Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2019 - Todd Liebenow ""

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Film Discoveries of 2019 - Todd Liebenow

Todd writes about neglected cinema at his blog Forgotten Films, which I am a big fan of:
http://forgottenfilmcast.wordpress.com/
He also runs a great podcast about those kind of movies there too and I was a guest on the show (talking about MIDNIGHT MADNESS):
https://forgottenfilmcast.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/forgotten-filmcast-ep-65-midnight-madness/
Check out the other episodes here:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/forgotten-filmcast/id620200136
Todd also has another podcast called "Walt Sent Me" all about Disney films:
http://waltsentmepodcast.podomatic.com/


Movie Movie (1978)
If you think Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were the first to do a double feature with fake trailers in one package...we’ve got news for you! Stanley Donen directed this spot-on spoof of the films of the 30’s twenty-eight years earlier. It begins with a boxing story called Dynamite Hands, followed by the backstage musical Baxter’s Beauties of 1933...with a trailer for a WWI flying ace movie called Zero Hour tucked in between. The all-star cast, anchored by real life couple George C Scott and Trish Van Devere deliver the perfect comedic tone.
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The Silent Partner (1978)
This tense thriller deserves an annual Christmas screening by all fans of criminally overlooked films. Christopher Plummer plays a psychopathic mall Santa who hatches a plot to rob a bank, only to have bank teller Elliott Gould thwart him and nab the money for himself. What follows is an unnerving game of cat and mouse that is riveting. Plummer is absolutely terrifying.
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Ice Castles (1978)
Yes...it’s the blind figure skater movie. Sure, the story of a small-town, working-class teenager trying to make it to the Olympics is a bit soapy to begin with. Add to it an injury that leaves her blinded and you could make the case that things are a bit over-the-top. But so help me I found this film to be very sweet and charming, helped in large part to an adorable lead performance from Lynn Holly Johnson.
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Prophecy (1979)
I mentioned this movie to a guy I work with and he said, “I know that movie! With Christopher Walken, right?” No, no, no...this is the mutant bear movie! This movie is just so weird and gooey that you can’t help but love it. The sleeping bag sequence alone made it one of my new favorite animals attack films. I can hardly believe this was directed by Frankenheimer.
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Dudes (1987)
The greatest, and as far as I know only, punk rock western ever made. And make no mistake, this story of two New York punks who journey across the west seeking revenge for the murder of their friend is a legit western. Jon Cryer and Daniel Roebuck make for a fantastic team to begin with, but add to it the always adorable Catherine Mary Stewart and you’ve got a cast that really pops.
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Run (1991)
Patrick Dempsey plays a hapless law student who ends up wrongfully accused of killing a notorious gangster’s son in this somewhat silly, but hugely entertaining chase flick from the good folks at Hollywood Pictures. The craziness moves through a variety of fun locations including a shopping mall, a bowling alley, and a carnival. Dempsey delivers the sort of slightly dorky performance he excelled at in the late 80’s / early 90’s, and his chemistry with co-star Kelly Preston is delightfully awkward.
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Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
It seems that each year a bonkers horror sequel ends up on my list. This year that honor goes to Slumber Party Massacre II. This film has one of the wildest killers of the 80’s...a greaser with a guitar that doubles as a power drill. The film also features some of the strangest gross-out moments of any 80’s slasher. Having the sweet as sugar Crystal Bernard as your final girl is also a lot of fun. Oh, and did I mention the musical numbers? What a twisted joy of a film.
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