Saturday, February 28, 2015

Megiddo: Omega Code 2 (2001)

How bad is it? It's a failed "Biblical" epic, over-blown with some odd choices.
Should you see it? I give it a very mild 'no.'
Leader planning on amassing armies for Armageddon pitted against his brother and fighting over a woman; there's some Cain and Abel overlap. The fight scenes are ridiculous, as guys in red pajama dress uniforms, and the President of the U.S. himself, fight without direction (in every sense). The devil, done in okay CGI, controls the European Union and fights the U.S. until God just steps in and ends it. Abruptly. There's also no connection to the first movie.

Mega Piranha (2011)

aka Megapiranha

How bad is it? It was made by Asylum for SyFy - that means it's absolutely terrible.
Should you see it? Surprisingly, yes, IF you must watch one Asylum/SyFy film in your life.
Former teen pop star Tiffany stars in this second film of a series of giant ocean creature films; if you have fond memories of her in the 1980's, she has not aged well. Genetically modified piranhas escape, and make their way to Florida, continuously doubling in size at regular intervals. Special agent plus fish expert Tiffany go to Venezuela to try to stop outbreak, but get chased by local army. There's a helicopter escape, two battleships sunk, a nuclear submarine wrecked, two destroyed hotels, flare gun into mouth with exploding head, and piranha vs piranha action in a feeding frenzy. At least it's not dull.

Max Knight: Ultra Spy (2000)

How bad is it? It's okay. The more you know computer jargon, the worse it is.
Should you see it? You could do worse. Don't believe that it's so-bad-it's-good, though.

Computer genius spy with arsenal of gadgets follows evil mastermind into cyberworld to defeat hm. Borrowing scenes from a video game, with dialog that is just babble, this tries to be both James Bond and The Matrix, but fails. The characters are cardboard, but not awful and, though it drags and falls apart, the story is watchable.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Maize: The Movie (2004)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst-made films I've seen.
Should you see it? F#$% no. If anyone says different, slap them.

This film often comes up in discussions of worst horror films, worst sequels (it's not actually a sequel, but - unbelievably - has its own sequel), and worst films. It is quite bad; it's not very watchable, however, as the film consists primarily of a supposed-psychic wandering around a corn maze, searching for his daughters who have been possessed by the spirits of two girls who disappeared some time ago. The film goes in and out of focus, you can hear the generator that powers the set equipment and there's one spotlight used for all shots, making this very shoddily made. The acting is no better, nor is the plot.

The Magic Voyage (1992)

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

I couldn't imagine why this was considered by some to be so-bad-it's-good, but it turns out to be another film lampooned by MST3K that wasn't really anything on its own. It's not even the worst ship voyage based animation; that would be "The Legend of the Titanic," where everyone miraculously survives.

Christopher Columbus discovers America with the aid of a worm who has his own plan to save a fairy princess. The characters are poorly drawn - as is the animation - and the plot devolves into a shouting match between an evil lord named Swarm and a suddenly gold-obsessed Columbus. It doesn't make any sense, the music doesn't help, the voice characterizations of Dom DeLuise and Corey Feldman are questionable at best and there seems to be some cultural issues between the German crew that made the film and the source material.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Can IMDB be used to find "so-bad-they're-good" movies?

Everyone who watches bad films has noted that IMDB's ratings have been heavily influenced by the followers of MST3K and that the ratings have an inherent problem of rating by quality vs rating by entertainment value. Can this be used to find undiscovered good-bad films?

Looking at the voting breakdown of films like "Birdemic," "Death Bed," "The Amazing Bulk," "The Room, "Demon Lover," "Plan 9," "Manos," "Troll 2," "Robot Monster," Asrto-Zombies," etc., I decided to look at films that:

1) Have a rating between 2.8 and 4.6 (rationale involves 5 votes, 2 of them being 1, 1 being 10)

2) Have a mode of 1 (at least 25% of votes)

3) Have at least 10% votes of 10

Starting at a score of 3.7, titles that I found  (from 1950-1990) were:

How to Make a Doll
Queen of Sex
Sam's Song
Captain America (1979)
Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars
Crocodile (1979)
All in Good Taste
Hangin' Out
Scared Stiff
Delta Force Commando
Bruce's Fists of Vengeance
Dr. Alien
Houseboat Horror
Time Burst: The Final Alliance
The Dreaded

I've seen 16 of those and most are borderline choices. This might be a viable search plan!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Killing American Style (1990)

How bad is it? It's a poor action film by people who've been in more entertainingly awful films.
Should you see it? Keep your expectations low and it's passable. For Z'Dar fans only.

It's not an allergic reaction. He just looks like that.

Amir Shervan, who directed the great "Samurai Cop" made a bunch of actioners in a few years, this one with "Samurai Cop's" Robert Z'Dar and has a cameo by Jim Brown; unfortunately it isn't either good enough or bad enough to be interesting. There's a prison break by two bank robbers, who team up with the brother of one of them, take hostages and get pinned down on a large estate. One person needs a doctor, so one hostage is let go to find medical help, but he decides to come back and kill the bad guys before they kill his family. The clothes are ridiculous. The score is terrible. The Japanese doctor is decidedly un-Japanese. The film is too long, repetitive and dull, has one nasty gratuitous rape scene that destroys any fun tone and the characters are uninvolving. It's bad, but not so bad it's good. The cult of Robert Z'Dar, however, will enjoy it.

The Killer's Edge (1991)

How bad is it? It's a mass of cliches with little payoff.
Should you see it? The cast is interesting - if you're a fan of any of them, it's worth seeing.
Very tiny screen grab

Wings Hauser is good at playing psychotic chaotic villains, but here he's a cop, teemed with a chain-smoking FBI agent (Karen Black), seeking a counterfeiter played by Robert Z'Dar, whose face is too big to fit on this blog. Really - if you've never heard of Z'Dar, look up his photos [or check out my next review!]. Hauser and Z'Dar separately create mounds of dead bodies and Hauser recognizes the throat cutting as the work of a guy that saved his life in Viet Nam; that implausibility is typical of the film. There's a guy who looks like Tony Curtis, a lot of retro fashions, a rocket launcher and exploding helicopter (most of the budget), and scenes of Hauser falling in a pool and slipping on ice skates - which mimics the sloppiness of the film itself. The final confrontation takes place on an island, for no good reason, and absolutely nothing interesting happens in the final fight. This has the potential to be a cult favorite because of the cast.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Justice League of America (1997)

How bad is it? It's a TV pilot that never aired. That kinda says it all.
Should you see it? It has its moments, but not quite enough of them.

Among the terrible movies based on Marvel comics, there's one that was meant to become a TV show, but was so bad that even the pilot never aired. The Justice League here is minus Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and even Aquaman (too expensive), leaving The Flash as the only recognizable character. The Green Lantern is... blue. One costume consists of eye shadow, the rest of styrofoam padding and thrift shop leftovers.

The show doesn't really deal with the whole superpower world very much, but focuses on the humdrum daily lives of the cast, making it look like it was based on "Friends" or maybe "The Real World." The Atom, for example, rescues a cat. The Flash makes a poor housemate because he eats too fast. David Ogden Stiers does the best he can as a ridiculously fat Martian, but the rest of the acting is as bad as the dialog, plot and costumes. The tacked on happy ending, where everything just works out, caps off a ridiculous story.

The best moment is probably limbo-ing under a security beam.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter (2001)

How bad is it? Not bad at all, unless sacrilege bothers you.
Should you see it? Yes.

One-upping Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, I guess, this film has the Son of God in the present day, teeming up with Mexican wrestler Santo (sadly, not the original Santo) to fight vampires who attack lesbians in Canada. There is, wait for it... a musical number. The film has energy to spare and enough laughs to keep the movie going, though the premise is pretty thin. Messages from bowls of ice cream, sand castle representations of the universe and a clown car full of kickboxing agnostics are just some of the things that make an appearance. I think this film's too good to be considered "so bad it's good," but it has a large number of detractors who found it tiresome after a while.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)

How bad is it? It's one of the more enjoyable SyFy originals, which means it's bad.
Should you see it? If you're in the mood for a shark attack film, sure.

Unlike the standard SyFy shark film, where there's only the inherent cheapness and attack scenes, this film aspires to be a lampoon of Jersey Shore and it does a creditable job! Shore's Vinny has a role, as do other New Jersey Italian stalwarts like the Sopranos' Paulie Walnuts and Joey Fatone and even Paul Sorvino. The story has a drilling company's vibrations stirring giant albino bull sharks from the ocean depths to attack people. Interestingly, there were famous shark attacks on the Jersey Shore in 1916, so there's something to this idea beyond ripping off "Jaws," which is followed so closely that the mayor refuses to close the beach on July 4th. The guidos aren't just chum for the sharks, but they're the heroes, battling preppies, the drilling company and the sharks - which they attack with fireworks and shotguns. Yes, it's stupid and crudely made, but having extremely low expectations going into this, I was pleasnatly surprised.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jailbait Babysitter (1977)

How bad is it? Imagine porn without sex and you're about right.
Should you see it? No.

This film would be forgotten, except that John Goodman makes his first screen appearance, in a rainbow afro wig at a Halloween party, in it. There's been debate about this point, but Goodman himself once said he was in it. It also got paired with SuperVan in a release.

A 17 year-old (played by an older actress) refuses to sleep with her boyfriend. Then a group of his friends show up and start partying. There's some action, some stuff gets broken, she hits a guy with a blunt object. The girl runs off and for reasons impossible to elucidate, ends up living with a hooker. She ends up hooking - yes, the same girl who wouldn't sleep with her boyfriend. Her first client dies of a heart attack and she gets scared straight. She runs back to her boyfriend and he saves her from revenge from the guy she hit earlier.

Some of the film is shot adequately, but most is not, suggesting more than one cameraman (and equipment). The whole thing suggests it's going to turn into porn, but doesn't. The director also made "Grave of the Vampire," which is pretty good, but also made a bunch of uninteresting trash; this is borderline.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

International Guerillas (1990)

aka International Gorillay

How bad is it? It's so bad I can't tell if it's a parody or not.
Should you see it? If you speak Urdu and aren't an Islamic militant and have three hours, maybe.

Three men in Batman costumes chase identical Salman Rushdie clones, get crucified (with their mom!), are rescued by divine lightning and then Rushdie is attacked by Holy Books.


After the fatwa on Rushdie, this film came out marking him as a mastermind out to kill all Muslims. The three brothers who are criminals at the start of the film are made heroes. There are also five musical numbers. The film runs almost three hours - and the credits come in 1/3 the way through - and there are the usual boom mikes and continuity errors. The strangest thing, and this is a very very strange movie, is that the women are all portrayed as sex objects, which seems to be contrary to the philosophy of the film.

Inbred Rednecks (2001)

How bad is it? It's very bad, but some (some) of the badness was intentional.
Should you see it? If 2 1/2 hours of farts and boogers with 4 good laughs is enough for you, yes.

Joseph P. Warren wrote, directed, produced, edited and starred in this film, which he hoped would be the next generation of bad taste film after John Waters went semi-legit. It's about cockfighting and a giant rooster created by, ahem, rustic "gene-splicing." The "that's the biggest cock I've ever seen" jokes get tiresome, but there are moments that are really funny. The death of the little person, "Sweet Meat," is probably the best and I love the fact that he's played by a man walking on his knees. The gross-out humor is extreme, but not particularly funny and the movie just... never... ends, clocking in at 135-140 minutes. The most remarkable thing about the film is that the characters, while sketchy in every sense of the word, are somewhat endearing.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Immoral Three (1975)

How bad is it? For a Doris Wishman film, not bad - in other words, terrible.
Should you see it? Sure.

The TV show "Charlie's Angels" seems to have borrowed from Ted Mikel's "The Doll Squad," but there was another film about three attractive detectives that came out at the same time. When I heard that there was a sequel to Wishman's "Double Agent 73," I'd always assumed that people thought "Deadly Weapons" was meant; I seem to be the only one who didn't get the DVD package with all three films. My confusion was caused by Chesty Morgan not appearing in this one.

Chesty Morgan was apparently a nightmare to work with, besides being a terrible actress, so her being omitted from the film could've improved it, had Wishman put any effort into her film after writing it. The film starts with a funeral for the character played by Chesty, now played by a woman who looked nothing like her (particularly in the size of breasts), who also ends up playing one of her three illegitimate daughters, who meet at the funeral.

The plot revolves around trying to solve their mother's murder, with an attorney and a gardener as about the only suspects. To get information, there's fellatio on a banana, sex in an elevator (with what might be the woman's father!), a handstand in a swimming pool and a couple of shoot-outs. There's one bra in the film and it's drawn on a picture with a pen. Once again, most of the film was shot inside Wishman's house, with one small room being the entire funeral parlor. Also once again, the camera just shoots inanimate objects - or, say, a foot - for no discernible reason. The film has a surprise ending, which actually kind of works.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1974)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst by one of the worst directors.
Should you see it? Yes!

Ron Ormond is best known among bad film enthusiasts for directing The Mesa of Lost Women with giant hypnotizing spiders and flamenco. He directed a huge number of other films, including the Lash LaRue B-western "King of the Bullwhip" (which is pretty good) and some obscure terrible films like "The Monster and the Stripper." In his later years, he became a born-again Christian and made films for his (Baptist) church; of these, "Footmen" is the only one to surface and I expect it's probably the only one worth seeing. The release date appears to be 3 years after the film date. Its soundtrack was sampled by the band Negativland.

The film has three story arcs and jumps between them somewhat haphazardly. There is a long sermon by Estus W. Pirkle about how people are being distracted from reading their Bibles by modern life and that being overrun by the godless will inevitably happen unless we all adhere to his particular flavor of the faith. It's nice to see one woman prominently displayed sleeping through the sermon. There's part of a sex-ed lecture, but not enough (the drawing of a female figure is in itself amusing). The second part is about how the communists will treat people in their totalitarianism: children forced to pitchfork their parents, a child has a stick pushed through his ear into his brain and he vomits (with added retching sound effects that don't work), speakers intone continuously "Christianity is stupid. Communism is good," children are shown how Castro is better than Jesus because if you ask both for candy only Castro gives it, there's extended scenes of bloody bodies - decapitation, knifings, shootings - making this a Christina gore film to rival "Blood Freak." The last story is about a wayward woman who goes to the sermon just to keep up appearances and gets converted. The best moment is probably when a Russian lapses into a noticeable southern-US accent. The title comes from the book of Jeremiah, I think, and makes for a clumsy metaphor, which is about par for the film as a whole.