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I find tremendous comfort in the fact that there’s someone in Hollywood still willing to green light beach volleyball thrillers starring 90210 alumni. This one stars Brian Austin Green as a reporter named Holden. This at least serves as evidence that the screenwriter got to the 10th grade. BAG is wooing a beach volleyball player who is rising through the ranks due to a tragedy involving her nemesis. It turns out that Holden may not be an angel. This is a cheese fest from start to finish with clichéd dialogue and plenty of gratuitous T&A. For a 2008 film, it feels very mid-90s. It is a very fun time waster.
This one is quite infamous but still has to be seen to be believed. Ok, you really don’t need to sit through the whole thing, but a good 10-15 minutes should plant your jaw firmly on the floor. I understand that the world was less politically correct back in 1938, but this is still unbelievable. The film itself is pretty dull so the 60 minute run time is a blessing. This one is in the public domain, so there are likely plenty of bad prints out there, but a decent print shows up on TCM from time to time so keeps your eyes peeled.
I saw this for the first time recently and, although it did not knock my socks off, it certainly tried its best. The special effects are embarrassingly bad, especially considering we’re in post-Star Wars era. Essentially, it’s a Love Boat episode set in the air. In fact, I did a quick survey and the majority of the cast took at least two voyages on the Pacific Princess. You’ll cheer for George Kennedy, who does it all here, from bedding a French prostitute, to doing barrel roles at supersonic speed. At the same time, you’ll feel pity for Alain Delon who must have lost a bet and wound up in this fun turkey.
After Swayze’s death, I noticed the lack of clips fromBlack Dog in all those video tributes. That’s too bad, as this has Swayze chewing scenery with abandon. Can you blame him? He has to compete with the likes of Meatloaf and Stephen Tobolowsky. This movie checks almost all of the boxes on the ‘So bad it’s good’ survey form. It may be the last of a dying breed: a trucksploitation B-movie that actually got a theatrical release. If you like vehicular destruction, this is the movie for you. It many ways, it is a spiritual sequel toRoadhouse and would make an excellent double bill.
I could almost make a list of films featuring Family Ties alum (Satisfaction,Mikey), but I’d like to focus on this forgotten gem showcasing the talents of Scott Valentine (‘Mah-Luh-Ree!’). This one never gets mentioned when Horror-Comedies from the 80s are discussed, perhaps because it is more of a Horror-Rom-Com. It’s a very high energy bit of silliness with great, but cheesy special effects. Like many 80s comedies, it takes a scattershot approach but between the clothing, the NYC street scenes and the New Jersey jokes, there’s a lot to love.
Ferat Vampire (1982)
This one falls into the ‘must be seen to be believed’ category. What we’ve got here is a 1981 Czech horror/sci-fi flick about a blood sucking rally car. Yup, you read that correctly. This film includes tons of stiff acting, Iron Curtain 80s fashions, Cronenbergian gross outs and two of the nerdiest heroes you’ll ever meet (picture Czech versions of Woody Allen and a bearded Alan Alda). While sitting in a screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox last winter, listening to puzzled laughter from the audience, I could not decide whether it was a po-faced misfire or a brilliant black comedy. Does it really matter?
Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983)
In January of 1983, I was an Indiana Jones obsessed 10-year old. My parents were out of town, so I convinced my grandmother to take me to see this movie. She likely exited the cinema feeling very concerned about my mental health. In an effort to distract the audience from a convoluted plot and terrible special effects, Tony Anthony threw in everything; including the kitchen sink. He then proceeded to throw it all directly at the camera. It is absolutely terrible, but manages to entertain despite itself. I’d love to see a film festival dedicated to the early 80s 3-D revival.
Ernest Goes to Camp (1987)
In the distant future, I believe that aliens will visit the desolate remains of our planet and discover a box set of Ernest movies. Even if they do not understand a word of dialogue, I have no doubt in my mind that they would agree with me that turtle paratroopers are awesome. This film would also likely leave them with the impression that Ernest was an important political leader, but let’s just stay focused on the turtles. If you are ever in the mood for something really, really, really stupid then I highly recommend this film, if only for the scene of turtles in parachutes attacking evil construction workers, accompanied by a medley ofRide of the Valkyries and a military march version ofHappy Together. If that’s not enough, you can also smile at the karma that brought Lyle Alzado, Iron Eyes Cody and Dean Wormer together in the same movie. KnowhatImean?