1. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
My dad introduced me to this movie, I can’t even remember how old I was, just a small kiddie… After I fell head over heels for Mr. Herman, I watched and re-watched and re-watched all the Pee-wee’s Playhouse episodes. He is THE MAN in my life. Why? What’s the significance? Well he’s cute, he’s funny, he lives in a playhouse with puppets (some of which play music!), and he owns the BEST BIKE EVER. Plus, me and my dad would eat Boo Berry cereal while watching the show. This was the best time of my life.
2. Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
This is generally considered the best of the Stark Trek movies. Pops taught me that the even numbered Trek movies are the ones that count, but number two is the absolute best because of Ricardo Motalban. The fan favorite Khan was brought back from the original series and forever stayed in our hearts as the emotional ending would later ring in our lives. Sacrifice is key.
3. Batman, 1989
What’s not to like? Beetlejuice! Jack Nicholson! And Prince’s soundtrack is kick-ass (very underrated in IMHO). We see none other than Tim Burton, director of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, bring to life to the big screen my favorite superhero. He was dark, he was brooding, he wore a cape, he was perfect! Let’s not acknowledge the Schumacher Batman flicks (the original nipple-gate) and move right along to Nolan (thumbs up). But Burton’s Batman has a special place in my heart.
4. Halloween, 1978
Look I have a love/hate relationship with Michael Myers. Though I love trick or treating (Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, way more than Christmas) but as a little girl I had nightmares about Michael Myers chasing me. After my cat Francis and I binge watched all the Halloween movies (even the really bad ones including the Season of the Witch) ...at night… by ourselves… I finally came to terms with the masked man. Masked… didn’t know I’d have that much in common with him.
5. Spider- Man 2, 2004
OK, so this series isn’t the truest interpretation of Peter Parker. But it’s Sam Raimi directed, so right away it’s got kudos. It’s Mr. Evil Dead! No? Anyway, number two rocks because of Doctor Octopus. The tremendous towering talent of Alfred Molina took this role and made it his own. I love his crooked nose because imperfection is hot. Getting back to the actual villain, he was so wonderfully frustrating! Not since Khan (and maybe Dr. Lecter) have I rooted for a bad guy so emphatically. THAT is the mark of a perfect villain. Bad guys are bad news, but you gotta respect the ones who make you wanna break bad.
6. Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country
What an end to an era with the original cast. Drunk Klingons quoting Shakespeare, Captain Kirk coming to terms with these large foreheaded belligerent aliens who killed his son David (granted it was Christopher Lloyd’s lackey who did it), and every member of the original crew shined in the end. Even Uhura got in on the action brandishing a weapon at her age, love her! Que cojones!
7. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Amazing story telling as it was taken over from George Lucas (sorry). This one’s the Debbie Downer, but so is life. Yoda comes into the picture and man oh man do we not all carry life lessons from him throughout our own lives? Do we not all practice our Yoda laugh in the mirror? This is proof, aside from the Godfather, that sequels do not have to suck. The set up at the end is brilliant. We’re in on that ride of a lifetime with Luke and mourning our beloved mentors. This flick is life, we can be down but we’re not out.
8. The Exorcist
This one is it. The grand-daddy of horror flicks. This is the one that’ll make me, uh, you, anyone, sleep with the lights on for a full week snuggled up to your cat and hoping you don’t dream in strange tongues. My pops and I saw the re-release in the theaters and laughed at all the people who kept leaving their seats-- they “had to make calls” “get more candy” or “use the bathroom”. Ladies and gentlemen, this movie will never be dated, it’ll always always scare the bejeesus outta anyone. Plus you got the priest who looks like a boxer who’s Jason Patric’s real life dad. There’s your bit ‘o trivia for bar night.
9. Jeepers Creepers
Before you start judging, let me remind you I love all things camp. In this age of trite “sophisticated” film work, Jeepers Creepers brings it back old school style. Yes, it’s silly, it’s got that title for Pete’s sake (Pete, not Petey) but boy is it a whole lotta fun! And genuinely scary-- the Creeper is a downright horrid beast and all you really need a formidable villain (see # 2 and #5) and you’ve got my attention.
It's vampires vs. werewolves (pre-Twilight), come on? Dark & sexy, it doesn't get much pulpier than that. You have one of the coolest female heroes in Selene, who can take out 3 dudes in 2 seconds, plus that finale battle with Bill Nighy! It's shot in a super gothic, comic book style and there's a little Shakespearean romance thrown in. I learned most of my take down moves from Selene.