Posted by: themoviecheese | March 6, 2011

Most Underrated Movies Of All Time, PART ONE

The other day I posted a “Top 10 Overrated Movies” list. So I’ve now decided to do the opposite with a list of underrated movies. These are great movies that deserve a lot more attention than they get. There will be some movies that you won’t have seen for years, some that you won’t have ever seen, and likely a lot that you won’t have even heard of. But regardless, they’re all awesome and should be viewed by every man and woman on the planet.

Bare in mind that – due to the sheer size of it – I am releasing this list in TWO parts. This is the FIRST part, the second will be coming in a few days.

Also bare in mind that (unlike the last list) this list is not in any kind of order. I was originally going to put it in order, but each film is equally badass in their own right so I found it impossible.

So get a fresh amazon.com page ready, or get your torrent client ready…because here is a hefty list of movies that you have to see before you die…

1. Scream (1996) dir. Wes Craven

After a slur of exploitation movies (The Hills Have Eyes, Last House On The Left) and brilliant but still slightly trashy horror movies (Nightmare on Elm Street, Vampire In Brooklyn), Wes Craven’s mainstream career finally went full circle with his excellent genre masher Scream. The film is more than just a basic slasher, it’s a mind melting mix of gore-horror, black comedy and genius levels of satire. But the real genius of the movie is behind writer Kevin Williamson for successfully blending together a tense and complex story with brilliant teenage horror stereotypes. The characters are so fantastically written that when it comes to their inevitable death scenes you find yourself screaming (no pun intended) at the screen for them to survive. It’s genius is also in the way that it successfully breaks the fourth wall of cinema: the killer is a clear horror film aficionado who constantly quizzes his victims on classic horror questions. There’s also Jamie Kennedy’s fantastically acted and written character of Randy; the enigmatic movie “geek” who thinks the events of the film are mirrored in classic horror clichés, and so goes out to warn his friends of things they should be wary of like never saying “I’ll be right back”. The film went on to spawn an equally as brilliant sequel in Scream 2, which further broke the fourth wall by introducing a film-within-the-film called Stab. There was then a second sequel Scream 3 which didn’t do so well both critically and financially. It probably had something to do with the lack of Kevin Williamson; he didn’t write the film this time and only served as producer, whereas the screenplay practice went to Ehren Kruger. Thankfully, Williamson is back as writer for the fourth installment Scream 4 out this Spring.

2. The Goonies (1985) dir. Richard Donner

Quite simply my favorite kid’s film of all time. It’s an absolute cult classic that so many people have forgotten about, and that a lot of today’s teen generation haven’t even seen. Trust me, if you’re 10-18…you need to see this movie. I’m not saying anybody over 18 won’t enjoy it, quite the contrary. What I am saying is that I genuinely feel sorry for any under-18s who haven’t seen The Goonies. Full of excellent quotable one-liners, and some brilliant characters, it’s a tale of friendship, love and family set to the backdrop of a high octane swashbuckling adventure. The best characters in the film (Sloth, Chunk, Mama, Mouth) are some of the best and most influential characters ever to be written into a kids movie. The scene where Mouth (Corey Feldman) tricks the Italian house maid in to thinking his friend’s family are murderers and drug dealers is just amazing. Especially since it’s essentially a kids movie. In fact, the movie is indeed incredibly dark, so much so that upon the film’s DVD re-release, it was re-certificated to a “12” rating just so it could pass uncut. You’d be very hard pressed to see a completely uncut version of The Goonies on national TV.

3. Hook (1991) dir. Steven Spielberg

Another kids movie here. This time from the maestro himself Steven Spielberg. It’s the story of an adult Peter Pan (Robin Williams) who has completely forgotten his former life, and now lives in the real world with a wife and two kids. He now leads a boring life as a lawyer and is also a questionable father. Hook is one of those films thats unfairly criticized as being just an entertaining brainless kids movie, but there is far more to it than that. The whole film is about rediscovering your childhood innocence. It’s about someone who has completely forgotten who he used to be rediscovering himself. Robin Williams is the most unlikely of action heroes ever, but he’s brilliant in the film. The transformation into the real Peter Pan (albeit an adult version) is awesome. Sure, Williams looked a little dodgy in those green tights, but the movie is catered to kids, and kids don’t notice how ridiculous pants look. Hell, look at David Bowie in Labyrinth, do you know any kids who screamed “Look at his crotch!”? The sheer excitement I felt as a kid watching the final swashbuckling, sword fighting extravaganza was epic. I was a huge fan of the original Peter Pan animated Disney movie as a kid, and for me Hook was the perfect sequel. But let’s be honest…it’s trump card was Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. Again, a very unlikely casting choice, but one that worked so well; especially in the interaction with his co star Bob Hoskins as Smee.

4. 12 Monkeys (1995) dir. Terry Gilliam

It sounds so fucked up to utter 12 Monkeys and Monty Python in the same sentence. But the fact is that both share the same director. Inspired by the French short film La Jetée (check it out here), visionary director Terry Gilliam brought David and Janet Peoples’ moody script to the screen. It stars Bruce Willis in a post-apocalyptic future where most of mankind has been wiped out by an unknown virus. The government has decided to start sending people (convicted felons actually) up to the top levels (ground floor) to find out what actually happened. When this fails, they decide to send one of the convicts (Willis) back in time to before the virus hit to attempt to find its source. Along the way he meets psychiatrist Madaleine Stowe, and madman Brad Pitt, the insane son of a virus expert. Seriously, just look at that plot. Brilliant. The thing I love about 12 Monkeys is that it’s not your average run-of-the-mill apocalyptic movie, ala I Am Legend where there is loads more style than there is substance. In fact, there’s no fucking style at all. It’s an incredibly bleak and depressing movie. Even when Bruce goes back in time to before the virus had hit, he’s circling the worst parts of Philadelphia and it does not look pretty. As well as Gilliam’s directing being suitably mesmerizing, the performances are just wacky as shit. Willis seems like he’s constantly on edge, you get the feeling he could kill everyone any second. Pitt on the other hand is the true meat of the story. This is the perfect kind of role for him; a fucking crazy nutjob at the edge of his mind, ready to explode at any second.

5. Moon (2009) dir. Duncan Jones

If anybody out there missed Moon in 2009, I genuinely feel sorry for you. Truth be told, I didn’t see the film until it was released on DVD. I can only imagine what a cinema experience must have been like. It is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most beautiful visual films I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect example of a film balancing just as much substance as it does style. Featuring an astounding central performance from Sam Rockwell (from Iron Man 2), it tells the story of an astronaut who has been sent to the moon to dig for a resource that will help diminish the Earth’s power problems, whilst there he has an encounter that reveals some incredibly shocking revelations. Moon is also the perfect example of why the Oscars/Golden Globes/BAFTAS are a load of fucking bollocks. It was easily one of the best movies of 2009 and yet didn’t receive a single nomination (well, admittedly it did win “best british newcomer” at the BAFTAs…big wow). The amount of twists in the films story would make M Night Shyamalan jump off a bridge. But it’s Sam Rockwell that really deserves a mention here. His performance is my single favorite performance in 2009. And from a year that featured Jeremy Remmer, Morgan Freeman, Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges in some awesome roles, that is saying a lot.

6. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) dir. George Armitage

I know, I know. The way I bang on about this movie you’d think I directed it. But the fact is that Grosse Pointe Blank is a fantastic movie, and hardly anybody has seen or even heard of it. John Cusack plays Martin Blank, a deadly professional hitman who is beginning to question whether he likes his job anymore. When he is invited to his 10 year high school reunion, he instantly snubs it. He then realizes that his latest job in also in his own town, so he decides to attend his reunion and take care of his next target at the same time. However, he is followed by two rival hitmen (Dan Ackroyd & Benny Urquidez) and two NSA agents…all of which want Blank dead. Grosse Pointe Blank is my second favorite movie of all time. It’s a brilliant blend of side splitting comedy, awesome 80s music, fantastic acting, incredibly witty dialogue, and some surprisingly blistering action sequences. John Cusack is the most unlikely actor to envision in an action role, but in truth he is actually a black belt and a very accomplished kickboxer. In this movie, he really gets the chance to flex as much action as he does his trademark everyman witty acting style. The standout sequence is of course the hallway fight scene around half way through the film where Cusack takes on his kickboxing trainer Benny “The Jet” Urquidez in an incredibly effective hand to hand fight sequence. But despite the brilliant action and dialogue, the film is also very much about the 80s. It’s set in the 90s but most of the main characters grew up in the 80s, and so the tone (especially the music) is very much influenced on the 80s. It’s a big reminder of everything we loved in the 80s. If you’re a fan of that decade, or just a fan of hilarious comedy, then you seriously need to check this movie out.

7. Unbreakable (2000) dir. M Night Shyamalan

M Night Shyamalan has led a very mixed career. His breakthrough film The Sixth Sense made it into my “Top Overrated Movies” list, while that film is good, it’s pretty much a novelty. Unbreakable is without a shadow of a doubt his best film. But not only is it his best film, it’s an amazing film in every aspect. It’s such a shame that every film he’s made after has been serious dog shite. Signs had one of the worst ending ever committed to film. The Village showed promise to begin with but quickly turned into a snorefest. Lady in the Water again was just terribly boring. And, well, we all remember my review of The Happening (or as I like to call it; Attack of the Killer Leaves). Back to Unbreakable though, it is a stunning achievement. The idea of placing a stereotypical comic book story into a real world environment with real world people really did it for me. It’s a genius story that is at the same time so simple. This is the perfect kind of story for Shyamalan’s visual style, something that is stapled in the paranormal and yet feels so incredibly real. The opening scene (Samuel L Jackson’s character’s birth) ranks among one of my favorite openings ever. The best thing about Unbreakable is that, unlike a lot of Shyamalan’s films it isn’t completely reliant on its twist ending. Yes, it does have one, but it isn’t played out as a novelty like in Sixth Sense. It’s a subtle twist that just makes you go “Oh shit…hey, that’s cool” rather than feel like a cheap shock.

8. Dogma (1999) dir. Kevin Smith

Good lord, was Dogma really almost 12 fucking years ago?! Christ, that makes me feel old. Anyway, Kevin Smith, one of the most controversial writers/directors working today presents his idea of religion. Kevin Smith is the perfect example of a film maker that people either love or hate. Personally I’m a huge fan. Clerks does rank among some of my favorite comedies, and I love his whole style. The thing about Kevin Smith is that he’s verging on genius when it comes to his writing, his directing however leaves much to be desired a lot of the time. There are some exceptions however; Zack & Miri Make A Porno contains some excellently directed sequences. As far as Dogma goes, its probably Smith’s most directed movie. There is action (something Smith has admitted time and time again to hating), obvious comedy (of the dick and fart jokes variety), and Smith’s trademark pop culture dialogue. Dogma tells the story of an atheist woman (Linda Fiorentino) who discovers she is the only one who can stop a couple of fallen angels (Ben Affleck & Matt Damon) from entering a holy church and proving God wrong, thus ending and negating all exsistence. It unfairly cause quite a stir among various religious communities upon its release. Dogma isn’t blasphemous at all. Smith himself is a Catholic for crying out loud. What it is, is a brilliant satire on the religious community, showing us the ups and downs of religious life without ever actually bashing it. There is a beautiful line in the film when Salma Hayek’s character says “It doesn’t matter what you have faith in, just as long as you HAVE faith. You’re heart’s in the right place, but your brain’s gotta WAKE UP.”

9. Happiness (1998) dir. Todd Solondz

WARNING: IF YOU ARE OF A NERVOUS DISPOSITION, DO NOT READ THIS PARAGRAPH.

Forget August Underground, and forget A Serbian Film…Todd Solondz’s Happiness is easily the most disturbing film ever madeHappiness is a comedy – yes, comedy – about a small suburban family, each struggling with their sexual identity. One of the members is Bill Maplewood (played effortlessly by Dylan Baker), a psychiatrist and loving husband/father. The only problem is that Bill is also a secret pedophile who has an obsession with his 11 year old son’s best friend, fantasizes about committing mass murder, and frequently masturbates to teen magazines. Yes…that is the plot. Now before you get put off by the seemingly repulsive story, you seriously have to give the movie a chance. Because it is at times fucking hilarious. The pedophile is just one small story in a film with many branching storylines. One of them involves an overweight woman who has had an unexpected curse placed on her. It’s a mad, mad film that features some of the best performances your ever likely to see. Main props HAS to go to the simply amazing Dylan Baker as the pedophile father. In a stand out scene, Baker is forced to confess to his 11 year old son of his sexual obsession with children. It’s an incredibly hard scene to watch as this grown man breaks down in front of his own son, you can see the sheer horror as the son’s pride in his father completely diminishes. The kicker is when the son asks his own father “Would you fuck me?”, to which his father replies “No…I’d jerk off instead”…..Now that is fucking disturbing.

10. The Last of the Mohicans (1992) dir. Michael Mann

Now you may think this is a little silly. After all, I can honestly say that I don’t know one person who dislikes The Last of the Mohicans. But the reason it’s made this list is simple: it didn’t win a single Academy Award. Well not any of the main ones anyway. Admittedly it won Best Sound. Wow. Also to be fair, 1992 also saw the release of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, a much better film than Mohicans. But my gripe is with the fact that it didn’t even receive a single nomination for any of the major categories. Now I can let Best Picture, Best Director and even Best Actor go…but I can not for the life of me forgive the fact that The Last of the Mohicans didn’t receive a nomination for Best Cinematography. It’s an absolute fucking disgrace. Dante Spinotti is an incredibly talented DoP who’s credits include LA Confidential and Heat; so basically some of the best action movies ever made. Last of the Mohicans is without a shadow of a doubt his best work. It’s a swooping adventure love story about a young American man (Daniel Day Lewis in one of the most heroic screen presences ever) who is raised by a dwindling native tribe known as the Mohicans. Together with his adopted father Chunguchkook, and brother Uncas, they rescue the two daughters of a British colonel – one of which falls in love with the American-Mohican – from a band of brutal natives known as the Hurons. The Last of the Mohicans is one of the most heroic adventures ever made, with one hell of a swooping main score. In fact, that’s another point…the film didn’t even receive a fucking nomination for Best Score. Instead, loosing out to Disney’s Aladdin and fucking Basic Instinct! Seriously, what the fuck are wrong with the Oscars?!!

11. Menace 2 Society (1993) dir. The Hughes Brothers

During the 90s, the genre of “growing up in the ‘hood” movies were a dime a dozen. Rapping sensation Tupac Shakur had hit the acting scene and surprised everyone by actually being an amazing actor, and thus most of these movies cam from the likes of him and other rappers-turned-actors like Ice Cube. But the real daddy of the genre is Menace 2 Society, a real powerhouse of a movie that exists for one sole purpose: to tell the truth. It’s not a movie that’s going to be clothed up in rap music clichés and a stylish MTV filmic style. It’s a real movie about a real American subject: the hard African American life of South Central Los Angeles. Featuring a fantastic central performance from Tyrin Turner and an awesome cameo from Samuel L Jackson, the movie is so realistic and hard hitting that at times it feels more like a documentary. The real trump card of the movie though lies in the performance of Larenz Tate as twitchy “homeboy” O-Dog. Like an African American version of Scarface, it’s a very unpredictable performance and character. A stand out scene is when a crackhead comes up to O-Dog asking for money, O-Dog refuses and the crackhead hilariously offers him a cheeseburger, to which O-Dog still refuses. The crackhead then says “Come on man…I’ll suck ya dick!”, to which O-Dog yells “Motherfucker!”, pulls out his pistol and shoots the crackhead dead. He then picks up the cheeseburger and sayd to his mates “Yo, anybody want a cheeseburger?”. It’s moments like this that really spell the mood of the entire movie.

12. Chasing Amy (1997) dir. Kevin Smith

Like I said earlier, there are a lot of Kevin Smith haters out there. To these haters out there who deny Smith’s talents as a writer, I point them in the direction of this movie. Chasing Amy tells the story of comic book artist Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) who becomes infatuated with a girl called Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams). He starts to get closer to her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she is a lesbian. However, the both of them do hold a mutual connection and a very unstable yet beautiful relationship is formed. Chasing Amy is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Like Smith’s Clerks everything feels very real. It’s a diverse from the slapstick comedy of Mallrats and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back that he has become so famous for now. The passion in Smith’s script pours through each line of dialogue like he is reliving a childhood memory. Well, actually he kind of is. The movie is based on Smith’s real life relationship with the main actress Joey Lauren Adams. Like I said before, it’s a beautiful movie with some real passion, definitely Smith’s best script. The scene in the rain where Holden and Alyssa first kiss is also an amazing piece of directing, it’s the prime example of all the people who judge Smith’s directing abilities just talking shit.

13. True Romance (1993) dir. Tony Scott

Quentin Tarantino sold the script for True Romance for an estimated $50,000. He sold it because he had more interest in directing what would become his most famous film; Pulp Fiction, and needed funding for it. Directing went to Tony Scott, and the end result is an excellent crime movie that proves even Tarantino’s best scripts can work just as well with another director at the helm. Christian Slater plays Clarence Worley, a young movie geek who has BIG trouble talking to women. However, one night whilst at the “Sonny Chiba Triple Feature” at his local cinema, he comes across Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a young beautiful woman who seems to take in instant shine to him. Turns out Alabama is actually a prostitute who has been hired by Clarence’s boss to “give him a good time”, but in truth Alabama has actually fallen for Clarence. Then, in a complication with Alabama’s pimp (a hilarious Gary Oldman), the couple end up accidentally running off with millions of dollars worth of the pimp’s drugs. True Romance is a very autobiographical movie, even Tarantino himself has admitted this. Clarence is Tarantino, and the movie almost seems like some sort of escapism that Tarantino had built up for himself. Regardless though, it’s a brilliant crime caper. Admittedly, the script went through quite a lot of changes; the original script had a very non-linear structure, ala Pulp Fiction. But what remains is still very Tarantino. Constant pop culture references, the odd burst of stylish action sequences, long but enthralling dialogue sequences, and some hilarious characters (the best is a cameo from Brad Pitt as a stoner).

14. Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai (1999) dir. Jim Jarmusch

Forest Whitaker is one of my favorite actors. He’s amazing. His most famous films, however, are Last King of Scotland and Panic Room. These are the films most people think of when they think of Whitaker. His best film; Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai most people haven’t even heard of. Ghost Dog tells the story of a hitman who goes by the name of…well…Ghost Dog (Whitaker). Ghost Dog kills people for the Mafia by following the strict code of the Japanese Samurai of old. He lives on his own, with nothing but pigeons as company. But when the daughter of a Mafia boss witnesses one of his kills, he becomes instantly expendable. The first to die are his pigeons, and so Ghost Dog goes full force at his attackers with brutal revenge. All the while though he is still following the Samurai code, which means he can never harm his Master, even though his Master is the one who had orchestrated the whole thing. It’s a brilliant little crime movie, with an outstanding central performance by Whitaker. He is seriously badass in this role, with a stand out scene being an all out assault on an entire mansion of rival hitmen.

15. The Blair Witch Project (1999) dir. Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez

Quite possibly the most split movie of all time. What I mean by that is that people either love The Blair Witch Project, or they hate it. Your perception of the film depends entirely on your perception of horror in general and what you find scary. If you prefer a psycho with a machete chasing someone through a dark alleyway, then you will hate this film. Not a single jump scare in sight, the film is made up entirely of dread, silence and atmosphere. With its incredibly low budget ($15,000) it relied on nothing else but its on location set – miles up on miles of dark atmospheric woods. I myself regard it as the scariest film of all time, simply because this is the kind of horror that effects me the most. It’s the perfect example of a movie implying that what we can’t see is much scarier than what we can see. It forces us to use our imagination. That is the key word where this movie is concerned: imagination. Basically, if you have no imagination, there’s no point in watching it. It’s also worth noting that Blair Witch Project is the first ever “found footage” film to hit the mainstream. And then there’s the marketing. Quite simply put, Blair Witch Project had the most genius viral marketing scheme of any movie ever made. The fact is that people (albeit very few) actually BELIEVED that this footage was real. People began phoning the police telling them they think they’ve spotted the “missing students”. There is the genius in this film’s design. Regardless of what you think about the final product, it succeeded in EVERYTHING that it set out to achieve. The final scene is almost unbearable, you will find yourself screaming “WHERE ARE YOU GOING, DON’T GO DOWN THERE, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT, WHAT THE FUCK IS HE DOING?!?!!”

16. The Three Burials of Melquiadez Estrada (2005) dir. Tommy Lee Jones

A border patrolman, Mike Norton (Barry Pepper) accidentally shoots and kills a Mexican man. This man worked for ranch hand Pete Perkins, and he was also his best friend. Furious at what Norton has done, Perkins kidnaps him and with the Mexican man’s body in tow, they make a dangerous journey into Mexico to bury the body in his home town. Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut is a stunning achievement. It’s a tragic, warm, and surprisingly humorous tale that sticks with you long after you have watched it. It also didn’t win a single Oscar. Ridiculous. How this film didn’t even get a fucking nomination for Best Director is beyond my comprehension. Tommy Lee Jones directs the movie is incredible care and attention to detail. The performances are sublime; you really want to hate Pepper throughout the whole film, but can’t help feeling slightly sorry for him. And as for Jones, his performance is just heart breaking. Three Burials is the kind of movie that really makes you think about subjects like racism, morality and loss..but it is never preachy.

17. Starship Troopers (1997) dir. Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven is one of my favorite directors. He hasn’t made anything of great note for quite a while. In fact, Starship Troopers was probably the last great movie he made. His movies all have a specific feel to them, and all seem to be stapled in some sort of social commentary. His most famous films are Total Recall and Robocop. But the film I always feel is criminally overlooked is Starship Troopers. It is an incredibly entertaining sci-fi film with big action sequences and awesome special effects. All the usuals are here as well; the sexual tension between the two leads, a fictional news station to add to the satirical tone. Verhoeven was famously kicked out of Hollywood after his dreadful erotic thriller Showgirls. He did direct two more American films after though, this one, and Hollow ManHollow Man is also a good movie, but many of the conventions that have made Verhoeven so famous were missing, apart from the violence and nudity. Starship Troopers is a brilliant film that combines exciting action with thought provoking satire.

18. Avatar (2009) dir. James Cameron

I know what you’re thinking: “How can a movie that made almost 4 billion dollars be underrated? You’re an idiot.” And although I do fully understand where you’re coming from, to that I can only say that if other people weren’t idiots, this wouldn’t have been on the list. The hype for James Cameron’s technological marvel was too much for some, resulting in them walking out of the cinema eager to stand defiantly unfazed by the cinematic gift that is Pandora. To support their disappointment, the echo chamber became filled with cries of “Sure, it was pretty, but the script was stupid! Dances With Wolves in Space LOL”. – First off, it was more than just pretty, it was an unprecedented level of world building. Those who want to reduce it into a simple, over-familiar, anti-imperialism story are ignorant of the larger story being told. Avatar isn’t simply a lesson about why we shouldn’t exploit others. It’s not trying to guilt-trip you into feeling badly about driving a car that gets only 18 miles per gallon. It’s purely about transporting you to another world, about submerging you in a style of storytelling that many viewers were too fucking myopic to notice. Avatar is not just a series of pretty pictures; it’s a simulation of an entire alien world. There’s a MUCH larger story to be found (and felt) in every organism on Pandora, and I don’t think enough people appreciate just how difficult it is to make an alternate reality as seamless as Cameron’s. I realize I’m baiting the hook by championing Avatar this strongly, but I do believe that James Cameron’s film is, warts and all, one of the biggest accomplishments the genre of science fiction has ever known. The sheer fact that this opinion isn’t universal is the sole reason why the film is on this list.

19. American Psycho (2000) dir. Mary Harron

Before we being, a quick pop quiz:

1. You write an adaption of one of the most controversial serial killer novels of all time, and not only manage to stay moderately true to the source material but also manage to surpass its quality in a lot of ways…do you win an Oscar? Answer: No.

2. You star in said film and give possibly the greatest performance of your entire career…do you win an Oscar? Answer: No.

3. You direct said film and join a long cue of female directors proving that in most cases female directors are MUCH more capable than male directors…do you win an Oscar? Answer: No.

In fact, if you are any of those people, you don’t even get a fucking nomination. It’s nice to see gratitude isn’t it? The fact that Mary Harron didn’t receive a nomination for her excellent directorial debut is terrible enough, but the snubbing of Christian Bale in his greatest ever performance is just unforgivable. Bale plays Wall Street hotshot Patrick Bateman; a very well to do man who also moonlights as a serial killer who kills random people for no reason. The intensity of the film is mirrored by Bateman’s increasing hatred of the world around him. The film is a brilliant achievement; managing to balance gore horror and hilarious dark comedy perfectly. Each killing scene is hilarious, from Bale running around butt naked brandishing a chainsaw, to attempting to “feed” a stray cat to an ATM machine. But the greatest scene has to be the death of Paul Allen (Jared Leto). Set to the incredible soundtrack of Huey Lewis and the News’ It’s Hip To Be Square, it’s one of the funniest and best acted death scenes of all time. In fact, it’s so fucking good, that I HAVE TO show you it: –

20. Cube (1997) dir. Vincenzo Natali

Cube is the kind of horror film that you rent on those nights where there’s no other movie in the rental store that takes your fancy, or you’ve seen everything else. It’s not something that you’ve readily heard of or are particularly interested in prior to seeing the cover. It’s the kind of film where you think “That cover looks pretty nifty”. However, you rent it, and soon come to realize that this little Saturday night movie is actually a lot more special than you first thought. Cube tells the story of seven strangers, each with their own personality characteristics, who find themselves trapped in cubed rooms. They band together to try and find a way out of the Kafkaesque maze, only to find that some of the rooms contain deadly and ingenious traps that can kill in an instant. Cube has a lot more substance than most big budget Hollywood horror/gore movies. The movie cost a measly $365,000 to make, with the film makers only using one singular set that they simply reconfigured whenever the characters moved into a new room. Director Vincenzo Natali has amazing directorial flare, especially in directing his actors to portray their decaying sanity. He also directed last year’s Splice, which I also thought was very underrated. The main appeal to the film though, it has to be said, are the traps. Jigsaw, eat your fucking heart out, because the traps in Cube beat out anything in the whole Saw film series.

CHEERS FOR READING PART ONE…PART TWO WILL BE UP IN A FEW DAYS…

 

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  1. […] If you didn’t read part one, you can check it out here. […]


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