Shitty Movie Sundays: The Specialist (1975)

The Specialist, 1975 movie posterMarlene Schmidt was on top of the world after winning the Miss Universe pageant in 1961. She later married TV cowboy Ty Hardin and moved to sunny California. The marriage did not last, but sometime thereafter she got the shitty movie bug, and teamed up with her new husband, Iraqi-born auteur Howard Avedis, to produce some hilarious sleaze. We here at Missile Test salute her and Howard, both. Immigrants living the American dream. Sure, they could never break into the big time, but everyone knows the fringes of the party are the best place to be.

From 1975 comes The Specialist, a neo-noir ersatz thriller adapted from a book by Ralph B. Potts. Potts also has a screenwriting credit alongside Avedis and Schmidt.

This is Potts’s only credit on IMDb. The book the film is adapted from is called Come Now the Lawyers, and, according to Potts’s obit in the Seattle Times, is a non-fiction history of the courts of the state of Washington. Only in the world of cinema could a work of history be twisted and turned into a shitty drive-in flick, with the participation of the author. It’s like Edward Gibbon working on the screenplay for Caligula. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Specialist (1975)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Attack Force

According to the internet (so it must be true), director Michael Keusch delivered a completed film called Harvester to his producers, only they weren’t happy with the final product. The screenplay was reworked, minor players were called back for reshoots, and other scenes had dialogue overdubbed. The result is Attack Force, a movie that is hopelessly discombobulated. Whatever Keusch’s competency as a storyteller, or lack thereof, it has been erased in this Frankenstein’s monster of a movie. I’m sure that Harvester was never going to be a good flick, but it couldn’t possibly have been worse than the shitfest that is Attack Force, could it? Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Attack Force”

Shitty Movie Sundays: End of the World (1977)

According to the internet (so it must be true), Christopher Lee was tricked, bamboozled, conned, into being in End of the World, the 1977 sci-fi dog from legendary shitty movie producer Charles Band. But, the actor doth protest too much, methinks. It’s not like Lee was known for being in the best films Hollywood or England had to offer, and I’m sure his wounded pride was salved once the check cleared.

But, what about we viewers? Is this just another flick that’s all title and nothing else? Does it deliver on the promise of a world that is ending? Indeed, it does! It also delivers a lot of walking and talking, and hardly any action. Oh, well. That’s the hazard of being a shitty movie fan. Often, the movies are just shit. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: End of the World (1977)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Indian Paint, or, Oh Jeez, This Flick is Racist, Isn’t It?

It sure is. As always, I maintain it is pointless to try and impose today’s morals on the past. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them and become better people…by pointing and laughing at those freaking idiots.

From 1965, Indian Paint is the rare western flick that takes place in the days before the arrival of Europeans. There isn’t a single Caucasian character in the film. What there are, though, are a bunch of white people slathered in makeup so red it looks like they were rolled around in the mud in Utah. Even the actual Native Americans in the cast, of which there were two, by my count, were covered in it. This flick represents the type of deep, ingrained, and completely clueless racism which used to be okay not just in the film industry, but in society at large. It’s a useful reminder that progress has been made, despite the re-emerging bravado of white nationalism. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Indian Paint, or, Oh Jeez, This Flick is Racist, Isn’t It?”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Incredible Petrified World

The Incredible Petrified World movie posterThis is a bad movie. A bad, bad, very bad, awful, barely coherent waste of 70 minutes. The good news is, for we gluttons of substandard cinema, this flick is in the public domain, so it won’t cost anything to rent. Just head over to archive.org, and there it is, ready to ruin one’s evening for free.

From screenwriter John W. Steiner, and directed by shitty movie auteur Jerry Warren, The Incredible Petrified World tells the story of four intrepid explorers walking around in a cave. That’s about it. Oh, important plot point: the cave is at the bottom of the ocean. And that is it. Oh, wait, there’s also a guy in the cave, wearing, perhaps, the most hilarious wig and fake beard ever seen in film. And that, really, is it.

John Carradine plays Millard Wyman, an inventor who has convinced four souls to descend to the ocean floor in his experimental diving bell. Wyman won’t be joining them, because by 1959, when this flick was released, Carradine was already finished with roles that took effort. The four suckers he tricks into risking their lives for his glory are Craig Randall (Robert Clarke), Dale Marshall (Phyllis Coates), Paul Whitmore (Allen Windsor), and Lauri Talbott (Sheila Noonan). Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Incredible Petrified World”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Amusement Park

This is the strangest film from George A. Romero that I’ve seen. Perhaps O.J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose has more absurdist kitsch, but I’ll never know.

Originally from 1973, thought lost, then rediscovered in 2017, The Amusement Park was some work for hire from Romero in between making Season of the Witch and The Crazies. Commissioned by the Lutheran Service Society of Western Pennsylvania, the aim of the film was to show the struggles of the aged, and society’s disregard for their plight, through the allegory of the world’s worst amusement park. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Amusement Park”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Executioner, Part II

“I wish this were coke! Oh, heavenly coke!”

So says Kitty (Marisi Courtwright) to Laura (Bianca Phillipi), as the two share a joint in the kitchen and discuss turning tricks for drugs. That level of dialogue is par for the course in The Executioner, Part II, from producer/writer/star Renee Harmon. This flick is a wonderful, incredible, amazing, and fascinating example of bottom feeding cinema of the 1980s. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Executioner, Part II”