Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lost in Translation: Planet of the Apes (One More Time!!!)

It's been a while, so I can use another one of these, right?  No?  Too bad.

Seriously, I love this random shit...
So do you remember when their were twin Saturns in Planet of the Apes?  Me neither.

As a final note: I need to copyright Planeta Opic as a band name.  It'

Mondo Bizarro's Top 5 Worst Films EVER (So Far)

To close out Anniversary Month, let's look at the Five worst films I've ever reviewed.  Why 5?  Because you can't handle 10, that's why!

Actually, it's just shorter and easier to write- sue me.

5. Cthulhu (2007): This one makes the list almost solely for two reasons: deception and disappointment.  First, the film is NOT about Cthulhu, nor is his/its name even said ONCE in the film.  Second, the film has almost zero horror.  Instead, it's mostly a mopey drama about this gay guy returning home.  If you like 20 seconds of make-up effects in 90 minutes of film, you're not going to love this shit!

4. Good-By Uncle Tom: Almost 4 years later, this thing still baffles me.  Seriously, the makers of Mondo Cane and Mondo Africa were accused of being racist (they kind of were) and faking footage (which they did).  To counter that, they made an intentionally-fake Documentary about their analogs visiting the Antebellum South and seeing the conditions of Slavery.  This 150 plus minute film is dark, bizarre and only features three different songs.  It's a bad movie endurance test!

3. Hobgoblins 2: I still have no idea why this movie exists!  Basically, the Director of the original took a Script that he claims to have written shortly after the first film came out- in 1987- and made it in 2009.  No, really.  His excuse: I was busy making other shitty movies.  The bigger problem is that this film is both a Remake and a Sequel...somehow at the same time.  It's a worse version of Hobgoblins- something that I never thought I'd see.

2. Jaws in Japan: Are you really surprised?  For as much as I hate Found Footage movies, most of them are better than this.  This film- released here as Psycho Shark- is about two busty Japanese ladies (good so far) going to a beach resort (with only one other person) and...watching someone's camera footage.  Seriously, 60 minutes is given to this.  The last five minutes (yes, the film is only 65 minutes long) are set-up for Japan's worst Special Effects ever (see the new banner).  This is amazingly-bad and would be #1 if it were not for...

1. Roller Gator: I made a terrible mistake.  After seeing a review of Max Hell: Frog Warrior, I tracked down this movie.  I thought that this film would be funny, since it's about a rapping Alligator puppet that was spray-painted purple.  Sadly, the film has a soundtrack that never EVER stops, is stupid and not even good for a laugh.  If they stopped playing that guitar for a second or two, I could laugh at the bad puppet work or Conrad Brooks' hilariously-bad acting.  I couldn't.  Don't be fooled- this one just hurts.

So that brings an end to Anniversary Month.  I look forward to more shit movies- and some good ones- in the future.  Keep reading and I'll keep writing.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

4th Anniversary Review: 1313- Hercules Unbound

The first question is obvious- why are you doing this?  Why would I possibly review a 1313 movie, let alone of my own free will.  Well, it's a complicated answer.  For one, my goal is always to find something that I wouldn't think of doing.  Case in point: I have a Bollywood Sci-Fi film arriving today.  Why not?  Second, the goal is also to show that I can handle everything.  After years of shit movies like Hobgoblins 2, Ghoulies IV and Amityville 8, I've established a reputation of shying away from nothing.  However, the 1313 films have been infesting Netflix for a couple of years and I've always avoided them.  Another thing to note is that 1313 films have been all over Project Terrible, just not by me.  That's not counting their predecessors like other David DeCoteau films- poor Maynard.  So, before anyone has considered punishing me with my own weapon, I'm doing it myself.  I'm just twisted that way, I guess.  So what is 1313: Hercules Unbound! about?  It's about shirtless guys posing, pretending to sword fight and more posing with the loosest of loose plots.  To give you an idea of how shallow this film, it clocks in at 70 minutes- with Credits!  It's really the worst Hercules film ever- shock of all shocks.  That leads me to the final reason that I picked the film (and why I picked it over 1313: Black Widow): Lou Ferrigno.  He's not in this piece of shit (obviously!), but his son is.  Yes, Lou Ferrigno Jr aka Louis Ferrigno is here.  He's not playing Hercules like his dad did in two epically-awesome '80's films though.  More on him later.  To see how nobody can torture you like you, read on...
You want to make the film tolerable (without Fast Forward)?  Take a shot every time they throw up this static picture accompanied by over-dramatic music.  You can trade it out with the other shot of RUINS of Greece or...
 ...the freaking sky!  This sky pulls triple-duty, however, as it is a filler segue shot, the shot used for when Zeus talks (just this- no other effect) and when Hera (sounding more doped up than Carey Fisher) talks.

Half of the time, this is just a segue shot, which confused the hell out of me.  I kept waiting for Zeus or Hera to dump exposition...but nothing happened.  Ugh.
The so-called plot involves Hercules going to a training camp and being a complete dick.  Aphrodite- aka the only chick in this film- is assigned to protect she sends him to a training camp full of people, one of whom poisons him.

"Quick- I need to hide you from the assassins.  Let's go to Ford's Theater!"
So yeah, I watched this movie, but fast-forwarded through all of the scenes that were just the guys posing and/or running.  This is just a glimpse of what I glossed over.  Enjoy, some people in my audience.

Weird aside: this guy does Capoeira moves in his routine?  Looks neat, but YOU ARE FROM ANCIENT GREECE!  Douche.
So, get this, Aphrodite is charged with protecting Hercules (or Heracles if you know shit about history).  To that end, she makes a potion to make him less conceited (no, really).  This is immediately dosed with poison by a villain.

You were born from the sea foam created by Uranus' severed balls..of fail.
 Hercules is poisoned by a toxin that makes him lose his strength.  It won't kill him...apparently.  He learns about humility and decides to fight the villain- who has University of Texas tattoos- to the death.
After the world's worst sword fight- seriously!-, the villain dies and all is well.  Hera just kind of gives up, since she ran out of Xanax.

Wait- this is only 59 minutes.  We need to hit 70 minutes somehow!  
 Quick- more posing!  That will fill out the run-time.  Hurray!  The End.
So that was...not a movie.  Yeah, this doesn't really qualify for a number of reasons.  For all the jokes that we on the Internet make about Twilight constantly ripping off Taylor Lautner's shirt to appeal to 'the ladies,' they don't waste five minutes with him and the other Werewolves posing.  As I type that, I actually wonder why that didn't happen.  Regardless, it does happen in this film.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say that 'a little story happens during this posing' instead.  Seriously, I fast-forwarded through all of the posing footage- I'm not that crazy- and basically watched a 25-minute 'film.'  If you take out the padding shots of the RUINS of Greece, it's a bit less still.  Seriously, why so shots of RUINS of Greece in a film that's totally set there.  By 'set there,' I mean 'shot at the same L.A. Beach House that every 1313 film is shot at,' of course.  They really don't do much to disguise this either, as they show a Palm Tree wrapped in Christmas lights (see below) in a number of shots.  I guess DeCoteau and the D.P. were just too distracted by man-abs to actually check for continuity.  You want to know what the worst part is?  I watched this due to Lou Ferrigno Jr. being in it?  Who does he play?  THE VOICE OF ZEUS!  So yeah, I kind of screwed myself here.  If this review taught you anything, it's that I make very poor life choices.  Hurray?
Next up, a film that missed the cut back in Old vs. New Week.  It's the end of the World as we know a bunch of teenagers have sex.  Stay tuned...

Friday, March 29, 2013

End This!: Lake Placid- The Final Chapter

It's all bite, folks.  Today's film is Lake Placid 4 aka Lake Placid: The Final Chapter.  Is that promise?  I ask because I've been misled by that subtitle when it has come Angel, Walking TallPuppet Master, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street (which had The Final Nightmare).  Given the ending, I'm hesitant to trust you all the more, but let's just go with it.  So what new thing does the Fourth film give us?  Do we get to go to Space?   Do we get a Prequel set in Old West Times?  Do we get to Quest for Peace?  Nope.  Instead, we get giant Crocodiles...again.  I was really hoping that we'd get to collect whales, but I guess the same old shit will do.  To find out if the fourth time is the charm, read on...
Remember how Yancy Butler's character was clearly dead at the end of the last film?  Well, she agreed to appear in this dreck, so her character is alive here.  Writing!
After a vague time jump, she is working with the Fish & Game Department, since Poachers aren't often hired to do community service.  There is a new Sheriff, so Colin Ferguson is not in this one.  That will make at least one reader happy.

In the time between films, the lake has been locked down- finally!!!- and work is being done to fix the problem, once and for all.
In Plot B, a Hunter- Robert Englund- sneaks into the place to hunt some big game.  Yeah, I'd be raring to go hunt Crocodiles the size of a 4-Wheeler!
Plot C involves the daughter of the new Sheriff going off on a trip with the Swim Team.  Since the Driver is half-asleep, they manage to drive through the gate to the titular Lake, since the Hunters left it open.

Seriously, that's how they get around the giant Jurassic Park-style gate.  Ugh.
The goofiest kill: this guy getting sneak-attacked by a thirty-foot Crocodile.  Seriously, how is that possible?!?

This is only topped/matched by the stealth Gator from Supergator or the stealth bear from Grizzly.
Is it weird that they didn't give the Crocodile a gullet here?  I mean, if this CG model is accurate, it couldn't possibly eat anything!
I won't SPOIL the whole thing, but I will say that the Climax involves the classic pairing of shitty CG and Main Character Powers.  How is she doing this?!?
I will give you just this one SPOILER though.  It's clear that Butler is Immortal at this point, so you had to see this coming.
The one thing I should note is that this movie ends on some Sequel Bait.  Isn't this the Final Chapter?  Ugh.  The End.
Chomp chomp.  Okay, so is this really the end?  If so, I'm not going to shed a tear.  I would like to say that this film was the final, crowning achievement of the series.  It's not.  It's pretty much just the same film, only with four plots thrown together.  You have the Sheriff's romance plot, the Hunter plot, one half of the group in the Woods plot and the other half of the group in the Woods plot.  The remnants careen together like Nascar debris.  The parts they build up- like the Field & Game guy's son working with Englund- don't really go that far.  This is the usual Syfy Channel film- nothing more, nothing less.  The CG looks decent at times, with a lot of dark textures on the creatures.  I'm not exactly going to praise it for looking life-like, since none of them manage to pull that off.  In the end, this is nothing that you haven't seen, only with Robert Englund and CG Crocodiles.  That said, I'm not completely mad at their efforts for two big reasons...
Next up, the belated 4-Year Anniversary post.  If you want to see me cover something you never thought

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Forgotten Sequels: Shaft in Africa

There is a danger to being topical in Cinema.  Iconic films can do this well, making them benchmark films that define their Generation and/or Era.  Good or bad films can do this, whether they are The Trip, Scream or The Outsiders...and then there's Shaft in Africa.  This film does not exactly seem all that serious or relevant nowadays.  After two films, Shaft had to go big.  To that end, they decided to go to Africa- Lord only knows why.  Shaft in Africa has the titular hero going to the titular continent (which isn't a country- sorry, Sarah Palin) to stop a modern-day slave trade.  Will he be able to do the deed in his final adventure (not counting the 2000 disappointment)?  To find out, read on...
A bad, bad man is keeping the slave trade alive from Paris.  He's such a bad Blaxploitation villain that his lady gives him a hummer in the car on the way to a business deal.  No, really!
Shaft is confronted by a mysterious group of men who try to hire him by force.  When he says 'no,' they...
 ...strip him naked and put him through a series of tests that include defending himself with a stick and trying to survive extreme heat.
He's still wary of their offer- even after the $25,000 pay day- until he realizes that he can 'get some' from the client's daughter.  This is Shaft's 'I'm gonna get me some' face.
 Naturally, he does just that.  It sure was convenient that he could do it mid-mission too.  All that work is hard.  Speaking of hard...
Shaft continues on his mission, working his way up the Slave Labor Ladder.  Despite being known, he continues to elude capture and manages to score with the bad guy's girl.  Classic Shaft.
He gets back to Paris and meets up with this Marty Feldman-looking guy.  He's close to the villain and continues to wrack up pathos from his friends.
Finding the villain's lair, he drives a tiny, European car to the Castle and kicks some ass.
Joining forces with the Africans who broke free, Shaft kills the bad guys and blows up his place.  Not for nothing, his palatial French Estate wasn't evil.  The End.
Shaft is oddly out of place here.  The film isn't bad, but it does a lot of odd things.  For one thing, Shaft is a Spy here.  The jump from Private Eye to Spy is a big one and they handle it kind of sloppily.  He makes a joke about it...but still does it anyways.  Secondly, Shaft is both the world's worst and best Spy.  On one hand, he is discovered before he even leaves Manhattan.  On the other hand, he continues to work on the mission and actually succeeds.  How the hell is that even possible?!?  The answer is that the villains are all idiots who keep trying to kill Shaft, but never seem to quite tell everyone involved to go after him.  It's called a phone- look it up!  This plot device exists to have action scenes every five to ten minutes.  It's a decent excuse, but I would have preferred a different story personally.  As a film, Shaft in Africa is the kind of Blaxploitation Action that you'd expect.  It would have been nice to see something unique, but you don't get it here.  Take us away, magically-appearing pants...
Next up, I wrap up (hopefully) another film series- Lake Placid.  Logic and story be damned- we need to feed more people to shitty, CG creatures!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Leaving Well Enough Alone: Scream 4

Oh just go away, Ghostface!  Today's film is Scream 4, a film that I wasn't exactly hyped for.  To be fair, I've never been a Scream fan.  I've never hated them, mind you, but the series just seemed to not stop during the 1990's.  Of course, it did stop.  Eleven years later, the series came back, because...Wes Craven needed to be relevant, I suppose.  Is there a better reason?  So here we are- a new Scream, but the same Main Cast, Director and Writer.  So it's Scream for a new generation...with the same people that ran it into the ground in the first place.  Isn't it like hiring the Chaffeur who crashed your car to become your Limo Driver?  So what's new here?  Meta, Meta and more Meta.  I like Meta, when it comes naturally.  Here's a quick analogy for you.  Good Meta writing is pointing out something to someone on the street.  Bad Meta writing is taking a guy and twisting his neck to show him something.  It just makes you look annoying and insistent.  Scream 4 features the return of Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell to the Franchise since Cougar Town is barely hanging on, nobody saw The Tripper and being naked on film didn't help at all (respectively).  All you need to know is that Ghostface (the IV) is back to kill people for a silly reason.  To find out a bit of why this shouldn't have been made, read on...
Oh wait- this is the fake out title.  They wasted my time once, but it was for a gag.  Let's properly read on...
Oh come on!  Was that worth it for having Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell in your film?  Now here's the real title, so read on...
Back in Woodsboro, Neve is back to sell her book about not being a victim.  New crimes start to occur, a fact not aided by suspicious evidence placed in her car.

Should I ask the obvious question- why does nobody move out of this murder town?!?
Here's another one- this is Scream for a new Generation, so Ghostface calls people on their iPhones...with a Ghostface Voice App.  My soul hurts writing that.
A bunch of people die.  Here's another gripe: all of the kill scenes have this super-dramatic music to build suspense.  The problem is that I know all of the people are going to die in these scenes.  Where is the drama?
Will Ghostface invade the Stab-athon?  Will teens die?  Will they lamp shade this thing to death before the Third Act?  Yes, no and YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
Will Ghostface kill everyone?  Will the film continue to copy scenes from the original while excusing it as 'the killers acting as if they are in a Horror Remake?  Ugh.
All of the deaths seem to revolve around Neve's character.  This kind of makes the results obvious, especially given the whole 'They think that this is a Horror Remake story.'
Oh shit- Neve is actually in peril?!?  This changes everything!
No, not really.  The film sets up a silly, but clever ending...but shits all over it.  It brings to mind the 'Swiss Confrontation' Ending to Opera, only even sillier.

Seriously, who lost their balls here?  For shame.  The End.
Did anyone care?  I'm sorry, but this was really, really unnecessary.  Imagine if someone decided to make a new Saw film in five years?  Now imagine if everyone from the original was back and it became super-Meta.    How excited would you be?  Exactly.  It says something that no further sequels are planned- to my knowledge- but an awkward TV Series spin-off is possibly in the works.  When you can't get a sequel made, make a TV show.  Isn't that right, Zombieland?  The bottom line is that this movie continues to show why not everything can be repeated.  While the film makes a Meta point about being against Modern Horror films, they use CG Knives.  I don't hate them per se (see their use in The Walking Dead), but it shows that they seem to be embracing modern tropes while saying how bad they are.  It's like complaining about Government spending while waving your Food Stamps angrily.  Nothing all that special here.  There's no 'ooh, what have they been up to?' moments.  It's just 'we're making a movie- enjoy.'  I didn't.  There was almost no drama, it's over-Produced and just feels really, really unnecessary.  If you want to complain about Sequels and Remakes being done to death, don't do a pointless Sequel that constantly talks about being a Remake.  You just look like prick.  Kind of like this guy...
Next up, the bizarre ending to the Shaft trilogy.  We've gone from the city to...Africa, apparently.  Stay tuned...

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Shaft in Africa

A dog's world- not to be confused with Mondo Cane- is not always a great place.  This is especially true in the case of Shaft in Africa (review proper to come).

Shaft is on his way to meet his Guide when a cute little dog shows up.  Aw, how sweet.
Shaft, his Guide and the dog get the info they need and move on to the next part of the mission.
However, at the Hiring Spot, one of the Guards decides to just kill the dog.  That's...bleak, movie.
In spite of all that, they get hired and are told to go bury the dog.  No, that's not a euphemism!
As they do that, the same man who told them to go starts shooting at them.  In the process, Shaft's Guide is killed!
That's right- this is the Double Down of Poor Bastards of Cinema.  You get a random dog and a random guy who just wants to help Shaft.

In the grand scheme of things, did a dead dog and a dead Guide affect the plot all that much?  No, not really.  Since only one of them even had a name (hint: it's not the dog), they make the cut.

Sorry, you two.  You really...well, just died pointless deaths.