5- Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shaun isn’t exactly what you’d call lucky. In one day he gets dumped, misses dinner with his mum and gets red on him. But with a new day comes new challenges. With a new determination he knows he must do his best to win back the love of his life. Well that and survive the zombie apocalypse.
Mixing horror and comedy is surprisingly hard. Can it be done? Sure, it’s been done before. However for every Bio Zombie you get twice as many Scary Movies or Club Dread. This is where Shaun of the Dead shines. From the beginning you get a funny, quirky comedy. Despite its British charm it’s universally funny. As the movie goes, however, it slowly shows its teeth. Director Edgar Wright is able to masterfully shift gears from comedy to straight up horror. This is where many of those movies falter. It’ll be too many chuckles for the sake of being funny. In Shaun of the Dead it uses the comedy to make you care about the cast so when they get picked off you feel for them. Something even the best horror movies struggle to do. With a good share of gore and gut busting laughter, Shaun of the Dead is an instant classic well worth your time.
4- Watchmen (2009)
In an alternate 1985 the world is a mess. In an unstable social climate the world the on the brink of nuclear war. Superheroes have been forced to disband when the government-sponsored Keene act is put into place. This changes when The Comedian, a vigilante, is killed. As the paranoid Rorschach investigates the murder he uncovers a frightening conspiracy that could destroy the world. Rorschach enlists the help of Nite Owl and Silk Spectre but it just might be too late.
As you’ll see in a future Top 9, I’m a big comic nerd. Given not the biggest but pretty darn big. So when I heard that there was a Watchmen movie coming out I was absolutely stoked. As the lights came down something became very clear to me, Zack Snyder followed the source material to the nth degree. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a huge stickler to the continuity but to see the director, Zack Snyder, follow Alan Moore’s classic so closely was darn near inspiring. Even the most minor of details was replicated in this epic recreation. The quality doesn’t stop there though. A big part of the film’s appeal to me is the casting. As the film went on you forgot that these people were actors and they became real characters; Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach in particular. It also didn’t fall into the pitfall of becoming a one man show, a problem I’ve noticed most in The Dark Knight. With a unique premise that goes beyond the typical superhero movie and great acting it’s hard to deny its spot in my top ten.
3- Hard Boiled (1992)
In a small tea house in Hong Kong Detective “Tequila” Yuen loses his partner when they try to stop a group of gun smugglers. Tequila goes for revenge but is taken off the case. It is soon discovered that top hit man Tony is an undercover cop working for triad boss “Uncle” Hoi. Yuen and Tony enter an uneasy alliance to take down Hoi in a pursuit of justice and revenge.
Bad Boys II, Face/Off, The Matrix, The Rock (the movie not the awesome wrestler), and anything starring Jason Statham owe a debt to this film. When it comes to action movies this John Woo directed film is crem de la crem. It creates action scenes that not only hold up over the years but surpass anything done in film today. Heck, the 2 minutes tracking shot in the hospital is still THE greatest action sequence I’ve ever seen. With great directing and awe-inspiring action that holds up to this day, there’s no denying the greatness of Hard Boiled.
2- Scream (1996)
It sucks to be Sidney Prescott. She is still getting over the death of her mother when one of her friends (Drew Barrymore) is murdered by a crazed masked man. Things aren’t helped when her father goes missing and Sidney becomes Ghostface’s new target. With everyone a subject and never safe Sidney has quite the task ahead of her.
I’ll fully admit that description was awful. But really, what more is there for me to say? This movie was my gateway to genre film. It helped me go from “OMG I’M SCARED OF THE HORROR AISLE” to the massive nerd for horror that I am now. It basically shaped what I my interests today. It’s a total cop out but read my article “How Scream Changed My Life”. It describes so much more than I can in a paragraph or two.
One movies, two directors and three hours of explosive action. First is Robert Rodriguez with his homage to zombie film Planet Terror. A plague consumes a rural Texas town when a biological weapon is released. A rag tag group of survivors have to make their way through this undead hell to get to the border and freedom. Next comes Death Proof from Academy Award winning director Quintin Tarantino. We follow Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) as he murders groups of women in his ‘death-proof’ car. But things take a turn when Stuntman Mike bites off more than he can chew.
THIS MOVIE IS GLORIOUS. Unfortunately I was too young for the glory day of the drive thru. Sure there’s one nearby but it’s really hard to say seeing a double feature of Demons and Demons 2 is the same has watching Transformers. So getting a double feature from Rodriguez and Tarantino was definitely welcome. Take everything I’ve described in this Top 9 list. From the hard hitting action of Hard Boiled to the horror of Scream and sprinkle in some comedy from Shaun of the Dead. The beautiful concoction you’ll have is the loving homage to the genre film of old from the two directors. What’s even better is you get two very distinct, very different movies. With Planet Terror you get one of the most ridiculous horror/action movies in a long time. Between cute twins with sub machine guns to Rose McGowen with an assault rifle for a leg it creates a fun modern day exploitation flick. After some awesome fake trailers (featuring the closest we’ll get to good work from Rob Zombie) we get an awesome Carsploitation flick from Tarantino. What we get is classic Tarantino with witty dialogue and over the top action, very reminiscent of Vanishing Point. Not only that but you also get one of the BEST car chases of the past decade. What makes this movie the top of the list though is the experience you have watching it. Whether in a theater or at home there are very few movies that can match the tone, expertise and just overall grandness this movie brings. That is why it is my favorite movie since 1986. And hey, what other movie can spin-off into starring vehicles for Danny Trejo and Rutger Hauer?
There you have it, my favorite movies since I was born. I will fully admit this article did not turn out how I wanted it to. The biggest issue, in my opinion, was figuring out how to do the plot. I look at them and they’re just not well written which threw me off with the rest. Also I already covered Scream. I’m sure I could have excluded it but really, that’d just be dishonest. Sadly dishonesty would not have led to poor writing. Lastly, there is TONS of crap I could have put in. That’s the main reason this is so late. But hey, this is a learning experience and I have one or two ‘Top 9’ articles slowly being worked on. Anyway, if you took the time to read this then god bless you. And as a reward, YOUTUBE GOODNESS!!!!!!!
5- Shaun of the Dead clip