Shitty Movie Sundays: Battle for the Lost Planet

What a gloriously stupid movie. From an objective standpoint, this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. But, it’s one of those films that is so inept, and so self-aware, that the entire package is endearing. I spent 91 minutes of a precious Friday night with this dog, and I regret none of it.

From writer/director Brett Piper, who would carve out a fine career in b-cinema, Battle for the Lost Planet tells the tale of Harry Trent (Matt Mitler), a thief in the future who is discovered while engaging in some light corporate espionage. He makes his escape to space in a shuttle he found laying around, just in time to witness an invasion by a race of pig-faced aliens. These invaders don’t waste any time. In a low-budget special effects extravaganza they lay Earth to waste, devastating all of human civilization. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Battle for the Lost Planet”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Retrograde

Dolph Lundgren has been in some low down dirty dogs in his time in the film business. We’re talking the kind of action movies so underfunded that most of the ‘action’ consists of exposition in barely-dressed sets, or whose plot involves a whole lot of walking in the desert. Often, Dolph is the only member of the cast with an extensive list of credits behind his name, telling a viewer just about all they need to know about a flick’s objective quality. But, fine objective quality is not what we’re after here at Shitty Movie Sundays. Dolph Lundgren is a prolific b-movie actor, and even the worst movie in which he’s ever appeared has something for the devoted connoisseur of substandard cinema. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Retrograde”

It Came from the Camcorder: Redneck Zombies

According to Lloyd Kaufman, so some of it is probably true, Pericles Lewnes and George Scott wandered into the offices of Troma one day in the late 1980s with a finished movie they wanted Troma to distribute. Kaufman and his business partner Michael Herz agreed, on the condition that Lewnes take on unpaid work at Troma to work off the money Kaufman was sure this movie would lose for the company. And, thus, Redneck Zombies was unleashed upon the world.

Directed by Lewnes from a screenplay that has to be a pseudonym for either he or Scott, Fester Smellman, Redneck Zombies is one of the more ambitious efforts, gore-wise, that has been featured in It Came from the Camcorder. In tone, it fits right into the Troma stable, as Lewnes was very much a fan of their work. As the title implies, this movie is about zombies, who happen to be rednecks. Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: Redneck Zombies”

It Came from the Camcorder: Demon Queen

Before Vampire Cop, before Chainsaw Cheerleaders, and before Bigfoot Exorcist (incredible titles, all), shitty movie auteur Donald Farmer gave us Demon Queen, an SOV quickie that boiled down a simple horror story into its basest elements.

From 1987, Demon Queen tells the tale of Lucinda (Mary Fanaro), a demon, or vampire, or something, who stalks the streets of Fort Lauderdale picking up unsuspecting males and ripping their hearts out while they are in postcoital afterglow.

Her latest victim, whom she strings along for most of this movie’s short 54-minute running time, is Jesse (Dennis Stewart). Jesse is a street-level drug dealer who, in a fit of plot on the part of Farmer, owes money to local gangster Izzi (Rick Foster). Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: Demon Queen”

It Came from the Camcorder: Night Crawlers (1996)

Missile Test has been doing the Horrorshow since 2009, and this year’s theme, It Came from the Camcorder, has been the most difficult, both to watch and to write about. The me that came up with this idea many months ago has placed a burden on current me that I didn’t expect. Even today’s movie, from a pair of moviemakers that I respect, is a low-down dirty dog that probably never should have seen the light of day. Strike that. No movie is too bad to be made or watched (for at least fifteen minutes, anyway), but there is no obligation from any critic, hobbyist or professional, to blow smoke and pretend that it’s an artistic accomplishment. Congratulations, Polonia Bros., you made another movie, and it sucks.

From back in 1996, Night Crawlers is another collaboration between John and Mark Polonia, from a script by Charles Hank. Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: Night Crawlers (1996)”

It Came from the Camcorder: Video Violence

According to the internet, so it must be true, central New Jersey community theater fixture and video store operator Gary Cohen was dismayed that customers rented so much trashy horror when there was a wealth of film history available on the shelves. His response was not to refuse to rent horror flicks, but, with friend and writing partner Paul Kaye, to make his very own trashy horror movie. On video, of course.

If one is into SOV horror, Video Violence, from 1987, is essential viewing, as it’s a common entry on various SOV lists. It follows real-life couple Art and Jackie Neill (also longtime players in central New Jersey theater) as Steven and Rachel Emory, a pair of transplants from New York City who have settled in Frenchtown, New Jersey, looking for peace and quiet. Steven gave up his dream job of owning a movie theater to open a video rental store, while Rachel left a job at a law firm to take a position in Frenchtown’s administration. Their town is not as welcoming to the newcomers as they wished, nor is it as quiet. That’s because the residents of the town have become addicted to slasher flicks, and after being desensitized to the fake stuff, they have gotten into the habit of making their very own snuff videos. Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: Video Violence”

October Horrorshow: The Video Dead

Zombies have been portrayed in every which way from here to Timbuktu. It’s not necessary for a filmmaker to have a unique take on zombies in order to make a successful zombie film. When they do bring some new quality to the old trope, it instantly makes the film better. The Video Dead, the 1987 b-horror flick from writer, director, and producer Robert Scott, doesn’t have a lot of zombies, but they all have distinct personalities, and the way they are introduced is quite fun.

Famous writer Henry Jordan (Michael St. Michaels) is minding his business at home one morning when a delivery van arrives with a crate. Inside is a ratty television that, unbeknownst to Jordan, was supposed to be delivered to the Institute for the Studies of the Occult. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Video Dead”

It Came from the Camcorder: Night Ripper!

Night Ripper! movie posterHow obscure is Night Ripper!, the 1986 SOV slasher flick from writer, director, and producer Jeff Hathcock? Well, it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, which is a start. More impressive, however, is the Wikipedia page of featured player Larry Thomas, famous for playing the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. The filmography section on his Wikipedia page lists every movie he’s been in with the exception of Night Ripper! Here at Missile Test, we consider that a glaring omission. Someone out there is trying to make the internet forget that he was in this dirty dog of a movie. It wasn’t Larry, as his account doesn’t list edits to his filmography. I’d add it to his page myself, but the only unpaid work I do online anymore is for this lovely website. Anyway…

Night Ripper! is not one of those SOV horror flicks that sprung from the mind of some horror fans out in flyover country. No, this is a Hollywood production, with many different departments and many different crew members. What it doesn’t have is a list of cast members in the credits alongside their corresponding character names, and only three have photos on IMDb, so I’ll be making my best guesses as to who played which role.

James Hansen (I think) plays Dave, who, along with Mitch (definitely Larry Thomas), owns a photography lab and studio. Older readers will remember this type of store, where folks could go and have their film developed, or get some glamour shots taken for their significant other. Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: Night Ripper!”

It Came from the Camcorder: The Screaming

Cheap, irreverent, gory, and gloriously stupid. If there are four descriptors essential to a successful SOV horror flick, those are it. Prolific shitty movie writer/director/producer Jeff Leroy’s 2000 flick, The Screaming, has all of those, in decent proportion. Although, I don’t think it would have hurt matters any to have a bit more gratuitous nudity. But, that’s a personal preference.

The Screaming stars Vinnie Bilancio (who also has a producer and production design credit) as Bob Martin, a Marlboro enthusiast and graduate student in anthropology at an unnamed southern California university (the university was played by CSU, Long Beach). Like many graduate students, Bob is flat broke, and thus has to take the cheapest off-campus housing he can find. In this case, it’s a single room in the back of a house owned by blonde bombshell Crystal (Wendi Winburn). Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: The Screaming”

It Came from the Camcorder: Cards of Death

It’s not uncommon in the world of SOV horror to discover that the movie one is watching was not released until many, many years had passed from its production. In general, these are bargain-basement movies, the final result of which may leave its makers and distributors leery of release. In other words, sometimes a movie is such shit that it gets stuck on a shelf and all-but forgotten about. Such is the case with Cards of Death, which sat unreleased for 28 years before Mondo Video dug it up. From 1986, Cards of Death is a horror/thriller from veteran Burbank actor Will MacMillan. Taking his first stab at writing and directing, MacMillan crafted a very bad, but also quite watchable, shitty movie from little more than videotape and breasts. Continue readingIt Came from the Camcorder: Cards of Death”