See the Top 10 of 1986
The year is 1987. Iran-Contra is dominating the headlines; Margaret
Thatcher wins a third term as Prime Minister; and the Supreme Court
tells the Rotary Club that they have to admit women. In other more
tragic news, the space shuttle, Ranger 3, the last of NASA's
deep space probes, would be lost along with its pilot, Captain Buck
Rogers. Some theorized that maybe he would be found some 500 years
later when humans had the technology to unfreeze him. But that's just
crazy talk. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century? Ridiculous.
But the box office was a different story. Science fiction and
fantasy once again are big draws, but Vietnam would prove to be the
piece de resistance. Topping the box office would be a film directed by
none other than Leonard "I am/I am not Spock" Nimoy titled Three
Men and a Baby. But as successful as it was, it was not one of
the ten best of the year. So what were the top ten films of 1987?
target="_blank">Evil Dead II
Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell
Why a fave? While it didn't exactly make a huge splash when it was
released, Evil Dead II has become a huge cult phenomenon,
becoming the example of how to perfectly mesh comedy with horror. Both
scary and hilarious, this film cemented the genius of Sam Raimi, not to
mention made Bruce Campbell an underground cult celebrity. Anchor Bay
has released about three million functionally different versions of
this on DVD. I was recently told that there's another planned, titled
the No really, we have new bonus features this time edition.
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery
Why a fave? When this came out, this film was the bee's freaking knees.
It dominated at the box office and got a number of Oscar nods and even
won one. And, yeah, it was pretty awesome. So why does it place so low?
It didn't hold up. Really, watch it. It's not as great as you remember
it. Better yet, don't. It will live on better in your memory.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton
Why a fave? Easily the single greatest modern vampire film, a film so
raw, original and daring that it never, ever, even once uses the word vampire.
"What are we?" "We don't know." This movie redefined the vampire
lifestyle in fiction and influenced a large amount of vampire
literature and film over the following two decades.
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Shane Black
Why a fave? "If it bleeds, we can kill it." Hell yeah. One of the great
science fiction horror films, often imitated, but never properly
duplicated, not even by its own sequel. Loud, proud and explosion
heavy, this is how films like this are supposed to be done.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Peter Weller, the dad from That 70's Show
Why a fave? This was a tough one. While I love Predator and
the two share a very important place in sci-fi/action history, it was
Robocop's wit and open satire that put it a cut above. This is one of
those films that works as both as a serious film within the genre as
well as an intelligent deconstruction of it.
Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, William Hurt
Why a fave? Man, who would have thought the evening news could be
cutthroat, frenetic and exciting? This film singlehandedly made it cool
to be in the news profession. The bitter, hilarious story behind the
plastic smiles and man on the street news coverage.
Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover
Why a fave? Mel Gibson. Danny Glover. Before they got too old for this
$#*%. Seriously though, this is the real prototype for the buddy cop
movie. Every single movie involving two cops thrown together wants so
badly to be this that it hurts. And none of them have been.
Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker
Why a fave? Not since M.A.S.H. has someone been able to
capture both ridiculously funny comedy and the deep tragedy of war and
shift seamlessly between them. This is how you're supposed to use Robin
Williams. You wind him up and turn him loose for the funny, then let
his dramatic sense lead the story. Easily one of the funniest films
Williams has ever been a part of.
Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Carey Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright Penn, Andre the Giant,
Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn.
Why a fave? If I have to tell you then you have no idea what you're in
target="_blank">I'm sure there's someone around here who wrote a book
about it or something. You might want to ask them
why this is one of the funniest films ever made.
Director: Stanley Freaking Kubrick
Stars: Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, R. Lee "Gunny"
Why a fave? There's a saying that goes "Well, he's no Kubrick." That
goes for pretty much everyone but this guy. Stanley Kubrick. He's the
guy. And this is a film so good that not only is it the seminal works
on the Vietnam war, but is also one of the greatest anti-war films ever
made. Oh, yeah. And it gave us the glory that is R. Lee Ermey. And for
some odd reason, if you go to any video store near a college campus,
they have like four copies of this. Still a huge rental.
See the Top 10 of 1986
C. Robert Cargill - - - Email
Austin-based Cargill, who not
only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies
and DVD five times a week.