Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pizza Man (1991)

How bad is it? It's the video equivalent of an empty envelope.
Should you see it? Sadly, no. I had hopes for it.

I loved "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" and this has the same writer/director and one of the same stars, so I thought this could be a gem. Bill Maher plays the world's best pizza delivery guy, who acts like he's in "The Maltese Falcon," trying to solve the case of his getting stiffed for $15.23. Then he stumbles upon a conspiracy - George Bush (the elder), Donald Trump, Geraldine Ferarro, Ronald Reagan, Michael Dukakis and Bob Woodward all show up (none played by themselves, unfortunately) - involving selling California to Japan. The satire's okay, but very dated and the premise of a guy solely fixated on his one petty thing while ignoring everything else just isn't enough for a full film. [Still, it's a whole lot better than most films I've watched lately, which has me thinking I need to take a break from reviewing.]

The Pirate Movie (1984)

How bad is it? It's passable for kids, but it's dreadful for adults.
Should you see it? It has a cult following, all who were 8-10 years old when it came out. It's really just for them.

This is a reworking of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," starring Chris Atkins (of "The Blue Lagoon") and Krsity McNichol. There's a ton of sexual innuendo, which the kids won't get and which will cause adults to cringe. There's also references to every hit movie of the previous decade. The songs tend to be good - compared to what else one finds on this blog - though "Pumpin' and Blowin'" is something you hope your kids won't learn and sing endlessly.

Piranha 3DD (2012)

How bad is it? The title's the best part.
Should you see it? No.

This is a parody sequel to the 2010 Piranha 3D, which was a remake of Joe Dante's quite clever original. There are cameos by Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames and David Hasselhoff (who delivers the one good line: "Welcome to rock bottom!") There's also a lot of girls taking their clothes off, though none of the main characters do and the attack scenes are not good, especially given the reported $20,000,000 budget. Piranhas are going from underground lakes to a water park. The tackiest joke involves a piranha in a vagina. The script isn't good, the direction is poor... and there's little else to recommend it.

Pinocchio's Revenge (1996)

How bad is it? It's actually one of the better killer doll movies.
Should you see it? Yes, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

I think this film has received bad reviews mostly from people who thought it was going to be a children's film. A killer claims that his puppet's responsible for murders, not him; his attorney takes the doll home and her daughter thinks it's a present for her (it's her birthday). Then bad things start happening to those who cross the little girl and the film becomes: is the little girl crazy and imagining the doll killing, or is it real? It holds up pretty well, I think. The director's done a number of low budget horror films (like "Witchboard") and they're probably an acquired taste.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Orphan Killer (2011)

How bad is it? It's a new generation's very flawed attempt to do "Friday the 13th."
Should you see it? If you like splatter films, it delivers.

This is just a plotless series of blood and gore set pieces. A tortured orphan becomes a killer in a mask and he goes after her sister, who's a match for him. There's no suspense, no likeable characters and an annoying hardcore music soundtrack. There's countless continuity errors and logical errors. If you don't think about it, though, there's enough violence and nudity to keep one's attention; once you do think about it, you'll notice things like how blood only seems to be in convenient places.

Order of the Black Eagle (1987)

How bad is it? It's among the worst of both James Bond rip-offs and worst Indiana Jones rip-offs.
Should you see it? It has a baboon driving a tank. Watch it for that.

This is a sequel to "Unmasking the Idol," a bad film in its own right, but this one borrows some of the plot of "They Saved Hitler's Brain" as well!  A James Bond type (pocket wire saw, portable SCUBA) and his female assistant and seven henchmen straight out of "The Magnificent Seven"... and a baboon... try to stop South American islanders from resurrecting the frozen body of Hitler. The baboon wears a tux, starts a plane and drives a tank. They end up escaping in a hot air balloon. There's no nudity, but there's plenty of loopy action.

Oddballs (1984)

How bad is it? It's an unfunny 1980's teen comedy.
Should you see it? If you have a penchant for stereotypes, perhaps.

This is a cheap "Meatballs" clone from Canada, with three horny teens and Foster Brooks (!) doing his patented drunk act - with a machine gun at one point, a gay popper-sniffing aerobics instructor, a camp counselor that takes kids to bars, a black kid with a ridiculous accent, a white guy with an afro and not one joke that works. I'm still trying to figure out the reaction shot from a plate of food (and it's shown twice). If you're wondering what the worst tits-and-laughs film of the era was, this is a good place to start.

Ocean Drive Weekend (1985)

How bad is it? Imagine "Porky's" without any attempt at humor.
Should you see it? It's a grind, but it's fun for a while, so a mild yes.

Actors way too old for their roles go to the beach to drink and party and, in one case, try to lose his virginity. There's a stolen car, an attempt to flee the police by jumping in the ocean (different crime, though) and some mix-ups with the locals and some romance. What there isn't is comedy, though there's one supposedly comic actor. Produced by Troma and packaged like a sex romp, this is mostly a melodrama and not a very interesting one. The Drifters are heard at least three times singing the same song and among the other songs on the soundtrack is a song called "39-21-46," which sounds more like the type of film I was expecting.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ninja of the Magnificence (1988)

How bad is it? It just might be the worst Godfrey Ho film, which is saying something.
Should you see it? Yes, but be prepared for a suckfest.
You can always tell a ninja by the English "Ninja" headband.
Godfrey Ho made a lot of films where he took a film, edited in some unrelated ninja footage and then retitled it; this is perhaps the prime example. A pupil avenges his master's death; a different pupil seeks revenge against two other bad guys; those films never come together. Terrible dialogue, often between people in different films (even the film stock belies it), often with adults sounding like children -  a sub-plot about pottery that I can't explain, a guy who buries himself to lie in wait, and ninjas dressed in day-glo neon jumpsuits... it's a mess. I'm not sure, but I think there are alternate versions of this with different running times, just adding to the confusion.

Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

How bad is it? It's more bizarre than bad.
Should you see it? Yes.

This is yet another film that I've added and deleted a few times on my bad films list, as it's a pretty good ninja film, better than the previous two Sho Kosugi ninja films done by Golan/Globus. A ninja on a golf course kills a whole bunch of people, takes an unbelievable number of bullets and transfers his soul to a young woman who works for the phone company and teaches aerobics. The film has endless musical interludes, with a lot of creepy aerobics studio voyeurism, but also a good number of adequately done martial arts sequences. Best scene is stopping a gun by blowing a dart down its barrel. Bottom line: it's not boring.

Night Train to Mundo Fine (1966)

aka Red Zone Cuba

How bad is it? It's not the worst Coleman Francis movie, but it's bad.
Should you see it? Sure.

John Carradine sings the title song (in a rather good baritone; certainly better than Chaney's "Spider Baby") and plays a train engineer who tells his story to a reporter. Convicts join mercenaries to invade Cuba, but things go awry. Then, back in the U.S., they throw a guy down a well, then take his car, then a train, then buy another car with a stolen ring, then they go after money in a mine and then they get stopped by the police. It's not as involving or as straightforward as that sounds. There's a couple of decent performances, but the script and filming are bottom of the barrel. Still, it's miles ahead of Francis' "Beast of Yucca Flats." There's a MST3K version, but I haven't seen it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Neon Maniacs (1986)

How bad is it? It makes no sense and is a typical example of bad 1980's horror.
Should you see it? It's developed a following, so if you love cheesy horror, perhaps.

This is another film that I keep adding and deleting from my list. Teens discover mutants under the Golden Gate Bridge; the mutants, each different (like a horror "Village People"), kill everything in sight, with no explanation. It turns out that they're controlled by aliens - with no explanation. Why the aliens are here and what they're doing is also never explained. The teens, when the police don't believe them, discover that the alien/mutants can be killed with water - again, never explained. The film then devolves into a squirt gun fight.

The Necro Files (1997)

How bad is it? It's pathetic, but it knows it's pathetic.
Should you see it? If you have a high tolerance for sick and weird.

This actually has a sequel (which I haven't seen). The film's about a zombie cannibal rapist and a satanic cult, plus a flying demon baby doll. The soundtrack irritated me to no end. The gore is extensive, but not done well enough to rival even H.G. Lewis films of 30 years earlier. Very cheap, this is an exercise in fringe cinema, trying to be as over-the-top as they can on a limited budget. It's silly enough for a few laughs, but I found it tiresome most of the time.

Nail Gun Massacre (1985)

How bad is it? It's one of the lesser rape revenge films.
Should you see it? I go back and forth on this one, but there's just enough there for a viewing.

Construction workers who raped a girl are getting killed off by a maniac in a gold hearse, who wears camouflage and a motorcycle helmet and attacks with a nail gun. The killer sounds like Darth Vader, makes jokes at each killing and then laughs maniacally. It's slow, the music is terrible, the killer's identity is obvious, the gore is unrealistic and occasionally silly, which leaves the viewer wondering just how many novel ways people can get killed by a nail gun. There's a surprisingly high body count.

Mitchell (1975)

How bad is it? It looks like a TV pilot. It's not much.
Should you see it? It's only maybe for fans of the cast.

I didn't know why this film had received any attention lately, but it was one of the MST3K parodies that I didn't know existed that revived it. Joe Don Baker plays a cop that's pudgy, drinks a lot, has an apartment full of porn and doesn't act like a 1970's cop - oddly, in 2015, the character would do a lot better. There's some good character actors: Martin Balsam, John Saxon, Linda Evans and Merlin Olsen. There's a lot of slow chases and a lot of cars just driving around. Mitchell shoots an innocent at one point and he slams someone's hand in a car door. The final chase involves a helicopter and a boat, but still isn't involving.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Mines of Kilimanjaro (1986)

How bad is it? It's a pretty terrible rip-off of King Solomon's Mines.
Should you see it? Yes. It's amusingly bad.

In this Italian travesty, a college student in the 1930's seeks a lost diamond mine that no one knows about, except Nazis, Chinese gangsters, some English and Dutch guys and the local murderous tribesmen. There are scenes that make no sense, suggesting editing errors. There are enormous plot holes, such as the ending, where they walk off into the sunset... without food, water, compass, maps, or anything useful. There's a white actor playing a Chinese man and another playing the empress of an all-female tribe. The bad guys just give up when it's convenient.

The Man Without a Body (1957)

How bad is it? technically okay, but logically incoherent.
Should you see it? If you're having a brain transplant film festival, maybe.

There were a lot of disembodied brain films in the 1950's, but this one has a problem the others doesn't - the brain transplant is not the least likely thing in the film. The head of Nostradamus has been preserved for 400 years - inexplicably - and is still making accurate predictions - and a man with a brain tumor decides to have a brain transplant, so he can have that power, too. The fact that he won't actually exist, since his own brain is gone, seems to go over everyone's head (hmm, sorry). The scene where they try to convince Nostradamus that he's actually a 20th century industrialist is just too weird; that the actors get through it straight-faced is remarkable.

Mammoth (2006)

How bad is it? It's one of the better SyFy originals.
Should you see it? Yes, though it's pretty mediocre.

This is not the (better) 2009 film of the same title, but a SyFy (at the time Sci Fi) network film with a better than average cast, including Summer Glau and Tom Skerritt. A spaceship crashes into a Louisiana museum and reanimates a frozen woolly mammoth stored there. The government plans to stop it by blowing up the entire area with a nuclear bomb, so there's a 17 hour limit in tracking down the beast (not hard, as it's pretty big) and killing it. Molten steel doesn't work, but they get the idea of refreezing it with liquid nitrogen and it ends up being put back on display. The CGI is no great shakes, but the film accomplishes the little it sets out to do.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Lovely Burnt Brother and His Squashed Brain (1988)

How bad is it? Bad enough that the film starts with the director telling you "This film sucks."
Should you see it? Sadly, no. The title's the best part.

A homely dental assistant is getting teased about her looks. She discovers that she can control her severely damaged brother by injecting him with urine, so she sends him out to kill those who abuse her. Then things spin out of control and the police come and shoot the sister, letting the poor killer go. This 52 minute Italian video is essentially a music video for a bad garage band. The film quality is terrible, even for video, the subtitles are hard to read, and the film tries WAY too hard to be a John Waters-type gross-out film. There's a meat slicer to the face and self-castration followed by self-cannibalization. Never officially released (who would want it?), there are a couple of copies of this floating around the internet.

Monsturd (2003)

How bad is it? It's a film about a monster turd. That said, it's about what you'd expect.
Should you see it? I hated it, but if you think bathroom humor is great, it'll do.
Reportedly budgeted at $3000, this has a little girl tell her father a story she makes up, which turns into a film about a serial killer who hides in a sewer when toxic waste gets involved and he becomes a giant turd (actually, it looks like thousands of regular turds piled together). There's a chili cook-off. There's an attempt to kill him with flies. There are people wearing diapers as armor. There's a lot of crap.

Monster Brawl (2011)

How bad is it? It's plotless.
Should you see it? It's only for die-hard wrestling fans who also love classic Universal monsters.

In a cemetery, there's a wrestling ring and in it battle Frankenstein's monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, a zombie, a swamp monster, a witch, a vampire (female), and a Cyclops. Ringside commentary is by former wrestling notables Art Hindle, Jimmy Hart, Kevin Nash, Kelly Coture and Herb Dean. Narration is by Lance Henriksen. There's no explanation, no back story, no conclusion and the fights aren't staged all that well.

Midnight Skater (2002)

How bad is it? It's extremely amateurish and looks like it was shot in one day.
Should you see it? I say yes; it'll be a cult film some day.
Now that's what I call "acting!"
A skateboarder is tagging a college with graffiti at night and some students decide to track him down. Then there's a psycho killer. Then there's a drug that turns people into zombies. There's a song by a band billed as "The Pirates Who Carve Out Your Eyes and Piss In Your Eye Sockets." There's a couple of castrations, some limbs torn off and the gore effects are passable. The film is poorly lit and the editing has a bunch of sound drop-outs. Among the plethora of "hey, let's make a movie!" shot-on-video projects, this one's better than many (of course, I still have a nasty taste in my mouth from "Ax Em," so everything looks better in comparison).

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Masked Avenger versus Ultra-Villain in the Lair of the Naked Bikini

aka Masturbating Gunman

How bad is it? It's plenty offensive, sleazy and weird.
Should you see it? If you have I high tolerance for perversion, yes. It's very hard to find.

Detective solves cases by sniffing panties and killing with acid semen. He can pull people's organs out of their bodies, but he's hindered by chronic masturbation. There's nuns and goat sex and just about anything else you could imagine. There's no point discussing the quality of acting or direction; if this is the kind of film you want to see, you're going to look for it.

Maniacal (2003)

How bad is it? It is the most generic slasher film.
Should you see it? Have you seen a slasher film? Then, no.

This is a film about a psycho who escapes from an asylum and goes home to finish off his family (which is why he was locked up) and he manages a pretty high body count by film's end, because his sister happens to be staying with friends. There's the expected gratuitous nudity, the acting is hit-and-miss, the camera work and direction are sloppy (it was filmed on video) and the gore unconvincing. It's only the pacing and the novelty of the deaths that keep this from being a complete loss; the killer's demise comes in an unexpected way.

Maniac Warriors (1988)

aka Empire of Ash, aka Empire of Ash II

How bad is it? It's a low-rent Mad Max clone.
Should you see it? Not really. There's almost enough for a fast-forward watch.

This film has a sequel, Empire of Ash III and how this film got released as its own sequel is probably a better story than what you get in the film itself. Its about a post-apocalyptic world heavily influenced by 80's hair bands, where rival gangs need each others' white blood cells to survive. There's surprisingly good stunt work for the low budget (which is why AIP picked it up for release) and some ridiculous moments - like a rocket launcher hat. The plot meanders and characters just appear and focus gets lost; it's not quite interesting enough to sit through.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Laserblast (1978)

How bad is it? It's become a staple of bad movie festivals.
Should you see it? I suppose so.

Reptilian aliens land on Earth in the desert and start fighting; no explanation given. A teenager finds a weapon one of them dropped and it turns him into a hideous killer, destroying everything in his path. The plot, simple as it is, has holes. The best scene has the teen blowing up a billboard advertising "Star Wars." The cast is interesting: Rainbeaux Smith, Eddie Deezen, Keenan Wynn and Roddy McDowell all have roles. The special effects are pretty bad, especially for a Hollywood film. It's watchably fun in a loopy way.

Lady Ninja Kaede 2 (2009)

How bad is it? It's a modern Japanese version of a 1970's grindhouse film.
Should you see it? It's really weird, but yes.
The only non-topless screen grab I could find!

This is soft-core porn, not a ninja film; in fact, the titular character lets others do her fighting for her. A female ninja nun specializing in martial arts and erotica has a sex curse put on her. There's a penis preposterously enlarged and then cut in two. There are guys with black holes where their genitals should be. There's a rainbow dildo made in a cauldron that Kaede gets addicted to using. If you want just non-stop toplessness and weirdness, this will pass the time. The film quality, however, is extremely bad; the copy I saw looked like it was about a fourth generation print.

LOL (2012)

How bad is it? Meh. It's minor melodrama.
Should you see it? No.

This was based on the 2008 French film of the same name, but lost what minor charms that film had. It's generally trashed because it stars Miley Cyrus, who is not much of an actress. A girl discovers her boyfriend's been cheating, so she dumps him and starts flirting with his best friend, a musician, and she finds herself falling for him. It's kind of fun to see the parade of actresses: Nora Dunn, Ashley Greene, Gina Gershon, Demi Moore and Marlo Thomas - though none of them acquit themselves well. The humor is badly overdone and it looks like the film was written solely with "how can we make the most money?" in mind.

The Lodge (2008)

How bad is it? It's bare bones zero budget fodder.
Should you see it? I'd say no. It won't kill you, but there are other films.
Couple in remote cabin get stalked by the caretaker and his son. There's no background, there's a lot of talk during the tense moments and that talk doesn't ring true to what people would say. There's only one location and four actors and not much plot.

Let Me Die a Woman (1977)

How bad is it? It's a Doris Wishman documentary. Consider that fair warning.
Should you see it? Yeah, but I wouldn't watch it on a date.

When I saw this film, I didn't know Doris Wishman had directed it (she used one of her many aliases), though all the signs were there - dull sexuality, confused viewpoints, static delivery, etc. This film is about people undergoing gender reassignment surgery and the surgery itself is shown (a point when a lot of men cringe). There's a scene where a dildo is used to demonstrate the formation of a new vagina, but it's pure exploitation and I think it's actually someone born female. The weirdest thing is that there's a horn that alerts you of times you might want to look away. The film does have a real doctor and real patients, but mixes in fakes and it sometimes seems to try to elicit compassion, only to have another scene immediately following that's  unadulterated sleaze. I've known half a dozen people who're transgender and none of them had ever heard of this film; that's probably a good thing.

Lady Terminator (1989)

How bad is it? It's a bad obvious rip-off.
Should you see it? Sure. It's entertaining in its way.

This starts with a confusing back story of a south sea dragon queen, then catapults 100 years, when an anthropologist becomes an evil cyborg chasing down an Asian pop star. There's a guy with a mullet driving a tank. Everyone is badly dubbed, the acting is weak at best, but the high body count keeps one's interest.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Karate Cop (1974)

aka Slaughter in San Francisco, aka Yellow Faced Tiger

How bad is it? It's not Chuck Norris' worst, but it's down there.
Should you see it? Sure.

Early in his career, Chuck Norris played the bad guy in martial arts films because a white guy wasn't believable as the hero (hey! Reverse stereotyping!) and this Wei Lo-directed film is a generally entertaining chop-socky (oops, my bad). Don Wong, playing "Don Wong," is a cop set on cleaning up police corruption when his partner gets killed and he gets set up for it. It's the sound that makes this fun to watch: Chuck has an English accent, dogs bark without opening their mouths, sirens just go off inside police stations for no reason and every punch or kick sounds the same, like maybe a whip crack. The final fight sequence is anti-climactic.

Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (1994)

How bad is it? It's better than the previous sequels in the series.
Should you see it? I must be getting loopy, because I found it worthwhile.

Villain Tong-Po is brought back in this sequel, with more tweezed eyebrows and mascara than villains should have and it takes place in Mexico, which must've saved enough money to, um, hire a scriptwriter? Directed by Albert Pyun, who did Tales of an Ancient Empire as well as Kickboxer 2, this is better than those, but no "Cyborg." There are some long, decent, fight sequences, but they're more beatdowns than equal matches. There's a voyeuristic scene in a ninja mask and surprisingly little music in the fights for once.

Kung Fu Hip Hop (2008)

How bad is it? Completely silly, it may not translate well. It's not awful.
Should you see it? If kung fu hip hop sounds like your kind of thing, sure.

I'm told the title is a pun on the Chinese for "Fists of Fury," but my Mandarin's not good enough to say and I think it's Cantonese anyway. Guy tries to raise money for an operation to restore his sister's sight when he gets discovered as a dancer. The martial arts-inspired dance moves are okay and the film appears to be a gentle parody of the "Step-Up" type of film. There's one song in English.

Kindergarten Ninja (1994)

How bad is it? Worse than you'd expect from a movie with that title.
Should you see it? Yes, it's so bad it's worth a look.

I fully expected this to be another Godfrey Ho film with a title that rips off a Hollywood blockbuster - and, eventually, I wished it were. A man dies and he can get a better spot in heaven if he performs a miracle, which he decides is to teach martial arts to a football player named "Blade Steel" (yeah, it's that kind of movie) who's been given 90 days community service to teach the martial arts to children. You might actually recognize the football player, Dwight Clark, from the NFL. He can't act, but he's better than some in this film. The bad guy's name is Hector Machette, just in case you weren't certain stereotyping was used. The plot's ludicrous, the fighting poor and the budget non-existent. Given enough to drink, this could be funny.

Keith Lemon: The Film (2012)

How bad is it? It's one of the worse unfunny comedies of late.
Should you see it? No.

Apparently, British television produces films based on 10-minute sketches just like Saturday Night Live does in the U.S. I had never heard of the character of Keith Lemon, so I wasn't exactly the audience for this, but it's just a series of penis, boob and fart jokes - and not very funny ones. Keith invents an Apple-phone like "Lemon phone" and becomes super-rich and famous, only to lose it all. The film's reason for existence seems to be endless cameos by not-exactly-A-list celebrities, most of whom are unknown on this side of the Atlantic. Kelly Brook is in her underwear most of the film, which is a plus, and the others recognizable to most here are: Verne Troyer, David Hasselhoff and former Spice Girls Emma and Mel. C.

Jimmy the Boy Wonder (1966)

How bad is it? It rivals "Monster A-Go Go" as H.G. Lewis' worst film (i.e. really bad)
Should you see it? Not unless you're a Lewis completist.
Those eyebrows - weren't they in Blood Feast?

Herschell Gordon Lewis' films are all over this blog, but this is one of the children's films that he made to make a quick buck and it's like "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny" in its utter disregard for entertainment for children. A boy accidentally stops time and then there's a journey to try to fix things, while a procrastinating villain impedes the action. Actually, what impedes the action most is the insertion of an unrelated foreign cartoon half-way through! The high point is a song about beans. The only version of this film available is of very poor quality, not that it matters much.

Monday, May 11, 2015

J.C. (1972)

How bad is it? It makes one yearn for the careful plotting of, say, "Easy Rider."
Should you see it? Nah. Too dull.

This film has started gaining traction lately, after laying dormant for decades. It's about a biker who thinks he's Christ, but who mostly just smokes marijuana. Slim Pickens shows up as a racist sheriff and the film is about trying to get racial equality... or more weed... or something. It's pretty obvious that writer/director/star William McGaha  and everyone else involved in this film (with the exception of Pickens) was thoroughly baked for the entire making of this film. It's talky, it's slow and it's pointless.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

100 to go!

According to my records, I have only 100 more films to review! Thanks to the dozen people who read this blog regularly. With some late additions, it looks like this will total out at 900 terrible, terrible films.

Inseminoid (1981)

aka Horror Planet

How bad is it? It's budget shows. An "Alien" rip-off.
Should you see it? On a slow night, perhaps.
An alien creature impregnates an interplanetary archaeologist, causing her to murder her crewmates. There's plenty of gore and some edited sex and, after a slow start, it moves along briskly. Judy Geeson and Victoria Tennant are the name actors. The budget was under $2 million and at times there are laughs to be had when the cheapness shows. Still, considered to most of the films on this blog, it's a high-budget classic.

Impulse (1974)

aka Want a Ride, Little Girl?, aka I Love to Kill

How bad is it? William Shatner overacts so much as to ruin an otherwise okay film.
Should you see it? Yes. We all love watching Bill make a fool of himself.

William Shatner plays a paranoid conman gigolo (not too much of a stretch), who seduces women, steals their money and then kills them. Finally, one would-be victim's daughter catches on. This has 1970's stereotypes, bad music and terrible clothes; just try to count how many different ugly shirts Bill wears. Harold Sakata makes an appearance. Directed by William Grefe, who did "Sting of Death."

Honey Britches (1971)

aka Demented Death Farm Massacre

How bad is it? It's one of the worst films with John Carradine (mull that one over).
Should you see it? No.

This Florida-lensed film was originally titled Shanytown Massacre, but couldn't get released, so Fred Olen Ray was hired to shoot maybe three minutes of footage of John Carradine quoting scripture and adding that made it saleable - apparently. Four jewel thieves run out of gas and shack up with a hillbilly and his pretty wife, but one of them gets too close to the woman, so the hillbilly dispatches them, one by one. There's a death by pitchfork and one by bear trap.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hell's Highway (2002)

How bad is it? Parts are laughably done, but it's a decent splatter film.
Should you see it? Perhaps, but not as a so-bad-it's-good film.

This one's hard to review, because it looks like much of the cheapness and tackiness is intentional and it sort of works. Scream queen Phoebe Dollar stars, along with porn stars Beverly Lynne and Ron Jeremy (in an in-joke cameo), in a film about teenagers getting killed off by a hitch-hiking woman. At one point, obvious toy buildings and cars are supposed to be real. The science fiction ending is a complete waste. The gore is very poorly done, especially the priest losing his head. The acting is bad enough that you can sometimes see actors trying not to smile. The problem is: all that cheap silliness seems to be planned.

The Headless Eyes (1971)

How bad is it? Ooh, boy, this one sucks.
Should you see it? No.

Man has his eye gouged out with a spoon and then there's a spree of gouging out others' eyes for an art project. It's about as sleazy as you can imagine, with no redeeming qualities. The plot occasionally picks up interesting threads, just to discard them in favor of more eye gougings. The sound is bad, both in the droning music and in the rambling incoherent muttered dialogue and the camera is never steady. The police act as police never would or else the film wouldn't have anywhere to go.

Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986)

How bad is it? It's nearly mediocre.
Should you see it? If you need to see a 1980's boobs-and-laughs film, this will do.

I deleted this from my list four times, but people keep mentioning it. It's a witless comedy (which, come to think of it, is more clever than anything in the film). A guy who keeps getting thrown out of school for sexual shenanigans goes to a burger university that teaches one how to run a fast food franchise - these exist in real life, by the way - and then meets a horndog, a nerd, a fatty, a nun, a revolutionary and every other possible stereotype student, as well as the goofy old dean and his bombshell wife (Randi Brooks), a drill-sergeant instructor played well by Dick Butkus, and comic customers from Weight Watchers to cops to Japanese tourists. It's all very familiar and not particularly well done, but amiable and sporadically amusing. The climax is essentially a fart joke.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gila! (2012)

How bad is it? It's a remake of a classic bad film, done worse.
Should you see it? Sadly, no.

The USA network proved with this film that they can make movies worse than SyFy. For one thing, they hired director Jim Wynorski, who can breathe entertainment into some bad films, but failed with this one. Shot on video, with poor CGI, this remake of The Giant Gila Monster fails to recapture the campy fun of the original. Two guys race cars, fight over girls and are about to have a showdown when a giant gila monster arrives with no adequate explanation. Then the hero, the sheriff and a veteran with an arsenal go after the monster. It's not completely unwatchable, but the best things in the film are original - whether the star of the first film given a cameo as a lizard expert or the vintage cars.

Gallowwalkers (2012)

How bad is it? Ill-conceived, poorly plotted and acted, but nicely shot.
Should you see it? No. Unless you need to prove to someone that Wesley Snipes can't act.

A man is killed, then resurrected, but that also resurrects those he's killed, so he has to kill them again. The film seems to borrow from "Blade" and every other horror film. There's a woman who shows up with absolutely no explanation, but appears integral to the story. The film looks like it cost the reported $16 million budget, but the editing is atrocious, the dialog verging on non-existent, there's little action and no pay-off.

The Guy from Harlem (1977)

How bad is it? It just might be the worst blaxploitation film.
Should you see it? Yes, but keep a finger on fast-forward for most of it.

Director Rene Martinez, Jr. made three movies, all bad (I'll cover the more famous other one later). The film takes place in Miami, though they do point out that the main character hails from Harlem. He's hired by the CIA to guard an African princess. Then the plot changes half-way through and he tries to find an abducted woman. The fight scenes are as bad as in "Dolemite." The music sounds lifted from porn films. The film drags badly for long stretches and we're stuck listening to uninteresting characters until something happens.

Goin' Coconuts (1978)

How bad is it? It's like an overlong episode of "The Donny and Marie" show.
Should you see it? (Hm. Tough call) Yes - the film's just weird enough to be interesting.

The only film starring Donny and Marie Osmond, this follows them on a trip to Hawaii. A priest gives Marie a necklace, which then bad guys try to recover. Then follows bad slapstick, terrible jokes with ham-handed delivery, endless bad songs by Nelson Riddle with abrupt cut-aways (the songs during the opening and closing credits are okay), offensive stereotyping, and a very slow chase scene. Heavyweight bad guy character actors Ted Cassidy and Harold Sakata make appearances.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Girls Gone Dead (2012)

How bad is it? Typical slasher film with a slow start and intentional camp.
Should you see it? Only if you're a huge fan of one of the cast.

Former cheerleaders (and a more reserved friend) go on spring break, where they get stalked by a killer wielding medieval weaponry. There's no killing in the first half hour, but lots of bikinis. Some former wrestlers make appearances (Jerry Lawler, Sal the Stockbroker, Beetlejuice), as do scream queen Linnea Quigley and porn star Ron Jeremy. Nicko McBrain, the drummer from Iron Maiden sings during the closing credits. It's often played for laughs, but isn't funny, and the horror elements are all seen-it-before. It looks a lot like "Piranha 3-DD," which I have on my "yet to be reviewed" list.

Ghoul School (1990)

How bad is it? It's intentional camp that fails.
Should you see it? Probably not.

This horror comedy almost works as both, but ultimately fails at both. It has Joe Franklin and Jackie Martling - and if you recognize those names, you already know more about this film than I do without having seen it. A high school break-in puts toxins in a pool, turning a high school swim team into flesh-munching monsters. Then a heavy metal band comes to the rescue. Some of the gore effects are better than the budget makes one expect and the intentional humor sometimes works, but mostly it looks like a time capsule (and a not very interesting one at that).