Underrated: Joe Dante’s “The ‘Burbs”

burbs“I want to kill everyone. Satan is good. Satan is our pal.”

Like so many others, I first saw The ‘Burbs, Joe Dante’s brilliant comedic ode to suburban rut and paranoia on cable when I was a kid. To say the movie has stuck to me like some lost, drunken night’s tattoo is to understate its impact. It’s a film I have gone back to time and time again over the last 25 years, be it via a worn and fuzzy VHS copy recorded off of HBO when I was in grade school, or the DVD copy I scored years later. I never grow tired of it. The story, the scenes, the dialog are so engrained within my psyche, that quoting lines from the thing has become a kind of litmus test as to whether or not we can be friends (see also The Monster Squad).

Thank God for VOD! – Grand Piano

Though I have admittedly always been much more of a music guy, I have been a devoted fan and lover of movies and film since childhood. Sparked and nurtured by weekly trips to the local video rental store and then cemented with my first big screen experience (that I remember at least), a screening of Return of the Jedi when I was 4 years old, I have been an avid moviegoer for the last 30 years. I love them. Dramas, comedies, sci-fi flicks, action movies, blockbusters, B-movies, and horror, especially horror, I watched as much as I could fit into my brain. At one point, I even aspired to be a filmmaker myself and went to film school. There’s just something about the darkened, hushed theater, the smell of popcorn wafting through the room, the clicking flicker sound of the reel as it begins to move. It’s special. It’s an event. It’s one of my favorite things to do. My wife and I used to go to the movies at least a couple of times a month.

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