There was one thing that I wish did not happen in 2007. That is the passing of my good friend and founder of this site, Larry Stanley. I never met Larry in person, but talked a couple of times on the phone. I know that he's in a better place, but I'm selfish so, I miss him.
Tradition dictates that I mention the top ten films in my humble opinion for 2007. These are flicks that are things I watch that made a big impact on me for the year. This year has more mainstream than usual, but that's okay.
Here we go, and these are in no particular order.
10. 300. This movie was amazing to me. The first time I watched it my jaw dropped. I saw this six times in the theaters and would have seen it more, but they stopped playing it.
Stupid ass theaters! This movie tells me that director Zack Snyder will be perfect for THE WATCHMEN.
9. SHOOT 'EM UP. The perfect popcorn movie. You take your brain out and leave it at home because you won't need it. Your adrenaline gland, you'll need because this thing is a perfect, film going rush. It comes out on New Year's Day on DVD and I am going to be first in line for this baby. Oh yeah. And could Monica Bellucci be any hotter? She makes all the blonde, Hollywood types look like friggin dogs. Oh yeah and Clive Owen is the MAN!
8. TRANSFORMERS. In the beginning when the scorpion transformer is stalking the army guys through the desert I could not get this foolish grin off my face. They had done one of my childhood memories right. By the type we got to Optimus Prime I was in Geek Heaven. And that Megan Fox. Someone gave that girl the correct last name. She had best be in the sequel, Michael Bay. You hear me Bay? And, of course I got the cool transforming DVD case when it came out. I am such a geek!
7. DESPERATION . I know what you're thinking and no this isn't the flick by Stephen King. This is a much more terrifying film. When young Abby gets in a car accident in the woods and is pinned in her car she thinks she's in big trouble. When two teenage boys show up to her rescue, the trouble gets worse. Much worse. This was one of those microbudget things I review from time to time and I was amazed at how gripped I was with the whole thing. I started out watching it from the comfort of my bed, stretched out like always. By the time it was over I was sitting up on the edge of the bed. Micro budget either works well or it fails miserably. In this case it worked as well as I have seen it in years.
6. CHANTAL . This is one of those Seduction Cinema things where they release a film by exploitation master, Nick Phillips and then make their own version. In this case they left it to the capable devices of director Tony Marsiglia (LUST FOR DRACULA)The film itself shows us Misty Mundae playing waaaaay too innocent, but she makes it work. The best part of the film is listening to the commentary with Tony and Misty. You can hear here and how she related a little too well to this naive character. You can hear that she is sick of thinking she's going to break out from her low budget roots and go on to better things when it isn't lining up as well as she would want it to. Having been a fan of Misty's for quite some time it broke my heart a little to hear how disillusioned she has become in such a short period of time. While I like Tony's LUST FOR DRACULA more than CHANTAL, this is still a fine film. The original has a commentary with Nick Phillips that is required listening.
5.SWEENY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET . My wife and my oldest daughter and I saw a staged production of this a few years back. Delia, my daughter loved the play. We took everyone to see this one and none of us were disappointed. Even my seven year old son sat there and quietly watched the whole thing without complaints. I loved watching Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman singing together. This is Tim Burton in top form.
4. FEAST OF FLESH. My friends Amy Lynn Best and Mike Watt have the distinction of being on the list two years running with the same film. How is that? You may ask. Let me tell you. I first saw it at a convention under it's original title ABATTOIR in 2006. Then it was released under it's new title this year so, it counts. Besides, it may be the most intelligent vampires in a brothel versus the local townies flick you will ever see. The blood flows freely as does the acres of beautiful woman flesh. It's always a delight to see Rachelle Williams kick some ass and the premise of what will repel a vampire is nothing short of ingenious. What is it, you ask? Buy the damned flick and find out. Best money you'll spend this year.
3. SPLATTER BEACH. I have this guilty pleasure and there's nothing I can do about it. It's The Polonia Brothers. They make movies for me I swear to God Almighty. Their bigfoot epic AMONG US is among one of my favorite films. And how can you beat Misty Mundae..I mean Erin Brown as the crazy girl in one of her more fun roles. Plus we get Erika Smith and that gorgeous bod of hers and wild monsters and cool surf music. One of the most fun flicks of the year. And it even comes with a CD of all the groovy tunes.
2. THE INCONFESSABLE ORGIES OF EMMANUELLE . Another in the string of releases from small companies, in this case Severin Films, giving us another Jess Franco film. This is Franco's take on Emmanuelle and it's interesting how he turns her into more of a secondary character in her own flick. This is Franco doing some of his most interesting work and should be a must for any true Eurotrash connoisseur.
1. THE DUNGEON OF DR. DRECK . Okay, in this case I saved the best for last. Michael Legge gives us the origins of a horror movie host from the 60's. Big difference is that this guy is really a mad scientist. And his sidekick is a real zombie cheerleader. From the opening homage to Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, to the special effect glasses that you need to wear half way through the pic, this is a tribute to the days of yesteryear when movies were good hearted fun and this is no exception. I might be a little biased because we supplied the lab equipment that is in the title shot and all of the Waltz family are in the closing credits with official doctorates to boot. This is the best film of 2007 and needs to be viewed by all. If you haven't checked it out yet be sure to spend some of that leftover Christmas moolah on this wonderful film.
And that's it for us here at Penguin for 2007. Hopefully you all have a wonderful new year and many more. And here's to another year of great movies!