Tom Hanks is two time Oscar winning actor who has been nominated five times. He won for “Forrest Gump” and “Philadelphia” and was nom’d for “Cast Away,” “Big” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Some will even say he was robbed of a six nomination this year for “Captain Phillips,” that last scene alone being rather Oscar-worthy on its own. But imagine that there’s a generation out there that might not realize how far he’s come and remember that way back when, he was a pretty silly (but still awesome) comedian. The TV show “Bosom Buddies” lead to great comedy roles in “Splash,” the severely underrated “The Money Pit,” “Volunteers” and “Bachelor Party.” In fact, it was hard to throw a rock five feet in the 1980s and not hit a comedy that Hanks was involved in. In 1988, “Big” was the first serio-comic role that earned him respect and his first Oscar nomination, but a year later one of his best and now beloved comedies arrived in the form of Joe Dante’s cult comedy “The ‘Burbs.
About an overstressed suburbanite (Hanks) and the motley crew cadre of kooky neighbors that try and prove their paranoid theory that the new family in town is a front for a cannibalistic cult, “The ‘Burbs” was met with a mixed critical reception at the time, but did fairly well at the box-office, coming in at #1 on its opening week, but wasn’t a massive hit (it wasn’t even in the top 30 of the highest grossing films of 1989). Co-starring Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, the terrific Canadian comedian Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman and the late Henry Gibson, it took the movie a few years to earn its cult status, but it’s safe to say that perhaps not as adored as Dante’s “Gremlins” or “Explorers” the picture is quite beloved (and is still rather hilarious). It’s damn good comedy, but also quite the trenchant critique of the suburbs and all its conformist trappings.
Today, “The ‘Burbs” turns 25 and so to celebrate this amusing little gem, we thought we’d just share a few things kicking around on YouTube. Advanced level fans will probably appreciate the alternative ending if they haven’t already seen it and auds of all stripes should hopefully appreciate the original trailer and a few clips we love (don’t forget, the great Jerry Goldsmith wrote the score). Additionally, a few different interviews with Dante below and a “Trailers From Hell” segment with indie horror filmmaker Ti West discussing his love for the film. If you haven’t seen the movie, this President’s Day holiday today feels like the perfect excuse. Last bit of trivia: in a nod to its satirizing-of-the-suburbs roots, the neighbors in the film live on the street, “Mayfield Place.” Mayfield was the town where the Cleavers lived in “Leave It to Beaver” and the movie was filmed on the same lot. Remember, “Satan is good. Satan is our pal.”