Short of watching a mockbuster from The Asylum or its ilk, one would be hard-pressed to find a film that is more of a ripoff of a big time Hollywood production than Robowar, from Italian auteur Bruno Mattei. The victim in this case is Predator. From characters, to plot, to location, to certain scenes, all the way down to individual lines of dialogue, Mattei squeezed everything he could out of Predator short of being sued into oblivion. The only major change was substituting a rogue bionic soldier for the alien hunter. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Robowar”
Tag: Bullet Storm
Shitty Movie Sundays: Equalizer 2000, or, Supergun!
One Mad Max ripoff wasn’t enough for Filipino filmmaker Cirio H. Santiago. After the sublime experience that was Wheels of Fire, Santiago went back to the well in 1987 for Equalizer 2000. It’s a movie about a man, his leather pants, and a bitchin’ gun.
From a story by Frederick Bailey and Joe Mari Avellana (who played the bad guy in Wheels of Fire), Equalizer 2000 follows Max Rockatansky analogue Slade (Richard Norton). Slade is a member of the Ownership, a militia group that is looking to control all of the gravel quarries in the post-apocalypse. They’re the typical baddies of a Mad Max ripoff. They wear black, drive tricked out muscle cars, and are very into pillaging settlements full of honest folk. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Equalizer 2000, or, Supergun!”
Shitty Movie Sundays: Nemesis (1992)
A true mark of quality in a shitty sci-fi flick from Hollywood in the 1980s and ’90s was use of the Kaiser Steel Mill in Fontana, California, as a shooting location. Just check out this list on IMDb. The more ruinous parts of the mill were a perfect location for a post-apocalyptic or dystopian landscape. Those portions have since been paved over for the Auto Club Speedway, but they live on in films like Robocop, The Running Man, and Nemesis, a 1992 cyberpunk, neo-noir action flick that, somehow, spawned a direct-to-video franchise.
Directed by Albert Pyun from a screenplay by Rebecca Charles, Nemesis stars Olivier Gruner as Alex Rain, a gritty detective in the LAPD. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Nemesis (1992)”
Shitty Movie Sundays: The Last Sentinel (2007)
Here’s some bottom of the barrel sci-fi, folks — slow-cooked to perfection and braised in poor CGI, limited locations, convoluted backstory, wooden performances, and lots of ridiculous gunfights.
From writer/director Jesse V. Johnson comes post-apocalyptic extravaganza The Last Sentinel. It’s the future! Who knows when? After crime and general nonconformity swept the United States, police officers were replaced with genetically engineered drone soldiers — living men stripped of reason and emotion, useful only as black-clad hammers in search of criminal nails. The drones eventually decided that taking over from the humans would be the best way forward, and destroyed most of human civilization. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Last Sentinel (2007)”
Shitty Movie Sundays: Wheels of Fire
Who doesn’t love a shitty Mad Max ripoff? Well, probably all those people out there who, for some reason or another, don’t like substandard cinema. They will never understand the joy to be had in seeing an entire cast costumed in black leather and random bits of spray painted athletic gear. They will never appreciate the sublime rumble of vehicle chases through the desert featuring junk heap muscle cars with all sorts of doodads welded to them. Maybe, just maybe, they will find the inevitable anti-hero of the films a sympathetic character, but only because it’s a conceit that was part of film long before Max Rockatansky ever peeled away in the Pursuit Special. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Wheels of Fire”
Shitty Movie Sundays: The Patriot (1986)
Bad action flicks from the 1980s are beginning to blend together for me. They all seem to have the same plots, the same producers, the same locations, the same stars, even the same bad guys. No facetiousness on that last part. In a coincidence for the ages, the last five ’80s action flicks I’ve seen have all had Stack Pierce playing a bad guy. There truly is a bottomless pit of shitty movies, and this age of unlimited content can stress the attention spans of even the most dedicated enthusiast.
Anyway… Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Patriot (1986)”
Empty Balcony: The Last Boy Scout
Some film historian could write a book about The Last Boy Scout, the outrageous action flick from 1991. It’s a film legendary for its troubled production, with no less than four Hollywood egos clashing while it was made.
There was screenwriter Shane Black, who had been paid almost two million bucks for the script; director Tony Scott, who was in the midst of his peak as a blockbuster filmmaker; star Bruce Willis, who was in need of a hit after Hudson Hawk underperformed and The Bonfire of the Vanities absolutely bombed; and producer Joel Silver, part of whose legend involves massive amounts of cocaine. Silver was such a pain in the neck that when Scott later directed True Romance, he based the character of Lee Donowitz on Silver. Reportedly, Silver was not pleased. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Last Boy Scout”
Shitty Movie Sundays: Cop (1988)
Normally, if there were a trailer available on YouTube, it would be posted here, but not this time. The trailer for Cop spoils the ending. We can’t have that.
What a gloriously stupid movie. I knew heading in that any movie produced by, and starring, James Woods as a lone-wolf detective hunting a serial killer would be an adventure. Cop is more than that, however. It is an absolute howler. It is amongst the most over-indulgent Hollywood vanity projects I’ve ever seen, from an actor who doesn’t know the first thing about nuance.
- Woods, playing Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins, stakes out a suspected armed robber with his supervisor, Lt. Dutch Peltz, played by Charles Durning. The suspect pulls up to the curb with his date, Hopkins and Dutch confront him, and Hopkins blows the suspect away after he pulls a pistol on Dutch. That’s fine. But then, Hopkins takes the date from the car, who is ambivalent about the whole thing, and leaves the scene to drive her home because she has a nice rack. It’s implied he sleeps with her. I guess that means it was a good shoot.
- Hopkins tracks down a former actress turned call girl (Randi Brooks), following up a lead on the serial killings, and, wouldn’t you know it? They have sex in the kitchen while bacon is sizzling in a pan nearby. This happens the very scene after Hopkins’ wife leaves him and takes the kid.
- Hopkins goes to the residence of feminist poet and bookstore owner Kathleen McCarthy (Lesley Ann Warren) to follow up another lead. He’s as gruff and pigheaded as one would expect any clichéd cop from an ’80s film to be, but McCarthy doesn’t seem to care all that much. You see, she’s a feminist only because the right man has never come along to sweep her off of her feet. Lo and behold, that could be Hopkins. He talks her into a date, and later a trip to the bedroom, because he’s the first man who’s been man enough to do so.
- Hopkins follows another lead to the home of an LA County Sheriff’s Deputy (Charles Haid) who happens to be running male prostitutes. Hopkins then kills the deputy after the deputy goes for a shotgun, but he never faces any repercussions for this, despite having broken into the deputy’s home without a warrant, while also being under suspension from the LAPD.
Shitty Movie Sundays: Fortress (2021)
Regular readers of Shitty Movie Sundays will know that we have quite the appreciation for Nicolas Cage. He’s past the heady days of A-list stardom and has settled into a late career of appearing in small prestige projects and shitty movies alike, to the tune of six or so productions a year. He’s not the first aging star to enter the magical land of b-movies paydays. In fact, he’s not the only actor who has been prolific in the realm of late. Bruce Willis has spent the last decade padding his IMDb page with substandard action and thriller fare, racking up eight credits in 2021 alone.
Unlike Cage, who has done nothing but burnish his legacy, to the point where he plays a fictional version of himself in his latest film, Willis’s performances of late have seemed to be nothing but a bother to him. In films like Breach or Cosmic Sin, Willis has seemed as if he wanted to be anywhere else but in the movie, and his deliveries have been dripping with sneering contempt. It would be off-putting were it not a source of hilarity for the shitty movie fan. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Fortress (2021)”
Shitty Movie Sundays: The Demolitionist
When I set out on this crusade to raise awareness of the merits of shitty movies, I never expected to write about two films in a row featuring Richard Grieco, but here we are. He’s not the star of today’s film. Rather, he is the most electric member of the cast. So sorry, Nicole Eggert.
From 1995 comes The Demolitionist, the directorial debut from longtime special effects makeup artist Robert Kurtzman. It’s a Robocop ripoff. There’s not much more to it than that. It is also an ambitious flick, with a decent title, some outrageous performances, and a hot lead who tries her best. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Demolitionist”