One of my favorite books as a kid was the original Book of Lists (1977) which I frequently site as an influence on Stargazing (along with Rona Barrett’s Hollywood, the Merv Griffin Show, and K-Tel Records, among many others). Recently, I happened upon this terrific list of the great John Waters’ favorite overlooked movies which appeared in the 90s edition of Amy Wallace and David Wallechinsky’s The Book of Lists. Here is Waters’ entry verbatim:
John Waters, who hails from Baltimore, created such cult hits as Pink Flamingos (1972) and Polyester (1981). In 1988 he achieved a measure of “respectability with the PG-rated Hairspray.
1. Tremors, 1990, (Ron Underwood)
Giant worms under the earth attack Kevin Bacon—it’s great and somehow not cheesy.
2. Rope, 1948, (Alfred Hitchcock)
Leopold and Loeb, sort of.
3. The Moon in the Gutter, 1983, (Jean-Jacques Beneix).
Beyond overlooked—hated by the public. My favorite lunatic art film.
4. Story of Women, 1988, (Claude Chabrol)
Isabelle Huppert as the real-life abortionist who was guillotined in Vichy, France.
5. Tucker: The Man and His Dream, 1988, (Francis Ford Coppola)
Biography of the crackpot inventor of the “car of the future.”
6. Patty Hearst, 1988, (Paul Schrader)
The best legal defense she ever had.
7. The Naked Kiss, 1964, (Sam Fuller)
A lurid melodrama where a prostitute who teaches crippoled children falls in love with the town’s most outstanding citizen and discovers that he is a child molester.
8. The Final Solution: The Wannsee Conference, 1984, (Heinz Schirk -TV Movie)
Horrifying re-creation of the actual suburban Berlin meeting of Nazi leaders where “the Final Solution” was planned.
9. Of Unknown Origin, 1983, (George Pan Cosmatos)
The best rat horror movie ever made.
10. American Hot Wax, 1978, (Floyd Mutrux)
The defintive version of the Alan Freed story.
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