As some of you may know, 1976 isn't year round all the time because sometimes it's a different year. Aaron from the totally awesome and insanely superior to all other blogs, The Death Rattle, is here to let us wallow in his afterbirth for today. That's right, Aaron was born in 1981 which makes him way older than me. Take it away, duder.
Not to brag or anything, but 1981 was a pretty awesome year for movies. On the other hand, being born in 1981 makes me an old fuck. 1) I decided to go with my favorite genre films from my birth year as opposed to favorite overall films, 2) Richard is gonna hate me for not including HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, and 3) I went from putting together a top five to submitting a top six list, simply because I couldn't bring myself to leave out...
#6 THE EVIL DEAD - One of the best indie DIY horror films ever made. EVIL DEAD II understandably gets all the love for essentially being a more solid, entertaining version of the first film, but I really admire the first EVIL DEAD because of how absurd and gory it is. I've said it plenty of times before and I'll say it again: EVIL DEAD is so gory, even the fucking house bleeds.
#5 AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON - It's still amazing to me that two of the most important werewolf films next to Universal's WOLF MAN were released the same year: John Landis's AMERICAN WEREWOLF and Joe Dante's THE HOWLING. For years THE HOWLING has always been my favorite of the two because it's the one that reminds me the most of my childhood; it was one of the first movies to scare the shit out of me, and I have more of a nostalgic attachment to it. As the years go by, however, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that AMERICAN WEREWOLF is the more superior of the two.
#4 ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK - John Carpenter in his prime. When watching a classic such as ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, it's easy to forget that Carpenter made one of the greatest slashers ever made just a couple of years earlier and would go on to make an essential creature feature only one year later. There's not much to say about this film that hasn't already be said, but to me it epitomizes what an action-adventure film should be. It also features one of my favortie Kurt Russell performances for obvious reasons.
#3 FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 - The FRIDAY THE 13TH series is my favorite horror franchise of all time, and the second installment of the series always has been and always will be my favorite of the bunch. My love for this film is deeper than just how much it entertains me; it's one of the films that kept pulling me back in and reminding me how much I love the horror genre in general at times in my life when I didn't really have a particular interest in films. Other than that, I'm just a huge fan of 80's slasher movies, and I firmly believe that this film is one of the more solid examples of the sub-genre.
#2 MS. 45 - Far and away my favorite Abel Ferrara film and one of my favorite rape-revenge films as well. Ferrara is a director who, to me, has always been one of the best when it comes to capturing the essence of scummy pre-Giuliani NYC on celluloid, and MS. 45 is one of his best examples of this. Actress Zoe Lund (who also wrote the screenplay for Ferrara's BAD LIEUTENANT before dying of a drug overdose at a young age) is absolutely stellar as a mute young woman who's raped not once but twice in a single day, and, as a result, leads a double life as seamstress by day and man-hating vigilante by night. I can't think of a lot of negative things to say about this movie; it's a quick, breezy film with a fun 80's sax score, a subtle, dark humor, and, most importantly, it's a great snapshot of a bygone era in one of cinema's greatest cities.
#1 MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR - Yep, the Ayatollah of Rock n' Rolla, the quintessential post-apocalypse movie, so on and so forth. Quite simply, one of the best (and most homoerotic) action-adventure movies ever made. Nothing more needs to be said about this one.