Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Bare Wench Project (1999)

How bad is it? It's not even in the top 10 parodies of Blair Witch.
Should you see it? Just how badly do you need to see breasts?

Early in his career, I liked Jim Wynorski. His films, while juvenile, had a sense of fun; but now, his films are to "Porky's" what "Porky's" is to "Blithe Spirit." There's a lot of toplessness, but without the fun that you'd get in a Sidaris or Meyers film.

I hated "The Blair Witch Project." I really hated it. I saw it in a theater and walked out. Parodies of it are, therefore, not something to which I look forward and this is about the fourth I saw after "The Erotic Witch Project" which is better in every respect, except the title. Julie Strain is the Wench, which should say all one needs to know - her name's shown up repeatedly on this blog and never in a film I liked. Oh, right, plot... four girls in found footage search for legendary wench, whose proximity leads them to become horny. The forced humor doesn't work, the nudity isn't sexy, and there've been at least two sequels. Shame on you, Wynorski.

Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter (2011)

How bad is it? It's interminable and terminally self-indulgent.
Should you see it? Not really.

I've recently discovered the films of Tex Watt and now I'm watching crap like this film and "Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk." It looks like he's going to be this generation's Nick Zedd, for what that's worth. This is 2 1/2 hours of meandering subplots and layered sound effects and filters. There's a 10 minute intermission of unrelated toplessness. There's gangsters and hitch-hikers and FBI agents and country hicks and TV reporters and Dracula. The titular character is an acid-scarred teenager, but she's not the focus of the film. There's a bank robbery gone wrong, a beaten landlord, a sorority with a graveyard that's actually a whorehouse... well, there's a lot of stuff going on, but none of it's very interesting. The film ends with a long rampage and carnage, if you make it to that point.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ax 'Em (1992)

How bad is it? It's abysmal dreck.
Should you see it? If you have a really strong stomach for badness, it's worth a watch.

The sound quality sadly matches the visual quality.
This was made about 1980, but not released for a decade, when someone decided that it was so terrible that it should get better known. You know you're in for something different when the credits explain how to pronounce the director's name, but this is a sub-Andy Milligan film, shot on a camcorder in ambient light so nothing's visible and with the tiny omnidirectional microphone in early camcorders, so the dialogue is all indistinct. Once you get past those technical flaws, you have the editing, where scenes fade out and fade in randomly and a scene where a girl runs away is accidentally shown twice consecutively. The plot has a killer that legend says will return in 13 years - why is never said, why 13 years?, return from where? - and he does, killing off people with what generally looks like a light tap. There is no titular ax (there is a small hatchet or meat cleaver in one scene), the "urban" version of "Ask Them" has no bearing to the plot, either, except that the cast (and crew) is almost entirely black. The funniest scene, if you're not thoroughly bored, has a character obviously scared, because his glasses bounce up and down, as if shaking violently.

The Apple (1980)

How bad is it? It's a science fiction musical Biblical story. It's that bad.
Should you see it? If you love kitsch.

Gee, I wonder if this is a bad guy...
Menahem Golan, half of the Golan-Globus production team, directed a few bad films (Stallone's "Over the Top," for example) including this one, based on the Eurovision song contest. In the future of 1994, an innocent couple becoming famous through their music is tempted by fame and drugs - a subject handled better in the earlier "Privilege." The main actor can't act, none of the main actors can sing, the songs - while not terrible in themselves - have over the top gaudy production numbers, the costumes are so bizarre they make your eyes hurt, there's a Canadian with a German accent and the Biblical allegory is layered on so thick as to be cloying. In the end, God comes down from heaven in a white Cadillac (apparently God's a Hank Williams fan) to take the duo away.

Alien Private Eye (1987)

aka Alien P.I.

How bad is it? It's silly, dated and looks like it was just thrown together.
Should you see it? Yes.

I saw this shortly after it came out and I remembered it as a mildly amusing time-waster. Since then, it has developed a following as a classic terrible movie, so I re-watched it recently and I like it more now. An alien on vacation on Earth just happens upon a crime that needs to be solved. If ever there was a time that an alien could walk the streets unnoticed, it was the 1980's. Wearing a fedora and a white zoot suit - and white gloves - he makes quite an entrance. The best scene in the film has an alien spitting acid and his henchman saying, "I know you only have space in your mouth for one acid tooth." There's an alien disc with some drug in it (I think; the plot's vague), the alien falls for an Earth girl, there's some bad fight scenes and some truly awesomely awful dialogue.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Alabama's Ghost (1973)

How bad is it? It's so weird you don't notice just how awful it is.
Should you see it? Oh, yeah.

Fredric Hobbs only directed four films, the first two I believe were experimental art films and his last was the immortal "Godmonster of Indian Flats" reviewed earlier. This is the other one. The main character, Alabama, accidentally drives a forklift through a basement wall and discovers a magician's collection. He decides to use it to become famous, despite being warned, and actually becomes world-renowned, though you could do any of his tricks yourself. The magician's ghost (with heart outside his body) seeks revenge, not just because of the theft, but because he's a racist. That's when voodoo and black magic get involved. Then there's a group of vampires that join his entourage - Hobbs certainly likes to hedge his bets on plot lines. Alabama's big trick will involve making an elephant disappear - the elephant does make an appearance, but no disappearance. But that doesn't matter, as we get treated to electronic rock music AND dixieland jazz, plus a chase on a vehicle that's a cross between a dune buggy and something later used in "The Road Warrior." There's some cheap theatrics and in the final showdown the ghost wins. Just when you think there's nothing new in Blaxploitation, you discover "Alabama's Ghost" and your faith in crap is renewed.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Alien Massacre (1967)

aka Dr. Terror's Gallery of Horrors, aka Gallery of Horrors, aka The Blood Suckers, aka Return from the Past

How bad is it? It's terrible.
Should you see it? If you're a huge fan of John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr.... maybe.

I've seen this film by accident at least 5 times. Most people find it by looking for the similarly titled "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors." Many of the titles used have nothing to do with the film , which is an anthology of five stories involving vampires, werewolves and walking dead. It looks like it was filmed on a high school stage with whatever props were lying around and the script, which adds nothing new or interesting to the genre, probably took less than a day to write. Chaney and Carradine don't appear together; they, director Hewitt and actor Roger Gentry were also involved in the earlier "Wizard of Mars" (reviewed earlier), which, while bad, was better than this.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Concorde - Airport '79

aka Airport '79

How bad is it? It's one of the worst disaster films of the 1970's.
Should you see it? If you're old enough to remember the Concorde.
"Airport" was everyone's favorite guilty pleasure of 1970 and even garnered Helen Hayes an undeserved Oscar. The sequel "Airport 1975" is even more entertainingly campy, but not quite bad enough for this blog. In turn, it's sequel, "Airport '77" is certainly bad enough, but not quite entertaining enough for inclusion. "The Concorde" is so bad that it killed the franchise.

The film features quite a cast, including: Cicely Tyson, Martha Raye, Mercedes McCambridge as a Russian, Charro, Jimmie Walker, Robert Wagner as a mad scientist attacking the plane with missiles, George Kennedy as a pilot that can shoot a gun accurately upside-down at 1500 mph at 60,000 feet, David Warner with the line "I dreamt I was chased by a giant banana," Bibi Andersson as a prostitue, Sylvia Kristel as a stewardess, Susan Blakely, Sybil Danning, John Davidson, Eddie Albert, Avery Schreiber, Ed Begley Jr., Jose Ferrer and Harry Shearer (voice only).

There's a bomb on board, the plan flies upside down and it crashes in the Alps. There are a surprising number of bedroom scenes and suicide for a plane ride. The biggest problem is that it's about Americans headed to the Moscow Olympics, which were boycotted in real life.