Monthly Archives: May 2015

“Shut up, Baskin.”

I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play in my backyard with my dad growing up.  He worked a lot.  He was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age, which was really hard on his body.  I do remember brief moments though when we did get to play.  One day, my cousin and I were in the backyard playing football.  My dad joined us.  We would punt to him and try and tag him out.  We could never catch him.  He would punt to us, tag us out, and the next thing you know, it was 4th down.  We would punt, couldn’t catch him, touchdown!  He kicked our butts.  We didn’t care.  He was outside playing with us.  Later when I was in junior high, there were a lot more opportunities when he installed a basketball hoop in our driveway.  I was getting older, more competitive, and my dad was a competitive man.  It stopped being fun when I would get stuffed every time I tried a layup. I remember throwing a fit to the point that my dad stopped playing with me.  All I have is my regret now.

The first time I watched “Big,” all I thought about was how awesome it would be to have that happen so I could give my dad a dose of his own “stuffing” medicine.  It was very short-sighted of me, but when you’re a kid, you’re in the “selfish” moment a lot.

Watching Tom Hanks as an adult child is a treasure you can’t forget about. I can only imagine the pure fun that already, “very pleasant” actor had making that movie.

big-1988-movie

This is the type of movie in which you have to buy the premise.  A boy doesn’t want to be a boy anymore, he makes a wish at a coin dispensary machine…that he realizes was unplugged the entire time…

*cue chills*

…and he wakes up in the morning as Tom Hanks…could’ve been worse, like Steve Guttenberg or something…

Life as an adult at first is not all that great…gets chased out of his house by his mother, his best friend almost cuts him in half with a hockey stick, he doesn’t have anywhere to live or a job.

New meaning to “growing up over night.”

This is a Hollywood movie however and he makes it work, almost to the point where he doesn’t want to be a boy again, of course, because he falls in love with Elizabeth Perkins.

elizabeth perkins

Who’d wanna go back to acne and awkward junior high dances?  Answer: NO-FREAKING-BODY!!!

Like all great movies, there are a lot of great “moments” that everyone refers to: his first encounter with himself in the mirror in the bathroom, his mother chasing him out of the house, the large piano, his “sleep over,” and the unplugging of the “Zoltar.”

Watching Hanks embrace his inner 12 year old is a lot of fun.  When I was a kid, I liked seeing an adult let loose and be goofy like me.

Adults have a fun time watching him learn about the adult world through a 12 year old’s eyes…

…and I feel they learn a little about themselves too.

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“You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing.”

I watched a lot of television with my dad in the evenings after I had finished school and he had come home from work.  We used to watch “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The A-Team,” and “Airwolf.”  The show we never missed: “Star Trek” (the original series) and then “Star Trek: The Next Generation” once it hit the air in 1987.  I learned very early on not to talk until the commercials came on.  I used to inundate my dad with queries in between scenes because there was a lot about the story that I was too young to understand.  During commercials, he was glad to explain things to me.  He had a way with words that kept it simple, without a lot of unnecessary conversation.  My dad was not a man that liked to hear himself talk.  He was a great storyteller because of that.  He had a natural use of metaphor about him and could get his point across, quickly with great visual style.

I cannot forget the first time my dad and I sat and watched “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”  There are scenes in this film that can never be “unseen” for me as long as I live.

I have found over the years that Hollywood has done an amazing job with the “even” numbered Star Trek films.  No one ever talks about “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”  I don’t think that I have seen it to this day.  EVERYONE talks about “The Wrath of Khan.”

The writers got very smart and pulled from the television series to start this tale.  Long ago, Kirk left a gang of genetically superior warriors from the 20th century abandoned on a believed to be survivable planet with no technology.  We later find that the planet was uninhabitable and almost killed the genetically superior warriors lead by none other than Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island.

mr roarke

We get to this path quickly and once Khan enters the scene, the movie takes off from one moment of suspense to the next.

I want to go on record saying that I have and will always love the main cast actors for each and every role on both the series and the feature films.  Everyone of them owns their characters and I can’t imagine any other actors playing their roles (that’s not to say I dislike the new cast at all, those are altogether different films in my opinion, and I enjoy that set too).

star-trek-the-wrath-of-khan-uniforms

This film features intense moments, intriguing monologues throughout from both Kirk and Khan, and my favorite chess match on film between the protagonist(s) and Khan (eat your heart out Moriarty and Holmes).

The two unforgettable scenes that I have eluded to will not be written about here.  I would not want to take seeing those for the first time from anyone.  I will say this.  They are visually stunning, horrifying, heartbreaking, and well wrought.

My dad and I ended up watching this film together many times.  It became one of our staples: Jaws, Blues Brothers, Fright Night, others yet to be mentioned….

I will remember this film for the compelling suspense, action, acting, drama, etc. but I like to remember how much enjoyment my father and I had together bonding over scenes after our first viewing.  It was like we were at a concert with our favorite band and they started playing our favorite song right before we saw each of our favorite scenes.  Then we would make a small comment on how they made us feel.  Remembering those moments with him are truly enjoyable and I hope that I can never forget them.  I haven’t so far.

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“…all pilgrims share a deep love of life; especially their own!”

As I said about 6 posts ago, I have been thumbing through the 80s trying to grab any movies that I missed on my first go around.  This next one was an EPIC failure on my part.  This is one of those movies that came out on HBO (when we still had it) and it was an event.  My dad and I (as well as my cousins) probably re-watched this on HBO alone, 10 times!

HBO would always (and I still think they do) send out their monthly catalog with the schedule and advertisements for their big movie that would make its debut.  By the 3rd week of the month, I had already watched the movies I wanted to see–and had memorized the rest of the schedule.  I would yearn for the next catalog to get here, and when it did, it was the only mail I gave a shit about.  The catalog would end up housed in my room next to my bed.  I would commit it to memory and make note of the movies that I still needed to see and their times.

Yes…I was lonely, thanks for asking…*clears throat*

I remember the ad for this movie and it was larger than any I’d seen HBO put in their catalog.  It took up two pages and it had a black background with a wall of fire and the lead characters standing in front of it in the “ready position” with their weapons in hand.  This was to be their premiere movie….NEXT MONTH????

Yes, I waited a month.  I showed it to my dad and asked him if we could watch it together at the earliest slot available.  He said, “Sure.”

…a man of few, yet powerful words, my dad.

When we first started watching “The Beastmaster” I was way weirded-out briefly with the opening sequence.  A man and his VERY pregnant wife, lay in bed and are accosted by a witch as they sleep.  She (the witch) pours a potion on their throats that paralyzes them as she proceeds to cast a spell that transports the child from the womb of the woman to the womb of a cow, in the woods.  That’s not the worst.  The witch takes the baby into the woods and brands the newborns hand with an indecipherable mark, and prepares to sacrifice it.

Luckily, a rather bad ass commoner stumbles upon this scene and murders the witch (I think…it’s been a long time since I have seen this…if I am fuzzy on the details, correct me in the comments section…) with a cool ass boomerang type weapon.

We find out later that the people in the sleeping quarters were the king and queen of the land and this was their first born son that will now be raised amongst the common folk of Emur.

This is a true and total “sword and sorcery” movie that made me want to rent every “sword and sorcery” movie I could get my hands on after I watched it.

None of them were as good as this one.  I think there are a few reasons:

1.  Outside of a few scenes, there is not much “sorcery” which I feel makes for a better story.  Sometimes magic can be a “save all” and that takes away some respect from the viewer and can eliminate suspense.

2. Director Don Coscarelli needs to be given a lot of credit for creating very gritty and well choreographed action/fight scenes.  Dar (our hero) is not easily able to dispatch 4 men like they are inanimate.  Without help, he would most likely perish in an early fight scene.  This is both realistic and suspenseful for the viewer.

3. No forced English accents.  Generally in films like this, people expect Shakespeare in the park.  Like Rutger Hauer in “Ladyhawke,” the actors do a great job enunciating every line and a loss of accent is not distracting, it’s natural in this world.

4. The actors that were hired really lost themselves in the material and did a great job delivering material that could’ve easily made them look foolish.

I sought out Marc Singer movies after I viewed this.  Another film that he did the same year “If You could See What I Hear” is a very underrated story and performance as he plays a blind musician. Who didn’t watch the original “V?” And he was huge on “Dallas” as Matt Cantrell.

I crushed major on Tanya Roberts after this movie and enjoyed her in “Sheena,” “A View to a Kill,” and later on “That 70s Show,” where a decade later, she was still a very convincing hot mom.  I love her scratchy voice dammit!

John Amos as Seth is a very convincing bad ass with a staff and delivers his lines as well as Rip Torn, the villain of the film.

There are masked monsters of sorcery, giant winged creatures that consume their pray in seconds, a hawk, ferrets, a black tiger, and a horde of “Jun” iron masked men clad in leather on horseback that seem like they are from a “Mad Max” movie.

I carry on…

In the end, I was very excited to talk about this movie, obviously.  My cousins and I would choose our characters and reenact the battles at the end of the movie with other kids in the neighborhood in our back yard.  We had a ditch, so it was perfect.

If I haven’t convinced you yet to seek this movie out, fair enough.  One last try…

You’ll never be able to remove the “eyeball” ring from the depths of your mind after you watch this. 😉

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“You insignificant little pipsqueak, I’m in charge here!”

It’s no surprise to anyone that I am drawn to movies with lovable losers.

The greatest is “Lucas.”

I also like:

Mikey from “The Goonies

Schmendrick from “The Last Unicorn

Gaston from “Ladyhawke

All of the characters in “Explorers” (well maybe not Darren)

Scott Howard from “Teen Wolf

I’m sure I’ve left out a few and you get the point.  The lovable loser from the next film is pathetic to the point of pity, but he becomes a man of action.  The transformation is so believable and from one of the most unlikely actors to hit the screen.  Martin Short’s Jack Putter in “Innerspace” is definitely a top five lovable loser, all time.  He tape records (that was done on a VCR in the 80s for all of you Mellenials out there) game shows while he is at his day job at a grocery store.  He will sometimes re-watch them more than once.  He is a hypochondriac and displays high anxiety symptoms.  He is in for one hell of a weekend.

I remember watching “Fantastic Voyage” with my mother when I was much younger.  It was made twenty years earlier than this film and shared a lot of the same premise.  In that film, a very important politician has a stroke, and a team of scientists shrink themselves into a capsule that they can then maneuver while riding around inside of his body to find the disease that they will need to destroy.  When I was young, it was great!  It eventually ended up being extremely campy after my first viewing of “Innerspace.”

I’m going to take a line from Inigo Montoya, “Let me explain….no, there is too much, let me sum up.”

Dennis Quaid as Lt. Tuck Pendleton gets involved in an experiment to test a shrinking technology and agrees to be shrunk while inside a capsule and be injected into a rabbit while in a lab.  The villains of the film attempt to steal the technology in the middle of this process, there is a chase, and Pendleton ends up getting injected into Jack Putter’s ass.  It is now up to Jack to help keep Pendleton alive…and Pendleton becomes the voice inside of Jack, literally, of reason, courage, and wisdom.

What a great story.

Throw in some groundbreaking special effects, amazing action sequences, and a lot of suspense and you have a very entertaining 120 minutes.

Another notable performance was Robert Picardo as “The Cowboy.”  Picardo is most famous for his role as “the Doctor” on Star Trek: Voyager.  He is an amazing character actor and has had consistent work in Hollywood for a very long time playing henchmen, slobs, wimps, and geeks.  He had the difficult task of giving us a monstrous character with a few minutes of screen time, so that Jack would have enough personality to go on in order to disguise himself and pull off his role as an impostor “Cowboy.”

Picardo delivers.

In the end, I love watching Jack’s slow build of confidence throughout the film.  The screenwriters Jeffrey Boam and Skip Proser gave Martin Short just enough moments to be, well…Martin Short, but also wrote a character that they could bring back down to earth in order to become the necessary man of action.  Director Joe Dante deserves credit for helping to contain Short from making too many scenes slapstick and unbelievable.

I feel the result of all their hard work was an entertaining and exciting job well done.

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“Well factually, the…”

Outside of Quentin Tarantino right now, are there writers that enjoy all that there is about the “American-English” language more than Joel and Ethan Coen?

I will admit, I didn’t really have a clear understanding for their genius with writing on my first viewings, but they eventually won me over and have become one on a short list of my favorite American Filmmakers.

I wasn’t ready for “Raising Arizona” the first time I’d seen it, mainly because it was unlike any comedy I had ever seen before.  I feel that some works of genius are rewarded later.  This film definitely falls into that category.

My mom and I watched it together, and we had a difficult time concentrating on the dialogue because we were so involved in watching Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, William Forsythe, and Randall “Tex” Cobb display their physical talents.  The hair and makeup people for Nicholas Cage did not get paid enough money.

nick cage

This is a movie that was packed with criminals, prison breaks, kidnappings, bounty hunters, car chases, shoot outs, and explosions…did I mention that it’s a comedy?

The premise alone makes me giggle.

Our convict, H. I. “You can call me Hi” McDunnough (Cage) meets our cop Ed “short for Edwina” (Hunter) as he is being booked.  She (Ed) takes his (Hi’s) mug shots.  This extremely odd couple decides to get married and later finds that they cannot conceive children.  Hi decides to take matters into his own hands instead of waiting for the adoption process to work and kidnaps the 7th child of a wealthy furniture store mogul, Nathan Arizona.  Hence, “Raising Arizona“.

Prior to watching this, my mom and I made guesses based on the title as to what the movie could be about.

“Are they going to make mountains in the Arizona desert?”

“Is Arizona going to float off into space?”

There was none of that in this movie….maybe that is why we were disappointed at first….hmm.

I don’t think I will ever be able to forget the “Huggies robbery” sequence.  I remember not being able to stop laughing from the moment he slid his panty hose over his head, until he reached out the door of the moving car and picked up the diapers on the road without stopping the car. I have a smile that is stretching across my face as I remember and write about it.

huggies

In the end, as many Coen Brother films were in the 80s and early 90s, this movie was ahead of it’s time and can now be appreciated for what it is.  An original comedy that the talent lost themselves inside of.

It was this movie that gave us a heads up for “Barton Fink” “Fargo” “The Big Lebowski” “No Country for Old Men” and the better “True Grit“…and I left a lot of REALLY great films out, because “factually” I want you to research all of them and get to love them for the first time.

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“Someone’s gonna get killed, and you’re farting around with prehistoric animals.”

I always called this next one, “Raiders Lite.”

The opening montage of the film is hilarious.  It is narrated by our lead character (unbeknownst to us in a first viewing). The scene unfolds and a very vile man is going to rape and murder a faceless woman, until she pulls out a hidden knife from her boot, lets it fly and kills him in a single blow.  She eventually ends up in the arms of her tall, dark, stranger lover…the end.

What?

Cut to a “homely” looking Kathleen Turner, crying away at her typewriter.  She is Joan Wilder, novelist.  She has just completed another one of her Romance Novels.

She receives a strange manila envelope in the mail that she disregards at first, until she receives a call from her distraught sister who lets her know that if she does not bring the contents of the envelope (a treasure map) to Colombia, the men keeping her will kill her.

The many things I remember about “Romancing the Stone” are this:

In the 80s, try to make Kathleen Turner look “homely” at all; she’s still more beautiful than most women on their best “made up” day.

Danny DeVito is hilarious, and this was my introduction.

Michael Douglas does a pretty good Indiana Jones impression.

My mom would continue to fastforward through any sex scene, nudity or not.

“Look at those snappers!”

This movie is a smorgasbord of everything Hollywood expects from their blockbusters: beautiful leads, high adventure, subtle moments of brilliant comedic timing (mainly by DeVito), well written dialogue (even the cheesy Romance Novel stuff; it is a wink to us from the writers given the lead character’s profession), larger than life set pieces (the mud slide, the car floating on the river, the Colombian landscapes), and action.

 

 

 

Joan, out of the gate, is not built for these adventures.  Can she write them?  Hell yes.  Can she star in one of her books?  No.  She wore heels to the jungle.  In a rare set of circumstances that only happens in romance novels or Hollywood, Joan runs into Jack “Trustworthy” Colton.  The two are stranded in the jungle, and he agrees to help her get to a phone.

Based on the title, you know what’s going to happen.  When two beautiful people meet in the jungle in the middle of a Hollywood movie…come on.  Romance baby!

The performances by Douglas, Turner, and DeVito are what keep the story moving.

Turner’s Joan is a very delicate creature that only wants to save her sister, and realizes early that she can’t do it alone.  Douglas’s Colton is a cryptic vagabond that wants to do the right thing…or does he?  Hence, “cryptic.”  DeVito’s Ralph is a man put in a situation he’d rather not be in (he is part of the gang that has kidnapped Joan’s sister and has to ensure that she gets the map to them safely).  Ralph of course gets mixed up with the dirty Colombian cop that has tracked Joan from her apartment in America and back to Colombia again.  In the midst of all of that, Ralph is used and abused for our comedic benefit–and we appreciate his labors.  The faces that DeVito can make would seem “over-the-top” or “too big” if made by any other actor.  We buy it every time he widens those dark brown eyes in rage or panic.  Priceless.

devito

In the end, this movie is full of shenanigans from one scene to the next.  Do we buy all of them? Not really, but we sure as hell want to if not simply for the high entertainment we are put through from start to finish.

Remember, “Look at those snappers!”

Advice to live by…right Zolo?

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“Looks like you have created another Frankfurter’s monster.”

I think I should warn everybody that I did watch this film A LOT as a child of the 80s…but I’m not really a huge fan of it any more.  It had its time and its place in my life and I am kind of done with it.  I’m not going to hurry and show this one to my son like “E. T.” and “The Neverending Story.”

But….

….it would be unfair not to have a mention about it since I did watch it WAY too many times than I should’ve.

Basically, the American military has created weaponized robots in their effort to win the military race with the Soviet Union during the cold war.  Well one of them (#5) is electrocuted in the lab during drills and just “wakes up” later and leaves when everyone believes that he is shutdown.

While on the run from the military, he meets up with the girl from “War Games” and shenanigans ensue.

Mix in the fact that Number 5 is now being tracked by two factions:  the military leaders that want him stopped/”disassembled” at all costs and his creator; played by everybody’s favorite 80s actor Steve Guttenberg.  I joke of course, however, say what you want about him, he got a lot of work in the 80s; some of it very legitimate. (“Diner,” “Police Academy,” “Cocoon,” “Three Men and a Baby“)…and that’s how you come up with a “Short Circuit.”

steve-guttenberg

What I remember as a child is laughing at how the robot talked after he was able to watch television.  He had his regular “Johnny 5 is Alive” voice, but once he watched television and learned other “catch phrases,” he could make his voice sound like any that he had heard.

This is hands down a child’s movie in every sense of the description.  I have no real desire to catch up on it again.  I know this because it was on at my mom’s one time when she had some of my younger cousins over who were watching it for the first time.  I sat down beside them and found myself bored with the material.  When I was their age, I loved it.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  This is probably the first movie that I have written about where I feel that I don’t have a real strong sense of nostalgia for.

Why write about it then?

I really did love this movie at one point.  I think it is fair to write about movies that you once loved, but do not have desire for any more.  Taste changes and this movie was my first proof of that.

I will admit…should it be on the tv when my son is watching…I’d have him pause to finish it for sure.

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“I had my back broke once, and my hip twice. And on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you.”

When I was 4 years old, I remember riding along in the truck with my mom and sister as my dad helped my grandpa, my uncle, and my cousin drive cattle from their corral in Blackfoot, ID to their little ranch in the “Wolverine” area of Idaho.  That’s approximately an hour drive going 50 mph.  I remember the trip taking much longer than when we just drove up to the ranch for our camping trips.  We had to avoid hitting cattle, and each one of them would need to be accounted for at the end of the trip.

My dad, my grandpa, my uncle, and my cousin were on horseback for the entire trip.

It took all day and that was only 50 miles.

When I think of “The Cowboys” I always think of that drive we had and realize how safe and easy it was in 1981.

How things had changed.

My grandfather loved John Wayne movies.  I have many fond memories watching his films with him.  I generally wouldn’t sit for entire films, but I would take a few moments here and there to watch some scenes with him before I was off with my cousin to play on the farm.

My grandpa could never watch “The Cowboys” with me.  There were scenes in that film that were too hard for him to see and he didn’t like to revisit them.  I watched it in its entirety with my mother when I was 7 and it was an experience to say the least.  I believe this was the first Western that I sat down and watched from beginning to end.

The premise is very simple.  Wil Andersen (John Wayne) has some cattle to move and no men to help him do it.  He has a run in with a man that is willing to offer his services, but it turns out he’s a liar and Wil is not the kind of man to suffer liars.  The only help he can rustle up are a bunch of “cow-BOYS” as he puts it–at the local school.  The “boys” receive a crash course in cattle rearing on Wil’s farm briefly before they are off on their first adventure.

The most impactful portion of the film is Wil Andersen’s tough love philosophy around how to help these “boys” become men.  We know that Wil has had tragedy in his life trying to raise his two boys that died before they should have; and he has never forgiven himself for that.  He is a hard man, with a hard job to do and he wants to prepare everyone of them for the tough road to come–not only on the drive, but to make a lasting impression in their life; long after.  One of my favorite scenes in the film involves Wil helping a “boy” get over his stuttering impediment.  We go from life or death drama to out-loud laughter in under 30 seconds.  John Wayne made a career out of getting the most from small scenes like this; less is always more.

stutter

When people write John Wayne off as a terrible actor, I always ask them who could’ve played his roles better?  Was he Dustin Hoffman?  No.  But like Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, wouldn’t it seem wrong if someone else played them?  I say hell yes.  I also tell them to watch “Red River.”  It might be the greatest Western ever made and it is Wayne’s performance alongside Montgomery Clift that drives the drama.

I digress.  Back to “The Cowboys.”

There are past characters that reappear and change everything.  Namely Long Hair, played by the great Bruce Dern.  It is a shame that this film did harm to his career for a time.  He is haunting in this performance.  I always feel that the best screen villains have clear justification for their actions, however diabolical they may seem–they make us believe that it is important to them as the villain.  Dern makes this look effortless.  The score by John Williams helps this feeling of doom ascend when Dern appears throughout the movie.

In the end, this was a powerful film for me on very many personal levels.  I grew up with a father like Wil.  I know that he loved me dearly, and wanted the best for me, always.  When he had to be tough, he did it out of love.  You never know that when you are a “boy.”  It’s years later (after you’re 21) that you realize that the lessons that we learn in that fashion shape us to be better people and models for our children–which I am learning now.  I really wish that I had more time with my father to share this with him.  He deserved more praise than I ever gave him.

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“An explanation is probably long overdue.”

I thought it would be a good idea to catch up on a few movies that I may have overlooked.

This next one helped me…discover things…

Yikes.  That sounds stupid.  I’ll explain.

It was my first exposure to high school kids gone wild i.e. large parties when parents are out of town, underage drinking, drinking games, etc.

I also learned that Alex P. Keaton does not make a good basketball player.

Yep, “TEEN WOLF.”

Everything about this movie screams 80s: the fashion, the score, the pop songs.  Even the story dilemmas.

The worst thing going on in his life until he discovers he’s a werewolf is that he’s on a pretty bad basketball team.  He discovers he likes being a werewolf, then he doesn’t….shoot me in the face.

By my standards this is a “classic.”  For everyone else in the world, it was cute for a year or two and it has now lost its flavor.

As far as learning beyond extracurricular activities, I started developing major crushes on women.  This movie definitely helped this along.  Enter Lorie Griffin (cue the angel music):

lorie

Okay, this was way cute in the 80s (I warned you about the fashion).

There is also a “bra and pantie” scene that I may have watched way too many times on the VHS tape we had…WAY TOO MANY TIMES….broken tape maybe….

*crickets*

I said it helped me…discover things….I’m done.

Ultimately, at the age that I watched this movie, there was some cool stuff that I wish could happen to me growing up.  It’d be cool to be able to turn into a werewolf and start dunking basketballs.  Who doesn’t want to go from awkward loser on a basketball team to the most popular guy in school?

When it was made, the movie wasn’t too campy…okay, it was, but we were all impressed with the makeup/special effects and gave the movie a pass when it had a cheesy climax/moral.

The effects don’t hold up to today’s standards, but I don’t think they distract from the story, probably because it is very simple.

At the end of the day, it’s Michael J. Fox that makes this movie watchable.  He’s at home as another lovable loser, but he is also charming so when he has to be confident, we buy it (his years on “Family Ties” definitely helped).

It’s a very simple quick watch if you don’t want to think hard…at all.  It’s also good to discover how lax we used to be with developing our stories for entertainment.

Consider it a social experiment.

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“Get me Bruce Lee!”-“Bruce Lee is dead.”-“Then get his brother!”

So I feel I’ve written about some “cult classics.”  I think it’s fair to say that “Fright Night” and “Big Trouble in Little China” are what can be considered “cult classics.”  For the definition, I turned to the most reliable source for accurate definitions–UD, baby.  Urban Dictionary is NEVER wrong.  I like all 3 definitions.  I’m going to list them, not in any particular order (maybe):

cult classic 

Something that’s really hip with a select group of people.

Pretty basic.  Cut-and-dry.  Gets right to the point.  I like it.  

The next one is really fun if you read it with an English Accent in your head.

cult classic

A popular piece of work, generally a movie, which has gained a large following.  This following has most likely been around for at least a few years, except for cases of an ‘instant cult classic,’ in which a movie gains instant fame which remains for decades to come.

Not bad.  More detail. A very specific explanation with an example of another type of the same noun.  Good stuff. 

cult classic 

A movie that is weird as fuck.

That’s gotta be the best, right?

This next movie that I have chosen has to be the “cultiest” of cults.  Some of you are going to be annoyed that I chose this and will refuse to continue reading after I give you the title.  Some of you are going to hear the title, hit your head on the ceiling and yell, “Fuck yeah!”

Isn’t that how cult classics work?  You love ’em or you hate ’em.  Gray?  Come on.

I like to ask people, “Who’s an underrated bad ass of films in the 80s?”  I think the word underrated makes it an interesting question.  If you just ask pure bad ass, people will throw out Arnold and Sly and Dolph…but underrated adds some dimension.  Its not supposed to be the ones that pop right in there.  For me, it will always be Rutger Hauer.

Now I know I already mancrushed on him when I wrote about “Ladyhawke,” but hear me out.

Arnold, and Sly for the most part were the “good guys.”  Hell, Arnold was a villain in “The Terminator” and in the sequel he was the hero (not to mention in each one in that series following–when he was cast).  Name a movie where Sly played a villain (“Oscar” doesn’t count).  Dolph, like Arnold, started as a villain, but was cast as an action hero bad ass after that until “Universal Soldier” when he fell off the face of the earth.

Get to the point, asshole.

My point is that Rutger was able to do multiple bad ass roles on both sides of the spectrum.  He could play a villain you never wanted to walk across the street from and a hero that could knock you out with his piercing gaze.

RH Cold Stare

Let’s examine his list:

villain = Nighthawks (Sly’s the hero…coincidence?)” “Blade Runner” and “The Hitcher

hero = The Osterman Weekend” of course “Ladyhawke” “Wanted: Dead or Alive” and…..”Blind Fury

Yes, the best “cult classic” for last, “Blind Fury.”  I freaking love this ridiculous movie.  Why?  Because Rutger Hauer made me believe he could be a blind bad ass!

Blind Fury

I know, after finally building up to what I normally write for one post, I get to the movie…sorry.

Outside of Rutger Hauer becoming a “Zatoichi” style bad ass (which I have clearly established), here’s what you need to know:

The film features Randall “Tex” Cobb as Slag.  Cobb is one of my favorite typecast, villain actors of the 80s.  He is lights out as the antagonist in this movie, and he gets an epic Darth Maul demise. Cobb was used as the Featured Image for my post on “The Golden Child” and he was also in “Raising Arizona,” which will receive a post from me at some point as well.

cobb

There are creative action sequences from beginning to end, and….

…the hero only knows how to use a sword…because he’s blind.

Go see it.

You might regret it, you might not = essence of “cult classic.”

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