - no scratch that - a fever nightmare that no combination of hard drugs would ever be able to emulate. An experience that is not a film in any sense which will forever be etched into the darkest recesses of your memory after viewing. Not even after death will you be able to shake Science Crazed.

2. Gone With the Pope (1976/2009)
The lost Duke Mitchell film completed by Bob Murawski and Sage Stallone of Grindhouse Releasing over the last 15 or so years is a cinematic experience that you cannot afford to miss! Apparently NEVER being released on any home video or viewing format, this story of a group of Italians who decide to kidnap the Pope and charge every Catholic in the world for the ransom is hilarious, important, and features one of the most out of left field endings ever. Run, don't walk, to Gone With the Pope!

1. Mad Foxes (1981)
Revengesplioitaion has never been weirder, crazier, or sleazier than in Mad Foxes (somehow released on VHS as Mad Foxes: Stingray 2 when it is not a sequel to anything...) where a man avenges the murder of his family after a group of Nazi bikers murder his family. One of the most insane pieces of celluloid carnage you will EVER witness! Shocking, completely over the top, and immediately re-watchable.

Honorable mentions: The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), Score (1974), The Image (1975), The Grapes of Death (1978), Thirst (1979), Incubus (1981), Deadly Eyes (aka The Rats) (1982), The Doom Generation (1995)

And what Top 10 list is complete without a Bottom 10 list. So here's the worst first time older viewings. You've been warned.

10. Dark Universe (1993)
9. Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (2009)
8. Scream (1981)
7. ThanksKilling (2009)
6. Bloody Mary (2006)
5. Wages of Sin (2006)
4. Blind Beast Vs. Killer Dwarf (2001)
3. Terror in the Swamp (aka Nutriaman: The Copasaw Creature) (1984)
2. Slashed Dreams (aka Sunburst) (1975)
1. Hellroller (1992)

All written contents copyright 2012 Tyler Baptist