Kinker Korner’s Top 35 Movies Of 1988 NSFW

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THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T BE LIVING HEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!

There are a couple of movies that meant a lot to me as a kid that I really tried to justify being on this list but it’s such a strong year that I just couldn’t. Mac And Me….you’ll always be the better version of E.T to me despite being so much worse. We’ll always have the vhs memories little buddy.I’m so sorry.

 

35. Bloodsport

Based on the …..sigh……”true story” of bullshit artist Frank Dux, this Van Damme movie sees him playing Dux, an American (huh?) who travels to Hong Kong to fight in an underground fighting tournament known as the kumite. It’s mainly awesome because the villain is played by barrel chested legend Bolo Yeung.

Best Bit- Final fight

 

34. Rambo 3

Continuing on in the style of the second movie we see John Rambo as a one man army who goes to Afghanistan to save his old Colonel. It was the last one in the franchise for 20 years and it’s typical 80s action fare but a good, fun watch. 

Best Bit- Helicopter takedown

 

33. Beaches

Ugh Bette Midler, she’s just the worst but there’s no denying Beaches is a powerful and deeply emotional movie. Plus I like Barbara Hershey who I believe is a vampire…..I mean she just refuses to age. Anyway it’s about pals and cancer and all manner of heartbreaking things. You will cry…..that’s not speculation, you will cry. 

Best Bit- The ending

 

32. Dead Ringers

The master of body horror is at it again with this disturbing tale of twin gynecologists played by Jeremy Irons. One is a confident womanizer who seduces his patients and then passes them to his shy brother when he’s bored of them. Things start to spiral out of control when the latter falls for one of the girls and it gets all horrendously Cronenbergian. Subversive and disturbing as his movies usually are.

Best Bit- Mutant operation

 

31. Maniac Cop

Yea boiiiii! This is another one of those vhs tapes that sat on my mate’s shelf staring at me and I thought it looked so cool. He eventually showed it to me and we had a blast watching it. It’s corny slasher fare with a bit more of an action style and Bruce Campbell in the lead role and it’s just one of those ones you either get or you don’t. I can understand people thinking it’s guff but I have always loved it.

Best Bit- Cement death

 

30.The Thin Blue Line

An insanely important documentary from Errol Morris that follows Randall Dale Adams who was wrongful sentenced to death for a murder he didn’t commit. Such was the outrage over the clarity of the stitch up that he was released a year later. Can’t think of too many more important movies, certainly a favourite of  Adams’.

Best Bit- The outcome

 

29. Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers

After the Michael Myers fans reacted badly to the once underrated but now vastly overrated third movie in the franchise not featuring him they decided to bring him back. I’m a big proponent of the mask having to hit my criteria and unfortunately this one falls way short.  Nonetheless it’s a fun movie that isn’t as taught or tense as the first two and goes in a more fun action direction. A really enjoyable franchise horror flick with a great performance from a young Danielle Harris who grew up to become a scream queen. 

Best Bit- Rooftop

 

28. Dragons Forever

This film wasn’t very well received in it’s native Hong Kong due to the characterization of familiar actors like Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan who weren’t nearly as likeable as their characters usually were. That said we’re in it for the fight scenes and some of them here are stunning. We could have done with more likeable characters but the action makes up for it and then some.

Best Bit- Factory fight

 

27.  Hellbound: Hellraiser 2

Following on the story from Clive Barker’s first movie based on his short story The Hellbound Heart, here we have an interesting if somewhat convoluted and confusing sequel. Some impressive M.C. Escher style dream-like visuals and cool set pieces help to make it a mesmerizing movie even if it is a bit of a head scratcher. 

Best Bit- Channard transforms

 

26.Paperhouse

This dark fantasy film was the film that convinced Clive Barker to get director Bernard Rose to make Candyman. That may not not mean anything to you but any Candyman facts I can squeeze in works for me. The Hans Zimmer score adds real depth to this beautiful low budget fantasy about a young girl having fever dreams who believes if she draws her dream world she can create her own dreams. 

Best Bit- Stair floating

 

25. Coming To America

Another great Drew Struzan poster. A fairy tale comedy about an African prince who tries to find a wife in America. The comedy comes from him trying to blend in with the common people without his aides (except for one) and it was a movie my brother played a lot so I saw it many times as a kid. 

Best Bit- Barbershop

 

24. Killer Klowns From Outer Space

An absolute blast of a B movie sci fi horror comedy directed by special effects wizards the Chiodo brothers. A great movie to watch with friends after a night out that sees a group of alien clowns who come to Earth to capture humans for food in a process that has the humans ending up like candyfloss. So much fun I have a figure of Shorty on display in my flat. 

Best Bit- Shorty boxing

 

23. The Serpent And The Rainbow

Wes Craven’s most underrated movie….well maybe not underrated as it’s well regarded by people who have seen it but maybe the most slept on of his movies. A disturbing story of Haitian voodoo practitioners and being buried alive which gives me the heebie jeebies beyond belief. Bill Pullman stars.

Best Bit-  Strap in

 

22. The Accused

A thoroughly disturbing movie based on the 1983 gang rape of an American woman who is played by Jodie Foster in this portrayal. It tackled the idea of victim blaming and the rape culture of the time and how the media reacts to it. Probably even more relevant now considering what is going on in Hollywood but a profoundly disturbing and powerful movie at any time.

Best Bit- 

 

21. Oliver And Company

A Disney movie that sadly isn’t talked about much these days which is a shame because it’s a heart warming and thoroughly entertaining animated adventure. It’s basically a retelling of Oliver Twist but with cute wee animals instead of greedy, unappreciative kids……that’s a joke by the way. There’s music from the likes of Huey Lewis and Billy Joel. 

Best Bit- You And Me

 

20. Gorillas In The Mist

The biopic of Diane Fossey and her conservationist work in Rwanda saving gorillas stars the brilliant Sigourney Weaver as Fossey and lots of gorillas playing gorillas…… A critical and box office smash, Weaver’s performance was highly praised and the movie was up for several awards. A sad story of a true brave hero and her tragic and brutal murder.

Best Bit- First contact

 

19.Willow

A whimsical fantasy directed by Ron Howard and starring Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley and Warwick Davis. It’s developed from a story by George Lucas about a little person who is protecting a special baby from an evil queen. It’s proper old school fantasy stuff with great visuals and a fun story.

Best Bit- The eborsisk

 

18.Beetlejuice

The movie that really projected Tim Burton into the mainstream stratosphere and made him one of the most sought after directors. It has all the Burton aesthetics that would go on to be staples. Gothic architecture and dark humour along with Michael Keaton’s manic performance as the titular ghost make for a good time. Great make up effects and a really fun fantasy dark comedy.

Best Bit- Shrunken head

 

17. The Decline Of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years

Back in my 1980 list we looked at part one of Penelope Spheerris’ documentary series that took a disturbing and utterly fascinating look at the L.A punk scene. While that was a great movie for it’s look at street poets and gutter kids in bands doing it all for themselves part 2 looks at one of the most derided scenes in musical history. The glam metal scene of the 80s is hilarious and makes for a completely different movie but brilliant in other ways. The excess of hairspray drugs and sex with some of the pathetic characters in the scene bragging about how they live with groupies who buy things for them. It all just makes for an incredibly entertaining look at some of the least self aware humans you’ll ever see. Poison are in it though and I’ll always stick up for them…..and I’ll fight you about it!.

Best Bit- Ozzy’s breakfast

 

16. Rain Man

One of the most revered and respected movies of the year sees Tom Cruise playing a selfish yuppie type who discovers his wealthy father has left everything to his other son of whom he didn’t know existed. Dustin Hoffman plays the other son who is an autistic savant and he received rave reviews for his performance which is often played for laughs but never in a mean spirited way. As someone who has worked in health care for mental health and the like you need to realise that some people with these kinds of conditions are brilliant characters and can make you laugh. You need to have a sense of humour to bond and have empathy with people with different conditions. Anyway if you can see it that way then Rain Man is a funny and emotional movie, well worth it’s plaudits.

Best Bit- The casino

 

15. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Man I loved this fantasy comedy mix of live action and animation when I was a wee one. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Bob Hoskins it’s a surprisingly dark and adult movie as it looks like kid friendly fare. It even had the brilliant playground rumour that they added a split second scene where Jessica Rabbit had Madonna’s vagina superimposed onto her…..the good old pre google days. Great looking, funny and a thrill ride of a movie.

Best Bit- Baby Herman

 

14. They Live

John Carpenter’s anti government anti capitalist alien thriller stars Rowdy Roddy Piper as hobo who discovers that the illuminati are aliens and are controlling the public through subliminal advertising and brainwashing. He finds special shades that help him identify the aliens and carnage ensues. It also has what must be the longest one on one fight scene ever that was beautifully parodied in the South Park episode Cripple Fight.

Best Bit- All outta bubblegum

 

13. A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master

I’ve said it several times in lists but I was a huge Elm Street fan from a stupidly young age and when my cousin Eddie gave me some vhs tapes and for some reason I would take ages to watch this one because the cover terrified me. It just put chills up and down my spine and I’ve no idea why this one more than the others. It’s funny too because this is probably the least scary of the first five. That said it’s a lot of fun, then unknown director Renny Harlin aimed it squarely at the MTV generation and it’s more of a dark fantasy than a straight up horror movie. Some incredibly inventive scenes and visuals.

Best Bit- The cinema

 

12. Big

Penny Marshall’s high concept comedy sees a wee boy make a wish to be big after he fails to get on a carnival ride. He wakes up and has grown up to look like an adult (played by Otm Shank) and all sorts of crazy shenanigans ensue. It’s a perfect vehicle for a young Hanks to play up to his loveable child like nature and he’s brilliant in the role. He’s always likeable and seeing him have fun and embrace the roll is great.

Best Bit- Sleepover

 

11.Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood

Back in the late 90s/early 00s when internet forums were sparse I remember this one being something of a series favourite for hardcore fans but it seems recently it’s not as well received. It actually is one of my favourites in the series as it’s got great effects, an excellent protagonist (who I had a huge crush on) with a supernatural twist. It also sees the first appearance of the now massively overrated Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees.

Best Bit- House battle

 

10. Mississippi Burning

A deeply disturbing but all to common true story based on the murder of civil rights workers in a town of corrupt police and ku klux klan. Two FBI agents are relentlessly trying to get to the bottom of it with the town fighting them with corruption and hostility every step of the way. I remember catching thsi on tv and watching it with my dad in my youth. A truly troubling but unsurprising story.

Best Bit- Intro

9. Child’s Play

The first movie in the franchise had very dark humour but didn’t slip into comedy horror like the later movies did. It’s far more serious and it works which is a miracle as it’s about a wee killer doll possessed by a serial killer. Tom Holland created a great atmosphere and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky is always great.

Best Bit- Adventures in babysitting

 

8. Heathers

A viciously biting satire of teen culture that caused a fair bit of controversy at the time because of it’s portrayal of teen violence and in particular making a comedy out of it. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater have great chemistry as the out of control couple Many copycat films followed but none quite had the bite this one did. It was always on late night tv when I was young and was often a pleasant find when I was switching through the channels in my bed.

Best Bit- The lunchtime poll

 

7. The Land Before Time

The legendary Don Bluth returned after the success of An American Tail with this story of dinosaurs that is as emotionally crippling as his previous movie. This was the first movie I ever saw at the cinema and apparently my mum had to take me home in the middle of it as I was crying so hard…..I’m so cool.

Best Bit- Littlefoot and Ducky meet

6. Police Story 2

The second in the hugely successful martial arts action movies is yet another masterclass in close quarters combat mixed with hi-octane chase scenes and high stakes explosive situations. Jackie Chan is bang on form as usual with incredible acrobatics and special, intricate choreography with deadly stunts. 

Best Bit- The fight in the park

 

5. The Naked Gun

One of the best comedy franchises ever. The movie is a continuation of the brilliant tv show Police Squad and carries on that slapstick, pun heavy nonsensical comedy that Leslie Nielson became the king of. The goofy writing and Nielson’s previous role as a serious actor is perfect for one of the silliest and most hilarious movies ever. Procedural cop shows are sent up beautifully.

Best Bit- Hospital scene

 

4. Grave Of The Fireflies

Oh boy….one of the most emotionally draining and bleak movies I’ve ever seen. It left me hollow and broken with tears flowing down my face at the end of i such was it’s power. Unlike most Studio Ghibli movies it isn’t fantastical and whimsical, it’s a brutal portrayal of a young boy and his little sister surviving on their own during the end of the second world war in Japan. Their bravery, nativity and the utter bleakness of their situation is one of the most soul destroying relationships in any movie. Insanely powerful and a masterpiece. Not a movie for sticking on for a laugh though.

Best Bit- Marbles

 

3. Die Hard

I swear if anyone on my social media does a “Die Hard is an xmas movie” rant I’m going to hook them, WE KNOW!!!! YOU’RE NOT SAYING ANYTHING NEW OR UNIQUE. Anyway, one of the best action movies of all time starts off the franchise that should have finished after the excellent third one. We all know how great this movie is and a lot of years it would have topped the list but it’s a strong year so just misses out. Willis is brilliant as John McClane as he battles through the Nakatomi tower building against terrorists in his bare feet.

Best Bit- Gruber and McClane’s first conversation

 

2. My Neighbour Totoro

I can’t tell you how much it breaks my heart not to put this at the top of the list but it is pipped by the most minuscule of atoms right at the post. I adore this movie, it’s one of my favourites of all time. It’s charming beyond belief, it’s good natured, it basically has no plot and still manages to be utterly captivating and it’s all about imagination and making friends with creatures. It’s a beautiful, light and magical movie. ….it’s just an experience. Hayao Miyazaki does it again with beautiful music from Joe Hisaishi.

Best Bit- Meeting Totoro

 

 

1 Akira

It had to be special and it had to mean a lot to me for it to top a lst as strong as this and there aren’t many more films that mean more to me than Katsuhiro Otomo’s stunning cyberpunk masterpiece. Based on the brilliant manga by Otomo himself. I saw this when I was around 8 and it started my love affair with Japan, it just hooked onto me and never let go. I still watch the movie now and again and still get immense enjoyment out of it. The utterly stunning animation and incredible attention to detail that saw the team go way over budget and past deadlines just beggars belief that a small team of humans put it together. The plot can be a little convoluted, particularly until you read the manga but it’s so engrossing and leaves so many things open ended that you can make your own minds up about what happens in certain situations. I could write essays on Akira but I like to keep these somewhat concise so put it this way…..Akira is a masterpiece. Not to sound like a hipster but watch the Japanese voiced version, the energy and passion from the voice actors make it the best. There are two English language voiceovers, one has Cm Clarke in full TMNT Leonardo mode so avoid that as you won’t be able to hear anything else. ……right I’ll stop here. It tops the list and would top most lists it’s on for me.

Best Bit- The stadium fight

 

What a cracking year. Some brilliant movies in there and I had fun making that one. Let’s hope 1989 is as good….I somehow doubt it but let’s see. Meet me back here for it and until then catch me @swing_kinker  cheers x

 

 

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