All Stef Djordevic (Tom Cruise) wants is to get out of town, and I don’t blame him. All the Right Moves, the 1983 film from director Michael Chapman and screenwriter Michael Kane, opens on a rather depressing moment. It’s morning at the steel mill, and Stef’s older brother and father are shown wrapping up their graveyard shift. They leave the mill in silence, their fellow workers just as spent as they are. The message for viewers is clear, if not all that accurate for some (my grandfathers used to hit the bar across the street from their mill immediately after work — end of shift was a time for jollity, not introspection). The mill takes all your hopes and dreams, and crushes them. But at least it keeps food on the table and a roof over one’s head…until the layoffs start. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: All the Right Moves”
When I was a child, my parents made a poor decision. They wanted to go see a movie, but they couldn’t find a babysitter. I don’t recall if a sitter canceled, or they decided to go out on short notice, or if I was such a young terror that I’d burned through all the numbers in the address book. Either way, my folks were determined to go see a movie, and if no sitter could be found, then I was going to see a movie, too. If that movie was an R-rated feature about a lustful teenager and a smoking hot call girl, then so be it. Besides, as my parents reasoned, the boy is only six years old. Not only will he forget what he sees, he won’t understand any of it, anyway. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Risky Business”
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”
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”
What a gloriously stupid movie. From schlock producer Bill Osco and writer/director Jackie Kong, The Being walks on the wrong side of the line separating exploitation from good ole b-horror, but it’s also silly enough to satisfy one’s more mirthful desires from bad cinema.
Filmed in 1980, but shelved until three years later, The Being stars Osco, billed as both Rexx Coltrane AND Johnny Commander, as Detective Mort Lutz of the Pottsville, Idaho police. He’s investigating a rash of disappearances in the town. Also in the cast are Jose Ferrer as Mayor Gordon Lane, Ruth Buzzi as his wife, Virginia, and Martin Landau as Garson Jones, an engineer investigating the safety of a nuclear waste dump just outside of town. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Being”
The 1980s were THE decade for slasher flicks. The subgenre of horror really picked up steam in the ’70s, but it was in the ’80s when it matured, like a fine wine. It also, somewhat paradoxically, got less gory. But that’s a subject for another day. For now, it’s enough to know that in 1983, someone made a slasher film called The House on Sorority Row. Oh, the possibilities. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The House on Sorority Row”
In the annals of shitty cinema, the 1980s saw the Italians holding the world championship crown. Between Enzo G. Castellari, Joe D’Amato, and Lucio Fulci, American b-flicks just didn’t stand a chance. Bruno Mattei is another filmmaker who can be added to this list of sublime cinematic futility. His 1983 film, Women’s Prison Massacre, also released as Emanuelle Escapes From Hell, among a couple of other titles, is an unbelievable piece of shit. Not only is it bottom feeding trash, it’s sexually exploitative. Being a film about a women’s prison, that’s to be expected. But there is also a cut floating around out there with hardcore porn, using body doubles of the cast, stitched into the R-rated sex scenes. I didn’t see that cut because, believe it or not, I wanted to watch this dog for the plot. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Women’s Prison Massacre, aka Emanuelle Escapes From Hell”
The Italian invasion continues here at Shitty Movie Sundays. I don’t know who is responsible for either buying or selling the rights to these dogs, but whoever it is, I would like to thank you. It would have been easy to let films like Escape from the Bronx, or today’s flick, The Raiders of Atlantis, fade into total obscurity. But someone, somewhere, signed a deal to make sure flicks like these continue to survive on internet streaming. Whether or not this person is a shitty film lover like myself or a rights holder gathering up pennies, I salute you. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Raiders of Atlantis, aka The Atlantis Interceptors”
What an incredible piece of shit. Enzo G. Castellari is my new favorite shitty filmmaker. He elevated the art of shitty filmmaking to sublime proportions. His films are cheap, derivative to the point of intellectual theft, completely shameless yet self-aware, and entertaining as all hell to the true shitty movie connoisseur. They are also films that play to the basest appetites of an audience. For example, this is the third film I’ve seen that was helmed by Signore Castellari, and in every one a character is roasted alive by a flamethrower. That’s dedication to craft. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The New Barbarians”
Can lightning strike in the same place twice? Yes, it can! Escape from the Bronx, a.k.a. Bronx Warriors 2, a.k.a. Escape 2000, is the wonderfully shitty sequel to 1990: the Bronx Warriors. Coming back from the previous film are producer Fabrizio de Angelis, director Enzo G. Castellari, and star Mark Gregory as Trash. The gang’s all here! Well, almost. The Bronx Warriors was such a success for de Angelis and company that it appears he reduced the already miniscule budget for this film in order to generate a higher profit margin. At least, that’s what I would do. The Bronx Warriors had a larger entourage for Trash, and more above scale talent than Escape. Gone are Vic Morrow and Fred Williamson, replaced by one of the most recognizable That Guy faces of the 1970s and ’80s — Henry Silva. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape from the Bronx”