Friday, September 30, 2016

Galaxina (1980)

How bad is it? Poor script, but not a terrible film by any means.
Should you see it? Sure, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

This film has had some blistering reviews and some praise; add the fact that Dorothy Stratten was murdered shortly after filming this and you have a cult film. The film's star is Avery Schreiber, who plays starship Captain Butt - and that's the point where you realize the writing's going to be a problem. There's parodies of Star Wars, Star Trek, 2001 and especially Alien (a critter burst's from Schreiber's stomach and runs amok. It also calls him "Mommy"). Stratten plays a robot that reprograms herself to love and she does okay with the role, though the emotional range of a robot is not a great stretch. Some of the special effects are quite good, especially given the budget, but some are laughably terrible and they're meant to be laughed at. That might be why this has made some lists of terrible films... that and the fact that most of the jokes don't work.

Angelo Rossitto is also in this. I met him the next year and asked why he was the only little person not in "The Wizard of Oz." He'd been hospitalized - you could tell it was still a sore point.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child (2012)

How bad is it? It's a documentary searching for a subject, an angle and a purpose.
Should you see it? No, unless you're a huge fan of both opera and photorealism.

It might've seemed like a good idea to have a controversial photographer known for photos simulating children in horrible situations, such as the Holocaust, do an installation for the Israeli Opera's production of "The Dreaming Child." It wasn't. It should've been abandoned before too many checks were written. The fact that there's two competing artistic visions could've made for an interesting documentary, but there's no dramatic arc, just a mixture of talking heads and fly-on-the-wall footage. We don't learn anything about anyone involved except that we don't like them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Generation Um... (2012)

How bad is it? Nothing happens.
Should you see it? No.

Perhaps someone could make a film about bored detachment and make it interesting, but this is not it. The driver for an escort service and two of the girls film themselves with a stolen camera. The one character that's not a dull monotonous bore is shrill. Spending time with these people is something you'd avoid in real life, so avoid it on film. Whether Keanu Reeves is acting a part or being himself in this is debatable.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Ghastly Ones (1968)

aka Blood Rites, aka Blood Orgy

How bad is it? It's one of the more enjoyable Andy Milligan films - so wretchedly terrible.
Should you see it? If you've never seen a Milligan film and are intrigued.

In one of the first posts on this blog, I said I wouldn't review any of the 17 Andy Milligan films I've seen... and here we are. Shot on 16mm, starring his friends and re-using costumes from his other films, this is "Ten Little Indians" with three couples having to spend the night in a house one of them is inheriting. They get impaled, burned, dismembered - you know, the usual. The special effects are particularly bad; a removed eye is way too big, for example. There's a hunchback with bad fake teeth, lots of dull chit-chat, a tacked-on opening that contradicts the ending (with so many continuity errors, including hair color, that it had to be intentional) and Milligan's nearly trademarked odd plotlines that go nowhere; in this one, it's gay incest and marital rape - you know, the usual. You can hear Milligan giving direction and his camera work can't keep from jerking around or cutting people off. There's also a crew member seen and the camera itself appears in a mirror - you know, the usual.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ginger (1971)

How bad is it? It's a little like porn meets "Charlie's Angels," but not as entertaining.
Should you see it? Hmm. If you're into 1970's trash, maybe.

Cheri Caffaro stars in this, the first and worst of her three "Ginger" films, as a society girl who joins a detective agency. In a small town on the Jersey shore, there's a gang involved in prostitution, drugs and blackmail and she infiltrates. There's a lot of nudity, mostly Caffaro and ugly men and there's a lesbian scene, rape, castration, ridiculous even for 1971 fashions and some cringeworthy racial epithets. The plot meanders, the dialogue is painful, the acting lousy and the plentiful action scenes are more sadistic than entertaining.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Going Bananas (1987)

How bad is it? Dreadfully unfunny "comedy" aimed at kids. bad is it?

Should you see it? Only if a fan of the stars or of man-in-a-monkey-suit films.

A talking chimp named Bonzo (a nod to "Bedtime for Bonzo," which starred President - in 1987 - Ronald Reagan and a chimp) is kept from bad guys by Dom DeLuise, Jimmie Walker and child David Mendenhall. Herbert Lom plays a sheriff. There's a lot of stereotyped Africans, lots of guns pointed at children, a scorpion attack and the monkey flies a plane and sings a child to sleep. The monkey is played by a little person in a monkey suit. The intended jokes do not work, though small children just might be amused.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Goldy, the Last of the Golden Bears (1984)

How bad is it? You'll wish you were watching paint dry.
Should you see it? No.

I've reviewed some films on this blog that have utter contempt for the children they aimed the film toward, but this one challenges them to endure it. A rancher turned prospector and an orphan girl just roaming the mountains (really?) adopt the cub of a circus bear and try to keep it from the evil clutches of the circus' owner. No one in this can act. The pacing is g-l-a-c-i-a-l. It's a Disneyesque film without any charm, but with some competent people involved off-camera.

There were TWO sequels.