Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Brian Kelley's(BTSJUNKIE) Favorite Older films seen in 2010 ""

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brian Kelley's(BTSJUNKIE) Favorite Older films seen in 2010

Good friend Brian Kelley(aka BTSJunkie) has really brought it once again with this list of choice selections from his 2010 movie viewing year. I can always rely on Brian for some great recommends. He hosts a regular Horror Movie night each week and meticulously plans out his schedule for each year. Check out his 2011 Horror Movie Night Preview for a good time!

As a reminder, Brian can be found on twitter here and is an aficionado of cinema worth following. He is also a writer for Gordon and the Whale so check him out there too.

1. Funland (1987; Michael A. Simpson)
If Savage Steve Holland were to adapt a Paul Schrader script the result would most likely be similar to FUNLAND. The story of a hostile mob takeover over an amusement park and the clown hellbent on taking his job and the park back is so wildly out of control in terms of tone, one can only surrender to the madness. At times a goofy summer comedy and others a dark study of madness, the film never ceases to entertain.
(Available on Netflix Instant right now)

2. The Pit (1981; Lew Lehman)
A horny, autistic 12-year-old boy stumbles upon a pit full of ancient creatures which he names Trolalogs. When not busy cutting pictures out of nudie mags or faking a kidnapping in order to take boob Polaroids, he talks with his teddy bear who convinces him the Trolalogs are probably pretty hungry. This is the kind of film that one suspects is not so much made but is, instead, washed ashore one day and passed around in secret circles for years before its made available to "normies". Whatever the case, this movie is just one jaw-dropping scene after another.

3. War Dog (1986; Björn Carlström, Daniel Hübenbecher)
It would appear UNIVERSAL SOLDIER's plot owes a lot to this low-budget Swedish action flick about a man who, while searching for his brother who he doesn't believe died in 'Nam as his family was told, stumbles upon some sort of plot to create super-soldier assassins. It's really not all that important why so-and-so is moving from point A to B, it is the action that counts and WAR DOG delivers. Every character seems to have an endless cache of grenades because they go off by the dozens throughout this film. Innocent bystanders are rarely safe and the movie seems to hate children - not only are 2 blown apart in the opening scenes, keep your eye out for water slide scene. It's all in the name of good ol' '80s Swedish low-budget action fun.

4. Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except (1985; Josh Becker)
Also known as STRYKER'S WAR, this ultra-low-budget 16mm slice of machismo was created by the same circle of friends who would later bring us EVIL DEAD. Scott Spiegel and Bruce Campbell both have writing credits and Sam Raimi stars as the leader of the cult that runs afoul of Stryker and his old Army pals. It's an excuse for a group of buddies to get together and make a fun action movie full of extreme violence.

5. Naked Vengeance (1985; Cirio H. Santiago)
Revenge flicks are one of my favorite types of movies and love when I stumble across one this solid. Directed by Cirio H. Santiago, this movie tells the story of Carla who, after her husband is murdered when trying to stop a rape in progress, goes to live with her parents in the country for a while. Things go poorly though and soon enough the home is invaded, Carla raped and her parents killed. She takes revenge. What I love about this film is the decent amount of setup involved and the fact that, during the whole middle section, Carla is in the hospital and presumed to be in coma. So the fact that she is sneaking out and killing people turns this into a bit of a slasher type film. Some of the kills are great and it is all through a veil of '80s trashiness. Great stuff. (Bonus: this holds the honor of having the best theme song of any movie I saw this year!)

6. The Beaver Trilogy (2000; Trent Harris)
Filmmaker Trent Harris runs across a young man by the name of Groovin' Gary in a parking lot in 1976. The kid is from Beaver, Utah and tells Trent about the impressions he can do. He performs some but refuses to do his "Olivia Newton Don" in person. It's not until some time later that Groovin' Gary invites Trent to Beaver to see him perform as "Olivia Newton Don". This short piece is known as "The Beaver Kid". In 1981 he creates a fictional piece based on this encounter starring a young Sean Penn. Adding even more fictional material to the story, he creates a third piece called "Orkly Kid" with a young Crispin Glover. Combined, THE BEAVER TRILOGY is a gut-punching look at chance encounters, the things we imagine about the strangers we meet, and the pain of the struggles of sexual identity. By far one of the most original things I saw all year.
(can be purchased from Trent Harris' site here)

7. Bugsy Malone (1976; Alan Parker)
A gangster movie musical with an all kid cast including Scott Baio and Jodie Foster before they were tweens. Guns shoot pie cream, fat kids are double-crossed, tiny hearts are broken and Paul Williams provides the music. Bliss.

8. Raw Force (1982; Edward D. Murphy)
The Burbank Karate Club finds themselves trapped on an island by cannibalistic monks and undead samurai. Oh and an alcoholic Cameron Mitchell is a boat captain. It's hard to imagine how so many things go wrong in one movie while maintaining such an intense watchability. It can't be explained in human words so I'm not going to try.

9. Tammy and the T-Rex (1994; Stewart Raffill)
Just hear me out... Tammy (Denise Richards) likes Michael (Paul Walker) but her old boyfriend Billy still lays claim to her. After Michael and Billy get into a fight where grabbing each other's balls is considered fair play, Billy thinks Michael hasn't learned his lesson. So one night, Billy and his gang kidnap Michael and beat him up. But wait, there's more! He's then mauled by a lion. You hear me? PAUL WALKER. IS MAULED. BY A LION! You've already stopped reading, headed to the Amazon Marketplace and ordered this gem on VHS (the only format Godly enough to contain its awesomeness). But you didn't even get to hear the best part. Michael's brain is then transferred into an animatronic dinosaur by an evil scientist. And Tammy is cool with having a dinosaur boyfriend. I didn't even mention the part where dinosaur Michael attacks a party and mauls some of men responsible for his death. I don't need to explain to you why this movie changed my life. From the director of MAC & ME comes the most ridiculous love/revenge story of our time.

10. Nightmare City (1980; Umberto Lenzi)
My life is split between pre-NIGHTMARE CITY and post-NIGHTMARE CITY. As soon as this movie finished I Tweeted this: "My only regret about waiting so long to watch NIGHTMARE CITY is that I've wasted 29 years watching other movies." I'm prone to hyperbole, deal with it. Hugo Stiglitz stars in Umberto Lenzi's "zombie" film that plays with its own flimsy rules to make sure you, the viewer, are never bored. The plot involves some plane carrying a scientist landing and unleashing infected people that need uninfected blood and Stiglitz and his wife trying to escape the city and explosions and stuff. Something like that. Once it kicks into gear, it never lets up.

Special Mention - Breaking Point (1975; Bo Arne Vibenius)

Bo Arne Vibenius, director of THEY CALL HER ONE EYE aka THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE, made one more film after that and it was BREAKING POINT: A PORNOGRAPHIC THRILLER. I put it on here as a Special Mention because I don't want anyone to mistake this as a recommendation, I'm not sure I would recommend this movie to anyone. The film is a bizarre sci-fi-ish story of a man whose sexual fantasies are enabled by the laws made that make his ability to rape women across Sweden much easier. It's full of hardcore sex, misogynistic tendencies and other various nastiness. But it left a solid impression on me. I wrote quite a bit about it here:

The rest:
Slap Shot (1977; George Roy Hill), Kill Squad (1982; Patrick G. Donahue), Fitzcarraldo (1982; Werner Herzog), JD's Revenge (1976; Arthur Marks), Orca: The Killer Whale (1977; Michael Anderson), Ninotchka (1939; Ernst Lubitsch), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985; William Friedkin), Grizzly (1976; William Girdler), The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973; Juan Antonio Bardem), Rolling Thunder (1977; John Flynn), Cashback (2006; Sean Ellis), Psycho II (1983; Richard Franklin), Hardcore (1979; Paul Schrader), The Mutilator (1985; Buddy Cooper), Never Too Young to Die (1986; Gil Bettman).

1 comment:

Karl Brezdin said...

Brian(s) --

A great list, but I wanted to single out Raw Force (Kung Fu Cannibals) for praise.

I caught this film earlier this year and it's a really weird amalgamation of bad editing, bad hair, mailed-in performances, poorly-lit fight scenes, and Love Boat-style ship antics. Worth a watch for anyone who appreciates bad cinema.