October Horrorshow: Crucible of Horror, aka The Corpse

There is more content out there than one can possibly experience, and this was true in the days before the web, as well. That’s how an odd psychological horror flick like Crucible of Horror can become largely forgotten, its prints left to decay, its copyright allowed to lapse. The film hasn’t been completely forsaken by the entertainment biz, however. There is a fully restored Blu-Ray version out there, but most versions consist of dismally cared for prints on VHS and older DVDs, formatted for CRT televisions, and with much footage missing. The version I watched for this review had the picture and missing footage restored, but is a 1.33:1 print cropped to widescreen. Maybe someday the version used in the Blu-Ray will become available to stream, but for now this less-than-perfect version is the best streamers can get. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Crucible of Horror, aka The Corpse”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II

Forget for a moment that Death Wish II is one of the defining films for The Cannon Group and its producing pair of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Forget that it was this film, along with Enter the Ninja, that would come to define a style of shamelessness that has brought endless amounts of joy to both the shitty movie fan and the wider action flick audience. Forget that a film like this scratches a primal itch that high culture would like to pretend doesn’t exist. Instead, revel in the fact that Jimmy Page did the music for this flick. That’s right. Jimmy Page. From Led Zeppelin. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Invasion U.S.A., or, Chuck Norris’s Nightmare, or, Chuck Norris’s Wet Dream

Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus found their cash cow. After Chuck Norris got revenge for the United States losing the Vietnam War in Missing in Action, Golan and Globus wasted no time locking up Chuck to a multi-picture deal at The Cannon Group. Invasion U.S.A. was the first picture under that deal, and it’s just as over the top and stupid as anything else from the Cannon stable. But it also has a mean-spiritedness that will try the viewer. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Invasion U.S.A., or, Chuck Norris’s Nightmare, or, Chuck Norris’s Wet Dream”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Revenge of the Ninja

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 readingShitty Movie Sundays: Revenge of the Ninja”

Shitty Movie Sundays: 10 to Midnight

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 readingShitty Movie Sundays: 10 to Midnight”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Enter the Ninja, or, The Colonials are Having a Tiff

Enter the Ninja, the 1981 karate flick from legendary producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, is just about the quintessential movie from The Cannon Group, Golan-Globus’s company. Cannon is synonymous with shitty cinema, alongside other giants as Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, American International Pictures, and Dino De Laurentiis. Like these examples, not everything Cannon made was shit, but enough was for the reputation to be deserved. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Enter the Ninja, or, The Colonials are Having a Tiff”

Stallone Month: Cobra

Oh, lord. Is this flick produced by the Cannon Group, the most lovable pair of shameless profiteers that Hollywood has ever seen? Yes, it is. Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus did as much for my love of shitty movies as any other filmmaker not named Carpenter. But, this month isn’t about Cannon. It’s about Sly Stallone. And Cobra, the 1986 film written by Sly and directed by George P. Cosmatos (who went on to direct films about a killer rat and a fish monster), might just be peak Stallone. Coming the year after Rocky IV, Sly wasn’t going to get any bigger. Continue readingStallone Month: Cobra”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions pictures what life is like in American cities, I think he might be picturing the world of Death Wish 4: The Crackdown. From 1987, this movie plays as both nightmare and caricature of urban America in the 1980s. It’s a place where anyone, at any time, can be the victim of a brutal crime. It’s a good thing that Charles Bronson was still alive and kicking at the time, otherwise none of us would have made it out of that decade alive. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown”

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”