Sunday, March 21, 2010

3 Best Friends: Movies Featuring Awesome Beards

The 3 Best Friends movie marathon series is turning out better than I could have ever expected. The first installment, Movies That Have Been Remade, introduced me to one of the greatest Westerns ever made, an original much funnier than the remake, and a French version of Three Men and a Baby. The second installment, Movies From the Year You Were Born Starring Someone You've Never Seen in a Movie Before, seemed riskier but The Initiation, Suburbia, and Dressed to Kill were great, especially Dressed to Kill. Last night's marathon brought in a record amount of spectators who crammed themselves into our living room to watch three Movies Featuring Awesome Beards.

The First Movie Featuring an Awesome Beard: Flash Gordon (1980)
Flash Gordon meets a girl named Dale. They meet a scientist named Dr. Zarkov. The three of them make a quick trip into space to save the world. Emperor Ming, who's played by Max Von Sydow donning a pretty racist Fu Manchu beard, has been attacking Earth with earthquakes, hot hail, and volcanic eruptions. The trio, with the help of that magnificent bearded bastard (above), take on the evils of the universe. All the while, an incredible Queen theme song plays in the background (Flash! AHHHHHHAAAAA!).

Let's cut to the chase. Flash Gordon is one of the most fun movies I have ever seen. My suggestion for you is to cram as many people as will fit in your living room and put this movie on. Then see what happens. What happened last night was that 10+ people sang along to my new favorite Queen song and laughed so hard it's amazing the neighbors didn't ask us to stop. The art direction and the costumes are unbelievable. There are lizard people, some guy who looks like Dr. Doom, and did I mention that the bearded guy and his men are winged? Winged! This is one of the 80s most underrated movies. Period.

The Second Movie Featuring an Awesome Beard: Sidekicks (1992)
Barry (Jonathan Brandis) suffers from asthma and (apparenly undiagnosed) psychotic delusions. He daydreams about heroics alongside his icon, Chuck Norris (a.k.a. the Bearded Stallion) instead of focusing on the fact that his life sucks. He's constantly bullied, he can't breathe, and his only friend is a 70 year old Asian man who calls him "Mr. Dumpling." Through hard work and perseverance, the teenage lunitic learns martial arts and agrees to take on his worst enemy at a karate tournament. (See: Karate Kid)

Sidekicks was one of my favorite movies growing up. We had a VHS tape that we nearly broke from repeated viewings. Sadly, this movie isn't available on DVD (there's one used copy on Amazon for $199.99.) and after last night's re-viewing, I have no idea why it isn't. It is corny, aimed more towards junior high students than Chuck Norris' usual target demographic, but there are still a lot of funny parts and the movie's overall charm is hard to ignore. It was even more entertaining yesterday than it was when I was younger.

The Third Movie Featuring an Awesome Beard: Space Amoeba (1970)
Space Amoeba (a.k.a. Gezora, Ganime, Kameba: Kessen! Nankai no Daikaiju) does have a couple awesome beards but what it also has is three awesome monsters. As you could have guessed, one of them is a giant squid. When said amoeba from space makes its new home in the bodies of these monsters, all hell breaks loose for a group of Japanese developers hoping to build a submarine hotel.

My friend Aaron chose this movie for his marathon pick. And while Flash Gordon was fantastic, and Sidekicks was even better than I remembered, I'm the most happy about seeing Space Amoeba. Had it not been for Aaron's gut instinct about awesome movies, I probably would have never seen this. I'm hoping you take my word about how great it is and Netflix it for yourself. If you're having doubts, just remember that it's directed by the guy who made Godzilla.'s Japanest title is Gezora, Ganime, Kameba: Kessen! Nankai no Daikaiju. How could you go wrong with a movie like that?


11 Word Movie Reviews/Son of Double Feature said...


Goose3984 said...

i hope you know i have actually seen all of these movies.

elgringo said...

Brad, you've seen Space Amoeba!?! "There goes my hero..."

elgringo said...

Derek, "We only have 14 hours to save the world!"

Goose3984 said...

thank netflix, they have it under "Campy" lets just say i had a phase

Bob Turnbull said...

"Space Amoeba" (or "Yog: The Space Monster") is awesome! I posted about it for the Spirit of Ed Wood blog-a-thon last summer. My favourite part (though it's hard to narrow it down) was the painted-frame-by-frame tentacle that pulled the guy up in the air. It even sneaks a nice little moral into the proceedings...

TJMAC510 said...

Oh I can't believe you mentioned Space's so underrated but so awesome at the same time