Jordan’s top 30 Movies of all Time (25 – 21)

With a world full of cinematic treasures, ranging from the silent expressionism of Robert Wiene in the 1920′s to J.J. Abrams’ current vision for science fiction, deciding on a top 30 films of all time is no easy task. After much time and plenty of thought however, here it is for the world to see.

Plot summaries from IMDB

Reviews by Jordan

Click here for 30 – 26! https://jordanandeddie.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/jordans-top-30-movies-of-all-time-30-26/

25. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

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1965 – Directed by Russ Meyer

Three strippers seeking thrills encounter a young couple in the desert. After dispatching the boyfriend, they take the girl hostage and begin scheming on a crippled old man living with his two sons in the desert, reputedly hiding a tidy sum of cash.

“‘Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ is, beyond a doubt, the best movie ever made. It is possibly better than any film that will be made in the future” wrote the infamous John Waters in his 1981 autobiography, Shock value. Perhaps that is an exaggeration; Russ Meyer’s sleazy black and white fantasy is not the best movie ever made, though it is one of the best of the 1960’s, and without a doubt Meyer’s greatest creation – influencing a slew of directors since who choose to dabble in the exploitation genre.

In the presence of a trio of buxom go-go dancers, drag races and viscous hand-to-hand combat, a plot is of little relevance, but here the notorious director chooses to establish a rather nifty scenario involving a distressed kidnapped girl, a family fortune and a perverted old man, haunted by a past accident, who wishes to see beauty destroyed along with his hulking mentally challenged son.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to violence.

The sheer entertainment value provided when each element of Faster, Pussycat! Come together cannot be properly described; one must witness the provocative splendour themselves to fully realise that such a film could be so enjoyable and ahead of its time. For further viewing see Quentin Tarantino’s carnally minded homage Death Proof, though it doesn’t even come close to the trashy majesty here.

24. The Wanderers

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1979 – Directed by Philip Kaufman

Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York’s gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers.

The Wanderers, led by suave alpha-male Richie (Ken Wahl), are the Bronx’ premiere Italian high school gang. They have a winning football team, a posse of attractive girls and a brotherly unity that is as its strongest when a member is at his most vulnerable.

But unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and this time of carelessness is destined to end as the school bell signals the last day of term, a new, murderous gang arises intent on the destruction of innocence and Despie, Richie’s volatile girlfriend, falls pregnant with his baby while his true love Nina (the lovely Karen Allen) leaves the scene for greener pastures.

It’s not easy growing up. It’s hard letting go.

The Wanderers is a forgotten film that knows this, and ensures the viewer does also, whilst still remaining entertaining and trendy through use of an outstanding rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack and endearing characters.

23. Young Frankenstein

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1974 – Directed by Mel Brooks

Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad’s castle and repeats the experiments.

Is young Frankenstein the funniest movie ever made? Yes. Yes it is.

That is a big call I realise, but while other comedies on this very list come exceptionally close (Carl Reiner’s collaborations with Steve Martin, any Monty Python feature), Mel Brooks’ glorious and loving homage to the works of James Whale comes up trumps due to its endearing mix of immaturity and sophistication, and committed performances from a stellar cast, including Gene Wilder as the descendant of the original mad doctor, Marty Feldman as his only semi-devoted slave Igor, Teri Garr as the beautiful damsel in distress and Peter Boyle as the lonely, deadly Monster. Eagle eyed viewers will also be able to spot Gene Hackman in a cameo role, and the voice of director Mel Brooks in a scene involving a crazed German inspector, a dart board and a cat.

Brooks has been responsible for some great works of comedy, with Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety and Spaceballs all lovingly embraced by a vast unashamed American audience, but unlike these films, Young Frankenstein thoroughly transcends the comic limitations, and with its stunning production values and delightfully moody cinematography succeeds as an authentic, more-than-humorous modern Universal re-telling.

22. Deep Red

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1975 – Directed by Dario Argento

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a feisty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried.

Before the aforementioned Suspiria, Dario Argento had blossomed as Italy’s prominent creator of luscious, slightly perverse Gialli, a genre named after a series of yellow-covered sleazy crime novels of the 50’s and 60’s, full of decadent murder set-pieces, gorgeous female victims and sadistic serial killers. His debut feature, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), was an instant runaway success which he immediately followed with two more animal themed mysteries; The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971) and Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971), neither as complete as his break-through hit, though still undeniably stylish and impactful.

Then in 1975, two years after directing a rare failure in the period comedy The Five days of Milan, Argento unleashed his first fully-fledged masterpiece of which critics and audiences alike would take notice; Profondo Rosso (Deep Red).

Unquestionably influenced by Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 slab of alternative cinema, Blow-Out, to the extent that Argento even cast the film’s lead David Hemmings, Deep Red remains the essential Giallo experience; its lavish, convoluted plot drawing the viewer in to maximise the bouts of sudden, shocking violence.

21. The Thing

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1982 – Directed by John Carpenter

Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

A helicopter carrying a troupe of Norwegians scientists races low along the Antarctic ice, the crew franticly shooting at a runaway dog heading towards an American research base. The dog reaches the base as the helicopter lands, and the Norwegian chasing it is shot and killed by the Americans. The helicopter and remaining crew perish by way of a wayward grenade, and thus begins one of cinema’s great experiences in fear, paranoia and alien violence.

John Carpenter’s remake (a now dreaded word among horror fans globally) of Howard Hawks’ 1951 production is in every aspect superior to the tense and still accomplished original, upping the quality of story-telling and especially special effects at every turn; Rob Bottin’s flesh augmenting physical creations taking the science fiction and horror genres (as the film really is an equal mix of each) to previously unseen places. A blood-testing scene initiated by Kurt Russell’s R. J. Macready in particular, in which each character must definitively prove their humanity, is guaranteed to induce goose bumps on even the most experienced cinema goer, as will the moment Richard Dysart’s Dr. Cooper exercises the defibrillator on his fallen colleague.

The Thing concludes with one of the most satisfying endings of all time, perfectly capturing the feel of the entire film and placing our remaining heroes (?) in the only suitable situation, as bleak and hopeless as it may be.

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13 responses to “Jordan’s top 30 Movies of all Time (25 – 21)

  1. Thanks for the recommendation to see “Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!” I’m a big fan of Russ Meyer’s “Beyond the Vally of the Dolls,” so I’m anticipating this will be equally awesome.

  2. Pingback: Jordan’s top 30 Movies of all time (20 – 16) | Jordan and Eddie·

  3. Pingback: Movie Discussion: Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage [L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo] (1970) | Girl Meets Freak·

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Dario Argento Films | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  5. Pingback: 10 Must-See Foreign Films: Jordan’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  6. I’m loving the list so far. Some solid nerd cred, even taking it gutter. True Romance, still underrated somehow. Badlands (though I love the introspective nature of THIN RED LINE even more).

    But it was noticing Meyers and Argento that really got me interested. Don’t see them on many lists. Now I hafta find WANDERERS. I never even heard of it. So thanks man. Seriously. I rely on my fellow nerds for these hidden gems.

    Check my reviews/lists if you get a chance.

    I’m diggin what I see so far.

  7. Pingback: Young Frankenstein: An Appreciation | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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