• A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master


    The editing on this is pretty shit, almost confusingly so, but the end product is undeniably entertaining and (at the risk of sounding trite) iconic.

    Tons of red and green key lighting, fog, arbitrary spooky imagery. Perfect Halloweentime movie! It’s great!

    The producers clearly realized the franchise’s potential after ANOES3, so ANOES4 is like that, but on steroids (and as a result, also a little dumber).

    Still, the one-two punch of ANOES3 and ANOES4 is perfectly satisfying; I have to pair them every time I watch.

    Some fun camerawork in this one. And great make-up effects. Plus, Dramarama. ‘Nuff said.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors


    I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this is where the ANOES franchise really begins.

    And that’s not to undermine how pivotal the original ANOES is, or how fun ANOES2 is. But the MTV-ified, pop culture-imbued, Ray Bans-wearing Freddy that defined the ‘80s was born here, in ANOES3.

    This one is just so cool and gets so much right. Tons of story and mythos for only being 93 minutes. And the effects are just top-notch—the Freddy snake, the chest of souls, the tendon death! So gnarly.

  • Grand Theft Auto

    Grand Theft Auto


    For the car crash/explosion enthusiast. A madcap car chase-through-the-desert sorta thing, ala IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD.

    Perhaps I’m only thinking this because I’d just watched ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL moments before, but GRAND THEFT AUTO, in a weird way, feels like a spiritual successor to RNRHS. 

    Both Corman productions; similar style of humor; small budgets; a few returning faces.

    Pretty impressive directorial debut from Ron Howard.

  • Rock 'n' Roll High School

    Rock 'n' Roll High School


    Just a breezy, fun, schticky comedy; almost the antithesis to the similar (yet far raunchier) teenage rebellion/slobs vs snobs type of films that were being released at the time.

    How can you not feel totally pumped watching The Ramones walk down the halls of Vince Lombardi High, singing “Do You Wanna Dance?”, while the entire student body follows along, cheering and dancing?

  • Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

    Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday


    The original FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) was a straightforward, giallo-inspired thing; a horror mystery about a mother avenging the death of her son, Jason.

    13 years later, Jason is … actually inhabited by a little demon creature? And he can possess other bodies? And they literally send him to hell by stabbing him with a magic knife?

    Too silly for me. Even beyond that, it’s all so cheap and inconsistent.

    At one point, Jason (while possessing a coroner), abducts a…

  • Se7en



    An utter work of art. Like John Doe’s oeuvre, everything here is so precise and methodical. Hard to overstate how influential and impactful SEVEN was to the crime thriller genre.

    From those iconic opening credits, it’s impossible not to be hooked and completely immersed in the world Fincher & crew created. Perpetually rainy exteriors; dilapidated, bug-infested interiors; inhabited by just the loneliest, scummiest souls.

    All of it punctuated by Howard Shore’s incredibly foreboding, dread-including score.

    The movie’s so good that I…

  • Ghost World

    Ghost World


    Ironic how a film based on a graphic novel can do such a good job of portraying real people.

    I love its snooty disdain for all things mainstream. I love Seymour yelling in his car at the people to cross the street faster. I love its confident takedown of normies.

    Even though this is all done with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I love how snobby it is.

    Nails the quick ebb and flow of relationships, how sunny they can be one moment, and how fraught the next. O unpredictable life.

    Everyone is imperfect here, and everyone loses a little bit.

  • Infinity Pool

    Infinity Pool


    Finally, a modern day mindfudger that actually feels deranged, subversive, and genuinely unsettling—something that seems to be lacking in today’s horror. An element of uncertainty or danger. No jump scares or music stabs, just images and ideas that unnerve and disturb.

    Wasn’t the biggest fan of Cronenberg Jr’s POSSESSOR, but I was totally on board with this.

    I don’t think the messaging is that deep, necessarily—rich people are bad; the easily influenced can be made to betray their morals; psychedelic…

  • Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

    Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult


    Much less funny than the first two films, but still funnier/smarter than most like-minded comedies. Can’t help but wonder if it’s because they strayed from the formula a bit (the first two feel like extended Dragnet episodes; this just feels like some random movie?).

    Always felt that Fred Ward, Anna Nicole Smith, and Kathleen Freeman were like some bizarro version of the Fratellis from THE GOONIES.

    This one also feels the most dated by default by shoehorning in as many…

  • The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

    The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear


    A near perfect sequel. Just as smart, silly, and slightly off as the original.

  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!


    We weren’t an AIRPLANE house, but we were a NAKED GUN house.

    This style of off-beat humor was so fundamental in shaping my own sense of humor growing up. I was totally taken with it the first time I saw it. It was so smart while being so silly.

    And it’s crazy how much of it can appeal to a small child while still appealing to a full grown adult for the same exact reasons.

    Getting all these seasoned, dramatic…

  • Alone in the T-Shirt Zone

    Alone in the T-Shirt Zone


    A weirdo, trippy, artsy kinda thing that feels more like a holdover from the Far Out ‘70s than it does the New Coke and Ferris Bueller ‘80s from whence it came.

    Loved all the dumb t-shirts (can someone buy me that FELCH one?), and the film takes some creative chances that I appreciated (incorporating some brief animation into the live action scenes), but the pacing is no good and there’s really no climax or any sort of resolution.

    A low-budget oddity; your mileage may vary.