December 26, 2014

Disappearing from Netflix come New Year's Day 2015

As we all know, Netflix cycles through movies on a regular basis. It seems that the big dumps of titles happen at the beginning of each month. It sucks, but it is a fact of life. I am sure it is not something Netflix wants to do, but it is the nature of the game and the contracts that get signed. I would love if everything was available in one place. Anyway, I thought I would highlight a few expiring titles that you may want to watch before they disappear, that is if you have time this holiday weekend. Yes, there are more than these, so check your queues for expiration dates!

So, I scanned my queue and found a list of 24 titles getting ready to expire. Some I will be burning through with reckless abandon, others I will just let slip away. How do I decide? I don't know. Some, I just don't have a strong interest in, some I have on DVD or Blu-ray, others need to be watched or rewatched before they disappear. Some of them have come and gone a few times, so I fully expect them to return. In any case, here is a selection of the ones I think you all should watch before they go away lest they never return. Some of them I have not watched yet, so I have some watching to do myself.

Batman. This one I have most definitely seen this one before! As a matter of fact, this is the movie I have somewhat arbitrarily determined to be the movie that decided my fandom and sent me down the movie loving path. This is a deliciously stylized film world populated with good guys, bad guys, and plenty of in between. It also showed that Michael Keaton could make a good Batman, not to mention Jack Nicholson's delightful turn as the Joker. Then there is Tim Burton's vision.

The Student Nurses. This 1970 drive-in exploitation flick is something I never would have expected to pop up on Netflix. It is one I had never seen before (it is playing as I write this). It is the story of four nursing students and the adventures they have as they learn about the world. It is pretty good. It is also notable as the first release from Roger Corman's New World Pictures.

The Day the Earth Stood Still. This is the 1951 original, not that awful remake with Keanu Reeves (even if he would appear to be right for the role). Robert Wise directed this tale of an alien's visit to Earth and the mistrust and misunderstanding it brings. It is a fantastic film and perfectly suited to the Cold War era just after WWII. If you have not seen this, it should be high on your list.

Death Race 2000. Again, this is the original, not the remake (which is known simply as Death Race). This movie documents a violent road race that takes colorful drivers from coast to coast racking up points by running people over. David Carradine and Sylvestor Stallone star for director Paul Bartel (who also directed and starred in Eating Raoul). Crazy flick with some social commentary.

Big Trouble in Little China. There are few director's who have had a run of films like John Carpenter, from the late 70's through the 80's, he had an amazing streak. This is one example of his creativity. It is also the fourth (of five) collaborations with Kurt Russell. It is the unlikely story of a trucker pulled into an ongoing ancient battle in Chinatown. This is a blast.

Galaxy of Terror. I love this movie. Sure, it was just supposed to be a silly Alien rip off, but it is so much more. It is a crazy science fiction/horror feature with a great cast with Ray Walston, Erin Moran, Robert Englund, and Sid Haig.

Women in Cages. Pam Grier stars as a sadistic lesbian warden in this women in prison movie shot for cheap in the Phillipines. This is a classic Roger Corman release.

The Big Bird Cage. Speaking of Pam Grier and classic Corman releases, here is another one. This one finds Grier not as the warden, but a revolutionary working with Sid Haig (The Devil's Rejects) to orchestrate a prison break. This is a lot of fun and the third women in prison film (the first being The Big Doll House).

Not of this Earth. Corman produced and directed by Jim Wynorski, this remake of the 1957 movie of the same name is a heck of a lot of fun. It is a tale of an alien who comes from a dying world and finds our blood to be nourishing. It is also notable as the first non-porn film to feature Traci Lords.

Battle Beyond the Stars. Here is another Corman film. It is also another shot at making a Star Wars rip off. It tells of a young farmer who must recruit people to battle an invading empire (led by John Saxon).

Humanoids from the Deep. Another Corman rip off of an older film. Experiments gone wrong lead to half man/half fish creations that attack a small town. Will the townsfolk be able to repel the fishy nightmare?

Starcrash. Yet another Star Wars rip off, this time starring Carline Munro, Christopher Plummer, Joe Spinell, and David Hasselhoff. How can you go wrong with that cast? Munro is recruited by the Emperor to save his son and destroy a secret weapon. This movie is a lot of fun and certainly one to enjoy.

Shivers. This was David Cronenberg's feature debut, and one of the soon to disappear movies that I have not yet seen. It tells of a scientist whose neighbor begins exhibiting primal urges after the release of a sexually transmitted disease. Certainly sounds like Cronenberg!

Phantom of the Opera. This, I will definitely need to watch. This take on the classic tale stars Robert Englund as the titular phantom.

Dinosaur Island. 1994 film from Jim Wynorski about an island where an Army captain crashes with a few deserters awaiting court martial that is inhabited by primitive women and dinosaurs.

Better get to watching before they disappear!

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