Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Josh Johnson ""

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Josh Johnson

 Mr. Josh Johnson(VHSisthetruth on Twitter) writes about films and is one of the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary on VHS and it's cultural/historical impact called REWIND THIS!. Follow the film's Twitter and check the website for updates!


 APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR (Alan Smithee, 1985)
One of the most brain-bendingly inept movies ever forged by man. Funded by HALLOWEEN producer Moustapha Akkad and directed by somebody who removed his name from the finished film, you will never be able to find your footing with this one. This movie juggles Egyptian mythology with a slasher structure but doesn't seem to have much knowledge or understanding of either. Among the many highlights of the film are a homeless man who lives in the flatbed of a characters pick-up truck and a man who almost kills himself by throwing a lit cigarette into the passenger seat of his car on two separate occasions. There is a decadent 80's mansion filmed like it is the set of a perfume commercial. There are glowing infant eyeballs. There are moments of inspiration and creative ingenuity. What there isn't is a cohesive plot or a basic understanding of human behavior. The enjoyment of this film really sets in when you realize it isn't going to add up to anything and you get to keep watching it anyway. It's a film that barrels ahead at full-speed with no destination in sight but the ride itself is a blast.

BLUE FLAME (Cassian Elwes, 1993)
This low-budget effort feels sort of like William Gibson fused with Zalman King mixed with a really boring movie you don't want to watch. Every scene is shot like early 90's premium cable softcore and the actors all seem to feel queasy while on camera. Kerri Green (Annie from THE GOONIES) plays a sexy alien being named Rain who is involved with another alien being named Fire. Those names should give you an indication of what you're in for. The story is about a man who loses his daughter to an alien that he creates in his own mind. To regain what he has lost he must change the events of the past by correcting them in his own mindscape. Or something.  Along the way we get to see erotic beach dreams, flaming curtains, bathtubs filled with blood, a helpful grim reaper....this movie has a lot going on. It is insanely watchable despite the fact that it constantly seems to be pushing you away like an emotionally unstable lover. It is hard not to enjoy a motion picture that contains this line of dialogue: "We can make love in your mind while I kill you." Who could resist such an offer?

 BODY ROCK (Marcelo Epstein, 1984)
Break-dancing movies don't generally excel in the areas of plot and character. Nor do they need to for that matter since the dancing is the reason audiences are laying down their hard earned cash.The interesting thing about BODY ROCK is that it is a dance drama in which the central character doesn't dance. Chilly, played by Lorenzo Lamas, has no particular talent of any kind yet has countless opportunities thrust before him instead of his exceptionally talented friends and their breakin' crew. While surely not intentional this is actually a fairly accurate portrayal of how things often work in the entertainment industry. The absurdity of the plot makes the whole enterprise extremely entertaining and the dance sequences deliver the goods. There is a glow-in-the-dark performance at the end of the film that might actually be one of the greatest achievements of mankind on earth.

DR. CALIGARI (Stephen Sayadian, 1989)
Here we have a garish nonsense-factory that exists somewhere in the space between German silent expressionism and Richard Elfman's FORBIDDEN ZONE. Vibrantly colored to the point of inducing nausea, this is the 1980's crystallized and snorted by a clone of the 1980's that won't stop dancing and talking in your face. The story of the film is difficult to describe but it involves a clinic for sexual dysfunction and the myriad perverse acts going on within. The important thing to keep in mind about the movie is that it features a fleshy mound with a giant tongue that licks people. Once you've seen it you can't unsee it. It burrows deep inside you and rewires your brain. You'll never have more fun eliminating your own libido.

 MAUSOLEUM (Michael Dugan, 1983)
Make no mistake about it. MAUSOLEUM is not laughing with you, it is laughing at you. It can't believe you are watching it and it finds the fact that you're letting the minutes tick by to be completely hysterical. It defies you to look away from its illogical, brain-dead plotting. It hurls wooden performances at you without being even slightly apologetic. It wants to break you down with its unrelenting lack of narrative clarity and then it wants to laugh in your face. I know this is going to sound like strange advice but...... let it make a fool of you. If you let this film humiliate you it will make you a stronger person. Don't accept any new friends into your life until they've undergone the MAUSOLEUM test. The path towards enlightenment is letting Marjoe Gortners perma-tanned face scream at you until you feel new layers of shame. Take the hit. It's for your own good.


SteveQ said...

Okay, here's 10 from my list:

Rupert Pupkin said...

Great list Steve! You know, I just watched APPLE PIE for the 1st time a few nights ago! Quite the oddball flick. Many here that I need to see. I'm kind of drawn to DYNAMITE CHICKEN for some reason...