Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dungeonmaster (1985)

aka Ragewar

How bad is it? It sat on a shelf for two years before release. Needed another 200.
Should you see it? No.

This junk had seven directors. The film is a sort of computer age version of the seven labors of Hercules, each written and shot by a different person, but all seeming to be solved in 3 minutes by a wristband laser. The computer whiz has a girlfriend jealous of the attention he gives machinery that gets kidnapped. His computer can do anything with 64kb of memory. Richard Moll shows up, as do little people Phil and Sam Fondasero, a heavy metal band, a stone giant, sort-of zombies and a cave troll. The costumes are terrible, the dialogue also terrible (Satan likes puns) and the stories aren't long enough for structure, development or continuity.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dreams Come True (1984)

How bad is it? Cheap regional film with poor acting.
Should you see it? No. And it's only on 30 year-old VHS, so you won't.

Made in Wisconsin with local actors (and a local band named for the town of Spooner), this is a film where two people can astral project, entering each others' dreams, thereby allowing them to live out their fantasies. Unfortunately, they're not very imaginative. The acting is very wooden, the effects are poor and, though the film appears directed to an early-teenage audience, there's a sex scene. It's fluff.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dream a Little Dream 2 (1995)

How bad is it? Unneeded sequel meanders from a thin plot.
Should you see it? Only if you're a huge fan of the two Coreys.

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman return in this direct to video sequel to a mediocre film. Unfortunately, Jason Robards and Harry Dean Stanton do not return. Magic sunglasses give one wearer to have complete mind control over the wearer of the second pair; this one would expect would lead to some weird fantasy stuff, but instead, the film is mostly the two getting chased by thugs and the crazed inventor of the glasses. Feldman does a very protracted Michael Jackson-inspired dance routine, for no discernible reason.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Doom Asylum (1987)

How bad is it? Intentionally bad, it's also unintentionally bad.
Should you see it? No.

This is meant as a spoof, but it isn't immediately obvious. There's an abandoned mental hospital with a disfigured killer; the film was undoubtedly made because the location was available. Kristin Davis and Patty Mullen and a couple of other girls go into the building for unexplained reasons, after a communist lesbian punk band had already entered for also unexplained reasons. The killer, whose makeup is adequately done, but not consistent, makes wisecracks after his kills - but for whom (I mean, his audience is dead, right)? A scant 77 minutes, this is padded with black and white footage from Tod Slaughter films that the killer stops to watch. There's a bunch of pop references, a bit of toplessness, some adequate effects and some really bad ones, continuity errors, terrible acting, long sequences of wandering in hallways and some of the thickest New Jersey accents committed to film. It gets tedious pretty quickly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Don't Sleep Alone (1997)

How bad is it? It's from the bottom end of the erotic thriller barrel.
Should you see it? No.

This sleaze noir once had a rating of 1.8 on IMDB and currently is up to 4.3, so somebody liked it (or more likely, people trying to manipulate ratings scored it high without watching it). A private investigator follows the case of a woman who sleeps with a different guy each night, only to find them murdered. There's misogyny, rape fantasies and strippers. There's also bad acting, lousy dialogue and a weak story that includes a questionable psychologist impeding the investigation and possible multiple personalities.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dr. Strain the Body Snatcher (1991)

How bad is it? Technically one of the worst films made.
Should you see it? No, which is okay, because it's REALLY hard to find a copy.

This was a Super 8mm home movie, apparently shot with the built-in camera microphone and sound edited in hard stereo (i.e., sounds are one speaker or the other. Added music, at improper volume, is all on one side). A young man is being investigated by the police and he tells his story, which is about his uncle and his "Reanimator"-like experiments. Uncle Dr. Strain has low tech facial sores and a penchant for 80's casual wear, as well as a basement full of zombies. He tries to transfer his soul into his nephew, but it goes into a zombie and then there's a chase scene... that stops abruptly without resolution. There's a cemetery that rivals the one in "Plan 9" for shoddiness. Extraneous noise - dogs barking, wind, lawn mower, an argument - drown out the dialogue in places.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dirty Movie (2011)

aka National Lampoon's Dirty Movie

How bad is it? It's not the worst National Lampoon film, but it is the least plotted.
Should you see it? No.

Everything National Lampoon released directly to home video is terrible, but some people said that this one was actually funny, so I checked it out. It's not funny, unless you're a 10 year-old boy for whom all jokes are new. The "plot" is that a filmmaker decides to make a film that's nothing but people telling the dirtiest jokes they know. It's no "The Aristocrats." It's mostly meant to offend, and I'm a believer in "If it doesn't offend somebody, it's not very funny," but its scattershot approach doesn't work. There's a lot of the N-word, plus bestiality, pedophilia, dead baby jokes, digs at little people and old people, at transgender people, at Mexicans and Jews and at the film industry itself (but not enough to work). Christopher Meloni, who directed, also stars and Cyndi Lauper shows up. The best comedian in the bunch is Robert Klein.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Diabolical Inheritance (1994)

How bad is it? Incredibly slow, poorly made, but with some positives.
Should you see it? No, but it's almost a yes.

A shot-on-video Mexican film about a killer clown doll, played by an elderly little person. A couple inherits a house where the previous owner just happened to be into black magic. The woman, who is pregnant, is the first killed, but her baby survives. Six years later, there's new marital problems and the young boy is obsessed with the killer clown doll. There's carnival rides, a very fuzzy sex scene, a bottle stabbed into a head, a babysitter thrown off a roof. Mostly, though, there's tedium, especially in the first half. The "monster" for once is genuinely creepy.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Devil Girls (1999)

How bad is it? It's intentionally bad, but based on an Ed Wood novel, so inherently bad as well.
Should you see it? It's not required viewing.

An Ed Wood novel about female juvenile delinquents involved in hooliganism and drug running got made into a film trying to match the Ed Wood cinematic "style." One actor was obviously shot separately and never appears in the same shot as the person he's talking to. There's a Criswell-impersonating narrator and a Tor Johnson look-alike (so, kudos to the casting). The actors pretend to be bad actors. The plot, not unlike "The Violent Years," is convoluted. There's awkward slang, the police and clergyman heroes are less appealing than the villains and the film is electronically scuffed up to make it look like an old print. It's a decent homage, but unnecessary.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Demon Dolls (1993)

How bad is it? Poorly acted post-modern shot-on-video home movie.
Should you see it? No.

Two friends decide to bring a puppet to life, but it decides to take the souls of those it comes in contact with. There's dream sequences, a shower scene, a shovel fight, a very active bloody ending and then a silly music video postscript. This film is very aware of itself and aware of its limitations, is full of unfunny in-jokes and was obviously made to entertain the friends of those involved in making it, rather than any general audience.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Decay (1998)

How bad is it? It's a pretty slow action film.
Should you see it? No. Not even if you're a Z'Dar fan.

The few people who've seen this (other than me) seem to think that the badness of this film makes it entertaining. A dentist's wife cheats on him with owner of topless bar. Robert Z'Dar delivers meth. A serial killer carves letters into victims. There's bodybuilders, ponytails, lots of slow shots in parking lots, a plot that's explained rather than shown, the mafia and a few breasts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Delta Force, Commando 2: Priority Red One (1990)

How bad is it? The convoluted story is lost and the action is slow.
Should you see it? Not really.

This film has nothing to do with "Delta Force" or "Commando." It's an Italian film about terrorists, stolen missiles and a mole, but it's more about failing relationships and desire to quit jobs. The plot has several lines that don't quite come together. Richard Hatch (the "Battlestar Galactica" one, not the fat naked "Survivor" winner), Fred Williamson and Van Johnson all slum in this. There's fishing with a cross-bow, stock airplane footage, some surprisingly gory wounds, a bomb in a plane that not only never goes off but never gets mentioned again and two helicopters full of agents coming to the rescue. The film's as disjointed at the title.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans (1992)

How bad is it? It's the worst-made, but not worst Deathstalker film.
Should you see it? No. It's just the first film repeated.

Roger Corman produced the series of Deathstalker sword and sorcery flicks. The first two were okay and the third got the MST3K treatment. This one brings back the star of the first film, which was probably necessary, as half of the film is footage repeated from the first film. There's a tournament of warriors, a magic sword, and the baddie is female this time. There's the standard types, the standard gratuitous toplessness, the standard poor swordplay. The editing is especially poor: in a chase scene, for example, you can see characters killed off earlier.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Deadly Vengeance (1981)

How bad is it? It has some very silly fight and sex scenes (which overlap).
Should you see it? It's only on VHS, so hard to find, but it's an okay watch.

This was advertised as a Grace Jones film, but she's not the one doing the titular vengeance. She does do a prolonged sex scene prominently featuring her butt. There's horrendous music, weird editing, tacky fashions and a climactic castration. The fight scenes are deliriously silly.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Deadly Twins (1985)

aka Deadly Trigger

How bad is it? I'm not sure it was finished. What there is... isn't good.
Should you see it? Very hard to find, you'd have to have a twins fetish to care.

Judy and Audrey Landers were featured in Playboy and did some television shows, when bimbo twins were called for. This shot-on-video cheapie is so technically flawed that it's missing credits, but plenty of money was spent on car crashes and a helicopter (which is used WAY too much). It's a rape revenge film. There's front end loader vandalism, a miscarriage, jumping out of window, poor dubbing, endless revenge plotting and then suddenly there are guys, not our heroines, chasing the bad guys - interminably.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Deadly Heroes (1993)

How bad is it? Boilerplate 90's action schlock.
Should you see it? If it shows up late at night.

Two Jan-Michael Vincent films in a row - this hasn't happened since the Vanna White "G" films.

Menahem Golem directs this trashy Delta Force wannabe, where Michael Pare and Jan-Michael Vincent are Navy SEALS who try to rescue Pare's wife from Libyan terrorirsts who have hijacked a plane in order to get Billy Drago released from prison. There's some plastic toy guns, mini-subs, stock footage, a rocket-propelled grenade fired in a hotel room and plot inconsistencies. It's silly, but it keeps moving.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Deadly Embrace (1988)

How bad is it? Direct-to-VHS, never re-released.
Should you see it? Only if you're a fan of someone involved.

Yet another film directed by DeCoteau, this film stars Jan-Michael Vincent as a man who plans to kill his mentally ill wife with the aid of a pretty college student (Linnea Quigley). Michelle Bauer does a striptease in a fantasy sequence. Jack Carter and Ken Abraham's butt make appearances. It's dull and slow (even at 82 minutes), a bit tawdry and there's a surprise downbeat ending.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Deadlands 2: Trapped (2008)

How bad is it? Zombie movie.
Should you see it? Zombie movie.

zombie movie

Plot: zombie movie.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Deadfall (1993)

How bad is it? It has Nic Cage's most over-the-top acting... and nothing else.
Should you see it? Only if you're wondering just how bad Cage can be.

This is a neo-noir, filmed adequately, about con-men trying to hustle con-men; it's full of plot twists and red herrings and stilted dialog. You won't care about that; it has Nic Cage humping a mattress. The director of the film was Chris Coppola, Cage's brother. It also has Talia Shire, the director's aunt. It also has Charlie Sheen and Sheen's sister Renee Estevez. Then throw in James Coburn, Angus Scrimm, Micky Dolenz and Peter Fonda. None of them are the star, but again: you won't care. Cage goes absolutely chew-the-scenery-spit-it-out-and-chew-it-again for 60 minutes. Unfortunately, he dies early and there's an unsatisfying 30 minutes to endure after that.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dark Universe (1993)

How bad is it? It was produced by Jim Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray. That can't be good.
Should you see it? No. You've seen it before, done better, often.

In the most tired of plots, an astronaut returning to Earth becomes a monster, a monster very obviously inspired by "Alien." Scientists and a reporter (and her boyfriend) search for him in the Florida swamps (which look like maybe Oregon) and eventually kill it by exploding swamp gas. Joe Estevez plays ground control. There's orange spores spreading in the swamp. Topless scenes early are not repeated. Armadillo attack. Alien worm bursts from a neck. The alien takes the form of an orange nacho - sort of. In the end, when the monster's killed, no one seems concerned by all the orange spores any more. The simple plot follows fairly logically, but it's obvious that everyone involved  knows this is trash and treat it as such.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dark Power (1985)

How bad is it? It's cheesy and stars a guy who didn't work for 30 years.
Should you see it? Yeah. This one delivers.

College co-eds rent a house built on an ancient (Toltec! Nowhere near Mexico!) burial ground. Then one invites her brother and his friends, guys written to be hated - racist bastards - to torment the girls. Then four undead Indian sorcerers start killing them off, until they get rescued by a forest ranger played by... drum roll, please... Lash LaRue! Now, if you don't know who that was, Lash starred in a bunch of B-westerns as a hero that brandished a whip rather than a gun. So there's a lot of whipping. There's even a showdown whip-off finale. There's a face peeled off, a hand eaten, a decapitation, an arrow through an arm, etc., but only in the last 30 minutes of this 82 minute film; it starts slow. It also changes seasons abruptly, it's often under-lit (but never at crucial moments), the acting by all but Lash is pretty bad and there's the song "Toltec Boogie."

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Dance or Die (1987)

How bad is it? It's perhaps the worst of the terrible City Lights productions.
Should you see it? I give it a mild thumb's-up.

This film's about a recovering coke addict wanting to stage a Las Vegas dance show, plus an outdoor fish tank, a psychic, dreams of demons with pink hair, 80's hair and fashions, trying to talk over road noise, a fantasy sequence involving sex on a motorcycle and a final dance production number that's very laughable because it continuously intercuts with action scenes. It's plot is thin and nothing is terribly involving, but it's dumb enough to keep your attention - like a long YouTube video (which is how I saw it).

Friday, July 8, 2016

D'Agostino (2012)

How bad is it? It's weirdness almost obscures its badness, but it's quite bad.
Should you see it? If warped gay cinema is your thing, maybe.

A man inherits land in Greece, goes there and finds a naked man in a cage. This man turns out to be a clone created for organ harvesting, then abandoned. The non-clone then decides to raise the other one as a pet and also tries to form him in his own image. There's a lot of pretty scenery, some male nudity and a bit of sex. Then, in a completely illogical plot twist, the clone flies to America (how he knows how to do this and where he gets the money are irrelevant, apparently), and kills and cooks the man's wife. Then, even more inexplicably, the man eats his wife without compunction. There might've been a David Lynch film in this, or a John Waters film, but director Jorge Ameer doesn't even approach Doris Wishman territory with this.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Daddy Day Camp (2007)

How bad is it? It's a formulaic, predictable and unneeded sequel to a bad film.
Should you see it? No.

[You may be wondering how this and "Cop and 1/2," well-known films, got on this blog. I'm starting to wonder, too.]

Sony apparently saw money to be made in a franchise starting with "Daddy Day Care," prompting this sequel, which has Cuba Gooding Jr. subbing for Eddie Murphy and directed by first-timer former child actor Fred Savage. There's a run-down camp in competition with another and some father-son relationship plot points, but mostly it's fart jokes and bodily fluids. It's woefully unfunny. I saw that there were some people giving this high praise, but it appears that it was an attempt to get a higher average rating, whether by people involved with the film or (more probably) some trying to get their pet bad films to the bottom of the rankings.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Corrupt (1999)

How bad is it? It's among the worst films of all involved.
Should you see it? No. But - the commentary is worth hearing!

This Albert Pyun film stars Ice-T and was filmed in eastern Europe, which is supposed to stand in for an American ghetto. Most of the cast doesn't speak, because they don't speak English. The plot has something to do with an uneasy truce between two gangs, but it really doesn't matter. One death is bad enough that I think the guy doesn't hit the ground until several seconds after being shot. The music, not to my taste, is okay. The film runs just over an hour, but seems much longer due to tedium.

What I couldn't understand is how some people love this film. Then I listened to the commentary track by Ice-T (so I spent more time on this crap than expected) and he trashes the film; it's fun to hear him talk about how bad the film is... and that's why some recommend this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cop and 1/2 (1993)

How bad is it? It's an unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? Don't go out of your way, but if you like Burt Reynolds, sure.

Imagine if the Eddie Murphy character in Beverly Hills Cop were tiny and unfunny. No - you're thinking Kevin Hart.

An 8 year-old who dreams of being a cop has information the police need, but insists on being made an officer for a day. Then he's put into the hands of Burt Reynolds, who does his usual schtick. I'm not sure why this has some terrible reviews, though it has some questionable material: at one memorable point, Reynolds uses a urinal in front of the boy, who wants to swordfight and the boy ends up peeing on Reynolds' feet. There's also some mild 1980's racism. Mostly there's just jokes that don't really work.

Also inexplicable is why there are some very good reviews of this. Perhaps the child's dead-on impersonation of stereotyped cop behavior amuses some. Or the smarmy direction of Henry Winkler makes this an okay kid's film.

I say "meh."

Friday, July 1, 2016

Cycle Vixens (1978)

aka The Young Cycle Girls

How bad is it? It's a chore to sit through.
Should you see it? No, but if you do, stick around for the end.

This undoubtedly was meant to be a female Easy Rider, where three teenage girls decide to ride their motorcycles to the ocean. Most of the film is riding footage, pointing at things (usually signs saying where they are) and all to the same song repeated ad nauseum. They have the expected encounters with people who don't like bikers, or women, or both. The ending is so surprising that I gasped out loud - that doesn't mean it's good, mind you, but it 's a shock. The original version is longer and might be edited better; I saw the crummy VHS copy.