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Futtocks

The cheesy B-Movie thread

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4 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I've heard about these sorts of films but never really seen one

Like a parallel world 

Even in the world of bad movies, there are good-bad ones and bad-bad ones.

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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Max Magician and the Secret of the Rings (2002)
An hilariously wretched rip-off of elements of franchises that were the money-spinners at the time.

Max, a young boy who is bullied at school, practises stage magic before being given a book by a mysterious neighbour, and enters a magic kingdom to battle an evil demon ruler. The magic rings are only fitfully significant. In fact, most of the significant action happens without their involvement. Part of the final battle even rips off 'Bedknobs & Broomsticks'.

I don't recall a single likeable character in this... thing, which boasts some of the most stilted and amateurish acting you could imagine. The only memorable characters are the obnoxious ones. The talking mouse who makes me want to buy and bait more traps is one. The character Tom T!t Tot (yes, really), who only speaks in (execrable) rhymes is another.

The main bad guy's face makeup isn't actually too bad, but he hams his part up to the kind of OTT level that even Gary Oldman would balk at. Some of his henchmen can be seen struggling to keep a straight face during his speeches.

Chuck in the members of the Crownsville ren-fest to bulk out the crowd scenes and you have something almost like a movie, without ever being one. They also had the services of a guy who knew a bit of martial arts for precisely one scene.

Okay, some of the lighting and cinematography is more competent than the material deserves, but the ADR is extremely hit and miss.

So, this is both offensively cynical and risibly incompetent. Pretty entertaining with a few drinks inside you, but otherwise to be given the same wide berth that you would a urine-soaked tramp.

Edited by Futtocks

"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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Action USA (1989)

You can't sue this movie for false advertising! Everything, and I mean everything in this movie is wired with enough explosives to make the average Cannon movie look like a Merchant-Ivory production.

The only damp squibs are everything else, in a movie which may well have been written by an educationally-backward teenage boy with hairy palms.

It opens with Billy Ray (played by <snigger> Rod Shaft), swigging beer while driving the sort of car that makes it absolutely clear that even the Large Hadron Collider couldn't detect his genitals.

i519790.jpg

He's also groping his passenger, Carmen, before going back to their place to have the gratuitous breasts scene with terrible "sexy" dialogue. Then two thugs break in and kidnap Billy Ray, and Carmen sets off in pursuit.

Turns out Billy Ray's stolen some diamonds from a crime lord (B-movie stalwart Cameron Mitchell). The criminals also have connections in the FBI, which makes things difficult for the two honest FBI agents who find Carmen and attempt to protect her 'til she can give evidence. 

Cue car chases, aerial stunts, a brawl in a Country & Western bar, double-crosses, a shower scene and explosions. Lots of explosions. Big explosions.

To the movie's credit, a lot of the stunt work is pretty good, such as the helicopter scene, where it is clear that a real person is dangling by one leg as they swerve through the city at low altitude, and not a dummy. The trouble is, when stuntmen make movies instead of working in them, you end up with lots of action and not much else. Sometimes, like 'Hooper', they are fun enough to work. Sometimes you get 'Megaforce' or, even worse, 'Action USA'.

So, while the drivers hit top gear, shift your own brain into neutral and enjoy things going BANG!


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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1 hour ago, glemiln said:

 

 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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The Divine Enforcer (1992)
Erik "CHiPs" Estrada! Jan-Michael "Airwolf" Vincent! Jim "American Football" Brown! Robert "Samurai Cop" Z'dar! Robert "Samurai Cop" Z'dar's chin! The lead character is played by none of these people! The lead is played by Michael "Who?" M.Foley! He was in "Karate Cop"! Woohoo!

The plot focuses on a psychic martial arts priest. Now this tends to be pretty cool in an oriental kung fu flick. Less so when it features a wooden lunkhead in a dog-collar. He's tracking doen a serial killer whose victim's skulls talk to him. When he's not using them as breakfast bowls, that is. This serial killer is played in full eye-rolling mode by Don Stroud, who's turned up in everything from "Django unchained" to "Hawk Warrior of the Wheelzone" (both in the same year!) to "Fantasy Island".

Meanwhile Estrada eats breakfast cereal in full cardinal's regalia, while a barely-conscious JMV clearly reads his lines from the newspaper he's holding. Action and attempted horror mixes clumsily with moments of forced humour.

Eventually our warrior priest kills the baddie while reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Very little makes sense, and there must be a ton of filler in the movie, as the Schlocksploitation Edit (which condenses stuff like this to just the good bits) only lasts about half an hour.

 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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On 21/09/2020 at 15:02, Futtocks said:

Max Magician and the Secret of the Rings (2002)
An hilariously wretched rip-off of elements of franchises that were the money-spinners at the time.

Max, a young boy who is bullied at school, practises stage magic before being given a book by a mysterious neighbour, and enters a magic kingdom to battle an evil demon ruler. The magic rings are only fitfully significant. In fact, most of the significant action happens without their involvement. Part of the final battle even rips off 'Bedknobs & Broomsticks'.

I don't recall a single likeable character in this... thing, which boasts some of the most stilted and amateurish acting you could imagine. The only memorable characters are the obnoxious ones. The talking mouse who makes me want to buy and bait more traps is one. The character Tom T!t Tot (yes, really), who only speaks in (execrable) rhymes is another.

The main bad guy's face makeup isn't actually too bad, but he hams his part up to the kind of OTT level that even Gary Oldman would balk at. Some of his henchmen can be seen struggling to keep a straight face during his speeches.

Chuck in the members of the Crownsville ren-fest to bulk out the crowd scenes and you have something almost like a movie, without ever being one. They also had the services of a guy who knew a bit of martial arts for precisely one scene.

Okay, some of the lighting and cinematography is more competent than the material deserves, but the ADR is extremely hit and miss.

So, this is both offensively cynical and risibly incompetent. Pretty entertaining with a few drinks inside you, but otherwise to be given the same wide berth that you would a urine-soaked tramp.

I'm sold. Where can I watch it? 

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12 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I'm sold. Where can I watch it? 

You were warned. This does have some audio cut-outs, presumably due to copyrighted parts of the soundtrack, but you can get the gist.

 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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Dead Heat (1988)
Currently available on Amazon Prime (UK).

A Buddy-cop/Zombie/Comedy combination, starring Joe Piscopo and Treat Williams, two actors who aren't huge names, but you will probably have seen them as supporting characters more than once.

Treat plays Roger Mortis (geddit?) and Joe his partner Doug Bigelow (no discernible pun), mis-matched buddies on the force. Roger's clean-cut and a smooth talker, while Doug's a crude, sexist ape. They bicker, but they're best pals and their shouty, angry captain (is there any other kind?) turns a blind eye to some of their more irregular methods because they get results, dammit! One-liner wisecracks abound from the start, so you know this is not a serious meditation on what being alive really means.

SPOILERS FROM NOW ON

They run into some trouble with jewel thieves who are somehow able to function with a ton of bullets in them. Their investigations bring them to a scientific institution where, after a zombie attack, Roger is trapped in a decompression chamber and dies.

In the institution, however, there is a resurrection machine which a helpful lady doctor instantly figures out how to operate. Quickly, Roger is up and about, and claiming to feel fine, despite not having a pulse. However, some temporal jeopardy is introduced when Rebecca, the helpful lady doctor, says he'll decompose in ten hours.

In the meantime, being dead makes Roger as hard to bump off as the bad guy's zombie goons, which gives the duo a temporary edge.

There's great scene in a butcher's shop where one of the bad guys uses the resurrection machine to bring all the meat to life and and attack the buddies. They must have had so much fun with the puppet-work for this.

So they solve the various clues and identify the baddie, who has been fairly obvious from early on. Doug also gets killed, as does Rebecca. It turns out that the bad guys (Dante Pharmaceuticals) have been resurrecting the super-rich, who are paying handsomely for the service, as they are also supplied with drugs to stop the decomposition process. One of the undead tycoons, played by Vincent Price, explains it in a very prescient Trump/Johnson manner "Poor people are supposed to die, but that doesn't apply to us. We're rich! God wants us to live forever! And even if he doesn't, we can always buy him off."

Unfortunately for them, the corpse they decide to resurrect as a product pitch for the assembled still-living rich guys is, yes, Doug. Roger turns up on a rescue mission and the two converge on the main bad guy, who kills himself rather than be arrested. Just for kicks, they chuck him in the machine, just to see what happens if someone gets the treatment twice (clue: it gets messy).

They then walk off into the afterlife, with Doug musing that he'd like to reincarnated as a girl's bicycle saddle.

The general pacing of the film is excellent, directed by Mark Goldblatt (far more successful as an editor than a director) and written by Shane Black's brother Terry. On a $5 million budget, this was an in-the-middle production - not a blockbuster, but not a bare-bones B either. So it mostly looks good, although the special effects are more a case of inspired work on a budget, than state of the art for the era.

This is not a great movie, but it is a lot of fun and pretty well made. Does it have mullets? Why, yes. Does it have a bitchen Eighties rockin' action theme tune? Again, yes. Is this a movie to watch with friends* and booze? Fill yer boots.

*while responsibly social distancing, of course.

Edited by Futtocks

"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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High School USA (1983)

From the director of... some episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard and starring Michael J.Fox, this is a by-the-numbers battle between the stuck-up preppies and the kewl free spirits and nerds.

Other cast members include Dana Plato and Todd Bridges, who were still in Diff'rent Strokes at the time and yet to graduate to careers in hardcore porn and armed robbery respectively. The uber-preppie bad guy is played by Anthony Edwards, who is probably better known for later appearing in Top Gun and ER.

Magnificent Eighties feather-cuts are on show at every turn, and nothing at all unexpected happens. Okay, apart from the blind Nazi teacher. He was quite fun.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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Gypsy (1990)
The penultimate movie directed by Amir Shervan, best known for the B-movie classic 'Samurai Cop'.

Harold Diamond (Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Killing American Style) plays the titular character Montana the Gypsy and, because he's Harold Diamond, has never quite figured out how to do up his shirt properly. He plays a Billy Jack-style loner who stands up for people who are under the thumb of the bad guys, led by Bob Houston, who also played the captain in 'Samurai Cop'.
The sheriff is played by Stuart Whitman, an Oscar-nominated actor whose CV ranges widely and wildly in quality. He turns in a perfectly decent performance here, which badly shows up the rest of the cast's shortcomings. Of these, porn star Delia Sheppard is actually one of the better actors, but her sex scene with Montana is horribly reminiscent of 'The Room', only in part due to the leading man's Tommy Wiseau-esque hair and terrible aim.
One of the worst performances is by Joselito Rescober (aka the waiter from 'Samurai Cop') as an extremely camp Native American tracker, but he is clearly so delighted to be in the film as well as producing it, it is kind of endearing.
Much of the movie is taken up with bad dialogue, awkward nudity and Montana kicking various interchangeable goons in the face. Basically, this is a grab-bag of bits from the 'Billy Jack' movies and 'Road House', but done very badly. And more shirtless dudes than a David DeCoteau flick.
Montana rescues a young woman from being raped by one of the bad guy's sons, so they flee to the border, chased by the goons, the law and a hired killer. Good guy beats bad guys, crusty old sheriff is convinced by his innocence, all is well.
Seeing this and other releases by Amir Shervan leads me to believe that 'Samurai Cop' was the director's most accomplished and - hard to believe - tasteful movie.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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I watched the original version of 'The Blob' (1958) on Horror Channel yesterday, haven't seen it in years, absolute classic, Steve McQueen's first starring role.

Interesting little fact about the film, it was originally released as the B-Movie to 'Married a Monster From Outer Space' in a double feature but quickly became the more popular film and was elevated to being the main feature in the double bill.

It got me thinking, how many other movies intended to be a B-Movie ended up being elevated out of that category? Anyone think of any? 

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6 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I watched the original version of 'The Blob' (1958) on Horror Channel yesterday, haven't seen it in years, absolute classic, Steve McQueen's first starring role.

Interesting little fact about the film, it was originally released as the B-Movie to 'Married a Monster From Outer Space' in a double feature but quickly became the more popular film and was elevated to being the main feature in the double bill.

It got me thinking, how many other movies intended to be a B-Movie ended up being elevated out of that category? Anyone think of any? 

Not quite a B-movie, but Casablanca was never a special attempt at an all time classic, just a bog-standard "churn 'em out every week" war film starring Ronald Reagan.

Edited by Futtocks
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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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17 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I watched the original version of 'The Blob' (1958) on Horror Channel yesterday, haven't seen it in years, absolute classic, Steve McQueen's first starring role

I enjoyed this.  I have not seen it before but  thought I had!   It has a familiar movie poster with the blob attacking the cinema?  Had no idea it was Steve McQueen's first lead role.  

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Just now, Charlie RL said:

I enjoyed this.  I have not seen it before but  thought I had!   It has a familiar movie poster with the blob attacking the cinema?  Had no idea it was Steve McQueen's first lead role.  

Yeah, first lead role, only his 3rd or 4th film altogether, he was 28 if I remember rightly and was credited as Steven McQueen. 

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Currently watching the 1957 movie Zero Hour!, which is available on archive.org albeit with a few seconds missing every now and then for some reason. That doesn't detract from the experience, though.

Now this film is notable only because this is the what Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker used as their source material for Airplane! This original is played as a deadly serious thriller, but you can't help laughing, as entire scenes and passages of dialogue are so familiar from the 1980 spoof. Even the names; the troubled pilot is Ted Stryker (Dana Andrews) and the woman he loves is called Ellen (Linda Darnell).


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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