Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: So Bad It's Awesome!!!


Yyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!

Woooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Yyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!

I.

AM.

IN.

HEAVEN.

I have been waiting for this for months. These last few weeks have been the hardest as topic after topic came in that forced me to play it straight, more or less. Today? Today, I feel as though shackles have been removed from my ankles and wrists, my freedom papers have been signed and notorized, and I'm on the fastest damn train in the Union heading North.

Yes, I just made a slavery joke. I can make a slavery joke. You, I don't know. Use your better judgement. Screw it, just don't.

Back to the reason for my joy.

The topic for this week's round of Thursday Movie Picks is movies that are So Bad They're Awesome!!!! Well, really it's So-Bad-It's-Good, but I don't do good for these types of movies. I do awesome. Thank you to our host, as always, the wonderful Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. A thanks must also go out to my homie Dan of Dancin' Dan on Film. Some of you, especially if you're name is Dan, might remember that a few weeks ago I said Dan sucks. Thing is he suggested a topic of which I really wasn't fond. He's learned from the error of his ways and picked this, the most perfect topic ever. Dan, you have fully redeemed yourself in my eyes, man. Now, on to some truly craptacular cinema.

For Your Height Only
(1981)
Over the last year or so, there's been lots of talk about who should take over the role of James Bond once Daniel Craig drives his Aston Martin off into the sunset. A ton of names have been bandied about except for the one that should probably get the most serious attention. I'm talking about the diminutive Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. No? Hmph. This film might change your mind. It's the Filipino rip-off version of a Bond flick. It stars one Weng Weng as Weng Wang. Neither of those names is a typo, by the way. It's no matter because you should just call him Agent 00. I didn't forget a digit, either. He really is Agent Double-Zero. Here's the thing, our hero measures up at a statuesque two-feet-nine-inches. For my metrics using readers that's less than one meter, eighty-four centimeters to be more specific. If you need even more context, Dinklage comes in at four-feet-five-inches, or 1.34 meters. Doesn't sound so crazy, now does it? The thing that makes this a sight to behold is that this is not a movie filled with little people. He's beating up regular sized dudes, and getting it in with normal sized ladies. Don't worry, or be too turned on, or whatever. We don't actually see any of the lovin'. The fightin'? We'll get to that in a bit. Also rest assured that our hero's stature, or lack thereof, is not solely the reason this is hilariously and gloriously bad. There are plenty others. The plot is pretty standard. Agent 00 has to stop the diabolical Mr. Giant from taking over something or other. Yes, our hero is literally just tall enough to peer into a car's side view mirror and the bad guy is Mr. Giant. Of course, there's a twist with that. The bad-awesome parts? Let's start with Weng's acting. Whenever someone is talking to him, he usually just blankly stares at them to the point you're expecting him to nod off to sleep. He occasionally breaks that up with a verbal response, but isn't given a whole lot of dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, it's just bad all around. The expository stuff is wooden, trite, or both. There is a bright spot there, though. Whenever the bad guys get pissed off they refer to Agent 00 by name, sorta. They call him "that little wang." So yeah, the star of our show is the butt of a running dick joke. And speaking of dicks, and nuts while we're at it, let me fill you on the fight scenes of which there are many. Agent 00 takes out dozens of henchmen, a few upper level goons, and of course, Mr. Giant. I swear he punches or kicks just about every one of them square in the frank and beans at least once, if not multiple times. My favorite has to be the one where Agent 00 hides in a crevice in a dilapidated wall while two henchmen approach. He trips the first dude who falls ever-so-gently to the ground and just lies there face down while his partner is getting nut-stomped and bitch slappedby Mighty Mouse. The dude then gets up just to get his ass...and balls...kicked. Oh before I move on, I have to mention the meeting between Agent 00 and this movie's version of Q. Dude just keeps pulling crap out of his desk that will serve as 00's gadgets. He gives half-assed explanations one what they do and even less info on how to use them. One is a belt with a giant buckle. What does he tell our hero? "It's got all sorts of stuff in there." Really? I'm glad he cleared that up. Other gadgets are made from a watch, a ring, a pair of x-ray glasses, and a hat. 00 puts all this shit on and comes out of the office looking like a miniature pimp. Okay, okay, okay, I'm done. I failed miserably at keeping this entry...um...short.

I'm not wrong. I'm only 5'4". I don't get to make short jokes too often so I ran with it. Boo yourself! In fact, take this...



Moving on...


Takin' It All Off
(1987)
You've probably seen one of these movies before, like the awesomely bad Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. By these movies I mean the ones where everyone has to band together quick, fast, and in a hurry so they can put on a show that might just raise enough money to save something near and dear to everyone's hearts. In the case of Breakin' 2 it was a youth center. This film, if you can't tell by the title, takes a slightly less wholesome approach than a breakdancing extravaganza. What are our heroines trying to save, you ask? It's a school for striptease artistes. It's for striptease artistes because that sounds better than stripper school, I suppose. So yeah, it's pole dancing classes long before that became an actual thing. That makes this a film ahead of it's time. No? Let's see. The school is owned by Bettie Bigones. Yes, that breaks down into 'big ones.' Fittingly, she's played by the fabulously, and naturally, endowed b-movie vet Kitten Natividad. If you knew that name before showing up to read this post, you have at least as much pig in you as I do. It's cool. Keep your anonymity if you wish. Moving on. The place is in financial ruin, so Bettie must rally her girls to shake that ass for a whole lotta cash and put on the biggest strip show EVAH! to help them get through it, Bettie even enlists the help of her newest student Allison, played by 80s porn star Candie Evans. She's using her real name here, by the way, Jean Poremba, if you care. Another if-you-care item to note is that this is the sequel to 1984's Takin' It Off. I haven't seen that one, oddly enough. Anyhoo, Allison provides the big snag in the twat plot. She can't bring herself to get naked in front of people. Bettie has the bright idea to have the girl hypnotized. For some strange reason only known to this movie's writers, the hypnotits hypnotist sets it up so that she'll only strip when she hears one particular track, the film's extra corny theme song. Guess what song suddenly gets played every damn where Allison goes. No points for that. It was a gimme. You do get points and disrespect if you've already seen this. If you have, you know that it's filled with bad acting, bad writing, full-frontal nudity, cheesy 80s synth music, 80s fashions whenever the girls are wearing clothes, and best of all, 80s hair - top and bottom, if you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it, you might be wondering why the hell would anyone watch this. If so, you struggle mightily with reading comprehension, and there may be no help for you.


Frankenhooker
(1990)
Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, amazingly written at age seventeen, is widely considered a literary classic using horror to explore the dangers of man overstepping his boundaries and playing God. It has since been turned into a film that's become a classic in its own right. Not this one, silly. Could've been this one. Okay, not really. Still, that book also inspired this slice of absoluteful ridiculosity. Look at me, making up words AND coining terms. I'm the shit. Ahem...sorry...movie...right? Right. As proof of the novel's influence on it, our titular character is actually a young woman named Elizabeth Shelley. During a bizarre accident with a lawnmower, her body is pretty much shredded. Her distraught boyfriend wisely (???) saves her head. His name is Jeffrey Franken, of course. He misses her so much he devises a plan to bring her back to life. No digging up graves for this mad scientist, though. He decides he's going to get his spare parts from the local ladies of the evening. How? He throws a big party and gives a bunch of them a super duper potent of crack that he personally created. It's so strong, whoever uses it literally explodes. When the ladies go boom, voila, hooker parts everywhere. He gathers up what he needs, stitches it together with his girl's head, does the whole "it's alive" thing and gets his woman back. Sorta. You know these things never work out as planned, right? See the rest for yourself. I dare ya.


I know that's three, but dammit I ain't done. Just having too much fun. When I'm having fun, you get to have fun. That means, it's time for a...

BONUS SECTION!!!

All of these movies got their very own full length review from yours truly. I totally spoil them because you're not gonna watch them. And they are all some of my best work, if I do say so myself.


War Goddess
(1973)
This is bonkers from start to finish. Made during the grindhouse glory days of the 1970s, it has all the tenets of the exploitation genre: unintentional humor, bad dialogue, worse acting, laughable action and never more than a few minutes pass without the appearance of a naked body. Click here for the full review.


Malibu High
(1979)
Meet Kim (Jill Lansing). Her life is a total mess. Her boyfriend Kevin (Stuart Taylor) just became her ex-boyfriend, dumping her for the school’s resident rich girl Annette (Tammy Taylor). Kim is a high school senior, but she’s either flunking or barely passing all of her classes and might not graduate. She lives with only her mom because her dad committed suicide. The two of them argue constantly. Her only friend, if you can call her that, is Lucy (Johnson). Lucy is sincere in her friendship but we get the feeling Kim only keeps the girl around because she has a car and a father who apparently doesn’t pay attention to his liquor cabinet. Luckily for us, Kim’s life is about to get a whole lot messier. Click here for the full review.


Raw Force
(1982)
You're not gonna believe this. We have human trafficking, jade smuggling cannibal monks, zombie samurai, a Bruce Lee impersonator, karate school students on a cruise, a Bruce Lee impressionist as an instructor, a brothel, and ravenous piranhas all stuffed into one movie. Did I forget something? Oh yeah, buck nekkidness. Lots and lots of buck nekkidness. If you want to know why this, of all movies, will be forever linked in my mind with Raiders of the Lost Ark, click here for the full review.


This week, I won.


Addendum: Due to its popularity down in the comments section, I have embedded the full movie For Your Height Only from YouTube. Have at it! Let me know what you think!




22 comments:

  1. OK, I think I want to see all of these films. Especially For Your Height Only. That shit looks hilarious. I have a soft spot for these films where they don't try to take themselves so seriously. That is what great films do. Even if they're so fucking bad.

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    1. I totally agree. You can find For Your Height Only on YouTube.

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  2. Okay, I did know the name Kitten Natividad before I got here. A former co-worker of mine was propositioned by her at a trade show once, and yes, we got hours of entertainment from that asking him if he knew what kitten tasted like (he didn't--he was terrified at the thought).

    Frankenhooker, though, is completely the cat's ass. It's like Re-Animator on nitrous oxide.

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    1. Best. Story. Ever.

      And that's what makes it great.

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  3. Okay, I haven't seen any of these films - and I haven't heard about most of them -, but I kinda wanna see them now. Especially For Your Height Only. I can't miss the Filipino version of James Bond.

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    1. I suspect lots of folks haven't heard of the majority of these. Btw, For Your Height Only is on YouTube.

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  4. Must. See. Your Height Only. Immediately. I loved your opening paragraph, I live for campy so bad it's good movies sometimes. I haven't seen any of the ones you picked, but now I want to.

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    1. Please see it. It's just so ridiculous. It's on YouTube. I think I'll add the link to the post when I get to a computer tonight.

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  5. I know the last few weeks have been rough for you so welcome back to form!

    Great synopses of a world of crappy cinema! I have to shamefacedly admit that I've seen two of these: Takin' It All Off, courtesy of long ago late night cable (I was however unaware of Kitten before watching), and Malibu High which is full of delirious awfulness. I've passed up many chances to see Frankenhooker but remember being horrified when I discovered that Louise Lasser, Mary Hartman herself, had been reduced to appearing in such low budget drivel.

    As for the others I think I'm going to have to make a point to partake of For Your Height Only. To say it looks unique is an understatement.

    I too have been anxiously anticipating this week's theme being as fond of bad cinema as I am of good and also couldn't restrict myself to three so I'm going to have to break this up into two comments.

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  6. As I said I had no end of difficulty choosing titles for this and my list could be endless!! I got down to five and still had to leave off many. So with apologies to Angel, Angel Down We Go, The Big Cube and many other pieces of cinematic detritus here's what I came up with.

    *The Best of the Worst*
    Valley of the Dolls (1967)-“You've got to climb Mount Everest to reach the Valley of the Dolls.” And when you do you face plant right into this hooty mess based on Jaqueline Susann’s notorious best seller. A roman a clef about the messy backstage lives of three career girls looking to make it in showbiz in NY and Hollywood is scuttled by leaden direction and absurdly overdone or somnambulant performances. Susan Hayward is terrific as vicious stage star Helen Lawson, based on Ethel Merman and Sharon Tate touching as the doomed Jennifer but everyone and everything else is a shambles. The worst offender and therefore the most fun is Patty Duke (RIP Patty, you’ll be missed!) as Neely O’Hara, an amalgam of the tortured souls of Judy Garland, Betty Hutton and Frances Farmer, there is no scenery left unchewed when she’s done with it. The hairspray and makeup costs alone must have taken up half the budget!

    *Getting In Touch With Your Inner Bad Movie*
    Skidoo (1968)-Crime boss “God” (Groucho Marx) forces retired mobster Tony Banks (Jackie Gleason) to perform a hit on an incarcerated prisoner by kidnapping Tony’s daughter and holding her on his yacht. But the plan goes awry when Tony unknowingly drops acid and goes on a mind-blowing trip. Things go downhill from there! What begins as a silly but not dreadful generation gap comedy devolves into an incoherent mess capped by the horrifying sight of Carol Channing, playing Gleason’s wife Flo Banks (no, really), in long platinum wig, admiral's hat and red hot pants singing the title tune. Just when you think it can't get any worse Frankie Avalon sings the credits! ALL OF THEM! It's as ghastly as it sounds and yet hilarious at the same time. A great many respected actors, Peter Lawford, George Raft and Mickey Rooney among them, shred their reputations for a paycheck.

    *The Frightfully Atrocious Big Star Debacle*
    The Conqueror (1956)-John Wayne is GENGHIS KHAN!!...battling the Tartar armies where he takes redheaded (?) Tartar princess Susan Hayward and her servant, an equally Caucasian Agnes Moorehead prisoner. I repeat John Wayne is Genghis Khan! Yeesh. As absurd and ridiculous as the film is it has a somber aftermath. It was filmed in Utah near a nuclear testing site and about half the company, including all the principal players, died from cancer linked to fallout exposure.

    *Screamingly Awful Runner-Up*
    Scorchy (1976)-This tacky turkey is bargain-basement claptrap starring Connie Stevens as Seattle narc Jackie Parker aka Scorchy, with a voice one octave below Minnie Mouse, a frosted wing hairdo that is both a marvel and a testament to the bad taste of the 70’s and a wardrobe straight out of Frederick’s of Hollywood. She’s about to blow the lid off an international heroin ring but when she’s not chasing bad guys down in a high speed-dune buggy or chopper she finds time for a long steamy shower or a nooner with a lover who is harpooned on top of her as she screams like Fay Wray! AIP exploitation flick is cheesy beyond belief all the way up to its self-important finale…but don’t worry “Scorchy” is on the case!!!

    *The Abominably Infamous Bonus*
    Can’t Stop the Music (1980)-This musical purporting to tell the story of how The Village People formed starts with Steve Guttenberg getting his boogie on by roller-skating under the credits down a New York street in ultra-short shorts and only gets wackier from there. Includes a performance of Danny Boy in full cop drag, a production number devoted entirely to milk and other jaw dropping items including a rendering of Y.M.C.A., part of which takes place in a packed men’s shower! Ya gotta see it to believe it!!

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    1. I am shocked anyone has seen Takin' It All Off and Malibu High. Hold your head high, Joel!

      Haven't seen any of your picks, but I am familiar with Valley of the Dolls and Can't Stop the Music. I know the former because of it's relationship with a movie I almost picked myself - Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The other I've heard about a number of times over the years. I need to see it. All of these sound amazingly awful. Thanks for the recommendations.

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  7. Oh my-I have not seen one of these and they all look gold to me especially double 0. these are great and you made me laugh

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    1. 00 is the man in all the best-worst ways possible. Glad I could give you a chuckle.

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  8. Oh, Dell. I wish I could say I suggested this theme with you in mind, but I really didn't. Honestly, I thought you'd still be mad at me because how could you POSSIBLY pick from the multitudes of such films that you've seen and want to share? I'm so glad you took the theme and ran with it.

    Of course, I've not seen even a single one of these, but OH. MY. GOD. For Your Height Only looks absolutely fucking incrediculous (a word I just made up for something that is both incredible and ridiculous). That gif almost looks like it was all done with (really fucking good) CGI. It's easy to see that Takin' It All Off is Skin-amax exploitation trash. I've actually heard of Frankenhooker, and if that isn't a perfect premise for a movie then I don't know what is.

    Your other three I cannot WAIT to read your reviews of. Thank YOU, Dell, for educating us all in what "So Bad It's Good" REALLY means!

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    1. Mad? Not at all. Thanks for giving me the impetus to cut up a bit.

      Check back later. I am definitely adding the link to For Your Height Only. That particular moment the gif came from is magical. I just imagine some dude throwing him from the top of the next flight.

      Hope you have fun with those other reviews. Thanks for the kind words.

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  9. I have to say that I was looking forward for your entry this week! I haven't heard about all of these but they do sound like they fit the category!

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    1. Hopefully, I didn't disappoint. And man, do they fit!

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  10. Oh my gad Frankenhooker looks hilarious!! Whenever my friends have movie night we always seek out bad movies or one we can all quote. This has got to be added!

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    1. Cool. Should be a fun night. Hell, watch For Your Height Only and make a drinking game out of how many times our hero punches or kicks someone in the crotch.

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  11. I knew you'd enjoy this theme. It was harder for me of course, I don't watch a lot of B-movies, and that's what most of the so bad it's good movies are.

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    1. Yup, I had a blast with this topic. You know the old saying, B-movies are the spice of life...or something like that.

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  12. I've just installed iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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