Monday, August 18, 2014

1987: The Best

The year ends with a fitting top ten.

10. Raising Arizona

The Coen Brothers strike again with this very funny, quirky comedy about an ex-con and his police officer wife who are so desperate to have a kid that they kidnap the baby of a rich Arizona businessman.  Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter are funny as the couple and there is good support from John Goodman and William Forsythe as two prisoners who Cage knows and Randall "Tex" Cobb as a demonic biker.  It's probably my favorite Coen Brothers film apart from Miller's Crossing.

9. Angel Heart

Mickey Rourke and Robert DeNiro are solid as one would expect in this creepy, steamy horror film from Alan Parker.  Rourke plays a private detective hired by DeNiro to find a man who owes him money.  Not everything is as it seems as Rourke gets involved with a series of murders and a young woman played by Lisa Bonet of The Cosby Show who has a connection to the missing man.  There is a nice twist at the end (though it is is a little predictable) and of course, the notorious sex scene between Rourke and Bonet which I have to say is one of those scenes that's really difficult to watch.  The film is quite good.

8. Bad Taste

I've written about it before but Peter Jackson's debut movie is a gloriously bloody, funny bit of warped genius.  Aliens invade a small New Zealand village and its up to a small group of rather insane alien fighters have to put them down.  It's wonderfully gross, quite funny and endearingly cheap.

7. Robocop

Can;t go wrong with this fantastic, darkly funny action flick about a cop brutally murdered but brought back as a cyborg.  Peter Weller is good in the title role and the supporting cast is fun but the real treat is Kurtwood Smith as the main villain, Clarence Boddicker.  Smith really outdoes himself, delivering one of the slimiest, nastiest bad guys of the decade.  Great action, some hilariously over the top gore and smooth direction from Paul Verhoeven make this a classic.

6. The Living Daylights

Even with some minor flaws, Timothy Dalton's debut as James Bond is a fun, entertaining thriller with some great action and a nice John Barry score.  Really not much more to say as I've sort of burnt myself out on writing about Bond.  Still, this one is special for me as it's the first Bond film I ever saw in the theater and still holds up as a pretty damn good movie.

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

While the first was a classic and the second somewhat underrated, the third movie is when Freddy Kruger truly became a horror icon.  Boasting a solid script, some great f/x and a fantastic Robert Englund performance, Dream Warriors is a fun roller coaster of a movie with laughs and f/x galore.  Freddy isn't really scary by the end of it but the film is still awesome.  Great song over the end credits too.

4. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

The second Evil Dead film is quite simply the most entertaining of the series.  Bruce Campbell is great as always, terrific f/x and solid direction from Sam Raimi.  Honestly, there is very little new I can add to the volumes of text that have been written about this series.

3. Prince of Darkness

One of my favorite horror films, this is a nicely shot, creepy flick with a fun cast and an interesting story.  John Carpenter's second entry in his "Apocalyptic Trilogy", this is a fascinating combo of science and Satan as a group of grad students are trapped in an abandoned church with Donald Pleasence and a mysterious canister.  Prince of Darkness is well shot, creepy and subtle in its own way.  Good cast too.

2. Lethal Weapon

If 48 Hrs. set the template for the buddy cop film, Lethal Weapon perfected it.  Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are our heroes and they have a terrific chemistry that carries on to the three sequels.  Action is fantastic, the script by Shane Black is solid and any time you get Gary Busey as a bad guy, it's generally great stuff.  The second film is better, but this one is still one of the greats.

1. Predator

Predator is, apart from the Terminator films and Commando, the best action flick Arnold Schwarzenegger ever made.  A fantastic blend of action with sci-fi and a little horror as well, this pits Arnold against a fantastic alien designed by Stan Winston.  Great cast, great action, this is quite simply the best movie of the year.

1987 was an incredibly diverse year for film with fantastic entries in every genre.


  1. Let's logically put this together:

    (from your recent lists)

    Terminator 2 > Barton Fink
    Barton Fink > Every movie from 1991 that isn't T2
    Raising Arizona > Barton Fink
    Predator, plus eight other 1987 movies > Raising Arizona

    So...without T2, would 1991 have been a pretty bad year, considering the Era, or was 1987 ALSO one of the very, very best?

    1. 1987 was one of the very best and actually a pretty hard list to compile. 1991 was a bit of an odd duck year but in a fun way. As for T2 over Barton Fink, I just like that one a little more than the other.


About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.