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”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

The consensus is that A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, the 1989 entry in the franchise, stinks. It has a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes in both critical and audience scores. Rarely does a film find so much agreement between the proles and the pros. But, I’m going to be different. I’m going to be that guy that defends this flick. Because, while it seemed viewers were searching for a film that was just like the first Elm Street, they missed the wild fun house ride they were actually on.

Don’t think this means I feel this is a great horror film. It is not. But it was creative, and very entertaining. What more do people want out of a supernatural slasher flick, anyway? Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes

Oh, woe is this horror franchise. First in the hands of Samuel Z. Arkoff and American International Pictures, then picked up, with a trademark dispute, by Dino De Laurentiis and his company, and now, for this fourth film, into the grasp of American network television. Has any other iconic horror franchise been treated so poorly? I can’t think of one.

Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes, from 1989, is, believe it or not, not the worst horror film I’ve ever seen. But, it’s from the time before the internet age, when network television movies were a special kind of anti-art, purposefully devoid of most sharp edges. Yes, this was the era of television movies that brought us Roots, but there was a definite ceiling to the quality of a TV movie. Film critic Leonard Maltin, in his gigantic movie guide books, would not award stars to television movies, instead rating them as ‘below average,’ ‘average,’ or ‘above average.’ That makes sense. The difference in quality between television and film in the heyday of Maltin’s books was a vast gulf compared to today. This particular television movie I would rate as average. Had it been intended for cinema, I would rate it a ‘bomb.’ Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Empire of Ash III, aka Last of the Warriors

What a gloriously stupid movie. It has it all. Barely sensible plot, bad dialogue, bad acting, cheap filmstock, gratuitous nudity, and all the other accoutrements that make shitty cinema great. Every time the flick threatens to drag, directors Michael Mazo and Lloyd A. Simandi throw in a gunfight and some explosions, and all is well with the world once again. Empire of Ash III is no rare gem, but we shitty movie fans love it when filmmakers just throw shit at the wall to see what sticks. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Empire of Ash III, aka Last of the Warriors”

October Horrorshow: The Dead Pit

One would be hard-pressed to find a horror film that takes as much inspiration from the works of Dario Argento as The Dead Pit, the 1989 film from first-time director Brett Leonard.

From a screenplay by Leonard and the film’s producer, Gimel Everett, The Dead Pit stars Cheryl Lawson as Jane Doe, a patient at a mental hospital suffering from amnesia. Only she claims it isn’t amnesia at all. She says that a mysterious doctor removed her memories surgically. Her therapist, Dr. Swan (Jeremy Slate), doesn’t believe her, of course. He thinks some traumatic event in her past has welled up in the present and caused her brain to lock away her memories. Although, he of all people should listen a little more closely to her claims. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Dead Pit”

Stallone Month: Tango & Cash

Tango & Cash is somewhat of a watershed moment for the excessive 1980s style of action flick. It’s so ridiculous and over-the-top that a viewer could be forgiven if they thought this film was a spoof. It is not. However, it is an excellent example of what can go right and wrong in an action film, and in film productions in general. Continue readingStallone Month: Tango & Cash”

Stallone Month: Lock Up

Lock Up is a strange lesson in how Hollywood movies are made…[W]e have a star, a theme, a shooting date, a budget, a studio, but…no script.” — John Flynn, director of Lock Up

I don’t know how often films are made on the fly, but in putting together Stallone Month, it seems that it was common for projects Sly worked on to barely make it to completion. Another commonality in these films is that Sly worked very hard to keep the projects together. Whether it’s Eye See You (later this month), or Tango & Cash (tomorrow), or today’s film, the people who worked with Sly are effusive in praising him for the efforts he made to make sure a movie came off. Still, production troubles rarely bode well for a film. Continue readingStallone Month: Lock Up”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Bronx Executioner, or, Frankenstein’s Movie

This flick is some real bottom feeding trash. From Italian writer/director Vanio Amici (as Bob Collins), The Bronx Executioner is one of those bad movies that has zero redeeming qualities. It’s kin to innumerable 1980s Italian sci-fi disasters, but lacks just about all of the charm. In addition, over half of the footage used in the film, including that of some main characters, is lifted from another Italian b-movie from a few years earlier titled The Final Executioner. I’ve never seen that movie, but if I do, I’ll be sure to review it and copy/paste my thoughts into this post. As it is, the only reason I’m bothering with this review at all is because I dedicated time to watching this dog, and I have to get something out of it. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Bronx Executioner, or, Frankenstein’s Movie”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Chilling

It’s time for some obscure horror! How obscure is The Chilling, the 1989 film from directing pair Deland Nuse and Jack A. Sunseri? This flick doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. I’m fairly certain it went straight to video, but IMDb doesn’t have it marked as such. But this flick is such high stinking cheese that I can’t see how it got a theatrical release. This is truly bottom feeding stuff. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Chilling”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Road House

Looking at the list of films I’ve reviewed for Shitty Movie Sundays, there are some real standouts. Most of the films on the list are of such substandard quality that I am genuinely concerned I am wasting precious time in my life that I will never get back when I watch them (Galaxy of Terror, I Spit on Your Grave, Theodore Rex, for example), while others, despite being bad movies, are entertaining. Spacehunter, Raise the Titanic, Reign of Fire, Commando, The Keep — all shitty movies, and all eminently watchable. When I think of my affinity for shitty movies, it is flicks like these that keep me searching for the next great dog. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Road House”