Rupert Pupkin Speaks: The Lightning Bug's Top Films seen 1st in 2011! ""

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Lightning Bug's Top Films seen 1st in 2011!



An excellent list from a man with an excellent blog - The Lightning Bug! Read!




1. Le Orme (1975) a.k.a Footprints on The Moon: Florinda Bolkan stars as an amnesiac trying to account for here whereabouts for the last three days with only a torn photo of a hotel and flashes of men walking on the moon as clues. This atypical giallo directed by Luigi Bazzoni, who also helmed the equally excellent The Fifth Cord, has all the style and camerawork to rival the best examples of the genre. It makes up for it's lack of nudity and bloodshed with a taut story that I won't soon forget.



2. Hong fen bing tuan (1982) a.k.a Golden Queen Commandos: The only martial arts-girl gang-women in prison-western featuring Basketball, an eating competition, and a Blofeld wanna-be villain that you ever need see. From the film's opening vignettes introducing each of the film's heroic women to the climax set inside an exploding mountain, there's no use in trying to expect what might come next.



3. B.F's Daughter (1948): Barbara Stanwyck stars as Polly, the titular daughter of B.F, a rich industrialist shoring up against the oncoming depression. She's on the road to a traditional life until she meets Tom (Van Heflin) a radial progressive with his eye out for the every-man. It's a love story set against the politics of the haves and the have-nots, but also speaks to topics like government and the establishment in a way which resonates for the present time.



4. Histories extraordinaires (1968) a.k.a Spirits of The Dead: Directors Fellini, Malle, and Vadim team up for a trio of Poe inspired stories starring Jane and Peter Fonda, Alain Delon, Brigitte Bardot, and Terrence Stamp. Each of the three segments has their own tone, but combined, they paint an expressive portrait of the psychologically macabre.



5. Ghostwatch (1992): I'm cheating a bit on this one. This made of BBC film caused a bit of a stir in '92 when it aired as many people took the reality ghost hunting show presented to be... well, reality. While there have been several films since that exploit the paranormal program for their basis, Ghostwatch does the sub-genre best with a subtle hand that builds the film's suspense deftly.



6.Knock on Any Door (1949): Nicholas Ray directs Bogart (always a good thing) in this tale of a street tough (John Derek) that Bogie's lawyer tries to keep off the streets. As always, Ray gets great performances out of his actors, and Bogie's long impassioned speech which ends the film and gives it its title ("Until we wipe out the slums and rebuild them, knock on any door and you may find Nick Romano.") is worth the price of admission alone.




7. Lightning Bug (2004): Five years before special effects artist Rob Hall made his impression on the horror world with Laid to Rest, he directed this semi-biographical coming-of-age tale of a horror fan and his troubled relationship with his abusive stepfather. While the film whittles itself down to a satisfying revenge plot, Lightning Bug also paints an accurate portrait of growing up weird in the South.





8. Niagara (1953): Marilyn Monroe ditches the ditz to play treacherous when she tries to off her husband, Joseph Cotton, at the famous landmark. Jean Peters plays a sweet newlywed suspicious of Marilyn's movies, and when the blond blondshell's murder plot goes wrong, Cotton's husband comes back with murder on his mind and Peters is swept up in the crime. True Grit director Henry Hathaway perfectly captures this late era Noir in vivid technicolor, and Marilyn was rarely better than when playing against type.



9. Megaforce (1982) :
Deeds not Words, and when you look at deeds, there's no better look than Barry Bostwick's skintight golden bodysuit. It's the movie I wish I had seen as a kid, but I never did. Now what I've caught up with it, I've watched it more times than I care to admit. With lasers mounted on motorcycles, a baddie played by Henry Silva, and Star Trek's Lt. Ilea rockin' a full head of hair, Megaforce is the type of film that delights. Plus, if you're like me, it'll have you kissing your thumb before giving folks the thumbs up for weeks.



10. Wacko (1982): Greydon Clark has directed so many great films, but this spoof of slasher films, made during the height of their powers, hits all the right notes. Plus it's got a knockout cast with Joe Don Baker, Julia Duffy, George Kennedy, Charles Napier, and Andrew 'Dice' Clay proving he's way more than just Ford Fairlane... he's also Tony Schlongini. This underrated classic should be thought of as the Airplane! of '80s horror.

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