February 14th, a day synonymous with the giving of heart shaped candies, pricey diamond rings and mug adorned teddy bear plush dolls – to some it is an innocent exchange of affection (couples), to others a resentfully indignant commercial ploy that prays off the googly-eyed. We’ve got nothing against either side, but this year we’d like to offer comfort to those of the singledom that won’t be sharing the covers with a loved one.
Put away your sorrows, turn that photo of your ex to the wall, and whip out your movie collection (or head to the rental store) because we’ve got five dynamite flicks to get you out of your romantic rut.
The Evil Dead trilogy
What’s it about?
A group of young adults head up to a mysterious log cabin for a vacation. After reciting from the cursed book of the dead, their worst nightmares come true as evil forces from beyond seek to terrorise them.
When first assembling this list, I was under the impression that it would just be packed with manly movies of muscle-bound action jockeys with the only love in their possession being reserved for murder and mayhem. If you thought your love life stinks, just cast your thoughts to Ash, hero of the Evil Dead series – this man loses everything he loves, even his arm (which for some may be the only love they have) – now look in the mirror and feel the relief of knowing that you aren’t the unluckiest guy in the world.
What’s it about?
A group of intrepid explorers find themselves under threat of attack when one of their crew is attacked by an extra terrestrial larva.
Speaking of loss, Ellen Ripley is no stranger to that either. The series may be flawed and even though many prefer the James Cameron sequel “Aliens”, I find the original to be the most successful in the series. Alien is emotionally distant like many science-fiction films pre-1980s, it’s a perfect counterweight to all the lovey-dovey stuff that’ll be running rampant outside of the sanctuary of your living room. The hero is also female, a refreshing change to the typically male dominated action genre and a definite plus if you’re a woman and would prefer to avoid any male eye-candy. Alien holds up well by today’s standards, its clever and the well executed horror elements will ensure that the last thing on your mind is anything but the movie.
The Toxic Avenger series
What’s it about?
A janitor working for a New Jersey gym is thrown into a barrel of toxic waste by some bullies. The ooze transforms him into a muscle bound titan of justice who is ready to clean up crime on his path to revenge.
It could be worse, you could be a grotesque, deformed radioactive troll that scares the shit out of everyone, like Toxie. Although Toxie does get a girlfriend, it’s likely because she’s blind and mildly retarded. As a fan of grungy b-grade movies from the Troma company, The Toxic Avenger stands out as a film with a lot of heart – a nerd that gets transformed into a monster that sees the best in everything would make anyone feel terribly selfish for being miserable on a day as pointless a Valentines day. It’s a grow the fuck up movie, funny as hell, incredibly gruesome, and is just simply a blast to watch. The sequels were okay but I think Citizen Toxie sort of missed the mark that the others hit so well.
A group of nameless thugs join forces for a jewelery store heist, everything goes wrong though and a bloody masacre leaves those that remain questioning who ratted them out.
Quentin Tarantino’s debut film is also his one film most devoid of love – in fact, the film doesn’t even feature a romantic subplot…or female characters for that matter. The guys aren’t much to look at either – just in case you think that this list is just a sausage fest and not for the fairer sex. Reservoir is one of my favourite Tarantino films – it’s ballsy, has the characteristic Tarantino dialogue, and is so far removed from romance that it’s no wonder that this features on so many “boys” lists next to The Godfather trilogy and Fight Club.
What it’s about?
Oh Dea-su is abducted and held prisoner for 15 years before managing to escape. He is now on a mission to find his family and the man who did this two him, armed with a fighting ability and a twisted mind.
This is another tragedy but with so many unexpected twists, it would be hard to explain why this foreign martial arts film is on the list without giving much too away much of the juicy plot. It’s unsettling use of love in this film is enough to make this film a V-Day killer for sure but Oldboy is simply sublime in its weirdness that it should be watched regardless of occasion More than that, Oldboy has one of the most emotionally charged fighting scenes that has ever graced a camera lens and ranks among my personal list of most memorable individual scenes.
How will you be spending your evening this Valentine’s Day? Are you lucky enough to have a date, or will you be joining the legions of single guys and gals for an evening of couch surfing? Tell us about your favourite movie for a love-free occasion and you could walk away with a mystery DVD from our stash.