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rawlinson -> Cult Countdown (19/4/2012 8:30:15 PM)

Ok, time to get the list started. I'm going to count down the top 500 in this thread, could any discussion about the list go in the existing thread, here

http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=3316455

1. The Thing (1982; John Carpenter)
2. Brazil (1985; Terry Gilliam)
3. A Clockwork Orange (1971; Stanley Kubrick)
4. El Topo (1970; Alejandro Jodorowsky)
5. Eraserhead (1976; David Lynch)
6. Blade Runner (1982; Ridley Scott)
7. The Wicker Man (1973; Robin Hardy)
8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004; Michel Gondry)
9. Freaks (1932; Tod Browning)
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974; Tobe Hooper)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984; Rob Reiner)
12. Blue Velvet (1986; David Lynch)
13. The Big Lebowski (1998; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
14. Stalker (1979; Andrei Tarkovsky)
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; Stanley Kubrick)
16. Evil Dead 2 (1987; Sam Raimi)
17. Mulholland Drive (2001; David Lynch)
18. Suspiria (1977; Dario Argento)
19. Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! (1965; Russ Meyer)
20. Spirited Away (2001; Hayao Miyazaki)
21. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992; David Lynch)
22. The Holy Mountain (1973; Alejandro Jodorowsky)
23. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975; Peter Weir)
24. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975; Terry Gilliam,Terry Jones)
25. Fight Club (1999; David Fincher)
26. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975; Jim Sharman)
27. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997; George Armitage)
28. PI: Faith In Chaos (1998; Darren Aronofsky)
29. Pink Flamingos (1972; John Waters)
30. Being John Malkovich (1999; Spike Jonze)
31. The Shout (1978; Jerzy Skolimowski)
32. Badlands (1973; Terrence Malick)
33. Dawn of the Dead (1978; George Romero)
34. Withnail & I (1987; Bruce Robinson)
35. My Neighbour Totoro (1988; Hayao Miyazaki)
36. The Evil Dead (1981; Sam Raimi)
37. Hard Boiled (1992; John Woo)
38. Drive (2011; Nicolas Winding Refn)
39. Akira (1988; Katsuhiro Otomo)
40. Heathers (1989; Michael Lehmann)
41. Session 9 (2001; Brad Anderson)
42. Aguirre: Wrath of God (1972; Werner Herzog)
43. Blood on Satan's Claw (1971; Piers Haggard)
44. Videodrome (1983; David Cronenberg)
45. Swimming with Sharks (1994; George Huang)
46. Labyrinth (1986; Jim Henson)
47. Taxi Driver (1976; Martin Scorsese)
48. My Winnipeg (2007; Guy Maddin)
49. Audition (1999; Takashi Miike)
50. 12 Monkeys (1995; Terry Gilliam)
51. Barton Fink (1991; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
52. Two Lane Blacktop (1971 Monte Hellman)
53. Night of the Living Dead (1968; George Romero)
54. Heavenly Creatures (1994; Peter Jackson)
55. Donnie Darko (2001; Richard Kelly)
56. The Devils (1971; Ken Russell)
57. Dr. Strangelove (1964; Stanley Kubrick)
58. Dead Man's Shoes (2004; Shane Meadows)
59. Barbarella (1968; Roger Vadim)
60. Moon (2009; Duncan Jones)
61. The 'burbs (1989; Joe Dante)
62. Robocop (1987; Paul Verhoeven)
63. Re Animator (1985; Stuart Gordon)
64. Witchfinder General (1968; Michael Reeves)
65. The Fog (1980; John Carpenter)
66. The Proposition (2005; John Hillcoat)
67. Dead Ringers (1988; David Cronenberg)
68. Dark Star (1974; John Carpenter)
69. A Bucket of Blood (1959; Roger Corman)
70. Little Shop of Horrors (1960; Roger Corman)
71. Halloween (1978; John Carpenter)
72. Duel (1971; Steven Spielberg)
73. An American Werewolf in London (1981; John Landis)
74. Repo Man (1984; Alex Cox)
75. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976; John Carpenter)
76. Harold & Maude (1971; Hal Ashby)
77. Where the Wild Things Are (2009; Spike Jonze)
78. The King of Comedy (1982; Martin Scorsese)
79. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974; Sam Peckinpah)
80. A Town Called Panic (2009; Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar)
81. Ichi The Killer (2001; Takashi Miike)
82. The Bed-Sitting Room (1969; Richard Lester)
83. Braindead (1992; Peter Jackson)
84. Fantastic Planet (1973; Rene Laloux)
85. Predator (1987; John McTiernan)
86. Clerks (1994; Kevin Smith)
87. Batman: The Movie (1966; Leslie Martinson)
88. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970; Jaromil Jires)
89. Battle Royale (2000; Kinji Fukasaku)
90. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976; Nic Roeg)
91. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959; Edward D. Wood Jr.)
92. The Warriors (1979; Walter Hill)
93. Ghost World (2001; Terry Zwigoff)
94. Porco Rosso (1992; Hayao Miyazaki)
95. Office Space (1999; Mike Judge)
96. Straw Dogs (1971; Sam Peckinpah)
97. Phantasm (1979; Don Coscarelli)
98. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987; Todd Haynes)
99. Black Dynamite (2009; Scott Sanders)
100. Inland Empire (2006; David Lynch)
100. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (2010; Edgar Wright)
102. The Woman in Black (1989; Herbert Wise)
103. They Live (1988; John Carpenter)
104. Clue (1985; Jonathan Lynn)
105. Cockfighter (1974; Monte Hellman)
106. Black Sunday (1960; Mario Bava)
107. Delicatessen (1991; Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro)
108. The Quiet Earth (1985; Geoff Murphy)
109. Bride Of Frankenstein (1935; James Whale)
110. Sweet Movie (1974; Dusan Makevejev)
111. Showgirls (1995; Paul Verhoeven)
112. Return to Oz (1986; Walter Murch)
113. Requiem for a Village (1975; David Gladwell)
114. Django (1966; Sergio Corbucci)
114. The Brood (1979; David Cronenberg)
116. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971; Mel Stuart)
117. Tremors (1990; Ron Underwood)
118. Bedazzled (1967; Stanley Donen)
119. Ilsa, She Wolf of the S.S. (1974; Don Edmonds)
120. Life of Brian (1979; Terry Jones)
120. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964; Nicholas Webster)
122. Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968; Jonathan Miller)
123. Singapore Sling (1990; Nikos Nikoladis)
124. Deep Red (1975; Dario Argento)
125. Down by Law (1986; Jim Jarmusch)
126. The Beyond (1981; Lucio Fulci)
127. The Man with Two Brains (1983; Carl Reiner)
128. Howl's Moving Castle (2004; Hayao Miyazaki)
129. The Fisher King (1991; Terry Gilliam)
130. Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966; Ray Dennis Steckler)
131. Miller's Crossing (1990; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
132. Santa Sangre (1989; Alejandro Jodorowsky)
133. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
134. Reservoir Dogs (1992; Quentin Tarantino)
135. The Vanishing (1988; George Sluizer)
136. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988; Terry Gilliam)
137. Angel Heart (1987; Alan Parker)
138. A Scanner Darkly (2006; Richard Linklater)
139. Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004; Stephen Hillenburg)
140. Deep End (1970; Jerzy Skolimowski)
141. Alice (1988; Jan Svankmajer)
142. Moju (1969; Yasuzo Masumura)
143. Crumb (1994; Terry Zwigoff)
144. Little Otik (2000; Jan Svankmajer)
144. Peeping Tom (1960; Michael Powell)
146. Wings of Desire (1987; Wim Wenders)
147. Blood Simple (1984; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
148. Possession (1981; Andrzej Żuławski)
149. Cube (1997; Vincenzo Natali)
150. Requiem for a Dream (2000; Darren Aronofsky)
151. Encounters Of The Spooky Kind (1980; Sammo Hung)
152. Paprika (2006; Satoshi Kon)
153. Don't Look Now (1973; Nic Roeg)
154. Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988; Guy Maddin)
155. Kill List (2011; Ben Wheatley)
156. Dune (1984; David Lynch)
157. Naked (1993; Mike Leigh)
158. Eight Legged Freaks (2002; Ellory Elkayem)
159. Martin (1977; George A. Romero)
160. Thriller... A Cruel Picture (1974; Bo Arne Vibenus)
161. I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988; Keenan Ivory Wayans)
162. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001; Wes Anderson)
163. Ginger Snaps (2000; John Fawcett)
164. The Thin Red Line (1998; Terrence Malick)
165. Solaris (1972; Andrei Tarkovsky)
166. Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (1980; Steve Roberts)
167. Vertigo (1958; Alfred Hitchcock)
168. I Drink Your Blood (1970; David Durston)
169. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993; Henry Selick)
170. Paris, Texas (1984; Wim Wenders)
171. Carnival of Souls (1962; Herk Harvey)
172. The Blair Witch Project (1999; Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez)
173. Quadrophenia (1979; Franc Roddam)
174. A Brighter Summer Day (1991; Edward Yang)
174. Up in Smoke (1978; Lou Adler)
176. Pitch Black (2000; David Twohy)
177. Lemonade Joe (1964; Oldrich Lipsky)
177. Race with the Devil (1975; Jack Starrett)
179. Tonight I'll Possess Your Corpse (1966; Jose Mojica Marins)
180. Black Moon (1975; Louis Malle)
181. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005; Shane Black)
182. Little Shop of Horrors (1986; Frank Oz)
183. Almost Human (1974; Umberto Lenzi)
184. God Told Me to (1976; Larry Cohen)
185. Dog Soldiers (2002; Neil Marshall)
186. Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985; Tim Burton)
187. The Room (2003; Tommy Wiseau)
188. The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973; Wojciech Has)
189. Liquid Sky (1982; Slava Tsukerman)
190. Easy Rider (1969; Dennis Hopper)
190. Supervixens (1975; Russ Meyer)
190. Waterpower (1977; Shaun Costello)
193. Pink Floyd The Wall (1982; Alan Parker)
194. Lost Highway (1997; David Lynch)
194. Micmacs (2009; Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
194. Super (2010; James Gunn)
197. The Life and Death of a Porno Gang (2009; Mladen Djordjević)
198. The Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness (1993; Sam Raimi)
199. Punch Drunk Love (2002; Paul Thomas Anderson)
200. Princess Mononoke (1997; Hayao Miyazaki)
201. Hedd Wyn (1992; Paul Turner)
201. Stranger Than Paradise (1984; Jim Jarmusch)
203. Man Bites Dog (1992; Remy Belvaux)
203. Society (1989; Brian Yuzna)
205. Ring (1998; Hideo Nakata)
206. Trees Lounge (1996; Steve Buscemi)
207. Female Trouble (1974; John Waters)
208. Fight For Your Life (1977; Robert A. Endelson)
209. The Cars that Ate Paris (1974; Peter Weir)
209. Performance (1970; Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg)
211. Christmas Evil (1980; Lewis Jackson)
211. Iron Monkey (1993; Yuen Woo Ping)
213. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook)
214. Troll 2 (1990; Claudio Fragasso)
215. The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970; Kevin Billington)
216. Last House On The Left (1972; Wes Craven)
216. Savage Streets (1984; Danny Steinmann)
216. Things (1989; Andrew Jordan)
216. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976; Narciso Ibanez Serrador)
220. Gojira (1954; Ishiro Honda)
221. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002; Don Coscarelli)
221. Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999; Michael Patrick Jann)
221. The Legend of Hillbilly John (1974; John Newland)
224. The Innocents (1961; Jack Clayton)
225. The Machinist (2004; Brad Anderson)
225. Night of the Lepus (1972; William F. Claxus)
225. Primer (2004; Shane Carruth)
228. The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961; Coleman Francis)
228. Commando (1985; Mark L. Lester)
230. Bat Pussy (1973; ?)
230. The Hidden (1987; Jack Sholder)
230. Pulp Fiction (1994; Quentin Tarantino)
233. Ghost in the Shell (1995; Mamoru Oshii)
234. After Hours (1985; Martin Scorsese)
234. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970; Billy Wilder)
234. Seconds (1966; John Frankenheimer)
237. If.... (1968; Lindsay Anderson)
238. The Stunt Man (1980; Richard Rush)
239. The Orphanage (2007; Juan Antonio Bayona)
239. Tetsuo: Iron Man (1988; Shinya Tsukomoto)
239. Track 29 (1988; Nic Roeg)
242. Greaser's Palace (1972; Robert Downey Sr.)
242. Troll Hunter (2010; André Øvredal)
244. Children Of Men (2006; Alfonso Cuaron)
245. The House with the Windows That Laugh (1976; Pupi Avati)
246. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973; John Newland)
246. Yojimbo (1961; Akira Kurosawa)
248. Life Is Hot in Cracktown (2009; Buddy Giovanizzo)
248. The Ruling Class (1972; Peter Medak)
250. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970; Russ Meyer)
250. Cannibal Holocaust (1980; Ruggero Deodato)
250. Fando and Lis (1968; Alejandro Jodorowsky)
250. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988; David Zucker)
250. Naked Lunch (1991; David Cronenberg)
250. Paranoid Park (2007; Gus Van Sant)
256. Rushmore (1998; Wes Anderson)
256. Pontypool (2008; Bruce McDonald)
258. Hey Good Lookin' (1982; Ralph Bakshi)
258. My Own Private Idaho (1991; Gus Van Sant)
258. Thundercrack! (1975; Curt McDowell)
261. The Blob (1958; Irvin Yeaworth)
261. The Box (2009; Richard Kelly)
261. Dougal and the Blue Cat (1970; Serge Danot)
261. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998; Terry Gilliam)
265. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988; Julien Temple)
265. Gregory’s Girl (1981; Bill Forsyth)
265. I Am So Proud Of You (2008; Don Hertzfeldt)
265. Rubber (2010; Quentin Dupieux)
269. L'atalante (1934; Jean Vigo)
269. MirrorMask (2005; Dave McKean)
269. A Serious Man (2009; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
269. A Snake Of June (2002; Shinya Tsukamoto)
269. Yellow Submarine (1968; George Dunning)
274. The Wiz (1978; Sidney Lumet)
275. 1941 (1979; Steven Spielberg)
275. Son of Dracula (1974; Freddie Francis)
275. Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979; Lucio Fulci)
278. American Splendor (2003; Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini)
278. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009; Terry Gilliam)
280. Diner (1982; Barry Levinson)
280. A History of Violence (2005; David Cronenberg)
280. Leaving Las Vegas (1995; Mike Figgis)
280. Saddest Music In The World (2003; Guy Maddin)
280. Starcrash (1978; Luigi Cozzi)
280. Stone (1974; Sandy Harbutt)
280. UHF (1989; Jay Levey)
287. Cafe Flesh (1982; Stephen Sayadian)
287. The Crow (1994; Alex Proyas)
287. Real Life (1979; Albert Brooks)
287. Xala (1975; Ousmane Sembene)
291. Local Hero (1983; Bill Forsyth)
292. Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer (1986; John McNaughton)
293. Flash Gordon (1980; Mike Hodges)
293. The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005; Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay)
295. Nothing Lasts Forever (1984; Tom Schiller)
296. Condorman (1981; Charles Jarrott)
296. Dead End (2003; Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa)
296. Escape to Victory (1981; John Huston)
296. Silent Running (1972; Douglas Trumbull)
300. Rabid (1977; David Cronenberg)
301. The Butcher Boy (1997; Neil Jordan)
301. Enter The Void (2009; Gaspar Noe)
301. Les triplettes de Belleville (2003; Sylvain Chomet)
301. Zoltan - Hound of Dracula (1978; Albert Band)
305. Death Race 2000 (1975; Paul Bartel)
305. Detour (1945; Edgar G. Ulmer)
305. Streetwalkin' (1985; Joan Freeman)
308. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994; Stephan Elliott)
308. American History X (1998; Tony Kaye)
308. The Castle of Cagliostro (1979; Hayao Miyazaki)
308. Mad Max (1979; George Miller)
312. Even Dwafs Start Small (1970; Werner Herzog)
312. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994; Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
312. Vampyres (1974; Jose Larraz)
315. The Devil in Miss Jones (1973; Gerard Damiano)
315. Tenebrae (1982; Dario Argento)
317. End of Days (1999; Peter Hyams)
317. Sisters (1973; Brian De Palma)
319. Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People (1963; Ishiro Honda)
320. Heavy Metal (1981; Gerald Potterton)
320. Pets (1974; Ralph Nussbaum)
322. Enter the Dragon (1973; Robert Clouse)
322. Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989; Aki Kaurismaki)
322. Wisconsin Death Trip (1999; James Marsh)
325. Alphaville (1965; Jean-luc Godard)
325. The Borrower Arrietty (2010; Hiromasa Yonebayashi)
325. City Of The Living Dead (1980; Lucio Fulci)
325. Frightmare (1974; Pete Walker)
325. Phantom of the Opera (1988; Al Guest, Jean Mathieson)
325. Them! (1954; Gordon Douglas)
325. The Toxic Avenger (1984; Lloyd Kaufman)
332. Deadbeat At Dawn (1988; Jim Van Bebber)
333. Southern Comfort (1981; Walter Hill)
333. The World's Greatest Sinner (1962; Timothy Carey)
335. Hairspray (1988; John Waters)
335. I Saw the Devil (2010; Kim Ji-woon)
335. Jabberwocky (1977; Terry Gilliam)
335. Over the Edge (1979; Jonathan Kaplan)
335. A Page of Madness (1926; Teinosuke Kinugusa)
340. Brother from Another Planet (1984; John Sayles)
340. Ponyo (2008; Hayao Miyazaki)
340. Wild At Heart (1990; David Lynch)
343. Forced Entry (1972; Shaun Costello)
343. Quick Change (1990; Howard Franklin, Bill Murray)
343. Scorpio Rising (1964; Kenneth Anger)
346. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962; Robert Aldrich)
347. A bout de souffle (1960; Jean-luc Godard)
347. F For Fake (1974; Orson Welles)
347. The Mist (2007; Frank Darabont)
347. Pan's Labyrinth (2006; Guillermo Del Toro)
347. Repulsion (1965; Roman Polanski)
347. Scarface (1983; Brian De Palma)
353. Cry Baby (1990; John Waters)
353. The Day Of The Beast (1995; Alex de la Iglesia)
353. Gringo (1984; Lech Kowalski)
353. Murder By Death (1976; Robert Moore)
353. Rolling Thunder (1977; John Flynn)
353. Wise Blood (1979; John Huston)
359. House (1977; Nobuhiko Obayashi)
360. The Company of Wolves (1984; Neil Jordan)
360. Hanna D.: The Girl from Vondel Park (1984; Rino Di Silvestro)
360. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986; Hayao Miyazaki)
360. Strange Days (1995; Kathryn Bigelow)
360. What a Carve Up! (1961; Pat Jackson)
365. Bunman: The Untold Story (1992; Herman Yau)
365. La jetee (1962; Chris Marker)
365. Krull (1983; Peter Yates)
365. Once Upon a Time in America (1984; Sergio Leone)
365. Strictly Ballroom (1992; Baz Luhrmann)
370. Buffalo 66 (1998; Vince Gallo)
370. The Life Aquatic (2004; Wes Anderson)
370. Mars Attacks (1996; Tim Burton)
373. Let the Right One In (2008; Tomas Alfredson)
374. Late Night Shopping (2001; Saul Metzstein)
374. Marketa Lazarova (1967; Frantisek Vlacil)
374. Parents (1989; Bob Balaban)
377. Bonnie's Kids (1973; Arthur Marks)
377. Dog Day Afternoon (1975; Sidney Lumet)
377. The Embryo Hunts In Secret (1966; Koji Wakamatsu)
377. Rumble Fish (1983; Francis Ford Coppola)
377. Shaun of the Dead (2004; Edgar Wright)
377. Skeletons (2010; Nick Whitfield)
383. A Better Tomorrow (1986; John Woo)
383. Black Book (2006; Paul Verhoeven)
383. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922; Benjamin Christensen)
383. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988; Robert Zemeckis)
387. Beetlejuice (1988; Tim Burton)
387. The Changeling (1980; Peter Medak)
387. Hated: GG Allin And The Murder Junkies (1994 Todd Philips)
387. The Point (1971; Fred Wolf)
387. Tommy (1975; Ken Russell)
392. THX 1138 (1971; George Lucas)
393. Eaten Alive (1977; Tobe Hooper)
393. Last House on Dead End Street (1977; Roger Michael Watkins)
393. Lawn Dogs (1997; John Duigan)
393. Scanners (1981; David Cronenberg)
393. Theatre of Blood (1973; Douglas Hickox)
393. Waxworks (1924; Paul Leni)
399. Cropsey (2009; Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio)
399. The Magic Christian (1969; Joseph McGrath)
399. Sexy Beast (2000; Jonathan Glazer)
399. V for Vendetta (2005; James McTeigue)
399. Visitor Q (2001; Takashi Miike)
404. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971; Robert Fuest)
404. Emanuelle In America (1977; Joe Damato)
404. Humanoids from the Deep (1980; Barbara Peeters)
404. Pit and the Pendulum (1961; Roger Corman)
404. Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971; John Mackenzie)
409. Dementia 13 (1963; Francis Ford Coppola)
409. Island of Lost Souls (1932; Erle C. Kenton)
409. Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century (1977; Gianfranco Parolini)
412. Time Bandits (1981; Terry Gilliam)
413. Demons (1985; Lamberto Bava)
413. Election (1999; Alexander Payne)
413. The Phantom of the Opera (1925; Rupert Julian)
413. Providence (1977; Alain Resnais)
417. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989; Stephen Herek)
418. The Grapes of Death (1978; Jean Rollin)
418. Irreversible (2002; Gaspar Noe)
418. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992; Brian Henson)
418. She Freak (1967; Byron Mabe)
418. Trash (1970; Paul Morrissey)
423. Electric Dragon 80,000V (2001; Gakuryu Ishii)
423. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989; Hayao Miyazaki)
423. Legend (1985; Ridley Scott)
423. Mirror (1975; Andrei Tarkovsky)
427. Baghead (2008; Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass)
427. Dogville (2003; Lars Von Trier)
427. Meet The Feebles (1989; Peter Jackson)
427. Poison for the Fairies (1984; Carlos Enrique Taboada)
427. Soylent Green (1973; Richard Fleischer)
427. Vampyros Lesbos (1971; Jesus Franco)
433. Fist of Fury (1972; Lo Wei)
433. Naked Blood (1995; Hisayau Sato)
433. Salo (1975; Pier Paolo Pasolini)
433. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985; William Friedkin)
437. Hobo With A Shotgun (2011; Jason Eisener)
437. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984; Hayao Miyazaki)
437. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999; Trey Parker)
440. Kids (1995; Larry Clark)
441. Triangle (2009; Chris Smith )
441. Coonskin (1975; Ralph Bakshi)
443. The Elephant Man (1980; David Lynch)
443. Siege (1982; Paul Donovan, Maura O'Connell)
443. Slap Shot (1977; George Roy Hill)
446. Belle de Jour (1967; Luis Bunuel)
446. Don't Deliver Us from Evil (1971; Joel Seria)
446. Duck Soup (1933; Leo McCarey)
446. The Usual Suspects (1995; Bryan Singer)
450. The Descent (2005; Neil Marshall)
450. Flesh (1968; Paul Morrissey)
450. Lolita Vibrator Torture (1987; Hisayasu Sato)
450. Pound (1970; Robert Downey)
454. The Devil's Sword (1984; Ratno Timoer)
454. For Y'ur Height Only (1981; Eddie Nicart)
454. Perfect Blue (1997; Satoshi Kon)
454. The Science of Sleep (2006; Michel Gondy)
458. Big Trouble in Little China (1986; John Carpenter)
458. Combat Shock (1986; Buddy Giovinazzo)
460. A Dirty Shame (2004; John Waters)
460. The Story Of Ricky (1991; Lam Nai-choi)
460. Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967; Martin Scorsese)
463. Candy Snatchers (1973; Guerdon Trueblood)
463. The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978; Leo Penn)
463. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971; Melvin Van Peebles)
466. And God Said to Cain (1970; Antonio Margheriti)
466. Human Lanterns (1982; Chung Sun)
466. The Killer (1989; John Woo)
466. Run Lola Run (1998; Tom Tykwer)
470. Behind The Green Door (1972; Artie/Jim Mitchell)
470. Mystery Train (1989; Jim Jarmusch)
472. Ravenous (1999; Antonia Bird)
472. Shadow of the Vampire (2000; E. Elias Merhige)
474. The Great Land of Small (1987; Vojtech Jasny)
474. The Illusionist (2010; Sylvain Chomet)
474. The Prestige (2006; Chris Nolan)
477. Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things (1971; Thomas Casey)
478. Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969; Anthony Newley)
478. Hero (2002; Zhang Yimou)
478. Nekromantik 2 (1991; Jorg Buttgereit)
478. The Panic in Needle Park (1971; Jerry Schatzberg)
478. The Tree of Life (2011; Terrence Malick)
483. La Belle et la Bete (1946; Jean Cocteau)
483. Human Highway (1982; Dean Stockwell, Neil Young)
483. Rashomon (1950; Akira Kurosawa)
483. The Station Agent (2003; Thomas McCarthy)
483. Wake in Fright (1971; Ted Kotcheff)
488. Grave of the Fireflies (1988; Isao Takahata)
488. The Trip (1967; Roger Corman)
490. The Designated Victim (1971; Maurizio Lucidi)
490. Dick Tracy (1990; Warren Beatty)
490. Female Prisoner Scorpion 701 (1972; Shunya Ito)
490. High Fidelity (2000; Stephen Frears)
490. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995; Todd Solondz)
495. Q: the Winged Serpent (1982; Larry Cohen)
496. The Dirtiest Game (1970; James Bryan, Titus Moede)
496. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002; George Clooney)
496. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971; Robert Stevenson)
496. The Conversation (1974; Francis Ford Coppola)
500. Bad Lieutenant (1992 Abel Ferrara)
500. Dogma (1999; Kevin Smith)
500. Heavy Traffic (1973; Ralph Bakshi)
500. Three Dangerous Ladies (1977; Alvin Rakoff, Robert Fuest, Don Thompson)




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (19/4/2012 8:33:00 PM)

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Corrupt, drug-addict cop faces a crisis of conscience following the rape of a nun. Harvey Keitel gives a powerhouse performance as the unnamed officer.

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An abortion clinic worker, a muse, the 13th apostle and a couple of stoners try to stop Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's renegade angels from re-entering heaven and destroying the universe.

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Michael is a wannabe artist living in New York, his Italian father and Jewish mother are constantly at war. Michael goes trawling the underbelly of New York for inspiration and finds himself drawn into a criminal lifestyle. Stunning piece of animated satire from Bakshi, with all the sex, violence and Crumb inspired takes on racial stereotyping that you'd expect from the great director.

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Low-key horror anthology film, with each short focusing on one of three dangerous ladies. Stand-out tale is E.F. Benson's story of English village vampirism, Mrs. Amworth, with Glynis Johns as the seductive vamp.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (19/4/2012 9:15:06 PM)

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Live-action (with occasional bits of animation) Disney that sees a group of kids evacuated to the countryside during the war. Billeted to stay with Angela Lansbury's Miss Price, they soon discover that she is a witch in training, and that with the help of a magical bedknob, they can travel to anywhere in the world. But they find themselves doing battle with a magical kingdom, invading Nazis, and a spiv played by Bruce Forsyth.

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Allegedly true story of game show host Chuck Barris who claimed that while hosting masterpiece television like The Gong Show and The Dating Game, he was also a CIA operative. A fine directorial debut with a brilliant performance by Sam Rockwell.

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It is indeed the case that The Conversation is an often overlooked film due to Francis Ford Coppola's bigger budget efforts, namely The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now. However, with Gene Hackman's performance greatly helping, The Conversation is in my eyes, and many others', up their in terms of quality with the aforesaid large budget films.

Made in between the first two Godfather films, it focusses on a man, Harry Caul, who spends his days listening to the conversations of others. The fact that Caul is an extremely private man is slightly ironic (I hope), as his job centres on discovering the private affairs of others. He does, however, distance himself from taking a voyeuristic interest in the cases, or take a bias towards his client.

The beginning of the film shows a conversation between a woman and a man who appear to be having an affair, with the woman's husband, played by an uncredited Robert Duvall, described as a violent character who would kill them if the opportunity would ever reach his hands. The ending, of course, tuns this scene on its head as Coppola plays with the idea of somebody misconstruing a point due to what they are expecting to hear.

Paranoia and conspiratorial agendas/theories were arife in America especially durig the 1970s, with the Watergate scandal showing that the government had the capabilities of infiltrating the privacing of opposition parties and therefore the public, also. Several films attempted to deal with this subject, such as The Parallax View and, most notably, All the President's Men. Though not having as much of an immediate impact as some of the others, The Conversation has grown in stature and acclaim since.

Despite being criticised by some for its slow pacing, The Conversation keeps up a sense of dread and tension throughout, as Harrison Ford (acting on behalf of Duvall) begins to pursue Hackman. A scene which particularly stands out is in the bathroom of the hotel where Hackman believes a death has ocured - it is a scene where Hackman's moustache truly shines, perhaps being one of the most tense scenes of the decade, giving the viewers the first glimpse of actual rather than threatened violence in this relatively bloodless film. The final scene itself is memorable too, as Caul tears apart his room, all but his precious saxophone, as he knows that it has been bugged.

- FritzlFan.

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A politician decides he needs the youth vote and finds himself drawn into the counter-culture lifestyle, complete with drugs and orgies. As he becomes more involved with the lifestyle, he leaves his wife, causing her to lose her mind. Softcore, but sleazy, the film still possesses the ability to raise an eyebrow or two.





rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (19/4/2012 10:00:52 PM)

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Larry Cohen is one of the most original, consistent, funny and thought-provoking writer directors in America. Most people tend to overlook how talented he is because he works in B movies. So his take on the fears associated with parenthood and the possibility of deformed children is ignored because it happens to be in a film where the mutant baby is a killer (It's Alive!), his take on the dangers of blind religious devotion (God Told Me To!) is given a similar treatment. Like God Told Me To, Q also takes on religion, but this time it skewers the new age movement and the way the white collar classes feed on the blue collar.

A new age cult has resurrected the ancient Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl. The trouble is that Quetzalcoatl (or Q) is a gigantic flying lizard (or the winged serpent as Q prefers it, these ancient Gods can be so picky). Quetzalcoatl is now flying around New York, and finding food where it can, snatching sunbathers off the tops of skyscrapers being a favourite. The sudden spate of deaths and disappearances leads to police involvement in the form of Grasshopper and Shaft. Carradine and Roundtree are also investigating a series of ritual killings and soon both cases start to crossover. Also in the mix is Michael Moriarty playing Jimmy Quinn, a small-time criminal and a complete failure. He's on the run after a failed robbery and finds himself in the creature's lair in the Chrysler Building. He decides to use this knowledge to blackmail the city for a tax free million dollars and immunity from prosecution for life for any crime (a 'Nixon pardon').

Carradine gives a great deadpan performance, but it's Moriarty who runs away with the film. Always one of the most underrated actors of his time, he gives a performance that would have been considered a career-maker if it wasn't in a b movie. Speaking of b-movies, Q itself is a great old-fashioned stop-motion creation in the style of the old Ray Harryhausen films. The special effects are no-doubt dated, but they're also fun. And I'd rather watch a jerky creature like Q that's been made with love and heart than something as soul-sucking as Avatar.

Q is one of the great New York films. To many people New York is one of the world's finest places for culture, but to others, including a lot of directors, New York is Hell. From Taxi Driver to The Out-of-Towners, New York is depicted as an aggressive place, where the city itself becomes a malignant character, ready to rise up and strike down the unwary traveller at any moment. But it also has a great deal of affection for the city, and Manhattan looks dazzling from the air.

Despite all the silliness, Cohen finds time to pass indictments on the class structure of society and muse on the similarities between Gods and monsters. The fine line between the two is a subject essential when it comes to horror films, and possibly to life itself. But the film's finest quality is the dark humour that Cohen always brought to his work. Maybe that's why he's never got the respect he deserves, because he has such a caustic eye and he seems to treat so many of life's great problems as something to make a tongue-in-cheek quip about. As urban horror-comedies go it's one of the very best. It's energetic, audacious, amusing, quirky, everything you could want in a cult film.

- Rawlinson




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (19/4/2012 11:11:23 PM)

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Giallo take on Strangers on a Train, with Tomas Milian meeting foppish Pierre Clementi and becoming involved in a plot to murder each other's wealthy relatives. Tense little thriller powered by the relationship between Milian and the decadent Clementi. Also, I'm pretty sure Russell Brand watched this film and based his public persona on Clementi's Count.

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Big budget take on the comic book detective, with Beatty's Dick wilting before a grotesque rogue's gallery of villains.

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After being betrayed by her lover, Matsushima Nami is sent to a corrupt women's prison, where her ex plots to have her meet with a nasty accident.

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John Cusack gets one of his best roles as Rob, a list obsessed 30-something owner of an independent record store. Rob's life is thrown into chaos when his girlfriend dumps him for his neighbour (an hilariously slimy Tim Robbins) Annoyed at work by the fey Dick (Todd Louiso) and the obnoxious Barry (Jack Black in possibly his last decent performance), Rob finds himself retreating into his lists, in particular his attempt to list his top 5 worst break-ups. High Fidelity seems the perfect film for Cusack fans, always the coolest guy in 80s teen films, Rob is like Cusack's 80s characters, grown a little older by date, but still emotionally a teenager. In a way, High Fidelity seems designed for a limited audience, the love of music may be off-putting to some, the fact that Rob is a self-absorbed dick who actually treats women quite badly will be off-putting to others. The presence of Catherine Zeta Jones will be off-putting to anyone with common sense. But the film works, because most of the performances are pitch-perfect, because there's hilarious and knowing dialogue, and because it has so much heart. High Fidelity is this great, geeky cult comedy that actually improves on its source novel.

- Rawlinson

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Masterful dark comedy focuses on outcast teen Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) as she tries to negotiate the hell of both home and high school.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (19/4/2012 11:52:39 PM)

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Set during the tail end of World War 2, a Japanese brother and sister try to survive the air raids and life on the streets after their mother dies during a bomb attack. The two children, 14 year Seita and 4 year old Setsuko, first go to live with a spiteful aunt, but they find themselves unable to live with her resentful nature and move themselves into a cave near a lake, but slowly starvation begins to set in. There are times when a plot description can't begin to do justice to the power, beauty and tragedy of a film. Grave of the Fireflies is deceptively simple on the surface. What makes the film so powerful are the little scenes and moments, such as capturing fireflies that die all too soon, and the container of sweets that will come to contain ashes. Seita and Setsuko are outsiders, the villagers reject them out of self-preservation and they reject the villagers as they retreat into their make-believe world.

There's no false hope in this film, we're shown from the opening scene how things are going to turn out and we know it's going to be a hellish experience at times. As Seita dies in the opening, we see that he's not alone. The train station where he passes away is filled with others just like him, and the train passengers treat them all with the same mixture of ignorance and revulsion, determined to not acknowledge them and their own responsibility. The fact that the film is based on the novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, who lost his own sister in similar circumstances, just adds to the oppressive weight that hangs over this film.

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the saddest films ever made, a profoundly devastating account of the toll war takes on the innocents, and a slap in the face to any idiot who claims these kinds of casualties are acceptable. It's often been questioned why this was an animation rather than live-action, I don't even see why that's an issue except for people who think animation can't hold any power. I think this is one of those films that everyone needs to see at least once, just to experience its heartbreaking power and its condemnation of human selfishness and stupidity.

- Rawlinson

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Possibly the greatest acid movie of all time, directed by Corman, written by Nicholson and with a cast that includes Hopper, Dern and Fonda, the film focuses on Fonda's t.v. director as he goes on his first ever trip.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (20/4/2012 12:51:50 AM)

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"La Belle et la Bête" is a story we all know; Jean-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s iconic fairytale, translated to ‘the Beauty and the Beast’. But the reason that most of us – me included – are aware of this tale is Disney’s super musical animation made in 1991, which still remains the only animated film to be nominated for the Academy’s biggest prize, Best Picture. But Cocteau made this, his supposed masterpiece, in 1946; a fairy tale for very grown up kids. The story of Beauty, who gives herself up to the Beast in place of her condemned father, and ends up falling in love with the grizzled murderer. At the beginning of this film, Cocteau asks us – in his very own scrawled handwriting – to welcome the film as if we were children, and to let the magic that they believe in to our own hearts. And it’s not hard to do, because Cocteau has created a film that wears its majesty on its sleeve; a movie so grand and enchanting that you can’t help but stop, stare, and – what’s more – believe. But even if you don’t, there’s still so much to enjoy in this timeless moral parable. Cocteau’s (or should that be Leprince de Beaumont’s) themes of deceptive appearances (handsome faces mask malice, ugliness masks nobility) and love overcoming all odds. The performances are little more than standard, with Cocteau’s then-lover Jean Marais shining as the Beast only, and not as the humans Avenant or the Prince. Josette Day’s ‘Beauty’ matches the character description, but there’s little depth, and none of the other characters make much of an impact at all. The reputation of the film rests on the visuals, which are superb. Cocteau is the true success, and he’s created a fairytale land that is both enchanting and eerie, vicious and poetic. It’s often beautiful, and always gripping. The only pitfall of the film is its ending, where [SPOILERS] the Beast is transformed into a beautiful prince. It’s kind of a cop out, and goes against all that the film has stood for. This can be overlooked, as the scenes where the Beast pines after, and often haunts, his Beauty – she fighting against her ever present love for him simultaneously – are just about perfect.

- Piles.

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It might be unfair to suggest that Stockwell, Hopper, Young et al got stoned out of their fucking minds and decided to make a film, but that's what Human Highway feels like. Stockwell plays the owner of a roadside diner desperate to make money out of the business, but finding himself thwarted at all turns. Characters sing and dance, Dennis Hopper stretches himself by playing a psycho, Neil Young is a pump jockey and the nuclear plant (Where Devo work) near the diner is nearing meltdown. Deserves to be in the list just for the scene where the entire cast sing and dance to Worried Man. Depending on your perspective, it's either intolerable or a work of genius. But if you don't think it's a work of genius you will never ever be cool.

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"Homer, you’ll love Japan, you loved Rashomon!"

"That’s not how I remember it!"

That exchange, from The Simpsons, shows the powerful affect that Rashomon has had on popular culture. In 1950 it was a sensation, and introduced the genius of Akira Kurosawa to the western world. For my money, despite the many many masterpieces he made, this one is his very best.

And its because that, despite its reputation as so revolutionary and important (which is undoubtedly is, more on that in a second) it is primarily incredibly entertaining, even now, when its style has been knocked off by endless films (most notably the spectacular Hero).

The story is told by three men passing the time from a typically Kurosawan rainstorm. They’ve just witnessed a trial, of a known bandit (An incredible performance from Toshiro Mifune) in a particularly nasty murder-and-rape case. All the protagonists tell the story differently, via flashback and contradict one another. The shakiness of Eye Witness Testimony is put on full display.

The amazing true-ism that Rashomon presents is that Humans cannot tell stories without exaggerating or making them different, more impressive, making their own role different or whatever. Stories, are more interesting that reality, and Kurosawa proves it so with this very film.

The way the story is told, of course was revolutionary. Indeed the word Rashomon has come to mean what the film portrays, because there isn’t an easier way to express it. Its impact on the world of cinema was incredible – it was made for little money and its producer took his name off it, and yet it broke box office records for a subtiled film around the world and won an Oscar for best Forigen Language film.

But more than the way its told, the way the way its told is the key to Rashomon’s brilliance. The cinematography is gorgeous, from the torrential Kurosawa rain to the tropical heat of the forest, you certainly get a sense of it. The famous scene where the woodcutter walks through the forest before seeing the bandit is magnificent, the camera free to view from above from the treetops and staring into the sun.

Rashomon is one of the greatest films of all time, and though Kurosawa made many, many masterpieces, I think this one is his best. Which is the highest compliment I could possibly pay.

- Rhubarb.

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"When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog… "(Rick_7 via IMDB)

Fin McBride has a quiet life, he works and he loves the railroads and trains. His friend and boss dies, leaving Fin unemployed but with a plot of land in New Jersey, an old train depot which he moves into hoping to continue his solitary life.

Currently sitting fifth in my Top One Hundred 2011 (completely screwing up this list) The Station Agent is a bloody marvellous film, a feel good film that explores unexpected friendship and everyday human drama and achieves it without explosions or special effects, the beauty of The Station Agent is how simple it all is. There's easy direction from Tom McCarthy (Win Win, The Visitor) a witty, unsentimental script, quirky without being obvious or exploiting and an exceptional, likable cast. As an emotionally damaged woman Patricia Clarkson again shows why she is one of the finest actresses working today, the chatty hot dog vendor Bobby Cannavale is a joy to listen to and there's also a lovely small turn from Michelle Williams. The heart of the film though is Peter Dinklage who gives an outstanding performance as Finbar McBride, the unsentimental loner who's solitude is interrupted as his life becomes entangled with his new neighbours. He doesn't say a lot though comes out with some lovely dialogue and some exceptionally funny lines, he also has a great face, Dinklage is a good looking man and has very expressive eyebrows both of which he uses brilliantly to silently convey various reactions, he elicits laughs but equally can be heartbreaking.

A simple film packed with many emotions and several wonderful performances, it's funny and genuinely touching.

- Impqueen

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John Grant (Gary Bond) is a teacher relegated to small-town Australia as a result of a bond with the government. In an attempt at visiting his girlfriend over the holidays, he finds himself in The Yabba. If this was an American film, The Yabba would be the kind of place where Duelling Banjos was on every jukebox and rape would be the town sport. In an Australian film, The Yabba is pretty much just that, but with the addition of a stifling, oppressive heat that oozes out of the screen. Grant's stopover in The Yabba sees him introduced to a gambling game that soon sees him losing all his cash. Grant is completely out of his depth with the locals, the kind of men who can't function without five or six drinks in them and who question Grant's sexuality because he'd rather talk to a woman than to them. He finds himself staying with an alcoholic alleged doctor (Donald Pleasence), and being dragged into brutal kangaroo hunts and possibly even a homosexual rape.

It's one of the most distressing, shocking films I've ever seen, even when Grant is talking to a character with the superficial air of amiability (such as Chips Rafferty's small town cop) you can sense the descent into hell is continuing. But there's also the sense that Grant wants all this, that as much as he's repulsed by the activities of the locals, part of him finds them liberating. While some may interpret the film as anti-Australian, because it's set there, and Nick Cave called it "The best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence." so there's definitely something about the film that taps into some kind of Australian mentality, even if it's a fear of a certain section of Australian society. But I think the film could easily have been set anywhere in the world, because it's an exploration of the kind of rituals that make up a certain kind of male bonding. The kind that's driven by drink, brutality, and the angry rejection of any suggestion of homosexuality. The Yabba could be anywhere where the locals are suspicious of outsiders, and where behaviour has to follow strict codes to withstand the danger of marking yourself as somehow different. Wake in Fright is a genuinely horrifying piece of cinema, one that captures a feeling of madness kicking its way into the ordinary world, with a lead character who is unable to resist the chaos.

- Rawlinson




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (20/4/2012 2:39:17 AM)

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Astonishing Fellini-esque vanity piece for star/director/writer Newley. Newley plays the titular Merkin and takes him from his childhood stardom (as music hall performer Baby Merkin) through adult fame, with emphasis given to the string of women he loved and lost along the way. The more bizarre scenes (Bruce Forsyth in a surprisingly good performance as the inspirational Uncle Limelight, Milton Berle as a Satanic figure who tempts Merkin into bad decisions, all set on a seemingly endless beach) play out as a film within a film that's being shown by the real Merkin to his family. A self-indulgent wonder.

- Rawlinson

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Using a similar plot technique to Kurosawa's Rashomon, Zhang Yimou created one the great Chinese cinematic works with Hero. In the wuxia style, it manages to not only become a superb film in itself, but it surpasses the most acclaimed and well known film of its kind, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Though the plot has been critisized on numerous occasions, it quite frankly does not matter. With outstanding cinematography and martial arts choreography, Hero elevates itself to being a great of early 21st century cinema.

Each fight scene has a different colour from its palette which engroses the viewer whilst the actors gracefully and elegantly move their way around the battle spot, all the while trading lunges of swords and shootings of arrows.

With this film, Jet Li saw himself become an icon to the mainstream viewers of the western world after already being a star in his native continent of Asia. The film also gives the audience a basic insight into the origins of aspects of Chinese culture, such as calligraphy and flying.

- Fritzlfan

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How do you make a sequel to a film where a man likes to fuck corpses? Make a film where a woman likes to fuck corpses. As romantic movies go, it's more charming than Love, Actually.

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Back when Al could still act, he made challenging, interesting films like Scarecrow, Dog Day Afternoon and this astonishing drama about a young couple doomed by drug addiction.

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Yes, finally I have seen it and it is beautiful. The closest way I can describe it is as being is Tarkovsky's Mirror with some very Bergmanesque themes on faith, God and family and even with that, it still remains something absolutely unique. It's almost a total departure from his first four films which all had a linear storyline steeped in reality, here the plot mostly revolves Sean Penn remembering his past and thinking the events that happened in his childhood, some images that are still imprinted in his memory and some surreal scenes from his subconscious (leading to the first time Malick has ever gone completely surreal). The characters found in the childhood are mostly archetypes who are there to represent a theme, the father is stern, harsh and patriarchal, the mother is kind, loving and matriarchal while the child is forming up from these opposing forces. There's also a question of faith in a God when tragedy occurs and all the good is diametrically opposed with the harmful. In that way, it is a film about those contradictions. It's beautifully shot, masterfully edited, sublimely structured, the original soundtrack (and the classical pieces, you can't go wrong with Priesner, Taverner, Couperin and Smetana) are brilliantly used and shows a great capacity of transcending the emotions it wants to convey. Even if what it means is obscure, the emotions of the scenes are felt. Great acclaim goes to every single actor in the film who do a great job making their archetypes feel like real, breathing characters. It even features one of the most sublime heart-wrenching endings I've seen in a while. There are some flaws, it is clearly a work of unrestrained self-indulgence (and the dinosaurs look a bit poor, also Spanish dancers, manta rays and axolotls in an era before the dinosaurs?!) but when the results are so spellbinding, it doesn't matter. Frankly, this is why I love going to cinema.

- Deviation




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (20/4/2012 2:51:50 AM)

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Paul and Stanley are on the run, to hide from the law they rent a big house in the suburbs... ok, that's plausible, I guess. The hide in plain sight theory. So they do they best to fit in with their suburban neighbours, the last thing they need is to draw attention to themselves. So Paul dresses as a woman and pretends to be Stanley's Aunt Martha... Ok, but besides that they keep a low profile. Which is why Stanley keeps doing as many drugs as possible and drives a psychedelic van... But beside the living in the suburbs, one of them dressing as a woman while the other drives around in the prototype for The Mystery Machine, they keep a low profile. Except for when Stanley brings a woman home and Paul/Martha stabs her to death in a jealous rage.

You see, Stanley and Paul are lovers (which really makes me question the logic of having Stanley bring a woman home anyway, especially as he freaks out whenever a woman touches him) and Paul is determined to keep his hold on Stanley, no matter what. Things get worse when they bump into an old friend who comes to stay with them. The friend doesn't seem to care that Paul is now Martha, but when he discovers their stolen loot he needs to be taken care of. Stanley becomes convinced he commits the murders while high and Paul goes on a seemingly random murder spree.

This is the definition of cinematic trash. It's badly written, directed and acted and it's one of the stupidest films you could ever hope to see. But it's also incredibly entertaining, in a 'wtf am I watching' sense. You could argue that the film has a bit of a homophobic streak, but the whole thing is so damn stupid that it would take a miracle for someone to be actually offended by it. Although, I say that without taking into account the C-Section on a pregnant dead woman...




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (20/4/2012 2:01:03 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/TheGreatLandofSmall.jpg[/image]

Children's fantasy film about an invisible magical midget who lost his sack of gold dust and missed his last rainbow home. Kids, do take drugs.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/TheIllusionist.jpg[/image]

Chomet's heartbreaking second feature film deals with a magician who is finding it hard to find work in a changing era. He is slowly becoming a relic of the past and has to find new ways how to make money. During a show he makes in an isolated part of Scotland, he meets a young woman who joins him in when he goes to Edinburgh. It is beautifully BEAUTIFULLY animated and the score is a delight to listen to. The plot itself is a bit slight, mostly consisting of the father/daughter relationship the two grow with each other but affecting enough when the relationship starts disintegrating slowly and disappointment starts infesting the air. It's characters are more realistically drawn and written than the ones found in The Triplets of Belleville, even if they still feature the same caricature styling found in the previous film which makes what and who they apparent with first glance. Lesser characters are also very likable, with the frisky rabbit being a lovable character in itself. I still haven't seen any of Tati's work and don't know what the controversy exactly consisted about, but this is an amazing film and possibly the finest animated films I've ever seen.

- Deviation

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Seeing how much of a trickster Christopher Nolan is with his narratives, it was only fitting that he chose to make a movie about the ultimate tricksters: magicians. The result is a movie that is part mind-bender and part Spielbergian adventure. Like a magician, it shows us wonders for both our hearts and minds.

Borden (Christian Bale) and Angier (Hugh Jackman) are working as assistant magicians when a fatal accident become a catalyst for a rivalry between them. Obsessed with being the better magician, both of them learns what it means to get their "hands dirty", as they have to constantly up the antes to stay ahead. The movie begins with the death of Angier by the hands of Borden. This incident act as a crossroads for the rest of the movie, as the story splits up in three different directions, namely "the pledge", "the turn" and "the prestige" (the three acts of a magic trick). The three stories shows us what happens before and after Angier's death, bringing the audience closer and closer to the horrible truth as the running time increases.

It is impossible to truly discuss The Prestige without a mention of its ending and the controversy that it caused. It's not unusual for people to dismiss this movie because it cheats in a way that it does not initially prepare us for (technically, this is not true, as we are frequently told that Angier's trick is real magic). Still, I choose to ignore this, maybe because I respect Nolan too much, or maybe because there might be more to the ending than what first meets the eye. If one is willing to accept that it is real magic, the story opens new and interesting directions. All through the many twists and turns we are told that Borden's trick is not as complicated as it first appears (which is true), something Angier is unwilling to accept, going as far to buy a machine that bends the laws of nature just so he can beat his rival. On a more metaphorical level, this is actually an interesting twist, as it shows truly how far Angier is willing to go to win (even killing himself a hundred times over). Another argument that speaks for the ending is the fact that it is Borden's secret, and not Angier's, that is the real reveal. He too goes to uncharted lengths to make his trick as effective as possible, including ruining his own and his family's lives.

Because of this, it becomes clear what kind of people The Prestige want to portray: the dedicated and obsessed. From an outer perspective, their actions seems ridiculous, especially when considering the various outcomes their actions cause, but anyone who has truly been dedicated to something knows how high the price can be for a goal to be reached. It is also refreshing to see a movie that doesn't treat its shocking reveals as devices to impress the audience. Borden's reveal is not that "they were twins", it is that the two men wrecked their lives for a simple magic trick. In reality, the true trick was not the one they performed on stage, but rather the one they performed every day in real life.

Despite being a period-movie, The Prestige keeps most of its period in the dark and away from eye-sight. By shooting in dark colors and keeping the camera at eye-length, Nolan is able to alert the focus away from the tall buildings and to the emotions at stake. Like Miller's Crossing, The Prestige tells a story that could be told at any time and place. However, unlike Miller's Crossing, The Prestige is not dependent on its sets for success. Having just watched the two films back-to-back, it was interesting for me to see how one period movie fails because it is too dependent on its period to such a degree that it becomes distracting, while another succeeds because it ignores it. As you might have guessed already, Miller's Crossing will not make an entry on this list.

The cast is also exceptional, with Michael Caine doing what he does best. Unlike some "elders", he is as bitter and angry as he is wise, ignoring the notion that every actors in his age must play a mentor that has all the answers and knows no hate. Hugh Jackman is also commendable, especially when he is playing a fake version of himself (easily the funniest part of the movie). But ultimately, this is Christian Bale's show, because he manages to pull off the difficult trick of playing two men playing one man. His performance is the key to the movie, because he knows how to deceive us, and that is the ultimate key to this movie's greatness. Like any magic trick, the reveal of The Prestige will be shocking to some and disappointing to others. Have you ever been amazed by a trick which secret you already knew?

- Dantes Inferno.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (21/4/2012 2:19:24 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Ravenous-1.jpg[/image]

Ravenous bears some comparison with John Carpenter's The Thing, which, up until watching this, was my favourite horror movie. Both consist of a predominantly male cast and are predicated on power struggles and trust (or lack thereof) of other men in a hostile, isolated environment. However, where The Thing regularly tends towards more conventional methods of frightening us, Ravenous isn't so concerned - rather, it's preoccupied with developing an unerringly creepy, gritty atmosphere in the presence of which unhinged characters - cowards, addicts and murderers - come to roost. Antonia Bird's direction is excellent, capturing the coldness and hostility of Fort Spencer and surrounds in her colour schemes and long shots and the anxieties and insecurities of the characters in tight close-ups. Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn assist superbly in developing this feeling of dread, their score creepy, threadbare and entirely memorable. Then there's the cast, who are pretty much faultless - Guy Pearce is his usual excellent self as the queasy, cowardly Captain Boyd and Robert Carlyle excels, stealing every scene he's in with his slow-burning performance. Jeffrey Jones, Jeremy Davies and Neal McDonough all turn in great work also, and the whole thing just comes together so well that it's really hard to fault it.

- Pigeon Army

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/ShadowoftheVampire.jpg[/image]

The making of Nosferatu, told using the idea that Max Shreck was a real vampire. Good, but not as experimental or as intriguing as the director's earlier film, Begotten.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (21/4/2012 4:46:49 PM)

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Ivory Snow girl and future Rabid lead Marilyn Chambers stars in this classic porno. She plays a young woman who is kidnapped and taken to a sex club where she becomes the star of a stage show orgy. Along with Deep Throat, it's one of the first porn films to cross over to a mainstream audience. See it for the psychedelic ejaculation.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/MysteryTrain-1.jpg[/image]

You know, Memphis does look like Yokohama. Just more space. If you took away sixty percent of the buildings in Yokohama, it would look like this.

Mystery Train is a smart story of three different stories, all tied together by one hotel room, the sound of a gunshot, and a radio playing Elvis' Blue Moon (The DJ, in a nice nod to Down by Law, is played by Tom Waits). Like so many of Jarmusch's films, the film is divided into segements, first we meet a couple from Japan who have come on a pilgramage to see Sun Studios in Memphis Tennasee. Jun, the guy, is dissapointed that Memphis leans so much toward Elvis, with disrespect to Carl Perkins. The girl, Mitzuko, however is enamoured enough with Elvis that it doesn't bother her. She finds Memphis exotic and new, and he finds it unsurprisng and like home (this is highlighted when we hear the gunshot in thier segment, she is shocked and remarks "was that a gunshot?" he shrugs and says "probably, it is America")
The second segement carries on the Jarmusch theme of odd couples and awkard conversation as an Italian girl, stuck in Memphis after there was a problem with her flight, is conned out of everything she has while she is in America, and ends up sharing a hotel room with a woman who doesn't have enough money to pay for the whole one. She talks and talks while she's nervous, which is almost a send-up of JJ's own unresponsive dialogue.
The third, and most entertaining segment is where the story comes together. Joe Strummer carries on the Jarmusch theme of muscians acting (also, Screamin' Jay Hawkins appears as a the Hotel manager as a nice nod to Stranger Than Paradise) as the "husband" of the talky woman from the second segment. She's not long left him and he drinks his cares away. I won't give away what happens, but its a funny, touching sequence, full of awkward pauses, drunken driving and ruminations on American Culture (a memorable riff on Lost in Space is a good example)
Mystery Train adimarbly continues many Jarmusch themes about conversation, alienation, finding exotic beauty in the mundane, unlikely couples. It has even more layers for the Jarmusch fan, and is enoyable in its own right.

- Rhubarb




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (22/4/2012 1:07:12 AM)

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Spaghetti western with Klaus Kinski as an ex-con, seeking revenge on those who had him wrongly imprisoned.

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Notorious HK horror/martial arts hybrid. Two rivals clash during a Lantern festival, with each vowing to outdo the other. One of the men seeks help from a master lantern maker, without realising that the beautiful lanterns are made from the skin of murdered women.

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The only way to think of John Woo’s seminal 1989 thriller is as an opera. The film is loaded with an operatic feel, a very operatic story. The only thing missing is the songs –instead we have to make do with some of the most beautifully choreographed action sequences of all time.

Appropriately for a film so consciously indebted to western culture (originally, he wanted the singer to be a jazz singer instead of the usual HK singer), the film was Woo’s first big success in the West. Despite a rapturous critical reception in Hong Kong however, it was a flop commercially at home, with Chow Yun-Fat citing the violence.. A pity, as it still stands as Woo’s masterpiece.

The film concerns a hitman, Ah-Jong (played beautifully by Woo’s muse Chow Yun-Fat) who accidentally blinds a girl in a nightclub shootout. Guiltily, he looks after the girl, who has no idea the man who is now helping her is responsible for her condition. He wants to give up his profession after the tragedy, but agrees to take on one more hit to pay for her to have some sort of blindness curing operation (never properly explained, rather like City Lights, it seems cinema just likes the idea that blindness can be cured)

Influenced by Jean Pierre-Melville, The Killer is a seminal, beautiful, thrilling work. It took me two watches to fully appreciate it, it has to be said, but having clicked with it, I can’t get enough. I’m a big fan of Woo’s other work, but for me, this is his best.

- Rhubarb.

The Killer (John Woo, 1989) is John Woo's masterpiece: it's more ambitious and explosive than A Better Tomorrow, has a stronger storyline than Hard-Boiled and is just a very lot better than Face-Off. Borrowing from Le Samourai (#75 in the list) - and with a hint of our #51 film - it stars Chow Yun-Fat as an assassin who blinds a singer during a botched job. So he scraps his plan to retire and carries on taking assignments, trying to scrape together enough money to pay for a sight-restoring operation. On his tail is cop Danny Lee Sau-Yi, who's flummoxed by Chow's unexpected shows of ethics, like risking capture to take a girl caught in the crossfire of a shoot-out to a hospital. A grudging friendship develops, leading to a battle to the death with the Triads: think scattering doves, thousands of candles and statues being shot to smithereens. Impassioned performances, a superb musical score and action sequences that recall The Wild Bunch in their visual glory and emotional impact make this one of the best actioners ever made.

Favourite bit: Woo's take on the "cops and crooks, they're pretty similar" chestnut (no they're not, they're completely different). To the strains of the terrific main theme, the camera pans around the cop, sitting in Chow's chair. Then Woo repeats the shot, with Chow in the chair. It's marvellously effective, and unexpectedly moving.

See also: Woo's 1986 movie, A Better Tomorrow, in which two brothers - one a cop and one a hood - wind up on the same side. Chow is excellent in his breakthrough role, playing the hood's best friend, matched by the late Leslie Cheung as the officer. The storyline might not be new, but the treatment is, and it introduces many of the themes the director nailed in The Killer: friendship, honour and the scope for redemption.

- rick_7

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/RunLolaRun.jpg[/image]

Lola runs. A lot.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (22/4/2012 1:43:44 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/CandySnatchers-1.jpg[/image]

Tiffany Bolling stars as Jessie, leader of a trio that includes her brother Alan and accomplice Eddie. They've teamed up to kidnap pretty teen schoolgirl, Candy. They snatch her on her way home from school, dragging her into the back of their van while the jaunty tune "Money is the root of all happiness" plays on the soundtrack. I always liked this idea, playing out atrocities to completely inappropriate music, something both Last House on the Left and Cannibal Holocaust do so well. They drive her out to the middle of nowhere, hiding her in a hole in the ground, covered over with boards and a breathing pipe. What the group don't realise is they've been witnessed by a young mentally disabled boy, Sean. He's mute, so he can't tell anyone of the problem, but he also doesn't understand how serious it is. He sits over the air pipe, dropping sweets down it and blocking it up to hear the changes in Candy's breathing.

They plan to hold Candy for ransom, blackmailing her father for a ransom. He doesn't make the ransom drop, preferring to see his mistress instead. They think he believes they won't kill her, so they decide to send some proof - Candy's ear. But there are a few things they haven't counted on. He doesn't own a diamond store, he just manages it. He's not her father, he's her stepfather. And he wants her dead himself because then he'll get his hands on her inheritance. When they discover the step-father is more interested in Candy dying than they are, they come up with another plan to get their hands on the ransom, but will this plan work any better?

What's really interesting about the film is that apart from Alan, the kidnappers aren't presented as one-dimensional. Alan is just interested in killing and money, but Eddie has sympathy for Candy and doesn't want to kill her. Yet his lust for Jessie leads him to rape her. Jessie argues with her brother over who gets to cut off Candy's ear, and she's perfectly happy to slap the girl around, yet she's squeamish during a visit to a morgue and has absolute for contempt for Alan when he rapes Candy. Jessie is scarred by her past and it shows through at times, making her a far more complex character than just the mean-spirited bitch she could have been.

There's a weird mixture of comedy and nastiness running through the film. Shortly after slapping around Candy and threatening to cut off her ear, the gang play a comedic visit to a morgue. After the rape of Jessie, she pummels a builder into submission with a plank of wood (again, a scene played for comedy). After the young child sees Candy being raped, he tries to get the police, but for some unexplained reason, he phones a deli instead. He's unable to speak, so he can't ask for help, instead he tries using his talking police doll to alert the increasingly annoyed deli' owner to the danger.

Maybe the most shocking aspect of the film is the treatment of the obviously disabled child. He's beaten and mistreated by his parents, his mother threatens him with everything from violence to the destruction of his toys. The darkest scene comes when a seemingly kindly businessman laughs in the face of the young boy after being told he's a mute. The film might have been a little less bleak if it wasn't for him. To top it all off, he was the director's son, adding an even more uncomfortable edge to the treatment he's given in the film. But it's even difficult to have that much sympathy for the kid, because without giving away too much, he manages to fuck up everything for everyone.

A grim and nasty little film. And it's all the better for it.

- Rawlinson

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/HarvestHome.jpg[/image]

A family move to a small New England village and find themselves caught up in a matriarchal cult, led by Bette Davis. At times it feels like an American cousin to The Wicker Man, dig out a copy of this instead of the fuckwitted Nic Cage film.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Sweetback.jpg[/image]

Director MVP stars as Sweetback in this blaxploitation classic. Sweetback tries to stop a black panther being beaten by cops and finds himself on the run from "the man". One of the most important independent films ever made.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (22/4/2012 4:30:11 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/DirtyShame.jpg[/image]

Waters again shows his knack for off-kilter casting with this film where Johnny Knoxville, Tracey Ullman and Selma Blair playing small-town sex addicts.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/StoryofRicky.jpg[/image]

Insanely violent Hong Kong prison film, with the titular Ricky taking on the corrupt system. How this film hasn't become one of the most popular cult Asian films astonishes me. It's fucking insane.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/WhosThatKnockingatMyDoor.jpg[/image]

Scorsese began to set out some of his thematic preoccupations here, with this tale of Italian-American life on the streets of New York. Harvey Keitel stars as J.R., who meets his dream girl but finds himself unable to accept part of her past.





rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (22/4/2012 4:50:18 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/BigTroubleinLittleChina.jpg[/image]

One of my most disappointing childhood experiences. [:D]

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/CombatShock-2.jpg[/image]

When you hear the word Troma, it's understandable if you get certain expectations of the quality of the film. Troma means tackiness. Troma means cheesy, over-the-top sex and violence. Troma means a higher budget for Lloyd Kaufman's socks than the special effects. That's not to say I don't love Troma. How could anyone fail to have a place in their heart for the company that gave us The Toxic Avenger and Sgt Kabukiman? But this was just distributed by Troma, not created by them, and it's a far grittier portrayal of urban life as a nightmare than you may imagine.

Usually described as a cross between Taxi Driver and Eraserhead, Combat Shack focuses on an unemployed Vietnam vet named Frankie (Played by the director's brother, Rick). Frankie, his nagging wife and their deformed baby live in extreme poverty as Frankie's ptsd over Vietnam makes it impossible to find work. The baby is deformed due to Frankie's exposure to Agent Orange during Vietnam. Frankie wanders the streets, looking for work (although calling it scarce is an understatement) and reliving his Vietnam traumas while wandering the streets of New York and slowly losing what remains of his sanity. Frankie's environment is hostile and depressing. His wife and child never stop screaming, their friends are all addicts, the apartment is disgusting, they have no food, no money and no prospects. Outside the apartment isn't much better, everything is decaying or destroyed. Drug dealers, pimps and underage hookers line the streets. The world is the perfect metaphor for the emptiness and isolation of the characters.

Combat Shock remains surprisingly gritty and realistic, even 25 years later. It's also less outright shocking and more of a mood piece than you might expect. It's a bleak and uncompromising one, but it's more thoughtful than you might expect. Rick Giovinazzo wasn't an actor, but he does a spectacular job as Frankie. Combat Shack is scrappy and people who expect a smooth ride might find it difficult to appreciate it. It's also not the Rambo style film it may appear from some of the advertising, when Frankie does break down into violence, it's not of the expected kind and some viewers may find it difficult to take the extreme conclusion of the film.

Combat Shock is one of the most interesting films of the 80s and one that deserves to be seen and appreciated for what it is, rather than what you might expect it to be.

- Rawlinson




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (23/4/2012 12:28:19 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/DevilsSword.jpg[/image]

Cheesy Indonesian fantasy about an evil queen and a magic sword.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/ForYourHeightOnly.jpg[/image]

How can you fail to love a film about a midget James Bond that has the tagline "Bigger than Goldfinger's Finger - Bigger Than Thunderball's (. . . . . . .) "? Mr. Giant has kidnapped a scientist who has just invented the most powerful bomb in the world. The only man who can stop him is Agent 00 (Weng Weng)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/PerfectBlue-1.jpg[/image]

Superb animation about the way the pressure of celebrity can destroy the psyche. A teen pop singer decides to become an actress, only to find reality twisting around her.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/ScienceofSleep.jpg[/image]

Visually delightful fantasy about a man who falls in love with his neighbour and tries to introduce her to his dream world.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (23/4/2012 1:21:22 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/TheDescent.jpg[/image]

Not to annoy the great Rawlinson but this is the second Neil Marshall film to grace this chart but do not worry, Doomsday is not at Number One. Yes it's The Descent, a great British horror that does everything you need in the genre. Slow build up, a great looking cast and then BANG!!!! A trip into nightmare land. A gang of women go caving and then get trapped.....and they are not alone. A simple basic plot that gives off a claustrophobic atmosphere that fills the room full of dread. Yet to do a full review on my thread, so keep it simple and say sod what Rawlinson says....this is ace!

- HughesRoss

Descent is Marshall's follow-up to the brilliant comedy horror Dog Soldiers, although this time he keeps the horror, drops the comedy, and shows Tarantino how to bring together a group of women you actually want to watch.

After an earlier tragedy, Sarah joins her friends in the Appalachians to go caving, the latest in a group of friend's regular activity holidays. After a night spent having some fun they head up the mountain to the cave entrance, none of them aware that Juno hasn't been strictly honest about the cave system they are going to explore,

Descent is another film of two halves, and it is arguable which is the more terrifying. In the first the group become trapped and try to work their way through the claustrophobic system to an exit. The second, a rather more active threat appears and the women, who you've gotten to know quite well by now, face a far more present danger.

In a rather screwed up way, after filming the Scottish set Dog Soldiers in Lithuania, the US set Descent was made in Scotland. As well as Marshall's excellent direction, high praise should go to Simon Bowles's set designs, the creation of that maze of caves and, in particular, Sam McCurdy's Oscar worthy camerawork – the use of light sources for shots within the cave system brilliantly contributed to the oppressive mood of the whole.

Descent is at times a terrifying film and to its great credit that is as true before the monsters turn up as it is after – in particular, whether or not you yourself have a problem with enclosed spaces, I don't, there is at least one scene where you'll be left sweating and hyper-ventilating at what goes on on screen.

If you do take the chance to give this a go, and I highly recommend that you do, then make sure you watch the British DVD. For no justifiable reason the US release tacked on an immensely dumb different ending. Avoid.

- Elab49

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Flesh.jpg[/image]

The story of a gay hustler. What a shock Impqueen voted for it. [:D]

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Vibrator.jpg[/image]

That three word title is the most terrifying Google image search ever

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In a dog pound, various dogs wait in the hope of being adopted and rescued. Only they're all played by human actors. Robert Downey made some of the most subversive, hilarious and flat-out freaky films of his time. And yes, that's a five year old Robert Downey Jr. in the pic, playing a puppy.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (23/4/2012 4:33:26 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/BelledeJourCult.jpg[/image]

Severine (Deneuve) is a bored, repressed housewife. She has secret fantasies of being dominated and degraded, as seen in the startling opening sequence where she imagines being tied up by her husband Pierre (Sorel), stripped, whipped, and left for his servants. We don't realise at first that this is merely a fantasy, and the cut to the real Severine and Pierre, in their separate beds, is still startling, as is the chaste kisses between the two and her rejection of his sexual advances. Severine's fantasy life is wilder than her real life will allow. But soon she discovers a high class brothel and takes employment there, working strictly in the afternoons. After a nervous start, Severine becomes liberated because of this opportunity to act out her fantasies, but an obsessed client may soon spoil her newfound freedom.

One of Bunuel's many masterpieces, it's also one of the most sensuous films ever made. You don't have to share Severine's fantasies to understand the erotic pleasure she finds in them. The first time I saw the film I was a little surprised at the lack of explicit onscreen sex. There was this reputation surrounding the film that suggested it was a shocking film. The controversy around it isn't really deserved if you're basing solely on explicitness, because it's a far more discreet film than its reputation might suggest. It's sensual and it doesn't shy away from depicting fantasies, but it's not really that explicit, at least not when compared to films that have come later. At the same time, it's difficult to imagine the impact this must have had at the time, with Bunuel daring to acknowledge that women can have fantasies every bit as extreme and as complicated as men and allowing the beautifully glacial Deneuve to act them out on screen. It's an incredibly sexy film though, especially as Deneuve's icy demeanour begins to melt through her work at the brothel.

Bunuel plays with the audience, slipping between fantasies and reality until you're often unsure which is which. Bunuel also plays with the sexual repression of the bourgeois, and the secret fantasies hidden behind polite society. The downright oddness of so many of the men's fantasies bringing a comical element to the proceedings, especially when she is paid to be a corpse by a grieving, wealthy man. He also punctures the patriarchal view of both female sexuality and prostitution through Piccoli's character, a family friend who desires Severine until he discovers her day job.

Probably the film most likely to convert Bunuel sceptics, Belle de Jour is a masterpiece by any standards, and one of the greatest films of its era.

Just one question. What the hell is in that box?

- Rawlinson

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French teenagers Anne and Lore are best friends who attend the same Catholic boarding school. They rebel against their environment to such an extent that they become each other's whole world. During a summer holiday spent together, the two swear a pact to worship Satan, a pact that includes sexually teasing every man they encounter, random acts of arson, and eventually murder. Based on the same true story that inspired Heavenly Creatures, Don't Deliver Us... is an often uncomfortable look at two girls driven to evil, seemingly by the banality of life around them.

- Rawlinson

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/DuckSoupCult.jpg[/image]

It's fair to say that the films of the Marx Brothers could be a little sloppy, especially in comparison to the films that contemporaries like Keaton and Chaplin were turning out, even the madness of Stan and Ollie felt slightly better contained than any of the Marx Brothers films. But I've never understood how this can be held as a criticism against them, surely part of the reason for the success and lasting love for the Marx Bros was their sense of anarchy? The nature of anarchic comedians means that they're difficult to contain within a conventional plotline without smothering their creativity. Duck Soup is the one time in their career where their anarchy was harnessed into something beyond a conventional plot rather than being restrained by it. Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo play the same roles they always did - Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo under different aliases. The plot sees Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) becoming the dicatator of a small nation known as Freedonia. During Groucho's inaugaration he announces his plans to start a dictatorship and pretty much bankrupt the country, but his people still accept him as leader. Eventually Groucho takes Freedonia to war with neighbouring Sylvania over a meaningless insult. Duck Soup may be unsophisticated but it still manages to make some strong points about war. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's the greatest antiwar comedy ever made. Dr. Strangelove is often held up as the pinnacle of war satires, but the truth is that Duck Soup was funnier and more daring and it was made thirty years earlier. It spoofs facism, war-movie heroism, political leaders, patriotism, religion, blind faith in anything at all and pretty much all elements of respectable society at a time when America was in a depression and the world was between wars. It was a brave film, far braver than it's often given credit for, and that bravery translated into a depressing commercial failure and a slow decline in the quality and the anarchy of the future films from the brothers.

- Rawlinson

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/TheUsualSuspects.jpg[/image]

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. Roger 'Verbal' Kint (Kevin Spacey) walks out of the police station with a gold lighter and watch in hand. At the same time, US Customs officer Dave Cujan (Chazz Palminteri) discovers an oddity at the office bulletin board: many of the details look awfully familiar. Suddenly it dawns to him, and he drops the coffee cup in his hand and runs out. The bottom of the coffee cup reads "Kobayashi", the name that Verbal gave the mysterious lawyer (Pete Postlethwaite) in his twisted story. As the words of the story run side by side through Kujan's head, he races out of the police station in search for Verbal, who suddenly starts walking like a normal man, and not like the cripple he has pretended to be. Verbal lights his cigarette with a straight hand, and enters a nearby car. The driver is Kobayashi. The two of them drive off just in time to escape the grip of Kujan, who searches aimlessly for the man he has just discovered is Keyser Soze. "And like that, he's gone". Welcome to The Usual Suspects.

If there is one scene that should never be rewritten or left on the editing floor, it is the ending of this crime classic. Plot twists had existed in movies before this one, but never before had such a shock hit the audience in the final reel. Though I had the secret revealed to me beforehand, I must still admit to how bone-chilling it is to watch, even on repeated viewings. It is not just what happens, but how it happens; how it is edited, directed, written and played out. It is simply perfect. Rare is the occasion where anyone would want to hear the answer to a riddle again and again. It's not that person you keep asking has the best secret in the world. It's just that his delivery is like a seasoned pro. What's even more interesting about the ending is that it is slightly ambiguous. Theories of Kobayashi being Soze have surfaced, and though that is not as chilling as the most popular take, it is a credit to the movie that it can still inspire such discussions, 13 years after its release.

Watching The Usual Suspects reminds me of something: watching criminals on screen used to be cool. Not because of what did or how they acted, but because you felt like you were one of them. Nowadays criminals are just scum or written in 2-dimensional ways that are nowhere near as interesting as the characters in this movie. Even when they're fighting, you can feel the presence of a camaraderie that began long before the story opened. Sure, they doesn't talk so much as excessively swear, but hey, that's part of the charm, right? Much of the credit for this empathy is of course caused by a terrific cast. As Dean Keaton, Gabriel Byrne is simply mesmerizing, playing the exact right notes of a man who thinks he is slightly above his peers, even when he knows that anyone observing them would think he was just a small-time crook. The interplay between Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Pollak is equally mesmerizing, but the show-stealer here is Benicio Del Toro as Fenster. Realizing that there was no purpose to his character other than to die (and simultaneously force the suspects to go ahead with the plan), Del Toro quickly assembled one of the most unforgettable characters ever to grace the sideline of a movie screen. His looks, his voice, the fact that it is Pollak the actor and not the character who says "what did you say?" (because of his incompressible speaking pattern), every detail is just... perfect. Even before his days as a Oscar-winning actor in Traffic, Del Toro was already showing signs of coming stardom.

But this is Kevin Spacey's show, who rightfully took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (even though he played the leading role). Of course, Spacey was having a career-best year in 1995, also showing flair as John Doe in David Fincher's Se7en. It is not without reason that I stopped watching second-rate crime series on TV. After all, if you think the killer is Kevin Spacey, there's a 50% chance you will be correct, even if he's not really playing any of the parts. I may have stopped shouting "it's Kevin Spacey!" at movie screens, but there is still that suspicion in my head: I know it's him, even if he's not in the movie. Charming, deceiving, tragic, sympathetic, Spacey ticks the boxes like a child stealing candy and then lying about it. It is certainly an actor's role, and he was just the right actor for the part. It is shame that he has not managed to live up to it (he has come close several times, most notably for American Beauty), because he has certainly still got it in him.

Rarely has "head-scratching" and "cool" been proper adjectives for a movie, but both are certainly a lock for me when reviewing The Usual Suspects. Twisting, funny, thrilling; it is a key movie in the crime-renaissance of the 90's that should be watched by anyone. Hell, even my mum loves it!

- Dantes Inferno.


I still love this – the story of five criminals (Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Steven Baldwin, Kevin Pollack, and Benicio del Toro) who come together by "coincidence" and decide to take on a job together, but end up on a twisting road towards almost certain death - a lot, no matter how many mistakes there are in it. Sure, there are moments of hamminess in the acting, the script doesn't always hold up under the pressure of clichés, and Singer's input – although impressive – is clearly that of a debutant. But, I have to say, this is still one of the most entertaining crime films ever made. But what sets it apart is that it also has something going on upstairs. It's winding plot and clever characterisation makes "the Usual Suspects" worth watching again and again and again, and the little moments that you may have missed the first time all come clear on the second. The acting is still sublime, particularly from Kevin Spacey, whose mysterious, smart, and smarmy Verbal Kint is one of the greatest cinematic creations that America produced in the 1990s. Benicio del Toro puts in solid work in a character that was clearly only ever created to die, and the rest of the suspects – Pollack, Byrne, Baldwin – put in what are either career bests or very close to that. Also look out for Pete Postlethwaite, who has never been better than as the stoic faced lawyer Kobayashi. But what's best is the twist, which holds up time and time again. Even if I have seen this film over ten times, I still find the goose bumps appearing in the final montage, and watching it with friends who have never seen it before (like the person I watched it with tonight) is a thoroughly rewarding and pleasing experience. One of the very best film of the last twenty years.

- Piles.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (24/4/2012 11:17:57 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/TheElephantMan.jpg[/image]

I consider the ability to extract emotion from an audience to be the greatest of any film's assets, and few films, if any at all, have extracted more emotions from me than watching The Elephant Man. By eluding the strangeness of Eraserhead and concentrating on a thoroughly written human story, David Lynch crafted his own breakthrough with this classic and with it, cleared the road for one of the most prolific careers in Hollywood. The movie garnered a whopping 7 Oscar-nominations, but as history will remind us, 1981 was not a good year in the favor of the Academy, who ignored this and Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull and settled for Robert Redford's Ordinary People instead. One might wonder: where is that film now? Oscar-snub aside, both The Elephant Man and Raging Bull has stood the test of time well (for entirely different reasons).

At a short visit to a carnival, dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) discovers John Merrick (John Hurt), a gravely disfigured man whose only natural home seems to be in the front of a baffled audience whose only purpose, it seems, is to see the darkest corners of the human world. Treves brings Merrick to his hospital to study him, but the experiment proves futile, as Merrick is neither capable of speaking or making any sort of communication with other human beings. During this section of the film, Lynch shows Merrick's face only in the shadows or in the startled reflections of the many persons who meet him. Like the magician he is, he is busy building up to the denouement like a full-fledged professional. But Lynch's skills in hide-and-seek are no mere gimmicks, and this technique gives the audience an opportunity to consider how desperate we are to discover Merrick's disfigured face for ourselves, as if it was our right as citizens of the world. Because we are incapable of knowing Merrick as a person, we have no other way to make an opinion of him other than through his looks. Not the best of first impressions, in other words.

However, after some careful consideration, Treves travels back to Merrick and buys him from his owner for additional treatment. Their relationship is something of a rarity in movies, as it allowed the time to grow and flourish, much like a real relationship. Although the audience never directly participates in their conversations, we do feel like an unnamed third party. Many movies lack the skill to involve its viewers in the moment, but The Elephant Man does not belong in that group. Somewhat unexpectedly, Merrick proves to be a more beautiful person on the inside than on the outside, and with that in mind, it becomes clear that film is breathing some real life into the age-old expression "it is what is on the inside that counts". As spoken by Miss World, such a saying may be somewhat ridiculous, but as I watch this masterpiece, I can't help but realize what truth the words truly carry. Unfortunately for Merrick (and for any audience who long for a happy ending), his illness proves incurable. In fact, his life hangs in such a thread that should sleep in any way but sitting, he will die. Late in the movie Merrick tells Treves that his highest wish is to sleep lying down, like a human being, an act that seems to have more to do with belonging than sleeping comfortably.

The Elephant Man doesn't so much pull the heartstrings of the audience as ripping them out. The scene where Treves tries to get Merrick to speak and the resolution that follows is so engaging that you completely lose yourself in the act. If Raging Bull saw one of the movie world's most unsympathetic characters take center-stage, The Elephant Man travels in the other direction, because anyone who doesn't shed a single tear for Merrick is without hope altogether. Despite being hidden under ridiculous amounts of make-up, John Hurt never lets the feelings of his character go ignored, and had he not competed against Robert De Niro, he might as well have walked away with the film's sole Oscar win. Anthony Hopkins is equally astonishing, disapproving the notion that he has no other talent than to utilize Hannibal Lecter to get an outburst for his cannibalistic tendencies (truth exaggerated for effect).

* * spoilers * *

The film's final scene, which sees Merrick tucking in the bed after a successful visit to a theatre (a place he loved but had never been to) and then choosing to sleep like a human being, brings as many questions as emotions. Did he not know of the consequences of his actions? Or was it a suicide, brought to fruition because he was closing in on death, or because he had finally received the satisfaction of life that he had sought for so long? In the heart of the movie, I strongly believe it is latter option. Preceding Platoon by 6 years, the soundtrack is filled with the notes of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings", which must surely rank as the saddest piece of music ever written and performed. The scene, and the film it belongs to, should be seen by anyone with a beating heart, a gift most people doesn't seem to fully appreciate.

- DantesInferno

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Canadian exploitation films are an underexplored genre, from Rituals to Jacob Two Two to Sunday in the Country, Canada produced cult films to rival anything from America. Siege was one of the very best. A group of vigilante cops attack a gay bar and end up killing one of the customers, the cops then try to take out any of the witnesses. One escapes and finds sanctuary with a couple in a nearby apartment. When they refuse to turn him over to the rogue cops, they lay siege to the apartment block. A gritty and nasty little thriller that brings up real social anxieties about what happens when those in power start abusing it. If it had received a bigger release, I think it'd be one of the most beloved cult films of the decade.

- Rawlinson

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Paul Newman is Reggie Dunlop, ageing player/coach of failing hockey team, The Charlestown Chiefs. The team has the talent to win, largely thanks to star player Ned Braden (Michael Ontkean) but can't seem to keep it together. When the small town that's home to the Chiefs loses its main source of employment, Dunlop realises that his team will probably fold soon after and determines to get the team not just on a winning streak, but on a controversial and talked about winning streak. Dunlop is a master manipulator and starts playing mind-games with the opposing teams, either by taunting them about their wife turning gay (You haven't lived until you've heard Newman screaming "Suzanne sucks pussy" at a rival goalie) or deliberately provoking them into attacking him. The controversy really starts when he lets the Hanson Brothers loose on the ice, three geek-ish, seemingly simple-minded newcomers to the sport. Off the ice they like nothing more than to play with their toy cars, on the ice they're violence incarnate, progressing from attacking rival players during the game to attacking players before the game to leaping into the crowd and starting a riot among the rival fans. The Chiefs hit a winning streak and the more they turn into merciless thugs the more the fans love it, but will their new found success be enough to save the team?

A savage attack on the way sports players are used up and discarded and also on the notion of inspirational sports films, for about five minutes in the film we're threatened with the possibility of an inspirational moment, but the script is so damn smart that it's quickly dismissed and we're thrown the most left-field alternative imaginable. The film isn't pc, there's sexist and homophobic lines, but they're true to the characters and the era, something backed up by the fact that the screenwriter Nancy Dowd based all of the characters on people her brother was playing pro hockey with at the time. Slap Shot is a hilariously funny film, with Newman giving one of his best performances (in a film he often claimed as his personal favourite) and great supporting work from Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, the Hanson Brothers, M. Emmet Walsh as a gullible journalist and a surprisingly sexy Melinda Dillon.

- Rawlinson




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (24/4/2012 11:35:36 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/CoonskinCult.jpg[/image]

Unfairly labelled as racist on its initial release, Coonskin is one of the most misunderstood films that will appear on this list. The title probably didn't help, Bakshi used the working title of Harlem Nights, that was turned into the more strident 'Coonskin No More' in writing, before being shortened by producer Albert S. Ruddy to Coonskin, against Bakshi's protests.

Bakshi was trying to say something about American society and Coonskin is a satire on racial attitudes. The black characters are stereotypes, but they're stereotypes in order to mock the stereotypes that society places on people and on the lack of racial awareness in the world. All the characters are stereotypes, gays, Italians, the Jewish, it's a theme Bakshi, like Robert Crumb, returned to over and over. They both tried to confront the audience with the most grotesque racial stereotypes imaginable, in an attempt to challenge their own perceptions.

The plot plays out like an animated Blaxploitation take on Uncle Remus as a rabbit, fox and bear become kings of the Harlem crime scene. Sampson (Barry White) and the Preacherman (Charles Gordone) try to help their friend Randy (Philip Michael Thomas) break out of prison. When they are stopped by a police roadblock, Randy is stuck listening to his fellow escapee Pappy (Scatman Crothers) as he tells him stories about friends he used to know. We then go into animation scenes, Thomas, Gordone and White are recast as Brother Rabbit, Brother Bear and Preacher Fox. When their home is sold and turned into a brothel, they leave for Harlem. They meet a conman called Saviour who claims to be a revolutionary and cousin of Black Jesus, who aims to give people the strength to kill whitey. Attending one of his stage shows, Rabbit tries to turn the crowd against him, but they attempt to kill Rabbit instead, leading to Rabbit and Bear killing Saviour and Rabbit takes over Saviour's business. Rabbit looks to become the crime kingpin, but first he has to take down a few enemies, including Madigan, a hated, bigoted cop who loathes African-Americans and works for the Mafia.

The Congress of Racial Equality condemned the film before anyone had even seen it and the controversy meant that it got a very limited release. Its premiere, at the Museum of Modern Art, was protested by CORE, led by Al Sharpton. True to form, Sharpton was more interested in furthering his own reputation than in debating the work on its own merits. It's an audacious film and it's easy to see why it could be troubling, but anyone with integrity would take the time to view the film (and Bakshi did invite Sharpton to see it) before condemning it. The NAACP recognised it was a difficult film, but they understood it and supported it.

Bakshi's aims were to create something incendiary, something that stood up for oppressed African-Americans. How else can you interpret the way the film personifies America as an attractive woman who screams rape when a black man approaches her? Bakshi used blackface iconography, but he used it to confront racism, not celebrate it. It's still a troubling, but brilliant, piece of cinema and it's a film that deserves a wide audience and some critical re-evaluation.

- Rawlinson

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Triangle.jpg[/image]

Chris Smith claims to have never heard of Timecrimes, and still argues to this day that this films almost identical plot is a mere coincidence. As you all know i'm a massive fan of the excellent Timecrimes, so when this came out i was less than amused. But, Chris Smith has directed some great little horrors (Creep, Severance and Black Death) so i felt it only fair to give him a chance. I loved Triangle, i though, fuck me, even with the obvious comparisons, he's pulled off a right corker of a head fuck movie. Its genius, very clever indeed with a great cast and a superb setting on an abandoned cruise ship. Melissa George plays the victim who seems to be stuck in a time-loop and continues to get caught up in a bizarre storm at sea, board the crusie ship and watch her friends get continually killed off one by one. At the risk of sounding like a pervert Melissa George looks bloody lovely and makes the film very watchable indeed. However, its the brillant plot, breakneck pace and constant twist in the story that make Triangle one of the most inventive horrors of the year!

- dj vivace




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (25/4/2012 7:13:51 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Kids.jpg[/image]

Controversial slice of life that follows a group of teenagers through the unpleasant events of their day. It's refreshing that director Clark doesn't judge the characters, and instead just presents you a few hours of their fucked up lives. But I can understand the charges of voyeurism that have been laid against him, especially in light of some of his later work.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (26/4/2012 2:26:01 AM)

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The best of the recent Grindhouse inspired films (including the original Grindhouse collaboration) Hobo perfectly captures the feel of early 80s punk cinema. Grotesque and hilarious, with an awesome performance from Rutger Hauer as the titular Hobo. And you just know Lloyd Kaufman wishes he'd thought of that school bus sequence.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Nausicaa.jpg[/image]

Nausicaa is the princess of the Valley of the Wind, a small, peaceful society situated in a valley where perpetual gales seem to blow. She lives in a time when the toxicity of the earth has become overwhelming, and the human race itself has become an endangered species. Creatures of the forest, including the massive Ohmu, often rampage against the surrounding cities and a war rages on between two neighbouring kingdoms. It's Nausicaa's job, somehow, to sort it all out. It's difficult to believe that this is only Miyazaki's second film, because he's already at a ridiculously high standard. Based on Miyazaki's own manga series, the high point here are – as always with Ghibli and, specifically, the director – the visuals. It's a beautifully drawn film, with several sequences that are nothing short of awe-inspiring, including the march of the Ohmu and the envisioning of the god-like "Giant Warrior". The story, too, is just about timeless, and silly quarrels between nations over things that are either unimportant or belong to neither of them will continue to the end of time, or at least the end of humanity. The music lets it down somewhat, but I guess it's typical of the 1980s, and it does become somewhat cluttered at times. However, there are moments when "Nausicaa" is up there with the very best of Miyazaki's work.

- Piles.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/SouthPark.jpg[/image]

South Park, the series, is - in my book at least - one of the saddest stories of television. So brilliantly funny in the first few series, but so desperately lacking in jokes over the past few seasons and instead replacing them with thoughtful allegorys, this - the movie - is often considered (by me amongst others) to be the pinaccle of Parker and Stone's best creation (Team America: World Police pails in comparison). Why that is is because South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut blends all the great jokes of the first few seasons and the allegory/satire of the last few to best effect, resulting in one of the best comedies of the last ten years. The comedy stems sometimes from the surreal and sometimes from the satire, but the joke count remains high throughout and the laughs keep on rolling. and it also remains unnaturally intelligent throughout. The main crux of the story is about how swearing is considered to be even worse than horrific violence, and Stone and Parker don't spell this out to the audience until the final scene. The problem is that, and at the risk of sounding pompous here, most South Park fans missed that altogether, and lauded this film for its foul-mouthed antics rather than its intelligent mix of satire and surrealism. Maybe it's no Dr Strangelove, but there's no denying that the South Park movie has more going on upstairs than down

- Piles.




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (26/4/2012 4:18:41 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/FistofFury-1.jpg[/image]

Despite the strong anti-Japanese sentiment, Fist of Fury is probably Bruce Lee's strongest film. Set in 30s Shanghai, Lee plays the student of a martial art school who returns to find his master has been murdered. Japan is in control of Shanghai and Lee knows that his master was murdered by a rival Japanese school. Lee tries to keep to his master's principles of non-violence, but living at a time when the Chinese are taunted from within as the sick man of Asia, and signs saying No Dogs and No Chinese allowed are commonplace, he knows he can't count on the police for help. Eventually he goes on a revenge mission. As much as I love the iconic Enter the Dragon, Fury feels tighter and more coherent and Lee's revenge attacks seem to do more to create his near mythical persona. Quite simply it's one of the best action films of all time.

- Rawlinson

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[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Salo.jpg[/image]

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rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (27/4/2012 5:01:52 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Baghead.jpg[/image]

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Dogville.jpg[/image]

"Dogville” is a film set completely on a stage, with little more than chalk outlines to represent the different sets. On this stage, von Trier tells the story of Grave (Nicole Kidman), who arrives in Dogville (which is literally the end of the road) under mysterious circumstances, and is accepted into the small-town community on the condition that she works for the hospitality. Lars von Trier has claimed that the film is not a condemnation of America or the so-called American dream, but it's hard to see it as anything else. Over the course of the staggering three hour runtime, Grace is beaten, raped, and emotionally battered, until the shocking conclusion gives the townspeople their comeuppance. In my view (and many other's, including Ebert, who condemned the film for its apparent attack on America), it's a ruthless and poignant de-construction of the myth of small-town communities, and of human nature as a whole. Our pre-conceived perception is that the people of a small town are much more personal and emotionally connected than those living in the city, but von Trier's main point is that evil can arise anywhere, regardless of setting. He shows that human nature is to accept someone into the community, and to offer help to those less fortunate, but to always look for something in return. It also condemns how we see outsiders, and how we build relationships that can be some irredeemably weakened by the introduction of a new person. It's sublimely acted, too, with Nicole Kidman putting in perhaps her best performance, and the same can be said for Paul Betanny. What's more, we have seasoned pros like James Caan, Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, Philip Baker Hall, and Patricia Calrkson reminded us why they're so well regarded. It does, though, have a couple of problems; a few of the scenes do seem a little superfluous, and at three hours it's all the more noticeable. John Hurt's narration can add tension and suspense, and sometimes even an extra dimension to what's happening on screen, but at others it feels unnecessary and in there just for the sake of it. Still, it's certainly an experience, and as an experiment it's quite stark and perfectly measured.

- Piles


[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/MeettheFeebles.jpg[/image]

The film that started it all for PA.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/PoisonfortheFairies.jpg[/image]

A young girl, Flavia (Elsa María Gutiérrez), moves to a small town and soon strikes up an odd relationship with another girl, Veronica (Ana Patricia Rojo). Both girls are lonely and somewhat impressionable. Veronica pays so much attention to her grandmother's stories of witchcraft that she has developed a belief that she herself is a witch, something that has isolated her from the other girls in school. When Flavia arrives, Veronica sees an opportunity, not just to make a new friend, but to finally feel in a position of power. Veronica uses some information she's overheard in school to make Flavia begin to believe in her powers. When a strange coincidence leads to the death of Flavia's (already ill) music teacher after she requests Veronica cast a spell to get rid of her, she falls completely under Veronica's manipulative control. Soon Veronica's using Flavia to get whatever she wants, including a holiday with Flavia's family and the ownership of her beloved dog, Hippie. But Veronica hasn't counted on the depth of Flavia's devotion to the mutt.

I always tend to worry a little when a film has to be carried by child actors, but both girls do remarkable jobs. I often wonder if the film was an influence on Del Toro, it seems to be the kind of film he'd adore, and its use of children to explore the supernatural is a theme common to his work. My sole complaint about the film is that while it is incredibly atmospheric, the director never really makes the most of the creepiness of some of his locations. That said, the director really does his best to throw you into a child's view of the world, including the interesting touch of never letting us see the faces of any of the adults. They're a constant presence in the film, especially as they feed Veronica's fantasies, but they remain faceless, all except for Veronica's grandmother, whose haggard, witch-like appearance helps further convince Flavia that she's in the company of darkness.

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/SoylentGreen.jpg[/image]

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/VampyrosLesbos.jpg[/image]




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (29/4/2012 4:15:01 AM)

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[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/KikisDeliveryServiceCult.jpg[/image]

Kiki is a teenage witch in training, she takes part in the tradition of witches that dictates she leaves her family to live alone for a year, in order to practise her supernatural skills. She sets off with a few possessions, her broom, and her familiar, a black cat named Jiji. Kiki finds herself in a small city where she determines to prove herself as a capable witch. She finds work as a courier for the local bakery, delivering the goods by broom and learns to take responsibility for herself.

It's a sweet story, simple and pretty basic by Ghibli standards. Not that basic has to be bad and sometimes the simplest tales are the best. Miyazaki doesn't seem to be interested in external conflict here. Kiki is looked upon as an outsider, but only in the way that all strangers in a small town are. Even though Kiki is looked upon with a little wonder for her powers, she's not treated as a freak. The film doesn't follow the other possible route of giving her bullies to overcome, or having her long for acceptance among the locals. She just gets on with things, working through her inner conflicts in order to grow.

And that's what interests Miyazki here. In many ways this is a Ghibli film with more in common with Whisper Of The Heart than Spirited Away. The supernatural here is always a secondary concern. The focus is on Kiki and how she grows up and learns to accept responsibility for her life. The story is in the characters, their warmth, their depth, their soul. It also manages to avoid the trap of becoming overwhelming sweet, Miyazaki delights in the tranquil moments. For all of the sweetness in the tale, there's also a lot of thoughtfulness. There's a sadness and a bittersweet quality to the story that brings levels of shade to the film that are often missing in live-action films, let alone animated ones. For some reason, Kiki's Delivery Service often seems to be regarded as somehow lesser in comparison to Miyazaki's other work. I've never really understood why. It's a beautiful, serene and surprisingly mature work, one of the great director's finest accomplishments.

- Rawlinson


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Tarkovsky's astonishing Mirror is a loosely autobiographical film that mixes childhood memories with newsreel footage to reflect not only his life, but what it meant to be a Russian from his generation. There's no real discernable plot to Mirror, instead Tarkovsky stated he was aiming to reveal things from his memory. He arranges these memory fragments in non-chronological order, making it almost the filmic equivalent of stream-of-consciousness writing. By far Tarkovsky's most personal work, the film draws heavily on his own childhood, especially his wartime evacuation to the country, and he reworked the script over the period of a decade.

The film focuses on the thoughts and emotions of Alexei (Daniltsev) a stand-in for Tarkovsky, reflecting on his relationship with his parents as both child and adult, as well as his with his own wife and child. Alexei's life is shown over three distinct time periods, pre-war, wartime and the post-war 60s. Tarkovsky demands a lot from the audience here. He fearlessly breaks down time barriers and skips quickly and without any seeming order between these time periods, focusing on small moments that had an impact on his life in order to create a strange dream-like state, something approaching the nature of memory. Events are further confused by casting the same actors in different roles, including that of Terekhova as both as his wife and mother, meaning we can never be sure at first exactly where in the chronology we are.

The actual plot would be simple if arranged in chronological order, it's the means that Tarkovsky chooses to present these ideas to us that makes it such a complex proposition, but I can't imagine it would have worked in any other. This isn't trickery or playing with time for the sake of it, he's trying to recreate the nature of human memory here. It could easily have been self-indulgent, but Tarkovsky makes the personal feel universal and makes it an emotional and oddly warm film considering how much of it is about emotional abandonment.

It's also one of the most visually striking films I've ever seen, with scenes designed to reflect artwork, we're given a phantasmagoric film, with Tarkovsky finding the surreal and magical in everyday sights. Things are filmed here to make them seem as if we've never seen the like before, and even the strangest sights take on a tactile quality. But if that makes it sound that the film is all visuals and no character, then I'm not doing it justice. The film is just as much about his family and their inner lives and moments such as his mother's worry over a possible mistake in a book she proof-read at work takes on surprising emotional depths.

I don't think I'll ever fully understand the film, I think it's impossible for anyone who isn't Andrei Tarkovsky to ever have understood all of it, but I do know it's a transcendent and beautiful film, and a true work of art.

- Rawlinson




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (30/4/2012 8:20:08 PM)

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[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Irreversible.jpg[/image]

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[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Trash.jpg[/image]




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (30/4/2012 8:46:51 PM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Billted.jpg[/image]




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (1/5/2012 3:10:48 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Demons.jpg[/image]

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Election.jpg[/image]

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/PhantomoftheOpera.jpg[/image]

The story of the Phantom of the Opera is common knowledge thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical and Gerard Butler's 2005 abomination, but it's the 1925 Chaney version that really sticks closest to the source material. A mysterious phantom haunts a Paris opera house, and when new buyers purchase the deeds to the building, they're told about the phantom and react with flippant, unbelieving expressions. Of course, this is to their doom, as the phantom begins to haunt the opera house with the agenda of getting them to give the leading part in their major play to a young starlet, played by Mary Philbin. The story is thin on its feet, and some of the set pieces aren't as strong as they could be, but the film's overwhelming positives stretch the story out to the point that you believe it's better than it is. First and foremost, Lon Chaney is instrumental in the film's success. He's imposing and frightening as the Phantom, commanding the screen with every bit of presence he can muster. Philbin, too, plays her character excellently, mixing pure terror with a feminine curiosity when she gets dragged down to the Phantom's lair. The supporting cast enjoy varying success, with the major down-point being Norman Kelly's interpretation of the Phantom's chief love rival. He's a black hole of charisma at best. Despite some of the scenes being a little weak (the final chase down the streets of Paris being the chief example), the Phantom of the Opera boasts many impressive set pieces. The most obvious example is the revelation of the Phantom's disfigured, skull-like face, which still has to power to shock and repulse even over eighty years on. The chandelier drop, too, is an impressive fete, as you know that in 1925 they'd have to drop that thing for real. The only colour sequence in the film, as well, is memorable. The phantom walks into the masked ball with all of the menace that he possessed as his caped crusader, yet with a certain elegance about him that suggests something about his popularity and stature before his disfigurement. The phantom says, at one point, "if I am the Phantom it's because man has made me so,” suggesting his shunning from society because of his disturbing, yet superficial, disability. Does this, somehow, explain why he is like he is? The score, however, is a major disappointment. For a major motion picture, you'd have thought that the composers and editors would have found appropriate placing for their score, which – as individual pieces – is excellent. You find yourself listening to imposing, menacing tones in simple, mundane scenes, and sometimes even sweet, melodic harp music in the darker scenes. It's not a matter of bad music, just misplaced music.

- Piles

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/Providence-1.jpg[/image]

During a night plagued by health problems, novelist John Gielgud dreams up scenes for his latest novel, using his family as subjects. The story takes on bizarre qualities as one character is on trial for the murder of a werewolf, while conducting an affair with the prosecuting lawyer's wife. Providence requires close attention from the viewer as identities merge and shift and one character's dialogue comes out of the mouth of another. This actually feels very Potter-ish and you could easily see it as an influence on Potter's masterpiece, The Singing Detective. There's an extraordinary cast, including Gielgud, Dirk Bogarde, Ellen Burstyn and David Warner. And if the whole thing sounds po-faced and self-indulgent, there's some wickedly funny dialogue to undercut things, and I don't think a film where Gielgud takes delight in screaming about the pain in his rectum can ever be taken 100% seriously.

- Rawlinson




rawlinson -> RE: Cult Countdown (2/5/2012 3:00:18 AM)

[image]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/worldsgreatestsinner/TimeBandits.jpg[/image]




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