Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies Guest List Danny Bowes ""

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Bad" Movies Guest List Danny Bowes

 Danny Bowes is a writer, filmmaker, and critic whose work has appeared in Premiere, Indiewire, and The Atlantic. He reviews science-fiction and other genre movies for and blogs at Movies By Bowes. You can follow him on Twitter here.


Firewalker (1986, dir. J. Lee Thompson)

It's a little tough to enjoy serious Chuck Norris movies, since whenever he's serious he says horrendously dumb things, and he may be the single worst actor in the history of the universe. On the other hand Firewalker is great because Chuck's character is a total dumbass and the movie has enough of a perspective on how bad it is that at least two out of every five times you're laughing with it. Still, this soldier-of-fortune yarn co-starring the unfairly tormented Louis Gossett, Jr. and the immaculately coiffed and made-up Melody Anderson (I'm serious, Jesus did her hair and makeup: no matter what there's never a hair out of place and her lipstick never even smudges once no matter how deep in the fake Central American jungles they get) is pretty ridiculous. It may have a sense of humor about the kind of picture it is, but it's still pretty much the thing it's making fun of. Which is why it's fun.

Tango & Cash (1989, dir. Andrei Konchalovsky)

Dumb in all the right ways. Lots of explosions and mullets and Jack Palance villainy and a young Teri Hatcher and Kurt Russell in drag to “Harlem Nocturne” and Sly playing a yuppie (???) and Michael J. Pollard. It's the stupidest movie of its (or just about any) year, but I've seen it a couple dozen times and quote it all the time, so there you go.

Color of Night (1994, dir. Richard Rush)

The worst movie on this list, and utterly indefensible in any artistic sense. And don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say it doesn't suck. It totally does. The only “but” involved (a double entendre if you'll recall the one scene where she's only wearing an apron) is Jane March. She actually works like hell this whole movie, playing multiple roles, including—and this bit fooled me, so your whole “come on it was obvious” eye-rolling holds no water here—her own (alleged) brother. The crappiness of the movie pretty much ended her career, but none of that's on Jane March. It's a shame she didn't go on to more of a career in bad/weird movies in the 90s, because completely aside from her exotic good looks there was a decent actor in there, waiting to mature into professional caliber.

The Seventh Curse (1986, dir Ngai Kai Lam)

More weird than bad, but by that math it's so weird it has plenty of room to be bad, and is. It's got a young Chow Yun-Fat in a supporting role, and a young Maggie Cheung giving a performance so irritating I'm amazed she didn't buy up every print and have its director (and schlockmeister writer- producer Wong Jing, the true auteur behind this head-scratcher) killed after she became a star. For more on this once-in-a-lifetime bit of lunacy, head here.

Double Impact (1991, dir. Sheldon Lettich)

It's Jean-Claude Van Damme playing twins. And he fights Bolo Yeung. Only one of him, though, the other twin's off getting his ass kicked by a lesbian. If anything in those last three sentences didn't send you scurrying off to put this on your Netflix queue, clearly you're not me.

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