Shitty Movie Sundays: Samurai Cop

Samurai Cop, the 1991 stinker from writer/director/producer/editor Amir Shervan, has more shitty filmmaking moments than are possible to recount in any review of reasonable length. Here’s a sample:

  • Fight scenes and car chases have sped up footage to simulate quickness. It’s not subtle, either — approaching Benny Hill Show levels of speed.
  • A great deal of dialogue was recorded in post. That’s not unusual. But Shervan did many of the voices himself, dubbing the voices of stars and bit players, alike. That is unusual.
  • There are a lot of cops in this flick. Many of them wear uniforms. Some of those uniforms don’t have badges.
  • Star Mathew Karedas cut his glorious locks after principal shooting wrapped, but was called back months later for reshoots. Shervan put a ridiculous wig on his head with little regard to whether or not it looked right. It does not look right. In at least one scene, it briefly popped off of Karedas’s head.

Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Samurai Cop”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Octagon

Today we have a film from Chuck Norris’s moustache era. The man and his beard have been inseparable for over thirty years, now, but there was a time when Chuck was rocking the kind of facial hair that could compete with the era’s porn stars. It was not quite on the level of Tom Selleck’s scrub brush, but he wore it well.

Released in 1980, The Octagon was directed by Eric Karson from a screenplay by Leigh Chapman. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Octagon”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Revenge of the Ninja

What a gloriously stupid movie. It came close — oh, so close — to unseating Road House at the top of the Shitty Movie Sundays Watchability Index. I had to think hard about it. In the end, Patrick Swayze and company held station, but if I was pressed to give one concrete reason why Road House is a better watch than Revenge of the Ninja, I doubt I could do so. For arguments’ sake, Road House is a better watch than Revenge of the Ninja because the film stock is better. How’s that? Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll come to my senses and send this down the list. For now, however, it’s on the podium. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Revenge of the Ninja”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Enter the Ninja, or, The Colonials are Having a Tiff

Enter the Ninja, the 1981 karate flick from legendary producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, is just about the quintessential movie from The Cannon Group, Golan-Globus’s company. Cannon is synonymous with shitty cinema, alongside other giants as Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, American International Pictures, and Dino De Laurentiis. Like these examples, not everything Cannon made was shit, but enough was for the reputation to be deserved. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Enter the Ninja, or, The Colonials are Having a Tiff”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Perfect Weapon

What a gloriously stupid movie. Fans of either Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme, or even Michael Dudikoff, will probably turn their noses up at the mere mention of Jeff Speakman. But, I say that type of closemindedness is unwelcome here at Shitty Movie Sundays. We welcome almost all comers. The only discrimination we abide is that directed against high-quality pictures, and the occasional rapist character. Who needs any of that, really? Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Perfect Weapon”

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 readingShitty Movie Sundays: Cyber Tracker”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Machines

This shitty movie is so obscure that, as of this posting, it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. That’s hard to believe. Usually if something exists, and more than a few dozen people know about it, it has a Wikipedia page. Far worse movies than this have Wikipedia pages. Far less hilarious shitty movies than this have Wikipedia pages. One of those free laborers they have slaving away over there should address this grievous oversight. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Death Machines”

Empty Balcony: The Raid 2

Despite how much I liked The Raid, my review of the film ended up being a little thin. That’s because, while there was much to recommend, the film was overwhelmed by its violence. It took all the hard work that went into the sets, the music, the costumes, even the acting of the leads, and rendered it subservient to the majesty of the violence. As it turns out, that’s because the only thing to survive writer/director Gareth Evans sprawling vision of crime, police corruption, and kickass martial arts, was the violence, owing to a budget that precluded any grand scope. The success of The Raid opened the taps more for the follow-up, and allowed Evans to explore in-depth themes that were forced to remain on the periphery in the first film. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: The Raid 2″

Empty Balcony: The Raid

A million bucks must go a long way in Indonesia. That’s all the money writer/director Gareth Evans had on hand to film The Raid (released in the U.S. as The Raid: Redemption). Despite that tiny budget, Evans constructed a spectacular action flick, packed so full of visual and auditory stimuli that just watching it can make a viewer feel a little drained by the end. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: The Raid”

The Empty Balcony: Big Trouble in Little China

As I was watching John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China recently, I was struck by the familiarity of the material. I felt I had seen it before, but in some other context. Confined, mazelike, and windowless environments; various tricks and traps the heroes must overcome; goons, monsters, and the bosses that control them, etc. And there it is. Big Trouble in Little China plays like a videogame. Considering it was released in 1986, before videogames became complex enough to compare, does that mean John Carpenter was breaking new ground, that Big Trouble in Little China is ahead of its time? No. It just reaffirms that the pacing and storytelling of today’s videogames are derivative of cinema. There are plenty of other films from around the same time that are akin to videogames (Aliens, Commando, and Total Recall all come immediately to mind, among many others). Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Big Trouble in Little China”