I wasn’t really feeling this week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic, which is literary characters you’d name a pet after. So, I’m going rogue this week. Since we’re getting closer to Halloween, I’m doing my top 10 favorite creature features. As I’m sure you’ll notice from the movies listed below, I have a thing for campy horror.
From IMDb: After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
From IMDb: The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.
I wanted to highlight some of my favorite movies from the 80’s but then I thought I’d make it a little more challenging to create a list. So, here’s my favorite movie from each year in the 80’s. Some years it was really easy to decide which movie to include, while others it was hard to find one that I had even seen.
1980 – The Blues Brothers
Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.
One of my favorite comedies, mostly because it takes place in Chicago.
1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
It’s always hard to choose if I like Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Last Crusade as my favorite Indiana Jones movies. This one wins out, because I love Marion.
It was incredibly hard to narrow this down to just 10 episodes. There are so many that I love. However, I tend to lean toward the humorous “Monster of the Week” ones. So, here’s my list of best X-Files episodes, in no particular order:
Detour (season 5, episode 4)
One of the few X-Files episodes that actually creeped me out.
While on their way to a conference, Mulder and Scully hit a roadblock and join the search for a hunter who mysteriously vanished in the woods. As they investigate, their search team is slowly picked off one by one.
Humbug (season 2, episode 20)
I have a deep affection for the episodes written by Darin Morgan. I love the setting of this one and the humor is spot on.
Mulder and Scully travel to a town that’s populated by circus performers during the “off-season” to investigate the death of a performer.
Post-Modern Prometheus (season 5, episode 5)
This one is a send-up to the old universal horror movies, which I have a deep affection for. I loved the tone, the odd town folk and that the story is set to various Cher songs.
Mulder drags Scully along as he investigates the case of a woman claiming to have been impregnated by a mysterious creature. Continue reading
Howl’s Moving Castle
Release Year: 2005
Running Time: 1 hour 59 minutes
I love Hayao Miyazaki’s films to death. The animation is always stunning and the stories are whimsical and heartfelt. So, I’m pretty thrilled that he did an adaptation of one of my favorite books, “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones. The tone of the film and direction the plot takes is pretty different from the book, but this is one of those rare instances where I love them both equally.
The plot goes thusly, Sophie is a quiet young woman working in her family’s hat shop. When she accidentally catches the attention the Witch of the Waste, she’s placed under a curse that turns her into an old woman. Unable to stay cloistered in the hat shop any longer, she ventures out on her own and starts working as a housekeeper for the Wizard Howl.
Release Year: 1985
Running Time: 2 hours 4 minutes
A couple weeks ago I mentioned being excited to see Rutger Hauer appear in “The 10th Kingdom“. So, I thought I would bring up the movie where I know him best. “Ladyhawke” was one of my favorite films growing up. Watching it now, the special effects are rather aged, but the story still holds up well.
The plot goes thusly, after escaping the dungeons of a medieval city, Philipe Gaston (Matthew Broderick) reluctantly finds himself helping Captain Navarre (Hauer) break into the city to kill the corrupt Bishop. As they make their journey, Philipe discovers that Navarre and his lover, Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer), have been cursed. By day, Isabeau is forced to take the form of a hawk and by night Navarre transforms into a wolf. As they near the city, Philipe must decide if he will help the lady break the curse or help Navarre take his vengeance. Continue reading
Release Year: 1999 – 2001
Running Time: a little over 5 hours
Spaced is a BBC show that aired for two seasons and has a bit of a cult following. I came across this show randomly a few years ago when it was on Netflix. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available to stream but if you can track it down, it’s definitely worth a watch.
The plot goes thusly, after finding themselves at loose ends, new acquaintances Tim (Simon Pegg) and Daisy (Jesscia Hynes) decide to pose as a couple in order to lease an apartment from a landlady looking to rent to a professional couple. While living together, they begin to build a solid friendship as they both, in their own way, try to avoid stepping fully into the normal responsibilities that come with age.
The 10th Kingdom
Release Year: 2000
Running Time: 6 hour 57 minutes
I’m diving into the gloriously cheesy pool for this week’s Film Friday. “The 10th Kingdom” was a TV mini series that aired back in 2000, which incorporated elements of well known fairytales and pop culture references to create almost 7 hours of corny fun. I watched this series as a tween when it first aired and loved every second of it. Recently, I stumbled across it again and decided to do a rewatch.
The plot goes thusly, Virginia Lewis (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) a young waitress living in New York is pulled into a parallel universe with her father (John Larroquette) after she accidentally hits a dog with her bike. The dog, it turns out, is the cursed grandson of Snow White who’s on the run from three trolls and a wolf who were hired by the evil queen (Dianne Wiest) to kill him. Trapped in the alternate dimension, Virginia and her father strive to find a way back home while reluctantly helping the cursed prince save his kingdom. Continue reading
The Gay Divorcee
Release Year: 1934
Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes
“The Gay Divorcee“ was the second film to pair Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire together. The rumor goes that they were cast for this film because the audience loved the two of them together as side characters in “Flying Down to Rio“. Out of all their movies together, this is one of my favorites. It has an almost PG Wodehouse tone to the story that I absolutely love and is populated with so many wonderful character actors.
A Muppet Family Christmas
Release Year: 1987
Running Time: 47 minutes
A Muppet Family Christmas was a made for TV family special from the 80’s. We had this recorded directly from the TV on VHS and I used to drive my mom crazy watching it all the time. For a very young kid in the 80’s, this was like the holy grail of a Muppets movie. It features not only the Muppets, but characters from Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock too.
The plot goes thusly, Fozzie Bear and all his Muppet friends decide to spend Christmas at Fozzie’s unsuspecting mother’s farmhouse. When the Muppets show up, it’s to find the farmhouse rented to Doc (Gerard Parkes), as Fozzie’s mother had been planning to go on vacation. Deciding to give up her vacation, Fozzie’s mom convinces Doc to share the farmhouse with Fozzie and his friends. Things start to quickly start to get out of hand as, not long after the Muppets show-up, the gang from Sesame Street also randomly crashes the party. Soon the farmhouse is packed to the gils with muppets as a snowstorm starts. As the storm gets worse, Kermit begins to worry about Miss Piggy who is still traveling to the farmhouse to spend Christmas with everyone. Continue reading
Release Year: 1989
Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
“Christmas Vacation” is my all-time favorite Christmas movie and the second holiday movie I’m featuring this month written by John Hughes (“Home Alone”, “Sixteen Candles”, etc.). I’m not a huge fan of the other “Vacation” movies, but this one is just fantastic and stands extremely well on its own.
The plot goes thusly, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is determined to host a good old fashioned family Christmas for his clan. So, he invites both sides of the family to come stay for the holidays, much to the chagrin of his wife and kids. Clark has the tendency to overdo things, which causes the simple traditions he has planned (hanging lights, getting a Christmas tree, etc.) to go awry. Things aren’t helped when cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) shows-up unexpectedly for the holidays and adds his own brand of crazy to the mix. Continue reading