Kinker Korner’s Top 35 Movies Of 1981 NSFW

      Comments Off on Kinker Korner’s Top 35 Movies Of 1981 NSFW

Strap in for this one as the top half of this list is an absolute stormer. Enjoy!.

 

 

35. Ghost Story

Based on the really good Peter Straub novel, this intelligent horror movie sometimes struggles to be consistent in it’s quality but the buildup of tension is quality if you get invested in it. The payoff….could be better but it’s real strength is in it’s rising tension with a good late career performance from Fred Astaire along with Craig Wasson, Douglas Fairbanks jr and Melvyn Douglas. 

Best Bit- Out the window

 

34. Mommie Dearest

Not since Batman And Robin in my 1997 list has a movie with so many Razzie nominations and such a high profile critical flop made my list but here we are. It’s a biopic of Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter Christina and taken from her claims that she was abused as a child by her. The over the top performance of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford has seen it become something of an unintentional comedy but if you can see past that it’s a disturbing look at life behind old Hollywood’s glossy sheen. 

Best Bit-No wire hangers

 

33. Graduation Day

What a great opening scene with that banging disco tune!. Another video nasty makes the list and this slasher sees a high school track team being taken out by a serial killer. I was surprised to learn it’s a Troma movie as it’s a straight forward slasher without the usual campy comedy that they usually deliver.

Best Bit- The intro

 

32. The Funhouse

This comes with a large helping as sadness as director Tobe Hooper passed away this week but it’s nice to celebrate his life with one of his more underrated and overlooked movies. A group of teens are trapped in a carnival with a deformed killer on the loose. It’s creepy and….well, fun. 

Best Bit- Hanging around

 

 

31. Deadly Blessing

Not one of Wes Craven’s classics but still an entertaining movie nonetheless. He was such a hit and miss director but even when he did miss there was something….likeable about them, they had a certain charm to them and this signaled his move from grindhouse, dirty, sleazy B movie horror to a more studio friendly style that would culminate in his 1984 mainstream breakthrough with A Nightmare On Elm Street. 

Best Bit- Spider in the mouth

 

 

30.Heavy Metal

Major boobage!. An animated anthology based on stories from the Heavy Metal comic exclusively for adults. There’s plenty sexual content and violence in this fantasy movie and in all honesty it hasn’t aged particularly well as it’s like it was written by a horny teen….but we were all horny teens once so it’s all good. The animation has a really nice style.

Best Bit- Pub fight

 

29. My Bloody Valentine

Ok heads up, it’s the 80s so you’re going to be seeing a lot of what are generally considered rubbish slasher flicks. I’m a horror nut so it’s just going to happen, if you’re not a fan….bear with me. Another video nasty and one that’s famous for the ridiculous amount of footage that the MPAA cut from it. Nine whole minutes never made the cut which must have been incredibly frustrating for the film makers. It’s standard slasher fare with a memorable killer dressed in mining gear.

Best Bit- Boiled head

 

28. On Golden Pond

A heart warming adaptation of the play about not so young love. It was a massive favourite of folk a lot older than me so although I enjoyed it despite it being aimed at a demographic far removed from mine. Good storytelling and dilague works no matter what the genre or subject matter.

Best Bit- “My knight in shining armour”

 

27. Chariots Of Fire

The true story of two track athletes who ran in the 1924 Olympics for different reasons. Harold Abrahams is portrayed as an English jew who wants to go against the cliche of jewish people and the other is Eric Liddell is a devout catholic from Scotland who is running in the name of god. It’s an uplifting film with a theme that was endlessly parodied with people running in slow motion. 

Best Bit- The final race

 

26. The Cannonball Run

A weird collaboration between the American and Hong Kong movie industries ended up with this road comedy about an illegal cross country race. I’ve always found Burt Reynolds creepy and sleazy but he’s really good in this star studded extraveganza featuring the likes of Farrah Fawcett Dom Deluise, Jackie Chan, Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis jr etc. 

Best Bit-“Been a cop long”?

 

25. The Prowler

Another  for the slasher file and a nasty, mean spirited and surprisingly well shot one directed by Joseph Zito. Grissly death scenes, a somewhat memorable killer and an intelligent final girl. Great effects f rom the guru himself Tom Savini too.

Best Bit- The pool scene

 

24. The Bushido Blade

Set in the 1800s, this retells the story of a treaty between America and Japan, with the Japanese wanting to give a ceremonial samurai sword as a goodwill gift. The sword is stolen by rebels who oppose the Americanization of Japan and see the blade as a symbol of traditional Japanese values. It has an all star cast from both sides of the world like the badarse Sonny Chiba, James Earl Jones and the stunning Laura Gemser. Although it’s a little plodding at times it is definitely an interesting watch. It’s a B movie though, the acting….is not great and the dialogue is stilted but for lovers of Japan it’s a good one. 

Best Bit- Stealing the blade

 

23. Stripes

Ivan Reitman’s military comedy was considered one of the high points in Bill Murray’s early movie career. The movie was supposed to star Cheech and Chong originally but eventually it went to Murray and straight man Harold Ramis who play off each other brilliantly. Plenty of quotable lines and great chemeistry between all the cast. 

Best Bit- Interview

 

22.Das Boot

An epic, if slightly bloated German war classic. A lot of people probably saw this one at school as it was a history class staple around these parts anyway. It centres on U boat crew during world war 2 and the thrills of battle mixed with the tedium of down time. It’s rightly hailed as an all time great but boy is it overly long.

Best Bit- Coming up for air

 

 

21. Friday The 13th: Part 2

Like most franchise horror sequels this one was rushed into production after the surprise success of the first movie. As I’ve said many times with slashers this isn’t high brow drama we’re getting here….it’s sleazy, nasty mass murder and that’s just fine by me. Us horror fans know exactly what we’re getting and I’m certainly not going to judge anyone who doesn’t get or like the genre. This is the first one to feature Jason Voorhees as the killer and he doesn;t wear the iconic hockey mask until next year.

Best Bit- Mommy is talking

 

20.Blow Out

A Brian De Palma neo noir starring John Travolta and Nancy Allen (De Palma’s wife at the time) whom he had worked with on Carrie previously. It’s a political thriller about a sound effect editor who picks up audio of an assassination and delves into a world of high level cover ups and politics. It’s very stylish and has that typical De Palma flare.

Best Bit- Deciphering sounds

 

19. The Burning

Oh look it’s slasher time again, this one has a score composed by Rick Wakeman which is utterly random but absolutely welcome. It’s a Friday 13th knockoff based on an urban legend about a camp caretaker who is badly disfigured after a prank by teens goes wrong. He returns to take revenge on any nearby teens and Tom Savini delivers great effects for the kills.

Best Bit- On the boat

 

18. Southern Comfort

Walter Hill’s incredibly under appreciated thriller about a group of national guard members who go on a retreat to the Louisiana bayou and antagonise a group of violent Cajuns and find themselves being set upon. As with a lot of Hill’s movies, it’s super macho and the characters are way over the top but that’s what makes his movies so good. The late Powers Boothe is excellent in this.

Best Bit- The ending

 

 

 

17. Gallipoli

Peter Weir’s telling of the true story about a group of young Australians who sign up to serve in world war 1 and end up sent to a small peninsula in Turkey to fight a horrendously one sided fight in a woefully under prepared mission.  It depicts life and sanity slipping away from these once idealistic young men and is just one of many stories of needless and unthinkable numbers of deaths from the conflict. Utterly heartbreaking. A young Mel Gibson stars.

Best Bit- The last charge

 

16.My Dinner With Andre

A dialogue heavy film about two friends just talking about the state of the world at a cafe. The two have differing views and philosophies with one being a realist dealing in logic and humanism whereas the other deals in the spiritual and and outside the box free from thought. It’s gained some fame with the younger generation in recent years due to one of the speeches going viral on social media. Just waiting for that 3d remake now….

Best Bit- The wake up speech

 

15.Thief

A neo noir from Michael Mann with a great starring performance from James Caan…..that rhymes. It’s Mann’s first movie as a director and it really shows that he had his stuff together right from the start as this taut thriller is incredibly tense and involving. One of Caan’s finest performances for sure. Willie Nelson is also in it which is obviouslu awesome and he’s surprisingly great in it.

Best Bit- The ending

 

14. The Howling

A great werewolf horror from Joe Dante of Gremlins fame. It’s goofy and has a dry sense of humour but the horror elements are also solid with some fantastic make up effects from Rob Bottin. The transformation scenes are really well done although they pale in comparison to a movie higher up the list but it’s an unfair comparison as nothing has come close to that movie even since.

Best Bit- first transformation

13.Time Bandits

The great Terry Gilliam’s ode to the imagination confused but entertained me as a kid but it wasn’t until I got older that I really appreciated the real creative piece of cinema this is. Gilliam doesn’t do things by the book as the trailer shows and his movies, whilst hit and miss for me, can rarely be accused of doing things by the numbers. Fantastic, creative special effects make it an aesthetic joy to watch.

Best Bit- Why evil exists

 

12. Gregory’s Girl

Straight out of Scotland, this warm coming of age romantic comedy was huge for teenagers at the time and lead to many people falling in love with baby voiced birthday lover Clare Grogan. When I was young I always thought the star, Gordon John Sinclair was Tim Robbins…..always gives me a giggle nowadays. Not as bad as thinking Edward Scissorhands was Jimmy White which is a true story…..that one’s a belter. There’s a hilarious overdubbed version (Seen below) because Americans found the Scottish accent too difficult.

Best Bit- Dancing

 

11.The Prodigal Son

A wonderful traditional martial arts movie with impeccable fight scenes and incredible choreography. The great Sammo Hung directs and co stars along with a a bang on form Yuen Biao taking the lead. A lazy young man with a rich father finds out that his dad is paying opponents to lie down which prompts him to take it more seriously and prove himself as the real deal.

Best Bit- The restraunt scene

 

10. Scanners

Featuring what has to be the most famous exploding head scene of all time, which is important, this David Cronenberg sci fi thriller about telekinetic telepaths is memorable and intense. Full of surprises and originality, it’s classic Cronenberg. 

Best Bit- Mind blown

 

9. Halloween 2

Taking place directly after the classic first film, Halloween 2 sees Michael Myers on the loose and stalking the hospital that protagonist Laurie is in after the events of the first film. Jamie Lee Curtis is likeable as always as Laurie Strode and although it’s not as original or as scary as the original it still has a lot of good moments and has an overall tension that raies it above many horror sequels.

Best Bit- Sauna

 

8.Clash Of The Titans

I miss these beautiful, painted posters. This fantasy epic based on Greek mythology is produced by the legendary Ray Harryhausen who ended his stop motion career with this one with stunning animation of the creatures. I love his work and stop motion in general, he was the master of the art form. The pacing of the movie is a little erratic but overall it’s a fantastic movie. Avoid the recent remake, it’s pish.

Best Bit- The Medusa fight

 

7. Escape From New York

In the distant future of 1997!. Ha, John Carpenter is at it again with a fantastic dystopian sci fi about an out of control America rounding up high risk criminals and placing them into Manhattan island which is now a high security prison. Kurt Russell is awesome as Snake Plissken who is given 24 hours to save the president who has been taken hostage by prisoners after air force one crash landed. A cult classic with a great score from Carpenter himself.

Best Bit- Chasing snake

 

6. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

George Miller’s brilliant dystopian post apocalyptic follow up to the low budget surprise success starring Mel Gibson. This sequel upped the ante big time with imaginative, insane characters and bands of roving gangs terrorising settlers. It’s just over the top, crazy and enormously enjoyable nonsense in the best way.

Best Bit- Meeting Humungus

 

5. The Decline Of Western Civilization

Penelope Spheeris documented the Los Angeles punk scene of the late 70s/early 80s in all it’s grubby, dirty and tragic glory. There’s something about LA that takes great scenes and almost instantly destroys them with seas of drugs and other addictions. Here we see bands like Germs, whose singer Darby Crash committed suicide by overdose shortly before the film was released and it’s an incredibly important documentary as music press paid little to no attention to the sce save for sensationalist articles. We also see bands like Black Flag and Circle Jerks who would go n to become legends.

Best Bit- Black Flag’s home

 

4. An American Werewolf In London

John Landis comes across as such a twat but boy did he create a masterpiece with this one. A horror comedy that manages to tick about every box that is required for a great film. It’s scary at times, funny at others and devastatingly emotional as out protagonist tries everything he can to control the beast inside him and is desperate to keep from hurting those he loves. A brilliant entry into the horror genre. 

Best Bit- The transformation

 

3. Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark

 

The first in the mega popular franchise from Steven Spielberg starring Harrison Ford as the likeable but arrogant adventurer who is fighting nazis on the hunt for the ark of the covenant. Full of fun action, great dialogue, light humour and a surprising amount of violence, this family adventure movie is considered one of the best in the entire genre.

Best Bit- Face melting

 

2. The Evil Dead

Sam Raimi burst onto the horror scene with this devilishly imaginative slice of low budget splatterpunk. It stared at me for ages as my neighbour had the vhs and I was so desperate to see it as it just looked right up my street. I was right, it was right up my street and stays with me today as an intensely visceral, darkly funny piecy of grimy cinema.

Best Bit- Basement dweller

 

1. The Fox And The Hound

Haha well I can’t be accused of not having eclectic taste. Look at number 1 and 2 on the list dammit!. This is my favourite Disney movie and one of those movies that has made me cry more times than I care to discuss further thank you very much. It’s animals so I’m already predisposed to blub like a baby but it’s so beautifully written and unlike most Disney stuff it’s ending isn’t perfectly happy. I mean it is a happy ending but I never got what I wanted and I respect it for that, it could have wrapped everything up neatly and nicely and everything goes back to the way it was but they went a different way. Anyway I used to watch this with my mum a lot and it has a very special place in my heart. It’s a perfect Disney movie and I’ll not hear any dissent!.

Best Bit- Copper tracking (in terms of effective scenes it’s Copper being left in the woods but I can’t bear to put that as a best bit)

 

Wow what an incredible top ten that is. Let’s see what 1982 has in store for us. Join me here for that soon and catch me @swing_kinker  if you want to request a list. Cheers xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments