Rupert Pupkin Speaks: "Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Damon Swindall ""

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Bad" Movies We Love Guest Post: Damon Swindall

As a watcher of all movies - from the bad to the good, the shameful to the classics - Damon Swindall discriminates against no film. Unabashed love of all things horror and a steady diet of 80s everything keeps him busy in front of the TV and movie screen. He writes a regular column about the weekly Horror Movie Night over at Horror's Not Dead (, and has been known to contribute for a few other sites here and there. Follow his exploits on Twitter for more wacky times - @zombiefreak.


 JAWS 3-D (Joe Alves, 1983)
It’s hard to argue the strong impact of Spielberg’s amazing 1975 film JAWS. This movie scared a whole nation away from the ocean for quite sometime, but once we got to the third entry into this series these killer sharks were so commonplace that they would put them in kiddie pools. Here we see the grown-up Brody kids (one of which is played by Dennis Quaid) head to Sea World in Florida where they have a bit of a shark problem. There they meet the wonderful Louis Gossett, Jr and a very young Lea Thompson – drool – in her first feature film role. No, it might not be the best of the JAWS films, or even the best of shark movies in general, but I love everything about the movie. From the cheesy 3-D body parts floating in the water to the awesome shark vs underwater observation tube scene this is pure joy. And, hell, it couldn’t possibly be worse than part four, right?!

 GREASE 2 (Patricia Birch, 1982)
I don’t care what you say and I don’t care what you think of me, I LOVE GREASE 2! There, I said it and it feels great. I’ll admit that it does loose a little steam in the last act but it’s a small price to pay for such greatness. You might roll your eyes now, but this sequel has better songs than its predecessor, Tab Hunter, and Adrain Zmed! Does the original GREASE have a song all about reproduction? No. How about one about bowling? No again. And it definitely doesn’t have Michelle Pfeiffer singing atop a ladder. To put this in perspective, I have this VHS and DVD, where as I don’t own the original, and keep the soundtrack on my iPod at all times. You never know when you’ll get that hankering to listen to a song about a guy trying to trick his girlfriend into sleeping with him because they’re (fake) going to war and they should “do it for their country”. 

 RAD (Hal Needham, 1986)
It is a crime against cinema that this flick has still yet to be released on DVD. I know I’m not the only one out here clamoring for Cru Jones and his BMX buddies to get a proper release, especially considering my VHS wore out long ago. For the uninitiated, this fantastic film is about a young BMX trickster/paperboy who gets a chance to prove he has what it takes to be the best when a major competition sets up in his hometown and builds Helltrack! The two-wheeled stunts are amazing, the characters are fun, there are slimy twins and a pretty bitchin’ soundtrack. Not to mention that FULL HOUSE’s Lori Loughlin plays the out-of-town love interest of our hero and the two “bicycle boogie” on the dance floor to Real Life’s hit single “Send Me an Angel” in a jaw-dropping scene. Supposedly a group has been working on a making-of doc for a hopeful upcoming release. I know there’s an HD remaster because it has played on some premium cable channels. Now if the studio would only put it out so I can be a happy, happy man. Until then I’m relegated to watch an old less-than-stellar VHS copy whilst I enjoy a bowl of Kix. 

 BLACK ROSES (John Fasano, 1988)
I love heavy metal horror movies. Yep, every single one of them. Even the boring ones that barley have a metal connection – cough, BLOOD TRACKS, cough – but Fasano’s BLACK ROSES is the pièce de résistance! This magical tale follows a band called, you guessed it, Black Roses as they set up a gig in a small town to kick off their new tour. All of the adults in the town are up-in-arms over their presence and want these evil heavy metallers out of their neighborhood. A group of the parents all attend the first of multiple shows to check them out and a minute into a nice ballad to open they show they’ve seen enough to know these musicians clad in all white are harmless – so they leave. This was frontman Damien’s plan all along. Once the grown-ups vacate the building the stage goes black, and the lights come up on black leather, spikes, and evil rock-n-roll! Trick is this band is actually made up of demons and they turn the kids to their side of things and brainwash them into killing their parents. There is great music, rowdy teens running over their parents with their cars, more awesome music, Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy from THE SOPRANOS) being eaten by some stereo speakers, and even more headbanging heavy metal. I saw this in the theater with my dad years ago and loved it from the start. If you’re feeling extra saucy make this a Fasano rock-n-horror double feature with his first film ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE (1987). You won’t be sorry. 

Yep, another sequel. This is probably an unpopular one, but I don’t care. Is this my favorite in the series? Not by a long shot, but I don’t know that it’s my least favorite either. It might be but I really do enjoy every entry in this series for different reasons. People didn’t like this largely for its lack of our hockey masked killer, and giving Jason’s evil an explanation and a physical manifestation. I guess it’s kind of like the midi-chlorians but I don’t mind it at all. Marcus tried something new and while it’s far from the strongest chapters it still delivers on some great kills and has fun along the way. The bounty hunter cracks me up pretty much every time he’s onscreen. But the whole movie isn’t why I chose this film for the list. I chose it for one scene in particular and it’s the one you all know. I was thirteen years old when my dad took me to the theater to see this entry and at the end when Freddy’s gloved hand comes up from the ground and grabs Jason’s mask to drag it to hell I almost jumped out of my seat. This elated me beyond belief and teased us gorehounds for the ultimate showdown. Of course that tease would last for about ten years, but each time I watch JASON GOES TO HELL I can’t help but get a little bit of that rush I felt the first time I was surprised by the crossover taste. Don’t deny it, you know you all felt the same way. 


The Back of Forest Whitakers Neck said...

Great list. Jaws 3D is a wonderful film. Think I may have to dig Rad out again, been years since the last time I saw it.

Rupert Pupkin said...

I am a HUGE fan of RAD as well. Was a family classic for me growing up.