Desperate to compete with the Internet, Blu-ray discs, DVDs, cable TV and other distractions of modern life, the motion picture industry has once again gone back to the 3-D well in an attempt to give moviegoers an experience they couldn't possibly replicate at home. With films ranging from U2 3D to the recent My Bloody Valentine remake getting in on the action, the scheme has paid off surprisingly well--finally giving the genre some well-deserved respect. This is largely because today's 3-D flicks are more about utilizing state-of-art-technology than imploring the schlocky in-your-face gags of yesteryear. The 3-D movies of the 1950s to the early-1990s may lack the innovation of Coraline, but they possess the magic that can only come from studios wanting to make a quick buck by cashing in on the latest fad. In celebration of these often cheesy classics, throw on a pair of red-and-blue glasses and check out this look at the eight greatest old school 3-D flicks.
8) The Charge at Feather River
Featuring the most arrows ever shot towards the camera in any 3-D film, The Charge at Feather River is an enjoyable Western that thrilled audiences in 1953. It holds a revered place in geek history as well. Star Wars sound guru Ben Burtt was so taken with the scream made by the Pvt. Wilhelm character and two others in the flick that he decided to cannibalize it for countless Lucasfilm productions. (The sound effect itself was borrowed by the Charge at Feather River filmmakers from 1951's Distant Drums). To see Wilhelm himself fall off his horse in three dimensions is a rite of passage every true Lucas fan should endure, cementing it's place on this list and in the hearts of nerds everywhere.
7) Robot Monster
Living proof that even the most terrible of films can become somewhat enjoyable when rendered in the 3-D process, Robot Monster has been the subject of much ridicule over the years (especially from the Satellite of Love crew in a memorable episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000). Once you can overlook the not-special effects, non-existent budget and complete lack of coherent plot, you'll find a little film worthy of your love and mockery. Think of it as the cinematic equivalent of a little brother--albeit one dressed up in a terrible space ape costume with a space helmet on.
Set in the post-apocalyptic future, this sci-fi horror effort from Charles Band (of Trancers and Dollman fame) features a scientist attempting to destroy murderous parasites he created for government use. The only trouble is that he has one of the organisms living in his tummy and the other existing creature has been stolen by some local rubes. As the above trailer illustrates, plenty of low-budget monster effects--the creation of which were overseen by Stan Winston--ensue. Largely forgotten, the film is most noteworthy for being Demi Moore's second film. If you ever meet her, ask her about it and watch how pissed she'll get at you. Trivia--when this was made in 1982, her future love Ashton Kutcher was a whopping four years old. Ewww.
5) Friday the 13th: Part 3: 3-D
The 3-D third installment trend of the 1980s--which also featured Jaws 3-D and Amityville 3-D -- began with this film, the first to feature Jason in his trademark mask. Ignore claims by Friday the 13th aficionados that The Final Chapter is the best of the sequels. That one may have Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman, but at not point does it feature JASON LUNGING OFF THE SCREEN AND INTO YOUR LAP! This is awesomeness for which mere words cannot do justice. Friday the 13th: Part 3: 3-D was recently released on a DVD in a deluxe edition that purportedly recreates the original theatrical experience, but all it will really do is give you a headache and make you throw the damn thing across the room when the 3-D effects don't work right.