christopher funderburg


Three great opening scenes:

#1: Isabelle Huppert's family stumbles onto squatters in THE TIME OF THE WOLF.

#2: Things somehow get worse for the quibbling peasants in THE HIDDEN FORTRESS.

#3: What happens at Lao Che[s almost makes you forgive INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

The VIDEODROME transmission is coming from Pittsburgh.

MARTIN finds a victim on his train ride to Pittsburgh.

"If they knew what they liked, they wouldn't live in Pittsburgh." – John Sullivan in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS.

John Sayles as a morgue attendant in THE HOWLING.

Dick Miller as a garbage-man in THE BURBS.

John Sayles and Dick Miller as con-men in MATINEE.


Buster Keaton swings to save the woman going over a waterfall in OUR HOSPITALITY.

Driven by pettiness and miscommunication, Christmas tree salesmen Laurel and Hardy destroy the house of a reluctant customer in BIG BUSINESS.

A blindfolded Charlie Chaplin skirts the edge of a four-story drop on roller-skates in MODERN TIMES.   

The house blows up in THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN.

The house crumples into another dimension in POLTERGIEST.

The house gets knocked down by a bulldozer in GREMLINS.

The house also blows up in THE 'BURBS.

They can't get out of the house in EXTERMINATING ANGEL.

"Aren't you even gonna kiss her goodbye?!" Pause. "No." Jack Burton heads out into the rainy darkness of San Francisco's Little China.

"Don't do it again." – the lieutenant admonishes the infantryman for accidentally gunning down Michael Caine at the end of PLAY DIRTY.

Funniest last words: "Bullets - my only weakness! How did you know?!" from HAROLD AND KUMAR (numero uno).


I'm no zoologist, but I wish the old man would be gentler with his possum in VERNON, FLORIDA.

Also, it's very anxiety–inducing to have that Guinea Pig hanging around in Svankmajer's PUNCH AND JUDY.

And don't tell the ASPCA what happens to that pig at the end of WEEKEND.

In a fit of insanity, a firefighter re-lights the blaze in LESSONS OF DARKNESS.

Walter Kranz is dragged away screaming from his dead wife. The orderlies set him down and he suddenly regains his composure in SATANSBRATEN.

Archibaldo de la Cruz murders the mannequin and throws the 'corpse' in the incinerator.

The clay baby comes alive then gets pounded flat in FAUST.

Jean Gabin hits up the safe-house and has some pâté in TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI.

There is a student who needs to have "a big one-million dollar movie" translated in BAND OF OUTSIDERS.

Fernando Rey, it turns out, doesn't have any Sursiks in THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BURGEOISE.

WAVELENGTH is not just a 42 minute zoom. Really.

No matter how many (or few) magazines he stacks, Hombre can't get into bed. EVEN DWARVES STARTED SMALL.

A flash of light and the tobacco blows out of Yves Montand's hand in WAGES OF FEAR.


The eponymous theme-song from MEN IN WAR.

The eponymous theme-song from ZEBRAMAN.

The eponymous theme-song from BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.

"I could everything and anything that I want – only, I don't know what I want." – Freddie Frenger, Jr. in MIAMI BLUES.

"Have you ever thought, right, but you don't know, but you may have already lived the happiest day in your whole fuckin' life and all you have left to look forward to is sickness and purgatory?" – Johnny in NAKED.

"All I want is to enter my house justified." – Judd in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY.

The most improbably beautiful moment in movie history: a woman gets her arm cut off with ax (which burst in through a window) and blood sprays out on the white wall behind her like abstract art in TENEBRAE.

Gus van Sant's dreamy sense of beauty and justice: the ugly girl gets shot in the face in ELEPHANT.

A movie that's good, but shouldn't be: LAST DAYS.

A movie that isn't good, but should be: THE FOG.

A movie that is good and rightly so: CHINATOWN.

Bad bad bad but just maybe awesome? VAN HELSING.

Definitely not a favorite, but better than I give it credit for: THE MAGNICENT AMBERSONS for the scene where young Amberson fights the neighborhood kid, DUCK SOUP for the line "I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelvenworth", and THE ROYAL TENEBAUMS for the scene where Luke Wilson has a breakdown on the Tennis court.


The killer "with eczema" winks at the camera just before Anna finds the dead dog in FUNNY GAMES.

" like my good friend, Burt Lancaster" and then Jean-Paul Belmondo smiles at the camera in A WOMAN IS A WOMAN.

In disbelief, the talent agent looks  at the camera in ONE FROGGY EVENING.

Poor Leatherface: he looks genuinely distraught as he runs to the front of the house and looks out the window. Where are all these people coming from?!

The gremlin listening to smoothed out jazz gets fed up with an interloper and takes matters into his own hands.

"No one can stop the dancing chicken!" during STROSZEK's fiery climax.

Belmondo refuses to sing along with Anna Karina despite the musical cues in PIERROT LE FOU.

Fred Ward's face (as Henry Miller) when Maria de Medeiros (as Anais Nin) says his cock isn't that big, but the "right" size in HENRY AND JUNE.

William Demarest, intent on getting a better look at Barbra Stanwyck, pours steak juice on the fancy-pants in THE LADY EVE.

William Demarest tries to kick his daughter and falls flat on his back in THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK.

For the love of god, William Demarest is just trying to have a conversation or just play some cards with the doctor and the radio-guy in the RV in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS!


"You'll be seeing me. You'll be seeing me. Every time you bed down for the night, you'll look back to the darkness and wonder if I'm there. And some night, I will be." James Stewart's freakout in BEND IN THE RIVER.

Flambé in a showgirl's face: Raymond Burr's freakout in RAW DEAL.

Scissors in a gold-digging old woman's face: Barbra Stanwyck's freakout in THE FURIES.

So freakin' hot it physically distracts you from being able to pay attention to the movie when she's on-screen: Rita Hayworth in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, Emanuelle Beart in NATHALIE, and Vera Clouzot in WAGES OF FEAR.  

Best Orson Welles moment (thin edition): Harry Lime's bit about the cuckoo-clock in THE THIRD MAN.

Best Orson Welles moment (fat edition): the edge-of-your-seat, Clarence-Darrow-times-five, listen-up-I'm going-to-show-you-numbskulls-once-how-a-real-actor-does-this ten minute closing argument in COMPULSION.

Best Orson Welles moment (human wreck edition): to Marlene Dietrich in TOUCH OF EVIL: "I wish it was your chili I was getting fat on."

Chuck Jones #1: Pronoun trouble in RABBIT SEASONING.

Chuck Jones #2: the big, fat horse in WHAT’S OPERA, DOC?

Chuck Jones #3: ROCKET SQUAD: "My name is Joe Thursday. This is my partner Friday. He always follows me."


Most disturbing sex scene (consensual): actor and puppet in FAUST.

Most disturbing sex scene (non-consensual): man and pig in CALVAIRE while his friends (the man's, not the pig's) watch.

Most disturbing sex scene (possibly consensual): Susan George and Del Henney in STRAW DOGS.

Most disturbing scene that you think is going to have sex it in, but does not: Tony, just out of the pen, confronts his cheating girlfriend. He commands her to strip as he unbuckles his belt RIFIFI.

Ten from Miike:

#1: One of the twins puts on the dog ears and sniffs down clues in ICHI THE KILLER.

#2: A fight to the finish destroys all of Japan in DEAD OR ALIVE.

#3: An animated children's drawing takes us through the history of ZEBRAMAN.

#4: The family finds the businessman's body and breaks into a musical number in THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS.

#5: Three friends play soccer in the rain in DEAD OR ALIVE: BIRDS.

#6: The vagina blow-gun woman reveals to the beautiful teacher that she is really a hermaphrodite and they fall in love in FUDOH.

#7: The brilliantly strange footage of "old" movies at the beginning of DEAD OR ALIVE: FINAL.

#8: The extra tongue they find in AUDITION.

#9: Mario and Kei lock eyes for the first time during the helicopter-on-bus hijacking in CITY OF LOST SOULS.

#10: The yakuza attack dog in GOZU.


The dreams of the sleeping Japanese train passengers in SANS SOLEIL.

Clearly, the best credits sequence: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.

Best moment from a mind-blowing performance: Sandrine Bonnaire tries to phonetically sound out the letter in LA CEREMONIE.

Best Moment in a great performance from an actor who is normally terrible: Kevin Costner losing it at the end of A PERFECT WORLD.

Best (bad) Moment from a bad performance: John Malkovich’s ridiculously accented "hhhe beat me, give hhhhim hhis money" in ROUNDERS.

Best (bad) Moment from a bad performance, runner-up: "One thousand clams One thousand smackers apples bucks One thousand smackers semolians" Marlon Brando in THE SCORE.

Best (good) moment from a bad performance: the half-apologetic, half-unapologetic look Alec Baldwin gives Ron Livingston in THE COOLER after exacting some old-school Vegas violence.    

Best Moment from an otherwise pedestrian performance: Delroy Lindo's monologue about the bible in the vest pocket in THE HEIST.

Performance that will never get as much credit as it deserves: Lance Henriksen in THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM.


A great spill: Jackie Chan off the clock and through the awnings in PROJECT A.

An even better spill: Buster Keaton off the train in the flood of water in SHERLOCK JR.

The best spills of all: Norm MacDonald into the dumpster, through a plate-glass window, and onto some stairs in DIRTY WORK.

"Don't you ever talk to Angie that way, man. I don't don’t you ever talk to Angie like that." -ALI.

"But I... I can't help myself! I have no control over this, this evil thing inside of me, the fire, the voices, the torment!" -Peter Lorre in M.

"You don't despise me, do you, Rick?" "If I gave you any thought, I probably would." -Peter Lorre and Humphrey Bogart in CASABLANCA.

"A toast: to the shitters of the world, 1979!" -Keith Gordon in CHRISTINE.

"I just wanted to say: I'm sorry I threw rocks at you that day." –Dirk Calloway in RUSHMORE.

A sad ending: Fassbinder (as FOX) lays down and dies in the subway.

A bizarre ending: A woman dances to reggae at the end of TRAUMA.

A happy ending: Let us never forget that Herzog really ate his shoe.


from john cribbs

Here are a few things your list brought to my mind, Chris.

Death by toy hammers wielded by navel-less midget creature children manifested from rage in THE BROOD

"Smell this. Go on, smell it!" and Henry Gibson's reaction - INNERSPACE

OFFICE SPACE...Jen Aniston shutting the door on Ron Livingston: "SAY HELLO TO LUM-" SLAM! "(-burgh for me!)"

Performance that will never get as much credit as it deserves: Jay Mohr in CHERRY FALLS

(Speaking of which): Best "how-is-that-not-where-this-is-leading-up-to?" imagined ending in film history: CHERRY FALLS

Movie that looks like it will indeed be "the best movie of all time," as the preview boasts: LADDER 49

Most awkward line in film history:  "I want to lie together naked."  (THE PIANO)

Most awkward line in film history (follow-up!):  "You're very...dirty...from...gardening..."


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