Repeat Entertainers – By Joshua Samford

 There are great films in this world and there are good films. There are awful films and then there are bad films. Then there are those flicks that somehow become bred into the very fabric of your own existence. I’m talking about those flicks that somehow either become a ritual to watch, or just have that one unique quality about them that somehow makes you end up watching them over and over again until pretty much anyone who shares any time with you over a good period grows so sick of it that you have to ultimately bury them in a corn field. We’re talking about THOSE kind of movies here. The kind that leave you a murderer… okay, maybe they don’t necessarily do THAT – but obsessive is definitely an applicable term. I think the first film I ever really watched by myself in an obsessive manner was probably Richard Linklater’s "Dazed and Confused". Although I’m a pretty staunch anti-drug kind of guy, there was something about the lure of the film as a pre-teen that really suck me in. This free-wheeling lifestyle the characters lead and the ‘over one night’ time line that the film moves along created a realism for me as a pubescent youngster I wasn’t used to. Not to mention, teenagers cursing! Alright! Okay, so it ain’t exactly "Kids" or anything like that – but it’s certainly a more lighthearted and fun look at youthful rebellion amongst a group of teenagers. At a time in my life when I was rebelling against rebellion, it helped me to understand a lot about what was going on around me I think. That first night I found that VHS tape at my friend’s house – I watched the movie from 10pm until 6am the next morning. I kid you not… I look back and realize now that boy, I sure did have a lot of free time on my hands back on those weekend nights.

 There are two other films that come to mind that I found in the same time-frame that have become staples of every VCR and DVD player I have ever had – mainly due to a bizarre fascination that I have along with my cousin. The two of us, we became obsessed with Happy Gilmore and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze as kids growing up but what is weird is the fact that the two of us are STILL watching these flicks on a regular basis. Since it’s the weirder of the two for two now "grown" men to be watching, I’ll talk about Turtles II first. Look, I’m twenty two, he’s eighteen and we both watched ALL THREE of the Turtles flicks last week and I don’t care what anyone says; they’re still great! The series is broken down in sections – the first one finds the Turtles as serious as they’ll ever get; even throwing in a few expletives every now and then. The third film is their silliest point, travelling back in time to ancient Japan where nearly everyone speaks English, etc. The second film, Secret of the Ooze, it’s a perfect combination. On one hand you have Vanilla Ice singing the Turtle Rap and on the other half you have some pretty witty jokes and one liners popping up on an extremely frequent basis. It could be that we’re both just obviously insane; I’m not sure – but I find myself quoting "Look how quiet it is… yeah, a little too quiet. Hey look, there’s Raph! Yeah, a little TOO Raph…" on a daily basis, when it barely ever fits into a situation without me tossing it in like a bag of hammers. Then there is Happy Gilmore, which isn’t nearly as embarrassing to admit to being a fan – but to the extent that my cousin and I are; it’s almost in the Superfan range. When I had my VHS tape back in the day, we popped it. When it’s on TV every time, no matter what else is on, we watch it. Now with my netflix subscription, I watch it on my computer as well. Adam Sandler in my eyes released a few really great comedy records and a handful of good movies and so far only one really great one. Happy Gilmore embodies everything every young male ever wants to do – and is also one funny friggin’ flick. There’s more to it than just the Bob Barker joke too.

 Aside from those, there are only three others I can think of off the bat that I have seen myself over one hundred times or so – and those films are National Lampoons Christmas Vacation which has been part of my family watching since I was four years old and has been watched at least five to six times a year at Christmas time alone. Then there is Fight Club, which aside from Dazed and Confused is one of the only films to ever set the limits to just how long I can sit in a chair and watch the same movie in one session. I probably watched Fight Club five or six times that first night I rented it. I forget just now, but at the time, it was the first film I had watched for so long since my original marathon run of D&C. I don’t know exactly why Fight Club sent me into such a tailspin of excitement, it had something to do with my young mind at first discovering that MTV wasn’t exactly "Music Television" and this was some major discovery at the time, and to see a film expressing such resentment and anger towards "the system"; it helped at least keep my mind heavily occupied. Although I do still love the film to this day, I don’t find quite as much in the philosophy as I once did and finally grew up and realized that Tyler Durden… well, the whole point was that his ideas were basically ill-conceived no matter how noble. Funny how growing up does that to things. So, that leaves me with one last film – and it might be the best for last in this situation. Reservoir Dogs. Although Duane didn’t seem to get it’s brilliance at the Rogues gathering for it some years back, it truly is one of those keystone films of the nineties and to me it just has too cool of dialogue, too hip of characters and too much going on in it for me to ever get tired of it. I still watch it regularly and have never, and will likely never, grow tired of that one. The same can be said about all of these films pretty much though. Some have their problems, but as a fan, I can easily look over them. I know I’m not the only one to feel this way and I just hope this article helps to remind others about just why we are the superfans we are. Geekyness knows no boundaries.