Joe Dante has always had this peculiar style that’s always helped his films stand out among everyone else’s. “The ‘Burbs” is another of his films that features the suburban unit being terrorized or working themselves up in to a stir. Dante loves to put his hands in to the perceived American norm and stir it up with some chaos and anarchy. It’s hard to believe that “The ‘Burbs” was originally a flop, as it’s managed to become one of the most highly appreciated cult classics of all time. In the face of the passing of the late great Carrie Fisher, if you’ve yet to see it, you definitely owe it to yourself to.
If there’s any band out there that deserves their own movie, it’s the Ramones. Allan Arkush’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is a bonafide love letter to the punk juggernauts that ruled music in the seventies and eighties. While the movie is a genuine tribute to the band, even with them appearing constantly to perform some of their greatest hits, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is also a very funny and silly movie, to boot. It’s a kind of a parody of a teen high school comedy that would oddly become the norm in the eighties. It’s also kind of a satire of Roger Corman’s own teen oriented films that has the foresight to tackle punk rock over the then popular disco. “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is way ahead of its time in satirizing a lot of cliches that would become the standard, including the snooty classmates, uptight teachers, and of course, the evil authority figure.
There’s just something about Joe Dante in where he loves to shake up American middle class. We have suburbanites fighting killer gremlins, suburbanites fighting killer toys, suburbanites fighting werewolves, and now suburbanites basically turning on one another. “The Burbs” watches like something of a sick mid-quel of “Rear Window” and “The Trouble with Harry” in where the mundane is flipped on its head and transformed in to a veritable nightmare for a bunch of neighbors in a seemingly small cul de sac.
“Creature Crypt” is a four part weekly column that spotlights two creatures from our childhood that made us in to rabid horror fans. These are the creatures that scared us, wowed us, made us cry, and made us hope they weren’t under our bed.