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
Into the Blue
(2005, Dir. John Stockwell)
Why It’s a Guilty Pleasure: Someone in an office somewhere in Hollywood said this:
“Let’s remake the failure The Deep, which was a plodding and unrewarding film experience but with hot young talent instead of the deceased Bob Shaw. But let’s lose the title. And Bissett’s nippleshirt. And let’s add the best friend from Christine to direct. Oh, and FUCK MORAYS.“
The surprising thing about this film is how polished and easy to watch it is. There’s a surprising chemistry between Paul Walker and Scott Caan (who seems to have good chemistry with everyone) that makes their shenanigans entertaining and as a sucker for gorgeous ocean photography, there’s a lot here that’s right up my alley. Also right up my alley: cameramen swimming up Jessica Alba’s ass with the macro lens. Jesus, this film is a glorious advertisement for her noise. Between her supple lady angles and Paul Walker’s pulverizing skinsuit, all but the Triffids have something to get off on.
But the real fun and somewhat guilty pleasure of the film is in small moments, whether it’s a legendary skirmish between a shark and an underwater mop, the sizzling torment inflicted on Josh Brolin, a stunt double tit-grab, or the crotch destruction of a villain via shark. It’s all fun to watch and though there are moments where the superficiality of the whole proceedings comes to the forefront, somehow this feels like a movie who knows its a B movie and still gladly tiptoes past the studio watchdogs a little. Not nearly as well or blatantly as yesterday’s entry of Torque, but still with a modicum of winking glee.
This is a fun movie that I always have to justify to people who see it on my shelves. I long to live in a world where we all can own Into the Blue without impunity.
Signature Moment: Josh Brolin dodges certain death in the form of a harpoon while battling underwater in the sunken aircraft. Josh Brolin is granted certain death when the harpoon hits a tank behind him, which proceeds to erupt and create instant Deathlok all over his face.
What It’s Missing: Extreme Violence and Extremer Nudity.
My Personal Connection to It:
It’s one of a handful of UMD movies I own. That’s pretty personal, as I can put that little sucker into the crevasse of choice at the drop of a hat. And do.
Watch It With: Me.
- Nick Nunziata
Convoy (1978, Dir. Sam Peckinpah)
Why It’s a Guilty Pleasure:
directors making country music trucker movies at the same time? 1978 didn’t see
Clint Eastwood hitting the road alone. On a parallel highway was Sam Peckinpah,
with Kris Kristofferson riding shotgun. Deep into a hole dug by his addictions
and increasingly abrasive personality, the man behind The Wild Bunch hadn’t been able to make the
films he wanted to make, so he’d occasionally jump on a piece of shit like a
fly riding a toilet flue.
Hence: Convoy, which is Peckinpah’s version of a
Michael Bay movie. Goofy, bombastic, tinged with superiority and utterly
pointless. It shows you how far a man can fall, as he slides deeply into
self-parody. Stalwart cast members Kristofferson and Ernest Borgnine (as the
sheriff with a bug up his ass about truckers) enact a dinner theatre version of
the masculine epics that Peckinpah made so affecting in his past. Kristofferson
even gets in a signature “there ain’t many of us left” line.
Other trademarks are here in abundance, too. There’s a
four minute fight scene in a truck stop, complete with an extra dollop of slow
motion and a jangly banjo ditty. But this time the slo-mo is playing right into
the idiocy of the fight, not commenting on it. The tactic gets put to other
use, as well, most notably in the awesome stunt car jump through a church’s
billboard and over a barn. Later, there’s Borgnine, a machine gun and a bridge, which is like the Cliff’s Notes to good Peckinpah films. (If only Warren Oates was in this.) And what’s that ancient roadster doing on the
highway, if it’s not a vague callout to The Ballad Of Cable Hogue, where
essentially the same car rolled right over Jason Robards?
Peckinpah knew exactly what he was doing here. He just
seems powerless to stop it.
But even in parody the director remained a master, and
you’d be hard pressed to find late ’70s schlock delivered with such an unerring
eye. The convoy is shot from every possible angle, and every scene assembled with care. He gets great supporting
actors like Seymour Cassel, Burt Young and Franklin Ajaye. Non-starlet Ali
MacGraw may get no rise out of me, but the movie does; how can you not enjoy
the well-crafted story of a bunch of truckers jerking around with the law? It’s
the American Dream, man.
“Well, piss on you. And piss on your law.”
Signature Moment: The
dusty ballet of trucks on a back road as they try to put up an impromptu
smokescreen for the cops, to the tune of a martial sort of waltz. You can feel
Peckinpah’s career desperation and just about hear his septum dissolving with
each bump of coke. Coming second in the running is the governor’s assistant’s report
about the convoy in New Mexico; guy seems to think he’s in an alien invasion
movie. “Oh my god, they’ve grown!!”
What It’s Missing: Full
resignation. Peckinpah may know what he’s making, but you can still see him
fighting it on occasion. He should have just surrendered to the machine and
fallen all the way to the bottom, making a film as over the top as possible.
My Personal Connection to It: I
can’t count the number of times I saw this on television as a kid. It’s the
reason I know who Kristofferson is, and the reason I first became a fan. As I
got older and learned about Peckinpah’s films, I’d occasionally revisit Convoy
as the purest cautionary tale in the west.
Watch It With: American heroes, fallen or falling.
- Russ Fischer
- The Avengers
- D.C. Cab
- Dead Heat
- The Beast Within
- Silver Bullet
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
- Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
- The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
- The Sword & The Sorceror
- Jason X
- The Manitou
- Street Fighter: The Movie
- Kiss of Death
- Indecent Proposal
- Mean Guns
- Heavy Metal
- Any Which Way You Can
- Into the Blue