Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pulsebeat (1985)

How bad is it? The worst of the aerobics exploitation films of the 1980's.
Should you see it? If you can find it and you're a fan of the sub-genre.

After "Perfect" and "Heavenly Bodies" and not crossing genres like "Aerobicide," this is the end of the line for aerobics films. A guy who owns a gym, but has a fear of failure, is pushed toward an aerobics competition (including a bike race on stationary bikes) against a rival gym that's been stealing away his best instructors. When people are clothed - there's so much nudity that there's actually nudity during the credits - they're wearing the most atrocious spandex and lycra outfits with leg warmers and their hair teased to its limits. There's sex in a weight room as well as in a shower and there are so many exercise montages that they almost overlap; the cameraman hovers over bodies in as perverted a way as possible. The acting and dialogue could be in a porn film and the film's story is such that you keep wondering if you zoned out and missed it. Unfortunately, zoning out is all too frequent, as this is a dull little snoozefest.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Penitentiary III (1987)

How bad is it? Perhaps the worst men's prison film.
Should you see it? It's so weird I have to say yes.

The first two films in this series were strange, but the third one is so odd that it becomes self-parody. A boxer is given a drug that makes him so violent that he kills a man in the ring, so he's sent to prison. This prison, first of all, has a dungeon. Second, it has a little person, "Midnight Thud," that's like a feral ninja, occasionally unleashed on unruly prisoners; this leads to some bizarre fight scenes worth watching. Then the boxer is trained by the the little guy in boxing/martial arts/wrestling and this leads to the final redemptive fight. There's a lot of crack smoking in this film and, I suspect, in the writer's apartment.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Playgirl Killer (1967)

aka Decoy for Terror

How bad is it? Low-budget lurid trash, but watchable.
Should you see it? Yes. It's a classic of sorts.

William Kerwin, who had been in H.G. Lewis films under the names Thomas Wood and Tommy Smallwood, stars in this film, did the writing with his brother and directed at least some of it. Similar to Lewis' "Color Me Blood Red," this is the story of an artist, who, upset by his models moving - such as breathing - kills them and stores them in a meat locker. The police send a girl in undercover as bait. Neil Sedaka (!?) lounges by the pool for the first 30 minutes, having little to do with the plot, but supplying two songs, including "Waterbug," before disappearing. The film seems to have been made for Canadian television, but the video version has shots that couldn't be aired. It's silly and badly acted, but it does seem coherent.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn (2013)

aka Goat

How bad is it? Dull gangster film.
Should you see it? Nope.

This has decent cinematography and a good cast, including Armand Assante, Cathy Moriarty, Ice-T, Ja Rule and Vincent Pastore, but it will disappoint anyone expecting this to be a standard gangster film. There are no drugs, car chases or sex scenes and almost no swearing or deaths. What you do get is a guy fresh out of jail going back to what put him in jail and wondering if that's what he's cut out to do. Add some intrusive guitar music to his musings and stretch to 100 minutes. It's not terrible, but it is a waste.

Friday, April 21, 2017

One Missed Call (2008)

How bad is it? Perhaps the most disappointing horror film of the decade.
Should you see it? No.

Miike has directed some of the most interesting horror films of this generation, but his "One Missed Call" (2003) was a bit of a misfire. This western remake is far worse. Voice mails from the future presage people's deaths, with time, place and some details. Ed Burns barely stays awake through this and you will have trouble as well. Margaret Cho and Ariel Winter show up. There is no tension or scares, but there is an ending that is completely lame and comes much too late. Ho-hum.

Sorry to return from my vacation from posting with such a loser of a film.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

One Million AC/DC (1969)

How bad is it? Pretty terrible even by 1960's soft-core standards.
Should you see it? It's only for Ed Wood fanatics.

Cashing in on the popularity of the Raquel Welch film "One Million Years B.C." and recycling some footage from "One Million B.C." (color-tinted), this was at least partly written by Ed Wood Jr. There's a virgin sacrifice that involves straight and lesbian sex, plus rape with dildo and it's really uncomfortable to watch. There's also rape by gorilla. There's a cat-fight to the death. The director has a cameo (hard to describe, but he has a typical porn 'stache of the time). The puppet from "The Mighty Gorga" is re-used and the one laugh is when a static plastic puppet is hunted with spears that fall woefully short. There's some very old jokes delivered poorly, but mostly this is just non-stop sex... also delivered poorly.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ozone: Attack of the Redneck Mutants (1986)

How bad is it? It's both better and worse than the title suggests.
Should you see it? Don't go out of your way, but if you like 1980's gore films, then maybe.

This was shot on Super-8 video, with post-synched sound and there's a lot of mouths moving to different words than what you hear. It looks like there was an attempt to punch up the humor in post-production. Zombies (mutants) are created by a chemical company's punching a hole in the ozone layer and then they create new ones by puking on them. There's a female environmentalist hero going against a male industrialist and they do not end up romantically involved, fortunately. Not much happens for 80 minutes, then there's a lot of carnage that's way over the top, but not done particularly well. In the mean time, you get treated to such things as a geriatric redneck drunken karaoke contest.