Shitty Movie Sundays: The Humanity Bureau

Nicolas Cage is a precious resource in the world of shitty movies. Looking at his filmography, he’s not a rare resource. But, how many Oscar-winners have devoted so much of the latter days of their careers to starring in absolute shit? Sure, there have been plenty of faded stars that showed up for a day’s filming and a check in the worst film has to offer (see Carradine, John), but Cage seems committed. He doesn’t just put in token appearances in bad movies. He stars in them. A LOT of them. His IMDb page lists 27 roles from 2010 through 2017, and the majority of them have been some real dogshit. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Humanity Bureau”

Shitty Movie Sundays: City on Fire

It was not just Irwin Allen who could make a shitty disaster movie. There are always plenty of filmmakers in Hollywood with big, but slightly blurred, vision. The spectacle is the thing, accompanied by a bevy of stars, past and present, willing to slum it in something crummy.

City on Fire, from 1979, is a joint Canadian-American production from director Alvin Rakoff, from a script by notable blaxploitation filmmaker Jack Hill, David P. Lewis, and Céline La Frenière. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: City on Fire”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Shape of Things to Come

A lot of filmmakers in the late 1970s wanted to get some of that sweet, sweet Star Wars money. That resulted in shitty cinema being overrun with Star Wars ripoffs — some much better than others. At the bottom of the scale is something like Cosmos: War of the Planets, while today’s film, The Shape of Things to Come, is about as compelling a ripoff as shitty cinema managed to produce. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Shape of Things to Come”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Best Friends

I knew nothing about this film when I began watching it. I found it on a YouTube channel that collects old grindhouse and drive-in movies that have fallen into the public domain. That copy was crap, but being in the public domain meant that the film could be found elsewhere. Amazon Prime has a much better quality copy, so should one actually want to seek out and watch this turd, I recommend doing so on Amazon. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Best Friends”

Shitty Movie Sundays: LA Crackdown

Troma alert! Troma alert! LA Crackdown, one of seven(!) films that prolific shitty filmmaker Joseph Merhi directed in 1988, went straight-to-video back when it was made, and has since found its way into the stable of the legendary shitty film company Troma. When one sees the Troma card before the title sequence, one knows that the following film will have few redeeming qualities. Troma are curators of the dark recesses of film, preserving some of the worst films America has made for future generations. LA Crackdown fits well with Troma’s stated mission of “disrupting media,” seemingly by subjecting viewers to crimes against narrative consistency, and an endless stream of dead reads. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: LA Crackdown”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Cyber Tracker 2, or, Century City Bullet Storm

Sometimes miracles do happen, and a shitty, straight-to-video movie finds enough success that it gets a sequel. If viewers of Cyber Tracker were left feeling a little wanting, if they felt like they needed more Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson and more stiff androids with bottomless gun magazines, then they needn’t have feared. Wilson, director and producer Richard Pepin, and producer Joseph Mehri felt this emptiness — this animalistic need for more shitty action — and goodness gracious they filled it. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Cyber Tracker 2, or, Century City Bullet Storm”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Silent Rage

Is it a slasher flick, or is it an action flick? Silent Rage, the 1982 Chuck Norris shitfest, hailing from his mustache era, is both. From director Michael Miller, Silent Rage sees Norris playing Sheriff Dan Stevens in some small Texas town. Stevens does his best to keep the town a nice, safe, and quiet place, but early on in the film tragedy strikes.

A disturbed man by the name of John Kirby (Brian Libby), suffers a psychotic break and butchers a middle-aged couple. Sheriff Stevens arrives on the scene to take Kirby down, and the fight ends with Kirby going down in a hail of gunfire. But that’s not the end of Kirby. Miraculously, he’s still breathing after being filled full of lead, and heroic efforts from Kirby’s doctors, Halman, Spires, and Vaughn (Ron Silver, 1970s and ’80s That Guy actor Steven Keats, and William Finley, respectively), save his life. Only, the good doctors cheated a bit. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Silent Rage”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Meteor

American International Pictures is mostly associated with 1950’s and ’60s b-movie fare, most notably the works of Roger Corman. But the ’70s were no less of a productive decade for AIP than were the ’50s and ’60s. In that mustard yellow decade of Nixon, Ford, and Carter, AIP produced or distributed many of the notable films in the blaxploitation genre, while keeping to its horror and regular exploitation roots with such titles as The Incredible Melting Man and 1000 Convicts and a Woman. One thing all AIP flicks seem to have in common is a desire to make a quick buck while not being beholden to any higher purpose in cinema. That makes any viewer not just a customer of AIP, but something of a mark. There is a minimum expectation of quality in any random American film audience, despite what others think about our culture, and it was the rare AIP flick that managed to meet this standard, nor did they try. Meteor, distributed by AIP, is an excellent case in point. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Meteor”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Cyber Tracker

It’s the future! Sometime around 2015 or ’16. Professional kickboxing legend Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson plays Eric Phillips, the head of a Secret Service detachment guarding Senator Bob Dilly (John Aprea). Dilly, while not in Washington or running for reelection, has been working with mega-corporation Cybercore to develop the Computerized Justice System, whereby crimes are prosecuted by a computer, and swift justice is carried out by androids called ‘trackers.’ Should one be convicted of murder, a tracker will appear out of nowhere and carry out sentence. There’s nothing a person can do. No deals, no appeals. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Cyber Tracker”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Hot Rod Girl

We viewers have been cheated! A 1950s flick with the title of Hot Rod Girl brings to mind all sorts of possibilities. Fast cars! Loose women! Police chases! Crime! Mayhem! Et cetera! What it does not bring to mind is a traffic safety film, which is about all this shitty movie amounts to.

From 1956, Hot Rod Girl comes to us via American International Pictures, that paragon of b-cinema. It was directed by Leslie H. Martinson (who would later direct the Adam West Batman movie), from a screenplay by John McGreevey. Both Martinson and Greevey spent the vast majority of their careers working in television, and that helps to explain this film’s strong resemblance to an after school special. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Hot Rod Girl”