Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Splatter Farm (1987)

Having mentioned the Polonia brothers a few times on this blog, I felt I had to review their "masterpiece," which they shot on video as teenagers. They have not improved. The best thing about this film is the tag-line on some copies: Old McDonald had a farm, EIEI...Ouch! Twin boys (writers/directors/producers/editors if there was any editing, the Polonias) visit the farm of an old woman who has a henchman that likes to kill people and store their parts in the barn so he can use them for sex. There's masturbation with a severed arm and fellatio with a severed head. There's incest, necrophilia, gay rape with anal fisting, cannibalism, animal cruelty, torture, coprophagia and whatever other distasteful things they could think of. If there were any competence, this would be hard to stomach, but it's so terribly done that there's no real shock. You can see the crew throwing blood, actors deliver lines without emotion or looking in any particular direction, there's a typical synthesizer drone score and there's a lot of footage of people wandering aimlessly for a 70 minute film. There's a twist ending that came as no surprise. People who like SOV films from the 80's with the word "Splatter" in the title get exactly what they expect.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Space Zombie Bingo!!! (1993)

Much like "The Lost Skeleton of Cadvra," this is an homage to terrible science fiction of the 1950's; unlike that film, however, it is not very entertaining. It was released by Troma. It has characters named Herpes Simplex and Kent Bendover. It has a Criswell-like narrator named Crisco. It has stock footage of atomic blasts. It has aliens that wear swim flippers. It has some real intended laughs, mostly in the first 10 minutes and then it loses steam. It also some of the most misleading cover box art ever (which is kind of a nice touch). You can watch it on YouTube.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Space Rage (1985)

aka Trackers

This is a mash-up of a formulaic western and cheap science fiction and, while it's watchable, it's also shoddy enough to elicit giggles. A bad guy (Michael Pare') is sent to a penal colony on another planet that looks remarkably like California and even has roosters crowing at sunrise. He escapes, a bounty hunter goes after him, but it comes down to an elderly colonel (Richard Farnsworth!) to blow away the bad guys in the final scenes. There's a terrible Irish accent for no reason, there are dune buggy chases, there's an inappropriate soundtrack (that's pretty good, just doesn't fit), there's a couple of failed jokes, a character that seems to disappear and some poor editing. Farnsworth's tough guy is worth wading through the rest of the film for.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Space Cop (2016)

Though I have a link to them on the sidebar, I've never really been a fan of Red Letter Media. Here the guys, instead of trashing other people's trash, make their own intentionally bad film. A film noir-ish detective is brought to the present to work alongside the titular space cop, who's from the future. It's hard to review intentionally bad films, especially those that have a built-in fan base, but if you've never heard of Red Letter, you won't find much to enjoy here. The props were obviously bought at a dollar store, but there's some decent CGI as well. The story tends to derail for humorous asides. There are some good intentional laughs, but not really enough to hold the film together.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Space Chase (1990)

This is a deservedly obscure Star Wars rip-off that I found subtitled in Turkish, but which seems to have never been (legally) released on video. The hero's name is Chase, he has a partner whose face changes colors, and they rescue a scientist and his daughter from the evil Dr. Chrome, who plans on getting an infinite power source for his drones so he can take over the universe. There's a fight scene done in Clay-mation! There's a Playboy model who never acted in anything else (she and several others look at the camera and/or read cue cards). Climactic scenes are too under-lit to see. The sets look like they were left over from some other film. The same explosion is seen three times. It steals dialogue, wardrobe and plot lines from "Star Wars."

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Snake Island (2002)

aka Cobras
Writer/producer/director/star Wayne Crawford, who had written "Night of the Comet" and "Valley Girl," created this film to give himself something to do, I think. A group of people got to Snake Island and are, not surprisingly, attacked by snakes. Most of the snakes are real, for a change, though that makes the CGI ones stand out unfavorably. There's a topless dance scene and the snakes "dance" as well, by playing the film backwards and forwards. The characters aren't likeable and don't have much to do. Overall, it's a typical low budget film of its type.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Snake Club: Revenge of the Snake Woman (2013)

This is what you get when a porn actress tries to go legit. A snake goddess is turned into a statue, which ends up in a strip club and the performers are turned into were-snakes. The kills are mostly off-screen, but there are a couple of decent effects. There is a ton of toplessness. There is nothing else: no plot, no acting, no direction.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Slaughter Tales (2012)

Filmed by a 15 year-old over two years (you can actually see him grow) with a camcorder and a reported budget of "about $65," this is exactly what you'd expect. There's a haunted VHS tape, a ghost that gives a warning not to watch it, then a horror anthology that shows a surprisingly deep knowledge of obscure horror for a teenager. It's slow and overlong at 90 minutes, but it has its moments.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Shifter (1999)

aka Shapeshifter
Common reaction to seeing this film, really.

This bad children's film is so bizarre that I couldn't stop watching it, though I really wanted to. A boy, whose parents are former spies, seeks to rescue his kidnapped parents in Romania. First off, when he's in the U.S., it really looks like Romania; there was a brief period when a lot of trash was filmed in Romania and this has all the hallmarks, including extras who don't speak English and cinematography that's way too good for the budget. The plot involves a meteor, which causes the boy to become a shapeshifter - meant to be a plot twist, but it's in the title. There's also a witch that operates in cyberspace, who after several poor attempts to stop her, is stopped by a guy playing a glass harmonica [I kid you not]. There's a circle of dwarves that sort of chant the evil witch back to wherever she came from. There is absolutely no continuity in the plot, so it's hard to describe. When the kid seeks the help of the CIA, he dials 1-800-CIA-HELP [again, I'm not kidding] and it gets him the exact person he needs... but that guy doesn't help. I'm making it sound better than it is.

I actually rented this from Red Box.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sharkenstein (2016)

Directed by Mark Polonia, so you need read no further. Sort of taking an idea from "They Saved Hitler's Brain," this has Nazis weaponizing sharks and then 60 years later an evil brain being put into one that then goes on a rampage. A woman gets raped by the shark... for laughs. Much of the cast is supposed to be teenagers, but are obviously a decade older and one annoyingly wears a sideways baseball cap so you KNOW he's a teenager. The shark itself was made by Brett Piper, who has some ability, but Polonia did the special effects, which are very very poor. The cast is mostly recycled from "Bigfoot vs Zombies," another film to avoid.

And, with this, I managed to stretch the shark film reviews to Discovery Channel's Shark Week.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Shark Exorcist (2015)

This was made by the director of "An Erotic Vampire in Paris" and "Chainsaw Cheerleaders," so the tradition of coming up with titles and advertising pitches and then throwing together films to match them continues. It's hopelessly padded, even at 71 minutes, with a post-credits scene that doesn't seem to fit. The shark is in a fresh water lake. For unexplained reasons, a woman attacked by the shark seems to also be possessed. Someone says "We're going to need a bigger cross." There are unwise sub-plots, including one about rival TV stations, that go nowhere. There's no nudity, no real gore, no real laughs and it's very lazy.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sharktopus (2010)

An intentionally silly film in the Sharknado vein, but from a different production company, this has scientists creating a part shark/ part octopus creature with a radio control that makes it a weapon the military can control. Of course, the control is lost and the creature goes on a rampage. Eric Roberts stars among a cast of mostly wooden non-actors. There's absolutely nothing remarkable about this, except that it's pretty watchable. So far, there are two sequels: "Sharktopus vs Pteracuda" and "Sharktopus vs Whalewolf," with another, "Sharktopus vs Mermantula" in production.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre (2015)

Move along, you've seen enough.
I guess it had to happen: a women's prison film with sharks, directed by Jim Wynorski and starring Traci Lords (who gets second billing to Dominique Swain). There have been films with each of those elements that I've enjoyed, and even in pairs. Fracking causes a fissure to form, releasing prehistoric sharks. The women are mostly out of the prison and get menaced in a cabin. There are few kills and no gore. Amazingly, there is absolutely no nudity. "Crap on a cracker" is about the extent of the swearing in this PG film. In fact, the most offensive things about this film are the attempts at humor, something Wynorski always tries and only really succeeded at early in his career. The plot is thin, the acting generally adequate, the direction and cinematography capable. There's just nothing memorable. The shark is fortunately not CGI, which helps, but it seems to be able to swim through dirt for reasons never explained.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Shadow Killers Tiger Force (1986)

This is one of the earlier cut-and-paste ninja films of Godfrey Ho, using only one old film - and a women's prison film at that - and new footage with ninjas. Ninjas kidnap women and take them to a camp as slave labor in a secret lair no one can find, but still manages to have mail call. A female ninja comes to rescue one of the women before she and 52 others are sold to the Middle East. There's a torpedo, a beheading by belt, a telekinetic ninja using sign language because she's talking to a woman from a different film (and one is indoors and one is not) and, after a lot of tedium, a finale involving a ninja-seeking rocket.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Seeing Double (2003)

aka S Club Seeing Double
I had never heard of S Club 7 (and I may have their name wrong, as I spent some time wondering why "7" when there's six members), but it's a pop group made for a British TV show, so it's a bit like updating both the Spice Girls and even the Monkees. These things are supposed to highlight the band's music, but I only remember two production numbers. The plot, such as it is, has the band replaced by clones. One of them can sing and one can act, but there's not enough here to keep anyone's interest.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Second Glance (2006)

I hope I'm running out of Christiano family Christian films soon. This one is "It's a Wonderful Life" turned into propaganda, without any of the charm, insight or skill of the original. A high school boy envies the life of the non-Christian kids and makes a wish. Gets it. Doesn't seem to understand, for a surprisingly long time - I mean, he's missing a sister, for example. In the end, he undoes the wish and then goes on to become that horrible guy who tries to cram his religion down everyone's throat.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Scorpion Thunderbolt (1988)

aka Snake

Harrison bends metal in a strange homoerotic scene.

This is another Godfrey Ho film made by inter-cutting two other (unrelated) films with new footage, but for once, it's a horror film rather than a ninja film. One story is about a woman who turns into a snake whenever a flute is played (or a drum is banged - the rules are sketchy) and the other story might have been a police procedural. The new film has Richard Harrison picking up a hitchhiker who shows him a porn film she starred in, then tries to stab him, but ends up vomiting and dying. Now Harrison has a magic ring that can kill the Queen of the Scorpions; her best scene has her flying while the police shoot at her. There's a baby biting off a breast, a snake attack in a moving car, a guy shooting pool balls into a woman's crotch and enough weirdness, gore and nudity to keep you from noticing that the plot makes little sense.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Science Crazed (1991)

aka The Fiend
Another contender in the worst-film-ever-made competition, this has been released on video by the same people who released "Things."A scientist injects a woman with a serum that causes her to have a baby that becomes fully grown in an hour. That's the only thing that happens fast in this film. The monster created takes forever walking down a corridor, looped repeatedly, in a building that seems to have an aerobics studio and pool, a chemical plant and a garage, as well as the laboratory. People deliver their few lines s-l-o-w-l-y and then there's always a long pause before the next line. People don't react to being killed or seeing people being killed, or they don't react naturally. There's a detective that seems like a film noir archetype. It was shot on 16 mm and the sound is hard to describe - an electronic droning, foley sounds and the monster grunting all mesh. In one scene, the killer bumps the camera. The establishing shot in the aerobics studio is several minutes long. It's so bad that some of the badness has to have been deliberate, though it may have been thought to be artistic (or something).

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Saurians (1994)

Written by, directed by, produced by and starring Mark Polonia, this film seems to be the only one he made without his brother and it seems his brother is the more talented one. Polonia films are bad, but this one's considered by far the worst technically. An explosion unearths dinosaurs and the usual chaos ensues. It was shot on Super 8 with poorly (and sometimes amusingly) dubbed sound. The dinosaurs are stop motion or green screened puppets or 1980's home computer graphics, but always worse than you'd expect anyone would think they could get away with. It's often overexposed and seems to be entirely in slow-motion. It sucks, but in such a retro way that I found it passable.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Satan's Storybook (1989)

This is a horror anthology consisting of only two stories and a wrap-around. Former (?) porn star Ginger Lynn Allen is the only name in the cast. The first story is about an uninteresting killer, the second about a clown. The wrap-around not only doesn't tie things together, it makes no sense. There's a ninja, for some reason. There's some bad 80's hair and makeup, some very cheap masks and a lot of long stretches where nothing happens.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Salvation (2007)

This publicity shot is listed as being in the film; that's how slapdash it is.

This may be the cheapest film ever put on Netflix. I mistook it for one of several films with the same title. It's an ultimate good vs. ultimate evil film with a resurrected little girl, very poor swordfights (really - like in high school plays, where the blade goes into an armpit and is shot obliquely) and a flashback to 1300's that is handled by words on the screen. The two funniest things: a car sits in the same place for 15 years and doesn't rust and a TV screen gets blurred in post-production.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Sabretooth (2002)

aka Sabertooth, aka Prehistoric Tiger
Not to be confused with Attack of the Sabretooth, this is a TV film that, while typically dodgy in the CGI, is not too bad. Scientists revive the ancient beast and it escapes (how it does is actually not too bad) and hunts a group of campers. Too much time is spent on the motivations of the victims, when they're just there to get mauled and eaten. There's the requisite bad guys: industrialist, scientist, big game hunter. It's predictable up to the end, where a twist doesn't really work.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016)

Let's not and say we did.

Complete misfire, mostly do to poor casting and sanitizing/updating material. There's one good line: Let's hope it isn't meat loaf again. With Victoria Justice, Christine Milian, Tim Curry (as a criminologist), Adam Lambert, Annaleigh Ashford, Ben Vereen and Laverne Cox. The songs are sung competently.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Raptor Ranch (2013)

aka Jurassic dark, aka Dinosaur Experiment, aka The Dinosaur Experiment, aka Jurassic Dark: Raptor Ranch, aka Jurassic Dark... Raptor Ranch, aka Raptor Ranch: the Movie
This is a film that aspires to by a SyFy monster flick. Small town, discovered fossils, scientist experiment revives them, yada yada yada. The characters are all clichés and become more annoying the longer they're on the screen. The special effects are better than usual for the very small budget. It starts well, with developing the characters, but the pace drops to zero as the kills start. You start to wonder how few people live in the town beyond the cast (and would they make a better film). Lorenzo Lamas, top-billed, has essentially a cameo as a government investigator.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Reptile 2001 (1999)

aka Reptilian, aka Yonggary
At least a partial remake of "Yongary, Monster from the Deep," this Korean film has some of the worst special effects of any studio-produced film. A giant dinosaur is unearthed and aliens animate it and use it to attack Earth; why aliens waited for us to find this particular dinosaur is not explained. This one is completely by-the-book and cliched, with nothing interesting or noteworthy. The dialogue, especially, is trite. Some characters just seem to get forgotten.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Run Coyote Run (1987)

Lost in the trunk of a car until recently, this is now available online for $10 or you can buy a copy for $25. Save your money. Renee Harmon, who's been in a surprising number of films in this blog, stars and it's been said that the over-actors in the cast (there are several) paid her to have a role. It was shot over a period of years, probably splicing together several plots, and the actors visibly age and in one case, takes on a different role. It's the story of a police psychic and the search for a cassette tape, but why it strays into the occult, where the ax murders belong, why a toy animal shows up on a corpse... and so on... happens, is not really clear. The lack of continuity is laughable. James Bryan directs, sort of.