Guts and Grog Tooned Up

Monday, December 8, 2014

Justin Wiese's Top 10 Films Of All Time

10. Near Dark (1982 dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
Everything is perfect about this one: the cast, the location, the Tangerine Dream soundtrack, the recognition of the usual vampire mythos and the subsequent turning of the legend on it’s ear at the endpoint, in a definite “why didn’t anyone think of that before?” moment. A dusty gothic-western vampire masterpiece.

9. The Elephant Man (1980 dir. David Lynch)
I’m fascinated with the life of Joseph Merrick, and Lynch’s film is a surreal and incredibly affecting portrait with incredible black & white photography. 

8. The Thing (1982 dir. John Carpenter)
“I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”

7. Psycho (1960 dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
There are so many scenes in this movie that have been permanently burnt into my brain: Norman’s taxidermy, Marion’s car sinking into the swamp, Arbogast’s descent, Mother’s reveal. My favorite Hitchcock, and one that continues to leave me wide-eyed all these years later.

6. The Wicker Man (1973 dir. Robin Hardy)
At times so disorienting that you start to question the whole narrative you’ve put together in your head of how it will end. Full of an incredible, believable cast and tons of old-world pagan tricks & treats. I’ve heard this referred to as the “Citizen Kane of Horror”, so yeah, we’ll go with that.

5. The Hitcher (1986 dir. Robert Harmon)
The second Eric Red screenplay on my list (The other is Near Dark), The Hitcher is another “unassuming young man finds a psychopath in the desert” tale, and watching C. Thomas Howell’s Jim Halsey dive deeper & deeper into his own darkness to battle Rutger Hauer’s John Ryder is a sight to behold.

4. Videodrome (1983 dir. David Cronenberg)
I would happily work at CIVIC-TV if that meant I got to sit around with other lewd jerks watching filth and trash on VHS for scheduling into the station programming. 

3. Slap Shot (1977 dir. George Roy Hill)
My favorite comedy of all time! Endlessly quotable, extremely brash & absolutely offensive. Hockey goons + ultraviolence + a drunk Paul Newman = 70’s comedic GOLD.

2. Robocop (1987 dir. Paul Verhoeven)
A glorious achievement no matter what genre you may think it is or what it’s really trying to say, satirically or politically. The Criterion Collection uncut “blood & guts” director’s edition is by far the way to go.

1. Planet of the Apes (1968 dir. Franklin J. Schaffner)
The team of Arthur P. Jacobs, Charlton Heston and Franklin J. Schaffner took a huge gamble not only adapting Pierre Boulle’s “unfilmable” novel, but also assembling a cast of classically trained actors to wear prosthetic ape make-up, and created not just another B-movie, but one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. I’ve probably seen Planet of the Apes more times then any other film, and it’s always just as fun as it was when I was a kid. It’s my favorite film series as well; as the films went on to include militant gorillas, nuclear mutants, chimps in suits, and Ricardo Montalban, which, come on, that’s appealing to everyone! Planet of the Apes is just so damn cool. 

Possession, Nekromantik, Eraserhead, The Devils, The Shining, Phantasm, Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Mondo Cane, Cruising, Wild At Heart, Repo Man, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, To Live & Die in L.A. & Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Justin Wiese releases VHS mixtapes with an emphasis on the bizarre & obscure under the name Combat Toyoda Video. He is also one-half of the Fortean audio label Grey Forces, and his defunct experimental radio show Pagan Icons will be returning in 2015 as a podcast. He has a serious affection for mondo films, cryptozoology, and neglected/forgotten media formats. He occasionally rants & raves about film on his Letterboxd page @

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