Every year thousands of movies are released. Some of these movies are big hits, some of them are flops and some of them are treasures buried by the over saturated market. It is impossible to watch every single movie that is released and to be honest, even if you were able to there is no way that would be enjoyable. Some critics make it their goal to excavate the buried treasure of the film industry like a Siskel and Ebert rip off of Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, most critics stick to the same list of movies as all the other critics and because of this issue, many great films are rarely heard of. Because of this, we have put together this list of 6 movies that you may not have heard of, but you should watch them.
Sam Rockwell has been a heavy hitting actor for many years and is only just now getting the recognition he deserves with his awards for Three Billboards. He has also been recognized for his great work in the films Vice, Richard Jewell and Jojo Rabbit but back in 2009 he took on a role that we feel should be highlighted today. That role was playing the character Sam Bell in the drama Moon. The film takes place on the moon where an astronaut (Rockwell) is finishing up a three-year mission in total isolation with the exception of his computer, GERTY. Early on in the film we start to notice something is not right and the twists that the film brings are fantastic and imaginative. Moon is a film that everyone should see, but unfortunately many have not.
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The desire for Elvis Presley to have faked his death and is living out his golden days on an island with Tupac somewhere is one that many people around the globe share. Writer and Director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, BeastMaster) took that desire and spun it on its head. Bubba Ho-Tep is a film about a mummy that is terrorizing a nursing home where the aging Elvis is now spending his last days with his friend JFK (whose brain was implanted into a black man’s body). Staring the silver screen king, Bruce Campbell, this film is an underrated and passed over gem that everyone should see.
The Tao of Steve (2000)
Donal Logue has been around since 1990 and exploded in prime time when he played the lead role in the sitcom, Grounded for Life in 2001. But the year before Grounded for Life aired a movie was released that somehow snuck past many movie lovers and has since been buried under miles and miles of discarded films. The Tao of Steve follows the life of a kindergarten teacher, Dex. Dex lives his life in complete zen mode and strives to be the biggest underachiever around. He is overweight and over confident, and things change when he finally meets the right woman. A slacker film with heart, The Tao of Steve should be on your watch list right now.
The Ref (1994)
Released in 1994 with an all-star cast consisting of Kevin Spacy, Dennis Leary and Judy Davis, The Ref is one of those 90’s movies that is full of comedy and heart. In the film we follow a couple of cat burglars who are working a job. Shortly after getting started one of the burglars leaves his partner and the remaining crook, Dennis Leary, finds himself in the unfortunate situation of being the mediator to and unhappily married couple who cannot stop bickering. The film is wonderful, but the dedication Leary brings to his character is unforgettable.
Dead Man (1995)
Today, Johnny Depp is one of the biggest actors Hollywood has ever seen but back in the mid 90’s, he was just hitting his stride. We had already seen Depp in such films as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape but none of these films would let Depp exercise his artist ability like the movie Dead Man would. Written and Directed by Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise, Coffee and Cigarettes) Dead Man was shot entirely in black and white with music composed by Neil Young. The story is about an accountant by the name of William Blake who commits murder and has to flee. Blake meets a strange Native American named “Nobody” who helps prepare him for his journey into the spirit world. The cast of this amazing piece of art is stacked with actors such as Crispin Glover, lance Henriksen, John Hurt, Billy Bob Thoron and even Iggy Pop in a dress. Dead Man is one of those films that should be in film classes across the world.
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
A film about the underground world of film, Cecil B. Demented is a thrill ride from start to finish. Written and Directed by John Waters who brought us classics like Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Serial mom (Cry-Baby and Serial mom both belong on this list as well), this film is loosely based on the real-life kidnapping of Patricia Hearst (who has appeared in all of Waters movies since Cry-Baby) in the 1970s. Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and once kidnapped, she joined their cause. Cecil B. Demented is the fictional story of an A-List celebrity, Honey Whitlock, who is taken hostage by an underground group of filmmakers and forced to star in their film. How this movie is still buried is a mystery to me due to the amazing story and fantastic cast of Melanie Griffith (Lolita), Stephen Dorff (Blade), Alicia Witt (Urban Legend), Adrian Grenier (Entourge), Lawrence Gillard Jr. (Gangs of New York), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Dark Knight Rises) and Ricki Lake (Hairspray). John Waters is one of those writers who is often over shadowed by big blockbuster writers unfairly. With the love and dedication, he puts into his movies and the signature he leaves on each and every scene, you know you are watching one of his films when it is on.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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