Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - Alan Dorich ""

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - Alan Dorich

Alan is an avid movie watcher that I recommend you follow on twitter and letterboxd:
https://twitter.com/whatalanwatches
http://letterboxd.com/alan_dorich/

Horror films are my favorite genre. So is it any surprise that the majority of my favorite "discoveries" of 2013 were horror movies? It probably shouldn't be. But here is my list, which finds horror dominating it, but with other types of films sneaking in...

1. TICKS (Tony Randel, 1993) I've already spoken at length about this one in my Underrated Horror list, but let me just say this: mutant ticks, Clint Howard and Alfonso Ribeiro from SILVER SPOONS. If that doesn't have you racing to watch this wonderful bag of cheese, I don't know what will. For my money, this and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II rank as Randel's best.


2. SURF II (Randall M. Badat, 1984)
I know what you're thinking -- "I don't remember a SURF PART 1." But that's one of many odd jokes in SURF II, a bizarre spoof with a hellzapoppin' tone. Eddie Deezen plays a nerd tormented in high school by surfers who gets revenge by slipping a drug into a soda that turns them into violent punkers who drink motor oil and eat garbage. No, really, that's what happens in this movie. With Lyle Waggoner as "Chief Boyardie."

 

3. DEATH SPA (Michael Fischa, 1988)
From the director of the amazing CRACK HOUSE and MY MOM'S A WEREWOLF (don't even act like you haven't seen that one) comes this enjoyable horror film about deaths happening at a health spa. The whole thing plays like KILLER WORKOUT on steroids and with much more blood!

4. OGROFF THE MAD MUTILATOR (N.G. Mount, 1983)
Continuity. Beautiful cinematography. Snappy dialogue. Good lighting. Logic. OGROFF does not know of these things. Instead, it's a bizarre piece of bargain basement, WTF-cinema that looks like it was made with the worst Super-8 camera in the world, zombie masks and five dollars over a single weekend. It's a disaster, but damned if I couldn't look away from it.

5. GROW UP, TONY PHILLIPS (Emily Hagins, 2013)
I know we're supposed to stick to movies pre-2000, but I'm including this one because I think it's worth checking out once it finally gets released in 2014. I had the good fortune of seeing it at a Chicago film festival, and found it to be an enjoyable little teen comedy about a young man (the great Tony Vespe) who even at the age of 18, still loves dressing up in elaborate costumes for Halloween and trick-or-treating. With YOU'RE NEXT's A.J. Bowen in a hilarious role as Vespe's shifty cousin.

6. THE INCUBUS (John Hough, 1981)
Okay, back to horror. And THE INCUBUS is really the most batshit insane 80s horror film I've seen since Andrzej Zulawski's POSSESSION (which if you haven't seen, is really worth checking out). It's got John Cassavetes' out-there performance, crazed violence, a creepy father/ daughter relationship, and the inclusion of what is basically a rock video.

7. VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Yep, this year marked the first time I've ever seen this renowned classic, which is not only a thriller, but a portrait of a man's dangerous, ugly obsession. Jimmy Stewart gives the creepiest performance I've ever seen from him. And he's the hero!

8. KILLER PARTY (William Fruet, 1986)
Now this is truly a weird mutant of a movie, but that's a good thing. This one shifts genres between a slasher film and a college comedy and something else entirely, and keeps you on your toes. Of all the Fruet films I've seen, this is definitely my favorite.

9. REST IN PIECES (José Ramón Larraz, 1987) Larraz, who died earlier this year, directed this campy little gem, which tells the story of a woman who inherits a mansion from her late aunt, but also the psychotic neighbors who murder people for fun! Even though it is repetitive in its last 20 minutes, REST IN PIECES is gory, amusing fun.
10. CURSE II: THE BITE (Frederico Prosperi, 1989)
Quite possibly the greatest Jamie Farr movie ever made. A couple (Jill Schoelen and J. Eddie Peck) makes the mistake of driving across a desert infested with mutant snakes. When Peck is bitten by one of the animals, his hand mutates into a snake-like creature, which takes him over and attacks anyone it can sink its teeth into. With Farr (wielding a shotgun!), Sydney Lassick and Bo Svenson as a hot-headed sheriff!

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