Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Top Fifteen Most Important Movies of my life so far

Top Fifteen Most Important Movies of my life so far
For film fans alike, there are certain movies that they can look back on not only as favorites, but as staples that plays as tools of a timeline for their life. These are movies that were important to them, hold certain memories, and stand out looking back over the years. I very much wanted to make this a top twenty, or even thirty list but here are my own personal top fifteen films that played big parts in my life, standing out for very different reasons. 

15) The Goonies
I'm sure I'll say this at least ten dozen times on this post, but there were certain films that were always playing in my house. The Lost Boys, Fright Night, The Monster Squad, and yes The Goonies. Now this movie was head to head with The Lost Boys for making the list since both were huge favorites of mine growing up, and I have endless memories watching over and over again with my family. The Goonies win simply because this film was a favorite of my mother's, and holds a very special piece in my heart. This was back when 80's kids movies were awesome. Back when the plots were actually well written, and the actors were real kids who swore, got into trouble, and spoke endless quotes that I find myself still joking about and saying today. The Goonies is a fun adventure movie that seriously has it all. This is a must for any child to watch during their childhood. It's a movie that pretty much sums up why growing up in the 80's were so awesome. I legit was obsessed with this movie, and love that it still gets the respect it deserves today. The Goonies has some of the best characters ever. Data (before he ruined Indian Jones), Mikey, Mouth, Sloth, and of course Chunk. I still die whenever Chunk is in the walk in freezer gushing over the fact they have every single flavor of ice cream, or when he presses against the window to watch the car chase and the milk shake spills on him. Gotta love chubby little kids swearing. I loved the Goonies because I've never lost my love for this movie. I feel anyone at any age can enjoy it, and no matter what mood your in it can always make you laugh and smile. To this day I still crack up whenever the Spanish maid sees Josh Brolin tied to the chair and she just laughs and kicks the box of crackers across the room laughing. Classic.

14) The Monster Squad
Much like The Goonies, The Monster Squad is another movie that holds warm memories for me from my childhood. This is the movie that I believe is a huge reason behind my love of horror, monsters, and Halloween. I still own my battered up VHS copy (that I had the actors who played the monsters sign at Horrorhound back in 2012) The Monster Squad was a favorite of mine growing up, and pretty much it's The Goonies meets monsters. Fred Dekker is by far one of the most underrated writers and directors in Hollywood. After writing the ever so awesome House, he directed one of my personal favorites Night Of The Creeps. The following year, he made The Monster Squad. It still amazes me that this man's career didn't take off. In fact, even though a lot of people my age have always loved Creeps and Squad, just during the last few years these movies have gotten the respect and love they deserve due to being the cult classics they are. The Monster Squad is a huge favorite of mine simply because I have so many great memories watching it all the time as a kid with my sister. This was always on the background during Halloween, or during one of my many "Halloween" themed birthdays I had (mind you I was born in the summer.) The Monster Squad was a movie I adored. In fact I went to my very first Monster Mania in Jersey when I was a senior in high school to meet the kids from this movie. I was completely floored at how awesome everyone was, how amazing Fred Dekker was. These guys were all class acts and I will always remember that certain show.  In fact right before I left, Ryan Lambert (Rudy) came down from his hotel room just to say goodbye to me (nerd swoon) I even named my car after him, and got a really fucking horrible tattoo on my leg based off his character. I mourn the fact I was young and dumb when I got this, and from a very shitty tattoo artist. It looks more like a Robin Hood tattoo than anything else. I plan on fixing/covering it soon but yet again Ryan Lambert showed what a class act he is after he saw it saying it was awesome (yeah okay Ryan). I own an original poster of this movie, along with the T-shirt/poster that Fright Rags made based off The Squad Vs. The Creeps. I've met the entire cast (yep, watched the kid who played Patrick do a keg stand from a mini keg me and my friend Andy had, and watched him collapse on my friend Kristy = magical times. The Monster Squad is by far a favorite of mine, I've played more drinking games to this movie than I can remember, and love showing it to people who never got to watch gems like this growing up. Just last summer I was lucky enough to see an original print of this wonderful movie in Boston, and I still tear up like a loser at the end. In fact back in 2007/2008 I ran the official Monster Squad fan page on Myspace. Yep, I'm kinda a big deal (...)

13) T2
- I love James Cameron's movies. Aliens is one of my all time favorite films, but T2 holds a very special  place in my heart. This was by far my all time favorite movie as a little girl. Yep, a movie about killer machines was my favorite movie. I love the original Terminator, (love me some Michael Biehn) but something about T2 was just amazing. I think it's one of the greatest sequels of all time, the effects still hold up, as does the story telling. In fact, this, Looper, and the new X-men movie have been the best films dealing with time travel in years. I remember wearing out my VHS tape, rocking my T2 sweatshirt in preschool, and having a crush on Edward Furlong (yep...) and even to this day wishing that they had stooped making these movies after this one. Cameron topped himself, and there has been no greater villain than the liquid metal man. T2 was and will forever be one of my favorite movies of all time.

12) Batman Returns
- Like I said above, I was obsessed with very odd movies when I was a little girl. Instead of enjoying movies about princesses, and fairy tales, I liked darker, crazy, and truly weird movies. Now I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of the original Tim Burton Batman made in 1989. I mean I liked it, but I feel that his sequel in 1992 was so much better. This is by far after Die Hard and Gremlins one of the best Christmas movies of all time. A beautiful gothic take on super heroes and not until the last two Dark Knight movies had I seen super heroes done in such a way. I loved watching this movie on repeat, I owned these awesome figures of the lead characters that my mother bought for me at a comic book store. What happened to them is beyond me, but I still kick myself for not taking care of them. Hey, what can I say I was a dumb ass child. I loved Michelle Pfeiffer's take on Catwoman and I honestly have to say nobody has been able to fill that skin tight cat suit since. I didn't even see the Catwoman movie simply because I knew what a mess it would be. For three Halloweens in a row I dressed as Catwoman and threw a fit one year when my mother put a hot dog costume in my bag at school instead of my catwoman one. 

11) Jaws
- Oh Jaws, not only one of my favorite movies of all time, but a movie that I grew up loving. This was a film that held my interest even at a very early age. Over and over again I would watch this from start to finish. In fact it's now a bit of a tradition of mine to watch it around Easter and of course the 4th of July every year. I think we all know what I'll be watching next week! This was a favorite movie of my father's, so I grew up always watching it on a loop. I can seriously quote this movie from start till finish. It was a huge movie that was part of my life. I loved watching it every second I got. One Christmas my parents gave me a Jaws poster framed that I still have downstairs in my den. My car is filled with sharks, simply because of this movie. Sure I liked the sequels (mostly part III, yes you read right.) but nothing beats the original. Growing up I wanted to marry Hooper, and live in "Amity". In fact every convention I go to I always buy my father a Jaws shirt simply as a thank-you for showing me the original and opening my eyes to what truly a great adventure movie is. I've watched the E! True Hollywood story on the making of this movie, I have a shark tattooed on my foot, and back at school my awesome roommates and friends pooled their movie together to get me an Jaws poster signed by the original cast and crew from the 1970's. By far the greatest gift I've ever gotten. Jaws is a movie I will and forever love. In fact, I told my loved one when I die I want my ashes scattered down in Martha's Vineyard = I'm a freak.

10) Day Of The Dead
- Around age 11 I discovered the Romero dead movies. The whole Pittsburgh crew that made some truly awesome movies back in their day. I feel these movies were a huge stepping stone in my love of horror as well as discover of special effects makeup. I loved Dawn of the dead, Effects, Creepshow, and Creepshow II, but my all time favorite had to be Day Of The Dead. Another top favorite of mine. This was a movie I could re-watch over and over again. Somehow about this movie honestly is in my eyes the greatest zombie movie ever made. The effects are mind blowing and stomach turning (Savini topped himself with this one.) The cast stellar, the score by far one of the most beautiful (I have it on CD and always listen to it in my car.) This was a pretty heavy hitting horror movie. It had deeper meaning, beautiful monologs, memorable lines, the best gore and zombie makeup I've ever seen, and the best villain ever = Rhodes. I loved the John character, and his classic lines "Forget we're making this a habit man? Pointing guns at each other?" This was a movie I always watched over and over again and I still remember being thrilled when I found out there were extra features after the credits. I couldn't get enough of this movie and loved how my family members, mostly my sister hated watching it since it was such a dark movie and so gross. I on the other hand love it! This is a movie I could watch over and over again with a few beers and still enjoy it. I adored the Scream Factory release, and of course as a nerd and got the box set from Fright Rags. In fact, I'm wearing my Day shirt as I write this!

9) The Stand
- Stephen King was a huge part of my life growing up. My mother was a big fan, and my sister and I began reading his books at an early age. One of our favorites was the early 90's mini series of The Stand was was adapted from King's biggest novel/epic to take. Mick Garris directed this awesome adaption that took a thousand page book and somehow made it into a really awesome sweeping epic of a story. With King involved, this movie had an all star cast, and tons of cameos of talent from all over. Amazing effects (even tho some CGI is very badly dated) this was a mini series that was always playing at my house. We owned that huge four pack VHS set, and always would watch it. I remember as a child just committing to spending the whole day watching it with my family. How even today whenever it's on TV I just have to stop everything I'm going just to watch it. This was based not only off one of my favorite books of King's, but is one of my favorite film versions as well. For years rumors of a film remake has been floating around, something me and my sister have always been very interested it. I'm all for it as long as they can bring it to justice. Garris did a wonderful job even from the opening credits. This is a mini series that packs a punch and holds lots of great memories for me of watching it over and over again. I mean where else can you find Sam Raimi with a machine gun? A deaf Rob Lowe, Joe Bob Briggs looking sexy as a sheriff, Molly Ringwald playing a "college" student, that catchy tune "Baby can you dig your man?", and of course the judge being "clever". 

8) Dream A Little Dream
- Ah, I loved off beat teen movies growing up. Instead of liking recent celebrities when I was in middle school I liked all these weird 80's actors who hadn't been popular in years. I loved weird quirky teen movies like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Thrashin', Dangerously Close, and of course the two Corey movies. The Lost Boys was a HUGE movie along with Fright Night in my house. I of course thought both Coreys were adorable and for some strange reason when I was in the 5th or 6th grade I had a massive hard on for Corey Feldman of all people. Now mind you I grew up watching his movies (The Goonies, Stand By Me, Friday The 13th The Final Chapter, The Lost Boys, ect.) and it somehow hit me that Corey was the strange, weird, yet "bad ass" between the two Coreys. I loved his films, and discovered Dream A Little Dream. After my mother bought me both one and the HORRIBLE part two on VHS as an early birthday present for me, I couldn't get enough of this movie. Over and fucking over for a whole summer I would watch Dream A Little Dream on repeat. When I wasn't watching this movie I was listening to the soundtrack (which I still own today and it really is very good). This was one of the "switch" movies that were so popular back in the 1980's. They sorta made a comeback a few years ago, but in 1988/89 there were several movies of people swapping bodies. Overall this had a good idea, it just sorta was a bit of a mess with it's ending result. It had a great cast, but between the crazy on acid storytelling/editing, Corey Feldman's dance, and cop out of an ending, it's dated and beyond cheesy. I hate remakes of classic 80's movies but this movie is screaming for one. I loved this movie so much that at one point the spike jacket Corey Feldman wears on the poster went on sale and my mother was awesome enough to try and buy it for me. Feldman is such an asshole, I would have felt terrible if she had ended up spending all that money on that thing! Still, I was lucky enough to have met both Corey's before Haim passed away in 2010. 

7) Scream 2
I'm sure anyone my age, having grown up in the 90's knows about the wave of slick and sleek teen thrillers and horror movies that took the world by storm after Wes Craven's Scream. I still remember back in the second grade hearing from my sister about the movie where a girl got stuck, and then killed in a doggy door that was on a garage door. Floored by this idea, I asked my mother to rent the movie and was completely scared shitless after seeing the opening scene and poor Drew Barrymore get gutted and hung from a tree. Before I knew it Scream became a huge obsession for me. My sister and I taped the first film off cable and wore out out VHS copy by watching it over and over again. I still remember freaking out when the trailer for part II got released and how excited we got that our mother was taking us to go see it. Yep, that's right back in 1997 I got to see Scream 2 at the movies. = I had the coolest mother ever. Scream 2 is filled with flaws, but it's a million times better than that shit show Scream 3. This movie had one hell of an opener to turn up the notches from the first film. A great cast, soundtrack, and overall story. Sure the twist at the end was stupid, but this honestly was one awesome sequel. I may be, dare I say it my favorite one out of the entire series. I still remember throwing a fit in front of my father over he fact that my sister got to go see Titanic AGAIN at the movies and that I wanted to go see Scream 2 for a second time. (such a brat!) I being the weird little girl that I was loved these movies, and rocked my Scream 2 shirt more times than I can think. These were movies I rented over and over again, then when I finally got them on tape wore them out and have tons of memories watching them with my sister and mother. That Halloween me and my sister went as the ghostface killers, and in high school my best friend got me an original poster of this movie that still hangs in my office to this day. I love the Scream series since it reminds me so much of my age when these movies came out. In fact, I was able to see Scream 4 opening night when I was away at school in PA. This was very bittersweet for me since I knew my mother, who adored these movies would have loved this final installment. Still, Scream 2 to this day is my favorite, and whenever I watch it, or play it's soundtrack I remember how much I adored it.

6) Phantasm
It kills me to know that it took me nearly 11 years to finally get around to watching the original Phantasm, which is in my top five favorite movies of all time now. Back when I was younger I rented part II, having never seen any of the Phantasm movies before. The only thing I knew about them was that it had a tall old man in it as a killer, and flying silver calls that drilled into your head. After watching this epic, action, adventure, thrill ride of a sequel I couldn't believe how much I loved it. Never before did I feel a movie was made for me. Between the storyline, the gross effects, beautiful score, and one hell of an ending. I loved this movie so much that I "borrowed" it from my local video store and still have the original tape today. Finally back in 2008 after catching the sequel on TV I decided to buy the other 3 movies from the series since I was a fan of the director's other pieces of work (Bubba Ho-Tep, Kenny & Co. ect.) I still remember watching the original and knowing from the moment I put that dvd on that this was unlike any other horror movie I had seen before. Phantasm to me is like a living breathing piece of art. It reminds me of Italian cinema, and seriously is so surreal and dream like you feel as if you're slipping into some strange and wonderful colorful nightmare. In fact, I became such a fan of these movies, I feel parts 1,3, and 4 are much better than the big budget sequel I had always loved. I'm a huge fan of a saga, an epic and this is exactly what the Phantasm series is. The original is a movie I've seen so many times I honestly can't list off how many things I love about it. The colorful artwork, the stunning way it's filmed, the actors, and of course that score. This is a movie I've written papers about in college, have made theories for, and have broken down shot by shot and scene by scene. The original Phantasm tells a wonderful haunting story following three main characters. This is a movie I would love to get a tattoo based off someday. It's one I will always watch whenever it's on and geek out whenever I have to chance to talk about. Just last year on my birthday I was able to watch an original print to the first movie and was blown away by how truly gorgeous it was. 

5) Christine
As I've said I'm a massive Stephen King fan due to my mother. Not only was I raised hearing and reading about his books, but I adored nearly all of the movies based off his work. With Christine, I still remember renting it, and right away knowing I had to buy my own copy. Christine honestly was a mixture of complete and utter perfection. They took Stephen King, who's star was very well on a rise in the early 80's, (1983 the year this was released had two other movies based off his work released around the same time), and John Carpenter, one of my own personal favorite directors. Taking both of these men's massive talents, I believe they made one of the greatest adaptations of King's works. What I love about this movie is that it still holds up today and honestly never needs to be remade. A haunting score by Carpenter, a great opener, and the best cast I've honestly ever seen in a horror movie. Christine herself is a character, and the showdown is amazing. A wonderful movie, based off a wonderful book. This is one of my all time favorite movies, I've driven way out of my way to meet several members of the cast, and the car itself. My Christine collection is insane (I own way too many copies of this movie!) It's a film I have to watch whenever it's on, and was one of the nutcases that bought 2 copies when the SE of the blu-ray was released. I even got my friend Melissa into this movie that she has a Christine tattoo, and does artwork based off this movie. Christine is not only one of my favorite King's movies, but one of my favorite Carpenter films as well. 

4) Waxwork/Waxwork II Lost In Time
I think it's clear how I feel about these movies. I remember always rushing to the horror section growing up at those old school private mom and pop video stores. I still remember always staring at the covers of such movies like A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors, April Fools Day, and of course Waxwork. These were favorites of mine and it wasn't until a few years ago while staying with a friend that I checked out the original on demand. The moment I began watching, I remembered how much I truly adored these movies. With a likeable cast, with fresh attractive actors who at the time were on the rise, a catchy score, great directing by Anthony Hickox, amazing effects, and a storyline/script so ahead of it's time it's insane. (Yep, Cabin In the Woods, I'm talking to you!) The original Waxwork is a fun, clever little horror movie for almost anyone. It had a great lead, an evil villain, some truly awesome memorable scenes (The whipping scene, the werewolf, the mummy, the steak tar-tar, and of course the classic black and white zombie part.) The first Waxwork movie worked so well because of Zach Galligan and Deborah Foreman, two actors I've met and have been floored over how amazing they have been. The sequel is bat shit crazy, strange, and cheesy, and those are just a few reasons why I love it. With Hickox and Galligan returning, this movie takes place just moments after the original, and has some laughable changes. I love the time travel idea in this movie, along with all the homages to all these classic horror movies (The Haunting, Alien, Dawn Of The Dead, ect.) These two movies are great horror adventure movies with awesome characters, and great moments. I still mourn the fact there was never a part III. I'm a huge fan of these movies, and have been trying to gain support on Face Book in trying to get these movies re-relesed on blu-ray. These are classics that deserve a proper release. I've met Galligan and Foreman several times, and my Waxwork collection is still growing. My most prized piece is Zach Galligan's very own personal Waxwork II crew shirt that I won last spring. These movies are by far my favorites, movies I'm sure everyone knows I adore and won't ever get sick of talking about.

3) Say Anything
- I didn't like typical things when I was in high school. In fact I remember one of my history teachers got a kick out of the fact that I knew about all these 80's actors and movies that he had watched growing up himself. I liked of course the brat pack movies, and films like Radioactive Dreams, Thrashin', Valley Girl, ect. One of my favorites had to be Say Anything. I'm a massive John Cusack fan, and I mean massive. Say Anything was Cusack's last "teen" performance and he went out with a bang. I'm not a massive Russell Crow fan, I mean I adore Fast Times that he wrote, and have enjoyed his other works, but something about Say Anything reminds me of the non-horror movies I loved watching as a teenager. I liked off beat teen movies, but this one was one of my favorites. It was well written and seemed like a pretty realistic romance between two very interesting young adults. I loved how this wasn't a perfect sappy love fest, and I loved how the character of Lloyd seemed pretty much like this weird loser, who really deep down inside was full of passion and legit the perfect guy. With a killer soundtrack, and pairing between the two leads I was obsessed with this movie. Sure I love all of Cusack's movies (The Sure Thing being one of my favorites) but something about Say Anything just reminds me of when I was a carefree teenager who dressed as Lloyd for Halloween one year (boom box and all)

2) Inglorious Bastards
- Sorta on a serious note, this movie was released during the worse year of my life. In 2009 I suddenly lost my mother at age twenty. My mother was my whole life and we were very close. In fact, she's the main reason why I love horror and movies so much. 2009 was a dark and shitty time in my life and what broke my heart was the fact that Inglorious Bastards was released and my mother never got to see it. My mother was a huge Tarantino fan. She was the person who got me into his movies, and enjoyed them just as much as me. In fact she down right loved his movies so much, we would re-watch them all the time. My room growing up was covered in Reservoir Dog posters. I had a huge crush on Michael Madsen. I re-watched Pulp Fiction over and over and over again. I saw Kill Bill and Grindhouse several times each when both were released, and yes I had the same hat Jackie Brown wears in the movie with Sam Jackson. My mother was always very interested in the whole holocaust history, she loved movies about them and her heart honestly went towards Jewish people. I remember back in high school the rumors that went around after Grindhouse about this movie being made and how excited she was about it. The day I went to see it with my best friend was a bitter sweet one. It goes down in my top ten favorite movies of all time, and in my eyes it's Tarantino's best movie he's ever made. In fact I truly believe when Brad Pitt and BJ Novak and smiling down at the camera at the end and he says "Utivich, I believe this may be my masterpiece." It's Tarantino speaking to the audience. This really is a flawless film. It's a living breathing work of art with the best cast I've ever seen in a movie since The Great Escape. The last half an hour is seriously utter and complete perfection. This movie I saw several times when it was released and I know for a fact my mother would have loved it. By far one of the best movies I've seen in years.

1) Red Dawn
- Spirit of the deer! This movie along with so many other 80's classics was a must in my household growing up. In fact, I'm down right floored at the fact that at such a young age I had the attention span to watch such a movie. I'm not knocking it saying it's slowed paced, but it's about the cold war in the 1980's with a pretty beyond far fetch plot. I myself have never really been huge into military movies, but something about this movie I was always instantly drawn to. In fact, it was a favorite of mine growing up and most likely stays in my top twenty-five favorite movies of all time. I think a big reason behind this was the cast. They seriously got nearly every single big 80's actor at the time. Even though the mid-west invasion storyline is a little out there, I think everyone did a great job. I mean this was back when Charlie Sheen was originally coked out of his mind and it was charming. Back in high school instead of being super into modern day boy bands and heart throbs I was a thirty-seven year old trapped in a sixteen year old body. I only liked actors from the 1980's. In fact I had a major crush on C. Thomas Howell so this movie along with The Outsiders, and The Hitcher were always on. The Hitcher even today is one of my all time favorite movies. Red Dawn is a pretty kick ass movie with lots of action, an all star cast, and an epic ending that still gives me goose bumps. It's still a huge inside joke between me and my sister quoting this movie, and I remember having Red Dawn night at school and being the only asshole to put war paint on my face and twigs in my hair watching the movie (what can I say, I drank a lot of beer back then.) This is a pretty awesome movie that I still have to watch every time it's on TV and yes...I haven't seen the shitty remake yet. No thanks! In fact I loved this movie so much, that in high school when we had to order those stupid class rings, I got one with deer on it just for this movie. Yes, I was a very strange teenager indeed.

What are yours?

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