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 reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Damnation Alley, or, RVing the Apocalypse

Jan-Michael Vincent is dead. He passed mostly unnoticed on February 10th, his death remaining unknown to the media for almost a month. He was, once upon a time, a middling star. His looks were better than his talent, but that’s just what Hollywood wants. His career was derailed by age and substance abuse, as happens to so many in the entertainment industry. He had many roles in mainstream films, but I will always remember him for his contributions to shitty cinema and television. In remembrance of Jan-Michael Vincent, here’s a review for a Vincent star vehicle, that also happened to be a pretty good shitty movie. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Damnation Alley, or, RVing the Apocalypse”

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 reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Revenge of the Ninja”

Shitty Movie Sundays: 10 to Midnight

What’s more frightening than a serial killer who stalks and preys on young women? A naked serial killer who stalks and preys on young women, that’s what!

Such is the premise behind 10 to Midnight. From 1983, 10 to Midnight was directed by J. Lee Thompson from a screenplay by William Roberts. Frequent Thompson collaborator Charles Bronson stars as LAPD Detective Leo Kessler. When a filmmaker needed an aging tough guy to star in his thriller in the 1970s or ’80s, they couldn’t go wrong with Bronson. To give an idea of the type of actor he was, Liam Neeson currently fills the niche once occupied by Bronson. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: 10 to Midnight”

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

Giant Monstershow: King Kong Lives

What a gloriously stupid movie. Today’s movie is the movie I was looking forward to seeing the most for the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow. It’s a movie of such shitty grandiosity that I was, in fact, giddy at the prospect. It’s not the easiest movie to find for viewing, either. As of this writing, none of the popular streaming services has it for rent or purchase. The only bootleg streams I could find were not in English, and even trying to find a torrent was fruitless. In the end, I had to buy a used DVD from eBay. It cost thirty-five bucks. That’s a lot of money for a shitty movie. Alas, it was worth every penny. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: King Kong Lives”

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: Strike Commando

Who wants to watch some bottom-feeding trash? I do! And we all should. Films like Strike Commando, the 1987 shitfest from Italian filmmaker Bruno Mattei, make serious film and art house fodder all the better. How would we be able to gauge excellence were it not for films like Strike Commando giving us a baseline of inferiority? Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Strike Commando”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Beastmaster

Filmmaker Don Coscarelli is known to horror fans as the man behind the Phantasm film series. While that series has spanned decades, all cinematic auteurs like to try new things on occasion. Sometimes, when they do, the result is shitty gold.

The Beastmaster, from 1982, is Coscarelli’s homage to the Italian sword-and-sandal flick, and also an opportunity to feed on the leavings, remora-style, of the Conan films. In fact, Coscarelli and producer Paul Pepperman took a book about a Navajo soldier who talks to genetically altered animals on an alien planet, and turned it into a Conan ripoff. There are no Native Americans and no alien planet in this flick. Instead, we get Marc Singer, in what would have been his defining role were it not for V, as Dar, a hunky tribesman who is the long-lost son of a deposed king. After Dar’s village is attacked by a horde and everyone is killed, Dar sets off on a journey, to somewhere a little vague, with something of an idea about what he’s going to do when he gets there. Focus isn’t really Dar’s strongest characteristic — wearing as little clothing as possible without being pornography is. Also, he can talk to animals. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Beastmaster”

October Hammershow: The Satanic Rites of Dracula

Here we are. October 31st. Halloween. The end of the October Horrorshow. The final film in this look back at Hammer Film Productions is a departure from type. If there’s one thing I’ve picked up on from watching 31 Hammer films in a row, it’s that Hammer basically made the same film over and over and over again. That’s not negative criticism on my part. Hammer had a style, in the same way that a musician like John Lee Hooker had a style or an artist like Willem de Kooning had a style. Listen to an album or see a painting hanging on a wall and it becomes immediately clear who is responsible. Hammer films followed a theme. They developed over time into something that was very much their own. Towards the end, though, they began to switch things up in search of a new formula. Such is the case with today’s film. Continue reading “October Hammershow: The Satanic Rites of Dracula”