the apple

The Apple

Speaking of weird, this high camp electric boogaloo is a glittery assault on every sense. Its cult status is well-earned.

Set in the far off future of 1994, The Apple is a sci-fi rock opera morality play where totally normal characters dress like Guardians of the Galaxy villains. In it, Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Alphie (George Gilmour) lose an international singing contest, but are nonetheless asked to sign onto a nefarious record label. The burgeoning stardom shows them the dark side of fame, an exploitative industry, and the danger of silver eye shadow. It’s like Meatloaf was asked to direct a city-set rip-off of Rocky Horror with a cameo by God in a Rolls Royce, and I hope James Gunn falls asleep to it every night.

invaders from mars

Invaders From Mars

It’s super weird how Tobe Hooper’s ’80s remake didn’t earn full cult status. It always seems a few inches away from lists it should be on and conversations it should be in, which is a shame because it’s a genuinely scary movie that honors the ’50s original. Like that Red Scare classic, Hooper’s remake focuses on a young kid named David Gardner (Hunter Carson) who witnesses the flashing lights of an alien invasion in the sand quarry behind his house. Unfortunately for him, the aliens infest his town by brainwashing all the people (including his parents), leaving him increasingly exasperated and alone.

It’s other Guardians connection? It’s one of the first movies from Russell Bobbitt, who’s become Marvel’s go-to prop master since the days of Iron Man. He is now, of course, best pals with Baby Groot.

stalag 17

Stalag 17

This is, hands down, one of the best mission movies of all time. Co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, it’s got William Holden, Otto Preminger, Peter Graves and a slew of talented character actors trying to survive in a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp. Essentially, it’s the tense, feature-length version of the jail break from the first Guardians (complete with someone’s fake leg playing a prominent role). A shoddy, mismatched group of fighters tasked with exposing a traitor and trying to escape, they share witty quips, distrust each other, and shoulder the psychological burdens of total war.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 TV Spots

The Mix

One of the fantastic things about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is its mixture of genres and styles: sci-fi epic, Weird West, musical, Team on a Mission, superhero, revenge. It plucks notes from all of them to create a harmony that’s thrilling and fun. Yes, it will still be interesting to see how the team fits into the larger Marvel universe in Infinity War, but it’s still entertaining to see them stumble around in their own corner of space, particularly because of the storytelling traditions that Gunn and company draw upon and the opportunity that gives us to explore some of the stranger flavors of cinematic history.

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