Sunday, December 17, 2017

Extended Hiatus

Thanks for reading! This blog was planned to be 6 months and 300 films and has hit four years and 1500 films. I've covered everything I wanted to and a lot more; now it's time to move on. I probably will do a "hall of fame" post, a list of 1000-2000 films I watched and didn't think worth reviewing (sorry if you really wanted that review of "Malibu Bikini Vampires") and occasional updates as I discover new films that bear watching.

Shaitani Dracula (2006)

How bad is it? Possibly the worst film to come from India.
Should you see it? If you can find a subtitled copy (I couldn't).

This random goose is my favorite thing in the film.

Two people told me that this was "the real thing" - one of those films made in a few days for a few hundred dollars that manages to not be yet another boring slasher but a film weird enough to be original and entertaining, so I sought out the DVD. Not many have seen it and for good reason: there's no English version yet. The story has Satan's Dracula (hey, I know enough Hindi for the title) and his minions attack a group of helpless women and hapless men. There's a skeleton that is a guy in a Halloween skeleton costume, there's a werewolf that wears a sweater (I think; I'm forgetting) and vampire women with Styrofoam angel wings. Dracula himself seems to be dressed as an American cowboy, which makes as much sense as anything. There's various masked monsters that are obviously actors you've already seen, but wearing masks to portray new characters; one has his mask fall off... twice. There were no shots taken twice, so we may have, not India's Ed Wood, but India's William "one-shot" Beaudine. One girl goes into a haunted house, finds a book that tells her what to do, she explains it to the rest and they set to work, beating the monsters with crosses. It's so disjointed as to become surreal. And then there's the random goose.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Psyched by the 4D Witch (A Tale of Demonology) (1973)

How bad is it? It's pretty damn bad.
Should you see it? It's on a Something Weird double bill with "Monster A Go-Go," so if you're okay with that, then watch it. Otherwise, no.

This gets mentioned on occasion as the worst film ever made. It was shot silent with a narration track added later (like so many of the worst films on this blog - see Beast of Yucca Flats, for example). A woman has a seance - or at least meditates with a couple of candles - and brings up the title witch, which forces her into ever worse sexual encounters. Nothing's shown (there are a few breasts), but the film shows faces during what's supposed to be rape, necrophilia, bestiality with a snake and so on, usually in masks and distorted with psychedelic lighting and effects. Finally, the girl's brother is turned into a sex vampire, which is not adequately explained. The score has a lot of classical music, but also steals (I think) a Pink Floyd song and plays the film's theme song 8 to 10 times. There are some swear words edited out, but that seems to be the only editing in about 80 minutes.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Mob Boss (1990)

How bad is it? Lame comedy, but far from terrible.
Should you see it? If it shows up on TV late at night, maybe.

I'm not sure why this has received so many terrible reviews, though it has the makings of a real turkey. William Hickey plays a mob boss who's ailing, so he has his nerdy incompetent son (Eddie Deezen) take over the business; then hit men try to take him out. Morgan Fairchild, Don Stroud, Brinke Stevens, Dick Miller, Mike Mazurki, Len Lesser, Robert Quarry and Teagan Clive all are in it. It's directed by Fred Olen Ray and this falls squarely between his better efforts (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) and his terrible ones (too many to mention). There are Three Stooges-type sound effects and a very self-conscious tone for a parody. There are some decent gags - which is rare for any comedy on this blog.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Furious (1984)

How bad is it? Essentially plotless weirdness.
Should you see it? Yes, it's weirdness makes it interesting in small doses.

There's not much point to explaining the plot of this, as it was essentially made up as it went, shooting in sequence and the plot gets explained only near the end of the film. It starts as a routine martial arts film and there are some quite good fight scenes. There's also an epic moustache villain, chickens shooting out of hands, people turning into pigs, death farts of one said pig, and it takes more than 10 minutes before the first word is spoken. It doesn't have any basis in time or location and it appears that they shot something cool and then tried to make it make sense somehow in the context of the other weird things happening. In the end, you have two film school guys with a camera and some film making whatever pops into their heads, which is sometimes fun to watch and sometimes a chore, but even the bad stuff stays with you, like the one character being told to go home as if he's a dog ("Go home. Go home... Go home! GO HOME!")

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An American Hippie in Israel (1972)

aka Ha-Temprist, aka The Hitch Hiker

How bad is it? Sort of Rocky Horror bad: more weird than terrible.
Should you see it? If you like weird 1970's films.

This was impossible to see outside Israel, where it's developed a midnight-movie cult, until a brief DVD release. An American decides to hike through Israel, get high as much as possible, have as much sex as possible and he meets up with a like-minded woman and they go to a deserted island. Why there are sort-of mime overseers, dream sequences with guys with cassettes for heads and extremely fake giant sharks is hard to explain (well, it was the 1970's). The film meanders a lot, there's some anti-war monologues and then the film goes bonkers in the final reel as the fun-loving hippies go feral and beat each other to death with rocks. It's competently shot and acted, adding to the oddity.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

After Last Season (2009)

How bad is it? It's among the most inept films ever made.
Should you see it? Yes. I think it's a fake, but it's still entertaining.

That's supposed to be an MRI machine. Really.

Depending on your source, this is either the holy grail of bad film-making or it's a clever attempt to make a fake terrible film. People tracking down those involved for interviews and trying to debunk it seem to come away saying "well, that explains some of it." I still claim it's a fake. The plot is impossible to explain, but on one level - which may or may not be a 10 minute dream sequence - it's about tracking a serial killer through MRIs. The MRI machine is obviously cardboard boxes (someone watched "The Corpse Grinders" for inspiration, maybe) and in a bedroom with a ceiling fan. Signs in the "hospital" are either tacked-up paper from a home computer printer or added with really really terrible software. People aren't dressed for their scenes (reportedly, there was no heat) and line deliveries are perplexing when delivered at all (reportedly a directorial error - just let the camera run and then shout at people to say things, causing them to be startled). The film looks exactly like a $5000 film would, but reportedly had a budget one thousand times that (and the director claims this went mostly to renting spaces, I think). It is less coherent than "Glen or Glenda," and that, in itself, is enough to convince me that it's intentionally bad.

It's still worth seeing.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon (2008)

How bad is it? Typical cheap monster film of the era.
Should you see it? Nah.

A college football team going from California to Japan crashes in the Himalayas - okay, so right off you have the wrong direction, plus the fact that a 737 can't fly there. The quarterback's name is Peyton Elway, which is the funniest thing in the film. They consider cannibalism to survive, but then - after an entire hour of film, mind you - they get attacked by a yeti. The monster is a bad suit, except when it's bad CGI (it leaps about 40 feet). Heads get crushed, limbs get torn off, one guy is beaten to death with his own leg - and if you can name the TWO films I reviewed here where a guy gets beaten to death with his own arm, you deserve a prize. For a SyFy original, it's not as bad as most.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The World Is Full of Married men (1979)

How bad is it? I think it's the worst Jackie Collins book adaptation. That's bad.
Should you see it? Not really. It's hard to find, anyway.

After "The Bitch" and "The Stud," there apparently was a market for Jackie Collins novel film adaptations, but even her sister Joan, star of those two, wouldn't do this. Carroll Baker and Tony Franciosa star in this otherwise British film and Bonnie Tyler sings the title song (God I hate Bonnie Tyler). He's a philandering husband and she gets revenge on him by having her won affairs - that's about it for plot. There's a lot of terrible disco music, some bizarre kaleidoscope effects in nightclubs, a couple of people I might recognize if I were British and - in Collins trademark style - ludicrous dialogue. There's a lot of clothing in the sex scenes, but not so much that you don't think about Franciosa's armpit hair. Really - that's the image that stuck with me.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Woodchipper Massacre (1988)

How bad is it? Amateur schlock.
Should you see it? Mmmmaybe. If you watch enough trash, this is passable.

Three kids are being babysat by their religious fanatic aunt and they accidentally kill her. So, to cover this up, they toss her body in a woodchipper. Then their cousin comes by and... well, you know. The film becomes "can we get this mess straightened out in time" as they wait for their father to come home. There's no gore. There's no massacre. There's no budget - reportedly made for under $500 on a home video camera, it's often underlit, the in-camera mike drops out (one character SHOUTS all her lines), there's terrible music and the plot meanders. The little kid's amusing at times, such as when he plays air guitar. It's awful - but it's kind of watchable in a cheap black-comedic way.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Witless Protection (2008)

How bad is it? Not the worst Larry the Cable Guy film, but not good.
Should you see it? Um, that would be a no.

Having said that I thought the biggest problem - besides being unfunny - of Larry the Cable Guy's films was that he's made out to be a genius in disguise, I was told that this one was different. Here he plays a police officer who dreams of being an FBI agent (though he doesn't know what the letters in 'FBI' stand for), runs across FBI agents escorting a woman in witness protection and he gets the idea that they're really bad guys and she needs his help. It turns out that they're really bad guys and she needs his help - so, once again, Larry's the smart one. Ugh. Even discounting the stereotypes, the sloppiness (in direction, acting, writing, etc.) and the crassness, it's just not funny. Jenny McCarthy, Yaphet Kotto (why, Yaphet, why?), Eric Roberts and Joe Mantegna are all wasted.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wild Ones on Wheels (1962)

aka Drivers to Hell, aka Hell Drivers

How bad is it? Very cheap with noticeable flaws.
Should you see it? Yes, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

This film would be worth seeing just for the presence of Frances York (as Hazel) and Ray Dennis Steckler (as Preacher). There's a lot of money hidden in the desert and some bad guys after it. It all follows very predictably, there's some continuity problems and there's some lighting/editing issues (I'm not sure if shooting day-for-night failed or if there was just a huge difference in contrast between A and B rolls; maybe both). There's hot-rodding, there's an accidental killing, there's a couple of nice PG-rated shots of Francine, the acting's pretty good and the sound is good for a change.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Wicker Man (2006)

How bad is it? Terrible remake of a great film.
Should you see it? Only if you're a Nic Cage fan.

I absolutely loved the 1973 film "The Wicker Man," so I was not expecting good things when hearing that a remake starring Nicolas Cage was in the works. The film eliminates the sexual undertones of the original, much of the creepiness and all of the suspense. Ellen Burstyn and Leelee Sobieski are the other names, with cameos by Aaron Eckhart, James Franco and Jason Ritter. The plot has a man's daughter disappear, so he goes to a remote agricultural island to investigate, only to find a ritualistic group of weirdos. For those who think Cage's eye-rolling, shouting and general twitchiness is hysterical, he starts at full boil and just keeps it up to the end. The final scenes, with CGI bees and Cage punching a woman, are probably the most amusing, but you have to wade through a lot of film to get there.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Warbirds (1989)

aka WarBirds

How bad is it? Cheap "Top Gun" knock-off, poorly done.
Should you see it? No.

Swedish subtitles weren't available on my copy.

I kind of feel sorry for Ulli Lommel; he proved he could make a good film with his first film and then there's been nothing but dreck since. This is the hoary plot of: pilot sent on mission (in this case, in a made-up Middle Eastern country), gets shot down and must be rescued. The film is so cheap that there's very little footage of planes flying - and stock footage is cheap - so cheap, in fact, that in one shot, a clock is PAINTED rather than getting a real clock. That being the best thing, you know this isn't much to see.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Underclassman (2005)

How bad is it? Bad enough.
Should you see it? No.

Nick Cannon stars in this "21 Jump Street" meets "Beverly Hills Cop" would-be action comedy. A cop is sent undercover to an elite school to infiltrate a car theft ring. So there's basketball as well as the usual stereotypes and chase scenes. There's little character development, nothing in the plot that isn't ticking boxes of what studios think can be marketed and not one good joke.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Turbulent Skies (2010)

How bad is it? Unoriginal crap.
Should you see it? No.

This is one of those days when I ask myself why I watch these films. This one was directed by Fred Olen Ray (I've reviewed over 20 of his films here) and stars Casper Van Dien, Brad Dourif and Nicole Eggert. That should scream "Stay away!" but I watched it anyway. There's been a pilotless aircraft designed and then there's a virus downloaded that's going to crash the plane, the air force plans to shoot it down before it hits a populated area, the designer's wife is on board so he plans a rescue. Then it turns out there's no one on board who can fly a plane. Ugh.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Trial of Billy Jack (1974) and Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977)

I saw the original "Billy Jack" in the theater in 1974. It had a weird cult following, partly due to its Native American mysticism, partly to it's (inexplicable) hit song "One Tin Soldier," partly due to it's being slightly sleazy and violent. I was 11 and wondering how anyone would come up with the "peace through violence" philosophy this espoused. I didn't know that it was the second film with the hero Billy Jack until the 1980's. It was an okay film, nothing more or less.

"Born Losers" (1967) was the first film with Tom Laughlin as Billy, a half-Native American veteran of Vietnam. It has him stopping members of a gang with his fists and feet, with plenty of bad acting and a surprise role for Jane Russell! This also happened to be the most entertaining film of the series, though not the most competently made.

The Trial of Billy Jack (1974)

How bad is it? God-awful preachy borefest.
Should you see it? No.

Stare at this photo for three hours - that's the film.

"Billy Jack" made a boatload of money, so Laughlin went on to make this film, which continues the saga by retelling it - slowly - in the form of a desiccated blond woman in the witness box of a trial telling you the plot of what would be a better film. For three hours! Until the box set of DVDs came out recently, the only release for this was a VHS discontinued about 1995, so it was generally seen on late night TV with an additional hour of ads. I fell asleep watching this countless times. You need not.

Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977)

How bad is it? Largely a ludicrous amalgam of unrelated shots.
Should you see it? Oddly, it's kind of a fun watch in 10 minute doses, so maybe.

This film seems to be shots of parades and football games and rallies, with almost no plot for much of it. Billy does take his crusade for peace (and fighting - no peace without mopping up the streets with someone, ya know) to Washington D.C. There's the usual mumbo-jumbo and pointless hero worship, but it's more than worn out its welcome by this time. The film is so loose and disjointed that you can sit back and laugh at it while wondering what they'll throw on the screen next. The pretension hits fever pitch as well.

There was another late installment of the saga "The Return of Billy Jack," but I don't know if it ever went beyond the planning stage. No version of it is available, at any rate.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Tormentors (1971)

aka Terminators

How bad is it? Minor Nazi biker flick (yes, that's a sub-genre).
Should you see it? No.

I sought this out because the director under an assumed name turns out to be David Hewitt, who also did Wizard of Mars, The Mighty Gorga and the sublimely weird Monsters Crash the Pajama Party. This has a girl killed by a Nazi biker gang and her boyfriend then retaliates, but first he has to join them to get close. There's also a strange subplot with a messiah-like figure - which goes nowhere. It's largely uneventful.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

That's What She Said (2012)

How bad is it? Unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? No.

Alia Shawkat and Anne Heche star as DeeDee and Bebe, who meet up with a third woman (no, not CeeeCeee, but Clementine) and explore terrible dating situations in New York. The humor is broad (pun unintended) and forced and centers on one woman constantly scratching a yeast infection in public and dildos falling out of purses. This was the time when they started making raunchy guy comedies starring women; this one actually has notes of the classic "The Women" but knowing that just makes it worse.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Terror Inside (2008)

How bad is it? Dull horror.
Should you see it? No.

I'm guessing that the fact that this film stars Corey Feldman decides whatever people think of it. There's a virus that switches people's perceptions of pain and pleasure, so everyone starts mutilating themselves. Then they figure it out and there's a terrible "We're the government. We'll take that - and not do anything bad with it. (wink, wink)" ending. There's some gore and nudity, about enough to turn away a lot of people and not enough to appeal to those who seek it out. Besides the weak plot, the acting isn't much and there's not much of interest.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Terror House (1998)

aka The House That Screamed

How bad is it? Extremely low budget horror, poorly done.
Should you see it? No.

The Polonia brothers have made dozens of extremely cheap horror films. This is one of the earlier ones, shot on video and without access to computer graphics or editing (or actors or script writers or cameramen...) The plot is more than a century old: people are offered money to spend the night in a spooky house. This film is very padded - you get to see them check every single doorknob in the house once they're locked in - and still runs just over an hour. The acting is particularly sub-par, with the blind actor obviously looking around. The monster is a mask, wig, rubber hands and torn clothes.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ten Violent Women (1982)

aka 10 Violent Women

How bad is it? Women in prison film lacking in nudity and violence.
Should you see it? No.

I actually got to see this in a grindhouse in New York City when it came out; there were a lot of disappointed men in the audience. The film starts with eight women (the title almost forces you to count; there are various numbers of women throughout the film) working in a gold mine that is just a cave and wearing very unsafe gear for a mine. There's an accident which causes them to rob a bank - the logic isn't there - the plans for which are unnecessarily complicated. Then they get caught and go to prison, where there's a sadistic lesbian warden (of course) but none of the sex or violence you'd expect. They end up escaping and the film ends with belly dancing on a yacht, which makes as much sense as anything in this mess. Ted V. Mikels films actually got worse over the years, lacking the crude cheap silliness of the earlier films; this was made in the mid-1970's and shelved for years.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Zombies vs the Lucky Exorcist (2015)

How bad is it? Vanity mishmash hullaballoo (yeah I said that).
Should you see it? Not really.

Written, directed, produced and starring Jaguar Lim, a Malaysian businessman, this film has both eastern and western types of vampires and a giant floating banana. What it lakes is plot, taste and a reason for existing. Aimed at children (I expect) and meant to be funny (I expect), this is amusing for a short time and rapidly becomes tedious, as continuous weirdness tends. The "star" plays maybe seven roles, at least three in drag. People get urinated on. There are jumper cables on nipples. An umbilical cord gets cut by machete. Again, I think this was aimed at children - what kind of children, I can't imagine. This film is so obscure, it isn't on IMDb; people who will watch anything with "Zombie" in the title directed me to it. I'm including it because it's possible that regional films from Asia will replace regional films from the USA as the next big thing in bad films (I'll get to a recently discovered regional film from Turkey eventually).

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Yesterday Machine (1963)

How bad is it? Pretty bad indeed.
Should you see it? Yes. It's a minor camp classic.

This isn't the worst "bring Hitler back" film of 1963; that would be "They Saved Hitler's Brain." This isn't the worst film to come out of Texas in the 1960's; that would be "Manos: Hands of Fate." Still, that's some company in which to be. The plot, which the film takes some time to get to, what with starting out with a baton twirling exhibition, involves a Nazi scientist who developed a time machine 20 years too late to win the war. But wait - with a time machine, it's never too late! The low point of the film is a lecture on how time travel works - it's nearly 10 minutes! - which had me thinking of the judge's never-ending soliloquy in "The Violent Years." There's some poor acting, some atrocious (but genuine) accents and some very 1960's hairstyles. It's all very silly, but a bit slow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wrath of the Skunk Ape (1997)

aka Wrath of the Skunkape

How bad is it? It's the worst home movie you've ever seen.
Should you see it? Only for debates of what the world's worst movie is.

I'd heard about this only once and then a decade later the makers put it on YouTube. You can also buy it now from the director, but I can't imagine why you would. The Skunk Ape is like Sasquatch or the Jersey Devil, a regional monster, which differs from those in its odor. This 40 minute film is about a guy (nicknamed Stinky Thumbs) who's hunting it. Much of the film is underlit and at night, so it's hard to see, which might be a good thing. There's an actor who's so annoying that it must be intentional and he's annoying in exactly the same way as an actor in"Barn of the Blood Llama," so there must be some small group of people who think acting consists in being as obnoxious as possible. Even those involved in making this feel that it's their worst film - their others all qualify as zero-budget zero-star films.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Walking Deceased (2015)

How bad is it? Very poor spoof.
Should you see it? No.

This spoofs "The Walking Dead," plus just about anything else from the recent zombie genre and, though it's better than Epic Movie/Disaster Movie/etc., it's not good. There are running gags that become tiresome. The plot has a guy coming out of a coma to find the zombie apocalypse has happened and then he and a few others (all named for their hometowns) search for a Safe Haven Ranch, which isn't all what it sounds like. There's a couple of chuckles - and I seem to like what no one else does, that a character has to explain that he's not a zombie, he's just a bit slow - but not nearly enough.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weapons (2007)

How bad is it? Failed indie message film.
Should you see it? No.

Having seen the 2002 French film "Irreversible," I can tell you that this is a medium-budget American teen version of that film, with jumps in the time of sequences, rather than a strict reverse chronology. It also differs in that it sucks. Nick Cannon is the biggest name (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a cameo) and he is not a great actor. A number of seemingly unconnected violent scenes end up getting connected, but it doesn't hold one's interest.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Vibrations (1996)

How bad is it? Weird cliched implausible melodrama.
Should you see it? This has developed a cult, so I'll say yes.

Guy (James Marshall) loses his hands in a fight with rednecks, becomes a drunk, sleeps it off where a rave's happening and a girl (Christina Applegate) invites him home, in the first improbable moment of a million. Her friends, robotics wizards - of course - create new hands for him; the rubber flesh hands are distractingly hilarious, the metallic ones lead to a new career as a DJ who's supposedly an android. There's a lot, and I mean a lot, of early 1990's techno music by bands that were huge in that tiny niche for a moment and unknown outside it. There's a subplot with a cop dad that's a real headscratcher. Nary a cliche was overlooked, no plot too improbable was overlooked, and it's all overplayed, except by Marshall, who has so few expressions that he might just be an android.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Viktor (2014)

How bad is it? Failed crime film.
Should you see it? No.

Gerard Depardieu and Elizabeth Hurley star in this noir-ish film about a man seeking revenge for the death of his son. It's well-shot, but extremely sluggish, with no chemistry between the romantic leads (who are both past the age for this - Depardieu in his late 60's) and some unintentional humor in seeing people obviously reading their lines and speaking pho-net-i-call-y, as only the main cast speak English as a first language. The worst bit is that the star doesn't even go after the bad guys, he sends others to do it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

10 Rules for Sleeping Around (2014)

How bad is it? 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, 1 on Metacritic.
Should you see it? NO.

The less said about this "comedy," the better. A couple sees if infidelity can help their marriage. It doesn't.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

That's What She Said (2012)

How bad is it? I hated it.
Should you see it? No.

"Bridesmaids" was a guy film (like "The Hangover") done with women and a lot of people liked it. I did not; Kristen Wiig, who I usually hate was actually good and Ellie Kemper is always good, but the film irritated me. So - that said, this is a bad "Bridesmaids" clone starring Anne Heche. I'm just not the audience for this. I don't think there is an audience for this. I hope there isn't an audience for this. The plot: three women mismanage relationships while being gross; there are dildos falling from purses, public yeast infection scratchings and... not one funny joke.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002)

How bad is it? Meandering satire.
Should you see it? No. The cast is intriguing, however.

Written, directed and produced by Harry Shearer (who also gave himself a cameo and did background voices and composed songs), this has a HUGE cast including: John Michael Higgins, Ming-Na (Wen), Henry Gibson, David Rasche, Brenda Strong, Morgan Fairchild, Michael McKean, Alan Thicke, George Wendt, Bob Einstein, John O'Hurley, Howard Hesseman, Fred Willard, Annabelle Gurwitch, Peter Marshall, Kurtwood Smith, Larry Miller and some sportscasters such as Dick Butkus and Jim Nance. Now, if you're thinking "aren't those TV actors?" you may see the problem - this is a 10 minute TV sketch stretched to 90 minutes. The story has the elite of the elite meeting at a retreat and the intrigues and complications that come with that. Much of it is improvised; little of it is funny.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Dog (1995)

How bad is it? It's a Chuck Norris comedy. Yeah, you read that right.
Should you see it? No.

This film had been done better as "Turner and Hooch," so what was the idea - to give Chuck Norris' brother another directorial credit? The film is about a police officer who has a dog attached to him, though he dislikes dogs. The dog not only sniffs out bombs and drugs, but in one scene even sniffs out a hidden switch, with no explanation of how that's possible. The major problem with the film is that it's aimed at kids, being filled with lovable dog antics, but the story-line involves bigotry, assassination and more weapons fired than in any PG-13 film I'd ever seen - and it has surly Norris doing very little martial arts, not as well as he used to, and with an obvious body double in much of it. The intended jokes don't work, as these are not comedic actors and Norris can't play straight-man.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Zero Boys (1986)

How bad is it? Amateurish mishmash of genres. Not terrible.
Should you see it? Yes. It's entertaining and has developed a cult.

This got a Blu-Ray release; that fact by itself puts this film ahead of most things I review, though it does make the fog machines more obvious. The film starts off looking like something it's not and you eventually find out you've been watching a paintball game. Then the winners and their girlfriends and a girl won from the losing team head into the woods where they find a secluded cabin... and it becomes a "cabin in the woods" film, where two guys who make snuff films and happen to be cannibals hunt our young stars. The six heroes just happen to have access to automatic weapons - the first groaner of a mistake the film makes. There's no gore or sex and most of the standard tropes of this kind of film are avoided, making it a bit of an oddity. The ending is pretty bad and the bad guys, once seen, don't seem like what you'd expect. The only name in the cast is Kelli Maroney, who seemed to be in a lot of films in 1986.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman (1975)

aka Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman!

How bad is it? One of the worse porn comedies of the 1970's.
Should you see it? It's only for completists of someone in it.

Another film I snuck in to see when underaged, this has been released by Something Weird Video in an edited soft-core version (there's also a hard-core). Two aliens come to Earth to impregnate women - that's it; that's the plot. The aliens are quite cheap; they have balloons for ears that expand when aroused. The only reason to see this is for brief bits by Dyanne Thorne, Haji and Sandy Carey. None of the comedy works and the quality is about what you'd expect from the director of "Blackenstein."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Weekend With the Babysitter (1970)

How bad is it? Pointless, dated and unoriginal.
Should you see it? No

This makes me laugh. Sorry.

I watched this (probably for the second time) and wondered why people either thought this was great or thought it was terrible; I think it all boils down to the cult around the writer/director Don Henderson, who it appears is actually Tom "Billy Jack" Laughlin. It's almost the same film as the earlier "The Babysitter," which has some of the same character names and some of the same actors and almost the same plot, though the characters (or the actors' approaches to them) are different. There's a middle-aged film director having a fling with his teen-aged babysitter, smoking pot and racing motorcycles, while his wife is going through heroin withdrawal and getting used by her dealer. There's some silly dated dialogue and some rather icky romantic scenes, but not enough to make it watchable.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Warriors of the Apocalypse (1985)

aka Time Raiders, aka Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain, aka Operation Overkill

How bad is it? Typical Filipino post-apocalypse fantasy (not good).
Should you see it? I don't think so.

Look at the various titles and you'll see how confused this film is. This film starts off as one kind of film, a Road Warriors-esque post-apocalypse film, and then becomes an amazons film; the two films don't really work together and neither is great on its own. There's a search for the secret to immortality and a nuclear reactor in a mountain and a bunch of guys in ludicrous outfits (there's some shoulder pads almost worth the price of admission) and then there's amazons that shoot laser beams from their eyes and pygmies with make-up that looks like a KISS cover band. There's so much stuff thrown at the screen that you'd think something would have to be interesting, but it's overlong, the typical nudity and fight scenes are way below par (but not bad enough to be enjoyably bad) and your eyes just start to glaze over.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Waitress! (1981)

How bad is it? Lame comedy.
Should you see it? No.

Co-directed by Lloyd Kaufman, this was re-released in a box set by his Troma company with other early - and poor - comedies they had rights to. A failing restaurant, complete with all stereotypes, including slovenly chef, has three waitresses with their own story arcs. One is the boss's daughter. One is writing an article on picking up/seducing men. One wants to be an actress. None are compelling. The humor is forced and sophomoric. Calvert DeForest has two lines and Chris Noth is in the background of one scene.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Video Vixens (1974)

How bad is it? Failed comedy by hard-core porn director.
Should you see it? Only if you're a big fan of someone in the cast.

Robyn Hilton. You remember her with red hair in "Blazing Saddles."

I saw this by sneaking into a theater when it came out; it's been released on video by Troma. Directed by Henri Pachard, who's directed hundreds of porn films, this was meant as a sort of cross-over to mainstream, but it has enough nudity - and unending, mind-numbing bad sex jokes - to be X (NC-17) rated. A soap additive has stopped men's interest in sex and is turning women into lesbians, so a TV station decides to run a Stag Film Award Show and host it with a guy who's offended by the whole premise. George "Buck" Flower, Rainbeaux Smith and Robyn Hilton have roles, as do a lot of women who did mostly porn. In between segments, there's fake ads for Twinkle Twat Feminine Spay, Dial-a-Snatch, Magic Merkin, Kentucky Dildos, Roid Away and Umpire Deodorant (the last one, if you're wondering, involves a lot of ball jokes). It's pretty tiresome, to be honest, but it has some novelty value.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Vasectomy - A Delicate Matter (1986)

aka Vasectomy

How bad is it? Unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? No. The cast is interesting, but no.

Paul Sorvino plays a bank manager whose wife, after their 8th child, insists he has a vasectomy, but he has reservations. There's also an unrelated plot of his boss, Lorne Greene, tasking him with saving the company from thieving relatives. There's some interesting cameos: Abe Vigoda, William Marshall, June Wilkinson and Debra Jo Fondren (who does a topless scene; she was best-known for her pretty knee-length blonde hair, cut before this was filmed). There is not one laugh, though there's potential - both the doctor and nurse for his operation have reason to dislike him, for example (and though we know they're too professional to let that interfere with their work, it could create tension. It doesn't).

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Vampire Raiders - Ninja Queen (1988)

aka The Vampire Raiders

How bad is it? Perhaps the worst Godfrey Ho film, which is saying something.
Should you see it? If you absolutely must watch a Godfrey Ho film, this is a good choice.

I'm planning a post with 20-25 more Godfrey Ho films, which are largely interchangeable - he takes two unrelated films and splices them together to make a new, often incomprehensible, one. This one has the hopping vampires that get killed by putting papers on their faces (it's a Chinese thing - it does not translate well) and a second story about a plan to take over the hotel industry. There's two groups of ninjas, one good, one bad. A couple are killed by a thrown pig. A vampire feels up a female ninja. There's extending arms and exploding heads and flying just above the ground. And lots of nonsense, before the climactic battle that makes no sense.

Friday, November 3, 2017

2069: A Sex Odyssey

How bad is it? Typical exploitation parody. Not terrible.
Should you see it? If you like this kind of thing, sure.

Women from Venus come to Earth to collect semen. Men generally cooperate gladly. Filmed in German, the new English language jokes are hit and miss (mostly miss). I like that people just assume the aliens are the French ski team. The only special effect is the women bounding like astronauts do in real life on the Moon, but it doesn't make sense. The fashions are fun... surprisingly, and the bodies on display (none of the cast is familiar to me) are rather nice. If "Barbarella" is the high point of sexy sci-fi of the era and "Flesh Gordon" is the low, this is a comfy middle.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Just wondering

Not that it matters, but just who is it that's linking some of these posts to their Facebook account? "Worm Eaters" got an extra 150 hits, for example, and I'm wondering who my popular friend is.

Tintorera: Killer Shark (1977)

aka Tintorera, aka Tintorera... Bloody Waters, aka Tintorera - The Solent Death, aka Tintorera... Tiger Shark

How bad is it? Interminable soft-core "Jaws" rip-off.
Should you see it? If you're watching shark movies, it's one of the better "bad" ones.

There's a number of versions of this one, the longest I've seen about 126 minutes (I believe there are longer ones) and all have maybe 3 minutes of shark attack scenes. Three shark hunters go on a sporting holiday - and there are a TON of critters getting harvested - and there's several love triangles turned into threesomes. Susan George and Hugo Stiglitz are the big name in the cast, Rene Cardona, Jr. directed. There's a lot of nudity, some nice bodies among them, but surprisingly little sex. The film is not really about sharks, but people, and it's unfair to compare it to "Jaws," which it obviously was trying to cash in on. It's very slow and stupid, but it's pretty and rather watchable.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Telephone (1988)

How bad is it? Failed experimental theater.
Should you see it? No. Unless you enjoy trainwrecks.

The owl's the best thing in the film.

Written by Harry Nilsson and Terry Southern... and directed by Rip Torn... and starring Whoopi Goldberg. Just let that sink in for a bit. It's a one woman show, essentially a monologue, with brief interactions with Wlliott Gould, John Heard and the voice of Herve Villechaize. The whole premise is Whoopi's an out of work actress who passes the time making phone calls, mostly pranks, and she does a variety of bad accents and impersonations and we slowly discover she's unhinged. Slowly. She has a pet owl and some goldfish and they give the best performances.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

The previous post is the last alphabetically from that source. I'm missing up to 3 titles (probably a zombie film in there) between "Your" and "ZZ." I'll be going back from T-Z at least 3 more times before I get back on track. Then - probably around the start of 2018 - I'll be back on schedule, with a few titles I missed, a few new titles and a bunch of really really obscure stuff.

Xtro 3: Watch the Skies (1995)

aka Xtro: Watch the Skies

How bad is it? Throws away everything interesting in the original.
Should you see it? No.

The first film was good and interesting (and controversial; there's a pretty rough rape scene) and the second was a rip-off of "Aliens." This is a war picture, translated to a planet, where guys are supposed to defuse bombs and then run into an alien. The special effects are particularly bad; when there's a flashback to the 1950's, it's so bad they had to be doing it intentionally badly. There's a soundtrack that works against the action. There's plenty of bad acting, though it's nice to see Robert Culp get some work.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Wrecking Crew (2000)

How bad is it? One of the worst Albert Pyun films, which is saying something.
Should you see it? No, unless you're a huge fan of the cast.

I saw this by accident, thinking I was going to watch the 1968 Dean Martin/Matt Helm film of the same name (I debated reviewing the 4 Helm films). This was directed by Albert Pyun and stars Ice-T, who also did the soundtrack, and has Ernie Hudson Jr. and, in a small role (though he's billed second on the video and is featured in the advertising), Snoop Dogg. The plot, if it exists, is about trying to "clean up the streets." After watching it, and scratching my head, I had to do a little research and found out it was filmed overseas (Slovak Republic?) in a plan to make three films with the same footage, the other two being "Corrupt" and "Urban Menace." Supposedly, this made it hard for the rapper/actors to know what role they were playing in scenes and I've heard that much of the film was B-roll, as footage was lost. It's a mess, and an uninteresting mess. The most entertaining part is the opening credits, which seem to be shots from the other two films, as they aren't in this one.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Worm Eaters (1977)

How bad is it? Typically poor regional horror film.
Should you see it? Meh. Maybe as a curiosity.

Produced by Ted V. Mikels (who's all over this blog), this was written by, directed by and starring Herb Robins as a worm breeder who also eats worms. He forces others to eat worms, which turns some of them into half-worm monsters. The main thought one has watching this is: is this meant to be a comedy? The acting is atrocious, but the worm eating is real and that probably cut down on the casting possibilities. It's worth noting that the Hong Kong horror film "The Devil" (1985) also involves worm eating.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wirey Spindell (1999)

How bad is it? Self-indulgent tripe, but not awful.
Should you see it? No.

I liked Eric Shaeffer's "Boy Meets Girl" - a lot. Some of his other films were okay, but it seems when he puts himself on the screen, he fails. This film doesn't work and I found myself trying to describe it in terms of other films: like a poor man's Woody Allen trying for Cameron Crowe sentimentality plus Bob Clark "Pork's" humor. I think you can see why it doesn't work. A man, about to get married, reminisces about his sexual past - including an electrical socket. That he's bisexual and his therapist is bisexual (and a former lover's lover? I drifted off) and everyone has minor kinks and aren't they just darling? gets a bit tiresome. This isn't terrible, as some have suggested, just not good.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wing Commander (1999)

How bad is it? SF seriously hampered by low budget.
Should you see it? If it shows up on TV late at night, maybe.


Having seen video games turned into films by Uwe Boll, this is not as bad - but that's damned faint praise. This is very much like "Starship Troopers" and also oddly like a dull WW II submarine film, as that was part of the plan (they even cast Jürgen Prochnow in a small role). The effects are very shoddy by 1999 standards and I'm told the story doesn't follow the video game world particularly well (I've never played the game). The acting is questionable, as Freddie Prinze Jr. and Saffron Burrows have always been lightweights and other good actors, like David Suchet, have minor roles. It has slow patches and a lot of errors anyone would catch - sound effects in the vacuum of space? Nice to have a convenient black hole to suck up whatever goes wrong, and aliens that are idiots. The plot, well, I forget the plot... I don't think it matters.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Win, Place or Steal (1974)

How bad is it? Pretty bad for a Hollywood film.
Should you see it? No (I seem to be the only one who HAS seen it). For completists of the cast only.

I saw this on television about 1979 (it had a brief VHS release). Guys who lose at the track plan to steal a ticket printing machine, so they can fake winning tickets. Things go badly. When the TV show M*A*S*H was huge, McLean Stevenson was advertised as the star of this, but he got 4th billing, after Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn and Alex Karras. It also has Harry Dean Stanton, Scatman Crothers and Big Bill Smith! How could it go wrong? Well, have you seen "Hello Larry?" - Stevenson is a hallmark of dreck. The film needed better direction and editing; scenes just sputter long after they should end, removing any pace or tension. It's also often underlit. The film also never seems to decide on a mood - are we pulling for these guys? is it a comedy or a caper film?