Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Pat Healy ""

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Pat Healy

Pat Healy is a man who exceeds in all things he does. He is a noted film and TV actor, as well as a writer and director. Though you may remember him from his first film role in the now classic HOME ALONE 3(which is on Netflix Instant right now btw), he has also worked with the likes of P.T. Anderson, Werner Herzog, David Gordon Green, Terry Zwigoff and Michael Bay. If you've seen Ti West's most recent effort, THE INNKEEPERS, Pat is really great in that film(if you haven't seen it you should). Pat was also the star of Craig Zobel's GREAT WORLD OF SOUND, and headlines Zobel's upcoming Sundance smash COMPLIANCE (in theatres 8/17). 
He is also masterful and passionate cinephile. He and I connected over a love of movies many years ago and have become friends since. He shares an undying love of DEATH WISH 3 with myself and who can blame him as that movie is amazing. He also likes lots of great movies too, but that's not what we're discussing right now dangit!
Follow his continuing hilariousness on twitter at @Pat_Healy.


ZAPPED! (1982 - Robert J. Rosenthal) - A staple of late-night 80's cable, this features future 'Charles In Charge' playmates Scott Baio and Willie Aames as a high school nerd and perv, respectively. The duo are growing pot with nutty professor Chachi's special formula secretly in the school's science lab. A late night accident renders Baio's 'Barney Boner' with telekinetic powers. Naturally he uses them to take girls clothes off WITH HIS MIND, wreak revenge on their respective enemies and win the girl of his dreams by basically levitating and date-raping her without the use of his hands. But the film's high point comes when the boys attempt to destroy their pot in the school's furnace. Gym teacher Scatman Crothers inhales the mighty cloud and it leads him to dream that he and Albert Einstein are being chased on bicycles by LaWanda "Aunt Esther" Page, dressed as a valkyrie while she launches salamis out of a bazooka at them. True. I've seen this movie probably 20 times and I've never seen an Ingmar Bergman film.

SUPERFUZZ(1981 - Sergio Corbucci) - Beyond explanation. Spaghetti western mainstay Terrence Hill stars as a Miami cop with an effeminate lisp who develops telekenetic powers(running theme?) while trying to deliver a traffic ticket to an Indian reservation during an atomic blast. Hilarity ensues, mostly due to the horrible dubbing and ridiculous set pieces that include Hill's partner Ernest Borgnine singing and dancing on top of a giant pink bubble gum bubble. What's not to like?

XXX(2002 - Rob Cohen) - I can't defend this. It's awful. But Rob Cohen at times is like the Russ Meyer of big Hollywood shenanigans. It's so over the top, he can't be serious. Vin Diesel(awful and lunk-headed as always) stars as Xander Cage, an EXXXXTREME sports hero recruited by a top-secret government agency to be an international spy. The film's highlight comes during what has to be the most idiotic and physics-defying action set piece ever. Cage escapes a compound on motorcycle which he's able to maneuver and make fly in whatever direction he decides. He even outruns a veritable mushroom cloud, which Cohen shows every possible angle of, cutting back-and-forth from his twenty set-ups to make it even more ludicrous. Followed by the nearly-as-enjoyable XXXX: STATE OF THE UNION. Ice Cube replaces the 'I'm above this but I'll come back to it later when I need the money' Diesel. The film is most notable for informing us that The White House has a bullet train in an escape tunnel beneath 1660 Pennsylvania ave. 

DREAMCATCHER(2003 - Lawrence Kasdan) - This has many of the 'deal-a-meal' hallmarks of Stephen King's work: Group of best friends as kids reunited as grown-ups to face a common fear, telekinesis(AGAIN!), ESP, Alien invasion. Except, wouldn't a group of guys who share the same ESP powers be able to predict THE ALIEN INVASION IN THE WOODS NEAR THE CABIN THEY'RE RENTING??? Not to fear, warmonger Morgan Freeman is on the case. Freeman's general dons spider-like giant eyebrows and an Arsenio flattop, as if to say 'We're not supposed to take this shit seriously, are we?' His right-hand man is played by Tom Sizemore, in an apparent attempt to tone down Freeman's crazy. The aliens plant their seed and bloodily launch out of their victims buttonholes, leading one to believe perhaps both Kasdan and screenwriter William Goldman(!!!!) were battling intense hemorrhoids during the creation of this epic. It simply must be seen to be believed. And I haven't even mentioned Donnie Wahlberg's 'magic retard' Dudditz who uses his psychic ability and love of Scooby Doo to defeat the alien nemesis. Wow. This movie is really something. There are ten other amazingly stupid things I can think of off the top of my head that I can't fit here. You'll be pleasantly surprised!

HARDLY WORKING(1980 - Jerry Lewis) Even we dedicated Jerryphiles can't get over how intensely inept and creepy this film is. And yet, it might be the most watchable of them all. For Lewis acolytes know better than anyone that his best work is equal parts genius and garbage. Jerry's return to the screen after a self-described exile has him taking on the late 70's/early 80's hot topic of unemployment. He plays a clown that, for reasons only known to him, people find hilarious. However, he loses his job and must become a 'working stiff.' His attempts at a gas station attendant, porthole salesman and racist caricature Japanese chef fail both as jobs and sources of humor. He finds himself at the post office where he successfully delivers rabbits that overrun the city for reasons that escape me at this late hour. This movie is painfully unfunny and hilariously painful. I could watch it over and over again. Lewis is an endless source of fascination for me. No matter how bad or how good his films are, they are always a window into his whacked-out, tormented soul. This is certainly no exception.


Justin Bozung said...

Hardly Working is proof that without screenwriting partner Bill Richmond along for the ride, Lewis struggles. With that being said, Hardly Working is an interesting film, in that as the audience we're expected to revel in the character's pathos and not the typical JL silly antics. The first 10 minutes of Hardly Working are really incredible and filled with this big and wonderful display of emotion that was completely out of character for Lewis up till this point. In addition, Hardly Working is also a bit of evidence in that the film proves that Lewis, 8 years after the fact, was still unable to leave the character of the broken down clown behind after the unreleased Day The Clown Cried disaster. The film not only could be intended as a semi-autobiographical account of his own career at the time, but also a message piece telling the world that the Lewisan "kid" is dead for good. It was a huge departure for Lewis, even though it was a return, and the critics destroyed Lewis with the release of Hardly Working. His follow-up Cracking Up (1983) in which Bill Richmond returns to help Lewis with the screenplay, reverts back to the episodic comedy formulation that Richmond and Lewis left with The Ladies Man (1961).

wormface said...

I saw Hardly Working in the theater. I was about 8 years old.

I don't remember much. But I do remember a scene involving the Budweiser Clydesdale horses which is probably the most awkward, overlong, badly-edited, PAINFUL attempt at a joke I've ever seen.

I thought: Wtf is this? Is this supposed to be funny?! And I was only 8 at the time!