Bad movie marathon

June 6, 2005

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but at some point earlier in the day I went to the dvdempire.com website and was swept into looking through hundreds of movies priced below six bucks. At first I was on a bargain hunt for stuff like Beverly Hills Cop Special Edition and Trading Places, that is, until I saw that there was an entire section of sub $4 movies. The four dollar section is like stumbling into the back room of a smokey old rental store, where all of the hideous shit they had to keep out of public view is stored. Hundreds of bad, bad movies collected and left to rot with old Claymation Christmas cartoons.

The sad part is that I really like a lot of these movies, which is partly because of some great memories from my youth. For instance, watching a badly dubbed Howard the Duck while sitting in a small hotel room in Korea, or staying up for a pre-teen sleepover on a boring Friday night to watch cheesy stuff like Silver Bullet, where a paralytic child tracks down a werewolf and shoots it with rockets attached to his wheelchair. The latter obviously resulted in uncontrollable laughter from my friend and I and solidified my belief that horrible movies could indeed be “good.” Then there was The Car, which I stayed up to watch on a school night with my mother and sister, because we couldn’t wait to see what was actually controlling the vehicle (surely, there must be a point to all of this madness, we told ourselves). The abomination I speak of stars a black car with tinted windows, which terrorizes a high school marching band, kidnaps a girl, and then flies off of a huge cliff, reappearing at the top of the cliff only to fall off again, then explode. We never found out who controlled the car, obviously. That would be asking too much from something which is so very simple. You could say that The Car probably pushed me even further on down the road to loving garbage movies with its demon-engine and devil-gas.

ticks.jpg

Ticks (aka Infected), another movie of my youth, I watched with the same childhood friend from earlier. This movie featured Seth Green and Carlton from Fresh Prince, camping in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Nearby marijuana farmers were spraying their crops with a chemical which would double production but that also affected the local tick population. The ticks turned into mutant-ticks and everything else stayed the same. This is another case of B movie science, as I like to call it, because there’s no other way to explain why ticks would turn into giant mutants and nothing else would. Anyway, these giant ticks grew inside of people and then exploded out of them. Poor Carlton found his end in a cabin and he was torn to pieces. We laughed and laughed, but were also a little wary of heading into the woods in my back yard after watching it.

Finally, at some point in my teen years I purchased a beat up VHS copy of Warriors of the Apocalypse at Blockbuster for $1, which was a gift in disguise. I was naively looking for a good deal on a good movie, something cheap but worth watching, and happened across one of the worst post-apocalyptic movies of all time. Let’s just say it featured incredibly bad Filipino dubbing and men in leather pants, battling pygmies in the jungle with rocket guns.

I suppose the other reason I enjoy these grainy travesties is because I find it amazing that somewhere out there, someone thought movies like Future War, Santa With Muscles, or Bronx Executioner were worth making and then releasing to the masses. I end up watching them just to see how horrible they are and for the shock value – just how could anyone take this shit seriously enough to make a complete movie out of it? Did they know it was trash when they were filming? Have they no self-respect? Wasn’t there someone around to tell them that what they were filming was absolutely horrible? The short answer: no. I recently watched American Movie, which documented the making of an indie horror movie. This proved to me that it is all in the eye of the beholder. They don’t know it’s horrible, or don’t believe it to be, and that’s how these people end up creating such effective shitfests of movies. It takes determination to make a movie, and when the determination is misguided, something horrible can be spawned.

Then, something harder to comprehend: somebody found these movies and decided they would be good to shift from VHS to DVD. Why is it I can’t find a DVD copy of The Hill starring Sean Connery, but They Saved Hitler’s Brain and Classic Ghetto Action Movies are in print? Yes, those are the actual titles of the DVDs, the second being a collection of movies all dealing with ghetto action. I wasn’t aware it was even a genre, but you can now, for $4.78, eat your heart out – along with Classic Hitchhiker Movies, Classic Disaster Movies (they’re so classic that 3 of them are on one disc), and The Best of Charles Bronson. The usual with these types of movies is that they’re so horrible and bizarre that they end up being humorous, or, which is much more common – they are simply painful to watch.

ghettoaction.jpg

Happily, there are quite a few funny/bad movies out there, so I’ve been scouring IMDB for about two hours, wasting time and reading reviews on these trashy flicks. I ended up with 10 horrible movies added to my cart, weighing in at around 60 bucks. I was forced to trim it down to a couple, because I’m a jobless miscreant. It wounds my soul, deeply. However, I’m going to purchase these and then report back with my findings. Certainly, a movie with a name like “They Saved Hitler’s Brain” has to be good. The title seems to speak to you personally. It has an urgent and depressing message: “They saved Hitler’s brain!” it shrieks – “They really did! It’s crazy! You’d better go and check it out right now.” I just can’t say no to that. I ended up purchasing They Saved Hitler’s Brain, Hercules in New York (Arnold’s first movie and disaster), the Black Gestapo, and Swordsman with an Umbrella. The Black Gestapo & Swordsman were about 3 bucks, so it was a good deal over all.

I’ve really only come to one conclusion after all of my searching and purchasing today: I wish I had more money for this crap. My list just seems to keep growing. For instance, I uncovered stuff like Troll 2 and Feeders, which I’m now practically forced to view. The first Troll movie was a legitimate horror film, but Troll 2 is supposedly like drowning yourself in diarrhea, a soul-shattering disaster which is not even allowed to be sold individually. It is apparently so bad that the producers figured the only way they could get people to buy it was to package it along with another less horrible movie. The kicker is that Troll 2 doesn’t even feature trolls in it, which makes the whole thing seem even stranger.

Checking out the feedback bad movies are given is also incredibly entertaining. The dismay and anger that the average person expresses over these seemingly benign movies is always fun to watch. IMDB and Rottentomatoes are full of reviews by these “victims” – some people note that the movies are actually painful to endure and that they could not be forced to watch them again at gun point. One man wrote “My wife may well divorce me if I ever make her watch it again.” So, just like good movies can be life changing, or can alter your views, make you happy, cheer you up, sober you – bad movies can lead you to divorce, drive you insane, or could possibly kill you if you were ever in a situation where you were forced to watch said movie or die. If I were ever to be a serial killer, I think that is what I would do: force people to watch movies like Troll 2 for days on end or offer them death. Do I smell a script in the works?

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4 Responses to “Bad movie marathon”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Damn you to Hell for making me do this! Damn you I say!

    Ok, heres a short list of my favorite(?) bad, bad movies.

    1)Batman And Robin – I was ashamed to be a Batfan.
    2)The Curse of Count Chocula – Never seen it but it sounds spiffy.
    3)Death Race 2000 – Dumb, dumb concept.
    4)Gymkata – Fight ninjas… using gymnastics.
    5)Halloween 3 – Why make a sequel that has nothing to do with the first two?
    6)Hell Comes To Frogtown – Roddy Piper, lots of sperm, and frogs… gotta love it.
    7)Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter – Another movie I havent seen, but I want to.
    8)Plan 9 From Outer Space – A classic.
    9)Santa Claus Conquers the Martians – It was a Christmas tradition at my house for a couple years.

    I do indeed believe that is it. For now…

    — DBW —

  2. Ted Says:

    Oh, you left out Cannibal Women In The Avocado Jungle of Death.

  3. Drew Says:

    Jesus, Ted. I thought you were just making a joke. I can’t believe that’s an actual movie. I have a hard time believing they didn’t know they were giving it a horrible name though. Sounds intentional

    I need to check that out and… Gymkata, which sounds too good to pass up

  4. Anonymous Says:

    In the spirit of the new superhero movies coming out, heres a couple more bad movies for you:

    1)The first Punisher. There are reasons you go back and redo movies, this is one.

    2)Catwoman. Even though it has a major Batman character in the title role, it was so bad that DC publicly said that it had nothing to do with the Batman franchise. Wish they would have said that about Batman And Robin.

    3)The first Fantastic Four. Produced by Roger Corman and features an animated Human Torch… in a live action movie. BTW – Ol’ Roger is currently making Death Race 3000. Just go ahead and add that to the list too.

    4)Captain America. He has rubber ears glued to the outside of his helmet. Do I need to say any more?

    5)Not a superhero movie, but I have to give special mention to Backyard Dogs. Its about backyard wrestlers trying to go pro and features Oscar winning lines such as: “Ill make you famous using hyper-links.” Oooookay.

    Perhaps Ill make a list with movies that stared, or were about, wrestling.

    — DBW —


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