"Audrey Rose" (1977)

Spoiler alert: Hinduism.

For some reason, so many elements of this movie remind me of “The Exorcist,” and I don’t think that’s accidental, but this isn’t even remotely a horror film of any kind, and it’s certainly not one of the four billion “possessed child” movies which followed in the wake of Linda Blair.

Honestly, the only freaky things about this movie are the vaguely animatronic facial expressions of the title character.

"The Town That Dreaded Sundown" (1976)

A bizarrely entertaining cross between Last House on the Left exploitation-style horror and the slapstick police ineptitude of The Dukes of Hazzard.

And now that I’ve seen it two days prior to the release of the remake (thanks to Netflix pushing it in my face the past two days), I can officially brag that “oh, I’ve seen the original of that already.”

"The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988)

During my inexplicable decade-long tenure as a born again Christian, I attended and graduated (twice) from fundamentalist stalwart Bob Jones University. In my first semester, during a class called “The Gospels,” we were told by the instructor that there was a movie out there called The Last Temptation of Christ, and no matter what anyone told us about this movie, and no matter what we heard about it, the movie WAS blasphemous, and we should never let anyone tell us differently, and since we had it on his word that the movie was blasphemous, we don’t need to watch it ourselves. Because why think when we can get someone else to do that for us, eh? (Never mind the fact that it was against the rules to watch movies rated PG or above while enrolled as students at BJU. And this one was rated R!)

Around that same time, I started working part-time as a temp at a bank. One day at work I overheard two women talking about The Last Temptation of Christ, so I put on my big boy pants, walked in on the conversation, and waxed eloquent about what a despicable, blasphemous movie it was (I was actually polite about it, but still, I was being a dick). Specifically, I cited the fact (passed on to me by the instructor at BJU) that the movie depicts Jesus as having sex with and marrying Mary Magdalene.

One of the two women, more than a little annoyed, asked me if I had ever SEEN the movie for myself. I sheepishly replied that no, I had not seen it for myself, but that I didn’t have to because a very educated and trustworthy man gave me the lowdown on it. She told me that, for one thing, I should watch the fucking thing for myself before I cast judgment on it and, for another thing, the whole thing with Jesus having sex with Mary M and getting married and having kids (sidenote: would it really have been so fucking bad if Jesus HAD been married and had kids?) was actually a dream/fantasy/temptation sequence in the movie designed by Satan to tempt Christ to come down from the cross, and in the end Jesus rejects that alternate life for himself and goes back to the cross and dies as he was supposed to. In other words, he overcomes the titular “last temptation.” I got fucking pwned.

So now, 13 years later, watching this movie as a non-Christian, I don’t give a fuck whether it’s blasphemous to Christians or not, and because of that I can enjoy it for what it is: a unique, beautifully shot work of art, with some genuinely heart-wrenching lines delivered with real conviction and pain by Willem Dafoe’s Jesus (yeah, he’s an odd looking cat, but he’s excellent in this film).

I’m a liar. A hypocrite. I’m afraid of everything. I don’t tell the truth. I don’t have the courage. When I see a woman, I blush and look away. I want her, but I don’t take her, for God, and that makes me proud. Then my pride ruins Magdalene. I don’t steal, I don’t fight…I don’t kill. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m afraid. I want to rebel against you, against everything…against God, but…I’m afraid. You want to know who my mother and father are? You want to know who my God is? Fear. You look inside me and that’s all you’ll find.

"Antichrist" (2009)

Not an amazing film, but also not as bad as some people say either. A lot of it is really beautiful, some of it is really stupid (which should be easy to spot in the above gifs), and there’s Willem Dafoe’s dick and a female self-circumcision.