Saturday, January 21, 2017

Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977)

How bad is it? Unusual kaiju with some very poor bits.
Should you see it? Sure! I liked it.

Japanese monster movies made by the smaller companies that didn't specialize in it tend to be weird; this one is gorier, but with much less action (the giant bird doesn't even appear until near the end). The dubbing is poor and the soundtrack is amazingly irrelevant - it actually distracts you from what's happening. Investigating the wilderness near Mt. Fuji, a woman falls into a hole and breaks a stone egg. Then cattle and horses start losing their heads. Soon there are reports of a sea monster and then it's the standard people vs. monsters stuff, except that this one rips off entire scenes of "Jaws."

Friday, January 20, 2017

Last Hour (2008)

How bad is it? It's almost a master class on how not to make a film.
Should you see it? No. It's largely unendurable.

DMX, Paul Sorvino, David Carradine, Michael Madsen and others are all wasted in this film. A man gets a letter from his deceased father inviting him to a house in the middle of nowhere in China. He goes. It turns out others, all notorious bad guys, have also received such a letter and are there. Once inside, they're locked inside, the police are outside, a killer is trying to pick them off and they start to suspect each other and yet nothing much happens until the last few minutes. The sound is not properly synched. There are scenes that are cut in mid-sentence. The shift between cameras is obvious because the film quality alters. The plot makes no sense. It appears that the film was unfinished, then cobbled together as well as could be done with what footage had been shot.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lap Dancing (1995)

How bad is it? It's a movie about lap dancing - what do you expect... Othello?
Should you see it? No. It wouldn't hurt much, but there's no reason to see it.

Released to capitalize on "Showgirls," this is about a girl who moves to Hollywood, can't get a role as an actress, gets convinced to become a stripper and starts thinking she might be bisexual. The lead male character is blind, one dancer has a violent boyfriend and one is a nympho. In the end, the girl gets a role in a film (go figure). There's a lot of silicone on display, but not much acting. The dialogue often is drowned by the music, which, if you've ever been to a strip club, makes that the one realistic thing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lake Placid 2 (2007)

How bad is it? Unneeded sequel that squanders the original's value.
Should you see it? No. That also goes for the other sequels of Lake Placid.

I enjoyed "Lake Placid." This sequel returns John Schneider and substitutes Chloris Leachman for Betty White, but while the original had Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt and Mariska Hargitay, this one substitutes brief nudity for them. The CGI is poor, even for a film that premiered on the SciFi network and the plot is nothing other than people vs. crocodiles (which are weird for Maine, but I'll let that pass). This is actually worse than the (so far) 3 MORE sequels that followed: Lake Placid 3 (2010), Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012) and Lake Placid vs Anaconda (2015).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Legacy of Satan (1974)

How bad is it? Shambling unscary but very weird horror flick.
Should you see it? If you like cheap films that strive to be different, yes.

This is one of the least likely films to have had a Blu-Ray release, double-billed with Andy Milligan's "Blood." It's only 65 minutes long and appears to have been a story for a porn film that morphed into a stab at legitimate cinema (it's by the director of "Deep Throat"). A young woman is targeted by a devil cult to be their bride/queen. She's actually kind of into it! There's a very heavy Moog synthesizer score and hallucinatory saturated psychedelic color and lighting, making it very "arty" but the acting is feeble and the story goes nowhere. A painting cries blood. A sword glows (one of the worst effects imaginable). A monster inexplicably appears and disappears without comment. If you've ever said a film looked like porn with all the sex cut out, compare it to this.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lady Street Fighter (1981)

aka Deadly Games, aka Woman in Anger

How bad is it? Holy moly, this one reeks.
Should you see it? Read the review, decide for yourself (that's a "maybe").

Directed by the same guy who did The Executioner II, this was shot in the mid-1970's and released later, with what appears to be a Kraftwerk tribute/Ennio Morricone cover band soundtrack and dubbed voices. The lead actress, pushing 50, is almost unintelligible when she speaks and when she strips, is not exactly what you were hoping for. Liz Renay also strips, and she's not a whole lot better. Oh, right, plot: a woman seeks revenge for the killing of her twin. Said revenge ends up being poorly staged fight scenes after an orgy where people chant "Toga Toga Toga," our star sucks celery suggestively, our star licks her phone, some guy licks her foot and a "retarded" girl in a sex club hugs a stuffed dog named Bow-Wowie which may or may not contain evidence of a crime. Really, the plot makes no sense and is hard to follow.

As Stabford Deathrage would say: recommended for people who like things that suck.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Little Man (2006)

aka Littleman

How bad is it? It's not the worst Wayans brothers film, but that's faint praise indeed.
Should you see it? I can't see why you would.

Laurel and Hardy did the adult-as-baby thing in "Brats," so updating that could've been funny. Even Bugs Bunny had "Babyface Finster," a similar idea, and that worked. Here, an adult's face is placed by CGI onto a child's body and there's some funny bits (but not enough for a feature film). The film reportedly cost $60,000,000 to make, the preposterousness of which is exceeded only by the fact that the movie made money ($100,000,000 gross). The plot: a diminutive criminal tries to recover a stolen diamond stashed in the house of a couple that want a child, so he pretends to be one. Babies are inherently gross, so breastfeeding jokes and diaper jokes are expected, but guys get hit in the crotch at least a dozen times. The film derails when it becomes a "Home Alone" clone with toys as makeshift weapons. Besides the Wayans family and their usual cast (David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington) one finds Chazz Palminteri, Tracy Morgan, Molly Shannon, Fred Stoller, Alex Borstein and Rob Schneider (uncredited as Dinosaur Rex).