Movies You Should Probably See


I'm a movie junkie.

I have this horrible habit of turning on my television (gasp... a television!) and getting sucked into movies. AMC is like heroin to me - that channel plays some of the coolest stuff. City TV in Toronto is still the king of the uncensored late-night movie (ah, Mark Daily, you make even the cheesiest movies worth it). I have frequented some odd theatres, and a good video store is a boon...

As a result, I have come across a number movies that I consider to be "Movies You Should Probably See".

This is not intended to be any kind of list of movies with "Satanic Themes" ... Bill M. has done a far better job of that with his "Hellywood" site, nor is it intended to be a list of "Officially Approved Church of Satan Movies" the main Church of Satan page has a list of "recommended viewing" - if that's your pleasure. This is clearly not a comprehensive source of information about these movies either. For detailed information I recommend the Internet Movie Database - the best site of its kind and one that has settled more bets around here than just about any other.

I'm sure I haven't thought of all of them, and that this list will continue to grow. I don't claim that these are movies that everyone would enjoy , but they're all movies that I've enjoyed a great deal for one reason or another and consider to be important viewing.

So here they are, in no particular order...
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Metropolis: The Fritz Lang classic. As a child the imagery from this film had a strong impact on me. As there are a number of different soundtracks I strongly recommend you watch this with the sound off while playing whatever music strongly invokes a futuristic mechanised hell for you.
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Captain Blood: A wonderful tale of pirate revenge, and the first big Errol Flynn movie.
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Rope: Consisting of only 11 shots, this delightfully dark Hitchcock film is about the perfect murder, done for kicks. With Jimmy Stewart as a most satanic schoolmaster.
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The Seventh Seal: You have to be in a certain mood for this film. It's dark, its in black and white, and it is quite artsy. But it captures this sense of futility and despair that has never been done better.
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The Seven Samurai: Kurosawa's classic tale of feudal Japan. This films is an archetypal tale of a ragtag group of samurai who defend a small village against overwhelming odds.
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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: What can I say about this film. It's a brilliant treatment of some fantastic books.
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Planet of the Apes: A classic sci-fi tale, and a brilliantly bombastic performance by Charlton Heston
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D.O.A.: The original... the remake is not as good. The original is classic film -noir.
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Double Indemnity: Some classic dialogue awaits you in this film filled with endless double-entendres. It has a great vibe, lots of atmosphere.
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Eraserhead: David Lynch's student piece. Dark, strange, surreal. "In heaven...everything is fine"
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Buckaroo Banzai: I still want to be just like Buckaroo Banzai. He does it all. He's a rock-star, a brain surgeon, a test-pilot and... well... everything. High camp. "Was it yes to 1 and no to 2...or...?"
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The Star Wars Trilogy: Chances are, if you're reading this, you've already seen these films. But if you haven't, they're fun flicks.
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Godzilla Movies: Any of them are great (except that terrible CGI one). I've always loved these. Rubber suits, models... It ain't a Godzilla film until they set the suit on fire.
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Cube: A great little flick about some people who find themselves in a strange network of cubical rooms, all of which are booby-trapped. Dark, very dark.
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Videodrome: Cronenberg has a strange way of looking at the world. Videodrome is sexy and chilling.
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Blade Runner: It's a great flick for atmosphere. The book is much different - you should read it.
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The Picture of Dorian Grey: Every scene with Harry is a classic. True to the story and a surprisingly satanic for the time.
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Harvey: Sweet and funny. Jimmy Stewart is the ultimate advocate of sentiment.
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Lost Highway: My favorite David Lynch film to date, it's cool, sexy and creepy. "We've met before...at your house... in fact I'm there right now... call me"
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Conan the Barbarian: Who knew that heads flying into the air could be so much fun. Ass-kicking and... um... more ass kicking. Great film.
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Fist Full of Dollars: The first and, in my opinion, the best of the spaghetti westerns. Clint Eastwood at his western bestern. "get three coffins ready...".
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The Omega Man: More classic Heston Sci-Fi. He's the last man on earth. It's creepy.
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The original was a great movie, but I saw the remake in the theatres more than any other film (except, perhaps, for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show")
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Return of the Living Dead: I really liked this film, but it may have just been, Linnea Quigley dancing naked on a tombstone. Campy and fun.
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The Toxic Avenger: Troma takes T&A to a high art in this classic tale of revenge. Strange, campy - Troma.
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Monty Python's Holy Grail: You're on the internet right now - If you don't see this film you probably won't get half the jokes you come across online. Plus, it's pretty funny.
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The Rocky Horror Picture Show: If you're going to see this. You have to do it in the theatre, midnight show, the whole nine yards. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the experience, but it's something you should probably do. Go with people who know what's going on.
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Lawrence of Arabia: This film is incredible, Peter O'Toole is amazing. You have to see this.
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The Pink Panther: What to say? It's genuinely funny stuff. See it.
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Without a Clue: Quite urbane. The premise? Sherlock home is an actor - Watson is the brilliant detective.
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Edward Scissorhands: A fine Tim Burton flick and a wonderful tale of alienation. Like all of his films is has atmosphere up the wazoo.
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The Abominable Dr. Phibes: A tale of revenge and a perfect Vincent Price film. Anton Phibes is creepy, and almost a tragic hero. You can't tell me that you saw this film and wasn't rooting for him.
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Hellraiser: "The Hellbound Heart " is a great read. This Clive Barker film has a really cool vibe.
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Penn and Teller Get Killed: It's not for everybody, but I really liked it. So I recommend it.
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Animal Crackers: ...or any other Marx brother film, for that matter. "The other day I shot an elephant in my pyjamas...what he was doing in my pyjamas, I'll never know!"
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Nightmare on Elm Street: Wes Craven's classic tale of nocturnal terror. It's marvelous.
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The Exorcist: Creepy, creepy, creepy. Many people just can't stop laughing at the pea soup. I recommend watching this late at night, in the dark, and alone...for the full effect.
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Plan 9 From Outer Space: It's not nearly as good if you watch it alone. Get together as a group and prepare to laugh at one of the worst films ever made. "We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. "
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Shadow of a Doubt: mmm... mood, suspicion, doubt. A Hitchcock classic - but aren't they all?
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Airplane!: Pure funny, distilled to an essence. The film that redefined the genre.
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Jaws: You call that a movie, Hooper!? I'll show you a movie... Kept people out of the water for quite some time.
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Casablanca: Every line has become a cliché, it's been quoted to death and there's a reason for it. If you don't see this film -you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
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The Seven Year Itch: Classic Marylin Monroe. She's cute, she's funny and she does that famous thing with the subway grate. I think this film is just delicate.
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Tank Girl: I liked this film a lot, but then I know someone who is tank girl. Campy, wacky and with a brilliant performance by Lori Petty. They changed the story a fair bit for the film, still, I just can't hate it 'cause she's just so gosh darn cheeky.
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Doctor Strangelove: A brilliant portrayal of multiple characters by Peter Sellers. Funny and dark - always a good combination.
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The Hudsucker Proxy: There's a twist in this film that I totally did NOT see coming. It's pretty quirky... Khachaturian's adagio from "Spartacus" sets a marvelous old vibe. It has plenty of style and humour "you know - for kids!"
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The Terminator: The plot steals liberally from Harlan Ellison's "Soldier", "Demon with a Glass Hand" and "I have no Mouth and I must Scream", but it's still a really great flick.
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Real Genius: You have to see this movie - it's a moral imperative. Funny stuff, filled with heaps of in-jokes. Sort of a "Marx Brothers - meets - Whiz Kids"
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Raiders of the Lost Ark: A fun period piece that pays homage to classic cliffhangers. There's actually a really good article about this which can be found here.
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Citizen Kane: You know you should see this one. It's a classic for a reason. Orson Welles was way ahead of his time. Shame he offended the wrong guy with this film.
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This is Spinal Tap: If you haven't seen this yet, then you've really missed a funny film. This "documentary" follows the career of the band "Spinal Tap". Pure genius.
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Top Secret: Some of the greatest sight gags ever put on film await you in this gem.
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The Day The Earth Stood Still: Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made. Really, there are so many reasons to see this film I can't list them all here.
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Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn: Continues where part 1 leaves off - but the sequel is much better. Sam Raimi directs this horror movie that you have to see to believe. "...groovy"
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Apocalypse Now: Disturbing and brilliant. Another movie that is oft quoted "I love the smell of napalm in the morning"
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Time Bandits: Terry Gilliam brings together some of the Pythons for this film. Cast includes; John Cleese, Michael Palin and Sean Connery. Beautiful and surreal imagery.
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The Great Dictator: A saucy little Chaplin flick that sends up Nazi germany. It may not have done too well at the time, but it has some brilliant moments.
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Alien: This movie took science fiction to a new, shocking level. Still just as good today.
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A Clockwork Orange: For those who don't know what the big deal is about Malcom McDowell - see this film. It's a nasty little flick to wrap your head around in parts, but worth seeing.
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Rosemary's Baby: With some of the most fun devil-worshippers in a film, ever, you don't want to miss this film.
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The Wizard of Oz: It's a pop-culture classic and if you haven't seen it you're missing out. The books are MUCH better, but such is life.
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An American Werewolf in London: Funny stuff. One of the best comedy-horror films.
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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: Edward Albee writes some great stuff. This film is so dark, so nasty. A couple tears into each other like you've never seen. Frightening and fascinating with great performances by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - no surprise that they had marital problems.
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Brazil: I can't recommend this fantastic black comedy enough. Just make sure you don't see the neutered TV version with the happy ending - The bastards butchered it. Expect the same kind of incredibly strange, horrible, and beautiful imagery you can find in any Terry Gilliam Movie.
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Sleuth: Strangely hypnotic, the film of this two-man play has brilliant performances by Olivier and Caine. Plenty of twists.
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The Trouble With Harry: This is a darn Funny Hitchcock movie.
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The Blues Brothers: A great cast, some fun music, and quality camp.
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Man Bites Dog: It's a French film made to seem like a documentary of a murderer. Very edgy and has more "cool" in it's opening credits than there is in the entire "Blair Witch Project".
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The Matrix: While the story is pilfered from a number of sources. It has a really cool vibe to it. It's a stylish film all the way
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Goldfinger: All of the Connery Bond films are classic but this is the one that really sticks out in my mind. The Astin-Martin appears for the first time, Odd Job has a killer hat, and there's Pussy Galore. "No mister Bond... I expect you to die"
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Mad Max: This movie set Mel Gibson up as a classic anti-hero. Chock full of all sorts of automotive mayhem.
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Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet: It's long (I like a long Hamlet, how about you,sir? ...) and wonderfully done. Best viewed in the original 70mm format.
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Jason and the Argonauts: The classic Ray Harryhausen movie with the battling skeletons that changed visual effects forever. You might also want to check out the Sinbad films.
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Forbidden Planet: Leslie Nielson does a brilliant job as the studly hero in this sci-fi monster thriller.
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Fists of Fury: The first big Bruce Lee movie. If you're going to see a Lee movie - this is a good start. "I'm from the country...hwah!"
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The Lathe of Heaven: Well... technically it was never really a film. It was made for PBS and kinda vanished for a while. But it's a rollicking good flick.Surreal sci-fi about a man who's dreams become reality.
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The Princess Bride: A great fairy tale, with a great cast. "You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means"
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How to Get Ahead in Advertising: A strange journey into madness. Funny and surreal.
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Le Voyage Dans La Luna (A Trip to the Moon): From 1902 this film is brilliant and funny. If you have the chance to see it - do - it's arguably the first sci-fi movie and the visual effects were revolutionary.
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The Mummy: - the original 1932 film. Boris Karloff was amazing, you can't imagine just how good it is if you haven't seen it. It's not a flick about some guy shambling around in bandages.
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Jacob's Ladder: This film will sneak up on you. It sucks ya in and then pummels yer brain.
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Delicatessen: It's artsy, and hip. It takes place in a world of vegetarian terrorists and cannibals. What else can I say?
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Labyrinth: It's a classic Henson film. Some really mind-bending moments, and all sorts of cool David Bowie scenes. "what do you mean you can't take off your head?"
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Hudson Hawk: You're either going to love this film, or hate it. It's about a cat burglar and some really strange secret-agent stuff.
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Cannonball Run: You just have to see it... It's one of those films.
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Big Trouble in Little China: It's one of the classic, macho, ass-kicking movies and clearly inspiration for "Mortal Kombat".
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Natural Born Killers: It's a roller-coaster of mass-murdering action.
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Tron: The first big use computer-generated effects and a pretty cool movie.
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Akira: It's an animated Japanese movie. You don't need to understand it, just let it wash over you. It looks great and has a wild vibe.
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MacBeth: The playboy production, directed by Sam Pekinpah, is very well done.
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Heathers: A classic black comedy about murder and fitting in.
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The Dark Crystal: A fantastic movie in every sense of the word.
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Fantastic Voyage: As a kid I was fascinated by this movie. It's undoubtedly one of the classics of sci-fi, as a group of scientists are shrunken and injected into a human body to save a life.
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Das Boot: Intense tale of life in a german u-boat in WWII. You'll likely find yourself holding your breath from time to time during this film.
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Luxo Jr.: It's a short film, but it's a brilliant example of how amazing the people at Pixar truly are. You gotta love that little lamp.
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The Pirates of Penzance: It's got to be my favourite G&S operetta. Kevin Kline does a brilliant job as the pirate king. I also highly recommend the Stratford Production from '85 if you have the chance... Brent Carver and Jeff Hyslop are fantastic.
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Flesh Gordon: It's shameless, such a bad movie that it comes all the way around and is good again. Very campy and not for kids.
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The Gods Must Be Crazy: It's charming, funny, and there's all sorts of cool clicky-words in it.
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The Vanishing: The original French-Dutch production, not the remake (even though it was the same director). It's a twisted little flick with a wonderful villain "tra-la-la...poom-poom-poom!"
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Gremlins: The mogwai are just so durned cute... But don't feed them after midnight. It's a fun little monster flick and worth watching - a good christmas movie.
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The Lunatic: A Jamaican film about a man and his best friend - a tree. Hilarious and wacky. "Aloysius... get that nasty bee away from me... it's too early in the morning for pollination"
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House on Haunted Hill: Any of the original Castle Films are amazing, but Carol Ohmart and Vincent Price make this one really shine
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Trainspotting: It's stylish and hypnotic. Repulsive and fascinating.
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Strange Days: A highly underrated movie that tells of the last days of 1999. Aside from the usual James Cameron ripoffs of some classic sci-fi stories, it has a few redeeming qualities. It also used the term "Y2K" to describe the turn of the century, a phrase that I swore was too cheesy ever to become popular... I guess I overestimated the intelligence of the public, again.
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The Elephant Man: A great David Lynch piece. Brilliantly blends his surreal style with a true story that was strange enough to begin with.
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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: The Kenneth Brannagh version, DeNiro is brilliant and it is more true to the novel than any other movie version I've seen.
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Death By Numbers: A marvelous foreign film, with a built-in easter egg hunt. See it, you won't be sorry.
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Parents: Leftovers again... "Leftover from what...?"
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Gandhi: A great film, made even more amazing in that there actually was such a man who did those things.
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2001: A Space Odyssey: Looks great. Grand, sweeping, and often satirized.
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Susperia: The style is amazing, and Barbara Magnolfi is quite easy on the eyes.
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Dead Alive: Also known as "Brain Dead", this flick by Peter Jackson may be the goriest movie ever made. It's also pretty darn funny.
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Star Wars: The first was good, the second was better... but now, they're starting to smell a little. The original trilogy is a really important work as far as Sci-Fi goes.
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Jaws: The movie that had people afraid of a shark you don't even see for most of the movie. It defined an entire new genre of scary film.
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Blade Runner: Another really important Sci-Fi film which defined a genre. Has very little to do with the Phillip K. Dick novel on which it was based.
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The Wizard of Oz: Face it -- sooner or later you will have to see this movie or, if nothing else, you are missing out on a *lot* of in - jokes.
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