VALENTINE'S DAY IS UPON US. And since a new St. Valentine's Day Massacre doesn't seem to be in the offing, I thought instead I would list my top 10 favourite Valentine's Day movies. These are the films that REALLY get me in the romantic mood. But please be warned . . . HERE THERE BE SPOILERS! I'm keeping to the Paleocinema 5 year rule: if the movie's more than 5 years old, you shoulda seen it already. So, if you haven't seen the movie mention, skip to the next one if you don't want the ending spoiled for yer. So here we go: My top 10 most romantic movies for Valentine's Day (in alphabametical order):
- AUDITION (aka ODISHON): This Japanese movie is the best thing to get you in the romantic mood. A middle aged man's wife has died and he's very lonely. Since he is a director, he decides to hold auditions for a fictitious movie in order to find the perfect woman to marry. He finds a sweet, demure little woman who seems perfect for him. They begin a relationship and you finally believe this man's loneliness is at an end. Then she shoots him up with a hypo filled with something which paralyses him but keeps him fully alert -- then proceeds to torture him and saw his leg off with piano wire. Now, if that ain't romantic I don't know what is.
- THE BLACK CAT: Bela Lugosi has been imprisoned for 15 years because of his traitorous commander Boris Karloff. When released, Bela comes looking for his long lost wife and daughter. The perfect romantic/family reunion is in the offing. Well, it turns out Boris had married Bela's wife and then apparently killed her and has her stuffed in a glass case. Boris then married Bela's daughter. When Bela visits Boris and finds out his daughter is still alive, Boris promptly kills the daughter. Ah, togetherness.
- CAT PEOPLE: Simone Simon and Kent Nelson are a cute young couple who fall in love and get married. Ah, domestic bliss. Unfortunately, Simone believes that whenever she is sexually aroused, she turns into a ferocious panther creature and kills kills KILLS! So eventually, Simone opens the panther cage at the zoo and gets killed while Kent goes off with another woman.
- CHINATOWN: Detective Jack Nicholson falls hard for Faye Dunaway. Unfortunately so did Faye's father who knocked her up. Then Faye gets shot in the head.
- DIAL M FOR MURDER: Grace Kelly and Ray Milland are a happily married couple; the envy of all their friends. Ray then hires somebody to strangle her. Unfortunately for Ray, Grace shoves a pair of scissors into her attacker. All's well that ends well??? Not really. . .Ray then allows her to be arrested for murder. Ah, married life.
- DOUBLE INDEMNITY: Barbara Stanwyck is married. She doesn't much like her husband. She does very soon like insurance salesman Fred MacMurray. A lot. Together the two lovers off her husband and collect his insurance money. Then Barbara and Fred shoot each other. And die.
- THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Laurence Harvey is a much-honoured and decorated war hero. He has a childhood sweetheart he's loved all his life. He plans to marry her. Then commie agents brainwash him and he shoots her in the gut.
- MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: Kevin Costner's wife died and he's very very sad. He writes letters to his dead wife, places them in a bottle and tosses them in the ocean. Reporter Robin Wright Penn finds one, tracks him down, falls in love with him. After a lot of romantic hard work, Costner allows himself to fall in love with her too. They've found the perfect soulmate. Romance in bloom. They are blissfully happy. Then he drowns.
- MITCHELL: Naturally, this has to be experienced in the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 version. Mitchell is played by Joe Don Baker. He is a slob. He initiates several very off-putting, sleazy and frankly repulsive romantic clinches and sex scenes with Linda Evans. If this ain't enough to put you off sex for a good month and a half, I don't know what will!
- SCARLET STREET: Edward G. Robinson is a middle-aged nebbis who falls for beautiful young Joan Bennett. Edward G. is henpecked by a harridan wife. Edward plans to off his wife so he can be blissfully happy with Joan. Joan has been playing him for a fool -- laughs and ridicules him. Edward G. ice-picks her in his bed.
I hope these 10 movies will get you in the proper Valentine's Day mood. I know they work for me. Kiss kiss hug hug.