I’ve always wanted to do one of these Top 10 all time lists, but I had no idea it would be this difficult to dwindle down. Obviously horror and exploitation is gonna reign supreme on my list, but sometimes I want something a little different. Maybe a classic movie from Hollywood’s glory day, or a comedy. Like it, love it, or hate it I don’t care. This is my deserted island movie list. Also, it is in no particular order.
The first movie on my list was an easy one. Growing up I spent a fair amount of time at my grandparents house out in the middle of nowhere Northwest Ohio. With nothing to do (and no cable or video games) I resorted to their miniscule video collection. Children’s movies and westerns filled up the VHS drawers, then I found the crown jewel. JAWS (and being a copied VHS tape parts two and three as well) became almost a daily watch during my prepubescent years, and still to this day I could sit down and enjoy watching Brody, Quint, and Hooper wish they had a bigger boat! Maybe not the smartest movie to take to my island (assuming I would be surrounded by shark infested waters) but easily on the list!
BATTLE ROYALE (2000)
Years before there was THE HUNGER GAMES there was BATTLE ROYALE! I have always been interested in movies that have the guts to have children in real peril, and BATTLE ROYALE not only had the children facing a real threat (themselves) but it wasn’t afraid to show them killing each other! It was the first movie I ever bought a bootleg copy of strictly because of the amazing cover photo of the class picture with all the faces crossed out, and when that collar blew Kuninobu’s head off, I knew I stumbled upon something truly special. I have since read the novel (which is even better than the movie) and some of the manga books, so it’s easy to see why BATTLE ROYALE would make the list!
I have made my love for slasher movies perfectly clear in some of my reviews on the Bloodsprayer, and what would my ultimate list be without the ultimate slasher movie, HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN introduced me to the absolutely lovely Jamie Lee Curtis (who is still the greatest last girl in history in my opinion) as well as one of my lifelong crushes PJ Soles (I couldn’t even talk to her when she was at Cinema Wasteland last year). Most of all HALLOWEEN was heavy on suspense, something missing in most other slashers. Toss in the amazing killer The Shape (Michael Myers), who killed for no known reason, and you have one of my favorite movies ever!
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)
I had a tough time not putting parts 1-4 on this list, because for my money the FRIDAY THE 13TH series is the best in horror history. Not as suspenseful as HALLOWEEN, but even more fun to watch all the idiotic teenagers break every rule in slasher history before meeting their maker in some of the most creative ways imaginable. However, when push came to shove I decided only one spot on my list could go to Jason Voorhees, so THE FINAL CHAPTER was where I decided to go with it. One of the nastiest in the series, thanks to director Joseph Zito, THE FINAL CHAPTER is typically the one I watch when I’m not in the mood for a movie marathon. What could go wrong with Crispen Glover, Corey Feldman, and the Doublemint twins!
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980)
Next up is the ultimate cannibal movie, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST! I know that it’s a controversial pick to some, due to the animal violence that director Ruggero Deodato added to the movie to give it the visceral impact that it has. I, however have met the man and let me tell you he is an extremely nice gentleman who when asked the question (for no doubt the 1000th time) he made sure to mention that every animal killed in the movie was eaten. So me being the meat eater that I am don’t see this as being such a huge deal. Back to the movie itself, it introduced the world to the found footage film making the on screen violence feel more real than it was (especially that impaled woman). I remember one of my first horror conventions looking at the bootleg copy of HOLOCAUST, knowing nothing about what I was about to witness. Thankfully, in my opinion it delivered exactly what I was hoping it would, and introduced me to the cannibal subgenre that I have grown to really enjoy over the years. I cannot wait for the triumphant return of the cannibal movie (hopefully) this year when Eli Roth unleashes THE GREEN INFERNO on the masses!
ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1975)
The queen of sleaze, Dyanne Thorne is another easy addition to my deserted island list. ILSA has it all: torture, rape, sensuality, action, murder, castration, Hogan’s Hero’s set pieces, and nazis! Sometimes nothing tickles my fancy like a classic exploitation movie (and I have a soft spot for the nazisploitation genre to begin with) so I couldn’t have a list without at least one. I was lucky enough to meet the late great Don Edmonds before he passed and he was a joy to talk to (as was Ms. Thorne). He was one of the great low budget directors of his day (ILSA was shot in 9 days!). The autographed poster in my living room is one of my cherished memorabilia pieces that I will treasure forever.
TRICK ‘R TREAT (2007)
Not all great movies were made back in the day, next up is the newest addition to my list, TRICK ‘R TREAT. Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite month of the year without a doubt is October. My Cleveland Browns are typically not mathematically eliminated yet, the weather starts to cool, Cinema Wasteland, and of course Halloween! TRICK ‘R TREAT in my opinion is the greatest anthology film, as well as a great look at my favorite holiday. Sam is also a fantastic looking character, that now screams Halloween every time I see him.
This one was a bit of a toughie for me. I knew I had to have a zombie movie on my list. George A. Romero is typically known as the king of the zombie movie. I usually tell people that my favorite movie of all time is DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979). So why did I choose ZOMBIE? Because as much as I had to have a zombie movie, I also had to have a Lucio Fulci movie on my list so here is where I kill two birds with one stone. ZOMBIE is a tour de force of violence and carnage, and it features a zombie fighting a shark! What more could you want?
I knew I had to have an Alfred Hitchcock film on my list as well. I was leaning towards the more obvious PSYCHO, but decided to go with my personal favorite of his films, ROPE. ROPE is the tale of two young men who consider themselves superior to their classmate, so they kill him and hide the body. Then to prove how great they are, they decide to throw a dinner party while the body is still hidden in the apartment. ROPE was originally written as a play, and Hitch wanted to make the movie feel like you were watching it as such. So the movie was filmed in eight minute segments, and he used some awesome cuts to piece it together so that it looks like one giant scene. If nothing else, ROPE is a technical marvel and one I could watch over and over.
I knew I had to add a comedy, and I had a hard time deciding which one. I was leaning towards one of the classic 80’s comedies that I love so much (BACK TO THE FUTURE, CADDYSHACK, and GHOSTBUSTERS topped that list). In the end, I went with MALLRATS. I remember watching MALLRATS when it first hit video back in high school (possibly with our Editor in Chief, if not it was with his douchey little brother). It was my introduction to Kevin Smith, who for my money is one of the most hilarious directors of our time. The movies in the View Askew universe are all so different, yet he is able to intertwine all the characters and story lines perfectly that I felt like I knew all these people. I know that MALLRATS isn’t the most praised movie in Smith’s repertoire, but it is my favorite. Michael Rooker, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, Joey Lauren Adams, Shannon Daugherty, Claire Forlani, and Jeremy London. That is a lot of talent right there, and they are all used to full effect. Long live the stink palm!