19. The Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
I’m somewhat of a superstitious person. I don’ want to be, and whenever I find myself being so I tend to belittle myself, but all the same, I am. The number 19 has held some kind of morbid control over my life ever since I first read Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” books. I look for it in all kinds of places, so you can imagine my surprise (or… lack of surprise) to find “The Evil Dead II” resting firmly in place 19 on my top 101 films list. I swear to you, I didn’t plan it this way. Just made the list up, and fit the movies in where they felt right. So in some bizarre way, despite there being 18 other movies out there that I think are better than this one, “The Evil Dead II” couldn’t hold a more prestigious standing. Now that I’m done telling you all how bat shit crazy I am sometimes, I’ll get to the reason why this film is important. Bruce Fucking Campbell. I realize that I am nowhere near any different from the other dozens (“There are dozens of us! Dozens!!”) of fanboys that talk about how great Bruce Campbell is, and that’s okay with me… because he really is that good. And you either get that or you don’t. Most people don’t. Doesn’t mean they’re right though. Of course, Bruce Campbell isn’t the lone reason why this film is awesome. Sam Raimi also played a pretty big role in making this movie the bee’s knees. (Yes, all us BC fans are losers and use references like “the bees knees”, deal with it.) Sam took what he learned on the first film, and instead of just upping the stakes as most sequels tend to do, he decided to change the entire God damn genre. He played up to his leading man’s strengths and injected just the right amount of intentional cheese ball into the film, making it the treat to watch that it is. He also found a way to literally have the blood pouring down the film screen. I could go on and on about this movie, but I’m thinking I better save something worth saying, after all, we’ve still got one more film in the trilogy to be ranked…
And yes… that was an eyeball that just flew into that chick’s mouth. Top that “Saw”.
18. Breathless (1960)
If there was ever any city in the world that I would just drop everything and move to immediately, it’d be Paris, and no other film captures the dichotomy of the classic and modern aspects of this fantastic city more so than Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless”. With this film, Godard captured his city in a way no one else ever had up till that point, and instead of a slow and meandering story like in “Cleo From 5 to 7” he crafted an excellent little thriller/detective story to boot. Along the way he also decided that he’d completely revolutionize the way editing a film was done. Not everybody understood what he was going for with this film, but those who do love it to death.
17. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Roman Polanski knew that he’d have to make a huge splash with his first American feature film if he planned on being able to stick around and keep making films there, but I imagine that the film he ended up creating went even beyond his wildest expectations. “Rosemary’s Baby” is the very definition of textbook psychological horror. Ever since it was made over forty years ago now, it is the standard that all other psychological horror films are measured against. “Rosemary’s Baby” is not terrifying because of what it shows, but because of what it does not. It is a classic film in every sense, from the design, to the cinematography, to the acting, and so on and so forth, and even though it’ll never scare the living hell out of you, it’ll burrow into your mind and set up shop. It’ll stay there. Forever. And when you least expect it, something in real life will remind you of this film, and I guarantee you, then you’ll be scared.
In Bruges (2008)
“In Bruges” is one of the funniest, thrilling, dramatic, and beautiful films you will ever see. I really don’t want to say anything more about this film. It’s a hidden gem that most people have never even heard of, but it’s well worth searching out. If only for the scene where a dwarf gets high on Ex. Yes, there’s a scene like that in this movie. It is easily one of the most politically incorrect films ever made. And do you know what that means? It’s awesome.
15. Blue Velvet (1986)
“Blue Velvet” is David Lynch’s masterpiece. That moniker alone should make you excited enough to go see this movie. It’s bizarre, twisted, sexy, hilarious, and deviant. It takes the picturesque ideal of “Americana”, shines it through the glass darkly, and in doing so finds the truth behind the American Dream. And it’s not a pretty picture, but my God is it ever interesting. If you think just the poster to this film is weird, you haven’t seen anything yet.