The CHUD.com Essential Collection
Originally Published in 2007
Featured Writers: Nick Nunziata, Devin Faraci, Russ Fischer, Micah Robinson
What makes one a Chewer? It isn’t just reading CHUD.com regularly, although that’s a great start. It definitely isn’t being an expert at mastication. Being a Chewer requires a certain sensibility that’s outside of the mainstream. Sure, a Chewer can hold his or her own in a Star Wars OT vs PT argument with a standard movie geek, and sure, a Chewer can go with the rest of the film snobs to an Ozu revival, but a Chewer also gets really, really excited about the DVD release of The Manitou.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to be bringing you The CHUD.com Essential Films Collection – the films that would be in our dream Chewer DVD Box Set. These are 50 movies that we think every Chewer should see and love. This is by no means the definitive list of movies that make one a Chewer, but it’s a good start. It’s also in no order – the first films that we list are just as essential as the last ones. And it’s a list that will leave off the obvious as much as possible – you don’t need us to tell you to see Lawrence of Arabia or Seven Samurai.
So fire up your Netflix or your Amazon accounts – every day we’ll be bringing you two movies that are worth seeing, and probably worth owning as well. Chew on, Chewers.
Choice Pullquote: “If you’re going to set your soft-core porn film in a concentration camp, go for broke.” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “Best of all is the sort of cast you really can’t get in a theatrical movie these days. Sheen. Polo. Silver. RIPPY. And if I have to tell you any of their first names, you really need to read this entire list more than you thought.” – Micah Robinson
Choice Pullquote: “The movie totally drops the ball as a ’30s comic strip adaptation but recovers and scores a win by nailing the even more entertaining Silver Age vibe.” – Russ Fischer
Choice Pullquote: “The late 70’s were a time before self-referential ruled the day and before the FX tools were substantial enough to allow for the eye candy to supercede.” – Nick Nunziata
Choice Pullquote: “Come for the melting bums, stay for the game of severed penis keep-away and fall in love with the Martin & Lewis banter between James Lorinz and Tony Darrow as a doorman and the mob boss who wants him dead.” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “But enough socio-political talk….the film kicks ass on the surface level as well…” – Nick Nunziata
Choice Pullquote: “By focusing on the hopes and failures of two people past their prime, this is where Tarantino proved he has soul.” – Russ Fischer
Choice Pullquote: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, almost magical convergence of perfect casting, acting, writing, direction, and tone.” – Micah Robinson
Choice Pullquote: “Sam Peckinpah is one of the great American filmmakers, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “Yun-Fat’s Tequila is one of the essential cinema tough guys, and if there’s a nearby bannister for him to slide down or table to slide under, you’re fucked.” – Micah Robinson
Choice Pullquote: “Shot partially on location, Pelham joins an important handful of films like Taxi Driver and Manhattan that are both deeply entertaining and invaluable as portraits of a New York City that has disappeared forever.” – Russ Fischer
Choice Pullquote: “If I were to meet a new person over the age of 25 and I wanted to gauge whether I wanted to hang with them, one of the questions I might ask would be ‘What do you think of Savage Steve Holland?'” – Nick Nunziata
Choice Pullquote: “And remember, kids, we can ill-afford another Klendathu.” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “It’s a goddamned onslaught of good and if you don’t like it then you are the St. Basil’s Fairy.” – Nick Nunziata
Choice Pullquote: “And while Dekker’s self-consciously funny and mocking script might have eventually led to Scream, it also helped push James Gunn to create Slither.” – Russ Fischer
Choice Pullquote: “Michael Dudikoff could have probably head-butted Al Queada to death on 9/10.” – Nick Nunziata
Choice Pullquote: “I don’t how such a grumpy guy’s tale is so watchable, but damn if it isn’t.” – Micah Robinson
Choice Pullquote: “I like to imagine an alternate universe where there is a whole series of these adventures, and we’re just lucky to have this one escape to this dimension.” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “A tiny handful of films are incredibly good at bridging the gap between shock and art, and Dead Ringers is indisputably among the best.” – Russ Fischer
Choice Pullquote: “How perfect is it that what will probably be the oldest film on this incarnation of the Essentials list is about giant nuclear ants?” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “Many of us now continue to draw inspiration from the brief blip where Hollywood was almost a different business machine, and nothing shows that alternate reality better than this film.” – Russ Fischer
Choice Pullquote: “His legend was already secure in 1981 as this was being made, but it was etched in diamond and impervious stone with this lean, mean, and classic son of a bitch.” – Nick Nunziata
Choice Pullquote: “It’s an unnervingly visceral flick, featuring old-fashioned car chases and stunts that put the CGI-laden action films of today to shame in terms of intensity.” – Micah Robinson
Choice Pullquote: “It’s a hidden gem, a movie that’s still not out on DVD (although we’ve been promised it forever), and the kind of film best watched with a friend so that, when it’s all over, you can turn to him and say, “We actually just saw that, right?” – Devin Faraci
Choice Pullquote: “Christ, everyone in Lewbowski could have quit the business in 1998 after the premiere and gone home with no regrets.” – Russ Fischer
Over the past five weeks we have brought you the 50 Essential CHUD movies, films that we think help to define just what a Chewer is. But those 50 movies don’t tell the whole story, so we’ve decided to bring you this appendix. Those films were ones that made a difference for us, the guys who write for the site; for the appendix we’re going to spotlight some films for which we’ve tried to make a difference (with varying degrees of success).
One of the great things about writing for a site like CHUD is that you suddenly find yourself with the opportunity to speak to lots of people who share your love of movies and who probably have a similar mindset. And that means you have the chance to pimp out a movie that you think is great, and that you suspect a lot of people reading the site will think is pretty great, too. We’ve never been shy about doing this hell, it’s almost part of our basic mission statement.
For the rest of the week we’re going to bring you ten films that CHUD has championed. These are the films that we pimped, and we pimped hard, and we’re proud to have put our name and our reputation on the line for them.
The Appendix: Day One
Choice Pullquote: “If my calculations are correct, this film is still the only one which mentions CHUD.com in the commentary track. The Fly 2 WOULD have been the second if that little experiment didn’t get faceraped.” – Nick Nunziata
The Appendix: Day Two
Choice Pullquote: “The blend of character, comedy, action and pure bravado (why not shatter the fourth wall in the last scene?) is totally unique, and as great a reason to go the movies as I know.” – Russ Fischer
The Appendix: Day Three
Choice Pullquote: “Once you’ve seen Johnson soar all the way through, unscathed, you can really get to enjoying the movie as a damn well made film on its own merits, a movie to be enjoyed and savored again and again as a reminder that well-written, smart movies can be a lot of fun too.” – Devin Faraci
The Appendix: Day Four
Choice Pullquote: “The film pulsates with color, life, and energy in almost every frame, and you never get the feeling that GdT is anything less than inspired as he plays in this mystical, yet realistic world.” – Micah Robinson
The Appendix: Day Five
Choice Pullquote: “I have no doubt that in ten years people will be looking back at 2006 and wondering how so many folks missed the bubble.” – Devin Faraci
And for a sneak peek at next week’s rebirth: