Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media

Alright, I know. The last time I think I wrote a DI was right before the start of the 1998-99 NHL season. As I write THIS the Buffalo Sabres have ridden a blend of grit and determination to the Stanley Cup Finals and the Western Conference Champ will be decided this Friday night.

Who knew that the Flyers would look unbeatable at one point and then slide so far into mediocrity late in the season that I was wondering if they'd even make the playoffs. Now I know how my Dad felt back in the 50s (or was it the 60s?) when the Phillies slid from a sure-lock on first place into a non-playoff appearance. Then again, that was back in the day when a championship playoff meant just that — the top teams from each division played one another for the right to be called "the best." No offense, but the Sabres are a seventh-seed from their conference. They were one extended Dominick Hasek injury from watching the entire playoffs from the country club bar. Now — if Hasek can stay healthy, hot and sane — they could skate off with the oldest trophy in pro sports.

Hey, how the hell did this become a hockey column?! Actually, there's a strong possibility that we'll be adding a weekly hockey column to this site once the playoffs are over. Let's face it, it IS the only sport worth watching.

Speaking of "watching," the tv season has pretty much wrapped and none too soon as far as I'm concerned. I didn't get hooked on any new shows, although 'Futurama' holds a lot of promise, and I even felt betrayed by some of my old standbys.

'Beverly Hills 90210' started off strong, but the show got more and more ridiculous as the season went along and by the time Jason Priestly left (for what?!) and Luke Perry slunk back into town it had achieved the "unwatchable" status usually reserved for 'Melrose Place' or 'Party of Five.'

Unfortunately, the big disappointment of the season had to be 'Millennium.' Fans of the show's first couple seasons can vouch for the fact that it had easily surpassed the increasingly lame 'X-Files' to become the creepiest, most sinister program on network tv. The piece de resistance came in season two's gripping finale in which a plague gripped the nation (or so it seemed) with only enough vaccine to go around for members of the Millennium Group. The show ended with Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) staring into the woods as his wife killed herself in order to stop the spread of the virus in her system!

Shocking? Yes. A hard act to follow? Definitely.

And so, 'Millennium' reappeared despite what I figured was certain cancellation. Did Frank spend the season battling the mysterious plague? Nah, they just copped out and had him go back to work with the FBI in order to discover the truth behind the Millennium Group and Peter Watts (Terry O'Quinn). The result? A tired series that slogged along, only showing odd flashes of its old creepy brilliance. The season, make that series, finale did have its moments — Frank and his daughter high-tailing it out of town after Watts' death and his partner's sell-out to the Group as well as a creepy copycat serial killer who was shackin' up with a blind chick, but it was too little way too late.

A few months back, everybody started makin’ a big fuss about the American Film Institute’s AFI100, a list of the “top 100 films” as picked by an esteemed panel of know-it-alls, has-beens and overrated hacks. I’m sure as we get closer and closer to the end of the century more and more of these lists will begin to appear. I know I’ve already had lists of the Top 100 Books and Top 100 American Foods (I kid you not) fly across my desk.

And so, in the spirit of complete retaliation and the generally pissed-off attitude that fuels most zines, we put together our very own esteemed panel and asked them a pretty off-the-cuff question: “What are your 10 favorite films?” We ended up with a wide range of responses as almost every panelist shot back a unique list. In fact, the only flicks to receive more than one nomination were: PSYCHO, Alejandro Joderowsky’s THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY and RE-ANIMATOR. We are, if nothing else, a diverse group.

You’ll probably be familiar with many of the flicks listed below, and if you’re reading this mag many will have made your own mental checklist. My recommendation is to track down the ones you haven’t seen and give ‘em a chance. Better than getting roped into watching GONE WITH THE WIND!

Airplane (1980)
Alien (1979)
Animal House (1978)
Attack of the Mushroom People (1963)
Austin Powers: International
Man of Mystery
Bachelor Party (1984)
Back to the Future (1985)
Barfly (1987)
Ben-Hur (1959)
Better Off Dead (1985)
The Bird w/ the Crystal Plumage (1969)
The Black Cat (1934)
Blade Runner (1982)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Bloodsucking Freaks (1978)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Blues Brothers (1980)
Boogie Nights (1997)
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1963)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Bucket of Blood (1959)
Buffalo 66 (1998)
Caddyshack (1980)
Cannibal Holocaust (1978)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Clerks (1994)
Clockwork Orange (1971)
Come Back Little Sheeba (1952)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Crossing Delancey (1980)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dead Alive (1992)
Dead Man (1996)
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)
Death of a Salesman (1951)
The Devils (1971)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Easy Rider (1969)
El Topo (1969)
Elephant Man (1980)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
Eraserhead (1978)
Fargo (1996)
French Connection (1971)
From Hell It Came (1957)
From Russia, With Love (1963)
Gates of Hell (1980)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather II (1974)
Grease (1978)
The Great Gatsby (1974)
Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Head (1968)
Highlander (1986)
History of the World, Part One (1981)
The Holy Mountain (1973)
Horse Feathers (1932)
Incredible Two-Headed
Transplant (1971)
Infra-Man (1976)
Island Claws (1980)
The Jerk (1979)
Johnny Guitar (1954)
The Killer (1989)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
The Life of Brian (1979)
The Longest Yard (1974)
The Man With Two Brains (1983)
Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975)
Night of the Hunter (1955)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Nighthawks (1981)
Nosferatu (1979)
O, Lucky Man! (1973)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976)
Opera (1987)
Performance (1970)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
Police Academy (1984)
Porky’s (1981)
Prince of Darkness (1987)
The Producers (1967)
Psycho (1960)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Re-Animator (1986)
Real Life (1979)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Red Dawn (1984)
Repo Man (1984)
Repulsion (1965)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
Road Warrior (1981)
Roadhouse (1989)
Say Anything (1989)
Scavenger Hunt (1979)
Seconds (1966)
The Shining (1980)
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Singles (1992)
Slapshot (1977)
Sleeper (1973)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
Sonny Boy (1990)
Spider Baby (1964)
A Star is Born (1954)
Star Wars (1977)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Stripes (1981)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Take the Money and Run (1969)
Taxi Driver (1976)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Three O’Clock High (1987)
Unsane (1982)
Valerie & Her Week of Wonders (19??)
Valley of the Dolls (1967)
Wages of Fear (1952)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Youngblood (1986)
Zapped! (1982)

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