October Horrorshow: Crawl, or Go Gators!

Before today, I never once considered what it would be like to be trapped in a basement crawlspace with ravenous alligators during a category 5 hurricane. Now, I know. It’s pretty scary.

That’s the setting for Crawl, the creature feature from earlier this year from screenwriters Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, and director Alexandre Aja.

The film follows Kaya Scoladerio as Haley, a swimmer at the University of Florida. A hurricane is bearing down on the area, but neither she, nor her sister up in Boston, have been able to get ahold of their father, Dave (Barry Pepper). There’s some family drama and token sappiness involving Haley and her father, but regardless, Haley decides to head down to the family homestead to check on the old man and make sure he’s still alive. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Crawl, or Go Gators!”

Shitty Movie Sundays: City on Fire

It was not just Irwin Allen who could make a shitty disaster movie. There are always plenty of filmmakers in Hollywood with big, but slightly blurred, vision. The spectacle is the thing, accompanied by a bevy of stars, past and present, willing to slum it in something crummy.

City on Fire, from 1979, is a joint Canadian-American production from director Alvin Rakoff, from a script by notable blaxploitation filmmaker Jack Hill, David P. Lewis, and Céline La Frenière. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: City on Fire”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Meteor

MeteorAmerican International Pictures is mostly associated with 1950’s and ’60s b-movie fare, most notably the works of Roger Corman. But the ’70s were no less of a productive decade for AIP than were the ’50s and ’60s. In that mustard yellow decade of Nixon, Ford, and Carter, AIP produced or distributed many of the notable films in the blaxploitation genre, while keeping to its horror and regular exploitation roots with such titles as The Incredible Melting Man and 1000 Convicts and a Woman. One thing all AIP flicks seem to have in common is a desire to make a quick buck while not being beholden to any higher purpose in cinema. That makes any viewer not just a customer of AIP, but something of a mark. There is a minimum expectation of quality in any random American film audience, despite what others think about our culture, and it was the rare AIP flick that managed to meet this standard, nor did they try. Meteor, distributed by AIP, is an excellent case in point. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Meteor”

Stallone Month: Daylight

Daylight, the 1996 film from screenwriter Leslie Bohem and director Rob Cohen, should not be this bad of a movie. It’s the perfect vehicle for its star, and does absolutely nothing wrong in following the Irwin Allen disaster movie playbook. It’s swift and action-packed, and there’s enough tension that it should be able to keep a viewer’s attention. But, the characters. My God, the characters. Continue readingStallone Month: Daylight”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure

Today Shitty Movie Sundays is featuring another Irwin Allen disaster flick. What makes this one different is that Allen wasn’t just the producer of today’s film. He also directed. It wasn’t his first time in the director’s chair, having helmed a couple of halfway decent sci-fi flicks in the past. But, I don’t think it would have made much difference who was at the helm for this stinker. John Ford could have directed this flick and it still would be packed to the gills with stupid. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure”

Shitty Movie Sundays: When Time Ran Out, or, The Poseidon Volcano

Irwin Allen had been producing motion pictures for over twenty years before he wandered into the disaster genre. He had a pair of genre-defining hits with The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, but that was about all the water Allen could draw from that well before bringing up sludge. Next came The Swarm (dreadful), then Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (sickening), and finally When Time Ran Out. According to the internet, so it must be true, Paul Newman, star of When Time Ran Out, was once asked if he regretted making any film. He answered, “That volcano movie.” Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: When Time Ran Out, or, The Poseidon Volcano”

Shitty Movie Sundays: San Andreas, or, an October Horrorshow Interlude

I couldn’t wait for after the Horrorshow to post this review. This flick is just too special. And what a gloriously stupid movie it is. But, a big, bombastic disaster flick is good to see every now and again. They come in waves, too. Some studio will put out a big budget disaster flick that makes a pile of cash and then all the others can’t wait to put their own into production. Then after a year or two the quality takes a dip and audiences get tired and disaster flicks go into hibernation until audiences are ready again. Marvel and DC would do well to take note. They’re reaping the benefits of their respective formulae now, but eventually audiences will rebel and one of those two will lay a big fat turd at the box office — something kin to The Core — and ruin the party for everyone (an argument could be made that this happened with the Fantastic Four reboot this summer, but for now audiences are not blaming Marvel for franchisee Sony messing up Marvel’s intellectual properties). But, I digress. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: San Andreas, or, an October Horrorshow Interlude”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Pompeii

What a putrid mess. The trailer for Pompeii, Paul W.S. Anderson’s CGI shit-fest from earlier this year, promised viewers an exploding mountain. It never promised to be a faithful retelling of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 that destroyed the city of the title. But that’s all well and good. Paul W.S. Anderson does not do anything but spectacle. In the trailer, Vesuvius blows up and that’s what I paid to see. What I didn’t pay to see was a low-rent Titanic rip-off that made me wait 66 whole minutes for the good stuff. And that wait is a problem. Pompeii only runs about an hour and a half. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for the disaster portion of this disaster movie. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Pompeii”