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Jan/Feb/Mar 2002

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THIS ISSUE!:    Oscar Fever! The Lord of the Rings! Supercrap on the WB!
PLUS: Amelie destroys Western Civilization! And the Coming of the Coreys!
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Ash's Top 10 of 2001


 
Picking my favorite films at the end of the year is always a very difficult task for me. Not because the options are so varied, of course, but rather because due to a combination of Destiny's Child music videos and a steady diet of salt, I am unable to remember what TV show I'm watching during a commercial break, let alone all the movies that I saw in the past 12 months. Not that it particularly matters, anyway. No one has made a half-way decent movie since Army of Darkness , so it would hardly matter if my top ten list was mostly comprised of Danzig albums and cheap jokes about Corey Feldman. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to compose a list that, if not entirely helpful or accurate, at least contains a fairly representative slice of the films I enjoyed in 2001.

1) From Hell

Johnny Depp and Heather Graham take on Jack the Ripper and British accents, both of which end in failure and tragedy. As far as I'm concerned, Heather Graham has only one purpose in life, and talking isn't it, so including her in a plot-driven movie like this one is a waste of money. But aside from her, the film finds its footing as a gloomy, humorless outlook on the industrial age, kind of like Tim Burton on Quaaludes.

2) Ghost World.

The second film on the list based on comic book, and the second whose inclusion is based mainly upon my lust for the female lead. This time, the object of my affection is Thora Birch, a chesty, somewhat plump chunk of jail bait, not unlike a slightly inflated Wednesday Addams. Pedophilia aside, the movie maintains a pleasantly dream-like atmosphere, replete with the prerequisite 'quirks' necessary for all post-Reservoir Dogs movies featuring Steve Buscemi.

3) Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Friday

While not the best Corey Feldman movie, certainly one of the most interesting, as it has him taking on the ultimate evil of Jason and defeating him with his own dark powers, prefiguring the rise to demonic glory he was to take in the 1990s with such classics as Bordello of Blood, South Beach Academy, and Voodoo. However, his unhallowed majesty was soon challenged by the 'other' Corey, Corey Haim, the yin to his yang, the light to his dark, the good to his unfathomable evil. They first squared off in 1987's The Lost Boys, one of director Joel Schumacher's less homosexual movies, and from then on engaged in battle after battle, locking wits again and again in Dream a Little Dream, License to Drive, and Dream a Little Dream 2. Though Haim's cherubic good looks gave him an early advantage over Feldman's sullen, awkwardly unintelligent countenance, the latter proved a worthy adversary, finally defeating mankind's last hope in the climactic National Lampoon's Last Resort. Though the battle was lost, Haim continues to fight the good fight, gathering strength in the Watchers series of direct-to-video horror movies and preparing for a rematch, while Feldman continues tormenting us with the ear-shattering strains of his band, The Corey Feldman Truth Movement, and the ever-present threat of a return to voice work for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4. Many may remember the young Feldman for his work as the annoying little brat in Gremlins, the annoying little brat in Stand By Me, or the annoying little brat from The Goonies, and although his performances may seem innocuous, this is the key to his hideous powers. His presence worms its way into the subconscious of unwary moviegoers, biding its time, until late one night, well past the witching hour, while sitting on your couch with your friend Alex, semi-conscious from prolonged frame by frame screenings of the cannibal sex sequences from Event Horizon, Meatballs 4 will come on TV. "Hey", you'll say, your guard down due to the late hour and entirely too many processed cheese slices, "it's that kid from Stand By Me!", and before you know it, it's 90 minutes later, you've watched to whole thing, and you're puking your lower-intestine out, cursing frat-boy comedies with your dying breath. This may seem like a trifling evil, weeding out late-night TV addicts whose only real function in life is to justify 3 AM Tai-bo infomercials, but the more souls Feldman collects, the more powerful he becomes, just like Freddy in the later stages of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, until one day he will rise to power and rule our earth for seven years of blood, torment, and agony, before finally being defeated in the Armageddon-like battle with Corey Haim known in legend as The Lost Boys 2: The Lost Girls. Until that day arrives, however, we must be wary, and forever vigilant, lest his rampage run unchecked.

So there you have it, my top 10 movies of the year 2001. Granted, there are only three movies on the list, and one of them came out in 1984, but in the absence of a memory untainted by years of electron abuse, it's the best you're going to get.





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