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Today in Movie History: August 21

The top spot today belongs to An American Werewolf in London: John Landis’s groundbreaking horror-comedy that deftly redefined the genre. Aided by Rick Baker’s Oscar-winning make-up effects (and a transformation scene that may never be topped), it routinely dukes it out with the immortal The Wolfman for the greatest werewolf movie ever made. It opened today in 1981, and please people: whatever you …

Kill Bill

Today in Movie History: April 16

We’re starting with the suddenly very problematic Kill Bill, Vol. 2 today. It remains one of the better efforts in Quentin Tarantino’s unique canon, and provided a career topping turn for Uma Thurman (as well as her amazing then-stunt double Zoe Bell, among others). But Thurman’s recent revelations regarding the director’s cavalier attitude towards her safety have given it a …

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Today in Movie History: April 6

In all honesty, we prefer John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, to the original Thing from Another World. It sticks more closely to the short story that inspired them both and finds an existential terror that the first film can’t match. (Seriously: best horror movie of all time.) That said, the original — directed by Christian Nyby with a clear assist (at the …

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Today in Movie History: October 10

David Lynch understands outsiders as few other filmmakers, and nowhere did he place us more heartbreakingly in their shoes than with The Elephant Man. John Hurt earned an Oscar nomination for his turn as John Merrick, the disfigured circus performer who escaped his brutal lot to find a life of dignity and acceptance in Victorian England. It opened today in 1980, and …

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Today in Movie History: October 14

The word “game changer” gets thrown around a lot with flavor-of-the-month movies that tend to fade with time. But the phrase has rarely applied more aptly than it has to Pulp Fiction, which cemented the rise of indie cinema in the 1990s, altered the face of crime drama forever, and permanently put Quentin Tarantino on the map. It’s perfection incarnate, and …