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10 must-see stunt doubles: The beloved event of the true double experience may be all but extinct these days, commercially, but that doesn’t mean it will. it will never be completely lost on moviegoers. Introduced in the 1930s as a way to combat the economic drought of the Great Depression, double bills were shown in theaters, presenting two movies for the price of one, as a surefire way to sell tickets and fill seats. over time, the practice would become a staple of the movie-going experience, selling out drive-ins and gracing screens with b-movie goodness.
Theatrical double feature films have certainly proven to be relics of the past, with the financial blitz of the quentin tarantino/robert rodriguez “grindhouse” experiment in 2007 solidifying their demise, despite excellent execution of the concept. however, who doesn’t love a good double bill from the comfort of their own home? everyone has their own favorite movies to watch one after the other, and for many different reasons. it’s fascinating that despite the age of countless sequels, remakes, and reboots, viewers still associate certain movies, even though they exist as completely separate entities. each in their own way and for their own individual reasons, these movie pairings are simply meant to be – here are ten of the best must-see double features.
10. kill bill: vol.1 (2003) / young promise (2020)
The quintessential female revenge flick along with the subgenre’s cleverest subversion to date, Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” takes what audiences love about “Kill Bill” and turns it on its head. While Quentin Tarantino’s masterful tale of retribution is a satisfyingly cathartic and beautifully crafted effort, Fennell’s satirical thriller is a haunting look at the toxicity surrounding rape culture, delivered in an entirely black comic tone. each with its own unforgettable protagonist, in the form of uma thurman’s girlfriend and carey mulligan’s cassie, where one plays out as an exhilarating fantasy, the other a more disturbing, grounded look at someone hell-bent on revenge, but rendered powerless by a troublesome system.
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They may differ in tone, and certainly in theme, but it’s impossible to discount how clearly the two films were cut from the same cloth. Offering two completely different looks at female revenge – one rooted in a poignant truth and the other brimming with blood-soaked madness, charming characters and rich dialogue – it’s a duo that packs a powerful punch, using opposing approaches. For a fresh take on the genre with something to say, look no further than “Promising Young Woman” for its Oscar-winning screenplay and Mulligan’s ravishing performance. On the other hand, you can never go wrong with the action-packed ride and Tarantino helm that is “kill bill,” and as a pair, there’s simply nothing like it.
9. the hitchhiker (1986) / no country for old men (2007)
Two of the best cat-and-mouse thrillers ever made share more DNA than initially appears. Sure, one is a slightly cheesy cult horror flick from the ’80s and the other is considered a bona fide modern masterpiece, but they have an indistinguishable resemblance that makes for an intriguing marathon. In “The Hitchhiker,” a young man (C. Thomas Howell) finds himself stalked and pursued by a mysterious hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer) on a deadly road trip that will change his life. The Coen Brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” is a bit more complex, with a plot centered around losing money, a ruthless hit man on his trail, and an aging sheriff lost in time.
At heart, however, each film is a riveting story of an ordinary man, who is way above their heads at the mercy of a merciless and unrelenting force of evil. Rutger Hauer’s unpredictable performance as the sadistic hitchhiker is the stuff of nightmares, while Javier Bardem’s cold, calculated turn as the ruthless hit man, Anton Chigurh, is as terrifying as the metaphorical embodiment of death: Relentless. and hardly unavoidable. each showcasing its own visually stunning western landscape coupled with a lingering and almost palpable sense of dread and tension, these are two bone-chilling thrillers that are likely to inhabit anyone’s psyche for quite some time. a perfect nighttime display to scare him out of his seat if there ever was one.
8. the craft (1996) / the witch (2015)
It takes a bold film to relive traumatic events of the past and reinvent them into something that empowers modern audiences, but that’s exactly what these two cult horror classics accomplish. Taking ideas surrounding misogynistic bigotry from the persecution of witchcraft, each with its own spin, these feminist and revisionist witch tales create a charming double feature like no other. Following a teenage coven of misfits, 1996’s “The Craft” draws on the throes of high school alienation, through the lens of a supernaturally charged teen drama. Spearheaded by a host of ’90s icons (fairuza balk, neve campbell, rachel true), the haunted group seek revenge on all those who have wronged them and learn to grow through the dark powers they possess.
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by contrast, robert eggers’ “the witch” takes audiences back to the 17th century, at the height of witchcraft paranoia, to offer a suffocating look at the repressive restrictions on young womanhood that still prevail in our society. , even today. Propelled by a brilliant performance from the great Anya Taylor-Joy, the film is a nerve-wracking climax to the unraveling of a New England family as they are exiled into the eerie wilderness, as unexplained events meticulously begin to unfold. the disconcertingly authentic 17th-century period piece aesthetic, intense tension, and ancient dialect are certainly a drastic change in pace from contemporary gothic sensibilities of “the craft,” but it makes for a compelling contrast nonetheless. Unorthodox maybe, but this horror-fest back-to-back is definitely worth watching.
7. the goonies (1985) / stay with me (1986)
This definitive ’80s coming-of-age movie duo remains the pinnacle of the genre. many have tried, but few movies have succeeded in illustrating the spirit of youth and friendship as purely and easily as these two. In an effort to keep their homes from being destroyed, Richard Donner’s “The Goonies” find a gang of outcast kids on a mission to find long-lost treasure. Written for the screen by Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus, the film is an action-packed adventure from start to finish, packed with endlessly quotable dialogue, set to an absolutely riveting score. where the classic shuffling of truffles has a distinctly joyous tone, however, rob reiner’s “stand by me” is the most mature and heartbreaking representation of leaving childhood behind.
From the magnificent mind of Stephen King, the story centers on the simple premise of four young men’s naive attempts to locate a dead body; and his loss of innocence along the way. Featuring phenomenal chemistry from Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell, along with a fantastic 1950s-inspired soundtrack, and an utterly imposing villain from Kiefer Sutherland as the ace, the film is a complete triumph in every sense of the word. you just couldn’t find a more childlike heart between two movies if you tried. the camaraderie of the group, the heartwarming moments, and the genuine laughs that light up the silver screen more than any other, the “children’s adventure” film was based on these films and has yet to be surpassed.
6. guess who’s coming to dinner (1967) / go away (2017)
Headed toward the denouement of the civil rights movement, Stanley Kramer’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” follows an interracial couple who break the news of their recent engagement to the bride-to-be’s white liberal parents. If this premise sounds familiar, it’s because fifty years later, Jordan Peele would turn heads with his own horror-focused spin on the material, earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in his directorial debut. Though it certainly feels a bit dated today, Kramer’s heartfelt drama offered a maudlin yet endearing message, about love knows no color. Admittedly, it can seem like an overly preachy PSA at times, but it was a refreshingly positive step in a new direction for a racially divided country.
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Held together by a terrific performance from the late Sidney Poitier, the film remains a comforting and optimistic watch pleading for a brighter and better future. In 2017, however, Jordan Peele would remind the world that these problems are far from over, with his sharp and remarkably timed hit of psychological terror “Get Out.” Using roughly the same setup as “guess who’s coming to dinner” but with a decidedly morbid twist, Pele, through the lens of a mind-bending thriller, would use the film as a platform to vent her frustrations around cultural appropriation and the systemic. oppression of African Americans. Showcasing a tremendous exit from Daniel Kaluuya, the decade-defining masterpiece is a stark yet entertaining statement that while progress is being made, there is still a long way to go in the fight against racial injustice.
5. the thing (1982) / the hateful eight (2015)
Originally planned as a direct sequel to the spaghetti western-inspired “Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino would ultimately choose to take his next Western in a different direction, with an isolated winter mystery akin to John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” It’s no secret that Tarantino loves paying homage to his favorite filmmakers, but who could have predicted that the esteemed director would helm what is essentially a loose reimagining of a sci-fi horror classic, dressed as a Western ensemble? ? Going as far as taking snippets of Ennio Morricone’s unused score of The Carpenter’s Masterpiece and placing them in “The Hateful Eight”, QT did what it does best: borrow from a cult staple genre and infuse it with its own special twist.
The link between the films is irrefutable, from the snowy settings and paranoid tension to the fact that they both star the great Kurt Russell and retain an unflinchingly sinister atmosphere. however, the biggest accomplishment of this doubleheader is actually how unique each film feels to one another, despite their obvious similarities. Though both feature unpredictable “trust no one” plotlines, the post-Civil War Western is a play on the collective unrest and racial hostility of America at the time, while 1982’s “The Thing” is more a straight horror thriller, with an alien invasion. whodunnit in the center. worth it for the ghastly practical effects alone, this claustrophobic blood-spattered combination is the perfect solution to a frosty day.
4. a clockwork orange (1971) / one flew over the cuckoo’s nest (1975)
These 1970s classics could easily pass for brothers; not exactly in tone or plot, but surely in spirit. each derived from successful novels in their own right, these provocative companion pieces offered some daring social criticism for their time, and still resonate with audiences today. Dealing with similar themes of conformity and authoritarian repression, both films pit reckless and carefree individualistic protagonists against the soulless machinery of society, and watch the dangerous repercussions. With Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” set in dystopian futuristic England and Miloš Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” set in a mental institution, the pair use very different settings to tell their stories, but essentially convey the same ones. concerns. Kubrick’s audacious and “ultra-violent” character study of Alex DeLarge’s (Malcolm McDowell) is an unforgettably unsettling journey that’s never entirely easy to digest, but certainly raises some interesting moral dilemmas.
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The same can be said for Jack Nicholson’s Oscar-winning turn as R.P. mcmurphy in the cuckoo’s nest Sure, they’re both cancerous to themselves and others, but should the government be allowed to force them into involuntary (often cruel) treatment? is a fascinating question that each movie presents in its own way, and raises even more, is it better to silence these sick individuals or leave them alone to run amok? shocking, disgusting, but definitely not without their own unbridled beauty, there’s a reason these films have endured for so long. two standout lead performances, brought together at one end by magnificent Kubrickian imagery, and the symbolic villain of all ages at the other, to call these sights essential would be a gross understatement.
3. boyz n the hood (1991) / la haine (1995)
From different parts of the world, these offbeat ’90s teen dramas would use their passionate voices to speak out about unrepresented issues in their respective communities and become timeless classics in the process. Shedding much-needed light on the issues surrounding South Central Los Angeles, John Singleton’s “Boyz n the Hood” follows three young black men and the hardships inflicted by their poverty-stricken environment. Singleton would go on to become the youngest filmmaker (and the first African-American) to be nominated for best director at the Academy Awards, and his youthful urgency in telling his story is exactly what holds the film together. With the help of the fantastic casting of Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne and Ice Cube, the coming-of-age study helped open the door for many others to voice their social grievances, including Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine.” p>
Created in response to frequent instances of police brutality on the outskirts of Paris, Kassovitz set out to make a film that would show the neglected class and racial divide plaguing France. Similarly, with three friends as collective protagonists (Vincent Cassel, Saïd Taghmaoui, Hubert Koundé), the black-and-white image unfolds like a ticking time bomb of mounting tension. While “boyz n the hood” is a self-conscious dissection of the obstacles that surround marginalized youth, “la haine” immerses the audience in an ordinary day of its protagonists, as they deal with the consequences of a police riot in the previous night. Seamlessly channeling the unbridled rage of their subjects, each armed with their own explosive endings, these extraordinary films sadly only become more relevant over time, making them all the more important.
2. american psycho (2000) / nightcrawler (2014)
Sick, cruel, and completely deranged, these grim social satires were definitely not made for the faint of heart, but they sure are two of a kind. Holding up twisted mirrors for ruthless capitalism and the ruthless sociopaths it converts its participants, the pair take turns poking fun at the cold nature of separate economic climates, to equally poignant effect. In “American Psycho,” Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is a cynical hyperbole of 1980s yuppie culture, as a callous businessman who spends his time away from Wall Street killing and terrorizing whomever he pleases. “Nightcrawler” modernizes this idea in the form of Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a diligent entrepreneur who will stop at nothing to climb the ladder of a shady news corporation.
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Bringing new meaning to “if it bleeds, it leads” journalism, Bloom finds himself drawn deeper into the gritty world of investigative journalism; becoming, in a sense, the physical embodiment of the invasive and horribly inhuman tendencies of the media. The two films share repulsive, can’t-tear-away storylines, delightfully somber senses of humor, and remarkable supporting performances, from Willem Dafoe and Riz Ahmed, respectively. However, what they have most in common are two of the most impressive, if underrated, performances of the 21st century. In fact, neither Bale nor Gyllenhaal would receive an Oscar nomination for their immaculate efforts, leading to some truly puzzling snubs. As smart, captivating, and utterly insane as its lead characters, this haunting duo is a spooky good time that demands multiple viewings.
1. black swan (2010) / whiplash (2014)
Ballet and jazz music have never seemed so terrifying. It’s crazy to think that two of the world’s most chilling art forms were used to produce a couple of the most unrelentingly biting dramas of the 2010s. Quite frankly, just a testament to some incredible cinematography and a handful of standout performances. Natalie Portman stars in “Black Swan,” the story of a meek ballet dancer desperate to win the role of the Black Swan in an upcoming production, while haunted by increasingly horrific delusions. Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” takes this idea of self-determination and the search for perfection even further, with a seemingly basic plot. The film pits a mild-mannered drummer (Milemeter) against his abusive bandleader (J.K. Simmons) and chronicles the ups and downs of the boy’s path to excellence.
where darren aronofsky’s “black swan” is cast as a baffling psychological horror film with supernatural implications, chazelle’s “whiplash” focuses on the painful realities of isolation and rejection that come with pursuing one’s dreams ; with a side debate of how much pressure is too far. Each film features stunning (stunning) music and impressive acting: Natalie Portman and J.K. Simmons has the hardware to prove it, but that’s not what makes them so special. his restless intensity in his descriptions of the price of success makes it worth the cost of admission, alone. This tantalizing double feature may be far from relaxing, but it’s certainly rewarding.
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