Tuesday, May 31, 2011
...And Other Roadside Stuff is the rather lengthy title. It's about oddly shaped buildings, like buildings in the shape of hot dogs or ducks, and it's not quite up to the usual standards of a PBS documentary. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming.
Sorry, no trailer, but you weren't all that interested in it anyway.
One of The Shadow movies, you know, the hero from the 1940's radio programs. OK, so maybe you're not all that familiar with who I'm talking about. Well, if you aren't, this is probably the last movie you should watch if you wanted to get up to speed. The Shadow had the ability to cloud men's minds and solve crime wearing a large hat with his face partially obscured by a red scarf, and he would say "Only the Shadow knows..." in this creepy voice. And this movie has none of those things. No big hat (only an ordinary fedora), no creepy voice, no cloudy minds, a terrible mask, and almost no Shadow. Just lots of yucks and half-hearted slapstick. Avoid. On Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's a trailer featuring nearly all of The Shadow you'll get with this movie:
I really miss the drive-in. You'd get in your superhero pajamas and climb in the back of the '72 Ford Maverick on a warm summer's night with all your pillows, blankets and toys. You'd pull into the drive-in, and you'd hear the sound of the tires on the gravel, and the sound of crickets and cicadas, and you'd find the perfect spot, and hang the gigantic metal speaker on the window of your car, and you'd get some popcorn and sodas and Milk Duds, and the movie would begin. Those were the days.
And the sound would be crappy, and the image would be crappy, and teenagers would be partying, and horns would honk, and people would leave on their headlights, and you'd be eaten alive by mosquitoes, and you'd have to watch dreck like this. It was still pretty awesome.
Anyway, a kung-fu lady and kid comic relief battle large groups of salt smugglers. That's pretty much it. It's awful, but highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming.
Sorry, no trailer. You know you'd rather watch this instead:
Not a beach movie, although it would be easy to confuse it with one due to the cast. Vincent Price plays Vincent Price playing a mad scientist who creates a machine that creates bikini-clad androids. Frankie Avalon tries to foil his nefarious plot. Pratfalls, double-takes, and madcap high jinks are all afoot, and occasionally men faint for some reason. Seems hours longer than an 89 minute runtime, and it's remarkably laugh-free. Here's the groovy opening title sequence with a song by the Supremes. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming.
Monday, May 30, 2011
A feature-length film of the Saturday morning favorite. The real star of the show isn't H.R. Pufnstuf, it's Witchiepoo. She takes center stage throughout, and most of the action takes place in her eerie black-light castle. Here's a song from the Witches Convention performed by Mama Cass. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming, and it's fantastic.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Forget about the movie. It's just awful, and that's not important right now. Near the end of the movie, a cop is reading a rolled up copy of what looks like an early issue of Detective Comics. It couldn't possibly be, considering the first issue didn't hit newsstands until 1937, and this piece of junk came out in 1935. But regardless, I panicked, seeing what could be a valuable key Golden Age comic book being manhandled like that. I mean, if by chance it actually was Detective Comics #1 even in that shape it could still be worth $10,000 today. It makes you want to climb in a time machine, snatch it right out of his hands, and yell, "Do you realize what you're doing?". But that's impossible, and honestly, it sounds a little bit crazy. There was a pulp magazine called Detective Story Magazine that was being printed at that time, so that was probably it. It was only on screen for a brief moment, and it was hard to tell. Anyway, I digress. Bela Lugosi plays a Chinese villain, and there are so many things wrong with that whole set-up, and the lead actor is irritating, and everything about this movie is terrible, so buy some comics and read those instead. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming, or you can watch it below, but don't.
Do I even need to review this, and are you really surprised I haven't seen it? Well, I haven't. I've been watching bad movies no one wants to see, so it slipped by me. Anyway, you know the drill. 4 douchebags go to Las Vegas, behave like douchebags, nearly get killed on numerous occasions, and suffer very few lasting consequences. No, that wasn't a spoiler because there's a frickin' sequel. Regardless, I laughed a couple of times. I watched it on pay-per-view for a buck 99.
A short avant-garde film where 18 seconds of mundane and plot-less found footage is extended to 16 minutes. A static image of a woman sitting in a chair starts to move, almost imperceptibly, as a strange sound drones. Slowly, a man opens a door and enters the room. Through the magic of editing, the figures on the screen begin hypnotically flipping, shimmying, and undulating like perverse robots as the image takes on a weird 3D effect, but in reality they've hardly moved at all. Has to be seen to be believed, and it's not for the impatient. Excellent and quite powerful. I watched it on Mubi.com as part of the Cannes thing they're doing.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Two short films (but isn't that what a music video is?) directed by Chris Cunningham featuring music by Aphex Twin. Graphic, disturbing and fantastic. In fact, better than some of the short films that played at Cannes that are being shown at Mubi.com. I watched them at Youtube, and you can hunt them down if you're so inclined. Watch the full length ten-minute Windowlicker film and not the shorter ones, but definitely not at work due to language and overall funkiness.
A lecherous and murderous impostor inherits an old dark house and scenery is chewed. Then Sophia steals Rose's car, and Blanche has man trouble and...what a minute, it looks as though my attention was somehow drawn away from this film to a repeat of the Golden Girls that was playing on TV Land. Sorry. Well, after three days I finished Crimes At The Dark House even though it was only a little over an hour long, but I did it. I wouldn't recommend you attempt it, though. The house in question doesn't get dark until the 38 minute mark, and even then it was for a moment and consisted of a walk down a corridor with a candelabra. Disappointing. There is a relatively high body count, but the film overall is quite a yawn inducer. I struggled to watch it on Hulu and you can watch it below, but maybe Golden Girls is on.
Apathetic high-schoolers stand around and complain in a surreal landscape like a pretentious cologne commercial. If you're interested in what Twilight might be like sans the vampires and written by Jean-Paul Sartre or what an Abercrombie and Fitch advertisement might be like if it was filmed by Man Ray, this film's for you, but heck, who the hell wants to see that? Yes, it was pretty to look at, and I got all the Surrealist homages, but it was still vapid and dreadful. A short film featured in Mubi.com's Cannes film fest thing they're doing.
My French is not the best, but from what I can tell someone's pooped on a golf course and a caretaker has to rectify the situation. Well shot and acted, although very little action occurs and sadly there are no subtitles. A well shot film that's featured in Mubi.com's Cannes film fest thing they're doing.
In 2030, a woman ventures into the brain of a man to delete the memory of his brother. Well shot and acted, reminiscent of the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. A short film featured as part of Mubi.com's Cannes film fest thing they're doing.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Oops, no picture. Sorry. You don't care all that much anyway. So, apparently "The Spinebreaker" is on the loose in London, breaking spines and whatnot. But first you have to suffer through some dude in a tux interviewing people on the radio about cats. Yeah, it's even more boring than it sounds. Then, a creeper in an enormous top hat kills a child in the woods, who then escapes from the scene of the crime in a horse-drawn carriage that undulates up and down in front of a rear projection. Suddenly, stuffy mutton-chopped overdressed Victorians talk and talk in a desperate attempt to forward the plot as other Victorians open doors and walk through rooms. Yep, it's just that thrilling. So, in summation, this film is stagey, overwrought, implausible, and creepy in the worst way; where precocious children are murdered, killers peer at houses from the bushes wearing impossibly large head adornments, rich old dudes hit on 18 year old girls, and moneylenders who look surprisingly like Ebeneezer Scrooge have improbably strong hands. Horrifying if you're scared by outrageous English accents, mutton-chops, the word 'ague', or stuff that sucks. You can watch it at Hulu, or you can watch it below, but aren't there some non-Victorian chores you could occupy yourself with instead?
A plane lands on a Caribbean island, then the camera spins around wildly for unknown reasons. Then a guy plays calypso on a guitar, then Lon Chaney Jr. needs money for a boat. Then there's another song, this time sung by a woman in a sarong. Then the camera spins around wildly again and some guys swim with a turtle. Then two guys double-cross one another in a search for buried treasure. So, there are obvious camera shadows, stock footage of a shark in a tank, a skeleton underwater holding a bottle, and Edgar Allen Poe should probably sue someone. It's unlikeable people doing uninteresting things aboard a boat, has a brief and completely unconvincing love triangle I guess, has remarkably few manfish for a movie called Manfish, and should be avoided.
Here's part one of six on Youtube, and it's in black and white. You can watch the whole thing in color on Netflix Instant Streaming, but why would you?
A very well done documentary about the tragic playwright Oakley Hall III, who produced the groundbreaking plays Frankenstein, Grinder's Stand and Ubu Roi before a terrible accident. On Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's a trailer:
An unfocused documentary about the author William Burroughs which could benefit from concentrating a bit more on his writing. Many interesting interviews with John Waters, Sonic Youth, Genesis P. Orridge, Laurie Anderson, Jello Biafra, and Patti Smith save this film, but just barely. On Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's a trailer, but it has a brief moment of spicy language; so if you work someplace where John Waters telling it like it is might get you fired, maybe you should watch something else:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Man, that is one dumb title. Wow. Just look at it. That's gonna put some butts in some seats. Did someone in Lichtenstein in 1970 actually think audiences were dying to watch something called "The Bloody Judge"? Yes, this movie is a Lichtenstein production, it's directed by Jess Franco, and it was filmed in 1970, so you know it couldn't possibly be good. Well, it isn't. First, there's a brief history lesson with narration that's remarkably similar to something you would see on the History Channel. Then, women play "Ring Around The Rosie" in the dark, and there's a cooking chicken with black pins stuck in it for some reason, then this guy sees a chick in a cornfield, and you realize that this scene is dusk and not totally dark like the last scene, and the chick and dude start to make out, then it's dark again, and then it's dusk. Is this something that commonly happens in cornfields? I honestly wouldn't know. Then guys on horseback attack everyone with swords because it's the 17th century, everyone's a witch, and they all had it coming. So, there's Christopher Lee glaring at everyone, and many huge powdered wigs, and a couple of brief and inexplicable "chicks in prison" moments, and a ridiculously large belt buckle. And there's warring and wenching, torture and lacy collars, static shots of steeples and forests, and when things get racy the movie gets dubbed, soft focused and subtitled because that often happens in real life. This film is 900 hours long, extremely misogynistic, kind of stupid, and very, very tedious, but if you think about it the 17th century was, too. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming, but there might be something educational and informative on the History Channel instead. Here's a trailer:
Wait, it was also called Night Of The Blood Monster?
Wow. That's even worse.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
An excessive and beautiful symphony of violence conducted by a master. Excellent. I watched it on pay-per-view. Here's a trailer, but don't watch it. Instead, go into this film with little preparation, let the tension build, and allow it to unfold.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
A guy escapes prison, catches a lift from a dame in a car as big as an aircraft carrier, dodges the fuzz, and travels to a farmhouse where other crooks talk and talk and talk about scientific experiments. With the help of dubious mechanical instruments that flash and blink, they turn a guinea pig invisible and back again. They then remark to each other about the machine's "infinite possibilities", but then I remark to myself that the machine appears to have only one, which is turning things invisible and back again. Maybe that's just my viewpoint, however. Anyway, everyone talks some more, double cross one another, and then the dame is suddenly wearing a huge diaphanous nightgown and carrying a pistol for some reason. Other than actors pretending there's an invisible man in the room and seeing the straps holding a bag full of money being "carried" by an invisible man that are attached to a table, not much else happens. Intensely boring and seems months longer than a 58 minute runtime. On Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's the trailer:
Friday, May 20, 2011
In a cyborg-filled future 1980's New York City, a villain who looks suspiciously like this...
So, there's orange lipstick, net shirts, torn leotards, acid-washed jeans, outlandish hairdos, gigantic perms, zippered jumpsuits, fingerless gloves, leather vests, and 100's of other '80's cliches. There's also wooden acting, an incomprehensible script, crappy editing, many continuity errors, and lighting that's reminiscent of a Pat Benatar music video. There's also unconvincing martial arts, an unconvincing hi-tech warehouse of imaginary future drugs, an unconvincing shower scene with a visible bathing suit that heard long before it's actually seen, several unconvincing explosions, a pair of gooey Nike high-tops, and what appears to be a man covered in aspic. Features lines of dialogue such as, "Tonight's the night Z is going to regret for the rest of his life...if he lives that long.", "Sounds like you have a bad pleasure jones.", "How do I get this bomb out of my head?", "I will be homicidally inactive until 6:17 a.m.", and "You're ugly". Highly recommended and completely amazing if you're amazed by stuff that sucks. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming in utter disbelief. Here's a trailer:
After about twenty minutes, a miniature plane suspended by strings carrying diamond thieves crash lands in a South American jungle where the thieves are threatened by headhunters, attacked by spiders and snakes, engage in clumsy fight scenes, sleep during jungle-based day for night scenes, and are bothered by sideways wipes. OK, that last one was me. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming and I have no idea why.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
There are no aliens, no flying saucers, no death rays, no tentacles, no million-eyed monsters, no space chicks. It's Jesus on Mars, and I want my money back.
What? I didn't pay because I streamed it from Netflix? Well, somebody owes me a dollar for watching this movie, so somebody had better pay up.
And I refuse to post a clip.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
A pilot flies his plane into space while futuristic space music plays, then returns 64 years later to find the Earth has been decimated into a matte painting of a decimated Earth. In this decimated matte painting future Earth, all the rooms are triangle shaped, there are boom shadows and stark key lighting, people have to walk vast distances to hit their marks, doorways are a couple of inches too short, and movies seem to be made of smaller chunks of other movies. Other than that, it's not all that bad. Features an engrossing mutant rampage. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's the mutant rampage-filled trailer:
So after some dodgy opening titles featuring a real ocean then a painted ocean and then back again to a real ocean, we take a brief and bumpy boat ride. Then we see an enchantress I guess talking to a guy dressed in an animal skin in a hole eating a chunk of meat but it's really hard to tell because the print has degraded to an almost unwatchable state. Then soldiers briefly attack a village with swords and spears, and a bunch of very uninteresting things happen for awhile involving royalty and an infant. It's not important. The music swells triumphantly, and you see some dude sunning himself on a rock with a neck that looks like a handful of bungee cords, and then he walks up a hill, then he fights a lion, and the infant is there again, but ultimately it doesn't matter because the colors are actually sliding off the print and the plot is unintelligible. Then about a month later the movie ends after you watch a guy almost continuously lift heavy items and put them back down again. Oh, I forgot. There's no one named Atlas in this movie, and it's 95% cyclops-free. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming, if watching it is what you want to call it.
Here's clip, and it has the color blue (!) which the print I watched didn't have.
It doesn't help.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
2 stooges "nyuk-nyuk-nyuk", "you dirty rat", and otherwise rip-off Martin and Lewis, The Bowery Boys, James Cagney, The Marx Brothers, and Abbott and Costello in this brutally laugh-free sci-fi comedy about walking carrots from outer space. As poorly lit, edited, written and acted as a junior high school play. Features mime. MIME! Misogynistic, racist, and 78 minutes of pure hell. Run from this film as if it were an ax-wielding murderer. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming and I might always regret it. Here's the trailer:
What starts out as a seemingly cookie-cutter romantic comedy where free-spirited Melanie Griffith encounters boring businessman Jeff Daniels turns into something else entirely. Features a fantastic soundtrack which includes David Byrne, Mahotella Queens, New Order, The Feelies, Oingo Boingo, X and many more. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming in an incorrect aspect ratio, and you should, too, but maybe on the Criterion DVD or Blu-Ray. Here's the trailer:
Monday, May 16, 2011
An excellent and frantic Charlie Chaplin silent film that is simultaneously of its era and timeless. There's still plenty to chuckle at in this nearly 100 year old film. Features a frenetic score by Alloy Orchestra and a great restored print as part of the Slapstick Masters series. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming, but you can watch lesser quality versions on Youtube as well.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The film opens with an intertitle thanking the crew for endangering their lives in Comic Sans font. At least I think it's Comic Sans. It could be I Dream of Jeannie font, if there is such a thing. Anyway, two grizzled men in sport-coats carry a suspicious crate that makes animal noises and you have the feeling everything's going to turn out fine. Then the credits roll, and you realize the movie is called Sssssss. I hope I put in the appropriate amount of S's because I would hate to misspell it. The S's are in a weird squiggly shape that's oddly reminiscent of something I can't quite recall.
Wait a minute. Is this film about snakes? I'm not sure. I hope I haven't given anything away because it's just so subtle you might not have noticed it and I would hate to ruin the movie for you.
Anyway, Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica is in this movie and everyone seems to pick on him. Then, for what seems like an eternity, everyone talks and talks and talks about snakes. Or maybe it's just a couple of people. Who knows? So, there's that.
This movie is not recommended for anyone who dislikes shag haircuts, bedazzled short shorts, being lectured to for hours about snakes, venom-based hallucinogenic montages with stock footage, skinny dipping to piano ballads in soft-focus with post-production foliage, or seeing animals or Starbucks mistreated. It's also quite ludicrous, herpetologically long-winded, slow-moving, and horrifically frightening if you're frightened by things that are boring. I watched it on DVD, and I shouldn't have. You can watch it on Netflix Instant Streaming, but there has to be something better you could be doing. Here's the trailer:
Wow, that almost makes this movie look exciting! It isn't.
A guy apparently travels to a map of Tibet where he rounds up some sherpas to help him climb the Himalayas when he isn't incessantly narrating this film. The climbers then set up camp in front of a matte painting of some mountains which seems like the perfect place to do it. Then sometime after dark, a Tibetan woman with a pile of sticks is suddenly carried off by something that looks like a lumbering Creature From The Black Lagoon crudely fashioned out of carpet remnants or a large and awkward Teddy Ruxpin with child-bearing hips. I'm assuming it's the Snow Creature, but since he often briefly looms towards the camera and then retreats into the darkness as if the film was rewound, it's hard to tell. After the American adventurers ridicule the Tibetans belief in the Yeti, which seems to greatly irritate them, the Tibetans steal the American guns and radio because that seems like the appropriate response and maybe something an American film writer in the fifties would think up. The next morning we see the sherpas setting up camp again in front of a matte painting because it's the exact same footage from earlier. You know, the one I was talking about earlier. I would go into further detail about how this film is awful, boring and slightly racist, but I've grown tired of the whole ordeal. Run, run, run from this film, unless you enjoy 70 minutes of footage of people walking up a hill carrying heavy items. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's an excitement-free clip featuring a confusing cave-in and people walking up a hill carrying heavy items with narration, but I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to watch it.
Aliens watch over Chicago in this laugh-free comedy which features the talents of Avery Schreiber. Only of interest to people who like unpleasant things, who aren't easily bored, and who can remember why Avery Schreiber is famous. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming. We have a clip! Thankfully, it's not one from this movie, but from the classic game show Match Game which is always a good thing except when Gary Burghoff thinks he's Gene Rayburn, so watch this instead.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A witch is burned at the stake, then Christopher Lee gets all bent out of shape because the kids at the school where he teaches are picking on him about his witchcraft, and he glares at them which seems like the right thing to do because young people often change their minds about stuff after they've received a good glaring, then a girl goes to a swingin' soda fountain, and then she decides to drive her enormous convertible to the darkest and foggiest town on Earth and stay the night in the hotel where, conveniently, the witch was burned at the stake. I'm sure everything will be just fine. What could possibly go wrong? I watched it on Hulu, and you can watch it below.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
John Huston (legendary director of The Maltese Falcon), Henry Fonda (legendary actor and Academy Award winner for On Golden Pond), and Shelley Winters (legendary actress and Academy Award winner for The Diary Of Anne Frank), all star in this slow moving and tedious Italian thriller about a gigantic homicidal calamari and for some reason the movie isn't very good. It could be the inexplicable sombrero, the harpsichord music, the plastic miniature boat, or the scene where everyone stands in front of the ocean at night and smokes. Who knows? It's on Netflix Instant Streaming, but you should avoid it. Here's the trailer:
Disclaimer: I have seen this movie once before. It hasn't aged well. And there will be spoilers (as if this film isn't already rancid), so get used to the idea.
When you've seen as many bad movies as I have, compiling a list of The Worst Stabford's Ever Seen can be tricky. As with any of the so-called terrible movies I've seen, inclusion on that list doesn't necessarily mean I didn't thoroughly enjoy it, even though I may have groaned in agony and watched with my hands over my face while peeking through my fingers. The list is quite fluid and incomplete. Today, the Top Five would be:
Manos, The Hands Of Fate
The Beast Of Yucca Flats
Double Agent 73
You've Got Mail
I really hated You've Got Mail.
Anyway, on to Troll 2. There's inappropriate mid-80's upbeat synthesizer music that doesn't seem to match up with the action onscreen, in this case, a Robin Hood-type being chased through a simultaneously foggy and sunny forest by a crowd (a mob? a gathering? a murder?) of goblins wearing ill-fitting Dollar Store Halloween masks (check out the eye-holes!) and carrying pointy sticks. Do we have a clip? We do? Awesome! We can't embed it? Boo. Here's a link. Check it out. I'll wait.
The narration is done by Grandpa Seth, probably the scariest and creepiest babysitter in film history. So the movie continues, and there are pajama top continuity errors, the worst teenage actors committed to celluloid, and a version of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in a mini-van that may cause insanity in more sensitive viewers. Then suddenly and without warning, the daughter does an awkward and abrupt dance in front of a mirror that has to be seen to be believed. And...we have a clip, but it can't be embedded either. Dang it! Go ahead, I'll wait.
What's up with the freakin' door-jamb in the shot? Who approved that? It's just so bad it's awesome!
So, some more movie happens and you wish it wouldn't, most of which revolves around the Amish trying to feed the family suspicious green foodstuffs with writing on them, a witch in need of Chapstick and an orthodontist whose house looks like the plastic plant department of a craft store, and a lot of green Jello-O. Then someone accidentally hitchhiking actually eats a green hamburger wrapped in cellophane a cop handed them because that seems like a sensible thing to do, and then they stagger around a forest with a half a gallon of milk while their forehead is covered in green gelatin because they're feverish and sweaty and it's in the script. Then later, the witch changes into a hot-to-trot Stevie Nicks-like temptress with a corn fetish who decides to make out with a teenager in a Winnebago while a litigiously similar sounding rip-off of Joe Cocker's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" plays, because everyone needs whole grains and Joe Cocker when they make out.
We have a clip! Hurray!
So yeah. That happens. Wow. Then sometime later the movie ends, I guess. So, The script is terrible, the editing is terrible, the cinematography is terrible, continuity is terrible, the townspeople's clapping is terrible, and the acting is terrible. Costumes consist of straw hats, gingham, shirts that don't stay buttoned, and burlap. Sets consist of some other town's church, a barn, a Winnebago, various fields and forests, and the most desolate Main Street in Utah. Art direction consists of plastic potted plants, dry ice, fog machines, gallons of Jell-O, red and green food color, cartoon lightning bolts, a couple of packages of phony cobwebs from the Halloween Store, and draperies. And the message of the film is that only the power of goodness, Stonehenge's magic stones, the omnipotent powers of Grandpa Seth, and a baloney sandwich can save the family, I guess. Who the hell knows? It's on Netflix Instant Streaming, and it's highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks. Here's the trailer:
Beautiful Norwegian landscapes can be seen in this foreign thriller about a group of students tracking down a bear poacher who stumble upon a government troll-based cover-up, however, you'll need to suffer through a lot of shaky-cam to see them. While it has a nice tension throughout, it can't help but have a "been there, seen that, took a Dramamine" sort of vibe thanks to The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. I watched it on I-Tunes Pay-Per-View through Apple-TV in their Watch It Before It Hits Theaters thing they do. Here's the trailer:
Monday, May 9, 2011
A very-low budget faux-documentary about the resurrection of a lost 50's sci-fi 'masterpiece' shot on DV to look like an old film that doesn't quite measure up because it's not always successful at looking not very good. It has amateurish interviews, several uses of stock footage, the appropriate talkiness found in films of the era, a one-take feel, use of rear-projection, purposeful boom and camera shadows, clunky robots, and lots of Brylcreem. In this instance, these are good things. But it's also poorly lit, the editing is too quick, the camera isn't quite static enough, CGI is substituted for matte paintings, Dutch angles are used a few times, and the attempt to look like restored black and white film just isn't convincing. However, there are several Plan 9 homages, and in the spirit of Ed Wood I'm giving it a barely passing grade. On Netflix Instant Streaming.
Plot: Knocked Up Chitty Chitty Batman. The first half has some substantial problems verging on the cringe-worthy, i.e., stilted dialogue when it doesn't have the ad-libbed Rogan modus operandi, a frat boy vibe, a vacuous villain, a moment of unnecessary bottle cap-related CGI, and music as an incomplete narrative. But the second half has a few thrills and laughs you don't feel bad about, lots and lots of things are blown up or punched in the nads, the great original Al Hirt theme song from the '60's TV show makes a brief cameo, and for crying out loud, don't forget the real star of the film...the car. The entire thing is about the car, and the film suffers when its gleaming black form isn't onscreen. Overall, a barely passing grade. I watched it on I-Tunes pay-per-view, and if you jump in around the half-way point you probably wouldn't regret it. Here's a brief high-flying nut-shot car-filled trailer:
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Alright, alright. I know this is a television soap opera, but it's a very cinematic television soap opera. And you don't have to remind me that it's technically not very good. The episodes I watched had boom and camera shadows, stagey acting, the camera doesn't always know where it's supposed to be, the end credits drift on the screen like a drunk at 3 a.m., and something gets in the shot on the right hand side that looked somewhat like a file folder or something, plus the plot moves forward at a glacier's pace. Literally, a conversation taking place could last three days. But it's fantastic. Netflix won't let you stream the first disc, but that's ok. We're right where it starts getting good with the appearance of Barnabas Collins, (now don't start crying spoiler, this is classic vampire stuff, and it's not like he wasn't going to show up sometime) when Willie accidentally finds Barnabas' hidden coffin secured with chains, and Willie breaks the chains and slowly lifts the coffin lid, and Barnabas' ringed hand reaches out and grabs Willie's neck as his face is contorted in horror. So great! Just imagine seeing that for the first time on television back in 1967. And there's that awesome theme music and all that creepy atmosphere. Like I said, it's on Netflix Instant Streaming, and you should watch it before Tim Burton gets his hands all over it.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Cyclops' Horror for calling me as 'angry as my name suggests'! That's so great! Take a moment to check out Dr. Cyclops' blog, as well as Hollys Horrorland and the 14 other great blogs he listed as being worthy of the Versatile Blogger Award. It really means a lot.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Plot: Mega shark vs. giant octopus. Really. That's pretty much it. Anyway, at the 3 minute mark, 80's teen pop star Debbie Gibson is wearing black fingernail polish, and then she isn't. Then, it happens again, only they zoom in. Then she says, 'There's poetry here." Plus, they use the exact same glacier footage in this film in Titanic 2. I know! It's just awful, but not as bad as Titanic 2. It's on Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's the mega-shark-jumping-impossibly-high-in-the-air-catching and-swallowing-a-jet-filled trailer:
Plot: Big boat sinks. Scenes seem like they're stretching for time; for instance, the shots where 12 people are waving and cheering as the ship disembarks and people keep waving, and waving, and waving. These same shots seem to be constructed in a way to keep you from seeing there are 30 extras. There's a terrible script, terrible acting, terrible editing, unconvincing CGI, and chintzy green-screen effects. Sets seem to consist of a shopping mall, a hotel atrium, a gymnasium, various boiler rooms, parking garage stairs, and a hospital hallway. Let me remind you this movie is supposed to take place on a luxury liner. All of the windows seem to be covered with slat window treatments so no one can see out of them. The ship appears to be mostly deserted, except when the few extras run in a confused manner, and often you can hear unseen people screaming as if they're facing some sort of ice water based death you rarely see. And to add insult to injury, the "douche with a heart of gold" who built the ship (Why did they build it? I don't think we know. I mean seriously, who would invest good money in a venture like that?) is the writer and director of the movie. Is this movie supposed to be funny? Well, it's freakin' hilarious. This may be the first time I've actually felt embarrassed for everyone involved in the making of a movie. Highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks. I watched it on Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's the trailer:
A slightly unusual film about a man who invites a group of former associates who sent him up the river to his island mansion "to see justice done". Features a dank atmosphere, a pipe organ, several skulls, a seance, a fog-shrouded mansion, and a mean streak. I watched it on Hulu, and you can watch it below, but the print could use an overhaul.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A guy who sometimes wears a cape suffers blackouts which then cause him to have flashbacks, jump out of trees, and kill people. Other than people standing around in tuxedos speaking with outrageous French accents and the occasional high-speed horse-drawn carriage chase, not much else happens. Formulaic and boring. On Netflix Instant Streaming.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
A guy who has difficulty finding shirts with buttons finds a laser-blaster in the desert after an epic battle I guess involving stop-motion animation alien life-forms, so he goes to a boring pool party where the kids play music that consists entirely of sucky guitar solos. Then suddenly and with almost no warning, Roddy McDowell appears, but it's very brief because his car explodes. Actually, there's a curiously high number of explosions for a movie where very little happens other than police officer shtick. It's just awful. On Netflix Instant Streaming.
In outer space in the future, a future when everyone will dress like Grace Jones after a night at a chilly S & M club when she needs to keep her ears warm, people in a spacecraft that looks like a PS3 controller stand around in front of computers and try to look science-fiction-y. Then everyone crawls around on the floor in an effort to look as though they're crashing on a foggy planet but sadly it just makes them look sweaty. Then everyone starts fighting for some reason, and it seems reminiscent of the X-Men if the X-Men didn't have any superpowers and if the X-Men sucked. So after that, everyone goes out to investigate the planet because that's just what they're supposed to do but you wish they wouldn't while someone says "I had to disconnect the Meteor Rejector" because something like that exists. Other than running back and forth between two spaceship sets and opening doors, not much else happens. Someone involved with making this film confuses vampires with possession and possession with something interesting rendering this film 100% vampire-free. There's a few scenes on the planet with the rocky landscape eerily lit in red and blue lights while swathed in fog, but they can't save this film. On Netflix Instant Streaming.
A nicely shot documentary about the life of a ballerina in the Swedish Royal Ballet School. So quiet you can hear the rustle of clothing and the shuffle of toe-shoes on the floor. A bead of sweat on the upper lip of the dancer shows her intense concentration as she gracefully practices while instructors eye her form for microscopic details in a quest for perfection that seems superhuman and almost unattainable. On Netflix Instant Streaming.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Considering all the thousands of terrible things in this movie...the script, the plot, the cast, the cinematography, the dialogue, the costumes, the effects, the hair, the music, the art direction, the duck puns, the zippy one-liners that fall flat, and the duck costume with its creepy bill; there's one thing in this film that very well may psychologically scar me for the rest of my life and it can be summed up in two words:
It's on Netflix Instant Streaming, but you may end up screaming. Here's the trailer: