Oprah Movie Club Pick for July: The Godfather

1972 movie

Rating: 20/20 (Jen: 18/20)

Plot: A powerful mafia family makes the transition from one Don to another Don, interesting since nobody in the family actually seems to be named Don. After Vito refuses to help out a rival family involved in the drug trade, violence and eventually a war break out. Youngest son Michael who had distanced himself from his family's criminal activities is drawn into the family business. 

I apologize for this being several months late, but that sort of thing happens when you're going through a mid-life crisis. Actually, I was just waiting for somebody to make me an offer that I could not refuse or at least spice up my mornings by putting a horse's head in my bed. At the end of August, I did wake up, look under my covers, and start screaming, but it was for different reasons. 

I would like to see a retelling of this story from the perspective of that decapitated horse, by the way. This makes two animal decapitations in a row for me, at least according to the order I'm writing about things on the blog. But hear me out on this retelling/remake. The film starts with the horse, probably played by Adrian Brody, talking to Babe the pig from the movie Babe. The horse is talking about how he may have to leave the farm because some old rich guy wants to buy him and use him to breed racehorses. Babe, a little naive, says, "You mean, some rich guy is going to mount you?" and the horse says, "No, I'd be having relations with other horses--girl ones." Babe would say, "Lucky you! That sounds pretty hot!" and the horse will answer, "No, Babe. You're forgetting that I'm a gay horse." Then, they have an off-screen sexual encounter. That's plot twist #1. Later, Brody is at his new home. He's daydreaming, and the audience gets to enjoy a montage of the horse and Babe having gay old times--including some on-screen sexual encounters--while an original song that I wrote called "Horsey Porking [Love in B-Minor]" plays. The daydreaming is interrupted when Woltz, played by either a CGI-John Marley or an animatronic one, comes in and says, "Get ready for action, horse!" He brings in a girl horse played by Sarah Jessica Parker. She whinnies, and Adrian Brody Horse has to pretend that he's sick to avoid an unwanted sexual encounter. Tom Hagen shows up, and the horse gets an idea. He chops off his own head and throws it in Woltz's bed--with the help a scarecrow, some dancing and singing mice (because I want this to be something that children can also enjoy), and Johnny Fontane. That's right--he chopped off his own head! That's plot twist #2 and possibly the reason why I'm on my way to an original screenplay Oscar. The head is discarded, but in yet another plot twist, the horse is still alive and, with the help of his pig lover Babe, flees to Sicily where he befriends--you guessed it--Michael Corleone and gives him advice on stuff. This is after his head is fused to the body of (Plot twist #4!) a unicorn. I'm not sure if there's a horse seen during the wedding scene in Sicily in this The Godfather movie, but Coppola's pal George Lucas can help him digitally insert one in there. 

Anyway, I need to work on an ending. 

I'm amazed at how simply such a complicated story is told. There are gaps in the storytelling, but what's missing isn't exactly vital anyway, and the whole thing is structured like a Shakespearean tragedy. The dynamics between the characters are never spelled out but become clear as the characters grow right on the screen. The acting must be good in this thing because those characters become so real, their intentions so clear, and their inner conflicts so rich without the help of anything we're told in the movie. Pacino and Caan are both great playing two very different sons. Pacino does inner conflict so well that you can almost see the inner monologue bleeding through his eyes. And Caan plays unhinged in such a way that you almost worry about the real James Caan. Everybody's just so good in this movie. Duvall's as good as I've seen him as Hagen, Abe Vigoda begging for his character's life with Duvall might be the former's finest acting moment. Loved the aforementioned non-animatronic Marley as Woltz, and his horse was pretty good, too. And no, I'm not ignoring the very best acting performance in this movie--Sofia Coppola as the baby. God, I hope Sofia Coppola's in the sequels!

What about female characters? My wife was a little bored with this. It was the first time she had seen it. I speculated that it's a "boy movie" because the women are mostly in the background, but my father assured me that it was not a "boy movie" at all. There is a little romance with Michael and the gal with the nipples in Sicily but it's only developed to the point where its conclusion will matter. Diane Keaton is really good as his love interest in America, and Rocky's wife is fine whenever she's on the screen, but I wouldn't call them important characters. No, this movie's more of a proverbial sausage fest. The most notable lack of screen time would be Vito's wife. How many lines does she get in this movie? Anyway, do females like this movie? 

This movie opens with a considerable amount of black screen before the slow pull back shot with Bonasera talking about how much he believes in America. Is that where the makers of The Sopranos got the idea to end their series with a black screen? Probably! I like this semi-soliloquy to start the film, by the way. It forces you to consider the American dream in the context of the whole story. I don't have the energy to flesh out those details exactly, but there's got to be something there. And then you meet Vito for the first time, Brando acting with nothing more than a right hand. And then you see Brando for the first time and he's manhandling a kitty. 

My question: What happens to that cat? It's not in the movie anymore after this first scene. Why give the Godfather a cat for only one scene in the entire movie? Does the cat do something wrong and is dispatched? Brando's character is a criminal, but he's also clearly a loving family man. Is the cat an easy visual way to show the two sides of this complex character? 

I love how much you learn about Vito in the early wedding scenes. You see him dealing with people, and the respect they have for him is obvious. Love watching Luca Brasi practicing his interaction with Vito in a simple scene that shows you so much. Lenny Montana is really good, probably the best performance by a former wrestler if you take Tor Johnson's work in Plan 9 from Outer Space or The Beast of Yucca Flats out of the picture. 

What can you say about this nearly-perfect movie? There are so many memorable scenes--Sonny getting it at the toll booth and Brando's reaction to seeing his son's bullet-riddled body, the horse head in the bed, the brilliant montage with the juxtaposition of the hits being carried out and Michael renouncing Satan at the baptism where he literally becomes the Godfather, Michael's retaliation in the restaurant where Pacino does so much with his eyes, Brando's ability to gyrate his forehead, that final shot of Michael in the doorway after his life leaves. I think the simple matter-of-fact style of the movie enhances the moments. Really, it's such a simple style. The cinematography is very dark at times which seems intentional at times, but there's almost no flash to the direction and nothing that stands out as a stylistic touch. This film seems old school because it's the storytelling and characters created by great acting that make it all work so perfectly.

My favorite piece of trivia from this: Mario Puzo had an issue with a part in the script that called for a character to "brown some sausage" and crossed out "brown" to replace it with "fries," adding "Gangsters don't brown" in the margins. That's just great.

My favorite character: Enzo.

A question: Was there ever a board game based on The Godfather? Kind of like a Candyland thing but with more Italians and violence and less color and candy? If not, why? I mean, if they made a Welcome Back, Kotter board game, why not a Godfather one?

The Hangover Part III

2013 comedy sequel

Rating: 8/20 (Jen: 10/20)

Plot: On the way to an intervention for the bearded one, the Wolf Pack is kidnapped by Walter Sobchak and forced to find Chow who has recently escaped from prison. Shenanigans! 

I can't decide if they didn't really try on this one or if they tried way too hard. Either way, it's a complete failure. It might work more as an action movie than a comedy. Galifianakis has his moments, but the other three Wolf Pack members are really interchangeable here. Chow isn't, but that Ken Jeong shtick has run its course. He reminded me more of a computer-animated thing like Gollum in those Hobbit movies than a real human being. Jeong tries awfully hard, almost like he wanted to put the entire movie on his shoulders and carry things. The others really seem to be there for the paycheck, but at least Bradley Cooper still looks good. I really have to stop typing stuff like that. My wife will get suspicious when I watch The A-Team for the ninth time. The first two installments of this hopefully-completed series of movies were funny because of their unpredictability. Here, things are somewhat unpredictable, but nowhere near funny. It's almost like they weren't even going for funny a lot of the time. Other times, it's almost like the writers said, "Hey, this is supposed to be a comedy! Let's throw something wacky in there." And then, Bam--Giraffe decapitation. This was a huge disappointment for me, and I'm not even much of a fan of the franchise. I wonder how disappointed real fans were. 

Three Horror Films

1965 psychological horror film

Rating: 18/20

Plot: A genophobic gal loses her mind when her horny sister goes on a vacation with the guy she's currently banging. Thankfully, she's got a heavy candlestick and a razor. 

Maybe it's the upcoming Halloween holiday, but I've been in a horror mood lately. This movie is profoundly creepy, but it probably can't be classified as a horror movie exactly. It's more like a character study of a deeply troubled individual. This is the first Roman Polanski movie in English although Catherine Deneuve, that hottie from Bunuel's Belle de Jour, can barely speak the language and is almost a distraction. The best moments in this movie are when there's no dialogue at all. It's amazing to me (and maybe boring to others) how this movie can be so powerful with so few words. The best scary movies, horror or otherwise, are the ones that have a subtext. Here, the sexual repression thing that would ordinarily be the subtext comes to the forefront. Phallic symbols abound, friends! Polanski does such a good job creating a palpable insanity, and the view can't help feeling--through the use of sound effects, trick shots, claustrophobic cinematography--a little of what Deneuve's character is feeling. The opening credits over an eyeball with background music that I could probably play set the mood well. I was also enamored with a street band that pops into the movie twice. The banjo-spoons-and-spoons trio had to be a big hit on the streets of wherever this was supposed to take place. Also great--a mirror scare that makes you jump even if you expect it and a rape scene that is completely soundless except for a clock ticking. Great movie! 

2012 found footage anthology

Rating: 11/20

Plot: Burglars bust into a house looking for a VHS tape and watch a bunch of disturbing VHS tapes in a room with a dead guy in it. 

This has, I think, eight directors who are dicking around with the found footage sub-genre. I consider that to be a guilty pleasure of mine and thought I'd check this out. It kind of works as a horror movie. There are a lot of moments that will make you either jump a little bit or shit your pants (I did both), but none of this makes a lot of sense as either a large story where burglars are watching tapes (Seriously--tapes?) or individual stories within the tapes. There's some creativity here and some really good special effects, but it just kind of feels like they're clobbering this found footage thing into the ground. You get a webcam thing, people videotaping themselves on vacation, and a guy wearing glasses with a hidden camera for reasons that aren't fully explained. The frame story, directed by Adam Wingard, makes very little sense. Why are criminals videotaping their shenanigans--breaking windows and exposing the breasts of women in parking garages? The latter, by the way, isn't the only excuse to show naked women. Oh, no. It's actually kind of funny how they find ways to squeeze nudity into each one of these little stories. The stories did manage to keep me interested. There are bat women, lesbianism, fuzzy woods monsters, alien children, and a guy in a bear suit. I just wish the whole thing made a little more sense, and although there are plenty of scary moments, you have to get through a lot of nonsense to get to them. I'd probably recommend this to people who like mindless horror movies, but you don't want to think about it too much. 

2012 horror anthology

Rating: 13/20

Plot: Twenty-six different directors take a letter from the alphabet, pick a word, and explore death. 

I thought this was a very interesting idea. I'm not sure I'd classify this as a straight horror movie either. A lot of the shorts are just kind of surreal vignettes that don't even attempt to bring the fear. Some, in fact, are supposed to be funny. I like the variety of this thing even though it seems obvious that a lot of these directors are just trying to out-shock or out-weird the other twenty-five. But there's stylistic and cultural variety. And the Japanese prove with a few what-the-hell shorts that they still have the world's most insane minds. See "F Is for Fart" if you need proof of that. Farting Japanese school girls. That's all I can say. With this collection, you also get a Mexican snow creature armed with a pizza cutter, some time loop fun that feels way incomplete, a man boxing a dog, a spider getting revenge on the worst actor of all time, first-person perspectives of surfing and a werewolf, Furries in a wild piece called "H Is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion," a hilarious hari-kari short, animated poop, squished kitties, the worst claymation ever, and a whole lot of penis. I think my favorites were a really disturbing short featuring some kind of forced masturbation contest (the "L" one) and the "N" one in which romance turns to murder thanks to a bird. I also liked the poetic and experimental "O" one--"O Is for Orgasm." Unfortunately, as you'd expect, a lot of this is really unpleasant. I'm not sure what the "M" director was going for. Shock value, I guess, but it feels like the most unpleasant joke you've ever heard. "I" feels like the longest five minutes of my entire life. "R" was gross and pointless. The person behind "W" and V/H/S's Wingard go meta with varying results. I'm glad that I watched this for the good ones. Unfortunately, the bad ones brought it down quite a bit. 

I can't rate it above a 13/20 because of the poster, by the way. I'm not sure if that's fair or not.

Some Movies

This indie film from 2012 about some porn actresses and a Bingo-loving old woman who one of them befriends following a yard sale lacked the necessary realism to really connect. And it's named after that dog on the poster which never made any sense to me. Dree Hemingway isn't terrible but has underwear issues. I enjoyed Besedka Johnson's performance as the old lady even though it was no secret that she was not a professional actress. She played a mean Bingo anyway. This kind of stumbles along and asks you to buy the relationships between the central characters without really developing those relationships. And then the movie doesn't really bother finishing, ending somewhat emotionally but too indeterminately to really have much impact. 12/20

If any potheads read my blog, they'd be disappointed that I didn't care for this 2001 movie, their favorite movie with policeman unless you count Police Academy 4 or Smokey and the Bandit II. I stopped paying attention to the plot after a while and just looked for opportunities to laugh. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any. I have to give it bonus points for the appearance of a naked fat man, something that cracks up stoners. 9/20

This comedy from 2011 didn't quite work for me either although it's at least halfway intelligent. Paul Rudd is fine as the titular Christ figure--a Jesus in Crocs, the only thing that really made him an idiot here--but the character's only got 1 1/2 dimensions. That's 1/2 more than each of his sisters though. Flat characters will make a flat movie, and I just didn't really care about what was going on with any of them. I kind of liked where the movie headed, right up to that Hollywood finale, but it seemed like a lot to work through to get there. And for a comedy, this wasn't really very funny at all. 12/20

I can't remember S.E. Hinton's book very well. I was supposed to teach it this year, but those plans fell through. This 1983 Coppola film isn't as stylistic or as interesting as Rumble Fish by the same author, but it makes up for it with a lot of Ralph Macchio. And everybody else, including a criminally-underutilized Tom Waits. Don't get me wrong--this does have a bit of style. The acting, some of the music, and a lot of Coppola's backgrounds give this a classic movie feel that makes it a lot different than other 80's movies with misbehaving teenagers. The actors squeeze the life out of already unrealistic dialogue, and the story is really kind of lame and--as presented here, at least--feels like giant chunks have been removed. 13/20 (Jennifer: 14/20 [but she fell asleep]; Emma: 11/20; Abbey: 12/20 [bothered by the differences between the film and the novel])

Oz the Great and Powerful

2013 prequel

Rating: 9/20 (Jen: 13/20; Emma: 11/20; Abbey: 11/20; Buster: no rating)

Plot: The titular philanderer plummets to the land of Oz, a land he coincidentally shares a name with, after a tornado bitch-slaps his hot air balloon. A hot witch assumes he's the chosen one or prophesied one or just a guy whose pants she can easily get into and takes him to the Emerald City. He meets a short guy, a simian bellhop, a creepy china doll, another witch, a black guy, another witch, and a bunch of other short people as he tries to make up his mind about whether or not he's actually a wizard. [Spoiler Alert: Nobody gives a flying monkey's ass!] 

A good prequel should enhance the original movie. It should not pull down its computer-generated pants and crap all over it. This one's somewhere in between an enhancement and a crapper. The low score is because the movie looks so ugly and plastic. It was almost like a bunch of special effects were thrown in a blender with James Franco and the aforementioned hot witches. With the original movie, there's a sense of wonderment when Dorothy sees the colors of Munchkin land for the first time. Here, although there are some creative landscapes and dazzling colors, it just looks like James Franco is walking around in a cartoon. Heck, Mary Poppins walking around in cartoon land with that chimney sweep looks more like she's in areal place than James Franco does. The other characters manage to only make everything a lot creepier. The lovable Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion are replaced with a terrifying doll and an expressionless little flying monkey voiced by Zach Braff. And the ubiquitous Bill Cobbs and the diminutive Tony Cox somehow work themselves into the mix as well. Seems like the makers of this thing--and I'm looking straight at Disney on this one--wanted to unleash another Wizard of Oz movie on the masses more than they wanted to tell a good story. Obvious attempts to make folks with 3D glasses spill their popcorn buckets failed to impress me, too. I'm expecting a sequel to the prequel detailing the events that made all the normal-sized people in Munchkin land somehow disappear. They'll have to work the Tin Man in there somehow as well. Oh, one more gripe--shouldn't all Wizard of Oz movies be musicals? This felt weird because it was without songs except for one erection-inducing scene where some Munchkins--aided by a computer--start flipping all over the place and singing something. 

Movies I've Recently Seen and Didn't Hate

When you dive headfirst into a Gasper Noe film, you have to expect to be brutalized. I Stand Alone (1994) is as tough as the other two--the devastating and backwards Irreversible and the free-floating ultra-experimental Enter the Void. It's not as flashy but just as bleak. A guy named Phillipe Nahon plays the protagonist, and I'm surprised to see him smiling in a picture on his imdb page. He boils in this one, boils with this palpable anger. Loved a scene where a prospective boss tries to get him to smile, and he just scowls. Most of this movie is internal monologue, and it gets to be a little redundant after a while. It's boringly bleak at times. Noe throws a few tricks in. There's a repeated sound effect accompanied by quick zooms at Nahon's frowning face. There's a miserable dream sequence. The most obvious gimmick is when the film stops and gives the viewer a warning that he has "30 seconds to leave the screening of this film." Yes, what follows that is very difficult, but I didn't hesitate when using "gimmick" up there to describe it. A pretty good first movie. 15/20

Bad Movie Club member Fred recommended this pirate comedy from 1983. It definitely lacks consistency, but there are a lot of funny line. And take a look at that cast! Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Peter Cook, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Cheech and Chong (who are thrown together in the credits almost like they're siamese twins), Spike Milligan, Madeline Kahn! That's a lot of funny people! Seems like this would have been a lot of fun to make, but some parts seem surprisingly flat. I'm glad I watched it, but it could have been a lot better. 13/20

I guess a movie like this is going to seem a lot better if you don't watch any movies for a couple months. I'm not even sure why I watched it because it seems like something Will Ferrell would have been in--he only produced, by the way--and although it's not based on a Saturday Night Live sketch (that I know of), it's got a lot of Saturday Night Live people in it. I laughed a few times, and I actually liked how predictable the movie was. You didn't even have to worry about thinking about any plot because you knew exactly where it would end up. You could just concentrate on the slightly off-kilter humor. No, it's not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but the equal parts Napoleon Dynamite and Freddy Got Fingered worked for me. 12/20

This 2012 movie is pretty terrific and recommended for fans of The Shining--which is the subject of the documentary--or people who might be guilty of analyzing movies a little too deeply. Yes, like I did with Up. Although I'm still right about that one. Or anybody who has played Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz, I guess. I've always liked The Shining, but this movie instantly made me want to watch the movie again and managed to deepen my appreciation for Kubrick and specifically that movie. Lots of this is downright wacky, but some of the theories about the hidden meanings of Kubrick's film are intriguing. And some of the stuff in this is just really creepy. This is a highly recommended 16/20. Lots of "Wow" moments here. 

Television shows: 

I don't usually write about them here. I don't watch a lot of television because I like movies better. Also, I don't have cable or anything. But I've been catching up on some television viewing during my break from movies. 

Parks and Recreation: Jen and I watched the 2012-2013 season of what is one of our favorite shows. I don't know if I always like where the storylines take these characters, but this show makes us laugh and laugh. We started watching it from the beginning, mostly, I think, because it takes place in our beloved Indiana. What seemed like a cheap Office imitation really started growing on us during season two, and I think it just keeps getting better. 

The Office: We were also a season behind on The Office. I'm talking about the superior American version. I'm really glad I spent 9 years or however long it was with these characters. The last season introduced actual real-life problems into Jim and Pam's fairy tale relationship, and it made me a little uncomfortable at times. However, I loved the finale, especially how Michael Scott was used. I also thought it was clever how they tied in the documentary. This show took a bit of a dip during it's middle/late years, but I never stopped wanting to watch it. 

Prison Break: This was a guilty pleasure for me when I watched it during its first season which, arguably, was actually pretty good. It became more and more of a guilty pleasure as it went on, but when I watch a television show, I'm a faithful fan. Still, Fox jerked it to a new time slot with a few episodes to go during its final season, and I never got around to watching how things finished up. I revisited recently and was as disappointed as I should have expected to be. The final season really turned into characters just pointing guns at each other. I kind of liked the ending although that may have been just because it had ended and I didn't have to spend any more time with it. I did find out that they made a t.v. movie that helped explain the ending, but I decided to read a plot synopsis rather than watch it. 

Breaking Bad: T.V. shows are getting more and more like movies. This drama will go down as one of my favorites that I've ever seen. It's wonderfully tense in all the right places, uses music and sound effects better than any television show I've ever seen, has terrific actors who just nail the characters they're playing, and manages to surprise for the duration. Jen and I liked the first season fine, but we were never in a hurry to watch the rest of them. But when we finally got back to it and started season two, we couldn't get enough. What a rush! I'm really glad we caught all the way up so that we could watch the last 1/2 season with everybody else. Well, almost. We had to watch illegally the next day. 

I have rewatched a lot of movies that are already on the blog and have nothing else to say. Pulp Fiction's still great. The Back to the Futures are still both a lot of fun and extremely frustrating. Buster Keaton is still wonderful. My little Buster's taken to the Star Wars movies, and it's been fun to watch bits and pieces of those with her. 

I can't think of anything else I've watched the last couple months. 

Movies I've Recently Seen and Hated

1986 Troma feature Class of Nuke 'Em High isn't worth anybody's time. It's got what you'd expect from the mind of Lloyd Kaufman--some nudity, some gore, some really lousy gags, references to radiation--but it's not nearly as entertaining or as memorable as Tromeo and Juliet, The Toxic Avenger, or Poultrygeist. Josh and I watched this for the Bad Movie Club, but it's not really the right type of movie for that. 5/20

It's no secret that I'm a fan of the original straight-horror Raimi movie. And I don't hide that Evil Dead II is one of my favorite movies of all time. So I was curious to see what this 2013 version was all about. The most disappointing thing is that there's nothing that sets this apart from any other horror movie that I've seen from the last 10 years. There is nothing at all to see here. 7/20

I hadn't seen this 2006 Shammalammadingdong release and felt that there was a gap in my Shammalammadingdong education. Without this movie, the dive in quality from The Village to The Happening is a little too extreme. Like the film that follows this, it's hard for me to imagine that this isn't a comedy at times. It's one of those movies that seems to have been directed by an alien, a being who doesn't really know how actually human beings are supposed to act. And I can't imagine the performers not feeling stupid when they're saying some of these lines. The dumbness has to be heard to be believed. M. Night gives himself a role, presumably because everybody else is too embarrassed to be in his movies. Themes are heavy-handed, and the story's twists will force an "Oh, geez!" out of you. Giamatti was on a bit of a roll until he made this, right? He can't feel good about this. He's got a speech impediment where he gags when communicating, and I know I shouldn't poke fun at speech impediments, but I wanted to laugh every time he spoke. You can't argue with that raw sexuality during a scene where he eats a cookie and milk though. I would rather watch this again than The Village, but it's still around a 9/20. Unless I find out that it's an intended comedy. Then it's an 11/20!

I'm not sure the filmmakers are accurate in calling this the "first sampling movie" or not. People Who Die Mysteriously in Their Sleep (of Natural Causes) was created using visuals from other, mostly silent, movies. It was supposed to be funny but was unfortunately just tedious. I'm sure the people who put it together think it's a lot funnier than it actually is, but they're probably stoned out of their minds and have a head start. If you're remotely interested in this "new" genre of film-making, please don't be fooled into seeing this. It is not worth your time. 5/20

I noticed this was on Netflix and tried to trick my wife into watching it. I guess she outlasted me as I shut it off during the first little story featuring Hugh Jackman with testicles hanging beneath his chin. That seems like the sort of thing I would love, but I just didn't really get it. I doubt I revisit this any time soon, and I wouldn't recommend you watch it either.

A Cavalcade of Bad Movies

It's been a while since I've posted anything, but my Facebook pals and I are still watching bad movies every Sunday night. Here are the gems we've seen the last couple months: 

Photo: Allow me to whet your appetites with a bitchin' movie poster:

Attack of the Crab Monsters is a Roger Corman classic from 1957. Scientists and two sailors who I'm not saying were gay but who were probably gay visit an island for reasons that aren't fully explained and encounter the titular monsters. Titular! Man, I've missed using that word. It's not like I can use it with middle schoolers because they'd giggle. They giggle whenever I say "Balls!" loudly and for no reason at all, too. So you know we're dealing with an immature group here. Nice little bad sci-fi here with a few cliches, a barrage of stock footage, incoherent science, a guy with a chasm in his chin, and some giant crabs that look only a little less goofy than the one featured on the poster. 

1985's Barbarian Queen is a half-assed feminist fantasy action movie that seems like nothing more than an excuse to show off some women. "No man can touch her naked steel." That's some tagline. You just know the types of guys who watch movies like this in their basements. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. The plot seems half-conceived, and the fight scenes--most involving loads of people--are, at best, only adequately choreographed. Lana Clarkson, the woman Phil Spector's hair killed, stars and looks great. This one's for fans of Xena who always wished there could have been nudity. My favorite character was a guy with glasses who operated the torture chamber. 

Shotgun's a terrific buddy cop movie from 1989 with a lead played by somebody named Stuart Chapin. The movie's written and directed by somebody named Addison Randall, but it seems like it was made as a favor for Chapin, like a vanity project. Randall probably called him up and said, "Hey, I've got some cameras and shit and a week to kill. How about I put you in a movie for your birthday?" Chapin's like a C-or-maybe-even-D-movie Dirty Harry. Ian "Shotgun" Jones breaks all the rules, but when he does it, you don't think, "What a badass!" You think, "What the hell is he thinking?" Most offensively, he seemed to have stolen Indiana Jones' hat. This is wall-to-wall ineptitude, but the best part of the movie might be the last five minutes when that tank thing on the poster finally appears. 

Photo: Werewolves on Wheels tonight--9:30ish--if you want to watch werewolves riding motorcycles. Come on, people! These movies can't watch themselves!

This 70's flick attempts to blend mild horror and the supernatural with the popular biker genre with predictable results. Don't go into this one expecting a lot of werewolves because there aren't very many scenes with them. I wondered if the makers originally wanted to have the werewolves on screen more but then chickened out after seeing how ridiculous they looked. There's a lot of Satan in this movie if you're into that sort of thing, and the soundtrack was actually pretty bitchin' if you like fuzz guitar. We watched this one on Youtube, and it originally appeared on AMC, probably because it's an American Movie Classic. Unfortunately, I think it was edited, both making the plot even more incomprehensible and taking out some nudity. One of my friends pointed out that this movie was pretty much a riding montage followed by a fight of some kind followed by a riding montage followed by another fight followed by. . .well, you get the idea. This wasn't the most entertaining good-bad movie of all time or anything, but there was a great scene where all the characters are running around calling for a character named Movie. "Movie!? Movie!?" I had trouble finding a movie in all this mess, too. 

Yep! I've now watched this twice. Unleashed former Manos Award winner The Room on my Facebook friends, and it was just as magical as it was the first time. I wrote about this one here. I just want to emphasize one thing though--what Tommy Wiseau does here is nothing short of a movie miracle. If you're a fan of alarmingly bad movies and haven't caught this one yet, stop whatever you're doing and find it right now. You'll never look at a football, a picture of a spoon, friendship, cancer, or bellybutton sex the same way again. 

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare, the action-packed story of a heavy metal superstar fighting Satan, is the rare movie that lives up to its poster. Don't believe me? Just check this image out: 

This has heavy metal music, some sex, that dude's hair, puppets that look a lot like penises, Coca Cola product placement, and a really sweet-looking van. Alternate title: The Edge of Hell. Great bad movie here. Seriously, if you watch this and don't end up with a rockin' boner, you're not alive. Unfortunately, my favorite character--Carl the caretaker--didn't last very long. That guy up there with the hair and boobs? He wrote this thing, too, apparently as an excuse to show the world how awesome he is. Every movie needs a little Jon Mikl Thor. That's right--that's his name. He has a song on the soundtrack to Fubar, a movie I liked. Facebook friend Fred claimed this was the greatest movie ever made. 

You won't believe Frankenstein Island came out in 1981. Actually, you won't believe it came out at all. John Carradine (one of the Carradines) plays the titular doctor, but he's not that doctor. This one confused everybody and caused a great deal of pain and anguish. I'd actually repressed the memory of even watching it and was only reminded that we'd done it when I came across it on Facebook about three minutes ago. The only thing I really remember about it is that there was a character wearing an ascot and a v-neck sweater with nothing underneath. Is that something? 

Battle Beyond the Stars is one of the innumerable Star Wars knockoffs, and the variety of characters--some scantily-clad--made it fun enough. And George Peppard either plays a stoned space cowboy named Cowboy or was stoned when he was playing a non-stoned space cowboy named Cowboy. Either way, he's George Peppard, and there's a scene where he and the other characters are roasting wieners. Do you think there's another science fiction movie where that happens? This is Star Wars meets The Seven Samurai, and it actually wasn't all that terrible. I probably would have dug it as a kid anyway. But that's probably just because of the whorish fembot and a scene where the Han Solo character is messing with circuitry in her buttocks. I'm telling you--it was pretty hot. A lot of clumsy sci-fi dialogue and a paper-thin plot didn't help this one's chances of having any success although the space special effects weren't too bad. One spaceship did have tits, however. This was another Roger Corman flick, one he co-directed with Jimmy T. Murakami who did that touching cartoon When the Wind Blows. Most notable contribution this film made to my life: The line "Prep your thrusters! I'm coming aboard!" which I use with my wife when I think intercourse might happen. 

Apparently, we were in a sci-fi mood for two weeks. This was produced by Roger Corman, and this time, they're ripping off Alien. Only there's a pyramid, a more overt alien-on-woman rape sequence, and a story that is more incomprehensible. Erin Moran apparently went straight from Happy Days to this, and this also has Robert Englund running around in it only without a striped sweater. None of us were too sure what was going on in this weird little movie, but we suspected it was some kind of metaphor for venereal disease. And it was yet another bad movie that set us up for disappointment by promising so much with that poster. 

Somebody had a craving for a bad Western, so we picked this late-60's cowboys and Indians flick with not one but two William Shatner. That's double the Shatner as he plays twins. Poorly. The ladies would like this one because he's shirtless a lot. It's the only way you can tell he's the Indian character and not the one who isn't an Indian. Actually, there's one scene where the two Shatner characters are fighting each other, and they're both shirtless. That's four William Shatner nipples on screen at the same time. Actually, I'm not sure about that. Not sure they had the special effects abilities to put both Shatners on screen at once. I enjoyed the jazzy score this one had, mostly because it didn't fit the movie at all. 

Bad Movie Club will continue happening every Sunday night at 9:30 EST right on Facebook from now until the end of time. Let me know if you want in on some of this action.