Dungeon Classics #13: Thursday

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Thursday (1998, USA)

Director: Skip Woods
Cast: Thomas Jane, Aaron Eckhart, Paulina Porizkova
Running Time: 87 mins.

The past comes back to haunt suburban architect Casey (Jane) on what seems to be like a day from hell. While his wife is away, his old drug dealing pal Nick (Eckhart) comes by who leaves him with a suitcase. This later turns out to be chock full of heroin. Not long after, more criminals, crooked cops and a homicidal woman show up to make Casey’s life more miserable. Luckily for him, his old criminal instincts also return with a vengeance, so how the day will end is all but certain. Thursday got some critique for ripping off Tarantino, but missing the poetic touches of the master. At times, it does indeed feel a bit exploitative. However, it is also very entertaining and the cast is excellent. No, it is nowhere near Pulp Fiction, but as far as Tarantino-esque crime movies go, this one belongs to the best of the bunch as far as I’m concerned.

Dungeon Classics #12: Snatch

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Snatch (2000, UK | USA)

Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Brad Pitt, Alan Ford
Running Time: 104 mins.

Two years after his formidable debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie, now one of the hottest new directors around, returned with Snatch: a crime comedy with exactly the same formula. Poker is replaced with bare knuckle boxing, stolen antique rifles became a stolen diamond, and Big Chris is renamed Bullet Tooth Tony. The visual gimmickry is still there. And a few cast members returned, most notably Jason Statham, now as leading man. Ritchie had more money this time around, so he could also hire A-listers like Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro. Both are great as usual, but Pitt plays one of his most memorable roles ever as Mickey, a ‘pikey’ boxer with an indecipherable accent. What also returns most prominently is the humour. Snatch has sequences – like the black guys attempt to rob the bookies – that will make you piss your pants. It’s one of the funniest crime movies ever made. And the dialogues are one of a kind. In short, Snatch is 86 carats. Or is it 84?

Dungeon Classics #11: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998, UK)

Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Nick Moran, Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Statham
Running Time: 107 mins.

Guy Ritchie’s low-budget debut is still his best film, although its hilarious follow-up Snatch comes close. Four friends raise 100.000 pounds to let one of them – card wonder Eddy – participate in the high stakes game of underworld figure Hatchet Harry. They lose 500.000 due to foul play on Harry’s part and have one week to pay back the ‘porn king’ or his enforcers will start collecting their fingers and Eddy’s father’s (played by Sting) pub. This is the beginning of an exhilarating quest for money, featuring dumb criminals, antique rifles and an unconscious traffic warden. Ritchie employs all editing and camera tricks he can come up with which makes the movie – groovily shot in shades of yellow, brown, and grey – a visually rip-roaring experience. The clever screenplay, brilliant soundtrack and delicious cockney accents add to the enjoyment. Not to be missed this one! Allright?

Dungeon Classics #10: Gremlins 2: The New Batch

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990, USA)

Director: Joe Dante
Cast: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover
Running Time: 106 mins.

According to IMDb, director Joe Dante prefers this movie to the first one. Understandably so. Obviously, the makers had a lot of fun coming up with the overload of mayhem the new batch of gremlins cause. This time Billy finds Gizmo in a hyper modern office building, but leaves him unattended. So of course, he gets wet and the gremlins make a glorious return, creating an incredible amount of damage to the building. Since most of the human characters are unsympathetic, it is easy to root for the monsters. It is only because of Gizmo, who Spielberg insisted must remain good in the first film (originally he was to turn into Stripe), that we find satisfaction in the gremlins’ ultimate demise. This fast-paced sequel does indeed offer plenty of the good stuff that made the first movie such a resounding success.