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My Top 10 Gulity Pleasure Films

  • Jan 3, 2011
25th Anniversary Special Edition DVD (front)
Has there ever been a guiltier pleasure than this madcap rock ‘n' roll musical? A transvestite mad scientist. A straight-laced couple at his mercy. A muscle-bound Frankenstein creature. An incestuous butler and maid. A tap-dancing groupie in love with a lobotomized delivery boy. No wonder audiences keep going every Friday and Saturday at midnight.
See the full review, "35 Years Later, and We're Still Doing the Time Warp".
Ridley Scott's beautifully dark and visually stunning fairy tale fell victim to bad editing and a horribly dated replacement score by Tangerine Dream. It was finally vindicated in 2002 with the DVD release of the director's cut, which restores nearly thirty minutes of unseen footage and the original score by Oscar winner Jerry Goldsmith.
Clue: The Movie
A comedic whodunit adapted from the Parker Brothers' board game. Corny jokes, a convoluted plot, and an inability to decide on an ending doomed this film from the very start. There is, however, the sense that the actors are having a lot of fun in spite of themselves. Tim Curry and Michael McKean are especially memorable as the butler and Mr. Green.
An airy musical about a muse, a painter, an aging jazz musician, and the "inspired" roller disco that brings them all together. It's a film I like for all the wrong reasons, not the least of which are the pre-CGI halos surrounding Olivia Newton-John. It's fun in spite of the fluffy story, the silly dialogue, and Michael Beck's embarrassing performance.
See the full review, "A Flawed Piece of Paradise".
Shock Treatment
This mostly forgotten sequel to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" couldn't be saved by a virtually identical cast or Richard O'Brien's fun collection of songs. The gender-bending charm of its predecessor is pushed aside in favor of a satirical take on American TV culture, which actually made it ahead of its time.
Forbidden Zone (1980)
I didn't get this movie when I first saw it, and I still don't get it now. This unbelievably strange musical from director Richard Elfman is the very epitome of self-indulgent filmmaking, where gun-toting teachers, dancing frog butlers, dwarf kings, and chicken boys populate a colorless world of cheap cardboard sets.
See the full review, "Over the Top, Bizarre, Outrageous ... Yet I Couldn't Look Away".
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
I'm well aware that everyone hated this movie, Trekkers and non-Trekkers alike. But when Bones turned to Kirk and said of Spock, "I liked him better before he died!" I knew I had to let my guard down. The same goes for when Scotty bumped his head and passed out after saying, "I know this ship like the back of my hand!"
CutThroat Island
For a film that became one of the biggest box-office failures in history, I was surprised at just how entertaining it was. No, it doesn't hold a candle to "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," but it gets the job done as a classic swashbuckling adventure. John Debney's score is one of the best ever composed for a pirate film.
The Haunted Mansion (Widescreen Edition) (2003)
The only reason I liked this movie is because I've been a fan of the Disneyland ride since I was a kid. All the references are there, from the shifting portraits to Madame Leota's incantations to the hitchhiking ghosts. As for the film itself, the story is lost in a sea of special effects and Eddie Murphy is sadly unconvincing as a workaholic father and husband. Note: My opinion will probably change once Guillermo del Toro's version is released.
Henry Selick's visually creative tale of a comatose cartoonist trapped in a wacky dream world with his foulmouthed monkey character. I enjoyed this film in spite of the preposterous plot and the juvenile humor. My favorite scene takes place in a jail cell, when Brendan Fraser's character finds himself with the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Lizzy Borden, and Stephen King.

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January 26, 2011
Great list. Some of my guilty pleasures are there as well. I've got to check out Shock Treatment.
January 19, 2011
Fun list, Chris! I need to make one of these, too :D
January 17, 2011
sweet list! I am with you on # 1, 8, 2 and 7!! How did I almost miss this list? Nice one, Chris!
January 18, 2011
Thanks. I'm glad to be talking to a fellow fan of "Rocky Horror" and "Legend" (although, with the latter, I prefer the director's cut). I have other guilty pleasure films, so there may be a second list sometime in the future.
About the list creator
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #7
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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