Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Peter Fabian ""

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Peter Fabian

Peter and I go way back. We were video store comrades back when I was in college. He was the one who fanned the flame for my love of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and we quoted it almost daily at work. He also taught me his tradition of watching a movie at 12:01 on New Years Eve to make it the 1st film you watch in any given year. In his case it was BTiLC, in mine it was THE APARTMENT for a long time. Anyway, he's been a movie lover for a quite a while and I am always interested to hear what he thinks of films, both new and old, good and bad.
Follow him on twitter @kiwified77.


 CAVEMAN (1981)
A terrible corn-ball film with poorly-integrated stop-motion dinosaurs and atrocious performances by Ringo Starr, Shelley Long, and a young Dennis Quaid. Not to mention a tacked-on nonsensical third act. And yet we love it.  We love it enough to speak its language ('Atook alunda Lana! Zug zug!") and hum along to what is perhaps its best moment...  the oddly hilarious invention of music. 

The “Muppets on Acid” descriptive has been beaten to death for this disturbed yet brilliant 1989 Peter Jackson film, though it isn’t wholly inaccurate. Essentially an “innocent abroad” show biz parable, this time set amongst a variety show populated by drug and sex addicted, poo-eating, masturbating, raping, golfing, suicidal, homicidal puppets.  You know… that old chestnut.

Roger Corman will pop up on these lists often, and rightfully so. This time it’s with this “experiment gone horribly awry” tale of cheaply-suited fishmen rampaging into a sea side town in a carnival of gore and obligatory nudity, starring Doug McClure and the ill-fated Vic Morrow.

I had fond memories of this film as a child, about the Mayan god Quetzalcoatl returning to wreak havoc in New York City in the form of a stop-motion flying snake, only to find it is in fact slow-paced and awful… but in a secretly delightful, masochistic “Hey,look! Richard Roundtree!” sort of way.

Maybe I’m just a bastard, but for me this melodrama about Ricky Schroeder as an orphan in the Outback taken under wing by William Holden’s grizzled mountain man always bordered on the comedic.  Witness the absurdity of the boy’s parents’ fateful mishandling of a cliffside RV and decide for yourselves. 

 THE WRAITH (1986)
A Charlie Sheen vehicle about a murdered man returning to seek vengeance in a souped-up supernatural sports car and a pre-almost-stardom topless Sherilyn Fenn? Yes, please.

While some kids’ parents relegated them to their favorite Disney films, I was babysat by repeated viewings of this “Pirates of Penzance” satirical cheesefest.  The presence of Atkins and McNichol alone tells you exactly what kind of film this is going to be. But just try getting the songs out of your head afterwards.

Part FRIDAY THE 13th and part NAKED GUN, PANDEMONIUM was SCARY MOVIE long before the heyday of satirical and self-referential horror films. Tamer and goofier than the better-known STUDENT BODIES, this one still deserves rediscovery. 

My childhood (and admittedly still continuing) crush on Meredith Salenger and my fandom of the two Coreys blinded me as a youth to the true awfulness of this abstract teen body-switching  drama (?) by the late and usually underrated Marc Rocco.  Not even the presence of Jason Robards and the great Harry Dean Stanton can save this one, though that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying it and its late 80s soundtrack over and over. 

Honorable Mention:


Robert M. Lindsey said...

All I remember about Caveman (which I saw in the theater) was the blind feeling the breasts of two women standing side-by-side and then goes to feel her face and he reaches between them and there is no head there of course. Then he touches the breasts again, then goes up feeling for a head.

Ed South said...

It should also be noted that in The Pirate Movie there are visible cartoon thought bubbles over people's heads to see what they are thinking. That too also sums up what kind of movie that is...friggin' great!

Rupert Pupkin said...

I love both CAVEMAN and even moreso THE PIRATE MOVIE. There's really nothing quite like the "Pumpin and Blowin" sequence elsewhere in cinema.

George White said...

Watching the EARTHLING. The fact that the parents refer to it as "a camper" not an RV shows this is a British/Australian film.