Guts and Grog Tooned Up

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tromeric's Top 500: 325-301


Stuart Gordon kills it again. Love the creature effects, and the overall atmosphere owns me. 


Burton nails this biopic about everyone's favorite bad director. The entire cast is spot on. 


One of the sequels that most hate, that I find myself in love with more and more each time. I know its flaws, but the kills, and the amazing soundtrack make up for it. 


Another one of those movies I initially had no interest in seeing. Once I did, I laughed so hard I shit out of my nose. So many amazing lines. I need to revisit this one often. 


A huge step up from Dead Hooker in a Trunk, which I also enjoyed, but the Soska Sister nailed it with Mary. The gore, the story, it all worked for me. 


A very different picture for Scorsese. Dafoe owns it, as well as the rest of the cast. 


I expected to be severely let down by this. Maniac is one of my favorite films ever, and I just wasn't sold it could be handled in a way that wouldn't piss me off. Goddamn, was I wrong. This is one of the best remakes I have ever seen. It stays true to the original,  but is also is its own flick. The soundtrack is one of the best in recent times, and Elijah Wood slays it.


This feels so ahead of its time. Love getting lost in Fuller's world. 

This will always be the only Punisher movie to me. I know he doesn't have the skull, but I don't care, because he is Dolph mother fucking Lundgren. This was a staple in my action film love growing up, and it still holds up for me. Not saying the new ones are bad, but I will always swear by this one. 


This came out of left field, and punched me right in the dick. So badass. I want that car so bad. 


An homage to H.G. Lewis. Amazingly bad everything, yet so much fun. Don't smoke that weed, or you will turn into a turkey monster who thirsts for junky blood. 


One of the first films that got me obsessed with the French new wave of horror. It was so pretty, yet disturbing. The music is great. The shock ending is a bit off putting, but the rest of it makes up for it.


Still one of the best, if not the best transformation scenes ever. On top of that, it is hilarious, and entertaining from start to finish. 


I found this VHS at a used shop. I knew nothing of it, I barley knew what South Park was at the time. I took it home, popped it in, and have been in love ever since. 


The funniest modern comedy. Another one I had no expectation of liking, and ended up falling in love with. Holy shit! So many great moments, and Crispin Glover has me rolling on the floor every time. 


It's crazy how many of these people have went on to become stars. I guess it really isn't when you watch this. Pretty much a perfect movie. 


Atom Egoyan crafts a perfect mystery. Kevin Bacon is top notch, as well as the rest of the cast. 


Definitely a staple in my teenage movie years. This helped turn me onto the world of bizarre independent cinema. While not my favorite of Araki's, or even of his teenage apocalypse trilogy, it is still one I have to revisit often. 


Holy shit! Such a great King adaptation, and one of the best modern monster films. Also the ending is easily one of my favorites ever.


Talk about over the top action. This is always a fun watch, and has some of the best gore ever. 


Empire Pictures at their best. The effects, the cast, the dudes who are into metal. 


I didn't think a movie could be more badass than The Raid, then I saw The Raid 2. 


I was obsessed with this after I first saw it as a child. At the time it was like nothing I had seen. 


The creatures are so badass, and Barbra Crampton is so sexy. Sure Ken Foree goes down like Macaulay Culkin, but it's still badass.


I love pretty much all Godzilla movies, but there is no denying the power of the original. So subtle, and such a slow burn, but it sucks me in every time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 15 Best Films Ever Made According To James Bickert

Another list? Is it for validation, discussion or inspiration? Are these really the best films ever made? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. Everyone knows CITIZEN KANE (1941) is the greatest film ever made, right? While Welles was no slouch, these are the actual films that have inspired me to crawl out of bed every morning – knee-buckling hangover be damned. I present the 15 reasons why this nincompoop attempts to make moving pictures:

15. PRIME CUT (1972)
An all-star cast in a seedy mob vs. mob tale involving drugs and human trafficking. More mainstream digestible than the brilliant Yakuza tales of Kinji Fukasaku, this flick still packs a slap to the face with a bleak tone oozing such human futility you can feel it down in your nugget sack.   

Now considered a cliché classic but if one revisits this film with the mindset of an audience member from the era, your perception will get hip to the bat-shit craziness on display in this masterpiece.

Actually made in the late 50s, it wasn’t released until 1962, this regional tax-shelter successfully throws everything “not nailed down” into one giant psycho-sexual boiling pot of depravity. There are so many whacked-out ideas coming together - Joseph Green unknowingly created the dogma from which I live. 

12. FLASH GORDON (1980)
A psychedelic overload that caused my pubescent bore worm to feel funny every time Ming’s daughter was on screen.

11. YOJIMBO (1961)
The first anti-hero I saw on screen and the best. When you have Kurosawa, there is no need for a Spaghetti Western on this list and there are over thirty great pasta dishes. 

The apex of the anti-hero. If you don’t want to be S.D. Bob "Snake" Plissken, than you’re probably late for your pilates class and juice cleanse.

The film that taught us gut-munching horror geeks, at an early age, cinema can be more than just entertainment. Even at its most outrageous window-dressing extremes, it can be art with beautiful underlying themes.

While the sheer genius of Fellini’s LA DOLCE VITA (1960), 8 ½ (1963) and the critically panned THE CITY OF WOMEN (1980) have been a major influence on my comprehension of essential film elements, this powerful performance by Giulietta Masina as prostitute Maria 'Cabiria' Ceccarelli continues to inspire me not as a filmmaker but as a human being. It may sound odd that the story of a dreamer would have such an impact but her ability to keep brushing-off life’s shit blizzard, whether foolish or not, and continuing to live is truly magical and continues to evoke an empathetic emotional response. A great fix to rejuvenate your suppressed passions or to brush-off opinions masquerading as criticism from uneducated misery trolls.

7. GUN CRAZY (1950)
A wonderfully subversive low budget film-noir unafraid to take tonal, technical and thematic risks. Often imitated but never done this well. A psycho cop-killing femme-fatale gem.  

6. RIFIFI (1955)
Fuck everything you know about caper movies. They can suck it. This is the prototype heist film and the baddass mother fucker from which all shall be judged.

5. SPIDER BABY (1968)
A dysfunctional nuclear family jumps the shark into an Agatha Christie plot in this surreal and hilarious flick that inspired THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) and many others. 

How do you make a great exploitation film with no nudity? Tight clothes, innuendo, nutty set-ups, crazy cuts and inspirational camera angles – this is the blueprint. 

A gloriously car crash of pop art and exploitation that builds on the equally rewarding FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION (1972). We should all kneel at the Fuji celluloid alter and praise the cinema gods that Toei didn’t handcuff Shunya Itô’s vision.  There are many treasures of French New Wave influenced Japanese cinema from this era and this manga interpretation is the crown jewel.   

2. SANTA SANGRE (1989)
No other film, sorry Luis Bunuel, has successfully merged exploitation, horror and surrealism than Alejandro Jodorowsky’s SANTA SANGRE. With the collaboration of Claudio Argento’s production sense, the mad genius crafted one of the greatest achievements in motion picture history.

You can have your STAR WARS, STAR TREK, MIDDLE-EARTH, DC & MARVEL universe, this is my perfect fantasy world. I want to live here and love you in the moment.

James Bickert was raised by an empty can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, containing alcoholic mosquitos, underneath an abandoned drive-in screen along the muggy Savannah River. He is currently in production on the film FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS - a sequel to his international acclaimed disaster-piece DEAR GOD NO! (2011). James is also a contributor to Fangoria’s Gorezone and Weng’s Chop. He has an understanding wife, smart kid and two large dogs that do not appreciate what he does.   

Tromeric's Top 500: 350-326


Holy shit! Jim Mickle has impressed me a little more with each flick he makes. This one floored me. 


Very few times have I been as pissed about the Oscars, as when Tom Hanks beat out Billy Bob for this. 


Everything I love about Troma, wrapped up into one film. 


I didn't think that a beet documentary about a series could be made after Never Sleep Again, then this happened. Basically seven hours of awesome. 


Still holds up for me. The motor home scene is still brutal, and Michael Berryman is still a badass.


A truly unique film. So many great scenes, and who doesn't love a good solo blow jay? 


A childhood favorite. I caught this on USA Up All Night and fell in love. So much fun, and full of my favorite scream queens. 


I picked this up on a whim, right around the time I first started collecting DVDs. I instantly fell in love. So weird, and fun. 


I saw this when I was a kid, and then could never remember what it was called. When it finally hit DVD, and I realized it was the film I had been searching for, I shit. Then I watched it repeatedly.


This was around the time I realized that you could make comic book movies, that had nothing to do with super heroes. I love this film. So funny, and smart. 


One of my favorite modern horror films. So bizarre, and some pretty crazy stories surrounding it.


Perfectly captures what I love about old exploitation flicks. Great atmosphere, and an ending that will make you shit. 


These kids are into metal, and open a gate to unleash demons. Pretty close to my childhood. 


The worst part about this doc, is coming to terms that the film itself never happened. Imagining what could have been hurts my soul. On the other hand, hearing him talk for an hour and a half almost makes up for it. 


The most kick ass action film ever. Non stop badassary. 


Mickey Rourke owns this. One of those movies I can put on anytime, and instantly get sucked into. 


Possibly the dirtiest movie ever made. The streets are literally littered with trash. Bill Paxton kills me. Everyone is so good, actually. And the dark humor nails it.


NILBOG! So fucking hilarious, and full of amazing moments, and dialogue.


My favorite of the Michael Myers sequels. It has that perfect eighties slasher feel. 


I love Jack Ketchum. His writing is amazing, and I have loved pretty much all of the films based off of his work. This is high on my list. So brutal, plus it has the little girl from Ernest Scared Stupid, and that makes me happy, and creeps me out a bit.


I will never forget going to see this opening night. Shit killed me then, and still does to this day.


The seven minute opening music video with Pia Zadora, and Jermaine Jackson is completely unnecessary, but fucking amazing.


A documentary about one of my favorite humans ever. So many great interviews, and footage from an extraordinary life. 


One of the classic war movies. I watched the shit out of this as a kid. Still blows me away, to this day. 


Can't argue with the impact this had on me as a film lover. These days I forget about it from time to time, but when it hit, it sent me down a wormhole of films I may not have checked without it.