Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tyler's 2012 Top 10 First Time Older Viewings!

2012 has ended and we're now a few days into 2013. The world hasn't yet ended so I am once again free to write about the films I've missed out on from previous years, so let me present you with my 2012 Top 10 First Time Older Viewings!

10. Goin' Down the Road (1970) Canada
Two friends from Nova Scotia take off for big city life in Toronto and find out the hard way that any dream takes blood, sweat, and tears. A phenomenal time capsule of the Canadian dream featuring powerhouse performances and a documentary-vérité style that's both haunting and beautiful.

9. The Boys in the Band (1970) United States
Mart Crowley and William Friedkin collaborate in this tense, human, and at times hilarious story of a group of gay men celebrating their friend's birthday. The knives are drawn, the gifts unwrapped, and the secrets are out of the box and every performance, by the original stage cast, is perfectly nuanced and brilliantly acted. An absolute powerhouse early directorial effort from Friedkin.

8. Lake of Fire (2007) United States
Tony Kaye's extremely powerful and absorbing documentary that examines every facet of the abortion debate in the US over a 15 year period is a monumental achievement. Expressing both sides with an unflinching eye and ear, Lake of Fire should be mandatory viewing by everyone.

7. The Devil at Your Heels (1981) Canada
One of the best full-length NFB docs complete with larger than life characters and involving car jumps, rocket cars, and the St. Lawrence, this 5-year spanning tale about "The Mad Canadian" Ken Carter is inspirational, heartbreaking, tragic, and hilarious. An absolute must see! Plus it's FREE to watch on the National Film Board of Canada's website!

6. The Mummy (1932) United States
A fantastic blend of horror, history, and good old fashioned thrills. Boris Karloff is both sinister and studious as Imhotep, the excommunicated Egyptian who's lost love has haunted his cursed death for centuries. Featuring great cinematography and a fantastic make-up, The Mummy deserves it's classic title and stands up to the sands of time!

5. The House on Sorority Row (1983) United States
Expertly crafted slasher film from Mark Rosman who directs a tense, well-scripted, and suspenseful slasher. Richard Band's score is both beautiful and haunting and the actresses all exude real jealousy, contempt, and depth which is normally lost in the one-dimensional characters normally found in the slasher genre. With a set-up that actually works and a pay-off that actually satisfies, The House on Sorority Row is one of the best slasher films the genre has to offer.

4. Ninja III: The Domination (1984) United States
Ninjas! Golf! Aerobics! Possession! Sexy V8 juice! Gratuitous male back hair! Action! Laser-spewing arcade machine! Boom mic shadow! Flashbacks! White skinny ties! White hair from traumatic experience! Gremlins-like laughter! Grave smashing! Stupid cops! Abandoned neighbourhood! Hilariously bad loop group and dubbing! Shô Kosugi! Lucinda Dickey! Cannon Group! Ninja III: The Domination has it all!!!

3. Female Vampire (1973) France
Ultra erotic horror film from Jess Franco who is here at the top of his craft. Beautifully photographed with lush settings, misty exteriors, bright coastal colours, and a sense of sexual frustration and ecstasy that clash head on into a tale of lust and loss. Lina Romay, as stunning as always, plays a fragile women who happens to be a vampire who cannot control herself, a damaged soul who's only power is to exert her sexuality. Featuring long takes, minimal dialogue, and a simple yet transgressive story, Female Vampire is a masterpiece of art house erotic horror.

2. The Night of the Hunter (1955) United States
A rather chilling and haunting fairy tale of a wolf in sheep's skin, The Night of the Hunter is a masterpiece of filmmaking that manages to combine the pain of the Great Depression, the sharp biting wit of black humour, a thrilling game of cat and mouse, and a moral tale that still manages to resonate through the ages. Charles Laughton directs his only film after years of grandiose acting and masterfully gives Robert Mitchum and Billy Chapin the room to play their parts large enough to make them entertaining, but small enough to keep them grounded. With breathtaking cinematography that plays with the audience and set-pieces that illicit awe, there is always much more than meets the eye. The Night of the Hunter is a staggering masterpiece that's still just as important today as it was when it was released. Absolutely timeless.

1. Ryan's Babe (2000) Canada
Ryan's Babe is an unreleased film shot right here in Saskatoon that aired maybe a handful of times on Superchannel and then has been gone from existence since. Ryan's Babe tells the story of Ryan, just a happy-go-lucky guy whom every woman he comes across ends up being bad luck in some form or another. The adventure gets set in motion when Ryan's bat-shit crazy old neighbour, who has been crushing hard on him without him noticing, attempts suicide to get his attention. Didn't work. He attempts to flee to Calgary when her drunkard father tries to kill him, but upon the way gets into deeper trouble with colourblind crooks, drug dealers, and male strippers and ends up somehow in Arizona after a run-in with three masked knife-wielding cheerleaders(???). Amidst getting knocked-out, Rohypnol'd, and winning the lottery, Ryan's got to avoid every woman in his path if he wants to make it back home to Saskatoon. Ryan's Babe features some of the worst dubbing, line readings, exposition, acting - wait, pretty much everything is atrocious in this film. But it's so much so that if you have a few friends over and you're all ready to yell at the screen MST3K-style and laugh your asses off in disbelief, it's actually a really good time! Ryan's Babe, if ever released to the public, has cult classic written all over it.

Bonus tidbit: I actually auditioned for the part of Young Ryan way back in 1998 or 1999.

Honourable mentions: Island of Lost Souls (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986), The Blues Brothers (1980)

And you can't have the Best without the Worst, so if you see these in the wild leave them there:

10. Midnight (1989) United States
Lynn Redgrave plays the absolutely worst and most annoying Elvira-ripoff ever to grace the silver screen. She constantly screeches her lines doing nothing but yelling at people the entire movie. This grating performance is indeed a real horror show as you want nothing more than to cover your ears to keep your eardrums from rupturing. Tony Curtis plays his usual self and does his usual schtick, which is way past it's prime at this point in his career. The direction is limp, the story is really nothing more than a whiney spoiled woman who wants to control everything in her life, and the subplot involving the potential murder of those who've gotten in her way is just an afterthought. This mess of a comedy-thriller is neither funny nor thrilling. If only Midnight was indeed cancelled...

9. Gunblast (aka Mac-10) (1986) United States
A hitman with a Mac-10 shakes his gun at people as the worst gunshot sound effects blast off. This 65-minute long snooze inducer features no plot, bloodless and bullet-less violence, a hella-boring striptease, and weird randomly inserted early '80s porn scenes that have nothing to do with the movie.

8. For Hire (aka Lethal Ninja) (1991) United States
For Hire gives the viewer absolutely no explanation for characters or scenarios taking place on the screen, a story about a hired ninja who is to take on the mob because the police force isn't doing their job. It's impossible to tell who is a main character and who is a side character until pretty much the end of the film. For example, it takes 5 minutes to find out that the posh party the Mayor is hosting is actually a Sweet 16 birthday party for his daughter (who is adopted by the way because "family is stronger when you can choose your family, not blood ties"). The fight scenes are boring, the direction non-existant, and certain characters are seemingly invincible to multiple gunshot wounds.

7. Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here (1988) United States
Aliens invade a theatre in this mess. Invasion Earth as a film fails because the actually storyline that isn't stock footage of other B-movies only takes up about 25 minutes of screen time and is incredibly annoying. As a montage of classic and terrible sci-fi films it also fails. The clips cut from one film to another in seemingly random order doing nothing other than padding its running time to feature length.

6. The Last Slumber Party (1988) United States
Inept slasher where a group of girls having a slumber party invite their boyfriends over and one at a time are picked up by an escaped maniac in surgeon's garb. No continuity, no attempt at plot, bad dialogue, inane camera work, and amateur on every level. Avoid.

5. Dead & Rotting (2002) United States
Dead & Rotting is a bottom of the barrel Full Moon pick up that's "get in and get out" shooting method clearly paints a cheap production. With a terrible script, wooden acting, and costume-store special effects this movie will have you dead and rotting with boredom. Not even Debbie Rochon or Trent Haaga, who normally elevate low-grade indie B-movies to a somewhat enjoyable level, can breath any life into this mess.

4. Horror (2002) United States
Horror is poorly directed by Dante Tomaselli who's characters are less than one-dimensional with no motives or the ability to speak dialogue that doesn't sound stilted or directly off the page. The story manages to jump around constantly with characters being dead in one scene, and back alive in the next, and no one has any right to be anywhere in this movie at any time. Zombies attack for no reason, there's a religious subplot involving Satanism or something, one member of the loonies hallucinates that he's frozen after eating mushrooms that does not come up again later. And it all culminates to them tripping on mushrooms in a mental institution...? Everything in this movie is a waste of time and film, and at 77 minutes that's over an hour of my life I can't have back. Horror is a horrible movie experience that should be absolutely avoided. Hack filmmaking on every level.

3. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1989) United States
The U.S. government, eager to protect the nation's avacado supplies, recruits feminist professor Margo Hunt to make contact with the Piranha Women, an all-female tribe who believe men are only good as a source of food. Boring, bland, and not with one ounce of comedy... While it attempts to provoke laughter the only thing it succeeds at is putting the audience to sleep. Yawn!

2. Pizza Man (1991) United States
This "pizza noir" comedy from the team that brought you Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death is another unfunny, nerve-gratting, comedy experience. Add to the boredom the horribly unfunny Bill Mahr narrating in his monotone way and you've got an extra-strength snooze inducer.

1. Martians Go Home (1990) United States
Stupid, profoundly annoying, and a waste of celluloid, Martians Go Home is one of the worst comedies ever produced. With a threadbare plot about an alien invasion brought on by a hack TV jingle musician played by Randy Quaid and terrible acting from all involved this comedy grates the viewer into multiple side-splitting headaches with a bunch of green-painted "comedians" who appear to be more so visible poltergeists than martians... If you see this movie at the local thrift shop, don't hesitate and just destroy it! Easily in my bottom five films of all time!

All written contents copyright 2013 Tyler Baptist

No comments:

Post a Comment