Bad Movie Club: Vampire Cop

1990 vampire cop movie

Rating: 3/20 (Josh: 3/20; Jeremy: 3/20; Fred: 3/20)

Plot: I think it's pretty self explanatory, isn't it?

"It's show time!"

If you've not seen this movie (and you probably haven't), then that line means nothing. If you're seen it, your balls just tingled. Vampire Cop is probably worth watching just for the gratuitous nudity. But if gratuitous nudity isn't enough for you, you've got the following to keep you entertained:

--a bitchin' original song called "Slow Kill"
--the faces that Vampire Cop Lucas (played absurdly by Ed Cannon) makes
--the one shot used over an over again of the titular hero's (anti-hero?) silhouette in the misty darkness
--an inexplicable and confusing ending that I won't spoil here because I didn't understand it enough to spoil it
--the accent that actor Terence Jenkins gives his villain, a guy that is apparently supposed to be German
--the stunning performance and sideburns of Phil Newman who played a character we just called Knife Guy
--gratuitous nudity
--R.J. McKay's wacky performance as "Raymond," the character who shouts out that "It's show time!" line and for some reason always has a snack in every scene he's in
--another character (I don't know the actor's name unfortunately) who we just called "Bathtub Guy" because he spent the entire movie taking a bath. That is not an exaggeration.
--Bathtub Guy's death scene--absolutely incredible

With no-budget effects, clueless storytelling, and terrible acting, this manages to be pretty special. We're on a ridiculous streak with Bad Movie Club right now.

R.I.P., Bathtub Guy

The Time Machine

1960 science fiction classic

Rating: 16/20

Plot: A scientist climbs into a sleigh with a giant spinning plate behind it and travels into the distant future to discover that (God damn!) the maniacs blew it up.

I want to see a movie detailing what happens to that man who Rod Taylor fashions out of a cigar and sends away in a miniature time machine. Where's that cigar go? What are his adventures? Somebody needs to get on this immediately.

George Pal's creativity shines through a story that's a little stuffy at times. Floating clocks getting a little Twilight Zone-y in the opening credits followed by the bombast of the title screen music; the time travel scene graphics with the shot of the time-lapsed sky and flowers and stop-motion snails and candles; later rock erosion that is a quaint enough effect to be completely magical or a decomposing Morlock. I love early-60's special effects so much. Later, there's painted backdrops, something I always enjoy seeing in movies, and some goofy nuclear blast models in a scene that completely ignores science in a way that you just have to admire. That Morlock cave is a classic sci-fi set, almost like something that they borrowed from the people responsible for the Batman television show. The Morlocks themselves look pretty cool as well, at least when they're shown in shadows or at a distance. Taylor gets a chance to show off fisticuffs not befitting a scientist during that Morlock scene. Fisticuffs and whip fights, the only thing missing being some onomatopoeic word splashes! I wondered if anybody famous played a Morlock and was surprised to see that there wasn't a single Morlock credited which makes you wonder if Morlocks are actually real. It wouldn't surprise me since this was also the movie that convinced me that Sebastian Cabot was real. Speaking of Cabot--have you ever heard his version of Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe"? That's definitely real:

But I digress. Morlocks: probably not real, but I don't think we can 100% rule it out.

My favorite scene in the movie is when Taylor's using his time machine for the first time and watching a mannequin being repeatedly undressed and redressed while pervily fondling the handle of his time machine. "Hmm," he says, "I wonder how far they'll permit this to go?" Well, George Pal and company almost permitted this to take a left on Masturbation Avenue during that scene. Later on, Taylor gets an eyeful of his first bikini, and I'm surprised he didn't whip out his time machine key and start stroking the thing immediately. I like what this says about the future although humanity should definitely reconsider the haircuts, especially the male's haircuts. And probably their names. Love this dialogue though:

H.G.: What's your name?
Future Girl: Weena.
H.G.: Weena?

The future is, according to 1960's The Time Machine at least, got unexpected Morlock action and the completely expected silver jumpsuits and monorail. Why did everybody envision monorails in the future? But anyway, I like what this says about where humanity is heading, ideas that are probably dismally prescient. Watching Taylor sweep his hands through disintegrating books and getting just as angry as Charlton Heston at the end of Apes might be the most depressing scene in any science fiction movie this whimsical.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the titular invention itself. I really like it even though it's about the dopiest time machine a person could imagine. Well, other than maybe a police box that is bigger on the inside than it is the outside. But seriously, this thing's pretty cool:

At the end of the movie [Spoiler alert!], the character has returned to the future and taken three books with him. The question's asked: "Which three books would you have taken?" It's a good one to consider. Which three would you take?

New York City Movie Fest: Men in Black

1997 comedic sci-fi

Rating: 14/20

Plot: The Fresh Prince teams up with a surly veteran of the titular organization which specializes in extraterrestrial shenanigans and immediately is thrown into a situation where he has to save the earth from being blown to pieces by irate aliens.

I'm surprised at how clever this very well-dressed B-movie is, especially since it starts with an almost inexcusable alien pun. But "Looks like you've got some entrails on you, pal" hooks you before a great swoop toward Tommy Lee who is cooler than cool in this. I'm not sure that I like Will Smith here or if I ever like him at all. He's full of personality, of course, but that really only goes so far. A lot of the humor in this is predictable, but there are enough surprises in this to make you forget about all of those. The funniest stuff is with Vincent D'Onofrio's Edgar, from a country over-alled prick to a guy who looks like his "flesh was hanging off his bones." Great special effects with D'Onofrio, but a lot of it's the general shape he puts himself in and his movements. It's a great performance even without all the special effects. Rip Torn and David Cross also make appearances, and Verne Troyer is also apparently in this. You know, before he got big. I could probably do without the superfluous subplot featuring Tommy Lee and his former love. Anyway, this movie sometimes stretches things a little too thin but is mostly fun enough to be worth anybody's time.

New York City Movie Fest: The Fisher King

1991 romantic comedy

Rating: 16/20

Plot: A jerky former shock jock, following a violent crime that was at least partially based on the influence of his words, befriends a homeless man in search of the Holy Grail. When it turns out that the homeless man's life was affected by the crime, the DJ tries to help him put his life back together and avoid some scary red knight guy who's riding around Central Park.

Here's a confession that I don't believe I've ever made on this blog: I didn't like Jeff Bridges at all when this movie came out, and it was almost entirely because of the way his hair looked in it. I didn't really know him though. I knew he was the dude (no pun intended) in Tron which was a little redeeming, and I liked Thunderbolt and Lightfoot as a kid but didn't recognize him as Lightfoot. I don't think I liked him in Starman or King Kong either. For a long time, I just thought he was that guy with dick hair who was in Tron for some reason. I still don't like his hair--that fucking ponytail or that fucking bang he always has to brush away--and that scarf he wears? Come on! Of course, the dude's (pun intended this time) won me over, and I think he plays a dick with a heart well here, having one-sided conversations with a Pinocchio doll or trolling stuffy women with lines like, "It's kind of a big titty spread cheeky kind of thing." His voice is perfect for radio, by the way, and I like how Jack's shot in the opening scene in the radio studio where shadows make it look like a jail cell and a camera looking at him from above and stretching to a top that probably isn't there foreshadows a lonely and gray existence. There's another shot with Bridges in a sea of yellow taxis, just so many visuals that trap the character on the screen. Gilliam's sets here aren't nearly as fantastical as they are in his more cartoonish movies, but he uses them well. Parry's boiler room is a perfectly cluttered set, and a usually murky park and a sometimes ritzy and sometimes decaying New York also look great. New York in The Fisher King is a dreamy gray place with constantly swirling pieces of litter, the occasional random little person, a pair of dancers, and loads of lunatics. It paints the city as a place inhabited by nearly all lunatics. I love the lunatics and hobos in this thing, especially John (William Preston) with his mad scream, the "Sell! Sell! Buy!" guy who that Cramer Mad Money guy obviously got his shtick from, a woman screaming about whatever in a hospital lobby, and the effeminate cabaret singer played by the insanely-talented Michael Jeter who was Sesame Street's Mr. Noodle. He gets one scene that's great because it's quirky and one other scene that's great because it's great and he's great. And of course there's good ol' Tom Waits talking about how we're heading for social anarchy when people start pissing on bookstores. He's such a great storyteller, even when they're not his words. There are all kinds of great movie lunatics bouncing off each other in this Gilliam clunk yard, and then there's obviously Robin Williams in what might be my favorite role of his as Parry. I think the thing about Robin Williams is that whatever he was doing, you just kind of had to believe him. He's brilliant here, possibly flashing his schlong in the shadows (unless my mind, like it often does, was just filling in gaps and discussing bowel movements that border on the mystical. His crazy seems natural, a comedic spin on unhinged, and Williams dances on the screen even when he's not dancing. But there is a scene where there actually is dancing, right there in Grand Central Station in front of Tom Waits, and for whatever reason, that eruption of dance and the shot where Parry spots his girl hits hard and really hit hard this latest time I watched the movie.

Creamer vs. Creamer--you got to love those porn titles. And was that Steve Buscemi perusing titles in the back room?

Bad Movie Club: Furious

1984 martial arts magic

Rating: 10/20 (Josh: 11/20; Jeremy: no rating; Fred: 18/20; Libby: 17/20; Carrie: no rating)

Plot: Hell if I know! I'm just going to steal what has to say: "Martial arts heroes battle aliens from the Astral Plane for control of the universe." Yeah, that makes complete sense.

Sometimes, you watch a movie and afterward, just ask yourself, "What the hell did I just watch?" Apparently, this was one of Kim Jong Il's favorite movies, and I'm not sure what that says about anything, but it makes me like that little guy a lot better. Any friend of Furious is a friend of mine. This movie is all magic and mindfuckery, and there's a scene with a magician ninja guy conjuring exploding chickens that will make you shit your fucking pants. Forgive the cursing, but when you've got a magician ninja guy conjuring exploding chickens, you really can't help it. The movie's a hyperbole, a nonsensical wild hyperbolic ride through a dimension you've never even heard of--perhaps the Astral Plane!--and you'll shake your head in bewilderment when you're not crying about how terrible the fight scenes are. Like kung-fu-fighting sherpas? This movie's got 'em. Like talking pigs? Yep, Furious has that covered. How about a waterfall that gives advice? You betcha Furious has one of those! How about a magical raptor talon? Yeah, there's one of those. Oh, and are you one of those movie watchers who just can't stand dialogue? This might be the movie for you since it has very little dialogue. The first line isn't even spoken until after the 12-minute mark. Not that the visuals do a great job telling the story, mind you, but it still does add to the weirdness. The sound doesn't exactly tell the story either although the sound effects guy does everything he can to make this a magical experience. And my absolutely favorite thing about this near-masterpiece: a few shots of this Devo-on-speed band just jamming away in the bad guy headquarters. I nearly peed every time they were on the screen. Those fight scenes might be terrible, the acting might be worse, and the plot might be totally incomprehensible. However, this one's actually worth watching because it's unique. Kim Jong Il and Sarah Palin approved, the latter because I assume you can see Alaska from the Astral Plane. And there's a monster shown in this for about three seconds that looks like something that would be friends with Sarah Palin.

Bad Movie Club: Ax 'Em

1992 horror movie

Rating: 1/20 (Josh: 0/20; Fred: **/20; Libby: didn't make it; Jeremy: not sure if he made it)

Plot: A bunch of black people go out to the woods for some reason and are chased around by a murderous brute who doesn't have an ax.

Michael Mfume's only film, ostensibly because the film's writer, director, and star accomplished every single thing he set out to do here. And his grandmother, I'm sure, is proud. Why am I bringing her up? Well, at the end of the movie, there's a dedication to the poor woman. And I'm sure that's the cinematic equivalent of unearthing a person's corpse and putting it in a series of compromising positions while your friends and you take pictures. That dedication has to be the worst thing one human being has ever done to a dead woman. I don't even know where the begin with this one, quite possibly the worst we've encountered as Bad Movie Clubbers. In a way, it reminds me of Finnegan's Wake or something, some piece of art that you could spend your entire life with and never quite unravel. Ax 'Em is a movie that you could watch over and over again, just get lost in the thing if you wanted to, and still never discover everything that is wrong with it. First, let's look at the title card this movie starts with:

It's like the poetry of a deranged hobo, something he wrote on a can of beans with a nail or something. I think it shows just how much time Mfume spent with his movie. I'm a middle school teacher when I'm not watching bad movies with people or practicing my ventriloquism so that I can someday not be a middle school teacher, and this is the exact kind of thing I get on my students about. "You didn't proofread!" This is your first impression of Ax 'Em, and there are enough randomly capitalized words, grammatical errors, and ambiguity to make you eject the bad boy before you even see a character. Or an ax. Actually, speaking of that titular weapon--there really isn't one. There's a hatchet used hilariously in an early scene of dimly-lit and hard-to-hear violence, but this guy right here:

doesn't use an ax even once. He uses a telephone though to kill one character, and the events leading up to that murder have to be seen to be believed. I'd name these characters, by the way, but the movie doesn't and therefore, I can't. They don't have names, and you can't understand a word they're saying. I know there are a bunch of "Yo Mama" jokes at the beginning. I caught that. Other than that, I got nothing. You get to watch the characters eat a lot though. I think there are twelve dinner table scenes in all, and that's a little strange because I think the movie takes place in a 24 hour period. Mfume himself plays a role because why wouldn't he? I'm not sure which character Mfume played, but if it's the one I thought it was, he was good, real good. He gets a great scene where he sort of dances and another where he uses a fake accent for reasons that are never explained. Mfume is the son of a congressman named Kweisi Mfume who was probably just as happy as Grandma with this display of young Michael's talents. Actually, Michael Mfume was arrested for rape in George, and I seriously doubt that was as embarrassing to the congressman as this movie was. Hell, dad might have been embarrassed enough because his son apparently owns a jean jacket with Mickey Mouse on it!

Oh, and you know how I said you couldn't hear any of the characters? You definitely can't, but you can hear somebody say "action" at one point and "cut" at another. That's just glorious. And there's another scene where a character is pissing, and that, for whatever reason, is loud and clear. Another inexplicable moment:  character looks directly into the camera and says, "Get a piece of the rock." And this title screen:

Any title screen that I could make using PowerPoint is probably not very professional looking.

Seriously. He dedicated this shit to his dead grandmother. Way to kick an old lady when she's down, Mfume.

Bad Movie Club: The Terror of Tiny Town

1938 little person Western

Rating: 6/20 (Johnny: 2/20; Jeremy: 10/20; Fred: 14/20; Josh: .5/20; Jeremy: no rating; Libby: no rating; Ozzy: no rating)

Plot: I already wrote about this movie right here.

This was an impromptu Bad Movie Club get-together, and we watched a classic. I have to love a movie that seems like one of my random ideas. "Hey, how about this--a Western with a cast of little people!" There's no way I'd ever dream of pulling something like that off, of course, but I swear I have thoughts like that all the time. That Jed Buell and director Sam Newfield were able to make a dream of mine come true 35 years before my birth is really something. I don't really have anything to add to what I wrote before except with this viewing, I noticed and was enamored by a penguin that appears in one scene. It's almost like stock footage accidentally crashed the film or something. There are a bunch of little fellows in a barber shop, a song that probably isn't very good or intelligible, and a bunch of dialogue you can't understand, and then wham! Penguin. I'm not sure how the bird found its way into the titular town, but I bet it left embarrassed.

As some of you might recall, I named one of my End-of-Year awards after Billy Curtis. I'd seen this movie during this blog's first year, and at the end of the second year, made the mistake of thinking I'd given Curtis my "Midget of the Year" award. In his honor, I named it after him, and then discovered later that he didn't even win the thing. In fact, he's never won the damn thing! He's not even my favorite actor in the movie though. No, that's the tall, wrinkly guy. I'm not feeling motivated enough to figure out his name.

No, wait. Actually, my favorite one might have been the one who downed two giant glasses of booze. That, or there was some special effects trickery where they just showed him killing the same glass twice. If it's the latter, I definitely feel cheated.

Bad Movie Club: Nick Fury: Agent of Shield

1998 television movie

Rating: 5/20 (Fred: don't remember; Josh: don't remember)

Plot: Don't remember.

Fred needed a Hasselhoff fix, and his role as the titular action hero (or whatever he is--I won't pretend to know anything about this character's background) is the only good thing about this. We watched it about a month ago, and I was a little bored with it. It looks like a t.v. movie, and Hasselhoff is always a little distracting, even with just one eye, because he seems like he's twice the size of everybody else on the screen. He's like the anti-Chaplin. Chaplin always somehow managed to look much smaller than he actually was, and David Hasselhoff always looks like a big stupid giant man. There's one terrific scene that takes us behind Hasselhoff's eyepatch, a place I never would have thought I wanted to go; otherwise, this isn't a bad movie that is worth your time.


2012 fairy tale

Rating: 16/20 (Mark: 17/20)

Plot: It's exactly like the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs except it's got bullfighting.

I definitely appreciated that, as one of those modern silent movies, this stuck to the aesthetics of 1920's cinema. Camera angles, transitions, and classic-style music contributed to make this seem like a lost and very weird silent film. The Spanish flavor, including the original twist on the fairy tale to make the titular protagonist a bullfighter, almost makes you forget that this is even based on the fairy tale. Well, maybe until the little people come along. I probably could have used more of them, especially the one who looked like Patton Oswalt. Maybe that was Patton Oswalt. He's not exactly a large person, and with modern movie wizardry, they could have easily Hobbitfied him anyway. There's a too-lengthy exposition and a some editing during a couple scenes that made this a little too artsy-fartsy at times, but this is otherwise a beautiful film with a really touching ending that is not at all spoiled by every other version of the fairy tale that you've seen or read. I really liked how the plot wasn't at all dependent on title cards. It's the type of silent film with a story that can be understood with just the imagery, and although that might be partly because we sort of know the story, the visual storytelling is also great. The evil queen was almost sexy and, as a bonus, a little bit kinky. I thought the guy who played the dad gave the best performance, especially during one touching scene, and his funeral was great because it gave my brother and I an idea for our own funerals--allowing people to pose for pictures with our corpses. C'mon, you know that's the next logical step after selfies anyway, isn't it? I went to a wedding a few weekends ago where they had one of those photobooth things allowing guests to dress up and pose for a quartet of hilarious shots. Mark and I have agreed to make this happen for whoever dies first, and putting it in the blog probably makes it legally binding. But back to the movie. It's got some sweet little people action including one in drag and one with an eye patch, and if you ever watched Disney's version of Snow White and thought that it could use more S&M, chickens or goats, or something very close to lesbian necrophilia, this is probably a movie you should check out.

Oprah Movie Club for July: Faces of Death

1978 horror documentary

Rating: 9/20

Plot: An actor playing a mortician or pathologist takes us on a tour of human and sometimes animal death to show us the titular countenances upon their demise.

In retrospect, this wasn't the best pick for the Oprah Movie Club. I don't know about any of you, but I really didn't enjoy it at all. Dr. Gross narrates the film with this sort of fatuous philosophical angle, but the majority of this is nothing but shocks. It wasn't nearly as disturbing as I expected it to be, probably to the point where that became disappointing. Time has not been good to this thing's ability to shock, and this movie's special place on a shelf at the movie store that made it like this forbidden fruit seems almost comical in 2014 when people can easily see this type of violent nonsense on Youtube anytime they want. The beginning shows a beating heart suddenly stopping which is actually one of the more chilling visuals from the movie. There are a ton of dead bodies around in this opening scene, things that used to be people, and some autopsy footage that is hard enough to watch but which had sounds (probably enhanced) that disturbed me a lot more than anything I was seeing. Mexican mummies were chilling, and I probably was a little too fascinated watching a headless rooster write and flap and flail around after decapitation. That's how I want to go, by the way--doing some kind of psychotic death dance that people would chuckle at if there was less blood. In addition to the rooster, there's a lot of animal cruelty (dog fighting, etc.) here that some people would hate even more than the shots of dead human beings. That might be because a lot of the dead human stuff is staged, often very poorly. That acting in those scenes is terrible which would make a lot of it comical if it all wasn't so weird and that Dr. Gross wasn't so serious. It's often accompanied by this really inappropriate music, like the lighthearted jazzy score during a faker-than-fake electrocution scene. Those vibes were just a little too chipper, if you know what I mean. Another staged scene features a bear attack that is almost well done, but I really couldn't figure out why a car started honking during the attack. The narrator philosophizes, "Perhaps it proves a point that we are not as intelligent as we think." That Dr. Gross! Another odd couple of scenes move into religious realms with a cannibalistic orgy cult that may or may not be fake and some Pentecostals handling snakes, speaking in tongues, fiercely wiggling, and sticking their chests in fire.

This movie almost makes a point or two, but an inconsistent tone and obviously faked footage makes it more of a 1970's oddity than a cult classic worth watching.

Sorry that I'm late with the July Oprah Movie Club write-up. I know a lot of you have eagerly waited for this one.

Mystery Fest: Godzilla

1998 reboot

Rating: 10/20

Plot: The titular reptile wreaks havoc on America's East Coast. Will they stop him in time for the end credits?

Cory didn't like the Godzilla movie I watched on his birthday, so I decided to double down and check out this late-20th Century version that he also doesn't like. At least I don't think he likes it. No fan of the lovable beast seems to like it, and during the first half an hour or so, I had trouble understanding why. "What is wrong with these Godzilla aficionados?" I asked as I enjoyed the opening credits which allow you to piece together an exposition with tiny Godzillas looking bemused by mushroom clouds all in yellow and brown tones and the first appearance of Godzilla--mostly just his feet--which combines some really good special effects and camera angles with people actually in peril rather than just running away and screaming with the monster in the background like the Japanese people usually do. Those cars bouncing with Godzilla's massive footsteps, shots of people carrying black umbrellas, and those glimpses and near glimpses of the reptile? I was digging it and wondered why others didn't. And I love that only-in-a-big-action-movie scene with Joe the fisherman fighting with what he thinks is a big catch while this overly-dramatic music plays. The post-destruction scenes with smoldering buildings and a building with a Godzilla-shaped hole with all those helicopters flying around Manhattan are also really well done. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill once you get that money shot and realize that Godzilla looks pretty stupid. I think the designers out-thunk themselves with this one, and it's hard to see the monster they present here and understand why they even called the thing Godzilla. Eventually, it turns into a bunch of mini-Godzillas instead of one giant Godzilla, and the special effects get sillier and sillier until Matthew Broderick, like he thinks he's in a Doctor Who episode or something, is knocking over gumball machines and basketballs in Market Square Arena so that the baby reptile monsters fall down as they chase him. The CGI effects, though sometimes pretty impressive for the late-90s, don't always create fake things that mesh well with the real things. And the worst scene of this movie is where the characters are in a taxi cab that ends up inside Godzilla's mouth. It's an example of where a stupid idea meets stupid execution to create a perfect storm of stupid. The characters in this are almost all unlikable, mostly because they're really bland. I really didn't care what any of the characters were doing, and I didn't like a single scene where humans were interacting with other humans. I didn't understand or care about what Jean Reno was trying to accomplish in this, thought the romantic subplot was forced, and was just annoyed at Hank Azaria who wasn't nearly as good here as he was in The Smurfs. I do like a scene where he takes a photograph of Godzilla's taint though. And I also like how Broderick's character's knowledge of earthworms factored into things so much. "You know, when I had to catch earthworms. . ." is a line that should have been interrupted with a firm "What the hell are you even doing in this movie?" I did kind of enjoy the score as much as you can enjoy a big summer blockbuster score although it was a little too in-your-face at times.

What's this movie about? They mayor puts it best when he says, "You've caused more damage than that god-damned beast did!" This seems to have a moral that has to do with the military in a more general way than the Japanese movies. But don't let me trick you into thinking there's anything intelligent about this movie because there's not. It occasionally looks pretty good and has one or two scenes that are borderline thrilling, but it's not nearly as entertaining or endearing as the older Godzilla movies. It's flashier and louder, however, if that's your thing.

Bad Movie Club: Creature

1985 Alien rip-off

Rating: 7/20 (Libby: 5/20; Josh: 8/20; Carrie: 5/20; Fred: 4/20;  Johnny: no rating; Jeremy: no rating; Jonathan: Not sure he made it to the end of his first Bad Movie Club movie)

Plot: Space travelers head over to a planet where a German spaceship had some issues and run into the titular alien and Klaus Kinski. They argue over which one is more dangerous.

This was a boring bad movie, but I knew Kinski was in it and was therefore on the edge of my seat until his first appearance. He doesn't disappoint, seemingly speaking lines that he'd memorized in English phonetically, over-enunciating and over-acting in ways that added to the weirdness of his pervy, somewhat-unhinged character. Of course, if you were the lone survivor of your space mission and had nothing to do but try your best to not use up all the oxygen, you'd probably get a little weird, too. Other than a little gratuitous nipplage, the sort of nudity where you just know filmmaker William Malone figured that his movie was a little dull and needed to put something on the screen worth watching, there's not much to see here. The "creature," when you finally get to see him, looks pretty ridiculous, like a sticky puppet, and although the spaceship interior sets and the landscapes outside the planet aren't embarrassing, the whole movie has this single tone that makes it a little flat. A weird ending and a complete disregard for science might annoy halfway intelligent viewers. This is one for Klaus Kinski completists only.

Mystery Fest: The Rescuers

1977 cartoon

Rating: 14/20 (Buster: 20/20)

Plot: A pair of mice--the titular ones--get help from a bug and an albatross in their efforts to save a little girl named Penny from a villainous woman who is looking for a diamond.

This isn't exactly the classic that poster or dvd-cover up there is suggesting, but it's entertaining enough and has this shot:

That's always been my favorite of those hidden Mickeys, those sneaky little adult visual in-jokes that the Disney animators are always being accused of inserting in the otherwise child-friendly movies. Like the spelling of S-E-X in The Lion King or the guy's boner in The Little Mermaid. I can understand somebody arguing a lot of those. ("What? That's not a boner!") But there's no way you can argue about what's going on in that shot in this cute little story about talking animals. I mean, those are non-animated boobs.

The movie's not bad at all, but the characters aren't exactly memorable. The mice are dull, even the ones who are stereotypes of various nationalities. Newhart and Gabor are adequate as Bernard and Miss Bianca, but the characters just seem a little too insignificant to be the main characters in a movie named after them. The bird and bug are fine. I like the redneck mouse voiced by the great Pat Buttram. I just wrote about villians, and Madame Medusa doesn't quite live up to her name but is at least sufficiently nasty. She's got a doofus for a sidekick, a pair of alligators (or are they crocodiles?), a great villain lair, and a pretty sweet ride. The animation isn't great, but the use of color is and makes up for what I believe was a pretty low budget. I really liked the flight through New York City although one of the worst songs ever plays during the last part of it. And the credits, a series of still images that show a bottle's journey, are cool.

2 Everything 2 Terrible Tokyo Drift

2010 mind-melter

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Unlike the Everything Is Terrible collective's Doggiewoggiez Poochiewoochiez!, a 2012 remake of Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain using nothing but borrowed clips from famous movies and obscure videos featuring dogs, this has no plot whatsoever.

I recommended this to my brother who emailed back and asked--more or less--what I was doing with my life watching stuff like this. And here, I thought it was the epitome of artistry. I think he's come around though. This is the sort of thing that appeals to me on multiple levels. First, I'm a fan of the method, a mad method of sampling and recontextualization. It's avant-garde, but it's the way I like my avant-garde with constant elbow nudging and a tongue in cheek. There are recognizable movies here including a couple we've watched for bad movie club, and an intimidating amount of silly video snippets from Christian puppet shows, randy pornographies, news programs, infomercials, and whatever the hell else these guys dug up while scouring thrift stores, yard sales, or people's garbage cans. It's a deluge of imagery that paints humanity as a doomed race of dumbasses, an aural and sonic assault that I reckon would irritate nearly everybody who hasn't already acquired a taste for this sort of thing--the cinematic equivalent of a Negativland, only more unhinged--but for me was just the kind of visceral experience that makes me giddy. It's wild, and I'm impressed with it as a labor of love. It's a 55-minute film, but it's the kind that feels like it could have taken the lifetime of a deranged mad scientist to create. I can't even make a guess on just how many items were sampled here or how many overall snippets this contains, and I would have just as much trouble guessing how many hours this took to put together. It's not a hodgepodge either although it is a hodgepodge, a mind-fuckery that always seems to be threatening to cross the line into too-much or completely intolerable. But it really is artfully put together with themes popping up here and there. It's almost like a time capsule, a slice of life from circa the mid-80's to maybe the mid-90's. There's something like nostalgia, but it's not the kind of nostalgia that makes you feel good. It's more like a nostalgia that makes you sick to your stomach and makes you feel a little sad for the species. Is there a word for that because I believe nostalgia always has a positive connotation. Anyway, it's sick in a good way because this is enormously entertaining. The child within couldn't stop giggling in the wee hours, guffaws that shook the bed and threatened to wake my wife which made me decide to stop watching and continue the next morning. This is awe-inspiring stuff, and I'm putting all of their videos on my Christmas list.

I first started watching what I thought was the first movie but what actually turned out to be bonus material or something. I was hooked instantly with a montage of news clips with talking heads reporting on people seeing Jesus in pieces of toast and other things. Some of the stuff made me laugh like a ninny, some probably gave me nightmares that I don't remember, and some made me wonder about the context. I watched with a constant grin but was also a little sick at what humanity has accomplished. After that stuff, I saw 2 Everything 2 Terrible Tokyo Drift and figured it had to be good since even the title made me laugh.

You can check some of these guys' stuff out here. And you should!