All posts tagged: Cult Classic

A Few of My Favorite 80’s Movies

Oh the 80’s. It was the decade that came and left just before I was born and bestowed us with vibrant clothes, pop music, and Reagan’s regressive policies. It’s the time that my mom refers to mysteriously and with an air of disdain, telling a curious story from her past and concluding with a sigh, “well it was the 80’s.” And when I watch popular American 80’s movies, I think I catch her drift. Below are five of my favorite off-beat, magical, bizarre, and hilarious movies that are quintessentially of the 80’s. What are a few of yours? Raising Arizona (dir. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1987) Raising Arizona is my favorite Coen brother’s film (followed closely by The Big Lebowski) and a Nic Cage favorite as well. Raising Arizona is charming, hilarious, well written, and perfectly cast and performed. The film’s very particular production design, cinematography, and soundtrack also adds to its magic. And as an Arizonan, I seem to have a warm place in my heart for any movie that takes place there.   The Breakfast Club (dir. John Hughes, 1985) Like …

Brown, Kiddo, & Tarantino

OR: Tarantino’s Leading Ladies: Jackie Brown, Beatrix Kiddo, & Women’s Empowerment On-screen Quentin Tarantino’s body of work – from his feature film debut Reservoir Dogs (1992), to his most recent epic The Hateful Eight (2015) – consists of films that are violent, highly stylized, dialogue-driven, oftentimes problematic, and always provocative. Though each film in Tarantino’s oeuvre is quite different from the one that came before it or followed, numerous qualities of his work remain consistent. In each of his films Tarantino celebrates popular culture by commemorating genres that were once relegated to the margins by Hollywood, such as martial arts cinema, Blaxploitation, and spaghetti westerns. While appropriating genres, Tarantino provides his own authorial stamp by writing dialogue-driven scripts which are benefited by episodic structures. A “Tarantino film,” one can almost always be assured, features revenge at the heart of the narrative and creates pleasure through the irreverent combination of humor and violence. And, with each of Tarantino’s films, the appropriateness of his representations of violence, race, gender, and revisionist history, come into question time and …

Final Thoughts Before the Return of “Twin Peaks”

Tonight’s the night! After re-watching Fire Walk With Me I have some final thoughts I wanted to put out there before the series premiere. *SPOILERS AHEAD* ON NOSTALGIA I’ve certainly been critical of “nostalgia-TV” in the past (see my post on Fuller House), and am particularly weary of 90’s specific reboots and revivals – but unlike other shows, the Twin Peaks return doesn’t bother me. Is my love for the show somewhat nostalgic? Yes, absolutely. Is its newfound popularity since it began streaming on Netflix at least slightly indebted to the grips of nostalgia? Surely. But more than that, Twin Peaks‘ adoration and acclaim should be credited to the fact that it was, and still is, an extremely well crafted, unique, intelligent, and inventive series that changed the televisual landscape forever. Based on how the original series ended and what I’ve gleaned from interviews, I imagine that the revival will pick up with “good Cooper” still stuck in the Black Lodge 25+ years later, trying to get out. Simply seeing the characters/actors return 26 years after the final episode is a return to the same, but I imagine that …

Countdown to ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Wet Hot American Summer. It was a wet, hot, Tucson summer, and my friends and I decided to check out this movie we had never heard of that was playing at a cult classics screening at The Loft Cinema, a southern Arizona staple. Earlier in the day I glanced at the film’s IMDb page (what a cast!) and watched the trailer, and in that moment, I knew I had found my newest comedic obsession. Needless to say, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. Now I try to watch WHAS at least once a year, and I’ve subsequently also fallen in love with David Wain/Michael Showalter’s newest gem, They Came Together. So when I heard WHAS was going to be made into a Netflix Original Series, I was BEYOND ECSTATIC. Anyhoo, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp premieres on Netflix tomorrow. I’m going to be out-of-town for the weekend, but as soon as I return, I’m diving right in. I don’t want to binge too hard, because I enjoy savoring a show, but we’ll see how my attempts …

House // Hausu

Sometimes I like to indulge in ultra-bizarro films. The Room and Troll 2 remain two of my favorite B-movies, but House (or Hausu) takes the cake for the strangest film I’ve ever seen. It’s dark, weird, violent, and absolutely hilarious. So if you like indulging in the unorthodox, give this 1977 Japanese cult classic a chance and let me know what you think. And as always, please share your B-movie and cult classic suggestions below. I need more weirdness in my life!

‘Twin Peaks’ Is Returning

Twin Peaks first premiered on ABC in 1990, just a year before I was born. Nearly two decades later, during film school, one of my professors gave a lecture on the series and how it impacted network TV. I was intrigued. Once it became available on Netflix I decided to take the plunge and what I discovered was both wildly strange and completely magical. David Lynch and Mark Frost’s creation was unique, fascinating, and ahead of its time. For me, Twin Peaks embodied the oddness of life with its own bizarre Lynchian twist. Much like Blue Velvet, the series presented a small town that looked quaint and perfect on the outside, but once its facade was peeled back its dark and menacing interior was exposed. Last night I finished season two of Twin Peaks and was immediately disappointed that there wasn’t more. Because the season finale wasn’t written to be a series finale (it was unexpectedly cancelled prior to season 3), so many questions were left unanswered, and goodness I wanted more. But in an unusual turn of events, I woke up this morning to see …

Wet Hot American Summer

Have you ever heard of Wet Hot American Summer? Like most of the world, your answer is probably no…and that’s a total and complete shame considering it is one of the funniest, most underrated comedies starring everybody and their brother. The all-star cast of funnies includes Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showater, Paul Rudd, Michael Ian Black, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Joe Lo Truglio, and Judah Friedlander. Wanna see it now? My “first time” with Wet Hot American Summer was about two summers ago. I was attending a weekly cult classics showing at The Loft Cinema in Tucson. Each Friday/Saturday a new cult movie was shown, and each weekend I was able to add a new goofy movie to my list of favorites (including Troll 2, Labrynth, and The Room). I had never heard of Wet Hot, but decided to go anyways. It. Was. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I left the theatre wondering how the hell one of the funniest movies I had ever seen (with a bunch of famous people in it) could fly under the radar …