Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: The Lightning Bug ""

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: The Lightning Bug

 Mr. Zachary Kelley runs the venerable genre blog, The Lightning Bugs Lair. This is at least the third list he's contributed here and I must say I always look forward to his choices. I am guaranteed to notice something on one of his lists that I've never seen or heard of. A true gentleman of fine tastes. He can be found on Twitter at @TLBugg.

It's hard to tell what a "bad" movie is when all the movies you like to watch are deemed bad by a mainstream audience. So I had a bit of a hard time approaching this list. I finally came at it like this, movies that I often get a shocked reaction from folks when I express my undying affection. Some of them are cult fare and some from the mainstream world, but they all have more people falling on the con side than the pro. I think there are a few surprises here, and probably a few that folks would expect to see own a "bad" movie list. I hope you all enjoy and thanks to Rupert for inviting me to take part. Now, shall I go on with my bad self? 

10. Phantom of the Opera (1989) Robert Englund shows Andrew Lloyd Webber how it's done as a patchwork Phantom with Jill Scholen on the brain. Gore, romance, a nonsense ending, this one's got it all and I love it. Essentially a slasher wrapped up in Gaston Laroux's clothing, Englund's Phantom cuts his way through the London Opera House (cause Paris is too upscale for this flick I guess) in a fashion that recalls a certain other long nailed killer who answers to the name Fred. 

9. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) The epic second installment of the epic Drew Barrymore-Lucy Liu-Cameron Diaz Charlie's Angels reboot features more backstory for Crispin Glover's Creepy Thin Man, Bernie Mac as Bill Murray's Bosley brethren, and John Cleese as a bewildered dad who thinks his daughter, Liu, is a hooker rather than a secret agent. Plus the best repurposing of Bernie Herrmann's Vertigo score that Kim Novak didn't complain about. 

8. Blood Feast 2:All You Can Eat (2002) Thirty nine years after H.G. Lewis made the groundbreaking gore film Blood Feast, he went back the well again, but unlike those awful 2000 Maniacs sequels, Blood Feast 2 was actually good. It's pretty much the same story as the first film, but payed more for laughs this time. John 'Spud' McConnell, who I had the pleasure to see play Ignatious in a stage production of Confederacy of Dunces, is great as the clueless detective who suspects the new Egyptian caterer, and there's a cameo from John Waters which makes everything better!  

7. Cat in the Brain (1990) While many dismiss this film as nothing more than a montage of clips from Fulci's other films (and they're not wrong, it is), there's a deeper meditation from Lucio about his own image and what it means to be the man who is known for being the guy who poled out an eye with a splinter in Zombi and had a girl puke up her own guts in City of the Living Dead. This is the most reflective that the "Godfather of Gore" ever got, and it's interesting to see how he viewed himself. After watching this one, I had to rethink Fulci's whole catalog, and when I put into perspective his early sex, but classy, gialli with his later hardcore horror work, it stands to reason that even Fulci might have had reservations about the path his career went down.

6. Good Burger (1997) While Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell rode high on their Nickelodeon show, they,are this flick about two burger joints doing battle. It missed with kids, but it found it's audience with me. With appearances by Sinbad, Abe Vigoda, and George Clinton, it's a kids movie aimed at your child if he's got a prescription for medical marijuana. Since then Keenan has gone to SNL while Kel harps gone on to... hell, I dunno, working at Good Burger? 

5. Starship Troopers (1997) Featuring Neil Patrick Harris before it was cool, Denise Richards before she became Dr. Christmas Jones, and Casper Van Diem before he.... Ummm, worked at Good Burger with Kel, Starship Troopers makes a mess of Heinlein's book, but Paul Verhoeven (the only director with not only 2 films on this list, but made back to back) crafts a story that speaks to the dangers of government sanctioned propaganda and jingoism better than most films I know.

4. Nick Danger and the Case of the Missing Yolk (1983) Based on a character popularized by the Firesign Theater on their 70s comedy records, Nick Danger brought to life the "Third-Eye" private eye as he  tracked down the villainous Rocky Roccoco who has trapped the simple Yolk family of Oxnard in a dangerous high tech house by convincing them it's their dream home. Along the way, they poke fun at fast food (Rat in a Box! We Fry What You Won't Touch), sel improvement fads (Boobie Chew, a gum that gives you a rack), and soap operas (Lawyers Hospital). With the passing of Firesign's founding member Peter Bergman earlier this year, it's a great time to look back on this comedy oddity.  

3. The Road to Wellville (1994) Based off a T.C. Boyle book of the same title, The Road to Wellville leads to Battle Creek, Michigan and the door to John Harvey Kellogg's sanitarium. There, dispensing yogurt enemas, shock treatments, and songs about how to chew your food, John Harvey, played expertly by Anthony Hopkins, comes off like a mad genius at times and sometimes just plain mad. With a supporting cast that featured Dana Carvey, John Cusack, Bridgette Fonda, Colm Meaney, and Laura Flynn Boyle, It was a star studded affair, but it just couldn't feed the masses. Luckily for me, I'll take seconds and thirds. 

2. Pootie Tang (2001) If you don't like this Louie C.K directed homage to blaxploitation flicks (and who can blame you, even C.K doesn't) then you need to sine your pity on the runny kind. Pootie is for the tippe ties my damie. Sa da tay.

1. Showgirls (1995) Verhoeven, Esterhaus, and the girl from Saved by the Bell form the three amigos of smut, camp, and sleaze in this ale of a dancer trying to make it big in Los Vegas. I'm sure this is kind of an obvious choice, but damn, I can watch this flick again and again. I don't know if it's Kyle MacLachlin's 'O' face or the feeling of not having cum all over you, there's something special about Showgirls that brings me back time and time again. Plus Joe, he's been making Shakespeare look like crap for over 50 years so you gotta trust a guy like that. 

So now you tell me. Is that bad enough for you?


deadlydolls said...

Hell yeah Good Burger. Although in what universe are you living in that Starship Troopers is considered a bad film? For shame Bug. For. Shame.

Anonymous said...

I grew up having multiple viewings of several of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films, especially the first two. But I must admit that I watched THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1989) more than any other movie starring Robert Englund. Whatever its shortcomings, the images, music, and the majority of scenes outweighed them for my taste. Watching the trailer a few minutes ago brought back a lot of good memories. I just bumped this one up my rental queue.

William Bibbiani said...

I'd put Starship Troopers on a list of the best movies of the 1990s. Maybe not Top Ten, but Top 25 for shiz.

I almost put Good Burger and Pootie Tang on my upcoming list, so I'm glad they got some love here. Well played, sir.

Erich Kuersten said...

Starship Troopers dont belong here yo. But the rest is rather spot on though I'd never see a film about burgers or Egyptian feasts. Makes me nauseous just to think about! I've seen Showgirls 20x and it disturbs and sickens me every time.. what's wrong with a show with jokes?

In fact, to go into Rupert Pupkinland, I'd put Marty Scorsese's New York New York up on here, as well as 1941 -- though I guess no one loves those movies very much. I got one for you, Argento's "Trauma" - I think that one is heavily underrated. good list.