TWO READER RECOMMENDATIONS: AFTER HOURS (1985) & STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997)

Reader recommendations by “Brad.”

After Hours

DIRECTED BY:

FEATURING: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Fiorentino, Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, Verna Bloom

PLOT: Word processor Paul Hackett (Dunne) starts out on a seemingly normal night out on the town, until he meets a mysterious young woman (Arquette) who lures him into a series of bizarre, comic situations in a dark Soho neighborhood.

Still from After Hours (1985)
BACKGROUND:

  •  was originally set to direct, but when Scorsese failed to get funding for The Last Temptation of Christ he decided to direct After Hours, which Burton gladly stepped aside for Scorsese to do. Now that’s respect.
  • The film was an assignment at Columbia University by screenwriter Joseph Minion.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Paul plastered as a sculpture in the basement of the Club Berlin.

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD AND WHY IT DESERVES TO MAKE THE LIST: The bizarre Kafkaesque tragic comedy of the everyman Paul Hackett’s desperate situations. Now matter how Paul approaches a situation the universe has a cruel reaction waiting for him. Suicide, a bondage-obsessed Soho artist, an unrelenting mob, and two local thieves played by “Cheech and Chong”. All set in a dark sleepy Soho neighborhood that’s a menacing character all its own. This is definitely an underappreciated Scorsese film and a weird gem that deserves a lot more attention.

Starship Troopers

DIRECTED BY: Paul Verhoeven

FEATURING: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Dina Meyer, Neil Patrick Harris

PLOT: Johnny Rico (Van Dien) is a soldier in the Mobile Infantry, a branch set to fight the insectoid “Arachnids”.

Still from Starship Troopers (1997)
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: Verhoeven’s satire concerning facism and militarism set in a futuristic war against giant insectoids, and Starship Troopers‘ action movie cliches, help to create a truly bizarre hilarious atmosphere for a sci-fi movie.

4 thoughts on “TWO READER RECOMMENDATIONS: AFTER HOURS (1985) & STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997)”

  1. After Hours has an excellent chance to make the List. This is actually the second time a reader has written a recommendation.

    Starship Troopers, not so much. I know it has a cult following, but even if you accept that the satire works, I don’t find it all that “weird.” It would take a major show of reader support to get us to consider it.

    1. I agree 100 percent that After Hours should definitely, DEFINITELY make the list with no exceptions. It’d be great to have the presence of a Scorsese picture on the list.

      I also do agree about Starship Troopers working better as a satire with strange imagery, than an overall weird experience. Although many “weird” filmmakers lauded the film including Takashi Miike and Alejandro Jodorowsky.

  2. I double both of these notions. After Hours was another entry of that brilliant but all too short Mid 80’s morbid comedy phenomena that included Miracle Mile, Into the Night, and Repo Man. It is a peculiarity both in the context of Scorsese’s other films and in regards to comedy films from that decade in general.

    Starship Troopers, and most of Paul Verhoeven’s films (The Fourth Man, Robocop, and Showgirls should also be strongly considered) have more than earned a spot on the list of 366 Weird films. Verhoeven was a European arthouse director who for a brief period had near unprecedented amount of freedom with his projects. It’s a minor miracle that he was allowed to make as many subversive anti-blockbuster films for as long as he did. Just the utter strangeness of his career arc, warrants inclusions of his films on this page.

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