10 Must-See Animated Short Films

No matter how old you are, I’m sure you’d love good animations and cartoons. I still remember spending my whole afternoons watching Cartoon Network when I was still a kid. But even more so than what’s available on your local cable channel, a lot of good animations are also available on Youtube! The short films are a special mention, as many of them come with a good story.



The list below has 10 popular short film animations (in no particular order) you must see on Youtube. I’ve enjoyed watching them, so I hope you do so as well! There are tons of other good animated short films on Youtube, so if you’ve ever seen one that’s not included in the list, feel free to share it with me in the comments!



Let’s start our list with a feel-good love story. Zero is a stop-motion animation directed by Christopher Kazelos. It has won the Best Animation award from LA Shorts Fest and the Rhode Island International Film Fest among other awards, and has been translated into more than 35 languages since its upload on Youtube.

More than a love story though, Zero also looks heavily into discrimination, as the story imagines a world where everyone’s status in society is determined by their number. And yep – you guessed it – our main character’s number is zero. Watch the video be inspired by this “rags to riches” adventure.




I can‘t tell if this one’s inspirational or if it’s actually sad – but one thing’s for sure, it hits that soft spot in your heart. Created by Doni Permedi as part of his Master’s Thesis Animation, Kiwi shows us the efforts of one small Kiwi bird who wants to know what it feels like to fly. [spoiler] We don’t know if he survives in the end. Some viewers like to think that he did – but I for one think it would have more impact if he didn’t. Please don’t judge me, I’m not that bad.




There are a lot of animations by Pixar on Youtube, and this is one of my favorites. It’s not exactly heartwarming – but it’s certainly funny, so that should be good enough. The animation is about an alien named Stu, who is having his “practical exam” on abduction as he tries to carry off a sleeping farmer. 

Lifted was also shown theatrically with Pixar’s Ratatouille in 2007, which could probably be a reason why our sleeping farmer in the animation has an undeniable resemblance to Linguini, the main character in Ratatouille.




Moving on from the funny and heartwarming videos, let’s have a dark one. Produced in 2009 by Rodrigo Blaas, an ex-Pixar animator, Alma tells us what happened to a small kid walking one fine day in the snowy streets of Barcelona. But don’t get fooled by the light music and the Christmas setting, as the story harbors a dark, chilly twist to it.



Oh and by the way, “Alma” means “soul” in Spanish. You’ll find out at the end of the film why this is relevant.




Let’s get back to the nicer stories, shall we? This one is another short story animation by Pixar. Combining 2D and 3D animation, Day and Night shows us…well, Day and Night competing against each other. But what started out as a stiff competition ends up in a good friendship as they eventually find out they can have fun with each other’s company. The animation and story actually reminds me of Looney Tunes, and the other cartoons I used to watch on Cartoon Network as a kid.



Day and Night won Best Short Film at the 38th Annie Awards and has been nominated as Best Animated Short Film at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.


I’m sure many people can relate to this short film – myself certainly included. Ever tried setting up your alarm at several times to make sure that you wake up on time? Our main character here takes it to different level as he sets up several alarm clocks instead. And not just in his bedroom, he’s got alarm clocks all over the house!



Created by Mesai, and independent animation team in Korea with director Moo-hyun Jang, watch the video to get an idea of how you look in the morning when you “fight” with your alarm clock. Well, it’s not really the waking up part that’s hard isn’t it? It’s getting up that we always struggle with.




Many of us are probably familiar with this one. I myself have been seeing this animation a lot when I go to the TV section in the Department Store. Geri, our main character in the film plays chess against himself one autumn day at the park. So how do you actually win in a game of chess against yourself? Watch to find out.
This short film won Best Animated Short film at the 1997 Academy Awards. And oh, a little trivia here: Geri appears on Toy Story 2 as the guy who fixed up Woody.




How far would you go for love? Oktapodi is a French short film that shows us how two octopuses overcome a series of comical events to stay with each other, and get away from the clutches of the restaurant delivery guy. Take a look at how true love can overcome the odds – especially when you’re also in danger of ending up as someone’s dinner.



Oktapodi started out as a Graduate Student Project. It has won several awards and a nomination for Best Animated Short Film in the Academy Awards.




This short film comes with a moral lesson – don’t judge a book by its cover. Created by Fabrice O. Jubert, an animator who used to work at DreamWorks, French Roast is about a high-class businessman who forgot his wallet while having coffee at a fancy coffee shop. To buy him time in finding a solution without getting embarrassed, he keeps on ordering coffee. As the day (and the coffee) goes on, our protagonist meets some characters in the film who eventually help him out of his predicament.

French Roast was also nominated for Best Animated Short Film in the 2009 Academy Awards.




Some of us have been told stories when we were kids, that babies were brought to their parents by storks with extra-strong beaks. But have you ever wondered where these babies come from? Watch the clip above to find out. Parents are going to have to tell a different story now, when it comes to the birds and the bees…or in this case, the clouds and the storks.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2012/12/16/10-must-see-animated-short-films/

Top 10 Sympathetic Supervillains

With names like Ra’s al Ghul and Victor Von Doom, many great comic book villains were probably born with their careers set on evil. And, boy, do they have a resume list to show for it. Comic book supervillains have committed all manner of crimes, heinous and despicable, from a crazed clown trying to drive the police commissioner mad by forcing him to watch his paralyzed daughter getting violated, to an intergalactic despot building an army of followers who draw their power from the yellow light of fear, to the overlord of the planet Apokolips who tries to find an equation to destroy free will itself. Yeah, supervillains are a nasty lot… most of the time any way. Just like how The Punisher found his way into the ranks of the superheroes, not every super-adversary is a power hungry megalomaniac. Some are people who are just trying to do what they think is right. Some are just helpless, abused, worn-down people who have nothing better to do. And, some people just had one bad day. These are villains who, once you get to know them, aren’t so villainous after all.

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Everyone knows the story of Batman: the boy who watched his parents gunned down by a low-life criminal, and declared his lifelong battle against the forces of crime, to make sure no one ever had to suffer through what he had. Prometheus is an inverted case. The son of two criminal hippies, Prometheus (we never learn his real name), traveled the country with his parents for years until law enforcement agents cornered the three of them, and shot his parents down in front of his eyes. Prometheus’s hair turned white due to the trauma, and declared that he would spend his life battling the forces of justice. While Prometheus doesn’t have the most prolific record in supervillain history (he did come close to defeating the JLA once, and then later appeared in the awful Cry for Justice mini-series), his story serves as a reflection of the “Why?” in super-hero stories. Prometheus views the forces of justice as an oppressor, who reign an iron fist down on people like his parents, who in his eyes, weren’t doing anything wrong. It is very much a case of nature vs. nurture, and perhaps in an alternate reality, Prometheus could have been a great hero.

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From the panels of Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel on the nature of the superhero itself, Adrian Veidt is a manipulator to put Svengali to shame. Once a member of the Watchmen, Veidt was known as Ozymandias, and was considered to be the smartest man in the world. The novel itself details Veidt’s retirement from ‘costumed-adventuring’ like the other members of the team, along with the revelation that the murders that have been occurring were directed by him. At the end of the book, Veidt nukes New York City, in order to unite the world (in the midst of a cold war) against a false alien menace. While Ozymandias may have more of a superiority complex then a desire to truly do good to the world (it’s a deep novel), he is nonetheless, believing that he is doing the right thing. Veidt desires not power, not wealth, but simply peace, and is willing to cross the line to obtain it. And, while his plan is certainly full of holes for someone who claims to the be world’s smartest man, Veidt is a reflection of what someone with that much power could do in the real world, all in the name of peace & justice. It’s difficult to explain, but read Watchmen and you’ll see that nothing is black and white.

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Dr. Curt Connors began as Peter Parker’s friend and fellow scientist, until experimenting with lizard DNA in an attempt to regrow his amputated arm had a horrible side effect. Connors became the Lizard, and repeated an endless pattern of trying to keep his alternate personality under control, losing it, and having Spider-Man develop a temporary cure. There is little room to indict on Connors predicament, as he is very much a victim of his own sensible ambitions. He is Spider-Man’s friend, and has helped him scientifically on numerous occasions, cursed with a violent altar-ego he can’t control. He’s lost his humanity, his career, his family, all over an attempt at regaining something he lost. The Joker once said that all it takes to drive a person insane is one bad day. Curt Connors has been living with the results of that day for his entire continuity.

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Don’t let Arnold’s performance as this great villain in Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin” fool you; Mr. Freeze is a tragic villain if there ever was one. He began as a gimmick-based villain during the Silver Age of Comics. It wasn’t until Paul Dini, co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series imagined a new form for the character, that he truly got a chance to shine. In the episode “Heart of Ice” Batman faces Mr. Freeze for the first time, when Freeze launched ice-based attacks on divisions of a Gotham based company. Batman then discovered that Freeze began life as Dr. Victor Fries, a scientist who specialized in cryogenics. Fries’ wife, Nora, had contracted a terminal disease, and Fries, using money he had embezzled from a science experiment the company had hired him for, cryogenically froze her so that he could search for a cure while she waited. After going over-budget, the CEO discovers Fries’ embezzlement and pulls the plug on Nora, leaving her to die from her illness. When Fries tries to stop him, he gets knocked into a bunch of chemicals, which leave him in a state where his body cannot survive out of sub-zero temperatures, hence the freeze suit. “Heart of Ice” went on to win an Emmy and has had its story adapted into mainstream Batman continuity. Now, Mr. Freeze is the tragic villain in Batman’s rogues gallery, always working alone and wanting to spread cold and despair onto all those he encounters, especially the man who ruined his chance for revenge against those who killed his wife: Batman.

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Depending on who you’re talking to, Bizarro is either an imperfect clone of Superman, or a reversed version of Superman from another world. The one thing that is consistent is that Bizarro is the 10-year-old with issues in DC’s supervillain lineup. Bizarro’s intelligence is that of someone under ten, with all the powers of Superman, and spends his time either being used by other, smarter super-villains (Lex Luthor, The Joker, etc.) or just getting angry and fighting Superman. But, at heart, Bizarro just wants to be like Superman, albeit in his own, inverted way. He can’t control his powers, he’s too dumb to truly discern right from wrong, and uses his powers as an outlet for anger and frustration that he himself can’t fully understand. It’s almost like Bizarro was constructed as a massive manipulation tool for readers’ sympathies.

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Another character brought to us from Batman: The Animated Series, and created by Paul Dini. Dr. Harleen Quinzel was an intern at Arkham Asylum, who attempted to get inside the mind of the Joker so she could write a tell all book on the subject. What emerged was “Silence of the Lambs” if Jodie Foster hadn’t matched Hannibal in intelligence. By trying to get inside Joker’s mind, Joker got into the good doctors, and she ended up falling for him, and becoming his sidekick and girlfriend, Harley Quinn (get it?). She’s been adapted into the comics, where she’s become a fan favorite, and is always involved in some sort of on-again off-again relationship with The Joker. And, as you’d suspect, a psychotic killing clown prime of crime doesn’t make for the best person to have as your significant other. Harley has become someone of an icon for abusive relationships, as Joker is constantly cruel to her, always telling her she “isn’t getting the joke” and pushing her out of windows. Sadly, Harley finds it hard to go back, and just ends up crawling back to Mr. J, convinced of her own worthlessness, and blaming herself for upsetting him. And I thought Bizarro was sad.

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This thousand year old arch-nemesis of Captain Marvel (who’s actually a DC creation despite the name), has only recently shown himself to be as sympathetic as this list qualifies him for. Adam hails from ancient Egypt, and draws his powers from the gods of their pantheon. After removing the ruthless dictator of his country from power, Adam took control and ended up failing in the long run, largely due to the deaths of his family members. After launching a World War, Adam takes his status as a corrupted anti-hero, who simply wants to protect what he loves in the world, namely his home and his people, but is driven to villainous means due to his personality and desperation. Black Adam’s story is one of a failed hero, who is eventually replaced by the boy scout Captain Marvel, and his constant anger and need to have things the way he believes they should be. Adam has even sided with heroes from time to time, including nearly sacrificing himself to repel the forces of Darkseid. We can only hope that he doesn’t get corrupted any further.

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While Miss Selina Kyle probably has the most sympathetic back story of any character on this list, she’s become so far from villainy and is actually so tame when it comes to her crimes, she ranks higher as an anti-hero than a straightforward villain. Beginning her story as a prostitute in Gotham’s seedy underbelly, Selina learned to survive by being as tough as nails, and as flexible as a cat, going on to don the famous costume when times hit especially hard. She has been a jewel thief for most of her career in crime, and is always on the look out for herself and her surrogate sister Holly Robinson. Selina never asked to be a criminal, she just did what she had to do to survive, and just got used to it over time. She’s also assertive as hell, always looking out for number one, and can side with anyone who can benefit her needs, which is usually Batman. The relationship between herself and Batman has become one of the enduring dualities in comic book history, as Batman rarely battles her in her criminal doings, and the two have even been romantically involved at several points, leading to her discovering Batman’s secret identity. With a troubled past, a hard-times-call-for-such-measures approach to life, and actually managing to get to Bruce Wayne’s soft side, Catwoman is so layered, that she barely even qualifies as a supervillain.

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Harvey Dent is Batman’s greatest failure, and a constant reminder of how much someone call fall from grace. Once the bold and crime-fighting district attorney who was on the verge of cleaning up Gotham for good, Dent’s own personal demons arose at just the wrong time. A childhood full of abuse and hardship lead to Dent’s revelation of a split-personality that he could barely control. Again keeping with the Joker’s idea of one bad day, Dent was finally pushed over the edge when a gangster threw acid in his face during a trial, which lead to the left side of his face hideously melted away. The psychological and physical trauma overwhelmed Dent, leading to self-doubt, self-loathing, and the violent altar-ego influencing his other half. Dent eventually became Two-Face, a villain at odds with his own duality, and so tortured that he couldn’t even tell right from wrong, and left all of his decisions to the fair flip of a coin. To this day, Two-Face not only is a victim as much as he is a tortured soul, but he represents Batman’s biggest failure in losing someone as good as Harvey Dent. Many are familiar with this story due to The Dark Knight, which perfectly summed up what Two-Face is: confused, angry, unsatisfied, and tortured. A man who lost control of himself, and thus, surrenders all in his life to chance.

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Whether he is Max Eisenhardt, Magnus, or Erik Lehnsherr. Whether he is Sir Ian McKellan or Michael Fassbender. Whether he wears a stupid looking bucket on his head, or bathes himself in purple, Magneto is everything a supervillain needs to be. He is ruthless, incredibly powerful, has done horrible things, and can justify all of it. Magneto is a survivor of the Holocaust, but not without losing his family and his home, and witnessing first hand what truly horrible things human beings can do each other. After discovering his mutant power to control magnetic fields and calling himself Magnus, he clashes with his close friend Charles Xavier over the hypothetical existence of a new race of humanity (which are revealed to be mutants). Xavier believes in peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans, but Magnus’ fear and first hand accounts of the Holocaust drive him to believe in inevitable war between the species. After discovering that Xavier is a mutant, Magnus becomes Magneto, and leaves his friend to found the X-Men. Originally portrayed as a megalomaniac, Magneto has become the Malcolm X to Xavier’s Martin Luther King. Magneto believes in protecting mutant kind from humanity that hates them, and is willing to use whatever means necessary (sound familiar?) to achieve that. Magneto stands as the self-imposed realist to Xavier’s dream, using his vast power to help keep mutant-kind safe from decimation and persecution, a fear he has every reason to believe given his backstory. He has even joined his enemies, the X-Men, to carry on his friend Xavier’s dream after Xavier supposedly died. He’s the Malcolm X of mutants, and given the story of Malcolm X, only close-minded people wouldn’t find either case sympathetic, and even valid.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2012/04/06/top-10-sympathetic-super-villains/

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Psycho

It was in 1960 that Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense, released Psycho – based on the popular novel by Robert Bloch. All over the world it frightened the heck out of people, and subsequently went on to be considered one of the greatest horror films of all time. Naturally, a film of such caliber does not go through production without some interesting stories to tell. Here are some of the best. (Beware of spoilers.)

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Not many know, but it was mostly the low-budget, gimmick-ridden films of William Castle that influenced Psycho. As a matter of fact, the film was sort of a game for Hitchcock, seeing whether a well-respected director such as himself could make an inexpensive film that would still do well at the box office, and it did. Hitchcock went to great lengths sometimes to keep the film cheap, such as deliberately filming in black and white (he has also stated that the film would have looked too gory in color), and using the crew from his television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

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Back in 1955, Hitchcock tried incredibly hard to acquire the rights to the French novel Celle qui n’était plus, before being beaten to it by director Henri-Georges Clouzot by a matter of hours, who made it as Les Diaboliques. Some commonly believe that Psycho is Hitchcock’s unofficial version, and the two are quite similar, although it is also stated that Psycho came about when his plans for a film starring Audrey Hepburn called No Bail for the Judge failed.

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Everybody can recognize this scene the minute they see it, accompanied by Bernard Herrmann’s aptly named track “Screaming Violins”. It is a common story that Hitchcock had the water turn ice cold so that Janet Leigh could scream, but this is false. The scene took seven days to complete so the production went to great lengths to keep the water warm for her comfort. Hitchcock also wanted the scene to be accompanied by a deathly silence, but Herrmann went ahead and composed a score anyway. Thankfully, Hitchcock liked it and put it in. In the end, the scene contains 70 cuts and lasts just 45 seconds.

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Just thank the lord that only trace elements of infamous serial killer Ed Gein’s story was used as a mold for Norman Bates, otherwise Psycho would have been a much darker film. Bates is sort of a model of Gein, who is one of the most famous psychopaths in history, and elements of his psychological attachment to his mother were surely kept in the film. But remember what was left out – things like stealing corpses, decorating his house with body parts and creating a suit made of skin. Gein would later come alive in another serial killer, Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs.

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Also known as Horror Hotel, this Christopher Lee film is known as one heck of a coincidence. Other than being released in the same year, both start with the film following a young blonde, who we think will stay with us throughout the story. Midway through the film, they check in to a secluded hotel/motel, before being stabbed to death. Despite the similarities, people have said that due to the woman in City of the Dead being a minor star, it would never have had an effect on them like that of major starlet Janet Leigh being viciously murdered.

Saul Bass

As with many of Hitchcock’s previous films, Saul Bass designed the title sequence. In this film, Hitchcock managed to give him a larger role, allowing him to storyboard Det. Arborgast’s death scene – for which he got a “pictorial consultant” credit. His ideas for the sequence did not go so well though, and Hitch said that it set the audience to expect an inevitable murder. Years later, Bass claimed that he also story-boarded and directed the famous shower sequence, although many of the crew, including Janet Leigh, disregard his claims as false.

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Anthony Perkins was cast against a wave of protest from Paramount, due to his youth and his being unrecognizable to audiences. Janet Leigh was cast so that the film would have some star quality. Vera Miles was brought on because she dropped out of Hitchcock’s earlier film, Vertigo, due to pregnancy. One of the only casting choices that Hitch was against was John Gavin, whose performance he regarded as “stiff”. And as usual, he gave his daughter Patricia a small role as well.

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In the book, Norma Bates was fat, stubby and terribly unlikeable, but Hitchcock always figured that the best film villains must be nice and attractive. One of the other noticeable differences is the fact that Norman’s murderous behavior is not the result of psycho-physical damage, but blackouts brought on by heavy drinking. Some other small facts include the name of Mary Crane changed to Marion, the action taken from Fort Worth, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona, and Marion’s head being severed in the shower.

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In those times, audiences were shocked to see a toilet being flushed and this was the first film to show such an act. The toilet in the film was actually flushing paper, but nevertheless, the fact that a toilet was shown in close up being flushed was regarded as filthy. However, there were two cartoons made in the 1930s that also depicted toilets being flushed in clear view.

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Possibly to ensure the “authenticity” of a true low-budget film, Hitchcock came up with several famous gimmicks to raise awareness of the film, the most famous being that no one would be admitted after the film started. At a time when audiences came and went to films, Hitchcock required each cinema to ensure that every audience saw the film right from the start. Many were laden with life size cut-outs of Hitch pointing to his watch, ensuring audiences that they must see Psycho from the start, or else they would not see it at all.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2011/09/22/top-10-interesting-facts-about-psycho/

5 Common Medical Errors in Movies

I like being a volunteer paramedic but one rather small side effect is that I always notice how horribly wrong most movies and TV shows handle medical stuff of any kind. Sometimes there are only minor errors, sometimes rather big flaws happen. Of course some movies are more accurate than others, so I tried to find points that apply for most of them.

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Applying a tourniquet above or below a wound is something you see in movies almost every time someone has a bleeding that is more than a little scratch. In reality, this procedure is highly controversial among experts since it does not only damage the affected limb severely, but when a body part is cut off from blood supply, toxic substances begin to form quickly and when the blood flow is restored, these substances can be life threatening. Because of that, health authorities in many countries already decided to ban the appliance of tourniquets from the list of measurements taught at first-aid classes and advise paramedics and emergency doctors to use it in extreme cases only.

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Whenever someone loses a finger (or a toe or something else) in a movie, putting the severed part on ice is the first thing they do before rushing to the hospital. While it is advisable to keep the object in question cool (and germ free), actually freezing it would cause irreparable cell damage, especially in cases of direct contact to the ice.

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While giving birth is without a doubt a very painful experience, it is in most cases not as dangerous and torturous as most movies illustrate it to be. In industrial countries with a modern medicine system, approximately 95% of all births go down without any complications and 4 out of the remaining 5% only feature minor problems.

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The fact that only doctors are allowed to officially declare someone dead is widely known, still almost every movie chooses to ignore it. But even when we graciously overlook that, the methods used to assess a patients condition range from trying to feel the pulse (which is a procedure that is not used anymore to determine whether someone is dead or not) to poking the person or even just looking at him/her (not a joke, I just saw that a week ago). And if the characters come to the conclusion that the patient is dead, in many cases they do not try to reanimate him/her for no apparent reason – which is not only stupid and morally wrong but also criminal. By the way, this leads directly to my last point.

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Reanimation scenes in movies are probably not only the most frequent medical scenes but also the ones with the most errors. Most movies feature so many mistakes that you could probably write a second list about them. Common mistakes include the following subjects:

Speed – most movie-CPRs are way too slow, the correct speed is 100 bpm, which is coincidentally the speed of the Bee Gees “Stayin’ alive” ( or Queens “Another one bites the dust”, which has a slightly more morbid double meaning).

Ratio – The correct ratio between chest compression and ventilation is 30:2 for an adult, not 3:1 or 3:2 as seen in many movies.

Defibrillation – The main application for defibrillators is ventricular fibrillation, meaning the muscle fibers of the heart are contracting completely uncoordinated resulting in a lack of blood flow. In the case of asystole (no heart activity at all, the famous “flatline”), a defibrillator is useless until CPR restores some kind of heart activity.

Duration – Most reanimation scenes in movies only take a few minutes before the patient is declared dead. In reality, reanimations take at least 45 minutes and can be expanded to several hours.

Another interesting fact not directly connected to movies is that with every single minute without CPR, the chances of reviving a patient with cardiac arrest drop between 5 and 10 percent. So always update your knowledge about first aid, because one day it might prove useful to you.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2011/04/25/5-common-medical-errors-in-movies/

Top 9 Ongoing Cult TV Shows

Over the past decades, Televisionland has been blessed with shows that have garnered faithful multitudes of fans, and have influenced entire generations with their originality, compelling stories, and intricate universes. The fanatical commitment to these shows may at times be such, that fans are inspired to enthusiastically embrace these fictional worlds and create an entire culture around and beyond the shows themselves. These fans become a cult following of a show, and elevate such a show to cult status.

While there have been undeniable cult shows throughout the years (Star Trek, X-Files, Buffy, just to mention a few), they sometimes overshadow more recent and modern shows that enjoy cult status today. Here are the Top 9 cult shows currently running today.

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Jericho tells the story of a small town after a nuclear attack on major cities in the US. The plot involves political intrigue as seen from the perspective of the sealed-off town of Jericho, and a deep mystery regarding the state of the country in the aftermath of the attacks.

Jericho was cancelled by CBS after its first season run due too low ratings, but thanks to an intense campaign undertaken by the fans of the show, CBS was compelled to produce a second season. Sadly, the second season suffered from poor ratings as well, and it was cancelled yet again two months ago. Despite the intention of the fans to try bringing Jericho back once more, it’s very unlikely that Jericho will be returning to TV except in reruns.

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Who doesn’t know who The Simpsons are nowadays? The most famous nuclear family of all time has spent almost two decades lampooning American life and becoming an inseparable part of post-modern pop culture. Smart parodies of everything, a myriad of quirky characters, and often-hilarious situations have elevated the Simpsons into global super-stardom.

While some may argue that the Simpsons are not as funny as they once were, the series is still going strong, Simpsons quotes and jokes still abound in the minds of zealous fans, and many are still obsessed about where the heck Springfield is supposed to be at.

Futurama

Futurama comes from the same creators of The Simpsons, telling the adventures of Phillip J. Fry, who has traveled 1,000 years into a future filled with sci-fi and pop culture parodies. With the same great humor as seen in the Simpsons, Futurama tells hilarious stories set in a ridiculous universe where anything can and does happen.

Another case of life after cancellation thanks to the fans, Futurama is coming back to life with a new series of movies for DVD.

Southpark

South Park is a Comedy Central animated “no-holds barred, anything-goes” satire, definitely not suitable for children or the weak of heart. Four children from the town of South Park, Colorado have to face the most politically incorrect situations found on TV, while satirizing current world events. This show deals with issues of racism, politics, religion, drugs, violence, war, and sex without even flinching.

But behind the scatological humor and shock value that South Park provides, may sometimes hide an unapologetic critique of modern society, so all the craziness and relentless insult from this show, as its loyal fanbase may know, should not be taken at face value. Still, you don’t need to overthink it in order to enjoy the (usually) uncensored antics of the residents of South Park.

Battlestar Galactica

The new Battlestar Galactica TV series is known as a “re-imagining” of the original 1978 version. It tells the story of the last remnants of humanity as they journey across the stars aboard a fleet of ships led by the Battlestar Galactica ship, fleeing from the threat of the Cylons, and in search of the legendary lost colony known as Earth.

This modernized version enjoyed so much success as a mini-series that it became a full-fledged TV series in 2004 and is currently on its fourth season. The show became even more popular thanks to word of mouth and exposure on the Internet and elsewhere. Today it’s the subject of discussion and worship of many fans from all over the world.

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Family Guy is an animated series in the satiric vein of the Simpsons, with a dysfunctional family from Quahog, Rhode Island. The series currently consists of surreal stories often interrupted by ‘cutaway gags’, short sketches parodying celebrities, scenes from movies, and much more.

This series has miraculously been brought back from cancellation not once but two separate times, all thanks to the devotion and loyalty of its fans who kept good ratings on reruns and DVD sales. Both criticized and loved by many, Family Guy proves that cult followings have a very strong influence on TV.

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Heroes is a sci-fi drama series focusing on the lives of a group of people who begin to develop superhuman abilities, and must learn to adapt to them as they deal with their otherwise common lives, all while getting inevitably involved in a desperate race to save the world.

This series resembles in many ways comic book stories, not only theme-wise but also in its storytelling structure, and even in very lovely nods to comic book enthusiasts. The series has fleshed out a mythology of recurring themes and mysteries that provides an intricate and enthralling story, which many fans (even those who are not into comic books) have become obsessed with.

Dr-Who

Dr. Who tells the story of a being only known as “The Doctor” who travels through time and space aboard the TARDIS along with his trusty companions, helping those in need, saving entire worlds time and again, and fighting many evil threats to the universe such as the dangerous Daleks and the nasty Cybermen.

The longest-running science fiction series in the world recently experienced a modern revival which has sky-rocketed its popularity in Great Britain and all over the world. The series has expanded its existence through numerous episodes, movies, spin-offs, and much more in a span of over four decades. And as it did so, a strong cult of loyal fans has evolved, rejoicing in the many adventures of The Doctor. Long debates as to who’s the best Doctor of all time are becoming much longer as you read this.

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LOST, a drama/thriller series created by Damon Lindelof, J. J. Abrams and Jeffrey Lieber is… well, terribly difficult to describe. It started pretty simple: after crash-landing on an island in the Pacific, the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 must strive to keep alive while tackling the many mysteries and cryptic dangers that the island is hiding. But, as the series progressed, viewers discovered that the rabbit hole in this gem was much deeper than anyone imagined. Every character (of which there are many) has a troubled past and sins to hide, as depicted by the flashbacks that accompany each episode; mysterious ‘Others’ began to appear who threatened their lives and hid a much grander mystery about the Island; and much, much more. The mysteries and plot twists get more intricate and surprising as the show progresses, and will certainly make your brain hurt if you don’t pay attention. Most of this description, in fact, may have been rendered obsolete by recent episodes. Yup, it’s that crazy and amazing.

While some may argue that this show is too popular to be considered cult, you can discern the cult following of this show as those people who are obsessed with the complex mythology the show has created: theories about where and what the Island is, what the “the monster” is, what’s the deal with that DHARMA Initiative; and even be able to recite The Numbers from memory. I’m glad to say that describes me pretty well.

Contributor: Kreachure

Read more: http://listverse.com/2008/05/31/top-9-ongoing-cult-tv-shows/

Top 10 Star Vehicles That Were Black Holes

Ah, the Star Vehicle for musicians-turned-actors. Eager to cash in on fan goodwill, a red hot rep, or simply fifteen fleeting minutes of fame, record industry weasels convince musicians they can act— all for a quick buck. Some, like David Bowie and Frank Sinatra cross over effortlessly, with consistently interesting results. Others just have results.

Star Vehicle: Cool As Ice

This is the only movie I know of whose title actually predicted its box office reception. How did this even make it past the 100-word pitch session? Life lesson, Ice: Nobody is Marlon Brando from “The Wild One”, not even James Dean. And he was JAMES FRIGGEN DEAN. What chance did you think a white-bread rapper from Plano, TX was gonna have? Go the Baskin Robbins where your agent now works and deliver a sound beating. Save a little for yourself. Note: Ice now resides in the netherworld of reality television, where he throws drum kits and chairs at porn star Ron Jeremy. And people say there’s no justice…

Star Vehicle: Buster

80’s radio was Phil Collins’ bitch, be it as frontman for Genesis or in his ubiquitous, white-hot solo career. You simply couldn’t escape the man. I’m sure this harmless little film by a rather likable harmless little guy (he looks more and more like Charlie Brown with each day), was probably just Phil looking for new worlds to conquer. But when Buster grossed a whopping $540,000, it seems the market finally had enough and banished him to Disney soundtracks for the next decade or so.

Star Vehicle: Tougher Than Leather

In 1988, rap music had finally blown up. BIG. And nobody was bigger at the time than Run-DMC. “Tougher Than Leather” was to accompany an album of the same name as a follow-up to the triple platinum “Raising Hell”. These three guys were poised to own America and kick you out, but “Leather’s” plot was wafer thin and the budget would buy you a Happy Meal if you didn’t supersize. This was just enough to slow Run-DMC’s momentum from world-conquerors to the guys you see at the beginning of Ken Burns-ish montages of rap history (usually in black and white, with their music played softly behind the narrator’s copy points). Leonard Maltin said it best–“Run D Other Way”.

Star Vehicle: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

A Beatles musical? Um… no. Wait thirty years, use Abba instead, and understand it will still only play to women over forty and men who are either married or gay. This abomination (and a gay-ish satin jumpsuit Billy Squier would avoid) stopped all the “Frampton Comes Alive!” hoopla dead. Not just Hollywood dead, but Dead Dead. But I am grateful for the harm that “Pepper” did to the Bee Gees, however, and that explains “Pepper’s” lower placement on this list.

Star Vehicle: Glitter

Glitter reeked of Mariah Carey’s desperation to stretch her decade-long career Just. A. Little. Longer. But this bomb was so embarrassing Sony bought up Carey’s contract rather than let her make another album, movie, infomercial, psychic hotline ad, or voicemail greeting with the Sony name. That’s one very costly GTFO, but yes, “Glitter” was that bad. Carey subsequently had a nervous breakdown, and met many of her fans in therapy (who blamed her movie for their own breakdowns).

Star Vehicle: Under the Cherry Moon

Yeah, His Royal Badness was great playing himself in “Purple Rain”, but this 40’s-style snoozer was so bad he limited his next film appearance to concert footage only (the excellent “Sign O’ The Times”). “Moon” won four Golden Raspberry awards for Worst Director (Prince), Worst Supporting Actor (Jerome Benton), Worst Picture and Worst Actor (Prince). It was also nominated for Worst Screenplay and Worst Supporting Actress (Kristin Scott Thomas). This was a very rare misstep from an artist who had the golden (or should I say purple?) touch. Maybe he was distracted because he was sleeping with…

Star Vehicle: The Allnighter

Bangles lead singer Susanna Hoffs was, is, and will always be a talented singer and terminally cute, to boot. I’d take a run at her when she’s ninety and I’m eighty-two and we’re both too old to remember what to do anymore. This film was supposed to launch Susannah beyond her “Walk Like An Egyptian” fame, but enduring it is like watching someone else’s paint dry. Correction- it’s like watching paint dry in a laundry room of someone you don’t even know.

Star Vehicle: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

This is the only movie I know of that actually threatens its own audience in the title: as in, “I will get rich from this movie or you will die while I’m tryin’ “. Thinking that if a scrawny Detroit whiteboy can get PAYD in movies, rapper and multiple gunshot volunteer 50 Cent thought he could, too. But Eminem brought an urgency and vulnerability to his biopic, and there is simply no vulnerable part of 50 Cent. The film died trying to recover the $40 million it cost to make. (Note: If Fiddy ever reads this, remember, Listverse member “lawandorder” wrote it. Everybody got that?)

Star Vehicle: Shanghai Surprise

“Desperately Seeking Susan” made $27 million and showed that Madonna had some genuine screen charisma. But the studios were really banking on “Shanghai Surprise” to bring the major payday. Not so much: the film was intergalactically panned, and a string of bad films failed trying to capitalize on her fanbase before Madonna finally hit paydirt with “Evita”. Sadly, Madonna decided to reprise “Shangha Surprise” with “Swept Away”, which earned seven Golden Raspberry awards, including Worst Actress.

Star Vehicle: Love Me Tender or Any of 30 Other Films

Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair: the King’s film output was so mediocre and so prolific he actually inspired his own film genre. Don’t believe me? If I say “Val Kilmer’s “Top Secret” is really an Elvis movie”, you know exactly what I’m talking about. A supremely talented singer done in by his own fame and fortune, Elvis turned to Hollywood on the advice of his manager Colonel Tom Parker. Sure, he made money, but his rep didn’t fully recover until the famed ’68 comeback. Note: Never take career advice from someone who sounds like they would feed you from a bucket. Before KFC, only hogs ate from a bucket.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2009/05/06/top-10-star-vehicles-that-were-black-holes/

10 Great Cheesy Action Movies of the ’90s

There are plenty of action movies that are just bad; plain and simple. Bad acting, script, editing, effects, you name it. This is not a list of those movies. Sure, they may have aspects of all the above mentioned, but they still manage to work. Some movies are so gratuitously cheesy that you can’t help but fall in love with them. They are so bad, they are good. They are the guilty pleasures of the film world. The nineties brought a wave of these popcorn selling blockbusters, and in many ways revolutionized modern action movies.

Think Nicolas Cage (gracing our list 3 times) performing useless somersaults amidst a gunfight with John Travolta in a church, as a dozen doves inexplicably migrate through the room. Think Charlie Sheen having relations with Kristy Swanson while engaged in a high speed pursuit with policeman played by Henry Rollins. Think Keanu Reeves wrestling with a laid-back California surfer accent, and Patrick Swayze with his inexplicable karate moves. These movies are perfectly awesome, dripping cheese sandwiches.

Armageddon

This movie is filled with a gratuitous amount of corny one-liners. This is an example of a perfect “F” movie; so bad it is good. The plot follows Bruce Willis, a master oil driller, and his team of predictable misfits. The team of misfits is the last line of defense against an asteroid “twice the size of Texas” (why is Texas always used as the standard for measuring asteroids in movies?) heading straight for Earth. The team is charged with the task of boomeranging around the moon to generate enough speed to land on the asteroid. Once on the asteroid they are supposed to drill into its core and blow it in half with a nuke. No problem.

Cheesiest Moment Award: Before heading into space, A.J. (Ben Affleck) and Grace (Liv Tyler) share a painfully cliché scene. As they are holding each other, and getting all mushy gushy, Liv Tyler says, “Baby, do you think it’s possible that anyone else in the world is doing this very same thing at this very same moment?” To which A.J. replies, “I hope so, otherwise what the hell are we trying to save?”

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The secret sauce to a successful John Woo movie: explosions, somersaults and John Travolta. John Woo leads the pack in physics-defying explosions. Woo’s explosions have conquered the air, land, and sea, whether it be a helicopter, train, motorcycle, or boat. Thank goodness we don’t live in a Wu-Physics world otherwise bicycles, skateboards, pogo sticks, and horses would be exploding all the time.

Cheesiest moment award: Christian Slater, Delroy Lindo, and Frank Whaley come to the conclusion that Vic Deakins (John Travolta) has duped them, and that he is in fact heading in the opposite direction of where whey they originally thought. After pleading with Lindo to chase down the bad guys, Lindo responds with, “Captain Hale, do you know what rules are?” Hale replies, “Yes.” Lindo declares, “Good… Because I’m about to break them.” [Cue testosterone inducing action music.]

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This one walks a fine line between being very cheesy and absolutely terrible. Even L. Ron Hubbard would have been offended by John Travolta’s atrocious acting in this beauty of a film. The movie shamelessly wastes 118 minutes of your life that you will never get back, save for one glorious scene in which John Travolta delivers the most poorly written and acted line in the history of film.

Cheesiest Moment Award: In an all-time classic cheesy scene, Travolta complains about his new role with the bad guys, “I can assure you, that I was not groomed since birth to have some cushy job that even a moron like you could perform! While you were still learning to spell your name [emphatic]… I was being trained to conquer galaxies!”

Demolition-Man

115 glorious minutes of John Spartan (Stallone) and Simon Phoenix (Snipes) running, yelling, diving, and dropping unforgettable one-liners. The concept of the movie revolves around Stallone who was cryogenically frozen because he was too violent as a police officer, and accidentally, you know, killed some people. Apparently if you do your job too well, they will throw you in a giant block of ice and freeze you for thirty-something years. They thaw him out in 2032 to capture his arch-nemesis Simon Phoenix, who for some reason has a bleached blonde half Afro. And how about the character names John Spartan and Simon Phoenix? Only in an action movie can you get away with names like that.

Cheesiest Moment Award: Throughout the entire movie Simon Phoenix refers to himself in the third person, often saying “Simon Says…[insert cheesy command].” At one point of the movie, Phoenix declares, “Simon says… Die!” It was an unintentional hilarity.

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Days of Thunder is the oldest movie on the list, barely making the cutoff. But thank goodness it did. What list would be complete without Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) spending 110 minutes trying to convince us that he is a the best Nascar driver in the world, after only haven driven a couple months? The cheese is spread on thick the entire movie, ranging from Harry Hogge’s (Robert Duvall) monologue with a car, Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) desperately trying to be a tough bad guy, a destruction derby race on the beach, and a romance between Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman) and Cruise.

Cheesiest Moment Award: The romance between Cole and Claire starts with Cole grabbing Claire’s hand and placing it on his groin declaring, “I think this is what you are looking for.” Earlier in the movie Harry Hogge surprises Cole with a stripper disguised as a police officer. As a result, apparently Cruise’s character thinks every woman is a stripper.

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Dennis Quaid is entertainingly unbelievable, in everything he does. Dragonheart is shamelessly fun to watch, despite Quaid’s inability to act his way out of a paper bag. The movie picks up years after Draco, a dragon with the voice of Sean Connery, gives half his heart to save a young prince. Bowen (Quaid) is a dragon slayer hell-bent on a mission to kill the dragon responsible for corrupting the heart of a ruthless king. The film is a classic “buddy movie” as the two supposed enemies team up and befriend one another against a common enemy. As cheesy as this movie is, it stills seems to pull at your heartstrings at the end, courtesy of Randy Edelman’s great score.

Cheesiest Moment Award: While on dragon hunting business, Bowen corners Draco into his home, a small cave under a waterfall. Bowen approaches Draco for the kill with swashbuckling pride. Draco declares, “Since you seek a profit, we might as well begin.” To which Bowen replies in as gravelly and gleeful a voice as he can manage “Oh don’t flatter yourself, it’s not the profit, it’s the pleasure!”

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Who doesn’t believe the sincerity in Nicolas Cage’s voice when he says “Put the buunnnaay back in the box” or “Tie a ribbon ‘round the old oak tree, cause this boy’s comin’ home” in his best Southern drawl? Where he managed to dig up that atrocious accent, I don’t know, but I can’t get enough of it. The movie follows Cameron Poe (Cage) who was imprisoned for accidentally killing a man who was trying to rape his fiancé. The judge sentenced Poe to prison declaring, “You are a deadly weapon and are not subject to the same laws as other people that are provoked.” Which laws? Who made these “special laws”? I think everyone watched that scene and thought, “Ummm, huh?”

Cheesiest moment award: One of the cons aboard the “flying prison” double crosses Cyrus “The Virus” (John Malkovitch) by fleeing without him on a small Cessna airplane. John Cusack causes the con to wreck the plane before it can take off, causing it to spew jet fuel everywhere. As the con stumbles from the wrecked plane – completely covered in jet fuel – he says to Cyrus, “Cyrus we were coming to get you! Cy-” Cyrus cuts him off, “-anara” and throws a lit cigarette on him, blowing him up.

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This entire movie is a bubbling, drippy, cheese sandwich. The story revolves around Jack “The Red-Nosed Robber” (Charlie Sheen). The premise of the movie being Jack has escaped from prison after being wrongly accused of being the Red Nosed Robber, a serial bank robber who dresses as a clown. The story picks up with Jack robbing a gas station using a candy bar as a fake gun, and kidnapping Natalie (Kristy Swanson).

Cheesiest Moment Award: At the very end of the movie Jack is surrounded by hundreds of police officers. He has no way out. After he gives himself up, Kristy Swanson hijacks a helicopter – yes, a helicopter. The two fly off to Mexico, have kids and live happily ever. Deliciously cheesy, indeed.

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Where to start with this awfully great movie? As an actor, Keanu Reeves is a flaming dumpster fire. While he may have the personality of a roof shingle, his movies never cease to entertain. The movie follows a budding young detective Johnny Utah (Reeves) and his laughably stereotypical jaded mentor Pappas (Gary Busey). Reeves goes undercover posing as a surfer to find a gang of surfers thought to be robbing local banks, cue: Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). Bodhi is the local surfing legend, and inexplicable karate and Zen master.

Cheesiest Moment Award: Tie: While chasing Bodhi from a bank robbery, Johnny Utah lands on his bad knee and hurts himself so badly he can’t run. Knowing Bodhi is going to escape, he aims his gun at him. Bodhi turns around and gives him a genuine “puppy dog” look as the camera zooms in on his dreamy blue eyes. So dreamy, in fact, that Johhny Utah can’t pull the trigger. He instead decides to aim the gun straight up in the air screaming “Aaaahhhhhh!!” unloading the entire clip.
In another scene Johnny Utah almost has his face shoved into a running lawnmower by a bad guy (Warchild). Pappas comes to the rescue, shooting the lawnmower (instead of, you know, the bad guy) which promptly shuts off. Pappas points the gun into Warchild’s face and says, “Speak into the microphone, squid brain.”

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In action films, there is a fine line between cheesy and sophisticated. John Woo shamelessly poured cheese all over that line, and Face/Off is the result. This is not to suggest that Woo poured recklessly, and that the result was a complete mess, on the contrary it was done quite artistically. The film is tightly edited and the gunplay is filmed to present over-the-top action in all its glamor.

Cheesiest moment award: As Sean Archer and Caster Troy battle each other on the land, sea, and in the air for the entirety of the 2 hour 18 minute film, they eventually end up fighting for the steering wheel of a speeding boat while simultaneously attempting to kill each other with fists, anchors, propellers, and spear guns. They briefly stop fighting in order to brace themselves for the imminent impact of their boat with a dock before a small beach shore. The next moment has what you might describe as one of two different things: an operatic quality or so cheesy you can’t take it all in at once and must avert your eyes. The moment the boat impacts the dock, it goes flipping into the air in glorious slow-mo with Archer and Troy flying through the air in front of it. The boat explodes as they land safely on the beach.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2012/10/19/10-great-cheesy-action-movies-of-the-90s/

Top 10 Satires of Horror

Horror is an odd genre of film. It’s a staple of cinema, but at the same time, it’s arguably the stalest and most worn-out genre. Think back to the last great horror film that was full of surprises, genuine tension, and actual scares. Not many come to mind. Instead, what’s grown popular is the lampooning of horror. Noticing this, I’ve listed the ten best spoofs (old and new) of the horror genre. I should say, though, that I’m a huge horror fan. I may have some negative things to say in this article, but that’s only because I wish the best for one of my favorite genres. Enjoy.

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The first actual, full-on spoof of the stale genre was 1981′s Student Bodies. A very strange film, it centers around ‘The Breather’ (called so because of his heavy breathing), a serial killer targeting students over the phone. While spoofing the various cliches and tropes found in Friday the 13th, Prom Night and Halloween, the film also delivered several very strange but original moments, including an infamous janitor named Stick and a body count meter in the bottom corner. Ending with several twists stacked onto each other, the film is beloved as a cult hit and ushered in the age of ‘self-realization,’ with those horror franchises named before accepting their goofiness and ham, briefly giving them a shot to the heart.

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Much like Student Bodies, 2000′s Scary Movie was a response to the stagnate horror genre, taking to town many films, the most prominent being Scream and I know What You Did Last Summer, with many potshots also had at various horror films like The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project. Despite being released almost 20 years later than Student Bodies, a lot of the things it parodies (slutty cheerleaders, ignorant locals, the hackneyed twist ending) were true in the ’70s and ’80s, further showing just how predictable the genre can be. The film is mainly a take on Scream (which was actually satire too), with a parody of the killer from that film, Ghostface, terrorizing a small town and its youth. It also launched it’s own franchise, with a fifth installment coming some time in 2013.

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While not as obvious a spoof as the last two films, James Gunn’s Slither is still satire, albeit light, as it’s also a tribute. What it’s both mocking and celebrating are the gory, splatstick B-movies of the ’80s, like Class of Nuke ‘Em High and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Films like those inspired Gunn to work in Hollywood, and he pays them respect while also tongue-in-cheek making fun of the small, backwoods town and cliches, including the town’s many characters. Largely similar to Night of the Creeps, another B-movie, the film’s about a local southern place in the middle of nowhere targeted by aliens who wish to enslave everybody. Filled with over the top gore and a mix of slapstick and legit horror, it’s become one of the newest editions in the cult film pantheon.

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This low-budget, independent film is really only satire in its deconstruction of the tropes found in horror films. Largely, it’s more a love-letter to the Friday the 13th and Halloween franchises, with the main character, Leslie Vernon, being just like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Filmed in the mockumentary style, this 2006 sleeper hit follows Vernon, who by day hires a film crew (much like Man Eats Dog) to explain the various whats and whys of being a psycho, ritualistic murderer, and who by night set ups those very rituals and scenarios, such as picking the virgin, getting her friends to go to the abandoned woods, etc., all so he can brutally murder them. Its tearing down of the stereotypes found in campy, scary movies is both smart and subtle, with a dosage of black humor. A sequel is currently being written.

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Mel Brooks, known for many hilarious satires, from the old west in Blazing Saddles to Broadway in The Producers, sets his eyes on the horror icon itself, Frankenstein’s monster, in 1974. It’s a complete reworking of the Frankenstein saga, only done in classic Brook’s fashion, with plenty of slapstick and meta-humor. Some of the humor is subtle (Igor’s hump switching locations), much of it is broad (‘Puttin’ On the Ritz’), but it’s all very funny and very smart, successfully paying tribute to the classic tale and also lampooning its many cliches. Brooks would later try to replicate this formula with Dracula: Dead and Loving It to less success.

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Released in 2010, this recent spoof targets the ‘back-woods murderous redneck’ trope, found in many films including Deliverance, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unlike those films though, the main characters in this film are the rednecks, who aren’t murderous at all. Instead, they’re both incredibly nice, warm people but due to a series of misunderstandings and pure bad luck, are mistaken for those very stereotypes by a group of teenagers vacationing in an old cabin in the woods, who begin to attack the poor guys. It’s a complete reworking of the original cliche, and it works brilliantly, giving rednecks a rare, fair credit.

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Another take on the Frankenstein tale, this one comes from the legendary comedy pair of Abbot and Costello, who were known for many kooky adventures. Despite the title, this is more of a ‘monster movie’ spoof than a specific Frankenstein spoof, with both Dracula and The Wolfman being included. In the film, the helpless duo end up unleashing Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster unto the world, and along the way come across the Wolfman too. Like their previous films, it’s zany and full of slapstick, but is still both funny and relevant. Like Young Frankenstein later, the many cliches of Frankenstein are poked fun at, only this time, two more monsters get the treatment.

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Directed by the master of horror himself, Wes Craven, Scream manages to be both a complete deconstruction of slasher films and at the same, a great horror movie. Instead of being goofy and silly like other parodies before it, it uses those tropes for it’s advantage, with the murderer of the film, Ghostface, terrorizing a group of students using the various rules of horror movies, like not having sex and not doing drugs. The film openly acknowledges the tropes associated with this type of film, which makes the film stronger and unique. Even the twist ending is fresh. Smart, humorous, and edgy, it was followed by three sequels.

Shaun Of The Dead

Zombies, a staple of horror since the very beginning, had managed to get through the years without a lot of mockery or grief. That changed in 2004 though, with Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, a hilarious rundown of zombie cliches and tropes. It’s centered around the titular Shaun, a workaholic with a fratboy best friend and a failed relationship, who’s thrust into the zombie apocalypse. Filled with as much heart as it has laughs, it’s become one of the most popular zombie films of all time, despite making fun of the entire idea throughout. It’s also part of Edgar Wrights ‘The Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy,’ with Hot Fuzz (a parody of action films) and The World’s End (a parody of sci-fi).

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The most recent of these films (just released in April, 2012), The Cabin in the Woods is an ambitious, brave take on pretty much everything horror. A group of youths travel to an old, abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere, and what follows is exactly what you would imagine: sex, drugs, and murder. The thing is though, (and this isn’t a spoiler, honest), it’s all being controlled by some organization. From drugging the kids so they become dumber to blocking all the exits, they make the teenagers their puppets. The film only gets weirder and crazier as it goes along though, but every cliche and stereotype and monster all get a turn at being spoofed. It’s violent, funny, sexy, and most of all, original. It’s exactly what the horror genre needed, and hopefully it inspires more creativity.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2012/04/16/top-10-satires-of-horror/

Top 10 Box Office Bombs

Here are the top ten movies that bombed at the box office. I decided to do this list based on percentage of loss rather than amount because it was cooler that way!

10. Manderlay 2006IMDB | Trailer

Manderlay (2006)

Budget: $14,200,000
Box office sales: $78,378
Loss: 99.45%

Of all the other bombs, this film was rated the highest at just over 7 stars on imdb. It is set in the 1930′s in southern USA on a property called Manderlay. Shockingly slavery is still being practiced even though it has been outlawed 70 years previously. There was some controversy involving the death of a donkey on set (the scene was later cut from the movie). Most of the actors portraying the slaves were English as most African-American actors did not want to be involved with the movie due to it’s subject.

9. An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn 1998IMDB

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Budget: $10,000,000
Box office sales: $45,779
Loss: 99.5%

In this comedy Alan Smithee is hired to direct a huge budget action film, but is kept out of any real directorial control. He decides to renounce the film and wants his name removed as director. Unfortunately for him, the Director’s Guild requires that if a director disowns a movie in this fashion, he *must* use the official Director’s Guild pseudonym…which happens to be Alan Smithee. Hilarity ensues when he decides to steal the reels to keep the film from being released. Actually looks pretty funny.

8. Shade 2004IMDB | Trailer

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Budget: $10,000,000
Box office sales: $25,032
Loss: 99.75%

This poker themed film fared terribly in the Box Office due to complete lack of promotion. Meaning that no one knew what it was and it was only seen by about 3,000 people in theatres before it was yanked due to lack of financing.

7. The Bridge of San Luis Rey 2005IMDB | Trailer

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Budget: $24,000,000
Box office sales: $49,981
Loss: 99.79%

The Bridge of San Luis Rey was based on disastrous destruction of the bridge of San Luis Rey was divinely influened. Some have said that Robert DeNiero’s performance was stilted and that the plot was muddy. Whatever the reason it recouped a mere .21% of it’s budget at the Box Office.

6. Freaked 1993IMDB | Trailer

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Budget: $12,000,000
Box office sales: $29,296
Loss: 99.8%

This comedy/sci-fi features a chemical company hiring a spokesperson to improve their image. Said spokesperson visits the chemical plant in South America and discovers that the chemical he is supposed to be supporting has caused severe mutations leading to a “freak farm” of monstrosities. Sounds incredibly strange. I was surprised to notice Brooke Shields and Morgan Fairchild on the cast. I listed it below Nomad as it had a lower budget and so a lower loss over all.

5. Nomad 2007IMDB | Trailer

Nomad

Budget: $40,000,000
Box office sales: $79,123
Loss: 99.8%

This films plot is described as “An historical epic set in 18th-century Kazakhstan, where a young man is destined to unite the country’s three warring tribes.” The surprise here was that it was nominated for a Golden Globe. Not sure what happened with this one.

4. My Big Fat Independent Movie 2005IMDB | Trailer

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Budget: $3,000,000
Box office sales: $4,655
Loss: 99.84%

My Big Fat Independent Movie was a spoof of independent films along the lines of Scary Movie or Not Another Teen Movie. They spoofed everything from Amelie to Being John Malkovich to Clerks and more. It was actually rated pretty bad at imdb (3.1 stars out of 10), but it might be fun for a spoof fan or an indie film fan.

3. D-Tox 2002IMDB | Trailer

Budget: $55,000,000
Box office sales: $79,161
Loss: 99.86%

D-Tox

This Sylvester Stallone flick was released straight to video in the US due to bad ticket sales in other countries. I think the biggest issue here was the fact that Stallone was playing the lead role. He just doesn’t seem to be able make money on anything other than Rocky. This movie has the distinction of having the highest budget of the top ten bombs, which means that it lost more actual money than any of the films on this list.

2. Scorched 2003IMDB

Scorched

Budget: $7,000,000
Box office sales: $8,000
Loss: 99.89%

This looks to be a goofy comedy about 3 bank tellers independently deciding to rob their place of business, with none of them aware of the plans of the others. It might actually be funny, but at a 99.89% loss at the box office it definitely bombed.

1. Zyzzyx Road 2006IMDB | Trailer

Zyzzyxroad

Budget: $1,200,000
Box office sales: $20
Loss: 99.999%

This film only opened in one theater- Highland Village Park Theater in Dallas, Texas. It ran for six days and amassed a final total of $20. Apparently this very limited release was a technicality in order to meet Screen Actors Guild’s regulations. I find it interesting that this movie is #1 on the list, as it had a lower budget than any other movie in the top ten, but based on percentage this movie is far and away the largest Box Office Bomb I’ve ever heard of.

Honorable mention: Mini’s First Time 2006IMDB | Trailer

Minis First Time - Poster

Budget: $6,000,000
Box office sales: $49,034
Loss: 99.2%%

Contributor: Heavenlymayday

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Read more: http://listverse.com/2007/10/13/top-10-box-office-bombs/

10 Big Documentaries They Don’t Ever Want You To See

Documentaries have trouble finding audiences under the best of circumstances. Much of the public dismisses them as either boring or sensationalist. But you’ll have a whole lot more trouble getting people to see your picture when the government is trying to suppress you or when opponents come after you with murder on their minds.

10 The Sweatbox

This film portrays Disney’s massive retooling of The Emperor’s New Groove from a relatively artistic picture called Kingdom of the Sun to the crowd-pleasing final product. Disney originally hired Sting to record several songs for the cartoon, so the musician’s wife—producer Trudie Styler—filmed the process for a traditional behind-the-scenes featurette. When Disney cut Sting and drastically reworked the film, her project evolved into a controversial look at how studios dictate creative development.

Disney refused to allow distribution of the film, other than a single screening at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. Though the documentary doesn’t actually criticize the company too harshly, the apparent cover-up has given the film a reputation as an indictment of all things Disney. The movie leaked online after 10 years, but Disney continues to hunt down and remove postings when it catches them.

9 Let It Be

Not often do Academy Award recipients choose to kill their own Oscar-winning films. But the Beatles documentary Let It Be was never a hit with the band itself, and when it won the Beatles the 1970 award for Best Original Song Score, the group refused to acknowledge it. They then spent the next few decades fighting legal battles to keep the film out of circulation.

Let It Be tells the story of how the Beatles recorded their 1969 album of the same name, which was a process John Lennon called “six weeks of misery.” The film showed the band members at their most irritable, which conflicted a bit with their jovial public personas. One segment, filmed without the men’s knowledge, showed George Harrison blowing up at Paul McCartney. Another showed John extremely bored by Paul’s pontificating.

In 2008, the surviving band members blocked the documentary from going out on home video, and to this day, there has still since been no authorized home release.

8 Tabloid

Errol Morris is an Oscar-winning documentary director of films such as Fog of War and The Thin Blue Line. But in 2010, he decided to make a film about Joyce McKinney, a beauty contest winner. McKinney gladly sat for interviews and even provided home movie footage of her backyard. She only later realized that the film focused on her allegedly kidnapping and raping her husband—along with the strange tale of her repeatedly cloning her dog.

When McKinney saw the finished film, she sued Errol Morris and publicly claimed that the film’s producer had burgled her house. She responded to various online articles about the film (using the name “Truthteller”), threatening to sue the writers for perpetuating Morris’s lies. She threatened to sue Roger Ebert twice—first for covering the film and then for covering her threat.

Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, Errol Morris says McKinney is the best subject he’s ever covered.

7 Let There Be Light

Director John Huston (of The Maltese Falcon and Treasure of Sierra Madre fame) had already proven himself somewhat problematic when the military hired him to direct this film in 1946. The army had previously nearly censored one of his films for overly graphic combat footage. But they seemed now to trust him with the less violent subject of soldiers’ treatment after war.

Huston’s resulting 58-minute movie about post-traumatic stress disorder outdid his previous effort in controversy. It proved so touchy that the armed forces kept it from public view for 34 years. The official reason was concern for the soldiers’ privacy, but Huston figured other factors were at play.

Watching it today, it’s hard to see anything too controversial in the film. It’s not some wild exposé. It looks exactly like you would expect from a film of the period, complete with an optimistic ending showing happy recovering patients playing baseball. There was nothing objectionable in terms of content—except, Huston suspected, that it showed American soldiers being vulnerable and human. The army had to kill the film, reasoned Huston, because it undercut the “myth of the warrior” that the armed forces find essential.

6 Idi Amin: A Self-Portrait

Idi Amin, responsible for 300,000 deaths, was one of the most brutal leaders in recent history. But Barbet Schroeder’s 1974 documentary on the man paints him as a silly parody of a dictator when he’s not being frightening. Among the more memorable scenes is one in which he oversees a military exercise and is delighted by a helicopter flying overhead. In another, he visits a hospital to warn doctors not to get drunk, lest they lose people’s respect. Among the more disturbing bits is his gleeful laugh when Schroeder quotes him as saying that Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews.

After Schroeder finished filming, he flew to London to edit and screen the film. Some informants for Amin went to the screenings and sent the dictator notes about the film’s content. On the basis of that, Amin sent a directive ordering Schroeder to cut some material. When Schroeder refused, Amin acted in a manner more true to form and took hostage French citizens in Uganda, threatening to kill them unless Schroeder edited it as instructed.

That got the dictator the results he wanted. But after Amin was deposed in 1977, the pulled footage was restored, leaving the director’s cut as the surviving version today.

5 Shoah

This nine-hour Holocaust documentary is famous for featuring only interviews and direct footage, with no score and almost no narration. Director Claude Lanzmann spoke to not just survivors but also those living near death camps—people indifferent to the deaths of millions near them and even people expressing pleasure at being rid of Jewish neighbors.

Most controversial were Lanzmann’s interviews with camp guards and SS officers. Lanzmann recorded them using hidden cameras and microphones that sent footage to a van parked outside the interview location. In one case, the interview subject spotted the hidden camera. Instead of merely stopping and leaving, the former SS member had his son and three friends attack Lanzmann. The director wound up in the hospital for a month.

4 Harlan County U.S.A

Harlan County U.S.A. tells the story of the United Mine Workers Union of the Brookside Mine in Harlan County, Kentucky. It interviews people who almost died from mine collapses or who were doomed to die from black lung. Above all else, it covers the 1930s strikes at the coal mine, which resulted in 11 deaths and earned the area the name “Bloody Harlan.”

But what probably haunts the viewer the longest is a more modern scene, in which miners face a group of gun thugs. Leading the group is Basil Collins, a man who ran for sheriff the year before the film came out. At dawn, as the gang escorts scab workers into the mine, Collins brandishes a gun at the camera, his face clearly visible. He leaves, so the thugs attack the camera crew and all but punch the lens.

Kopple and her camera operator Perry Hart won big on that encounter. The film nabbed the 1976 Academy Award and also found itself in the American National Film Registry. Probably more important to the pair and the striking miners was that the footage served as evidence to convict Collins, who really should have known better than to attack a camera crew.

3 Titicut Follies

The 1967 ban of this film represents perhaps the most corrupt act of government film censorship in American history.

Director Frederick Wiseman shot this documentary from raw footage of inmates at the Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts. He had the permission of superintendent Charles Gaughan. He acquired release forms from coherent inmates; from the rest, he got permission from their legal guardians. But state Attorney General Elliot Richardson called for a ban on the film—for violating the inmates’ privacy, allegedly.

It’s understandable, though, that people in power would want to keep this film from seeing the light of day. It shows a force feeding where a doctor’s cigarette ash falls into the funnel used to feed the patient. It shows that Bridgewater cells had only a mattress and a bucket instead of any sort of plumbing. Although Gaughan reportedly thought the documentary might spur interest in increasing the hospital’s budget, it looked more likely to bring in a federal investigation than more support.

2 Nub City

Errol Morris returns to this list for a much earlier story. In 1981, having made just one film (Gates of Heaven, notable as one of Roger Ebert’s favorites), Errol Morris turned his eye toward Vernon, Florida. Vernon had gained the nickname “Nub City” because people in town amputated their limbs for quick (if not very easy) insurance money. With funding from a German television company, Morris traveled to Vernon with a crew and made his intentions known.

As it happened, the amputees were very hostile to the effort. Morris largely attributed this attitude to a local politician who was trying to be “king of the nubbies.” Morris received numerous death threats while in Vernon. Apparently not content with that, the so-called king of the nubbies allegedly tried to run over Morris’s cinematographer, Ned Burgess, with his car.

That got the results every other censor on this list failed to achieve. Though Morris ultimately did make a documentary on curious individuals around Vernon, it contains not even a reference to the amputations.

1 The Act Of Killing

The most recent and most unconventional of the films on this list, The Act of Killing shoots a group of murderers dramatically and cinematically reenacting their own crimes. These killers worked for the government during the 1965 Indonesian mass murders of Communists, and they joyfully reminisce on camera about their past exploits. The blatant self-incrimination is bizarre. The film style, at least by international standards, manages to be more bizarre still.

For starters, the film opens with a line of dancers in pink dresses sashaying out of a large fiberglass fish. Later, former government killers wear outlandish outfits out of Dick Tracy comics because one of them wants to stage the production as a gangster movie—he’s a real homicidal gangster but chooses to see his actions as that particular genre.

These murderers are all allegedly safe from punishment because their government’s too corrupt to prosecute them, and the rest of the world has no power. But producing the film still made the filmmakers many enemies. And when the director hid their crew’s identities from the movie’s credits, these enemies decided to target screenings.

A gang attacked several people, including a journalist who’d endorsed the film, at an Indonesian screening. Two film festival organizers received death threats. Considering that the interview subjects now work for a powerful paramilitary organization, these threats are very likely not empty ones.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2014/03/03/10-big-documentaries-they-dont-ever-want-you-to-see/