Ahhh 1992, the year of the Super Nintendo…..well that’s about it in terms of important things to 8 year old me. Let’s get into the best movies of that year then. Worst intro ever..
OK, let’s get this out of the way, Cool World is not good movie and was absolutely panned upon release. Kim Basinger even received a razzie nomination for her performance. Oh and it produced a god awful video game that I rented and instantly regretted. That said I really like Ralph Bakshi and his animation so it was a thrill to see his version of a kind of Roger Rabbit movie. It’s famous for it’s production problems and dumbing down from the studio as it was supposed to be a much darker horror movie and you can see the confused tone in the finished product. For some reason I like it. Good soundtrack too.
Best Bit-The party
34. The Mighty Ducks
A sweet family movie about a successful Lawyer who is arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour and has to coach a kids hockey team for community service. He has to shape a rag tag group of youngsters into a strong team and hilariousness ensues or something.
Best Bit-Flying V
Best Bit-I will follow him
Always bet on black!. This was the film that set Wesley Snipes down the road of an action hero. Bruce Payne excellently plays a hijacker being transported to jail via plane by the FBI and ….well he hijacks the plane. Snipes is the bad arse who has to save the day. Cheesy 80s style action fun.
Best Bit-Sky diving
A fantastic portrayal of the silent movie era legend by Robert Downey jr. Although director Richard Attenbourgh certainly takes plenty artistic license with the biopic, leaving out some of the more distasteful parts of Chaplin’s life. Downey jr’s performance is what stands out ost from the movie.
Best Bit-“The truth is so boring”
30.Single White Female
The early 90s brought us a lot of really good psychological thrillers much like his one about a young woman looking for a new room mate and getting the lodger from hell. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the loon in question who torments Bridget Fonda by trying to become her.
Best Bit-“I was you”
Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy has retrospectively been classed as a love letter to the grunge era with it’s great soundtrack and fashion. In reality it was made during that era though and was just using the alternative music and clothes that fans of said music wore. Anyway, the movie itself is an amiable look at love in the generation x world. Another movie starring Bridget Fonda, kind of a shame she disappeared from movies as she definitely had something to contribute.
Best Bit-Dating videos
28.White Men Can’t Jump
A fun sports comedy with cracking chemistry between Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson who play two street basketball players who hustle other players through their prejudiced belief that Woody’s character won’t be able to play due to his skin colour. Snipes in particular is on fine form with great physical comedy and plenty quotable lines.
Best Bit-Sid and Billy team up
27.Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This film is so unintentionally hilarious and not nearly as high brow as it thinks it is but there’s still something about it’s earnest pomposity that makes it fun to watch. Keanu Reeve’s unfathomable English accent is the highlight of the movie for me though. A good performance from Gary Oldman as the striking Count Dracula pretty much carries the movie. Francis Ford Copolla nails the gothic aesthetic perfectly, it’s a joy to look at.
Best Bit- Harker meets Dracula
26..The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
Curtis Hanson’s tight psychological thriller sees a crazy nanny trying to steal her employers family from her. Rebbecca de Mornay puts in a great shift as the absolutely deranged nanny and her unhinged antics are incredibly tense to watch as she is in the house with this family’s children while she carries out her insane deeds.
25.Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead
I’ll get banished by the hardcore horror community for this but I just wasn’t as blown away by this movie as most seem to have been. Don’t get me wrong I clearly like it but I don’t think it’s anywhere close to the first two Evil Dead movies. That said it’s funny and Sam Raimi mixes his usual stylish blend of violence and humour but it’s much more of a full on comedy film than the first two.
Best Bit-This is my boomstick
Paul Verhoeven’s classic chug fest has all the trademarks of the great Dutch director with violence, sex and ….violent sex. Sharon Stone at her smoking hottest and Michael Douglas at his….middle age?. Stone plays a seductive author who is the prime suspect in the killing of a rock star. Douglas plays the detective investigating her and the two get into a dangerous affair. Obviously it’s mostly known for the most paused scene in history in the interrogation scene.
A career high performance from Harvey Keitel as the titular bad lieutenant who has an enormous amount of internal strife and struggles with the person he is compared to the person he wants to be. It’s a sleazy, nasty and dirty film that is in no way enjoyable to watch but certainly makes an impact.
Best Bit-The warning
22.Of Mice And Men
Based on a book we read in school….actually we watched this movie in school too. An incredibly emotional tale of two farm hands George and Lennie, the latter of whom suffers from mental disabilities. George cares deeply for him and they dream of one day settling down with their own land. Due to George’s size and mental capacities he often gets into trouble for clumsy mistakes and George has to get them out of scrapes. Gary Sinise stars and directs the movie and Lennie is played by John Malkovic.
21.Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
The action is upped in this sequel in which the worst parents in world lose their little boy for the second time. This time, as the title suggests it’s set in New York where Kevin has got on the wrong plane (his family went to Florida) and his old enemies the wet bandits have escaped prison and are out for revenge. It’s more of the same but still fun.
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Man Van Damme is on a roll in these lists. He and Dolph Lundgren star in this sci fi action flick in which the US army turn dead soldiers into cyborg super soldiers. Our two leads died in Vietnam, one a hero and one a psychopath who murdered innocents. They start to regain their memories in cyborg form and shit goes off. I used to have a video player that you could play backwards at the correct speed with no tracking lines. I used to love watching the action scenes to this backwards……I was an odd kid.
Long time Spike Lee collaborator Ernest Dickerson made his directorial debut and pretty much gave Tupac worldwide exposure after his debut album released the year before wasn’t a big seller on a national scale. It focuses on the lives of inner city youths who fall too far into the macho bullshit gangsta game until things go drastically wrong and it all gets too much for most of them.
Best Bit-The robbery
An immensely emotional drama based on a true story and directed by George Miller of Mad Max fame. Talk about a versatile director.It focuses on Augusta and Michaela Odone who’s son Lorenzo was suffering from ALD and their incredible determination in pushing for a cure. It’s very moving and almost impossible not to get glued to their struggle and hope that it turns out well.
Best Bit-“I wanna hear my voice”
17.Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Man, this prequel to the popular David Lynch series was hated by many when it was first released. It was always “oh you have to watch the series but forget the film”. I’ve never really understood that as I think it’s a really interesting movie but I don’t think anyone was going to be completely happy with a full on portrayal of Laura Palmer after all the talk of her in the series.
Best Bit-Bob on the house
16.Godzilla vs Mothra
GOJIRRAAAA!. Look at that beautiful poster. This is the second Godzilla/Mothra movie after the 1964 original. Mothra has always been one of my favourite kaiju as she’s the protector of earth and is always accompanied by two tiny people called the cosmos who communicate for her…..awesome. The battle scenes are a lot of fun in this one and it’s one of the better Heisei era kaiju movies. We used to call a mate of ours Mothra….I’ve never really understood why but my weird friend Rick came up with it and it stuck.
Best Bit-Final battle
This made my list of best horror sequels so I talk a little more about it there. It was largely disliked at the time because of it’s focus on pinhead as a full on villain rather than developing the cenobites in general. I didn’t care about that as a kid, I just liked the fun set pieces and weird new cenobites like the dj with the cd in his face. It’s silly fun but without the clever intricacies of Clive Barker’s original.
Best Bit-Night club slaughter
One of those movies I caught on late night channel four. Channel four used to be the shit for random great movies on late night tv. The late great Brandon Lee stars in this action martial arts movie with the also late great Powers Boothe in a supporting role. There’s a lot of fun action scenes and some great music from Hardline, in particular the power ballad “Can’t Find My Way” utter cheese.
Best Bit-Train tracks
Another that made my best horror sequels list. This directorial debut from David Fincher was lambasted upon release and was notorious for it’s troubled production process and it shows with some confused storytelling and scenes that are clearly missing. That said I really enjoyed the visuals and the setting of the space prison. Some of the characters proved entertaining too.
Best Bit-Up close and personal
12 (Tied).Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer
Yet another on my list of….ahh you get the picture. Shinya Tsukamoto’s arthouse body horror sequel to the incredibly visceral Tetsuo The Iron Man that’s like Cronenberg mixed with Kafka and an overall cyberpunk aesthetic. It’s a bigger budget movie than the original and looks more like a studio movie than the original and it’s demented and ingenious. Not for everyone though that’s for sure.
Best Bit-The chase
12 (Tied). Man Bites Dog
A Belgian comedy mockumentary blacker than the blackest thing you can think of. I remember always seeing this in the video store but never picking it up until I saw a review of it on the brilliant channel four late night show Vidz and I’m glad I did. It follows a documentary team as the catch up with a serial killer and slowly get sucked into his nihilistic world.
Best Bit- Poor granny
Party time!. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey star as the loveable idiot metalheads who do a public access tv show from their garage and end up in the seedy world of Hollywood and the manipulation and backstabbing that goes on. With lots of great references for rock music fans and plenty slapstick humour it’s a funny and incredibly likeable movie. Rob Lowe is also great as the sleazy producer.It’s directed by Penelope Spheeris who made the brilliant documentary trilogy “The Decline Of Western Civilization”
Best Bit-Sphincter boy
A Studio Ghibli movie with the head man Hayao Miyazaki on writing and directing duties. Long time collaborator and all round legend Joe Hisaishi composed the score too which is always a great thing as his music is a thing of beauty. An Italian WW1 fighter pilot has succumbed to a bizarre curse that has turned him into a pig as he works as a freelance bounty hunter. It’s a beautiful story.
Best Bit-The ending
9.Lethal Weapon 3
Richard Donner returned to direct this third movie that initially was met with a lukewarm reception.I never really got that as I alwasy found it a blast to watch and although most people just found Joe Pesci annoying (which he is) I also found him very funny. The buddy cop tropes are all here and that’s a good thing because it helps the pace flow so well. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have the great chemistry they always have.
Best Bit-Defusing the bomb
Spike Lee’s unflinching biography of the black rights activist from America who was assassinated in a horrific but unsurprising reminder or what he was fighting against. It covers the main points of his life from his incarceration to his conversion to Islam and his career as a preacher who took a more violent approach than his contemporary Dr King. Denzel Washington is stunning in the lead role.
7.Police Story 3: Supercop
I got my brother to rent this for me when I was a kid and absolutely fell in love with it. It’s an incredible piece of Hong Kong film making with the legendary Jackie Chan and the brilliant Michelle Yeoh teaming up in some insane set pieces and stunts. The Police Story series is one of Chan’s finest and this one in particular is mind boggling in it’s outrageous fight scenes and stunt work.
Best Bit-The train sequence
My friend had this poster on his wall and it always looked so cool and had me intrigued to see it. The directorial debut of the now legendary Quentin Tarantino has all the trademarks of a man who has loved movies for his entire life. He manages the insanely difficult task of paying homage to all his favourite genres whilst still making it quintessentially Tarantino. After a diamond heist goes terribly wrong, the rag tag group of robbers turn on each other in an abandoned warehouse.
Best Bit-Planning the heist
A monster hit as most Disney movies are but EVERYONE around my age saw this movie. Robin Willians performance as The Genie in the lamp is obviously a high point with his insane energy bringing life to the character. A poor young street urchin falls in love with a princess and vows to win her heart. The evil Jafar the grand wizard is out to spoil any plans of happiness. A fantastic mega drive game came out of it too.
Best Bit-The lava chase
John Woo’s Hong Kong movies were a thing of pure blissful, hyper violent, over the top art and his frequent front man Chow Yun Fat is as bad arse as always. He plays an undercover cop trying to infiltrate a branch of Triads. I believe this had the highest death toll in any movie for years…..that was the rumour in the playground anyway. I’m sure it’s been topped now but anyway that does not a good movie make. What does make a good movie is the incredible style and flair along with brutal and spellbinding set pieces.
Best Bit- The hospital scene
Bedraggled babysitters are still haunted by me forcing them to watch this movie over and over and over again. I loved it that much as a youngster and I hold the controversial opinion that I prefer it to the 1989 original. Michelle Pfeiffer’s portrayal of Catwoman almost single-handedly sent me into puberty and the gothic aesthetic of prime Tim Burton is there in all it’s glory.
Best Bit-Rooftop fight
The greatest splatter-punk movie of all time. Peter Jackson made this horror comedy in his native New Zealand and it is outright insane. From body parts falling into soup, to demon babies being smacked off of poles to kung fu priests fighting zombies. “I kick arse for the lord”. So much fun, so quotable, so gross, so good.
Best Bit-The insane finale
Based on the great Clive Barker short “The Forbidden” but differing in many ways, this Bernard Rose horror about urban legends is an underrated masterpiece. From filming in one of the most dangerous ghettos in America to the compelling antagonist, it’s got everything. It’s emotional, it’s terrifying, it’s intriguing and it keeps you debating the purpose and the motives of it’s characters. I’m a fan of slasher movies and this gets thrown into that category but it’s far more intelligent than most of it’s ilk. Tony Todd’s performance of the titular Candyman is excellent and the beautiful Virginia Madsen, who plays the uni student investigating his legend is brilliant.
Best Bit-The ending
See you back here for 1993. Send me your thoughts @swing_kinker