Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Aszurom ""

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Aszurom

 Jim (aka @Aszurom on twitter) is from canton Ohio, (a victim of one too many Big Chuck and Lil John shows) and he produces and co-hosts the entertaining Bad Movie Podcast( Worth a listen. In fact, each entry below has a link to the episode they covered the movie on. Enjoy!


Dragon Force (1982)

Also known as Shen tan guang tou mei. This 1982 ninja carnival stars Bruce Baron as a secret agent who joins a Hong Kong ninja team to rescue a kidnapped and brainwashed princess from a tubby Dr Evil and his limitless supply of ninja henchmen. Henchmen rain from the ceiling on command, the portly boss man gets stuck in doorways, there's a Chinese agent named “Ah-Choo” (Gesundheit!) and we learn that a cobra can be used like a leech to extract ninja poisons.

This barely scratches the surface of the awesome insanity that is on display here. This movie is a constant stream of WTF, and you won't be disappointed. Watch with friends and intoxicants for best results.

Jack & Jill (2011)

I have to state up front that I have never been much a fan of Adam Sandler's movies. This movie, perhaps because it was so universally reviled, was just exceptionally fun. I went in with less than zero expectations, and I was quite shocked at how much I enjoyed it.

The movie is more a series of momentary gags and callbacks than anything else, and for me those just worked – which is a damn rare thing indeed. Rohan Chand and the cockatoo steal the show. My wife made me watch it, and I immediately put it on the podcast. She occasionally reminds me that despite all her bemoaning my cinematic choices, she enjoys a good stinker now and then as well.

Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

George Clooney, his atomic mullet, and the cute as a pile of kittens Karen Waldron are the secret sauce that makes RotKT work. This movie breaks the 4th wall, stands back and laughs at itself, then carries on like none of that ever happened. John Astin chewing up the laboratory just ices the cake. Corn Flakes. Pepsi. I still want a furry stuffed tomato.

Altered States (1980)

I like this 1980 William Hurt (his first) movie not because it's “so bad it's good” but because it's actually a thought provoking trip into the land of shamanic hallucinogens, consciousness, religion, the nature of reality, and of course scientists transforming into prehistoric ape-men. Except for that last bit, it's a pretty solid movie.

Charles Haid really is the best performance of the film. I strongly suggest you watch the documentary “DMT – The Spirit Molecule” on Netflix and then watch this. You'll have a completely different view of it.

The Dark Backward (1991)

Holy crap WTF Bill Paxton? WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton and Wayne Newton descend into insanity. You will be harmed by this movie. It willtouch you in a bad place. Nelson is a dead-unfunny comic who grows a 3rd arm out of the middle of his back while channeling Andy Kauffman, and Bill Paxton is just absolutely ape-shit incarnate. Also he plays an accordion. I'm not telling you anything else.

Frankenstein Island (1981)

The power! THE POWER! T H E P O W E R ! ! ! A group of balloonists get blown off course, crash on a tropical island, meet sexy cave women, fight zombies, meet Frankenstein's daughter, and ultimately battle “the Monster”.

Frankenstein's monster does a pitch perfect job of impersonating Phil Hartman as Frankenstein's monster. You will be amazed. Oh yeah, and there are frequent hauntings by John Carradine's disembodied floating head.

Dark Star (1974)

If you like Ridley Scott's Alien, you are required to see this. It's a low budget tale of space madness, apathy, and existentialist exposition. We had the most fun watching closely and trying to puzzle out how they achieved some of the nifty shots. You can see big-time how this movie led to the masterwork that Alien was. This is like watching a monkey fall from a tree and start walking upright.

5 Element Ninjas (1982)

Shaw Brothers, how we love thee. A samurai challenges a school of kung-fu monks to a deathmatch, like you do, and dies – but not without first cursing them to have to face the five elemental ninja clans who will seek revenge for him.

What follows are some of the most entertaining and insane-o kung fu set-piece battles ever put on film. Our band of heroes must battle fire, water, metal, wood, and earth ninja clans. Ever seen ninjas disguised in rubber tree suits? You will, oh yes you will. Earth ninjas can burrow like magic gophers and attack from trap doors with spears. Our hero defeats this by wearing stilts. YES, you read that correctly. The good guys, after losing badly in the first round of fights, come equipped with special gadgets and weapons tailored to fight their foes. Bond's Q would be jealous.

When one of the heroes trips over his own (we're not sure, looked like a scrotum to me) and disembowels himself mid-fight, I almost broke a rib laughing. Several times we had to pause the movie to regain composure. If ever there were a pokemon ninja movie, this is it.

R.O.T.O.R. (1988)

Speaking of movies that required us to stop watching until we quit hyperventilating... R.O.T.O.R. I laughed so hard at something so ridiculous that I nearly did a backflip off the couch.

Shoeboogie and his robo-guard buddy are amazing comic relief. The rest of the movie is unintentional comedy. Probably the shittiest Terminator stop-motion rip-off on film, the R.O.T.O.R. is a robotic endoskeleton made of random bits of pipe, aquarium tubing, plexiglass, and a chrome skull with sunglasses on. And it dances the “robot dance”, I shit thee not.

Luckily for my sanity, they wrap it in an actor's flesh and we don't have to see THAT again in the movie. Awakened by Shoeboogie's walkman, no-budget Robocop jumps on his motorcycle and goes forth to dispense justice. A woman runs a stop sign, and is sentenced to execution.

The rest of the movie is the creator trying to keep the unlucky target running while he tries to puzzle out how to shut off his creation. About the creator: He's a cowboy, is POORLY over-dubbed by someone likely named “Tex”, and makes his horse coffee in the morning. I'll leave the rest for you to discover.

Eliminators (1986)

Eliminators is the perfect 80s child fantasy ensemble movie. Scientist + Cyborg man-tank + Pirate + Ninja vs evil time-traveling mad doctor. Imagine if Robocop could snap off his legs and plug himself into a set of tank tracks. Why was this not an action figure?! There is NO EXCUSE for that being omitted from my childhood. None.

Denise “Tasha Yar” Crosby and Mandroid (really, his name) enlist a river smuggler (who is a cross of Indiana Jones and Han Solo) to transport them to Dr. Evil's lair in Mexico. Along the way, they run into “random Ninja” who joins their party. This movie is just awesome. I was 12 again while watching it.

Space Mutiny (1988)

Reb Brown! Beef Mansteak! Blast Hardcheese! Duke Facepunch! The many names of our protagonist. (Go search for “Blast Hardcheese” on youtube for a MST3K summary) Using footage from Battlestar Galactica that they don't even bother to modify in any way, we learn that everyone is on a spaceship that has been traveling in deep space for generations. A faction of the crew thinks it's time they took some shore-leave, so decide to throw a coup and land the ship somewhere.

A delegation of psychic witches is aboard the ship for some reason. Everybody is wearing 80s spandex leotards with shoulder crests, and entertainment consists of erotic dancing with hula hoops in the ship's foggy night club. There is a clip of this on youtube, and you won't believe it even when you see it.

The movie ends in a re-enactment of the Death Star trench run, except using floor buffers instead of starfighters, and a hallway instead of a trench. And then my head exploded. Oh, and the love interest is Reb's actual wife, FYI. If you need another Reb fix after this, go straight to RoboWar. It's a rip-off of Predator.

Hawk the Slayer (1981)

What happens when a spaghetti western director makes a fantasy movie? You get Hawk the Slayer. This movie has high-noon stand-offs, quick draw sword fights, whistling flute cues, a convent of nuns held for ransom by bandits, and is shot-for-shot a classic western. Except for the dwarf, giant, knights, wizards, magic swords, dragon-like chimera, etc. Also has Jack Palance as Not-Vader. Wow, does Palance chew up the scenery. Believe it... or not!

Megaforce (1982)

In the future, the army is equipped by Hasbro. Their futuristic HotWheels dune buggies sport lasers, and they have (spoiler!) flying motorcycles that shoot machine guns and missiles. Lots and lots of missiles. The uniform is no longer camo, but gold spandex with a blue ascot and matching headband. Really, Barry Bostwick (Brad from Rocky Horror) looks like a big gay lion with his blonde afro, beard, and that gold catsuit on. Disco is BACK, baby, and the Bee Gees are armed to the teeth!

So they fly to (random foreign desert country) to stop the bad guys, and almost leave Bostwick behind in their hurry to escape the battle. Luckily, he discovers at that moment that his MOTORCYCLE CAN FLY. Then he does a barrel roll and lands it gracefully on the open back door of a C-130 cargo plane. Big “I am the definition of awesome!” grin and dual thumbs up! The end.

You'll keep rewinding that scene over and over and over too. Then you'll find it on youtube and send it to all your friends. You'll never see anything like that again, so cherish the moment when you first see it.

The Thing With Two Heads (1972)

This is my favorite blaxploitation movie of ALL TIME. Sure, there is Dolemite, Shaft, Black Samurai, but none of them feature Rosie Grier running around in a 5XL suit jacket with Ray Miland strapped to his back. This movie does. Mad doctor has “chest cancer” and has been racing against time to perfect transplanting his head onto a new body. He is also very un-subtle about being deeply racist. He goes into a coma and his assistants obtain the only replacement body available – a giant black death-row inmate.

Hilarity ensues when the pair awake and find themselves ear-to-ear on Grier's body. Grier escapes with Miland's head aboard, and what plays out is a sci-lol-fi retelling of “The Defiant Ones”, where two men, one black, one white, chained-together are on the run from the police. Except here, we're treated to a 20 minute long chase scene involving 20 police cars and 2 ½ men on a dirt bike that would make the Dukes of Hazard misty eyed.

Robot Jox (1989)

Giant gladiatorial robot combat has replaced warfare, and nations settle their differences and wager territories in the various robo-arenas. The Russians have an evil sadist at the controls of their warbot, and the Americans are trying to develop a new breed of warrior – test tube grown clones, genetically perfected for robot combat.

The hero, Achilles, must contend with his feelings of obsolescence as well as Russian warbots, spies, and traitors. But really kids, the show here is about extremely awesome battlemechs – straight out of the FASA board game that was hugely popular at the time – excellently animated in what is one of the last great hurrahs of stop-motion in cinema. This stuff is awesome!

By the way, have you noticed that THREE major gaming titles are coming out in 2012 based on this exact concept? Mechwarrior Tactics, Mechwarrior Mercenaries Online, and Hawken. Clearly, the appeal of giant robots kicking each other apart with missiles, lasers, and giant chainsaw hands is as relevant as ever.

Star Crash (1978)

There are few bad movies that are such shining examples of glorious failure that burn so
brightly as Star Crash. It's like Italian cinema decided that Star Wars needed combined with Jason and the Argonauts, and then marinated in Flash Gordon after a dry-rub of Forbidden Planet.

Remember the beautiful skeleton fight from Jason and the Argonauts? Replace the skeletons with stop-motion animated battledroids from Episode I, and Jason is now David Hasslehoff with a lightsaber. The Death Star is a space station shaped like a giant hand, that closes into
a fist when going onto battle. The good guys launch roman centurions with laser rifles into
the Death Fist inside of golden torpedoes that look like marital aids with fins. These crash
through giant cathedral windows (wait... space station... oh nevermind.) and the troops leap

There is also a giant colossus statue, a Hoth-like ice planet, and did I mention Acton? Acton
is like a jedi mixed with Dr. Who. And he looks like the Greatest American Hero guy. I could
go on all day, as we haven't covered the Amazon Women, the Cave Men, space prison jailbreak, or a myriad of stuff this movie throws into your brain. You can get it on Blu Ray, surprisingly enough, and you will be SHOCKED at how beautiful and detailed a transfer it is. Best $12 you can spend today, guaranteed.


Marty McKee said...

Yessss POWERFORCE is incredible.

Ed South said...

Just watched Starcrash the other night - good stuff!

Proud to say I saw Robot Jox in the movie theatre!

Aaron said...

I love ALTERED STATES and FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS. I really need to track down ELIMINATORS... vaguely remember it from my childhood. I have a feeling it'll be one of those movies I watch that triggers old memories. Or not. We shall see.