I decided to revisit this film in honor of it A) Being on Netflix, and B) it's 35th anniversary of making people afraid to go in the water. Like many popular thrillers, Jaws is one of those films that is generally universally loved by most. Those who don't love it are absolutely insane. It mixes the horrifying reality of the deep blue sea - the idea that a seemingly serene beach where your kids can play plays host to a man-eating monster - with ample amounts of humor and drama. Standing out to me as one of the best scenes in the film is the monologue by Robert Shaw's Quint as his boat the Orca drifts calmly in the water. Sitting in near silence with Brody and Hooper, played by Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss, respectively, he recounts the tale of the USS Indianapolis, wherein hundreds of men were picked off by sharks as they floated amidst the debris of their wrecked ship. The level of tension he creates is palpable, and you can help but sit and listen with mouth agape in utter awe.
Stan Helsing, directed by Bo Zenga, 2009
Do not ask me why I watched this movie. As far as I can remember it was Saturday night, I was incredibly bored, and I wanted to watch a film that required the bare minimum of thinking on my part. With parody films you can only hope for a fair amount of subtlety; Stan Helsing has no idea what this is. Every scene is laid on so thick you can't help but cringe at the thought that someone actually thought this would be a good idea. Amidst the myriad of bad, however, is one shining moment: Diora Baird. I'm not referring to her acting, even though within the context of this film it really wasn't that bad. No, the Y chromosome in me simply lauded the costume design her character wore, which was relegated to nothing more than what Pocahontas might wear if she were the Friday feature at a strip club. Diora Baird's, ahem, assets aside, this movie was a bore, and any laughter it may have elicited will just be attributed to delirium.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, directed by Rob Hedden, 1989
When people ask me what my favorite Friday the 13th movie, I always get a look of confusion. It is, after all, considered to be one of the worst in the series, due in no small part to the absence of Crystal Lake and, um, Manhattan. The city only makes an appearance at the end of the film, and thus the promise of Jason Voorhees running amok through New freakin' York goes unfulfilled. When asked why I like it so much, I simply regale the inquirer with a rousing tale from my youth: Jason Takes Manhattan was the first Friday the 13th movie I had ever seen. Along with fellow slasher flick Sleepaway Camp, it serves as one of the few films responsible for fostering my love of horror. While I can fully admit that other films in the series are far better, this one has the nostalgia appeal. Beyond this, I find some of the film to just be absolutely hilarious. Julius getting his head punched off; some dude getting bludgeoned to death by his guitar; and of course, Jason revealing his face to a bunch of thugs on the street. In fact, when I was about ten years old and living in Florida, my friends and I would re-enact that scene for some reason that only makes sense to a ten year old. I shouldn't have been watching that movie anyway.