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Jul 06 2015

This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.

markofzorro

Windy’s Pick of the Week: The Mark of Zorro

I worry that younger people have only watched the Antonio Banderas versions of this iconic character and have missed out on a truly epic and defining performance by Tyrone Power. This is the movie (and performance) that inspires young Bruce Wayne to become Batman, after all. Diego Vega must disguise his skills as a swordsman by playing a mincing nobleman so that he may rescue the common people from tyranny. Along the way, he also gets to woo Linda Darnell – and if you think Catherine Zeta Jones is gorgeous, wait ’til you see Ms Darnell. The bad guy is none other than Basil Rathbone! Who did all his own fencing! Seriously, dig this one up and enjoy Tyrone Power being dashing and clever and charming! Let the swooning commence!

DeathRace2000

Melissa’s Pick of the Week: Death Race 2000

The original Death Race 2000 lies somewhere between ridiculous cheesefest and frank social commentary, and I love every minute of it. In a dystopian future, a deadly road race is held annually to quell a bloodthirsty populace; points are awarded for running over random pedestrians. The most famous racer, played by Keith Carradine in bondage gear, drives a Corvette decked out to look like an alligator (including teeth). His competitors are no less flamboyant, including a very young pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone in buffoonish cowboy gear. It’s violent, wry, explosive, unapologetic, and delightfully weird. Director Paul Bartel (who gave us the equally weird Eating Raoul) and producer Roger Corman (who gave us 90% of all other movies) guide this film like they’re soaring a flaming airplane with dead engines: it shouldn’t fly, but it sure does.

(By the way, here are some photos from when I found the alligator car in Illinois.)

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