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Baker's Dozen

A Cinema Baker's Dozen: Phantasm Director Don Coscarelli's Favourite Films
Mat Colegate , February 14th, 2014 05:58

Mat Colegate asks the director of Phantasm, Bubba Ho Tep and the recently released John Dies At The End to pick a Baker's Dozen of his favourite films

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Starship Troopers – (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)
"Verhoeven's first movie that I saw in the states was Turkish Delight. That was a very strange, earthy movie. I loved all of his dutch movies, and then he came to America and I think that Starship Troopers was the pinnacle. I love its sly commentary on warfare. I got a chance to go to a retrospective screening of it at the American Cinemateque during the run up to war in Iraq, where every day it felt like we were just watching scenes straight out of Starship Troopers! That's how forward thinking that movie was. Verhoeven was in attendance at the screening and spoke afterwards and it was very satisfying to watch him onstage taking credit for foretelling the Iraq war! Great special effects. I'd say that it's one of the great war movies. If I can be so bold, I think Spielberg watched it before he did Saving Private Ryan. Y'know the invasion of Klendathu, where they all come ashore on those landing crafts? There are some interesting similarities there."

I suppose the other similarity between Starship Troopers and your work would be the use of gore.

"I like gore when it has a point. Sometimes movies are just pointlessly brutal and I don't enjoy them. Texas Chainsaw... has its brutal moments and then it goes into absurdity when you meet the family. That made it relevant, I think. Far be it from me to criticise other directors because I know how hard it is to make movies, but I don't like it when they're just brutal for brutal's sake. It's not my cup of tea."


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