Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Fistful of Double Features! (Brad's Picks)

I love pairing movies.  Grab Eyes Wide Shut off the shelf and double it with Days of Thunder and see what happens.  Or how about Conquest of the Planet of the Apes with Hell Up In Harlem?  I try a lot of weird Double Features here at the apartment, and I love subjecting my wife & friends to the most gonzo of combos.  Listed below are a few of my favorite mixtures, and a couple I'm dying to try out.


5.  The Raid/Dredd:  Two films in which a supreme badass kills his way to the top of a drug cartel's diabolical bunker high-rise.  Perfect examples of thrilling ultraviolence that should not be pitted against each other, but partnered like the exploitation beauties they truly are.

4.  Night of the Creeps/Halloween III:  Who's the go-to action hero of the 1980s?  Schwarzenegger?  Stallone?  Yeah, probably one of those guys.  But who's the go-to action hero of 1980s horror films?  Kurt Russell?  Bruce Campbell?  Yeah, probably them.  But standing right over their shoulders is Tom Atkins.  He never got the fame or the fortune, but this mustached madman did confounded rage like no other.  Whether rising to the challenge of "Thrill Me" in Night of the Creeps or screaming "Turn It Off" to a bunch of kiddie hating druids in Halloween III, Tom Atkins ruled the VHS tapes if not the big screen.  I dare you to watch these wildly weird B Movies back-to-back and not come away a fan for life.

3.  Point Blank/The Limey:  Viewed on their own, Point Blank & The Limey are exceptional examples of crime cinema.  But if you watch The Limey immediately after Point Blank then you will discover a great love letter to the movies.  Having already dabbled with John Boorman's dialog/image layering in Out of Sight, Steven Soderbergh goes for broke replicating both the dreamy quality of Point Blank as well as the rage motivating his professional thief.  The fine details might be different, trade a chunk of cash for a dead daughter, but The Limey is practically a remake of the Boorman beast.  A bloody brilliant one.

2.  Dirty Harry/Zodiac:  The San Francisco Zodiac Murders grabbed all the sensational headlines of the late 60s/early 70s.  The killer was never apprehended, but the mystery spawned dozens of What If TV movies & True Crime novels.  The most famous spawn being Clint Eastwood's constitution smasher, Dirty Harry.  When bureaucracy and political red tape get in the way, Detective Harry Callahan is there to put his boot on the perp's knee and beat a confession out of him.  A frustrated public response to indiscernible crime perpetuated by media fear mongers.  Decades later, wannabe sleuth Robert Graysmith would write two books detailing the backwards insanity of the Zodiac investigation, and David Fincher's cinematic adaptation actually incorporates the Dirty Harry premiere as a means of punctuating the passage of time.  I have yet to commit this double feature, but I think Dirty Harry could provide some fantastic catharsis after suffering the procedural frustration of Zodiac.

1.  After Hours/Into The Night:  Both of these films are at once absolutely hilarious and deeply depressing in their assault upon their protagonists.  Ever have one of those nights where nothing goes right?  No you haven't.  You might think you have, but after you sit yourself down for these two brutally funny films from Martin Scorsese & John Landis then you'll have a brand new appreciation for your dull, pedestrian life.  Griffin Dunne's nightmare is a little more ordinary than Jeff Goldblum's (certainly fewer David Bowie assassins in After Hours), but both flicks are masterful in their ratcheting of tension. The only release at your disposal is laughter - of the schadenfreude variety.   If you sympathize too much you'll probably go mad after this double feature.


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