Greetings, Glancers! Ladies keep your pants on as today we look at my favourite 10 Johnny Depp movies. I’ve been a big Depp fan since as long as I can remember. I’m not sure what the first movie of his I saw was, but I’m farily positive it is something from this list. Depp has been a megastar since the early 90s and a star long before then, and he was my personal pick for that wonderful hetero-male schoolyard question – ‘if you had to shag one man, who would it be’. Kids these days.
Johnny Depp is known (increasingly so in recent years) for picking offbeat characters to portray, usually those on the fringes of society, or quirky, or with romantic burdens. These are the roles which he seems to enjoy, but he has also featured as more serious, straight types – most performances though he gives himself entirely over and even though you know it’s Johnny Depp you can feel the character rather than the actor. Below are my top ten Johnny Depp films – a mixture of performances that I think are his best while also thinking of my enjoyment of the whole film, with a greater focus on the performance. This top ten is actually fairly interchangeable – Number 1 is the only 1 that remains fixed, while the others are all essentially the same ranking, and quite a few other films not included are roughly similar in quality in my eyes.
10. A Nightmare On Elm Street
Depp’s first major appearance was in my favourite horror movie of all time. A Nightmare On Elm Street sees the young star playing a typical teen boyfriend and his role doesn’t go much further than the tropes and expectations of the genre. This is Nancy’s and Freddy’s movie, but everyone remember’s Depp for his failure to stay awake and his gloriously bloody demise. He doesn’t quite have the look yet, or the star power, but the film is so good and he is an integral part, so it has to make my top ten.
9. The Libertine
Has anyone even seen this movie? I feel like nobody has because nobody ever talks about it. Sure, it isn’t the best movie in the world, and is probably in the lower half of Depp’s filmography if we’re talking about good movies, but Depp’s performance is excellent – dirty, horrific, and with the venomous charm of a street addict looking for a final fix. Depp stars as the Earl Of Rochester, The Libertine of the title, a notorious pleasure seeker and dandy. As the film progresses, the hedonism comes back to bite the character in the body, if not the soul, and he begins to wither to an emaciated husk. Even as he falls to bodily corruption, he flies his singular flag, acting like a 17th Century punk hero who burned brightly for a few moments, then was snuffed out – except here he portrays the character as mostly unlikable and dastardly. It’s one of his bravest, most visceral performances.
8. Donnie Brasco
I’ve spoken about this movie before, covering it in my favourite Al Pacino performances. Depp and Pacino work well together, and while Pacino’s weary, fading performance grabs the eye, it is Depp who goes through the changes – the loving cop husband seduced by the darkside. People never gave Depp’s ‘serious’ performances the credit they deserved at the time, and now moan about how every film now is some bizarro freakshow. You can’t have it both ways! Or more accurately where Depp is concerned – of course you can. Depp can play any sort of role, and here it is one of his finest straight shots. He gets to play a normal human, flawed and wretched like the rest of us, but without the need for grandiosity or make-up, and with all of that stripped away he still knocks it out of the park.
7. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
As everyone knows, the sequels drastically went downhill while becoming increasingly convoluted, but the original Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie is as perfect a popcorn movie you’re ever likely to see. A fun adventure filled with larger than life scoundrels, daring escapades, laughs, romances, and good performances all around. Depp steals the show entirely in what may now be regarded his most famous role. Jack Sparrow is more of a Pirate to the public conscience now that Blackbeard or Long John Silver or Old No-Eyed Skip Stumpy Stump. His maniacal performance deservedly got an Oscar nomination, probably should have got the win, and is brimmed with swaggering confidence and anxious ticks.
6. Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
After some time away from bestie Tim Burton, Depp joined forces with his sullen goth pal once more to bring this musical to stinking life. I was genuinely shocked at how dark and depressing the film actually was, and that was after me already knowing the story since childhood. It’s one of the few instances where I felt kind of shaken leaving the Cinema, and that is as much down to Depp as it is the denouement and the gorgeous look and feel of the thing. Depp channels and then exorcises his Ichabod Crane and merges it with some malevolent, swamp monstrosity. The Demon in the title is key – this is a man, and a performance, possessed by something unspoken and arch, a foul parasite that destroys whatever it comes into contact with – and yet you still somehow manage to feel sorry for him.
5. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Going full Depp, is that a thing? It is now. Yes, Depp goes full Depp in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, chewing the scenery as much as his own face, and making merry with Del Toro and go as they ravage Vegas to pieces in their quest for half-assed gonzo reporting and the finest highs the world can offer. It’s well documented that Depp and Hunter S Thompson were pals, and Depp takes his look, mannerisms, and speech, mangles them in a stoned haze, and tosses them through the looking glass to craft another colourful character and performance that can never be forgotten once seen.
4. Benny And Joon
This was pretty much ignored at release and beyond, except for a few years after the turn of the century when everyone remembered it existed. Since then it has vanished from people’s minds once more. Or so it seems to me. It’s a gentle comedy, a quiet romance, and features Depp being just off centre enough to still be adorable but not off-putting. The film is never laugh out loud funny, or heartbreaking, or anything extreme – it is light and airy, without becoming preachy or sentimental. It’s simply a sweet story, with Depp showing us a different side to what he was known to at the time, recalling the physical comedians of the past.
3. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
It’s Johnny at his most hearthrobby, whatever that means. DiCaprio rightly gets the plaudits for his performance, but Depp, Lewis,and all the rest all give it a damn good go to complete a touching portrayal of daily struggles. Depp is able to carry a lot of the film as the ostensible lead, and he doesn’t have the suit of armour or make-up to hide behind as in his previous hit. There is nothing inherently quirky about his character, name aside, but it is the situation he finds himself in which borders on the unusual. Depp is a strange mixture of passive, accepting, and keen – willing to be the father figure and brother, yet accepting of his lot even as he hopes for more.
2. Ed Wood
Depp’s other film of 1993 allowed him to unleash his more madcap and exuberant side as he plays the title character in the cult biography. Teaming up with Burton after their earlier success, Ed Wood was a much smaller movie and for many years remained that Tim Burton or Johnny Depp movie that no-one had seen. Even with the critical acclaim which was given to the film and its stars, it was a commercial failure which has luckily found a cult audience in the years since. What is key to the success of the film is that it does not outright mock or laud its titular figure – it simply presents a captivating story of people with a dream and a will – people who will never succeed, people who have already succeeded but been spat out, and people who remain enamored by an industry that doesn’t care about them. Depp’s Wood is stellar, ably backed by a terrific Martin Landau – another instance of the supporting performer getting the plaudits over Depp when both performers deserve all the praise. Depp’s character is child-like in both enthusiasm and despair, a most human Peter Pan, and is just out of place and time enough to be noticeable – he is someone for the powerful to swat away and the needy to cuddle and protect.
Once again my Number 1 should not surprise anyone – Edward Scissorhands is in my mind a flawless film and one of my all time favourites. The only criticism I have ever been able to lay at its feet is that it just isn’t long enough. This is a star-making performance by Depp, creating an emphatic 90s outsider and anti-hero, and showcasing his ability as a physically expressive actor and someone who is able to play the audience for laughs and tears in equal measure. Much of the credit of the film goes of course to Burton – the ideas of isolation, the frivolous horrors of suburban America, and the bizarre realities and feelings of the outcast are his – but all of these are portrayed through the script, the colours, and the performances, with Depp at his best as Edward.
Ten great films and ten great performances – 10 films every film fan should see. I think seven of these performances are worthy of Oscar nominations/wins, so once I get to the 90s in my Oscars rundown, you’ll see most of these popping up. Let us know in the comments what your favourite Johnny Depp films and performances are!
In this new series of posts I’ll be selecting a Star at random from every decade (who was born in that decade) starting from the 1880s up until the 1990s to be interred in this land of magic and wonder, who will for ever more see their name set in stone far beyond the places where Gods dare to tread. Each name will have a unique star placed and statue built-in their honour. Often accompanying these additions will be news of a new store or museum to go alongside those stars whose work is of particular genius, and you too can visit and see the place of your dreams, simply by closing your eyes….
1880s: Jean Cocteau. For contributions to Cinema and Literature. With a long and successful career as a poet and novelist, Cocteau embarked on a film career creating such early classics as La Belle at La Bete, Orphee, and Les Parents terribles.
1890s: Ernst Lubitsch. For contributions to Cinema. With some success as an actor and Silent film director, Lubitsch is famed for his talkies where he had the term ‘Lubitsch touch’ applied to works such as Ninotchka, The Love Parade, and Heaven Can Wait.
1900s: Helen Chandler. For contributions to Cinema. Starting out as a child actor and graduating to Broadway, she continued an international career in Silent films and Talkies including Dracula, Daybreak, and The Last Flight.
1910s: Jeff Chandler. For contributions to Cinema. Chiseled Chandler saw his theatre and movie career bridged by a four-year stint in the US Army during WWII. Coming back to Hollywood post-war, he would star in films such as Sword In The Desert, Broken Arrow, and Merrill’s Marauders.
1920s: George Plimpton. For contributions to Cinema and Literature. Primarily a writer, critic, journalist, Plimpton is also remembered for appearing in works such as The Simpsons, Reds, and Good Will Hunting.
1930s: Louis Gossett Jr. For contributions to Cinema. After appearing as a teen on Broadway with no formal training, Emmy winning and Academy Award nominated Gossett Jr is famed for such works as Roots, Stargate SG-1, and An Officer And A Gentleman.
1940s: Terry Funk. For contributions to TV. Wrestling God Terry Funk is one of the most famous and respected names in the business with matches spanning 6 decades. Outside of the ring, he has appeared in works such as Over The Top, Roadhouse, and Quantum Leap.
1950s: Bill Nunn. For contributions to Cinema and Television. Starting out in a series of famed Spike Lee films, Nunn has since branched into Television and Blockbusters, with works such as Spider-Man Trilogy, New Jack City, and Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead.
1960s: Johnny Depp. For contributions to Cinema and TV. For many, the best actor of the late 20th Century, Depp has carved a niche by playing eccentric, childlike figures, but it would be more appropriate to see he selected the roles no-one else dared touch – and perfected his performance -in works such as Edward Scissorhands, The Pirates of The Carribean Series, and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
1970s: Nanako Matsushima. For contributions to Cinema and Television. Famous to Western audiences in her horror film roles, Nanako Matsushima is also well-known as Television actress. her works include The Ringu Series, Konna Koi no Hanashi, and Shield Of Straw.
1980s: Ben Barnes. For contributions to Cinema. After some flirtations with theatre and boy bands, Barnes found his home on the big screen and looks set to becoming a star after performances in films such as Stardust, Prince Caspian, and Dorian Gray.
1990s: Chloe Grace Moretz. For contributions to Cinema and Television. At time of writing, 18-year-old Moretz has already starred in over 40 productions and is one of the industry’s most sought after actresses, with works including Let Me In, Kick-Ass, and Carrie.
In addition to our performers getting stars and status on our walk of fame, this week sees the creation of:
In honour of Johnny Depp – The Pirates Of The Carribean Experience – an off shore island complete with lagoon, fortress, caves, rum bars, hotels, and daily sword fights, all surrounded by crystal clear waters filled with wooden juggernauts. Spend a day or a fortnight living the Pirate life as you set sail in your own ship in search for treasure, or laze on the beach with a keg of ill-gained liquor!
In honour of Terry Funk – a stadium dedicated to Sports Entertainment has been built, comprised of multiple fully functional rings – spend some time at our Wrestling academy, learning the ropes of the business, and reliving some of the greatest matches in Wrestling history. Choose your own name, moves, entrance music, and costume, and walk out to the ring in front of a large virtual audience to take on a foe of your choice!
Which icons of screen would you like to see inducted, and what sort of imaginative creation based on TV or movies would you like to visit or create? Let us know in the comments!
In 1984 Wes Craven redefined the horror movie forever, bringing his own rules to the game, avoiding the clichés that had gone before, making an exciting, inventive, gory, wickedly clever, and above all-scary film. A Nightmare On Elm Street, spawner of sequels, influencer of crap is the movie horror fans hoped for in the early eighties, but is also an effective satire on small town life, our fascination with serial killers, our fear of the unknown, and the sins of our forefathers.
Nancy is fourteen. She has a cute boyfriend who would do anything for her, two friends (who frequently mock Nancy with their own sexual experience), and a load of baggage. Nancy lives with her alcoholic mother, while her father is the local Sheriff – her parents divorced some time before the events of the movie. One night when the four friends are staying together, Nancy’s best friend Tina is brutally murdered by a hideously disfigured man, seemingly while sleeping. Her boyfriend Rod watches on, horrified, while Nancy hears the screams from outside. Rod flees, and the cops look for him believing he is the only possible killer. It isn’t long before the Police catch up to Rod, but Nancy becomes convinced that someone else killed Tina, a man named Fred Krueger. Night by night she is haunted by increasingly violent dreams where she is stalked by a man with a razor fingered glove, and so tries to investigate further for fear that she may be next.
As the movie progresses Nancy’s relationship with her mother becomes increasingly strained, with the daughter frantically taking pills to avoid sleep and seemingly becoming unhinged, while the mother is unable to act or react in a responsible manner. Nancy’s mom takes her to psychiatrists in a vain attempt to keep her own guilt in the shadows, refusing to own up to the fact that her past has caught up with her, not knowing that everything she is doing is wrong. She goes so far as barring Nancy inside the house and refuses contact between Nancy and Glen – her boyfriend. Glen’s parents are only too happy to oblige, not wanting their son to associate with the loony across the street. Eventually, we learn the sordid history about Krueger – he was a child murderer who stalked the town a few years ago, was caught, but escaped unpunished by some loophole. The residents took the law into their own hands, burning and killing Fred, but somehow he has found another loophole and is getting revenge by killing the children of Elm Street once more in the place they should feel most safe – their own homes, their own dreams. With no-one to trust, Nancy needs to overcome the enemy alone.
This is one of the most imaginative horror movies ever, blending dreams with reality so the viewer never knows whether a character is asleep or not. The fact that we don’t know what is real and what is a dream gives a sense of tension throughout as we don’t know when Krueger will appear. Craven uses all the force which caused his previous films to be censored and banned but makes his themes more subtle, and substitutes the realistic and grim visuals of The Last House on the Left for the fantastical sights here. For the most part it is the fault of the parents that their kids are killed- they created the monster by trying to kill the monster, but more importantly they then feel like their job has been completed, not realising when their kids are still in danger. There is a total lack of understanding between the two generations, and little trust in the abilities of the youth. It is not only a tale for those nearing adulthood to be afraid of the world – that in the end we have to rely on ourselves rather than those who have protected us so far – but it is a story about the older generation’s fear of the next generation. They want to be leaders but have their own insecurities, they want to be respected but show little in return, they want to protect but cannot see when something is really, seriously wrong.
The young cast is good, particularly Langenkamp. Garcia and Wyss have little to do, Depp has a bigger role and shows some of what would make him a legend. It is Langenkamp who carries the film, and she is excellent in her portrayal of fear, paranoia and helplessness, all the things we face when we are teens. We forget these things as we get older, but they rarely leave us, and often in forgetting do we lose the ability to cope when confronted once again. Nancy screams, but thinks; She is not the typical stupid teen over a hundred other Slashers. She makes an assertive step towards saving herself and her friends, while trying to hold her family together. She takes on the traditional roles of both father and mother, becoming hunter and protector, indeed she proves to be the strongest character in the film, preceding Ripley by a few years. She knows her own survival is down to herself.
The older cast members are also very good. Blakley is brilliant as Marge, hapless, hopeless mother who cannot cope with Nancy, with her break-up, with her guilt, giving in to booze like so many others. Saxon is also good as the father trying to get on with his life, burrowing himself in his work to forget the evils of his past, yet coming across as the most sympathetic adult. And of course, Englund steals every scene he is in. He is terrifyingly believable, the perfect example of what lurks in our nightmares, waking and dreaming. His one-liners are darkly comic as he takes sadistic joy in following and killing kids. In later films they become increasingly silly, but here we get the sense that these are the exact words that would come from the maw of a paedophile and serial killer.
The effects also stand out, with the famous bloodbath bed scene, and Tina being torn all over the ceiling becoming some of the most famous images in horror history. Kreuger looks monstrous, those blades will be heard in our dreams, while the dream world is filmed with care – we can tell that there is something not quite right about the surroundings, and we are subtly unsettled. A highly effective film, scary, funny, thought-provoking and unnerving, and with one of the most frightening villains ever committed to film. This inspired many clones, but this is still the king and continues to influence many films, horror and beyond. And count the number of Simpsons references.
Features wise I would go for the 2-Disc special edition as it is slightly more expensive but has plenty of commentaries and documentaries to keep your nerd heart pumping.
*Originally written in 2004 – I never realised that it was basically a plot summary (and I’ve even removed some chunks for the above revised edition) – so apologies for a crappy review of one of my favourites movies.
Aah, Halloween- the most wonderful time of the year. When even those who wouldn’t usually subject themselves to all manner of terrors decide to watch the odd scary movie or 2. Unfortunately for me, this part of the Spac Hole which I currently inhabit does not indulge in the season as seriously and joyfully as other places, so I have always felt a little deprived. Sure, we had some parties, sure we threw fireworks at Gerry’s house, and yes we would watch whatever limited choice of movies were on over the few days but compared to other places (particularly you festive folks in the US) it just didn’t seem as much damn fun. In my mind, the whole month of October should be a vessel for Halloween activities, from dressing up to trick or treating, to watching scary movies and hiding under the beds of people you don’t know with a chainsaw.
To that end I have helpfully made a few lists of classic horror movies which sould chill you to the bone, and add to the singular atmosphere of this most evil time of the year. This list of 31 movies was created so that you can split the fun over the entire month (alternatively you could wait until closer to the day and have a few marathon sessions) and let yourself tremble ever so slightly in the supposed safety of your own home. Just be sure to lock your doors and windows, close the curtains, and tuck up the kids tightly in bed (checking underneath and in closets for me) before turning off the lights. Maybe check those locks once more, you can never be too sure or too safe. Oh, what’s that? That noise from outside? I wouldn’t worry, probably just the wind. By all means go out and check, but that would mean going into the basement to find batteries for your torch. Really, just relax and watch the film, your paranoia can’t hurt you. The thing outside, yeah- it could hurt you. But you locked the doors, right?
These don’t have to be watched in any particular order, but some would suit the big day (or night) better than others. This is not meant to be a list of the best or even my favourite horror movies (though I love them all) but rather I feel these offer something of the atmosphere of Halloween. Enjoy.
An American Werewolf in London: This one has it all- gore, jump scares, atmosphere, action, humour, and a great plot with likeable characters. WereWolves, like Vampires have taken a rather glossy beating recently. This proves that you can wrap up a love story with horror without being teeny, without being sparkly, without being demeaning to viewers with brains. Classic Halloween scene: The Nazi section.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Wes Craven, Johnny Depp, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and Robert Englund- lovely ingredients for a tasty Halloween Pie. This is the original and best, before the horrific character of Freddy (Here just Fred) became a snuggleable, bantering chum. What could be better for Halloween than scaring yourself so badly that you can’t sleep- knowing that something terrible may be waiting for you in your dreams. A story with more depth than it gets credit for, dealing with the Craven standard of ill-advised parenting and how the children have to cope with the mistakes of the elders, this is full of genius set pieces and bloody action. Classic Halloween Scene: Nancy gets a bloody post coital surprise- but not what you’d expect. And did they say she was 14??
Alien: Often described as Halloween in space, or a Haunted House in Space, Alien deals with our fears of isolation, of being trapped, of being in s situation way beyond our control and way above our heads. Remove the alien, remove the setting, and this could be any slasher movie from the time. However, that would be taking away the fun, the fear, the atmosphere, and the ingenuity. This is dark, claustrophobic stuff, and the perfect film for Halloween to make you look out the windows into pitch darkness and wonder if something is staring back. Classic Halloween Scene: Dallas goes hunting, but realizes too late that he is the prey.
The Blair Witch Project: Similar to Alien this deals with our fears of isolation and the un-experienced unknown, but spices things up with issues of abandonment, paranoia, and things that go bump in the woods. A classic survival tale for city folk poking their ill-prepared noses where they don’t belong, Blair Witch succeeded because of it’s innovative filming and marketing techniques. It still succeeds today amongst a rubbish tip of similar films because the plot is solid, the acting is real, the rising tension and fear played out between the characters feels exactly like how we would react, the growing dread is almost unrivalled, and the climax is absolutely chilling. Classic Halloween Scene: The search for Josh in the freakshow house at the end will get you tingling and gripping the seat every time.
Creepshow: Halloween isn’t just about traumatizing each other, it’s also about good old fashioned camp-fire tales to warm the heart and soul. This is cheesy at times, but never boring or irritating, it feels nostalgic both for children of the 80s and of the 50-60s. The tales are brief, well written and acted, the effects are still top-notch with an earthy feel, and the scares are tense and fun. Classic Halloween Scene: Trying to convince your abusive wife to enter a box where a monster lives has never looked so enjoyable.
Candyman: Both Cliver Barker and Tony Todd are vital ingredients in any scare-fest- put them together and you’d better have a few spare pairs of pants lying around. An intellegent, sexy, city based horror which merges old world supernatural fears with the modern world of big business, CSI policework, snooping journalists, and end of the century hairdos. Barker at his height was a fountain of invention, bringing a freshness to the genre which made everyone else’s ideas look like old creaky mummy movies. Candyman merges urban myths with ancient folklore, mysticism with science, gore and shocks with beauty and lyricism. Todd’s presence is as powerful as any of the classic monsters, while Madsen gives a refreshing twist on the final girl character. Classic Halloween Scene: Hook through the chest.
Carrie: One for the teens this, though it may have aged some due to being so authentically 70s, the scares and the themes of abuse, loneliness, bullying, and separation are no less relevant or universal today. The story is simple but pumped up by ideas of religion, extremism, and psychotic mummies (not those ones). The acting by the main players is superb, there is something bleak about the whole sordid business, and we manage both to sympathize with and be scared by Carrie. And wish we had her gift. De Palma twists the tension knobs until they break off, though some of the intrusive camera guff is laughable now. Classic Halloween Scene: Everything between the bucket dropping and the school burning.
Child’s Play: The evil doll is a well worn sub genre of horror, but one which has very few, if any, classics. Child’s Play is amongst the best, and the series is certainly the most notorious. Like many 80s horrors, the series was unfairly derided for it’s supposed impact on our youth with some people going so far as blaming it for some grisly murders. As with most of these series, the quality decreased as the sequels increased, but the original remains surprisingly effective given the silly subject matter. If you don’t know the story- multi murdering maniac transfers his soul into a popular doll moments before his death, doll is picked up by young boy, doll begins murderous rampage again until it realises that it needs to sacrifice the boy to become human again. There are sure to be some laughs, some screams of just kick him in the balls and throw hm out the window!’, but maybe a few jumps too. Classic Halloween Scene: Chucky terrorizes the baby-sitter and we all jump when the phone rings.
Dawn Of The Dead: There is something quite special which you may not know about Dawn. If you watch it at Dawn- depending on where you live etc, try to time it where the film will just be ending as the sunrises. Then go for a walk immediately. It’s likely there won’t be many people around. The ones you will see will probably be shambling. The bleak nature of the film rarely hits harder than in these moments and you will surely look around yourself and feel a stark aura fill your being. There are few things more terrifying than waking up to an otherwise beautiful day and not wanting to be any part of it. Classic Halloween Scene: So many to choose from, from funny, to scary, to bleak, but I’ll go for the truck parking section as we realize that paradise can quickly become hell, and a haven can suddenly become a tomb.
Day Of The Dead: Surely the most grim of all the DEAD films, this is perfect Halloween viewing, not only because of the exquisite gore and effects. Claustrophobia and paranoia again play a large part, and you can’t help wondering why all these psychopaths keep getting in the way of your enjoyable apocalypse. Most people would be happily looting and whiling away their days watching DVDs, playing games, reading books, getting drunk, but there always has to be a crazy doctor or maniacal military group to spoil your good times. Halloween is all about good times, stick this on to reap the benefits. Classic Scene: When the Zombies step on the lift and it begins moving downwards- you just know all hell is about to break loose.
Dracula (30s): A classic to chill the bones of all comers, this still has the ability to… worry those who haven’t seen it before. A film that’s almost a hundred years old- how could that possibly be scary? Well, there’s a reason why this is still considered the best version. Classic Halloween Scene: When Harker first meets The Count.
The Exorcist: Now we get into the truly demanding territory. A rarity in the genre, The Exorcist was a massive financial and critical hit upon release, pampered with awards and then…uh, banned. It may not be as hard-hitting these days, but it’s still rough, creepy stuff. Plus it is played extremely coldly, and without a hint of humour. This is as bleak as horror gets, and even the supposed happy ending leaves us with a bitter, fearful taste. Excellent performances, bewildering jump scares, and freaky moments all conspire to chill the soul and ensure you cuddle up to your beloved in bed. Classic Halloween Scene: Spider walk.
The Evil Dead: This was mostly played for scares over the played for laughs sequel, and while there is humour here, the main focus is on sudden frights and wonderful, innovative camera techniques. You’ll have fun watching this one as each character gets picked off, comes back, and gets picked off again. Classic Halloween Scene: Cheryl at the window, not in the cupboard.
Friday The 13th: One of the original slashers and one of the most successful, this one has plenty of ideas and violence, and staples of the sub genre which have now become clichés. It has dated, it is silly and quite tame, but it was made with love and ambition and freshness. The ending is shocking, the performances are ok, and there isn’t a hockey mask in sight. Classic Halloween Scene: Arrow through the neck- don’t have sex kids.
Final Destination: Another rarity- an inspired modern horror film with great ideas which blends humour and genuine frights. We have a series of characters who rather than getting picked off one by one in an uncaring fashion, are shown to be real kids with real lives, fears, and concerns- and then they are picked off one by one in increasingly exciting, tense, and innovative ways. A film which deals with our fear of death, of inevitability succeeds on every level. Classic Halloween Scene: During a heated discussion in his car, one reckless character refuses to accept that his life is pre-destined or that death is stalking his every move. To prove the point he parks his car on train tracks with his friends as the train hurtles towards them. He soon realizes he was wrong.
The Fog: One of the great campfire spook stories, The Fog is still sadly underrated. Carpenter creates a wonderful atmosphere here which suits the season perfectly- even better if you’re near the sea or if there is fog around. Classic Halloween Scene: The introduction with the wizened old sailor sets the tone for the rest of the show, and should set the tone for your night.
Hellraiser: Another British one now, offering something different from our American cousins. We have sex, violence, lots of gore, and some S&M themed fun. This is gritty in an Eastenders sort of way- you don’t really want to look or have anything to do with these characters. Classic Halloween Scene: When Kirsty first meets the Cenobites- what is the finger in the mouth about?
Halloween: What more can I say? This is the movie which should be watched every Halloween- not only is it a genuine classic of the genre and a kick-ass movie no matter which way you look at it, it drips with and evokes that special Seasonal feeling that few things do. Make this the highlight of your night. After you’ve cut some throats. Classic Halloween Scene: Young Laurie runs screaming down her street being chased by a murderous maniac. She clambers to the front door of a neighbour, knocks and begs for help. A light is turned on. Then switched off. Did they think it was just kids messing around? Were they too afraid to help? Welcome To America folks.
Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers (70s): Some us like to dress up at Halloween as ghosts, vampires, or our favourite horror movie characters. Some people go further and pretend to be the person that the costume depicts. This definitive version of Bodysnatchers takes the idea of hiding behind a costume to dramatic and terrifying extremes- what if person next to you on the bus, your neighbour, your friend, your wife, or child was no longer the person they once were? In fact, what if some alien creature had taken their body as host and was walking around as an imperfect mockery of that person’s life? What if this alien race had designs on all your friends and everyone you’ve ever known, and what if you were next? This chilling view of a world snatched away from under our noses is all about loss of identity and mistrust, and makes for unsettling Halloween viewing. Classic Halloween Scene: The final moments. I’ll say no more.
Night Of The Living Dead: A staple of midnight viewing, the surrounding darkness makes the black and white all the more stark and cold; There are no easy answers or happy endings here. If you are watching this with a group of people, ask yourself which ones you would trust in a life/death situation. If your cosy home was surrounded suddenly by thousands of undead, who amongst you would come out as leader? Would you sit back, would you make decisions, would you think only of yourself or would you think of the safety of the group? Either way, you’re bound to get a chewing. Classic Halloween Scene: They’re coming to get you, Barbara.
The Omen: So far we don’t trust our neighbours and friends, but what if you thought your son was the Antichrist? The Omen is an apocalyptic film in more than one way and is filled with strong performances, gripping and bloody deaths, and a memorable, frightening score. Music is often pivotal in horror movies, and as you clamber the stairs to bed after this, with infernal monks chanting obscenities in your head, that corner of darkness you can’t quite see clearly may fill with unspeakable evil more readily. Classic Halloween Scene: Damian decides to ride his bike.
Prince Of Darkness: I find this to be Carpenter’s most underrated film mostly because it is awesome and should be mentioned in the same breath as Halloween and The Thing. Sure the plot is messed up with it’s evil green satanic liquid taking over zombies and bums mixed with time-travelling dream messages and psych jargon, but seriously it is awesome. It has more effective jump scares than any of his other shows and there is a creeping sense of dread and atmosphere throughout. In many ways it is classic Carpenter- a group of different thrown together in a building who have to team together or fall apart and stand against an overpowering threatening external force. It is a siege movie, it is clever for the genre though at times it doesn’t know what genre it wants to be. I think that was part of the fun though- like Big Trouble In Little China it is more than just it’s labels instead transcending notions of what it should or shouldn’t be, and is well ahead of it’s time. Classic Halloween Scene: The final survivors holding up behind some furniture while one of the crazies admires himself in a mirror with a large blade.
Ring: Please please please watch the Japanese version, not the abomination that is the remake. Sure the remake has plenty of jump moments, but it also has a deer on a boat, Brian Cox in a bath, and a director who decides it would be clever to cut away from the movie’s most important scene for the sake of a car chase. The original has Nanako Matsushima and Hiroyuki Sanada and if that isn’t enough of a recommendation then please remove thine eyes from mine page post haste. Watch this deep into the night, possibly as the last film, then play the lovely game of phone your friend once they have left to terrify them. Unfortunately the ideas first seen here have been so over-used that these games have become diluted, but the film still has an unflinching power. Not a drop of blood is shed, there are no knives, guns, or people bursting in from behind doors with a loud noise- this is the best horror film of the nineties and goes against everything that decade threw at us. And it’s a damn good story with excellent performances. Classic Halloween Scene: Sadako. TV. Sleep tight.
Scream: The second best horror movie of the nineties is the stuff of parties. By know everyone should have seen it, but many of you will have forgotten it and how good it still is. Plenty of shocks, laughs, scares, and action as well as a script the quality of which horror movies rarely get. And my beloved Neve Campbell is in it. Few horror films provide this much entertainment whilst still being scary, funny, and clever. The nods to horror movies will keep the nerds amongst your bunch happy and you can shout out when you spot a reference. Classic Halloween Scene: The final house chase scene as Neve doesn’t know where to run or who to trust.
The Shining: It’s rare for most people to get snow at Halloween, even more rare to be completely snowed in and surrounded. Try replacing the notion of snow with rain or darkness- would you want to go wandering outside if it was completely dark or hammering down? Anyway, this is another film which plays on isolation, claustrophobia, and paranoia. It’s probably best not to watch this one as a cosy night in flick with your little family- you’ll start wondering what the hell is going through each other’s minds. This is a giant of the genre with heaps of atmosphere and plenty of unsettling moments which deserves to be menti0ned at any Horror Movie Marathon. Classic Halloween Scene: Danny was warned not to go in that room. Prepare to be scared when Daddy goes looking too.
Silence Of The Lambs: The critic’s choice. Don’t invite any critics to your party as they will moan, groan, bore your girlfriends, and likely drink all your wine. There should be wine. This is nasty stuff from start to end as poor Jodie Foster tries to solve a murder whilst hiding her own fears from the unlikely Terminator Anthony Hopkins. This is better suited to smaller group viewing as it isn’t exactly cheery, blood n guts fun but it does the job when you’re on your own. Classic Halloween Scene: Anything with Bill really.
The Thing: In many ways the ultimate John Carpenter film, the ultimate macho man fest, and the number 1 examination of the paranoia which creeps into people during periods of isolation. The effects here still blow me away and they are only part of a long list of quality to describe this film- look at the cast, the performances, the music, the scares, the cinematography, and the way Carpenter drags the tension out of every shot until we don’t know who has been infected and who hasn’t. Great action adds to the great scares, but the special effects and story are kings here. Classic Halloween Scene: When the survivors are tied to chairs and Mac goes through each one by one to test if any are not human. Genius.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: This one still hurts today- it’s just so damn grim, dirty, and repulsive as to make the horror timeless. Sure they scares may be cliché now and the gore is almost non-existent, but the low down atmosphere, the miniscule budget, and the amateur (but good) performances all conspire to make this uncomfortable watching. I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who still think that there could be a family like this in their town, just as much as I’m sure that there probably are still families or people like this in the world- maybe not in your town, but possibly the next one over. And chainsaws are awfully easy to come by these days. Classic Halloween Scene: The entire dinner scene. Truly horrific, the use of sound and various camera techniques make this one of the most intense few minutes in any horror movie.
28 Days Later: A modern classic, and one of the few great British horror movies of the last few decades. Taking riffs from Romero and King this is a post apocalyptic survivalist’s wet nightmare. Empty streets, shops to loot, cars to steal- all great if it wasn’t for the hundreds of thousands of psychopaths charging towards you in search of your blood. This is the 21st century folks, and zombies ain’t got time to amble and stumble about- these are confident, successful, modern big business, stepping up to the plate, corporate bull-shitting zombies, and they won’t take closing a door in their face for an answer. If you can’t run fast, you’re screwed. And just to make things Mega Man 9 difficult- these fiends don’t even have to bite you to kill/convert you- one drop of their blood/saliva entering your body, through a gash, a scratch, a kiss, or a tear is enough it recruit you. And sheesh! They don’t even give you time to grieve for your fallen comrade- within seconds of getting exposed, your best friend will be diving for your jugular too. My advice- kill everyone you see and hide under a pile of coats till it all goes away. Classic Halloween Scene: An abandoned car sitting in the middle of an abandoned London- nothing to fear but technology.
The Wicker Man: Nothing to fear but religion. Look closely enough and all religions begin to look like cults; they all have a figurehead, the followers worship the figurehead unquestionably and offer prayers, thanks, songs, and sacrifices, there are certain rituals usually borne of centuries long since dusted, those involved are usually inviting to outsiders in person, but have a secret hatred, anger, or issue against them once backs are turned. So we have The Wicker Man, possibly the best British Horror Film of the whole sorry lot. Aah, the confusion of two worlds colliding as we watch a upstanding lawman and guardian of his own archaic faith fall victim ever so slowly to a cult even more decrepit than his own. He knows something terrible is amiss, but it isn’t until his toes turn to cinders that he realizes his fate was sealed the second his feet touched the land. Classic Halloween Scene: When we first see Mr Straw and realize our hero’s fate.
Paranormal Activity: Proof not only that horror movies still have the power to scare, entertain, and bring in the mega bucks, proof not only that a good story well executed can be more than a match for buckets of blood, but also proves that in this day and age of $200 million dollar movies that a small group with talent, an idea, and a few months worth of average salary can make a great movie. Romero did it in the 60s, Carpenter did it in the seventies, Raimi in the 80s, Myrick and Sanchez in the 90s, and now Oren Peli has continued the tradition. Using every trick in the book he has made a classic pastiche of the genre and a thrill ride akin to running naked through a field of land mines. The setting of the movie is perfect for Halloween viewing- primarily it is set in the home and most of the scares happen at night- the film invades you with a sense that you aren’t safe in your own house and makes you take a second or third glance at that cup that you swore you set on the table which now sits on the ground. Likely to lose its impact with subsequent viewings this is best served to people who haven’t seen it. The scares (while you sense them coming) are unexpected and rewarding and while the characters are painfully annoying, you’ll still soil your drawers. Classic Halloween Scene: NEVER leave your foot hanging out of bed.
Trick R Treat: Anthology movies have had their heyday- we had a succession of British hits in the 70s, then a slew of bloodier efforts in the 80s. Then for 20 years anthology fans didn’t have a lot to be excited about aside from a few cheap efforts (although Asia did produce some great ones at the turn of the century). Trick R Treat is good enough to kick start a revolution in the genre, or at least it would have been had it been released in any cinemas. Straight to DVD (yet with a decent budget and big name cast) Trick R Treat features four shorts linked by an over-arcing plot and is to Halloween what presents are to Christmas. This one is destined to be shown and loved every Halloween for years to come, possibly as a double header with Carpenter’s classic. Classic Halloween Scene: The creepy opener sets the tone for the movie and features everything we love about the season, dripping with atmosphere, and settling us in for a bumpy ride.
Please leave your comments and suggestions for films you think are best viewed at Halloween, and let us know which films terrified you when you were growing up at this time of year.
Probably as bad as part 2, but I must give it extra credit for some funny moments and for a couple of good performances.
Freddy returns to find his daughter, and to kill the last child of the parents who killed him in Springwood. In doing so, Freddy believes the way will open for him to explore a whole new city and country of kids and their fears. To do this he must bring his child into the open, as she has long since escaped Springwood. However, he underestimates his daughter and her friends, and they stage a fight to finally destroy Krueger.
The plot is interesting- more so than other fims in the genre, but unfortunately there are far too many jokes, and Freddy is no longer scary. Instead of following the plot, smoothing over the holes, and finding a good complete cast, it relies on effects, which are not as good as previous films, and gimmicks- the 3D caper. Englund seems sad that the role he will be remembered for is no longer a horrific and evil character from who it is almost impossible to escape from, but a one-liner giver, and slapstic comedian. Even the flashbacks, which could have been very dark, are not effective. Zane is good, Lezlie Deane is excellent, Depp gives an interesting cameo but the other cameos are average, as are the rest of the cast. Kotto does well in a small part. If only the film had sought to be more like the first- dark, rather than humorous it would have been better. If you want to make a scary film, make it completely devoid of humour. If you want to make a mix of both work well, keep the humour very tongue-in cheek.
The extras on the disk are similar to the previous few films, nothing too exciting. Buy it to complete the collection, probably only for fans.
As always, feel fee to share your thoughts on the film- was this a final hurrah for the series or was it another dire outing?
The movie that established Depp in our minds, in probably his best performance as the deformed, unfinished creation of an eccentric scientist. Rightly called a modern fairy tale as it has all the hallmarks of those classic stories- a strange character, some sort of moral, a dark side, a world almost like our own but slightly warped, a story anyone can enjoy. Edward Scissorhands combines this story with some wonderful acting and characters, memorable score, beautiful cinematography and imagery, which makes an excellent, tender film with the typical Burton trademarks.
The story is told by a grandmother to her granddaughter, and we get to hear it too, beginning with Edward’s creation and development. He grows and is taught about manners, etiquette and other things by his father, but is alone, never seeing or interacting with the outside world. From his room he can see the nearby neighbourhood, within touching distance, but as he is different he cannot go to them. One day his father dies, leaving him unfinished- with giant scissors where his hands should be. He does not understand, and stays in his massive dark house alone. When a local Avon lady, annoyed because of the lack of interest by her neighbours in what she is selling, she decides to try the scientists house, unaware of what is inside. No-one has been there before, it is a typical small town haunted house in the eyes of most. She enters the house when no-one answers, meets Edward and decides to take him home to her family as he is alone and a mess. Looking past his ‘hands’ she accepts him, and her son and husband also try to. Soon he becomes a ray of interesting light in the bored neighbourhood, everyone wants to meet the new guy, and he shows his talent for hedge and dog trimming. However, Edward is enchanted by Kim, the daughter and falls in love. Kim is with a bully of a boyfriend, and soon he and the rest of the neighbourhood take advantage of Edward- he just wants to be nice. Soon though his novelty wears off, and most people see him as evil and dangerous, something to disrupt their daily lives. They chase him away, and the story looks like it will end in tragedy.
Everything in the film works perfectly, every corner of the cast from actors to set designers all do amazingly well. It is one of those rare times when everything seems to come together and fit completely. Dianne West is ideal as the mother Peg, only wanting to help Edward, not trying to score points off her friends. Anthony Michael Hall as Kim’s boyfriend is also an ingenious choice as he emits that typical jock persona, believing he can get whatever he wants, trying to overpower everyone but scared of his father. Vincent Price is the inventor, and gives an admirable and touching performance, a fitting way to end his illustrious career, and the rest of the family and neighbours are all uniquely odd, made even more strange by the routine they live in and the idyllic place they live. Ryder as Kim is also intensely sympathetic, first scared of Edward, but growing to understand and eventually fall in love with him. But overall, in acting terms it is Depp’s film, and no-one could have done better. He completely takes over the role, adding little touches, eye movements and such to add to the character, so that we too love Edward by the end. However, his performance is such that we too realise he cannot be part of the community, he will never fully understand them as they cannot understand him, whether he is in love or not, and this could be harmful for him and others. He does not want to hurt anyone, and so must be on his own. He is a tragic figure, and the movie seems to be saying that the outcast can be heroic, beautiful and tender, but must remain an outcast to keep these characteristics.
Again Burton gives the Gothic look he has become famous for, and this is undoubtedly his most visually beautiful film. Batman had more stunning sets, camera work and stunts, but the charm factor here is almost overwhelming. The Gardens, snow, the ice sculptures, the picture perfect coloured houses and cars all juxtaposed against Edward and his habitat. Edward himself is a work of art, scarred but not horrific. Edward’s home is a wonderful excuse for Burton and the designers to show off, full of shadows and weird inventions. The music adds immensely to the film, raising our emotions that much higher, and it is probably Elfman’s best. Favourite scenes include Kim dancing under the falling ice, and Edward sitting on the pavement with the dog, but every shot and scene is excellent.
The only fault i can find with the film is that it isn’t long enough, or rather, i wish it was longer just so we could be part of that world for a few minutes more. There could have been more scenes between Kim and Edward. It leaves you with a good feeling, and I cannot see any other faults with it. Some may feel it is overly sentimental, but it isn’t, some may feel it is simple, but it is meant to be. A film for outcasts everywhere, but one which should be enjoyed by all, as we all feel like outcasts at some point.
The DVD has two good commentaries, and a featurette which are worth watching/hearing. A must for any collection
At times more like Heat in style rather than Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco is a mix of many gangster films that have gone before, drawing parallels between mob life, and the real family life of each character, and showing the blurring of boundaries which can often occur. The style, the dialogue, the wit, the violence, everything we would expect to see is here, but there are enough good moments to keep the movie unique, and there are some good performances from typically very good actors. The film does not dwell on the scenes of murder, but rather focuses on characterisation, and the relationship between Donnie Brasco, the undercover agent who succumbs to the mafia way, and Lefty, an aging mobster who, in spite of his dedication and respected work has little to show for it, and never seems to rise through the ranks.
Johnny Depp plays Joe, an FBI agent, married with kids. He goes undercover as Donnie Brasco, an orphan from Florida to try and infiltrate the New York mafia. When Lefty, a member of the mob takes interest in him, Donnie becomes part of the gang. Lefty teaches him everything and acts like a father, and they become close as Donnie sees how Lefty wishes he could get away with his family, and hates the fact that he is always ‘passed over’. Madsen plays Sonny Black, a member who is rising ahead of Lefty even though he is younger and has done less. They move to Florida as Black tries to set up on his own, but the FBI raid his new club. They believe there is a rat, and kill one of their own thinking it was him. Lefty and Donnie know he was not a rat though. Black decides to kill Sonny Red and the other bosses so that he can have New York, and by this time Donnie is respected in the group and may one day become a ‘made man’. His family have been deserted, and the FBI do not know what he is doing. Brasco says he is trying to get Lefty out of the group before he is killed, as when Brasco is uncovered, Lefty will undoubtedly die. Brasco is becoming just like the men he was supposed to be putting away, and getting deeper into trouble with each day.
Overall it is the acting which keeps the film running at a steady, watchable pace. Depp is very good as Brasco, convincing in his dual roles and in his portrayal of how easy it can be to be seduced by power. Pacino is on familiar territory, and again is intense and thoughtful when he needs to be, giving another strong performance. Madsen is also good as the short-fused Sonny Black, and everyone else does what they have to do. The script is nothing we haven’t seen before, and although it sometimes seems like it is trying to too easily explain the ways and words of the mob, it still has a few refreshing moments. The life seems less glitzy than in other gangster films, and there are few shows of extravagance. These men seem to be low on the ladder, and not as good at what they do as other characters from other movies. We are left feeling great sympathy towards Lefty, even though he has been in the game for so long, he seems naive and in need of a real son or someone to connect with. He never gets a break, and is always the man given the smaller jobs. He has been in the business for so long that he knows little else though, and we sense from the start that he will never get away. Even though Joe completes his job, he knows blood will be forever on his hands and after having a taste of the high life, it will be difficult for him to return to normality.
The DVD has a short making of and trailer. The skant extras should not sway you from picking up this great film.
As always, feel free to leave any comments on the movie- how does this rank against the other Mafia/mob movies? Would you like to see Depp take on more ‘serious’ roles like he does here?
Depp continued his early nineties love of starring as offbeat characters, the type of characters that most actors would avoid taking on for fear of embarrassment or losing credibility. It may be true that very few actors have the ability to carry off such characters with skill, and make them believable and charming. Depp is the master of these roles, and in Benny and Joon he again proves his great talent and versatility. He may be the big name, and steals most of the scenes he is in, but the surrounding cast and story make it an enduring film of bittersweet romance and tries to prove that there is hope for all of us when it comes to love.
Benny and Joon were orphaned at a young age, and Benny has spent the greater part of his life looking after his mentally ill younger sister. Joon is slightly unbalanced and sometimes gets herself in trouble by burning things and causing ‘public disturbances’. Benny works as a mechanic in a garage, has never been away from home or had a proper relationship as he feels he must always look after Joon. Recently Joon has been getting more unstable leading psychiatrists to advise that she be put in a home under care. Benny wants to live a normal life but cannot leave his sister. Joon is an incredibly smart and talented young woman but would never ask to be put in a home. On one of their regular poker nights Benny’s friends play cards with Joon as Benny is late. The stakes are high- a week’s washing, a troll toy etc. One friend puts his newly found cousin Sam in the pot, a 26 year old who can’t read and spends his time watching movies and emulating Buster Keaton. Joon loses, and Benny has a new house guest. At first he seems odd, but as time goes on he proves to be a source of goodness in the household, and Joon falls for him. Sam also manages to get local waitress and B-Movie star Ruthie involved with Benny. However, when Benny finds out what has been going on between Sam and Joon he is furious, leading to Joon being committed. Benny realises his mistakes and asks Sam to help bring Joon back.
Above all this is a warm hearted tale with some good performances. Depp is superb when getting up to his supposedly unusual antics, Masterson manages well with an equally difficult role, and Quinn holds it together with his subtle performance of a character who must cope with the weirdness around him. Moore provides fine support as Ruthie, and there are a few funny moments. The film does not push for laughs or heart-felt tears and therefore is quietly charming and should hopefully leave most with a feeling of good-will afterwards. The director deals with mental illness as many before have, that it makes a person more lovable, and whether or not this is true it does not get in the way of the plot. Joon does not seem that different from everyone else, and Sam is a born entertainer, but a spontaneous one who should not be put on stage. It may be too slow and subtle for some, and it doesn’t have the look or emotion of Edward Scissorhands, but it is nevertheless a fine movie and one which was destined to have a cult following.
The DVD only comes with a trailer, a making of and commentary would have also been nice, but at under a fiver it’s a bargain.
As always, please fee free to share your comments on the film- was this one offbeat character too far for Depp? Are you insanely in love with the movie?
Edward Scissorhands is a terrifying, grim fairy tale, the story of a deformed boy with scissors stapled onto his arms in the place of hands. It is a well known fact that Vinnie Price went buck nuts before he died, believing that he was a real mad scientist. He began experimenting on neighbourhood runaways, cutting them up and replacing their limbs with household appliances- he would sand off their feet and replace them with a couple of hairdryers; he scooped out their eyeballs and inserted Christmas lights; he ripped off their danglies and tied on glue guns. The list goes on- all I will say is that this is where Radiohead got their name from. Tim Button, fresh from his success with his version of Batfink which made enough money to let him make whatever film he wanted. He decided to base his next film on the continuing existence of one of Prince’s creations- Edward. It is made all the more horrific by the fact that a love story is tacked on along with some rather sick slap-the-stick comedy.
The film stars Julia Roberts as a suburban saleswoman. In a clear rip off of off Desperate Houses, all the women are sneaky, self interested pointlessly neighbour obsessed with lives so empty and meaningless that the only way to fill the void with something other than outright hatred for themselves is to spy on their equally vacuous mud dwellers. Julia decides one day to go up to the spooky castle at the bottom of her street to try to sell her magic beans there. Inside she finds (amongst an assortment of fetishist, S and M torture devices) a lonely young man called Edward. He seems normal other than the fact that he has scissors for his hands and is a complete weirdo. Naturally, Jaunty Depp was picked for the role. Judy takes him home to meet her family- husband Richard, son Barry, and daughter Winrunner Rideher. Eddie falls in love for Wineowner but she calls him a hippie and has an affair with local jock Rob Lowe. Jedward goes buck nuts and begins having visions of his daddy, Vinnie Jones, who advises him to become an assassin. He does, and the rest of the film is a blood soaked snowstorm of necks being sliced, eyes being gouged (with the camera placed on the tip of the scissor for maximum effect), and limbs removed as Tom Button shows his utter disdain for everything wholesome; it is basically him saying that he wishes everyone would murder everyone else and leave him alone to draw his zany pictures. The worst thing is, when Ed gets paid he can’t count or spend the money as he keeps accidentally ripping it up. The scene where he moves from house to house impaling and mauling all the pets is so awful I may well have invented it just so I don’t have to remember it. The thing comes to a climax when the FBI come to take Edwood away and he holds Winoprah hostage at the top of his castle. Helichopters swoop around the pair while he has a slow motion fight with their propellers. He finally cracks, and cuts off his beloved’s head and legs and is subsequently shot to pieces by the Feds. As the sad music rises, Winnie’s blood drops onto the floor and we fade to white.
Best Scene: The ending, where we fade back in to find that it is the future, and Wimpy is alive and well and a granny. Surgeons were able so sow her head and legs together with a thin strip of her torso, though her midriff is completely gone. She is telling her granddaughter this story (I assume the young girl was naughty and this is her horrific punishment). The child asks, ‘What happened to Ed, granny?’ Winotebook replies ‘Ed’s dead, baby. Ed’s dead’ before racing off on her space age mobility cycle.
As a fan of the more extreme side of cinema, I ask you to join me, as I explore the history of Cinema's most extreme movies with all the sex, violence and symbolism intact. I'm here to reflect on the extreme movies that have come and gone to see what they mean, see what makes them so extreme, and of course, see if they're any good.