Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Back when this one came out in theaters I was thirteen years old. During the summer my mother would give me $1.50 to go see a movie at the second-run theater at the mall (and to get me out of her hair). I sat through MANY crappy PG and PG-13 films, but this one made me very happy. It’s got martial arts action, monsters, comedy, crazy special effects, lovely ladies, and Kurt Russell hamming up a storm. I revisit it every few years and yep, it’s cheezy as hell, but still a lot of fun. If you haven’t experienced this oddball John Carpenter creation, maybe check it out with the help of your favorite psychoactive substance. Hell, depending on the age of your kids, Big Trouble… just might be fun for the whole family.

Available on Blu-ray from Shout Factory.

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Reign of Fire (2002)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Some executives got together and agreed to green light a $60 million movie that is The Road Warrior + DRAGONS. Yep. As weird as that sounds, it’s pretty damned good. It’s not even rated R, and it’s still an entertaining flick. The CG even holds up 20 years on. Reign of Fire does have some cheesy moments, but all the fast-paced action makes that worth enduring. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that Matthew McConaughey’s look is inspired by Steve Von Till from the band Neurosis

Available on Blu-ray from Touchstone.

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Hardcore Henry (2015)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This movie will not make you smarter, but it’s a very entertaining action flick. The basic premise of a violent, first-person, sci-fi adventure, that happens to be well-executed, qualifies it as Anomalous Cinema alone. The cherry on top is that Hardcore Henry manages to ramp up the insane action as it goes along. Oh yeah, and Sharlto Copley is excellent in this. He even does a literal song and dance routine. That’s some sprinkles with your cherry. The whole thing could be dismissed as just plain stupid. I say it’s damned fun, and confirmed that on a second viewing last night. So turn off your logic circuits, and enjoy with your favorite psychoactive substance for the proper experience.

Available on Blu-ray from Universal Studios.

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The Occupant (2020)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer (English – WATCH THE MOVIE IN SPANISH W/ SUBS)

Netflix delivers another entertaining Spanish thriller. The whole thing is improbable to the extreme, so forget about suspending your disbelief. It doesn’t matter because The Occupant looks great, the performances are spot on, and it has some wonderfully twisted moments. A word of warning though, some people HATED this movie. I’d say watch without expectations. Let the movie do it’s thing. If you generally appreciate the films I recommend on Anomalous Cinema, there’s a good chance you’ll like this as much as I did. Not feeling a little adventurous? Pick something else.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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Monos (2019)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a beautifully photographed borderline-art film about teenage rebel fighters with an American hostage. It has several violent scenes, but is mostly a deliberately paced dark drama. The jungle locations are stunning, and seem so remote they’re from another planet. All the actors are excellent, but it was a pleasant surprise to see Julianne Nicholson (Law and Order / Boardwalk Empire) knock it out of the park as the hostage. This film also features a killer electronic soundtrack by Mica Levi who also did the music for Under the Skin. Monos is an almost perfect film that I strongly recommend to any patient film buff.

Available on Blu-ray from Universal.

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13 Assassins (2010)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is easily the best recent samurai film, and it’s also one of my top choices among Takashi Miike’s output. 13 Assassins is fast-paced, well made, and features awesome performances. No, it doesn’t have many of the transgressive aspects that this director is known for, but I barely noticed. This film kicks major ass from start to finish.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

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The Nightingale (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a pitch black revenge film. I’ve seen a lot of on screen nastiness in my time, but The Nightingale made even me cringe. The only flaw of the movie is that it is too damn long. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve got patience, and a strong stomach.

The Nightingale is available Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

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