Sunday, October 21, 2007

October Surprise: Halloween Bad Movie Day!

This past Saturday's Bad Movie Day had a modest turnout, mostly due to typical change-of-season illnesses, but the smaller audience did little to blunt the pain caused by our Halloween-themed Bad Movie lineup.

Attendees of Bad Movie Day rarely show up at the same time, so the first few films shown are always casually background affairs. We started things off light with a quick screening of Manos: The Hands of Fate, now apparently tying with Plan Nine From Outer Space for the title of Worst Film Ever Made. This eased us into the 1986 Trick or Treat starring Marc "Skippy from Family Ties" Price, a lovely little cautionary tale about a pre-Columbine social outcast who turns to heavy metal music to escape peer abuse, but then opts out of a crazed shooting spree and decides to fight a electric-powered rock star demon instead. Trick or Treat was apparently so good, the remade it (see: completely ripped it off) three years later as the guilty pleasure Shocker.

By five o'clock, the victims had assembled, and it was time to get dirty. First up was the warm-up film Bats, starring Lou "What the fuck happened to my career" Diamond Phillips as the redneck sherriff in charge of save his sleepy southern town from an army of government-project gentically-engineered super-intelligent killer bats. Just remember to keep telling yourself, "This film cost forty million dollars, this film cost forty million dollars..."

Then we all settled in for the main feature: Stuart Gordon's From Beyond, a hasty Lovecraft adaptation he rushed out to feed on the success of Re-Animator. Welcome to Benevolant St., which seems to be overly populated with slimy sado-masachistic shapeshifting evil geniuses, oversized phallic pinneal glands, giant tuning forks that melt the walls between dimensions and make everyone nearby incredibly horny, and a giant 'It' that will bite your head off... Like a Ginger Bread Man!!!

The final film of the night, some campy dessert to ease the digestion, was the 80's classic Chopping Mall, an almost textbook example of why those of us who grew up in the eighties are obsessed with bad movies. Here's a minute-ling trailer that does little to convey the true horror of the seventy-three minute feature itself. Those of you who attended Bad Movie Day will easily spot the three shots not even present in the film:

By this point even I was crying mercy, and so we called it a night. Stay tuned for the next Bad Movie Day. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Welcome to Celuloid Hell

Exactly how mind-numbingly Godawful does the fall stable of films have to be for the top-grossing films of the past month to be Resident Evil 3 and The Game Plan?

Now, I'll be perfectly honest and admit that watching Paul Anderson's latest crapfest and The Rock's stab at Kindergarten Cop hit number one at the Box Office makes me want to rinse my mouth out with lemon-soaked razor blades. But the only thing more unfathomable then people lining up to pay hard-earned money to see this crap is the shock the studios are undergoing at the demise of films they were convinced would be hits.

A few hints for the typically clueless studio execs about their recent lineup failures:

The Dark is Rising: What happens when you try to jump on the magical epic children series franchise bandwagon five years too late? Huge flop. If Neil Gaimen's Stardust disaster wasn't enough warning, then maybe you should have seen through your focus groups' lies and realized that most people are simply too afraid of looking dull and boorish to admit that they are sick to fucking death of the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/Chronicles of Narnia shit. More mindless cartoons, please.

The Heartbreak Kid: Leave it to these idiots to beat the Something About Mary horse to death with a rusty tire iron. Someone should either get Ben Stiller a new agent, or just put a shotgun to the back of his head and end his suffering now. Christ, even Jim Carey realized that people will get fed up with you if you keep pulling the same three expressions over and over again. Even if you didn't care for The Number 23, you have to admit its better than cranking out Dumb & Dumber/Ace Ventura clones.

The Kingdom: Not exactly a flop, but still not making as much as the critical acclaim should be justifying. Why the lackluster interest about Americans being killed in the Middle East? Maybe, just maybe, its because we've been watching happen for real in the news every day for the past six years! What, you thought Middle-Eastern Conflict was an untapped market? The saddest part is that America's preference of watching The Rock scold an eight year old girl over enduring more war footage is going to be blamed on Jamie Foxx's "Viability as a Lead Actor" and not on some studio head's ognorance of the phrase "Oversaturated Market."