Most film enthusiasts would like to believe that their tastes in films are sophisticated, if not interesting. Of course, watching the same profound stories all the time can be a bit much—there are times that people really just want to watch a movie to escape from reality, so not a lot of thinking is required.
Not that any intellectual or self-confessed film buff would ever admit to liking these sorts of films, but we all have our guilty pleasures, don’t we? Here are some of the films we would never admit to liking but pop in the player every now and then.
Body Double (1984)
Brian DePalma is known for building his career on providing audiences with guilty pleasures, which is why it’s not really surprising that Body Double is on the list.
An homage to Rear Window and Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, the film reminds us that voyeurism, no matter the intention, is a psychological anomaly that can be diagnosed. Other than that, DePalma’s take is something that few directors could pull off. The whole film is nearly dialogue-free and almost flawless—until you get to the second half of the film where it’s taken to the porn industry, becoming its setting, as well as its plot device. Still, most directors may kill to have this kind of film in their repertoire, high-end sleaziness aside.
Alexander Aja’s revamp of the cult classic of the Joe Dante original requires you to just turn off your brain and enjoy the film as it is: ExploreTalent of the cast, even though they are mostly just screaming bloodily. The mostly hedonistic film is set at a resort in Lake Victoria during spring break, so the carnage that will spill are mostly those of the youth sector—25 and under—because of course, who else would go on a spring break? It’s lots of boobs, babes, drunkenness, and a few mostly harmful carnal moments.
Carnage will be a bit of an understatement—the piranhas are wreaking havoc for hundreds, maybe even thousands of spring breakers, most of them young and gorgeous. It’s almost like every other slasher film out there on the market, where sexual promiscuity guarantees you a death sentence.
It’s a genuine “stupid fun” film, where there is nothing much to think about other than who is the last to be eaten by the scary piranhas.
Cat People (1982)
There are three things going great for Paul Schrader’s remake of Cat People. First is that it has young Nastassja Kinski, second is that it has an inspired production design, and third is that it has an awesome David Bowie soundtrack.
The film simply points out Scrader’s ability to bring to the surface the themes and unconscious desires that were merely suggested in the 1942 original.
It has been noted that Cat People seems to share the same tone with Body Language, which put it on the same “guilty pleasure” list.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Dracula is the ultimate guilty pleasure movie, and despite being seemingly funny at times, you realize it’s actually as close as it can get to Bram Stoker’s actual story. Coppola’s treatment of it, with its gothic touches and bright contrasting colors is pure cinema magic.
Unfortunately, Coppola also made his distaste for the romantic in Dracula quite clear, which is why he ended up misreading the story. There has been no hint of Mina Harker being Dracula’s reincarnated bride—and it should be something that he left alone for everyone else to interpret.
Still, the film is pretty special, if not a guilty pleasure anchored by the performances of pretty amazing actors.
Sword & Sorcery has become one of the film sub-genres that Hollywood has been obsessing over since the 1980s, and the first one that got attention is Dragonslayer.
The film has a lot of good elements to it: good dialogue, excellent special effects for its time—and would still hold up today—and an overall vision that is consistently mysterious and fantastic.
Still, Dragonslayer has its flaws—the plot is flimsy, but there is a love story to be told, regardless of the lack of chemistry between the main character and the teenage girl who disguised herself as a boy to escape the village.
That being said, what other films would you consider as your guilty pleasures?