Welcome to the next CHUD List.
tackled our our disappointments, our essentials list and slowly exhumed
our Kills List from 2003, and now that we’ve begun the beguine, we must
The CHUD.com Top 50 Guilty Pleasures.
all got those little flicks that we know are wrong, but feel so right.
And after our preceding list of disappointment, we decided to cleanse
the palate by honoring our favorite guilty pleasures. These are films
that are flawed and often completely indefensible, but we can’t help but
love them anyway. As before, from a master list of over 100, the
involved parties (Devin, Jeremy, Micah, Russ, and Nick) all killed
off a choice for each one we claimed. As a result, we’ll run a big list
at the end of this of the ‘ones that got away’. So, here are the Top 50
Guilty Pleasures. Two a day, every week day for five weeks. In no
The Beast Within
(1982, Dir. Pilippe Mora)
Why It’s A Guilty Pleasure: Multiple gory deaths, a midnight beast rape,
the sounds of cicadas as foreshadowing to a confrontation. An incredibly long
transformation sequence featuring some of the most fun use of inflated bladders
underneath face skin since Torquemada.
Signature Moment: When the film doesn’t show the audience when the
lead’s head skin explodes during the transformation. We’re all amped up and
then the next cut, his epidermis has popped like a zit, leaving only a sizable
amount of viscous shit and our own unfulfilled expectations in the room.
What’s It’s Missing: It’s not a very good movie. It’s a formula horror
flick, though, and if Paul Clemens was a better lead actor it may have been able
to create a central character worth caring about. As it stands the film slams
the brakes when it’s time for an effects scene and it’s shot in a very drab
straightforward style that keeps it from having all that much merit as anything
other than a series of gross scenes. Oh, and there’s a really uncomfortable
scene involving uncooked meat. That alone makes this a really guilty pleasure
flick, especially for vegitarians.
My Personal Connection To It: This was one of my go-to films as a kid,
taking folks to the prison cell decapitations scene, the big transformation, or
when Bibi Besch gets the business handed to her by a Beast Within. Also, any
scene involving Ronny Cox with bug eyes. Every scene with Ronny Cox.
Watch It With: Friends who are unable to drive themselves home.
– Nick Nunziata
Silver Bullet (1985, Dir. Daniel Attias)
Why It’s A Guilty Pleasure: One word — werewolf. And what other werewolf movie could end with the surviving characters trying to explain the dead naked preacher in their living room? What makes the movie so much fun to watch is the photography by Armando Nannuzzi. He makes the most of a bad, bad monster suit, at times working the creature’s gloved hands like they were those of a giallo killer, other times using snapping jaws and a lot more rending flesh than you expect to see. He shoots the sherrif being brained beautifully. That the film opens with a solid decapitation earns it a lot of credit, too.
Also: Conrad McLaren as the maker of the silver bullet. Kent Broadhurst as the unhinged father of a boy torn apart by the Jesuswolf. Laurence Tierney looking terrified in the swamp and the fact that Gary Busy is all over this sucker. He does the only credible acting in the joint, and as always, he’s a treat. And looking at the movie now for the first time in several years, I realize that the eyepatched Everitt McGill looks just like Preacher’s Jesse Custer. Too bad HBO can’t go back in time to cast him.
Signature Moment: Reverend Lowe’s dream sequence where his entire congregation slaps on fake fur and bladder effects to transform into werewolves. You’ve got the one playing the organ, and a whole bunch of lupine freakouts in the pews. It’s the not only transformation in the movie, but it’s the best one, because you get a whole room full of hair. (The Reverend’s backward transformation is a close second — love the green, ugly images of McGill when he’s almost human again.)
What It’s Missing: A better script, and a lead that isn’t Corey Haim. This one doesn’t know if it wants to be a small town version of The Howling or Stand By Me with werewolves. The voiceover, which drops away for the middle of the film, is pure Hallmark Special, and in conjunction with limited budget and a short shooting schedule, the film is almost totally incompetent when it comes to establishing the fact that the movie is taking place over an entire year. Even with what was used for the film, this was one of the better King adaptations of the ’80s, which tells you a lot about the others. A better wolf suit would be welcome, too. When you finally see the thing in it’s full lack of glory at the conclusion, it’s blocky and almost as rubbery as the Swamp Thing.
My Personal Connection To It: Is it total coincidence that for my second film I chose one that was rumored to have been in Don Coscrarelli’s hands at one point? Actually, yes. I was hooked on this story when Stephen King’s Cycle Of The Werewolf novella was published, thanks mostly to the Bernie Wrightson illustrations. I was sorta into King at the time but a massive fan of Wrightson, and I’d read the book several times when the film was released. This wasn’t the first R-rated movie I’d snuck into, but because of my affection for the book it might have been the one I was most looking forward to. I think I snoozed through all the small town bullshit (except the scenes in Tierney’s bar) just like I do now, but the werewolf scenes were considered pure gold.
Watch It With: Weekend warriors, taxidermists and the drunk uncle who gave you your first AC/DC record.
– Russ Fischer