My 5 Favorite Movies
As payment for the lovely Patreon contribution of Alice, I agreed to provide a list of my top 5 favorite movies (horror or not) and whatever film quotes I remember that I love. So, here we are:
5. Kill Bill (Yes, Both Parts)
Any real fan of Quentin Tarantino knows that Kill Bill is not two movies–it is one movie, split into parts because that’s how the studio wanted to deliver it. Don’t say you don’t like part two as much as part one; Kill Bill is one movie.
Why is this on my list? To tell you the truth, it doesn’t really seem to make sense considering who I am and what I do… except that it 100% is a Nick Nocturne kind of film.
There are no major psychological mystery elements, there’s no major abstract symbolism to decode or puzzle to break, and while the story of Kill Bill is horrifying, it’s not strictly horror.
And yet, Kill Bill is extremely valuable to me. So much so that I have the physical DVD copies of both parts and my own Hanzo sword replica, given to me during a past Christmas from someone who knew me better than I had realized up until that point.
Quentin Tarantino is a role model for me and anyone who believes in the Night Mind mission statement. An independent creator who taught himself, did his own work, and fought his way into the industry on his own terms making original work that challenged the field and broke the mold, Quentin Tarantino is revered for a very good reason. He told us unique, engaging stories that spoke to him and never bowed to the entertainment field’s requests to make “more of what sold last summer.”
Kill Bill is probably the bravest, boldest movie Quentin Tarantino could have ever made before Django Unchained, and I don’t think anyone else could have ever gotten away with doing this. Outrageously violent, over-the-top action sequences, and oozing with charisma that’s equally cool and absurd, this world doesn’t follow cinema rules of the time it came out. Kill Bill stands alone, much like The Bride herself, and it takes no prisoners.
And the story? That awesome story! You cannot get a more badass, engaging revenge tale than the bloody path of The Bride. And let’s face it: you never, ever imagined a movie involving a woman punching her way out of a coffin, did you? And you probably never expected to enjoy seeing that as much as you did.
4 - Trick ‘r Treat
Let’s get something straight here, mmkay?
Michael Dougherty is brilliant and cannot make a bad movie.
Trick ‘r Treat is one of the best Halloween movies I’ve ever seen. I love it so much, it shares the same treatment I gave Kill Bill–I have the DVD, and I bought a Sam Hain Pop Vinyl figure. If I can get more Sam stuff while browsing geek merchandise stores, I absolutely will.
A short story collection horror movie on Halloween that feels like Halloween and celebrates a bunch of different Halloween monster and horror characters and situations is so valuable. I enjoy every aspect of this movie, and it just keeps surprising you. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s disturbing, and it just brings so many different pieces of what Halloween is for people into one film. And like Quentin Tarantino, Michael Dougherty kind of had to fight his way into the field, too.
Trick ‘r Treat began its life as an animated short film by Micahel Dougherty in 1996 called “Season’s Greetings.” It was a traditional animation by the actual director and writer! And he had to hold onto his idea for about ten years before he could make it. The film was was originally intended for wide release in theaters in October of 2007, but got pushed off the theatrical release plans for that year and sat in limbo. Trick ‘r Treat was only given screenings at festivals after this and, after buzz was created on the festival circuit, it was given a DVD & Blu-Ray release in 2009.
Michael Dougherty waited about ten years to make his idea into the movie. And then it took another two years for a wide audience to actually see it.
But now, Dougherty’s having the last laugh—Trick ‘r Treat is a cult classic with so much love and merchandising success behind it that he was given the power to make Krampus, a movie I gave my first glowing review for on the channel last year. I even bought the DVD this year and watched it again on December 23rd.
3- The Matrix
The Matrix was the first film I ever saw that really opened up my mind and shocked me with ideas and imagination. It’s not just a sci-fi action movie, it’s a classic and potent revelation film.
The entire idea of the Matrix is shocking, startling, and so enticing to explore. Conspiracies, secret societies, breaking cages around the mind built by the world–this movie will do so much for you.
Again, you can make jokes about my reverence for his movie like you might with my respect for the quotes of Tyler Durden, but movies like The Matrix become huge success stories and stay in the public consciousness for years for major reasons. This is a movie that opens up your mind to see so much more than meets the eye and really think about a lot of things.
2 - The Wall (Pink Floyd)
The greatest tragedy of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” is that not many people know this movie exists. Before I found David Lynch, before I found Donnie Darko, before all of other movies I can call Night Mind material, there was The Wall.
I can never properly express how much love I have for the entire creation of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The album, the movie, the concert, the concept… this is a piece of my heart.
You want to talk about an abstract, surrealist art film that gets under your skin and generates a form of empathy you’ve never felt? This movie will do that. It’s tough for people who can’t even fully get into David Lynch’s more accessible stuff, but for those who know how to walk through the weird side of film, this movie will do incredible things to you.
Taken entirely from the perspective of a rock star character named Pink Floyd, we explore the inner thoughts, feelings, and guarded memories in the brain of a superstar musician who stumbled his way into fame after a life of suffering, loneliness, and disconnection with human beings. If you ever wanted to dive headfirst into the psyche of a troubled celebrity with a major artistic bend, this is your chance. And it is, of course, all set to the awesome music of the classic concept album.
If I were going to hand you guys an official Night Mind challenge, it would be tackling The Wall and coming back to explain it to me. If I’ve managed to teach you guys anything at all through my investigation methods and explanations, you’ll be able to show me the result by interpreting this masterpiece.
1- Mulholland Drive
How did I react after watching Mulholland Drive for the first time?
I did something I never do after watching a movie:
I thought to myself, very seriously, “I think I finally watched a perfect movie.”
And that feeling has never left me.
Mulholland Drive is the most accessible David Lynch property besides Twin Peaks. If you watch it, you’ll understand it, even if you don’t fully get it. If you pay attention watching the movie and feel what’s coming across, even if you have no idea what the ending actually was or what it meant, you’ll still understand perfectly what it’s trying to convey, and that’s a flawless victory for a David Lynch piece.
I’ll warn you now: if you watch this movie, it’s going to hurt you. It will do things to you that you don’t expect. Watch it alone if you can, and watch it entirely, seriously, with full focus and an isolated atmosphere. Don’t let anything get in the way of your experience or interrupt your viewing.
Like The Wall, this is a Night Mind challenge movie. And like The Wall, it’s not an emotionally or mentally easy piece to experience. But if you want to inject art straight into your brain and give yourself emotional heart palpitations, this is the film for you.
And yes, it’s a puzzlebox, because it is a David Lynch piece. But even without putting all the pieces together, you’ll see enough of the picture to feel the weight of what it represents.
If you’re a crying kind of person when it comes to certain movies, then get the tissues ready and a pillow. Hold on tight.
Mulholland Drive is an important film–one of the most important films I’ve ever seen. And after seeing Eraserhead as my introduction to David Lynch, which pissed me off entirely and made me think Lynch was just some overly artsy hack, Mulholland Drive made me fall in love with the man’s brain and revere him.
Hate and laughter against a director to love and ultimate respect in a single movie–that’s the power of Mulholland Drive.
And those are my top five! I have a lot more movies I love and respect, but these are the ones I feel deserve to be shared and given their positions here.
And… wow, I’m seriously bad at thinking of quotes. I’m sorry, haha. Hope the list suffices!