Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Captain America (1990)

How bad is it? Not as bad as the 1979 version.
Should you see it? It's only for fans of Albert Pyun films.

I'm guessing that most people who read this have seen this film already. I, like many others, confused it with the 1979 TV film with Reb Brown. This one attempts to stick fairly close to some aspects of the comic book story, but it's obvious that the money ran out shortly after filming the first action sequence (which isn't terrible). The story, for those not into Captain America in general: after the Nazis create a supervillain named Red Skull, a polio victim agrees to experimentation to help the war effort and becomes Captain America; our hero stops the villain's plan to blow up the White House, but ends up frozen in the Arctic for 50 years; now he's needed again as Red Skull (no longer looking freakish) has kidnapped the president and is planning mind control. It's not a complete waste, but it does have some problems - the prosthetic ears on the costume are obvious and distracting, the town's name is misspelled in the newspaper, all the villains are eurotrash (one of the more enjoyable bits), and at one point Captain America resorts to fleeing on a bicycle [and by the way, why don't bullets seem to hurt him?] There are roles for Ned Beatty and Darren McGavin and a cameo by Bill Mumy.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Capital Punishment (1991)

aka Kickbox Terminator

How bad is it? It's very messy, contrived and cheap.
Should you see it? Maybe - if you want to see the next terrible martial arts star.

I have a couple of Gary Daniels films in my queue; he was  in the background of a number of martial arts films and then did a few direct-to-video turns as the "star," including this one. Scott Shaw, who is all over this blog, has an early role here and David Carradine does about 6 minutes of footage, mostly behind a desk. There's a food additive that causes birth defects, so it's made illegal, but it's also addictive, so there's a market for it and the leading supplier is the former teacher of the star. There's also corrupt DEA agents (including one whose clothes appear spraypainted on). The film has endless - though pointless - fight scenes, which are very slow and had me thinking of "Dolemite." The cheapness of the film tells especially in the use of stock footage explosions; a freeway bridge in Los Angeles, through a continuity error, becomes a small bridge in a jungle, for example. The worst scene has our hero sticking a pool cue down a guy's throat; it's done so poorly that I had to stop to realize that that was what was supposed to be happening.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Caged Heat 3000 (1995)

How bad is it? It's among the worst science-fiction women-in-prison films (yes, there's more than one).
Should you see it? No.

Originally screened on Cinemax, this is a Roger Corman-produced film and was once touted by Joe Bob Briggs, but it is nothing like the 1970's "Caged Heat," or even the bad sequel to that film. Once again, a woman is wrongly convicted and is subjected to torture, rape and humiliation. This WIP film has a ton of nudity, though poorly shot, poorly lit and often oddly blocked. It's sadistic. There's gangs, visiting journalists and one woman wearing what looks like electrical tape.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Cage II: Arena of Death (1994)

How bad is it? It's a poor sequel.
Should you see it? No.

The first "Cage" film was not too shabby, but this sequel was a bad idea. Lou Ferrigno plays a huge  guy who got brain damaged in the Vietnam War and who fights in the underground circuit. Lou gets kidnapped and told that his friend from the first film, Reb Brown, has been killed and he now has to fight in cage matches. He sees no way out until there's a plan to win his freedom by betting on a match. Meanwhile, his friend seeks for him. There's a love interest (Bruce Lee's daughter), a rocket launcher blowing a helicopter out of the sky, a shootout with the FBI, some very barbaric fighting and a truly terrible ending.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bloody Mary (2006)

How bad is it? It's not even the 4th best film with this title.
Should you see it? No.

The campfire story of Bloody Mary, whose name repeated 3 (or 5, depending on the teller) times into a mirror, brings her into existence, has led to a number of films, including the very good "Candyman." This takes place among student nurses in a hospital and there's plenty of (brief) nudity and mild gore - Mary is a collector of eyeballs, for no discernible reason. Mary seems to take control of people, forcing them to bring her new victims, including a guy with a lot of face sores whose presence doesn't make much sense. The film moves briskly, some of the acting is passable and some poor, but the plot has huge holes and there's no payoff beyond the mirror getting broken.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bye Bye, Baby (1989)

How bad is it? It's a filmed vacation with some bad plotting.
Should you see it? No.

This shot has everything worth seeing in the film.

This film is an excuse to show Carol Alt and Brigitte Nielsen in swimsuits. A married couple in Italy fight, break up, go on separate vacations, but end up in the same hotel in Mauritius, where they continue to fight and make up endlessly in very contrived circumstances. It doesn't work as comedy because it's uncomfortable to watch and also because the pacing is off. Nielsen plays a pool shark (she bends over a lot) and also sings on the soundtrack. Alt blows a line, but they didn't bother to re-shoot. Also, it appears that people in Italy speak English, rather than Italian.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bundy: An American Icon (2008)

aka Bundy: A Legacy of Evil

How bad is it? It's inaccurate, cheap, dull and unneeded.
Should you see it? No.

Having seen way (WAY) too many of Ulli Lommel's films about serial killers, I saw a few of another director (Feifer) who's done films about BTK (his best), Gein, Speck, and so forth, but also has directed about six children's Christmas films about dogs (two of which I've seen)! One actor plays the main character at several ages, so we get a 40 year-old high-schooler. There's a brief attempt to explain how Bundy became a killer, but a bad childhood and difficulties with women aren't sufficient. It then goes on to long takes of various killings in various places at various times, with no real plan. Unlike Lommel's films, this one does not show the killings, but there's plenty of screams to drown out the bad music. This is at least the third film on the same subject and this one adds nothing; it also is very inaccurate without altering things to make for a better film. The lack of budget shows and the film appears to have been rushed. There's one laughable scene where Bundy howls at the moon.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2013)

How bad is it? It's a comedy without a single laugh.
Should you see it? NO.

I'd been warned, but I watched this anyway. Nick Swardson, who I rarely find amusing, stars as a virginal bowl-haircutted bucktoothed loser who discovers that his parents were once porn stars, so he goes to Hollywood to become one as well (despite having a micropenis). Eventually, I started counting schoolyard euphemisms that are said in the film, but got bored with that around #30. This was co-produced and co-written by Adam Sandler, so you have to think that he felt that playing the title character in this would be bad for his image, as poor as that is. The only reason anyone would suffer through this is for the parade of slumming actors: Pauly Shore, Stephen Dorff, Don Johnson (who is better than the material here), Edward Herrmann, Kevin Nealon, Nick Turturro, Christina Ricci, Mario Joyner, Keegan-Michael Key, Jimmy Fallon and a slew (slough?) of porn stars. There's shockingly little nudity or comedy.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Bronx Executioner (1989)

aka Cyborg Executioners

How bad is it? Hoo boy, this one stinks.
Should you see it? No.

I'm not a fan of 1980's Italian horror films and their action/sci-fi are worse; didn't care for 1990: The Bronx Warriors; also didn't care for "The Last Executioner." That last statement's important, because at least half of this film is recycled from that one. Woody Strode's lines are redubbed - I think he talks while drinking at one point. In this post-apocalyptic world, "The Bronx" consists of desert and jungle. Scenes shot from multiple angles are used as separate scenes and guys shot on one set die on another when they fall. There's a pointless expository introduction by Michael Dudikoff. There's a computer that beeps for minutes. A man puts his gun down to fight a dog. As for plot, humans team up with robots (or cyborgs) to fight androids (or something). Nothing makes sense, I kept yawning, my head hurt and, when it was over, I couldn't remember how or if it was resolved.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Breaker! Breaker! (1977)

aka Action Forrester, aka Cindy Jo & the Texas Turnaround

How bad is it? It's the worst Chuck Norris film, so... Steven Seagal-ishly bad.
Should you see it? If it happens to show up when you're bored.

I've seen this a few times and have stopped watching it several more times. It is a completely predictable revenge film. A small town uses CB radio to entice truckers to them and then cause them harm. One of those so taken happens to be Chuck Norris' brother and he comes to the rescue. This is one of those towns that seems to have no women, the mayor is also the town drunk, there's a villain who wears no shirt, but does wear a vest and a pirate hat and Jack Nance shows up. This was made after the song "Convoy" became a hit and was rushed to release before the film "Convoy." It follows basic western storylines, but with semis instead of horses and martial arts instead of shoot-outs. It's worth pointing out that Norris (who, by the way, hadn't grown his signature beard yet) does NOT take care of the problem; that's done by the sole female character, who gets truckers to drive their rigs through all the buildings in town.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Brainsucker (1988)

aka Brain Sucker

How bad is it? It's in the running for worst-made film of all time.
Should you see it? It's impossible to find now, but if you loved "The Worm Eaters," then yes.

Herb Robbins, who was in some Ray Dennis Steckler films, made his own terrible (but fun) film, "The Worm Eaters" and then, 12(?) years later made this, an even worse film. A judge sentences a convict to medical experimentation - don't think about it - and he's attached to a machine with a switch labeled "Good/Evil" and a hunchback assistant switches it to Bad. This causes the guy to grab plastic tubing and a corkscrew and use them to suck out people's brains. The cheapness is enjoyable for a while (a fleabag hotel has a "Presidential Suite," dirt bikes substitute for motorcycles, dialog and shots get recycled), but it quickly becomes repetitive and annoying. There's an incredibly bad accent, overacting, overheard stage direction ( "Zoom!" "Louder!""Turn!" "Get out of my shot!"), terrible gore effects and not much of a plot. I've heard Ted Mikels has a role in this, but I didn't spot him. It also has an excruciating theme song.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Born to Ride (2011)

How bad is it? I don't even want to write the review. It's bad.
Should you see it? No way.

The DVD box cover art suggests that this will feature a sexy girl, have lots of action and... well, let's just say it's a flat-out lie. Theresa Russell plays the mother of Casper Van Dien, though they're close in age in real life and Van Dien's supposed to be a gritty biker because he grew a short beard for the part. The film's supposed to be about bikers who get involved in the blackmail of a senator and then get chased by criminals; it's about 10 minutes of bike repair and 30 of aimless travel that makes you wish you were watching "Easy Rider" for the umpteenth time again. There's a chase with no payoff and the story's so thin and meandering that I'm not really sure it exists. James Fargo, Patrick Muldoon and Wm. Forsythe have supporting roles, but are given little to work with.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bog (1979/1983)

How bad is it? It didn't get released for 4 years. The only VHS copies are from 1984.
Should you see it? If you miss 1950's rubber-suit monsters and the people who loved them.

A redneck fishing with dynamite in Wisconsin releases a monster from the depths. Elderly actors Gloria DeHaven (in two roles), Aldo Ray (typecast sheriff), Marshall Thompson and Leo Gordon spend most of the movie gabbing, drinking and ambling slowly. Thompson does a double-take at one point that's laugh-out-loud funny. All the kills occur off-screen and the monster's not seen very much, which is a mixed blessing. The footage is very grainy and the editing is so poor that scenes seem to become freeze-framed. The monster only attacks women, poor sound synch causes the wrong voice to come out of a mouth, "hypodermic needle" gets mispronounced in a way that makes you wonder if it's drunkenness or intentional, the lab scenes tell us the monster might be cancer - a living fossil - might be partly metal, and the plan to kill the monster involves scents and foam (the fire department "will spray anything"). The creature laid eggs and the possibility of a sequel gets posited.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

BoardingHouse (1982)

aks Housegeist, aka Bad Force, aka Boarding House

How bad is it? It's frequently listed among "worst films ever made."
Should you see it? Yes. Connoisseurs of crap should see this.

Yet another film considered by some as the first to be shot on videotape and then transferred to 35mm for theatrical release, this is a complete trainwreck and has been compared (not fairly) to the work of Ed Wood. The writer/director/star claims that the film was originally about 150 minutes and planned as a parody, but got edited into a serious horror film coming in at 98 minutes; there's a little evidence to support this - it looks like 50 minutes is missing, all of which would be plot. The story is about a house where people have been killed telepathically and the new owner, who practices some weird yoga that gives him telekinetic powers, opens the house to rent for only young, attractive women, who then go on to have pool/shower/lingerie parties, then have hallucination and get killed off. Right from the start you know you're in for crap, when the credits are screened on a Commodore 64. There's a William Castle-like gimmick of a very poor graphic coming on screen as an alert that you can look away, as a scary scene is coming. There's a bloody shower, a monster in a closet, faces turned into (cheap) ugly masks and a few bizarre lines of dialog, like "I cut myself on the apple." Mostly, the film just jumps from one scene to another randomly, with lurching zooms and people not in frame and nothing makes any sense. The only good thing about it is the box cover art. It's one of those films that's terrible, inexplicable, but actually watchable.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bloody Murder (2000)

How bad is it? It just might be the most derivative movie ever made.
Should you see it? No.

Killer stalks teens at a summer camp - think you've seen it? Killer wears a hockey mask - wait, isn't that another film? Killer uses chainsaw - isn't that yet another film? This received some positive reviews and actually has two sequels (which I'm told are slightly better), but I don't get it. It's not a parody or an homage, it's not particularly bloody and there's little nudity (was there any? I don't recall) and there's nothing original about it, except the killer has the least threatening name ever: Trevor Moorehouse. I honestly think the people who say they like this actually saw the 1973 film of the same name. The title refers to a game that's played in the film, though the best line of the film suggests a better game and a better title: "Six degrees of mutilation." The chainsaw is supposed to replace his left hand, but the hand reappears regularly, the chainsaw changes size and it makes noise even when not running. The narrator's voice doesn't match that same character's voice in the film (hey, it even rips off "How I Met Your Mother!") and the plot has some problems. There's a ton of red herrings, which is nice, and the ending is actually a surprise and clever - but it's a long slog to get there.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich (2010)

How bad is it? It's better than part 2, but it's very bad.
Should you see it? If you've made it through the first 2, I suppose you might as well.

I tend to like the Uwe Boll film's best that others hate most, so I end up watching a lot of them. This time the BloodRayne series actually gets to the time period of the video game, but that's problematic, because it trivializes the horrors of Nazi Germany (there's a sex scene in a truck on the way to a death camp, for example). Our bisexual half-vampire heroine has to team up with resistance fighters to defeat undead Nazis intent upon making Hitler immortal through vampirism. It has Michael Pare' as the villain and a rather entertaining Clint Howard as the mad scientist, but those two talk their way through most of this film. The rest of the film is simply disjointed and pointless scenes of violence and sex. The film tries not to be campy - a failing - but doesn't really offer anything but appeals to the basest of interests. [Wow, did I just get moral?]

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Blood Surf (2000)

aka Krocodylus, aka Crocodile

How bad is it? It has some truly terrible CGI and it's unoriginal.
Should you see it? Yes - it's entertaining, and that's what counts.

The latest extreme sport is "blood surfing," where guys surf in shark-infested waters after tossing chum in the water and cutting their feet. Sharks aren't the problem however, as there's a 31 foot 3000 pound prehistoric crocodile that wants to eat them. The crocodile takes a while, maybe 30 minutes, to get going, but there's plenty of nudity and sex scenes to keep one watching. When it does appear, it's okay when they use miniatures, but stupendously, hilariously awful in CGI. There's also a subplot with pirates and, while it's supposed to be near Australia, it looks like Philippines to me. There's some fun dialog: "You're luggage!" and "Crockteaser!" It's a standard middle-of-the-road giant animal attack film, but it's quite watchable.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Blood Sisters (1987)

aka Slash

How bad is it? It reportedly was made as a contractual obligation - and it shows.
Should you see it? It has a few moments, but not enough. So... no.

This film got some attention because of a Joe Bob Briggs commentary (and an interview with director Roberta Findlay). Sorority pledges are sent to a spooky former brothel for a hell night initiation scavenger hunt that's been booby-trapped with surprises by a fraternity. It also just happens to have ghost hookers and a transvestite slasher! There's a strangulation by garter, a couple of shootings, a hanging (plus a hanging mannequin), a fall down a stairwell that's particularly fake-looking, a stabbing and a nailing into a coffin - none of which happens in the first 2/3rds of the film, which is filled with bad dialogue ("Eat my shorts, tampon breath!") and slow searching shot by flashlight and with a droning keyboard soundtrack. As usual, Findlay takes some chances, has some interesting shots (here involving mirrors) and avoids some cliches - the girls have personalities (though grating ones) rather than being just victims and there's no tacked-on morality of a "good" girl left for last who manages to escape. The film's duller and stupider than most Findlay films, the acting is atrocious, and there's some plot problems - the ghosts are just a red herring when all is finished.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Blood Screams (1990)

aka The Bloody Monks (1988), aka Los Monjes Sagrientos, aka Monks of Blood, aka La Maldicion del Monasterio

How bad is it? Cheap and poorly constructed, this could've been good.
Should you see it? Only if you're a Russ Tamblyn fan.

This rarity is available only on very old VHS (I saw a Spanish language version online). In a prologue, an entire monastery gets killed off by a guy trying to satisfy a demon. Now, a Mexican psychology student researching his past ends up in that town and meets Russ Tamblyn, playing a magician, and his female assistant and, of course, there's a bit of a romance. Then there's people disappearing and the town blaming the strangers for it, rather than the zombie demon clergy. The girl's got a past and has creepy nightmares, Tamblyn does some tricks and is generally amusing, there's some terrible acting, lighting that switches from too dark to glaring, a sub-plot with buried gold, another one with a witch and some very poor make-up gore effects. There's way too much plot, yet the film drags interminably - and the film's only 75 minutes long.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Blood Red (1989)

How bad is it? It's nothing you haven't slept through before.
Should you see it? No. People see it for the cast, then wish they hadn't.

This film will always have a small audience of people wanting to see Julia Roberts' first film. Wait, you say, wasn't that "Mystic Pizza?" or "Satisfaction?" or "Firehouse?" This was filmed before any of those, but sat on a shelf for three years before being released - never a good sign - and was a project that had been in the works for a decade before that. The film stars Julia's brother Eric, who is not as hammy as usual, and Giancarlo Giannini, who's pretty good as usual and even has Dennis Hopper, Burt Young, Michael Madsen, Susan Anspach and Aldo Ray in roles. The cast suggest this should be better than it is. This is a very basic story: a railroad baron (Hopper, with a ridiculous accent) wants land being used for a winery; after his father is killed, Eric seeks revenge... and the film turns into an old-fashioned western. It's all very predictable and only the pretty scenery and costumes are watchable.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bleeders (1997)

aka Hemoglobin, aka The Descendent

How bad is it? It's a failure and it lacks pace.
Should you see it? No, but I'm surprised by how many have seen it already.

This was based on the H. P. Lovecraft story "The Lurking Fear" and the screenplay was written by Dan O'Bannon and Rutger Hauer is in it in a minor role, so this must have disappointed a lot of people. A guy with a serious genetic disorder researches his family history and finds that he's descended from Dutch royals who inbred and moved to a small island off the east coast of America (New Brunswick, I believe, substituting for possibly Maine). There he finds that his relatives haven't died or disappeared, but gone underground, inbreeding beyond the point of monstrosity and living off the bodies of those buried in the cemetery - though the island is small enough that this doesn't make sense. There's brief nudity at the start and near the end, a fetus pickled in formaldehyde gets eaten and the guy - spoiler alert - chooses his mutant kin over his girlfriend. The film is so slowly paced that it's hard to keep watching.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Blackenstein (1973)

aka Black Frankenstein, Return of Blackenstein

How bad is it? It's really, really slow.
Should you see it? Not really.

"Blacula" being a hit, there was a rush to make a Black Frankenstein movie and this turkey was the first to market. Dr. Frank N. Stein, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering the genetic basis of DNA (as a biochemist in real life, I know Oswald Avery did that and he didn't win any prize), uses altered DNA to restore the arms and legs of a Vietnam veteran, but his assistant, Malcomb, desiring the vet's girlfriend, switches the DNA, turning him into a monster. There are virtually no blaxploitation elements, making this just a Frankenstein film with black actors. There's a nightclub comedian that's not funny, some good early effects (arty angles and lighting, Tesla coils in the lab) and a brief appearance of Liz Renay as a victim. Mostly, the film is just slow lumbering walking. The legless victim in the ambulance has his feet showing. The monster has a flat-top afro. The film's ending is anti-climactic.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bloodthirsty Butchers (1970)

How bad is it? It might be the second-worst Andy Milligan film, which would be anyone else's worst.
Should you see it? No.

This looks like it's from a different film... I need to check.

This is a remake of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street/ Sweeney Todd done by Andy Milligan, so the plot is well-known: a barber and baker kill people and then serve them in meat pies. The actors can't do English accents. It's very badly framed and poorly shot and the funniest thing about it is that it got a Blu-Ray release! The music score is sometimes intrusive, the acting as usual is sub-par (especially in a scene where one guy is secretly tailing another from mere inches away) and the gore effects are extremely cheap. There's a lot of obvious stage blood, a dismembered hand bounces and the best scene involves a pie with a breast in it, which looks like Styrofoam.

Blood! (1973)

How bad is it? It's a better-than usual Andy Milligan film, so really awful.
Should you see it? If you really must see an Andy Milligan horror film, you could do worse.

This is supposed to take place in 1930 (one shot in 1899), but looks very 1970, particularly the sideburns. Dracula's daughter marries the Wolfman's son, they move to America and grow carnivorous plants. There's also rabid bats turning the locals into cannibals. Very wordy, as is typical with Milligan films, with a lot of uncomfortably angry people yelling hateful things for little reason, this is better paced and has more plot than most of his films. The werewolf attacks a banker... because of poor investments! The sound is terrible and a mouse gets chopped up with a meat cleaver (and that's real, as it was in "The Rats are Coming!").

Blood Orgy of the She-Devils (1973)

aka Female Plasma Suckers

How bad is it? Little blood, no orgy, questionable she-devils, to start with: poor.
Should you see it? No - unless you're a Ted Mikels fan.

Director Ted V. Mikels filmed this in his castle outside Las Vegas, with additional scenes at a castle I think is near Death Valley. A witch queen lives with her coven (apparently of she-devils) in said castle and is sought by a foreign agent intent on killing the Rhodesian ambassador to the U.N. with witchcraft. Psychic powers shatter a wine glass. A psychiatrist who is also a white witch, aided by three scientists, investigate. A cat gets killed. A high priest gets resurrected. An unseen power shakes the house. There's an exorcism. The witch, now a bat, gets burnt. It's underlit, the sound is post-synched, a boom mic makes an appearance and a medieval witch wears blue jeans. In a flashback, the Pope has a woman stoned. The main character stage acts all of her lines; during the seance, her "Indian" spirit is truly truly awful: "You no wantum papoose." There's a lot of gobbledygook mumbo-jumbo and some amusing dancing by the "she-devils," who were women who lived rent-free with Mikels and hoped to break into movies in the worst way. This was the worst way.

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1967)

aka Castle of Dracula

How bad is it? Many have said it's the worst Dracula film (it's not even Al Adamson's worst Dracula film).
Should you see it? No, unless you are an Adamson completist.

Guy bribes a guard to get out of jail, beats him to death, gets chased by dogs, drowns a woman, kills a guy with a rock, shoots a guy in the face, drives a car off a cliff and then the film starts, which is unfortunate, because it's really dull from that point on. A couple (photographer and model) inherit a castle, which just happens to have vampires, aided by a hunchback (named Mango!) who chains women in the basement and drains them of blood before sacrificing them to the god Luna. The butler, played by John Carradine with dyed hair, serves the blood as cocktails to  a henpecked Count Dracula and his wife. My main memory of this is long talky sections, but the cinematography was by the great Laszlo Kovacs (except stock footage from Sea World), there's a werewolf, women harassed by rats that barely move, a scream written off as a malfunctioning electric toothbrush (!), suggested woman-on-sea creature fetishism and a death to match Rasputin's - Mango gets axed, set on fire and pushed off a cliff. This sounds like it should be fun and lively; it isn't.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1997)

aka Black Scorpion: Ground Zero

How bad is it? It's sort of Roger Corman's take on the 1960's Batman tv show (not good).
Should you see it? Nah.

I didn't see the original film, which I'm told was quite different and better. Joan Severance returns as the avenger-by-night. The bad guy, Prankster, is an obvious rip-off of Marvel's Joker and his busty sidekick Giggles adds little (though she does go topless); I looked her up online - she committed suicide a decade after this. The plot's hard to follow because it doesn't hold together, but there's an earthquake researcher who's creating earthquakes. There's a car that morphs from one type to another, though the chase scenes are done in close-up to hide their cheapness. There's an appearance by Garrett Morris, an exploding clown, Joan Severance proving she can neither do martial arts nor comedy, a squirt gun full of acid, cartoon sound effects (reminiscent of Three Stooges) and a little nudity to keep young male watchers' attention. This was followed by a TV series that lasted a season and a video, "Black Scorpion Returns," neither of which I feel compelled to see.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Black Magic Woman (1991)

How bad is it? It's an unerotic unthrilling erotic thriller.
Should you see it? No.

Remaking "Fatal Attraction" with some black magic elements wasn't enough, they marketed this as an erotic thriller (it's more a mild horror). Mark Hamill plays an art gallery owner who has an affair with Appolonia Kotero, but when he goes back to his girlfriend, he finds a sort of curse has been placed on him. This leads to sexual dysfunction, maybe cancer or AIDS, insanity and murder. He tries to have an exorcism performed and there's a twist ending you should see a mile away. There's a microwave substituting for a witch's cauldron, Hamill in tight underwear and a brief shot of Appolonia nude. A mediocre version of the Carlos Santana title song gets played.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bloodlust (1992)

aka The Lion, The Leopard and the Wolf

How bad is it? It's intentionally stupid, annoying and tasteless.
Should you see it? If you have a high tolerance for bad taste, maybe.

This film has a few former punk rockers in the cast and has a decent Australian punk soundtrack (nice to hear the Revolting Cocks) and so it's not surprising that the film has a sort of punk ethic: it's loud, it's garish, it's over-the-top and it's cheap. Three vampires in Melbourne (with horrendous "American" accents) kill for money as much as for blood. There's a lot of blood. There's a lot of so-so gore. There's a lot of sex. It's intentionally overacted and one character has the most eye-rollingly bad performance since 1934's "The Border Menace." The vampires are pursued by a religious band and they plan to knock over a casino, so the film ends with a three-way bloodbath. Along the way, we get oral castration, gay sex with a corpse, way too much fish-eye lens and not much sense that there were rehearsals.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Bitch (1979)

aka Lady Diamond, aka Jackie Collins' The Bitch

How bad is it? It's a Jackie Collins book with disco. Nuff said.
Should you see it? No - unless you really liked "The Stud."

Joan Collins, fresh off starring in a film based on her sister's trash novel, "The Stud," goes on to its sequel. A nightclub owner has an affair, her marriage falls apart and she's at risk of losing her business to the mafia, so she becomes a jet-setting diamond smuggler and horse race fixer... as one does. There's lots of disco music and the film is all nightclubs and sex scenes. Her high-class Mayfair establishment is named "Hobo." There's a gangster named "Thrush Feather." John Ratzenberger has a small role and an uncredited Bill Nighy plays a flower delivery boy. Admittedly, Joan looks good for age... 46?... but that's about all the film has to recommend it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bimbo Movie Bash (1997)

How bad is it? It's just other films spliced together and re-dubbed.
Should you see it? No.

It seems that at some point Full Moon pictures (who I've said bad things about on this blog several times) released a CD-ROM that allowed one to splice together scenes from their films. Someone took scenes from about a dozen films - some quite entertaining, some forgettable - mashed them together and then added a narrator who tells the story of bimbos from outer space who join the bimbos of Earth to defeat male chauvinists, but fail... because they're bimbos. Clips have scenes with Adrienne Barbeau, Michelle Bauer, Morgan Fairchild, Elizabeth Kaitan, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Julie Strain and Shannon Tweed.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Big Sweat (1991)

How bad is it? It's more than half borrowed footage and less than half plotted.
Should you see it? Only if you're a Z'Dar fan.

This might be the worst film with Robert Z'Dar, which is saying something, but then again, it was directed by Ulli Lommel, so it's necessarily bad. An ex-con released from prison gets involved in a bank heist that's supposed to be infallible (apparently, walk in, rob, walk out has never been tried before) and then gets pursued relentlessly by an FBI agent. This pursuit includes a 35 minute (!) car chase, entirely consisting of footage lifted from better films. There's two scenes involving bathrooms, a ping pong game, maybe 4 sets, color balance issues, boom mic picking up wind sounds, drivers with changing hair color in cars from 15 years earlier and an opening walk that takes forever and has a change of clothing continuity error. This is completely slapdash, but Z'Dar is always fun to watch.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Beyond the Doors (1989)

aka Down On Us (1984)

How bad is it? It's wretched, even by Larry Buchanan standards.
Should you see it? Perhaps in small doses. Fortunately, you can see it on YouTube in 10 minute videos.

Biggest image I could find

I actually enjoy (to a small extent) Larry Buchanan's monster movies, but never delved into his other work. He's made a bunch of conspiracy films and this one alleges that Richard Nixon started a plan to kill off the rock stars who were against the Vietnam War. The actors portraying Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin look nothing like them, can't act and sing in suspiciously 1980-ish fashion. Worse still, Buchanan couldn't get the rights to any of their music, so there's 12 original songs - all forgettable - that substitute. Even worse than that, all the concert footage takes place on the same tiny stage, though it's supposed to be in several different countries ("Woodstock" has about 30 people in attendance). Yet worse than that, musicians were so hard to get that they all put on fake wigs and pretend to be members of each others' bands. From the horrendously bad acting in a hunting "accident" assassination in the first minute to Morrison's joining a monastery, the looniness is unabated. Unfortunately, at two hours, it's tough to sit through.