As of this writing, today’s film, b-movie auteur Ray Dennis Steckler’s masterpiece, is on Wikipedia’s List of films considered the worst. Well, excuse me, unpaid editors of Wikipedia, but this unpaid film critic, whose list of bad movies is much more extensive, thinks this is far from the worst movie ever made. It’s not good, sure, but this dog has way too much life in it to call it one of the worst films ever made. This flick is high kitsch, high outsider art, and a glimpse into worlds many people, some of which are your friends and relatives, live in when all the popular shit we’re supposed to like just leaves one feeling empty and used. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies; or, A Rather Long Series of Below Average Nightclub Acts With a Movie Inserted Here and There; or, It’s Not Burlesque, It’s Not Porn, It’s Not a Nudie Cutie, It’s Just a Bad Movie”
One would think that professional wrestlers are tailormade action stars. They are athletic, charismatic, decent at improv, and willing to do just about anything to put on a good show. Also, one of the most important weapons in a wrestler’s arsenal is the ability to play a character. These men and women spend months or years crafting characters to which roaring crowds respond, either favorably, in the case of faces, or with gleeful jeers, in the case of heels. These are people who know how to work crowds, but remove the crowds, leaving nothing but cameras and crew, and the vast majority of wrestlers turned actor seem a bit lost. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Money Plane”
You know how in movies, sometimes, there will be another movie shown on a television in the background, or one of the characters will be watching it? It’s common for these prop movies to be old public domain flicks, or, if the director is feeling particularly ambitious, something cobbled together just for that movie. Think Angels with Filthy Souls from Home Alone. That wasn’t a real old noir flick that Kevin was watching on the TV. It was a fake, a part of the scenery, a piece of cinematic cliché meant to set the mood.
Today’s shitty movie, The Guy from Harlem, has that same kind of feel. It feels like a deliberate attempt to fake a bad 1970s blaxploitation flick. The print that’s available for streaming, as of this writing, is a transfer from a badly worn 35mm print. Pops and scratches abound, the color is as washed as I’ve ever seen in an old film, and there are many, many missing frames. It feels readymade as a movie within a movie, only it was a legitimate production. Barely. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Guy from Harlem”
At first glance, this flick doesn’t look like much. It’s just another direct-to-video action flick with a miniscule budget, a small cast led by a Hollywood b-lister, and just a single location where all the fun stuff happens. It’s about as anonymous as these types of flicks get. Then, one looks a little deeper. It stars Dolph Lundgren. No surprise there. He’s starred in dozens of these types of films. This is also the first one he directed. Shitty movie fans rejoice! But, that’s not all.
This is also a very topical film, in a way most b-movies never bother with. It was released in 2004, at the height of The Global War on Terror, as it was dubbed in the political wonkiverse. The United States was engaged in two very bloody wars, and looking with paranoiac diligence for enemies wherever they may be. No one could be trusted, and this film, believe it or not, captures a lot of the prevailing mood of the time. But, there’s still more! Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Defender (2004)”
John Tucker (David Carradine), the toughest and deadliest C.O.P. (Civilian Operated Police) is back in action, in Future Zone, the 1990 sequel to Future Force. This movie does away with explaining the lore, so some background from the first film is in order.
In the near future crime has become so rampant that government operated police forces have been disbanded, replaced by a civilian equivalent that has more in common with old west bounty hunters than proper law enforcement. These COPs (this movie drops the ‘S’ from the acronym) carry six shooters and dress like bikers. Tucker is the biggest badass of them all, blithely informing criminals that they have the right to die, just before he shoots them in the chest. He also has a power glove that shoots rays of lightning from its fingers. But, like the first film, it’s such a deus ex machina that writer/director David A. Prior keeps it mostly out of sight. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Future Zone”
Fred Williamson is a favorite here at Shitty Movie Sundays. He has taken the idea of one-dimensional acting and spread it out across six decades of b-cinema. I’ve seen a number of his films and he plays the same guy, in the same way, in every single one of them…even the ones that take place in the future. He’s a cigar chomping badass who shoots straight, punches hard, and, runtime willing, always gets the ladies. The last couple of decades have seen him transition into an elder statesman version of the role, but the basics are there. In Atomic Eden, Williamson plays Stoker, a mercenary commander who takes on a tough, and very important, mission in the shadow of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Atomic Eden”
In the near future, by the year 1991, crime has become so rampant in the United States that all local police forces have been disbanded and replaced by private companies. These companies are collectively known as C.O.P.S., or Civilian Operated Police Incorporated. Wait, that’s not right. But that’s what the opening voiceover calls them. By the second scene in Future Force, from writer/director and b-movie auteur extraordinaire David A. Prior, viewers know that the last word in the COPS acronym is Systems, not Incorporated. We love a lack of attention to details like that here at Shitty Movie Sundays.
These new COPS aren’t like the old cops. For one thing, the American system of justice has been turned on its head. The accused are now presumed guilty, and are convicted before they are ever arrested, often without knowledge of their offenses. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Future Force”