4 Film Reviews: Bridge To Silence, The Chocolate War, Kiss The Bride, Wedding Daze


Last week, I watched six films on This TV.

Which TV?  No, This TV!  It’s one of my favorite channels.  It’s not just that they show a lot of movies.  It’s also that they frequently show movies that are new to me.  For instance, last week, This TV introduced me to both Prison Planet and Cherry 2000.

Here are four other films, two good and two not so good, that This TV introduced to me last week.

First up, we have 1989’s Bridge to Silence.

Directed by Karen Arthur, Bridge To Silence was a made-for-TV movie.  Lee Remick plays Marge Duffield, who has a strained relationship with her deaf daughter, Peggy (Marlee Matlin).  After Peggy’s husband is killed in a traffic accident, Peggy has a nervous breakdown.  Marge and her husband, Al (Josef Sommer) take care of Peggy’s daughter, Lisa, while Peggy is recovering.  However, even as Peggy gets better, Marge still doesn’t feel that she can raise her daughter so Marge files a lawsuit to be named Lisa’s legal guardian.  While all of this is going on, Peggy is starring in a college production of The Glass Menagerie and pursuing a tentative romance with the play’s director (Michael O’Keefe).

Bridge to Silence is one of those overwritten but heartfelt melodramas that just doesn’t work.  With the exception of Marlee Matlin, the cast struggles with the overwrought script.  (Michael O’Keefe, in particular, appears to be miserable.)  The film’s biggest mistake is that it relies too much on that production of The Glass Menagerie, which is Tennessee Williams’s worst play and tends to be annoying even when it’s merely used as a plot device.  There’s only so many times that you can hear the play’s director refer to Peggy as being “Blue Roses” before you just want rip your hair out.

Far more enjoyable was 1988’s The Chocolate War.

Directed by Keith Gordon, The Chocolate War is a satirical look at conformity, popularity, rebellion, and chocolate at a Catholic boys school.  After the manipulative Brother Leon accidentally purchases too much chocolate for the school’s annual sale, he appeals to one of his students, Archie Costello (Wallace Langham), to help him make the money back.  Archie, who is just as manipulative as Leon, is the leader of a secret society known as the Vigils.  However, Archie and Leon’s attempt to manipulate the students runs into a roadblack when a new student, Jerry Renault (Illan Mitchell-Smith) refuses to sell any chocolates at all.  From there, things get progressively more complicated as Archie tries to break Jerry, Jerry continues to stand up for his freedom, and Leon … well, who knows what Leon is thinking?

The Chocolate War was an enjoyable and stylish film, one that featured a great soundtrack and a subtext about rebellion and conformity that still feels relevant.  John Glover and Wallace Langham both gave great performances as two master manipulators.

I also enjoyed the 2002 film, Kiss The Bride.

Kiss The Bride tells the story of a big Italian family, four sisters, and a wedding.  Everyone brings their own personal drama to the big day but ultimately, what matters is that family sticks together.  Directed by Vanessa Parise, Kiss The Bride featured believable and naturalistic performances from Amanda Detmer, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Brooke Langton, Monet Mazur, and Parise herself.

I have to admit that one reason why I liked this film is because it was about a big Italian family and it featured four sisters.  I’m the youngest of four sisters and, watching the film, I was reminded of my own big Irish-Italian family.  The movie just got everything right.

And then finally, there was 2006’s Wedding Daze.

Wedding Daze is a romantic “comedy.”  Anderson (Jason Biggs) asks his girlfriend to marry him, just to have her drop dead from shock.  Anderson’s best friend is afraid that Anderson will never get over his dead girlfriend and begs Anderson to not give up on love.  Anderson attempts to humor his friend by asking a complete stranger, a waitress named Katie (Isla Fisher), to marry him.  To everyone’s shock, Katie says yes.

From the get go, there are some obvious problems with this film’s problem.  Even if you accept that idea that Katie would say yes to Anderson, you also have to be willing to accept the idea that Anderson wouldn’t just say, “No, I was just joking.”  That said, the idea does have some comic potential.  You could imagine an actor like Cary Grant doing wonders with this premise in the 30s.  Unfortunately, Jason Biggs is no Cary Grant and the film’s director, comedian Michael Ian Black, is no Leo McCarey.  In the end, the entire film is such a misjudged failure that you can’t help but feel that Anderson’s ex was lucky to die before getting too involved in any of it.

A Movie A Day #175: Telefon (1977, directed by Don Siegel)


Across America, strange things are happening.  Seemingly ordinary, middle-aged citizens are, without explanation, attacking formerly top secret government facilities.  The attackers are from all different walks of life.  One was an auto mechanic.  Another was a priest.  There was even a housewife who, after blowing up a power station, committed suicide with a poison pill that the KGB stopped issuing a decade ago.  Before launching their attacks, each one of them received a phone call in which a Russian man recited a poem by Robert Frost.

The Americans may not understand what is happening but the Soviets do.  Immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the KGB planted sleeper agents across the United States.  They hypnotized and brainwashed the agents so thoroughly that they no longer remember that they are agents.  The Frost poem was the trigger designed to activate the agents, all of whom were meant to attack what were then valuable parts of America’s infrastructure.  With the arrival of détente, the program was abandoned and the sleeper agents were simply left behind in the United States.  But now, a former hardliner (Donald Pleasence), is activating the agents one by one.  Because he has a photographic memory, KGB colonel Charles Bronson is sent to the United States to track down and kill Pleasence before the United States discovers the truth about what is happening.  Lee Remick, as an American KGB agent, is assigned to work with him but is also ordered to kill him once the assignment has been completed.

That Telfon is one of Charles Bronson’s better post-Death Wish films is largely due to the presence of Don Siegel in the director’s chair.  As a director who specialized in intelligent genre films and who helped to make Clint Eastwood one of the world’s biggest stars with Dirty Harry, Coogan’s Bluff, The Beguiled, and Escape from Alcatraz, Don Siegel was the ideal director to bring out the best in Bronson.  Like St. Ives, Telefon features Bronson in an uncharacteristically cerebral role.  For once, he spends more time analyzing clues than he does shooting people and Bronson is surprisingly credible as a man with a photographic memory.

As directed by Siegel, Telefon is almost a satire of the type of violent action films that Bronson usually made for directors like Michael Winner. In Telefon, both the bad guys and the good guys are equally clueless.  All of the KGB sleeper agents are dumpy and middle-aged and the film continually emphasizes that they’ve all been brainwashed to attack targets that are no longer strategically important.    Donald Pleasence, playing one of his raving villains, wears a blonde, Beatles-style wig for much of the film.

Though the ending is a let down, Telefon is still one of the best of Bronson’s late 70s films.

The Medium is the Message: Andy Griffith in A FACE IN THE CROWD (Warner Brothers 1957)


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If you only know Andy Griffith from his genial TV Southerners in THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and MATLOCK, brace yourself for A FACE IN THE CROWD. Griffith’s folksy monologues had landed him a starring role in the hit Broadway comedy NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS. The vicious, wild-eyed Lonesome Rhodes was thousands of miles away from anything he had done before, and the actor, guided by the sure hand of director Elia Kazan, gives us a searing performance in this satire of the power of the media, and the menace of the demagogue.

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When we first meet Larry Rhodes, he’s in the drunk tank in rural Pickett, Arkansas, a small town not unlike Mayberry. Local radio host Marcia Jeffries is doing a remote broadcast there, hoping to catch some ratings. The no-account drifter is hostile at first, but when the sheriff promises him an early release, you can practically see the wheels spinning…

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Embracing the Melodrama Part II #50: Hustling (dir by Joseph Sargent)


hustling21I have to admit that I had ulterior motives for reviewing the film Hustle as a part of Embracing the Melodrama.  I was already planning on reviewing another 1975 film about prostitutes, one that I had recently watched on Netflix.  That name of that film was Hustling and, for whatever reason, it amused me to imagine being alive in 1975 and going to see Hustle at a movie theater and then coming home, turning on TV, and finding myself watching a film called Hustling.

So really, if I was going to review one of those films, I had to review the other, right?  It made perfect sense at the time!

Anyway, as for Hustling, it’s a film about prostitutes in New York and the wealthy magazine writer who decides to interview them for an article.  Watching the film, what I immediately noticed was that, even though the film had a properly gritty feel to it, none of the characters ever cursed and, for a film about sex workers, there was no nudity.  Though the characters continually talked about getting beaten up by their pimps, all of the violence occurred off-screen.  Even more importantly, whenever something dramatic happened, the scene would fade to black.  It was almost as if the movie was pausing for an unseen commercial.

Which, of course, it was.  Hustling was made for television and, as I watched it, it was easy for me to imagine that I was actually watching the latest Lifetime original film.  It certainly followed a pattern that should be familiar to anyone who has ever watched a movie on Lifetime.  Wanda (Jill Clayburgh, giving an excellent performance) is a veteran prostitute who, after being arrested for the hundredth time, is told that the charges against her will be dropped if she allows herself to be interviewed by magazine writer, Fran Morrison (Lee Remick).  At first Wanda refuses but, after her pimp refuses to pay her fine and suggests that she should just accept spending a few months in jail, Wanda reconsiders and accepts Fran’s offer.

The rest of the film charts Fran and Wanda’s unlikely friendship.  Wanda tells Fran what it’s like to be prostitute.  Fran encourages Wanda and the other prostitutes to stand up for their legal rights.  Wanda deals with a society that looks down on her.  Fran deals with a boyfriend (Monte Markham) who can’t understand why she’s so concerned about a bunch of prostitutes.  Wanda considers going back to her pimp.  Fran considers exposing all of the “respectable” men who use prostitutes.

So, Hustling is pretty predictable and, not surprisingly, rather dated but it’s also a fairly effective portrait of life on the margins of society.  Lee Remick is stuck playing a one-note character but Jill Clayburgh is great in the role of Wanda. If nothing else, Hustling was filmed on location in some of the sleaziest parts of 1970s New York City and therefore, the film serves as a bit of a historical document.

For those wishing to check it out, the film’s currently available on Netflix.

Horror Film Review: The Omen (dir by Richard Donner)


The Omen

A few days ago, Arleigh shared the theme song from 1976’s The Omen as Monday’s horror song of the day.  As I sat there and listened to Jerry Goldsmith’s award-winning hymn to Satan, it occurred to me that I happen to have all five of the Omen films sitting in my movie collection.  Seeing as how this is Halloween and how the world seems to be getting closer to ending with each passing day, I decided that this would be the perfect time to rewatch the entire franchise and consider whether or not The Omen films are truly as scary as a lot of people seem to think.

So, that’s what I did.

How did things turn out?

Well, in the long history of sequels and remakes, The Omen franchise is one of the more uneven collections.  This is one of those franchises where things tend to get less impressive with each subsequent entry.  However, 38 years after its initial release, the first Omen remains effective and, in its way, genuinely scary.

If you’re a horror fan, you probably know the general plot of The Omen regardless of whether you’ve actually watched it or not.  It’s one of those films that has been so frequently imitated that it’s almost possible to watch it by osmosis.

The film opens in Rome with diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) being rushed to the hospital where his wife, Kathy (Lee Remick), has just given birth.  A priest (Martin Benson) tells him that his son died shortly after being born but that he can always just go home with an orphaned newborn that he just happens to have handy.  Robert agrees and decides not to tell his wife the truth about the child.  Robert and Kathy raise the boy and they name him Damien.  Four years later, the politically ambitious Robert is named as Ambassador to the Court of St. James.

The Thorns move to London and soon, odd things start to happen.  Damien (now played by Harvey Spencer Stephens) is a quiet boy with a piercing stare who throws a fit whenever he’s taken inside of a church.  When Kathy takes Damien to the zoo, they’re attacked by angry baboons.  A large Rottweiler mysteriously appears on the grounds of the Ambassador’s estate.  A mysterious and sinister nanny (Billie Whitelaw) shows up and explains that she’s been sent by an “agency.”  A crazed priest (Patrick Troughton) starts to stalk the Ambassador, demanding a chance to speak with him and insisting that Damien’s mother was actually a jackal.

Even more mysteriously, people start dying in the strangest of ways.  A young woman (Holly Palance) smiles as she shouts, “Damien, it’s all for you!” and then hangs herself, thoroughly ruining Damien’s fifth birthday party.  A freak lightning storm leads to a man being impaled by a weather vane.  Another person who suspects that there might be something wrong with Damien ends up losing his head in a graphic sequence that — even in this age of Hostel and Saw — is difficult to watch.

The Ambassador is contact by Keith Jennings (David Warner), a nervous photographer who fears that Damien may be planning on killing him.  Soon, Thorn and Jennings are flying to Italy and to the Middle East and discovering evidence that five year-old Damien might very well be the Antichrist.  Speaking of Damien, he and that nanny have been left alone with poor, victimized Kathy.

(“Oh, leave her alone,” I muttered as Damien attempted to kill Kathy for the hundredth time…)

As I watched The Omen, I tried to figure out why this film has held up so well.  It certainly wasn’t due to the performance of Gregory Peck who, quite frankly, seemed to mostly be going through the motions.  David Warner, on the other hand, gave such a good performance that it was almost difficult to watch.  (Don’t get attached to any character who appears in an Omen film.)   Some of the film’s effectiveness was undoubtedly due to Jerry Goldsmith’s intense score.  Anything’s scary when you’ve got a hundred voice shouting “Ave Satani” at you.

But, ultimately, I think the reason why The Omen still works is because the film generates such a palpable sense of doom.  This is one of those films that leaves you convinced that anyone can die at any minute and, considering that happens to be true in both this movie and in real life, that makes the horror of The Omen feel very real.  By the time the film ends, you’re left with little doubt that nobody in the film had the least bit of power or control over his or her own destiny.  Instead, they were all just pawns in a game that they had no hope of ever winning or understanding.  Is there anything scarier than feeling powerless?

All I know is that, having rewatched The Omen, I will never look at a plane of glass the same way again.

 

 

Scenes I Love: A Face In The Crowd


Located below is the famous Vitajex advertising montage from Elia Kazan’s 1957 film, A Face In The CrowdEverytime I see this, I wonder if maybe American audiences in the 50s were smarter than we give them credit for. 

Then again, A Face in The Crowd was a notorious financial and critical failure when it was first released.  It’s actually one of the best and most influential movies ever made.  Certainly, it’s one of the few Kazan films that still seems artistically relevent today.  It should also be noted that A Face in the Crowd features Anthony Franciosa years before his starring turn in Dario Argento’s Tenebrae, Andy Griffith playing a villain, the film debut of Lee Remick, Walter Matthau as a tv writer, and Patricia Neal having a nervous breakdown.  Supposedly, a very young Rip Torn is somewhere in this film as well but I’ve never been able to spot him.

Review: Anatomy of a Murder (Dir. by Otto Preminger)


Last Friday, I randomly selected 10 movies from my DVD library and I asked you, this site’s wonderful readers, to vote on which one of those movies I should watch and then review.  234 votes were cast and the winner (by two votes!) is the 1959 courtroom classic Anatomy of a Murder.

First off, a confession of my own.  When I’m not reviewing movies or chattering away on twitter, I work in a law office.  Before anyone panics, I’m not a lawyer, I just hang out with a couple of them.  For the most part, I answer the phone, I schedule appointments, and I keep all the files in alphabetical order.  On a few very rare occasions, I’ve accompanied my boss to court and the thing that has always struck me about real-life courtroom drama is how boring it all really is.  There are no surprise witnesses, no impassioned closing statements, and those all trail rarely, if ever, jump to their feet and start yelling that they’re innocent.  For the most part, real life lawyers are usually just as poorly groomed and bored with their work as the rest of us.  Don’t even get me started on the judges, the majority of whom seem to have judgeships because they weren’t really making the grade as an attorney. 

As a result, it’s rare that I get much out of seeing lawyer-centric movies or tv shows any more.  After seeing the reality of it, I find fictionalized courtroom theatrics to be ludicrous and, for the most part, evidence of a lazy writer.  However, I’m happy to say that last night, I discovered that — no matter how jaded I may now be about the legal process — Anatomy of a Murder is still one of my favorite movies.

Based on a best-selling novel and directed by the notorious Otto Preminger, Anatomy of a Murder tells the story of Paul Beigler (James Stewart), a former district attorney who is now in private practice after having been voted out of office.  Having apparently fallen into a state of ennui, Beigler spends his time drinking with another alcoholic attorney (Arthur O’Connell) and trying to avoid his secretary’s (Eve Arden) attempts to get paid.

However, things change for Beigler when he is hired to defend an army officer named Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara).  Manion has been arrested for murdering a bar own named Barney Quill.  Manion says that he was justified in committing the murder because Quill raped his wife, Laura (Lee Remick).  Others claim that Manion is himself just a notoriously violent bully and that the openly flirtatious Laura was having an affair with Quill.  Despite strongly disliking Manion and disturbed by Laura’s own obvious instability, Beigler takes on the case.

Beigler decides to argue that Manion was temporarily insane when he shot Quill and that he was acting on “irresistible impulse.”  As shaky as that line of defense might seem, it’s not helped by the fact that Manion himself is a bit of a brute.  Meanwhile, Beigler finds himself facing not the innefectual D.A. in court but instead a young, ambitious prosecutor from the State Attorney General’s Office, Claude Dancer (played by a young and obviously ambitious George C. Scott).  As the trial begins, small hints start to appear that seem to indicate that there’s a lot more to the murder of Barney Quill than anyone realizes…

Director Otto Preminger is an odd figure in film history.  Up until the early 60s, he was a consistently interesting director who made intelligent, well-acted films that often challenged then-contemporary moral attitudes.  However, once the 60s hit, he became something of a parody of the egotistical, old school, autocratic filmmaker and his films seemed to suffer as a result.  Like many of the film industry’s top directors, he found himself adrift once the 60s and 70s hit.  His decline was so dramatic that, as a result, there’s a tendency to forget that he made some truly great and important films, like Laura, Carmen Jones, The Man With The Golden Arm, and, of course, Anatomy of a Murder.

Anatomy of a Murder represents Preminger at his best.  His own natural tendency towards embracing melodrama and shock are  perfectly balanced with an intelligent script and memorable performances.  Whereas later Preminger films would often come across as little more than big screen soap operas, here he makes the sordid believable and compelling.  Preminger has never gotten much attention as a visual filmmaker but here, he uses black-and-white to perfectly capture the grayness of the both the film’s location and the moral issues that the film raises.  He keeps the camera moving without ever calling attention to it.  As a result, the movie has an almost documentary feel to it.

As previously stated, Preminger gets a lot of help from a truly amazing cast.  At first, it’s somewhat strange to imagine a Golden Age icon like Jimmy Stewart appearing in the same film as a dedicated method actor like Ben Gazzara.  These are two men who represent not only different philosophies of acting but seemingly from two different worlds as well.  However, Preminger uses their differing acting styles to electrifying effect.  One of the joys of the movie is watching and contrasting the old style, “move star” turns of James Stewart, Arthur O’Connell, and Eve Arden with the more “naturalistic” approaches taken by their younger co-stars, Gazzara, Lee Remick, and especially George C. Scott.  The contrast in style becomes a perfect reflection of the film’s contrast between what is legal and what is correct.  All the actors, as both individuals and as an ensemble, give memorable performances.  When you look at the cast, you realize that any one of their characters could have been the center of the story without the film becoming any less compelling. 

Lee Remick (a notoriously fragile actress who, for years, I knew solely as the poor woman who kept getting attacked by her adopted son in the original Omen) brings out the best in everyone she shares a scene with.  Whether she’s making Stewart blush or breaking down on the witness stand, she dominates every scene as an insecure young woman who forces herself to be happy because otherwise, she’d have to confront the fact that she’s miserable.  (I should admit that I related more than a bit to Remick’s character.  To me, the movie was about her and therefore, about me.) 

She is perhaps at her best towards the end of the film when she is on the witness stand and is cross-examined by George C. Scott.  Starting out as flirtatious and seemingly confident, Remick slowly and believably falls apart as Scott methodically strips away every layer of defense that, until now, she’s spent the entire movie hiding behind.  By the end of the scene, Remick has shown as every layer of pain that has built up in Laura Manion over the years.  For his part, Scott is simply amazing in this scene.  Determined and focused, Scott doesn’t so much cross-examine Remick but seduces her and the audience along with her.  As a result, when he suddenly turns off the charm and lunges in for his final attack, it’s devastating for everyone watching.  (And, as was correctly pointed out to me by a friend while I was watching the film last night, George C. Scott was quite the sexy beast when he was young.)

Lastly, the film’s judge is played by an actual lawyer by the name of Joseph Welch.  Welch wasn’t a great actor but he did make for a great judge.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Preminger film is a few contemporary morals weren’t challenged and, at the time it was released, Anatomy of a Murder was considered to be very daring because of its frank discussion of topics like rape and spousal abuse.  It doesn’t seem quite so daring now but it does seem to be remarkably mature in a way that even most modern movies can’t match.  That being said, the film does occasionally embrace the “she must have been asking for it” male viewpoint but still, it’s a remarkably advanced movie for the 1950s.

One of the wonderful things about watching a 51 year-old film is that it provides a chance to see what was considered to be shocking in the years before you or I was born.  From watching this movie, I’ve discovered that, in the year 1959, “panties” was apparently a taboo phrase.  A good deal of the film’s plot revolves around the panties Lee Remick’s character was wearing the night she was raped and their subsequent disappearance.  At one point, there’s even a scene where Welch, Stewart, and Scott struggle to come up with a less offensive term to use when referring to them in the court.  (Scott suggests employing a term he heard in France.)  Seen 51 years later (in a time when we can not only say “thong” in polite conversation but specifically go out of our way to show off the fact that we’re wearing one), this scene, and the actors’ obvious discomfort whenever they have to say the word “panties”, never fails to amuse me.

Preminger’s other grand challenge to the 50s mainstream was in getting Duke Ellington to compose the film’s jazz soundtrack.  At the risk of being called a heretic by some of my closest friends, I’ve never been a big fan of jazz but it works perfectly here.  Ellington, himself, makes a cameo appearance and wow, is he ever stoned.

In conclusion, allow me to thank the readers of the site for “ordering” me to watch, once again, a truly classic film.  Now, seeing as how close the vote was and that I know, for a fact, that some people voted more than once, I think it would be only fair for me to also rewatch and review the other 9 movies (Lost in Translation, Primer, Hatchet For the Honeymoon, Emanuelle in America, Starcrash, Darling, Sole Survivor, The Sweet House of Horrors, and The Sidewalks of Bangkok) in my poll over the next couple of weeks.  I’m looking forward to each and every one of them (well, almost all of them) and, again, thank you for allowing me to start things off with a great film like Anatomy of a Murder.

Poll: Which Movie Should Lisa Marie Review?


Last night, with the help of my friend Jeff, I conducted an experiment. 

First, I took out my contacts which basically left me blind.  Then, just to make sure I was totally without sight, I had Jeff blindfold me.  He then took me by the hand and led me over to my DVD collection.  Clumsily, I grabbed 10 DVDs at random and handed them back to Jeff.  I then proceeded to walk into a wall, at which point I tried to take off the blindfold and ended up losing my balance and falling down flat on my ass. 

Why was I risking life and limb to randomly select 10 DVDs?

I did it so you could have the chance to tell me what to do.  At the bottom of this article, you will find a poll listing the 10 DVDs I randomly selected.  Come next Saturday (June 19th to be exact), I will watch and review whichever movie receives the most votes in the poll.  In short, I’m giving you all the power.

Now, to be honest, I’m feeling just a little trepidation about doing this.  Whenever you set up a poll, you’re running the risk of absolutely no one voting.  Fortunately, I have a plan B in that I recently got the 1st season of Gossip Girl on DVD.  If nobody votes in the poll, I’ll just spend next Saturday watching Gossip Girl and writing several long — very long —  essays on how different Chuck is in the books as compared to the TV show.

The choice, as they say, is yours.

The 10 movies I blindly selected are listed below in alphabetical order.

1) Anatomy of a Murder (1959) — Jimmy Stewart asks Lee Remick a lot of questions about her panties.

2) Darling (1965) — Julie Christie claws her way to the top of the modeling industry and discovers ennui.

3) Emanuelle in America (1978) — Emanuelle investigates decadence in America.  Some people think that this movie contains footage taken from an actual snuff film.  We call those people “idiots.”

4) Hatchet For The Honeymoon (1969) — Mario Bava directs this film about a man driven to murder by the sight of an unflattering bridal gown.

5) Lost in Translation (2003) — I will admit that I squealed with joy when I discovered that I had randomly selected one of my favorite movies of all time.

6) Primer (2004) — Engineers play with time and space.  Oddly enough, this movie was filmed a few miles away from where I live.

7) The Sidewalks of Bangkok (1986) — Like most of Jean Rollin’s film, this is something of a misunderstood masterpiece.

8 ) Sole Survivor (1982) — An atmospheric little horror film with a sadly generic title.

9) Starcrash (1978) — Strange sci-fi movie in which Christopher Plummer recruits space pirate Caroline Munro to battle a pre-Maniac Joe Spinell.  This film also marks the screen debut of David Hasselhoff.

10) The Sweet House of Horrors (1989) — One of Lucio Fulci’s last films.

So, those are our ten options.  On Saturday, July 19th, I will sit down, watch, and review whichever movie receives the most votes.  On that day, for four to six hours, I will give up my independence and submit to the wishes of the majority.