Tossing Salt Presents:
Fifteen Top Unknown & Forgotten Movie Gems
(Part 1 of 3)
January 26, 2018
Last night, while typing up my prediction column for the NXT Takeover: Philadelphia show this weekend, I had the opportunity to listen to the most recent podcast production of SMF Cyberspace. It’s a damn good podcast by my long-time close personal friend and bud, Brent and in this episode, along with a couple of friends, Jon and Luke, they have a great discussion about movies that don’t quite get the love or respect that they deserve and explain why. It’s a quick listen as well, rounding out at just over an hour and you really should give it a listen. I have the link up at my site or just to to YouTube and type in SMF Cyberspace and you’ll find a treasure cove of great entertainment and eclectic conversation that will make you laugh, get mad, cry and probably do the Curley shuffle all at the same time. Go check it out.
But as I was saying, the episode posted yesterday was about movies. Movies that each guy thought was great in it’s own way, but people today might not be aware of or haven’t seen yet because of whatever reason, being lost in the shuffle, etc. And that got me to thinking about what movies I have enjoyed and find above and beyond the norm, for whatever reason, that maybe some folks are not aware of. So even though I missed out, entirely due to my own fault and anxiety-ridden assclown ways, on taking part in this podcast recording, I still can do a written piece about the same topic. And here you go. I’ll break it up into three parts to keep it a quick and simple read for you most excellent Peeps. The criteria for what movies I’ve picked is simple. If I like it and it’s not a big time Hollywood blockbuster that earned $100,000,000 at the box office, the movie qualifies for being part of this list. I think these are most excellent and good movies. Go watch them. You’ll be glad you did.
15. Ed Wood (1994)
Here is the IMDb description: Ambitious but troubled movie director, Edward D. Wood Jr, tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support. And ironically enough, despite what I said about no Hollywood blockbusters, my first pick here won 2 Oscars and starred Johnny Depp and was directed by Tim Burton. Oops! Just a fun movie to watch as Depp is at his best here. The movie was filmed in black and white, which gives it a unique look and aura that made it stand out and the title character, movie Director Ed Wood, was a true character in every way. The Director of such movies as Plan 9 From Outer Space & Glen or Glenda, was a man with a vision and let nothing, be it lack of money, lack of support, bad scripts, or whatever get in his way.
A unique cast of characters rounds out the movie and this is probably Johnny Depp’s best film ever. It only generated roughly ten million dollars in box office sales in the United States, but has done much better with video and DVD releases. If you’re a fan of eclectic characters, B-movies from the 50’s and lots of controlled crazy, check this one out. You will not regret it at all.
14. Monster Dog (1984)
From IMDb: Alice Cooper plays a rock star who returns to his hometown to shoot a new music video. He is greeted by the local sheriff who warns him that several gruesome deaths have recently occurred in the area. The police believe a pack of wild dogs to be responsible, but Alice knows different.
This movie, starring rocker Alice Cooper, falls into the so bad, it’s good type of genre. It was filmed and recorded in Spain and was not supposed to ever be released in the United States. Despite the director, Claudio Fragasso, making his directorial debut, being Italian and the star, Cooper, being American, the film was made in Spanish and the english was later dubbed in.
What can I say about this? It’s got gore, some bad and cheezy acting, a little suspense, a lot of blood and I love it. And really, that’s all that matters. Two original songs by Cooper were recorded for this movie and are featured, “Identity Crisises” and “See Me In The Mirror”. If it wasn’t Alice as the star, I’d probably never give this movie the time of day, but he’s got a charm and makes it work.
13. White Frog (2012)
From Wikipedia: White Frog is an 2012 American film written by Fabienne Wen and Ellie Wen and directed by Quentin Lee. It is a drama-comedy, aimed at young adults, about 16-year-old Nick Young (Booboo Stewart), a neglected teen with Asperger syndrome whose life is changed forever when tragedy hits his family. It is a story of the power of family, friendship, and love.
If you remember Stewart as Seth from the Twilight movies, forget all about that. In this movie, he’s real and moving and plays the role of Nick, complete with the Asperger meltdowns, so well, it’s amazing. The characters are real, especially the twist revealed after Nick’s brother dies and Nick is more or less raken in by his brother’s friends. Just a very good and moving story and if you don’t cry at the end, you don’t have a heart. It’s opens the conversation about Asperger Syndrome, homosexuality, acceptance, a parents love and so many things. Definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.
12. Can’t Stop The Music (1980)
Here’s the summary from Wikipedia: Can’t Stop the Music is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by Nancy Walker. Written by Allan Carr and Bronté Woodard, the film is a pseudo-biography of disco’s Village People which bears only a vague resemblance to the actual story of the group’s formation.
And to best describe it in one word, “Cheese!” It’s got hot music, very over-the-top characters, lots of very tight clothing, the Village People, Steve Guttenberg before the Police Academy series made him famous and Bruce Jenner in his first major acting role after coming home from the Olympics. It’s definitely not something that everyone would enjoy, but if you liked the 70’s and just like campy, crazy fun, this is a must-see movie. The plot is a little reaching, but who cares. Valerie Perrine looks great and everyone just seems to be having fun and it’s contagious. And the music is excellent. One of my all-time guilty pleasure favorites to be sure. If you look up “camp” in the dictionary, you’ll find this movie listed. And that’s absolutely just fine with me.
11. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
From Wikipedia: Earth Girls Are Easy is a 1988 American musical romantic-comedy science fiction film that was produced by Tony Garnett, Duncan Henderson, and Terrence E. McNally and was directed by Julien Temple. The film stars Geena Davis, Julie Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, and Jim Carrey. The plot is based on the song “Earth Girls Are Easy” from Julie Brown’s 1984 mini-album Goddess in Progress.
It’s another campy and crazy musical starring Geena Davis in one of her first major starring roles, joined by a pre-In Living Color combination of Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans and all of it brought together by the antics of one former MTV VJ and comic, Miss Julie Brown (Just Say Julie). Aliens come to earth. Aliens are fuzzy. Aliens get shaved and they’re hot guys underneath that fur. Alien meets girl. They fall in love. Yada Yada Yada. This movie goes the whole range of emotions from laugh to cry to confusion to wild & crazy and it’s just a happy, feel good chick flick style of musical comedy that I really did enjoy. It won’t win any Academy Awards, but everyone did a good job with their roles and you just feel it and believe it and go with the flow and you’ll have a great time watching this movie. Another one of my favorite guilty pleasures.
And I’m ending this here. I’ll be back in a couple of days with movies 10 through 1 so watch for that. Let me know what you think. What are some of your favorite movies that I may not know about and should probably see? What do you think about my list of movies thus far? What is the capital of South Dakota? Talk to me and give me some feedback if you can. I’d appreciate it. Thanks for reading. And thanks again to Brent, Jon and Luke, the guys from SMF Cyberspace for the column idea. I love ya buddy! Go listen to their podcast and be prepared to laugh because you will.
And now, I’m down and gone. I have to go get ready for work. Have a great one and take care. Love ya!