October Horrorshow: Ghosts of Mars

John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors. He’s not on the Mount Rushmore of filmmakers, but his best films can be thought of as eminently watchable. They are respected. They are known and successful enough that a lot have been remade. But he also has some films that are not so good. It would be easy to blame Carpenter’s poorer quality films on budget, but that does not compute. Carpenter worked magic with the measly budgets he had in Halloween and Escape from New York. Rather, something happened in the late 1980s, starting with Prince of Darkness in 1987, that precipitated a steady decline. There were still sparks of life in his films, but that eminently watchable quality of his films seemed to fly away. In its place was substituted cheapness, sometimes of rank quality, and this turn was inexplicable from a filmmaker who had done so much with so little throughout his career. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Ghosts of Mars”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Women’s Prison Massacre, aka Emanuelle Escapes From Hell

In the annals of shitty cinema, the 1980s saw the Italians holding the world championship crown. Between Enzo G. Castellari, Joe D’Amato, and Lucio Fulci, American b-flicks just didn’t stand a chance. Bruno Mattei is another filmmaker who can be added to this list of sublime cinematic futility. His 1983 film, Women’s Prison Massacre, also released as Emanuelle Escapes From Hell, among a couple of other titles, is an unbelievable piece of shit. Not only is it bottom feeding trash, it’s sexually exploitative. Being a film about a women’s prison, that’s to be expected. But there is also a cut floating around out there with hardcore porn, using body doubles of the cast, stitched into the R-rated sex scenes. I didn’t see that cut because, believe it or not, I wanted to watch this dog for the plot. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Women’s Prison Massacre, aka Emanuelle Escapes From Hell”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Timecop

In choosing a film for Shitty Movie Sundays, care must be taken. Too often, before being watched for a Shitty Movie Sundays review, a movie appears to have the all the right ingredients that make for a shitty movie. There’s a veteran of shitty cinema in a lead role, the ideas behind the film are ridiculous, and the trailer is an absolute howler, but then the film turns out to be more mediocre than shitty. A mediocre film is such a disappointment. At least when a movie is bad, and really wallows in it, it can be a captivating watch. But a mediocre film just fades away. It has no significance and leaves no lasting impression. What to do, then? Make an executive decision, that’s what. Timecop, the 1994 film from Peter Hyams, is a forgettable sci-fi/action flick that normally wouldn’t be bad enough for this space, but then there are the cars. Oh, my goodness, the cars. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Timecop”

Stallone Month: The Expendables 3

90 million bucks. That’s how much it costs to make a shitshow of a movie. A bad film can be made for far less than that, of course, but an unofficial motto of The Expendables films has been ‘go big or go home.’ Those 90 million dollars are about all that’s big about this film, though. Sure, The Expendables 3 looks like a big Hollywood action flick, but pay close attention and one will realize that just about everything in this movie is ersatz — an imitation. Continue reading “Stallone Month: The Expendables 3”

Stallone Month: Eye See You, aka D-Tox

What in the world is this movie? If a viewer is like me, then they have never heard of Eye See You, or D-Tox, or The Outpost, or whatever title producers attached to this redheaded stepchild of a movie. From 2002, but filmed in 1999, Eye See You was a film beset by reshoots and plagued by unhappy men in suits, resulting in a film that trickled out into the public without fanfare or wide release. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Eye See You, aka D-Tox”

Stallone Month: Driven

What a putrid, rotten mess of a movie. I was really hoping before I sat down to watch this movie for Stallone Month that it was not as bad as I remembered — that time had distorted what I recalled being one of the worst films I have ever seen. As it turned out, this memory was a reliable one. I hate this movie. I haven’t hated a movie this much since I reviewed Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave. In fact, this movie joins the short list of films I absolutely despise. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Driven”

Stallone Month: Daylight

Daylight, the 1996 film from screenwriter Leslie Bohem and director Rob Cohen, should not be this bad of a movie. It’s the perfect vehicle for its star, and does absolutely nothing wrong in following the Irwin Allen disaster movie playbook. It’s swift and action-packed, and there’s enough tension that it should be able to keep a viewer’s attention. But, the characters. My God, the characters. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Daylight”

Stallone Month: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Seriously, this is a trailer for an actual movie.

What a putrid movie. I was going to skip this movie for Stallone Month in favor of one of Sly’s straight action flicks. But, after I saw the trailer, I decided this movie had to be included. Missile Test has a jones for shitty movies, after all. And this might be the shittiest movie Sylvester Stallone has ever appeared in, including Death Race 2000. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot”

Stallone Month: Tango & Cash

Tango & Cash is somewhat of a watershed moment for the excessive 1980s style of action flick. It’s so ridiculous and over-the-top that a viewer could be forgiven if they thought this film was a spoof. It is not. However, it is an excellent example of what can go right and wrong in an action film, and in film productions in general. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Tango & Cash”