Saturday, March 1, 2014

Project Terrible: Demented Death Farm Massacre (aka Honey Britches)

This is practically the Unholy Trinity of Bad Movies.  There are many factors that can make a Bad Movie.  Such factors include a bad Director (e.c. Ed Wood), a bad Writer (e.c. Ed Wood), an equally-bad idea (e.c. Ed Wood's Night of the Ghouls).  Hmm...I wonder if there is a pattern?  All Ed Wood bashing aside, there are a few things to really look for.  For example, what if the movie is Credited to a famously-bad Director like Fred Olen Ray?  That's definitely worth a point.  What if the film 'Stars' John Carradine in a tiny role where he gets top/high billing?  That's worth at least one point, possibly two.  You could argue that Carradine alone being in a film made in the last fifty years counts (with rare exceptions).  The films in which he barely appears, but gets high billing in are usually pretty bad (see Frankenstein Island, The Wizard of Mars, Doctor Dracula) as a general rule.  Besides just relating to Carradine, this bait-and-switch tactic is pretty reprehensible just on face value.  So here's the Story: this is a patchwork film.  It is no Curse of Bigfoot, but it is pretty silly.  Basically, we have an unsold film called Honey Britches.  Fred Olen Ray got his hands on it, got John Carradine to shoot new footage (it is not the first time!) and retitled it.  Troma ultimately released this, so you can get a gauge on the quality right there.  Is it good, bad or Terrible?  To find out, read on...
After two minutes of B-Roll footage of a rusty truck driving, we get the title card (see above) and then this dubious credit.
'Starring,' you say?  Well, let's examine this...

Carradine appears in the inky black void of...the Woods, I think and says that he is the Judge of Hell (or something).  He makes a confusing statement about people are lucky to get his attention...but won't live to experience the joy of it.

I ask this again: was your Theater Troupe worth it, Mr. Carradine?
So here's the plot: a bunch of robbers have their car break down.  Naturally, they wander through the Woods to find a way to escape.

The only notable member is the leader with his posh Donald Pleasance-sounding accent.
I won't lie: this is a piece of shit.  I've struggled to find the interest to watch it over the last few days.  Troma films do that to me.

In spite of everything wrong with it, I can't ever stay mad at it.  I can't place why...
 This face pretty much sums up this movie in a nutshell.  I'll let you decide why.
 Although this face is pretty good too.  Take your pick, I guess.
To get a real feel for how this 'movie' works, I must insert this random shot of John Carradine.  After all, it is what Fred Olen Ray added.

Seriously, they will just randomly cut to Carradine saying things like 'The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away' for about 30 seconds and abruptly cuts back to the story.
Sparing you a lot of time, I can tell you that the Robbers try to take over the Farmer's Moonshine operation, which leads to murder.  For some reason, they play this and a later attack scene in slow motion.

I can only guess that this was done to lengthen the run-time.  This was actually done as a Meta joke on Garth Merengi's Dark Place, so I hope that it's not the case!
This leads to a silly chase scene in the Forest- after one of the ladies is randomly run over by a truck- the Cast is whittled down to just the Farmer and his Wife.

They discover the jewels that were stolen and get rich...or they would if the Wife didn't shoot the guy.  This apparently pleases Carradine, since 'the bad were punished and the good rewarded.'  Yeah, murder is a positive trait.  The End.
It is Terrible, especially in this format.  Let it be said that the premise isn't bad.  What they do with it is.  The Characters are all awful.  The 'heroes' are annoying, the villains are idiotic and Carradine is...well, clearly somewhere else.  He is by far the best part of the movie- naturally.  It would be nice if he could have actually had inciteful things to say, rather than just being like his character in Red Zone Cuba.  As a side note, I wish he could have sung a song called 'Honey Britches.'  Mind you, I love Vincent Price's Cover of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' too.  I guess I shouldn't expect a whole lot from a film that couldn't sell on its own merits.  After all, I've already seen Carradine in this kind of thing twice- in Dr. Dracula and Horror of the Blood Monsters.  At least Carradine's part was only the FIRST thing added to the latter film.  Yes, I do have low standards.  The bottom line: this is a film that is not funny, scary or remotely-interesting.  If I'm going to have random John Carradine, I'll just stick with The White Buffalo.  On second thought...
Next up, I finally revisit a previous viewing and purchase.  Will this be a rare Remake that I like better than the Original?  Stay tuned...

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