Sunday, November 19, 2017

Vibrations (1996)

How bad is it? Weird cliched implausible melodrama.
Should you see it? This has developed a cult, so I'll say yes.

Guy (James Marshall) loses his hands in a fight with rednecks, becomes a drunk, sleeps it off where a rave's happening and a girl (Christina Applegate) invites him home, in the first improbable moment of a million. Her friends, robotics wizards - of course - create new hands for him; the rubber flesh hands are distractingly hilarious, the metallic ones lead to a new career as a DJ who's supposedly an android. There's a lot, and I mean a lot, of early 1990's techno music by bands that were huge in that tiny niche for a moment and unknown outside it. There's a subplot with a cop dad that's a real headscratcher. Nary a cliche was overlooked, no plot too improbable was overlooked, and it's all overplayed, except by Marshall, who has so few expressions that he might just be an android.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Viktor (2014)

How bad is it? Failed crime film.
Should you see it? No.

Gerard Depardieu and Elizabeth Hurley star in this noir-ish film about a man seeking revenge for the death of his son. It's well-shot, but extremely sluggish, with no chemistry between the romantic leads (who are both past the age for this - Depardieu in his late 60's) and some unintentional humor in seeing people obviously reading their lines and speaking pho-net-i-call-y, as only the main cast speak English as a first language. The worst bit is that the star doesn't even go after the bad guys, he sends others to do it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

10 Rules for Sleeping Around (2014)

How bad is it? 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, 1 on Metacritic.
Should you see it? NO.

The less said about this "comedy," the better. A couple sees if infidelity can help their marriage. It doesn't.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

That's What She Said (2012)

How bad is it? I hated it.
Should you see it? No.

"Bridesmaids" was a guy film (like "The Hangover") done with women and a lot of people liked it. I did not; Kristen Wiig, who I usually hate was actually good and Ellie Kemper is always good, but the film irritated me. So - that said, this is a bad "Bridesmaids" clone starring Anne Heche. I'm just not the audience for this. I don't think there is an audience for this. I hope there isn't an audience for this. The plot: three women mismanage relationships while being gross; there are dildos falling from purses, public yeast infection scratchings and... not one funny joke.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002)

How bad is it? Meandering satire.
Should you see it? No. The cast is intriguing, however.

Written, directed and produced by Harry Shearer (who also gave himself a cameo and did background voices and composed songs), this has a HUGE cast including: John Michael Higgins, Ming-Na (Wen), Henry Gibson, David Rasche, Brenda Strong, Morgan Fairchild, Michael McKean, Alan Thicke, George Wendt, Bob Einstein, John O'Hurley, Howard Hesseman, Fred Willard, Annabelle Gurwitch, Peter Marshall, Kurtwood Smith, Larry Miller and some sportscasters such as Dick Butkus and Jim Nance. Now, if you're thinking "aren't those TV actors?" you may see the problem - this is a 10 minute TV sketch stretched to 90 minutes. The story has the elite of the elite meeting at a retreat and the intrigues and complications that come with that. Much of it is improvised; little of it is funny.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Dog (1995)

How bad is it? It's a Chuck Norris comedy. Yeah, you read that right.
Should you see it? No.

This film had been done better as "Turner and Hooch," so what was the idea - to give Chuck Norris' brother another directorial credit? The film is about a police officer who has a dog attached to him, though he dislikes dogs. The dog not only sniffs out bombs and drugs, but in one scene even sniffs out a hidden switch, with no explanation of how that's possible. The major problem with the film is that it's aimed at kids, being filled with lovable dog antics, but the story-line involves bigotry, assassination and more weapons fired than in any PG-13 film I'd ever seen - and it has surly Norris doing very little martial arts, not as well as he used to, and with an obvious body double in much of it. The intended jokes don't work, as these are not comedic actors and Norris can't play straight-man.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Zero Boys (1986)

How bad is it? Amateurish mishmash of genres. Not terrible.
Should you see it? Yes. It's entertaining and has developed a cult.

This got a Blu-Ray release; that fact by itself puts this film ahead of most things I review, though it does make the fog machines more obvious. The film starts off looking like something it's not and you eventually find out you've been watching a paintball game. Then the winners and their girlfriends and a girl won from the losing team head into the woods where they find a secluded cabin... and it becomes a "cabin in the woods" film, where two guys who make snuff films and happen to be cannibals hunt our young stars. The six heroes just happen to have access to automatic weapons - the first groaner of a mistake the film makes. There's no gore or sex and most of the standard tropes of this kind of film are avoided, making it a bit of an oddity. The ending is pretty bad and the bad guys, once seen, don't seem like what you'd expect. The only name in the cast is Kelli Maroney, who seemed to be in a lot of films in 1986.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman (1975)

aka Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman!

How bad is it? One of the worse porn comedies of the 1970's.
Should you see it? It's only for completists of someone in it.

Another film I snuck in to see when underaged, this has been released by Something Weird Video in an edited soft-core version (there's also a hard-core). Two aliens come to Earth to impregnate women - that's it; that's the plot. The aliens are quite cheap; they have balloons for ears that expand when aroused. The only reason to see this is for brief bits by Dyanne Thorne, Haji and Sandy Carey. None of the comedy works and the quality is about what you'd expect from the director of "Blackenstein."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Weekend With the Babysitter (1970)

How bad is it? Pointless, dated and unoriginal.
Should you see it? No

This makes me laugh. Sorry.

I watched this (probably for the second time) and wondered why people either thought this was great or thought it was terrible; I think it all boils down to the cult around the writer/director Don Henderson, who it appears is actually Tom "Billy Jack" Laughlin. It's almost the same film as the earlier "The Babysitter," which has some of the same character names and some of the same actors and almost the same plot, though the characters (or the actors' approaches to them) are different. There's a middle-aged film director having a fling with his teen-aged babysitter, smoking pot and racing motorcycles, while his wife is going through heroin withdrawal and getting used by her dealer. There's some silly dated dialogue and some rather icky romantic scenes, but not enough to make it watchable.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Warriors of the Apocalypse (1985)

aka Time Raiders, aka Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain, aka Operation Overkill

How bad is it? Typical Filipino post-apocalypse fantasy (not good).
Should you see it? I don't think so.

Look at the various titles and you'll see how confused this film is. This film starts off as one kind of film, a Road Warriors-esque post-apocalypse film, and then becomes an amazons film; the two films don't really work together and neither is great on its own. There's a search for the secret to immortality and a nuclear reactor in a mountain and a bunch of guys in ludicrous outfits (there's some shoulder pads almost worth the price of admission) and then there's amazons that shoot laser beams from their eyes and pygmies with make-up that looks like a KISS cover band. There's so much stuff thrown at the screen that you'd think something would have to be interesting, but it's overlong, the typical nudity and fight scenes are way below par (but not bad enough to be enjoyably bad) and your eyes just start to glaze over.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Waitress! (1981)

How bad is it? Lame comedy.
Should you see it? No.

Co-directed by Lloyd Kaufman, this was re-released in a box set by his Troma company with other early - and poor - comedies they had rights to. A failing restaurant, complete with all stereotypes, including slovenly chef, has three waitresses with their own story arcs. One is the boss's daughter. One is writing an article on picking up/seducing men. One wants to be an actress. None are compelling. The humor is forced and sophomoric. Calvert DeForest has two lines and Chris Noth is in the background of one scene.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Video Vixens (1974)

How bad is it? Failed comedy by hard-core porn director.
Should you see it? Only if you're a big fan of someone in the cast.

Robyn Hilton. You remember her with red hair in "Blazing Saddles."

I saw this by sneaking into a theater when it came out; it's been released on video by Troma. Directed by Henri Pachard, who's directed hundreds of porn films, this was meant as a sort of cross-over to mainstream, but it has enough nudity - and unending, mind-numbing bad sex jokes - to be X (NC-17) rated. A soap additive has stopped men's interest in sex and is turning women into lesbians, so a TV station decides to run a Stag Film Award Show and host it with a guy who's offended by the whole premise. George "Buck" Flower, Rainbeaux Smith and Robyn Hilton have roles, as do a lot of women who did mostly porn. In between segments, there's fake ads for Twinkle Twat Feminine Spay, Dial-a-Snatch, Magic Merkin, Kentucky Dildos, Roid Away and Umpire Deodorant (the last one, if you're wondering, involves a lot of ball jokes). It's pretty tiresome, to be honest, but it has some novelty value.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Vasectomy - A Delicate Matter (1986)

aka Vasectomy

How bad is it? Unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? No. The cast is interesting, but no.

Paul Sorvino plays a bank manager whose wife, after their 8th child, insists he has a vasectomy, but he has reservations. There's also an unrelated plot of his boss, Lorne Greene, tasking him with saving the company from thieving relatives. There's some interesting cameos: Abe Vigoda, William Marshall, June Wilkinson and Debra Jo Fondren (who does a topless scene; she was best-known for her pretty knee-length blonde hair, cut before this was filmed). There is not one laugh, though there's potential - both the doctor and nurse for his operation have reason to dislike him, for example (and though we know they're too professional to let that interfere with their work, it could create tension. It doesn't).

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Vampire Raiders - Ninja Queen (1988)

aka The Vampire Raiders

How bad is it? Perhaps the worst Godfrey Ho film, which is saying something.
Should you see it? If you absolutely must watch a Godfrey Ho film, this is a good choice.

I'm planning a post with 20-25 more Godfrey Ho films, which are largely interchangeable - he takes two unrelated films and splices them together to make a new, often incomprehensible, one. This one has the hopping vampires that get killed by putting papers on their faces (it's a Chinese thing - it does not translate well) and a second story about a plan to take over the hotel industry. There's two groups of ninjas, one good, one bad. A couple are killed by a thrown pig. A vampire feels up a female ninja. There's extending arms and exploding heads and flying just above the ground. And lots of nonsense, before the climactic battle that makes no sense.

Friday, November 3, 2017

2069: A Sex Odyssey

How bad is it? Typical exploitation parody. Not terrible.
Should you see it? If you like this kind of thing, sure.

Women from Venus come to Earth to collect semen. Men generally cooperate gladly. Filmed in German, the new English language jokes are hit and miss (mostly miss). I like that people just assume the aliens are the French ski team. The only special effect is the women bounding like astronauts do in real life on the Moon, but it doesn't make sense. The fashions are fun... surprisingly, and the bodies on display (none of the cast is familiar to me) are rather nice. If "Barbarella" is the high point of sexy sci-fi of the era and "Flesh Gordon" is the low, this is a comfy middle.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Just wondering

Not that it matters, but just who is it that's linking some of these posts to their Facebook account? "Worm Eaters" got an extra 150 hits, for example, and I'm wondering who my popular friend is.

Tintorera: Killer Shark (1977)

aka Tintorera, aka Tintorera... Bloody Waters, aka Tintorera - The Solent Death, aka Tintorera... Tiger Shark

How bad is it? Interminable soft-core "Jaws" rip-off.
Should you see it? If you're watching shark movies, it's one of the better "bad" ones.

There's a number of versions of this one, the longest I've seen about 126 minutes (I believe there are longer ones) and all have maybe 3 minutes of shark attack scenes. Three shark hunters go on a sporting holiday - and there are a TON of critters getting harvested - and there's several love triangles turned into threesomes. Susan George and Hugo Stiglitz are the big name in the cast, Rene Cardona, Jr. directed. There's a lot of nudity, some nice bodies among them, but surprisingly little sex. The film is not really about sharks, but people, and it's unfair to compare it to "Jaws," which it obviously was trying to cash in on. It's very slow and stupid, but it's pretty and rather watchable.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Telephone (1988)

How bad is it? Failed experimental theater.
Should you see it? No. Unless you enjoy trainwrecks.

The owl's the best thing in the film.

Written by Harry Nilsson and Terry Southern... and directed by Rip Torn... and starring Whoopi Goldberg. Just let that sink in for a bit. It's a one woman show, essentially a monologue, with brief interactions with Wlliott Gould, John Heard and the voice of Herve Villechaize. The whole premise is Whoopi's an out of work actress who passes the time making phone calls, mostly pranks, and she does a variety of bad accents and impersonations and we slowly discover she's unhinged. Slowly. She has a pet owl and some goldfish and they give the best performances.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

The previous post is the last alphabetically from that source. I'm missing up to 3 titles (probably a zombie film in there) between "Your" and "ZZ." I'll be going back from T-Z at least 3 more times before I get back on track. Then - probably around the start of 2018 - I'll be back on schedule, with a few titles I missed, a few new titles and a bunch of really really obscure stuff.

Xtro 3: Watch the Skies (1995)

aka Xtro: Watch the Skies

How bad is it? Throws away everything interesting in the original.
Should you see it? No.

The first film was good and interesting (and controversial; there's a pretty rough rape scene) and the second was a rip-off of "Aliens." This is a war picture, translated to a planet, where guys are supposed to defuse bombs and then run into an alien. The special effects are particularly bad; when there's a flashback to the 1950's, it's so bad they had to be doing it intentionally badly. There's a soundtrack that works against the action. There's plenty of bad acting, though it's nice to see Robert Culp get some work.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Wrecking Crew (2000)

How bad is it? One of the worst Albert Pyun films, which is saying something.
Should you see it? No, unless you're a huge fan of the cast.

I saw this by accident, thinking I was going to watch the 1968 Dean Martin/Matt Helm film of the same name (I debated reviewing the 4 Helm films). This was directed by Albert Pyun and stars Ice-T, who also did the soundtrack, and has Ernie Hudson Jr. and, in a small role (though he's billed second on the video and is featured in the advertising), Snoop Dogg. The plot, if it exists, is about trying to "clean up the streets." After watching it, and scratching my head, I had to do a little research and found out it was filmed overseas (Slovak Republic?) in a plan to make three films with the same footage, the other two being "Corrupt" and "Urban Menace." Supposedly, this made it hard for the rapper/actors to know what role they were playing in scenes and I've heard that much of the film was B-roll, as footage was lost. It's a mess, and an uninteresting mess. The most entertaining part is the opening credits, which seem to be shots from the other two films, as they aren't in this one.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Worm Eaters (1977)

How bad is it? Typically poor regional horror film.
Should you see it? Meh. Maybe as a curiosity.

Produced by Ted V. Mikels (who's all over this blog), this was written by, directed by and starring Herb Robins as a worm breeder who also eats worms. He forces others to eat worms, which turns some of them into half-worm monsters. The main thought one has watching this is: is this meant to be a comedy? The acting is atrocious, but the worm eating is real and that probably cut down on the casting possibilities. It's worth noting that the Hong Kong horror film "The Devil" (1985) also involves worm eating.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wirey Spindell (1999)

How bad is it? Self-indulgent tripe, but not awful.
Should you see it? No.

I liked Eric Shaeffer's "Boy Meets Girl" - a lot. Some of his other films were okay, but it seems when he puts himself on the screen, he fails. This film doesn't work and I found myself trying to describe it in terms of other films: like a poor man's Woody Allen trying for Cameron Crowe sentimentality plus Bob Clark "Pork's" humor. I think you can see why it doesn't work. A man, about to get married, reminisces about his sexual past - including an electrical socket. That he's bisexual and his therapist is bisexual (and a former lover's lover? I drifted off) and everyone has minor kinks and aren't they just darling? gets a bit tiresome. This isn't terrible, as some have suggested, just not good.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wing Commander (1999)

How bad is it? SF seriously hampered by low budget.
Should you see it? If it shows up on TV late at night, maybe.


Having seen video games turned into films by Uwe Boll, this is not as bad - but that's damned faint praise. This is very much like "Starship Troopers" and also oddly like a dull WW II submarine film, as that was part of the plan (they even cast J├╝rgen Prochnow in a small role). The effects are very shoddy by 1999 standards and I'm told the story doesn't follow the video game world particularly well (I've never played the game). The acting is questionable, as Freddie Prinze Jr. and Saffron Burrows have always been lightweights and other good actors, like David Suchet, have minor roles. It has slow patches and a lot of errors anyone would catch - sound effects in the vacuum of space? Nice to have a convenient black hole to suck up whatever goes wrong, and aliens that are idiots. The plot, well, I forget the plot... I don't think it matters.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Win, Place or Steal (1974)

How bad is it? Pretty bad for a Hollywood film.
Should you see it? No (I seem to be the only one who HAS seen it). For completists of the cast only.

I saw this on television about 1979 (it had a brief VHS release). Guys who lose at the track plan to steal a ticket printing machine, so they can fake winning tickets. Things go badly. When the TV show M*A*S*H was huge, McLean Stevenson was advertised as the star of this, but he got 4th billing, after Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn and Alex Karras. It also has Harry Dean Stanton, Scatman Crothers and Big Bill Smith! How could it go wrong? Well, have you seen "Hello Larry?" - Stevenson is a hallmark of dreck. The film needed better direction and editing; scenes just sputter long after they should end, removing any pace or tension. It's also often underlit. The film also never seems to decide on a mood - are we pulling for these guys? is it a comedy or a caper film?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wicked Stepmother (1989)

How bad is it? Worst film of both director and star.
Should you see it? No - it's too depressing for a comedy.

Bette Davis agreed to be in a film by Larry Cohen (had she never seen one of his films?), but abandoned the project after shooting some scenes because she wanted some script changes. Cohen then replaced her with Barbara Carrera, some 40 years younger, but wanted to use the footage with his star; this required a script change that made both the same character (the other takes on the body of a cat when they switch). Colleen Camp, Lionel Stander, David Rasche, Tom Bosley and Richard Moll are in the cast, giving a decidedly TV sitcom feel. The special effects are often terrible - simple jump cuts. There are some intentional laughs (nice dig at Joan Crawford), but also some unintended ones. Mostly, though, you feel sorry for Bette, visibly ailing from cancer.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Which Way to the Front? (1970)

How bad is it? Not good, not particularly terrible.
Should you see it? Maybe as a second feature with "The Dirty Dozen."

I saw this in the theater when it came out (I was a kid) and thought it disappointing. That opinion has not changed. Jerry Lewis plays a wealthy man who wants to fight the Nazis, but is listed 4-F, so hatches a scheme to impersonate a German officer he just happens to be a ringer for and lead an escapade with others not otherwise able to fight. It has a few laughs, but seems tired. This was the beginning of the darker, more introspective, satiric films Lewis started making and is much better than "Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River" (and don't bother watching) and, presumably, better than "The Day the Clown Cried."

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Where the Boys Are '84 (1984)

aka Where the Boys Are

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

I don't get it - some people like this film. The original film, from the 1960's had an innocent charm and the hit Connie Francis song, while this one has, um, 94 minutes of running time. Lisa Hartman, Lynn Holly Johnson, Wendy Schaal and Lorna Luft are the girls on spring break in Florida. A male prostitue gets shamed. A (male) sex doll explodes. There's some weird plot line about a pianist and his mother and a mansion. There's a "Hot Bod" contest. Oh, that's why some people like this. It has bad dialogue and doesn't go anywhere.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wheels of Terror (1990)

How bad is it? It's just one long mediocre chase scene.
Should you see it? Actually, it's pretty watchable, if you can find it.

Perhaps trying to recapture the TV movie magic of "Duel" - or maybe "The Car" - this TV movie is about a stranger in a black Charger who abducts girls and sometimes rapes and kills them. Then he takes the daughter of a bus driver and she (the girl's mom) gives chase. The chase scene is lengthy, perhaps half of the film, and it had some thought behind it, but it also has its ludicrous moments, particularly at the end when the girl escapes. [Not much of a spoiler, there.] Most people's eye glaze over half-way through the chase in this, but I was entertained.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Werewolves on Wheels (1971)

How bad is it? Unsuccessful attempt to blend genres.
Should you see it? Yes, but have the fast-forward button handy.

A group of bikers stumble upon Satanic monks who want to sacrifice what looks like the one female member of the gang, but they escape, only to find the girl's been cursed to become a werewolf. The film is s..l..o..w. There's a lot of footage of riding in dull desert, some displays of brotherhood, some drug use, a little violence, a flash of nudity, but no werewolves until near the end. The music's typical fuzzy rock of the era and the lighting is variable, the acting passable. It's just duller than you hope.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Warlords (1988)

How bad is it? It's a Fred Olen Ray post-apocalypse flick, so pretty bad.
Should you see it? No - the cast is tempting, though.

Post apocalypse, cloned warrior David Carradine rescues Dawn Wildsmith from a bunch of mutants, then they team up to defeat a warlord, rescue a scientist being forced to create a mutant army and also rescue Carradine's wife from the warlord's harem. With Sid Haig, Ross Hagen, Robert Quarry, Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer and one of the worst puppet monsters ever. There's a mutant head with an annoying voice that Carradine has to carry around. Carradine kills the same few mutants over and over to save on costs. It's all quite shoddy and dull, as Fred Olen Ray-directed films tend to be.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wacko (1982)

How bad is it? Poor horror spoof.
Should you see it? Maybe. Some love it (I didn't). Probably not, though.

It's Halloween prom night (!) and the pumpkinheaded lawnmower killer (!) is back after 13 years. With a cast including Joe Don Baker, Stella Stevens, George Kennedy, Julia Duffy, Andrew Dice Clay and Charles Napier, how could this horror spoof go wrong? Well, every gag misfires. In fact, there aren't really jokes - it's more like: here's a reference to a horror film that you'll get, so laugh, damn it! The film has a lot of people who are fond of it, so maybe it's just me, but I think it's bad.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Virtual Encounters (1996)

How bad is it? Plotless soft-core porn.
Should you see it? Nah.

Woman tries to get in touch with her sensual side with a virtual reality device and ends up in dull, fairly conventional scenarios. Somehow, this has a sequel.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Virgin High (1991)

How bad is it? Failed attempt to re-create "Screwballs," which was itself mediocre.
Should you see it? It's only for fans of the cast.

Girl gets sent to a Catholic girls' school and her boyfriend tries to see her. Linnea Quigley, Burt Ward and Michelle Bauer are in it, as are the requisite topless scenes and groan-worthy attempts at humor.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Violent New Breed (1997)

How bad is it? Cheap gore film with some ideas.
Should you see it? Ugh. If you're a regular viewer of bad films, you should probably see one Todd Sheets film and this would be the one.

I'm not a fan of Todd Sheets - and there are plenty of reviews on this blog that prove it - but this exercise in excess is sort of watchable. There's plenty of gore and violence in close-up (the teeth being pulled bothered me particularly - for personal reasons), as is usual for his shot-on-video projects, but there's something more for once. Demons have got men hooked on a drug so that they can breed with human women and create the titular new breed and usher in the antichrist and end of days. There's worm-like creatures coming from a head wound, a tentacle from a gut, a birth scene with a surprise... and then the coup de grace: Rudy Ray Moore (!) as an ass-kicking minister! Given that the budget was close to zero, there's a lot of extras in crowd shots, some effects are good and the music (metal/industrial, mostly also by Sheets) is more than competent. Certainly not for all tastes.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vibrations (1996)

How bad is it? Silly, cliche'd and weird.
Should you see it? Yes. This has developed a following among bad film enthusiasts.

I saw this when it came out and was underwhelmed. It developed a cult following, so I re-watched it and, boy howdy* did it age badly!

James Marshall plays a musician who loses both hands when he encounters some rednecks, then becomes a wino and flops in a warehouse where there's a rave and Christina Applegate discovers him - and brings him home, thinking apparently that a shower was all he needed. Then she gets friends to make robotic hands for him, which, naturally, leads to his portraying a robot DJ at raves and becoming an underground sensation. The film hits every implausible hackneyed idea, including a reunion with a distant father (who, of course, is a cop - and this, of course, leads to Dad getting even with the guys who maimed his son... and while this is a long digression, let it be pointed out that he knows they're the bad guys because Marshall vaguely nods, once, and not even toward anyone). The fake rubber hands are the worst part and account for the most laughs - they get stabbed (leading, of course, to the stabber running away in fright), they get burned (of course, heroically putting out a fire) and they paw oddly in a romantic scene - no wait, it's the giant robotic hands in the love scene. Remarkably, if you're into techno music from 1993, the soundtrack's quite good.

*I have no idea why I used that expression. I never have before, never will again.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Vegas in Space (1991)

How bad is it? Plotless camp.
Should you see it? Yes, if your tolerance for drag queens is high enough or you're high enough.

"Based on the party by Ginger Quest," this took years to make, apparently, and yet there isn't any real plot. Men are sent to investigate an all-female planet, so have to take sex-change pills and then the film is just a bunch of party scenes with drag queens, ridiculous miniatures, sets made of bed sheets and a few good one-liners, e.g. "Shoot on sight anyone wearing beige." It was probably more fun to make than it is to watch.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The lost films of Steve Postal

This was supposed to be a review of "Vampires from Outer Space," but I got ripped off and never got to see it - if it even exists any more. Beware the dark web.

Steve Postal directed 5 to 7 films from 1990-1991, though only Honeymoon Murders and its sequel are currently listed on IMDb and are apparently still available from his distribution company. Missing are:

Billy the Kid Meets the Vampires (1991)

Billy the outlaw goes on vacation, only to run into the titular vampires. Bad acting ensues. 114 minutes. Starring Michael K. Saunders, Debra Orth, Angela Shephard. I'm told the artwork on the box is "amazing" - which probably means hand-drawn.

Penpal Murders (1991)

Penpal visits and, eventually, kills. 118 minutes. Starring Jay Brockman, Jennifer Tuck, Angela Shephard.

Vampires from Outer Space (1990)

Vampire from the planet Cirrus marries earth man, takes groom to an island where strange things occur. 114 minutes. Starring Alan Ramey, Angela Shephard, Jennifer Tuck.
There are some stories online about Postal, such as his self-publishing a novel, then requiring those auditioning for his films to buy a copy to use as a script. It's likely that he changed his own IMDb listing (changing from "Steven" to "Steve" as he's billed in the films) and removed films that had received poor reviews by the handful that had seen them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Urban Warriors (1989)

How bad is it? Bottom of the barrel Italian post-apocalypse film.
Should you see it? No.

There are a couple of decent shots in this film, stolen from "The Final Executioner," otherwise, this is among the worst of Road Warrior clones from Italy in the 1980's - a truly dreadful sub-genre. After a nuclear holocaust - HOURS after, mind you - people have become mutants, except for a few scientists working underground. It's up to them to save what's left of humanity, such as bad acting. There's a girl who gets rescued, takes off her clothes, and gets forgotten. There's a chase scene that makes no sense in at least three different ways. There's little bang for the buck, and not many bucks were spent.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Unkissed Bride (1966)

aka Mother Goose a Go-Go

How bad is it? Sex comedy without sex... or comedy.
Should you see it? Only if you've never seen a weird 1960's film.

This stars Tommy Kirk as a groom who has performance issues on his honeymoon because of a fixation he has on Mother Goose rhymes. He goes to a psychiatrist who treats him with LSD and a variety of sexual scenarios. If that's not random enough, Henny Youngman has a cameo. There's not much bawdiness for a 1960's sex farce and there's not much that's funny. It's just weird.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Unborn II (1984)

aka Baby Blood 2

How bad is it? Shabby horror.
Should you see it? Not really.

First, the title's a problem, because the unborn babies of the first film are now born. There's some mutant babies and a woman trying to kill them off, which leads to scenes of babies being shot in the face. There's a shootout in a nursery. There's a flesh-eating giant baby that makes for scenes of people wrestling with an obvious puppet. It's not as slow as the original, but it's still slow.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Tycus (1999)

How bad is it? Recycled disaster flick.
Should you see it? No. The only good bits are from films you've seen.

The only enjoyment to get from this film where Dennis Hopper reacts to the world being hit by debris from a meteorite is trying to name the movies from which footage was stolen. "Dante's Peak" is the obvious one; "Air America" gave the plane footage; some forgettable TV meteor film supplies the rest. The borrowed footage is not exactly seamlessly added - the landscape changes, people's clothing changes, etc. There is literally nothing new here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tryst (1994)

How bad is it? Failed film noir of minor interest.
Should you see it? Don't go out of your way.

Starring Barbara Carrera, David Warner and Louise Fletcher, this film tries to recreate films like "Body Heat," but doesn't really work. The abused wife of a wealthy man plans to murder her husband and falls in love with the son of the household help. People's personalities change on a whim in order to propel the plot twists. Coincidences abound. A cop gets hit by a car with no consequences. There's some titillating nudity, but also a brutal rape scene. Many of the line readings seem to be just that - someone reading their lines.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Truck Stop Women (1974)

aka Truckstop Women

How bad is it? Typical exploitation fare.
Should you see it? Yes. All Claudia Jennings films are worth seeing.

I love Claudia Jennings. If you haven't seen "Gator Bait" or "The Great Texas Dynamite Chase," do so. Among the many exploitation films she did in her brief career, this one is probably the least endearing, and perhaps the cheapest. In New Mexico, a woman runs a brothel at a truck stop. The mafia decides to take over. The madame's daughter (Jennings) decides to fight back. There's car chases and shoot-outs and a lot of nudity - including the memorable assets of Uschi Digard, who has no lines (probably because of her accent). Jennings plays a seriously hard depraved sociopath, which doesn't match her usual breezy performances, but shows she had range. The film's low budget does show. The best scene is probably a guy getting trampled by cattle.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tribulation (2000)

aka Apocalypse III: Tribulation

 aka Apocalypse III: Tribulation

 How bad is it? Typical low-budget Christian thriller with interesting cast.
Should you see it? Not really, but again, check out the cast and just try to resist.

This is yet another Christian "what if the Revelation of John actually happened now" film, starring Gary Busey, Howie Mandel and Margot Kidder, with Nick Mancuso as the anti-christ. Let that sink in a while. People jump out of windows and live, then walk around with "666" stamped on their hands, then something involving virtual reality goggles, the old hiding in a cupboard trick, an exploding cottage, then a hasty and easy denouement. In all fairness, I didn't see episodes 1,2 or 4.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983)

How bad is it? Between the dull bits, it's ridiculous.
Should you see it? Yes, but only if you see it in 3-D.

This guy's face falls apart in pieces over several minutes.

In the early 1980's there was a brief resurgence of 3-D films (this one's the better polarized, not red/green) and this one went way over-the-top in throwing stuff at the screen; in fact, that's all there is to this film. I stopped counting after the 27th thing coming at me. There's four crowns with attached orbs that have power over things like famine and war - how is never explained - and ooh something coming at the screen! - um, and everyone's out to get - ooh, another thing shot at me! - um, there's some Indiana Jones sort of - dang! that's a lot of stuff coming at the screen! Yeah, the plot means nothing. There's a tacked-on cliffhanger ending setting up a sequel (never made) that makes no sense.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Too Much Sun (1990)

How bad is it? Scattershot comedy occasionally hits the mark.
Should you see it? If you're a fan of the cast.

Wealthy man dies, leaving his fortune to his two children, if one produces an heir in a conventional manner - both are gay. Directed by Robert Downey Sr., this stars Eric Idle and Andrea Martin, with Allan Arbus, Robert Downey Jr., Howard Duff, James Hong and Ralph Macchio. The film starts out satirizing the extreme hubris of the wealthy in L.A. (while also depicting some of the scummiest areas), then becomes an attempt to squeeze out every possible offensive joke it can, mostly through stereotypes. Your level of tolerance for gay jokes will determine how you feel about this. There are some very funny moments, some clever ideas, but not nearly enough for its two hour running time.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time Served (1999)

How bad is it? Tame exploitation that goes nowhere.
Should you see it? Not really.

This is an exploitation film that fails because of the quality of its cast. Catherine Oxenberg takes the rap for her child when her abusive husband gets shot by their son and gets sent to prison. There they have a work release program that sends the girls out to be strippers! That's a brilliant conceit. Jeff Fahey, Bo Hopkins, Louise Fletcher and Larry Manetti have roles and it's both a stripper film and a women in prison film, but tries to be earnest and tasteful, so it ends up being almost nothing until an abrupt ending. There's not enough brutality for a WIP film or enough tawdriness for a stripper flick.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thunder in Paradise II (1994)

aka Thunder in Paradise 2

How bad is it? Silly spliced-together TV action.
Should you see it? Against my better judgment... I say yes.

This comes in a box set (!) of three Thunder in Paradise films; the first one was a pilot episode for a TV series, the other two were cobbled together by splicing episodes of the TV show. It's best not to watch them together, though, as characters just appear and disappear and get re-cast (the annoying little girl in this one looks nothing like her counterpart in the first film). Chris Lemmon and Carol Alt have roles and Patrick Macnee does not... but he does get billing! There's an Arabian prince kidnapping a woman after promising to marry her, a bad guy in a ridiculous fake beard, an overlong dream sequence of a harem and then the required chase scene involving a boat that has rocket launchers and stealth technology - which, given a tiny budget, is where most of the laughs come. Oh, and though I hadn't mentioned it, it's a Hulk Hogan star vehicle (the credits nicely point out his real first name is Terry) - so it's got that going for it, which is nice.

Friday, September 29, 2017

3 Strikes (2000)

How bad is it? Unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? If you know who DJ Pooh and E-40 are.

Every positive review of this is by a young black male, so I'm not the audience for this. A guy's released from jail just as a "Three Strikes" law is passed and the guy who picks him up ends up shooting at police, making this his third strike. The rest of the film is his trying to stay ahead of the law, a bit like "The Fugitive," but substituting fart jokes for tension. There's some familiar faces: David Alan Grier, Mo'Nique, George Wallace, Antonio Fargas and Mike Epps.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tha Eastsidaz (2000)

How bad is it? Plotless rap vehicle.
Should you see it? If you're a hopeless Snoop fan.

Okay, I've lost my notes on this one and it isn't terribly memorable, so the review is going to be as shoddy as the film. "Tha Eastsidaz" was the name of a short-lived rap trio that included Snoop Dogg and this film was probably made just for the soundtrack album. The characters seem to sleepwalk through it, their lines spontaneous or improvised - no writing credit is given. I honestly can't tell you what the plot is and I'm not going to look it up; it's for those who want to see Snoop on film being Snoop.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Terror in the Swamp (1985)

aka Nutriaman: The Copasaw Creature

How bad is it? Amateurish, but not completely incompetent.
Should you see it? It's hard to find, not really worth seeking, but if you find it...

First, how could you NOT watch something called "Nutriaman: The Copasaw Creature?" Filmed in the Louisiana bayous with a local cast, including one guy whose accent was so thick he was redubbed, this is the story of trying to breed a supersized nutria (um, why not just get a capybara, that's sort of what they are) and getting a killer bigfoot-like monster instead. We never really get a good look at the monster, which is probably good, but we get some real hicksploitation: one guy says he had to watch the monster kill his dad because he was too drunk to act. There's a helicopter that dumps pesticide on people hunting the beast, just to make them move along and, in the end, it's a voodoo priestess that ends the show by luring people into quicksand. Sounds like a great film, doesn't it? Unfortunately, the first half is very good, but it unravels, cheapens and sputters in the second half.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Terror in Paradise (1990)

How bad is it? Barely there action film.
Should you see it? No - not that you're likely to find it.

This film is nearly impossible to find (VHS only); this review is from my recollection 25 years after seeing it. Filmed in the Philippines, produced by Cirio Santiago (well-known on this blog), and directed and written by brothers, this is truly by-the-numbers: a couple stumbles upon evildoers and then gets hunted by them, with completely predictable results. There's a guy who recovers from facial plastic surgery in a moment. The pretty female lead takes off her clothes whenever possible. The military guys can't hit anything with weaponry. There's a helicopter, but I don't remember if the cliche' of it exploding is used.