Tuesday, September 02, 2008

12 must (somehow) sees...


Niceguy Joseph Campanella of Cinema Fist was nice enough to tag me with the latest 12 Movies meme, and I'm hear to spread the love even further. A spinoff of Piper's 12 Movies Meme, the Holy Grail List is different in that you're selecting 12 hard-to-find movies you haven't seen (full rules at the meme's birthpalce, The Dancing Image). I like this idea, and I only had to cheat a little bit to come up with my 12:

  • Frog Dreaming (1986, aka The Quest) -- The only movie on this list I've actually seen. This Australian kids adventure flick used to be on regular HBO rotation in the late 80s under the U.S. title The Quest. Nowhere to be found on DVD (even in Australia, apparently), this is a creepy little movie about a nerd in a small town who investigates the local myth about a lake-dwelling monster. After a little poking around, it's actually on YouTube in multiple parts, beginning here.

  • Night of the Creeps (1986) -- Heard a lot about this Fred Dekker effort, starring Tom Atkins and Dick Miller, and riffing on horror and B-movies in general with an Invasion of the Body Snatches-ish plot. Not available on DVD, but if Monster Squad can make it, why not this?

  • Bad Ronald (1974) -- TV movie about a disturbed kid who accidentally kills a classmate, and rather than go to jail, mommy hides him in the basement. Things get interesting when ma dies and a new family tries to move in. This one sounds right up my alley, and with TV movies starting to appear on DVD, maybe there's new hope for this one.

  • Summer of Fear (1978) -- Another TV movie, this one brought to my attention by the good guys at Kindertrauma. Summer of Fear is about the one fear we all share: that weird country cousin is actually a witch.

  • Phantasm II (1988) -- As a big fan of the original, I've been wanting to track down this one for a long time, unfortunately it's not available on Region 1 DVD (part of the legendary Region 2 "ball set").

  • Great White (1980) -- Enzo Castellari's shark movie resembles Jaws, in the illegal way. Universal successfully sued and was able to get it pulled from theaters shortly after its release, and it's never gotten (and likely never will) get a legal release on video. I'm just curious what it looks like, since there are many movies that resemble Jaws: does it feature Sheriff Crody? Mr. Squint? I want to know.

  • Santa Sangre (1989) -- Alejandro Jodorowsky's last real movie was made in the tradition of his great surreal masterpieces like The Holy Mountain and El Topo. Not available on DVD.

  • Dune (1984, David Lynch cut) -- Universal has supposedly tried to get Lynch to sign off on a director's cut of the film, but his hard feelings from the project have not softened. I enjoy the theatrical cut, but it's clear that most of the movie is edited as basically a montage of a much longer cut. But in its current form, very little of Lynch's version remains -- even the opening credits don't look like something Lynch would do.

  • The Movie Orgy (???) -- Dennis Cozzalio had a beautiful writeup of experiencing Joe Dante's wondrous Movie Orgy, an endless string of movie, TV and commercial clips spliced together. Impossible to release on any home video format, I'll have to catch a rare screening someday.

  • Fitzcarraldo (1980, early version) -- As chronicled in the epic documentary The Burden of Dreams, this Werner Herzog classic began with Jason Robards in the title role and Mick Jagger (!) as his assistant, Wilbur. Nearly half the movie was shot in this configuration, but Robards became intensely ill and doctors orders kept him out of the Amazon. Jagger's schedule wasn't able to accommodate the delay, and we were still given a great movie with Klaus Kinski picking up the title role. I'm curious what Robards would have done with the role, and what Jagger's character was like.

  • Noon Wine (1966) -- After the epic failure and disastrous production of Major Dundee, Sam Peckinpah went back to television and crafted this adaptation of Katherine Anne Porter's short novel, starring Jason Robards and Olivia de Havilland. Just an hour in length for ABC's Studio 67, Noon Wine is an interesting examination of social justices and prejudices, with many saying it's Peckinpah's most intimate work. The piece's critical reception led to Warner Bros. approaching Peckinpah for what eventually became The Wild Bunch. Amazingly, it's only viewable through the Library of Congress and the Museum of Broadcasting.

  • Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) -- I've been interested in this movie ever since Kim Morgan posted her thoughts on it (las I am with just about every movie Kim likes). Diane Keaton stars as a woman whose search for the perfect man goes downhill and very dark.
Now to tag some unsuspecting blogs with this fun meme. Looking forward to these folks' Holy Grail list:

Joseph B at itsamadmadblog2
Jeremy Richey at Moon in the Gutter
Moviezzz at The Moviezzz Blog
weepingsam at The Listening Ear
Piper at Lazy Eye Theatre

17 comments:

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
weepingsam said...

Oh yeah, this is a very cool one. Though even cooler is the fact that I should get the chance to see Terrorizer and A Brighter Summer Day this month - Edward Yang has been pretty much #1 on this list for the last 10 years or so..... This should definitely be fun....

I think I've seen Phantasm II, by the way - though I don't think I've seen it sober...

Joseph B. said...

Thanks for the tag as well, Like Moviezzz, I've got a list floating around somewhere that I'll have to put down in a post. I'm thinking it'll most certainly include Sam's mention of "A Brighter Summer Day".

Of your list Adam, I've seen the Jodorwosky and "Looking For Mr. Goodbar".

Adam Ross said...

I know you guys will have some interesting picks, can't wait to see them.

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

Great list! THE MOVIE ORGY takes the cake for me.

Even though I doubt I would really enjoy this Fever Dream of a film, I'd still have to sit through the whole thing based on principle alone.

elgringo said...

Looking for Mr. Goodbar was #13 on my list.

I MUST SEE 'The Movie Orgy!" Never heard of it, but now I really, really want to watch it.

Scott
he-shot-cyrus.blogspot.com

MovieMan0283 said...

The Movie Orgy sounds really interesting...I'd actually never heard of it before. I love that kind of rapturous movie-love montage thing so it's probably right up my alley.

You can check out the other Holy Grails here. If any of you who were tagged tackle the idea, comment on my blog and I will update it to add your entry:

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2008/08/holy-grail.html

Fox said...

Oh Lordy! I wanna see Bad Ronald so bad. The guys over at Soiled Sinema reviewed it recently and that got my appetite all whet. Not to mention that it stars Kim Hunter aka the lady who's in my favorite movie of all time! (... figure it out.)

Adam Ross said...

"Not to mention that it stars Kim Hunter aka the lady who's in my favorite movie of all time! (... figure it out.)"

Of course, "Triumph Over Disaster: The Hurricane Andrew Story" is one of my favorites as well!

Fox said...

Dammit Adam! Way to go, dude. You didn't make the guessing game interesting for everyone else!!

Evan Waters said...

Actually I thought DUNE's opening credits were quite Lynchian- the background as texture rather than coherent image is something he's done a lot.

William said...

I had completely forgotten about Bad Ronald until I read this. I remember that film from back when I was a kid, it was pretty good from what I remember. It would be interesting to see that one get a DVD release.

Marty McKee said...

Sorry, Adam, I lost your email address. Contact me and we'll see about getting you set up with some on your list.

thetathx1138 said...

"Bad Ronald" is available on a few bootlegs, just FYI. Try 5mtl.com, a site with good content if a spotty record.

Rob said...

When UPN first came out they showed "Dune" on a rainy Sunday afternoon and I seem to remember it taking all day.

James Hansen said...

Hey there. I realize I am way late to getting around to this, but I have a VHS of "Santa Sangre" that basically just sits on my shelf. Now, I would want it back, but you can email me and maybe we can figure something out. I'd be happy to loan it out if you promise to mail it back. Email me and let me know, and check out my site!

Eric D. Dixon said...

I picked up Santa Sangre at Movie Madness in Portland one summer in the mid-'90s. It was my first Jodorowsky experience...