Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1980!

Terror Train (1980) | MUBI

The Changeling

Before I get attacked – I like The Changeling. I probably would have liked it more had it not been so hyped for me. This was a film which kept slipping through my net – I’ve been a huge Horror fan since childhood, but as much as I heard people and magazines talk about The Changeling as a true classic, it never seemed to be on TV or available to buy. As such, I didn’t see it until I was older and I was expecting it to be on par with what I deemed to be classics. It didn’t live up to any of my expectations and I never found it to be particularly frightening. However, it’s classy, it’s not your run of the mill teen-bait of the period, and I’m a big fan of Jean Marsh who appears very briefly.

Flash Gordon

This was a film which was everywhere in my childhood, and one of those which I never enjoyed. I know it’s meant to be camp and cheesy and everything else, but young me felt that this was just shit. Older me doesn’t have a much better opinion of it.

The Jazz Singer

Me and musicals – there’s probably going to be at least one musical entry every where. This is one of those Hollywood go-tos – if in doubt, remake a generic, inoffensive standard with a modern cast. No-one in the cast is convincing, the story is a mess, and the music is crap.


For a long time, I didn’t trust anything by Robert Altman because he made this movie. Of course, I was wrong, but I disliked this movie so much when I was young that I not only avoided his films for an age, but it left me with a sour taste for Robin Williams too. Luckily both director and star have made monumentally better films.

Terror Train

It was the age of the slasher, and that meant that barely a week would pass without a new and shitty low budget Horror movie featuring a masked killer would be released. Poor Jamie Lee Curtis was being typecast to oblivion in this period – luckily she had the talent to rise above, and luckily she was still making genuinely great movies in this period too (The Fog), but she would still pop up in this sort of crap. It’s fine, it’s generic, it has a ridiculous plot, it’s not scary or interesting in the slightest. David Copperfield is in it (as a magician), Ben Johnson is in it… it’s an amusing cast. I generally like movies set on trains, but this film doesn’t use the setting to its advantage. It’s just another one of those ‘prank went wrong, dude gets revenge’ movies.


Where do you even start with this? It feels like a movie made by people who saw a movie once, just one, and thought ‘I can do that’. Plus, it’s another musical.

Let us know in the comments what your least favourite movies of 1980 are!

Nightman’s Updated Top Ten Favourite Movies Of 1980!

10: The Big Red One (US) Sam Fuller

When I was first getting into Cinema as more than mere entertainment, I began hunting down the lesser known (to me) films by actors and directors I already liked, or unseen films in genres I enjoyed. It took a while to get to The Big Red One because War movies were never high on my list of preferred genres and because the only actor I cared about was Mark Hamill – I didn’t know much about Fuller at the time. This was my gateway to Fuller as a director and to some of the less patriotic, less glossy War movies. The Big Red One has more in common with something like Platoon but also stands apart – it first follows a soldier (Lee Marvin) and his experiences in WWI and WWII, then follows the squad he becomes a part of (The Big Red One) in different missions throughout Africa and Europe. It’s light on plot – more a series of events involving this man and his fellow soldiers, but there’s a recurring enemy weaving the different scenes together as well as the sense of guilt and fear and War’s cyclical nature. It’s par for the course for Marvin, but it’s Fuller’s best film, and it’s great to see Hamill outside of the Star Wars universe.

9: Cannibal Holocaust (Italy)

Following on from above, Horror has long been my favourite genre, and younger me (who am I kidding, I still do it now) would make lists of all of the films I needed to see, culled from what I heard older relatives and friends talking about, from trips to the VHS store and memorizing the scariest cover art, to remembering the names from magazines I browsed in shops (before being told to buy or fuck off). Cannibal Holocaust was one of those movies that you almost weren’t allowed to talk about – it wasn’t just a video nasty, it was criminal. This was the work of an insane killer and simply talking about it would buy who a ticket to Hell, via the cop shop. Now, we all know that Cannibal Holocaust is just a movie and Hell is just a myth, but make no mistake that it is an incredibly difficult movie to recommend or sit through. Unless you’re a Horror fan or a huge Movie buff who wants to see everything, I’d say it would be best to stay away. It’s cheap, it’s nasty, and depending on which cut you watch it is morally reprehensible.

That said, it remains incredibly influential. Much of what it influenced turned out to be dreadful, but it did lead to some classics of the genre, while genuinely being a classic itself; if the goal of horror is to shock, sicken, and provoke, you should consider all three boxes ticked. It’s not that it’s overly bloody, more that it feels so grimy and realistic, and the tone feels dirty. It’s one of a small handful of films to play this trick while still being a worthwhile watch – TCM and Henry Portrait to name a couple. It has the bonus of having a truly gorgeous soundtrack too. Be aware though that the film does contain genuine animal cruelty – I refused to watch that version and if you don’t want to give the filmmakers any money or attention for doing such things, then you’re a better human than me. If you’re still reading and are interested in a synopsis, the film is basically split into two parts; the first, follows an anthropologist/explorer type searching The Amazon for a group of missing filmmakers and finding their bodies and film reels. The second half is the explorer playing said footage to a team of Producers (and us) and begging them not to put it on TV. While exploitative, it’s more clever than many gave it credit for at release, and it’s now more highly regarded.

8: Kagemusha (Japan)

It’s ridiculous for some filmmakers to have such long and distinguished careers. In the modern sense, we have the likes of Spielberg and Scorsese still putting out genuine money-makers which are also critically successful. Back in 1980, Kurosawa had already been working for almost half a century and had essentially defined Asian, and to a certain degree, Western film-making. With a legion of new Hollywood filmmakers worshipping him, they were able to help fund what would become a series of new epics by The Master. Kagemusha is a three hour, astonishingly crafted, epic of war and political intrigue set in 16th Century Japan. Like my number 9 entry, this is a hard sell unless you’re already a Kurosawa fan or want to see as much as possible. For those two groups, this should be a treat – what it lacks in Kurosawa’s early energy and innovation it makes up for in scope and vision. Plotwise, it follows the life of a thief who bares an uncanny resemblance to a Feudal Lord and who is trained to be a stand-in or decoy for the Lord. As you would expect, the Lord is killed but rather than deal with the loss of power and political fall-out, the thief acts as the leader full-time until a better solution can be found. Power struggles ahoy! Basically, imagine Game Of Thrones pulling this exact trick and you’ll have a fair idea of what the film is like.

7: The Watcher In The Woods (US/UK)

It remains bizarre to me that this, one of Disney’s best kept secrets and one of their best ever Live Action movies, is still not available to watch on Disney Plus. At least not here in the UK. I know Disney rarely touches Horror, but this is fairly light and more like an extended, classier Goosebumps episode. It’s a classic Haunted House story, complete with Gothic old home, creepy Bette Davis, and a slow-moving creep factor. Admittedly, it’s not the best made or best acted movie in the world, and the plot doesn’t always make the most sense, but it made me fall in love with Lynn Holly Johnson and is one of the better introductions to Horror for younger audiences – low on violence, jump-scares, naughty words, but high on atmosphere and spooky tone.

6: The Elephant Man (US)

The movie which showed that David Lynch could play within the system and could make Oscar bait just as well as anyone. Of course, once he’d got it out of his system, he went back to doing whatever the hell he wanted. That said, this biopic is not the standard fare you got then and which you still see Hollywood promote and cream over today – this is Lynch’s vision. It wouldn’t work as well without the two lead performances from Hurt and Hopkins, the great make-up, the cinematography, and of course the concept is more interesting than ‘here’s a two hour re-telling of a famous pop star’s life that you already know about’.

5: Raging Bull (US)

Equally, Scorsese’s take on the biopic is another black and white, director owned piece. You look at The Elephant Man and Raging Bull and you know that nobody else could have made those movies and have them be the successes they are. Building off his relationship with De Niro and Pesci, Bull is yet another masterclass by Scorsese which depicts fame and violence (and boxing) with such an artistic eye that any scene in the movie rarely drops below iconic stature.

4: The Blues Brothers (US)

It’s rare that you’ll ever find a musical in my Top Ten lists given my general dislike of the genre, but The Blues Brothers is one of those odd entries. It’s a perfect storm – Akroyd and Belushi were at the height of their fame, John Landis was hitting the big time, and we had a host of Blues and Blues-related performers who were still alive and kicking. Throw in a zany plot which you’d likely never find outside of the 80s, memorable one-liners, and an iconic set of costumes, and you have a winner. I always say that, with musicals I don’t care about dancing or big epic performances, but that the music has to be good. Almost without exception, the music in the big Hollywood musicals is tripe. Or at the very least, not to my tastes. While I’m not the biggest Blues fan in the world, you can’t deny the star power on display here or the music involved, involving old Blues, Rock, and Gospel standards. Outside of the music, it’s a genuinely funny and entertaining movie with plenty of the surreal thrown in for good measure – again, Hollywood Musicals? Not funny. Car chases don’t hurt either.

3: The Shining (US)

You know The Shining. We all know that Horror is a slighted genre in mainstream criticism and Awards, but The Shining is one of a small handful of movies that critics, awards type, film fans, and horror hounds can all agree on. Say what you will about the two lead performances – I love them – but they all add to the tone and atmosphere of the whole. This is a Haunted House movie where everyone is fucked from the first scene because they’re already haunted. Kubrick has always had horror elements in his movies and I wish he’d done one more in this genre, but at least he left us with one out and out masterpiece.

2: The Fog (US)

The Fog is not the revered classic that The Shining is, nor is it the better movie, but I just get so much of a kick out of The Fog. It’s the more fun ride, it’s the rollercoaster, it’s the perfect Halloween movie. It’s a ridiculous campfire story – ghost pirates attack a coastal town on the anniversary of their tragedy to get revenge/get their gold back. That’s it, and we meet a bunch of townspeople and people passing through who have to survive the night. John Carpenter has made a career of making siege movies of different types – this one is essentially a town under siege – but he’s a master of it. He makes it fun, he makes it scary, it has a terrific soundtrack, it looks wonderful, and there’s a bunch of great performers pulling us from A to B.

1: The Empire Strikes Back (US)

Covered in my Top Movies Of The Decade post.

How Many Of My Films Were In The Top 10 Grossing Of The Year: Two (including the top grossing film)

How Many Of My Films Were Nominated For the Best Picture Oscar: Two

The Big Red One – Get Rekt!

Rekt PNG Images, Free Transparent Rekt Download - KindPNG

Greetings, Glancers! We continue our journey of re-evaluating my favourite films from every year through the decreased bias inherent to The Nightman Scoring System (c). Today’s pick is my Number 10 from 1980 – Sam Fuller’s War epic The Big Red One. Not a War movie you hear many film fans mention, not one which tends to appear often on Best Of lists. Lets see how it scores.

Sales: 3: It made more than it cost, but was hardly considered a success beyond that. You can’t say it was a flop either, so a 3 seems like the best response.

Chart3: I’m forced to go with a more or less average score for this category given that Chart data isn’t as well documented for film as it is for music. Possibly this is one of those categories which needs to be modified into a new category. I’ll think about it.

Critical Consensus: 3It’s a tricky one – one the one hand it has been name in Best War Movies lists, but fairly low down the list – and critics have generally been positive, though not effusive or overwhelmingly so. The issue is that is it underseen and therefore not universally acclaimed. I’m happy with a 4 here, but 3 feels more accurate.

Director: 5: I’m happy giving a 5 here as it’s probably Fuller’s finest moment. It’s a hard-nosed, hard-boiled war movie which pulls no punches and is based on Fuller’s own experiences of the war. As such, you can’t go in looking for all out action, deep character study, or easy answers, but muddy morals, memorable shots, and gritty realism. I’m good with a 4 or even a 3 here based on your own preferences, but I’m being positive.

Performances3: The three lead actors are the three names you’ll know – Lee Marvin is Lee Marvin, Bobby Carradine has enough room to be charismatic, and Mark Hamill is almost unrecognizable, but everyone else does their job. Nothing is showy, no-one is given the chance to standout, but every one is human.

Music: 2. Pretty generic for the most part, the main theme is standard marching drums but with forgettable melodies. It’s fittingly more sombre than most War movie themes, but that means it doesn’t carry the same emotional musical weight.

Cinematography4: Adam Greenberg had mostly made cheap cash-ins of the Golan brand, but with The Big Red One he branched out leading to bigger films. It’s easy to see why – the Restoration cut of the movie is gorgeous and the photography from Africa to the Omaha landing and into the liberation of the Concentration camps is consistent in towing the line between beauty and chaos.

Writing3: Fuller’s movies are known for ‘showing more than talking’, while remaining thoughtful. The script is serviceable, but if you’re looking for reams of quotable dialogue you won’t find it here.

Wardrobe3: Fairly standard, WWII uniforms, WWI uniforms, and associated era clothing.

Editing3: An average 3 from me – does the job and neither adds much or takes much from the film, lacking some of the editing punch of Fuller’s other films.

Make up and Hair3: Perfectly fine, nothing bad, nothing you’d notice – it’s not that type of film.

Effects3: Your standard War movie fare with snapshot scenes of famous battles with the required effects.

Art and Set: 3: If you compare it with the earlier Apocalypse Now, or perhaps more accurately the later Saving Private Ryan, you can tell those films have a much broader and iconic visual style. Fuller was more into realism and a near docu-style.

Sound: 3: All good.

Cultural Significance: 3: I think 3 is the peak here, given hardly anyone has seen the movie or talks about it today. You can tell it had an influence but War movies, especially WWII movies, mostly disappeared from Cinema for the next 15 years.

Accomplishment4: Fuller gets a lot out of what is a small budget for a film of this scope. It looks and feels like a bigger movie, and revisiting his own past exploits, experiences, and nightmares must have been difficult.

Stunts3: Your standard War movie fare with snapshot scenes of famous battles with the required stunts.

Originality2: I’m being harsh with a 2 here, perhaps. But WWII stories had been around for forty years by this point and there wasn’t much ground which hadn’t been covered. We know War is terrible and Fuller shows that there isn’t much between whichever tribe you find yourself a part of once the bullets start flying.

Miscellaneous: 3: I don’t have much to add in this category – again something which will plague the older films, so I go with the average score.

Personal: 4: 1980 is a weird year for me – even with this being one of my Top Ten movies of the year, I don’t think this is a 5 for me. I love it, but if you compare it with my Number 1 of 1980 – that’s a pure 5.

Total Score: 63/100

A fairly low score perhaps, but it is nevertheless a film everyone should see. Let us know in the comments what you think of The Big Red One!

Best Cast – 1980

My Nominations: Altered States. The Blues Brothers. Caddyshack. The Elephant Man. The Empire Strikes Back. Heaven’s Gate. The Long Good Friday. Ordinary People. Raging Bull.

As always with this category, I present a range of films with either a combination of big names which must have been an extraordinary feat to pull together in a single film, or a smaller cast pulling off extraordinary feats of acting. Altered States features William Hurt in his film debut (and Drew Barrymore to a lesser extent), backed up by the (marginally) more established Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, and George Gaynes. More a film of ideas than people and performances, the cast nevertheless do well with a bizarre story.

The Blues Brothers takes a list of fully established comedians and throws them in the middle of some of the most famous musical icons of all time. When I was young I didn’t really know that most of the performers in the film were actual singers who had been around for decades, so believable are the performances. You could argue that outside of Fisher, Aykroyd, and Belushi the others are cameos, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that you have John Candy, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Charles Napier, James Brown, Ray Charles, Frank Oz, Chaka Khan, Paul Reubens, Kathleen Freeman, Twiggy, John Lee Hooker and others popping up. Caddyshack pulls a similar trick, upping the list of comedians instead of having Blues Legends. It’s the only film you’ll find Chevy Chase and Bill Murray together, throwing in Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, Brian Doyle Murray, and Sarah Holcomb.

The Elephant Man is the actor’s dream – great story, great characters, and a great director behind it all – then you look at the cast around you, from John Hurt to Anthony Hopkins, and from Anne Bancroft to John Gielgud, Freddie Jones, and Wendy Hiller. Some of those give, arguably, career best performances. Raging Bull is in a similar vein, with De Niro, Pesci, and Cathy Moriarty leading the way. You can’t avoid Ordinary People thanks to its Awards success and list of names – Robert Redford directing Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch, Mary Tyler Moore, Elizabeth McGovern, Timothy Hutton, M Emmet Walsh, Adam Baldwin and others.

Likewise, you can’t ignore The Empire Strikes Back. The core cast returns (minus those killed off), and we have a few new faces and voices joining and instantly fitting in and making an impact. You all know it, no point saying any more. The Long Good Friday is probably the least known film here with only Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren known to audiences outside of the UK. For British viewers, there’s a host of familiar faces – Nigel Humphries, Derek Thompson, Brian Hall, Gillian Taylforth, with the likes of Dexter Fletcher and Pierce Brosnan popping up in cameos. Finally, Heaven’s Gate, if you want to find out why it was so derided for yourself beyond simply hearing the criticism and stories, has a cast you can’t balk at – John Hurt, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, Joseph Cotten, Kris Kristofferson, Brad Dourif, Geoffrey Lewis, Mickey Rourke, Terry O’Quinn – a mixture of big names and familiar faces most people will recognise even if they can’t place the name. Everyone is good too – not career best, but if you’re a fan of any of the performers, it’s a must see.

My Winner: The Elephant Man

Movie Review – The Elephant Man

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Makeup – 1980

My Nominations: Cannibal Holocaust. The Elephant Man. Inferno. Altered States.

It was the lack of a nomination, an award, any respect for the outstanding work on The Elephant Man in 1980 which prompted (finally) The Academy to introduce an official category. That means from next year I’ll have Official Nominations to look at for the first time, as well as my own picks. The Elephant Man is always going to be the winner this year, kicking off arguably the greatest decade of Makeup in Cinema’s history, with the great Christopher Tucker picking up my win. It’s not the only significant entry in Makeup this year, with Cannibal Holocaust’s realistic work enough to lead to official murder charges being placed on director Deodato’s head. Even now there is a gritty, disturbing realism to the blood and guts we are treated to. Inferno is less concerned with realism and more concerned with how memorable and shocking its kills are. This being Argento, you know you’re going to get some unforgettable set-pieces with garish makeup to boot. Finally, Altered States is something of a fever dream, and as such it relies on all manner of visual enhancement and trickery with Dick Smith’s makeup an important part of making the final product so trippy.

The Elephant Man review – David Lynch's tragic tale of compassion | The Elephant Man | The Guardian

My Winner: The Elephant Man

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Writing (Adapted) – 1980

Official Nominations: Ordinary People. Breaker Morant. Coal Miner’s Daughter. The Elephant Man. The Stunt Man.

A mixture of the interesting and the expected this year. Naturally, Ordinary People was the winner, the tale of suburban alienation striking a chord with those in charge. Coal Miner’s Daughter and The Elephant Man were dead certs to be nominated thanks to the calibre of people involved behind the scenes, and the same can be said for The Stunt Man. Breaker Morant is the offbeat choice, the tale of a (no matter which side of the argument you fall) bit of a scumbag military man who committed a series of War Crimes but claimed he was ‘only following orders’. The film was incredibly successful in its native Australia, possibly explaining this courtesy nomination.

My Winner: The Elephant Man

NEW The Elephant Man And Other Reminiscences by Sir Frederick Treves | Elephant, Man, Joseph merrick

My Nominations: The Elephant Man. Airplane! Altered States. Raging Bull. The Shining.

Only The Elephant Man to me is really worthy of coming across to my list given its quotability and heart. Airplane! is one of the many quotable comedies of the 80s and one of the first and finest examples of sketch type humour which would be expanded upon in the decade. Altered States gets a nomination because it’s a marvel it was able to make its way to screen with any sort of coherence, while Raging Bull always felt like a strange snub given the other praise and awards heaped upon the film. My final choice, and perhaps my controversial winner, is The Shining – a much colder ghost story than King’s novel but one with an equal, if different power. There’s no escaping some of the one-liners either, even 40 years on.

My Winner: The Shining

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Stuntwork – 1980

My Nominations: The Empire Strikes Back. The Stunt Man. The Big Brawl. The Blues Brothers. The Young Master.

What is always one of my favourite categories, because I’m a big silly action lovin’ boy, is a bit of a turd this year. There was a batch of War movies which don’t break any new ground, but the action genre was in a bit of a mire until the explosion which occurred later in the decade. With the name and plot of The Stunt Man you would rightly expect the film to contain a lot of stunts. In this instance that’s like saying The Wrestler has a lot of wrestling. There are stunts as this is the world the movie is set in, but they’re not the focus and they’re not pushing any boundaries. Still, there are a few nice car and chase gags. The Empire Strikes Back has a lot of practical action but we’re beginning to push action into the realms of gadgets, machines, and computers rather than solely having living performers putting their bodies on the line. It’s still one of the most action packed and stunt filled films of the year. In The Big Brawl and The Young Master Jackie Chan makes a few personal strides – into the US and as a director. Neither is one of his best efforts, but both features plenty of his trademark lightning fast and innovative fight scenes and acrobatic stunts. The clear winner for me this year has to be The Blues Brothers, thanks to its ridiculously excessive car chases, stunts, and pile-ups.

Incredible stunt driving in 'The Blues Brothers' 'was all real' - Chicago Sun-Times

My Winner: The Blues Brothers

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Visual Effects – 1980

My Nominations: The Empire Strikes Back. Altered States. Flash Gordon. The Fog. Superman II.

This year there was no official category, but Empire won a Special Achievement award. If there had been a category, Empire likely would have been the winner. There’s the argument that it doesn’t do too much over and above what was set up in A New Hope but when you consider the scale of Hoth and Bespin as well as all of the space battle stuff the foundations laid out three years earlier have been built upon tenfold. Altered States is a movie which takes a theoretical scientific approach into other states of consciousness as prompted by drugs, sensory overload and depravation etc, and as such the need to accurately convey these states on screen is vital for the film’s success. The effects are as dated as anything else from this time, but powerfully aid the film’s nightmarish quality. I’m loath to include effects as dated as those seen in Flash Gordon, but I guess a lot of kids would have been enchanted by them back in the day. With The Fog, less is more and the ever spreading fog and flashes of what lies within lead to a gripping atmosphere and plenty of suspense. Superman II doesn’t up the ante from 2 years earlier, but more of the same is good enough for a year like this.

Strawberry Dragon Project: Film Review: The Empire Strikes Back

My Winner: The Empire Strikes Back

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Costume Design – 1980

Official Nominations: Tess. The Elephant Man. My Brilliant Career. Somewhere In Time. When Time Ran Out.

It’s the clothes category again. It’s always the period piece which wins, and given the fact that I’m not much of a Period movie fan this isn’t a category I care about. A potential shame because there’s so much interesting Sci Fi and Fantasy out there which should be nominated here. Somewhere In Time isn’t a great movie, but I love the Matheson work and I think it deserves a callout here. When Time Ran Out – no idea why it’s here as nothing stands out about the Costumes or anything else. My Brilliant Career – period piece which is perfectly fine – The Elephant Man, equally deserving of the nomination but nothing exceptional. Tess is your winner out of this bunch.

My Winner: Tess

Costumes from the movie "Tess" directed by Roman Polanski (1979) | Vintage  costumes, Fashion film, Fashion

My Nominations: Tess. The Elephant Man. The Empire Strikes Back. The Blues Brothers. Fame. Flash Gordon. Heaven’s Gate. Kagemusha. Popeye. Xanadu.

Again, you could drop three of the official nominations and replace with three more suitable movies from the Academy’s favourite genres. You’d want to slap a Musical in here – The Blues Brothers is the most iconic and varied, Xanadu is insane, and Fame is your modern traditional musical so the most likely candidate. Heaven’s Gate could have had a nomination here – throw it a bone at least – and Kagemusha was in with a shot. Popeye, as much as I hate it, manages to look like the cartoon/comic and Flash Gordon is the same, but again with more variety. There’s a winner here, an obvious winner, and it’s The Empire Strikes Back and John Mollo.

My Winner: The Empire Strikes Back

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Art Direction – 1980

Official Nominations: Tess. Coal Miner’s Daughter. The Elephant Man. The Empire Strikes Back. Kagemusha.

I can see why Tess wins this. A literary adaptation and a costume drama given the Polanski treatment. It had to win something, right? I can’t deny the skill involved in making it look so good. But there’s at least two films officially nominated which it doesn’t stand a chance against. Coal Miner’s Daughter – it’s here to top up the number of nominations The Academy felt it should receive. The Elephant Man is on a level with Tess if not a step above, while Kagemusha benefits from Kurosawa’s switch to colour and Yoshiro Muraki’s attention to detail. You could say this was a veteran nod, but it’s deserved as the entire film is a feast for the eyes. Your only winner, surely, has to be The Empire Strikes back, expanding the living, breathing Star Wars universe to an endless array of locations each with their own design hinting at cultures stretching back centuries.

My Winner: The Empire Strikes Back

The effect of 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' can still be felt after 40 years | Space

My Nominations: The Empire Strikes Back. Kagemusha. The Changeling. City Of Women. Tess. The Elephant Man. The Fog. Inferno. The Shining.

I Bring over four of the official choices and add a batch of horror movies. City Of Women isn’t a horror movie but its dreamlike qualities and dazzling Circus like style certainly warrants a nomination. While Inferno is not as visually daring or dazzling as Suspiria, it does take things up a notch with its abstract stage like vision of New York complete with abnormal shadows and lights, curtains, apartment blocks, books, and cellars. The Changeling is quant by comparison but is more of an updated version of the creaking haunted house movies of the 60s. It retains much of the style of those movies with the grand old house set up to look as foreboding and as ominous as possible. The Shining takes the haunted house idea further, instead placing a familiar story inside the confines of a sprawling, senseless hotel, a labyrinth of illogical corridors and the excess of a world long dead. Finally, The Fog takes the ghost story to its next logical step by haunting an entire town, the seaside idyll of Antonio Bay with the vengeful spirits too busy stabbing and scaring than stopping to appreciate the boats, lighthouses, streets, homes, and churches which Carpenter, Cundy, and Wallace provide for us.

My Winner: The Empire Strikes Back

Let us know in the comments which movie you would pick!