Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lone Tiger (1996)

How bad is it? Incredibly slow would-be martial arts film.
Should you see it? Sadly, no - superb casting, though.

Yet another film where a guy seeking answers or revenge or some maguffin ends up in fights to the death. The star of this one is a nobody who wears a tiger mask in the wrestling ring, but Robert Z'Dar, Richard Lynch, Timothy Bottoms, Stoney Jackson and a host of other familiar faces from action films have roles. The fight scenes make no sense and are incredibly poorly staged. It's interminable at about 110 minutes.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Lone Runner (1986)

How bad is it? It might be Miles O'Keeffe's worst film, which is saying something.
Should you see it? No.

The only reason anyone sees this is because they think Ruggero Deodato is a great director (he isn't) or because they're trying to see every terrible film starring Miles O'Keeffe. In this one, a king's daughter is captured and O'Keeffe is sent across Morocco (I think) on horseback to rescue her. He shoots exploding arrows from a crossbow. It's really slow. John Steiner, who's in a ton of bad films has some fun moments, but not enough to compensate for little action done poorly.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Live by the Fist (1993)

aka American Kickboxer 2

How bad is it? Poor Filipino prison flick.
Should you see it? No.

Something went seriously wrong in the world when women in prison films got replaced with martial artists in prison films. Van Damme's "Death Warrant" is okay, but this seems to be in the "Bloodfist" line and not even good by that standard [and it has little to do with "American Kickboxer," which this was supposedly a sequel to]. Kickboxer Jerry Trimble (who?) stars in this film directed by Cirio Santiago - a regular on this blog - and produced (or at least released) by Roger Corman - who's all over this blog. A former Navy SEAL tries to stop a gang rape, gets accused of killing the girl, goes to prison and then fights to survive for the remainder of the 75 minutes. George Takei shows up, surprisingly. It's all by the numbers, the fights aren't interesting and the best part is a helicopter getting blown up by shotgun.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Little Moon & Jud McGraw (1972/1978)

aka Gone With the West, aka Bronco Busters

How bad is it? One of the worst (non-"B") westerns ever.
Should you see it? For the cast and for one fight scene, I give the mildest possible 'yes.'

The story of the making of this mess is more interesting than the film. It was meant to be a TV film, but wasn't deemed good enough to release (!) until "Blazing Saddles" became a hit and new footage was added for a theatrical release. In the process, the tone of the film changed and any sense of continuity was lost. James Caan plays a cowboy that gets framed and he teems up with Stephanie Powers, who plays a Native American who has also been wronged by the townspeople; they proceed to attack bad guy Aldo Ray and his henchmen and escalate until the entire town is burned to the ground (taking about 15 minutes of run time). Sammy Davis Jr. plays an anachronistic modern cowboy. There's some nudity (including Ms. Powers), a tremendous catfight and some truly terrible attempts at humor. At the end, Powers, who hasn't spoken a word of English to this point says, "You've killed everyone but the cameraman!" Then they shoot him, too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Legend of Bloody Jack (2007)

How bad is it? Slasher flick with nothing going for it.
Should you see it? No.

This is one of the films released by The Asylum, which has been responsible for a lot of trash on this blog. I was led to believe that this was supposed to have something to do with Jack the Ripper, but the "Jack" of the title appears to be a lumberjack. The film takes place in Alaska in the Arctic Circle around the summer solstice, so the sun never sets. Unfortunately, the interiors have windows that show the film was mostly shot at night in California - someone told me that this had the worst lighting continuity since Plan 9, but that's not fair (it does suck, though). Plenty of women go topless and then everyone gets killed, but not after padding the film with chase scenes that don't heighten tension. There's a trick ending that's particularly cheesy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

aka Leprechaun V: Leprechaun in the Hood

How bad is it? Bad entry in a bad series that doesn't know what it wants to be.
Should you see it? No.

I thought this film had hit its nadir when it went to space in the fourth film, but this one is back on Earth, Compton to be exact, and enters the blaxploitation comedy realm usually left to Wayans brothers. Ice-T has become rich and famous in the rap world thanks to his having the Leprechaun's (Warwick Davis') magic flute. Guys find what appears to be a statue of the leprechaun in the sewer and remove his gold necklace, bringing him back to action. There's a lot of groan-inducing humor (Davis actually says "I'm so bad I'm good" in a nod to the type of film he's in) which might be entertainment if you're high enough; this seems to be the market for the film. The film ends with a musical number that would've made sense earlier, explaining the origin of the green-eyed zombie fly girls. Coolio has a silent cameo. Amazingly, not only was there another film in this series, but this particular film had a sequel.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Legacy of Horror (1978)

aka Legacy of Blood

How bad is it? Andy Milligan film (terrible).
Should you see it? No.

I'm including this mostly because it's constantly confused with another film called either "Legacy of Blood" or "Blood Legacy" - an odd bad film with John Carradine that I rather enjoy. This is Andy Milligan's remaking of his own "Ghastly Ones," which has a similar plot to "Blood Legacy," which is part of the problem. Three sisters and their husbands must spend a week at a mansion - in harmony with each other - in order to inherit their uncle's estate. Things get weird and then violent, but without the over the top gore of The Ghastly Ones (which may have been edited out). The camera is steady for once, in fact immobile. More restrained and more technically competent than most Milligan films, it's still not good but not endearingly awful, either.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Las Vegas Hillbillys (1966)

aka Las Vegas Hillbillies, aka Country Music, U.S.A.

How bad is it? About 1960's TV variety show quality.
Should you see it? If you're a fan of anyone in it.

Ferlin Husky wants to be a country music star and inherits a run-down nightclub/casino in Las Vegas. Mamie Van Doren and Jayne Mansfield are both in it, but refused to be in the same shot. Richard Kiel has a cameo as a bodyguard. There's gangsters and bikers, but it ends in a pie fight. There are a lot of country songs performed, mostly by where-are-they-now types. It's better than the sequel, Hillbillys in a Haunted House.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Kill Factor (1978)

aka Death Dimension

How bad is it? One of Al Adamson's better efforts... so no good at all.
Should you see it? If you're a blaxploitation fan or a fan of one of the stars.

One of my very first posts on this blog had me saying I wouldn't review Al Adamson movies and this might be about #10. This one stars Jim Kelly and has Aldo Ray, George Lazenby, Harold Sakata and "Myron Bruce Lee." It's an action film with a minor science fiction element, a freeze bomb, abandoned early on and a microchip implanted in a forehead. After that, it's mostly chase scenes and fight scenes and none of Adamson's trademark pointless scenes cobbled form some other failed project. Sakata can't act - his line readings are horrendous (and amusing) - but he has the best scene with a topless woman and a tortoise being used as a weapon.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

King Frat (1979)

aka Campus King, aka Delta House

How bad is it? Derivative and gross and not very funny.
Should you see it? Maybe if you love South Park, Van Wilder and Mad Magazine... maybe.

The type of film Judd Apatow and the Jackass crew must have grown up on. This is "Animal House" made as crude as possible, which is kind of amusing in small doses and you have to give them credit for just how far they'll go. For example, not only is the university president mooned to death (!), but his corpse is stolen and dog feces are dropped from the ventilation shaft at the funeral - that's pushing the envelope, I guess. The main storyline involves a farting contest. The best joke involves a gorilla suit, sex, an ambulance and a paper bag. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kill Squad (1982)

How bad is it? Kung Fu movie meets the A-Team. Tacky, silly, cheap.
Should you see it? Yes! This one delivers.

I saw this because Cameron Mitchell is in the cast; he plays a bad guy (per usual) but only has a few minutes of screen time. That doesn't matter - there are about 20 fight scenes, and even random bystanders apparently are kung fu experts. A man is crippled and his wife raped, so he calls for his Vietnam buddies to help; "Joseph needs you" is all they need to hear. There's wild clothes and hair, loud jazz background for the fights, a dumb plot twist, guys surviving impossibly and did I mention about 20 fight scenes? It's fast, it's fun, it's dumb as can be and I liked it.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Killing Zone (1991)

How bad is it? Low budget action film of little interest.
Should you see it? If it's easily available. It's watchable.

Former American Gladiator Deron "Malibu" McBee stars as a convict on a chain gang released to capture a Mexican drug lord. Melissa Moore (of "Samurai Cop") plays his girlfriend. The star doesn't really show up until the final 30 minutes, as the film dwells on the bad guy, then it slows and gets padded. The plot hangs together well, though the low budget shows - cars getting wrecked were obviously chosen for their price. There's a plastic snake. A guy who plunges hundreds of feet off a cliff returns later with a slight limp. The acting is hammy and the dialogue poor, but this is an action film of the extreme mullet meathead type, so that's to be expected.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Kazaam (1996)

How bad is it? Pointless and derivative, but not terrible.
Should you see it? Not really. For once, you might've actually seen this already.

Shaquille O'Neal plays a genie - a rapping genie. He can actually act a little, but this is a poor vehicle for him and was undoubtedly made to introduce the world to his planned fourth career as a rap artist. The music is unmemorable. He emerges from a boom box rather than a bottle, but being 3000 years-old, that doesn't make much sense. The film is too gritty and violent at the start for young children and then it slides into a boy's search for his father which is banal and there's little of interest for adults. The ending contradicts the rules of the world of the film as stated earlier in the film. Director Paul Michael Glaser (remember "Starsky and Hutch?") does what he can with weak material and a child actor that's notable only for being named for his great-grandfather, director Frank Capra.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981)

aka Caution, Children at Play, aka Revenge of the Zombie

How bad is it? Really slow and confusing, but not awful.
Should you see it? Yes. It's just weird enough to see once.

Bikers kill a man and then his children, who have psychic powers, resurrect him to get revenge. That done, they then go after others rather inexplicably and get their father to dig his own grave (after he's dead). It's listless and distant and the children - the director's children in real life - can't act. Surfers get attacked for kicking a sand castle. A biker strangles himself with a chain. Former music icon Fabian stars and Marilyn Burns has a role.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The King and I (1999)

How bad is it? Barely adequate animation.
Should you see it? No. It adds nothing to the original.

I suppose the idea for this film was to introduce children to the music of Rogers and Hammerstein without their having to watch an adult romance with adult themes; it accomplishes that and nothing else. The animation is flat-looking and the changes to the script add a fire-breathing dragon that runs away from whistles, a comic foil who loses his teeth one at a time (a subject that I personally find terrifying) and an ending where the King doesn't die. The slapstick comedy detracts rather than adds. This features the voices of Miranda and Ian Richardson, Darrell Hammond, Adam Wylie and Kenny Baker, among others. It's not terrible by any means, just unnecessary.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Killing Jar (1997)

aka The Killing Game

How bad is it? Completely mediocre.
Should you see it? I can't think of a reason to.

This has had some horrendous reviews and some positive ones; it might be that people are confusing other films having the same title with it (there was one in 1994 and one in 2010). It's also possible that people were expecting a horror film, as that's what the production company is known for. This one has a lot of actors that will have you saying "Where have I seen them before?" like Brett Cullen, Tamlyn Tomiya and Wes Studi. Famed character actors like M. Emmett Walsh and Brion James also show up, so the acting's not bad and it's a good-looking film. It's just a bad storyline. A small town is experiencing child murders and a guy going slowly crazy (and overacting) isn't sure if he's a witness or the killer. There's an improbable ending.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Killer Eye (1999)

How bad is it? This one sucks.
Should you see it? No way.

David DeCoteau directed this under a pseudonym for Full Moon, which is almost the definition of a bad film. Giant crawling eyes can make for a fun movie (witness: The Trollenberg Terror (1958)), but this one is just awful. A scientist's experiments with the 8th dimension causes a subject's eye to pop out, grow to beach ball size - it might actually be a beach ball that was used - and then essentially rapes women with its optic nerve. There's little nudity, but there are a lot of shirtless boys in their underpants, which has become a signature for the director. The effects are deliberately cheesy, but there's little plot and what there is has holes, the acting is quite poor (a porn star among the cast is as good as any of them) and it's dull even for its scant 70 minutes.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Killzone (1985)

How bad is it? Very cheap action film of no consequence.
Should you see it? Impossible to find until it showed up on YouTube. It's free, so yes - if you have time and you're a fan of David Prior films.

"Deadly Prey" is the bad David Prior film to see and this earlier film is very much like it, but of better quality, so less entertaining. Essentially, a Vietnam vet has PTSD flashbacks at a sort of experience camp and then everyone has to hunt him down and stop him. The action is poorly done and the acting no better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kicked in the Head (1997)

aka Shit Happens

How bad is it? Meh. Nothing special.
Should you see it? Only if you're a fan of someone in the cast.

This has had some really terrible reviews, but it's mediocre. A slacker loses his job and NYC apartment, then gets convinced by his uncle to do something slightly shady. He ends up getting chased by mobsters while wooing an alcoholic stewardess. The plot is thin and wanders, with seemingly random sequences. No one who shoots a weapon hits anything, even at point-blank range, which I think is supposed to be amusing. Linda Fiorentino, Lili Taylor, James Woods and Burt Young have roles and one wishes the film would follow any one of them and abandon the "hero" - in other words, you wish you were watching s different film.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Karate Dog (2005)

aka The Karate Dog, aka Cho Cho, the Karate Dog

How bad is it? Perhaps Bob "Superbabies" Clark's worst film.
Should you see it? No.

This shot looks enjoyably goofy. Don't be fooled.
Chevy Chase dubs the voice of a dog that can do karate and who helps Simon Rex (ostensible star) to defeat a bad guy played by Jon Voight. There are bit roles for Pat Norita, Jaime Pressly, Nicollette Sheridan and Lori Petty. The humor doesn't work at all, the CGI is woeful, it starts with scenes too violent for the intended audience (and there are some sexual references) and... it's about a karate dog.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Invisible Maniac (1990)

aka The Invisible Sex Maniac

How bad is it? Poorly done late 80's slasher posing as a teen comedy.
Should you see it? Not unless seeing a porn star in a non-porn film is your thing.

Scientist claims to have invented an invisibility serum, isn't believed and kills those who don't believe him, putting him in an insane asylum. He gets out, becomes a high school science teacher, perfects his serum and then proceeds to ogle naked teenage girls and then kill a dozen (maybe 13) people. One person is choked to death with a sandwich (!), another strangled with a fire hose, another drowned in a fish tank, another shotgunned, etc. There's plenty of nudity, including by porn star Savannah, who is not very convincing as a teenager (though she was may 20 or 21 at the time).

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Game (1984)

aka The Cold

How bad is it? Barely existent old dark house film with nothing new.
Should you see it? No.

Bill Rebane made a lot of schlock and I keep hoping to find something of his that's as endearing as his Giant Spider Invasion. This isn't it. Three millionaires invite nine people to a mansion to play a game where they face their fears (pre-dating the TV show Fear Factor). There's a spider and a shark and spooky passageways and drippy masks and Russian roulette and two twist endings that are obvious and which derail the whole proceedings. It's also slow.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Galaxy Invader (1988)

How bad is it? One of the worst rednecks vs alien films.
Should you see it? Everyone should see a Don Dohler film, just maybe not this one.

Don Dohler made some incredibly cheap and cheap-looking films. This one has a half-way decent monster suit, but not much else. It's mostly people running through the woods, padding a 10 minute film to 80. There's some redneck family troubles, then the alien arrives and gets dispatched and then it resolves the family problems with a shotgun and the worst dummy-thrown-off-a-cliff-where-no-cliff-should be shot. Some of the badness seems intentional - beer brands alternate way too often for simple continuity errors and a guy drools for no good reason. The script is poor, the acting poor (mostly the director's friends and family) and the direction haphazard. Nonetheless, Dohler's films tend to be watchable. This got spoofed by RiffTrax and some footage got put into "The Pod People" (though I don't know why).

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Fantastic Four (1994)

How bad is it? It's mediocre.
Should you see it? You could do worse, but why bother?

This is the Roger Corman-produced film, not the animated series of the same name released the same year.

There's been enough films from Marvel that you probably know the plot: four people go to space and come back with superpowers; then they have to use them for good. This was made for a reported $1 million and the budget looks like it went mostly to one costume. The special effects are often quite bad, especially with the elastic guy - his arm waving from the limo is funny, for example. The acting isn't great and the plot has some issues (two people fall in love much too fast and conveniently), but it's closer to the original comics... so I'm told... than the films from the 2000's. The stories surrounding this getting shelved probably are more interesting than the film itself.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Final Storm (2010)

How bad is it? Slow and unthrilling thriller.
Should you see it? Not really, unless you're a Luke Perry fan.

People have to stop picking on Uwe Boll so I can stop watching every film he makes. This one's not great, but far from terrible. Luke Perry plays a mysterious stranger that shows up at a farmhouse during a storm. Then it appears that all the neighbors are missing. Is it the end of the world? If it is the end of the world, are we at least going to see Lauren Holly topless first? [yes. and it appears she's had some work done] There's a very mundane explanation and a violent bit that takes way too long to happen and a final shot that undermines the mundane explanation in favor of the end of the world.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Day It Came to Earth (1977)

How bad is it? Poor homage to 1950's trash.
Should you see it? The Elvira's Movie Macabre version has its moments.

Making a 1950's-type monster movie in the 1970's could've made for a fun parody, but this appears to be a straight homage and that doesn't work. George Gobel plays an astrophysicist. Rita Wilson has a small role. Much of the cast is billed under pseudonyms. The director's best known for creating TV shows like "Designing Women." A meteor crashes, a monster is created from a criminal that gets revenge before terrorizing the cast of youngsters and there's some intentionally silly stuff, such as calling the monster GeeGaGoo. It's mildly diverting fluff.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Danger Zone (1987)

How bad is it? Pretty bad babes and bikers flick.
Should you see it? Don't go out of your way.

"Where'd you learn how to do that?"
"I studied with a Zen master for 15 years. Then I snapped his neck."

That's the best line in the film.

Six girls in a band (with very 80's hair and clothes) get to do a TV show, so they drive across the desert to get there and the car breaks down at a biker hang-out, just as a drug deal was going down. The rest of the film is their trying to escape; there just happens to be an undercover cop, there just happens to be a hidden cache of weapons, there just happens to be a snake susceptible to hair spray. A guy gets burned in a sleeping bag, a girl gets run over, a guy gets whipped. The fight scenes are sometimes comical.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Jerky Boys Movie (1995)

aka Jerky Boys: The Movie

How bad is it? Guys famous for doing one thing don't do that one thing.
Should you see it? Only to remember when caller ID wasn't popular.

I think I know that woman in the middle of the shot.
Okay: I thought the Jerky Boys weren't funny on their comedy albums, so I'm not the audience for this. The plot has two low-lifes pretend to be mobsters on the phone, so they get in trouble with both the mob and the police. The stars aren't actors and having a plot seems foreign to them. The film has some interesting people in the cast, mostly in cameos: Alan Arkin, Paul Bartel, William Hickey, Vincent Pastore, Ozzy Osborne, Tom Jones and the band Helmet. The story is full of holes and doesn't really go anywhere, but that seems immaterial for fans of the title stars.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

J.C. (1972)

How bad is it? It's one of the worse biker films, but not nearly the worst.
Should you see it? If you stumble across it, sure.

Brought up in a strict Baptist home, our hero rebels by becoming a biker. Then, high, he has a vision and becomes a sort of hippie messiah... but then the film just ignores that and it becomes a basic biker film. The redneck sheriff, played by Slim Pickens, arrests one of the guys pretty much for being black; the rest of the film is poor attempts to bust him out of jail. There's a scene where a girl's about to be raped, the guy repents and then - get this! - she sleeps with him. In the end, our hero, befitting his moniker of "J.C.," gets sacrificed. The image that sticks in your mind after watching this, though, is the star in his none too clean underwear.

I saw this really hoping it was the lost film "Him." It's not.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk (1970)

How bad is it? Easily one of the worst children's films ever made.
Should you see it? Ugh. If a children's film by an exploitation director's what you crave...

This Barry Mahon film is now available from Something Weird Video on a double bill with his "Wonderful World of Oz." I don't know why Mahon went from making nudie and roughie films to making children's films, but this came out three years after the Gene Kelly film of the same name, so perhaps he hoped there'd be some confusion. The film has a very 1970 look, from the fashions to the hair (there are two girls I had trouble telling apart) but it has a remarkably crisp and clean look, due to using the original negative. You know the plot. Jack sells his family's cow to "Honest John, Used Cow Salesman." He climbs the beanstalk three times to pad the film. There are endless bad songs, with the giant repeating his song a few times. The giant set is too large for the giant, which is slightly amusing. The green screen used for the scenes with Jack and the giant is not well done. This is perhaps the worst of Mahon's kid films, though I have a special animosity toward "Thumbelina" which just got spliced into "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Joysticks (1983)

aka Joy Sticks, aka Video Madness

How bad is it? 80's tits-and-laffs, with little of either.
Should you see it? Some of the cast might have their fans and they might be interested.

Greydon Clark directed this, which is never a good sign (like Jerry Paris, his films are never good, but passable if you're in the mood). Joe Don Baker stars as the disapproving father of a girl who's interested in a video arcade. The guy who runs the place can't play the games because of a long lost love - really. There's some attempts at humor, such as people dressed as Pac Man ghosts, that don't work and there's the usual dumb excuses for toplessness, in this case strip video games, but they're few and far between. Many of the young cast went on to minor roles in TV series, so seeing them in early roles might be of some interest, but I can't name any of the actors or shows without looking them up (which isn't worth the effort).

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jacker 2: Descent to Hell (1996)

How bad is it? Poor plot, poor acting, poor production values.
Should you see it? I think not.

I never saw the original "Jacker" [Gasp! There's a film I haven't seen and I admit it!] and I may have missed some plot points because of that. The film starts where the last one ended, with a guy going splat, but it turns out he lived. There's some police procedural - and three cops played by the same guy, one with a ridiculous wig - and then a carjacking of a carjacker. Shot on video, this has no visual appeal and even has a visible lens smudge that never gets cleaned. The supernatural element of this adds little (the jacker can't be killed and is malevolent as hell, literally). The deaths are meant to be gory but are underwhelming, the performances are at best weak, the direction aimless and the story moronic. Yeah; I didn't like this one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998)

How bad is it? Intentionally bad, but also unintentionally bad.
Should you see it? Maybe for the cast.

This used the script of an Ed Wood Jr. project planned as a silent film (which would've eliminated Wood's famous circular dialogue). It's low-budget, but has a cast that is amazing: Billy Zane, Abraham Benrubi, Sandra Bernhard, Karen Black, Conrad Brooks, Tippi Hedren, Eartha Kitt, Ann Magnuson, Andrew McCarthy, Ron Perlman, Christina Ricci, John Ritter, Rick Schroder, Nicollette Sheridan, Jonathon Taylor Thomas, Vampira, Steven Weber, Carel Struycken, Bud Cort, Kathleen (Mrs. Ed) Wood and Summer and Rain Phoenix. Zane plays a cross-dresser who loses the loot from a crime - dropped in a coffin being buried - and spends the film trying to recover it. Most of the other actors have little to do. The film splices in footage from other films (much stock), perhaps as Wood would have done and that provides the only laughs of the film; e.g. while a woman strips in an empty room, footage of an audience of inappropriate age is added. It was a good idea, ineptly executed and the ineptitude isn't endearing as it would've been in the hands of people who were trying valiantly and failing.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Invasion of the Star Creatures (1962)

How bad is it? Fails as comedy, intentionally inept.
Should you see it? No. It can be a chore to sit through, though it has its moments.

Two bungling privates in the army come upon a cave that has giant women (named Poona and Tanga!) from outer space who are raising an army of vegetable men in pots. It's meant to be a zany comedy, but the intentional laughs never work. There are some unintentional laughs, but not enough to counteract the forced weird voices, the truly horrid native American stereotype and technical failings. This is one of two films directed by actor Bruno Ve Sota; the other one's also bad. The one thing the film has going for it is the women - I had to check; they're both about 5'8" in real life, so the forced perspective shots work quite well.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

In the Name of the King (2007)

How bad is it? It's one of Uwe Boll's better films. Adequate, if long and unoriginal.
Should you see it? Probably not.

Supposedly based on the video game Dungeon Siege, this is just a rip-off of Lord of the Rings (and there are even two sequels). There's adequate production design - the film budget was reportedly $60,000,000 - and a capable cast: Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, Colin Ford, John Rhys-Davies, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Ron Perlman and Will Sanderson. What it lacks is originality and interest. An evil sorcerer wants to rule, so he has half man/half beast creatures attack. A farmer (named "Farmer") has his son killed and his wife abducted, so he gathers together comrades and fights back. Uwe Boll manages some adequate battle scenes, but you've seen better. Did I mention there are ninjas? The question remains: how does this director keep making expensive films that don't make money?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

How bad is it? Confusing "thriller" with laughably "arty" direction.
Should you see it? No.

This is the second straight Lindsay Lohan film (the "I"s are not good for her) I'm reviewing. In this one she plays a woman who has a leg and parts of an arm amputated by a maniac in an attack and then claims that she's not the good girl they think she is, but a stripper. We get to see her strip, though we don't see her naked and she smokes, drinks and swears a lot. The director tries to insert something neon blue in every scene, which not only is distracting, but makes the killer's identity obvious. The police are of course clueless. This is a film where a cell phone would derail the plot... so was this supposed to be 1988? Julia Ormond and Neil McDonough play her parents and have little to do. Toward the end, the plot gets sillier and sillier with too many twists, all of which are obvious and the final solution of the mystery at the core of the film made no sense to me.

And it was slow.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)

How bad is it? Possibly the worst comedy I've seen.
Should you see it? No way. But keep it in mind if playing "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."

Wow this sucks. Adrien Brody and Michelle Rodriquez are slumming here with the likes of Rob Schneider and Lindsay Lohan. It was directed by the guy who pitches ShamWow chamois towels. Brody plays a gay Dirty Harry. Rodriguez and Schneider review porn. There's a black "Jackass." There's "The Amazing Racist" (a joke I'm sorry to say I made in passing in 2001). The film is bookended with Lindsay Lohan playing herself playing Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch," wearing an ankle monitor and shooting at paparazzi. There are exactly zero laughs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Want Your Money (2010)

How bad is it? Right-wing agit-prop and not particularly good at that.
Should you see it? If you believe what they're saying, you probably have already seen it. No one else need apply.

After a deluge of Michael Moore leftist propaganda came this backlash film that attempts the same comedic tone and manages a few chuckles among the spewed invective. Essentially, this film posits that Obama is a socialist that wants to bankrupt the nation for social programs. There's some cartoon impersonation of presidents that make some acceptable jokes. There's commentary from Andrew Breitbart, Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee that says nothing new. The final ten minutes is a paean to the Tea Party.

If you're reading this the day I post it, it's Election Day. Go vote.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Invitation to Hell (1982)

How bad is it? Technically terrible, but bizarre and not tedious.
Should you see it?  A marginal yes. Once impossible to find, seek the 25 year anniversary edition.

This is NOT the Wes Craven TV film of the same name form 1984! I think many of the positive reviews for this are for the wrong film.

I saw this on a terrible VHS print that I thought was missing half of the film, but the run time is only 43 minutes. The sound is muddy and roaring at times, so dialogue is hard to hear. A girl is invited to what she's told is a costume party, but being a virgin, the others there plan on using her as a living sacrifice in a ritual. It's very weird, there's some homoerotic content, there's some violence and just a bit of nudity, but there's nothing you haven't seen done better somewhere else. Still, for a film made for a reported 1500 pounds, it's not without its cheap charms and is briskly paced.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Invasion U.S.A. (1952)

How bad is it? Dated propaganda with heavy use of stock footage.
Should you see it? No.

This is more like "Rocket Attack USA" than the Chuck Norris film "Invasion USA." Various stock characters in a New York City bar discuss stopping communism; then the news says Alaska's been invaded. And three atomic bombs have been dropped on the U.S. There's a ton of stock footage, much of it military in origin. The film tries to hammer the message to boost the military to fight the commies, but the characters are uninteresting, the story uninvolving and the overall cheapness is obvious.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Interzone (1987)

How bad is it? It's a knowingly bad film, one of the worse post-apocalyptic films.
Should you see it? Yes, but don't plan on paying attention for long. Try it as a Teaganathon with "Alienator" and "Sinbad of the Seven Seas."

This is one of the worst Italian rip-offs of "Mad Max," produced by Joe D'Amato and starring no one you've heard of, though bodybuilder Teagan Clive is featured heavily and Laura Gemser has a small uncredited role. The entire plot: monks try to guard a treasure from marauding warlords. There's a lot of 1980's bad hair and bad clothes, a soundtrack and sound effects that make the dialogue unintelligible in places and extras that are so bad that they obviously miss or anticipate cues. It's fun for a while, but it's mostly chase scenes and weapons being fired and it all grows tiresome pretty fast. Though it's another hard to find VHS film, it seems to have gathered a cult following.

Friday, November 4, 2016

In the Cold of the Night (1990)

How bad is it? Typical Cinemax erotic thriller. Not good, not terrible.
Should you see it? Nah.

This has received very mixed reviews, probably liked by those who like anything slickly filmed and with nudity, probably panned by anyone who notes the cast includes Shannon Tweed, Marc Singer, David Soul and a slumming Tippi Hedren. A man has nightmares that he's killing a woman and then he meets the woman and they have an affair. The story then seems to involve messages sent into one's teeth by a DVD that control behavior. At the end, it becomes a sort of action film. It's stylish - if florescent lights in a waterbed and consensual asphyxiation are your thing - but the lead actor is uncharismatic, the plot is convoluted and silly and the dialogue is occasionally cringeworthy.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

If I Ever See You Again (1978)

How bad is it? Treacly twaddle. Considered worst romantic film ever.
Should you see it? Tough call. It's a nice palate cleanser from most films on this blog, but hard to find.

Joe Brooks, who had written the hit song "You Light Up My Life," created the cinematic equivalent of that bland romance with this (minus the religious overtone of the song). He wrote, directed and starred, though he had little ability at any of those. In the film, he's a jingle writer trying to be a serious musician and he tries to win back the girl of his dreams (Shelley Hack) that he lost before he became rich and famous. His plan works. That leads to a lot of sirupy nonsense Nicholas Sparks wouldn't touch. Authors George Plimpton and Jimmy Breslin have roles, as do child actors Danielle Brisbois and Peter Billingsley. Much of the film looks like television commercials for feminine hygiene products of the 1970's.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I was a Teenage Zombie (1987)

How bad is it? Very amateurish and cheap, but not terrible.
Should you see it? Yes. This is generally entertaining, with some major flaws.

Teenagers get marijuana laced with pesticide, so they confront their dealer, who slips on a banana peel and dies. Right there, you know what you're in for. They toss the body in a pond that's polluted by a power plant, so he comes back as a zombie. The zombie now tears out a tongue, rapes a girl (in a scene the film would be better without) and tears her in two and kills one of the teens. The teens then drop their dead friend in the water so they'll have a zombie on their side - genius, really. Then there's a climactic showdown at a teen dance, which is hit-and-miss. Those in the film know they're in junk and play it for laughs, which often works. There's a soundtrack with Violent Femmes, Smithereens and Del Fuegos, which had to be 99% of the budget! There's gore, but it's not scary. There's in-references. There's some surreal anarchic moments. If this had had a budget, it might've been a cult classic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I Got the Hook Up (1998)

How bad is it? It rivals Wayans brothers and Tyler Perry for indiscriminate black auteur crap.
Should you see it? Only if you're a huge fan of Master P.

Master P wrote, produced and starred in this vanity production and proves that he's no writer or actor. He and stand-up comedian Anthony Johnson play the duo of Black and Blue, who fence stolen goods in their hood. They get a truckload of phones and find a way to activate them on the cheap. One gets bought by a mob enforcer and the cheap phone broadcasts the details of a crime, so now our heroes are the targets of the mob. There's cameos by Ice-T and Snoop Dogg and a decent soundtrack, not surprising, given the artists Master P has on his label. It's just another film where attitude is supposed to substitute for jokes and energy is supposed to substitute for plot.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Istanbul (1989)

How bad is it? Confusing and dull "thriller."
Should you see it? No.

Timothy Bottoms stars in this supposed thriller, with appearances by Twiggy and Robert Morley (in his last role, looking ill). Most of the cast are dubbed. Bottoms, an American journalist in Sweden, has a medical emergency, which seems to be dropped inexplicably from the plot. There's a videotape from the father of Bottoms' stepson, which drives Bottoms to go to Istanbul with his daughter rather than his son and then she gets kidnapped. Twiggy seems to know something about the abduction and about assassination schemes and arms dealing... and then my eyes glazed over. There's occasional shots of mosques to show they're still in Istanbul, Bottoms seems to be improvising his lines, things just get more and more jumbled and it ends. There's also a bad theme song.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Island Claws (1980)

aka Night of the Claws

How bad is it? No great shakes, but not terrible.
Should you see it? Maybe as part of a giant animals attack movie marathon.

I'm not sure why this film has such poor ratings, except that it is dull. Crabs are by nature slow-moving, but this movie is slow-moving enough on its own. There's a brief environmental theme that gets dropped quickly and a racist subplot involving Haitians and a dead dog. Robert Lansing, who seems to be in a lot of giant animal attack movies, stars; the people behind "Mr. No Legs" were involved in this and a pretty good mechanical monster was made - so it has some things going for it. The giant crab isn't seen much and when it appears, it roars, which is more silly than scary.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I Spit On Your Corpse (1974)

aka Girls for Rent, aka Fatal Pursuit

How bad is it? It's one of Al Adamson's better films, so not good at all.
Should you see it? Don't go out of your way, but sure, see it if it's available.

Not to be confused with the better "I Spit On Your Grave" or the worse "I spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave," this usually gets seen by people who mistakenly think it's a horror film. It starts with a breakout from a women's prison in Mexico, then the murder of a politician and then an hour-long chase trying to eliminate a witness. Porn star Georgina Spelvin stars and many of Adamson's regulars, including his wife, make up much of the cast. There's more character development and tension than in most Adamson films (i.e. there's some), there's some topless fighting and there's one truly horrific scene where a mentally challenged man is shot in the head during sex. It's very sleazy, the chases involve Pintos and dune buggies and there's plenty of bad dialogue to go around.

Friday, October 28, 2016

I Eat Your Skin (1964/1971)

aka Zombie Bloodbath, aka Voodoo Blood Bath, aka Zombie Blood Bath, aka Zombies, aka Zombie

How bad is it? It's not Del Tenney's worst film, but that's saying it's terrible enough.

Should you see it? Maybe on a slow night.

This sat on a shelf for years before being released under a new title as a companion to "I Drink Your Blood." It looks like it was originally intended as a humorous James Bond-ish adventure, but got changed during the making. A cancer researcher on a Caribbean island uses radioactive snake venom, which turns people into zombies that look like they have oatmeal on their faces. There's an adventurer that arrives in a funny plane crash (our "hero" just can't let the pilot do his job) and there's girls in bikinis being sacrificed by the natives. There's a lively, if inappropriate, big band musical score. The dialogue and acting are quite bad and there are some unintentionally funny moments, but not quite enough for the run time.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hyenas (2011)

How bad is it? The second-worst film about were-jackals. It'd be hard to top #1.
Should you see it? Not really.

I saw this by accident, looking for the Senegalese film by the same name that's based upon the Dürrenmatt play "The Visit." This is about as far from that as one can get! Meshach Taylor and Costas Mandylor are the names in this film where a family, seeming attacked by hyenas, turns out to be the victims of people (mostly women) who shape shift into animals. It's entertaining that the women have to get naked to transform, but the special effects (poor CGI) really detract from the film. It's completely predictable, from the cops who won't believe without evidence to the hunt of the monsters to the final showdown between two "hyenas" - which is a real let-down. There's a stupid rednecks vs latino gang sub-plot tacked on, which adds nothing.