Monday, October 26, 2009

Bad Movie! No!

How many movies have you seen that deserve to be smacked on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper (or at least the noses of everyone involved)? Plenty, I'll bet. Yet, there is something about a particularly bad movie... And without bad movies, we would never have had MST3K or Rifftrax. And please trust me when I tell you that you've seen way more bad movies than actually good ones, even if you don't realize it.

Of course, Bad Movies would probably never have gotten to be so pouplar if it weren't for the Medved brothers' 1980 satirical book 'The Golden Turkey Awards," in which they officially dubbed Edward D. Wood's Plan Nine from Outer Space as the Worst Movie Ever Made. Now, I have seen Plan Nine... several times, and while it is certainly a 'so-bad-it's-good' movie, it is hardly the Worst Movie Ever Made (even before Gigli, Georgia Rules and almost anything made by Uwe Boll).

But, since this 'Shocktober' at Cali's Rev and your Uncle Prospero is an admittedly 'weird guy," this post is, of course, about '10 Bad Horror Movies I Love and/or Hate.'

10. Director (and I use the word loosely) Hershel Gordon Lewis is responsible for some really terrible Horror movies including Blood Feast; The Wizard of Gore and The Gore-Gore Girls. But the H.G. Lewis movie that will always hold a special place in my heart has to be 2,000 Maniacs. Six unlucky Yankees en route to Florida are detoured into a small southern town celebrating their Centennial. Turns out, its the Centennial of their massacre during the Civil War and the Yankees are teh victims of the ton's ghostly revenge. Bad acting, bad special effects and deliciously ridiculoous dialog all add up to one of the unintentionally funniest Horror movies, ever:

9. I saw Deep Blue Sea at a matinee with a co-worker after she had consumed a plate of garlic crab claws at the restaurant next door, and I made her sit three seats away from me. She still didn't didn't stink as much as this ridiculous 'Smart Shark' movie, and no amount of Thomas Jane (The Mist) or L.L. Cool J could clear the stench - though a hilarious whiff of fresh air did arrive in the form of cinema's Least Expected Death Ever, St. Crispin Be Damned:

8. Say what you will about this next selection, but it got me interested in Meso-American cultures and mythology. 1946's The Flying Serpent, starring George Zucco was my introduction to Pre-Colombian history, long before the lies were fed in school. Just learning how to pronounce the name of the god 'Quetzalcoatl' was cool to me (What? I said I was a weird kid, more than once). But, more than just it's bastardized cultural irreverence, The Flying Serpent features all three requisites for a truly bad movie: bad acting, bad writing and ridiculous special effects. I couldn't find a clip online, but you can see the ridiculous trailer here. Of course, it was "re-booted" (before that term existed) by Schlockmeister Larry Cohen as Q: The Winged Serpent, an equally bad update starring Michael Moriarty; Candy Clark; David Carradine and Richard Roundtree:

7. Another Lewis 'masterpiece' is the nearly incomprehensible The Wizard of Gore. It concerns a mad magician named Montag the Magnificent, who performs gruesome and macabre illusions on stage, only to see his volunteers actually mutilated long after the performance. Thanks to the magic that was VHS, my sister and I watched this movie together in the mid-80's. If you know my sister, you know she wouldn't say "damn" if a gun was held to her head. About halfway through WOG, she turned to me and said "What the hell??!!!???" I whole-heartedly concur:

6. In 1980, Italian director Ruggero Deodato made a "mockumentary" that inspired today's slate of First Person Perspective movies like Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust caused such an uproar in Italy, that the director was charged with murdering his cast and had to remove them from hiding (as part of a publicity stunt) in order to prove his innocence. The movie itself is pretty terrible, and only gets its reputation from the infamous trial:

How anyone could believe such bad acting is beyond me...

5. More of a Fantasy movie than Horror movie, the Russian-made The Day the Earth Froze features a witch, so I suppose it qualifies under 'Shocktober' standards. The movie is based on Norwegian folklore and remains one of the funniest MST3K episodes, ever:

4. Ed Wood made several bad movies, but none quite so ridiculous as Bride of the Monster, the movie so infamously quoted in Tim Burton's Ed Wood. A morphine-addicted Bela Lugosi stars as a mad scientist intent on making "a race of Atomic Supermen:"

"Don't be afraid of Lobo. He's as harmless as a kitchen."

3. In 1991, director Stephen Sommers revitalized an old Universal Monsters franchise with his re-imagining of The Mummy. Clever, fresh and featuring the eye candy that is Brendan Fraser, The Mummy was a fun ride with an old friend. Not so much his over-saturated with CGI mess, Van Helsing. Loud, stupid and obnoxious, Van Helsing is no one's idea of a good time:

2. Canadian movies don't tend to really well here in the U.S., David Cronenberg movies, aside. Nut in 1987, Hungarian born Canadian filmmaker Tibor Takacs introduced a young Hottie-To-Be Stephen Dorff in a little film called The Gate. Dorff and his misfit buddy who is obsessed with Heavy Metal music, accidentally open a door to hell, releasing a hoard of demons and almost causing the End of Days. Of course, love the saves the day:

1. A hard choice to make, but my Number One Love/Hate Bad Horror Movie of all time has to be Zombie Nightmare starring mullet-headed Canadian body builder/model/actor/rocker Jon Mikl Thor; Tia Carrere and Adam West. JMT, as I affectionately refer to him, has appeared in some true pieces of crap, but none so hilarious as this:

Homoerotic much?

So, what are you favorite/most hated Bad Horror Movies?

More terrors, anon.

1 comment:

Matty said...

But you have to admit, Deep Blue Sea, while not a classic movie by any means, is still a lot of popcorn chowing fun. Whenever Samuel L. Jackson is about to bite it (the best part!), I always find myself scremaing, "Wait for it... Wait for it... Wait for it... BAM! Hahaha. He sooo deserved that!"

And you really don't like Cannibal Holocaust? Certainly the acting is nothing very special. But in a time where political messages are being bashed over our heads in horror movies (*cough* Saw *cough*), Cannibal's layered message about the brutality of humanity and the purpose of film making is something worthy of study.