Friday, November 11, 2005

Top 10: Guilty Pleasures


Pauline Kael defines guilty pleasures as "the works [one] wouldn't try to defend on aesthetic grounds but [has] enjoyed intermittently."

1. The Monster Squad (Dekker) - Basically a horror version of The Goonies, this is an incredibly entertaining movie despite lame, smutty humor, terrible performances, and a completely out-of-place reference to the Holocaust.
2. Heavyweights (Brill) - Hypocritical, obnoxious film set at a fat camp, but undeniably funny. Jeffrey Tambor's delivery of the line "I did not send you to go-cart camp" has been a huge influence on my own work.
3. Lifeforce (Hooper) - Naked space vampires attack London. Nothing to defend here, but reread that plot summary.
4. The Last American Virgin (Davidson) - Mostly forgettable Porky's clone with an almost unintentionally bleak, unsettling ending.
5. Evilspeak (Weston) - Clint Howard summons Satan with an Apple II. Can this be wrong if it feels so right?
6. The Last Starfighter (Castle) - A young man is given the opportunity to defend the universe from hostile aliens based on his superior gaming skills. Hamhanded filmmaking, but perfect wish fulfillment.
7. Rocky IV (Stallone) - Balboa single-handedly ends Cold War. Braindead yet undeniably awesome.
8. The Gauntlet (Eastwood) - Clint escapes a hail of gunfire in a souped-up bus. That's most of the plot. Worth seeing to hear Eastwood deliver the line "Because I get the job done."
9. The Wizard (Holland) - An autistic boy, his brother, and a waif who will someday rock on Kirsten Dunst's IPod run away to a video game contest at Universal Studios. Really just an extended commercial, but the reveal of Super Mario 3 is one hell of a money shot.
10. Jason X (Issac) - Jason in space. Enough said.

Feel free to make your own confessions.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. The Golden Child - I made Andrew buy it for me when I was drunk.
2. Mom and Dad Save the World - There is a great scene in which a beautiful woman is reunited with her lover, Wallace Shawn.
3. Die Hard with a Vengence - When he escapes flowing water at the end it's priceless.
4. Ginger Snaps - Werewolves as puberty.
5. Coming to America - "Just let your soul glow."
6. The Lost Boys - That music in the background gave me nightmares, and I don't mean Echo and the Bunneyman.
7. Heavyweights - Ben Stiller's best performance.
8. 13 going on 30 - My newest edition. I feel bad admitting this.
9. Stay Tuned - Childhood fond memories.
10. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey - I love this movie with all of my heart.

-Jess

Doug said...

Although I'm sure you already know it, my number 1 without a doubt is Gremlins 2. It's such a far cry to take what originally was meant to be a mainly scary movie to downright farcical. With a Hulk Hogan cameo, and an insane performance of "New York, New York" my sinning is complete.

Jess, I also love Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. I remember going to see that in the theatre and being a very confused/amused kid during the entire thing. I still have my copy of the soundtrack on cassette.

I guess one other I'd maybe include would be TMNT2 because I'll always be a kid at heart.

Bemis said...

You guys are making me feel really rotten, as some of the movies you're listing (The Lost Boys, Bill and Ted's Bogus, Gremlins 2) are movies that I've always considered just plain good. But you make good cases for the shame.

Anonymous said...

1. Down to you
2. Save the Last Dance
3. Pump up the Volume
4. Empire Records
5. Troop Beverly Hills
6. Leagally Blonde
7. Cruel Intensions
8. Dr. Hollywood
9. Coyote Ugly
10. PCU

~ Jenni B

Bemis said...

Coyote Ugly is worth seeing to hear John Goodman yell "I'm a Coyote!" And no guilty pleasures list is complete without some Shelley Long. Well played.

Max said...

1. The Bodyguard - Chiba, but not so good Chiba.
2. Virtuosity - Denzel Washington has a robotic arm.
3. Mortal Kombat - Paul Anderson directs an accurate movie about a 4-armed robot monster.
4. Predator 2 - Danny Glover+cocaine+Jamaicans+Predator=wacky.
5. Commando - And I thought Roadhouse was homoerotic.
6. Hercules in New York - A chracter who sells pretzels named "Pretzy."
7. Blank Check - Tone Loc. Miguel Ferrer. The dumbest, most gratifying plot of a children's movie.
8. Boys - I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had this dream: Winona Ryder falls helplessly into my lap and we run away together from Chris Cooper and my lame private school friends Chris Pettiet and Wiley Wiggins.
9. Raw Deal - Watch Schwarzenegger try to enunciate the words "raped and murdered."
10. Mitchell - This is an awful movie worth looking for. It isn't that hard to find, and it's the basis for my favorite MST3K episode. Look out for the most uncomfortable, disgusting love scene in any action film.

Bemis said...

"Baby oil! Aaaahhhh!"

Paul C. said...

Monster Squad is fun, but I prefer Night of the Creeps, for the characters named for horror directors and the gloriously unhinged performance by Tom Atkins. "Thrill me." And of course Lifeforce is a natural for this list. It's pretty dopey, but the 400-some people who watched it on the big screen with me at a sci-fi marathon didn't seem to mind. Of course, they were all ogling Mathilda May, and really, who could blame them.

I can't quite get behind your inclusion of Jason Shabazz, however.