Monday, August 18, 2014

Guilty Pleasure Movies Blogathon

If I'm anything, it's a man with a number of guilty pleasures when it comes to my movie watching. Sure, I love most of the movies we collectively call great. I even revere a number of them. Many of the films I personally consider the best of all time give us some great insight into the society as it was when said film was released. Do the Right Thing, 12 Angry Men, M, and Boyz N the Hood come to mind. Others are just examples of epic story-telling that stand the test of time. I'm talking stuff like Once Upon a Time in America, Oldboy, Schindler's List, and  the first two parts of The Godfather. Some are not only great stories, but have also advanced filmmaking from a technical aspect. The cinematic landscape irrevocably changed after Citizen Kane, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and The Matrix came out.

Screw all of them.

This is about the flicks I put on when I get a hankering to watch something outrageous. There may not be one socially redeeming quality about the movies I pick when I get in such a mood, but they're fun. They're usually bad, like beyond a shadow of a doubt bad, but I have a blast watching them. The binding thread between them is that they are really too loony for me to take even a little bit seriously. So yeah, some are violent to the point of being nihilistic, just for the sake of it. Gratuitous nudity is another common trait. In fact, most are exploitative in some form or another and they could all be called stupid.

What's your point?

These are MY guilty pleasures, not yours.


before I go on, I must thank the ladies who gave me the impetus for this post. The wonderful Jenna and Allie from Flick Chicks invited us bloggers to write about our own guilty pleasure movies. Since there must be rules, here they are in the words of our two gracious hostesses:

1 - You can choose and discuss as many or as few movies as you like. We both did a Top 10, but you can just choose 1 movie if you like. Just tell us a bit about the movie and why you like it so much.

2 - Please create a new post for our Blogathon, rather than linking an old post you may have already done.

3 - Please include our Blogathon Banner anywhere in your post

4 - The deadline for entries is Sunday, 31st August, so there's plenty of time!

This ain't about rules.

Sorry, girls.

This is about my undying love for crap cinema. In other words, even though I've developed a pretty good blogging relationship with Jenna and Allie they may regret letting me play this particular game. For maximum effect I'm going with a list...

My 10 (but more like 25) Most Guiltiest Pleasures

# 10 
At roughly 117 years of age, Sylvester Stallone decided to dust off one of his most iconic characters by making this, the fourth installment in the First Blood franchise. That first flick, is one of the best films ever made about Vietnam Vets. The sequel, Rambo: First Blood Part II is an action flick that takes the wonderfully nuanced character of John Rambo and transforms him into a superhero. It's dumb, but still a good time. Rambo III was action packed and dumb, but not a good time. This one doesn't even pretend to be a good movie. It pretty much just tries to see how many casualties it can cram into a movie less than 90 minutes long (actually 92 according to its imdb page, but that's just a flat out lie). So yeah, take another look at that pic. That's basically the plot. By the way, this is by far the most "acceptable" movie we'll be discussing today (but we'll be seeing Stallone again). It only gets worse better from here.

True Story.
Punisher: War Zone
Marvel's wonderful anti-hero The Punisher has been brought to the big screen three times. General consensus is that the second version starring Thomas Jane is the best. That depends on how you define "best." Is that one the most accomplished and polished of the three movies? Yes, it is. Is it my favorite? No, it's not. And it's not even close. The version with Jane is basically a re-enactment of every Steven Segal movie ever made. That can be fun. I like some Segal flicks, but it didn't stand out one bit. The older version starred Dolph Lundgren. Yeah, it starred Dolph Lundgren. Meh. This last version, Punisher: War Zone, is just bonkers from start to finish. It's incoherent and damn bloody. Is it good in any reasonable sense of the word? Hell no!

You've read the eloquent thoughts of my inner-sadist, now my inner-pig is requesting some air-time. He presents to you the wonderfully craptacular  H.O.T.S. If you're not familiar with this one, it's a 1979 sexploitation flick that I became familiar with as a very young teen in the early 80s. Set on a college campus, it deals with the weighty issue of gaining acceptance by ones peers. Honestly, the teen sex classic Revenge of the Nerds ripped off this movie for its premise. A group of girls not cool enough for the popular sorority start one of their own. Only instead of a giant school-wide battle of the bands, this one culminates in a strip football game between the two sororities.

Death Race 2000
Before Jason Statham remade it, there was this cult classic. It stars David Carradine and a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone. Given the details surrounding Carradine's actual death, his role here gains a whole new level of creepiness as he walks around in a leather suit, including a mask, a cape, and lots of zippers. Still, this is loads of fun. This one actually does try to make some social commentary, but whatever. Set in that most futuristic year of 2000, lol, we follow the world's best drivers on a cross country race. Finishing first is simply not enough for these guys. Drivers earn extra points for running down pedestrians. Each motorist also has a navigator of the opposite sex in the car. Since you can't drive all the way across this land in one day, there are plenty of breaks in the action for things such as fist fights between competitors, back-stabbing by politicians, and nude co-ed massages while the press interviews the participants. I'm in! (My full review here)

Happy Birthday to Me
How could this not be the most fun you've ever had? I mean, it's a slasher flick starring a girl from Little House on the Prairie, the most wholesome show ever made. On top of that, it is a totally insane watch. Some of the kill scenes have become iconic among those of us into such things. And those last fifteen minutes are a doozy. If you're at all into horror, you have to see this to understand what the fuss is about. Do it, now. Either before or after, read my review of it, too. 

Dolemite Movies
Dolemite is his name. 
Rappin' and tappin' is his game. 
He was born in a barrel of butcher knives, 
been shot in the ass with two Colt .45s. 
He's been bit by a shark and shocked by an eel. 
He'll chew a railroad track and shit out steel. 
He swam the ocean and swallowed a whale. 
He handcuffed lightning and threw thunder's ass in jail...

Oh, sorry. I was gettin' my Dolemite on.

What does that mean?

Dolemite is a pimp that often talks in rhyme, is a master in martial arts, and trains all of his hoes to be likewise. What's not to love? If you need more convincing, I've reviewed two of them. Just so you know, I really could have chosen a number of Blaxploitation flicks for this spot. Just sayin'.

Malibu High
If you've never seen this one, you have never seen a crazy movie. The quick and dirty is that Kim is flunking out of high school and will do anything to get straight A's...and earn a little money in the process. This includes prostitution, drugs, murder, and the original theme song from "The Peoples' Court." You know, the usual. This is the one and only acting credit for star Jill Lansing and she made it damn memorable. It's a completely balls-to-the-wall performance in a movie fully deserving of one. If you don't want to see it yourself, you're in luck. In a rare move by me, I spoiled the entire movie with an in-depth and funny (I think) review

Friday the 13th Movies
Roger Ebert coined a term I've used to describe tons of pictures, "Dead Teenager Movies," or "DTM" for short. No franchise has lived up to that billing more thoroughly than the Friday the 13th series. What can I say? I just love watching Jason stalk pot smokin', beer swillin', fornicatin' teenagers, even if he has to come back to life at the beginning of every movie just to do it. I've written about one installment or another several times, here. As an added bonus, the very first movie gave us one of cinema's all time great moms. Hear me out. I love my own mom. She's damn near perfect in my eyes. However, Mrs. Voorhees makes me question how much she really loves me. I mean, would she really go and kill and bunch of camp counselors had I died while in their care? I don't think so. That's weak, mom. Weak.

Raw Force
The fact that it has an alternate title as widely known as its real one is telling. That that title is Kung Fu Cannibals is just as telling. That poster for it says tons. It does indeed involve kung fu, and cannibals. Let's add in zombies and plenty of random nudity, as well. Still, none of this reveals just how special a place this has in my heart. To understand this is to journey down one of those strangely lit corridors of my childhood that, oddly enough, also houses my memories of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I don't have enough room to do it justice in this post, so click over to this one.

I absolutely love this movie for all the wrong reasons. A plot that totally rips off All About Eve then both subverts and perverts it? Check. A leading lady, the questionably talented but easy on the eyes Elizabeth Berkley, who couldn't even carry Bette Davis' g-string? Check. A leading lady who often goes without a g-string, or any other type of clothing for that matter? Check. A leading lady who flops around like a fish out of water while having sex in the water? Check. Some of the worse dialogue you've ever heard? Check. Some of the sleaziest scenes ever filmed? Check. Gina Gershon sneering her way through a mostly topless performance? Check. Hell, just about everyone ass-naked so much that the poster above was pretty much the only "safe" pic I could find? Check. Never being able to look at Saved by the Bell with any thoughts of innocence ever again? Double check.


  1. Dude, you're awesome. I love this list! Guilty Pleasures is such an open topic so I love your twist on it :D I haven't seen many of these actually, but I was forced to watch Punisher: War Zone, and I friggin loved it! Thanks for taking part, and don't worry, our blogging relationship is still firmly intact! ;)
    - Allie

    1. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed Punisher: War Zone. Its a blast. Also very happy I didn't do irreparable damage to our blogging relationship.

  2. HAHAHAHAHAH! Showgirls!!!!!! No one should feel guilty about watching it...but liking it on the other hand ;-)

    Love this post man...LOVE IT!!!

    1. Thanks, man. It's just so hilariously terrible I can't help but love it. If you really want a laugh watch the version that plays on VH1 with digitized bras on everyone.

  3. Nice list, and lmao at Showgirls being #1. It's been so long since I've seen that.

    1. The more I thought about putting this post together the more I realized I couldn't put anything else in the top spot. Thanks.

  4. I'm not a fan of Showgirls but I'll watch it because the whole film itself is extremely ridiculous yet is never boring. As for the rest of those films. I have no qualms with those movies as I know what they are and I can enjoy that. Plus, none of these movies take themselves so seriously. I don't feel guilty for watching them at all.

  5. Ahah, the only one I have seen is Rambo. Can't say I'm all that interested in checking out the rest but then again, it's called Guilty Pleasure for a reason right Wendell? Fun list, man!

    1. Thanks. I'm sure very few people have an interest in these movies. Consider yourself sane.

  6. I haven't seen a single one of these!
    I have lots of terrible movies that I love, but I don't feel the least bit guilty!

    1. Love to hear this. Now go watch some of these!