Best little known films

I nominate The Blue Iguana, starring Dylan McDermott, Dean Stockwell, and Flea (yes, that Flea). The movie has a little bit of a Tarantino feel to it.

It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, but there are priceless scenes all throughout:

(boondock hotel “concierge” to dissatisfied guests)

“You gotta problem? Talk to ‘The Manager’ !”

(boondock hotel “concierge” whips out a shotgun with the words “The Manager” scrawled into the stock)

Ok, here’e my list-

Local Hero- already mentioned, but deserves it!

How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog- great small film with Kenneth Branagh and Robin Wright Penn. Rent it today.

Killing Zoe- not for the faint of heart, but great work from Eric Stoltz.

Series 7- loved it.

Mi Vida Loca- a great film about the Echo Park Locas, a girl gang in LA. Not exploitation or anything, just a “this is how it is” story.

No one’s mentioned…

Welcome to Sarajevo - about journalists covering the war in Bosnia.

The Sweet Hereafter - about a small town dealing with a terrible school bus accident that killed almost all of the local children.

Following - Christopher Nolan’s no-budget debut film about a lonely guy who follows people around London just to see where they go.

Ghost World - Thora Birch and Steve Buscemi in one of those “coming-of-age” type stories. Really quite good.

Hey! On preview I see that ice1000 did indeed mention Following. Cheers!

Little known in R/L or amongst internet folks? [Run Lola Run] is one that no one I know in R/L has ever heard of, but netizens seem to be pretty familiar with. Go figure.

Anyway, great movie…

That was another candidate for me; in the end, I decided that it was probably well-known enough that it wasn’t eligible, but there are enough others on the list that are as well-known (including some of my own).

Two from a few years back:

  1. Fingers - Harvey Keitel before he became a parody of himself.

  2. Images - An almost unknown, and certainly underappreciated, Robert Altman gem. Even more bizarre and surreal than …

  3. 3 Women - Another Altman flick. Indescribably strange, but wonderful. A unique film (and film experience). Take a peek at the “user comments” at Amazon to get a sense of what it’s about.

A few years back, I couldn’t count so good.

The Blue Igauna

A tidy little heist movie starring a pre-Practice Dylan McDermott and featuring Dean Stockwell.
The Blood of Heroes

One of the best post-Apocalyptic sports movies ever made. Rutger Hauer fans take note.

I saw Time After Time in the theater. Eh. Not too bad, but nothing I’ve ever bothered to see or rent again.

A Shock To the System is my all-time favorite black comedy, and my favorite Michael Caine work. Rent it when you’re hating corporate hell, and you’ll feel better in the morning. Your boss might be worried by your evil grin, though…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Grave of the Fireflies
The Castle
Ring 0
The Devil’s Backbone
Julian Donkeyboy
Happy Birthday, Wanda June
My Neighbor Totoro
An Everlasting Piece
Hamburger Hill
The Secret of NIMH

Crimes of Passion
Until the End of the World
Amazon Women on the Moon
The Road to Wellville
The Lathe of Heaven
For All Mankind
Henry and June
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

Two Lane Blacktop - Monte Hellman directed and maybe Warren Oates’s best performance ever. Oh, and it stars James Taylor and Dennis Wilson!

Panic - with the great William H. Macy and Donald Sutherland at his creepiest

Diamond Men - If you liked Robert Forster in Jackie Brown, you’ll love him in this.

Quadrophenia still holds up as a record of life in England in the 1960s (at last, find out why all those guys in high school in the 1980s wore parkas) and the new DVD has a great print and informative audio commentary by the director.

But I love Smoke Signals, the story of life on an contemporary American Indian reservation. It has everything: humor, pathos, depth. Everything.

Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension. Classic 80s cult S.F. The new DVD of that is great as well.


Good call on Smoke Signals.

Another favorite of mine that never seemed that well known at the time (1973) is Don’t Look Now. While it happens to be a haunting story, and takes place in wintertime Venice, it also has a very hot love scene with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie.

Some Girls

Harold & Maude
Pink Flamingos
Waking Ned Devine
Taxi Zum Klo
The Sterile Cuckoo
My Beautiful Launderette
Mother’s Day (best opening 5 minutes of a horror film ever!)
Gloria (with Gena Rowlands, not the Sharon Stone remake)

That’s the first movie my wife-to-be and I saw together. We saw it in January or February of 1974. I have never watched it again except perhaps for a few scenes caught in passing on TV, but there are several scenes that I still remember clearly. Haunting, indeed.

Please ignore the line reading “KXL” in my post above. I did not delete quite as much of the post I was quoting as I meant to.

[sub]I previewed, too. Nuts.[/sub]

I have to second Ring and Uzumaki.
I would add, although it is hardly unknown to horror fans Profondo Rosso, directed by Dario Argento and featuring the single best soundtrack (by Goblin) in movie history. By far the most beautifully filmed slasher flick ever, but it’s much more than just a slasher movie- it has atmosphere, humor, and a genuinely sweet romance.
I’d also add For Yu’r Height Only, a Philipino midget spy movie, on the grounds of being the funniest thing I’ve ever seen- definitely the best movie to see while “herbally enhanced”.

Another vote for Local Hero (although, considering the topic, maybe it doesn’t really qualify. It seems fairly well known.)

Highway 61