My Favorite Movies

  1. Stinger839
  2. _kelly

These are not ordered ( I don't think I could), and there is a mix of "perfect films", "guilty pleasures", and "softspot for the genre/director". I look at my favorites this way: If I could only watch three movies for eternity, what would my sidedeck of choices consist of? This is that very sidedeck list.

  Stinger839's Rating My Rating
Casablanca 1943,  PG)
Perfect in every way... a timeless blend of comedy and drama.
The Seventh Seal ,  Unrated)
The Seventh Seal
unrivaled in film history
Breakfast on Pluto 2005,  R)
Breakfast on Pluto
An overlooked masterpiece
Tideland 2006,  R)
A new jewel for the Gilliam crown
Shaun of the Dead 2004,  R)
Shaun of the Dead
The best satirical genre movie about a movie genre - as classic as Young Frankenstein or Spinal Tap.
Lost Highway 1997,  R)
Lost Highway
New favorite movie. Will figure out exactly why soon enough (besides all the obvious that many others have probably already mentioned). After a few more absorbs and reading the reviews already up, I'll add my highlights and "oops we missed this" commentary.
Alphaville 1965,  Unrated)
Visitor Q (BijitÔ Q) 2002,  R)
Visitor Q (BijitÔ Q)
Most fucked up movie and most fucked up fictional family I've seen yet. Anything extremely taboo is stacked together like a sandwich. Some incest, lactation fetish, forced defecation, rape with a microphone, impromptu murder, regular beatings, and corpsefucking combines with the theme of family values and the cycle of violence and bullying. I defy you to watch this entire movie.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: corpse voids itself of feces whilst father character rapes it and then the family helps dad get his wee wee out of his dead colleague
Naked Lunch 1991,  R)
Naked Lunch
"So Fucked Up" highlight: shooting the wife on accident
Six Figures Getting Sick (Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times)) 1966,  Unrated)
Six Figures Getting Sick (Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times))
I can't believe this is listed on its own! Phenomenal work that I think concretely demonstrates that film can have physical effect on the human observing it.
Wonder Boys 2000,  R)
The City of Lost Children (La CitÚ des Enfants Perdus) 1995,  R)
The City of Lost Children (La CitÚ des Enfants Perdus)
One of the best films of all time, and also a science fiction flick!
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975,  PG)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
It was suggested amongst a gathering of friends that we watch Holy Grail, and I started with just some Knights of Ni! and was soon reciting my favourite skits. Twenty minutes later, my monologue concluded with, "Yeah we've totally gotta watch it right now!". Silence and astounded looks held for several seconds until one friend said, "I think we just did."
The Short Films of David Lynch 2002,  Unrated)
The Short Films of David Lynch
Lynch fans will not be disappointed. Lynch discusses his earliest short works (from his first film through the short preceding Blue Velvet), all of which are terrific and visually arresting.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
"The Alphabet", sound in "The Amputee"
American Movie 1999,  R)
Zombi 2 1980,  R)
Wizards 1977,  PG)
Day Watch 2007,  R)
Day Watch
the modern equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back, except it's waaaaaaaaay better
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001,  PG-13)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Like Casablanca, it creates a unique, consistent, and full world of its own via the magic of celluloid.
Lawrence of Arabia 1962,  PG)
Lawrence of Arabia
Lean makes the desert a visual canvas for examination of the foundations of humanity.
American Beauty 1999,  R)
American Beauty
Top acting and a top script make for a most extraordinary vision of modern life.
Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor) 2006,  R)
Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)
*chants mockingly: Hollywood can't do this!
Spirited Away 2001,  PG)
Spirited Away
Transports you into its world teaming with wonder and curiousities
Dawn of the Dead 1979,  R)
Dawn of the Dead
The paradigm zombie film, and a horror movie that is also a classic film! ...a rare gem for the genre.
A Scanner Darkly 2006,  R)
A Scanner Darkly
This movie must have been made specifically for me - one of my favorite authors done by the only modern film-maker I could imagine taking the material on - and done in the interpolated rotoscoping style I adore!
UNDEAD 2005,  R)
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
This is one of my top indie zombie flix, and I prefer it better to its other Australian peer Braindead by Peter Jackson. Though some audience members are frustrated with the genre-blurring that occurs because the film-makers are looking to up the visual ante of their movie, and they are thusly accused of being Spielbergian because of some of their additional creatures design and action-based horror scenes. I think it's all done just right, including the occasionally stiff acting. There are so many innovative zombie scenes, my favorite being a pair of walking legs with accompanying spinal cord, sans a torso. The protagonists are given action-style cinematic hyping, but it's justified and cool, not unnecessary and forced. Here's a zombie movie that not only bothers with continuity and structure, but the independent film-makers, two brothers, behind it further proved their dedication to this project by doing all of the CGI themselves on a 700mhz processor computer, for three years after shooting concluded. These effects are on par, and in some cases better, to what big Hollywood bucks is turning out even years later. This is truly proof that auteurs are still alive and, beyond that, still bothering to work with a concept/genre considered exhausted like zombies. Overlooked by zombie fans and totally misunderstood by mainstream viewers.
Clerks 1994,  R)
X-Men: The Last Stand 2006,  PG-13)
X-Men: The Last Stand
I love it. Plain and simple. I don't care about any of its faults. This is the X-Men movie I wanted to see, and it only took two entries to get there!
Jason and the Argonauts 1963,  G)
Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) 1930,  Unrated)
Lost In Translation 2003,  R)
Lost In Translation
Showcases the power of consistent tone in a film... causes the viewer to feel what they see
Severed: Forest of the Dead 2005,  R)
Severed: Forest of the Dead
few films in the zombie genre achieve what Severed does: solid acting, great gore, awesome zombies, engaging screenplay, visual consistency. a must see for zombie fans

Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
This is one of the best zombie movies you've never heard of. We get everything here - from gruesome outbreak, characters we'd like to see live, scenes where an audience member can actually be afraid of a lumbering dead thing, gore galore, gritty but not annoying (actually quite effective) cinematographic aesthetic, ambiguous/down ending, a survivor camp of grizzled brutal men, and an underlying corporate conspiracy that doesn't eat away camera time but nicely explains these zombies, Severed has everything a solid zombie movie needs.
Day of the Dead 1985,  R)
The Last House on the Left 1972,  R)
The Last House on the Left
Wes Craven's debut has caused me to have many a debate with other horror fans, who think the movie doesn't have the same ability to shock in today's market, but I was freaked out, whereas most current stuff of this type just makes me laugh. I think the characters have alot, for me, to do with sustaining the fear this movie can generate.

Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
As so many films have been influenced by this one little no budget indie project (and two of horror's biggest names Craven and Sean Cunningham began their careers with it), it is essential viewing for horror students. And for those who want a movie with realistic killers and fully expressed personalities, watch this instead of your SawHostel tripe.
"So Fucked Up" highlight: forcing the girl to urinate herself (actress really did it on set)
Enemy Mine 1985,  PG-13)
Suicide Club 2002,  R)
Suicide Club
"So Fucked Up" highlight: the introductory scene
Rope 1948,  PG)
The Omega Man 1971,  PG)
Nightbreed 1990,  R)
First saw this as a young kid and it was scalded into my mind (much like Return of the Living Dead or It). When I purchased the DVD in my teens, I still loved it. Reviewing it today, it's still a great horror concept awesomely executed, though my high rating is due to my high like of the characters and setting of this flick. A must-see for horror fans or Barkerites.
Schizopolis 1996,  Unrated)
Love this film. Met the sound engineer, and Soderbergh's regular sound guy since sex lies & videotape, Larry Blake. This is an out-there movie for people who love image, symbolism, montage, and astounding sound mixing. Slightly inexplicable in terms of its plot, but basically everything builds around an important man making an important speech and makes some damn amazing detours on the way. My favorite scene involves people's dialog slipping in and out of different languages, in different chronological order, speaking backwards, all kinds of great stuff. Plus some great send-ups to the pop videography of the early 90s with the bug exterminator's segments.
The Royal Tenenbaums 2002,  R)
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey 2005,  R)
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey
This is one of my favorite documentaries, not only because I'm a metalhead myself, but because it gives true insight into a large global cultural movement. That this movie was helmed by an anthropologist metalhead increased this full perspective of its subjects. Sam Dunn asks intelligent questions of the "heroes and gods of metal" so that even diehard fans will gain some insight on the art form. Dunn's talent at interviewing also creates some very compelling and full portraits of a spectrum of metal fans themselves. Dunn is also incredibly tactful when dealing with the "bad boys" of metal who just want to curse and fling beer at the camera, or especially the Satanic black metal musicians in Northern Europe (mostly Norway) who advocate violence and have prior committed or advocated terrorist acts of political natures. Overall, Dunn creates a fantastic and extremely informative doc, thorough, and one of the better music docs I have ever seen. This doc works for people completely oblivious to the metal scene as well as the seasoned headbanger. The DVD 2 disc edition is also required to get the best out of this doc. While what had the edited feature stands perfectly on its own and will be enough for some viewers, the extended interviews with metal's legends and revolutionary contemporaries are must-watch for rock fans or musicians.

This movie also introduced me to tons of great metal bands I didn't know about and I've also gotten around to listening to legendary bands that have been on my "discographies to digest" list; Right now I am listening to: Hammerfall and Candlemass in the former category, and Rush and Iron Maiden in the latter. \m/,.\m/
The Last Man on Earth 1964,  Unrated)
The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993,  PG)
Amadeus 1984,  R)
why say anything? if you are reading this, then you may not have seen Amadeus, which means you NEED TO SEE IT IMMEDIATELY. You poor deprived wandering soul...duallbuluboobub;l
The Elephant Man 1980,  PG)
Arsenic and Old Lace 1944,  Unrated)
From Dusk Till Dawn 1996,  R)
From Dusk Till Dawn
a huge guilty pleasure of mine
Night of the Living Dead 1968,  R)
Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust 2001,  R)
Nadja 1995,  R)
the most poetic vampire film I have ever seen. Beautiful, emotional, raw, engaging, and vastly under-seen and under-rated.
The Monster Squad 1987,  PG-13)
The Monster Squad
Only a 5 because it is a childhood fave. And technically, it is flawless in script, acting, cinematography, effects. It's a SMASH A MONSTARRRRR BASH!!
The Lion in Winter 1968,  PG)
My Life in Pink (Ma Vie en Rose) 1997,  R)
Cecil B. Demented 2000,  R)
Cecil B. Demented
De-ment-ed For-ev-er!!! I have no clue why people think this is not as good as Waters' other work. So vastly under-rated, waaaay better than Sunset Boulevard or Day of the Locust when it comes to a movie about movies.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert 1994,  R)
Beauty and the Beast 2012,  G)
Ran 1985,  R)
The Man Who Would Be King 1975,  PG)
Napoleon Dynamite 2004,  PG)
Breathless (└ bout de souffle) (By a Tether) 1961,  Unrated)
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi 1983,  PG)
Delicatessen 1991,  R)
What else to expect from this dream team-up than a masterpiece? Delicatessen is a fabuously toned film, the best sequence being the "sounds" montage. Just great. Have to see it if you have any interest in scifi, dystopian films, Jeunet's work, or solid films in general.
Being John Malkovich 1999,  R)
Edward Scissorhands 1990,  PG-13)
Edward Scissorhands
There are few people alive who haven't seen this perfect fairy tale, but not too many know that it was Price's last film.
Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities 2000,  Unrated)
Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities
Another movie I added. Great doc exploring the lives and thoughts of a range of transgender and transsexual people. As a documentary, very personal and artistically edited (for the better).

The synopsis for this is misleading. The director may be reaching for some sort of futuristic theme, but yet another director has no idea that being trans is not a new thing and not as interesting as everyone thinks it is, but that doesn't matter because she picked great people to interview: trans people who know how to avoid that exploitative bullshit and really reveal just their general thoughts on life with the trans thing as a sidenote, albeit a large one, which is how it is in real life.
Slasher 2004,  Unrated)
In his first feature on digital film, John Landis tackles something he hasn't before: a documentary.

Landis follows a "mercenary car salesman" and his partners on a trip to Memphis, Tennessee to shift as many cars at a local dealership. Their business is traveling the country as "top salesmen" - selling large quantities of cars at dealerships that, for various reasons, desperately need to get cars off their lot and a temporary sales boost.

The main subject, Michael, is one of the most interesting documentary subjects I've seen and his personality not only carries the movie, but also creates plot where there is simply life being lived. His two friends, try to keep him out of trouble, being a hyperactive alcoholic with a loud mouth that he runs as fast as top sports car, as well as having several other unique traits that I can't peg as I'm not a psychologist.

Besides his "lead", Landis is able to capture a portrait of lower class and middle class America in poorer cities. There are some tear-tugging moments, both out of laughter and sympathy.

Landis said he had trouble working with a doc crew because he is used to setting up shots as opposed to just shooting (and disregarding things like other camera operators or crew members in a shot). However, Landis does get some of his desired set-up shots, and they look just as great as his studio work, but is more powerful in my opinion because of the catching content and the serendipitous execution of documentary.
This Is Spinal Tap 1984,  R)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance 2005,  R)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
the modern day equivalent of M. The best film in the Chanwook Park Vengeance trilogy. It took him two movies to get there - one that is very subdued and avant-garde (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) followed by one that is a formulaic action movie, Oldboy - and here in Lady Vengeance a perfect balance is struck between the script and image making for an excellent, much overlooked, film.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: main character cuts her finger off as offering of forgiveness; schoolmaster rapes his wife casually at dinner table
Lost in La Mancha 2003,  R)
Being There 1979,  PG)
Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) 1999,  Unrated)
Sling Blade 1996,  R)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika) ,  PG)
I Heart Huckabees 2004,  R)
Kill Bill: Volume 2 2004,  R)
Batman 1989,  PG-13)
where does he get all those wonderful toys? a landmark film for comic book franchises, the movie is on par with its graphic novel equivalent Frank Miller's edgy "The Dark Knight Returns"
Hot Fuzz 2007,  R)
The Remains of the Day 1993,  PG)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 2004,  R)
The Boondock Saints 1999,  R)
A Mighty Wind 2003,  PG-13)
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon 2006,  R)
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
A new benchmark for slasher films. I love the self-referential genre film, especially one executed as nicely as this one (all puns intended). I hope this is the start of a gagillion Les movies. Dark, ironic, and revealing in theme, the story flows well. I found the killer to be genuinely scary, both in art design and character pschology.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 2003,  R)
The Return of the Living Dead 1985,  R)
The Return of the Living Dead
the first zombie movie I ever saw
Empire Records 1995,  PG-13)
Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964,  PG)
Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
not perfect, but near it
Slither 2006,  R)
Rushmore 1998,  R)
Pi 1998,  R)
Crumb 1995,  R)
A bold and unflinching examination of an (socially edgy) artist and his equally talented but more troubled male siblings. Deserved its Grandy Jury Prize at Sundance
Waiting for Guffman 1996,  R)
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind 2004,  R)
Swordfish 2001,  R)
This is the root of my guilty pleasure list. When this movie came out, it was like the writers/studio execs just took a snapshot of my brain and regurgitated a Bruckheimer action version of my favorite things: hacking and puters made to look cool, quoting other movies and filmmakers, beating the crap out of Hugh Jackman (I was bitter about his Wolverine casting at the time), John Travolta as a bad guy, purposely convoluted plot, cars that just look cool, secret societies, and Halle Berry's boobs.

Indeed these are also a list of things that have ruined many a promising film's chance at being a legitimate film. Swordfish is such an awful movie, but so packed with things I like and in a manner I just can't fuss about when the movie's got a gun to my head, the best hooker in Vegas sucking me off, and 15 seconds to decrypt the highest level encoding. Usage of film for all the wrong things for all the reasons that feel good.
Heat 1995,  R)
Metropolis (Metoroporisu) 2002,  PG-13)
The Thing 1982,  R)
The Thing
09-03-08:Re-screened this before the storm. Very compelled (still) by the internal pressures of the story, pacing is beyond perfect. Acting is interesting and very genuine during scares. One of my new faves.
Further proof that when it comes to orchestrating action, John Carpenter is one of our truly great living directors. What would otherwise be another creature feature is turned into a pulsing drama with supreme horror special effects that, to my eyes, still work better than what today's CGI equivalent might be. Carpenter obviously knows his horror territory, but his big achievement here is the pacing and the nearly tangible component of fear-based emotions being collectively experienced by all the characters.
None of the characters feel cardboard, like they normally would in a movie of this sort, which is again due to Carpenter's cues to his actors. There are so many fantastic jump-scares and this is easily one of the top action horror movies of all time.
I'm glad that I waited so long to see this, so that I could see all of the inferior work it inspired first, as to truly appreciate this.
Battle Royale 3D 2000,  Unrated)
Battle Royale 3D
Interesting premise, tight form. Hard to care about the characters except a select few - still better empathy here than in most gorefests like this. (Two weeks later) After two more watches, still feel the same amount of connection to characters (just enough but not that much).
A fun ride, a good movie, and well executed, this is a new classic in the Asian gorefest category. A remake is in the works for the American market, but this is truly a sublime staging of slaughter.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
girls in the watchtower go stir crazy and kill each other
Wristcutters - A Love Story 2007,  R)
Wristcutters - A Love Story
Fantastic film with one flaw - its ending.
What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole 2006,  Unrated)
What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole
The superior version of this work if your interest was piqued by the theatrical cut. A great assembly of interviews and instructional visuals on the topic of quantum mechanics / quantum physics and touches on related or sub topics such as reality, neurology, physiology, evolution, perception, consciousness, religion, vortices, black holes, time, and parallel dimensions.
Cannibal Holocaust 1979,  NC-17)
Cannibal Holocaust
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
I recommend you obtain the fully-featured DVD version of this, as many of the purposefully unanswerable questions about production that the movie raises are all answered in a documentary featurette and an "only when relevant" commentary from director Deodato and the movie's main protagonist. This film is infamous because it sparked legal action regarding the use of animals in film and the director Deodato was arrested under suspicion of murdering his actors (he didn't kill any people) and the film was banned in virtually every country, and had the unconfirmed reputation of being "the most banned movie in history".
Besides all that great hoop-la and film history, Cannibal Holocaust has got a great premise and the tactic of showing "found documentary footage" that is consuming the horror genre now, though 'The Blair Witch Project' is usually credited in mainstream sources with this innovation. Some extremely brutal scenes that leave no question in the viewer's mind as to why audiences thought all or most of the violence was real.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: the adultery punishment ritual
Rampo Noir (Rampo jigoku) 2005,  Unrated)
Rampo Noir (Rampo jigoku)
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
Ramp Noir is comprised of four short pieces all based upon the writings of valued horror writer Edogawa Rampo. The first is the most art-house, avant-garde, lacking sound and existing within a world of its own colors and kineticism. The next is an astoundingly creepy detective horror with a superb mythical-meets post-modern/surreal ending. The third is one of the most beautiful disgusting movies you'll ever see, with much astute - no, plain genius - subtext. The final piece feels like a good end, as it has the least ambiguous conclusion and the most gratuitous beautifully rendered decay and madness.
Everyone should see this so that they can know what proper modern horror film is supposed to be.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
wife simultaneously copulates with and tortures her crippled mute husband, who sort of likes it
High Tension (Switchblade Romance) 2005,  R)
High Tension (Switchblade Romance)
A magnum opus. One thinks of great and iconic first horror films: Craven's "Last House on the Left", Carpenter's "Halloween", Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", Romero's "Night of the Living Dead", Argento's "The Bird with Crystal Plumage". And we should be reminded of these as these are the films that the directors, Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, studied and adored in their youth. More specifically, they wanted to pay tribute to this new form of horror film which emerged in the early to mid 1970s. But this isn't a big allusion-fest, this is a contemporary extreme thriller. Aja and Levasseur have clearly digested the films they've seen and are capable of using that knowledge to create fantastic film.
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
Dogma 1999,  R)
T˘ky˘ Zankoku Keisatsu (Tokyo Gore Police) 2008,  Unrated)
T˘ky˘ Zankoku Keisatsu (Tokyo Gore Police)
If you like absurdity in your gore horror, this is beyond must watch and into new classic territory.

Just be aware that the gore here is in the Asian fountain style where it's all about quantity, not reality in any sense. To this effect, those who seek authentic blood colors and consistency will be disappointed, but if you like the blood fountain aesthetic and that's what you're looking for, you probably don't give a damn about coloring or any realism, and you're gonna see some of the coolest gore fountains in cinema history.

The story here is that in future Tokyo, police have been privatized and primarily spend their time fighting things called engineers. Engineers are crazed killers that can only be killed by destroying the hidden key-shaped organ within them; any other damage done to an engineer turns the wound site into a weapon. This rule makes for some of the most awesome human-monster hybrids ever on screen. It starts with the Evil Dead tribute of guy with chainsaw hand, and then moves on to all original territory with guy with turret gun eyes, lady with giant jaw lower half, guy with giant dick gun, lady with acid-spewing titties. Even those who fight engineers have some awesomely odd weapons; this movie brings new meaning to the term "handgun".

The dubs are not annoying but actually well done. The props/special effects are great for the most part. The commercials throughout are hilarious, as is the majority of this movie. Instant new fave and I can't wait for the next one!

"Most Fucked up" highlight: Take your pick. For me, it's the chair person.
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur) 2007,  R)
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur)
Must-see horror. Best to go into this knowing nothing. A new classic, with some of the most gripping gore to splatter the screen in decades. This is one of those movies where I feel the only substantial thing I have to say is, "Why haven't you seen this yet?"
After a second screening, I've noticed some cool details: the address of the house is 666, the film uses fade wipes not to indicate passage of much time but to indicate a shift in perspective (except for once towards the very end), the first time the killer is in the house her shadow appears pregnant. As I recall from the first screening, the house feels incredibly womb-like and I still can't exactly decipher how the director does this other than pure pacing, tension, some of the soundtrack, and the story itself. The sound is brilliant and is responsible for making the kills seem so immediate and vicious. The whole final scene, but especially that final creepy shot is excruciatingly horrifying to the extent that it almost makes me want to quit the horror genre. Few films have delivered such genuine and unforgettable scares. I was left genuinely frightened and creeped out at the conclusion, feeling that same residual horror that The Exorcist leaves stained upon your brain. I'm ratcheting this up to five stars.
"So Fucked Up" highlight: supposedly dead and eyeless policeman rises and fights back
The Big Lebowski 1998,  R)
The Short Films of David Lynch 2002,  Unrated)
The Short Films of David Lynch
I was pretty sure I had already reviewed this and placed it on my favorite films list. Apparently not.

Anyways, this is required watching for all Lynchites and I love all the films in this collection. Lynch provides some necessary commentary on how each of these films came about, which I found to be quite inspirational to young film-makers and revelatory about how Lynch perceives his ascent into a productive film career.
Surveillance 2009,  R)
I thought this was a brilliant film. I first saw this two weeks ago and have since watched it five times, but am still unsure what all I have or need to say in a general review of it without giving anything away.

There are some minor plot holes, but the acting is perfect with some unforgettable performances by Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman. This is the second film by Jennifer Lynch, the first since she has reached true adulthood, and I can tell that she has certainly matured as a storyteller and not at all lost her penchant for darkness. Reacting to the film's arc, her father David Lynch described his daughter as "one sick bitch" for making this film. I don't think there's any better endorsement.

I don't want to give ANY spoilers so I won't write much more than "SEE THIS!", but would LOVE TO DISCUSS this flick's particulars with anyone.


"That's Fucked Up" Highlight:
strangling the junkie girl and then sucking out her last breath as she asphyxiates
Lo 2008,  Unrated)
This is one of those films that, watching it, I have this creeping feeling that I am the exact audience for this film, that there is not much I would have changed had this been my project.

This is very much a theatre piece, with the single blackened set, the exits and entrances, and even Tragedy and Comedy presiding over the main character's memories. The film begins with our awkward and meek main character Justin sat in a summoning circle and performing what is obviously his first summoning ritual. He calls forth the demon Lo because his girlfriend has been recently nabbed by a demon and she conveniently left Justin with a demonic grimoire so he summons the demon which is bookmarked, hoping he can somehow get his girl back. With the exception of the initial and closing minute, the whole film is set in a private limbo of the summoning realm.

With so many strong points in this film, the cinematography was first to impress but the makeup absolutely floored me. Anyone who has read any of my prior reviews may have noticed that I favor practical makeup/fx to CG in horror, and this is a film that plainly proves the merit of using solely makeup to create its monsters. Besides our titular character, there are two other featured demons, a squealing green and mangy rat-thing hovering in the "corner" and a sly satirical singing demon Jeez who sports a Nazi-themed outfit and really reaches to the limits of this film's capacity for absurdity with his song and dance number for Justin about his girlfriend's fate. Lo, when it first appears on screen, is astoundingly creepy-beautiful and is wonderfully filmed, which brings me to the next strong point of this film, its cinematography. The lighting is like a live theatre stage setup, with Justin trapped in his summoning circle and other characters and flashback tableau entering and leaving the surrounding space through careful and masterful spotlighting of the otherwise utterly dark summoning space. The colors are crisp and all of the light shades hit showcase the incredible makeup.

Acting is pretty much point on here, especially since these actors are working from a superb script with very natural dialogue. The comedy bits work and the struggle of Justin vs. self is very nicely done. The one bit I sort of disliked but that I'm sure other people will love is the "monologues" where Justin speaks to the now talkative gash in his palm. It's not that this has been used before so much as this is the only spot where the makeup is flawed. It's not BAD makeuping for the budget, but it's simply not acceptable in comparison to the mastery of the three demon pieces.

This film is currently available on Netflix instant watch, and I strongly recommend you take time out of your schedule, however busy, to indulge in this bit of demonic dark comedy. A truly standout and original independent film, this is a lovely and rare gem from the American indie horror market.
Inferno 1980,  R)
I like this WAAAAY better than Suspiria and I dun care whats peoples gots to say bout dat!

I'm not saying it's a better film (I'd have to rescreen both multiple times to determine that) but I prefer it, and is under-rated for not being as popular as Suspiria.

As usual for Argento productions, the sets and lighting are astonishing and beautiful. Unusual for Argento, this movie is quite plotted while also maintaining Argento's signature impressionist style. I found this story to be the most revealing of the "Three Mothers" trilogy. There is too much good to be said about this film. Favorite scenes: the submerged room in the cellar, following sounds through the elaborate pipe system, the library closing scene, the end sequence (which gives the film its name).
Bent 1997,  NC-17)
Hot Gay Sex List Commentary:
This is a rarity for this list, as there is only a smudgeon of explicit sex in it (at the very beginning), but it simultaneously contains the most erotic scene ever filmed in which two Holocaust prisoners talk each other through a sexual encounter, whilst standing ten feet apart, not looking at each other, and whispering under the ever watchful eye of Nazi guards. On top of that, I think it's the best Holocaust film; I prefer it to Schindler's List.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: the really cute twinky boy is brutally beaten by Nazis on the train to death camp whilst his boyfriend watches, forced to deny knowing him in order to survive
Piranha 3-D 2010,  R)
Piranha 3-D
I like it cuz it's Aja and doesn't suck (if it weren't Aja I might be more critical than the following review). If you see it in 3D, a detached penis floats in your face and then a piranha gobbles it up then spits it back in your face, which means a movie is Certified Fucking Awesome. There is also an over-glorified and thus sublimely shot scene of two naked women swimming a playful and sensual underwater ballet; this scene is wedged between a first act of generally inconsequential character development with bouncing bare titties in the background and a third act of inconsequential plot development with millions of gallons of blood and some of the greatest gore in modern film on display in the foreground. Because of those two scenes alone, this is a four star flick. It also helps that Eli Roth got if only that could happen in real life so he'd stop making shitty horror movies and hanging out on sets with real directors to do bit parts.

csworky: "I shamelessly give this movie a high-rating. It's the most fun I've had at the movies all year".

There were as many bouncing titties as missing limbs, and those were both VERY high numbers.

"Most Fucked Up" highlight is a TIE: girl's body falls apart at the mid-torso, guts spilling everywhere, and her eyes turn to certainly dead as two men attempt to valiantly carry her to shore AND some douchebag who is trying to save his own skin by running people over in a mini-boat purposely starts a boat motor while a girl's hair is caught in the propeller, and when he succeeds in starting the engine her scalp and face are ripped off

From Jan 18-20 2010: Good news - thanks to Bloody Valentine box office success, Dimension has announced that it's going through with this. Aja is working on storyboards and script revisions at the moment with shooting as yet unscheduled. New tentative release date is March 2010.
Code 46 2004,  R)
Code 46
Beautiful, atmospheric, pitch-perfect, absorbing, astounding, and every other adjective to assign to greatness that one can fathom. It's what would happen if Lost in Translation had been written as a loose adaptation of 1984 and Brave New World. A must see for all students of film. One of the greatest films about dystopia/aspiring utopia as well as a classic romance.
Best in Show 2000,  PG-13)
Cannibal 2008,  R)
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High 2007,  Unrated)
Videodrome 1983,  R)
The Straight Story 1999,  G)
The Straight Story
I think it's more than just a stunning film; it's a breath-taking dissertation on the most traditional plot form in drama.

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