Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Noah Lee ""

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Noah Lee

 Noah Lee is a part time contributor to Film Threat ( focusing mostly on coverage for SXSW and Fantastic Fest and also one of the HorrorsNotDead team ( He also watches hundreds a movies a year and keeps track of them with the Tallyteers, a group of fanatical movie watchers. Check him out at Twitter at @noahphex, his personal website ( or at his movie logging website (


I’ve been reading the other’s lists on here and quite a few other people  have made better points than I ever could about what justifies a movie as being bad. I boil movies down to a very simple essence: if I’m entertained in some fashion, then I could never really hate a film. This also means I like a lot of movies that others hate. When it came to this list for Brian, however, I decided I wanted to focus on the movies that have made the largest impact on me and ones that stand out in my  mind in some way or another and also may not be obvious to everyone else  (minus a few exceptions). Living in Austin and being around a lot of other massive film fans has its perks and one of those is being able to explore the guts of cinema. Hell, the deep stinky bowels. My friends and I have watched a lot of god awful things and through that I’ve discovered some of these golden reels of love. These movies are bad(ass) through and through. If you like them as much as I do, then you’re a  superior human being and deserve to be lauded and carried through the  streets by hordes of slave women and muscle men while the crowds cheer for your fantastic taste.

10. Twister - Jan De Bont (1996)
Trust me, rabbit is good, rabbit is wise. Twister fucking rules. Yes, the big Hollywood bomb that stars Helen Hunt, an actress I don’t even really like. But Bill Paxton? His characters are always off the chain, whether its as a crazy vampire, a religious zealot or as a space soldier. And  here, he’s totally committed to this out of its goddamn mind plot about storm chasers. Ones who has tornados come after them time and time again, all while Paxton is trying to deal with a long lost love while  having his new fiance in the backseat of his truck. Even typing the premise sounds stupid as hell, and that’s why I love it. The tornados ACTUALLY GO AFTER THE PEOPLE. They’re roaring, evil monsters. Except that tornados don’t really do that. And then the supporting cast? Are you kidding me? Alan Ruck, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evil Cary Elwes, Sean Whalen. All of them are  charismatic on screen. Twister has flying cows, steak dinners, perfectly timed action and oh yeah, that love story. It’s not Die Hard, but it’s my second favorite De Bont flick. We crave sustenance!

09. National Lampoon’s Endless Bummer - Sam Pillsbury (2009)
I felt obligated to include a National Lampoon movie on here. Why?  Because I’ve seen all but two of their 54 feature length movies. I made it a project to watch them all to find the gems in the rough. Unfortunately for me, Endless Bummer was one of the first ones I had  watched, other than the classics. Why so? Because it set the bar high by actually making me laugh, having a bunch of cool guest appearances and  by starring Matthew Lillard, a guy I’ve liked since his run in Scream. The story is a classic one night gone wrong tale, where a guy needs to get back a stolen surfboard from The Valley. While I won’t come out and say this is the most hilarious movie around, I genuinely did love it and it also has guest appearances by the Circle Jerks, Joan Jett and Lee  Ving, so it has something for us punk rock fans as well. Endless Bummeris just a comedy that has a heart and people really put effort into it and wasn’t just a direct to DVD cash grab. Oh, and Allison Scagliotti  from Warehouse 13 is in it and she’s so goddamn cute, it gets extra special bonus points.

08. Dr. Caligari - Stephen Sayadian (1989)
Let’s say Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol got together under a hot blanket,  turned up the sauna and listened to Gary Numan nonstop for 24 hours,  this might be the movie they’d emerge to make. Instead it was created by the monstrous mind of mister Stephen Sayadian, a man who had previously made two other equally fever dreamish pornographic movies, Cafe Flesh and Nightdreams II. This  retelling of the Doctor Caligari tale is shot on a soundstage that marries interiors and exteriors and begs to be turned into play. I’d go see every run of it. A female doctor is swapping minds between an  oversexed housewife and a homicidal murderer. The people around them are  equally out of their minds. At one point a giant wound is pushing what  looks like pinata candy out of it and then a wall of tongues turns into  one giant tongue that a woman uses to lick her body in some sexualized
dance of ecstasy. One does not simply watch Dr. Caligari. You experience it and once you have you’ll never be the same person again. It is a movie that immediately after watching I had to tell everyone about and  force some friends to watch because I couldn’t believe what a mind fuck  it was. This is a movie that your average moviegoer would despise. Those people are dolts and they’re wrong.

07. Crime Wave - John Paizs (1985)
Unfortunately for director John Paizs this Canadian masterpiece was released at the  same time as the Sam Raimi/Coen Brothers Crimewave movie and got buried. It also probably got buried and panned because people did not  understand the incredible vision, subtle humor and deep emotion of this film. Paizs himself co-stars as a writer trying to make the greatest  crime movie ever. Trashing script after script he ends up making friends with the young girl whose parents own the apartment he rents in the  back of his house. Filled with scene after scene of comedic, sometimes  startling and always interesting imagery the audience gets to experience the writer’s attempts at finding his perfect story. It’s repetitive,  but in a way that draws one into the vision of its central character.  You never know what is around the corner. Crime Wave is completely  quirky and a total lost gem. Unfortunately for us when this movie bombed Paizs quit making movies but I think it’s a film that deserves some  championing and he deserves some recognition for it. 

06. Standing Ovation - Stewart Raffill (2010)
Oh man, did some of my film critic friends hate this movie. And not just a hate where you blow it off and don’t think about it again, but a  searing evil hate of a thousand winds and 100 dragons of fury. It ended  up on several worst of lists for 2010. Frankly, I think those opinions  are outright wrong. Standing Ovation isn’t cinematic gold. It’s  cinematic gummi bear. It’s sickly sweet, has the softest, pliable plot  and makes me want more. We’re treated to a tale of a young group of  girls who enter a teen music video competition, all the while a young  Jersey girl is trying to find the man who wronged her father. They come  up against their rivals, The Wiggies, another teen girl group who wear outlandish wigs their father designs. Nothing about this movie is  serious, nor is anything about it plausible. But it’s more fun than a  day at a carnival stuffing your face with ice cream, cotton candy and  elephant ears. Raffill makes movies that people hate, but always have a  heart contained within that if you’re willing to take a ride with him  reward you with celluloid hugs.

05. Neon Maniacs - Joseph Mangine (1986)
Did you know there’s a group of twisted monsters that dress like punk rock  Village People living under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco? Well you would if you had seen Neon Maniacs, a slice of cinematic horror that embodies so many great things about  the 80s. Aesthetically it meshes everything great about the fear of  punks and those classic Kung-Fu films with each master specializing in a particular skill. It’s Five Deadly Venoms by way of The Hills Have Eyes. Even typing that makes me love the movie that much more. I was  introduced to this at the weekly Alamo Drafthouse event, Terror Tuesday, and it’s been one of the standouts for me ever since. Once you get around to the finale, where we discover how to stop these insidious killers, it’s a total head scratcher, but by that time you’ve already  been assaulted with a plethora of great kills and 80s slasher wackiness  you won’t even care. 

04. Hard Ticket to Hawaii - Andy Sidaris (1987)
The 2nd of what would go on to be a dozen films in the L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies  series from Sidaris and his son Christian and also easily the best of  them. If you’ve never experienced the genius of Sidaris’ films, start with Malibu Express, which is great, but then move on to this and you’ll see him firing on all cylinders. These action adventure movies are filled with big breasted Playmates who can barely act, but give it their best. There’s a few hunks for the lady viewers and then there’s a cadre of explosions, immensely creative deaths and kills, beautiful shots of Hawaii and buckets of comedic gold. Hard Ticket has two of the most genius kills in the entire series, one involving a deadly frisbee and one where a skateboarding assassin and his blow up  doll are vaporized by a rocket launcher. If that’s not enough, then  beware the giant killer rubber snake! This entire series is peppered with tits, comedy, assassins, tits, and more explosions and gunfire than you’d think possible. I almost forgot to mention he utilizes remote controlled toys as bombs again and again in this series, something I find so damn endearing and hilarious. Unfortunately those are missing in
 Hard Ticket. but it doesn’t diminish its greatness one bit. I love this movie. I love this series and I’m beyond sad that Sidaris died before he could make another movie.

03. Blood Diner - Jackie Kong (1987)
H.G. Lewis freaked audiences out in the 60s with his movie Blood Feast where a caterer uses women’s body parts to bring back an Egyptian goddess. Watching it now, it’s frankly a bit boring but it has its place and was certainly ahead of its time. Jackie Kong improved on this movie in 1987 with Blood Diner and for my money it’s far superior. Instead of a caterer, two young men run a vegetarian restaurant that they use a front to off young co-eds  to bring back an Egyptian goddess. And it’s a movie that is dying to be
loved. Hell, it features a kill where a prostitute has her head breaded and fried and ending up looking like a giant hush puppy. There’s a topless aerobic class! Kong succeeds where a lot of Troma films fail with this gore filled, schlocky masterpiece. 

02. Black Roses - John Fasano (1987)
What was terrifying for middle America in the 80s? Heavy fucking Metal, that’s what! Capitalizing on that scare is a completely underrated film, Black Roses where a hair metal band is going from town to town and turning the kids  into demons or zombies or some crazy ass things that follow them  around. The rub of it all is that the band itself are demons! Holy shitballs, that’s some terrifying shit! Well they’re coming to a small town and the kids are super excited but the parents are up in arms and trying to stop the concert. They don’t and everything goes to hell, literally. Big Pussy from the Sopranos gets sucked through a speaker by some demon looking cockroach and metal rules the world. Black Roses is ridiculous by any standard and that’s why I love it. It’s more metal  than I ever was as a kid (to be fair, I was more of a punk) but it’s also pure 80s horror through and through. Oh yeah there’s some Bang Tango and Lizzy Borden in the movie, as well, if that’s your thing. It should be.

01. Mystics in Bali - H. Tjut Djalil (1981)
Are there any Indonesian horror films that aren’t batshit out of their goddamn minds crazy? If so, I’ve never seen one. I’ve seen a few that are more boring than an old folks home Twister party. However, Mystics in Bali is so over the top, it’s an outright classic. This crazy white lady Cathy decides she wants to learn about the dark arts and I guess to f*ck with her, an evil witch decides that sure, she can do that. We then proceed to have our eyeballs and epicenters of our brains assaulted by  imagery of flying heads with organs intact and half-pig half-human  monstrosities. There’s even the special treat of said flying head eating an unborn fetus. So basically, the movie is awesome.

No comments: