Fall is coming, which means Halloween stuff is invading the stores, but it's still summer for a few more weeks. That means it's time for you to watch The 'Burbs. It's the perfect, highly underrated spooky summer classic! The Burbs isn't a great movie, but god, it's good. A paranoid Vietnam vet, an obnoxious putz, some mysterious Europeans, and a skinny, manic Tom Hanks deliver so many zingers, you can watch the movie a thousand times (as you should anyway) and find new laughs every time. Cheesy, yes, but so, so good.
The lovely stitcher Melissa McCullough, aka mintpoppiesandpolkadots, is a fellow 'Burbs lover, and when I saw the beginnings of her latest embroidery endeavor, I flipped my lid! She cross-stitched the whole evil-fighting crew in perfect detail! After my Cal Worthington project, I had cross-stitch pop culture on the brain, and I was stoked to see this pop up in my Instagram feed.
|Rumsfield: "Nice picture." Hans: "It came with the frame."|
I love The 'Burbs because it is hilarious, obviously, and it reminds me of being a kid. Back in the pre-Netflix days of the early 90's, when VHS was still king, families only owned movies that they really, really loved. My family owned The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Princess Bride, and Willy Wonka, all taped off of TV. My friend Natalie's family had the Hallmark Hall of Fame version of The Secret Garden, and The 'Burbs. I remember watching it at her house during a crazy winter storm that caused a tree to fall across the entrance to my little, Burbs-esque neighborhood, and I was staying with her fam until it opened up again. Watching recent movies at home was such a big deal!
I asked Melissa why she was so drawn to the movie; here's what she had to say:
Anyone who has lived in the suburbs can see there's an underlying truth in the story. That idea of "detatched," referring to the houses, also extends to Ray's relationship with his neighbors and Carol, his job and what can happen when adults let their imagination run away. It's one of those movies everyone can identify with, and because of that, it stands the test of time. Aside from that, it's probably one of Tom Hanks' best non-animated comedic performances to date.
|Spatula and hose weapon detail.|
|"There go the goddamn brownies!"|
Agreed! I love fun, middle-of-the-road, family comedies; just 'cause it ain't Truffaut doesn't mean that there isn't value to be had in great storytelling.
|"That kid next door's a meatball!"|
In conclusion, I will also posit that this was Corey Feldman's best performance since The Goonies. He is delightful. Keep your eyes open for his epic Vision Street Wear pants (if those come back into style, my brain will spontaneously combust). Follow Melissa on Instagram for more crafty surprises!
Does your family have a The 'Burbs? What is it and what makes it a favorite rewatch? (While I typed this question, I just came up with an excellent idea: a What About Bob? cross-stitch! It never ends.)