Itʼs often said that certain things improve with age: wine, fashion and of course, movies. There are just certain requirements that every film aficionado absolutely must have in their collection. Each genre has its share of classics, everything from horror to musicals to action. Where would todayʼs modern horror movie be without old standard trademarks like the famous piano ditty before Michael Myers strikes in “Halloween,” Jasonʼs hockey mask from “Friday the 13th” or Linda Blairʼs much needed exorcism? However not every horror classic had polished gimmicks and memorable sequences.
Some scary necessities are just plain bloodcurdling on their own. What do most people think of when they hear the phrase “Texas Chainsaw Massacre?” They probably remember being so scared and disturbed that they either threw up the first time they saw it or didnʼt sleep for a week. But who doesnʼt love Leatherface?
Iconic studies and analysis of the teenage lifestyle, especially when shown in a s o p h i s t i c a t e d manner are also essential to the growth of any college bound co-ed. This artful filmmaking can be found in such masterpieces as “Animal House,” “Porkyʼs,” and the new-but-still-classic “American Pie.” After all, where would the frat boys of today be without Belushi and his sidekick Jack? There are also a number of more “sober” films that are justas essential to any movie collection.
For the hopeless romantic, I suggest a little real southern comfort with Scarlet herself in “Gone with the Wind.” Or if traveling is more your style, fly on down to Morocco and catch a showing of “Casablanca,” because if you donʼt, youʼll regret it. Maybe not today, but you will in the morning. Nothing says romance better than greasers, squares and Johnny Depp. Thatʼs right, Johnny Depp: now that Iʼve really got your attention, check out his first and probably only musical in the widely ignored but oh-so-wonderful “Cry Baby.”
Every comedian needs a role model or two or three. So why not start with Gene Wilder and his portrayal of a confused and slightly mad scientist in “Young Frankenstein?” Come on, you know you laughed until you cried the first time you saw it. If the dry and sophisticated wit of the British is more favorable, try on King Arthurʼs crown in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” because everyone knows that the best way to cut down the tallest tree in the forest is with a herring.
Okay, now letʼs get down to the really good stuff, the Godfathers of Action. “Rocky” and “The Terminator.” These are the hero movies most of us grew up with. How many people can honestly say that they can calmly walk up the Art Museum steps without at least hearing “Gonna Fly Now” in their heads? And who hasnʼt said, “Iʼll be back” at least ten times in their life? Odds are, not many of us. I know I have. So hereʼs to you must-have classics. Thank you for making movie collections everywhere just a little bit better.