Shitty Movie Sundays: Teenage Cave Man, or, Teenage Caveman, Whatever

According to the internet, so it must be true, star of Teenage Cave Man, Robert Vaughn, called it the worst film ever made. The internet is an infinite repository of apocrypha and bullshit, so who knows if this is an actual quote. This level of disavowal seems harsh. Teenage Cave Man is no Vertigo (released the same year), but it’s also no Ed Wood joint. It’s a b-movie that had a low budget, a silly script, and kitsch value out the wazoo.

One of four movies directed by Roger Corman in 1958, and one of seven he produced in that year, Teenage Cave Man follows the trials and tribulations of The Symbol Maker’s Teenage Son (Vaughn), as he comes of age and begins to question the laws of his clan of cave dwellers. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Teenage Cave Man, or, Teenage Caveman, Whatever”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Road House (2024)

Road House, the original from 1989, occupies hallowed ground here at Shitty Movie Sundays, in the top spot of the Watchability Index. It’s an unassailable movie, the embodiment of SMS’s informal slogan, “All bad movies are shitty, but not all shitty movies are bad.” From beginning to end, it’s an absurdist romp into the excesses of contemporary Hollywood action, the purest expression of the golden age of the genre that was the 1980s. There was little possibility that the 2024 remake would be better or more engaging, so I’m not going to hold it to the original’s standards.

Released just a couple of weeks ago after a decade of development hell, Road House comes to us from screenwriters Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry, and was helmed by Doug Liman. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Road House (2024)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Hellcats (1968), or, The Heck Kittens

“You’ve seen the guys. Now here are the psycho mad mamas who ride with them. They’re The Hellcats!”

So says the trailer to The Hellcats, the 1968 film from writer (with Tony Huston) and director Robert F. Slatzer. The trailer promises a biker gang flick along the lines of The Wild Angels, only with ladies in the lead. Well, that’s a lie, invented to trick unsuspecting would-be viewers into seeing this dog. There are women bikers in this movie, sure, but it’s an equitable relationship with the men in the biker gang. That makes it unique in this subgenre, where women are usually relegated to the role of property, but a lie, nevertheless. It’s not the first misleading trailer for a film ever made, and it won’t be the last. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Hellcats (1968), or, The Heck Kittens”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Missionary Man

What joy for Missile Test, as today we feature another film that b-movie action hero extraordinaire Dolph Lundgren not only starred in, but also wrote (with Frank Valdez), and directed. The writing couldn’t have been too taxing, though, as Missionary Man is a contemporary retelling of Pale Rider, the 1985 Clint Eastwood western.

Lundgren stars as Ryder, a mysterious biker who has a penchant for tequila and bible verses. He rides into a small town in southern Texas (played to effect by the city of Waxahachie) in time for the funeral of JJ (never seen on screen), a Native American tribal council member who was killed by the dastardly John Reno (Matthew Tompkins). Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Missionary Man”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Blue Money (1972)

Self-described cult cinema preservation and releasing company Vinegar Syndrome, on their sales page for Blue Money, describes the film as “a powerful, Cassavetes-esque examination of LA’s burgeoning hardcore [i.e., pornography] film scene.” I don’t agree with the ‘powerful’ part, which is one reason this flick makes the Shitty Movie Sundays cut, but describing the film as Cassavetes-esque is great shorthand. The way this film was written, shot, paced, and acted, is very much akin to one of the films of John Cassavetes, in particular Opening Night, with its look behind the scenes of a theater production. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Blue Money (1972)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Bushwick, or, Ridgewood

I can picture an evening, sometime back in 2015 or so, when filmmakers Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott could have been enjoying some drinks at Pearl’s on St. Nicholas in Bushwick, Brooklyn. They’ve been talking politics and batting ideas around for their next feature film and, in a moment of rampant creativity, one says to the other, “What if, like, there was a war…in this neighborhood…and we, like, filmed it right outside.”

I don’t know if that’s how it happened. The genesis of ideas is often random, with no causal event or logical trigger whatsoever. Maybe they weren’t in the neighborhood. Maybe they weren’t even in the city or the state. However the idea for this movie came about, Cary and Jon did indeed come up with a story about a war in Bushwick, and they made a movie about it. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Bushwick, or, Ridgewood”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Night Club (1989, USA)

Night Club 1989 movie posterNick (Nicholas Hoppe, who also produced and had a story credit) has a dream. Well, he has two dreams. And, also a third. Firstly, Nick wants to write the Great American Novel. Dream number two is to open Los Angeles’ newest and hottest nightclub in an old factory building (played by the former Boyle-Midway plant in beautiful City of Commerce, California). Nick’s third dream is to have passionate, unrestrained, and on-demand sex from his wife, Beth (Elizabeth Kaitan).

The first dream is a noble pursuit that, perhaps, tens of thousands of Americans have tried, only to see their efforts wither on the vine. Still, Nick keeps banging away on the keyboard. His second dream, funded by an inheritance Beth received from her father, and a loan from a gangster, Eddie (Ed Trotta), is in an equal amount of trouble, because the old factory is filled top to bottom with asbestos. That third dream, on the other hand, has something going for it, as, rather than work out the problems in his marriage, Nick hallucinates a slutty version of his wife named Liza, and does the dirty with her, to the titillation of the audience.

That’s Night Club, the 1989 movie from writers Michael Keusch and Deborah Tilton, with direction from Keusch. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Night Club (1989, USA)”