Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Karl Brezdin ""

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Karl Brezdin

On, Karl Brezdin takes on the martial arts b-movie, one generic henchman at a time. The blog is dedicated to uncovering lost gems in Western martial arts cinema and other films with lots of fake fighting. He is also a contributing member of the Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit and occasionally writes for The Gentlemen's Blog to Midnite Cinema.

The Paperboy (1994)
Written by Sam Peckinpah's nephew, David, this film was every bit as cringe-inducing as his uncle's vengeance opus STRAW DOGS. Just for entirely different reasons. It tries to walk the line between psychological thriller and horror, before tripping on said line and falling off a cliff into a valley of unintentional comedy and continuity errors. Marc Marut alternates between creepy and laughably bad as the teenage antagonist, and breaks at least three food platters during tense moments (in slow motion, naturally).

Drop Zone (1994)
Where else can you find Wesley Snipes in his cinematic prime, Corin Nemec playing a rebel skydiver named Swoop, and a pre-Witchblade, pre-substance abuse Yancy Butler? Did I mention that Gary Busey plays the main villain? He spends 40% of the film in loose-fitting tank tops, 60% of the film verbally abusing poor computer nerd Michael Jeter, and 100% of the film as a crooked DEA agent leading a gang of renegade skydivers. As you might have guessed, this slice of 90s action cheese was directed by John Badham, who brought us SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and SHORT CIRCUIT.

Hercules in New York (Dubbed) (1969)
Poorly dubbed movies were one of my true joys during my early years of seeking and collecting. The films of Arnold Schwarzengger were another. I came across the dubbed version of this movie on a premium cable channel some time in the early 1990s and a close friend and I found it to be endlessly quotable. There are absurd action set pieces for Arnie, the voice actor for him is atrocious, and the hammy overacting of Arnold Stang is almost as grating as the plot is preposterous. A fine chariot, but where are the horses?

Final Score (1986)
Arizal rides again in yet another Indonesian adrenaline kick, this time with star Christopher Mitchum. Godfrey Ho favorite Mike Abbott stars as the villain and sports some of the most unique facial proportions this side of Robert Z’Dar. The entire stunt crew basically fucking dies in every scene for the last 40 minutes. While it doesn't quite reach the epic heights of The Stabilizer in terms of memorable dialog or general goofiness, the spirit is the same and it's an enjoyable piece of action trash.

Hard Target (1993)
Yancy Butler makes yet another appearance on the list and I'm not sure why this is significant. Girl had to make a living, I guess. She plays the love interest to JCVD's brooding, mulleted Cajun asskicker in John Woo's American debut. Come for the legitimately good action set pieces and Lance Henriksen feasting on the scenery. Stay for the constant reliance on slo-mo, often terrible dialog, and Wilford Fucking Brimley's archery prowess.

No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)
I fought hard to keep any of my obvious nods off the list, but NRNS was the match that lit the fuse which detonated a trash heap of thoughts on bad martial arts movies and spread them across the Internet. Continuity errors, bad dialog, miscast stunt doubles, the ghost of Bruce Lee, pool party brawls, terrible fashion, awful dance sequences, and Jean Claude Van Damme's first speaking part in an American film combine for this absolute gem of "so bad it's good" filmmaking.

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