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.