The 'Burbs (1989)
PLOT - A bored man who's taken a week off from work, slowly begins to suspect along with his neighbors that the people next door might be killers who are hiding bodies in the back yard.
LOWDOWN - I really enjoy Joe Dante films. (Piranha, The Howling, Gremlins, ect) I was actually surprised back around say 7 or so years ago when somebody asked me if I had ever seen this movie. Now it seemed pretty shocking since I love Tom Hanks, love Joe Dante movies, and back in the day I had a major crush on Mr. Corey Feldman. I couldn't believe that there was actually a movie in the 80's with Corey that I had never seen. It seemed like a pretty cool movie. It had a great cast (Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, ect) and sounded like Rear Window meets an episode of The Twilight Zone. I love dark comedies, and this looked right up my alley.
Around 2014 I ended up buying a cheap DVD of this, and settled down watching it. This was right before I started a new job, and I remember finding this movie very comforting. There are just some films out there that really takes your mind off things. This was a cozy, feel good, zany, crazy movie that I instantly fell in love with. Tom Hanks has been in countless great movies, and his 80's movies are some of my favorites. This film almost acts out like a play. It takes place all on on street, where we watch these bored suburbanite neighbors with a little too much time on their hands durning one summer. I really loved the colorful characters, all living side by side to each other. You have Corey Feldman, the stoner young teenager Ricky, then the late Rick Ducommun who plays Art. This guy played basically the same likable role as the buddy and best friend in a handful of films in the 80's and 90's. There's Bruce Dern who's Mark the ex-vet, Gale Gordon as Walter the old man with the dog who constantly shits on Mark's lawn, and of course Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher as Ray and Carol Peterson. This is what I love about this movie, a great cast, all taking place in one location, where they all slowly begin to get into more crazy adventures together. I just re-watched this movie to fit in as a double feature with The Lost Boys since I've been trying to re-watch all of the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman movies. I actually got the urge to re-watch this movie after a great scene on set from this movie was shown in the Lifetime movie A Tale Of Two Coreys. Here we watch how awful Feldman performed due to his drug habits in 88/89. I read about Feldman's struggles in his book, and I find this really being a shame since it was really his last successful movie. Here we watch as they begin to suspect due to a chain of bizarre events. It's a dark comedy meets mystery as we watch these bored neighbors begin to spy and and watch the rundown house where a new family has moved into a month before. The house looks run down, and haunted. They are rarely seen, and the only times they are seen they are always acting strangely.
This family the Kolpeks have been seen here and there, but slowly everyone starts to suspect they are the people responsible when other neighbors start going missing on the street. Why are weird noises and bright lights coming from their basement windows? Were they really seen digging graves in the backyard? What exactly are they throwing away in their garbage? Here the neighbors team up to figure out.
The film has slapstick moments, dark humor, memories line "The pizza dude is coming!", action, and a pretty crazy ending, but it's the perfect example of a dark black comedy with likable characters, and hilarious moments. I love the nods to horror movies (Race With The Devil, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, ect) It's the perfect comedy for any horror lover. In fact, I was just watching it last night and dying whenever Tom Hanks throws himself into the back of the ambulance with the stretcher.
I honestly can't wait for Shout Factory's release this spring, where I'll be "digging" into ASAP!
3 1/2 stars!!!