Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Jeremy Kinney ""

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Jeremy Kinney

Jeremy Kinney is a movie fanatic of the highest order. His favorite films are TRUST, SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and GYMKATA. He should be followed on twitter @FakeShemp!

 Since being asked to participate in this celebration of the "bad", I've been trying to come to terms with what bad means. In the New Oxford Dictionary, the first definition is "of poor quality; inferior or defective". I like that. Second is "unpleasant or unwelcome". I don't like that at all when defining this list. Nor do I like any of the other words thrown out such as decayed, worthless, guilty and ashamed. Especially those last two. I'm not ashamed of anything on this list. And I rarely feel guilty. So while this is a list of my favorite bad movies, I had to figure out what makes a movie bad, yet somehow I can enjoy it. I figured it this way, if I was in charge of the money, none of these films would have ever been made. And I would be very sad if they did not exist.

10. Terminator Salvation (2009)
Alright, this one I am ashamed of (that was a quick turnaround!). In fact, I don't like it. At all. So why exactly have I seen it over 10 times? I love The Terminator. I think Terminator 2 is one of the top sci-fi action movies of all time. Terminator 3 is trash and not worthy of being discussed, ever. Truth be told, neither does MCG's flailing travesty of a film. I despise it. I watch it and I mock it's eight story robots that can sneak up on people. I laugh at John "Batman" Connor being out acted by the dude from Avatar. The only truly good thing I can even say about it is I like Anton Yelchin as a young Kyle Reese and that it looks pretty. Pretty expensive. My love of the franchise keeps me going back. I guess I like seeing the world opened up, even if I hate how they opened it. Hopefully those rumblings about Justin Lin & Arnold making a new one have been squashed. I hear Josh Friedberg (The Sarah Connor Chronicles) isn't doing anything though!

9. Jason X (2001)
I am an unabashed lover of the Friday The 13th franchise. I actually think a few of them are quite good. This is not the case for the majority of them. And while I have been known to watch the worst of them multiples of times, none bring me such WTF pleasure as deciding we had exhausted all our options and had to take the franchise to outer space. We've got a new super shiny metal-clad Jason and a rare David Cronenberg performance (always welcome!). But the cream of the crop for me is one of our "heroes" is impaled onto what appears to be a giant screw and he twirls down around it. That should be enough, but it's the capper of being found by his teammates and having them report in "he's screwed". I giggle like a schoolgirl everytime.

8. Teen Wolf Too (1987)
One of Hollywoods biggest sins is slapping a two (or in this case a Too) onto a copy of the script that just made them lots of money. This IS the exact same film as Teen Wolf. Sure, this time he's played by my childhood favorite Jason Bateman and the setting has changed to college. Oh, it's not basketball either, it's boxing. But other than that, it's beat for beat the exact same movie as Teen Wolf. Without any of the charm. Chubby comes along for the ride (and box), but the great Jerry Levine left with Mikey and instead we get a very bland Stiles in Stuart Fratkin (whose IMDB lists 6 episodes of The New adventures Of Beans Baxter, might have to re-evaluate). James Hampton stays, but this time is Uncle Harold. Out goes a Principle in for a Dean in a patented crazy John Astin performance. We even get a little bit of Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark's Kim Darby getting in on the wolf action. Honestly, the only reason I truly love this movie is the performance of Jason Bateman and watching him get slapped with a dead frog. I was just so excited to see my favorite star of Silver Spoons and It's Your Move get some movie action.

7. The Experts (1989)
John Travolta & Arye Gross play two bumbling idiot hipsters who think they are helping to open a nightclub in Kansas but are actually being kidnapped by the KGB to teach a sleeper town, straight from Leave It To Beaver, in Mother Russia how to be hip. Kelly Preston and Deborah Foreman play the love interests. Brian Doyle-Murray, Charles Martin Smith & the always under used Rick Ducommun get in on the action. Did I mention it's directed by Dave Thomas? A glorious comedic tragedy I can watch anytime and makes me smile.

6. Aeon Flux (2005)
Karyn Kusama's adaptation of some cartoon I absolutely hated from the Liquid Television heyday of MTV is everything that show was, except terrible. It's convoluted. It makes very little sense. With each viewing I actually understand it less and less. And that's part of it's insane charm. Giant sterile science fiction settings have always been a fascination for me. The set design is extravagant and minimalist in the way only millions of dollars can express. A who's who of oscar bait performers led by the tightly clad Charlize Theron doing her best to look bad ass. She succeeds. If you actually know what it's about, do me a favor and stay away from me, I don't ever want to know.

5. Deadly Friend (1986)
Wes Craven directed this movie about a teenage computer programmer / engineer who put's the "brain" of his robot "BB" into his recently deceased friend Samantha's head. I actually think there is a lot to like about Deadly Friend. It's source material (Friend by Diane Henstell) is one of my favorite horror novels. Future academy award winner Bruce Joel Rubin does his best to take everything great about the novel and make it as silly as possible. In all fairness to Rubin, I'm sure he was just getting paid and taking orders. Watching Kristy Swanson act like a robot who looked like a Johnny Five with elephantitus is worth the admission alone. Would I like it if I didn't love the book & Kristy Swanson so much? I don't know, but I do.

4. Leif Jonker's Darkness (1997)
A bunch of metalheads on their way to or from a concert get attacked by vampires! One lives and goes to fight the good battle for his tiny town. Shot on Super 8 by a teenage Leif Jonker from a budget of a couple thousand dollars, the film has surprisingly good effects / gore. It has a script that is obviously written by a teenager that loves shitty horror movies. For a bad film, it's incredibly entertaining and more importantly inspiring for aspiring filmmakers with questionable taste.

3. Supergirl (1984)
Helen Slater with the Superman symbol on her chest. Do I really have to say more than that? Alright. Faye Dunaway plays a witch. Peter Cook plays a warlock. These are our villains. Supergirl comes to earth following some power source her dad (Peter O'Toole!) had "borrowed" from the local Kryptonian government. Somehow this source of power enables Faye to get all sorts of witchy powerful, meaning she has to duke it out with Supergirl in the very cheap looking Phantom Zone. And I'm not the only one who loved Supergirl, so does Hart Bochner well before he had a coke problem in Nakatomi Plaza. All in all, a bad Supergirl movie, but better than the Superman movie that came before and after her one and only appearance on the silver screen. That's too bad, as Helen Slater truly owns the role. Too bad for her it's just not in a very good movie.

2. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
I saw this at the first show on opening day. When asked how it was later that night, I said it was everything I expected it to be. Loud, with explosions and a boat that can't go under 55 miles per hour. It was going to be terrible from the get go. Keanu Reeves walked away. Bullock stayed, but they couldn't exactly make her character kick-ass. Instead they gave her another hot shot cop boyfriend, ostensibly making it a Jason Patrick movie instead. I can't remember why Willem Dafoe wants to crash this cruise liner into an oil tanker. I can only remember him putting leeches on himself for medicinal reasons, and that seems like all you need to know. It's budget went way out of control. It's climatic scene of a giant cruise ship crashing onto an island (16 knots!!! 15 knots!!!) is ridulously out of control and you can feel Jan de Bonts ego in every frame. It makes me happy to watch epic failure.

1. A Little Overwhelming (????)
I can tell you very little about this movie. If I dig in my attic, I could pull out the vhs case and read its hand crafted liner notes. I rented this from our local videostore. It was written & directed (and quite possibly starring) by a student filmmaker from Michigan State University. It was shot with what seemed to be a VHS camera. It tells the story of a freshmans horrible first day of college. It's trying very hard to be in the Savage Steve Holland vein, but fails on every level. The movie opens with a 3 plus minute montage of the kid looking out his car window and us seeing campus pass him by. I'm not kidding, we timed it. It has some sever overacting from M.S.U. Professor Bill Vincent, who you might not recall from the films of Sam Raimi as one of his original Fake Shemps. I looked up Bill Vincent, there is no sign of this on his IMDB page. It's a truly terrible, terrible film. But as a student filmmaker, already impressed by Leif Jonker with what you could do with so little, A Little Overwhelming was my comfort food for whenever I felt the deck stacked against me. If he could do it, there's no way in hell I couldn't. Of course, I haven't. Well played A Little Overwhelming, well played.


SteveQ said...

I won't spoil Aeon Flux for you, but the only people who think it's a bad movie are fans of the original TV anime series. I seem to be the only one who likes both.

FakeShemp said...

Oh, I know plenty of people who think it's bad who have no stock in the original either. I didn't mind the cartoon when it was just the Liquid Television short. It's when they made more that my hatred began. I fully expected to hate the live action, and it seems like something I should. But I can't, it's too lovely and out of control crazy.

Aaron said...

"Helen Slater with the Superman symbol on her chest. Do I really have to say more than that?"


Great list, dude. I'm an AEON FLUX fan as well, but mainly because I believe there are very few things sexier in this world than Charlize Theron with jet black hair. Love your write-up of SPEED 2 - I haven't seen it, but now I feel like I don't need to.

deadlydolls said...

I too will defend Jason X to the death. Easily the most fun one can have watching a Jason movie that isn't set for 20 minutes in Manhattan.

Neige said...

I'd like to know if you should send me by email the scan of the DARKNESS vhs please, it would be great to have it in HQ!
This movie has never been released in France and I only have the dvd edition, but this cover is really beautiful !
My email address : broustic(a)
Thank you & cheers,

FakeShemp said...

Aaron - if you really do not want to see Speed 2: CRUISE CONTROL, I would say listen to How Did This Get Made. It's a podcast by Paul Scheer and friends where they watch and then tear apart. They did a Speed 2 podcast just a few weeks ago. Being professional comedians and shit, they bring some fun to their reviews.

Emily - 8 is and will always be my least favorite. 9 had the potential to be the best film of all time. Saw it opening day at the noon showing with my friend. That whole opening where the girl runs and then the military jumps in and blows Jason up was AMAZING. We both whooped and gave a high five and contemplated leaving cause we knew it could only go down hill. Would have been the best movie ever if they would have just rolled the end credits about 7 minutes into the movie.

Guillaume - I didn't make the scan and I'm sure Rupert didn't either. e probably just googled it and hit images. So it should be easy to get. Glad to know I'm not the only one who appreciates this film!