Rest of the Best: Top 10 Movies Set in Houston
4. In a Madman's World: Unfortunately you're going to have to trust me on this one since it isn't out yet, but even in the piecemeal version I saw in director Josh Vargas' living room was a brutally brilliant look at Houston during the reign of our most notorious monster, Dean Corll. There are films that lay bare the heart of the city they're set in, and Madman is definitely one of them. Now if they could just release the damned thing.
3. Urban Cowboy: It's possible that no other film is nationally associated with Houston more than Urban Cowboy, and that's not such a bad thing even though we do have more here than mechanical bulls and beer. It's really a silly film, all things told, but I've lived in Houston too long to deny that the same stereotypes that made it so popular to mainstream audiences actually do exist in fair numbers here. It surprisingly holds the test of time well, and it was fun for many years having people from out of town ask to go to Gilley's.
2. Rollerball: Speaking of the best of the '70s, Rollerball is Houston's Robocop... except that much of Robocop was filmed in Dallas and Robocop 2 filmed here despite both taking place in Detroit. Actually, Rollerball was filmed in Munich, so maybe I shouldn't throw stones. The point is, Rollerball took the energy industry in Houston and made it Roman-esque emperors of the future. If you ask me when I'm not exactly sober, Gladiator is just a remake of Rollerball without roller-skates or motorcycles (And therefore far inferior). Plus, James Caan, Hero of Houston just sounds badass.
1. Brewster McCloud: If you have never seen Robert Altman's Brewster McClould then shame on you because it's insane and beautiful. Shot in our very own Astrodome, Bud Cort plays a strange man who dreams of human flight while the city is under siege from a mysterious bird-themed serial killer. Altman's film is a wicked mishmash of religious imagery and heartbreaking humanism that seriously needs to be seen to be believed. I assert with absolute sincerity that if any one film should be held up as representative of the diverse and sometime scattered psyche of H-Town, it's this one.