Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Bad Movie Night Recap
The time has once again come for Bad Movie Night: my shameless celebration of the movies that just aren't quite good enough, but also aren't so terrible they become unwatchable. It's a fine line, and sometimes it's just the right goofy element that pushes it over. Sometimes it's just who you watch it with, and the Cap'n has a fairly loyal crew of masochists willing to descend on Blogorium Headquarters every year. Even though I subjected them to Things last year, they came back. What that says about their cinematic fortitude is up to you, but I'm proud to call them my friends. This year, I opted to give them a less agonizing experience, but not without some serious brain bending. Let's take a look at what you (hopefully) missed out on:
We started with Devil Girl from Mars, based on the hit London stage play (or, that's what I'd like to believe), and it shows. Despite the fact that a Martian spaceship lands outside of a remote Scottish Inn, most of the motley crew of patrons are concerned with their own stupid problems, leaving time for Naya, the titular character, to enter and exit through the same door, repeatedly. At least it's nice to know that Martians also call their planet Mars. They - well, she - arrived on Earth with her new prototype spaceship, which has organic metal and runs on an engine that creates nuclear reactions that explode inward, creating perpetual motion. Their science is vastly superior to ours, but in the great war of the sexes, all men were wiped out and they need some breeding stock, if you catch my drift. Perhaps if she'd landed in America, rather than Scotland, this would have been an easier task, because the citizens of the United Kingdom are more interested in cockamamie plans to shoot or electrocute her, to no avail.
High School Confidential! eased us out of the "boring" zone of bad movies - hey, I try, but sometimes things just don't land with the crowd - by being entirely too interested in being "hip" and "with it". That works wonders in its favor, because the ridiculous overuse of slang, coupled with what seems to be not even veiled suggestions about incest between Tony (Russ Tamblyn) and his aunt Gwen (Mamie Van Doren). In Tony's defense, it's mostly one way, and given there's a twist, I guess it's possible that they maybe aren't related, but why would he refer to her as his aunt behind closed doors? There are a number of questionable "bait and switch"-es in High School Confidential!, a movie about Tony moving in to town and taking over the high school drug trade in the course of two or three days. He's tough talking and backs it up, and pops his collar, even when it's on a sweater. Why? Because he's hip, daddy-o.
High School Confidential! picked up the pace a bit, and after a musical interlude, it was time to dive right into Raw Force. It's an almost perfect storm of kung-fu zombie cannibalism interspersed with gratuitous nudity and hokey special effects. And yet, some people were grumbling, perhaps because I oversold the "cannibal monks who raise kung-fu zombies" part of the movie. Yes, most of Raw Force's 86 minutes is devoted to a Kung-Fu cruise to "Warrior Island," where disgraced martial artists are buried. It's also where Hitler sells prostitutes in exchange for jade. Is his name Hitler in the movie? I honestly don't remember, but if he looks like Hitler and talks like Hitler, we're going to go with "that guy is Hitler". The cannibal monks eat the girls because it gives them power to raise the dead, which they use (eventually) for the final showdown.
Rather than launching into the "Luc Besson Presents an Affront to Science" double feature as promised, I gave them the option of getting the Trappening out of the way, which they decided was best. What they didn't know was that this year's mystery feature wasn't just a Bad Movie - it was a Great Bad Movie. By no stretch of the imagination could one call Commando a "good" movie, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of the most fun films to throw conventional cinema out the window. Continuity errors? Check. Bad one liners? Yessir. Gratuitous nudity? Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fight scene, so yep. The mall from Chopping Mall? Sure is! Arnold Schwarzenegger killing an entire army, single-handedly? You know it.
For the immediate future, I think I've hit my quota of schlock (although that doesn't rule out watching Furious 7). There's enough time to reload the queue in time for Summer Fest, where I think 80s cheesefests Without Warning and Deadly Eyes are going to be a hit. Thanks to everybody who made it, and to the folks at home who didn't, you now have a roadmap for your own Bad Movie Night. Just have alcohol and a good support system of friends nearby. And whatever you do, don't watch Things.