"Forbidden Zone" -- Danny Elfman's directorial debute. A disturbing black and white romp, where humans act, move and sing like Max Fliescher characters, and Danny himself plays Satan, along with The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo!
Best Served With: Betty Boop shorts for the pre-show and intermission; a Tim Burton movie for the second reel--Edward Scissorhands or Nightmare Before Christmas, and-or Frankenweenie if you can find it.
"Can't Stop the Music" -- The fictionalized, musical biography of The Village People. Look for the white sequined fringed buckskins, the disco tribute to milk, and the locker room scene set to "YMCA"! The nail in the coffin of Disco, and the gayest movie ever--"Gayer than two men having sex, and that's pretty gay!" This movie could be used in therapy for people trying to decide if they're gay or not. It is difficult to have ambiguous feelings toward this film. The highest camp, filmed at the cusp of the 80's.
Best Served With: Copious amounts of alcohol, "Xanadu," "To Wan Fu, Thanks for Everything" (But not "Priscilla," pacing issues). Popcorn and license to throw popcorn at the screen, so popcorn and a few dogs to clean up the mess.
"The Pirate Movie" -- Gilbert and Sullivan would be spinning in their graves. An 80's tribute and adaptation of The Pirates of Penzance, with thoroughly unnecessary additional musical numbers and an "updated" version of the Modern Major General, who apparently wasn't hip enough. Look for the wretched animated sequence and the Pirate Pizza Fight!
Best Served With: Disney's "Pirates of the Carribean", and some sort of rum-beverage. Or just rum.
"Plan Nine from Outer Space" -- Okay, a bit trite, but there's a REASON why this is hailed as the worst movie ever. It's not. There are worse movies. Ed Wood directed worse movies. But for special effects, wooden acting, incontinuity, this wretched film is bottom of the barrel--but it's got a plot! It's watchable, even compelling! This may be the greatest "bad-good" movie ever.
Best Served With: "Ed Wood," a movie partially about the making of this movie, or a really good science fiction movie (I could see serving with "The Black Hole," there might be a synergy there.) DO NOT attempt to watch two Ed Wood movies on the same night. Nobody needs to do that to themselves. Maybe Santa Claus Conquers the Martions.
"Slashers"--Superfun! A strange piece of flim shot in nearly one take, with most special effects done on camera. The Plot: a Japanese game show pits young nobodies against celebrity-status serial killers. Survivors walk away with millions! Very voyouristic, with interesting commentary on horror as a genre (the Bad Things can only happen on camera, so participants are safe off-screen. The audience wants to build up sympathy, so talking about yourself is good for a few minutes of precious life, but is it better for ratings if the sympathetic character dies for shock, or lives for applause?
Best Served With: Scream I, or any number of slasher films. Rare meat.
The Santa Claus Movie--Another 80's film, this one about the origins of Santa Claus. The beginning of this flim has some lively and fun images of Santa's Workshop, elves, and other fun Christmas goodness. The end is a bit crap, a hollywoody bit intended to give the kids an interesting part. Didn't work. Highlights of the film: "Puce Juice!"
Best Served With: Baum's "The Life and Times of Santa Claus", or several other stop-motion films for the Yuletide.
"The Wizard of Speed and Time"--Late 80's, I believe. The story of an animator-writer-director-actor who wants to make cartoons, but is thwarted by the Hollywood Union laws, permits and bureaucracy, so he sets out to make his own feature-length and get it shown to audiences around the world, which happens to be the film we're watching. Benny Hill-esque stop-motion, with sparkles and twinkles and weird little magic tricks mixing stop motion, very light 70's-style computer enhancements, and live action. Look for the stop-motion musical number with live actor--wow! His lips synch up! A classic "little man fights the odds" type of story.
Best Served With: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" or "Cool World"
"Mr. T's Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool"-- "A major religion could be founded on this film." A mid-80's self-esteem building after-school special, with vignettes on The T, why being yourself is the coolest thing ever, and don't smoke or drink things you find in garbage cans. This film is shock, joy, wonder, horror, camp, heavily distilled, and shat through Mr. T's mental processes. It's beautiful.
Best Served With: Brie, wine and cheese, possibly "Citizen Kane" or some other overhyped masterpiece.
"Trick or Treat" -- More 80's! They knew how to make quality bad films then. This one shows a young thrash-trash-death-metal fan who gets the CURSED FINAL ALBUM of his creepy rock idol. Naturally, the necrotic rocker shambles forth to wreak havoc. This one has some pacing issues that make it hard to watch, but it's worth the experience, particularly for the cameo from the Reverend Ozzie Ozbourne. The packaging notes, incidentally, make this one look a lot more interesting than it is.
Best Served With: Candy corn and green punch with dry ice, maybe "The Gate" or "The House" for proper 80's horror vibes.