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
Clue (1985, Dir. Jonathan Lynn)
It’s a Guilty Pleasure: Because sometimes we need to be reminded that a well-chosen group of actors can turn shit into gold. I watched Underdog last night, and for most of those 84 minutes wished my father had a thing for watermelons instead of my mother. But then Peter Dinklage would be onscreen and the clouds would part to reveal, god help me, comedy.
So it goes with this inexplicable example of commercialism, which grafts a none-too-interesting screenplay onto the threadbare murder mystery of a board game. Clue has exactly nothing to offer in any traditional narrative or dramatic sense. It’s non-existant plot (whodunnit?) is bulletproof when it comes to criticism, except perhaps that of TV Guide, where it taxes even the requirements for a 50-word encapsulation. And the ‘commentary’ on ’50s America and McCarthyism? It slots in nicely with some of the jokes, but otherwise it’s merely a decent children’s political primer.
And yet I giggle like a child every time I see it. With the exception of the starkly out of place Lee Ving (from the band Fear, no less) the cast is a nearly perfect ensemble collection that times the shit out of worthless jokes, transmuting them into classic gags I can watch over and over again.
I’d have to transcribe the film to capture everything about it that’s so much fun, and that wouldn’t even do the trick. The cast is set on ‘manic’ at the outset, and they go plaid quickly. Tim Curry is frenetic throughout, spitting out lines with speed and disdain, marking him as one of the few post-war actors who could survive a screwball comedy. Christopher Lloyd and Michael McKean delicsciously play dueling versions of the milquetoast, Martin Mull locks down the bassline and Lesley Ann Warren (who knew?) vamps while Colleen Camp simply spills. I won’t list the entire cast, but for those I skipped: yes, you’re fantastic, too.
Signature Moment: Everyone’s got their own, but Madeline Kahn owns with her very obviously improvised “Flames. Flames…on the side of my face.”
What It’s Missing: Not Colleen Camp’s clothes, unfortunately.
My Personal Connection To It: None more than any other particular film, though Clue was a favorite when I was ‘home sick’ during high school, and every other time I’ve been legitimately laid up since then.
Watch It With: Every agent in the business, to show them how to package a cast.
– Russ Fischer
Yor: The Hunter from the Future (1983, Dir. Anthony M. Dawson)
Why It’s a Guilty Pleasure: Earth has been buttfucked by nuclear armageddon and savages and posthistoric creatures dominate the landscape. Enter: YOR. He’s blonde and from the future. We don’t know this of course. It’s a secret, unless you happen to know the name of the movie Yor watching. We discover he’s from the future long after the opening credits which proclaim him a hunter from the future. Either way, this film is a sled short of Citizen Kane.
Reb Brown’s oily brawn is a golden piece of film history whether he’s shaking ass on John Milius directed waves, helping Gene Hackman blow up bridges, keeping Captain America’s seat warm, or being in no movies anymore. You cannot fail to love the man. He’s everything Yor parents warned you about. Damn, he’s a stunning hot body.
Anyhow, Reb [short for Reba? Rebates? Rebinson Crusoe? James Rebhorn? Donald?] tries mightily not to stink up the movie with acting of any kind, instead catching the light on his greased limbs and torso in a manner which distracts us all from a film which might not be good. Women are mere vessels to enter and shoot off into. Men are savage and covered in soot and dried dung [not their own, which frightens me]. The creatures of the time are awkward and could be evaded by Stephen Hawking on an off day.
It’s the guiltiest pleasure of all and that includes getting a rubdown from Emma Watson. Yor is something that transcends film. It’s more akin to spirituality. You sleep better knowing that it’s there to blanket you in gooey warmth, regardless of the evidence. It shows itself in fever dreams, night terrors, and in the grammar of MySpace users.
This movie is fuck you.
Please join me in vigil outside the Best Buy until this is finally released.
Signature Moment: A “beast of the night” approaches, and though everyone fears the Rok/Vulture/Muppet Abortion, Yor smacks it to an immediate death. Even more immediate: Rigor Mortis. Yor instantly boards his new avian parasail and to the rockin’ sounds of Oliver Onions, rides the dead bitchbird into the lair of his enemies.
What It’s Missing: A DVD release. Human logic. Kurt Russell’s home number.
My Personal Connection to It: I have watched the sequence where Yor parasails the dead bird to a better tomorrow at least three-hundred times. Before I discovered my hard-on, I discovered this. I’m proud of one of those discoveries more than the other.
Watch It With: A box of tissues handy. For the tears of exultation.
– Nick Nunziata