Shitty Movie Sundays: Colonials

Science fiction movies in the 21st century don’t get much more bargain basement than Colonials, from writer (with Cyrus Cheek), director (with Andrew Balek), and producer (with far too many people to name) Joe Bland. That’s Bland as in, I shit you not, Bland Productions. That’s the name of his company. Lean into it, Joe.

Using techniques pioneered by George Lucas, Bland didn’t need any fancy sets, or even a full complement of actors. Like the worst sequences in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Colonials uses CGI for just about everything. Spaceships and their interiors. Space stations and their interiors. Ground level in a destroyed megalopolis. A moon base. An earth base. Random hallways and rooms. Even the movie’s bad guy. It takes a full twenty-two minutes of running time before any member of the cast is shown in real surroundings, and that’s just a small location somewhere in the hills of Los Angeles. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Colonials”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Neon City

According to the internet, so it must be true, screenwriter Ann Lewis Hamilton, in penning Neon City, was crafting an updated telling of Stagecoach, set in a time and place similar to Mad Max. George Miller’s epic dystopian/post-apocalyptic films are big hits here at Missile Test, so much so that any Mad Max ripoff, from any source, will get a viewing. Truth be told, they’re all basically westerns with combustion engines instead of horses. Even Mad Max 2, the best of Miller’s bunch, and the one that gets ripped off the most, has more in common with a classic western than its own source material.

It’s the future! 2053! Environmental devastation has led to the collapse of civilization. The world has been rendered mostly desert, subject to random extreme events that kill those caught in them. There are something called Xander clouds, which are areas of noxious gas, and Brights, which is when particulates in the atmosphere focus, rather than scatter, the sun’s rays, cooking anything in sight. As if that’s not bad enough, roving bands of Skins, savages clad in animal hides, attack all travelers, and occasionally lay siege to humanity’s remaining outposts. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Neon City”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Deadly Reactor

Action International Pictures and producer David Winters have done it again. Of late, whenever I’ve been in the mood for a truly shitty action flick from the 1980s or early ’90s, Action International has been there. It’s not all flicks directed by David A. Prior, or starring William Zipp, either. Today’s movie is 1989’s Deadly Reactor, written, starring, and directed by David Heavener, who has an unimpeachable CV as a b-filmmaker.

It’s the near future. Earth has been rendered a post-apocalyptic wasteland by nuclear war. Society consists of roving gangs of thugs, and small outposts of regular folk who are just trying to get by. Heavener plays Cody, a preacher in the Agopy religious sect, which are portrayed as something akin to the Amish or Mennonites, only without the bonnets or the chin straps. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Deadly Reactor”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Future Zone

John Tucker (David Carradine), the toughest and deadliest C.O.P. (Civilian Operated Police) is back in action, in Future Zone, the 1990 sequel to Future Force. This movie does away with explaining the lore, so some background from the first film is in order.

In the near future crime has become so rampant that government operated police forces have been disbanded, replaced by a civilian equivalent that has more in common with old west bounty hunters than proper law enforcement. These COPs (this movie drops the ‘S’ from the acronym) carry six shooters and dress like bikers. Tucker is the biggest badass of them all, blithely informing criminals that they have the right to die, just before he shoots them in the chest. He also has a power glove that shoots rays of lightning from its fingers. But, like the first film, it’s such a deus ex machina that writer/director David A. Prior keeps it mostly out of sight. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Future Zone”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Future Force

In the near future, by the year 1991, crime has become so rampant in the United States that all local police forces have been disbanded and replaced by private companies. These companies are collectively known as C.O.P.S., or Civilian Operated Police Incorporated. Wait, that’s not right. But that’s what the opening voiceover calls them. By the second scene in Future Force, from writer/director and b-movie auteur extraordinaire David A. Prior, viewers know that the last word in the COPS acronym is Systems, not Incorporated. We love a lack of attention to details like that here at Shitty Movie Sundays.

These new COPS aren’t like the old cops. For one thing, the American system of justice has been turned on its head. The accused are now presumed guilty, and are convicted before they are ever arrested, often without knowledge of their offenses. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Future Force”

October Horrorshow: Inseminoid, aka Horrorplanet

A common theme one will find on the internet about Inseminoid is that it rips off Alien. Sure, it does. Lots of movies have. And Alien ripped off It! The Terror from Beyond Space. That shouldn’t stop one from considering the film on its own merits. It succeeds and fails all on its own, with no credit or responsibility laid at the feet of Ridley Scott or Dan O’Bannon. The similarities to Alien are many, but with a budget of £1 million versus Alien’s $11 million, there were going to be some cuts made.

Inseminoid was directed by Norman J. Warren, from a script by Nick and Gloria Maley. On a far away planet, scientists studying ruins of an alien civilization are attacked by a monster. One of them, Sandy (Judy Geeson), is inseminated by the alien, and will soon give birth to twin monstrosities. In this, Inseminoid tracks closest to Alien. The much lower budget meant that much of the atmosphere that defined Alien was not possible in this flick. The budget also affected the alien costume, which is very subpar. Warren and company made the right decision to not feature the monster that much. As a result, most of the terrorizing in this flick is done by Sandy and not the monster. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Inseminoid, aka Horrorplanet”

October Horrorshow: Creepozoids

David DeCoteau might be the most prolific b-movie director of all time. As of this posting, he has 161 non-porn directing credits on his IMDb page. During his career he has treated film production as a volume business. Art? What’s that? Budget? If you can make a movie for less, we’ll match it! TV movies? Direct-to-video movies? Horror? Sci-fi? Comedy? Hallmark movies? DeCoteau will direct it. He can’t direct every movie that’s released in a year, but he can sure as hell try.

The second feature of DeCoteau’s career, Creepozoids was commission work from Charles Band’s Empire Pictures, the predecessor of his long-running house of schlock, Full Moon Features. The film was written by DeCoteau and Dave Eisenstark. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Creepozoids”

October Horrorshow: Forbidden World

Roger Corman has caught a lot of heat in these pages for being a cheapskate. The man was, and still is, ruthless in his pursuit of efficiency in his productions. This has often been a detriment to his films. As a filmmaker, Corman could make better movies if he loosened the purse strings ever so slightly, but he always seems to err on the side of budget over art. That said, the man’s contributions to cinema, and shitty movies, cannot be overstated. Forbidden World, a Corman production from 1982, encapsulates just about everything that makes a movie shitty, and is an excellent example of the Corman style. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Forbidden World”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Deadman Apocalypse

What can one say about a movie that made £25,000 at the box office? That it was a blockbuster, that’s what!

Deadman Apocalypse, the first feature from writer, director, and producer Charlie Steeds, was made on the stringiest of shoestring budgets, only putting a £1,500 dent in Steeds’ bank account. That means Deadman Apocalypse made almost seventeen times its budget. Big Hollywood studios would kill, and have, for that kind of return on investment.

Of course, I’m being facetious. Box office returns are not the best measure of a film’s success. It’s the content of the film that counts. As for this film’s content? Well… Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Deadman Apocalypse”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Endgame (1983)

According to the internet, so it must be true, Endgame, from writer (alongside Aldo Florio), director, and producer Joe D’Amato, was the favorite of all the films he made. Endgame was just one of seven productions in 1983 in which he received a director credit, and his IMDb page lists 199, most of those smut. The man was prolific. And when he looked back upon his extensive oeuvre, Endgame, a mashup of post-apocalyptic sci-fi tropes, was the movie that made him smile the widest. Well, okay then.

It’s the future! 2025! Sometime in the ’80s or ’90s, nuclear war devastated the planet. Now, civilization is being rebuilt. A new fascist regime has arisen, ruling the rubble with an iron fist, and exterminating mutants that have been born due to all the radioactive fallout from the nukes. These aren’t ghastly creatures with extra limbs or Marvel-type superpowers. These are just regular folks, whose mutation makes them psychic. They are the next step of human evolution. There is also an unfortunate class of mutants who are devolving into lower forms of life, but the hell with them. The good guys dislike them as much as the fascists do. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Endgame (1983)”