Guilty Pleasures: Off the Wall Films

For five years of my teenage life I was video store girl.  It’s time you all knew.  It’s still probably my favorite job I’ve ever had.  The store was three blocks from my house, I’d get free movies anytime, and I had keys to the store-so I mean anytime!  You know how new releases come out on Tuesdays?  I previewed them all on mondays!  It was the best.  And I watched A LOT of movies back then!  Here are some of my favorite off the wall films.


Dummy:  Adrien Brody stars in this offbeat comedy about a man who’s at the end of his ropes.  Fired from his job, Brody’s character, Steven, decides to become a ventriloquist.  He also really wants to date his unemployment counselor, played by Vera Farmiga.  His best friend, Fangora, exceptionally acted by Milla Jovovich (who some like myself may love from The 5th Element) is a desperate woman dealing with her sick mom and trying to start a band.  Any band.  Other cast favorites include Illeana Douglas as Steven’s sister and Jessica Walter (the mom, Lucille, on Arrested Development) as Steven’s mother.  You’ll love every awkward moment of Steven’s life, I swear!


Oscar:  Some people love Rocky movies.  I prefer to take my Stallone in the form of this enchanted mobster movie.  Sylvester Stallone plays “Snaps” Provolone, a newly retired mobster trying to make his home presentable while under FBI surveillance.  His daughter is played by Marissa Tomei, and she’s in love with anyone who’ll take her away.  His other daughter just appeared for the first time today on his doorstep.  And there are three leather bags shuffling around the whole time: one with 1000’s of dollars, one with expensive jewels, and one with the maid’s underwear!  Tim Curry is an excellent supporting actor as the speech therapist, Dr. Poole.  All English buffs will get a kick out of this film.

And this blog wouldn’t be MY blog if it didn’t  have a little paranormal nod and tribute to Jane Austen. 


High Spirits:  A group of American tourists travel to a legendary haunted castle in England for a getaway.  The staff knows the place is going under.  But the manager, Peter O’Toole, has better plans: he’ll make it haunted!  Charading his team around as ghosts and banshees, he’ll try to frighten the guests who’ve come.  What no one expected is that the place is haunted, and now the ghosts are out for some vengeful fun.  Starring Steve Guttenberg and Daryl Hannah as starcrossed physically and elementally troubled lovers, this will be a unique movie to watch.  Supporting actors include Peter Gallagher, Beverly D’Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, and Martin Ferrero as the tourists.


Pride and Prejudice:  An updated classic with a wardrobe like Clueless: College Years, Kam Heskin stars as Elizabeth Bennett.  The plot is the same, but the Bennett sisters are comprised of college roommates instead, all of them looking for love.  Elizabeth is an aspiring author, and Will Darcy just happens to own a publishing firm.  A few characters are missing, such as the Bennett parents.  The mother is really represented by a newly published book called The Pink Bible that is selling out fast.  A few other fun spins include Jane’s character as a latina and Charles Bingley has made his riches by creating music cds for canines!  It’s a complete romp with fabulously quotable lines and I’ve shared it with all my Austen-crazed girlfriends.  You really ought to too.

Have you seen any of these flicks?  What are your favorite off the wall films?  Share them in the comments and they could be my next featured Guilty Pleasures: Off the Wall films!

21 responses

  1. I cannot believe I’ve never even heard of these and I want to watch ALL of them! Thank you so much for this. I especially like Adrien Brody and Sylvester Stallone.

    1. Adrien Brody is definitely a celebrity crush of mine! And I love how awkward he is in this movie. The whole cast is sublime. Great movie! Hope you get to check some out!

  2. Haven’t seen any of them, but thanks for posting the trailers. I might go find Oscar on Netflix. Thanks for another awesome review!

    1. What flicks would you recommend for me to catch up on?

      1. Some of my favorite older movies are: Terminator, Predator, Alien, Ghostbusters, Dirty Dancing, Ghost (Patrick Swayze), Love Story (1970), Big (Tom Hanks), Night Moves (Gene Hackman), Crash (2005), …all different and all really good, in my opinion. Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure were really good, but might seem dated now. Worth looking at though. I also love all the Die Hard movies and Lethal Weapon movies. Not much in the way of comedies, but it’s for me to find a comedy I really like. Oh, Blue Streak (Martin Lawrence) was funny. Have fun!

        1. Oooh good list. I’ve seen them all (told you, video store girl) except Night Moves and Blue Streak. I LOVE The Poseidon Adventures. I adore Red Buttons movies, hence my obsession with Hatari!

          1. Darn, I was hoping I was giving you more than a couple you hadn’t seen. Did you watch really old movies, like from the 40s and 50s?

            1. Bring it on, Marcia. Whatcha got for me?!

            2. Ok, you asked for it: The Longest Day, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The African Queen, Top Hat (Fred Astaire), Hush, hush, Sweet Charlotte (Bette Davis), The Little Princess (Shirley Temple), and a couple of later movies–War Games and The Graduate.

            3. Ok, the only ones I haven’t seen (but will now add to my list) are The Longest Day, Top Hat, and War Games. See, I’m not doing so bad.

  3. I haven’t seen ANY of these movies. Think I’ll start with Dummy. 🙂 A couple of my favorite off-the-wallers are Lars and the Real Girl and Requiem for a Dream—which is also dark, just a forewarning if you haven’t seen or read it.

    Thanks for the fun post, Jess!

    1. Yes I have seen those. I hated Requiem when I first saw it but had a friend who loved it, so we watched it so many times it grew on me. The music in it is phenomenal.

  4. This made me totally want to watch P&P again… I love “off-the-wall” films. Fun post, Jess!

    Enjoying Vampire Diaries? 🙂

    1. Which version? There are SO many good ones! I even love Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood version. Did you know there’s another Austen Bollywood flick called I Have Found It? It’s Sense and Sensibility! That one’s in subtitles, so be prepared cause it’s long, but again awesome music and costumes!

  5. I haven’t even heard of any of these, LoL. But now I’m dying to see the Pride & Prejudice.
    My favorite off the wall films? Gods Must Be Crazy II. Oh man, it’s hilarious. Another one is Only You, my number one favorite sappy chick flick of all time. I also love the utterly ridiculous Rocketman. And I love the cool Kung Fu Jackie Chan movie: Who Am I. I like a lot . . . I like off the wall. 🙂

    1. Oooh more good ones! I like Only You, but that’s so hard to find now! And Gods Must Be Crazy is a classic off the wall film! I’ll have to check out Rocketman and Who Am I. Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Working in a video store would have been a dream job for me at that age! Alas, it was never meant to be…and fat chance now, seeing as how most of them have long since closed down! I suppose your best bet is manning the Redbox machine.

    I haven’t seen any of these. Favorite offbeat film is Lars And The Real Girl. Dude’s in love with a blowup doll. ‘Nuff said.

    1. I have seen that film. If you liked that, you should love Dummy.

      And manning the Redbox doesn’t sound fun at all. Not. One. Bit.

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  8. I love goofy movies! High Spirits was fun- I haven’t seen it in ages.

    1. I’m just thrilled you’ve seen it. It’s really an obscure reference, but I like that one.

      Remember the part where he gets her swooning by quoting Big Bopper lyrics? LOL

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