Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Thrillers - Justine Johnson ""

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Underrated Thrillers - Justine Johnson

Justine Johnson is an obsessive former video-store employee and current midnight movie curator at The Black Box in Providence, Rhode Island. You can reach her via the internet on Twitter @moviessexa.
Check out her previous lists - Underrated Action/Adventure and Underrated Detective/Mysteries:

Sweet Hostage 1975 Directed by Lee Phillips
“He captured a girl... but unleashed a woman.”
Ah, my favorite Stockholm syndrome romance on film. Sweet Hostage follows the mentally unstable but charismatic Leonard Hatch (Martin Sheen) from his escape from a mental hospital, to the kidnapping of “tomboy” Doris Mae Withers (Linda Blair). Complete with Star Trek references, an insane John Wayne impression and manic acting by Martin Sheen.

Color of Night 1994 Directed by Richard Rush
I love this movie. Unabashedly. Not just because it’s the movie where you get to see full frontal Bruce Willis nudity. Bruce Willis plays psychologist Bill Capa and one of his patients has just committed suicide in front of him. The trauma has left him temporarily color blind. Naturally he decides to take some time off and go visit a friend in LA. Who happens to be fellow psychologist Bob More (Scott Bakula). He invited Bill to sit in on a group therapy session for the greatest collection of weirdos ever assembled on film. Leslie Anne Warren is a kleptomaniac and a sex addict, Brad Dourif has OCD, Lance Henriksen is a suicidal ex-cop, Kevin J. O’Connor burned down his father’s house and is an all-around unpleasant guy. Oh, and then there is Richie, volatile 16 year old who wishes to be female. Tragedy strikes. People are murdered. There are a million sex scenes. It has a “twist” ending. You see Bruce Willis’s penis in a pool. It has something for everyone. The whole mess is glorious to watch.

Lady in a Cage 1964 Directed by Walter Grauman
Fantastic rip-off of a Saul Bass title sequence. Olivia De Havilland is a rich woman recovering from a hip injury. Naturally, she has gilded electronic elevator cages installed in her mansion to help her go from floor to floor. The electricity shorts out and she becomes stuck between floors. She hits the emergency alarm but no one comes to her aid except a drunk who robs her and then alerts a string of people to De Havilland’s vulnerable condition. Surprisingly misanthropic and bleak in its world view for a film released in the 60s. James Caan is particularly terrifying in his first major film role.

Snakes aka Fangs aka Holy Wednesday 1974 Directed by Arthur A. Names
One of the strangest things I have ever seen. Snakey Bender (I KNOW) LOVES Wednesdays. Wednesdays the local school children bring rats and mice to feed his snakes. Then he goes to his best friend’s house to dance around to John Phillips Sousa records. THEN, he drops by the prudish school teachers’ house so she can gratify her sexual attraction to snakes. A series of unfortunate events destroys his beloved Wednesdays and he enacts his revenge on the town. The best part of this one for me is his obsessive love of John Philip Sousa songs and how they blare in his head after every murder. Oh and watch out for Alice Nunn aka Large Marge as the grocer who also appears to be having an incestuous relationship with her brother.