Shitty Movie Sundays: Cosmic Sin

Bruce Willis is having an interesting stretch in this, the latter part of his career. It’s also a familiar one. Like many stars of the past, he is either unwilling, or unable, to take on parts in big budget Hollywood flicks or prestige films. Rather, he has spent the last half-decade or so in b-movie schlock. Sure, he turned up in Glass, and Eli Roth’s underrated remake of Death Wish, but this is overshadowed by his roles in films like Hard Kill, Breach, and today’s subject, Cosmic Sin.

The thing I find most amusing about this turn is that Willis always seems to play the same character in every film — a roguish antihero who joins the cause reluctantly. Watching the first act of these films, one can imagine that it mirrors the process that filmmakers had to go through to convince Willis to be in their movies. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Cosmic Sin”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Assignment: Outer Space, aka Space Men

Assignment: Outer Space, the 1960 sci-fi flick from director Antonio Margheriti, is a textbook example of why cheap practical effects are better than bad CGI. I’m no Luddite. CGI will continue to improve and become more affordable right up to the point AI takes over film production and just thinks shit up on the spot. I’m thinking more of the bargain basement CGI of this still-young century versus what Margheriti’s crew was able to accomplish sixty years ago. Both are unconvincing, but cheap model work has a charm that bad CGI does not — almost an innocence. That’s illusory, of course. Cheap effects are all about saving cash, no matter which method is used. Yet, there’s something slimy about bad CGI, as if it’s more an enabler of poor filmmaking rather than a result of tight budgets. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Assignment: Outer Space, aka Space Men”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Ice Twisters

SyFy has been performing a valuable service for the shitty movie fan for decades, now. They have been willing to purchase and show the absolute worst dogs that the 21st century has to offer, making them the inheritors of the legacy of drive-in movie theaters. Since SyFy is commercial television, these flicks are light on gore and devoid of gratuitous nudity — staples of the drive-in — but they make up for that by featuring movies with outrageous premises, and the type of shoddy production values that are near and dear to we many denizens of the darker realms of cinema. There are true believers at work at that network. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Ice Twisters”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Helga, She-Wolf of Stilberg, aka Helga, la louve de Stilberg

There’s been a fascist takeover in some country, somewhere. The revolutionary government, led by the evil President Steiner (Jean-Charles Maratier) is sending the wives and daughters of political opponents to Stilberg prison, a repurposed 19th century pile of architecture in the rural countryside. To watch over the prisoners and punish them as she sees fit, Steiner sends the titular beauty Helga (Malisa Longo), a true zealot and sadist. For the remainder of the film, viewers get to see Helga and her guards whip prisoners, pull their hair, tie them up in a dungeon, subject them to unnecessary gynecological examinations, sell them for a roll in the hay for the price of two bottles of booze apiece, and force them to receive Helga’s sexual ministrations. And that’s it. There is some insurgency stuff in the final act, but no one is watching this flick for its story. If one is looking for some vintage sleaze from the 1970s, here it is. Just make sure the drapes are closed. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Helga, She-Wolf of Stilberg, aka Helga, la louve de Stilberg”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Alcatraz (2018)

My favorite bad movies are ones from outsider filmmakers who pour their hearts and souls into making their films. They may not know what they’re doing, and they usually have resources to match, yet they persevere, often through years of adversity, to get their projects to audiences.

My least favorite bad movies are treated as little more than commodities — something produced to get to market as quickly as possible, with little use for the skills and talents of those involved. In fact, talent is a burden, as it would cost the production more money. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Alcatraz (2018)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Terror in Beverly Hills

I once did an entire month’s worth of Sylvester Stallone reviews. Dear reader, you cannot imagine how sick I was of that man, that icon, that Hollywood legend, by about the two-thirds mark. It was a struggle. So much so, that at one point I decided to take ‘Stallone Month’ literally, and not limit myself to just one member of the clan. However, I soldiered on, and that alternate plan never came to fruition. Had I done so, I would definitely have featured today’s flick. I haven’t seen all that many movies starring Frank Stallone, but Terror in Beverly Hills has to be his apex as a leading man. At the very least, it’s the silliest piece of shit he’s ever been in. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Terror in Beverly Hills”