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!”

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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

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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/

15 Memorable Movie Dads

Father’s Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father’s Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities. In celebration of all the fathers on Listverse and the fathers of the listversers, here is our homage to fathers – as portrayed in the movies.

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Seeing Rodney Dangerfield, not as a comedian or a slapstick goof, but as a child molesting, wife beating drunkard makes this a once in a life time, memorable role for Dangerfield. He may not have been father of the year, but he is permanently branded on my brain.

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Atticus Finch stands up for what is right and is not afraid to let his children see it. No matter how socially unacceptable it was at the time. I think most Dads could learn a lesson from this character.

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Elrond lies to his daughter so that she nearly sails off to immortality rather than stay and marry the man she loves. Sure, it was selfish, but he must want to keep his daughter awful bad to tell such a big lie. Daughters are hard for fathers to let go of. We all know this.

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This guy is ANGRY! Angry at Henry Fonda! Angry at Jack Klugman! He even gets mad at the little guy who does the voice of Piglet! But, really, we find out he is mad at himself for being a failure as a Father. He nearly sends someone to the chair to deal with his anger.

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Lester Burnham teaches us all a valuable lesson. Look Closer. You think you are unhappy and ready to leave your wife? Look closer. Think your life sucks and you just want to end it all? Look closer. Life really has some beautiful things in it if we just take the time to look for them.

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Mr. Incredible is a hero, but sadly only to himself and a few old timers who remember his glory days. Glory days which he cannot stop reliving. Finally though, he realizes what is important in life, his family. Eventually, he becomes a true hero again, along with the rest of his family.

Jacktorrance

Jack Torrance is 31 flavors of crazy. Throw in a psychic son and an Olive Oylish annoying wife and we’ve got a bloodbath! This film gave me serious nightmares as a kid. Yeesh.

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Barely more than a cameo, Robert Duvall stunningly portrays a backwoods, heathen sonofabitch better than anyone I could imagine. In his 4 or 5 minutes of screentime, I could totally envision the horrible abuse put upon poor Carl at the hands of this menace. Poor little feller….

Cromwell

A loving, caring man but still a total nerd. With his cruise control set at a steady 35 MPH, he does his best to instill courage in Louis when getting ready to face a new and scary situation, college. He even does his best to help poor Gilbert, whom we are never told, but it is hinted, has lost his Father to an early death.

Mufasa

Mufasa has a lot of responsibilities. He has to watch over and lead the pride, keep the hyenas at bay, and keep all the other animals in the jungle in line. Yet he still finds time to play with his kid. Even in death, he comes back to give advice. Nice Kitty.

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George is typical. Big dreams that went to squat because his family would suffer is he pursued them. So, he gets married, has kids and settles down. One could say, the wife and kids tie him down. In fact, George even loses his cool and starts destroying stuff and yelling because he is feeling these very same feelings. He is facing jail time and under considerable stress though, so we will cut him some slack. In the end, he learns how truly blessed he is to have his family and friends.

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The “Don” gets shot because his scruples about drugs make him a deadly enemy. He barely survives and passes onto his son, the duty of leading “the family” in a mob war. A duty his son Michael does not want.

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Eugene Levy has been around forever, but this role launched him to superstar status. Hilarious yet touching, this character reminds all of us how no matter how stupid we are, Dad will still love us.

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Talk about wanting a son, yeesh. Hasn’t Geppetto ever heard of an orphanage? They were all over in those days weren’t they? But anyway, Geppetto is a trusting father who keeps having faith in Pinnochio even after he has lied on numerous occasions. More than I can say for myself! Pinnochio finally sheds his wooden body and gets a real one. Dad’s faith paid off in the end.

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Definitely the most memorable cinematic dad of all time. “Luke, I am your father!” being one of the most wrongly quoted Star Wars lines says something for that (it was actually “No, I am your father”). Not exactly the kind of Dad who gave piggy-back rides around the back yard, he still manages to show his love for his son in the end.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2009/06/19/15-memorable-movie-dads/

Another 10 Adorable Cartoon Animals

A much-desired follow-up to the first list, because a number of favorites were left off. The lister slightly expanded his definition of “adorable” to allow “nauseatingly adorable.” You can examine the first list here.

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One of two examples on this list of disgustingly adorable cartoon animals. Nermal is a male kitten, in case you were wondering, and Garfield loathes him intensely. Or loathed, since Jim Davis hasn’t used Nermal in years. Nermal was the kitten of Jon’s parents, but after a while, it no longer mattered. The dynamics between him and Garfield were excellent, with Nermal taking up an epithet Jon bestowed on him, “the world’s cutest kitten.”

Nermal is an exasperatingly self-centered gray tabby with even larger eyes for his body than Garfield has, and because he always garners all of Jon’s attention during his visits, Garfield is routinely heaving him through the door, leaving a kitten shaped hole. He also loves to mail him to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Evidently, the UAE doesn’t find him cute either, because the cat keeps coming back for more love from the whole world.

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If this lister pens a list about animals, you’re going to see at least one horse. And like Spirit from the first list, Maximus was a serious pain to draw. Yet animated film artists always seem to complain that the animal in question is a painstaking masterpiece. In general, Maximus has very human facial features: especially the eyes and eyebrows. When he snorts and fumes straight toward the camera, he looks just like a big, furry guy. Also important are his monumental nostrils. If you’ve never looked a real horse in the face, do so and you’ll be amazed. Their nostrils are very stretchy and they can blow the icing off a cake without even opening their mouths (this lister researches his lists). Maximus can flare his so wide you could fit apples in them. Instant laughter. In this lister’s opinion, it would be impossible for Maximus to frighten you, however well he sword fights.

He starts out as a villain trying to catch Flynn and Rapunzel, but Rapunzel finally befriends him, which is strangely realistic. Horses seem to be suckers for pretty ladies. After he leads the Pub Thugs to rescue Flynn, the two go to rescue Rapunzel in the castle tower. Happily ever after, as everyone should be, and Maximus is promoted to captain of the Royal Guard.

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Fine, everyone clamored for him, so enjoy. The other example on this list of a cartoon animal so freakishly adorable that he kind of makes you want to hurl. Even the other characters in the films loathe him, and try to keep him away because his attention-getting cuteness is intolerably annoying. His first entrance is when the four zoo animals startle all the lemurs into hiding. “Original King Julien” immediately nominates Mort to make acquaintances by throwing him to them.

Alex the Lion’s gigantic teeth terrify the life out of him, and this is the only time you really feel bad for him, because you don’t know him well enough. Nevertheless, he proved very popular in the first film, and received a lot more screen time in the second, where the four main stars, with King Julien and Maurice, desperately flee Madagascar, partly to get away from Mort. Of course he stows away in a nice homage to the Twilight Zone, and flees through the jungle from a shark for the rest of the film. At the end, the shark falls into a volcano, but you sort of wish Mort had fallen in, and then the shark ate him in a mouthful of magma.

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Voiced by the great Frank Welker, who also voiced Megatron in the original Transformers cartoons. Abu is Aladdin’s pet monkey and is named after Sabu Dastagir’s character Abu from The Thief of Bagdad. Abu is a kleptomaniac, loving to steal anything he can get his little paws on, especially gold and gems and such. He causes some serious grief in the cave of wonders, when he breaks the cardinal rule of touching nothing but the lamp. He tries to take a giant ruby (then tries to put it back with a big grin), but it’s too late. The Genie has to get him, Aladdin and the Magic Carpet back out. But Abu does redeem himself by picking Jafar’s pocket, stealing the lamp back.

The Genie eventually turns him into a huge elephant, complete with Abu’s hair, fez and jacket. This is after he turns him into a Cadillac, a fairy tale stallion and numerous others. Abu has huge eyes, ears, even bigger human teeth, and a more or less leprechaun hairstyle. It’s his over-emphasized facial expressions that endear him to you: always scheming, figuring things out, pouting with an alto growl, or elatedly shoveling treasure into his fez.

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In retrospect, it seems it was only a matter of time before an animation studio chose rats as their next adorable animals. The rats in “The Secret of Nimh” came long before these, granted, but this is one of the few times that the lister will admit that the 3D Pixar animation served better. Remy is a rat living in France with his entire clan of several hundred. When they are scared away by a shotgun-packing grandma, they all flee down the sewers, but Remy becomes separated and winds up beneath Paris.

He looks for food and winds up in Chef Gusteau’s restaurant, where he befriends a hopelessly inept cleaner who can’t cook. Remy can cook because rats have an extraordinarily well developed sense of taste, so they partner in turning the restaurant into the classy business it once was. The animators originally weren’t drawing the rats adorably enough (and they do use the word “adorable” when designing most animal characters).

One of the artists finally brought in some of her pet rats, and they discovered that they were drawing the ears too pointy. Pointy ears might be charming on horses and foxes, but rats are already thought of as nasty vermin. But their ears are round like little frying pans, and the artists remarked at how similar to Mickey Mouse they looked. Not much artistic difference needed between mice and rats. Rats are larger. They had to give Remy a gigantic nose to go with his requisite huge eyes. His whiskers actually weren’t exaggerated too much.

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Puss was not included in the first list because he struck the lister as too similar to Garfield (and there is an “I hate Mondays” reference in the second film). You may be wondering where all the Looney Tunes characters are. Well, they’re always trying to kill each other in a variety of brutal ways. Not that that isn’t hilarious, but it isn’t what this lister would call “adorable.”

Puss, however, is adorable, if only when he uses that trait to deceive someone. He takes his plumed musketeer hat off and does the ridiculously gargantuan eye trick, ears slightly curled down to the sides, to make you fall in love. Then he whips out the rapier and fights like Zorro. Meanwhile, he does some decidedly feline things, like hock up hairballs. The Dreamworks artists knew what they were dealing with, and made no attempt to disguise Puss’ adorable appearance. Instead, they spoof it as a quintessential feature of cartoons.

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The animators did themselves proud with the two frog designs in this one. Prince Naveen of Maldonia and Tiana both get turned into frogs and fall in love in the bayou, during which time they argue about whether they’re covered in slime or mucus. Not appealing, and yet the frogs are adorable because of their giant, brown eyes and perpetual, dimpled smiles. When they smile, they have perfect, white human teeth.

Between the two, Tiana edges out Naveen because she also has long, flowing eyelashes. Her body shape is slender and generally voluptuous. This may be the only Disney film with a blatant French kiss: Tiana and Naveen attempt to catch flies and their tongues get tangled in a knot. Near the end, she explains to the bad guy, Shadow Man, that “it’s not slime. It’s mucus.”

And if you thought it would be impossible to make a frog adorable, read on.

Dory

Real fish don’t really have any facial expressions. At least not as we understand them. They’re eyes are always wide open, and they can’t smile or frown. Well, those rules have to be struck down in cartoons. The eyes are most important, but not only are Dory’s gargantuan, they have rich brown irises and are very elastic, able to express emotions in the same manner as lips. She has freckles on her “nose,” and what’s more, she doesn’t just smile, she has dimples.

But her most endearing trait is her incredible naiveté and short term memory. One of her best lines arises when she and Marlin meet Bruce the Great White Shark (named after the shark from Jaws, which was named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer). He bears his teeth and growls, “Hello,” to which Dory simply swims up and says, “Well, HI!”

She can’t remember anything for very long, attempting to help Marlin find Nemo, but forgetting that she’s attempting to help Marlin find Nemo, but forgetting that she’s attempting to help Marlin find Nemo. She can’t even remember Nemo’s name. But she’s thoroughly loyal to Marlin and just wants to be his friend, and this film, more than any other, showcased the principle of enlarging the eyes of any animal in order to make it more adorable. Dory is a regal tang, and sales of them for aquariums rose dramatically after the film, as did those of clownfish, yellow tangs, moorish idols and yellow long nose butterflyfish.

867990-Archimedes

Archimedes is Merlin’s pet owl, voiced by Junius Matthews, who also voiced Rabbit in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh films. Archimedes is almost always grumpy, just the way owls look like they are. He is extremely well educated (a reference to the fact that owls always seem wise), can read, write, speak English and do mathematics. He teaches Wart (Arthur) to read, and when Merlin changes Wart into a sparrow, Archimedes teaches him to fly. He calls on Merlin when Wart gets nabbed by Mad Madam Mim.

He may be grumpy and off-putting, but he’s a real charmer once Wart befriends him. He saves him from a huge pike in the castle moat when Wart jumps out as a yellow perch. He then tries to defend his grumpy demeanor by arguing that yellow perch is his favorite dish. He gets soaking wet and his feathers bloom out, leading him to shout, “Pinfeathers and GULLYFLUFF!”

But by far his most hilarious and charming moment is when Merlin tries to demonstrate a model airplane as proof that humans will fly one day in the future. The plane gets caught in his beard and plummets out his window to the ground, prompting Archimedes to burst into all manner of riotous laughter.

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Thumper is Bambi’s bunny buddy, and it was a tough decision between him and Flower, their skunk buddy. Flower proves that there is no exception to which animals can be made adorable. The Disney cartoons were a lot better when Disney was alive to supervise how the characters would look. He knew “adorable” like the back of his hand. Thumper’s name derives from the rabbit’s habit of thumping the ground with his hind foot whenever he’s delighted. Hard to believe the Disney Corp. has never made a plush Thumper that stamps its hind foot when a child pets it.

In terms of over-sized eyes, Thumper’s entire existence is based on the principle of over-sizing everything: amber eyes, fluffy cheeks, whiskers, huge feet, a fat nose to match his eyes, and buckteeth. And like almost all Disney cartoon animals, he walks with his chest thrust out to look more heroic. Interesting note: rabbits do not stamp their feet, but skunks do.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2011/10/04/another-10-adorable-cartoon-animals/

Top 10 Best And Worst Christmas TV Specials

I’m sure most people have their favorite Christmas specials, but did you know that most of the five best were made in the 1960s, and all of the worst of the lot weren’t? Did you also know that three of the top five were based on songs, the fourth on a book and the fifth on one of the greatest comic strips of all time? In other words, the best ones were adapted from cultural icons. Most of the worst were adapted from flavors of the month.

Please note that this list covers only TV specials, not movies. Also, this is highly subjective; so, if your favorite isn’t here, submit your own list or just add it to the comments!

The Best Christmas TV Specials:

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A special built around a beloved Christmas song (written by J. Fed Coots and Haven Gillespie and first performed on the Eddie Cantor show), this stop-motion show starred Fred Astaire as the narrator and Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus. It’s been a favorite for three decades.

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Ah, Frosty. What a hokey special designed around a silly-but-great Christmas song. Yet, this lovable special actually works and has become a perennial favorite. At the very least, kids of future generations will be introduced to the great Jimmy “the schnoz” Durante thanks to this special.

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Bumbles bounce! Did you know that? I didn’t—At least not until I first saw this terrific special, which has aired every year (several times, in fact) since 1964, making it the longest-running Christmas special. It’s based on the 1939 song written by Johnny Marks (Gene Autry turned it into a monster hit). Best parts: Burl Ives singing “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas,” and the Bumble attacks our heroes at the edge of the ocean. (Hey, when I was 7, that was scary stuff!)

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I almost made this number one. The great horror icon Boris “Frankenstein” Karloff provided fitting narrative and the voice of the Grinch. Quite possibly the most memorable song from any animated special—or series or film—is the great ditty “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.” Best line: “The three words that describe you best are as follows and I quote: Stink. Stank. Stunk!”

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It’s the granddaddy of all Christmas specials. You have to read the Wikipedia article to get a full understanding of the quirks and low production values that make this special so great. Selections from Vince Guaraldi’s brilliant soundtrack are features of Christmas music every year. And yes, the pinnacle is Linus reciting Luke chapter 2 as being the real meaning of Christmas.

The Worst Christmas TV Specials:

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Merry Chri$$$tmas, Charlie Brown. This excuse for a Peanuts special is quite a long way from its magnificent predecessor. Its crass commercialism contrasts sharply—and drearily—with the original’s quest for the true meaning of Christmas.

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Ah…um…yeah. Pac-Man and Christmas. This schlock-fest show was part of the annoying Hollywood trend of “it’s a successful video game/movie/song/catchphrase; so, let’s make a whole series around it!” Some worked (see the Best of list) but most didn’t—and still don’t.

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Never mind the sordid off-camera antics of Paul “Pee-Wee” Rubens; this special has enough problems. Amid the guest-star turns of Whoopi Goldberg, The Oprah, Joan Rivers, Zsa-Zsa Gabor and Charo, Pee-Wee has to contend with the problem of his “mounting fruitcake collection” and Santa demanding that he shorten his wish list! Oh, how terrible.

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You have got to be kidding. The king and queen of 1980s’ 30-minute toy commercials, He-Man and She-Ra saved Christmas from the evil forces of Skeletor and Hordak. (Man, I can’t even write that without losing IQ points.) Says Prince Adam at the end: “Though we celebrate it and get presents, Christmas is about caring, sharing and goodwill and its spirit is within all of us.” Translation: this hour-long special was designed to make you feel good about asking your parents to buy you more Masters of the Universe toys!

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Jefferson Starship! Diahann Carroll! Art Carney! Harvey Korman! Bea Arthur! Don’t those names just scream “Star Wars”?? No? You’re right. Darth Lucas HATES this thing so much he never wants it released. But it is an absolute must-see—and not just for the first introduction of Boba Fett (nerd alert) but to see a what looks like an inebriated Carrie Fisher singing one of the most gag-inducing pieces of schlock ever made.

Contributor: STL Mo

Read more: http://listverse.com/2008/12/13/top-10-best-and-worst-christmas-tv-specials/

10 More Extremely Disturbing Movies

[WARNING: Contains scenes of an extremely disturbing and violent nature] In our first year of existence, we wrote a list of the most disturbing 15 movies – nearly two years later we are now presenting the long awaited sequel! This list includes fewer mainstream movies but it is certain that the majority of them are worse than those on our first list. For those who might wish to bemoan the absence of their favorite disturbing movie, please check the original list in case you find it there.

In this film, Mei is a doctor who has performed a lage number of illegal abortions in the past. She looks incredibly young for her age – her secret: home-made dumplings from a special recipe of – you guessed it – fetuses. A neglected wife of an executive is looking for youth and is willing to pay any price for the dumplings. The ingredients of the dumplings are rare, but then a mother with her pregnant daughter shows up… Hopefully you read this blurb before the clip – it makes all the difference.

This award winning film is most notable for its extreme gore. Four months after losing her husband in a car accident, Sarah (Paradis), a pregnant woman, is visited on Christmas Eve by a mysterious woman (Dalle) who wants Sarah’s child for herself by any means necessary. goes to bed and the visitor arrives in the bedroom, awakening Sarah with scissors puncturing her navel. Sarah fights the visitor off and locks herself in the bathroom, where the visitor tries to gain entry. This is interrupted several times by the arrival of Sarah’s employer, mother, and the police, all of whom are killed by the visitor, except Sarah’s mother, whom Sarah accidentally kills, believing her to be the visitor before getting a good look. The story plays out with the visitor finally delivering Sarah’s baby with a pair of scissors in a brutal variation on Caesarian Section.

WARNING: if you are eating, don’t watch the clip above. Pink Flamingos is a 1972 American transgressive comedy directed by John Waters. When the film was initially released in 1972, it caused a huge degree of controversy and eventually became one of the most notorious cult films ever made. It is one of John Waters’ most famous or downright notorious films due to some shocking scenes and the wide range of perverse, taboo acts performed in the film, such as consumption of animal feces. IMDB has this to say on the plot: Sleaze queen Divine lives in a caravan with her mad hippie son Crackers and her 250-pound mother Mama Edie, trying to rest quietly on their laurels as ‘the filthiest people alive’. But competition is brewing in the form of Connie and Raymond Marble, who sell heroin to schoolchildren and kidnap and impregnate female hitchhikers, selling the babies to lesbian couples. Finally, they challenge Divine directly, and battle commences…

It may be called Sweet Movie, but it is anything but! This is the intercut story of two women: a nearly-mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness, and another who captains a ship laden with candy and sugar, luring men and boys aboard for sex, death, and revolutionary talk. The beauty queen passes from a wealthy husband whose honeymoon delight is to urinate on her, to a muscular keeper who punches her, stows her in a suitcase, and ships her to Paris, to a lip-synching rock idol with whom she has a love spasm, to an Austrian commune complete with a banquet of vomit, urine, feces, chopped dildos, and wet nurses.

Cutting Moments is the title of a highly acclaimed, highly controversial short feature from 1999 directed by Douglas Buck. Not only is it gory, it was also heart-wrenching and painful to watch. Briefly, the synopsis is: in the center of a monotonous suburban existence, Sarah lives silently and in subservience to her icy husband Patrick. They have been together far too long, and Patrick’s affections for his wife have all but vanished. Instead, his sexual urges are tempting him to lust after their own son. Realizing how far gone her husband is, Sarah undertakes drastic, shockingly sickening measures to salvage some sense of her life and purge her years of festering resentment

The film is a graphic depiction of the war atrocities committed by the Japanese at Unit 731, the secret biological weapons experimentation unit of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. The film details the various cruel medical experiments Unit 731 inflicted upon the Chinese and Soviet prisoners at the tail-end of the war. Because of its graphic content, the film has suffered mass controversy with censors all over the world. It was originally banned in Australia and caused public outcry in Japan to such an extent that director T.F. Mou even received threats on his life. The film is extremely controversial for its use of what Mou claims to be actual autopsy footage of a young boy and also for a scene in which two cats are thrown into a room to be eaten alive by hundreds of frenzied rats (the rats are later set ablaze).

Flower of Flesh and Blood is said to be based on a snuff film sent to the director Hideshi Hino by a crazed fan. In it, a man dressed as a samurai drugs a woman and proceeds to cut her apart, and finally adds her body parts to an extensive collection. The snuff film rumour has been shown to be a contemporary legend; the film was in fact based on a manga (by Hideshi Hino himself, no less) about a florist who kills women and uses their dismembered parts as the seed of his beautiful flower arrangements. After viewing a portion of this film, actor Charlie Sheen was convinced the murder depicted was genuine and contacted the MPAA, who then contacted the FBI. FBI agent Dan Codling informed them that the FBI and the Japanese authorities were already investigating the film makers, who were forced to prove that the special effects were indeed fake. This is the second film is what is known as the Guinea Pig films.

The gruesome tapestry of psychological manifestations of a nineteen year old bulimic runaway stripper – turned prostitute named Angela Aberdeen; as she descends into a hellish pit of Satanic nightmares and hallucinations. True to its name, this film contains no shortage of actual vomiting mixed in with a healthy dose of slaughter. To its credit, the title does not lie. The film contains scenes of extreme violence like eyeballs being gouged out mixed in with scenes of self inflicted vomiting. All of which is intercut with a home movie of a little girl, presumably one of the girls in the film (or representing all of the girls in the film for that matter) during a once happier time in her life and their ultimate loss of innocence. [Source – NSFW]

Murder Set Pieces is a 2004 American slasher film which looks into the life of a wealthy German serial killer. The primary plot line for Murder-Set-Pieces follows a burly neo-Nazi photographer who prowls the streets of Sin City with an affinity for dead whores. Under the guise of a professional photographer, he lures prostitutes from the streets and photographs them. This materializes into an eventual bloodbath, complete with rape and torture. Murder-Set-Pieces has Chainsaws, straight razors, putrefied skulls, hot chicks, masses of nudity, bloody FX work by Toe Tag, and a severed head blowjob. Oh – and we shouldn’t forget to mention some crazy stuff involving blood, a straight razor, an infant and a dead mother. [Source – NFSW]

August Underground’s Mordum is an independent exploitation film released by the Pittsburgh-based film production/special effects/design company Toetag Pictures in 2003; like its predecessor, Mordum is a simulated snuff film, which includes graphic depictions of sexual deviancy (including necrophilia and pedophilia) and murder (including a fleeting depiction of infanticide). The film depicts a dysfunctional love triangle of sorts between the volatile lead from the original August Underground (portrayed by Toetag founder Fred Vogel), his maniacal girlfriend and partner-in-crime Crusty (Christie Whiles), and Crusty’s animalistic brother, appropriately dubbed Maggot (Michael Schneider). As Maggot’s mental facilities decline and competition with Vogel’s character for the affections of Crusty mounts, tensions simmer before coming to full boil at Mordum’s climax: Maggot manages to wrestle Vogel’s knife out of his hands and then proceeds to… Well – I don’t want to spoil the ending – so go see it.

This article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains quotations from Wikipedia.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2009/06/10/10-more-extremely-disturbing-movies/