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The Crow (1994)
Sad, beautiful, compelling.
This movie played an important part in my youth, how I grew up... at the time I saw The Crow, it was the most cathartic thing for me--Eric Draven kicked the arses of all that had done wrong, sure, the movie's bullies and criminals, but also my school bullies and the general cruelty of life.
Apart from Brandon Lee's mesmerising acting, his swansong now tarnished by numerous ripoff sequels and the like, Michael Wincott gives his best as the true embodiment of evil, Top Dollar; the character that was black and white in more ways than one on the page came to life and was pure blackness, pure dark evil. Thanks to that one fantastic--and very underrated--actor, who I still cherish in my personal top ten of screen performers.
So, my ten stars are out of sentimental value, but also personal taste--never was a revenge tale so beautifully told, never so uplifting, never... holding so much *hope* in the eventual sunshine--that "it can't rain all the time."
The Company of Wolves (1984)
A beautiful adaptation of Angela Carter's sublime work. This film has all the otherworldliness and the horror of traditional fairy tales; at the same time we are transported to a mythic realm but somewhere deep inside we recognize we are within the human psyche itself. This is a story, or several stories woven together, of a girl's slow transformation into a woman, of sexual initiation and the fear of adulthood and responsibility veiled in metaphors of fairy tales, narrated in a captivating, dreamlike fashion. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous movie, I highly recommend it to any lover of fairy tales and fantasy.
Fantastic horror suspense on a shoestring budget.
I saw this film very late at night on the Sci-Fi channel and was hooked. I saw it was made on video and expected it to be some amateur rubbish, but then noticed the fantastic actors and remembered them from Doctor Who. Caroline John gets to do more with Liz Shaw than she was ever allowed on Doctor Who, Louise Jameson is lovely as always, and Peter Davison gives a fantastic performance as the haunted choolmaster (I had goosebumps all over). I challenge anyone who doubts this man's (or any of the other performers') acting talents to go and see this flick. Also, it was strong enough to rekindle my interest in Doctor Who--and I still love it, years after seeing it.
Mark Gatiss' screenplay is very good, I'd love to see him get the chance to write more stuff like this. League of Gentlemen fans might also check this one out to see the strengths of his acting (and Reece Shearsmith is very good in this one too).