We should have a category for movie marathons, because after the last two I’m convinced that we need to do these at least once a month. Committing to 12 or so hours of watching movies is a lot like taking long road trips, but usually more interesting. Basically, you set aside a big block of time where you have little to no obligations then you sit/lie back and zone out to everything else around you.
We didn’t have a strong structure going into this marathon. All we knew was it was going to be at Aaron’s house because he has a really comfortable enormous beanbag, and he, Scott, and I would each choose two movies. We ended up with a campy 80s marathon (minus Dirty Harry, which is almost a campy 80s movie).
The Hidden (Jack Sholder, 1987) – A renegade alien is ransacking America, jumping from body to body as he robs banks, participates in car chases, steals cds and a boom box, and commits other nefarious acts that aliens like to do. But that alien better watch his butt, because Kyle MacLachlin is an ultra-cool FBI agent that’s hip to his game. Best movie ever? Maybe.
Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris, Jr. 1989) – This one is less campy and more legitimately good. It blends the facts (a con man that performed in various jobs successfully without any formal training) and real people portraying themselves with actors and sets. Kind of like Kiarostami’s Close-Up (or anything Kiarostami does, really). This has been the director’s only film, unfortunately, and it seems like his days in show business are spent acting in movies like Out of Sight.
Q: The Winged Serpent (Larry Cohen, 1982) – Like a lot of Cohen’s work, it seems a little behind on the times, but Q: The Winged Serpent is awesome. It’s funny and graphic and the claymation is fun to watch. But, this film might have been the only one that caused our random number generator system of organizing our day to fail us. It was a little too long for what it was, we were getting tired, the sun was coming in the windows, and I fell asleep. We all fell asleep. There’s a delicate line to walk when it comes to marathons. Where Q would have been part of a great double feature, fitting something this campy into such a long day is pushing it.
Happy Birthday to Me (J. Lee Thompson, 1981) – I was afraid of this one because this guy also directed My Bloody Valentine, another campy-but-maybe -too-campy-movie. I should have known better. You can never lose with a movie with a DVD cover that features a shish kabob potentially stabbing someone in the throat.
X-15 (Richard Donner, 1961) – The tagline is “The rocket ship that challenged outer space!” So I don’t blame Aaron for choosing the most boring movie ever made. 15 minutes in to X-15 we turned that shit off.
Rocky III (Sylvester Stallone, 1982) – God, this movie is good. I can’t possibly describe how much I love the Rocky franchise. Trust me, I tried through the entire film (sorry everyone who came over for that one) but no one can grasp my level of enthusiasm. Rocky III is one of the best, right? (I, III, IV, II, VI, V) And this is the first time I’ve really been touched by Mickey’s death. Usually I just giggle at Stallone’s poor enunciation, but this time I started getting choked up from the moment Clubber pushes the aging manager into the wall. I got up and went to the bathroom, not remembering that there’s a whole fight scene inner-cut with Mickey’s last moments. What’s my new reaction to this scene?….Pain. I pity the fool that doesn’t love Rocky III, and so on and so forth.
Dirty Harry (Don Siegel, 1971) – Our only film the marathon that wasn’t from the 80s, but the 80s attitude is still there: bad ass.