Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Friday the 13th: The Orphan (1979)

aka The Orphan

How bad is it? It's slow and uneventful, but not terrible.
Should you see it? Yes, because it's interesting.

Filmed before the slasher series it shares a title with, this gets poor reviews by those hoping for a gorefest (there's two murders, neither gory). It was filmed over a decade, 30 minutes got cut and only a poor quality print is available. It's a strange, dream-like, arty psychological horror, where the tone shifts too often, the plot veers wildly and the acting is not expert. An explorer's son is orphaned in an accident and his aunt tries to re-mold the boy, chasing away his only friend and killing his pets. He hears the maid having sex, goes crazy and starts a rampage of revenge on the aunt.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Freddy Got Fingered (2001)

How bad is it? Incredibly crude, it's not particularly funny.
Should you see it? No. If you're a Tom Green fan, you've seen it (and why are you a Tom Green fan).

This is the most polarizing of films. More than 99% of people will hate this and the others will think it's trailblazing frontiers of comedy. There's a sort of punk/cartoon/John Waters-ish bad taste ethos, but it just doesn't work. Crude, aggressive and dim at turns, this should make for a decent vehicle for physical humor; that it doesn't is the fault of Tom Green, both as actor and director. The plot has Green as a guy living with his parents who wants to be a cartoonist, but spends his time aggravating his family. Anthony Michael Hall, Drew Barrymore, Harland Williams, Julie Hagerty, and Rip Torn are wasted. Marian Coughlan, as a wheelchair-bound nymphomaniac/amateur rocket scientist, comes off well. "Top" moments are Green masturbating farm animals, swinging a newborn by the umbilicus and wearing roadkill. Proceed at your own risk.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Freakshow (1995)

How bad is it? Instantly forgettable horror anthology.
Should you see it? No.

I think this was a sort-of sequel to "Campfire Tales," another anthology also starring Gunnar Hansen. It's not to be confused with similar films released in 1988, 1989 and 2007, but it's hard to remember what sets it apart. There's a story about a mummy, one about werewolves, a mutant baby one and a carnival freak body-switching story. The wraparound story is slightly better (better acting), but has the worst make-up special effect in the "surprise" ending.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Foxfire Light (1982)

How bad is it? It barely holds together and is predictable.
Should you see it? No.

I'm in the cult that loved "Blast of Silence" and 21 years later, that film's director made his second feature, which I just had to see. It's... disappointing. A girl graduates from college and her mother (Tippi Hedren) wants her to stay in Beverly Hills, but she meets Leslie Nielsen at a high-class party and she ends up following him to his ranch in the Ozarks (Branson, MO. With hillbillies and mules), where she falls in love with a local (Barry VanDyke). It then becomes a Romeo and Juliet thing with southern charm heaped on it. The characters are one-dimensional and the plot is thin and predictable.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Forbidden Zone: Alien Abduction (1996)

aka Alien Abduction: Intimate Secrets

How bad is it? Soft-core porn with little nudity or sex. Dull, but competent.
Should you see it? No.

This film seems to be watched only by accident or by the misinformed. A group of women in a Romanian steam room start talking about their sexual fantasies, which seem to intersect. The explanation turns out to be a kidnapping by an alien who wants to bring their fantasies to fruition; since two of the women want each other and a third wants an alien, that works out easily enough.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Food of the Gods, Part II (1989)

aka Gnaw

How bad is it? It's a late sequel to a film known for its terribleness.
Should you see it? Sure. It isn't top-shelf, but it has its moments.

More than a decade after Bert Gordon defiled H.G. Wells' story with his movie, someone else decided to cash in on that (?) and make a sequel. The cheesiness is 1980's, rather than 1970's and that's essentially the difference; some people love this film, others hate it and I'm ambivalent. The plot has an experimental growth drug used on tomatoes, which are eaten by rats, which then grow large and vicious. It's slow until an over-the-top gross-out 20 minutes at the end.

There's an eight foot tall toddler that screams obscenities and becomes homicidal. The kills are telegraphed and occasionally meant to be funny (e.g. the guy who stops to pee twice, the playing of "Three Blind Mice"), but there's a lot of unintentional humor. Boom mics and crew members are seen. There's an exterminator with a flame thrower. There's a synchronized swim team massacre, followed by machine-gunning of rodents (and a few people). The special effects are often shoddy. One actor is nearly bald in one scene and has a wig in another.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Firehouse (1987)

How bad is it? It just might be the worst 1980's sex comedy.
Should you see it? Only if you want to play "spot Julia Roberts."

Released straight to video, this was intended to be a firefighter version of Police Academy, but is known now solely as a film in which Julia Roberts has a cameo. Three hot women stereotypes join the crew of the worst firefighting crew of stereotypes, which is set to be shut down. An industrialist wants to redevelop part of the city after it burns. Lots of boobs, not many intended laughs land, but this has a small following - it is NOT destined to be a cult film, however.