Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Spenser Hoyt ""

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Spenser Hoyt

Kicking off Scarecrow Video Employee week this here at RPS! Check out a new one from one of the movie geniuses there for the next several days!

Spenser Hoyt’s writings and ramblings have appeared in various publications and on a couple of websites. He is particularly excited about his contributions to a must-own book called Destroy All Movies!!!. He helps run Seattle’s best little cinema The Grand Illusion, works at the world famous Scarecrow Video, delights in defacing the Yahtzee professor when given the opportunity and regrets not playing more Wiffle-Ball last summer.

PS- I interviewed Spenser for the GGTMC a while back:


The Adventurers (1969) 
This overstuffed stinkburger from the director of Moonraker (and about 40 other movies) is a bloated adaptation of a Harold Robbins novel produced by Joseph E. Levine. The 177-minute film is packed with ham-fisted melodrama, tacky fashions, atrocious acting, and gratuitous violence. The uncut DVD claims it is rated PG yet the first scene contains a gory gang rape/mass murder and a cute puppy gets shot. Globetrotting trash at its finest.

Beyond the Forest (1949)
Another misguided melodrama. This time around the usually reliable King Vidor ineptly directs Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, Ruth Roman, Dona Drake and Regis Toomey in an absurd noir-ish soap opera about a bitter young woman who’ll do just about anything (including murder, abortion, blackmail, etc.) to escape life in a small Wisconsin town and live it up in Chicago…that toddlin’ town. Best enjoyed as a campy comedy, this is the film that brought Miss Davis’ long relationship with Warner Brothers to a screeching halt.

No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)
I almost put Troll 2 on my list then I remembered this goofy Karate Kid rip off that is set in my hometown of Seattle (but mostly filmed in LA). Like Troll 2 the film was made in the states by a foreign crew who spoke little English resulting in ridiculous acting and unintentionally hilarious dialogue. It’s packaged as a Van Damme film but the “Muscles from Brussels” is only onscreen for about 10 minutes. NRNS features lots of silliness but the evil fat kid literally takes the cake. I mean it-- he really does take a whole chocolate cake and eat it in the middle of the street while scowling at the film’s protagonist. Funny stuff.

Raiders of Atlantis (1983) 
Italy has a well-deserved reputation for cinematic rip-offs and this may be the country’s masterpiece of reinterpretations. The relentless, illogical non- stop action incorporates punks, tidal waves, Russian submarines, guns, bikers, hilarious post-synch dubbed dialogue, a villain with a clear plastic skull mask, groovy disco action music and more. This is the kind of movie that you would spot at a mom & pop video store and grab because of the outrageous cover art, take it home and NOT be disappointed!

Night of the Demon (1980)
Gritty low-budget Bigfoot flick with lots of violence and sleaze. It sort of reminded me of I Drink Your Blood for some reason. There’s not much more to say but did I mention a motorcyclist gets his penis torn off by sasquatch?

Godzilla Vs. Hedorah/Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster (1971)
The weirdest and most misunderstood Godzilla movie is hated by many including the film’s producer who that it was too violent and G-nerds who just can’t deal with the scene where the mutant lizard curls up with his tail and flies with the aid of his radioactive breath. There are cartoons, songs (the groovy “Save the Earth”), sundry weirdness and Godzilla’s adversary is a big blob of brown poop sludge that kills a lot of people but spares a cute little kitty cat.

The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
Bill Rebane made movies in Wisconsin through the '70s and '80s that relied on primitive effects, absurd plots, and over-the-hill actors to create part of the last wave of drive in-friendly, regionally distributed psychotronica, and this is one of his most notorious productions. I saw this as a double feature with a friend in the theatres when it first came out. We were both scared shitless and had to be rescued by my mom before the second feature started. The other movie would have been Grizzly, which is actually a pretty good movie and very intense for a PG flick. Thank god for Mom cuz we would have ended up scarred for life.

The Killing of Satan (1983)
This cheapo from the Philippines is crudely produced but loaded with enthusiasm. Filled with half-assed martial arts, a hero with a magic elbow (!), naked women in cages, muddled Christian allegories, hilarious dubbing, deadly boulders, a Halloween-costumed Satan who shoots lasers at people, and an unexpected (real) hurricane.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) Director: Joel Schumacher- Remaking a classic science fiction film as a loud, gaudy Lily Tomlin vehicle was a pretty bad idea but I liked it and must have seen ICW about 20 times. The movie reunites several cast-members from Altman’s Nashville and Rick Baker gets to do funny stuff in a very realistic gorilla suit. It is supposed to be a satire on consumer culture and advertising but I get the feeling that the notorious director was just along for a coke-fueled ride and, to put it mildly, the satirical intent lacks focus. A friend and I use a line from the film as our own private catch phrase: “I like it. It makes me think of sex…and dope!”

TIE- Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) / Robot Monster (1963)
These two films are consistently equated with bad cinema but they are both funny, weird, entertaining, memorable, inventive, quotable and creative. Vastly preferable to modern overcooked and overblown Hollywood product.

Runner Ups- Raw Force, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, Myra Breckinridge, The Love Machine, and everything by the late, great Jamaa Fanaka.

No comments: