Shitty Movie Sundays: Stanley

I love it when a film’s main character is an eccentric nutjob. I don’t mean a character remembered for an over the top performance by an actor, like a Captain Jack Sparrow or even the Joker. I’m referring to characters who have quirks so wild they defy typical Hollywood tropes. Take the main character in 1972’s Stanley, Tim Ochopee (veteran soap opera actor Chris Robinson).

Tim is a Seminole who was drafted to go off and fight in Vietnam. He harbors massive amounts of resentment, all justified, towards the government of the white man. His response to this, and PTSD, has been to pull back from society, moving to a lonely cabin in the Everglades. But, isolation was not enough for Tim. He has a fascination with snakes. He loves them and considers himself their protector. His two favorites are the titular Stanley and Hazel, a pair of rattlesnakes that he is breeding. He croons to them. He pets them lovingly. He takes Stanley with him everywhere, and gives Stanley orders like he’s a dog and not a reptile. He thinks of Stanley and Hazel as husband and wife. All meaning Tim gets from his life, he derives from his snakes. And, he will kill for them. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Stanley”

It Came from the ’50s: From Hell It Came

What a gloriously stupid movie. I’ll be honest. Many of the 1950s flicks in this month’s Horrorshow have been a real slog to get through. That’s really something, considering how many of them are only around an hour or so in length. Today’s ’50s flick is a short one, too, clocking in at only 71 minutes. It didn’t have much of a budget, either, so a decent amount of that short running time is spent expositing. But, without any reservations at all, From Hell It Came is an incredible shitty movie. It’s essential viewing for the shitty movie fan. Continue readingIt Came from the ’50s: From Hell It Came”

October Horrorshow: Split Second

Split Second, the 1992 flick from director Tony Maylam and screenwriter Gary Scott Thompson, has all the look and feel one would expect from low-budget Hollywood sci-fi schlock of the era. Everything is lit with colored gels, the film stock stinks, sets look cobbled together from whatever was piled out back behind the lumberyard, most location shots are dirty alleys, the original score is synthesized crap, and, in star Rutger Hauer, there is a fading Hollywood action flick veteran looking to pay some bills. In more ways than just this abbreviated list, Split Second is kin to the products of the Roger Corman gristmill, only this movie comes from England. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Split Second”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II

Forget for a moment that Death Wish II is one of the defining films for The Cannon Group and its producing pair of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Forget that it was this film, along with Enter the Ninja, that would come to define a style of shamelessness that has brought endless amounts of joy to both the shitty movie fan and the wider action flick audience. Forget that a film like this scratches a primal itch that high culture would like to pretend doesn’t exist. Instead, revel in the fact that Jimmy Page did the music for this flick. That’s right. Jimmy Page. From Led Zeppelin. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Chrome and Hot Leather

Chrome and Hot Leather walks and talks like drive-in outlaw biker gang flick, but it’s missing the two most important elements of true exploitation cinema: blood and nudity. It starts out promisingly enough, and, overall, it’s a quite enjoyable shitty movie watch, but it’s like a cake with no icing. It’s still good, but it wouldn’t be all that hard to make it better.

From way back in 1971, Chrome and Hot Leather was directed by Lee Frost, from a screenplay by Michael Haynes, David Neibel, and Don Tait. Whomever came up with the title isn’t listed in the credits, but that mysterious person certainly did more for this film’s longevity than anything that was captured on film. Perhaps it was producer Wes Bishop. No matter who is responsible, they did a nice job. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Chrome and Hot Leather”

Empty Balcony: True Grit (1969)

True Grit, one of John Wayne’s most celebrated westerns, was released in 1969. The day it was released, it was already somewhat of an anachronism. The ’60s saw the western genre embrace more depth in its storytelling, something that was already common in many other genres. Before True Grit, there was the trilogy of films by Sergio Leone featuring Clint Eastwood as the man with no name. Just a week after True Grit was released, Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch hit theaters. The western has rarely been a genre that strived for realism, but the violence of The Wild Bunch was a direct challenge to a film like True Grit, where violence and death are done by rote, removing much emotional punch. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: True Grit (1969)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry

We all have egos, right? There’s no use in pretending that we don’t. Personal and professional relationships can be thought of as a constant battle between our egos and our desire for successful interactions. In other words, not being a dick is learned behavior. I thought of this at the end of Bone Dry, a neo-noir flick released in 2007. That’s because right after the final shot of the film, the credits begin, and they read, “A Brett A. Hart Vision.” Oh, please. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry”

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”

October Horrorshow: Steel and Lace

An injustice has been done in the shitfest that is Steel and Lace. A title like that, coupled with knowledge that this film is an early 1990s straight-to-video b-movie, raises all sorts of possibilities in the mind of the discerning shitty movie fan. There should be guns, gratuitous nudity, men wearing sport coats with shoulder pads (still a thing in 1991, when this film was released), business mullets, and statuesque women with big hair — something along the lines of a Shannon Tweed. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Steel and Lace”

Empty Balcony: Mr. Majestyk, or, Charles Bronson is Charles Bronson in Charles Bronson: The Movie

All Vince Majestyk (Charles Bronson) wants to do is get his melons in. But, ole Vinnie has an insatiable need to antagonize everyone he meets, resulting in some very bad people wanting him very dead.

From 1974, Mr. Majestyk was directed by the prolific filmmaker Richard Fleischer, from a screenplay by none other than legendary crime novelist Elmore Leonard. It’s also just about the perfect Charles Bronson flick. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: Mr. Majestyk, or, Charles Bronson is Charles Bronson in Charles Bronson: The Movie”