Friday, June 26, 2015

Break in the action

Okay... having gone through the alphabet once again, I'm up to about 870 films reviewed and I have another 80 queued up, so it looks like I'll hit the 1000 film barrier before I finish this project. The titles get iffier with each pass through, it seems, with very few gems discovered; please feel free to explore the older posts to see the more entertaining films... and less jaded reviews.

Zombie vs. Ninja (1989)

How bad is it? It's a Godfrey Ho cut-and-paste film, so it's just awful.
Should you see it? No, not even if you're a Ho fan (there must be one somewhere).

Another great title hiding another Godfrey Ho travesty; Ho's been all over this blog lately, but for the uninitiated, he took already released films, added a few minutes of ninjas and re-released them with catchy titles. There's an undertaker teaching his son martial arts who have to deal with zombies and there's ninjas, but they never meet, though dialogue is intercut to make it look like characters from one film talk to those in the other. The ninjas wear bright uniforms and headbands that say "Ninja" on them so you know who they are (also used in Ho's other films). One ninja is named Ira; that's the best thing in this film.

Zombie Women of Satan (2009)

How bad is it? Great title, nothing else.
Should you see it? No, unless you're a zombie fanatic.

Sideshow performers, including Pervo the Clown, end up in a house with a family that experiments on women and are turning women into zombies. Nothing happens to serve a plot, it's just mayhem with some dirty jokes and a lot of very average-looking women going topless.

Zombie 108 (2012)

How bad is it? It's a film with promise that fails completely.
Should you see it? If you habitually watch zombie films, this one's acceptable... but barely.
This zombie film comes from Taipei and exploits the real-life radiation leak from the Japanese nuclear reactors at the time, causing people to die and then become zombies. There's a couple of interesting sub-plots, including the armed forces having to join forces with gangsters and a serial killer who capitalizes on the mayhem. There's plenty of gore (and nudity), but it's not done well. The soundtrack gave me a headache. In the hands of an experienced director with a bigger budget, this could've worked.

Zombie Beach Party (2003)

aka Enter... Zombie King, aka Zombie King and the Legion of Doom

How bad is it? It's cheap and it shows.
Should you see it? Wrestling fans will appreciate it.

I only covered the Mexican wrestling films in a couple of posts, but this is a Canadian luchadore film, which is an oddity. There's a plot to create controllable hybrid zombies and another plot to infect water with zombie blood and it's up to masked wrestlers Ulysses and Tiki to defeat the evil Zombie King. Reportedly budgeted at $220000 (Canadian?), there are some typical low budget flaws in continuity and the acting is sub-par with so-so wrestling action. It's okay in a brainless way.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yeti: A Love Story (2006)

How bad is it? It's a Troma film with a gay yeti. That's not good, for a start.
Should you see it? No. It's not the best or worst of the Bigfoot/Yeti films.
This actually has a sequel (unseen by me). A captured yeti escaped from a sideshow lives in New Hampshire woods and a local cult gives it sexual sacrifices. There's a priest and a gong and a scroll and some mumbo-jumbo, there's a bunch of romantic couplings (with and without yeti), there's rednecks and perverts and Tentacle Boy. There's entirely too much plot for once - a rarity. It's typical low budget fare with a bad monster that relies heavily on a the twist of the yeti being gay.

Women Unchained (1974)

aka Escape from Cell BlockThree, aka 5 Angry Women

How bad is it? It's a fairly typical women's prison film from the 1970's.
Should you see it? If you've seen the 20 or so better similar films already, you probably will see this.

I added and deleted this film from this blog repeatedly; it keeps making "worst-of" lists, but I'm not sure why, except that it's about an escape from a women's prison so it doesn't have the usual women-in-prison trappings. They kill a guard, escape and then bicker endlessly. There's a bad car chase. Then they go to a farm house and one of the girls rapes a guy. Then they get involved with a pimp. Eventually, four of them get killed, but you won't care by then. I actually saw this on broadcast TV and thought they must've edited out all the sex and violence, but there wasn't much to begin with.

WolfCop (2014)

How bad is it? It's okay (damning with faint praise).
Should you see it? Yeah, but don't go out of your way.

This film, like "Zombeavers" and the short "Kung Fury" got a ton of social media coverage, but it - like those others - is no big deal. An alcoholic cop finds out he's a werewolf. It's meant as a horror comedy, but it's not scary (though the gore is much better done than usual for films I watch) and the laughs fall flat. It doesn't really go anywhere and it knows what it is: an attempt at making a cult film. It's, if anything, too serious.

Weekend Pass (1984)

How bad is it? It's one of the lamer comedies of the decade.
Should you see it? No; maybe if it shows up on TV late at night and there's nothing else.

I'm not sure why this is considered terrible by some people, though it is a comedy with few laughs and a "raunchy" film with no nudity or sex. And the music's bad, even for the era. Well, the clothes scream 1980's. Okay, so it's not good. It does have Phil Hartman, though. Four sailors just out of basic hit the town: a strip club, a comedy club, an aerobics studio and they look for sex, don't find any and end up with pretty good girlfriends. There's not much plot, so it relies on winsome personalities, which depends upon the viewer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Vegetable Monster from Outer Space (1995)

How bad is it? It's a Brazilian basement film.
Should you see it? No. Not that it's likely you'll find a copy.
Deservedly obscure, this Brazilian film is about a friendly alien from a planet of legumes, looking for a mate, so he can create a hybrid vegetable/meat race as a way of ridding the world of violence. He gets captured by an evil scientist and is imprisoned with another victim (whose name translates to "poop"), but they escape and go on a killing spree - which makes no sense, except as a "Coffin Joe" homage - with a lot of bad gore, including a very fake bottle attack.

This has a sequel (which I doubt I'll see).

Vampire Holocaust (1997)

How bad is it? It's inept junk.
Should you see it? There's no reason to.
When I can't find a screen grab, that's a bad sign.

Todd Sheets has directed more than three dozen bad horror films and I'm not sure if I've reviewed any of them - they're all the same - but this one was written by him and directed by someone else, so I thought it might be better. It isn't. There's an inept gang war, a voodoo shop, "vampires" that are zombies in any other film, and a lot of gore. It's cheap, repetitive, unoriginal.

Vampire Dog (2012)

How bad is it? Misleading title. Fair to poor children's film.
Should you see it? No, though it's less painful to watch than many films I see.

I missed this for a while because I confused it with Dracula's Dog, but it has nothing in common with that film. Boy gets willed a talking dog (voice by Norm MacDonald) that just happens to be a vampire, who instead of blood is into red jelly. There's a battle of the bands to save the school - yes, this is the same movie. There's also a doctor who wants the dog's DNA for her beauty serum. The dog defeats the doctor's henchmen by hypnotizing them, which leads to acting like chickens and cats. This is all very banal, but preferable to most children's films on this list, particularly the Christmas ones.

Vacuum Killer (2006)

How bad is it? Seemed awful, but I saw it in a language I don't speak.
Should you see it? Only gorehounds would find it mildly interesting.

Available only by mail order, this is a Belgian "grindhouse" film; I borrowed a copy from someone who actually paid to watch it. It's in French, without subtitles, so I missed the finer points, if there were any. A cleaning lady commits suicide after being fired. Her son tries to revive her, but just ruins his arm. He gets painkillers from a drug dealer and, under the influence, grafts a vacuum cleaner to his arm. there's Russian Roulette, painting nude bodies, a perverted priest and a long killing spree where most of the gore isn't shown - which probably is a letdown for the intended audience, whoever that might be.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Transmorphers (2007)

How bad is it? IMDB rating of 1.7 and made by The Asylum: Bottom of the barrel.
Should you see it? No.
Director Leigh Scott has made a score of films for The Asylum; this one reportedly was the highest budget film for the producers up to that time, but it doesn't look it. The sound especially is poor, as voices aren't synced and some explosions are silent. It was in the theaters at the same time as "Transformers," so it must've been rushed, intending to confuse people with the similar title. The world has been destroyed by giant robots, except for a small underground army that includes lesbians and a cryogenically frozen warrior. There's a plot twist - rare for these films - and a fun sequence with flying bikes. There's little explicit gore or sex, which while a pleasant change from what I've been watching, does add to the general dullness.

Thunderstorm: The Return of Thor (2011)

How bad is it? It has a 1.6 IMDB rating and deserves it.
Should you see it? No.
Brett Kelley has directed more than two dozen films so far and none are very good; this is probably his worst. Here he also wrote and gave himself the title role (though not top billing). Those who worship the Norse goddess Hel are about to bring on the end of the Earth (and Asgard), so the powers of Thor are given to a human in order to stop her. Non-actors in Halloween costumes then fight in poorly choreographed scenes with bad special effects and post-production (and poorly synced) sound. Shooting blue fireballs from his hands to defeat lizard puppets is fun, but doesn't compensate for the slow and talky rest of the film.

They Must Be Told! (1938)

aka Sex Madness, aka Human Wreckage

How bad is it? It's a typical "informative" roadshow picture by a terrible director.
Should you see it? Yes, if you're a fan of films like "Reefer Madness."

Dwain Esper wrote, directed and produced a lot of bad films, his most entertaining, Maniac, coming before the Hays Code; after that, he made films purportedly to teach about social issues, but pure exploitation. Some of the more interesting titles, such as "How to Undress in Front of Your Husband," turn out to be his dullest. This one tells about the perils of venereal diseases. A woman contracts syphilis, is informed of the proper treatment course and the perils of not being treated - plenty of stock footage of sores - but she wants a fast cure before she marries her boyfriend, so she goes to a quack for a miracle cure. The result is a dead baby, a blind husband and the beginning of madness. There's one unforgettable scene: a prop window accidentally slams shut and startles the actors, but they continue with the action without re-shooting; the viewer ends up staring at the window, expecting that it has something to do with the plot.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (2011)

How bad is it? It's okay, if predictable.
Should you see it? It's watchable. If you've seen Turbulence 2, you've seen most of it, though.
I've deleted this film from my list twice so far, but here it comes again.

This was the last film released by Trimark Pictures. A rock concert on a plane is being streamed on the internet when it gets hijacked. Rutger Hauer and Gabrielle Anwar are in this, so the budget couldn't have been zero, but there's a lot of plane footage that looks like it came from earlier films in the series. The actors supposed to be heavy metal musicians aren't believable (well,  no more than the hacker or FBI agent), the plot is completely predictable - a non-pilot has to land the plane as guided by ground control, there's a substituted "double," and one of the helpful passengers turns out to be a bad guy. The film is so full of cliches and low-budget gaffes that it can make for a passable viewing experience.

Trasharella (2009)

How bad is it? It's a vanity piece by someone with little ability in any field.
Should you see it? No.
I honestly don't know if the uncut version of this is the same as the 2011 film "Trasharella Ultra Vixen." Rena Riffel, a stripper who played a stripper in Striptease and in Showgirls and in Mulholland Drive, plays a stripper who wants to be an actress (not much of a stretch), but who may be going insane and/or is being stalked by a Jewish vampire called Count Smokula. She dons magic shoes, lipstick and a Bettie Page wig and becomes the heroine Trasharella. There's a silent-era flashback, a few bad songs and a long scene where she and porn star Mary Carey try on clothes (just to show off breasts). It's nearly plotless and terribly self-indulgent and not campy enough to succeed.

Titanic II (2010)

How bad is it? It's a disaster (sorry for the cheap joke).
Should you see it? No.

One of the worst films released by The Asylum, who have been making turkeys for television for a while now, this has a replica of the original Titanic being sent out on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original. Then a tsunami hurls an iceberg at it at the speed of sound. The ship is a mess, using footage of the Queen Mary as well as Titanic, plus cheap CGI and interiors that obviously are not on a ship (concrete walls). The acting is abysmal - I was rooting for people to get killed off early - and the extras stumble unconvincingly with post-production sound effects. The storm seems to pick and choose what it damages.

Titanic: The Legend Goes On (2000) and Legend of the Titanic (1999)

There's more than one Italian animated Titanic film, which are harder to separate than the two Turkish "E.T." films. One of these has a sequel, not worth reviewing.

Titanic: The Legend Goes On (2000)

How bad is it? Mindless, fairly entertaining and a little insulting.
Should you see it? I hear the uncut Italian version's better, but no.

This film starts with the sinking of the ship and then goes to flashback, where there are evil step-sisters (Cinderella), a Cruella DeVille clone (101 Dalmations), two bumbling thieves (Home Alone), a mouse traveling with its family (An American Tale), a rapping dog (original, but annoying), a lost mother and a locket that looks suspiciously like the one in Cameron's Titanic. When the iceberg hits, they try to bail with buckets. Everyone gets rescued and lives happily ever after. The animation itself looks jerky, like they used half the cels they should have and used them twice.

Legend of the Titanic (1999)

How bad is it? It's even worse than Titanic: The Legend Goes On
Should you see it? No.

An octopus, tricked by sharks, throws an iceberg at the ship. Then it becomes a sort of save-the-whales film. In the end, the giant octopus saves the ship by holding the two pieces together and everyone is saved. Beside the terrible plot and trivializing the real event, the animation is poor and the voice characterization particularly bad (even for a film dubbed into English).

Sunday, June 21, 2015

They Don't Cut the Grass Anymore (1985)

How bad is it? It's an extreme gore film with nothing else going for it.
Should you see it? No.
Nathan Schiff has made a name for himself among low-budget gorehounds, but his films are little more than gore effects spliced together with as little extraneous things - like plot - as possible. This one has two southerners taking jobs in the north tending to lawns and hedges; then they take offense at the Yuppie lifestyles and butcher them. The crew were a lot better at yardwork than filmmaking. Some of the scenes use obvious dolls, but that helps ease the tension of what is otherwise just an exercise in carnage.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Terror Toons (2002)

How bad is it? It's the worst cartoon comes to life film.
Should you see it? No. Skip the sequel [Terror Toons 2 (2007)] as well.

There are a lot of films that try to combine a cartoon world with real life (well, life as portrayed on film), most painting cels on live action; this one substitutes costumed characters for cartoon characters. This one has kids putting a DVD in a player, finding a special function that brings the cartoons to life and then things get violent. The costumes the characters wear look like bad Halloween costumes, the sound effects and graphics are terrible even for the low budget and the plot is idiotic and poorly edited. There's a disco dancing scene, there's strip Ouija, and there's beating up Satan - all of which sounds more entertaining than it is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Teenape vs. the Monster Nazi Apocalypse (2012)

How bad is it? I crapped a better movie this morning.
Should you see it? No.

Chris Seaver makes zero budget - and I mean zero - movies that have been picked up by Troma. He obviously was highly influenced by early John Waters, but his films are two generations late for the underground film movement. Hitler's plan to create genetically engineered monsters was foiled, but his protege plans to bring them back, and Hitler too. It's up to Teen Ape and his team to save the day. This is about the 20th film in this series and they've run together in my mind since "terror at Blood Fart Lake." The non-actors are among the worst I've seen, so when an outrageous scene happens, its effect is diminished.

Tammy and the T. Rex (1994)

How bad is it? It's low budget and the cast seems to know they're in trash.
Should you see it? Yeah. It's a minor campfest.

Denise Richards in her first starring role plays a high school girl, whose boyfriend gets killed. Mad scientist Terry Kiser puts the boy's brain in an animatronic T. Rex. That leads to some romantic difficulties, as you might imagine. The lizard then goes on to get revenge on its tormentors in ways that seem violent at first and then become cartoonish. The T. Rex gets filled full of bullets, they plan to put the brain back in the original body (now rife with maggots and rats) and he ends up as a brain in a vat. It's so stupid that it's kind of enjoyable.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Strike of the Panther (1988)

aka Fists of Blood

How bad is it? It has the second-worst fight scene I think I've seen.
Should you see it? Yes, for the climactic fight.
This is a sequel to "Day of the Panther," which I may have to review later (it's worse, but not as entertaining). It's an Australian ninja film, directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, who isn't always a hack. There's ten minutes of recycled footage from the first film, a laugh-out-loud bad dancing sequence, a rather tasteful sex scene and a throw-away gag involving a chicken suit, a bad guy who's always on the phone and then the hand-to-hand fight sequences that would be quite good if the leading character had less terrible opponents. There's sexual innuendo between uncle and niece, a bomb needing to be defused, and then the final abandoned power station fight involving nunchuks, baseball bats and knives. Put your brain on hold and it's worth a watch.

Skyscraper (1996)

How bad is it? Imagine "Die Hard" starring Anna Nicole Smith and no budget.
Should you see it? No.

A chartered helicopter pilot on the top of a skyscraper finds out the building is held by terrorists and it's up to her and her husband to rescue their hostages. That's not the worst of it. The pilot is played by Anna Nicole Smith who monotones every line like she's swallowed sleeping pills and manages a lot of gratuitous shots of her breasts. The terrorists have bad accents (one tries British, one French), the sets are impossibly cheap and the director tries to substitute boobs for action or plot; this film desperately needed Andy Sidaris.

Shocking Dark (1989)

aka Terminator II, aka Terminator II: Shocking Dark

How bad is it? It's a no-budget almost shot-for-shot remake of a film you know well (no, not Terminator).
Should you see it? No.

I've seen a number of Bruno Mattei films and I'm not sure which, if any, I've reviewed here - they're all pretty bad; there's even a legend that he was intentionally making bad films. In a polluted Venice of the future, well... the plot of "Alien" unfolds. There's a cyborg, there's a wild girl, there's people in cocoons and there's a point when the plot then switches over to stealing from "Terminator." The budget is low, the acting mostly by non-actors, the direction lazy and the dialogue completely lifted from other films.

Secret Agent 00 Soul (1990)

How bad is it? Wow this one stinks.
Should you see it? No.

Watching bad blaxploitation, it was suggested I check this out. Billy Dee Williams plays an ex-secret agent who opens a detective agency. His receptionist turns out coincidentally to be his daughter. Williams wears a cape (as he did as Lando Calrissian), a tux and at one point, a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap; his clothes are more interesting than anything else. There are fart jokes. There are Russians with terrible accents. There's a real estate hoax, a crack den, gimmick inventions and rapping mummies (I kid you not; they're the best part). This is just a series of short underwritten sketches strung together. Straight to video, it's surprising this got released at all.

Sand Sharks (2011)

How bad is it? It's the cinematic equivalent of a pun.
Should you see it? If you like cheesy shark films, this one's okay.

Stealing mercilessly from "Blood Beach" (as well as "Jaws," "Tremors" and "Piranha"), this film answers the question of: what if the sharks weren't confined to the water? There's a bunch of familiar faces, from Brooke Hogan (and her brother Nick), Corin Nemec and some whose names I don't know, but have worked before in films or television. The CGI is of course poor and the plot hackneyed - the beach is closed after the first attack, so someone throws a party there - and there's a lot of girls in bikinis screaming. Most memorable, however, are the endless puns and riffs on better films; "you sand of a bitch" capturing both.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Suckling (1990)

aka Sewage Baby

How bad is it? It's a good idea squandered. Not completely awful.
Should you see it? It can't be recommended to those who would watch this kind of film.

This is a strange case: a good premise that fails for the opposite reasons than most films of its ilk. A girl has an illegal abortion in a brothel and it gets flushed, mutates from pollution (growing fangs, glowing green and growing fast) and goes back for revenge. The baby is a fairly good special effect, popping out of toilets. It then covers the house in an amniotic sac of sorts, grows to be a guy in an obvious monster suit. There's a low body count, little gore (lots off-screeen), little nudity and endless talk that has nothing to do with the plot. The soundtrack has drop-outs of the sound effects, which are distracting. This could've worked, but didn't.

A young girl has an illegal abortion in a house of ill-repute. The foetus is flushed down the toilet and into the sewer where, nurtured by pollution and goodness-knows-what, it survives, harbouring a grudge and glowing greenly. It then sets about popping up out of the toilets and picking off one-by-one all those responsible for its sorry fate. It is aided by the fact that all those involved are the kind of people who - on being told that there is something in the bathroom making a noise like the devil incarnate - proceed to shove their heads down the pan for a really good look.

Well, I first saw this on video in the early 90's when it was on release in the UK as "Sewage Baby", and it was so awful that I have never forgotten it. There was a kernel of a good idea here, but it was made with such technical ineptitude that even the folks at MST3K would only have been able to watch in gob-smacked silence. The photography is dire. The sound appalling- there are silent gun shots, footsteps that suddenly disappear halfway down a flight of stairs and then suddenly start again. Some of the cast are obviously actors, some are just as obviously not. The special effects are of the "let's have a Halloween party in the garage" school, with lots of atmospheric net curtains.

Suburban Sasquatch (2004)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst bigfoot movies, which is a pretty big field.
Should you see it? If you're patient, it has its moments. A very mild thumb's down from me.

True to the title, Sasquatch is in the suburbs, but why is never explained. And this one can regenerate and can throw cars a hundred yards. And it has breasts and what look like slippers. The weirdest thing is that people are getting killed, but the police don't care and the newspaper doesn't think it's newsworthy. It's incredibly cheap, the plot makes little sense (especially the ending), the acting is sometimes passable, the effects competent for the cheapness. It's essentially a better than average home movie.

The Stabilizer (1986)

How bad is it? It's a Troma-released Indonesian cop film (yikes).
Should you see it? Surprisingly, yes!
I'm a bit behind on the East Asian film world, discovering Weng Weng after everyone else, for one thing, and this film escaped me until just recently. It's bad guy Rainmaker vs. good guy Stabilizer due to drug trade and revenge. The star has the most 80's look imaginable, and that includes the Asian Mr. T that's in this film. There's a rape scene that's funny (I'm really sorry I laughed at such a time) because of a poster in the background. A guy eats a lizard - and then another one. There's ridiculous stunts, weird fights (our hero defeats attackers with his hands tied), a very cheap boat chase and women martial artists. It's quite watchable.

Soda Cracker

aka The Kill Reflex

How bad is it? It's the worst Fred Williamson film. All cliches.
Should you see it? No.

Fred Williamson has been in a number of entertaining blaxploitation films, but this one, which he also directed, is a mess. There's continuity problems (including in the titles!), which can be entertaining, like when you ask yourself, "Why is he taking some random kid to the gun range?" Cop who doesn't play by the rules loses a partner, chief throws him off the case, sexy new partner (Maud Adams)... you know how this plays out, shot for shot, without seeing it. The music's bad, the direction is terrible - I'm guessing the first 5 minutes were by someone who quit or got fired and Williamson took over - and the dialogue is stuff no one would say outside a film.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Slugs: The Movie (1988)

How bad is it? It's a terrible idea, poorly done.
Should you see it? Probably not.

Slugs aren't scary and this film does nothing to counter that fact, though there is a surprising amount of gore in this one. Spilled toxic waste gets eaten by slugs, which attack naked teenagers on Halloween - it's just that unoriginal. It's also badly dubbed. So how do slow-moving slugs kill? They have teeth, but the people tend to kill themselves off in fires and accidents. None of the characters are likeable, so you almost want them to get killed and eventually they manage to blow up the entire town.

Sloane (1986)

How bad is it? Just a string of cliches and people who never worked in the industry again.
Should you see it? It's hard to find, but if it shows up somewhere, give it a try.

If you try a drinking game where you take a swig every time you hear the name "Sloane," you'll pass out very early, which means you'll miss the cannibalistic pygmy troglodytes. That got your attention, didn't it? Guy's ex-girlfriend gets kidnapped, so he pursues them to the Philippines. There's a brothel, a Chinese overlord, a religious cult, a snake attack during a car chase, and then the caves of little people. The hero doesn't look the part, certainly doesn't sound the part and the lines he delivers just make you groan. The action scenes are not good and there's little else.

The Six Thousand Dollar Nigger (1979)

aka Super Soul Brother

How bad is it? It's one of the worst-made blaxploitation films.
Should you see it? If you loved "Dolemite," you'll tolerate this. I give it a mild 'yes.'

This film stars Wildman Steve as a wino who's given a serum by a criminal doctor trying to create a thief immune to bullets. I've heard that this was meant to be a black Superman film that then got turned into a parody of The Six Million Dollar Man, but that doesn't explain the lack of continuity (some characters just appear or disappear). The cheapness is obvious, especially with a heavy safe made of cardboard. Much of the dialogue seems improvised and I think they were trying for a Rudy Ray Moore-type film with a less funny lead.

This was reviewed on Rupert Pupkin Speaks without the offensive title at He raised some questions about the whole "so bad it's good" idea and I figure it's time to address them.

The big question is: how much slack should you cut a film maker? Oscar Michaud made some films that were technically as terrible as any you'll see, but he's considered a pioneer, because he was one of the first black directors. Some people put their hearts and souls (and their life savings) into making a film that still screams its cheapness, but I give them a pass as long as what they make is entertaining. It's when a film has nothing at all going for it that you have to entertain yourself, usually by making fun of the travesty unspooling before your eyes. That led to "Mystery Science Theater 3000," which in turn led to an unending train of podcasters reviewing bad films; I have a problem with almost all of these, as they're about the hosts and their "aren't we funny" egos, rather than being about the film; one I like is "Dark Corners," as I usually learn something about the film I didn't know (they must really do their research).

I hate a bad film as much as anyone, but I obviously have a soft spot for the loveable losers who do the best they can, but still fall woefully short. I wouldn't have watched thousands of zero star films if I didn't think the few wonderfully cheesy obscurities are worth the time spent watching atrocities.

She (1982)

How bad is it? It seems to be random pieces thrown together.
Should you see it? Sure. You can tell people it's a Bergman film.
Even the boxes are funny.

This 3rd (I think) version of the Rider Haggard novel has little to do with the book. The main character is a goddess with no discernible powers who leads a group of amazons in a post-apocalyptic world where men are second-class citizens. Sandahl Bergman is on a quest to rescue a kidnapped girl and there's a vampire, a telekinetic mad scientist, axe-wielding monks, mutants with chainsaws, werewolves, a giant and none of it makes sense. It is well-shot for once and that's appreciated when Bergman takes a bath (there's a video called "Sandahl Bergman's Body" that I rented once). It's mindless fun and I'd left it off this list for a long time because it's not terrible.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Shadow: Dead Riot (2006)

How bad is it? It's a mishmash of genres that doesn't succeed (or fail) at any of them.
Should you see it? It has its fans. If cheap splatter's your thing, sure.

It's a kung fu film. It's a zombie film. It's a women's prison film. A voodoo serial killer of pregnant women is executed, but his spirit lives on and it's up to an inmate of a women's prison to fight him and his zombie followers with martial arts. The fight scenes aren't bad. The effects are laughable and the flying mutant baby zombie will make you laugh, despite your efforts not to. There's a few nice in-jokes (a guard is named Elsa Thorne) and some porn actresses show up, like Erin Browne (Misty Mundae) and April Showers.

Sexual Parasite: Killer Pussy (2000)

How bad is it? It's cheap, but it delivers what it suggests.
Should you see it? If you're into the recent extreme sludge coming out of Japan.

Vagina dentata always makes for a good scare for men. Five teens stumble upon an abandoned house in a deserted jungle and find a cryogenically preserved woman in the basement who has a monster in her reproductive organs. The monster's the weakest part of the film, being obviously rubber. They go on to infect each other and then it's the usual mayhem. It's a good example of its type.

Schizophreniac: The Whore Mangler (1997)

How bad is it? It's as shoddy as extreme gore films get.
Should you see it? No.

Drug addict takes orders from a ventriloquism dummy, who then goes on to kill whores. It's about 90 minutes of a naked man screaming. No whores get mangled. I'd been told that the director of this was "the new Ed Wood" (how many dozens of those have there been?), but it's just a very poor home movie.

Scary Movie 5 (2013)

How bad is it? I doubt even fans of the franchise know it exists.
Should you see it? No.

This series of lazy spoofs hits a nadir of unfunny, unoriginal and stupid non-jokes. A couple with adopted children moves into a haunted house and then parodies of films get unleashed. The opening with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan is the best part, which leaves one only looking for familiar faces, of which there are many: Ashley Tisdale, darrell Hammond, Snoop Dogg, Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, Sarah Hyland, Heather Locklear, Jerry O'Connell, Kate Walsh, Usher, Mike Tyson, Audrina Patridge, Kendra Wilkinson.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Retro Puppet Master (1999)

How bad is it? It's disappointing to fans of the series, okay otherwise.
Should you see it? Only if you've seen the first 6 films.

This is a hard one to review, because it's only going to be seen by fans of producer (and writer) Charles Band's series and, as it is a departure from the series, will be seen as poor by them. For those who aren't fans of the series, it's... fair to middling. Instead of the gory horror of the other films, this one's more of a fantasy. It's directed by David DeCoteau, which will cause some to immediately claim it's bad sight unseen. Puppeteer Toulon meets a sorcerer who is being sought by three mummies because he has the secret to giving life to inanimate objects. Almost all of the puppets from the earlier films return, excepting a few that weren't popular. The film unspools exactly as you'd expect and the biggest flaw id the dialogue, particularly the lines of the mummies.

Raptor (2001)

How bad is it? It just  may be the worst dinosaur movie!
Should you see it? If you've seen "Carnosaur," you've seen most of it already.

Producer Roger Corman took footage from his "Carnosaur" (a film Gene Siskel liked a lot, by the way) and its sequels, and then had Jim Wynorski shoot new footage to piece together a new film. The edits are more than obvious. A military dinosaur clone expert continues his experiments when let go and they start eating local animals and people.  Reusing footage is how this cheap film could afford Eric Roberts, Corbin Bernsen and James Cromwell. Wynorski gave himself a cameo in the police station. There is nothing here you haven't seen before - quite literally - and you've seen it done better. It's almost so bad as to be amusing.

Radical Jack (2000)

How bad is it? It's a typical straight to video actioner.
Should you see it? I hear the RiffTrax version is popular, so maybe see it that way.
Billy Ray Cyrus, who showed he couldn't act in his daughter's TV show, stars as a missing Navy SEAL who takes a job in a small redneck bar - in Vermont?! - and the movie ends up being his trying to get even with those who wronged him, in a very action-star-vehicle way. There's the requisite love interest, the corrupt official, the poorly choreographed fight scenes, the car off a cliff and the obligatory appearance of George "Buck" Flower (who should get his own page on this blog). It's all done with a minimum of professionalism, but it holds together.

100 to go!

Once again, I find myself with 100 more posts before I think I've exhausted the reviews.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rectuma (2003)

How bad is it? It might be Mark Pirro's worst film. (Again, that's pretty bad.)
Should you see it? Only if you've seen other Pirromount films and liked them.
Yup, that's the level of artistic quality to expect.

Okay, so I've covered Zombie Ass and Monsturd, so Rectuma is nothing new (and I've got one more similar one yet to cover); it's butt jokes and nothing but. The director also made A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Curse of the Queerwolf and Nudist Colony of the Dead (and I've reviewed at least one of those, maybe all 3) and his brand of humor is unsubtle grab-bags of cheap laughs. In this, a man is infected by a Mexican frog and so develops a 20 foot butt with a mind of its own and he has to prove that he's innocent of its crimes.

Ratboy (1986)

How bad is it? It aimed high... and fell really, really, really short.
Should you see it? Nah.

When this was made, director/star Sondra Locke was dating producer Clint Eastwood, which is the sole reason this got made, I think. Locke plays a reporter who discovers a rat/human hybrid living in a garbage dump. She then vacillates between trying to help him and exploiting him to further her career. She has some brothers who are just as bad, for comic relief (which fails). As has been pointed out by others, in the colored glasses he wears, the Ratboy looks a little like Bob Dylan! The make-up is by Rick Baker, who tried for cute, but that's not what he does best. The film fails as satire, as social commentary, as fantasy, as suspense, as drama, as melodrama and as farce.

Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst swords and sorcery films.
Should you see it? If you're a fan of the cast, as I am. Otherwise, no.
I've always had a soft spot for Kay Lenz. In this, she plays a spunky TV news reporter, who with an electrician, gets transported into a parallel universe ruled by evil warlord John Saxon. This new world is Conan the Barbarian territory, where everyone conveniently speaks English. There's a guy in green makeup, a giant, a comic relief thief, mudmen with glowing eyes, zombies and a gillman. That should make for an enjoyable time, but it's slow, predictable, unimaginative and just thrown together.

Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994)

How bad is it? Nonsense with terrible "jokes."
Should you see it? If you loved the original and want to see it ruined.
The original "Circuitry Man" was an okay science fiction film. This sequel, however, goes nowhere and has some of the lamest one-liners imaginable. Though she doesn't get top billing, it's a Traci Lords movie; the rest of the cast is immaterial, but there are cameos by George "Buck" Flower and Judy Tenuta. The film's about stolen longevity chips and a villain that sucks the brains (not literally for once) of his victims. The best scene involves a teleported safe. Little makes sense in this, there's some eye candy, the effects are passable, but the dialogue... wow, does it suck. And when the best acting is done by Traci Lords, you have a problem.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Piranhaconda (2012)

How bad is it? It's a SyFy film directed by Jim Wynorski, so not good at all.
Should you see it? If you're into these SyFy films, this is one of the better bets.

I liked Jim Wynorski in his early years, but he's gotten shoddier with every film; fortunately, he does have a sense of fun that carries over to his projects. This is a sequel to "Sharktopus." A scientist steals an egg, meets a film crew in Hawaii, all of them get kidnapped and then the giant parent piranhacondas come calling. First they kill a tourist, then some scientists (who seem tacked on), and then the kidnappers. As usual with a Wynorski film, there are a lot of women to ogle - though a few are getting as long in the tooth as a piranhaconda - and there's plenty of action. The title song is probably the best part. There are some serious logical problems, but that's to be expected. Michael Madsen and Rachel Hunter star, making this bigger budget than most SyFy films.

Punk Rock Holocaust (2009)

How bad is it? It's a concert video released by Troma. Bad.
Should you see it? No. Unless you were there.

This has at least 2 sequels, but this first ones about the 2003 Vans Warped Tour. Almost no one in the bands or audience survived, apparently. There's a performance, then a killing, then a performance, then a killing (repeat ad nauseum). Lloyd Kaufman of Troma has a major role. The gore is very poor and done the same way each time. The music is... meh. There's surprisingly no nudity and very little nastiness for a bunch of self-proclaimed punks. The best I can say for it is that it looks like it was filmed by someone who had worked in film before this.