Sunday, August 9, 2015

That's a wrap!

This concludes my survey of terrible films. The process was much like trying to find gravy in a cesspool, but I did actually find some enjoyable trash. Of course, there's no end to bad films and there's a lot I didn't cover, some of which I regret missing.

There's a few films that kept getting cut from my list: "The Car," "The Day the Clown Cried," "The Betsy," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Ghost in the Noonday Sun." The WW II era "Black Dragons," "First Yank Into Tokyo" and (somewhat later) "Red Nightmare" could've been listed, as well as some serials like "Queen of the Jungle" and "Phantom Empire." The high school hooker trilogy of "Angel" films and the Cheri Caffaro "Ginger" films deserve mention, as do films based on novels by Harold Robbins or Jackie Collins. I skipped a lot of poverty row - mostly Monogram and PRC - films, such as "The Ape Man" and "The Brute Man" because they're just too good.

I intentionally skipped hardcore porn, Italian gore after 1970, Japanese gore after 1980, instructional films and cinema verite' and yet I veered very close to some of those.

In many cases, I let one film represent an entire oeuvre of a director. The site is searchable and, if your favorite film isn't listed, try searching the director's name. Directors that I wish I had covered:

Albert Pyun
Victor Adamson (his son Al's all over the blog)
George and Mike Kuchar
Irving Klaw
Joseph P. Mawra
Michael and Roberta Findlay (one film made the blog)
Kroger Babb
J. R. Bookwalter
Joe D'Amato
S.F. Brownrigg
Tim Kincaid
Don Glut (I want to see "Dragstrip Dracula")
Zalman King

Perhaps I'll return to finish off those omissions, but for now, I need to do something else.

Vengeance of the Zombies (1973)

How bad is it? It's filmed well, not uninteresting and has Paul Naschy.
Should you see it? Yes, but not because it's terrible, but because it has a little of everything.

Paul Naschy wrote and starred in a ton of Spanish films, most involving werewolves. In this one, a mystic raises women from the dead to commit revenge killings. The cinematography's good, the costumes are good, some effects are good... so why does anyone call this a bad movie? Well, there is some overacting, a chicken gets its head cut off (and later a guy has his throat slit), the background music doesn't fit, there's a horned Satan drinking blood from a golden cup, evil twins, grave robbing, voodoo dolls, a scene in a slaughterhouse and one or two plot problems. I think it's actually one of the more enjoyable Naschy vehicles; I mean, compared to, say, "Dracula vs. Frankenstein."

Velvet Smooth (1976)

How bad is it? It's almost a female "Dolemite."
Should you see it? If you love bad blaxploitation, this one has its moments.
A female detective is hired by a mobster to find out who is stealing his action. She ends up kicking a lot of ass. This has all the hideous clothes and slum exteriors you'd expect, plus interiors where you can see the boom mike and the walls move when a door shuts. Each scene looks like it was done entirely from one perspective, often from a weird angle with things obstructing views. The fights are terrible, with blows missing by almost a foot. The theme song's a hoot, there's a twist ending and Rory Calhoun makes an appearance.

Vampire Woman (1996)

How bad is it? It's a home movie and not a good one. And it's interminable.
Should you see it? Nononononononononononononono.

The few people who read this blog probably know more about David "Rock" Nelson than I do. Rocky's films are made on camcorders (from the 1980's), usually unscripted, using friends and neighbors as cast and rarely if ever edited. He often talks over the dialogue while he shoots, not narrating, not giving direction, just rambling. When a scene is blown, he doesn't reshoot and he often keeps filming, so you get people stepping out of character to comment on something not working.

When looking for one of his films to review, I was told "Vampire Woman" was his "magnum opus" (it is over four hours long) and the one to see because "it has a plot." I'm not sure what that plot was. The film took years to make, but that didn't lead to additional continuity errors, because there is no continuity. Nelson's films are only legally available sold directly by him, but when I poked around for this, someone sent me PayPal account info and a URL and a time - my introduction to the "dark web" and a more interesting event than the film itself.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vampire Killer Barbys (1996)

How bad is it? It's a typical Jess Franco film, which is never a good thing.
Should you see it? Don't go out of your way, but yes, if it's at hand and you're bored.

The Killer Barbies were an actual band in real life and this film was meant to bring them greater notice (It didn't work. "Killer Barbys vs Dracula," a sequel, didn't help). A band gets stuck where there's a countess who stays young with a method that involves killing young people. There's plenty of gore and nudity, dwarves, cannibals, dummies used as dead bodies, unsuccessful day-for-night shots, no continuity and the film doesn't really go anywhere. Director Jesus Franco proves he can make films exactly the same in the 1990's as he did in the 1960's. Still, it's a much better title than usual and it's not unwatchable.

The Urge to Kill (1989)

aka Attack of the Killer Computers

How bad is it? It's cheesiness is legendary.
Should you see it? Yes, if you can find it.

A record producer's house is run by a computer called S.E.X.Y. When women arrive there, the computer becomes jealous of them, for reasons never explained, and kills them. One woman is scalded in the shower until she can sluice down the drain (never mind the impossibility). Another, under a tanning lamp, has her breasts explode. The computer calls dominatrix escorts to come entertain our hero and they wrestle while making cat noises (an actual cat fight). There's a mudbath, attacking computer with an ax and a naked woman painted green. There's nothing resembling acting and some remarkably bad dialogue. It's just so wrong-headed that it becomes enjoyable.

Trash Humpers (2009)

How bad is it? It's about people who literally hump trash. It's intentionally awful.
Should you see it? Tough call. It might be art, but I don't think you need to see it.

From the director that gave us "Gummo" and "Julien Donkey-Boy" comes his most regressive film yet. Filmed on cheap tape, actors pretending to be elderly (in very unconvincing make-up) but not succeeding appear in random scenes involving trash, toys and occasional nudity and profanity. It's a bit like David Lynch making "Blair Witch Project." It's a waste of time, but it is different.

Trancers 6 (2002)

How bad is it? Meh. It's about what you'd expect from the 6th of any series.
Should you see it? No.

Eighteen years since Charles Band's original film comes a sequel that doesn't even have the main actor, Tim Thomerson (or Helen Hunt, for that matter). He was getting pretty old for the role, but here they pull a Dr. Who switcheroo and have his spirit inhabit the body of his daughter (who I think is also his great-grandmother in this confusing plot). The humor of the film is having a diminutive shy girl suddenly acting like the super-macho Jack Deth; that humor works... a little. The budget of this was obviously low - it's a Full Moon product, after all - and it shows, though the film was adequately directed. Oh, there's a plot... Jack has to save his daughter in a knife fight and also syringe Trancers (a sort of mind-controlled deformed zombie).

Friday, August 7, 2015

Stag Night of the Dead (2010)

How bad is it? Typical straight to video zombie comedy.
Should you see it? No. Watch "Shaun of the Dead" again instead.
The only interesting thing about this film is that we've won the battle against the zombie apocalypse at the start of the film. The few that are left are used in a game whose main rule is: Don't humiliate a zombie. That rule gets broken, of course, by guys having a stag party. The humor isn't great, the effects aren't great, the acting and direction aren't great, but nothing's really terrible. It's just there.

Shut Up and Shoot (2006)

How bad is it? It's a failed comedy, my least-favorite kind of film.
Should you see it? No.

A movie producer first plans to steal copies of the competition to give his film a bigger opening, than to kill the other producers so he can take all the profits. It's meant to be a satire on Hollywood - but that's been a million times, and always better - and it's only draw is the cast: Gary Busey, Joe Estevez, Joe Cortese, Tom Sizemore, Daniel Baldwin. There's a musical number. There's fake films like "Amish Heat," which isn't as funny as any from the show "30 Rock" (e.g. "Sherlock Homey." "MILF Island"). The only interesting thing is that each murder is an homage to a better Hollywood film.

Shaolin Popey (1994)

How bad is it? Well, the title's misspelled, for one thing. It's alright.
Should you see it? If a Taiwanese children's film is what you want, yes.

If you want to see a bald child martial artist, seek no further. It's a story of a boy pursuing a girl, only to find that his female friend/sidekick is the one that's right for him. This film was recommended as an example for Chu Yen-ping's films, which have a reputation for weirdness. There's a video game that comes to life. There's firecrackers in a bed as a prank. There's a lot of juvenile humor. It's not bad as far as kid's films go - I mean, look at "Mac and Me" or "Nukie," for example.

Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004)

How bad is it? It's crude and the juvenile jokes fail.
Should you see it? Maybe. If the British sex version of "Jackass" appeals to you.
Two guys who deliver potatoes to restaurants for a living will do anything for sex. Anything. Filled with fart and penis jokes, where the number 69 automatically is supposed to be funny, this has a very British feel - the stuffy British attitudes toward sex get skewered and it's a bit like a Confessions of a Window Cleaner, but with no actual nudity and sex that's completely uninvolving. Ugly drunks doing what most films have beautiful people doing is not necessarily funny, but I found myself watching this, wondering what depravity it would hit next, and enjoying it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Santa's Summer House (2012)

How bad is it? It's not as terrible as I expected.
Should you see it? Not really. It's nothing interesting.

After covering about twenty Christmas films, mostly god-awful (that Ice Cream Bunny still hurts), I found one directed by David DeCoteau, whose name appears all over this blog, with a cast of action stars and Chris Mitchum (who I thought died, quite frankly) as Santa. People get lost driving in the fog and end up at, well, Santa's Summer House. They play croquet for about eight minutes of the film, for no reason other than to fill screen time. Cynthia Rothrock is Mary Claus and action stars Gary Daniels, Daniel Bernhardt, Kathy Long plus a couple others are their guests. It's a typically syrupy Xmas special. You keep waiting for action, given the cast, but there is none.

Runaway Car (1997)

How bad is it? TV movie, implausible to the extreme, with poor acting.
Should you see it? It's actually enjoyably stupid, so yes.

A car has some serious malfunction: it can't stop, it's speeding up to 100 mph (which looks to be maybe 55-60), the doors won't unlock and there's even a baby on board. There's some serious script problems and some continuity errors (the car hood, notably) and some atrocious acting, but the biggest problem is the harebrained rescue - the baby gets winched out through the sunroof by a remote-controlled plane - and then that plan gets abandoned for the others, who end up just walking away. "Based on a true story!"

The Rig (2010)

How bad is it? It's derivative and terrible.
Should you see it? No.
This is all you see of the monster in the film.

People on an oil rig get attacked by a monster. End of story. It's dull and predictable, with unneeded flashbacks and a storm that has continuity problems. The characters are undeveloped, there's no tension, but it looks like it had a decent budget.

Revenge of Billy the Kid (1992)

How bad is it? It's intentionally trashy, crude and disgusting.
Should you see it? Yes. It's a classic of its kind.
That chicken blowed up real good.
A farmer, trying to increase goat milk production, resorts to bestiality and a human baby with a goat head is the result. Then the film gets weirder, sicker and nastier. There's a very funny funeral, way too many fart jokes, sex with lard as lubrication, three kids named Ronald (one female) and a rampaging sock puppet. If you liked "Bad Taste" and "Evil Dead II" this will be right up your alley.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Repo Jake (1990)

How bad is it? It's Dan Haggerty's second-worst (after "Elves").
Should you see it? It's not easy to find - and not worth the effort - but, yes, if you find it.
Dan Haggerty plays the nicest repo man in history; even after throwing a guy through a window, he picks him up and wishes him a good day. The main character moves from Minnesota to Los Angeles to make money and enter a demolition derby. He repo's the car of a bad guy who bets on him to win the derby and says he'll kill him if he doesn't. The demolition derby isn't great, but there's a climactic race at the end that, despite editing problems, is pretty entertaining. There must've been a ton of out of work stuntmen for this to have been made. The film ping-pongs between action scenes that have nothing to do with the plot and dull talky bits of actors delivering poorly written lines.

Rattlers (1976)

How bad is it? It's one of the lesser animals attack films.
Should you see it? If it shows up late at night on TV.

Toxic waste turns rattlesnakes extra-extra-deadly, rather than just deadly and that seems to be the excuse for them to behave like snakes never do. They bite through tires. They stalk people.  It's hard to get a snake to act on command, so the attack scenes are all stagey. A woman takes a bath for no reason other than that makes for a cool attack scene. The guys investigating the case just head off to Las Vegas for no reason (all on film) and then come back - we apparently get to see their vacation video. It's too dull to be entertaining, and not bad enough to be entertaining.

Please Don't Eat the Babies (1983)

aka Island Fury

How bad is it? Once again: Great title for a pedestrian film. It's by-the-numbers horror.
Should you see it? No.

This film manages to blend two uninteresting plotlines. In one, two women are forced to go to an island and help find buried treasure; in the other, the same women, when they were still girls encounter a cannibalistic family on the same island. It's nice to see Hank Worden get work, but the rest of the cast is not good. There's big bugs, earthquakes, a pitchfork-wielding killer... the film is all over the place. Nothing is particularly scary and there are a few moments that elicit an unintended chuckle or two.

Ninja Cheerleaders (2008)

How bad is it? Not nearly as good/bad as the title suggests.
Should you see it? You can skip this one.

This has a delightfully tacky premise: college cheerleaders desperate to get into Brown learn martial arts from a guy who owns a strip club and has problems with the mob. The three lead actresses are all quite attractive, but none are seen without clothes, which just might be a first for this kind of film (there are brief shots of topless strippers used to punctuate scenes in an odd way). The fight scenes are not good - editing was used to keep the stars from having to actually do anything. The only draw for this film is the male cast members: George Takei, Michael Pare', Eric Stonestreet. The film is knowingly tongue-in-cheek, rather than an attempt to make a serious film, perhaps a low-rent version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Night of the Wilding (1990)

How bad is it? Direct to video with Erik Estrada and Joey Travolta. Nuff said.
Should you see it? Only if it just happens to be playing and only for one scene.

Erik Estrada plays a high power attorney (never lost a case) who defends three teens who assaulted people just as a break from boredom. The opposing counsel is, of course, a woman with whom he has a romantic connection; that's just how predictable this is. There's not a lot going for this, but not a lot wrong, either, except for a few unintentional laughs and one truly preposterous stunt, where a car rolls in a baseball field dugout, jumps the backstop (defying physics and logic) and lands on the infield.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mutant on the Bounty (1989)

How bad is it? Another good title wasted on dreck. It's intentionally bad.
Should you see it? No.

This was actually recommended by Joe Bob Briggs, who used to be reliable (that ended with "Double-D Avenger"). It's a terrible science fiction comedy. It starts off reasonably; spaceship encounters a transporter signal, there's a malfunction, they beam aboard mutated killer monster. Then the captain has a heart attack. The onboard android, with microwave oven parts, switches between personalities. Then armed robbers board to get a ceramic dog full of a toxin (yeah, that seems tacked on). None of it follows logically, the acting is horrendous and the intentional humor fails.

The Majorettes (1987)

How bad is it? It's a pretty typical slasher by people whose pedigrees suggest better.
Should you see it? No.

This film has a lot of what made Halloween famous, was filmed a year earlier, but released later; what it lacks is quality, despite several people involved who were partly responsible for "Night of the Living Dead." A killer in army fatigues is killing high school majorettes; there's a plethora of red herring possible suspects and the real killer has no motivation. The film changes direction midway from a cut-and-paste slasher to a revenge film and it's messy and disorienting. The death scenes are poorly done, the dialogue is substandard even for the genre and the acting is universally wooden - it's like they filmed a table reading of the script. There are a few bits so bad as to be amusing, but too few.

Mad Foxes (1981)

How bad is it? It's a lower rung biker film, with terrible plot (dis)continuity.
Should you see it? If you can handle extreme exploitation, yes.

Guy gets into fight with Nazi bikers (and this was filmed in Austria or Germany) and a biker dies, so the bikers beat him and rape his girlfriend. Then the guy gets friends from martial arts school to attack the bikers (a penis gets severed). The bikers than attack the martial arts school with machine guns and grenades, but the guy they want isn't there, so they then go on to kill his family. Then the guy hunts down the bikers. That's a lot of plot for 75 minutes - and there's a dance number! - but the film is so disjointed, poorly dubbed and full of inconsistencies, that it qualifies as a bad film.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lying Lips (1939)

How bad is it? Amazingly stilted acting and dialogue in a predictable plot.
Should you see it? Yes, for historical reasons.

Oscar Michaud was (I believe) the first black director in Hollywood, the first to hire black actors and the first to make films for black audiences; that makes his films important, but they tend to be terrible. This later film is one of his best and one that is reasonably easy to find, containing numerous musical numbers in the first half that are pretty good. The story is about a girl who refuses to sleep with customers at the nightclub, so her aunt is killed and she's framed for the murder. The police are fairly inept (and why do they repeat everything twice?) and the conclusion is talky and a bit muddled. The acting in this is unbelievably bad; imagine an elementary school doing an Amos and Andy routine and you get close. If you want to see some of the worst performances on film, they are here.

Legend of the Bog (2009)

aka Assault of Darkness

How bad is it? It's like Encino Man, but not even as good as that.
Should you see it? No way.

A 2000 year-old warrior is unearthed in an Irish bog and he goes on a killing spree and must be stopped. Before that, though, he has comical misadventures with modern things like cars and plastic bottles. No characters are likeable and none act like rational people would. The cinematography's good and the Irish location shots are lovely, but the rest of the film sucks. There's a hunter named Hunter, which is about as original as it gets.

Iron Warrior (1987)

How bad is it? It's actually the best of the Ator film series... but not good.
Should you see it? Yes, but not if you're hoping it'll be like the rest of the series.

I feel like I'm picking on Miles O'Keeffe, who's shown up often on this blog, especially as the actors who did later films in this series were worse. This time he has his hair braided and isn't wearing a loin cloth, but he does manage a lot of time standing around shirtless. This time, his twin brother (never mentioned otherwise) has become a metal skull-wearing bad guy that must be defeated. The film looks good: the location shooting is particularly good and the makeup is mostly okay (there's an annoying eyebrow, but I quibble). The soundtrack, probably recycled from another film, is also good.
There's still some campiness, but nothing like the D'Amato-filmed earlier Ator films.

Ice Cream Man (1994)

How bad is it? It's probably the worst film with Clint Howard (that's quite a feat).
Should you see it? Yes.

Clint Howard stars for once, as a man released from a mental institution who starts selling ice cream and grinds up anyone who's unappreciative into the next batch. Also in the cast are Sandahl Bergman, Olivia Hussey, Lee Majors, Jan-Michael Vincent and Doug Llewelyn; it was directed by a prolific porn director in an attempt to cross over to legit films. The fat kid is obviously wearing padding. The cops search everything except the obvious (the truck). Howard's acting is always suspect, but it's better than most of the others in this film. This is one of those rare films that's entertaining in its own right, plus bad enough to be laughed at as well.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Invincible Space Streaker (1977)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst "sentai" superhero films.
Should you see it? Only if you're a huge fan of the genre.

Chinese (Taiwan, not Hong Kong) versions of Japanese genres tend to be awful. This film involves a lot of little boys peeing, for some reason. It also involves werewolves and ninja bikers. Kids get turned into animals, but one ends up with an antenna and then later becomes a superhero who then fights an endless array of goofy bad guys. You know... the usual. The plot doesn't work because the bad guys aren't bad enough and they're easily dominated by children.

Intrepidos Punks (1980)

How bad is it? It's a Mexican punk biker movie - three kinds of bad.
Should you see it? Yes, if you enjoy exploitation films, it's a sure bet.

This is really just a biker film, where the gang parties, terrorizes the locals and gets stopped in the end by the cops. On the other hand, it's so outlandishly staged as to be quite entertaining. There's a scene where nuns reveal themselves to be in disguise - underneath are enormous perms, fake boobs and garish clothes and make-up. The film bogs down whenever the cops are on the screen, but there's just so much weirdness due to being what passed for punk in Mexico at the time. Th most amazing thing about this film is that it looks like a "Road Warrior" clone, but was actually filmed before it - though not released until 1988. There was even a sequel, which I haven't tracked down.

In Hot Pursuit (1977)

aka Polk County Pot Plane

How bad is it? It's like an episode of "Dukes of Hazzard" with marijuana.
Should you see it? No (which is good, because it's hard to find).

Apparently based on an actual incident, this is essentially one long chase scene and the film proudly states that no professional stuntmen were involved. No actors were involved either. It's incredibly low budget and that causes some minor amusement, particularly when a "safe" is obviously a cardboard box. The music is odd (the theme song in particular), the direction minimal to nonexistent and the stereotypical dialogue is sometimes hard to understand because of accents and mic placement.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Horror Safari (1982)

aka Invaders of the Lost Gold

How bad is it? It's among the worst Italian horror/adventure films.
Should you see it? No.

Japanese soldiers are attacked by cannibals in the Philippines and the few survivors stash treasure they're transporting. Decades later, a ragtag crew of stereotypes (Stuart Whitman, Woody Strode, Harold Sakata and Laura Gemser) go to recover it. There's huge plot holes - Gemser dies while swimming for no reason, for example - and after the opening scene, there's little explicit violence; people tend to die by their own inept misadventures. There's a rubber crocodile. There's also a plot twist that's quite predictable.

Hitler - Dead or Alive (1942)

How bad is it? It's the nadir of Hollywood propaganda films.
Should you see it? Sure. It's tackiness is enjoyable.

I didn't include "Red Nightmare" or some other propaganda disguised as storytelling films, but this one is enjoyable on its own merits. Gangsters, offered a $1,000,000 bounty on Hitler, get dropped into Germany. Hitler's moustache gets shaved off to show a scar that proves he's not a double and then people who've known him for years no longer recognize him - and execute him (then a double apparently replaced him for the duration of the war). The dialogue in this is often laugh out loud funny.

Helga: She Wolf of Spilberg (1977)

How bad is it? It aspires to be confused with trash - and fails.
Should you see it? No.

I admitted in one of my first reviews that I liked Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S. (but none of its sequels); this film wants to be confused with it (as did Elsa - Fraulein S.S., also in 1977), but it's much like every other women-in-a-nazi-prison-camp film, with the typical nudity and sadism. This one is quite tame, especially for an Italian film of the era, but the women tend to be more attractive than usual. The film is very repetitive and the requisite escape/revenge finale seems cold. I deleted six posts of other similar films, but this one gets points for its title; oddly, the film eschews all Nazi regalia and seems to be in a banana republic in the 1970's in the Balkans (which is as realistic as anything else in this film).

The Haunted Sea (1997)

How bad is it? It's about the same as "Ghost Ship" - quite bad - but better than "Haunted Boat."
Should you see it? No.

Abandoned boat has a rubbery lizard monster on board, which is supposed to be Quetzlcoatl (misspelled in the film), the Aztec deity. The film is hopelessly padded, particularly with naked scenes of Krista Allen (who also is quite padded). There's no suspense, no characterization, no production values, just a surprise ending that's cringeworthy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Graveyard of Horror (1971)

aka The Butcher of Binbrook, aka Necrophagus

How bad is it? It's very confusing and rather tepid.
Should you see it? I think so. If you hang in there, it can be rewarding.

Horror in Spain in 1971 meant no nudity and no gore and not much blood. This film's complex plot is filmed in a back-and-forth time frame, so you don't really know what's going on for most of the film and I think that's why it fails. Man returns home (to ancestral estate) to find his brother missing, his wife dead, people acting mysteriously... so he digs up his dead wife and gets attacked in the process. That's where things get complicated. There's a mad scientist, a lizard-man and a surprise ending. There's some technical flaws - the season changes a lot - but the plot does hold together if you make yourself think about it long enough.

Golden Temple Amazons (1986)

How bad is it? It's one of the tamer, but odder and less competent, Jess Franco films.
Should you see it? Hmm. Okay. Mildest possible yes.

Written by Jesus Franco and at least partly directed by him, this is the story of a girl whose parents were killed by Amazons and seeks revenge when she becomes an adult. Though the film is supposed to be in Africa, the Amazons are white and the locations look like the Philippines. There's a lot of catfights and nearly continuous gratuitous toplessness, a pet monkey and a witch doctor, naked cave exploration and a surprisingly smutty elephant ride. It's tame by Franco standards, suggesting he was called in to fix a problem film.

The Glove (1979)

How bad is it? It's a low point for many actors involved.
Should you see it? Yes. The cast is worth it alone.

John Saxon plays a cop tracking down escaped prisoner Rosey Grier, who dons a 5 lb. metal glove that was used to beat him in prison and is using it to retaliate against his captors. Joanna Cassidy, Joan Blondell, Jack Carter, Aldo Ray, Keenan Wynn and Michael Pataki all appear. It was directed by character actor Ross Hagen. Rosey tears the doors off a Ford Pinto. Saxon does one-leg push-ups with his daughter on his back. There's secret tape recordings. There's guitar lessons. There's a scene in a slaughterhouse where people hit each other with slabs of meat. I think this film is why I needed a 4th pass through contenders; I almost missed it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

How bad is it? It's a poor sequel to an already questionable film.
Should you see it? Nah.

Nic Cage does his over-the-top best to keep this film moving - and watching him pee fire is amusing - but  this film looks like it was cobbled together quickly to cash in on the surprise success of the first Ghost Rider film. The plot, such as it is, is stupid and not worth explaining, as the film exists solely for CGI effects and stuff getting blowed-up real good (as Billy Sol Hurok might say [look it up]). The dialogue has some real howlers and it's always good to see Idris Elba and Eva Mendes. I'm including this film because there's a possibility it might develop a cult so-bad-it's-good following someday, though it's really like an overlong music video.

Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove (2005)

How bad is it? It's a barely-passable low-budget throwback to the Universal monster glory days.
Should you see it? Sure. It's crap, but it's endearing crap.

The director of "The Double-D Avenger" went on to make this film, which didn't go straight to video. Renegade scientists revive the Frankenstein monster and a Creature from the Black Lagoon-ish monster and plan to control them and use them for good, but the amphibious creature escapes and starts attacking people on the beach. The Frankenstein monster is then sent out to stop it. It's a little like a classic Universal monster film, done very cheaply, updated with more nudity and violence. It's not good - the acting especially is iffy - but it's quite watchable (and light years beyond his first film in quality).

Fist of Honor (1993)

How bad is it? Rock-bottom martial arts film.
Should you see it? No.

I'm not a fan of PM Entertainment, which made a lot of bad action films; this is probably the most enjoyable of their films. An actor you've never heard of plays a character named "Fist," a debt collector who specializes in a pub-drunk style of martial arts. He gets in the middle of a mob war and fights his way out. No plot happens for the first hour, but there are a lot of fights, badly choreographed and sometimes amusing (a slippery floor makes one scene silly). Abe Vigoda, Bubba Smith and Harry Guardino appear - they're pointed out on the cover of the DVD - but they're not the stars.

Fear Chamber (1968)

How bad is it? It's ludicrous and, for Karloff fans, a bit sad.
Should you see it? Yes, if you can find a good copy.

Until recently, Boris Karloff's last 4 films were rarely seen and this is probably the one to catch. Scientists find a living rock under a volcano, which happens to be telepathic and also needs the chemicals human bodies produce when frightened in order to live (go figure). There's a dwarf and a giant, a sadistic lesbian, an eastern mystic, Boris Karloff doing almost all his scenes from bed, a go-go dancer getting manhandled by a tentacled rock and a lot of screaming. The Karloff scenes, directed by Jack Hill, are much better than the rest of the film in quality.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fat Slags

How bad is it? It easily surpasses "Howard the Duck" as worst comic-based film.
Should you see it? No.

This is a tough one for me to review, as I've never seen the comic strip on which it's based; most of the extremely negative reviews out there are based on the fact that it doesn't adhere to the rules of the world of the comic. The two stars, in prosthetic suits, vacantly gape at the camera. People try to do northern British country accents and fail; the humor is largely based on class distinctions, which stopped working about 1970. This film will probably be remembered as the lowest point for the people involved, which include Jerry O'Connell, Gerri Halliwell and Naomi Campbell. Only 75 minutes long, I checked my watch several times, so it was a chore to sit through.

Dr. Alien (1989)

How bad is it? It's the second-best David DeCoteau film - so it's pretty bad.
Should you see it? Yes. It's looniness actually works.

Judy Landers stars as an alien who does experiments on a nerdy college student, which turn him into a sexual dynamo. A dynamo with a rubbery worm-like phallic antenna when aroused, but it's still an improvement. Released by Full Moon, this is DeCoteau's best film after "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama" and came well before his films became just excuses to show men in their underpants. Not only scream queens Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer appear, but also porn star Ginger Lynn, Edy Williams and (briefly) Troy Donahue! It's a cheap tits-and-laffs film, but the humor often works and it's briskl paced.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Do Or Die (1991)

How bad is it? It's one of the more extreme Andy Sidaris films (in other words,not good).
Should you see it? Yes, perhaps after seeing some other Sidaris films first.

Andy Sidaris films are filled with large fake breasts, remote controlled toys, explosions where no one gets hurt, shootouts and just enough plot to hold together. This one has Erik Estrada returning, plus Pat Morita as the bad guy. Usual topless agents Dona Speir, Roberta Vasquez and Cynthia Brimhall return and are out-sized by stripper Pandora Peaks (who, if you know from anything other than the Demi Moore film "Striptease," means you have a fetish). Six pairs of killers hunt the LETHAL team, who are given a head start. There's the most questionable tracking device in film history used; though, given that the film seems to be in Hawaii, L.A., Vegas and Shreveport at the same time, maybe it's not the device's problem.

The Dirt Gang (1972)

How bad is it? It's one of the least biker gang films. IMDB rating of 1.7.
Should you see it? No.
This was one of the last biker films made by A.I.P., directed by Jerry Jameson, who mostly edited and directed TV episodes after this. Character actors Paul Carr, Michael Pataki and Lee de Broux are the main interest. A bike gang, using Husqvarna dirt bikes (and wearing appropriate leathers and helmets) attack a film crew in a desert and subject them to the usual degradations. There's nudity and violence, but nothing interesting.

The Deadly Organ (1967)

aka Feast of Flesh, aka Placer Sangriento

How bad is it? It's a bit dull, very weird, illogical and dated.
Should you see it? Yes. "Argentina's Ed Wood" should be better known.

This film has really interesting camerawork and an interesting feel - that alone makes it better than almost anything else I've reviewed here. A man lures women with his hypnotic organ music and then injects them with heroin to make them his sex slaves. He eventually dispatches them with an over-sized hypo to the chest. The dubbing is very bad and the 1960's dialogue is coolsville, dig? the most ridiculous scene has the police using LSD as truth serum (or maybe when the police use a girl as bait and just let her die). This was the first film by Argentina's only well-known horror director; his later efforts, though still tacky, are a bit more polished.

The Deadly Females (1976)

How bad is it? It's dreadful.
Should you see it? No.

A woman sets up a team of housewives to be hired assassins of men who cheat on their spouses. It's talky, poorly shot and the actual sex and violence is boring. The scene of the guy with a nun fetish looks like it might go somewhere, but it's a brief shot of nudity and then an uninteresting killing, just like the rest of the film. The director seems to think he's making some social commentary, which just makes it drearier.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Day of the Panther (1988)

How bad is it? Well, it's better than it's sequel, which I covered before, but it's terrible.
Should you see it? Yes. It's just wrong enough to be entertaining.

"Strike of the Panther" was the sequel to this Van Damme vehicle wannabe and I liked it enough to catch the original. There's a great fight scene with a broom handle. There's an erotic dance sequence that ends up being comical. There's loud 1980's fashion. The plot is the standard infiltration of a secret organization to take it down through martial arts deal; you've seen it before, you've seen it better done, but Aussie Edward John Stazak has some charm and can actually fight.

Dark Universe (1993)

How bad is it? Made by Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski and one of their worst.
Should you see it? Possibly. It has some laughs, so if it's a slow night...

A monster from outer space tags along with a spacecraft that lands in Florida. There's  a rubber suit lizard which turns other creatures into killers. The killer armadillo is funny, the killer zombies are not. There's killer spores, Joe Estevez, stock footage, gratuitous breasts (thanks, Jim, you made it a trademark), stereotypes, long talky bits, long dull stretches, bad music, bad effects, a photo of William Grefe and cinematography that makes you notice how substandard it is.

Crackerjack 3 (2000)

How bad is it? It's bare minimum action film making.
Should you see it? No.

The third Crackerjack film has a third star in the lead role, this time stooping to Bo Svenson. Here, a group of retired spies try to recover a stolen neutron bomb. The film is dull and talky, with poorly staged action scenes and the only entertainment value is spotting the logical errors and plot holes. There's not enough to make it truly enjoyable, just irritated that no one bothered to put some effort behind this.