Tag Archives: Richard Benjamin

The Set of 400: #100 – My Favorite Nude Medal Ceremony

Today! Because in order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying –

Catch-22 (1970)

Directed by Mike Nichols (x2)

Starring Alan Arkin (x5), Jon Voight (x2), Martin Balsam (x3), Buck Henry (x3), Richard Benjamin, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins (x2), Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford (x2), Martin Sheen, Orson Welles (x2), Bob Balaban (x2), Paula Prentiss, Norman Fell (x2), Charles Grodin, Austin Pendleton, Peter Bonerz, Jack Riley (x4), Bruce Kirby, Richard Libertini (x3), Elizabeth Wilson (x2), Susanne Benton, Jon Korkes, Marcel Dalio

The Top 100! We finally made it! This is what the list always was in the past – a tight group of a hundred films I love, not this insanely bloated collection including a ton of movies I like but would probably be embarrassed to bring up to the Gallery of Sound register. And often floating near the end of those lists from days gone by is this adaptation of my favorite book, Mike Nichols’ noble experiment in bringing Joseph Heller’s unfilmmable novel to the screen. I don’t anticipate ever doing a list like this of my favorite books – come on, that would be far too difficult, as I don’t really re-read books much, so even though I remember loving The Stand, how it would compare to something I read last month is questionable. So, just for your edification and because this is all about me anyway, Catch-22 is my favorite book. I’m not sure what is ever going to supplant it, but I suppose anything’s possible. I’ve still never read The Da Vinci Code!

The movie sucked pretty loud, though, as I recall

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The Set of 400: Whoops! The Second in a Multi-Part Series

Oh, we’re going to keep doing this, are we?

You bet your ass! While I’ve only got about a dozen of these lined up, it’s entirely possible once I’ve finished writing all the main countdown posts I’ll just flood the weekends with more movies. The Set of 400 ultimately could include another 50 or 60 films! I’ll try to refrain from that, though. I realize I’m testing the patience of everyone on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with this nonsense endeavor already.

However, today we’ve got:

Love at First Bite (1979)

We watched this sorta hokey Dracula comedy to death as kids. I have no idea why. It’s still kinda funny, but it’s ridiculously dated, and features crazy over-the-top performances from skincare aficionado George Hamilton as the count, Laugh-In great Arte Johnson as Renfield, and Kate & Allie‘s Susan Saint James. Really, what grounds this wackiness in any sort of way is Richard Benjamin’s terrific turn as Vlad’s antagonist Van Helsing/Rosenberg. It’s kinda fun, but there are plenty of reasons you probably aren’t more familiar with Love at First Bite, not the least of which is its campy ’70s-ness.

It certainly wouldn’t have ranked terribly high, had I remembered to include it in the long list, but I’d venture it could’ve made the cut. Not around here, but maybe back in the 380s, possibly between Spider-Man and True Confession. Sorry director Stan Dragoti! No appearances on the list, despite helming the likes of Mr. Mom, Necessary Roughness, and She’s Out of Control! Womp womp!

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