April 2014 + 5 Favourite Films From 1986

Hypnotherapy, killer boxes, giant worms, criminal coppers, insecure superheroes, pretty pictures, Elizabethan fantasy, and sexual deviancy. It’s just another month here at 100 Films.

First up…

What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

So, more personal detail than I normally bother to share here, but: I was born in 1986 and today is my birthday, so what better WDYMYHS film to squeeze into “the dying moments of April (technically May but I want to count it as April so I will)” than the one that happens to have been released in the year of my birth?

(Yes, I am both having my cake and eating it (apt) by watching this film because it’s May 1st and nonetheless counting it as April.)

Anyway, that film was… David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.

April’s films in full

Trance#25 Trance (2013)
#26 The Box (2009)
#27 The Lair of the White Worm (1988)
#28 John Dies at the End (2012)
Solomon Kane#29 The Sweeney (2012)
#30 Alter Egos (2012)
#31 The Falcon’s Adventure (1946)
#32 The Punisher (2004)
#33 Visions of Light (1992)
#34 Solomon Kane (2009)
#35 Blue Velvet (1986)

Solomon Kane is on Film4 tonight at 9pm, and my review will appear here this afternoon.


This is my best April of all time! Well, since records began. It’s the first to break double figures, the previous best being 2011’s nine. I attribute this to a weaker-than-normal first few months: in most years I’ve sailed past the quarterway number of films by the quarterway month, meaning I relax as I move into the year’s second, er, quarter. This year, while I did ultimately make it to the requisite total in March, it was a bit of a scramble, so I’ve still been feeling behind. At the minute, I sit two ahead of pace… though #35 is the lowest I’ve been at this point since 2009 (the year of my lowest final total so far), which is less heartening.

Year-to-date, April is the second strongest month behind March, with a total over double February’s. May is normally an equally solid month, so perhaps I’ll continue to build an advantage — another 11 films next month would put me level with that point in 2012 (the one year that May wasn’t so solid).

Five Favourite Films From 1986

As I’ve spent seven years of this blog not mentioning that this is my birthday, I may as well go all-out with it now that I have. So, what films happened to have been released in the year I happened to have been born and of those which do I happen to have seen and decided I like the most? Appropriately enough, there’s fair bit of childhood nostalgia involved in my choices…

  1. Highlander
    HighlanderOne of my all-time favourite movies. It should be laughably awful, really — not least the accents — and I’m sure to some people it is; but I think it’s immensely fun, and you can tell the setup is a good’un thanks to its legs: four sequels, a six-season TV series, a spin-off series, an animated series, an anime movie, and various books, comics, audio dramas, computer games… — and that’s just to date. Still, there can be only one, and this is it.
  2. Top GunTop Gun
    I don’t think I’ve seen Top Gun since my age was in single digits, so if you pressed me for specifics then I wouldn’t have a clue… but any film where you have to get to the 16th person on the cast list before you find a male character with a real name has to be good, right?

  3. Little Shop of HorrorsLittle Shop of Horrors
    This one, on the other hand, I didn’t see until I was a Grown Up. Catchy tunes, many laughs, and animatronics! I miss animatronics. (I watched the original made-in-two-days B-movie once. I hated it.)

  4. Aliens
    AliensFor some people, whether Alien or Aliens is the better film is a huge debate. For others, there’s no question which is superior — and those people can be divided into those who think it’s Alien and those who think it’s Aliens. I lean more towards Ridley Scott’s original, but James Cameron’s sequel has its own merits — not least the fact that, instead of dully repeating the original, it shifts the franchise into a wholly different genre.
  5. Crocodile DundeeCrocodile Dundee
    “That’s not a knife. That’s a knife.”
    This is virtually all I remember about Crocodile Dundee, but what more do you need?

And the one I’ve not seen but apparently really should have…

    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    Ferris Bueller's Day OffThere’s a good handful of well-regarded films from 1986 that I’ve never seen (also, Howard the Duck), but this is the highest I’ve not seen on IMDb’s Most Popular Feature Films Released in 1986, where it comes third overall. It’s not necessarily the best choice — there are a couple of 1986 films I own and haven’t seen, and this isn’t one of them — but hey-ho, that’s what popular perception has decreed.

Feel free to share your own thoughts on the terribly specific field of just one year below — I know there are some acclaimed, beloved, and/or notable films that I’ve missed out.

Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

Compared to previous Mays, I’m already ahead of my worst-ever, two off my second-worst, six off target pace, and a doable 11 films behind the next worst…

I should stop trying to explain this and just go watch some films, shouldn’t I?

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