There’s been talk of remaking Suspiria for years. So much so that a lot of what I’m going to mention here are thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for over a decade. The latest attempt at a remake, and the one most likely to happen, is supposed to star Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, have music by Thom Yorke, and be directed by Luca Guadagnino. All of whom are above average artists in their respective fields. So I wish this attempt well and I genuinely hope it succeeds.
Take it from someone who has spent many hours in his early days on the internet perusing and haunting message boards, chat rooms, and movie websites: the definition of underrated and overrated is a hot topic and can cause hours of hot debating, analytical discussion, and very high tempers. Often times it results in insults and name calling and nothing is ever resolved. To a movie buff what’s underrated and overrated is often akin to discussing politics and religion. You just don’t broach the subject.
And if someone does, no one will admit they’re right or wrong, and no one is willing to bend to the other’s thoughts and arguments. No matter how valid their arguments may be about the movie in discussion. And in the end everyone decides they’d rather be apart than risk getting in to a slap fight. Insisting a film like “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is overrated often translates to “I touch myself while looking at pictures of your daughter” to some fans. They just gaze in disgust and prepare to chase you with a shotgun.
With author Paul Cornelius’ “25 Underrated Horror Films,” he’s walking a fine line between amusement and controversy.
Last year, AFI posted their acclaimed list “The Greatest Cinematic Heroes and Villains.” Taking great umbrage with their many choices, I decided to sit down and think about it. Who were my Ten Cinematic Heroes? Who were ten people I’d strive to be, or would want to be in a perilous situation? I’m one of those weirdos who really always side with the heroes. Whether it’s an epic science fiction film, or swords and dragon fantasy film, the heroes have always appealed to me. Comics, Video Games, Cartoons, it’s always about the good guys overcoming an obstacle and or villain who wants to take over the world, or just plain ruin their life.
A hero isn’t always made, a hero is often a figure of circumstance, an individual who blossoms from a horrible situation, or someone who just decides they have to do the right thing against everyone else’s frustration. A hero is one who is willing to lay it down and sacrifice just to help someone they love, or possibly someone they’ve never met. They rarely ever get a pat on the back, or a reward, nor is their decision always justified, but they do what’s right, and that’s enough. These are my top 10 Cinematic heroes.
All horror fans are familiar with the bumbling of Morgan Creek and their insistence on kicking out experienced director and screenwriter Paul Schrader in exchange for the hack Renny Harlin to direct the prequel to “The Exorcist”. We didn’t need a prequel, but if the studios felt that they could have drained one more film from this franchise, then they could have and should have done it right in the first place. After all the problems, “Dominion” was finally released, and while it will never win any awards, I enjoyed it more, not to mention I found it to be more consistent in quality. “Dominion” is basically the same deal. Father Merrin, disenchanted with the church, goes out on archaeological expeditions, finds an underground church, and faces against the demon. Except, Schrader’s film is much more coherent and cohesive.
“The Exorcist” is my favorite horror movie of all time and to this day no matter how much I see it, it’s still the most intelligent, character based horror film I’ve ever seen; the rest of the series? Not so favorite of mine, but regardless, after a lot of hype about this movie and the constant problems, we’re given this. After nearly five years of filming and constant problems (Original director dying, Original star dropping out, and so forth), this film basically bombed big time with both critics and movie-goers despite moderate success in the box-office. The original director Paul Schrader — who was kicked off the production (You’re morons Hollywood execs) in favor of Renny Harlin (Again, morons!) — directed his own version before being forced off, and while I imagine it can’t be as bad as this, I hope it’s at least an improvement.
10. The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) Directed by: Jack Arnold
The creature is a misunderstood fella; and mostly is considered as the lesser known and all around lesser creature from the Universal monster family because his movies were released later in the monster movie days. However, this film stands as my all-time favorite of the Universal monster series. An archaeological team is informed of a discovery on an island of a fossilized hand from a prehistoric creature. Intrigued, an assembled team of explorers journey to the island to research the hand but arrive to find the village of previous diggers brutally slaughtered by a mysterious animal. What they’ll soon learn is that the creature they’re learning of that was long believed to be dead is alive and living within the lagoons of the island. It soon begins wreaking terror on the crew, and falls in love with the lead explorer’s girlfriend (Julie Adams). I fell in love with this movie when I was a child simply because of the sheer entertainment this movie provides. I love how director Arnold doesn’t show much of the creature until the middle of the film where we’re really surprised to see his appearance as he carries off actress Julie Adams into the water. The monster is purely creepy and very cool, and the entire movie is creepy fun. It was later followed by two sequels which were just as good.