Netflix Instant is a brilliant potpourri of exquisite visual landmines, all laid out for you and ripe for the picking. You may watch fabulously horrible movies so obscure that you would have would have never found them on DVD, as well as some really good movies that you wouldn’t have ever watched otherwise. Here are a few exceptional winners that you might want to run at home. I’ll be adding to this list often, of course.
IP Man (2008)
Don’t let the ambiguous and boring preview picture fool you; IP Man is one of the best movies that you will ever see. In what is essentially a revenge picture, the mild mannered and logical Chinese martial artist IP Man (played brilliantly by Donnie Yen) is pushed too far by invading Japanese soldiers, resulting in all hell breaking loose. I can’t even explain how much story is jam packed into this film, except to say that it’s as emotionally satisfying as if Mr. Spock finally opened a can of whoop-ass on Commander Kruge at the end of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) (you know, for killing Kirk’s son and for being a dick in general). Highly recommended.
Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
Why didn’t anyone tell me about this gem years ago? It’s like getting all of your birthday and Christmas presents at once, wrapped in shimmering paper made of pure caca. This movie, which is at least as terrible as Troll 2 (1990), pits Chuck Norris against David Carradine in an epic battle of sweatpants and headbands. Barbara Carrera adds a ton of 80’s sexiness as the wealthy and braless “Lola Richardson,” who apparently gets totally turned on by the filth that Norris’ character “J.J. McQuade” generates in the squalid hellhole that he calls home. Lola even tries to clean McQuade’s house, but he turns her away, eventually making things up to her by initiating a front yard hose fight that terminates in what is supposed to be a sexually charged mud battle. I challenge you to watch this scene without your mouth hanging open in confusion and awe. You just might be turned on and totally repulsed, both at the same time. This movie is so manly that when I asked my action film-loving father about it, he immediately and enthusiastically described a ludicrous scene where McQuade drives his 4×4 out of a dirt-filled death trap. I honestly believe that if at least 100 more people worldwide screen this movie our general testosterone output in newborns will increase by at least 30 percent. Do it for the kids.
Do you like French films with subtitles? Well, you do now! Populaire is a fun and romantic film about a klutzy girl who has only one talent: typewriting. Though this premise sounds boring, the film, set in 1950’s Normandy, sets an amusing tone of comedy and retro fun. The leading man, sort of a French Don Draper with an overbite really grows on you, and by the end of the film you’ll be screaming at the television to bring these two crazy kids together. Well, at least I was. Typing has never been so electrifying!