Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lone Tiger (1996)

How bad is it? Incredibly slow would-be martial arts film.
Should you see it? Sadly, no - superb casting, though.

Yet another film where a guy seeking answers or revenge or some maguffin ends up in fights to the death. The star of this one is a nobody who wears a tiger mask in the wrestling ring, but Robert Z'Dar, Richard Lynch, Timothy Bottoms, Stoney Jackson and a host of other familiar faces from action films have roles. The fight scenes make no sense and are incredibly poorly staged. It's interminable at about 110 minutes.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Lone Runner (1986)

How bad is it? It might be Miles O'Keeffe's worst film, which is saying something.
Should you see it? No.

The only reason anyone sees this is because they think Ruggero Deodato is a great director (he isn't) or because they're trying to see every terrible film starring Miles O'Keeffe. In this one, a king's daughter is captured and O'Keeffe is sent across Morocco (I think) on horseback to rescue her. He shoots exploding arrows from a crossbow. It's really slow. John Steiner, who's in a ton of bad films has some fun moments, but not enough to compensate for little action done poorly.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Live by the Fist (1993)

aka American Kickboxer 2

How bad is it? Poor Filipino prison flick.
Should you see it? No.

Something went seriously wrong in the world when women in prison films got replaced with martial artists in prison films. Van Damme's "Death Warrant" is okay, but this seems to be in the "Bloodfist" line and not even good by that standard [and it has little to do with "American Kickboxer," which this was supposedly a sequel to]. Kickboxer Jerry Trimble (who?) stars in this film directed by Cirio Santiago - a regular on this blog - and produced (or at least released) by Roger Corman - who's all over this blog. A former Navy SEAL tries to stop a gang rape, gets accused of killing the girl, goes to prison and then fights to survive for the remainder of the 75 minutes. George Takei shows up, surprisingly. It's all by the numbers, the fights aren't interesting and the best part is a helicopter getting blown up by shotgun.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Little Moon & Jud McGraw (1972/1978)

aka Gone With the West, aka Bronco Busters

How bad is it? One of the worst (non-"B") westerns ever.
Should you see it? For the cast and for one fight scene, I give the mildest possible 'yes.'

The story of the making of this mess is more interesting than the film. It was meant to be a TV film, but wasn't deemed good enough to release (!) until "Blazing Saddles" became a hit and new footage was added for a theatrical release. In the process, the tone of the film changed and any sense of continuity was lost. James Caan plays a cowboy that gets framed and he teems up with Stephanie Powers, who plays a Native American who has also been wronged by the townspeople; they proceed to attack bad guy Aldo Ray and his henchmen and escalate until the entire town is burned to the ground (taking about 15 minutes of run time). Sammy Davis Jr. plays an anachronistic modern cowboy. There's some nudity (including Ms. Powers), a tremendous catfight and some truly terrible attempts at humor. At the end, Powers, who hasn't spoken a word of English to this point says, "You've killed everyone but the cameraman!" Then they shoot him, too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Legend of Bloody Jack (2007)

How bad is it? Slasher flick with nothing going for it.
Should you see it? No.

This is one of the films released by The Asylum, which has been responsible for a lot of trash on this blog. I was led to believe that this was supposed to have something to do with Jack the Ripper, but the "Jack" of the title appears to be a lumberjack. The film takes place in Alaska in the Arctic Circle around the summer solstice, so the sun never sets. Unfortunately, the interiors have windows that show the film was mostly shot at night in California - someone told me that this had the worst lighting continuity since Plan 9, but that's not fair (it does suck, though). Plenty of women go topless and then everyone gets killed, but not after padding the film with chase scenes that don't heighten tension. There's a trick ending that's particularly cheesy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

aka Leprechaun V: Leprechaun in the Hood

How bad is it? Bad entry in a bad series that doesn't know what it wants to be.
Should you see it? No.

I thought this film had hit its nadir when it went to space in the fourth film, but this one is back on Earth, Compton to be exact, and enters the blaxploitation comedy realm usually left to Wayans brothers. Ice-T has become rich and famous in the rap world thanks to his having the Leprechaun's (Warwick Davis') magic flute. Guys find what appears to be a statue of the leprechaun in the sewer and remove his gold necklace, bringing him back to action. There's a lot of groan-inducing humor (Davis actually says "I'm so bad I'm good" in a nod to the type of film he's in) which might be entertainment if you're high enough; this seems to be the market for the film. The film ends with a musical number that would've made sense earlier, explaining the origin of the green-eyed zombie fly girls. Coolio has a silent cameo. Amazingly, not only was there another film in this series, but this particular film had a sequel.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Legacy of Horror (1978)

aka Legacy of Blood

How bad is it? Andy Milligan film (terrible).
Should you see it? No.

I'm including this mostly because it's constantly confused with another film called either "Legacy of Blood" or "Blood Legacy" - an odd bad film with John Carradine that I rather enjoy. This is Andy Milligan's remaking of his own "Ghastly Ones," which has a similar plot to "Blood Legacy," which is part of the problem. Three sisters and their husbands must spend a week at a mansion - in harmony with each other - in order to inherit their uncle's estate. Things get weird and then violent, but without the over the top gore of The Ghastly Ones (which may have been edited out). The camera is steady for once, in fact immobile. More restrained and more technically competent than most Milligan films, it's still not good but not endearingly awful, either.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Las Vegas Hillbillys (1966)

aka Las Vegas Hillbillies, aka Country Music, U.S.A.

How bad is it? About 1960's TV variety show quality.
Should you see it? If you're a fan of anyone in it.

Ferlin Husky wants to be a country music star and inherits a run-down nightclub/casino in Las Vegas. Mamie Van Doren and Jayne Mansfield are both in it, but refused to be in the same shot. Richard Kiel has a cameo as a bodyguard. There's gangsters and bikers, but it ends in a pie fight. There are a lot of country songs performed, mostly by where-are-they-now types. It's better than the sequel, Hillbillys in a Haunted House.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Kill Factor (1978)

aka Death Dimension

How bad is it? One of Al Adamson's better efforts... so no good at all.
Should you see it? If you're a blaxploitation fan or a fan of one of the stars.

One of my very first posts on this blog had me saying I wouldn't review Al Adamson movies and this might be about #10. This one stars Jim Kelly and has Aldo Ray, George Lazenby, Harold Sakata and "Myron Bruce Lee." It's an action film with a minor science fiction element, a freeze bomb, abandoned early on and a microchip implanted in a forehead. After that, it's mostly chase scenes and fight scenes and none of Adamson's trademark pointless scenes cobbled form some other failed project. Sakata can't act - his line readings are horrendous (and amusing) - but he has the best scene with a topless woman and a tortoise being used as a weapon.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

King Frat (1979)

aka Campus King, aka Delta House

How bad is it? Derivative and gross and not very funny.
Should you see it? Maybe if you love South Park, Van Wilder and Mad Magazine... maybe.

The type of film Judd Apatow and the Jackass crew must have grown up on. This is "Animal House" made as crude as possible, which is kind of amusing in small doses and you have to give them credit for just how far they'll go. For example, not only is the university president mooned to death (!), but his corpse is stolen and dog feces are dropped from the ventilation shaft at the funeral - that's pushing the envelope, I guess. The main storyline involves a farting contest. The best joke involves a gorilla suit, sex, an ambulance and a paper bag. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kill Squad (1982)

How bad is it? Kung Fu movie meets the A-Team. Tacky, silly, cheap.
Should you see it? Yes! This one delivers.

I saw this because Cameron Mitchell is in the cast; he plays a bad guy (per usual) but only has a few minutes of screen time. That doesn't matter - there are about 20 fight scenes, and even random bystanders apparently are kung fu experts. A man is crippled and his wife raped, so he calls for his Vietnam buddies to help; "Joseph needs you" is all they need to hear. There's wild clothes and hair, loud jazz background for the fights, a dumb plot twist, guys surviving impossibly and did I mention about 20 fight scenes? It's fast, it's fun, it's dumb as can be and I liked it.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Killing Zone (1991)

How bad is it? Low budget action film of little interest.
Should you see it? If it's easily available. It's watchable.

Former American Gladiator Deron "Malibu" McBee stars as a convict on a chain gang released to capture a Mexican drug lord. Melissa Moore (of "Samurai Cop") plays his girlfriend. The star doesn't really show up until the final 30 minutes, as the film dwells on the bad guy, then it slows and gets padded. The plot hangs together well, though the low budget shows - cars getting wrecked were obviously chosen for their price. There's a plastic snake. A guy who plunges hundreds of feet off a cliff returns later with a slight limp. The acting is hammy and the dialogue poor, but this is an action film of the extreme mullet meathead type, so that's to be expected.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Kazaam (1996)

How bad is it? Pointless and derivative, but not terrible.
Should you see it? Not really. For once, you might've actually seen this already.

Shaquille O'Neal plays a genie - a rapping genie. He can actually act a little, but this is a poor vehicle for him and was undoubtedly made to introduce the world to his planned fourth career as a rap artist. The music is unmemorable. He emerges from a boom box rather than a bottle, but being 3000 years-old, that doesn't make much sense. The film is too gritty and violent at the start for young children and then it slides into a boy's search for his father which is banal and there's little of interest for adults. The ending contradicts the rules of the world of the film as stated earlier in the film. Director Paul Michael Glaser (remember "Starsky and Hutch?") does what he can with weak material and a child actor that's notable only for being named for his great-grandfather, director Frank Capra.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981)

aka Caution, Children at Play, aka Revenge of the Zombie

How bad is it? Really slow and confusing, but not awful.
Should you see it? Yes. It's just weird enough to see once.

Bikers kill a man and then his children, who have psychic powers, resurrect him to get revenge. That done, they then go after others rather inexplicably and get their father to dig his own grave (after he's dead). It's listless and distant and the children - the director's children in real life - can't act. Surfers get attacked for kicking a sand castle. A biker strangles himself with a chain. Former music icon Fabian stars and Marilyn Burns has a role.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The King and I (1999)

How bad is it? Barely adequate animation.
Should you see it? No. It adds nothing to the original.

I suppose the idea for this film was to introduce children to the music of Rogers and Hammerstein without their having to watch an adult romance with adult themes; it accomplishes that and nothing else. The animation is flat-looking and the changes to the script add a fire-breathing dragon that runs away from whistles, a comic foil who loses his teeth one at a time (a subject that I personally find terrifying) and an ending where the King doesn't die. The slapstick comedy detracts rather than adds. This features the voices of Miranda and Ian Richardson, Darrell Hammond, Adam Wylie and Kenny Baker, among others. It's not terrible by any means, just unnecessary.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Killing Jar (1997)

aka The Killing Game

How bad is it? Completely mediocre.
Should you see it? I can't think of a reason to.

This has had some horrendous reviews and some positive ones; it might be that people are confusing other films having the same title with it (there was one in 1994 and one in 2010). It's also possible that people were expecting a horror film, as that's what the production company is known for. This one has a lot of actors that will have you saying "Where have I seen them before?" like Brett Cullen, Tamlyn Tomiya and Wes Studi. Famed character actors like M. Emmett Walsh and Brion James also show up, so the acting's not bad and it's a good-looking film. It's just a bad storyline. A small town is experiencing child murders and a guy going slowly crazy (and overacting) isn't sure if he's a witness or the killer. There's an improbable ending.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Killer Eye (1999)

How bad is it? This one sucks.
Should you see it? No way.

David DeCoteau directed this under a pseudonym for Full Moon, which is almost the definition of a bad film. Giant crawling eyes can make for a fun movie (witness: The Trollenberg Terror (1958)), but this one is just awful. A scientist's experiments with the 8th dimension causes a subject's eye to pop out, grow to beach ball size - it might actually be a beach ball that was used - and then essentially rapes women with its optic nerve. There's little nudity, but there are a lot of shirtless boys in their underpants, which has become a signature for the director. The effects are deliberately cheesy, but there's little plot and what there is has holes, the acting is quite poor (a porn star among the cast is as good as any of them) and it's dull even for its scant 70 minutes.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Killzone (1985)

How bad is it? Very cheap action film of no consequence.
Should you see it? Impossible to find until it showed up on YouTube. It's free, so yes - if you have time and you're a fan of David Prior films.

"Deadly Prey" is the bad David Prior film to see and this earlier film is very much like it, but of better quality, so less entertaining. Essentially, a Vietnam vet has PTSD flashbacks at a sort of experience camp and then everyone has to hunt him down and stop him. The action is poorly done and the acting no better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kicked in the Head (1997)

aka Shit Happens

How bad is it? Meh. Nothing special.
Should you see it? Only if you're a fan of someone in the cast.

This has had some really terrible reviews, but it's mediocre. A slacker loses his job and NYC apartment, then gets convinced by his uncle to do something slightly shady. He ends up getting chased by mobsters while wooing an alcoholic stewardess. The plot is thin and wanders, with seemingly random sequences. No one who shoots a weapon hits anything, even at point-blank range, which I think is supposed to be amusing. Linda Fiorentino, Lili Taylor, James Woods and Burt Young have roles and one wishes the film would follow any one of them and abandon the "hero" - in other words, you wish you were watching s different film.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Karate Dog (2005)

aka The Karate Dog, aka Cho Cho, the Karate Dog

How bad is it? Perhaps Bob "Superbabies" Clark's worst film.
Should you see it? No.

This shot looks enjoyably goofy. Don't be fooled.
Chevy Chase dubs the voice of a dog that can do karate and who helps Simon Rex (ostensible star) to defeat a bad guy played by Jon Voight. There are bit roles for Pat Norita, Jaime Pressly, Nicollette Sheridan and Lori Petty. The humor doesn't work at all, the CGI is woeful, it starts with scenes too violent for the intended audience (and there are some sexual references) and... it's about a karate dog.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Invisible Maniac (1990)

aka The Invisible Sex Maniac

How bad is it? Poorly done late 80's slasher posing as a teen comedy.
Should you see it? Not unless seeing a porn star in a non-porn film is your thing.

Scientist claims to have invented an invisibility serum, isn't believed and kills those who don't believe him, putting him in an insane asylum. He gets out, becomes a high school science teacher, perfects his serum and then proceeds to ogle naked teenage girls and then kill a dozen (maybe 13) people. One person is choked to death with a sandwich (!), another strangled with a fire hose, another drowned in a fish tank, another shotgunned, etc. There's plenty of nudity, including by porn star Savannah, who is not very convincing as a teenager (though she was may 20 or 21 at the time).

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Game (1984)

aka The Cold

How bad is it? Barely existent old dark house film with nothing new.
Should you see it? No.

Bill Rebane made a lot of schlock and I keep hoping to find something of his that's as endearing as his Giant Spider Invasion. This isn't it. Three millionaires invite nine people to a mansion to play a game where they face their fears (pre-dating the TV show Fear Factor). There's a spider and a shark and spooky passageways and drippy masks and Russian roulette and two twist endings that are obvious and which derail the whole proceedings. It's also slow.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Galaxy Invader (1988)

How bad is it? One of the worst rednecks vs alien films.
Should you see it? Everyone should see a Don Dohler film, just maybe not this one.

Don Dohler made some incredibly cheap and cheap-looking films. This one has a half-way decent monster suit, but not much else. It's mostly people running through the woods, padding a 10 minute film to 80. There's some redneck family troubles, then the alien arrives and gets dispatched and then it resolves the family problems with a shotgun and the worst dummy-thrown-off-a-cliff-where-no-cliff-should be shot. Some of the badness seems intentional - beer brands alternate way too often for simple continuity errors and a guy drools for no good reason. The script is poor, the acting poor (mostly the director's friends and family) and the direction haphazard. Nonetheless, Dohler's films tend to be watchable. This got spoofed by RiffTrax and some footage got put into "The Pod People" (though I don't know why).

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Fantastic Four (1994)

How bad is it? It's mediocre.
Should you see it? You could do worse, but why bother?

This is the Roger Corman-produced film, not the animated series of the same name released the same year.

There's been enough films from Marvel that you probably know the plot: four people go to space and come back with superpowers; then they have to use them for good. This was made for a reported $1 million and the budget looks like it went mostly to one costume. The special effects are often quite bad, especially with the elastic guy - his arm waving from the limo is funny, for example. The acting isn't great and the plot has some issues (two people fall in love much too fast and conveniently), but it's closer to the original comics... so I'm told... than the films from the 2000's. The stories surrounding this getting shelved probably are more interesting than the film itself.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Final Storm (2010)

How bad is it? Slow and unthrilling thriller.
Should you see it? Not really, unless you're a Luke Perry fan.

People have to stop picking on Uwe Boll so I can stop watching every film he makes. This one's not great, but far from terrible. Luke Perry plays a mysterious stranger that shows up at a farmhouse during a storm. Then it appears that all the neighbors are missing. Is it the end of the world? If it is the end of the world, are we at least going to see Lauren Holly topless first? [yes. and it appears she's had some work done] There's a very mundane explanation and a violent bit that takes way too long to happen and a final shot that undermines the mundane explanation in favor of the end of the world.