Tag Archives: Michael Gough

The Set of 400: #18 – My Favorite Dance with the Devil in the Pale Moonlight

Today! Because I’ve got a flying mouse to kill, and I want to clean my claws –

Batman (1989)

Directed by Tim Burton (x6)

Starring Michael Keaton (x9), Jack Nicholson (x7), Kim Basinger (x2), Robert Wuhl (x3), Michael Gough (x3), Pat Hingle (x3), Billy Dee Williams (x3), Lee Wallace, Tracey Walter (x3), Jack Palance, Jerry Hall, William Hootkins (x2), Garrick Hagon (x3)

One of the main reasons I started heavy-duty list making in the first place, Tim Burton’s Batman was everything to me in 1989. Remember, this was the halcyon summer of the third Indiana Jones and the second Ghostbusters and… Honey I Shrunk the Kids, so nine-year-old Joe had plenty to look forward to after the hectic slog of fourth grade. And while I enjoyed all of those (yes, even Ghostbusters II), none had the impact of the Caped Crusader facing off with the Joker on the big screen. I can’t overstate how important this movie was in the entire formation of my interests for years to come.

Seriously, is it possible we all have it wrong on GBII? I haven’t seen it in forever, but it’s not really all that bad, right? I mean, it’s not Caddyshack II, is it?

And I didn’t like this movie in a cool way – I wasn’t some detached fan who viewed it in secret and mentioned it sporadically if it happened to come up. Ten-year-old me was a giant dork about this movie, badgering all my grade school pals with Batman shit and watching it endlessly at the house. Before it was available on VHS, I read the novelization by (I still remember) Craig Shaw Gardner multiple times. I had the Prince soundtrack and the Danny Elfman score on tapes. I had no fewer than three posters from this movie in my bedroom. It was straight up disgusting, how into this movie I was. Oh, is your big takeaway 380+ movies into this list that I wasn’t a cool kid? Huge surprise, I know! I’m not putting up much of an argument for being a cool adult, either! Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #205 – My Favorite Microwaved Spray Paint

Today! Because mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it –

Batman Returns (1992)

Directed by Tim Burton (x3)

Starring Michael Keaton (x3), Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito (x4), Christopher Walken, Michael Gough (x2), Michael Murphy (x4), Pat Hingle (x2), Vincent Schiavelli (x4), Andrew Bryniarski, Jan Hooks (x2), Steve Witting, Paul Reubens (x3), Cristi Conaway

A superhero outing aggressively not holding up, Batman Returns was basically my favorite movie when I was 12 years old. I’d been waiting three years for the next Bat-adventure, and where this manner of suspense might raise expectations far higher than a film could reach nowadays, back then it just functioned as a way to excuse a lot of their choices. We finally had another Keaton/Burton Bat-flick! And it had the Penguin! And Catwoman! And…Christopher Walken in a ridiculous wig!

And style-wise, it’s still a pretty cool movie. Between the Christmas setting, the weirder, twistier sets than the first movie, Michelle Pfeiffer’s super dramatic eye makeup, and a marked increase in the Tim Burton-ness of the design, it’s a sequel that takes off in bizarre other directions, while still maintaining the overall gloom and moodiness set in place by the original.

Maybe it’s not so much the make up as all the time spent on that hair!

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The Set of 400: #355 – My Favorite Bovine Disguise

Today! Because if everybody had a 12 gauge/with a surfboard too –

Top Secret! (1984)

Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker (x2)

Starring Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Omar Sharif, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Kemp, Warren Clarke, Michael Gough, Jim Carter, Ian McNeice, Christopher Villiers, Harry Ditson

Coming on the heels of writing and/or directing The Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!, and Police Squad!, the ZAZ team whipped up this WWII/Elvis parody, taking shots at everything from ’50s culture to The Blue Lagoon in the process. And while it might not reach quite the comedic heights of the productions before and after (The Naked Gun, Hot Shots!), there is a lot of fun in this film. Val Kilmer is terrific in his first big screen role, a sort of Conrad Birdie/Audie Murphy hybrid who interrupts the war resistance goings on to break out some rock & roll jams. He’s out to rescue fellow resister Hillary’s father, Dr. Flammond, played by the future Alfred to Kilmer’s Bruce Wayne Michael Gough! Huh! And Hillary actress Lucy Gutteridge’s only other role I’ve seen came in the same year, playing Belle to George C. Scott’s Scrooge! And Peter Cushing and Warren Clarke both co-starred with David Prowse in ’70s films on this list! None of this is really all that important.

This was some years after Clarke played Dim, being very dim

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