Best Rance Howard Movies You've Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at some of the best movies starring Rance Howard that you’ve probably never seen.)

Rance Howard passed away over the weekend at the age of eighty nine years old. In addition to friends and family – including sons Ron and Clint – he leaves behind a filmography consisting of hundreds of feature films and television roles. Quick, name your favorite film of his. Most of us probably can’t think of one because he almost never played major characters and instead lived in a world of supporting turns and cameos. It’s doubtful that moviegoers sought out his work, but it’s a guarantee that audiences have seen him many times over. He’s there in films as diverse as Nebraska, The Lone Ranger, Joe Dirt, and the Psycho remake, and he was also a steady fixture in Ron’s films from Grand Theft Auto to The Dilemma.

While those are all widely known titles, the vast majority of his appearances were in far smaller productions. Many are forgettable – he pops up in a lot of low budget horror movies for some reason – but there are gems amid his lower profile titles well worth seeking out. His roles are sometimes blink and you’ll miss them fast, but he’s there all the same.

Keep reading for a look at the best Rance Howard movies you probably haven’t seen.

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Olympus Has Fallen vs. White House Down

(Welcome to Seeing Double, a series where two strangely similar films released around the same time are put head-to-head. This time: we get political with two movies about terrorist attacks on the most famous house in America!)

These are trying times for the United States, and depending on your own political awareness you either see that the country is slowly bleeding to death beneath the ignorant and greedy whims of those in power, or you’re wrong. It’s not a pretty picture regardless of which way you look at it, and as is often the case, many of us turn to the movies for a more simplistic and distilled take on the real world’s woes – in this case, that of evil forces attacking America.

With that in mind, we’re revisiting a pair of movies that opened in theaters only three months apart back in 2013 with very similar plot lines. Terrorist forces attack and take over the White House itself in Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, and cinema would never be the same again.

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The Best Train Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

murder on orient express

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at some of the best train movies you’ve probably never seen.)

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is back on the big screen again, and while Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation has received something of a mixed response, it’s a reminder that some of us just love a good train-set movie. From Buster Keaton’s The General to Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, there’s something fairly unique about films that take part at least partly on a train. It’s a contained location, but it’s moving across an ever-changing landscape. Sure, cars and planes do the same, but there’s less opportunity for moving around aboard those vehicles. Trains have different cars, private rooms, luggage departments, and best of all, rooftops on which characters can run, fight, and fall while traveling at high speeds.

There are a lot of train-set movies, from comedies (Silver Streak) to slashers (Terror Train) to nightmarish holiday journeys through the uncanny valley (The Polar Express), but for every one you know there’s a few you probably haven’t seen yet. Some are forgettable, but others, like the ones below, don’t get talked about nearly enough and are well worth seeking out for a good time at the movies.

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The Best American Remakes You’ve Probably Never Seen

Sorcerer

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at some of the best American remakes you’ve probably never seen.)

Remakes are typically derided from the moment they’re announced, and I’d be lying if I suggested the response wasn’t well-earned by decades of lazy reboots churned out of the Hollywood machine. The odds of a remake being fairly worthless seems to double when the original is a foreign film for some reason, but that hasn’t stopped several American films from managing the unexpected and actually matching the original. From The Ring to Let Me In, from Scent of a Woman to The Birdcage, from Sorcerer to Twelve Monkeys, there are good to great remakes out there.

Of course, I just named most of the great ones right there. Lucky for you, as is my goal with this column, I’m here to point to a handful of great American remakes that, for various reasons, aren’t nearly as well known as the likes of The Departed or True Lies. As a point of clarity, I’m calling these remakes as each of them hit the screen in previous foreign-language films, but some of them are also based on initial source novels. Details shmetails. Onward!

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Pinheads and Candymen: All Clive Barker Movies Ranked

hellraiser

Last week was the 25th anniversary of Candyman, and one horrendous physical effect aside, it still holds up beautifully today. Key among of strengths is a trait shared through almost all of the fiction written by horror author Clive Barker and the films that bring his work to the screen – a wicked, dark, and endless imagination.

From the earliest of his features in 1985 to the latest in 2009, they’ve run the gamut from instantly forgettable to instant classic, and while the stories are varied, that common thread between them remains. He creates worlds both gorgeous and grotesque, sometimes on the same page or frame. Ideally, he’ll soon see an adaptation resurgence similar to the one Stephen King is currently enjoying.

Until then, though, there are nine legitimate Clive Barker movies that are based on his work or feature his direct involvement, not counting sequels, shorts, and outliers. (Quicksilver Highway is an anthology only partially based on his work, The Plague sees him attached only as a producer, and Saint Sinner borrows the name from one of his comics but uses nothing from the plot.) So while we daydream a Hulu series based on The Great and Secret Show, a Guillermo del Toro adaptation of the brilliant “In the Hills, the Cities,” or Barker’s overdue return to the director’s chair with a face-off between Pinhead and Harry D’Amour in The Scarlet Gospels, these are the movies we’re left with… So why not rank them?

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geostorm

As you undoubtedly already know by now (because you have been counting down the days!), today is the day Gerard Butler’s Geostorm finally hits theaters. The blockbuster-to-be is about weather satellites – not ones to measure weather, but ones that control it – that are turned against us and used to create massive storms that wreak havoc on humanity until Butler decides it’s time to start fighting back. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for the guaranteed goofy joy that is Geostorm, and in celebration of its much-anticipated arrival we’ve decided to take a look at other movies where the weather is not only dangerous…but also ridiculous.

To be clear, this isn’t a ranking of weather-related disaster movies. (If it was, though, at least we’d all agree The Impossible would nab the top spot.) Instead, it’s a look at some of the more memorable ways in which weather has tried to kill us on the big screen – and usually succeeded.

Keep reading for a look at some of the craziest ways weather has tried to kill people in the movies.

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The Best End of the World Movies You've Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at some of the best movies you’ve probably never seen about the end of the world as we know it.)

Geostorm hits theaters this week, and if you’re not even a little bit excited then I have to assume you’re dead inside. Gerard Butler shoots storm fronts in the head and kicks tornadoes in the crotch… what’s not to love?! The film promises some of that good old fashioned Roland Emmerich-esque nuttiness, blending massive amounts of CG destruction, an ensemble cast of somewhat recognizable faces, and some poor shmuck’s sacrifice in an effort to save what’s left of humanity. (My money’s on Butler as the shmuck.)

Of course, not all end of the world movies are traditional disaster films. Some destroy cities like Emmerich’s 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow. Some focus on a handful of people fueled by rumor but reacting as if it were fact (Miracle Mile). Some unleash a viral plague that wipes out most of mankind (28 Days Later). And some feature massive demon with giant… Err, some are This Is the End. The common thread between them, whether they feature massive amounts of destruction or not, is the suggestion or reality that humanity is on the way out or at least in store for a world-changing shake up.

Keep reading for a look at six terrific movies you probably haven’t seen about the end of the world as we know it.

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a ghost story

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: how a powerful 2017 film helped one writer grapple with tragedy. This post contains spoilers for A Ghost Story.)

People watch movies for all kinds of reasons. For entertainment, for work, just to kill some time. Sometimes, though, the magic of a great movie can work as comfort for pains big and small, like a cinematic salve for what ails you. Whether you’re fighting the flu or missing a loved one, the right movie can do wonders. A funny comedy, a mindless action movie, an all-time favorite – my personal go-to films in these situations run the gamut from Broadcast News to Slugs, and they never fail to get my mind and spirit back on track.

Well, almost never. I’m a generally chipper guy (with a side of cynicism and a dash of indifference), but while the world at large seems more and more intent on beating us down these days, I can typically push forward and weather the storm unscathed. An exception was born over the past few years, though, and it’s only becoming more common. News of particularly horrific mass shootings just devastates me. A Parisian concert hall, an Orlando night club, a Lafayette movie theater – I grow simultaneously furious, numb, and helpless in my grief for lives cut down in moments of joy, and attempts to distract my thoughts with “entertainment” fail miserably.

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DeepStar Six vs. Leviathan

(Welcome to Seeing Double, a series where two strangely similar films released around the same time are put head-to-head. This time: we flash back to 1989, when undersea creatures attacked in both DeepStar Six and Leviathan!)

This month’s face-off comes with a creature feature theme in honor of Halloween and we’re pitting two underwater monster movies against each other. DeepStar Six and Leviathan came out two months apart back in early 1989, and while neither rocked pop culture, both have their die-hard fans to this day. And a quick note: James Cameron’s The Abyss is often lumped together with these two as it also came out in ’89 and features underwater riggers encountering an unknown life form, but it doesn’t really belong in this particular conversation. For one thing, the characters aren’t being attacked by a monster, and for another, it would obviously trounce every category.

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the money pit

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition we take a look at some of the best movies you’ve probably never seen about people trying and sometimes struggling to make a new home.)

As anyone who’s done it before knows, the prospect of moving to a new home can be a daunting one. From the investment of time and money to the physical reality of finding yourself in unfamiliar surroundings, trading the comfort of the known for the potentially harrowing unknown is ultimately a crap shoot. You’ll most likely end up happy and relieved at having made the change, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out like you planned.

/Film’s own Jacob Hall is in the middle of moving to a new house as I write this, and while it’s been a bumpy process, it has also been free of extreme home improvement snafus and vengeful ghosts upset with their new guests. Not everyone’s as lucky, though, and the movies are filled with examples of people finding their dream home turn into a nightmare. Things fall apart in The Money Pit and Funny Farm, things go bump in the night in hundreds of haunted house movies, things literally go to hell in Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond… you just never know what you’ll find in a new home until you’ve spent a few nights under its roof.

Keep reading for a look at some of the best movies you’ve probably never seen about the highs and lows (mostly lows) of trying to make a new home. There’s not a single ghost story among them!

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