The Random Writings of Rachel: Oddball Movie Picks

Oddball Movie Picks

Some movies are pretty much universally known. Not everybody actually likes these movies, but the very names of the movies are so familiar that, chances are, you've heard of them. I'm talking big names, like Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, Cinderella, Titanic, Frozen. With these big sorts of movies, you don't really need personal reviews--whether you're interested or not, you're sure to hear at least something about the film.

Many more films, however, have made a much quieter splash - and chances are much larger that unless someone tells you about the film, you'll never come across it organically.

Today, I'm going to give you my top 10 movie recommendations for films that you're less likely to have heard of. (And if you've actually watched all 10, then I will give you a prize, because you are just as much of an oddball film fan as I am!)

1. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Angel and I were introduced to this film by the friend of a friend back during my freshman year of college. We've since bought the DVD and have showed it to many people, hoping that they'll appreciate the incredible quote-able-ness of the movie. It'll always be a very special film to me.

2. The Lost Skeleton Returns Again

You guessed it--there's a sequel! Just as quotable, though I don't find the Cantaloupe People to be an endearing as the original characters.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Cantaloupe People. Now you know you have to watch it.

3. Secondhand Lions

This film actually has some better-known actors in it, so you might have heard of it. A young boy who visits two eccentric elderly relatives who tell all sorts of stories and have all sorts of adventures, including buying a secondhand lion so that they can go lion hunting in their cornfield. I think those two old guys are some of the best family one could ever ask for.

4. They Call Me Trinity and Trinity is Still My Name

Early 1970s spaghetti westerns about a good-for-nothin' guy named Trinity who has very distinctive blue eyes. My favorite scene has always been the infamous card-shuffling/poker-playing scene in the sequel.

5. Bride and Prejudice

A Bollywood meets Hollywood meets Jane Austen mash-up. This came out around the same time we first moved to Southeast Asia and in some weird ways the odd cultural clashes were so reminiscent of our own experiences (except the whole falling in love thing) that we really appreciated how it represented East-meets-West in such a crazy and colorful way.

6. Arsenic and Old Lace

A hilarious and dark comedy about murder and evil brothers and insanity that runs in family (runs? it practically gallops!).

7. Paper Moon

A story about a con man who sells Bibles and the little girl who may or may not be his daughter, but is along for the ride.

8. Rescue from Gilligan's Island

This is one hard movie to find! I kept an eye out for it for years until I stumbled across a DVD copy of it at a thrift store. It was so good to see all of my favorite Gilligan's Island buddies again (minus Ginger, since they got a totally different actress to portray her). The film is very much the same style as the original TV show...which is a good thing for a super-fan of Gilligan's Island.

9. I Not Stupid and I Not Stupid Too

Singaporean satirical comedies, mostly focusing around education and family life. Both funny and heartwrenching--and really provide a good glimpse of the culture that they were filmed in.

10. Bridge to Terabithia

Probably one of the better-known movies on this list. A very sad story--I read the book years before the movie came out, so the sad ending wasn't a surprise, but that doesn't make it any less sad. I love it because of the beautiful story it tells of love and imagination...and because the midwest farm country setting--complete with greenhouses and kids who run wild in the woods...reminds me very much of my own childhood.

11. Shaolin Soccer

A college professor devoted an entire class period to showing us this film--the class was about the history of sports in Asia and he decided we needed a break from the serious stuff. This is your typical underdog sports movie with martial arts mixed in and it's weird in so many unexpected ways--one of the things Angel and I love about watching Chinese films is that you really don't know what will happen next. Really. Something about movies made in a different culture--they tend to be way more surprising than movies from your own culture!

What's your favorite little-known movie?

19 comments:

  1. I love Secondhand Lions! The Giant Mechanical Man is probably my favorite lesser-known film.

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  2. You've seen "Arsenic and Old Lace"!!!!! I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!! Actually, when I was a senior in high school, my younger brother (who was a freshman) and I competed in Forensics with a duet act from the stage production of Arsenic. That story is amazing, and it always makes me happy to hear about other people appreciating it :) Haha, and now I have the music from "Bride & Prejudice" stuck in my head (the "no life without wife" song). I've seen "Secondhand Lions" a couple of times, but it's been a while, so I don't really remember it much. Oh my goodness, "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" sounds like it is the horror/sci-fi version of "The Princess Bride." I'll have to watch it someday :) "Shaolin Soccer" sounds really good, too! I don't know if it classifies as "little-known," but I really like "The Road Home," which is about the courtship of a man and woman in Northern China. I haven't seen it in years, but I used to watch it a lot.

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  3. Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorite movies! I grew up watching it and it has always been so hilarious to me! Love that it made this list! :)

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  4. The Bridge To Terabithia is such a great sad movie.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  5. An Education, starring Carey Mulligan. We LOVE independent films. I rarely see blockbusters because they're not always that great.

    I love Secondhand Lions too. We've seen it quite a few times.

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  6. I only know #7 and #10.
    I really like "The Perks of being a Wallflower" and "An Education". Happy Thursday xxx

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  7. I LOVE Secondhand Lions! I'm not sure how I was introduced to it, but it's definitely a favourite. I'll have to check out these other ones!

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  8. I haven't seen any of the movies but I remember reading The Bridge to Tarabithia as a kid and being distraught. It was the first time I had read something about bad things happening to kids. I'll keep all these movies in mind.

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  9. I looked at this list solely to see what I would know. I definitely saw Bridge to Terabithia when I was a kid and I remember it being sad, but I don't remember much else. HOWEVER. Bride & Prejudice, I saw the title on Netflix and thought it looked quirky. I will have to watch it next time I'm all alone without any boys who would be offended by my not so secret love of chick flicks. Thanks, Rachel!

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  10. The only one I've heard of is Bridge to Terabithia but I haven't seen it. I'll have to check these out!

    smalltownsandcitylights.com

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  11. this reminds me to watch Bridge to Terabithia! i love magical stories!

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  12. I LOVE Bride and Prejudice! The music is so fun and it's so funny! I always watch it when I see it come up.

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  13. I beamed the biggest smile over your choices for #4. Tony grew up with those movies in Italy and tries to get everyone in my family hooked on them. :) Great selections. In the goofball/oddball movie camp, I'll always enjoy (fittingly :D) Spaceballs, the Naked Gun series, most of Jim Carrey's 1990s work, and the Police Academy series.

    ♥ Jessica

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  14. Bridge to Terabithia was a favourite of mine back in school. We watched at least once a yr.

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  15. Yes! Secondhand Lions is so good! I haven't heard of these others, though.

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  16. Justin really wants to end up like the old men in Second Hand Lions -- haha. I loved Bridge to Teribithia... made me cry. Bride and Prejudice is one of my FAVORITE movies! Shaolin Soccer is hilarious!

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  17. TRINITY. Yes. The best is the fight scene that literally goes on for 15 minutes in the second one.

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  18. hahaha, I loved I Not Stupid! I watched it in Mandarin class back in high school! :D And...I basically grew up on Stephen Chow films, so hooraysss for Shaolin Soccer! Bridge to Terabithia (book and movie) were so depressing. :[

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