Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mondo Anniversaries: 30th and 25th Anniversaries (plus a note)

This was another banner year for cinema.  Here are a few reasons why...

30th Anniversaries
Airplane!: This film still holds up in my book.  It's slapstick comedy at it's finest, with word-play not seen again until more recent shows like Futurama and American Dad.
The Blues Brothers: Another comedy classic and a must-see for anyone who has missed it.  The album is great too.
The Empire Strikes Back: Do I even need to explain this?  It's the best Star Wars film- bar non.
Flash Gordon!: Awesome effects, a silly plot and a soundtrack by Queen make this a cult-classic.  It has at least two different DVD releases, so you have no excuse!  See it!
Prom Night/Friday the 13th/The Fog: A trio of horror classics all came out this year.  Two of them inspired a few sequels, while all of them got a remake in recent years.
Inferno: Dario Argento's final work with Mario Bava is a triumph of style over substance.  I still don't 'get' the plot, but it is pretty.
The Pumaman: This piece of Eurotrash got famous thanks to MST3K.  Lopsided flying, punching Aztecs and Donald Pleasance make this a hoot- even though it's not a comedy!
The Gods Must Be Crazy: Slapstick comedy and social commentary were never mixed as well as they were here.  Have they ever been since?  That's up for debate, my friends.
Superman II: While we had to wait over 20 years to see this movie done right, the first real appearance of Zod and Superman facing a true set of rivals make this a classic still.  Kneel!

That's going to be hard to top.  Let's see what we've got from 1985...

25th Anniversaries
Back to the Future: This film goes 88 miles an hour and established a film that everyone knew would hold up for decades.  Good call, huh?
Rambo- First Blood, Part II/Rocky IV: Sly had a busy year, putting out two sequels.  One is certainly higher in quality, while the other one made Dolph Lundgren a star.
Day of the Dead: A lot of people debate whether this movie lived up to it's lofty goals.  Regardless, it has a place in history for introducing us to Captain Rhodes.
Gymkata: This anti-classic has a silly plot, bad action and some seriously '80s fashion.  Even the selling point of the movie barely makes an appearance.
Fright Night: Vampires and Roddy McDowall make this film great.  Often overlooked by many in comparison to other horror films, it deserves more notoriety than it has.
Phenomena: Dario Argento shows up again in my favorite film that he has ever made.  The soundtrack, the gore effects and the plot make this a classic.
Return of the Living Dead/Re-Animator: Two zombie cult classics made their debut this year.  Both are known for their comedic value, crazy effects and plots that led to a series of sequels.  No remakes yet though.
Ghoulies: Charles Band helped make his mark in the film industry with this film about killer hand puppets.  This one also led to a series of sequels and, subsequently, Full Moon Studios.
American Ninja: Michael Dudikoff and Steve James made their mark in this very '80s films.  If you want to see the prototype for the genre, this is a great- and fun- place to start.

***One quick note- I'm not going a Best of 2010 list.  For two reasons: 1)The site Anniversary is in February and 2) The site doesn't focus on new releases.  A Best and Worst of Mondo Bizarro- Year Two List(s) will show up then***

Next up, we wrap up this annual series with a look at films celebrating their 20th and 10th Anniversaries.  This is going to make us feel old, right?  Stay tuned...

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