Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Human Centipede (2009)

How bad is it? It's nauseating, disturbing and very cheap.
Should you see it? Yes, if you're not easily offended, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

This film has a cult following and deservedly so, as its cheapness actually works in its favor, something that films like The Blair Witch project tried for and, in my opinion, failed at. It's the story of a mad doctor sewing people together mouth to anus, creating one long digestive tract and a "human centipede" with 12 legs. The originality of that particular horror and all it entails is novel, except that I seem to recall a story of the same idea from the 1880's; stories of surgically creating circus freaks has been around almost as long as anaesthetics. There were two sequels, creating longer centipedes, but they lost the novelty and had to devote most of their screen time to acquiring victims; they should be avoided at all costs.

Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985)

aka Howling II: Stirba, She-Bitch

How bad is it? Terrible, but not as bad as it's reputation purports.
Should you see it? Yes, if only for Sybil Danning's outfits.

There are people who put Philippe Mora in the collection of worst directors and usually use this film as their prime example. He's made some pretty good films as well as some awful ones and claims that he had no artistic control over this one and that he made up for it in (the adequate) Howling III. Christopher Lee plays a psychic wolf expert (just go with it) who teams up with a girl and her boyfriend to hunt for vampires, leading them to Transylvania, where their queen Sybil Danning, 10000 years old, is about to start a werewolf revolt. Danning's body is the main focus of the film and she wears the most jaw-dropping outfit of her career - and that's saying something - and also a fur body suit. She does a topless scene, for which she probably was paid about half of the film's budget, and the closing credits show it again with reaction shots.  The film has S&M wolves, werewolf orgies, a gargoyle-like monster and titanium bullets (mere silver won't work). The film has no energy, no style, no wit and even the transformations are given little screen time. Still, Danning's topless and that's why the film exists.

Friday, January 30, 2015

House of the Living Dead (1974)

aka Curse of the Dead, aka Doctor maniac, aka Kill, Baby, Kill

How bad is it? It's a slow, cheap, old-fashioned creepfest.
Should you see it? No. It has one very funny moment, but it takes forever to get there.

I think the overall poor ratings for this film come from people who expected that it would have zombies, but it's bad enough on its own (de)merits. A scientist on a South African plantation is performing experiments on animals, believing that their souls can be removed from their bodies. Eventually, he starts in on his family and fiancee. Almost nothing happens for more than an hour and then there's a climax that's quite remarkably silly, involving the spirit of a disembodied horse. Fast-forwarding might be a good idea.

House of the Dead (2003)

How bad is it? It's a Uwe Boll film based on a video game. That spells disaster.
Should you see it? NO!

I had this cued up before I realized what it was going to be and once I saw Uwe Boll was the director, it was too late. Five young people go to a huge party on an island inhabited by zombies. I've never played the game, but I'm assured that that makes no difference; this film just sucks (a little footage from the game itself doesn't look interesting, either). People ignore obvious signs and shoot zombies like it's another day at the office. There just happens to be an arsenal of weapons available, without explanation. The fight scenes are poorly staged, but rather than being comical, are just boring.

The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)

How bad is it? The only enjoyment one can get from it is from reading the reviews.
Should you see it? Not even if you're a Paris Hilton fan (there must be one somewhere).

The Hillz may be Paris Hilton's worst film, but this is the worst that someone might actually watch by accident. A guy goes in search of his grade school crush and finds that she will not date him until he finds a date for her ugly friend. The ugly makeup is beyond over-the-top besides being unbelievable. Of course, she gets a make-over and he then falls for her. The film's implausibility, particularly in the timing of events, is matched only by the number of loose ends and unfunny supposed jokes. This fails as a romantic comedy not just because of the dearth of humor, but because the romance doesn't work and the cliche's and stereotypes are overwhelming. The film attempts gross-out humor, but pulls back for a PG-13 rating and fails even at that.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Horror House on Highway 5 (1985)

How bad is it? Intentionally bizarre, it's also unintentionally awful.
Should you see it? It has a cult following, but I'm on the fence. Probably not.

Two crazy brothers, one with maggots in his brain, and their father who kills people while wearing a Richard Nixon mask, kidnap a college girl and terrorize her friends.The soundtrack is incredibly annoying and intrusive. There's rape, mayhem, drugs, Nazis and medical experiments. There's no coherent plot, no acting or direction and no conclusion; the film just ends. And, of course, it was remade a generation later as Horror House on Highway 6.

Homoti (1987)

How bad is it? It's not the worst Turkish E.T. rip-off I've seen, but that's a low standard.
Should you see it? It's tough to find and not really worth the effort.

Made a decade after most Turkish remakes of American films, this has better production values and even some CGI effects, though the film itself still has an amateurish feel to it. This has never had a distributor - at least not one I could find - and appears to have been made for the entertainment of those involved. A  newspaper reporter fakes UFO photos and then discovers a real spaceship with an alien from the planet Homo that has a head like E.T. and a butt like a rapper's girlfriend's. The reporter takes him home to his apartment complex, where we meet the reporter's mother and gay neighbor. The question is: will they try to help him get home or will they try to keep him for themselves? The answer isn't unexpected or involving.

Homework (1982)

How bad is it? It makes you long for the classier Joan Collins of "The Bitch."
Should you see it? No. Its camp value isn't quite strong enough.

The late 70's were filled with bad teenage sex comedies and this one didn't get released for a few years (capitalizing on "Dynasty"). A horny teenage boy wants to put a band together for a talent show when he gets seduced by teacher Joan Collins, who was almost 50 at the time. The kid thinks about sex so much that he's sent to a psychologist and he has problems with his girlfriend, who's trying to make the school's swim team (giving a reason to show her in a swimsuit). There's also a girl who contracts a venereal disease from a rock star, giving this a feel of "Afternoon Special." The one thing this film desperately needed was laughs, but the writing supplies none and the shoddiness of the film doesn't supply many, either. Look for Wings Hauser in a bit part if you do watch this.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hologram Man (1995)

How bad is it? It's preposterous and cheap.
Should you see it? It's just dumb enough to be enjoyable, so yes.

In the future, criminals are made into holograms. A terrorist hologram escapes by having a synthetic polymer skin over the hologram, thus making him an impenetrable electromagnetic field. At least, I think that's what happens; the science obviously doesn't matter in this film. This was directed by Richard Pepin, who has directed a few turkeys and produced hundreds. The film is nothing but explosions and body counts. Michael Nouri shows up for a paycheck, but seems distracted. The film has such stereotyped dialog that it can be fun to hear ("You're a loose cannon!") and the action scenes are edited so poorly that people and things just seem to miraculously move. Except for one long unneeded scene of cyber-training, the film moves along at a good clip, making it decent mindless entertainment.

Hollywood High, Pt. II (1981)

How bad is it? It has a 0% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes.
Should you see it? Absolutely not.

An unauthorized sequel of a nothing film, this has three "high school girls" (in their mid 20's, maybe) who are into beaches, boys and booze run afoul of a cop. The cop has sex on the beach with "Bunny" while "Ricky," "Skip" and "Jock" watch. The cop then retaliates by blackmailing them for having sex with teachers. For a supposed comedy, this is dreary and tiresome.

Hollywood Cop (1987)

How bad is it? It has almost everything you want in a stupid cop flick.
Should you see it? Sure.
I'd watch this film just for that haircut.
I missed this originally because I mistook it for the Penelope Spheeris film of the same name that came out the year before (better known as Hollywood Vice Squad). This was directed by the same guy who did the immortal "Samurai Cop," but it isn't quite as loony as that. A tough undercover cop battles the mob for the sake of a kidnapped boy. This has a z-movie all-star cast: Jim Mitchum, Cameron Mitchell, Troy Donahue and Aldo Ray. It also has visible boom mics in scenes where there's no dialog, obstructed shots and blown stunts; in the latter, a guy fails to jump out a car window and gets hit by the car on his way (I really hope he wasn't hurt). Not much makes sense, but it's fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hip Hop Locos (2001)

How bad is it? It's my new leader for "worst film I ever suffered through."
Should you see it? No. Kill those who say you should.

I had to watch this 70 minute film in stretches of 5 minutes, because that's all I could take. Two ballers decide they're going to kill dealers and steal their money to finance a movie about themselves and show the world what they can do for hip hop. There is no hip hop music in the film. What you get is poorly shot footage of two guys whose faces are never revealed swearing and trying desperately to be "street." The individual scenes are endless. This film has an IMDB rating of 1.3, which is very generous.

Him (1970)

How bad is it? Unknown.
Should you see it? Unknown.

This lost film would be forgotten except that it was listed in the "Golden Turkey" books of the Medved brothers as having the worst idea ever for a film: the gay sex life of Jesus Christ. Some didn't believe it was ever made (there was a fake film in their book, but it was "Dog of Norway"), but there have been a half dozen attempts to find this film. No distributor was ever found and there are no known directorial or acting credits. A search of movie listings in newspapers done once supposedly showed that it had been scheduled to be shown in New York City, but there's no evidence it was actually shown and that lead dried up.

I believe the film was based on the apocryphal "Gospel of the Apostle Thomas," in which John, "the disciple that Jesus loved" was the lover of Jesus. This film could thus be quite serious, when most expect it to be a ridiculous romp. I contacted people who knew Jack Smith, who starred in almost every gay film in NYC at the time and they had never heard of it.

The Hillz (2004)

How bad is it? It might be the worst film Paris Hilton was in, which makes it extremely bad.
Should you see it? No. I can't imagine why anyone would.
"Pledge This" and "Bottoms Up!" are terrible Paris Hilton films, but not enough for me to write about. "Repo: The Genetic Opera" is surprisingly good (in comparison). That leaves this and "The Hottie and the Nottie" (to be reviewed here in a few days) as the Paris bad films to review. This bounces in and out of the IMDB bottom 100 films, but belongs there simply for being soulless. Most terrible films at least strive to achieve something. This film has an athlete on his summer vacation going home to where thugs have taken over. Everyone acts terribly to each other - and acts terribly, period. The protagonists aren't anti-heroes but just unlikeable. One bad guy is half-way believable, but you don't care about him or his victims. What's worse is that the film's emotional level is that this is supposed to be light-hearted and enjoyable. Paris Hilton does very little in this film, compared to her other "star" vehicles, but that does not improve the film.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967)

How bad is it? It's a musical comedy horror that fails at all three genres.
Should you see it? It may be hard to find, but it's worth a look.

This is a sequel to "Las Vegas Hillbillys" (and the misspelling bothers me) with the busty blonde role that was Mamie Van Doren's AND Jayne Mansfield's being portrayed by Joi Lansing (who happened to be the wife of Lester Flatt of the bluegrass duo Flatt and Scruggs, which explains a lot of what's to come). Two country music hopefuls travel to Tennessee with their manager and end up at a haunted house that happens to be the cover for a spy ring. Then there's a gorilla in the basement. Then there's a real ghost. There's Basil Rathbone, John Carradine,and Lon Chaney Jr. in late-life roles; Rathbone would die soon after, Carradine made another 100 films. Ferlin Husky sings. Merle Haggard sings. Joi Lansing sings. There's a song every few minutes, plus an entire concert of at least five songs after the movie ends. Not one of the songs is actually good. The humor doesn't work and the laughing at them, rather than with them, fades very quickly as well. Still, with this mishmash of elements, it's still irresistible.

Highlander: The Source (2007)

How bad is it? It's much worse than Highlander II: The Quickening (q.v.)
Should you see it? Only to prove that it's as bad as everyone says.

This is the 5th film in the franchise, depending upon whether one counts re-edited episodes of the television series based on the films and it tries to take something from each of the previous films: the over-the-top acting and fight sequences. It was made for the Sci-Fi network, so it had no budget. The performances look like sleepwalking. The fights look impromptu. The effects look like a high school project. This sounds like it should be so bad that it's funny, but it's just a leaden lump that defies watching.

Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)

How bad is it? It's become legendary for its high-budget badness.
Should you see it? If you're really bored, maybe.

The original Highlander film was all style and little plot, but this sequel has completely abandoned what plot there was, turning our immortal Scots into aliens fighting on an alien planet. The year is 1999, or 25 years later, or maybe 500, or maybe time is different on a different planet, because we have title cards telling us all of these things. We have people reanimating each other apparently by saying their names loudly, fights on floating skateboard thingies, accents that come and go, a Shakespeare play and tens of millions of dollars of wasted special effects. Nothing makes sense, everything is overexplained and then frantic action just starts and stops.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

High Voltage (1997)

How bad is it? So bad it just might be the last film of Bruceploitation.
Should you see it? Only if you really need to see one more mindless action film.

After Bruce Lee died, they tried to replace him with "lookalikes" and then his son Brandon was poised to take over, but died young. Bruce also had a daughter, Shannon, and she has a pivotal role in this martial arts/gangster action flick. Would be bank robbers run afoul of money launderers for the Asian mob and the mob targets them. Shannon Lee plays the girlfriend of the mob leader, who falls in love with Antonio Sabato Jr. and switches sides. Antonio Sabato Sr. and William Zabka also appear. The film lacks plot, direction and acting, but does have plenty of terrible fight scenes. People get shot in one place but bleed in another and the blood pellets in the squibs are different colors. There are a lot of people getting saved by hiding behind things that wouldn't stop a bullet and jumping impossible distances. The most notable thing in the film is the sound; every action has a "whoosh" and really cheap background music plays intrusively.

Hercules in New York (1969)

aka Hercules Goes Bananas, aka Hercules: the Movie

How bad is it? It's a minor Hercules film notable only for its star in an early role.
Should you see it? Yes, perhaps with The Villain and Scavenger Hunt.

Arnold Schwarzenegger played Hercules under the name Arnold Strong (because his co-star was Arnold Stang and it sounded cool that way). His Austrian accent was considered too thick, so he got dubbed - badly - though no one else was. Herc comes to America, rescues an escaped bear, rides a chariot down Broadway and becomes a pro wrestler. It's silly, but no worse than many "Hercules" films that are actually Maciste or Ursus films.

Hercules and the Captive Women (1961)

How bad is it? I think it's pretty good, with poor editing in the dubbed version.
Should you see it? Yes, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

After "This Island Earth," I think this is the best film that MST3K parodied. The original Italian version runs 15 minutes longer than the dubbed version and is superior. It's filmed in a widescreen format and has an epic feel. Reg Park plays Hercules and he fights an upright dragon and an army of identical soldiers before Atlantis (and queen Fay Spain) get sunk. Though it is campy, it's very enjoyable camp.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hellroller (1992)

How bad is it? It's about as cheap and plotless as films get.
Should you see it? No.

This is a shot-on-video slasher whose only innovation is that the serial killer is in a wheelchair. Mary Woronov goes slumming in this and Michelle Bauer and Hypatia Lee have nude scenes; that's it for positive attributes. The film is extremely tasteless and tries to be a cult film; there's excessive gory violence, some of which may have been intended to be amusing, but it all fails miserably.

Hellgate (1989)

How bad is it? It's a confusing mess of a typical 1980's horror film.
Should you see it? It has some redeeming moments, so yes.

A motorcycle gang kidnaps a girl and kills her. Later, her father finds a magic crystal that reanimates her. Teenagers pick her up as a hitch-hiker and head to a ghost town. Then things happen like people blowing up. What this film's most known for is Ron Palillo doing nudity. He's supposedly irresistable to the pretty actress playing his girlfriend who never acted again. He's also supposedly still a teenager. The plot is confusing, the acting sub-par and the effects are laughably bad.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Haunting of Morella (1990)

How bad is it? It might be the worst adaptation of an E.A. Poe story.
Should you see it? No.
Produced by Roger Corman, directed by Jim Wynorski and starring Nicole Eggert in a dual role. Need to hear more? The daughter of a witch put to death inherits money and perhaps gets taken over by her mother's spirit. David McCallum goes slumming here, with little plot, poor acting, lack of direction and pointless fake scares. It's mercilessly padded and relies heavily on abundant female nudity (it IS a Wynorski film, after all) which only caused me to wonder why there were bikinis hundreds of years ago.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008)

How bad is it? It's probably the worst horror film I saw in 2009.
Should you see it? Nope.

Molly's mother is in an institution for trying to kill her with a knife and she tries to start over at a new school. On her 18th birthday, her mother escapes and tells her that she (Molly) died when born and that a deal was made with the devil to save her, with her soul being turned over at age 18. Molly has nosebleeds and hears voices, which turns out to be a brain tumor, but of course isn't. Not much happens, though Molly does break a guy's arm at a party. The film has an unsavory religion-as-we-cram-it-down-your-throat mentality that will turn off most.

Haunted Boat (2005)

How bad is it? It's dull and near unwatchable.
Should you see it? No!

Well, on the plus side, this is a better existential boat horror than "Beneath the Mississippi," which makes it slightly better than getting cholera. It's not as good as "Ghost Ship," though. A kid gets a boat as a gift, takes his friends on a ride, they drink and have sex - and eventually find that the weird smell is a dead body. They all say what their biggest fear is and then that fear destroys them, after the kid drowns. It's really slow.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Harpies (2007)

aka Stan Lee's Harpies

How bad is it? Some say this is the worst SyFy film, which makes it very bad.
Should you see it? No.

Before the SyFy network's original films were all intentionally bad, they had some films that were unintentionally bad and this one has the worst CGI of all. It's very much a remake of "Army of Darkness" with the Bruce Campbell character played by Stephen Baldwin (and that should tell you what to expect). The monsters are among the worst done this millennium. The fight scenes have people waving weapons and then falling down, one obviously holding the sword that's supposed to have impaled him between his arm and torso. There's some extremely implausible happenings (a falling cup saves someone). Scott Valentine shows up.

The Halfway House (2004)

How bad is it? It's a throwback to sleazy grindhouse films. Most would find this terrible.
Should you see it? If you like trash, this can be fun. Yes.

This is sort of a women's prison movie, but it's setting is a Catholic halfway house for wayward girls, which reminds me a bit of Delinquent Schoolgirls (minus the enormous breasts). There's a ton of nudity, all gratuitous, with plenty of lesbianism. There's also Mary Woronov in control of the place and a monster in the basement that seems to be making the girls disappear. Characters are named "Cherrie Pie" and "Dick Sheen," so you know that most of the badness is intentional. The movie is decently paced, very low budget - all one location - and while the plot unspools exactly as you would expect, it is very watchable.

Half Human (1958)

How bad is it? It's rather dull.
Should you see it? Only if you can find the original Japanese film from 1955.

Japanese horror films got re-edited and repackaged for American audiences, like Gojiro becoming Godzilla, King of the Monsters. This one, about the abominable snowman in northern Japan, had  about 40 minutes cut out and then 20 minutes of footage was added that consisted of John Carradine talking - endlessly - to others, including Morris Ankrum, about what happened. The original footage had the music changed and Carradine's narration layered over it. The film is interminably dull, even though it lasts but an hour. The original version of the film has been pulled from circulation due to unsubtle racism against the Ainu people.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gunslinger (1956)

How bad is it? It's a standard B-western, with some continuity errors.
Should you see it? If you love B-westerns, it's worth a see.

This early Roger Corman film is unusual in that it doesn't involve a monster in a rubber suit, but it has all the trademarks of a rushed, cheap film. After a marshal is killed, his wife takes over - and she can shoot! And shoot she does. There's the requisite bad guy and a love triangle and the body count keeps rising, amid the continuity errors and gaffes. The worst gaffe is seeing actors milling about waiting for their cue. Allison Hayes and Beverly Garland are always fun to watch and John Ireland is okay, plus the Corman regulars Bruno VeSota and Dick Miller make appearances. The final shoot-out is quite funny (unintentionally) but the plot is so circular and meandering that you never know when it's coming. Consider it a cheap "Johnny Guitar" knock-off and you won't be far from the truth. Apparently this film is currently only available in the MST3K version, which I have not seen.

Grizzly 2: The Predator (1987)

aka Grizzly II: The Concert

How bad is it? It has some problems, but it's a typical animal attack flick.
Should you see it? There's no legal way to watch it at the moment, so... yeah.

Never released, due to legal problems (the original film was in bankruptcy and the versions currently available all have bootlegged music), this film will always attract people because of the cast of people who would become famous. George Clooney, Charlie Sheen and Laura Dern are in a scene together! The film also has deborah Raffin, John Rhys-Davies, Louise Fletcher, Ian McNeice, Richard Jaeckel and Andrew Prine. The cinematography was by Laszlo Kovacs, who made dozens of cheap films look amazing. The concert, which takes up most of the film, is not good and it appears the 14 foot animatronic bear starts a fire at it and survives getting shot. The film was not finished and the rough cut includes the director audibly giving direction. The original Grizzly was a surprisingly watchable campy film and this one is very much like it.

Grim (1995)

How bad is it? It has an IMDB rating of 1.8 (out of 10).
Should you see it? No.

Someone somewhere said this was so bad it was funny, but it's just bad. After hundreds of years, a creature awakens underground and starts attacking women. It's a bad rubber suit and some poor CGI that lets it move through solid ground. You've seen this before if you've seen any monster movie and you've seen it done better. You don't care about the victims, you don't care about the monster (why exactly did it awaken and why is it attacking?) and you will check your watch frequently, as it is very dull.

Green River Killer (2005)

How bad is it? It's the least bad of Ulli Lommel's serial killer movies, so it might be the third worst movie ever made.
Should you see it? God no.

I really can't say how glad I am to be done with Lommel's serial killer films. This one is about the real-life killer of four dozen prostitutes in the Seattle/Tacoma area. It tries to look a bit like a documentary, but it has a lot of made up filler, including new characters like "Boris" that never existed. Shot somewhat better than most low budget films, it has no plot or acting, just shots of masturbation, then a killing, then a topless woman, then two more killings (with some footage repeated)... and then a total of 88 minutes of pointless kill, kill, kill with no real exposition. The one very minor laugh to be had is the fake street sign reading "Green River."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grease 2 (1982)

How bad is it? It's complete camp with terrible (but catchy) songs.
Should you see it? If you want to see an Adrian Zmed musical, it's a winner: yes.

"Grease 2" does not have the stars of the first film, nor great singers (Michelle Pfeiffer, for example, is merely adequate), but it does have exactly the same plot at the same place and with some of the same characters still in high school after being graduated in the first film. Watching nuns bowl while hearing the song "Score Tonight" does hold a weird fascination for me, though. "Reproduction" and "Prowlin'" just point out how sex-obsessed this film is. Though there are several dance numbers, none of the cast can dance. None of the songs have anything to do with the story. Pfeiffer's character has no redeeming qualities, so the attraction for her must be completely physical... which brings us back to "scoring." Max Caulfield is a complete zero as the male lead. For a 1980's musical, some of the casting is strcitly 1950's: Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Tab Hunter and Connie Stevens.

Granny (1999)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst slasher films I've seen - and I've seen several hundred. [Oh my god. I've wasted my life. Anyhoo...]
Should you see it? I think not, though it has a following among some so-bad-it's-good people.

Eight kids in a house get offed by someone dressed as an old woman, but only after 20 minutes of nothingness. One gets stabbed more than 30 times, yet doesn't react at all during it, the knife never gets blood on it, blood gets squirted from a ketchup bottle off-screen, and the girl - pretty much disemboweled by this point - keeps standing. The killer then seems to transport to another room and kills again. All but one die in short order (the film's less than an hour long) and that one dies of fright. Then, in an epilogue, we see all the "dead" kids at the funeral of the last one and we find out that it was all a prank on her that went wrong. Then the girl herself drives by. The film is remarkably well-shot, causing me to wonder if the people involved didn't know better.

Gooby (2006)

aka A Ted Named Gooby

How bad is it? It's an unintentionally creepy children's film where little happens.
Should you see it? Only if you want to think that "Ted" was pure genius.

A kid with a great imagination and a lot of fears imagines his teddy bear come to life as a six foot tall, rather scary looking, creature with the disconcerting voice of Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid, of Harry Potter). The kid's father (David James Elliott) thinks there are space aliens in their house. At one point, the kid has a head injury that sends him to the hospital, but it then goes on to show a minute of bad slapstick pratfalls by Gooby before saying that the kid is just fine. That's how this movie goes: set something up and walk away. Eugene Levy plays a character named Nerdlinger (no, I'm not making this up).

Going Overboard (1989)

How bad is it? It's near the bottom of the IMDB bottom 100 films list.
Should you see it? No.

Hard to believe this is the first Adam Sandler film on this blog (at least one more is coming), but while I find him tiresome after two minutes of schtick, his fans do not; I also think he can handle serious roles fairly well (I liked "Spanglish"). This film is not funny. It's about a stand-up comedian so bad he can't get hired on a cruise ship as an entertainer, so he works on it as a deckhand and waits for his big chance. A comedy about an unfunny comedian could be funny - Andy Kaufman's alter ego Tony Clifton almost worked that way, but this isn't funny. It's not even so bad it's badness becomes funny - it's not that good.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Glitter (2001)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst star-vehicles. It wouldn't even make a good music video.
Should you see it? No.

Back when Mariah Carey could sing (she seems to have given up with the advent of Autotune), someone thought she could carry a film and she thought she could act. It's the standard story of a girl from a difficult background overcoming obstacles and becoming a star. Though Terrence Howard, Eric Benet and Ann Magnuson are in it, their acting doesn't make up for the terrible non-acting of Carey. For some reason, Padma Lakshmi is in this. None of the songs are memorable, nor are the performances of them. There's also a number of odd plot problems: everyone instantly knows when she gets a contract without being told, her demo gets played by a DJ without his listening to it first, her concert song about her murdered boyfriend is way too cheery and in the end her relationship with her mother is miraculously better.

Girls School Screamers (1986)

How bad is it? It's a Troma slasher film, so not good at all.
Should you see it? No.

It looks like Lloyd Kaufman's Troma bought this film and released it, rather than making it. It's a haunted house movie and a slasher film, but fails at both. Six girls and their teacher go to a mansion left to their school by a dead millionaire. Then they get killed, one by one. The camera tends to pan away from the gore, and after a decent start, the film stalls for 40 minutes of bad dialog and then drags with padded footage, with occasional nudity and a contrived ending.

Gigli (2003)

How bad is it? It's an unromantic romance with inactive action and unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? No.

Roger Ebert was one of very few critics that did not pan this film, because of the chemistry between the leads Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck (soon to be merged into "Bennifer"); no one else saw that chemistry. Gigli (pronounced Zheelee, not Giggly, which is what it makes the viewer) is a mob enforcer sent to kidnap the mentally handicapped brother of an attorney to influence a court case. Then a lesbian criminal enters the scene and everyone finds they like each other. Christopher Walken shows up at the very start, Al Pacino makes an appearance (as does Lainie Kazan), but no one can save this film. Nothing happens, slowly.

Ghosts Can't Do It (1989)

How bad is it? It made John Derek finally give up filming his wife.
Should you see it? Not really.

After John Derek was a leading man (1950's), he went on to promote the careers of his love interests: Ursula Andress,  Linda Evans and then the one he married, Bo (who looked like Evans' daughter). He directed her in several turkeys: Fantasies (which some say was made in 1973, some 1981, some 1984), Tarzan the Ape Man (Miles O'Keeffe ended up doing the Ator films, one of which I'll review), Bolero (a title using Ravel's tune used in "10" and her name) and then this dreck. Anthony Quinn plays Bo's husband - apparently the only actor older than himself Derek could afford - and he dies early in the film and isn't seen, but heard for most of the film. Don Murray and Julie Newmar are in it, making this a great cast for 1965, when Bo was an 8 year-old known as Mary Catherine. The "plot" has jealous ghost Quinn wanting a man drowned so he can be reincarnated. Bo gets naked - a lot - and, while at 33, she's still attractive, acting lessons would've helped - a lot. More interestingly, Bo wears a bearskin and a fox, with attached head, as a hat.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ghost Shark (2013)

How bad is it? It's a typical SyFy shark movie (not good).
Should you see it? If it's shark week, it might be one of the better choices, otherwise, no.

This is a case of a great title and premise. A great white shark is killed and then seeks revenge as a ghost and now it can attack from any water source. How can it be stopped? Well, the town of course has a legend that involves the magical cave from which the shark got its powers... Oh, who cares? People get eaten by sharks with ridiculous CGI effects. Richard Moll plays the town drunk.

Ghost Chase (1987)

aka Hollywood Monster

How bad is it? It's a poorly realized child-friendly horror film.
Should you see it? No.

This is one of those films in which nothing works, but instead of being enjoyable because of its inadequacy, it just sits there. Two filmmakers create a puppet that looks like a one-time butler of a mansion that they plan to blow up for their film, but the spirit of the butler possesses the doll and leads them to a hidden fortune. The main character, the puppet, is creepy and uninvolving. There's little tension or plot. I'm not sure why this was made.

GetEven (1983)

aka Road to Revenge

How bad is it? It's amazingly bad.
Should you see it? Of course.

John De Hart was an attorney that not only starred in this film, he wrote it, composed the soundtrack, directed it, produced it, paid for it out of his own pocket and he even sings (sort of) in it. He plays an ex-cop vigilante weapons expert martial artist who takes on a satanic cult. Wings Hauser and Big Bill Smith are in it, as is former (by about 15 years) Playboy Playmate Pamela Jean Bryant. The script is ridiculous, the fight scenes have terrible choreography and the lead actor/director/etc. is incompetent. This almost rivals Samurai Cop in its tackiness.

Galaxis (1995)

aka Galactic Force, aka Terminal Force, aka Star Crystal

How bad is it? It's one of the worst Terminator clones.
Should you see it? It has a couple of laughs, but not enough to sustain watching it.

This is "The Terminator," only eliminating the time travel aspect and arriving about 10 years too late to the video store. Brigitte Nielsen, looking the worse for wear, and Richard Moll both try to find a crystal that will make them all-powerful and which just happens to be in Los Angeles. The first ten minutes of the film have the bulk of the action and special effects - some of which are okay, some dodgy - and then the film falters whenever Nielsen has to deliver a line.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Future War (1997)

How bad is it? It's been in the IMDB bottom 100 films.
Should you see it? I hear the MST3K guys did a good job with it, but don't watch the straight version.
The eyepiece doesn't work if your eye doesn't.

In the future, they abduct people from our present and enslave them and have trained dinosaurs they pick up similarly guard them. One of the slaves escapes back to our time in this convoluted slapdash film. There's a Jean-Claude Van Damme wannabe, a gun-toting nun and the requisite big black guy running through continuity errors, strangely constructed dialog, Three Stooges-type sound effects, hand puppets held close to the camera to look like big dinosaurs, Robert Z'Dar and a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo by Forrest J. Ackerman. With all that, it still manages to be dull.

Furry Vengeance (2010)

How bad is it? It's yet another bad kid film, this time with Brendan Fraser.
Should you see it? No.

Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields move their family to a new housing development that an unscrupulous developer (Ken Jeong) has erected and then a CGI squirrel and raccoon terrorize them to get them to go away. It's supposedly a "green" film, but it's amazing how cruel the supposedly heroic animals are to the people. With Billy Bush, Rob Riggle and Wallace Shawn.

Fugitive Rage (1996)

aka Caged Fear

How bad is it? It's a Fred Olen Ray women in prison film. That's a bad combination platter.
Should you see it? There are a few amusing moments, but not enough to make it worth while.

It's been a while since I reviewed a Fred Olen Ray film; he's so prolific, he's probably made 12 new films since then. This has women who break out of prison (not before a shower scene, though) having to fight mobsters, crooked policemen and a secret government agency. There's a moderate body count (maybe 15).  The plot is bad, the acting terrible and the direction non-existent. The few laughs I got from this came from the poor choreography; people stop in fights to prepare for the next assault and in one scene a car slows way down so the actress can roll over the hood without getting hurt. Ray gives himself a cameo, along with Robert Quarry, Ross Hagen and Calista Carradine (a third generation of bad film Carradines).

Frankenpimp (2009)

How bad is it? 8 minutes of weird in a three hour flick.
Should you see it? No.

Tony Watt may have a decent film in him, but I haven't seen it. Here he plays a reanimated android looking for a ring while trying to avoid a gangster. There's Nazis, robots, vampires, aliens, demons and whatever else popped into his head at the moment, as I doubt there was a script. There's some low budget CGI gore and Troma's Lloyd Kaufman has a cameo. Mostly, this film attempts to re-create a grindhouse feel by scratching the film, adding drop-in sound effects (the cavalry charge whenever he gets an idea is actually amusing) and hacking up the lighting. It's just random and long.

Frankenstein General Hospital (1988)

How bad is it? It's a barely sporadically amusing "Young Frankenstein."
Should you see it? If it shows up late enough at night on television, maybe.
Whatever happened to Katie Caple?

I like Mark Blankfield; I liked him on the show "Fridays," I liked him in "Robin Hood, Men in Tights," I liked him in bit parts on several TV shows. For some reason, however, he's ended up in a bunch of horror comedies, including this film, "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," "Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again," and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" and he's not been good in them. In this one, he plays Bob Frankenstein, a descendant of the original, who ends up doing experiments in the county hospital where he works. The hospital sets, which are minimalist, are depressing and Blankfield does his role deadpan with timing that's slightly off. The monster make-up is surprisingly bad, with greasepaint scars and bolts. Leslie Jordan has the Igor role, Kathy Shower plays a doctor, and there are cameos by Ben Stein and Bobby "Boris" Pickett. This has a reputation as a terrible Frankenstein film, but it's miles ahead of many I've already reviewed and is merely an unfunny comedy.

Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002)

How bad is it? It starts bad, gets desperate and runs out of jokes quickly.
Should you see it? Check out the cast below and you won't be able to resist. I'm sorry. You still shouldn't see it.

Dave Sheridan does Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, and not well. His daredevil father has an accident and his mother becomes overly protective (he always wears a helmet) and he grows up to be an insurance claims investigator (i.e. "C.I."). His investigations require a variety of outlandish costumes and exactly five jokes in an hour and a half. The reason anyone would watch this is because of the cast.

The cast: Randy Quaid, Dolly Parton, Kevin Farley, Orson Bean, Chyna, Kevin Pollack, Tracy Morgan, Andy Richter, Adam Carolla, George Lopez, Molly Sims, Pat O'Brien, Emanuel Lewis, Lou Ferrigno, Willie Tyler and Lester (!!!), the band Hanson, Scott Baio, Gary Coleman, R. Lee Ermey and Chad Everett.