Kinker Korner’s Top 35 Movies Of 1989 NSFW

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So we come to the end of a fantastic decade and one that means a lot to me as it saw a lot of my childhood years and many movies that defined my childhood. So after an absolute barnstormer in 1988 let’s see how we end the decade.

 

35. See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Man my brother loved this movie when we were young, he’d watch it regularly and I’d sometimes sit with him and we’d laugh our heads off. Richard Pryor plays a blind man and Gene Wilder plays a deaf man and they work together to take down murderers. Looking back it’s pretty terribly written but the performances and chemistry between the two leads (their third movie together) pulls it through. 

Best Bit- “I’m not white?”

 

34. Sweet Home

A Japanese haunted house horror movie that was released alongside an influential video game from Capcom at the same time. The game is considered to be the fore bearer for Resident Evil and therefor the movie could be seen as that too. In that case it’s the best Resident Evil movie there’s ever been with a great strong female protagonist and great practical effects from Dick Smith.

Best Bit- The climax

 

33. A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child

Another stunning Matthew Joseph Peak poster, god damn his work is so great. I’ve talked many times about getting into the Elm Street franchise at a ludicrously young age through my brother and cousin. This was one my cousin Eddie gave me a shot of on vhs. It meant a lot to me and it wasn’t until I was older that I realised it had a bad reputation and was received badly. I just didn’t care because i liked it so much. I can understand people not liking it but meh, I still enjoy it a fair bit. If you watch the excellent documentary “Never Sleep Again” about the franchise you’ll be shocked at the ridiculous template director Stephen Hopkins had to work with. He turned up to direct and was given a completely unfinished script and a few weeks to finish everything. All things considered he did a good job and created some great, gothic visuals.

Best Bit- Motorbike merger

 

32. Tango And Cash

Another one that my brother used to watch loads. A buddy cop film starring Stallone and Kurt Russell who play rival cops who come together to take on a drug lord. who frames them for murder. One of those films that kind of sucks but everyone my age loved as kids when we’d see randomly on tv.

Best Bit-Arriving at jail

 

31. Black Rain

A neo noir thriller from Ridley Scott who continues his love affair with Tokyo style visuals with a mix of rain and neon reflecting everywhere. Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia star as cops who escort a yakuza back to Japan following his arrest. He escapes and the cops find themselves out of their depth in a foreign land.

Best Bit-Motorbike decapitation

 

30. Uncle Buck

Jeezo, 1989 was a hell of a year for movies me an my brother watched a lot. Yet again this is one we had taped on vhs and watched regularly. A charming John Hughes comedy that works as a good vehicle for the late John Candy to work his loveable goof magic.

Best Bit- interrogating Buck

 

29. The Punisher

I spoke about this more in my top comic book movies list. It’s a film that is often derided and laughed at but it’s no worse than many other 80s action movies. As a Punisher movie…it certainly could have done a lot of things better but as a straight up action movie it’s a lot of fun. Dolph Lundgren is always good value for corny one liners and action cliches. It’s good fun and even has a cool monologue that was used in the Biohazard song “Punishment”.

Best Bit- The mansion fight

 

28.The Fly 2

Another poorly received movie I discussed in an earlier list, this one being the top horror sequels list. Look it’s nowhere near the masterpiece that the first movie is but as a kid this really affected me on an emotional level….particularly the poor doggy. There’s some great practical effects for all you gorehounds out there.

Best Bit- Doggy revenge

 

27. Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan

Sight….take the first sentence from the last entry and repeat. I watched this on tv late one night when my dad let me stay up to watch it with him. We had an absolute blast watching it. It’s goofy and stupid and there’s about a million plot holes but there’s something charming about it. It’s known amongst fans as the Disney Friday as the violence and kills are tones down. The whole sell of the film was seeing Jason in the New York streets but production issues led to it not really happening until near the end of the movie so a lot of people were disappointed. Understandable but still fun.

Best Bit- Boxing on the roof

 

26. Puppet Master

Like a lot of horror this one is certainly an acquired taste but I had a blast watching it when I was young and I’ll always have a soft spot for it. I first saw it during a halloween sleepover me and some friends have where we rented a triple bill of Halloween 6, Children Of The Corn 3 and this. Puppet Master was the standout of the three with various different killer characters and a fun, weird vibe.

Best Bit- Tag team kill

 

25. All Dogs Go To Heaven

Another Don Bluth movie on a list and another seemingly cutesy kids animated movie with a much darker side and scenes that distress kids and adults alike. It also had the horrendous distinction of of being little Judith Barsi final movie as she was murdered along with her mother by her abusive father who later killed himself. Bluth had previously used the child actress in The Land Before Time and saw a big future in her. A tremendously sad story. Makes talking about the movie seem utterly meaningless so just trust that it’s a good one.

 

24. The Exorcist 3

Jeezy peeps yet another that was on the horror sequels list. Getting deja vu a lot here. A solid year for horror continues as the sequel to the awful second movie had the original novel’s writer brought in to direct. There are some fantastic scenes and set pieces, some of which have become legendary among horror fans.

Best Bit- Wall crawler

 

23. Violent Cop

“Beat” Takeshi Kitano’s directorial debut sees his transition from media personality and comedian to Yakuza movie master. It took many films and overseas recognition before his homeland took him seriously as a film maker which is odd as straight from the off he had his own unique style and a real visceral eye for what works on screen. He also stars in the movie as a deeply flawed cop who goes out for revenge against wayward yakuza and as the title suggests, he smashes shit up.

Best Bit- Ending

 

22. The BFG

Cosgrove Hall’s terrific and whimsical take on the Roald Dhal story was one of the very few adaptations that Dahl himself actually liked. He famously hated the original Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. National sweetheart David Jason plays the voice of the BFG and all the voice talent is great and the animation is solid. I first saw it when we had a video day at school. Good times.

Best Bit- Meeting the giant

 

21. Field Of dreams

A hyper sentimental movie about family relationships, loss and baseball. The whole “if you build it they will come” stuff has been parodied to death but it works well in the movie. A sweet movie with elements of comedy, dram and fantasy that will no doubt have a wee tear rolling down your cheek by the end unless you’re a monster.

Best Bit- Playing catch

 

20.Black Rain (Kuroi Ame)

Yes there were two movies called Black Rain set in Japan and released in the same year. This one deals with the fallout of the Hiroshima bombing and as such is a disturbing and upsetting drama looking at the Hibakusha (survivors of the bomb). As the film goes on more and more of the characters become sick due to radiation poisoning. Incredibly disturbing and upsetting stuff.

Best Bit- The recreation of the bombing is incredibly done.

 

19. The Abyss

A somewhat forgotten entry into James Cameron’s substantial directorial list which is a shame is it’s a really solid movie. A submarine goes missing and the search mission to find it uncovers some incredible surprises. The effects are stunning as you’d expect from Cameron, he really does surround himself with incredible talent and of course he is a talent himself. An incredible movie to look at.

Best Bit- High pressure

 

18. Driving Miss Daisy

A very human film with fantastic performances from Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, the former of which won an academy award and is still the oldest persona ever to do so. Tandy plays a wealthy woman and Morgan her driver and the movie shows the steady building of their relationship as we learn about their lives. A warm and sentimental comedy.

Best Bit-Best friends

 

17. When Harry Met Sally

A charming romantic comedy from Rob Reiner that stars Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal and features what must be one of the most famous movie scenes of all time in the cafe. Fantastic chemistry between the two stars and witty writing helps elevate it over a lot of cookie cutter rom coms and gives it more heart.

Best Bit- The phonecall

 

16. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

A great family film that sees the always likeable goof Rick Moranis as a bumbling scientist who accidentally shrinks his children to a minuscule size. The adventure sees the kids try to make their way home with all the insects and other obstacles in their way. It’s a good time with great special effects for the time and lots of inventive set pieces.

Best Bit- Water sprinkler

 

15. Lethal Weapon 2

DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!. Richard Donner’s second entry into the buddy cop franchise sees more of the same comedy, violence and sexy jazz music during contemplation scenes. I think this might be the only movie I’ve seen Patsy Kensit in actually….I mean I remember her being on tv a lot when I was young but never in movies. Anyway, the chemistry between Gibson and Glover is still great and the writing is sharp.

Best Bit- Toilet trouble

 

14. Society

Brian Yuzna’s directorial debut is incredibly overlooked and one of the most INSANE movies to come out of the West due to it’s last half hour. A body horror in every sense, this horrific horror satire on the ruling class divides everyone that watches it and that’s understandable as it is certainly not for everyone. Don’t eat after you’ve had your tea. The brilliant Screaming Mad George did the excellent practical effects.

Best Bit- Arseman

 

13. Ghostbusters 2

An unfairly derided sequel to the smash hit original and I’ve often stated that I may just prefer it. Sacrilege I know but it’s where I am. The whole ooze plot intrigued me and the villain, Vigo terrified me as a kid. I used to watch it a lot when I was younger as I had it on tape which is why I’m maybe more inclined to like it than the original. It holds a lot of good memories for me.

Best Bit- The sewers

 

12. Back To The Future Part 2

Yet another iconic Drew Struzan poster. A lot of people see this dystopian sequel to the much loved original as the weakest of the trilogy but I don’t agree with that. I prefer it to the third movie and I love the setting. It’s darker and has a slightly meaner tone than the original true but that just adds a different layer to the trilogy rather than it all being the same. It’s the Empire Strikes back of the trilogy.

Best Bit- New look Hill Valley

 

11. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

Oh hi there Drew Struzan, haven’t seen one of your posters for a while. The third in the Indy franchise adds Sean Connery to the cast as his father and it’s a fun addition. Said father has been captured by nazis whilst searching for the holy grail. Spielberg toned down the violence after something of a backlash from the studio over Temple Of Doom’s darker tone and like I said about Back To The Future it’s good to have varying tones over a franchise . It works well and it’s more of a family adventure movie.

Best Bit- The trials

 

10. Turner And Hooch

1989 saw two similar movies about men and dogs in a buddy movie style situation. One of those movies starred Tom Hanks and the other starred…….Jim Belushi. Which one do you think is better and more likeable?. Yea no contest really. Hanks is always likeable, dogs are the best things ever. Easy sell.

Best Bit-Destroying the house

 

9. Tetsuo: The Iron Man

The sequel to this Japanese hyper low budget cyberpunk body horror made the 1992 list but the original has a more grimy, dangerous feel to it with it’s black and white visuals and crazy camera tricks. It is most certainly not for everyone as it features a man who starts growing scrap metal out of his body. It’s insane and visually disturbing in the best way. An incredible arthouse horror.

Best Bit- Subway chase

 

8. Do The Right Thing

To me, this is where Spike Lee really announced himself as a great storyteller and a force in the movie making world. It sees a Brooklyn neighbourhood spiraling out of control with racial tension during a particularly hot summer. With elements of comedy, drama and with a cast of unique and memorable characters. A brilliant movie.

Best Bit- Fire hydrant

 

7. Glory

Another one that me and my bro…..oh you get the idea by now. This powerful movie about an army unit consisting of entirely black soldiers during the American civil war. Despite starring the awful Mathew Broderick in it as their commander it still manages to be an excellent movie with great performances from Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. Obviously race relations were horrendous at the time so there are some disgustingly anger inducing scenes but it ends up as an incredibly inspirational story of heroism in the face of adversity.

Best Bit- The final charge

 

6. Batman

Tim Burton’s attempt to take the public’s perception of Batman away from the 60s Adam West tv show and have it relate more to the comics of the time which were going in a grittier direction. Since the Nolan trilogy of Batman movies have come out that seems laughable as Burton’s movies seem positively camp in comparison but at the time that was exactly how it was seen. I’ve always enjoyed this one but found it a little overrated and don’t think it’s aged all that well.I’ve said it before and it’s not a popular position but I prefer Batman Returns. Nonetheless Batman is a fun movie with an iconic performance from Jack Nicholson as The Joker and that superb Danny Elfman score just nails it out the park.

Best Bit- Joker crashes the meeting

 

 

5. The Killer

John Woo, the master of the heroic bloodshed movie is at it again with his new star Chow Yun Fat taking the lead. It has all of Woo’s trademark style with incredible set pieces and breathtaking shootouts. The plot is about as generic as they come with a hitman out to take one last job to make money and get out. Will things go as planned? I wonder.

Best Bit- The church

 

4. Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure

An immensely likeable sci fi fantasy adventure starring two slacker metalhead dudes played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves who travel back in time in a desperate attempt to pass their history paper in order to save themselves from being sent to military school.  The great George Carlin plays their mentor and the movie just has a great sense of fun with the kids meeting historical figures and interacting with them.

Best Bit- Trip to the mall

 

3. The Little Mermaid

Hey, what can I say I love The Little Mermaid. Unlike the 1975 Japanese animated movie (a great but brutal movie in it’s own right) that was a lot closer to the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale this Disney adaptation takes a far more light hearted approach as is obviously to be expected. Beautiful animation, colourful aesthetics and likeable, memorable characters. It’s a beautifully colourful and gorgeous movie with heart and one of the better Disney movies.

Best Bit- The fight with Ursula

 

2. Born On The Fourth Of July

The second of Oliver Stone’s Vietnam war movies drawing from both his experiences there and the autobiography of Ron Kovic, showing the real side of the war rather than glorifying it. It’s an incredibly powerful movie about people who lived and suffered through a pointless war and came out of it with anti-war beliefs. This pissed off chickenhawks who love to scream and shout about patriotism and denigrate people who actually fight while they sat at home and demanded others were sent to die. Tom Cruise is magnificent in the role and I maintain that it’s his best ever performance….even better than cocktail.

Best Bit- “Thou shalt not kill women and children”

 

1 Kiki’s Delivery Service

Another Studio Ghibli masterpiece from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki. Ghibli movies were miles ahead of the game in terms of creating strong, independent female characters for kids to relate to. This was way before it was cool and expected for studios to do this….not that they should have to be forced into creating these characters but hey ho such is life sadly. This one sees an amiable young witch and her faithful cat who move to a new town where she uses her flying powers to open a delivery service. Simple, brilliant, beautiful and utterly charming. A thoroughly enjoyable and whimsical experience that is certain to put a smile on your face. Oh an of course the Joe Hisaishi score is beyond beautiful, doesn’t really need saying.

Best Bit- Exploring the new town

 

Well it’s a sad list in that we come to the end of the 80s. What a great decade it was. So many great years and superb movies. I had a blast doing these lists so it’s sad to see them end. Hope you enjoyed reading them too and stay tuned for what comes next. Until then catch me @swing_kinker cheers x

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