Matt’s Desert Island Films

desert island

Matt from Man vs Horror has kindly submitted his Desert Island Films. Read on for his choices and reasons, and be sure to check out his site.


Desert Island Films is about choosing 8 films you would take if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and explaining your choices. They don’t necessarily have to be your favourites, just 8 films, no more or no less! You are also permitted to take one book and one novelty item which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.


Matt’s Desert Island Films

The Thing1) The Thing
The Thing is by far one of the greatest horror/sci-fi/remakes of all time. This film has amazing elements that keeps the story intriguing, from the superb cast to the slow burn by John Carpenter to the fantastic practical special effects by Rob Bottin. Plus, you have Kurt Russell (my favorite actor) as the ultimate anti-hero in MacReady who kicks ass and asks questions later. No matter how many times I watch this movie I never get bored by it, something essential if I am going to be trapped on a desert island.

cabin in the woods2) Cabin in the Woods
This is the newest film to be added to my list and boy does this movie pack a hell of a punch. This movie is perfect to keep me company while trapped on a desert island. In the third act I can pause and view every magnificent detail, from character design to set design, that went into this glorious project by the superb combo of Goddard and Whedon. As a fan of horror, this film serves as a love letter to the genre and I would love to have this with me while trapped on that island.

Big Trouble in Little China3) Big Trouble in Little China
The Pork Chop Express. Jack Burton. The Three Storms. Must I go on? Kurt Russell’s role as Jack Burton (who is trying to be John Wayne) is worth the price of admission alone but once you add on all the other elements involved, you have a gem on your hands that is worth multiple viewings. As the best of the Kurt Russell “Holy Trilogy” this film would serve as the fun movie to watch to keep me distracted while on the island.

clerks4) Clerks
Clerks was the first independent film I saw at ten years old and it changed my whole perspective on film and the possibilities one can have in the medium of film. While it’s not the prettiest girl on this list, it more than makes up for it by its witty personality. The constant barrage of pop culture and Star Wars references will keep me laughing while the sharp, witty dialogue will keep my mind sane while on the island. Even though Kevin Smith isn’t the man he once was, I will always have Clerks to remind me why he was one of the best indie film directors of my youth.

trick r treat5) Trick R’ Treat
This was a tough one because it came down to this and Creepshow. I love anthology films and there’s nothing better than an anthology horror film. Plus, anthology films would make sense for required viewing while stuck on an island because instead of having one film to watch, you get a variety of four to six short movies. But I digress. In the end I had to go with Trick R’ Treat because it has much better stories that are told in a more unique way. Besides, I have to look at some hot women while stranded on that island. No offense to Adrienne Barbeau, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Anna Paquin and the rest of the female wolf pack who dress up in sexy Halloween costumes.

king of kong6) The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Besides horror, my other favorite genre is documentary and this is one of the greatest ones ever made. The premise sounds dumb, two guys trying to break the Donkey Kong record, but damn it this serves as an amazing underdog story that has you cheering for the underdog and cursing the day you ever saw Billy Mitchell. Fuck Billy Mitchell. Viewing this on multiple occasions on the island will definitely get me pumped up while I train to seek my revenge on Billy Mitchell. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, rent it, hell buy it, and you will see why I hate Billy Mitchell. Fuck Billy Mitchell.

pulp fiction7) Pulp Fiction
Like Clerks, this film changed my whole perspective on films. Quentin Tarantino’s biggest hit still holds up to this day and serves as a modern classic in filmmaking and screenwriting. The witty, funny dialogue, great characters, and unique non-linear storyline would keep me entertained while I sit stranded in the middle of nowhere. Plus, if I rewind this movie enough times, I should be able to recite Samuel Jackson’s prayer verbatim right before I hunt down and capture a fish to eat.

pans labyrinth8) Pan’s Labyrinth
I love me some foreign films and this was one of the best foreign films I’ve ever seen. The story is still entertaining to this day and the creature effects are some of the best I’ve ever seen, especially the Pale Man. I don’t speak a lot of Spanish so watching this over and over again should be able to teach me key words like hola, bueno, or the ever important biblioteca.

The Dark Knight Returns – As a comic book fan, my book would naturally be one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. This graphic novel never gets old and I still pick it up occasionally to read a few parts and then get stuck reading the whole damn thing all over again. (I’m not kidding, this literally happened to me two days ago. I picked it up to read the few pages that has Ronald Reagan in it and I got sucked back in and read the whole thing in 90 minutes.) You need something like this that will constantly keep you entertained to keep yourself busy while trapped on this island. Every chapter in this book is perfect, from Batman’s final confrontation with his nemesis, the Joker, to the epic showdown with Superman, this book hits on all cylinders. Plus, this will motivate me while I train and prepare myself for my final confrontation with Billy Mitchell.

spaldingLuxury Item
My luxury item was hard because everything I would want is electronic and wouldn’t work over there. I decided to go with a basketball, seeing as that is my favorite sport. I could play with the ball, practice and get better in the game, or I could just go bat shit crazy and draw a red face on it and he can be my new best friend, Spalding. SPALDING!!!!!!!!!


Thanks again to Matt for taking the time to join the prestigious Head In A Vice ”castaway” list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to this list, please drop me an email to –


Leave a comment


  1. Thanks again Matt, great list dude! Going to do a ‘results page’ soon with a tally of everyone’s choices, Pulp Fiction must be high up as most people so far have picked it (I think!). Trick R Treat is something I liked but didn’t love, I really need to see that again as I feel 1 viewing isn’t enough for a film like that.


  2. theipc

     /  August 9, 2012

    GREAT list, Matt! I know we all love Big Trouble and it’s nice to know someone else would take it with them to be marooned on an island.


  3. atothewr

     /  August 9, 2012

    Nice list – good to see old Jack Burton and The Pork Chop Express on there. Two Kurt Russell movies as well, awesome. Kurt is the man.


  4. Nice list 😀


  5. Hahahaa, this list was hilarious! Well, not so much the movies but descriptions about how they’ll help on this island. “Trick’r’Treat” is a great one to have and “Pan’s Labyrinth” is one of my all time favorites.


  6. The King of Kong is a great choice. I like documentaries anyway, but this one emotionally involved me more than most, and by that I mean I really hate Billy Mitchell! I considered Clerks for my list as well.


  7. “I don’t speak a lot of Spanish so watching this over and over again should be able to teach me key words like hola, bueno, or the ever important biblioteca.” LOL.

    Great list!


  8. Reblogged this on Man vs Horror and commented:
    Here is my contribution to Tyson Carter’s brilliant feature, “Desert Island Films,” over at his site Head in a Vice. Check his site out for some great reviews.


  9. Like your writing style. And yes, Billy Mitchell is definitely a dartboard character.



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