Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell (1990)

How bad is it? It's about what you'd expect from the title - not good.
Should you see it? Sadly, no.

I think that most people see this for the same reason I did, that they like "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama" and hope this is a sequel. Instead, they get a shot on 16mm largely bloodless slasher starring Deborah Dutch and Len Lesser (Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld"). A convict escapes, attacks our heroine who escapes, and then disappears. Then the girl and her friends, each more annoying than the last, go camping. The girl's uncle explores a cave for Native American artifacts and gets possessed by an extremely cheap-looking mask, gets extremely cheap-looking monster makeup and terrorizes the cast. Lesser, as a backwoodsman, comes to a firearm-toting monster hunt. This film has nothing (except skin): no plot, acting, direction, cinematography, lighting, sound, effects, characters to care about or action.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sorceress (1995)

aka Temptress

How bad is it? Low budget supernatural thriller that works, despite itself.
Should you see it? Yes. Not because it's so-bad-it's-good, though.

This is why I still watch Jim Wynorski films. His first films were thoroughly enjoyable trash, but then he started grinding out boob films with nothing else going for them. Occasionally, when he tries, he manages a fun little film like this one. A woman (Julie Strain) helps her husband succeed by killing off anyone that stands in his way. Then it turns out one of those people (Linda Blair) is a witch and people start getting payback. There's a lot of bad 80's hair and fashion... and a lot of boobs - it is a Wynorski film, after all - but there's characters you care about, a plot and some action. Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Song of Norway (1970)

How bad is it? Marginal kitschy musical.
Should you see it? Is "pretty, but pretty dull" good enough for you?

It's been a while since I covered a film panned by the Medved brothers. This one is the life story of Edvard Grieg, shot mostly in Norway (in Cinerama, which doesn't hold up on a home screen) and featuring the music of Grieg - lots of it; 40-50 numbers of it, some repeated, about half with added lyrics from the operetta from which this was based. You know what Grieg's music didn't need? Lyrics. You know what Grieg's life didn't have? Dramatic tension. Nothing happens; Grieg's early struggles were minimal and you know historically he succeeds and you can tell why because you're listening to his music. Grieg is played by an untalented nobody who's also the wrong age. Florence Henderson, Robert Morley, Edward G. Robinson and Oskar Homolka and other miscast actors make you wonder who cast this dreck. It's pretty, it's syrupy, it's tedious.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Soldier Boyz (1995)

How bad is it? One of the worst-written soldier pics.
Should you see it? No.

Imagine "The Dirty Dozen" written by the guy who wrote "Big Momma's House" and starring Michael Dudikoff; that's actually what this is! Once again, some bigshot's daughter is kidnapped and a ragtag group is assembled to rescue her. This time the team, taken from prison, is a rapist and a psychopathic woman, a skinhead (with a swastika tattoo that was obviously hand-drawn magic marker) and minorities that don't get along... and all want to kill the retired army major (Dudikoff) - pretty much the worst team one could assemble (also, none have any training, but that gets taken care of in one day). No one, good or bad, uses weaponry that makes any sense, nor do they use them properly. No one acts in a way consistent with their established stereotype character (to be fair, they're supposed to have grown as people in this time). All of this could've made for a laughable film, but it's just tiresome.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Social Intercourse (1998)

How bad is it? Dull and annoying.
Should you see it? No.

Okay: this film was made in a bit more than a week for about $15000 and looks it, but that's not the problem. The plot is about a guy who loses his girlfriend, is forced to go to a party, meets his old flame and acts reprehensibly and then apologizes. None of the characters is likeable and none of the interactions feel natural. The dialogue is over-written for the characters and not enlightening on its own. It might even be trying to be pretentious. Let's call it a student film and be done with it.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Solarforce (1995)

aka Lunarcop, aka Solar Force, aka Astrocop, aka Lunar Cop

How bad is it? Typical low budget Road Warrior clone.
Should you see it? I say no - but it does have a following, who think it good.

First of all, all of the various titles are misleading, as while the cop does indeed come from the moon, he comes to Earth 5 minutes into the film. The moon base is especially cheap - so ludicrous a model that one hopes (futilely) that the rest of the film will be as shoddy. This was directed by the same guy who did "X-Ray," "Dutch Treat," "Going Bananas" and "American Cyborg: Steel Warrior," all of which were just barely good enough not to be included on this blog; this one came close. Michael Pare' stars - his brother wrote the script - and Billy Drago plays the heavy. The story has those on the moon having come up with an antidote to the plague that's destroyed the Earth; our hero comes to Earth, finds that there are inhabitants farming and being harassed by a motorcycle gang and he falls in love. The film just forgets the whole original premise for an hour. The love interest isn't what he thinks, the Bad guys turn out to be the moon people trying to get the Lunarcop to do their dirty work, there's unlimited motorcycle stunts and there's an ending that's actually rather interesting. At any rate, it doesn't qualify as so-bad-it's-good, just underwhelming.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Shotgun (1989)

How bad is it? It may be the worst cop action film. Really!
Should you see it? If you like bad films, this one's a solid pick, so yes.

PM Entertainment made a bunch of action films, probably all in the same week, and they're all crap, but this one has a bit of a following. It's essentially a low-rent "Lethal Weapon" about a cop whose hooker sister gets murdered, so he and his mismatched partner go after the bad guy and go off the book - yes, it hits every possible cliche. The acting is phenomenally weak, particularly by the lead, particularly in his drunk scene. The dialog is so clunky it sometimes causes laughter. The plot has its flaws as well - for example, there are no repercussions for a cop just killing everyone in his path. And there's the intrusive heavy metal guitar riffs. And the poor direction: in an early scene, a guy leaves a bedroom, a guy then enters wearing S&M gear and it's a different guy, but it takes forever for you to figure that out, because it could be the first guy and there's no reason for it to be anyone else. Th unintended laughs aren't frequent, but there's enough action to keep your attention between them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stranded (2013)

How bad is it? Cheap "Alien" rip-off.
Should you see it? Not really.

There are at least 3 films by this name from the same year - this is the Christian Slater one.

The director of "Battlefield Earth" got to make another science fiction film (he actually has an Oscar for set design in some other SF film!), this time with Christian Slater. It involves an alien that can take over people's bodies and shape-shift, which cuts down on budget. They're on the moon, but the whole film is interiors - an abandoned hospital or factory, I'm guessing - which cuts down on budget. It has cheap effects, extremely cheap props (some look improvised) and mostly non-name actors, which brings costs down even more. Sadly, they didn't spend anything on writing, either. The film just starts; there's action and people and you never get any exposition to explain what's happening. And then it grinds on tediously for 80 minutes and stops.

That's my review: it starts and it stops.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Starving Games (2013)

How bad is it? Another in a long line of parody turkeys.
Should you see it? No.

Made by the team behind Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans and Vampires Suck - some of which I've reviewed - this is their take on (duh) The Hunger Games. The hallmark of bad parody is when going off-target and this also parodies Harry Potter, The Expendables, Marvel's Avengers, the Wizard of Oz, Avatar, Sherlock Holmes... and even Gangnam Style and Taylor Swift. I did not crack a smile even once, unless wincing counts.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sir Billi (2012)

aka Guardian of the Highlands

How bad is it? Holy crap, kill me now.
Should you see it? Not unless you want to know how bad animation can be.

This. This... is awful. Sean Connery plays the poorly-rendered and unflattering title character, an octogenarian veterinarian who's into skateboards and is still much the lad when it comes to the ladies. I have to wonder if Connery was making fun of himself, with the slurred esses of Shshshcotland. Alan Cumming and Ruby Wax are also wasted in this. The story has the Scottish government trying to exterminate the last beaver - by the way, the beaver can't swim; let's just throw that out there, shall we? - and it's up to Sir Billi to save it. There's a lot of smarmy and tedious sexism, with a lot of the female characters being quite, um, bosomy... including a duck, which just might give me nightmares. I could go on about the technical defects and the plot problems, but I'll say that this is the worst animated film I've seen since the Titanic had that happy octopus.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back (2010)

How bad is it? Combines the worst of: kid film, 3D, CGI and sequel.
Should you see it? No.

This is by far the best 3D image in the film.

This is a sequel bad enough that Andy Samberg wouldn't return for it (nor would several others; Kristin Chenoweth's replacement is particularly bad). Patrick Warburton, Cheryl Hines, Stanley Tucci and Jane Lynch are the biggest names, but are given little to do. Only one chimp goes into space and Zartog barely strikes back. The story goes nowhere, the characters aren't developed and the humor falls flat. Even the small children for whom this is intended will be bored.

Friday, July 14, 2017

S. Darko (2009)

aka S. Darko: Donnie Darko 2, aka S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale

How bad is it? Pretentious drivel.
Should you see it? No.

I thought the bad reviews of this might because it's a sequel to "Donnie Darko," which needs a sequel as much as "Hamlet" does (and, yes, I've seen "Hamlet 2"). The "S" in the title is for Samantha, Donnie's sister, whose car breaks down and the film devolves into hallucinatory dream sequences and appallingly bad dialogue. The dialogue is so terrible that it's almost funny... almost. There's no real connection to the first film, has none of the same people involved and has nothing original to say.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Super Capers (2009)

aka Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion

How bad is it? In the running for worst Christian superhero film (yes, I've reviewed another one).
Should you see it? No.

If you see this, it's either because you're a devout fundamentalist Christian with small children who want to see a superhero film OR you've seen the cast list and were intrigued: Michael Rooker, Tom Sizemore, Tiny Lister, Adam West, June Lockhart, Christine Lakin, Jon Polito, Clint Howard... The film was produced by, directed by, written by and stars (as Puffer Boy) Ray Griggs, who should've given more talented people some say in the film. A guy with no real super powers gets into situations needing a superhero, so he prays. The special effects are sub-par, the acting poor (the cameos by pros notwithstanding) and the storyline confusing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour (2007)

How bad is it? Perhaps the blandest "thriller" ever.
Should you see it? No.

According to the DVD cover, Sarah Landon is a sort of modern Nancy Drew; this film aims squarely at the readership of those books... tween girls looking for something R.L. Stine-ish, with nothing too macabre. There are five members of the same family involved in the making of this film - I started to believe that the film would be better if they all just switched jobs (not sure which male would play Sarah, however). The star is bland. The story is bland; a girl visits the grandmother of a friend who died in an accident and runs across a boy who believes an evil spirit will kill him on his birthday, then there are red herrings and a lot of things jumping into the shot for a "jolt" and you wish you'd spent 90 minutes watching something else.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sex, Politics and Cocktails (2002)

How bad is it? Well, it got 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Should you see it? No.

Almost universally panned by mainstream critics, this has had some very favorable reviews from individuals I suspect have an agenda. A man who has trouble committing to his girlfriend gets to film a documentary on gay lifestyles, so the girlfriend introduces him to an assortment of gay men and he starts to question his own sexuality. The direction tries to be arty, but looks more like a student experimenting with whatever he's heard of doing and failing; he even uses silent film intercards with typos. The main actor (also writer & director) is likeable, but the story has nowhere to go and it all seems empty and paltry. The "politics" of the title must refer to sexual politics, as there's no other explanation.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sometimes They Come Back... For More (1998)

How bad is it? It's okay for an unneeded sequel.
Should you see it? If you're bored and it's around.

I think this got terrible reviews because it has nothing to do with the previous films in the series, nor with the Stephen King story that started the series. It's a remake of "The Thing." People die in Antarctica, guys get sent to investigate, dead bodies reanimate, they discover something Satanic. The first half isn't bad, but it gets implausible - a guy goes outside shirtless... in Antarctica - and there's a tacked-on romance. Faith Ford is the biggest name in the cast.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sledgehammer (1983)

aka Sledge Hammer

How bad is it? Widely regarded as one of the worst 1980's horror films.
Should you see it? Yes, but you'll hate me for the recommendation.

David A. Prior is all over this blog for directing bad action films, generally starring his brother Ted. This was his first film, a bad horror film, starring his brother Ted. It's yet another contender for the first horror film shot on video to be released; it appears to have used the built-in light and microphone - both inadequate - though a boom mic shadow is visible in one shot. It also was either edited with a camcorder package or a Commodore computer, which explains the clunky credits and bad effects, as well as the "arty" cinematography - there are lots of freeze frames, slow-motion and slow fades, all of which appear to have been done to pad the film's running time. And wow, but the film's padded; there's a food fight in one static shot that I swear takes 10 minutes! The story starts with a child locked in a closet as his parents have sex and get bludgeoned with the title tool; but is the child a witness or the killer? Ten years later, to the day of course, a bunch of 30-somethings pretending to be college students arrive and the killings start again. There's no nudity, surprisingly. The death of the killer makes no sense, but then the plot's not terribly strong on many points.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)

How bad is it? Typical cheap 1980's horror, with some style.
Should you see it? Yes, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

Five young people go to Alcatraz to stop the spirit of a cannibalistic cavalry commander - the explanation of why there, why them, why now is confusing - but one of them is taken over by its spirit. There's a severed hand, a ripped-open torso, a human barbecue, worm vomiting and a punch through a skull. Hope Marie Carlton removes her shirt several times, as that's what she does. Devo contributed a song to the soundtrack. Toni Basil ("Hey Mickey") plays the ghost of a rock star responsible for unleashing the spirit (don't ask). The plot makes little sense, the acting and dialogue are below par - the star is the son of a co-executive producer - but it looks good, it's fast-paced and it's just weird enough to be entertaining.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Sex Adventures of the Three Musketeers (1971)

How bad is it? Pretty bad, even by 1970's German sex farce standards.
Should you see it? No.

This was directed by Erwin Dietrich under a pseudonym; his films always look good, if nothing else, and his collaborations with Jesus Franco are among the best work of either director. Ingrid Steeger, who had a small following, especially in Germany, spends much of the film unclothed. I had hopes for this, but it's essentially plotless and threadbare. D'Artagnan discovers that the Musketeers are just a bunch of drunks and lechers and the film suddenly ends, looking like it's missing the final reel. For an obviously minuscule budget, the costumes and sets are quite good and the one unforgivably bad gaffe is having the Musketeers ride saddles that are obviously not connected to horses in front of a screen showing the same countryside, wherever they happen to go.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Senior Week (1987)

How bad is it? Very typical nerds-and-boobs comedy, somewhat worse than standard.
Should you see it? If you think "Porky's" is the apex of cinematic art, maybe.

There were a slew of films in the 80's that were lowbrow "Tits n Laffs" comedies, hoping to glean a few dollars from teenage boys. The plot revolves around a stolen term paper and the resolution is... finding it. There's some stellar overacting by one actress in a neck brace, but the supposed hero of the film is unlikeable, there's a five minute dream sequence with toplessness early on that makes one hope for more that never comes and there's just nothing of substance or style.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Snuff (1975)

aka Big Snuff, aka American Cannibale

How bad is it? It's one of the lesser grindhouse staples of the 1970's.
Should you see it? It's certainly not mandatory.

He pulls her heart out - from her bowels?

After Michael and Roberta Findlay had made a bunch of roughies, he got the idea of saving money by filming in Argentina without sound, then adding sound so that it looked like it was a South American film. It turns out that his dubbing of voices was worse than what you usually get from Spanish language films. The original film was called "Slaughter" and it was so bad it couldn't be released; then, when a rumor of an authentic snuff film from South America started circulating, this film got sold and had the ending changed by tacking on a fake snuff scene. the plot has an American actress brought to South America, where she encounters a Manson-like cult. there's some scenes of Carnivale, a stabbing in the heart, some women fighting over the cult leader, the actress's pregnancy by the cult leader and then her "slaughter" by the cult. The film is fairly short. but still hard to sit through, but not because of violence. It got banned in the U.K. as a "video nasty" and that's really why anyone knows about it today.

Thus far, no authentic snuff film has been made.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Snake Eater (1989)

aka Soldier

How bad is it? It's a Lorenzo Lamas movie. It is what it is.
Should you see it? If you're a Lamas fan.

That's a Harley turned jet ski, white trasheroo.

First, no snakes get eaten. Second, this had TWO sequels. Lorenzo Lamas is a former Marine (his unit was the Snake Eaters) whose parents are killed and sister abducted by hillbillies, so he goes to rescue her. Imagine Lethal Weapon meets Rambo by way of Deliverance. Ronnie Hawkins, Larry Csonka and Ron Palillo round out an unusual cast. A corpse blinks, a bear is obviously a guy in a bear suit, Lamas can't find a shirt that fits and the acting is quite bad (though Lamas is okay).

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Smokey and the Bandit III (1983)

aka Smokey and the Bandit, Part III, aka Smokey and the bandit 3, aka Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3

How bad is it? Even Burt Reynolds wouldn't be in it (except a cameo).
Should you see it? No.

I wasn't the audience for the original film, as I'm not a fan of Burt Reynolds or Sally Field, but it managed some good ole boy charm. The second film was much worse, the blooper reel during the closing credits being the best part. This third film substitutes Jerry Reed and Colleen Camp for Reynolds and Field, and they're more enjoyable - unfortunately, the film isn't about them. This time, Pat McCormick and Paul Williams wager Jackie Gleason that he can't transport a stuffed shark... oh hell, who cares? It's a bunch of chase scenes and stupid yuks and it's tired and it's trite and it's just a waste of time.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Slumber Party Massacre III (1990)

aka Slumber Party Massacre 3, aka Stab in the Dark

How bad is it? Typical slasher sequel. Not good.
Should you see it? If 1980's slashers are your thing, it's watchable.

The first film in this series was interesting in how it subverted the genre, the second was just weird (which is not a bad thing) and this third (there was a fourth released in 2003) is true bare bones horror, executive produced by Roger Corman. The killer's given a backstory and then that's abandoned. There's volleyball at the start to up the jiggle factor. There's toplessness, mostly by Maria Ford. Hope Marie Carlton has a role. There's a vibrator electrocution, an impalement with a For Sale sign, a mallet to the head, a speargun... who has a mallet and a speargun?!... the guys who are mostly red herring jerks get offed before the girls, who eventually subdue the bad guy after blinding him.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Slash Dance (1989)

aka Night Chills

How bad is it? It's pretty bad.
Should you see it? Yes, if 1980's not-quite-horror is your thing.

First, this is NOT the 1984 Lucio Fulci film "Slashdance," which has a similar plot. This has a female cop go undercover as a dancer to try to catch a guy who's killing Broadway chorus girls. There's a whole tot of questionable dancing in leg warmers. There's not a lot of plot or characterization. There is, however, a high heel impaled into a forehead (wasn't that originally in Franco's "99 Women?" Even Tarantino's stolen that). The killer's identity is very obvious. There are stabs at humor that don't work. It's hokey and dull, but somehow not unwatchable.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Skinned Alive (1990)

How bad is it? It's a minor low-budget slasher flick.
Should you see it? For it's intended audience, it has its moments.

Produced by J.R. Bookwalter, this is a very cheaply made (under $20K) "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" kind of film, with bits of "Bad Taste" and "Mother's Day" thrown in. An incestuous family of hicks sells leather goods they make from the skin of people they kill. After car trouble, they end up at the house of an alcoholic ex-cop and his wife, who are having some marital problems. There's some gore that's surprisingly good for the budget (and a bit that's not), but the film tries for humor and that doesn't work. Dying's easy; comedy is hard. Bookwalter makes a cameo as a victimized Jehovah's Witness. I don't think anyone's actually alive when they get skinned.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Silent Prey (1997)

aka Silent Predator

How bad is it? Imagine a Lifetime film masquerading as Cinemax. More disappointing than bad.
Should you see it? If it shows up, it's not unwatchable.

Sometimes films are made around an instant celebrity (Xaviera Holland - look her up - got three) and here we have Carol Shaya, who got booted off the NYC police force for appearing nude in Playboy with her uniform in the shot. Here she plays a cop that goes undercover at a Catholic girls' school to catch someone who's been raping nuns; though she's a decade too old to be thought a teenager, she fits right in because the other actresses look even older. The film has very little violence or nudity and none of the luridness that nun-raping suggests. The twist ending is jaw-droppingly weird and the reason to sit through the rest of it.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Silent Night, Deadly Night, Part 2 (1987)

aka Silent Night, Deadly Night 2

How bad is it? Typical slasher sequel. Not good, but not terrible.
Should you see it? Maybe if you're doing a Xmas slasher marathon. There's a dozen.

It's no wonder that this film's had mixed reviews. The original film was controversial - they had to come out and say that it's not a "Santa is a psychopath" film, but rather a guy dressed as Santa is a psychopath. The whole first half of this film is flashbacks to the first film; if you haven't seen it, this tightens it up a bit, but if you have, you're shouting "Get on with it!" to the screen. In this film, the brother of the original film's star has been so traumatized that he's taken over the killing. Then it shows that he's killed eight people - in flashback! When the film finally starts, near the end, there's another 8 (I think) kills, with a pretty good eye pop and a decapitation. There's 22 kills shown in all, so the film just keeps throwing stuff on the screen and it doesn't get dull. It's just not all that good, either, lacking in plot and reason.

Friday, June 23, 2017

She (1984)

How bad is it? More weird than terrible, it's still not good.
Should you see it? Yes, but not because it's so-bad-it's-good.

I've skipped over reviewing this a few times because it doesn't quite fit the blog's premise. Like all Italian fantasy films of the 1980's, it has a "Road Warrior" feel to it, even though this is supposedly based on the H. Rider Haggard novel - it's not, by the way, except for being about a leader of Amazons. Sandahl Bergman stars (and takes a bath, for those who wonder if Sandahl's body is a focus of the film). There's elements of parody and black comedy with anachronisms (chainsaws?). There's psychopathic monks, mutants who clone themselves when they lose an arm, a guy who can levitate his enemies, a mad scientist, vampires and some silly dialogue. The plot, for what it's worth, is the retrieval of a kidnapped girl.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sexual Malice (1994)

aka The Other Man

How bad is it? Low budget romance novel cum erotic thriller (pardon the pun)
Should you see it? Nah

This is one of those well-shot but empty films with roles for relatives of famous people (in this case, Edward Albert - son of Eddie - and Don Swayze - brother of Patrick). A beautiful and successful woman, unsatisfied with her sex life with her husband, has an affair with a male stripper. That, too, isn't great and she then has an affair with a woman. Then there's blackmail and murder and a friend who's coincidentally a cop. There's soft-core nudity, but little plot (the supposed twist ending you'll see coming) and stilted dialogue and acting. It's almost trashy enough to be a modern Harold Robbins story.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)

How bad is it? Dull. It's not even the best Sybil Danning "Seven Samurai" remake!
Should you see it? Only if you're a huge fan of Danning or Lou Ferrigno.

This film started as a way to capitalize on "Conan the Barbarian," but using Lou Ferrigno as Hercules meant trying to get his "Incredible Hulk" TV audience, so all the violence and sex was removed from the script. What we're left with is Lou as a baby repeating the Moses in a basket on the Nile, Lou throwing a bear into the sky to make a constellation, Lou and a sword pulled from a stone as in Arthurian legend, Lou fighting with what looks like Star Wars light sabre... and two women wrestling. Everyone's dubbed, even if they speak English. The effects are all dated. The plot devolves into a "Seven Samurai" remake with Lou, Sybil Danning and five guys no one can remember.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Secret Agent Club (1996)

How bad is it? Poor kid's film.
Should you see it? No. If you're a huge Hulk Hogan, fan, though... still no.

Hulk Hogan plays a nerdy toy salesman who happens to be a secret superspy. He brings home a laser gun, claiming it to be a toy, but bad guys want it and Hulk gets kidnapped. It's up to his son and the son's friends to rescue him. Lesley-Anne Down is the villain. Richard Moll, Barry Bostwick, James Hong and Jack Nance have roles. It's a version of "True Lies" aimed at the kid market, but there's a lot of bad messages - such as blowing holes through people that you can see through is cool. It seems almost every shot has a camera reflection or shadow and there's one editing error in the climax that makes one wonder what happened.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Scream Dream (1989)

How bad is it? One of the worst rock band horror subgenre of the late 80's.
Should you see it? Nope.

Nothing symbolic here!

Melissa Moore, who's been in a lot of Jim Wynorski films, shows why she doesn't get many lines in his films - she can't deliver - in this film directed the same guy who did "Cannibal Hookers."[That latter film is so bad I'm not including it on this blog.] A woman in a rock band tends to kill fans, often by biting them during oral sex. She also turns into a monster with horns, fangs and claws. She also has a sort-of cat played by a hand puppet, which also kills. Typical shot-on-video lack of quality, with few surprises.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Savage Instinct (1991)

aka They Call Me Macho Woman, aka Macho Woman, aka Edge of Fear

How bad is it? It's a very cheap, poorly-made and silly action film.
Should you see it? Yes, but don't expect too much.

This was given a great new title when re-released by Troma, but it's a fairly standard rape revenge film. A woman who's sort of a typical yuppie of the time runs afoul of a drug gang and spends most of the film escaping from them, until she turns - inexplicably - into a one woman army. Most of the plot exposition is in the first few minutes. The main bad guy wears a headband with a spike on it and he impales someone with it, but most of the kills are buy the woman and her extremely shiny hatchets and nails. One guy gets nails to the eyes, one gets decapitated. There's surprisingly little blood and gore and I can't remember any nudity. There's some priceless dialogue, as both our heroine and her attackers/victims spout one-liners, but many actors seem to have trouble with even one word responses.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957)

aka Viking Women, aka Viking Women and the Sea Serpent, aka The Saga of the Viking Women, aka Undersea Monster

How bad is it? One of Roger Corman's no-budget one-week wonders.
Should you see it? Sure, though it's nothing special.

This film tends to be dull, so I expect the MST3K version of it might be the one to watch. A bunch of viking women get tired of waiting for their men to return from the sea, so they set out after them. They end up captured by the same tribe that captured their husbands, they escape and meet a very cheap back-projected lizard for a few minutes. Anyone with dark hair is suspect and Susan Cabot, the only name in the cast, fits the bill. The boats, costumes and weapons don't match either history or other films of the genre and the dialogue is intentionally stilted. There's a good shot of a horse in a narrow passage in Bronson Canyon (which goes to show how hard you have to look for anything interesting).

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ring of Drakness (2004)

How bad is it? An interesting premise completely wasted.
Should you see it? No.

Yet another David DeCoteau travesty, this is about a boy band that happens to be zombies... or vampires (it's not clear). Adrienne Barbeau is their manager and Mink Stole shows up at one point. Horribly padded, the film has an endless parade of boys lip-synching to the same song - with the same voice. Because it's a DeCoteau film, there's a lot of shirtless boys (and a few girls). The killing happens in wide shot and is bloodless. A girl from the first season of American Idol proves that she cannot deliver a single line. There's some mild amusement from bad editing and foley effects, but it's not anything to look for.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The River: Legend of La Llorona (2006)

How bad is it? Dull, cheap and ruined by some bad special effects.
Should you see it? Nah.

This film has two sequels, which is hard to believe. A woman who drowned her child becomes The Weeping Woman of the title, a phantasm that abducts the children of others. After a decent start, where avoiding a child in the street leads to a car accident and then a missing child, the film bogs down, becomes talky - and at least one person mumbles all lines inaudibly - and ends with some of the worst green screen effects ever; the river of the title isn't even real. It's inept, but not without merit, but also not with any charm.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recon 2023: The Gauda Prime Conspiracy (2009)

How bad is it? Last of the worst SF trilogy ever made (take THAT, Lucas!)
Should you see it? No. If you really really love cheesy science fiction, then maybe.

I didn't see the first two films of this trilogy, but from this final installment, I'm both sure I didn't miss anything and sure this is the worst science fiction of its decade. The plot's a mess, but after the Earth's destroyed, there's a battle on a sand planet. There's also mutant giant crabs, mutant giant chickens

This deserved a photo, didn't it?
and people with burn-like skin diseases. Then there's - wait for it - a 1970's blaxploitation soft-core porn scene, before it abruptly goes back to bad CGI spaceships. What the hell was that?! The film is just guys running around shooting weapons (which are from this century, in a future world, for no good reason) and making dick and boob jokes; yes, there's attempted humor, of the most adolescent type. The acting and direction are as bad as the non-existent plot. Some of the effects aren't bad.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Rawhide Terror (1934)

How bad is it? It's one of the worst B-westerns ever made.
Should you see it? Probably not.

It's hard to find films directed by Victor Adamson, but this one that he wrote at least part of (and may have directed some of) is on YouTube and a slightly longer version is on a DVD compilation. It's a complete shambles, as it was meant to be a serial, ran out of money and then was forced into completion with little time - and apparently without a "star" who just disappears. Two brothers witness their parents getting killed by fake Indians and get separated. Without giving much away, one becomes a bad guy who wears a ridiculous disguise of a snakeskin wrapped across his nose. The other becomes a sheriff and defeats his brother, they recognize each other by improbable identical birthmarks and the sheriff wins the love interest. There's plenty of action, and yet it's interminably dull.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Redline (2007)

aka Speed Returns, aka Red Line

How bad is it? Probably the worst car racing film.
Should you see it? No way.

I think the positive reviews this got were from people who mistakenly were reviewing the 2009 animated film of the same name. A woman in a band turns out to be a terrific car driver and one rich f$%^ needs her to beat another rich f$%^ in a race, where killing bystanders doesn't seem to be a problem. Eddie Griffin is the name actor. Imagine trying to dumb down "Fast and Furious," throw in some "Death Proof," "RPM," "Mischief 3000," "Gone in 60 Seconds" and "Death Race 2000" - but remove anything that made those films worth seeing. There's one attractive woman... and nothing else: no plot, no dialogue (it's sometimes cringeworthy), no characterization. Lots of expensive cars that you don't even get to see properly go fast, while I kept checking my watch.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ripe (1996)

How bad is it? Ham-handed and exploitative. Not terrible.
Should you see it? This might get a cult following. I say yes, but keep expectations low.

This film has had some very positive reviews and some scathing ones; this will be "meh." Twin girls from a very disturbed family lose their parents in a car accident and then decide to go to the promised land of Kentucky, where they spend time near a weirdly homoerotic army base. One girl is consumed with her budding sexuality, the other with violence. A man comes between them and violence ensues. The ending actually caught me off guard, which is surprising, as much of this film is predictable. It's often well-shot and the performances by the leads rather good (15 year-olds play 14 year-olds, which is refreshing). Unfortunately, the film seems to be trying to make a point without having any point to make. Things start to get interesting and then they change scenes. There's some laughable symbolism and some moments so odd that you wonder if you missed something.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Robot in the Family (1984)

aka Golddigger, aka A Robot Called Golddigger

How bad is it? Wow this sucks. I mean... wow.
Should you see it? It's VHS only and not worth the search.

Just when I think I've seen all the worst films aimed at children, I discover this (actually, I saw part of it in 1988 and was so bored I turned it off, but I have now seen it all). A father who's an antique dealer creates a robot to find gold and to tend to his children. For some reason, he gives it a creepy voice not unlike Jon Frink of "The Simpsons." A villain steals a gold helmet and that's about to start a Muslim holy war. The family then, after 60 minutes of tiresome "antics," confronts the bad guy and recover the helmet. Joe Pantoliano and John Rhys-Davies are both in this! The film was redubbed, with the children's voices sometimes done by adults, rarely matching their mouths and ALWAYS AT EXTREME VOLUME. There's Drano in food, which gets ignored; there's guys in drag for no apparent reason; there's a rescue by toy robots that's inexplicable. The effects are terrible, even for a no-budget film, the dialogue when it's about anything still meanders, the plot's too contrived and requires too many coincidences. It's just awful.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Rest in Pieces (1987)

How bad is it? Very poorly made, but not uninteresting, slasher film.
Should you see it? If you're a fan of cheap 1980's horror films (especially those from Spain).

I first saw this because I was told it had Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson in it, but instead it has Scott Thompson Baker (full disclosure: I've met Scott Baker. He's a well-known actor in my city). A woman inherits a creepy mansion in Spain when her aunt dies with the stipulation that she has to live there - possibly the hoariest plot in horror history. There's a lot of weirdo retainers living there, including a lawyer, a priest and a psychotherapist, and they refuse to leave. Strange things start happening and then people start getting killed in gory ways. There's so many killers involved that people have to be introduced as fodder, such as a string quartet. One actress is excruciatingly awful, but manages to go topless at least five times, earning her paycheck. The director has a cult following, but this film meanders and, while at least part is tongue-in-cheek, the tone shifts frequently.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rented Lips (1988)

How bad is it? Extremely minor comedy.
Should you see it? Only if you're a fan of someone involved.

This was written and produced by Martin Mull, who also stars; Mull's laid-back ironic stance is a difficult one for a film and this doesn't really work. Directed by Robert Downey Sr., there are roles for Dick Shawn, Jennifer Tilly, Robert Downey Jr., June Lockhart, Edy Williams, Mel Welles, Jack Riley, Pat McCormick and Eileen Brennan. The plot's about documentary filmmakers who get to do their dream project as long as they also shoot a porn film. There's few solid jokes; it's more of a continuous mild satire that never catches fire.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Regenerated Man (1994)

How bad is it? Really bad, even for an incredibly cheap film.
Should you see it? Nah.

Debbie Rochon has a small part in this and it was directed by the guy who did "Deadly Spawn" and "Metamorphosis" and got his start working on Don Dohler films, so I hoped for something good. I was disappointed. A guy working in a lab that looks like someone's apartment makes a serum to rejuvenate flesh in amputees. Two guys break in, find nothing to steal, so force him to drink that serum and some other things. He becomes a wrinkly monster that kills only bad guys, often by shooting his finger bones at them! There's some shoddy CGI at the end and an implausibly happy ending, but mostly there's bad actors reciting lines poorly in ill-constructed, poorly shot scenes. It's static enough that it sometimes looks like a play - an elementary school play.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Raw Target (1995)

How bad is it? Typical cheap martial arts film.
Should you see it? Meh. You could do worse.

Wardrobe costs didn't cover shirts.

Dale "Apollo" Cook made at least a half dozen martial arts films, but this is the only one besides "American Kickboxer 2" I've seen.The plot has a kickboxer kill a guy in the ring, then covertly join the gang responsible for his brother's death, only to have the cop that's fighting the gang be the brother of the guy our hero killed in the ring. Got that? Then add a hokey romance (nudity), a lot of underlit fights among the heavily padded run time, bad guitar riff music, and an overacting bad guy.
Standard issue; the fights, or what you can see of them, are not bad.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rabbit Test (1978)

How bad is it? Unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? Maybe for the cast.

This was Joan Rivers' only directorial effort and she's to blame for this film not working. Billy Crystal plays the first pregnant man (later, Schwarzenegger in "Junior" did it better), but other than some crude jokes, the possibilities of that premise aren't really explored. The film is very rapid jokes, about on the pace of "Airplane," which it predates, but almost none land due to poor timing. There's a huge cast of people who can be funny: Roddy McDowell (in drag!), Doris Roberts, Imogene Coca, Alex Roco, Richard Deacon, Alice Ghostly, George Gobel, Fannie Flagg, Norman Fell, Paul Lunde, Sheree North, Jimmie Walker, Billy Barty (in blackface!), Rosey Grier, Joan Rivers herself and her daughter Melissa Rivers, Charles Pierce, Valerie Curtin, Ron Rifkin, Michael Keaton, Peter Marshall, Charlotte Rae and Larry Gelman; they are almost all present for one scene, usually of less than a minute. The jokes are largely politically incorrect, various ethnicities get mocked and the film ends with a parody of the Nativity, trying to ensure that everyone that can be offended will be.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space (1985)

How bad is it? It almost looks like a high school project.
Should you see it? Not really. It's hard to find, anyway.

This is one of those films where they take a great title and try to make a silly movie out of it, playing it straight. Sometimes that works; here it doesn't. A mis-delivered catalogue causes a planet of women to come to Earth seeking men. They seduce essentially every male in a high school, upsetting all the girls and finding that Earthlings are disappointing lovers. So they turn them into vegetables - literally: they become things like squash. The ending is a truly awful "homage" to "The Wizard of Oz," as they click their ruby heels and head for home. The film was shot mostly in 1981, with additional footage in 1985 (and people's looks changed) and stars people who never made another film. The actors look only slightly too mature for high school. The special effects are close to non-existent, which isn't surprising for a reported budget of around $30000. This used to show up late at night on the USA network and had a brief release on VHS.