Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"There Are Some Things A Man Just Can't Run Away From."

For this guy, one of those things happens to be this blog. Since nothing really exciting has been going on in my life for the last week or so, I thought I'd at least tell you about some of the movies I've been watching. (But fear not, dear reader, Chester Race Week kicks into full effect this weekend, so you can expect a hangover induced post in the near future.)

First up is one of my favorite westerns, 1939's Stagecoach. This movie is chock full of awesome characters, from the drunken doctor to the gentleman gambler and even a hooker with a heart of gold. Film geeks like myself will tell you that not only was Stagecoach the first western to be filmed in Monument Valley, but it was also the movie that made John Wayne a star. Also, rumor has it that Orson Welles was somewhat obsessed with this movie. He apparently privately screened it some forty times while he was making his masterpiece, Citizen Kane.

Nextly, a pair of 80s classics, Revenge of the Nerds and Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise. I recently managed to scare up a copy of the out of print Nerds/Nerds II DVD from Ebay, so I was pumped to watch these flicks again. Sure, I have them on VHS, but how long will those puppies hold out for? Anyways, what I can tell you is that these movies still hold up pretty well, despite their age and identification with all things 80s. The first Nerds movie was a bit more slapsticky than I remembered and when you see them both back-to-back you can't help but notice how the two movies are pretty much identical. Not that solving your problems with a creative song and dance routine ever gets old though. These flicks are required viewing for any fan of 80s movies.

Return of the Living Dead has to be one of my favorite movies for a variety of reasons: it has zombies, it has a punk rock soundtrack, it's totally 80s, and it has zombies. I guess it was originally meant to be a continuation of George Romero's Living Dead series, but ask any horror movie purist and they'll tell you Return isn't even in the same league as Romero's flicks. A lot of them won't even recognize this as a zombie flick because it has probably the first appearance of fast zombies, as opposed to the classic lumbering slow zombies. But, all horror movie politics aside, this flick is pretty good. I even got my hands on the elusive workprint version of the movie, a rough cut featuring some twenty extra minutes of alternate scenes and dialogue. If you like zombies, you have to see this one at least once. Return of the Living Dead is b movie schlock gold.

And finally, a movie I haven't seen in a long time that I'm looking forward to seeing when it finally comes to DVD next week, The Wizard. Anyone who remembers the hoopla surrounding the release of Super Mario Bros. 3 back in the late 80s must have at least some recollection of the marketing tie-in that was The Wizard. While it is little more than a ninety minute commercial for vintage Nintendo games and products ("I love the Power Glove. It's so bad.") I'm still stoked to see it again after all these years. Maybe I just long for the days when seeing someone else play Double Dragon seemed so awesome. I don't know why it has taken them this long to put The Wizard out on DVD, fans have been crying for a release and snapping up bootlegs for years now. The Wizard even made a recent list of the top twenty-five most wanted DVDs. The Wizard finally makes it to DVD on August 22nd (you can read a review of the DVD here), so be prepared to push a few fanboys out of the way if you want to get a copy of when it finally hits the shelves.

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