Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest List: Michael Monterastelli ""

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest List: Michael Monterastelli

 Michael Monterastelli is a writer for the website, where he reviews films and contributes a weekly column called CollectingVHS that features rare exploitation movies currently not available on DVD. You can also ‘like’ his Collecting VHS Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @VHSnerd


Directed by John S. Rad

Perhaps one of the most obscure and utterly soul shattering films ever created by man, it has only been witnessed by a fringe cult of psychotronic movie addicts who share the experience like an old war battle they fought in together. The filmmaking is inept in every conceivable way to such an extent; I thought for the first forty-five minutes that I was watching a parody of bad female revenge/cop films from the late 70’s - early 80’s, only to come to the realization that nobody on Earth is capable of being this clever. The first three quarters of the movie were shot sometime in the early nineteen eighties, which is made clear from the hair styles, fashions, music and general tone of everything. Then just when the plot is starting to pick up some steam, blammo, the lead actress we’ve been following since the beginning of the movie abruptly disappears (along with her storyline) and we are introduced to a whole new group of characters that are fighting a weird albino drug dealer named White Pepper in what appears to be the mid nineties (?!). This confusion laden, decade-spanning crime epic will roast your brain like a peanut.

Directed by William A. Levey

Forget ROLLER BOOGIE! F. U. XANADU! SKATETOWN U.S.A. is the ultimate roller-disco movie! Never made available on home video, so if you were lucky enough to catch this gem back in the day upon its original release or sneak a peak on cable T.V, count yourself among the blessed. It stars HAPPY DAYS’ Scott Baio as a hot shot trying to catch the eye of pretty Maureen McCormick from THE BRADY BUNCH. But first he must win the big roller-disco dance competition and beat an evil young bully played by DIRTY DANCING’s Patrick Swayze, whose henchmen is a bearded Ron Palillo from WELCOME BACK KOTTER (!). Flip Wilson, Ruth Buzzi, Billy Barty and Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratton round out the rest of the bizarre casting choices. The most amazing thing about this movie is the incredible roller-disco palace that the film is shot in, which is filled with glowing neon, short shorts and a D.J. sporting an enormous white afro who can summon lightning from his fingertips at will. Can you dig it?

Directed by James C. Wasson

Without a doubt, one of the greatest killer-Bigfoot movies ever made! Professor Nugent takes his anthropology class into the woods to look for a crazed Sasquatch that’s been going on a full-blown rampage. The pissed-off Yeti kills campers, a couple of innocent girl scouts, and rips off a biker’s dick while he’s in the middle of relieving himself by the side of the road1 Just when you think this Bigfoot can’t possibly get any worse, he totally crosses the line and commits a violent rape, which results in a mutant Bigfoot baby! Made by a man rumored to be an actual meth maker. Caution: This movie will rip your brain’s dick off!

Directed by Ronald W. Moore

A group of “mutants” have taken over the inner city streets of Austin, Texas and are led by a psychopath named Splatter, whom seems to be the most heavily affected by all the toxic poisoning going on. A group of rambunctious fraternity brothers decide to enter the mutant territory for a prank, but are hunted down by them over a case of mistaken identity. This totally 80’s exploitation flick combines the sci-fi and horror genres with a little T & A sex comedy flavor for one trashy bouillabaisse of insanity! ANIMAL HOUSE meets THE WARRIORS on crack.

Directed by Mike Marvin

When it comes to gross-out comedies from the 80’s, nothing is louder, dumber and filled with more fart sound effects and boobie shots than this one! The plot concerns a thirty-something college student who keeps getting kicked out of every school he attends because women just can’t stop fucking him. His last chance is Buster Burger University - a college which teaches its students the basic equation that beef + buns = bucks, and is run like a fascist prison camp by a racist and homophobic Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears. This film joyously celebrates America’s love affair with burgers, fries, fast food, farting and big titties… so enjoy!

Directed by Edward D. Murphy

This sleazy, low budget, action-packed exploitation epic concerns a group of martial arts experts and friends known as “The Burbank Karate Club,” as they all take a singles cruise aboard a luxurious yacht to the mysterious Warriors Island. Suddenly, their ship is attacked by a band of vicious pirates that pillage the vessel and set it aflame. The Burbank Karate Club fights back and escapes to the island along with the ship’s alcoholic skipper, his hen-pecking wife, a friendly Asian Kung Fu master, and a few attractive young ladies. However, they soon discover that their tropical sanctuary is anything but! Turns out the island is controlled by a cabal of monks that employ the pirates to bring them captured young women, so they can be used to perform a cannibalistic ceremony in which the dead bodies of ancient Kung Fu warriors are reanimated to fight once again… but they didn’t count on having to deal with The Burbank Karate Club! This movie has everything a fifteen year old boy could possibly want, but no longer gets: nudity, violence, martial arts, samurai zombies, ninja zombies, pirates that wear Nazi helmets and Superman t-shirts, a main villain who wears a white suit and sports a Hitler mustache, cannibal monks, cheap ass explosions, ridiculous gore, insane action and man-eating piranhas! And it’s all in one motherfucker of a movie! It’s one of the few exploitation films I’ve seen that completely lives up to the promise of its awesome VHS box art! Virtually every incredible image from the cover is actually in the movie at some point. Except the piranhas, which are a pleasant surprise you don’t see coming. I’d also like to point out how totally radical it is that the letter O in the logo for Raw Force is a deadly Chinese throwing star. Bravo! The movie shifts genres on several occasions. It starts off like a women-in-prison flick, and then it turns into a T & A sex comedy on board the boat, where an acid-mixed-with-cocaine-Boogie-Nights-style party ensues. A drunken (literally) Cameron Mitchell serves as the ship’s captain and the film’s (not so) comic relief. When the pirates attack, we’re suddenly thrust into an action/adventure movie with lots of Kung Fu fighting, gun shooting, an attempted rape and one of the cheapest explosion effects I’ve ever seen. Once on the island, we are introduced to the horror portion of the film. You truly haven’t lived until you’ve seen a movie that features zombies using Kung Fu and fighting with swords. It’s such a beautifully insane idea. Needless to say, The Burbank Karate Club is victorious by the film’s conclusion and the boys fly off into the sunset with their grateful gals… THEN a title card pops up that reads: TO BE CONTINUED! Well, it’s been almost 30 years now and I’m still waiting!

Directed by Donald G. Jackson

The place: The City of Lost Angels. The time: The Second Dark Age. In the ruins of a sun-drenched wasteland, a mystical cult of scantily clad, roller-skating nuns known as the Bod Sisters must stop the evil Doctor Saticoy and his army from obtaining a magical crystal of great power and save a helpless child from torture and death. Armed with their unique roller-martial arts style and incredible psychic healing abilities, this sisterhood of bodacious babes on wheels embarks on their brutal quest, but first they’ll have to roll their way through the Acid Zone and battle the many savage gangs that roam there. Gangs like the Spikers, the Wiseguys and the Samurai Devils! Roller Blade is not a B-movie. It’s a C-movie. But it’s one of the craziest and most fun C-movies I’ve ever discovered in my life. Describing it to those who haven’t experienced its madness is difficult, but if I were to attempt to put it into cinematic terms, I would say that it’s as if Alejandro Jodorowsky had a four-way with Russ Meyer, Fred Olen Ray and George Miller, somehow a mutant offspring resulted from the tryst and they all decided to name it Roller Blade. It was shot on what appears to my trained eye to be video and all the voices are dubbed by different actors giving it a foreign exploitation feel, even though it was shot completely in Sun Valley, California for what appears to be a very, very small amount of bus fare change. Roller Blade entertains from start to finish and I’m pretty sure that all the weirdness was meant to be taken humorously, but at times it appears as if it’s being played straight, which makes it all the more delightful. It’s Zardoz on skates, with big tits instead of Sean Connery and I love it. At the end of the credits there’s a title card that reads: Watch for Roller Blade Part 2: Holy Thunder. This particular title was never made, but there are four sequels in this franchise and I hope to see them all someday. One of them is called Rollergator!

Directed by Sylvio Tabet

In this brain-damaging sequel to the low budget sword & sorcery epic THE BEASTMASTER, Marc Singer returns as Dar, a warrior who can communicate with the animals. He is forced to journey back to Earth through a time portal (specifically Los Angeles in the early nineties) where he is forced to team up with MTV’s Kari Wuhrer in an attempt to stop his evil brother (played by a crazed Wings Hauser) from obtaining an atomic bomb that could turn the wasteland he comes from into an even larger wasteland. The campy tonal direction this film veers off into could give fans of the Don Coscarelli’s awesome original a bad case of whiplash to their cerebral cortexes, but that’s what makes it all so wonderfully bad.

Directed by Danny Steinmann

No bad movie list would be complete without something from Linda Blair’s filmography. The B-movie queen of the late 70’s and early 80’s had quite a ride, but not one of her flicks from that golden period of horrible movie making can quite match up to the sheer ferocity of SAVAGE STREETS. Blair, along with an incredibly talentless cast of actors that are all way too old to play teenagers, play teenagers in a crazy high school revenge tale set on the slimy streets of Hollywood. An altercation between a group of girls and a gang of local punks results in the brutal gang rape of Blair’s mute cousin, played by the always-naked Linnea Quigley. Vowing vengeance and armed with a crossbow, Blair takes the gang of cowards out one-by-one, Bronson-style! The movie shifts from wacky humor to brutal violence faster than a Tom & Jerry cartoon on meth, and by the time the film is over you will believe that the streets of L.A. are filled with gangs of insane straight guys in their thirties with massive gay issues, looking for trouble… and you’d be right!

Directed by George Barry

This is one of the strangest horror films I've ever seen before. It's an oddity that has been known about in a few cult movie circles for over thirty years now, but has finally been rediscovered by a new generation of fans who truly love insane cinema. Behind a scary old mansion lies a strange stone building that contains only a single room. In the room lies a bed that is cursed with evil power. It craves the flesh and bones of whomever dares to rest on its soft, comforting mattress - pulling them deep down inside and digesting their bodies with a bright yellow acid bath. In the same room there is a painting on the wall that contains a sympathetic ghost trapped behind it (?!). The soulful spirit is forced to watch helplessly as the bed claims one victim after another, but can do nothing to warn them. We learn from the ghost's narration that the bed's deadly origin is due to a demon who was once saddened over the death of a fair maiden he loved a long time ago and cried two tears of blood on its sheets. Voila, instant Death Bed! The stone structure was erected around it when the mansion was built and the bed has gorged itself on every generation that has ever lived there. Due to its reputation, the place is empty and the bed hasn't eaten much in about ten years. However, it still gets its share of visitors and weary travelers looking for a place to rest. I know, all of this stuff sounds like I either made it up or took two fists full of peyote and hallucinated the whole thing, but I didn't. If you're a fan of uber-obscure, face-meltingly bizarre cinema, then this movie will rip your mind a new asshole! I suggest you watch it as soon as you can! Trust me, you've never seen anything even remotely like it before. It's pure 70's trash cinema combined with an art-house finesse and no-budget aesthetics that is as magical a combination as any I've bared witness to in some time. I do recommend that you abstain from the usage of any mind-altering substances while watching this film simply because, you really don't need any. It already is a mind-altering substance.

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