Obviously tomorrow we're all going to be participating in #FThisMovieFest, but here are some other 1985 great picks to watch the rest of the weekend.
Re-Animator (1985, dir. Stuart Gordon) Here's a gem from 1985! Most horror fans would cite John Carpenter, Wes Craven or Dario Argento as their favorite horror director of the '70s or '80s. For me, it's Stuart Gordon. If you haven't gotten up to speed on his horror filmography, I am envious of you. The best place to start is his take on H.P. Lovecraft's story Herbert West, Reanimator, because it encapsulates a lot of what is special about a Stuart Gordon horror movie - it's gross but not too gross, really funny and most concerned with being entertaining. Plus, many feature a great repertory of actors -- most notably Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, who make every movie better. After Re-Animator, check out From Beyond (which has a great Scream Factory Blu-Ray), Castle Freak and the underrated Stuck, followed by Gordon's Masters of Horror episodes (The Black Cat in particular). To paraphrase Mia Wallace, "An Evil Dead man should love it".
Clue (1985, dir. Jonathan Lynn) 1985's Clue is, as far as I can tell, the first time a movie was based on a board game. Now we have movies based on other games, like Battleship (starring Taylor Kitsch as a naval officer), the forthcoming Ouija (starring Satan as himself), and Trouble (starring Sir Ben Kingsley as the pop-o-matic bubble). Essentially a chamber mystery conceived by John Landis and director/screenwriter Jonathan Lynn, Clue succeeds on its ensemble cast and the way they play off of and against each other. Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren all equally shine in this film, which at times feels like a stage play. The humor is wry and subtle in some places, slapstick in others. This movie was revolutionary because it screened in theaters with three alternate endings, so you would get a different wrap-up depending on which print you saw. Now you don't have to worry about that because you're presented with all three, saving millions of OCD-wracked film fans a lot of grief and sleepless nights.
Re-Animator (1985, dir. Stuart Gordon) Oh, 1985! What a year for movies! If I were programming this Saturday's F This Movie Fest (I know, I know... Patrick knows what he is doing) I would slip this film in neatly between Explorers and Back To The Future. Well, I can dream…
I can still remember seeing this the Friday it was released. The audience that night was not prepared for what they were about to see: a film that crosses the line so effortlessly to show what few previous horror films had shown. This film was a quantum leap in grue.
I wish those of you watching this on the Netflix could hear the audio commentary that accompanies the DVD. The cast members are reunited and sound like they have genuine affection for each other. One of them tells the story of how this film lead to his divorce!
It's that good.
Day of the Dead (1985, dir. George Romero) Dawn of the Dead remains the best zombie movie (and one of my favorite movies period) of all time, but the third movie in George A. Romero's original trilogy is still a great movie that only gets better with time -- of his original three zombie movies, this one might have dated the best. Everything I've ever read is that his original script for this was an epic masterpiece, but he had to make budget sacrifices to release it unrated. That's how we ended up with the claustrophobic setting. The good news is that the tradeoff was worth it, as Day of the Dead sports THE BEST zombie makeup and gore effects of all time. Period. This is also Romero's favorite of his own zombie films, and that shouldn't be discounted.