Marlene Schmidt was on top of the world after winning the Miss Universe pageant in 1961. She later married TV cowboy Ty Hardin and moved to sunny California. The marriage did not last, but sometime thereafter she got the shitty movie bug, and teamed up with her new husband, Iraqi-born auteur Howard Avedis, to produce some hilarious sleaze. We here at Missile Test salute her and Howard, both. Immigrants living the American dream. Sure, they could never break into the big time, but everyone knows the fringes of the party are the best place to be.
From 1975 comes The Specialist, a neo-noir ersatz thriller adapted from a book by Ralph B. Potts. Potts also has a screenwriting credit alongside Avedis and Schmidt.
This is Potts’s only credit on IMDb. The book the film is adapted from is called Come Now the Lawyers, and, according to Potts’s obit in the Seattle Times, is a non-fiction history of the courts of the state of Washington. Only in the world of cinema could a work of history be twisted and turned into a shitty drive-in flick, with the participation of the author. It’s like Edward Gibbon working on the screenplay for Caligula.Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Specialist (1975)”
According to the internet (so it must be true), director Michael Keusch delivered a completed film called Harvester to his producers, only they weren’t happy with the final product. The screenplay was reworked, minor players were called back for reshoots, and other scenes had dialogue overdubbed. The result is Attack Force, a movie that is hopelessly discombobulated. Whatever Keusch’s competency as a storyteller, or lack thereof, it has been erased in this Frankenstein’s monster of a movie. I’m sure that Harvester was never going to be a good flick, but it couldn’t possibly have been worse than the shitfest that is Attack Force, could it? Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Attack Force”
So says Kitty (Marisi Courtwright) to Laura (Bianca Phillipi), as the two share a joint in the kitchen and discuss turning tricks for drugs. That level of dialogue is par for the course in The Executioner, Part II, from producer/writer/star Renee Harmon. This flick is a wonderful, incredible, amazing, and fascinating example of bottom feeding cinema of the 1980s. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Executioner, Part II”
Just about every A-list Hollywood star sees their career fade, and the quality if projects they are involved in decrease. Just ask Bruce Willis. But, there is slumming it, and then there is SLUMMING IT.
The Job, the 2003 direct-to-video magnum opus from writer/director Kenny Golde, is a very dark, character-driven crime story starring Daryl Hannah as freelance mob assassin CJ March.
CJ is a damaged character. Her mother was a prostitute who seemed unable to hire a babysitter when CJ was a child, and who was then killed in front of CJ. In her adult life, when she’s not whacking people for mobster Vernon Cray (Alex Rocco), she’s downing shots of warm well vodka and banging strangers. She’s a self-destructive alcoholic who is in a deep funk, and she looks it. Hannah is done up in a ragged, disheveled manner that fits the character well, and her hangdog face looks as if it’s never smiled once in her life. I was skeptical at the casting at first. There is no believability when it comes to CJ being a hired killer, but the even more fucked up side of CJ is near-perfect. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Job (2003)”
I’m thankful for William Shatner. Among the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of shitty movies ever made, he stands out. When a production hired William Shatner to play a role, they could be sure that no matter the budget, no matter the subject matter, they were going to get Shatner’s best effort. Not once did he ever take a scene off. And, much to the consternation of many involved, he did it his way every time. There is a lot less Shatner ahead of us in this world than there is behind us, and I’m telling you, we will miss him when he’s gone. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Kidnapping of the President”
We here at Missile Test love a big budget flop. We love it when A-list stars and up-and-comers bound for greatness show up in a film that has big ideas and tiny payoff. We love it when Hollywood pretensions and conceits come back to bite them in the ass. It’s even better when the whole package is absurd — when a film makes a viewer wonder, “what were they thinking?”
Virtuosity is one of Hollywood’s earlier attempts to parse the Information Age, and its effects on the wider world. Released in 1995, its assumptions about the future can be laughable at times. What doomed this movie in 1995 was that its vision was somewhat laughable back then, as well. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Virtuosity”
Burt Reynolds was paid three million bucks to star as the titular character in 1987’s Malone. He didn’t seem all that impressed with the project, however. Of it, he said, “Let’s be honest. The film is Shane. [Malone] attempts to battle a Lyndon LaRouche character.” He continues, “Just to show you how movies change, Gerard Depardieu and Christopher Lambert at one point were going to play Malone. I wonder how this guy got rewritten into me.” How, indeed? Reynolds may have thought of this film as little more than a Shane ripoff, but I prefer to think of it as Road House without the fun. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Malone”
Crown International Pictures is a repository of crap. For some, that’s a bad thing. For shitty movie fans, we misguided many, that makes Crown something heroic. It’s too bad they went belly up in 1992.
Many, many years before that happened, however, in 1975, they graced us with a cheap Ocean’s 11 ripoff, wherein a hooker, a waitress, and a trapeze artist plan and execute a casino heist. There are even shades of Charlie’s Angels, as the trio are given their marching orders by a mysterious man who lurks in the shadows. Although, this flick came out a year before Charlie’s Angels premiered. Does that make this film groundbreaking? Hell, no. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Las Vegas Lady”
The Wretched, the 2019 horror film from writing/directing team Brett and Drew T. Pierce (billed as The Pierce Brothers), is something of an aesthetic throwback to the horror films of the late 1990s and early 2000s, with a little Fright Night thrown into the mix. It relies heavily on the “you have to believe me!” trope, but that’s okay. It’s a great trick horror filmmakers use to make an audience root for the main characters. We see the same things the protagonists see, so it’s frustrating to us, as much as the characters, when authority figures in the movie fail to do anything about the scary stuff and save the town. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Wretched”
For a country that swings a heavy censorship stick, Australian filmmakers have produced some bloody horror flicks. The country that produced Wolf Creek, Wyrmwood, Boar, and others, also has a sanctimonious ‘classification’ board whose sole purpose is to make sure Aussies never read or see anything that might bother them too much. It’s okay to have rape and drugs and murder in media, but there’s a mysterious line that media must not cross, or it gets banned. That’s not to say that imaginary delineation doesn’t exist here in the US, what with the MPAA and other groups who have taken it upon themselves to censor on the behalf of everyone, but even by America’s puritan standards, Australia’s censorship is a little much. So, I think it’s refreshing when an Aussie horror flick comes along that features a face being peeled off by an axe, or arms yanked from their sockets. Give me liberty and give me death, the bloodier the better. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Furies (2019)”