The dying embers of another year. The world didn't end yet. No Zombie Apocalypse. Although Discovery Channel has a show about how to survive one! Another year of ups, downs and sadly a lot crap. But there was also a lot of movie watching as well. These days we need the escape films can provide more then ever before. So, here are my picks for my favorite films of 2012.
The Survivor (1981) A cool horror film from Down Under starring Robert Powell and Jenny Agutter, It's based on a novel by James Herbert. Directed by Deep Red star David Hemmings. Also notable for being the final film appearance of actor Joseph Cotten. There's a few really good creepy moments.
The Varrow Mission (1978) Aliens, a haunted house, a Halloween contest and '70's teenagers. All the ingredients for a quirky low budget good time.
She Killed in Ecstasy (1971) As far as Franco films go this one is near the top of my favorites. It's got the right mix of beautiful shots, Franco weirdness, groovy music and the breathtaking Soledad Miranda.
The Blind Woman's Curse (1970) Meiko Kaji in a horror, revenge flick. Interspersed with sexual exploits, goofy slapstick comedy and bloody action. Filled gaudy sets, gorgeous women and lots of spraying blood.
Movie House Massacre (1984) Mere words cannot do justice to the hot mess that is this film. Perhaps the most God awful slasher/ghost/WTF movie I've ever seen. I watched it three times thus far and I still can't believe the choices the filmmakers made.
10.) The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941)
An absolutely fantastic serial adaption of the Captain Marvel comic. Being from 1941 it more then holds it's own when compared to many modern super hero outings. There's plenty of thrilling heroics and a mysterious villain. Sure the effects are not up to today's CGI, but I prefer it that way. Gives me a warm feeling inside, those old special effects. There's defiantly no way anybody would make a super hero as gleefully violent as Captain Marvel is here. Disposing of his enemies without a second thought. You won't see The Man of Steel doing that!
Raunchy. That's the only word to describe this Animal House ripoff. Wait till you witness the fart contest. There's not so much of a central plot, it's more a collection of skits about a really disgusting frat house. Fun in a very sleazy way, you'll want to grab a shower afterwards.
8.) Satan's Storybook (1989)
SOV horror anthology featuring Ginger Lynn Allen as a ninja. And not just any kind of ninja, no. One that resides in Hell! The film consists of two tales and a linking segment with Old Scratch. Satan is bummed because Ninja Lynn Allen has taken his queen prisoner. He call's for his Jester to tell him two tales of dammed souls to ease his troubled mind. I think you may need to be sick off your ass like I was when watching this film to truly enjoy.
7.) Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
Mario Bava's visual masterpiece of swords and sandals. Just as much a horror film as it is fantasy. There's some truly gorgeous sets. Hades is wonderfully realized by Bava. Throw in some cool monsters. And the always dependable Chris Lee as the evil King. By far the best of the Hercules films.
6.) Five Fingers of Death (1972)
Fantastic Shaw Bros. film. Never mess with Lo Lieh. The man will fuck you up. Totally kick ass flick in every way there is. Just watch this trailer and tell me that's not awesome!
5.) Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! (1967) Having nothing to do with Django and everything to do with being freaking batshit insane. A surreal nightmare? A Gothic Spaghetti Western? Two Italian guys playing Indians! Gold bullets! Is it bad? More than likely. Did I like it? Hell Yes!
4.) Blood Beat (1983)
So, it's Christmas time in Wisconsin and a pissed off Samurai Ghost has crashed Ted and Dolly's family reunion. The people, the fashions, the furniture, all pure '80's. It's a slasher that wants to be something a bit more. It doesn't hit the mark, but it's so bizarrely entertaining you won't mind. Made in Wisconsin by a French director and edited in Paris. This crazy little film, last time I checked you could find it on YouTube and Amazon now has a DVD-R available!
3.) Footprints (1975)
The strangest giallo I've seen in a long time. And perhaps the most quietly beautiful one I've seen as well. There's not a lot of stylized murder here. It's more about the strange and the mysterious. Plus there's crazy old Klaus and some scary Astronauts.
2.) The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
There are times in this film where you sit on the edge of your seat. Your not quite sure where the filmmaker is going and how far they're going to go. I've watched plenty of horror films over my life time, rarely though do I worry what's going to happen to a character. There's a couple moments here where I was thinking to myself "Go! Get out of that damn house!" Having seen the horrible fate of a few of the killer's victims by the time a couple girl scouts show up selling cookies your skin will be crawling. Somebody needs to give this film a legitimate DVD release stat!
1.) Battle Royale (2000)
I'd excepted to come away let down. There was so much hype out there. Usually when a film comes with that much baggage there's bound to be some disappointment. But not this time. From the first minute till the end credits rolled I loved it. And much like The Poughkeepsie Tapes it stayed in my thoughts long after my first viewing. I couldn't wait to see again soon. It also became one of my all time favorite films.
There you have it my friends, my favorite films of 2012. Fifteen films that I saw for the first time this year. Fifteen that I'll be watching for years to come. Be seeing you in 2013! Keep fighting those frizzies!