Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Avalon (1989)

Avalon (1989)
Director: Michael J. Murphy
Stars: Rob Bartlett, Abigail Blackmore, Patrick Oliver

It's been a while since I've done a review, so I went into my vast collection of films to pick something suitable. My eye was caught by Avalon, a low budget sword and sorcery flick that has a lot of ties to the King Arthur legend...sort of. 

While I was watching, I kept noticing how familiar Merlin looked, until it dawned on me that this was the same guy who played the killer in one of my most popular reviews, Bloodstream. So I looked up the director of that film, and lo and behold, it's the same guy!

The movie's heroes are Owen, a slightly pudgy Conan type, Clotilde, which isn't some sort of disease but a maiden, and Keiran, the world's worst thief. They all seek the mysterious island of Avalon for different reasons and are helped along by Merlin.Yes, that Merlin. Sometimes as an old man, most of the time as a young warrior. Avalon is ruled by Morgana, not of the kissing bandit variety, and her band of average looking women (and a couple of goofy eunuchs). 

Can our heroes defeat Morgana? Will Clotilde find her missing love? And what the hell is Old Gregg doing on the island? He's got a mangina.

Knowing it's a Michael J. Murphy film, I immediately know that the budget is around forty pounds (or thirty in wildly inaccurate US dollars). However, there's a real charm in this movie. The sets are pretty imaginative, and despite all the flaws this is a pretty fun eighty minute time waster. 

The whole film is up on YouTube for those who wish to venture forth to Avalon.

Things I Took From Avalon

-Never carry golden apples around. You'll almost die in a small puddle of water and then watch your buddies juggle those now normal apples right in front of you. I can stand almost dying in 3 feet of water, but juggling? No way!

- They really missed out not having the Old Gregg looking monster drink Bailey's from a shoe.

- Druids are a bunch of assholes led by a guy doing a bad Jesus cosplay wearing a Christmas wreath on his head. I bet Stonehenge was just a building they were too stupid to finish. 

- This movie has some of the funniest fight scenes ever seen in a sword and sorcery flick. Everyone is trying so hard to neither hurt each other nor break their fake weapons that it comes off like Renaissance Fair outtakes.   

-Merlin becomes a wizard whore by sleeping with the Lady in the Lake in exchange for Excalibur. 

- Gotta admit I liked the reverse motion on the chains moving around. Very smooth.

-Gotta also admit, that Michael J. Murphy is equally as bad at doing stop motion animations. The herky jerky dragon being solid proof of that.

-We get some boobs in this, and that's cool, but please space out your love scenes a bit more. having three, almost four, one right after another just made me a little ill.

-Bit disturbed to see Merlin peeking through a wall at Owen having sex with Morgana (whom Merlin used to love). His grunting and only seeing him from behind makes me think he's pulling his own little sword. I'm surprised he didn't put his penis through the hole like in Porky's.

- As disturbing as that was, it pales when Merlin realizes he hadn't slept with Morgana but one of her laughing lady friends. His response to that? He sexually assaults her. Rape ain't magic Merl...it's simply wrong.

- As disjointed as the plot got, I really enjoyed this film. I'm now on a quest to seek out Michael J. Murphy's other films. I hope there's no wizard rape in them.

YOU'LL GO BLIND, MERLIN!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lord of Tears (2013)

Lord of Tears (2013)
Director: Lawrie Brewster
Stars: David Schofield, Alexandra Hulme, Guy in a big ass Owl mask

I had been hearing about this one for a while, with all the sites creaming their pants over how great this was. So I decided to give it a shot, despite my understandable reservations about watching newer movies.

Far as I can tell through the 8 million quick edits and the ambient noise turned on and left on, a guy inherits a house from his dead mum, but in her letter she says NOT to go back to the house. Despite having gone crazy there as a kid and trying to drown himself, our hero goes to the house like the fucking idiot he is.

He runs into Eve, an American gal who's just hanging around the house. Before long they get romantic and things seem great...until the Owlman shows back up. Seems the Owlman is the one responsible for our hero's trauma as a child (or is he?) and it seems he's picking up right where he left off in the guy's adult life as well.

Will our hero find out what to do about the Owlman? Will Eve be able to help? Will a person with the IQ of ragweed not be able to figure out the "twist"? I think you all know the answer. There were plenty of tears, but they all came from my fucking eye sockets.

Things I Took/Learned from Lord of Tears

- The cinematography here is quite good. Gavin Robertson did an excellent job with the material he had to work with.

-I admit, the Owlman outfit is pretty damn good, and there were a couple of moments when I got honestly freaked out.

-This now ends the positive portion of this review.

- Nothing ruins a movie like a bad script, and this is the very definition of a bad script. It's riddled with cliches and tropes and tries to pass itself off as original.

-Hey filmmaker. the whole point of ambient sound is to create tension, when you have it playing THROUGHOUT THE FUCKING MOVIE then it's just annoying fucking noise that makes it hard to hear the actors...not like they are saying anything worth listening to.

-Nobody wants to see someone dance for 10 minutes. It's not erotic, it's not haunting, it's not scary, it's fucking BORING. As shit.

- Why is this guy having dreams about his Jesus-looking friend chopping his dad up and covered in blood? I don't have dreams about the fat guy who walks down my road every single day fucking a dog in the middle of the road while jello smears his chest...and I've tried.

- We know you want this Owlman to be Slenderman, but he looks like he's going to a Robert Palmer video while finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop.

-When Eve is revealed to be a ghost (big shock) she ends up terrorizing our hero not by trying to kill him, but by jumping on his bed and playing with his fucking curtains. So she's basically going to annoy him to death. 

-I'm aware of how harsh I'm being to this film, but I hate this blatant PR bullshit I see from major sites who just basically cut and paste the filmmaker's written press release and then proclaim it "the future of horror." I may be an asshole for trashing this, but I'm an honest one at least. I'm not creating fake accounts to give glowing reviews on IMDB like these people seem to be doing. I just want to be entertained. Girls Gone Dead and Potpourri are recent films that did that. This and The Cloth are ones that make me wish these people would be forced to film an apology for the poor fucks like me who expect a decent film and got this beautifully filmed piece of shit.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tabloid (1985)

Tabloid (1985)
Director: Bret McCormick, Matt Devlen
Stars: Lisa Loeb, Glen Coburn, Scott Davis

One problem of having so many movies is that I'm not always sure WHAT the movie is about. This shows that I am in fact a hoarder, but instead of stacks and stacks of knick-knacks featuring Elvis in bejeweled jumpsuits on them, I hoard obscure movies. So going through some of these "films" I noticed one that caught my eye, so I decided to watch and review it.

This was a mistake.

Seeing Bret McCormick's name, I should have been tipped off that this was going to suck. McCormick wrote and directed some of the worst AIP (Action International Pictures) movies put to videotape. But seeing this was his first film, I thought "Hey, maybe he shot his wad early and went downhill". I don't think he had a wad to shoot.

Tabloid is a comedy anthology that spoofs things like the Weekly World News. They have three stories all telling a backstory to some tabloid headline, which I admit is a good premise. Too bad every story sucks (doubly so in the last one). The movie starts with aliens kidnapping an aerobics instructor holding classes in Buffalo Bill's basement. I was wondering where this was going to go, but much like everything else in this film, it  goes nowhere. It's never even mentioned again What a waste of time.

We then go to the offices of the World Investigator, a sleazy tabloid where it looks like a secretary is training the new reporter. We get to meet the cranky owner and find out her backstory. They were really pushing the hell out of these characters. So of course after the admittedly original credits (complete with theme song) and a few shorts scenes, we set up the first story and never EVER see these people again. Quit playing games with my heart you asshole!

Much like I did with Tales From the Quadead Zone, I'll go over each story individually.

Baby Born With Full Beard AKA Hey, Let's Kill That Drug Dealer!

 This story has a guy selling weed to some moron. The weed is no good, so moron and his cousin Rambo (yes, Rambo) and some nameless bastard decide to kill him. Too bad they never met his pregnant gun toting wife or her hideous Family Feud lovin' momma.
- Never buy pot from a guy whose idea of a good time is sitting on his car drinking beer. It may seem like fun, but before you know it, yer 40.

- If you need to smoke an entire bag of pot before realizing that you got ripped off, maybe you don't need to smoke it. You need those remaining brain cells to do things like walk and scratch your ass.

- Come for the stereotypes, stay for the awful southern accents.

-The one funny moment in this happens when the nameless bastard suggests they rape the shit out of the mother. The other two guys are like "She's all yours, bubba." Yep, A rape joke is the funniest thing in this story. Think about that.

- After a pregnant lady shoots your cousin Rambo from a speeding car, maybe it's time to just call it a day and cut your losses. By losses I mean the pot, not Rambo. He's a schmuck.

After the drug dealin shotgun shooting family kills the people who were fucking wronged in a bad drug deal, the woman gives birth...to the bearded kid. Yep. All that useless fucking backstory for a 5 second shot of a bearded baby. 

BBQ Of the Dead AKA WHAT THE EVER LOVIN FUCK?!

A dead guy comes back and invites his dead neighbors over for a barbeque. He gets upset that they were just sitting there in their coffins rotting and leaves. The sun comes up and they die again. That's it. 

- The zombie/dead makeup was pretty effective. The blackened eyes kinda gave me the creeps.

 I don't really have anything else to add. This story didn't give us ANY backstory to this. Hey, how about not giving us the tabloid owner's entire goddamn history and put those few minutes to use explaining what the fuck is going on in this shitcicle of a story! 

There's one more!? FUCK.

Killer Vacuum Destroys Town AKA Don't Piss Off Your Stepdaughter

A weatherman is correctly predicting tornadoes. Is he Criswell? No, he doesn't have his style, but he does have a daughter who is giving him the tornado information. How does she know? And why are we watching her get abused by some harpy with a mole? We actually do find out for once. Doesn't mean it's any good though.

- Very weird to see Lisa Loeb in this. She's the daughter who ends up (spoiler..oh who gives a shit) creating tornadoes using vacuums. How this is happening is of course never explained.

- Is there really a need on the networks for a goofy natural disaster predicting weatherman in a stupid bow tie?

-Why the hell do we need to watch two tv stations techs interact with each other for at least 5 minutes?! They add nothing to the story or plot. I don't care that the guy is never gonna score with the woman. Even if he has a whoopee cushion. We all know that's a panty dropper.

- Please have the guy with the awful speech impediment say "The tornados in your housth" 17 more times. It never gets old...or funny.

- Why did they need to stretch the stepmother's death out by 10 minutes? Couldn't you have used those ten minutes for something useful like refunding everyone's rental fee who got suckered into watching this!?


Maybe I'm being too picky, but I like my comedies to be, you know, funny. Not even a late scene where President Reagan buys one of the tabloids is enough to move my chuckle meter (bought it at Radio Shack). The cinematography was fine, but the writing and the dialogue came off like two middle schoolers giggling at their own jokes. Jokes no rational human being would find humorous. No wonder nobody tried to review this film. I'm the only one stupid enough to watch it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Abby (1974)

Abby (1974)
Director: William Girdler
Stars: William Marshall, Carol Speed, Austin Stoker

From the man who brought the world such classics as Three On A Meathook and Grizzly comes this Exorcist ripoff made Blaxploitation style. A marriage counselor married to a pastor gets possessed  by the horniest demon around. It's up to the pastor's dad (who coincidentally released said horny demon) to get midevil on this demon's hind end.

Out of all the Exorcist ripoffs, this was the only one that got successfully sued by Warner Brothers and got shelved after only a short time in theaters (where it grossed 4 million). It's not a bad ripoff per say, much better than some of the Italian ripoffs, and you can tell Speed really enjoys hamming it up as the possessed Abby. Eh, it entertained me, but I'm entertained by test patterns and informercials starring washed up celebrities.

Things I Took From Abby

- Never open a box that has an evil deity carved into it, especially if you have to twist the deity's hard on to open it. 

- You're not fully aroused in the shower unless you're zestfully aroused...oh and there's a demon in there with you.

-  I wonder how the demon got there so fast. maybe he caught a commercial flight. had to sit in front of an annoying woman and her bratty kid kicking the seat. Probably didn't even get a free bag of those tiny peanuts. No wonder he's pissed.

- I feel Abby's pain. When I'm cutting up raw chicken, I get so turned on I have to cut myself too. Now if it was turkey, she'd just be a weirdo.

- Dress yourself in nothing but a tiny towel, expect to be kicked in the balls. The more you know.

-  If you're doing marriage counseling, ripping open your shirt and wanting to "fuck the shit out of" someone is not really a good way to get one's point across. Show them a diagram first. Maybe a slideshow.

- Love that the nightclub looks like someone's living room. Adding ugly ass wallpaper and a tiny disco ball can't hide that fact.

- The demon in exorcist was scary, this one just looks like Abby dressed up like the incredible hulk. You wouldn't like her when she's horny.

- The best part was the Bishop performing the exorcism on Abby. Whereas in the Exorcist, they were confident but scared,  in Abby, the Bishop is one cool cat. He's openly mocking this demon like "Hey, if you're this big bad demon, you wouldn't be laying your jive ass on the ground while my groovy self is running the show". I mean, he didn't say it like that, but I knew what he meant.

- William Marshall was really someone I felt could have been used a lot more in movies. Hell, you got a guy there who could act, and also always came off with class. He could have been like a Christopher Lee of American horror in my opinion. Oh well, at least he was the King of Cartoons.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Fairy Tales (1978)

Fairy Tales (1978)
Director: Harry Hurwitz
Stars: Don Sparks, Sy Richardson, Linnea Quigley

As with most sex comedies, this one is pretty straight forward. A prince on his 21st birthday must find a woman that can get him "excited". So he sets off to Fairy Land where he meets a bunch of famous children's book characters doing things I ain't never read about. Maybe in Playboy, but I just look at that for the ads.

For a young man growing up and starting to really notice girls, waking up after my parents went to bed, sneaking my way to the living room, and seeing this on late night cable was like hitting the boner jackpot. I hadn't seen this movie in at least 25 years, but it brought back some fond (and slightly embarrassing) memories.

Although there is lots and lots of full frontal nudity in this, the way this is all presented makes it come off less sleazy than just goofy. Outside of a few lame risque jokes, and of course fully naked women, there's nothing really offensive here. Fun and harmless.

Things I Took from Fairy Tales

- This movie reminds me that Professor Irwin Corey is still alive at 100! I wonder if he watches this on a loop.

- Naked Angela Aames as Little Bo Peep? DEAR GOD YES PLEASE!!

- Odd thing to notice while tits are on screen every 15 seconds, but Don Sparks, who plays our hero the Prince, does a really good job in the role. Has a real everyman quality to him. He's done a ton of TV work since then.

- I think if you had a sex comedy at any time during the 70's (and early 80's) there has to be one character that's a complete flaming homosexual stereotype. In this case, it's Jack to the always horny Jill. I got something you can fetch. That was for Jill...not Jack. I swear. Shut up.

- I had completely forgotten that this movie had musical numbers in it. Some not that great, but the Snow White song about her sex starved seven dwarves is a highlight.

- Never thought I would see a trio of naked masked ladies singing a song about S&M in the vein of the Andrews Sisters. One of those naked beauties is Evelyn Guerrero, who is best known as Donna in the Cheech and Chong movies.

- If you watch the aforementioned S&M number, watch for the chained up guy really having a good time. You'll know who I'm talking about.

-The little guy helping the weird cop looks like a tiny Iron Sheik.

- Ol' King Cole was a bug eyed overacting soul. A bug eyed overacting soul indeed.

I wonder when Gussie Gander has to replace the carpeting in her shoe of ill repute, if she goes shag or Dr. Scholls. Maybe she's gellin'.

-I'm surprised to see how fresh faced Linnea Quigley is in this film (she still looks great today). I then noticed she was nude. Suddenly things got awkward. I shouldn't have watched this on the library's computer. 

At the end of this movie, they promised us three prizes. I don't care about the love potion or the cod piece (I already have a custom one), but the sheep...I have a friend who's in need of one. For the wool I mean. Really. Stop looking at me like that. Don't you walk away from me!! STOP SHAKING YOUR HEAD!


 If you want to see the whole thing, it IS on YouTube. But it's very NSFW. But here is a compilation of the doorman to Mother Hubbard's cat house. One of the unsung heroes of this film if you ask me.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Bad Movie Couple are Here!

I'm excited to announce that after doing a few podcasts with my lovely and talented better half Erin, we had so much fun that we decided to create a site reviewing bad movies together! At The Bad Movie Couple, we basically review bad films in a conversational sort of way. So jump on over to the link below to read our first two reviews, on Evil Altar and Count Yorga, Vampire!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tales From The Quadead Zone (1987)

Tales From the Quadead Zone (1987)
Director: Chester Turner
Stars: Shirley L. Jones, William Jones, Doug Daverport

The end of Awful Movie Month is upon us, and that means that I couldn't hold off watching this immortal bastard son of cinema any longer. 

I had seen director Chester Turner's other movie, Black Devil Doll from Hell, and while it was a bit unnerving to watch, I had seen worse. I guess Turner is a time traveler and has already read this article, because he went back to 1987, grabbed his camcorder, made Shirley L. Jones stop soaping up her boobs, and made this monstrosity.

The movie starts with one of the worst opening songs in the entire history of cinema. The worst part is, it started to become catchy the more I heard it. Now it won't leave my head. Why do you hate me so much, head?

So Shirley L. Jones is washing the dishes (she's on credited as "Bobby's Mother") when a mug near a candle with a Madball stuck in it (I'm serious) starts to float. Mom chastises her invisible dead son and asks if he wants her to read him a story. He responds by blowing a fan in Jones' face and going "hushushushushushushush".

A little sidebar here, why does Jones look like she's having an orgasm on the set of a hair commercial whenever Bobby "speaks"? It's extremely disturbing to me. This happens at least ten times over the hour and two minutes running time.

So Bobby materializes a book out of thin air called Tales from the Quadead Zone. I'm not sure what the hell the quadead zone is, but I bet it's sandwiched between the Negative Zone and the Fuck is This Shit Zone.  

So now I realize I'm not only watching an awful movie, it's turned into an awful ANTHOLOGY movie. Bad anthologies are always the worst, filled with stories full of padding and morons talking endlessly. I decided to review each of the "Three" stories (One story I consider half a story since it centers around our storyteller)  and let you share in my pain.

Food For ?  or We're too Stupid to Cut Sandwiches in Half

This story concerns a family of eight who only ever has enough food for a few. The guy at the supermarket must be a real asshole to knowingly sell these people food that won't feed all of them. But then again, I have to side with him when you see these morons can't come up with the brilliant idea of cutting four fucking sandwiches in half.

Dad rings a stupid bell and proceeds to do one of the worst prayers I have ever seen. Love that the dad couldn't even say a prayer without sounding like he was reading a script. "Give us this day our...uh...*looks*...daily bread". Great job Pops, God ain't impressed.

Next day, and same shit happens. Only their giant hillbilly son has had enough of the bell and returns with a shotgun, killing three family members so everyone could eat. Mom didn't seem too upset, but it was hard to tell with her drawn in eyebrows.

Then they cut to stills of the remaining family members. Two of them are shot in the face and chest respectively, while Ma and Pa Kettle "lives high on the hog in witness protection program". Their words, not mine. Shotgun Sammy, we are told, dies in the state gas chair. I'm not sure what the hell a gas chair is, but it must stink to high heaven. He who dealt it, will always have to smelt it.

That's it. Ten minutes. This wasn't a story, this was a situation! Who would tell their child, albeit a dead one, about a guy shooting family members for food!? It used to be "Goodnight Moon", now it's "Goodnight, and Go Fuck Yourself Moon".

Brothers or Fucking Clownshoes

Some guys break into a funeral home to see where their acting careers ended up. I keed I keed. They break in there to steal a body. Do they need a fourth for poker? No, seems it's the brother of one of the three guys, and he wants to enact some revenge on his dead sibling first. But first, lets have some champagne! I'll have the cup shaped like a titty. Damn, the brother got it first.

After his two friends leave, Ted starts berating Dead Fred for all the time he fucked over Ted with his father. Guess Dead Fred broke up Ted's marriage so he could have her. But after telling her he only wanted her to fuck with Ted, she blows her brains out. Ted was planning Dead Fred's murder, but Fred's heart beat him to the punch. 

Ted takes his revenge by dressing Dead Fred up as a clown and burying him in the basement. Really weak plan B there, Ted. But I can't be too mad at Ted, because his infectious laugh fills the room for a good five minutes.

So some spirit (Fred? A Demon? Manute Bol?) enter Dead Fred, and now he becomes Undead Fred. He goes after Ted in the basement speaking in an unintelligible voice and kills him with a pitchfork. As my wife pointed out, there never seems to be a shortage of pitchforks in a suburban dwelling. Because farm equipment and soccer moms go well together.

This one seemed to have a story, but it was padded out to twenty minutes with talk talk talk and more fucking talk. I didn't need to know every grievance Ted had with Fred. I am curious about why "12345" is spraypainted on the wall of the basement. I'd like to think it's Ted's way of remembering his luggage combination. By the way, I love that Ted loves this one shitty painting on his wall so much, that he had to buy an exact duplicate and hang it right beside the original.

I wanna take this moment to talk about just how awful the audio is in this movie. The soundtrack is at a constant level (too damn loud) while mics are randomly put on different people at any time regardless if they are speaking or not. Even when they do speak, you can't understand half the words that are coming out of their mouths. I'm sure they aren't saying anything intelligent, but I'd like to know SOME of what was said.

Unseen Vision or Don't Harass Me About Our Dead Kid, Asshole

So we've come back full circle as the last story involves Bobby and his mom. She's just about to read another story when either her husband or ex shows up. Either way, this is revealed to be Bobby's dad. Mom ain't happy to see Daryl, and Daryl ain't happy to see his former ol' lady has been reading shitty stories to some butt prints in a chair. He lets her know that he cares deeply for her, and although he misses his son as well, that she should start the grieving process and learn to let Bobby go.

I'm kidding. He wacks her across the head with the book and start beating her with it. They struggle until Mom grabs a knife and starts stabbing Daryl. Curse words are yelled, and Mom mentions something about a "last dance" which I assume isn't that Pearl Jam cover song from years back. Mom goes to see Bobby in the bedroom, but Daryl lives long enough to call the cops. 

Two cops that even Barney Fife would have called fucking wimps show up and they arrest Mom. But before they go, Mom asks to use the bathroom. Like morons, they let her. She then proceeds to slit her own throat in what may be one of the better disturbing images I saw out of this film. No, the dead guy from story two who looked like a bunch of playdoh mashed up into one weird color I like to call 'blech" doesn't count.

So Mom's dead. 21 hours later...why 21 I don't know, she strolls back to the house as a yellowish ghost, and she reads Bobby another awful story...this time about what just happened 21 hours ago. "Hey kid, you wanna hear about how I crapped myself after slitting my own throat?!"

While close, this isn't the worst movie ever made. At only a little over an hour long, this felt longer than all three Lord of the Rings movies put together. Extended versions. But as bad as this movie was, as much as I tore it a new asshole, I have an odd admiration of Chester Turner.  I might even watch a Tales From the Quadead Zone 2 if he makes it. Maybe. I'd need a lot of booze.