by De Blenniss
Naturally some films develop a cult following. But the following films fan base has seemed to wear itself thin. Here are the top five films where the audience has started to bury their respected favorites.
I found myself in an interesting situation with this movie. I saw a sneak peak of the film, and I had to respect a comedy that didn’t curse or resort to obscene slapstick. However, a week later the high school band started wearing “Vote for Pedro” shirts and the slippery slope began. What respect I had for the film dwindled into an annoyance for anyone who yelled “Gosh!” in my face when suggesting a new idea. The film became inescapable. The Napoleon apex hit its peak when, at Thanksgiving dinner my grandmother turned to me and said, “Hey, you love movies. Have you seen that Napoleon Dynamo? I loved it!”.
6. Fight Club
Like the majority of the public, I saw Fight Club when it was released on DVD. The direction was dark and focused, with a pointed attack at the mainstream. This is very appealing to a rebellious teenager; however, my fellow students began to miss the irony. People started their own fight clubs where they would beat the shit out of each other in their living rooms instead of in a filthy bar like the one in the movie. Over time, vanity took over and black eyes weren't all the rage. School boards began putting in their two cents, which only pushed the clubs even more underground. I was approached by a member one day after lunch. “This Friday we're doing a fight club. You in?". Although I knew my answer, I couldn’t help but think, “Don’t you know the first rule of fight club?”
5. Donnie Darko
I like the majority of the cast. I think the idea is interesting, as well as the execution. But like Fight Club, this movie shoots to the top of all time favorites lists. The film’s hardcore fan base argues its validity so hard that it takes away from the overall effect of the film. It's a state of mind picture which changes easily influenced viewers perception, and the viewer returns eagerly to regurgitate the message. It’s a good film ruined by the fan base, which tells me it's one of the best films ever. At that point, I suggest that they watch The Godfather.
Claymation is a difficult art form. Compared to digital effects, it's a practice of patience and craft. So why is it so hard for me to watch this film again? I blame marketing. Jack Skellington’s face has been plastered all over sweatshirts, baseball hats, and even cigarette holders. Its the complete immersion into popular culture that has stripped this film of its edge and sense of wonder. What a shame.
If there were a director I wish I could meet, it would be Stanley Kubrick, strange OCD habits and all. A Clockwork Orange is savage and unflinching but it falls victim to its own iconoclasm. Kubrick even pulled the film out of England due to copycat crimes that were happening because of the film. Those who like the film can see its detached moral sensibility, but the overwhelming marketing and die-hard fan base introduces an interesting debate. Would Kubrick want the general public to embrace a nightmare of violence, or discuss humanity's potential for the infinite like in 2001?
I must admit that I myself am a comedy nerd, and I adore Monty Python’s sketches and feature films. However, there are fans of the troupe that have nothing better to do than obsessively quote films. The film is a wonderful farce on the tales of heroes and knights, but it’s the internet browsing indoor nerds that helped bury this film with a majority of the public. We should be thankful that Python moved on to create other projects with their acidic wit and freeform acting and writing style.
Scarface is over the top excess. Tony Montana’s rise to the top of the drug world has given would-be gangsters a template for excessive big money spending. The film itself isn’t amazing, but it’s also not horrible. Al Pacino began his “hoo ha!” style of acting with this performance. Its glamorization of the underbelly of the crime world has inspired gangsta rappers and teenagers to make money and take money. Despite Tony Montana ending up dead floating face down in a pool, Scarface’s following is as devoted to the film as Tony was to take over the world, which of course can only end in disaster.