List-O-rama: My favorite films of 1989

LIST O RAMA 2

My 5 Favorite Films of 1989

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“This town needs an enema!”

Batman (Directed by Tim Burton | starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson) The first true comic book blockbuster, Batman still holds up today. I am not entirely sure on the exact number of times I saw the movie upon it’s release, but it is the most I’ve gone to see one movie in the cinema. With a flawless portrayal of the Joker by Nicholson, Batman is super stylish and one of my all-time favorites.

 

 

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“Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn

Major League (Directed by David S. Ward | starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger) This movie is number 2, next to Slap Shot, as best sports comedy of all-time. A great cast and clever writing make this story of the downtrodden Cleveland Indians baseball clubs worst to first comeback story very enjoyable. It is very much an updated version of the Bad News Bears. This is a love story intended for every viewer who is a diehard fan of their home town team, even if the suck terribly.

 

 

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Marty’s get rich quick scheme backfires.

Back to the Future II (Directed by Robert Zemeckis | starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd) The second of the time travel trilogy, this film is the glue that holds it together. I am not saying I don’t love the other two films, but Back to the Future II has a certain charm. The writing and references to the future are clever, and Biff Tannen is one of the all-time villains. Even though the Cubs did not win the World Series in 2015 like the film boldly predicted, it is still a hell of a time waster.

 

 

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The Stones have nothing on the Stallyns!

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Directed by Stephen Herek | starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter) In 1989, a gift was given to the world, and that gift was Keanu Reeves. This comedy features such names as Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Socrates, Genghis Khan, and George Carlin as Rufus. Bill and Ted travel time in a phone booth. Sound familiar? This excellent adventure features one of film’s greatest fictional bands; Wyld Stallyns. Good, mindless fun. You’d have to be a medieval dickweed not to enjoy and appreciate this history lesson.

 

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A hellacious cat named Church. Poetic.

Pet Sematary (Directed by Mary Lambert | starring Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynn) This film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. In my opinion, this is the best of King’s work turned movie. I saw this one at a drive-inn double feature and it scared to crap out of me. Pet Sematary still has an unsettling effect on me. This film features a ghost, reanimation of dead things, a demonic house cat named Church, and a toddler on the loose with a scalpel.

 

 

 

T.

31 Days of Halloween *Day 9* – PET SEMATARY

 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 9

Pet Sematary (Mary Lambert, 1989) The first time I was Pet Sematary, it was sort of by accident. A friend and I went to the drive-in with his mom and her boyfriend. We begged them to take us to see the main feature, Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. We were, and still are, big fans of Jason Voorhees. The second movie on the bill was a film we knew little about; Pet Sematary. These were times before internet, so we were in the dark about this film. We only knew that it was a novel by Stephen King. We decided to stay and watch the second half of the double feature. What we saw next haunted us for some time to come. Mind you, we were thirteen years old, but I am not afraid to admit that Pet Sematery scared the crap out of me. I watch it now with only fond memories of being frightened, because it has lost some of it’s effect over the years. The story is of the Creed family, who move from the big city of Chicago to a cottage in the country. The couple and their young daughter and son arrive, and from the start are concerned by the highway that runs right in front of their property. Day and night, the road is traveled by fast moving tractor-trailers. Numerous dogs and cats have perished to the road, so down the path from the house is a make-shift cemetery dedicated to the fallen pets. The family is befriended by neighbor Jud Crandall, an old gentleman who takes a shine to the new residents. After tragedy strikes, Jud introduces Mr. Creed to an ancient Micmac burial ground, just beyond the “Pet Sematary”. After abusing the power that the ancient grounds hold, life really begins to unravel for the Creeds. Like many of King’s stories, Pet Sematary has more than one element at play; the horror that is at hand, and the memories of the past that haunt certain characters. Mr. Creed and the daughter are visited by a ghost warning them of the future. Mrs. Creed is tormented by the memories of her crippled, invalid sister, and the the neighbor is tortured with guilt over the hell he just opened up on his new friends. Not to mention a zombie cat named Winston Churchill, and a soulless toddler running around with a scalpel. Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) is great as Jed, and has some pretty good lines of dialogue. Things like “Christ on his throne, no!” (when asked if a man had ever been buried in the burial ground) or “Sometimes dead is better.” He’s like a poor man’s prophet, and seems to always have a beer in every scene he is in. I have since read the source novel by horror scribe, and legend, Stephen King, and it is frightening. The book translates very well to the big screen. The story deals with death, and grieving, and the desperation of a devastated father. Desperate men go to dangerous lengths, even if the consequences are deadly. If resurrection is possible, does the soul return from the dead along with the body? Pet Sematary answers that question with a resounding NO! Even cute little kids return as blood thirsty ghouls. Along with The Exorcist (1973) and The Changeling (1980), Pet Sematary is a film that truly frightened me, and certain scenes still can make my skin crawl. And if all of that is not enough, legendary NYC punk band The Ramones perform the title track for this movie.  I highly recommend this film for some truly chilling and spooky Halloween viewing.

Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary