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Saturday, June 26, 2004


Bunche here, with some suggestions for the next time you can't figure out what to rent at the video store. Don't rent the latest bloated Hollywood blockbuster, rent something totally stupid so you can tell your friends about it! And so, without further ado, here are some suggestions for stupid movies that will forever alter your moviegoing perceptions. Yes, it's..

In a fine example of just how stupid a film can be, Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson star as the title characters, a biker and a cowboy/biker respectively. Needlessly set in "the near future", which looks about as futuristic as next week, the title characters conspire to rip off some drug dealers. Things go awry and much pointless mayhem ensues. I know this sounds totally useless, but you've got to trust me on this one; it's one of those films that's perfect to watch with friends while you work on killing off a keg of brew.

Aggressively macho, ultra-violent and extra-stupid, this is one of the most unintentionally hysterical films ever made. Patrick Swayze stars as Dalton, a notorious Zen bouncer who is hired to clean up a roadside dive that is so extreme as to nearly be a level of Hell. Then Sam Elliot shows up as Wade Garrett, Dalton's mentor in the ways of ass-whuppin' and promptly steals the movie. Cussin', fightin', fussin' and fuckin', plus some of the looniest dialogue on record make this a perfect time waster. Fight choreography by the guy who trains Bruce Lee's daughter.

A zero-budget parody of action films in which a jet liner crashlands on an island used to train terrorists who intend to infiltrate US society. This film is so fucking cheap that the film opens after the crash and the only wreckage we see is a bit of styrofoam and random smouldering sheet metal. Among the survivors are a mother with a newborn, an amazingly stereotypical Latina, an obnoxious shirtless hunk, an overweight guy in a Hawaiian shirt who proves to be tougher than Rambo, and a white-suited James Bond stand-in who's very handy with a blowgun. The bad guys are apparently of Hispanic origin, as evidenced by their outrageous accents and bushy fake mustaches, and their leader is a beefy SOB with an unexplained pig snout (he even snorts when agitated). Once the crash-survivors get wind of the terrorist infiltration plot, they band together and kick ass in the riotous final half-hour. Folks, you just will not believe how dumb this one is, and as a result I highly recommend it.

I've said it for years and I'll say it again: Thelma and Louise was ripped off from this bargain basement 1987 comedy. Three women end up on the lam after killing a guy who called one of them a bimbo. Cheap and aggressively stupid, this is worth a look for its similarity to Ridley Scott's classic, and some of the worst acting of the 1980's.

It's just another typical day in the Big Apple when the ancient god Quetzalcoatl shows up from out of nowhere, decides to build a nest atop the Chrysler building and begins munching on Manhattan pedestrians like popcorn shrimp. Michael Moriarty and David Carradine headline here, but they take a backseat to the marvelous idea of a giant monster swooping out of the sky and eating people. I enjoyed this one so much that I actually saw it in the theater three nights in a row.

Director Peter Bogdanovich made quite a name for himself during the 1970's as the director of films that paid homage to old Hollywood genres (Paper Moon, What's Up Doc?), and with several box office successes under his belt, he was allowed to make his version of an old-fashioned musical. Starring Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepard, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn and Dulio Del Prete (who???), this film massacres around twenty Cole Porter classics by allowing the cast to perform them themselves — not the best of ideas since none of the cast can sing worth a shit — along with choreography that suggests dance night at the siezure ward. A huge fiasco that pretty much killed Bogdanovich's career, this is a veritable orgy for bad music fans that will leave even the most hardened observer slack-jawed (I almost wept with joy when I found the soundtrack album). Hard to find, but definitely worth seeking out.

Yet another of the seemingly thousands of Animal House ripoffs, this one stands alone as one of the most unrepentently lowbrow films ever made. The obligatory slob-frat heroes need money to save their frat house, so they enter a farting contest. That's pretty much it for plot, folks, and if you find gross-out humor to be up your alley, this is the film for you. Plus, this is the film that gave the world the phrase "drawing mud." You figure it out...

Slowly receiving it's due as the neglected classic that it is, Get Crazy is an unexpected work of freewheeling comedic genius. The Saturn theater is a rock'n'roll venue that is about to throw it's final concert on New Year's Eve 1982, and it's owner sends out a deathbed request to many of the rock stars who performed there over the years so that the final show will be unforgettable. However, the owner's weasel of a nephew is offered a hefty payday by unscrupulous developers if he blows up the Saturn (his uncle refused to sell out), and he wil stop at nothing to ensure the detonation, not even the presence of a full house of concert-goers and musicians. That's the main plot, but it soon takes a backseat to the backstage insanity: horny and drugged-out techies on the loose, a little sister's underage adventures, insane rock'n'roll assholes (lead by Malcom McDowell's vicious Mick Jaggger/David Bowie caricature Reggie Wanker), an overzealous fire marshall, a six-foot anthropomorphic joint, the Grateful Dead-like Captain Cloud and his gypsy followers, orthodox Jews who rock out hard, an extraterrestrial drug dealer named Electric Larry, and Lou Reed as the legendary poet/rocker Auden (whose extended rendition of "Deathbed Request" is downright hilarious). Wall-to-wall fun and packed with crazy musical sequences (including three different interpretations of "Hoochie Coochie Man"), seek this one out. Why this isn't out on DVD is beyond me.

This is one of the wave of ultra-low-budget horror pastiches that popped up occasionally during the early '80's, when audiences were still suffering from the plague of slasher movies. I saw this at Bridgeport, Connecticut's late, lamented County Cinema, a grindhouse that specialized in the kind of schlocky garbage that played for a week yet would always remain in the hearts of bad movie fanatics like me. The bottom half of a double-bill with FRIDAY THE 13TH:A NEW BEGINNING (which sucked most egregiously), NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR was greeted by the snoozing junkies, drunks and local prostitutes with much amusement. God and The Devil are on a train bound to nowhere and pass the time by reviewing case histories of people who will be sent either to Heaven or Hell. God looks a lot like Col. Sanders, and there's this super-cheesy FLASHDANCE-inspired band that sing the unintentionally (?) ironic song "Dance With Me" which features the mocking lyric "Everybody's got something to do/ Everybody but you!" The movie itself is segments from three other movies:a presumably-unreleased slasher flick with John Phillip Law, a truncated version of the indescribably weird DEATHWISH CLUB , and a shortened version of CATACLYSM, which is the only one of the three films that is actually any good. This is worth sitting through for the sheer balls that it took to release this obvious clip-job.

An oldie starring Johnny Weismuller, this installment of the long-running series features a bunch of evil hunters who make the mistake of capturing Tarzan with the intent of putting him on display. Do you think Tarzan's gonna put up with bullshit like that? Anyway, he gets loose and kicks much ass in Manhattan while wearing a three-piece suit. It's no Tarzan and His Mate, but it is good for Sunday afternoon time-wasting.

Formerly known as Welcome Back, Brother Charles, this low-budget blaxploitation oddity features a hero who seeks vengeance on those who had him unjustly sentenced to prison. While incarcerated, our hero learns how to cause his penis to grow to around twelve-feet long and strangle people. This film sucks, but where else will you see a guy's unit attack people like an octopus tentacle?

One of the stupidest films ever released by the legendary Hammer studios, The Lost Continent tells the story of a ship filled with questionable passengers and a cargo of explosives that detonate when in contact with water (so of course they transport the explosives on the ocean. Whaaaaaa???). The vessel gets lost in the Sargasso sea and ends up mired in seaweed that goes on for as far as the eye can see. Worse, the seaweed has tentacles and teeth and is not very choosy about what it eats. Weird crab mutants also run rampant, and soon the castaways find a Spanish galleon that has been stranded in the weeds since the days of the Inquisition, along with the society that has flourished there since then (complete with hooded Catholic fanatics and that most welcome staple of most Hammer films, girls in tight-fitting clothes with really, really big tits). And then it gets silly. A 4:30 Movie perrenial, this is a must-see for those who like it goofy.

Based on the prophecies of Nostradamus, this Japanese mind-blower from the 1970's features every possible end of the world scenario, and then some. Among many other crazy highlights we get giant leeches, kids suddenly developing superpowers, incendiary global warming, lethal pollution, endless traffic jams, mass suicide, nuclear war, and two surviving mutants fighting over a bone. Truly bad, this is worth it for the sheer volume of fucked-up shit happpening in one film.

An early Pam Grier vehicle, The Arena gives us Her Royal Badness as a kidnapped African princess who if forced into gladiatorial combat in the days of the Roman empire. Teamed against an abducted druidic priestess (the inevitably white Margaret Markov), much ass-whuppin' and full-frontal nudity ensues (with Pam's glory — and '70's bush — prominent throughout). Cheap, cheap, cheap and fun, fun, fun.

Hugely disappointing on many levels, this film is recommended for one reason only: Graham (Monty Python's Flying Circus) Chapman's over-the-top perfomance as the title character. Yellowbeard is the outrageous embodiment of every pirate cliche imaginable; a guy so full of violence that when called upon to come up with an alias for himself, he comes up with the unlikely sobriquet "Professor Rape." Madeline Kahn is pretty funny here as well, starring as Yellowbeard's wife. As I said, it's bad, but Chapman (RIP) is brilliant.

This admittedly idiotic parody of the thankfully forgotten kiddie film The Wilderness Family is so completely, bloody stupid that you have to love it. The fake trailers at the beginning mostly bite the big one, but "Gina's Story" is notable for a pre-Star Trek: The Next Generation Gates "Dr. Crusher" McFadden back when she was still known as Cheryl. Also, the trailer for a "Raging Bull" parody is hilarious in it's pointlessly-censored profanity. The "story" proper deals with a family of New Yorkers who pack up and move to the forest in an attempt to "get back to nature." Massive amounts of bad jokes, tastelessness and stupidity run rampant, but what a crazy ride! Top insanity points go to Weejun, a brave of the Kay-O-Pectate tribe, and the adolescent daughter's alarming first love. This film should not be attempted without the aid of lots of booze or other, er..."party favors" of choice. Enjoy!

Have you ever seen the Herschell Gordon Lewis classic Bloood Feast ? It was made around 1963 and is the first American film to depict stomach-churning gore. The story sucked and the acting is inexcusably bad, but it is nonetheless a slice of film history. Blood Diner is a parody made in the 1980's and much of the gag is lost unless the viewer is familiar with the source material, but it's still pretty damned funny. Two brothers carry on the work of their late uncle Anwar, a fanatical devotee of the ancient Babylonian goddess Sheetar, and collect the body parts of various women. The parts are needed for a drugged-up cannibalistic feast that will revive the evil goddess, and the various murders are rather creative (the oddest featuring a victim's head being turned into a giant deep-fried hush puppy). Loads of over-the-top humorous gore, the wrestling antics of Little Jimmy Hitler and the hysterical flashbacks to uncle Anwar's killing spree are among the highlights.

How to describe this one? Based on a comic strip by Japanese comics legend Go Nagai (Devilman, Shameless School, Violence Jack and many other transgressive classics),the live-action Kekko Mask blows the lid off of the sordid goings-on at a private girl's school. If the girls step out of line even the slightest bit, they are sent to the headmaster (a weirdo in an inexplicable harlequin/executioner outfit) for S/M-style discipline. Who will step in to defend the innocent schoolgirls? Who else but Kekko Mask? Clad in a distinctive costume of red boots and gloves, a red scarf, a mask with bunny ears that obscures all of her features save for her eyes, and armed with a pair of 'chucks, she gets the job done. But what's that I hear you asking: what about the rest of her costume? Well, her untranslated name is "Kekko Kamen," which means "nude mask." Yep, that's right, other than the previously mentioned costume items, the lady is buck-nekkid. It may be gratuitous as hell, but the image of a mostly stark-naked woman in a red bunny mask kicking ass is certainly original, and absurd as hell. She even has a signature move that you simply will not believe: Kekko Mask leaps vulva-first toward her opponents in a spectacular spread-eagle, mesmerizes them with her "incredibly beautiful vagina," latches on with a leg-scissors move and breaks their necks. She then turns to the newly deceased bad guy and exclaims "That's the Ninja Tight Pussy Trick!" At the time that this was made (the early 1990's), Japanese filmmakers weren't even allowed to show pubic hair, let alone any gynecological details, so her tasty bits are "fogged out" via special effects. Those fucking censors ruin everything... Anyway, check this out for a real head-scratcher of a ride. Available through Video Search of Miami.

As a rule, even though I am a dyed-in-the-wool hardcore fan of martial arts films, I have to go on record and state that I have a blazing hatred for ninja movies. Good movies about ninjas are few and far between, such as Super Ninjas, the Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf and Cub) series and the outstanding Challenge of the Ninja (aka Shaolin Challenges Ninja), so when you find a good one, cherish it. Most of the others are simply mediocre like the Sho Kosugi flicks of the 1980's (Revenge of the Ninja, Enter the Ninja and others), or else just awful like the Swedish-made Ninja Mission, one of the handfull of films that I have walked out on. Then there are films like Challenge of the Lady Ninja. This film is an unmitigated shitstorm, replete with horrid dubbing, a ridiculous plot, martial skills that veer toward the superhuman, and camerawork that makes one wonder if it was lensed by Stevie Wonder. That said, it stars Chia Ling as a Chinese woman who somehow joins a clan of Japanese ninja and masters their skills. Chia Ling can throw down with the best of them (as seen in the unjustly ignored classic 13 Evil Bandits, aka Against the Drunken Cat Paws), looks terrific in a red ninja outfit, and is lots of fun to watch here, but the real selling point is the fact that Challenge of the Lady Ninja is the martial arts film that Ed Wood might have made if he were still alive. This is in many ways the Plan Nine from Outer Space of kung fu films (and there are a lot of strong contenders for that dubious honor), what with a painful script, terrible acting and my favorite element: despite the fact that the story takes place in World War II, we see 1970's Cadillacs as period automobiles. The plot is utterly beside the point; just sit there in amazement as the film unfolds and realize that it is practically impossible to intentionally make a bad movie that is as entertaining as this one.

Sequels that are worse than the original film are nothing new, but this followup to the 1976 desecration of one of the undisputed landmarks of cinema plumbs new depths of bad movie Nirvana. Kong somehow survives multiple machine gun wounds and a head-first fall from the top of the World Trade Center, but now he needs a heart transplant. No easy task since our hero is a fucking 60-foot gorilla... An artificial heart the size of a Volkswagon Beetle is manufactured and dumped into the big guy's chest in an ER scene that will leave you aghast. That's all well and good, but he needs a blood transfusion to ensure his survival. Fortunately there's a newly-discovered blonde female giant ape, and her blood is a convenient match (yes, I know all of this makes no sense whatsoever), so it's up to Linda Hamilton and Bill Pullman to bring her in. We get treated to the spectacle of gargantuan apes mating (while the human heroes do the same in a nearby sleeping bag), the female being hunted by gun-toting assholes which leads Kong to seriously kick ass (including ripping a guy in half like he was snapping a piece off of a Kit Kat bar), and a baby giant ape which is disproportionately small and played by a guy in an ultra-shoddy ape suit. Bad, yes, but more entertaining than the 1976 disaster.


Kunoichi Terminator said...

Thanks for introducing the movie Challenge of Lady Ninja.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Challenge of Lady Ninja stars Elsa Yeung Wai San, not Chia Ling.

Johnny Drongo said...

My favorite line in "Tarzan's New York Adventure" occurs when he hears a female opera singer on the radio and the big galoot says "Woman sick! Call witch doctor!"
And, of course, his diving off the Brooklyn Bridge was pretty cool.