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The Lucky 13: Favorite Gonzo-Style Films

March 24, 2013

902211_459474507455758_1296714709_oThis weekend, what will surly become a cult classic, Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” was released to a wider and broader audience. Will people be able to accept this wild, madcap, anarchist of a movie about hot college girls getting into trouble down in the deepest and darkest regions of Florida? Of course they will! Whether you noticed it or not, “Spring Breakers” is a gonzo film, and many more like it have come before and remained modern/timeless classic in it’s own right.

‘Gonzo’ film is considered by most as experimental film with many unique visual designs, mixed with a normally realistic subject. It can be a gritty, but amusing black comedy, or any other sort of movie that involves absurd yet in the context of the movie, realistic to the plot elements. So, let the countdown begin to MY favorite 13 Gonzo-Style Films…

13. “Adaptation.” – Perhaps I’ve placed this on the list, because I literally just revisited this film no more than 12 hours ago on Netflix Instant, but oh man, does this surly count. It’s a daring, absurd, extremely meta film about a real-life screenwriter with writers block. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman writes this bizarro Hollywood film, featuring Nicolas Cage as Kaufman himself, and Cages fictitious twin brother Donald Cage as Charlie’s fictitious twin brother Donald Kaufman.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.45.00 AM

[Available on Netflix Instant]

12. “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” – I could put just about every Python film on this list, but if I had to whittle it down to the one film I consider the most madcap, it would be “The Meaning of Life”. I mean, just watch the clip below and tell me with a straight face you don’t agree with me. Yeah, that’s what i thought.

[Available on Netflix Instant]

11. “Eraserhead” – Nervous about becoming a mamma or papa in your life? Then I’d strongly advise for you to NOT watch David Lynch’s “Eraserhead”. LOL. Lynch’s surreal film uses detailed visuals and a creepy score to create a bizarre and disturbing look into a man’s fear of parenthood.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.47.44 AM

10. “Natural Born Killers” – Madman Oliver Stone and bonafide Quentin Tarantino team up with this extremely psychopathic runaway train of a serial killer movie. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis give riveting performances as two victims of traumatic childhoods who became lovers and mass murderers, and are irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.48.18 AM

9. “GO” – Doug Liman directs this 1999 comedy thriller about multiple story lines intertwining between one another all set on Christmas Eve in L.A. and Las Vegas. The events of one very bad drug deal effect everyone who knows everyone involved.

8. “Battle Royale” – Before “The Hunger Games” there was “Battle Royale”! In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act. Seriously, doesn’t that sound too familiar? Where “Hunger Games” lacked in it’s violent imagery, “Battle Royale” makes up for it with buckets of blood and insane characters.

[Available on Netflix Instant]

7. “Being John Malkovich” – Spike Jonze makes another appearance on this list, before “Adaptation.” came this little gem, which funny enough, the opening to “Adaptation.” is the set of “Being John Malkovich”. When a timid puppeteer finds a portal into the mind of actor/thespian John Malkovich, he tries to make the best of what could be the greatest scam and puppet master work of all time.

[Available on Netflix Instant]

6. “Withnail & I” – A Hunter S. Thompson enthusiast/friend, Bruce Robinson writes & directs this film about two ‘resting’ (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside, courtesy of Withnail’s uncle Monty’s country cottage. But when they get there, the rain pours non-stop, there’s no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.53.43 AM

[Available on Netflix Instant]

5. “Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn” – Sam Raimi’s sequel/remake/requel to his 1981 masterpiece, turns into a different direction where the horror has been overrun by pure house of mirrors comic insanity. Everything that made the original a classic is maximized x10 in this movie, which many consider to be the best “Evil Dead” movie.

4. “Brazil” – Terry Gillam’s brilliant hard (yet soft) sci-fi fantasy takes you on a visual adventure most films just cannot seem to convey much anymore in todays world. A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.54.55 AM

3. “Black Dynamite” – A blaxplotation tribute that is without a doubt one of the best parody films out there today, that can stand the test of times with Mel Brooks movies or the Abrams/Zucker films. Black Dynamite is the greatest African-American action star of the 1970s. When his only brother is killed by The Man it’s up to him to find justice! DY-NO-MITE! DY-NO-MITE!

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.55.33 AM

2. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – Without question, if there’s one movie that can come close to the insanity of “Spring Breakers”, it would be the Hunter S. Thompson adaptation of his cult book by the same name of the film. Journalist, Raoul Duke and his lawyer, Dr. Gonzo journey to America’s playground, Las Vegas for an endless drug induced odyssey of the weird and weirder. Watch this movie as a double feature with “Spring Breakers” and you will automatically see what Harmony Korine was truly doing in his film.

1. “The Evil Dead” – Weeks away from the Fede Alvarez reboot, we discuss the original film that started it all. Pure nasty slimy disgusting gore throughout this film, about a group of college kids staying in a remote cabin in the woods for a little holiday. What happens next, after one of the curious kids reads from the ultra evil book of the dead, is a nightmare nobody would wish on anyone.

[Available on Netflix Instant]

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