Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!
This week our topic is …
TOP TEN FAVORITE FANTASY FILMS
I really thought this would be a fairly easy topic, for the simple reason that there just aren’t (to my knowledge anyway) loads and loads of great fantasy films out there. Sure, we will get one every decade, but they are few and far between. Once I started putting my list together, however, I had a lot more than ten and had to make some tough choices. Hope you enjoy the ten fantasy films which survived.
10. CLASH OF THE TITANS
This 1981 movie was one I recall going to the matinee every weekend at my local movie theater to watch over and over again. Yes, it was corny. Yes, the stop motion visual effects were bad at times. I know, it had Bubo in it, hamming everything up. But even with all that, I fell in love with the mythical, magical story of Perseus and am glad I spent all that time watching it instead of getting into worse trouble.
I wasn’t the best. It wasn’t the worst. What it did for me personally, however, was keep my love of fantasy films alive when I was beginning to wander off to more “grown-up” movies. Can’t say I love to re-watch this film these days, but I have upon occasion ran across it while channel surfing and enjoyed myself for a few minutes or an hour, happy to return to a far less stressful time in my life.
8. THE BEASTMASTER
My love of sword and sorcery tales is something I do not hide from anyone. Sure, they might be testosterone fantasies of the highest order, but they definitely can be pure sugar-coated fun if they are done right. Well, back in the early 1980s, this film hit the sweet spot for me with a S&S adventure driven by revenge. The Beastmaster causing me to dive deeper into my reading at the time. And, yes, I was reading Sword & Sorcery quite a lot.
7. THE 13th WARRIOR
I really pondered whether I should include this movie in a fantasy movie list, since the magical elements aren’t as extensive as others on here. Ultimately, though, I decided they were enough in my mind, especially since this 1999 film kept the spirit of fantasy films alive in my mind before an even better, more fantastical film soon was released just a few years later. Plus, this has Vikings in it. How could I not put, at least, one Viking movie on the list?
6. WIZARD OF OZ
Back in the dark ages of the 1970s (when I was a kid), I only got to see The Wizard of Oz once a year. It was a HUGE event around my house. My mom and I made sure we had no where to go and nothing to do, and we’d pop a big bowl of popcorn with hot butter on top, then we’d settle down to watch Dorothy and friends. I can’t say I adore Oz the way many people do, but I definitely cherish the memories of watching it with my family way back in the dark ages.
I know many people did not love these film adaptions of C.S. Lewis’ famous fantasy work, but I found them above average. Probably the fact I went to these films with all my sons were still small enough to be left in wide-eyed wonder at everything made the experience more memorable though.
I’ve expressed in other list how I named one of my sons after the main character in this film, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I would put it near the top of this list. Some might point to the ridiculous second movie and start saying this film is more scifi than fantasy, but since I like to forget film two was ever made, I have no problems putting it into the fantasy variety. Plus, I love the movie, so it gets a spot here.
This 1981 film was a tour de force of Arthurian legends back in the day. My memory of first watching it as a little kid (I went with my parents. They were movie lovers and made me close my eyes during the . . . sex scenes.) is how awed I was by the realism of this story taking shape before my eyes. I mean, there was Arthur, Merlin,Guenevere, Lancelot, and all the rest in front of me. I was so excited I almost choked on my popcorn. Just joking. I was a professional popcorn eater even then. But I did love the movie.
2. CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Arnold as Robert E. Howard’s most famous character was my absolute favorite fantasy film when I was a teenager. Just between us, I had a picture of Conan hanging on my bedroom wall for quite a few years. Yes, he was right next to my favorite bands and my favorite poster girls of the moment. But where the later two categories always changed, Conan stayed right where I put him for a long time. Arnold was still the ultimate Conan the Barbarian in my opinion. No one else will ever be able to top the guys performance, such as it was.
1. LORD OF THE RINGS
So many great things I could say about this amazing fantasy trilogy, but the one thing which stands out in my mind, the reason why I put these films in my top spot, is because they are the last movies I talked up to other people. I recall going out and nearly dragging many of my twenty-something friends, who had no interest in fantasy, to The Fellowship of the Rings. I would not take no for an answer to a movie invite. Not all of them became fans, but I actively made them sit through the film with me. And since I’ve never felt the need to do that with another fantasy film, I have to put this at the top of my list of favorites.