Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Justin Oberholtzer's Favorite Older Films Seen 1st in 2011 ""

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Justin Oberholtzer's Favorite Older Films Seen 1st in 2011

Justin Oberholtzer writes for the Freakin' Awesome Network. You can check him out over there. Enjoy his list!

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10. SABOTAGE(1936)
-This early Alfred Hitchcock thriller follows a movie theater owner who is secretly engaged in a plot to set off a bomb in London. Hot on his trails are the Scotland Yard. This low-key thriller is definitely a lesser Hitchcock, but still really good. It has a genial pace that helps the flow.


9. UNMASKING THE IDOL(1986)
-This hidden gem was brought to my attention by the gang over at “Entrails From the Skeleton Closet”. It’s somewhat of a James Bond spoof, with our hero being Duncan Jax (Ian Hunter). He is assigned to take down the Scarlet Leader, who is executing a plan to start World War 3 (not the WCW event). His hired ninja assassins (who hide themselves in sand via tiny pail and shovels) go up against our hero and his sidekick, Boon the Baboon. This is a blast to watch!


8. ORDER OF THE BLACK EAGLE(1987)
-This sequel to “Unmasking the Idol” usurps the first by adding even more zany fun to the equation. Duncan Jax (Ian Hunter) and Boon the Baboon (who drives a tank) go up against The Baron (William Hicks) and his myriad of thugs. Tongue-in-cheek jokes and a light demeanor make this James Bond-esque spoof a fun adventure.


7. THE STABILIZER(1986)
-This insane action flick from Troma (distributed, not made by them) has Peter Goldson a.k.a. The Stabilizer (Peter O’Brian) hunting down drug smuggler Greg Rainmaker (Craig Gavin), who just so happened to kill his fiancĂ© (with spiked shoes). A stolen professor, balls-to-the-wall action and cheesy dialogue make for a delicious treat!


6. THE UGLY(1997)
-A creepy psychological thriller that revolves around a psychiatrist named Karen Schumaker (Rebecca Hobbs) and her evaluation of Simon Cartwright (Paolo Rotondo). He is a serial killer suffering from insanity. He blames his murders on that of “the ugly”, the demons that haunt him. The film effectively uses flashbacks to tell his tale, while continuing the current one in haunting fashion.


5. SUPERFIGHTS(1995)
-I can thank the Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnite Cinema for bringing this low-budget gold to my attention. Jack Cody (Brandon Gaines) has always been fascinated with Superfights, a free fighting tournament that’s a blend of MMA, kickboxing and wrestling. After saving Sally Wong (Feihong Yu) from some thugs and having the video surveillance catch the attention of the media, he gets the opportunity to join Superfights. He ends up battling the forces that run the company, as well as the fighters themselves. A small role from Rob Van Dam is icing on the cake in this super-charged extravaganza.


4. FALLING DOWN(1993)
-After putting this Joel Schumacher film off for years, I finally cracked down and watched it. I think my fear going in was the director, as I’m not a fan of his. Here, he proves his worth in effectively telling the story of William Foster (Michael Douglas), an unemployed defense worker who finally snaps and takes his aggression out on society. Keeping the film from falling off of the tracks is Detective Prendergast (Robert Duvall), who is hot on his trail (and getting ready to retire, go figure). Joel’s later output may have been lukewarm, but this was a damn fine film.


3. REVENGE(1964)
-This Tadashi Imai film follows Shinpachi (Kinnosuke Nakamura), a samurai who kills another in cold blood during an unsanctioned battle. He struggles with facing the music and dueling with his fallen foe’s brother or living his life on the run. A simplistic tale done well with gorgeous cinematography to boot. Worthy of the hype it’s received over the years.


2. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
-That’s right, folks. Up until this year, I had never seen this cult classic. It’s surprising actually, considering my love of both John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. It was simply one of those films I kept putting on the backburner. I’m glad I finally caught it, as it’s loads of fun. Russell is perfect as Jack Burton, a truck driver who gets sucked into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. It’s all over the place and it’s all good fun.


1. THE MAN WHO LAUGHS(1928)
-This silent film from 1928 follows the tragic life of Gwynplaine (Conraid Veidt), a man with a permanent smile on his face. This reduces him to a life as a circus act, where nobody takes him seriously. Everybody laughs at him, even when he’s depressed. The only woman he loves and who loves him back, Dea (Mary Philbin), is blind. This causes Gwynplaine to feel that she wouldn’t love him if she seen his face (which results in a beautiful line by Dea later on). It may not sound like much, but Veidt’s knockout performance and Paul Leni’s tight direction make this a winner. A tragic masterpiece, if you will.

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