Alex Cox’s odd, cool, darkly comic, and frankly brilliant Repo Man hits Blu-ray this week via the cinematic angels over at the Criterion Collection. It’s always a blast to see a movie as subversive and fun as this one getting its respect as a classic, but it’s worth noting that many of our favorite cult movies were less than beloved at the time of their release. Don’t believe us? Click through to see what some of the less enlightened critics had to say, back in the day, about Repo Man and nine more cult… Read More
George A. Romero
If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent a good (possibly unhealthy!) chunk of your October watching lots and lots of horror movies. But if you watch too many, you’ll start to notice a pattern. Horror movies seem to be the genre most prone to sequelizing and rebootinating — there are five Wrong Turns and six Leprechauns, for Chrissakes — and the results are seldom worth a damn. The logic is easy to understand; with horror, the genre itself (rather than big-name stars or mind-blowing special effects) is the marketable element, so once the connection has been made, it’s easy to go back for seconds. And horror movies are constructed accordingly, with doors left open for sequels and series. Most are just awful. But some aren’t; occasionally, the ingenuity and inventiveness of a good chiller will return in its follow-up. So, as you’re putting together your Halloween DVD stacks, allow us to help you separate the pop from the pap; our dozen horror sequels that (contrary to expectation) are not terrible are after the jump. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. But since we’re a mere seven days to Halloween, this edition of the streaming movie guide will focus on the scary — some of our favorite horror movies that are at your fingertips this very moment. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
The Avengers hits DVD and Blu-ray today, fresh from a theatrical run that placed it in the top three highest-grossing films of all time. Not too shabby for a second-time director. Yes, there are many reasons to be cheered by the success of The Avengers: it’s a big, loud summer blockbuster with a brain and a heart; it serves as a triple-exception to our resistance to a) sequels, b) superhero movies, and c) 3D; and most importantly, it has given cult phenom Joss Whedon the kind of crossover success most filmmakers can only dream of. After the jump, a look at how the Browncoats’ fave became Tinseltown’s, and nine other tales of cult filmmakers and the plays they made for mainstream success. … Read More
Rob Reiner has a new movie in theaters this Friday; it’s called The Magic of Belle Isle, it stars Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen, and it is just plain terrible. This shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point in the Reiner filmography; after a hot streak that included the likes of This Is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride, and Stand By Me, Reiner went cold after 1995′s The American President and hasn’t made a great movie since. It happens — for every Scorsese that maintains a consistent quality for decades on end, there are plenty of filmmakers who don’t (even such greats as Hitchcock, Wilder, Chaplin, and Hawks were turning out clunkers at the end of their distinguished careers). In fact, we took an inventory, and dug up 10 more contemporary filmmakers who have gone cold; check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Lars von Trier is a great filmmaker, but he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy you’d much like to hang out and have a drink with. Aside from all that Nazi stuff, his films tend to traffic in the grimmest possible subject matter: he’s tackled rape, slavery, the death penalty, paralysis, and genital mutilation, so it somehow seems logical that his latest picture, Melancholia (on demand now, in theaters Friday) is about nothing less than the end of the world.
Apocalypses are a popular topic for filmmakers — though most are more interested in the narrative possibilities of the post-apocalyptic world than the event itself. Melancholia distinguishes itself by being something of a pre-apocalyptic picture, delving into the anxiety and fear of those who are awaiting the earth’s possible collision with a foreign object (timely!). After the jump, we’ll take a look back at a few of our favorite cinematic apocalypses. … Read More
When the news broke earlier this week that l0w-budget film legend George Kuchar had died, we were surprised at how many people we knew hadn’t heard of him. In case you’re not familiar, Kuchar and his twin brother Mike are known for campy, so-bad-they’re-good flicks with names like Hold Me While I’m Naked and I Was a Teenage Rumpot that have gained a vocal following among trash-cinema fans. Of course, it isn’t often that our greatest cult filmmakers get the recognition they deserve. Take, for instance, PopMatters’ recent list of “The 100 Essential Directors” – the staff’s picks are mostly solid, but they only deign to include a few directors who could legitimately be described as “cult.” In an attempt to remedy the oversight, we’ve compiled a list of 10 cult filmmakers everyone should know. They may not be the “best” (and that isn’t even a useful benchmark for a genre where the term would be so hard to define), but they’re among the most influential, and each serves as a great gateway to legions of lesser-known directors. … Read More
When Universal announced last year that an epic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower was in the works, which would include a trilogy of feature films directed by Ron Howard and a two-season television series, it sounded like a massive undertaking — from both a creative and financial perspective. This week, the studio decided it was too massive and pulled the plug on the project, breaking the hearts of fanboys and King readers the world over.
From the beginning, some had wondered if Howard was the right director for the project — now, unless the filmmaker attempts to set the project up elsewhere (unlikely, as both Howard and his Imagine production company have a long history with Uni), we’ll never know. It seems that we can add The Dark Tower to the long list of proposed book-to-film adaptations by famed directors that never saw the light of day. We’ve assembled ten of them after the jump; add yours in the comments. … Read More
We love our commenters, who are smart and sweet and supportive, always. (Almost.) So big ups to “Jax” for making this writer’s life a little easier by writing, in response to the inclusion of American Grafitti and Dazed and Confused on our “10 Great Summer Nostalgia” movies list: “Speaking of 24-hour movies, has Flavorwire done post on best 24-hour movies? Or movies set within specific time limits?” We hadn’t, Jax. But we have now.
Come to find out, there’s actually a wealth of really terrific movies set over one long day or one long night (or both). Even when setting some ground rules just for the process of thinning the herd (for example: nothing with flashbacks outside of that time frame — which eliminated Reservoir Dogs, Halloween and 25th Hour, amongst others), we still left out some awfully good stuff: A Single Man, The Breakfast Club, The Paper, Training Day, Adventures in Babysitting (don’t judge), Collateral, Friday, Rope, Duel, the Die Hard movies, etc. We’re not saying these films are necessarily better than those; these are just the ten that struck our fancy today. Check ‘em out after the jump. … Read More