October Horrorshow: Boa, aka New Alcatraz

Behold! Another early 21st century bag of shit from producer T.J. Sakasegawa and actor Dean Cain. This isn’t to say they were a team, working together to conceive, execute, and then release these dogs on the public. There were many more people involved, but in the early 2000s, if one of these men was on a project, then, more than likely, so was the other.

Boa, a direct-to-video sci-fi/horror flick also released as New Alcatraz, comes to us via director Phillip J. Roth and screenwriter Terri Neish, with Roth also getting a story credit. It tells the tale of a gigantic snake terrorizing guards and prisoners at a secret prison in the Antarctic. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Boa, aka New Alcatraz”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Wraith

The Wraith, the 1986 flick from writer/director Mike Marvin, is in stiff competition with Road House for the most relentlessly ’80s movie in the Watchability Index. The music, the fashion, the bright colors, the bitchin’ cars, the way the film is shot, and the raspy-voiced presence of Charlie Sheen will all transport the viewer back to the heady days of mid-1980s Tucson, Arizona.

This film is also a throwback to the teen dramas of the 1950s. The local youths are consumed by their dramas, and, like all good teen flicks, the only adult with significant presence in the film is the local sheriff. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Wraith”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Flying Saucer

To spoil, or not? That is the question facing all critical reviewers of film, even those poor, unpaid wretches who operate on the fringes. Is the big twist in a film something sacred, to be preserved without forewarning potential viewers, or something so linked to even the lightest analysis of a film that it must be revealed? I imagine some people lose sleep over this. I, for one, like being surprised by a story. On the other hand, I do not like being disappointed by a poor reveal. In the end, it’s up to the discretion of the reviewer. If you, dear soul, have ended up in this corner of the internet reading about this film, then I doubt it is your first stop, so I feel I am risking little by writing that there is neither hide nor hair of an alien in The Flying Saucer, the UFO flick from 1950. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Flying Saucer”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Cosmic Sin

Bruce Willis is having an interesting stretch in this, the latter part of his career. It’s also a familiar one. Like many stars of the past, he is either unwilling, or unable, to take on parts in big budget Hollywood flicks or prestige films. Rather, he has spent the last half-decade or so in b-movie schlock. Sure, he turned up in Glass, and Eli Roth’s underrated remake of Death Wish, but this is overshadowed by his roles in films like Hard Kill, Breach, and today’s subject, Cosmic Sin.

The thing I find most amusing about this turn is that Willis always seems to play the same character in every film — a roguish antihero who joins the cause reluctantly. Watching the first act of these films, one can imagine that it mirrors the process that filmmakers had to go through to convince Willis to be in their movies. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Cosmic Sin”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Assignment: Outer Space, aka Space Men

Assignment: Outer Space, the 1960 sci-fi flick from director Antonio Margheriti, is a textbook example of why cheap practical effects are better than bad CGI. I’m no Luddite. CGI will continue to improve and become more affordable right up to the point AI takes over film production and just thinks shit up on the spot. I’m thinking more of the bargain basement CGI of this still-young century versus what Margheriti’s crew was able to accomplish sixty years ago. Both are unconvincing, but cheap model work has a charm that bad CGI does not — almost an innocence. That’s illusory, of course. Cheap effects are all about saving cash, no matter which method is used. Yet, there’s something slimy about bad CGI, as if it’s more an enabler of poor filmmaking rather than a result of tight budgets. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Assignment: Outer Space, aka Space Men”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Ice Twisters

SyFy has been performing a valuable service for the shitty movie fan for decades, now. They have been willing to purchase and show the absolute worst dogs that the 21st century has to offer, making them the inheritors of the legacy of drive-in movie theaters. Since SyFy is commercial television, these flicks are light on gore and devoid of gratuitous nudity — staples of the drive-in — but they make up for that by featuring movies with outrageous premises, and the type of shoddy production values that are near and dear to we many denizens of the darker realms of cinema. There are true believers at work at that network. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Ice Twisters”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Demolitionist

When I set out on this crusade to raise awareness of the merits of shitty movies, I never expected to write about two films in a row featuring Richard Grieco, but here we are. He’s not the star of today’s film. Rather, he is the most electric member of the cast. So sorry, Nicole Eggert.

From 1995 comes The Demolitionist, the directorial debut from longtime special effects makeup artist Robert Kurtzman. It’s a Robocop ripoff. There’s not much more to it than that. It is also an ambitious flick, with a decent title, some outrageous performances, and a hot lead who tries her best. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Demolitionist”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Attack of the Unknown

At first glance, a viewer might be hard-pressed to find anything worthwhile about Attack of the Unknown, the 2020 alien invasion flick from writer/director Brandon Slagle. It really is bottom of the barrel filmmaking. Everything about this film screams cheapness, while Slagle’s direction showed a somnambulistic lack of urgency in every scene. It’s like the entire film was on valium. But, one must consider the star, Richard Grieco, as SWAT team member Vernon. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Attack of the Unknown”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Day the World Ended & In the Year 2889

What a pair of movies this turned out to be. Day the World Ended is an early Roger Corman flick from 1955, while In the Year 2889 is a made-for-TV remake from 1969 that used an almost identical script. Only the names were changed to protect the innocent.

Written by Lou Rusoff, that script tells the story of a small group that survives a nuclear apocalypse. World War Three has ravaged the world, silencing the cities of Earth and bathing the planet in radioactive fallout. But not in an isolated patch of rugged Southwestern landscape. Former Navy officer Jim Maddison (Paul Birch) has spent the last decade preparing for nuclear war. He has built his house nestled in between hills containing lead ore, which helps block radiation. Winds sweep through nearby canyons, creating a cushion of air that fallout can’t penetrate. I don’t know if any of this holds up to scientific scrutiny, but considering this is a 1950s sci-fi b-movie, I doubt it. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Day the World Ended & In the Year 2889″

Shitty Movie Sundays: Post Impact

According to the internet, so it must be true, Post Impact, the 2004 joint US/German production, had a budget of around 3.2 million bucks, and it’s fair to wonder where it all went. It wasn’t in casting. Dean Cain doesn’t cost that much. And it certainly didn’t all go into digital effects, which are among the worst a shitty movie fan is likely to see.

The poor, awful, dreadful quality of this film is nothing new for producers Alan Latham and T.J. Sakasegawa, who have produced dozens of bad films between them. It was nothing new for star Dean Cain, either, who was in a career wasteland for a while after Lois & Clark wrapped in 1997, appearing in many films so poor they would make the folks over at The Asylum blush. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Post Impact”