Cinepub


Top 10 Films That Influenced Me As A Youngling: Part 1 by Jamie

The films you watch as a child will probably go some way to influencing your choice of movies as an adult. Sure, your tastes may refine as you get older. Some art house films may make their way into your collection, the odd underground hit or perhaps a foreign film or two but chances are that if you watched a lot of films of a particular type as a child, you will generally enjoy those kinds of films when you grow up. By the way, some films should just be taken as a given such as E.T. and Star Wars,

So what films then have most influenced my modern preference of cinema viewing? Let’s look, won’t we?

10: Son Of Godzilla

Yeah, that’s right. Son of Godzilla. Admittedly one of the weaker films in the series starring the king of the giant rubber monsters, the G-Man himself but I loved this movie as a kid. It’s got giant praying mantises, a giant spider, a baby Godzilla and glorious bad dubbing. Now I’m generally a subtitles man but fuck it, if I’m watching a Godzilla film, I want bad dubbing! The story revolves around the birth of the big dude’s son, Minilla, and his development. There’s another story revolving some Japanese meteorologists but who cares what the people are doing? Fuck ‘em.
There are some great moments in this film, most of which revolve around Godzilla being mildly abusive towards his son. Ah, giant reptile child abuse. It’s what I live for. There are some fun moments such as Minilla jumping over his dad’s tail whilst he’s sleeping, the baby’s attempt at breathing nuclear fire resulting in nothing but nuclear smoke rings and a few nice moments in which Godzilla protects his son from attacks from mantises and the spider. The ending is also bitter sweet as the monsters island home is covered with a blanket of snow, and Godzilla is shown protecting Minilla from the cold as they go into hibernation.
So this film is the reason that I love Godzilla films. All of them. Well, except for that one Godzilla film. Ugh. You know the one I mean.
One final note about this film. I once saw a poster for it and the tagline read thusly: “Have You Ever Seen A Monster Hatch From A Monster Egg? No? You Will!” Awesome.

9. Short Circuit

I love robots. I love Dr. Pepper. Therefore I love Short Circuit. It’s one of those films that seems to have moulded my life in tiny little ways that I often don’t realise. I’ll sometimes just yell out the word “Input!” whilst reading, so it’s a good thing I generally read while I’m by myself, sometimes I’ll yell “Disassemble!” in a terrified manner, I say the name Stephanie in an odd manner and I can only sing “More Than A Woman” in the style of Number 5.

So what’s the film about? Do I really have to explain it? Fine. It’s about a military robot, Number 5, who gets struck by lightning and comes all to life and that. He escapes from his military compound and goes off about town learning about what it means to be alive and what it means to die. Of course a remake is now in the works and I was one of those people who wasn’t that bothered by the whole remake thing. Sure I wanted to see more original things coming from Hollywood but it’s not like they could possibly detract from the originals at all? Could they? Of course, that was how I felt before the Friday the 13th debacle. I refuse to finish my reviews of the original films simply because I saw that damn film.

8. Dark Crystal

Hell yeah! Puppets are good, Muppets are awesome and this film is rife with them. Not your typical fuzzy animal fare mind you. Rather horrible, freakish nightmare creatures that are based on vultures. Ugh, the Skeksis used to freak me the fuck out when I was a kid, in fact only two things probably freaked me out more, the father alien in Mac and Me and the Child Catcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang. Oh god, I think I’m gonna be sick. Why do you taunt me nightmare monsters from my youth?

Still, the freakishness of the Skeksis is counteracted by the greatness of the UrRu because they look a bit like anthropomorphised giant ground sloths and giant ground sloths are awesome. As for the Gelflings, well, them I can take or leave. They just leave pretty much no impression on me whatsoever.

So what was the influence that Dark Crystal had on me? Well I guess it gave me an appreciation for the fantasy genre and for epic movies in general. As far as I know I hadn’t really seen many films with the kind of scope that this film had, maybe The Neverending Story but I can barely remember that movie at all, and the fact that it was all done with puppetry makes it even more impressive.

7. Explorers

For years I couldn’t remember what this film was called. It was on a video which was full of movie taped for me, simply called “Jamie’s Tape.” So when it came time for me to buy it, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. The video was up in the loft and I sure as hell wasn’t going to go up there and find it. So I searched and I searched the internet and finally, I found it. It was awesome.

The film is about three kids who build a spaceship after one of them has a surrealistic dream giving them instructions. The spaceship takes them deep into outer space where they meet two aliens obsessed with television. One of the aliens, Wak, seems to enjoy imitating Earth broadcasts such as Bugs Bunny and Mr. Ed. It’s all very fun until a larger ship attacks the aliens. They boys are told it’s space Pirates and warned that they should leave but they soon discover it’s actually the aliens father, reprimanding them for stealing one of the family cars. It’s an all round great sci-fi adventure film and definitely went some way towards my love of sci-fi today. One last interesting fact is that it was the first feature film for both River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke.

6. Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory

This film is the greatness. A surrealistic mind fuck through a chocolate wonders cape, the eponymous factory as owned by Sir William Wonka. From shrinking corridors to fizzy lifting drinks, everything in this film elicits a response of wonderment and sometimes flat out, bat shit crazy terror. I’m thinking of one scene in particular. Let’s take a look:

Did you see that crazy shit? Woah, a chicken got it’s head all chopped off! And that dude with the millipede crawling across his face. That was pretty weird, eh? It would, of course, all just be a random collection of images if not for Gene Wilder’s fantastic, increasingly hysterical singing. Let’s take a look at the lyrics for a minute:

Round the world and home again
That’s the sailor’s way
Faster faster, faster faster

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the river’s flowing

Is it raining, is it snowing
Is a hurricane a-blowing

Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing
Is the grisly reaper mowing

Yes, the danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing

Fuck me. That’s awesome.

Well this seems like a good time to take a break, part two will be up tomorrow. If you’re wondering why I’m not going into too much detail on some of these films, well, it’s because I plan to review them. Laterz.

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