Don't be intimidated by the critical acclaim

Three weeks of the Minneapolis International Film Festival start on Thursday, and while many of the 300 films being screened can be described as "intelligent" and "refined" and "films", none of that should scare you off -- some are actually going to be great. To make you feel as comfortable as possible, the below guide compares some of the Fest's best with movies from an era that defined awesomely lowbrow: the '80s

If you loved Evil Dead, try Juan of the DeadA "charming horror-comedy", Juan follows the cult franchise's lead in making the undead act all hilarious. It trails a zombie-hunter-for-hire, while simultaneously poking fun at Fidel Castro, and Cuban socio-political issues. April 27th & 28th, 10p

If A Nightmare on Elm Street kept you giddily sleepless during the summer of '84, watch V/H/SThugs break into a house to steal a mysterious VHS, which turns out to be even more terrifying than the one you found in your dad's closet. This one's so scary, audiences at Sundance "literally fled the theater in terror". April 13th, 10p

If you thought Police Academy was finely acted, see what one of those dudes is doing now in God Bless AmericaNo, it's not Steve Guttenberg -- he's too busy starring as "businessman" in the movie Jackson. It's Bobcat Goldthwait, who actually directed this pitch black comedy about a guy who decides society's plagued and needs to be shot-up, starting with reality TV stars. Bobcat'll even be at the screenings. April 18th, 715p; April 20th, 10p

If you refused to watch NeverEnding Story because time is short and that Rubik's Cube wasn't going to solve itself, try a short like '92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie CardTwo adversarial brothers fight over a collector's card after their father dies. The winner? You. Oh, wait, no, it's Jim, as played by James Pumphrey. Made-up spoiler alert! April 26th, 7p

If you were actually sort of serious in the '80s and loved Platoon, check out Memorial Day.MN-made, it crams plenty of battle scenes into parallel stories of a grandson and grandfather at war, and stars someone not named Charlie Sheen, so again, don't be scared off. April 21st, 7p