Last week I revealed – without much thinking how it would affect my professional reputation- 5 not-so-classic comedies that I’ve secretly enjoyed spending the night – or afternoon – with, over the years. Most, I thought, were pretty shameful. But surprisingly, I didn’t snare as many ‘Are you kidding me, dude?!’ emails I expected; in fact, seems I’ve championed some sort of ‘coming out’ party in regards to being a closet fan of something like “License to Drive” or “Ten Things I Hate About You”. From Twitter to Facebook and the boards of the “Three Men and a Little Lady” Yahoo group, my choices were somewhat defended by the masses. For about 15 minutes, I felt like Larry Flynt. Sit on my lap, Courtney.
The conversation about the column continued off-page with a colleague who, while stealing my wholemeal breakfast croissant, decided I needed to now divulge 5 guilty favourites from another category. Having heard what films I’ve shamefully from the genre, she pushed me into – with a sharp, nail-polish doused finger – covering the ‘thriller’ aisle of the local JB HI-FI (action-adventure movies might have been much easier; but she asked for ‘thriller’).
As the tagline for the last ‘Alvin & The Chipmunks’ movie read, ‘Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid’.
No, it’s not an animated Batman flick (but ironically, it does feature the Man of Steel’s mama) that spends 90 minutes with the Caped Crusader in a coma (“dude! that ‘twitch’ at the end made me swell up!’). This one is a ’90s thriller – which, if I recall correctly, I saw on video (in-between playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my still-functioning Sega MegaDrive) on a school night (suck that, teacher!)- about a champion chess player, played by Christopher Lambert (“Highlander”), who may or may not be a cold-blooded killer. And just to make sure she’s got the right guy, a reporter (played by Lambert’s then real-life wife Diane Lane), bonks him. Twice. Okay, so it doesn’t make a lick of sense, and was as cheesy as that breakfast croissant I spoke of earlier, but was it fun? My God, yes! I’ve revisited this one a couple of times over the years – and it still plays effectively, if not quite sexy and suspenseful. Laugh it up, schmucks… but I know quality Christopher Lambert.
“Dude, that’s not a fucking movie! That’s an acid trip hiding inside the quiet confines of a plastic video cover!” Yes, yes, yes… I know! Still, I watch it… and I watch it a lot. It’s the car crash you can’t take your eyes off – or rather, I can’t. Me and that emo kid with the Lynch fetish.
A more acidic take on the TV series he and Mark Frost originated in the early 1990s, director Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” is an even more perplexing freak show encircling a small town’s consignment of oddities and inhabitants, and as equally visually transcendent and thematically stunning.
Tracing the events before the series pilot, “Fire Walk With Me” jets back to the last seven days of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), the murdered prom queen of the series.
Ultimately confusing and nauseatingly opaque, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” has earned its share of criticism. What people forget though is that this is a movie Lynch was forcibly made to edit several times over.
I’m not stupid, I know there’s a lot wrong with it. Mark Frost (who was busy filming his own movie “Storyville” at the time and so couldn’t fit this in) really should have been a part of it, because you really miss the humour of the series – most of which his hand was responsible for; too much of this thing is just crazy, crazy – but studio interference, not simply Lynch, may be to blame.
Lynch’s cut was several hours long (try 5!) and included a heap more characters, as well as plot points, and that rubbed the studio – always keen to fit in as many sessions of a film a day it can – up the wrong way. New Line decided to cut it down to a couple of hours long – but not only that, cut the film in a way that didn’t make sense at all. If you’ve ever read the script for the film you’ll know that in paper form, it does flow a lot better, and that the film skips over huge plot points. Worst of all, the structure is all off – it’s like someone switched reels 3 with 1 and just went with it. There’s a whole chunk of the story – Kiefer Sutherland’ s character has a lot more to do, as does Dale Cooper; not to mention many of the residents of Twin Peaks like Big Ed and Sheriff Truman, who don’t even show up in this cut – missing from the finished film and to this day, fans are still petitioning the studio to let us see the movie the way it was meant to be seen. Also disappointing is that Lara Flynn Boyle return as Donna, due to the nude scenes required. Though her replacement Moira Kelly was good enough, it’s Boyle that we signified with the part and therefore, struggled to get past the change of face. Fans weren’t impressed that Lynch didn’t resolve the series’ cliff-hanger ending (with Cooper’s doppelganger free in the real world, whilst the real one’s stuck in the Red Room) either.
But look, If you loved the show, you’ll like the movie. “Fire Walk With Me” is still an intriguing and visually arresting film experience.
The defense rests.
I did not like it because it featured a jaffle-hot threesome between Denise Richards, Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon! What kind of hot-blooded male do you take me for!? I’m ashamed you’d even suggest that… Mother!
John McNaughton’s late ’90s thriller is actually a cool little thriller, ladled with dark humour and twists, that serves as a spicy little throwback to the old mystery noir efforts of the ’30s and ’40s’ – only, perhaps, they didn’t include jaffle-hot threesome scenes… much to Gary Cooper’s disappointment.
I’m not saying the four or five direct-to-video sequels to “Wild Things” were good, I’m saying this one, the original – the one with Bill Murray in it – was fun. Sometimes movies don’t need to be anything more than that, right… Olsen twins!?
Anyone that knows me, knows that I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for Alicia Silverstone (you should’ve seen my bedroom shrine to her, back at the family home). And as far as they’ll be concerned, I can’t be trusted when it comes to anything she’s in – because I’m not so much looking at what’s going on in the movie as I am what Alicia’s got going on. Fair enough… but I might also remind you peeps I did near fall asleep in “Batman & Robin”… and that’s the one where Alicia’s in tight-leather pants for half the movie! So, ner! I can spot the Silverstone slop from the Silverstone shiners!
“The Crush” isn’t bad! C’mon! No, seriously! It’s actually quite a fun teen-thriller – try it again! Please! It’s really just “Fatal Attraction” for those whose voices haven’t broke yet, when you think about it… and there’s nobody on earth that doesn’t love “Fatal Attraction”, right!? We all love a good ‘bunny boiler’ movie moment!
Story has a rather psychotic, obsessive young girly who doesn’t take too kindly to the successful, well-groomed neighbour-man, played by Cary Elwes, turning her down. She goes batshit crazy on him – making up all kinds of lies about him and trying to destroy anyone he’s close to – until he finally decides to abandon that ‘never slog a girl’ rule of his
(I can see the email now… “Clint, he could’ve just admitted he liked Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me, that would’ve scared her off!”)
Hands up who else likes “The Crush”!?
Taylor Lautner stars….just fuckin’ with ya!…
I like this. It’s an odd one, but it’s a fun one.
And again, there’s a common theme…
Bruce Willis plays a shrink who gets involved with one of his patients, who may or may not be responsible for the death of his colleague (oh, hey, “Color of Night” meet “Knight Moves”, “Knight Moves” this is “Color of Night”). Even when the evidence starts to stack up against her, Bruno continues to take baths, share pools, and beds with the young woman; he even lets her cook meals for him wearing nothing but an apron. And then there’s the snake in the letter box. And there’s the brother who doesn’t exist. And there’s the… ah heck, I don’t know what was going on it! (I don’t think the scripters did either!)
Ex-Moviehole’r Olivia Marne use to like this one too (though she liked it mostly for ‘the romance’), and she actually forced me to revisit it a year or so ago with her. I still enjoyed it as much as I did when it first came out, and laughed accordingly throughout, but unlike Olivia, I could NOT take it seriously – from its wacky sex scenes to it’s horrible lines, I was fully aware that this was ‘trash’. But then, I wouldn’t be surprised if the filmmakers knew they were making trash too, and acted accordingly, because at times it seems to pour on the ‘hamminess’ thick – as if they’re fully in on the joke and decide just to go the whole hog.
And finally, if you’re looking for a terribly trashy, extremely laughable thriller – one that would definitely make this list should I ever retool and revisit – check out “Spring Breakers” with James Franco and the Mickey Mouse Club rejects. If only for its hilariously bad, misguided plot (with no point at all) and totally out-of-nowhere sing-a-long scenes, it’s got to be seen to be believed. Looking forward to watching this one again one day with…. you! Yes, you! Lucky you! My place, 8!?
Empire Strikes Back
St. Elmo's Fire
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Breakfast Club