Today! Because apes don’t read philosophy –
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Directed by Charles Crichton
Starring John Cleese (x2), Jamie Lee Curtis (x2), Kevin Kline (x3), Michael Palin (x2), Maria Aitken, Tom Georgeson, Patricia Hayes, Stephen Fry
You could make a case for a number of the Pythons having the best post-Python career – Eric Idle has worked consistently and to great effect in movies and TV, Palin has done extensive documentary work around the globe, Terry Gilliam is a world class director with a number of great films under his belt, but for my money the winner is Cleese, for two big reasons: 1) Fawlty Towers (okay, made sort of in the midst of Monty Python films in the ’70s) and 2) his writing, uncredited co-directing, and starring in this, an amazing hybrid of British and American styles of humor. This discounts his terrific cameo turn in The Great Muppet Caper, which I suppose is third.
“I thought you said the pets were dead.”
Today! Because you’ve fooled them, haven’t you, Michael? But not me –
Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, P.J. Soles (x2), Nancy Kyes, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, Nick Castle, Tony Moran
As few films on this list can be classified as horror, Halloween holds the very real distinction of being the only true slasher movie. The handful of others are usually crossing more into fantasy/demons type areas (or are films masquerading as mainstream crime/drama, but with serious horror elements), but in the Stabby Dude horror sub-category, this is all you’ll find. I think having a real love and appreciation for horror movies requires a specific type of movie fan, so a list of, say, their 400 favorite movies would naturally include tons of these. I genuinely enjoy lousy movies, from poorly executed studio films to under budgeted amateur trash, but those movies aren’t going to ever get classified as a “favorite” of mine, and the vast majority of this sort of horror falls into that area. Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (not a horror film) did come close, though.
Lisa did not literally tear him apart
Today! Because that’s not my foot, that’s mom’s foot! And those are mom’s legs –
Freaky Friday (1976)
Directed by Gary Nelson
Starring Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster, John Astin, Dick Van Patten (x2), Sorrell Booke, Ruth Buzzi, Kaye Ballard, Patsy Kelly, Alan Oppenheimer, Marc McClure, Sparky Marcus, Al Molinaro, Charlene Tilton, Fritz Feld
This one is a bit of an odd story. I didn’t grow up with Freaky Friday, even though it is decidedly a children’s movie, straight from the House of Mouse. I knew kid Jodie Foster from Taxi Driver almost exclusively – to me she made that and then was immediately an adult winning Oscars for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs. And I may have even seen Nashville already, so this wouldn’t even have been my introduction to Barbara Harris. But, one night in college, half drunk I suspect, I was hanging out in my great friend Dave’s basement, and we happened upon Freaky Friday on the Disney Channel. I have no idea why we sat and watched the whole thing, but there we were, yukking it up over the old body switching premise. And it was followed by the TV remake from the ’90s with Gaby Hoffman and Shelley Long, so we watched that, too. And this random incident always stuck with me, to the point that if it’s on, I’ll flip on Freaky Friday for a few minutes, and probably end up watching the whole thing yet again.
And, kick ass ’70s effects!