What a gloriously stupid movie. I mean that. Shitty movie fans know the struggle. We mine the depths of Netflix and Prime, the bargain bins at the big box, the lot purchases on eBay. Most of what we find is slag or chaff. But occasionally, one digs up something precious — a film of such mirthful incompetence that it can liven up a whole day. Such is Deathsport.
From way back in 1978, Deathsport comes to us from the Roger Corman stable. He produced this one, while directing duties were handled by Nicholas Niciphor, and later Allan Arkush (although, if the internet is to be believed, Corman did some uncredited work in the director’s chair, as well). Apparently, the shoot was a bit of a nightmare, with the unexperienced Nicophor trying to wrangle of bunch of drugged out loons. Well, their chaos was our gain. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Deathsport, or, You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda”
With a title like Rats: Night of Terror, I was expecting a horror flick. What I was not expecting was a horror flick combined with a 1980s Italian post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick, in the same milieu as 1990: The Bronx Warriors or The New Gladiators. But, shitty film auteurs Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso appeared to have no qualms in marrying two different genres, even if it added just about nothing to the plot.
In the near future, in the year 2015, civilization was consumed by atomic war. Survivors retreated underground, where they would attempt to rebuild society safely hidden from the irradiated wastes above. But, some people chose to reject a life in tunnels and caves, and returned to the surface to brave the danger. Now, 225 years after the bombs fell, descendants of the surface survivors are traveling the wasteland in search of food and water. They’re a fashionable bunch of post-apocalyptic bikers, clad in mismatched bits of military uniforms, accessorized with bandoliers and weapons of various calibers. Despite the trappings, they don’t look all that tough. Dressing like an extra in The Magnificent Seven seems to be de rigueur in this bleak future. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Rats: Night of Terror”
What a putrid mess. Dead Trigger, from 2017 but resting on a shelf until this year, is an adaptation of a video game. It’s not the worst video game adaptation I’ve ever seen (that title belt is, and very well always could be, held by House of the Dead), but, it is a properly awful movie. It’s a good thing for the shitty movie fan that this film stars Dolph Lundgren, who has been gracing productions like this for over 30 years. The man is a shitty movie legend — the Tom Brady of bottom feeding dreck. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Dead Trigger”
Robot Monster, the gloriously stupid movie from screenwriter Wyott Ordung and director Phil Tucker, is legendary amongst shitty movie fans. And it’s for one single reason. This is the monster:
It’s a robot, but it doesn’t look like any robot that viewers know. Shot in a matter of days for somewhere around $16,000, there wasn’t enough time or money for the crew to come up with a decent robot costume. According to the internet, so it must be true, Tucker hired a friend of his, George Barrows, to play the robot, partly because he had a gorilla suit they could use. This has the smack of apocrypha, but it’s the type of guerilla filmmaking (heh-heh) I love. Whether this story be truth or fiction, what ended up on the screen cannot be denied. That is one of the most ridiculous movie monsters there has ever been. Continue reading “It Came from the ’50s: Robot Monster”
Jan-Michael Vincent is dead. He passed mostly unnoticed on February 10th, his death remaining unknown to the media for almost a month. He was, once upon a time, a middling star. His looks were better than his talent, but that’s just what Hollywood wants. His career was derailed by age and substance abuse, as happens to so many in the entertainment industry. He had many roles in mainstream films, but I will always remember him for his contributions to shitty cinema and television. In remembrance of Jan-Michael Vincent, here’s a review for a Vincent star vehicle, that also happened to be a pretty good shitty movie. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Damnation Alley, or, RVing the Apocalypse”
It’s the near future — just a couple of years past the present day. The human race has been devastated by an invasion of ferocious creatures. Where the creatures come from is never made clear, although space is as good a culprit as any. The creatures are sightless, but have extraordinary hearing. Among the cacophony of sounds that a planet and all its inhabitants make, the creatures are able to pick out even the slightest of sounds made by a human, and hunt them down quickly. All remaining people are forced to live a life of silence that would try even the most devoted of monks. Such is the setup to A Quiet Place, the film from director/star John Krasinski, and writers Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: A Quiet Place”
This film is excruciatingly inane, and at the same time an achievement. It is a story of stark moral black and whites, the contrast so palpable that it could blind were one to stare at it for too long. It is an epic that will take up 140 minutes of a viewer’s time, but it is also a flat desert plain stretching to the horizon, the only hint of depth merely a mirage. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: War for the Planet of the Apes”
Writer/director Trey Edward Shults’ psychological horror flick from this past year, It Comes at Night, is well-written, gorgeously shot, well-acted, and deeply disturbing, but it has a bad title. At first glance, It Comes at Night is a great title for a horror flick. It implies that there is an It that will be coming to terrorize cast members, most probably at night. If this were a monster or a slasher flick, or maybe even something more mysterious, this would be a great title for a film. But in a film that has no It, and which places little meaningful significance on the night, it’s a terrible title. Perhaps Shults had this great title and this great screenplay, and decided to put them together, with little regard to whether or not they were beneficial to each other. Either way, the result is the audience being sold a false bill of goods, which is a shitty thing to do to viewers even if the end result is a good film. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: It Comes at Night, or, Misleading Title: The Movie”
If a viewer happens to be in the mood for something post-apocalyptic from the horror genre, a good zombie flick can be a fine way to go. But there are so many zombie flicks now that it’s hard to pick out something with enough originality to make it worth one’s while. Even good zombie flicks sometimes only offer token revisions to the subgenre’s many, many tropes. That’s why I enjoy it all the more when I come across something like What We Become.Continue reading “October Horrorshow: What We Become”
Other than being a shitty movie, Steel Dawn, the 1987 film from director Lance Hool and screenwriter Doug Lefler, defies normal categorization. At first glance, it’s just another cheesy post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick. Sure, it is that. But it’s also a kung fu flick, a samurai flick, and a spaghetti western. The filmmakers even managed to include a car chase, which is impressive considering the film takes place in a land with no electrical power or internal combustion engines. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Steel Dawn”