Greetings, film-stock-emulsion-heads, I realised recently that I have a gigantic backlog of flicks I was supposed to review. I will be tackling ten today and there are yet others I still haven’t watched, so I might as well get this pile of shit out of the way.
How can I do this efficiently? I’ll write a very short review of each film and give it a rating out of five. Its value may not necessarily be numerical, though.
First off are the awful fucking pieces of garbage that James McGhie and Karina Parks got me for Christmas. They know I love bad movies and decided to specifically find the worst four they could find, plus Bug Alert, which I’m yet to watch. But that is just a cute little kids show which they got me because they know I have this huge puppet fetish.
NUMBER ONE, THE RIDGE
The first half of this movie (which, if you’re wondering, is approximately forty minutes) is basically like being stuck in a room with a lot of people you don’t know having an awkward conversation. I didn’t know that “mumblecore” was a thing until I found out that’s what this movie was supposed to be. Everyone just kind of ad libs bullcrap quietly for ages on end and if you actually can hear what they’re saying over all that damn RnB music, it’s pretty much what university course they’re doing and who is going out with who.
Then a killer comes along and fucking kills everyone. And that’s the movie.
It seems to have been some kind of spare-time project with a bunch of friends which would explain why it has managed to be bad at every single individual level of filmmaking, but it’s still being released on DVD and is therefore fair game.
RATING OUT OF FIVE: DEAD DUCKS
NUMBER TWO, SOL GOODE (PRONOUNCED “GOOD”)
Sol Goode (pronounced “good”, according to the back of the DVD case) is a comedy without a sense of humour. It has everything in common with a hollywood comedy movie except it doesn’t have any jokes. But it totally plays it cool and acts like it does.
Basically, the plot is about some douchebag called Sol Goode (pronounced “good”) trying to get a job for one and a half hours. But even though he manages to miraculously get about three in a row despite the hellish job situation in the western world right now, something approximating a comedic montage informs us each time that he just isn’t right for the job he landed! Like when he is in that little car that he drives around the golf course driving range; the balls keep pelting his armoured car! Oh no, poor Sol Goode (pronounced “good”)! It must really suck to be him!
The problem with Sol Goode (pronounced “good” (the character - not the movie, which is as riddled with problems as Africa is with AIDS)) is that he is completely and utterly unrelatable. He’s basically a lazy idiot with no charisma whatsoever.
The movie ends with him getting a job with his dickhead of a dad which he spent the whole movie saying he didn’t want to do because then he’d be settling for that shitty job. So I guess the moral is to do what your dad tells you to do??
RATING OUT OF FIVE: FUCK THIS STUPID MOVIE
NUMBER THREE, SPANISH JUDGES
Nice, evocative name. Makes me think of the Inquisition or conquistadors or something. Unfortunately, the movie is about a bunch of gun collectors who are in a room together for well over an hour, apparently based on a witless play.
There is something vaguely resembling a plot to guide us through the continuing torture of Matthew Lillard (whose film credits include Scooby-Doo and… and, well, the film I’m reviewing right now) telling us how he was doubled crossed by some crime boss. But in fact (tweest!) HE was the double crosser! Sorry, I had to bring that bit up because the funniest part of the movie has them balancing his character over the ledge of a building in a chair:
And he’s all screaming at the top of his lungs, crying, like, “S’MILLION DOLLARS IN CASH!? WHADDAYA THINK?!”
Then when he goes back into his flashbacks of the mob boss, his voice-over is completely calm and collected as though he’s conspiratorially letting them in on a secret across the poker table.
And then it cuts back to him on the rooftop in the chair and he’s ALL SCREAMING AGAIN AND OH GOD NO
RATING OUT OF FIVE:
NUMBER FOUR, VICE ACADEMY PART II
Don’t ask me to give any kind of recap for Part I because I know nothing about it. It seems this project was intended to be a standalone, apparently if you haven’t seen it, you haven’t missed much. How thoughtful of them.
This is a real, actual movie that stars these two women as undercover vice cops:
The bad guy is a woman called Spanish Fly who wants to put an aphrodisiac into the city’s drinking water. Does this sound like some kind of porno to you? It does to me, too, but you won’t be seeing any kind of action in this movie, sexual or otherwise. It drags on interminably through the broken glass of its own jokes until it slumps exhausted at the credits, as much a burden to itself as its unwilling audience.
Not even a muscle woman could save this disaster. They managed to pick a pretty ugly one.
RATING OUT OF FIVE: THREE AND A HALF COLD SORES
And those make the movies James and Karina bought me! Now onto the rest:
NUMBER FIVE, SCARECROW SLAYER
There aren’t many things worse than an Asylum movie, but you can now slot this one right in on that small list between “failed electric chair execution” and “getting testicles caught in slamming door”. For this is a movie made by a group of people somehow less talented than Asylum, and Asylum simply provided the special effects.
That’s like making a worse movie than Birdemic and asking James Nguyen if he can hook you up with some of those amazing bird .gifs. It actually boggles the mind that people that shamefully untalented don’t just give up, if not life then at least film-making.
One of the only things that can rival my puppet fetish is my scarecrow fetish, and if you manage to turn me off with a movie featuring two scarecrows fighting to the death then you’re doing it wrong.
RATING OUT OF FIVE: FAILED ELECTRIC CHAIR EXECUTION, MINUS ONE “SUFFERING” TOKEN
NUMBER SIX, GRUNT: THE WRESTLING MOVIE
Unlike my housemate Jim who is a legitimate fan of wrestling, I do actually find this movie kind of enjoyable. It’s a guilty pleasure, yes. I’m well aware of how fucking dumb it is. But hey, you know what? I laughed, and I was entertained.
Less can be said of the unfortunately frequent bouts of thrown-in wrestling scenes which are nigh interminable and always accompanied by the movie’s pretty awful theme song.
Frankly I think the most interesting thing I can talk about with this (admittedly incredibly strange) movie is that the synopsis of the plot on the back of the DVD cover is the most complicated and in-depth blurb I have ever seen. It’s actually kind of disturbing that whoever wrote it up was that into the movie. They basically summarise it scene-by-scene until the final confrontation.
In all, it’s better than a poke in the eye, which puts it above most of the movies in this bout of reviews.
RATING OUT OF FIVE: FOUR AND A HALF NELSONS
NUMBER SEVEN, ELECTRIC DREAMS
If you guys haven’t heard of this, heads are gonna roll. It’s Bobby Castello’s favourite movie of all time.
Jim hates it, but I rate this movie as a critical-mass guilty pleasure. It actually makes me feel a bit dirty knowing that I like it as much as I do. By all rights, I should loathe this movie with every ounce of my being but I fucking love it.
We’ll always be together, however haaard it seeems~
We’ll always be together, together in Electric Dreams~~~
I think what I really love about this movie is how incredibly misguided they were about what computers would eventually be capable of in the eighties. The main character, Miles, puts a bunch of special powerplug extensions into his outlets that let the controller turn appliances on and off remotely; and when the computer goes rogue, it starts making things like toasters jump around of its own volition. I’m not kidding, if you are into hilarious retro misconceptions about TECHNOLOGY, this movie is pretty much the final destination. I mean, for Christ’s sake, the computer becomes sentient because Miles accidentally spills wine on the keyboard. This shit can’t be faked.
RATING OUT OF FIVE: RAND * ((FUN)+1)
NUMBER EIGHT, THE COUNTRY BEARS
I don’t know what it is with Disney thinking they can make movies out of their stupid rides. The one exception would obviously be Pirates of the Caribbean, and that’s only because they’re fucking pirates.
And then you have this animatronic pity parade.
Don’t get me wrong, bears are cool. I love bears. And I would totally dig a world where humans and sentient, talking grizzly bears coexisted peacefully. But you know what I don’t think is cool? Even marginally?
Country And Western music. And there is a lot of it in this film. Musical numbers manage to find the slimmest excuse to banjo their way through your living room and sit in your lap with a jug of moonshine, smelling of livestock, hay and animatronic bears.
Not even Christopher Walken can make this trainwreck any more enjoyable. And that’s saying something because he’s in full Chris Walken mode, no-holds-barred. It just doesn’t work when he is the least cartoony-looking character in a scene.
RATING OUT OF FIVE:
NUMBER NINE, CLEOPATRA
Okay, if I’m to be honest here, I’d have to rate this film twice. Four stars for Part I, two stars for Part II. Maybe one and a half.
The first half is let down only slightly by a) the insane, showy bravado the film is well known for and (spoiler!) Julius Caesar’s ridiculously silly death scene, and is otherwise a smashing epic romp. Then Richard Burton’s Marc Antony character steps in, Part Two beings and it all just goes down the toilet.
Cleopatra is noted among film scholars as one of the greatest Hollywood disasters in history. Its over-running budget nearly bankrupted MGM, for which a few major players were ultimately responsible for, least of all the star of the film, Elizabeth Tailor. It’s actually mind boggling that the film ended up being completed, let alone was as good as it was. But it still crashes and burns the further into it you get.
Richard Burton is predictably drunk off his tits most of the time and Rex Harrison’s Caesar is hands down the best performance; the film suffers for only having him for half of it. If it had been a Caesar biopic they could have cut their losses and it probably would have been considered one of the classics, but instead it’s kind of a mess.
RATING OUT OF FIVE:
NUMBER TEN, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
Last up, Dolph Lundgren’s portrayal of He-Man in Masters Of The Universe.
This movie should have been one of the alltime cheesy camp favourites in the stylings of the impossible-to-unlike Flash Gordon (1980) or even Labyrinth. Instead, it’s kinda dumb.
One of the main reasons this film copped so much flak from fans was because instead of Oizo, they substituted this horrible fucking thing:
He sounds as annoying as he looks, but I can assure you, that is the least of this film’s worries.
Essentially, they wanted to set it all on He-Man’s planet, Eternia, but with the budget for the film looking the way it was, that just wasn’t on the cards. So they are instead teleported to Earth in short order so they can hang around in a boring neighbourhood while Skeletor sits around and sends his frustratingly inept minions to do his dirty work.
I love Skeletor in this movie, he looks great. He doesn’t look gay like he does in the cartoons, just completely retarded. It’s clearly just a guy wearing a latex mask which is hilarious.
Although he doesn’t look gay, however, the filmmakers decided to ramp up that whole bad-guy-likes-to-watch-the-goodie-suffering thing way beyond what is necessary for it to seem sexual. You have to actually see this movie to believe how massively Skeletor gets off to watching He-Man getting whipped in chains.
RATING OUT OF FIVE: THE NUMBER OF DOLLARS THEY SPENT MAKING SKELETOR’S MASK
This is Slunk over and out, I hope you enjoyed today’s installment of MovieMagicks!