2 Best Movies to Watch by Miguel A. Núñez

Staff & contributors

Perfect for Halloween marathons with friends, The Return of the Living Dead treads the now well-worn template of zombie apocalypse movies with outstanding practical effects and a refreshingly unserious attitude. What the film might lack in terms of character writing or deeper themes, it more than makes up for with a relentless forward momentum. There isn't any grand mission to be accomplished when these morticians collide with a group of young punks, other than understanding what drives the undead creatures outside in order to survive the night. As a result, this is a movie that lives firmly in the moment, with thrills aplenty and its greatest moments found in the freaked-out reactions of its ensemble cast. The late James Karen, with his hilariously exaggerated hollering and whimpering, only nearly steals the show from the film's wonderful animatronics and disgusting prosthetic makeup. It's a great zombie movie for the reluctant horror newbie.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Horror

Actor: Allan Trautman, Beverly Randolph, Brian Peck, Cathleen Cordell, Cherry Davis, Clu Gulager, David Bond, Don Calfa, Drew Deighan, James Dalesandro, James Karen, Jewel Shepard, John Durbin, John Philbin, Jonathan Terry, JR, Linnea Quigley, Mark Venturini, Michael Crabtree, Miguel A. Núñez, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr., Robert Craighead, Thom Mathews

Director: Dan O'Bannon

As the 1970s brought about the civil rights movement, as well as the abandonment of the American Hays Code, the blaxploitation genre (portmanteau of “Black” and “exploitation”) became popular, with black artists reclaiming their image, albeit with B-films centered around themes of violence, drugs, and sex. Black Dynamite is an homage and parody to the genre, with low budget mistakes, over-the-top dialogue, and Super 16 shooting all combining in the most hilarious of ways through the smooth timing of leading man (and co-writer) Michael Jai White. It’s silly, and stereotypical, but all the jokes poke fun from a clear love and nostalgia of the genre.

Genre: Action, Comedy

Actor: Arsenio Hall, Baron Vaughn, Bokeem Woodbine, Buddy Lewis, Byron Minns, Cedric Yarbrough, Charlotte Stokely, Charmane Star, Chris Spencer, Damion Poitier, Darrel Heath, Irwin Keyes, John Salley, JR, Kevin Chapman, Kym Whitley, Michael Jai White, Miguel A. Núñez, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr., Mike Starr, Mykelti Williamson, Nicole Ari Parker, Nicole Sullivan, Obba Babatundé, Phil Morris, Richard Edson, Roger Yuan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Stacy Adams, Tommy Davidson, Tucker Smallwood, William Bassett

Director: Scott Sanders

Rating: R