What a gloriously stupid movie. If one is going to make a shitty action movie, and one knows they are going to make a shitty action movie, rather than suffering from delusions of grandeur, why not be outrageous? That must have been the conclusion that producer Ashok Amritraj and writer/director Emmett Alston came to when they decided to make Nine Deaths of the Ninja, one of the silliest action flicks Missile Test has seen in at least…a month and a half, if not longer.
Viewers learn what they’re in for during the opening scene, when we see counterterrorist operatives Spike Shinobi (Sho Kosugi), Steve Gordon (Brent Huff), and Jennifer Barnes (Emilia Crow) ply their trade in a training exercise. Spike’s tactical outfit is a true marvel — a camo jumpsuit festooned with explosive crossbow bolts and all sorts of mall ninja blades, and a utility belt ringed with shuriken and lollipops. That’s right, lollipops. At first, I thought they were some kind of small, feathered throwing darts, but nope. Lollipops. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Nine Deaths of the Ninja”
Forget for a moment that Death Wish II is one of the defining films for The Cannon Group and its producing pair of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Forget that it was this film, along with Enter the Ninja, that would come to define a style of shamelessness that has brought endless amounts of joy to both the shitty movie fan and the wider action flick audience. Forget that a film like this scratches a primal itch that high culture would like to pretend doesn’t exist. Instead, revel in the fact that Jimmy Page did the music for this flick. That’s right. Jimmy Page. From Led Zeppelin.Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish II”
What a gloriously stupid movie. It came close — oh, so close — to unseating Road House at the top of the Shitty Movie Sundays Watchability Index. I had to think hard about it. In the end, Patrick Swayze and company held station, but if I was pressed to give one concrete reason why Road House is a better watch than Revenge of the Ninja, I doubt I could do so. For arguments’ sake, Road House is a better watch than Revenge of the Ninja because the film stock is better. How’s that? Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll come to my senses and send this down the list. For now, however, it’s on the podium. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Revenge of the Ninja”
What’s more frightening than a serial killer who stalks and preys on young women? A naked serial killer who stalks and preys on young women, that’s what!
Such is the premise behind 10 to Midnight. From 1983, 10 to Midnight was directed by J. Lee Thompson from a screenplay by William Roberts. Frequent Thompson collaborator Charles Bronson stars as LAPD Detective Leo Kessler. When a filmmaker needed an aging tough guy to star in his thriller in the 1970s or ’80s, they couldn’t go wrong with Bronson. To give an idea of the type of actor he was, Liam Neeson currently fills the niche once occupied by Bronson. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: 10 to Midnight”
Enter the Ninja, the 1981 karate flick from legendary producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, is just about the quintessential movie from The Cannon Group, Golan-Globus’s company. Cannon is synonymous with shitty cinema, alongside other giants as Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, American International Pictures, and Dino De Laurentiis. Like these examples, not everything Cannon made was shit, but enough was for the reputation to be deserved. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Enter the Ninja, or, The Colonials are Having a Tiff”
If one happens to be into sentimental crap wrapped in a soundtrack of awful pop ballads, then 1987’s Over the Top might be worth checking out. For the rest of us, should we wish to waste an hour and a half with nothing to show for it but a headache, there’s always a nice game of stud roulette. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Over the Top”
Oh, lord. Is this flick produced by the Cannon Group, the most lovable pair of shameless profiteers that Hollywood has ever seen? Yes, it is. Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus did as much for my love of shitty movies as any other filmmaker not named Carpenter. But, this month isn’t about Cannon. It’s about Sly Stallone. And Cobra, the 1986 film written by Sly and directed by George P. Cosmatos (who went on to direct films about a killer rat and a fish monster), might just be peak Stallone. Coming the year after Rocky IV, Sly wasn’t going to get any bigger. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Cobra”
When Attorney General Jeff Sessions pictures what life is like in American cities, I think he might be picturing the world of Death Wish 4: The Crackdown. From 1987, this movie plays as both nightmare and caricature of urban America in the 1980s. It’s a place where anyone, at any time, can be the victim of a brutal crime. It’s a good thing that Charles Bronson was still alive and kicking at the time, otherwise none of us would have made it out of that decade alive. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown”
Sometimes a movie tries to be an epic, but has a hard time shaking off its b-movie stink. Such is the case with Lifeforce, the 1985 sci-fi/horror film from director Tobe Hooper and writers Dan O’Bannon and Don Jakoby. The film opens with a bombastic score composed by Henry Mancini, in quite a departure from the type of music cinema buffs would associate with him. The camera flies over an endless asteroid that looks plucked from the long, dichromatic shots that Stanley Kubrick filmed for 2001. What follows is a quick introductory voiceover that takes care of all the backstory and character development. Viewers are told of the mission of the HMS Churchill, a joint American/British space shuttle mission tasked with exploring Halley’s Comet upon its dodranscentennial approach to the earth. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Lifeforce”