So Bad, They're Good

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brian Kissinger, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    Hello, I thought I start a thread where we could discuss those wonderful little gems of the motion picture market. Some refer to them as B movies or guilty pleasures, but I refer to them as bliss.

    I realized my affection the other day. A friend of mine (and fellow esteemed HTF member) SteveGon had loaned me some movies to watch. He loaned me A Touch of Evil (which I promptly watched....and thought was superb), The Ruling Class, and The Stuntman. After about a month, I finally watched The Ruling Class. As of this sitting, I have yet to preview The Stuntman. I've had it for about two months now. However, another friend (and fellow HTF member) Mike, called me up and said he had this movie I had to see. And just from the title alone, I knew I had to view it. The movie in question? Crippled Masters. I watched it that day. It was awesome. It awoke something inside of me that has lain dormant for years.

    So I've been watching crappy movies lately, and thought I'd share my thoughts with you, and see if there is anyone else here who may get bit by the B Movie Bug from time to time. If you know of any wondrous films of this sort, please share with me.

    __________________________________________________ __________

    Crippled Masters (1984)
    directed by Joe Law


    What do you get when you take a man with no arms, a man with no legs, a man with a strangely, unexplained, mysterious, clanking back, a wise old man who fits inside a small fruit basket, evil intent, 8 Jade Horses, a quiet but dangerous undercover police investigator, some well placed bamboo rods, kung fu, and enough karate chop sound effects to deafen a small country? Crippled Masters.

    Now with a set-up like that, I know many of you are already hitting the search function trying to locate a copy of this wonderful film, but be forewarned: there are many unanswered questions in this movie.

    Our movie opens on a peaceful morning, with one of our main characters being de-armed. Now, you never know why he was given this harsh punishment. One can only wonder what crime would garner such a punishment. Alas, unanswered question number one. Anyway, our hero's wounds magically heal without any treatment and he is sent out into the city to fend for himself. Enter the foul-tempered restaurant workers who take this opportunity to humiliate and beat our poor hero up. He then wonders around aimlessly. Some more stuff happens, but nothing worth noting.

    Then it happens. The man who had our hero's arms cut off, doesn't want to drink some tea and get friendly with the mega-evil and steel-backed leader. Bad mistake. The poor guy is then subjected to the old acid on the legs torture, and he too is sent off.

    Our heros meet up, and after some weak ass revenge attempt by Mr. Armless, our tag-team encounters Mr. Wise Old Man in the Fruit Basket. His wisdom (and you know an old guy who spends his time in a tiny fruit basket is fuckin' loaded with knowledge) he offers our duo, and then trains them to be masters of martial arts despite their short-comings.

    Cut to some scenes where the evil iron-back bad guy kicks a bunch of villager ass for no apparent reason other than to show he is just pure evil, a bad ass, and has a secret clanking back that is nothing to be messed with.

    Then along comes Mr. Undercover Agent, himself a bad ass. He takes on a bunch of evil guys and whips them easily. Then through plot points I won't bother to go on about, he fights the clanky leader. The leader (with much help from his back) beats the man down, (thus confirming he is indeed a truly evil bad-ass) but for some strange reason just takes him prisoner. He doesn't have any of his limbs removed. No acid. Not even so much as some water torture. Just takes him prisoner with a couple of inept guards.

    Well our hero's come to the rescue, and in the process figure out the big secret to the 8 Jade Horses. I won't ruin the secret, but man oh man is it a dandy.

    Will the secret of the 8 Jade Horses be enough to defeat the clanking-backed, evil leader? Will Mr. Fruit Basket ever get out of the Fruit Basket? What happens to our undercover agent? Did the sound effect guy get paid more than everyone else?(I sure hope he did, because I'm sure he spent months putting them in) You'll have the watch to find out.


    Flesh Factor: Zilch
    Cheese Factor: Extremely High
    Best to Be Viewed: With fans of crappy Kung Fu

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    Terror Toons (2002)
    directed by Joe Castro

    Animated To Kill

    How do you take a movie that opens with a ridiculously, large breasted blonde in a bathtub and features a cop eating a dynamite filled dough-nut, a heated game of strip Ouija board (yes you read that correctly: strip Ouija), and some entertaining, animated bird abuse and make it stink so bad that Kung Pow: Enter the Fist looks like an Oscar winner comparatively? Just watch Terror Toons to find out.

    The movie actually opens with some poor, helpless chap being operated on by our villain, Dr. Carnage. But the actual story-line (if you can call it that) starts with Candy (Lizzie Borden.... yep that really is her name) singing Rubber Ducky in the tub. I’m guessing the character is supposed to be young (cartoon watching age and singing show tunes in the tub age) but the actress has to be pushing thirty. As she exits the tub, you get a quick flash of breast. I’m thinking to myself at this point, hey this is gonna be good. We got some nasty bloodshed, some poor casting, and some boobage. How wrong I can be.

    The story centers around Dr. Carnage and Max Assassin, cartoon duos that wreak havoc and bloodshed in their own cartoon entitled Terror Toons. Candy gets a mysterious copy of Terror Toons on DVD through the mail, and upon playing it she sets our evil duo free. They then (as you have already guessed) wreak havoc and bloodshed on some helpless teens and the pizza delivery guy.

    Now in between the poorly done death scenes, we get a game of strip Ouija. They use the power of the board to see what articles of clothing to remove. It may seem fairly stupid, but I can’t lie to you; I was thinking: Sweet! Well, the excitement didn’t last long as no one actually got naked.

    The movie takes a turn from absurd to out and out insulting when our heroine (Cindy, Candy’s sister) is captured (and forced to watch the deaths of her friends via a magic show.... yep a magic show) and then for some unknown reason, transported to Hell with our evil duo. She then manages to get a candid interview with Satan himself, where he informs her of his master plan: To use the Terror Toons DVD to implant evil into children. Exactly how this is supposed to work when the cartoon duo come out of the disc and kill everyone instead of implanting evil is not explained. Well Cindy just can’t let that happen, so she uses the powers of the cartoon world (except they are in Hell.... or so I thought.... fuck who knows) to transform herself into a super-hero. A super-hero consisting of a pair of shorts and a tank top with a cape. Guess there wasn’t much in the budget for costumes. At any rate, she challenges the Devil, and after dispersing a few threats (“I’ll put a curse on you so bad that 1000 years from now, your descendants will wonder if life could have been better”) he decides to just leave. And to think he has this real evil, bad-ass reputation.

    Well Cindy transforms herself back into the real world, where her house is now magically the location of the evil machine making the Terror Toons DVD’s. What luck! Well I won’t ruin it for everyone, but she then has a showdown with Dr. Carnage and Max Assassin. Will she win? What will her parent’s think when they get home? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

    Through a wonderfully enlightening featurette, I found out that this cinematic tour-de-force was made for roughly $2,300. That explained a lot. I also learned that director felt that the movie had well surpassed his expectations and desires and that he thought the script and acting was superb. Makes me can’t wait to see what else he has done.

    Flesh Factor: Minimal
    Cheese Factor: Not enough
    Best to Be Viewed: Only if you are desperate

    __________________________________________________ __________

    Jigsaw (2002)
    directed by Don Adams & Harry James Picardi


    Put him together...he'll tear you apart


    I really hate these movies that set you up for something good and then deliver little to nothing. Jigsaw opens with a lovely young lady bound to a table with Christmas lights wearing only a bra and panties. What a setup. The movie then manages to drag you downward through poor characterization. Now most horror movies get the knock of not even bothering with characterization. Enter some helpless, ignorant teens, then slaughter them. Jigsaw makes a noble attempt at giving our victims-to-be a background, but I found myself just not caring. The movie is 3/4 over by the time our villain, Jigsaw, makes his first appearance. And by then, I was so bored with the movie; I honestly didn’t give a shit which of the helpless teens, if any, would be the hero.

    The movie had a somewhat interesting idea. College art students are given a piece of a manikin. They each have to go home and decorate their piece. Then the students would meet back up, and put it back together to see what they come up with. Then, the guy comes to life, and kills everybody. Not all that horrible of an idea. Where the film just went horribly awry, is that the students meet up at a bar to reassemble their creation. And before they put the next piece together, they all have to order shots (or some drink). This turns out to be a scheme by the professor to get the women drunk, so he can then get them into bed. By this time, I had given up on the movie.

    Well needless to say, our students chose to decorate their fragments with buzz-saws and shotguns. Of course, that’s what I would do. Well after getting drunk, they all go out behind the bar to have a bonfire and burn their creation. Let's get drunk, and then go burn shit!!!Hell Yeah!! Apparently this pisses of our manikin, so he comes to life and wreaks his vengeance. He takes pieces of the students to presumably make his own jigsaw, but we never see it. And the movie ends suddenly and absurdly.

    Jigsaw fails in the sense that it wanted to be more than what it was, and when it was what it was, it was no good. Too many plot-holes to even mention, and no inspiration at all. Even the little featurette on the film had more to do with the crew’s antics than anything having to do with the film. Sadly, that was the best part of the disc.

    Flesh Factor: Zilch
    Cheese Factor: Nothing...sadly
    Best to Be Viewed: While asleep

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    Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987)
    directed by Donald G. Jackson & R.J. Kizer


    In a post-apocalyptic future, mutant-frogmen are abundant but fertile men are scarce. Enter Sam Hell. Oh my oh my, this is a winner. We have a harem of beautiful ovulating women, evil half men half frogs, electronic exploding jockstraps, the Dance of the 3 Snakes, wonderfully delivered lines such as “Eat Lead Froggies!”, exotic stripper frogwomen, and magical cliffs where you can go from the bottom to the top in a matter of three steps. Yes boys and girls, this one has it all.

    First off, you know you’re in for a treat when the menu of the DVD has a Strat Movie option. That, and a total of six chapters.

    Our movie opens with Sam Hell ( Roddy Piper from professional wrestling fame.....salivating already aren’t you) captured for a rape charge. And it just so happens that the sheriff is the girl in question’s father. Well just as our pal Sam is about to be dispersed, he is saved by Med Tech. A government organization dedicated to re-populating the Earth. It seems that not only is Sam fertile, but he possesses the highest sperm count ever recorded. Our hero reluctantly agrees to join them, only to have an electronic device locked on his most personal place. He then has no choice but to accompany Spangler, the attractive leader of his mission who is trained in the ways of seduction and arousal. What is their mission you ask? Why only to infiltrate the mutant wastelands and rescue eight fertile human women who have been captured by the evil Commander Toty, and then to impregnate them.

    Now at this point, you may wonder why Med Tech chose to only send in Sam, Spangler, and Centinella (the necessary strong, powerful woman) into the wasteland when even the border police won’t dare set foot inside, and to why they would even risk letting Sam go in the first place, but it’s not for us to judge governmental reasoning. And as far as that goes, I’m a little froggy....err foggy on why the wasteland was regarded as such an evil forbidden place. Our group drives for hours without encountering a single enemy or geographical danger. And in fact, they don’t get into any trouble at all until they initiate it. Oh well. Maybe it’s like Detroit. It gets a bad rap, but it really isn’t such a bad place.

    It is at this point that we learn some very interesting plot developments. It seems that if Sam should get out of range of Spangler (or to be more accurate.....her earrings) his new-wave underpants set of a series of painful shocks to his...well you know. And should anyone try to remove them but Spangler, it will explode. Many hi-jinks ensue.

    Our group encounters a runaway lady from the harem, and after impregnating her and learning of the harem’s whereabouts, they send her off alone back to the border. Yep, a super dangerous place when they allow a tired, defenseless woman who just happens to be pregnant (their most valuable asset) wonder alone through it. And they hatch Spangler’s extremely detailed plan of attack. And as luck would have it, the plan goes awry. Spangler and Sam manage to get captured (Centinella, the muscle of the group, stays behind). Sam is forced to endure torture, and Spangler gets the Dance of the 3 Snakes. I won’t ruin the surprise of the 3 snakes for you, but at one point Commander Toty utters the following phrase: “You have aroused the 3 Snakes.”

    Will Sam escape and rescue Spangler and the harem? Will he be able to perform his duties? Who is the strange guy dealing weapons to the frogmen? Why does the exotic, stripper frog lady always have to die? You’ll have to watch to find out.


    Flesh Factor: Minimal
    Cheese Factor: Extremely High
    Best to Be Viewed: Under the influence
    __________________________________________________ __________
     
  2. Ryan FB

    Ryan FB Second Unit

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    I don't know if this is along the lines of what you're looking for, but...

    Army of Darkness!

    The best "bad" movie of all time! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    "Good...bad...I'm the guy with the gun."
     
  3. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)

    One of my films from my childhood. Captain Invincible (Alan Arkin) is a superhero who controls magnetism and was a hero during WWII. He was laid low by McCarthy and disappeared.

    Flash forward 30 years. Bad guy Mr. Midnight (Christopher Lee) has stolen America's secret weapon, the Hypnoray, and is threatening to destory the world. A search for Captain Invincible goes on, and he's found in Australia, drunk off of his ass. After recovering him, the movie concentrates on getting Invincible back into shape to face Midnight.

    Course, the one thing I haven't mentioned is that this film is a musical. That's right, this is a superhero musical. It is ungodly silly, with plenty of low budget effects, and plenty of low budget actors.

    Flesh Factor: Moderate
    Cheese Factor: High
    Best to Be Viewed: Drunk and with friends
     
  4. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    I love Army of Darkness. And while I wouldn't call it a bad movie, it certainly has the feel of what I love. It doesn't try to be more than what it is: Good, cheesy fun.


    The Return of Captain Invincible sounds just like the sort of thing I'd be into. I definitely have to check that one out.

    I just ordered Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. I'm going in blind, but how an you go wrong with a set-up like this (from IMDB):

    The first testament says "an eye for an eye." The second testament says "love thy neighbour." The third testament KICKS ASS! The filmmaking team that brought you Harry Knuckles and won the "Spirit of Slamdance" prize with Harry Knuckles and the Treasure of the Aztec Mummy ups the ante with this tale of the ultimate action hero: Jesus Christ. The second coming is upon us, and Jesus has returned to earth. But before he can get down to the serious business of judging the living and the dead, he has to contend with an army of vampires that can walk in the daylight. Combining kung-fu action with biblical prophecy and a liberal dose of humour, the film teams the Savior with Mexican wrestling hero El Santos against mythological horrors and science gone mad, and also manages to address contemporary sexual politics. And did we mention that it's a musical? This sure ain't Sunday School.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Lights of New York and Sh! The Octopus.
     
  6. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Skinner. It features Ted Raimi and Ricki Lake, who act much better than the script deserves as well as Tracy Lords with her usually scenery chewing. It's a slasher movie with a plot that doesn't make sense and no nudity. Can't go wrong that way.
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    The Princess Bride (1987)

    Directed by Rob Reiner.

    Hmmmm, where to start? Man does this movie stink. I've never thought about wanting to destroy a movie before, but I'd really like to frisbee the negative to this film into an active volcano....ah, just kidding! [​IMG]

    That's what ya get for mentioning The Stunt Man, The Ruling Class, and Touch of Evil in the same post as Crippled Masters. :p)

    I've seen my share of crappy movies - witness my superlative list of turkeys in the Worst Movie Draft - but none of those were enjoyable. I'll have to do some thinkin' to come up with something here...
     
  8. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  9. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Edit: I'm not sure this is really a So Bad, They're Good film, as more of a guilty pleasure, but since I've already typed up this post -

    One of my favorite guilty pleasures is a film by (gasp) Albert Pyun. If you recognize that name, you've watched too much late night cable. [​IMG]

    The film is 1993's Nemesis starring Olivier Gruner, Tim Thomerson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Merle Kennedy, and Deborah Shelton, amongst others... Despite its B movie acting and production design ( and I'm being somewhat generous), what I really like about this film was its ability to capture the feel, or essence of cyberpunk in a manner that better-pedigreed films were unable to attain.

    The film's sensibility about that particular genre of SF really felt correct - from its nihilistic protagonist, to its combination of low life criminals mixed with high technology (straight from Gibson's work) to its musings on how technology and cypernetic implants affect the humanity of the characters; all of these themes are straight from cyberpunk SF literature.

    Aside from thematic considerations -

    While Olivier Gruner's acting abilities and range are limited, I feel like he does have a certain presence and grace that worked well within the confines of this film. Deborah Shelton has a small but memorable role in this film. SF hand Brion James is along for the ride in a small part. Always a pleasure to see the old replicant in another SF film. Plus ( shades of Jackie Brown ) it has chicks with guns! [​IMG]

    Easily one of my guiltiest cinematic pleasures.

    - Walter.
     
  10. Anders Englund

    Anders Englund Second Unit

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  11. Al Fischer

    Al Fischer Stunt Coordinator

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    Return of the Living Dead
    "Brains, more Brains"
     
  12. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    ski school.

    starring dean "chainsaw" cameron, stuart fratkin, patrick labyorteaux and the gorgeous charlie spradlin in the extremely dumb comedy story of hell-raising party guys battling uptight preppy conformists for control of the slopes.

    yes it's dumb, the plot is silly, and the comedy lowbrow, but there's just a feel-good vibe about this whole movie that makes it a fun watch. kinda takes you back to when you could act dumb and silly and drink at all times, no responsibilities, and no consequences resulting. lots of hot babes, some nudity(alas, not involving the aforementioned extremly hot ms. spradling), stuart fratkin steals the movie, and it's just lots of fun. probably my top guilty pleasure.

    now ski school two is another story entirely. bad. very bad.
     
  13. Jeff_Standley

    Jeff_Standley Supporting Actor

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    Perfect example
    Starship Troopers
    This movie was really laced with bad acting bad dialogue but entertaining so we saw it and liked it.
     
  14. Eric_E

    Eric_E Supporting Actor

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    Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
    UHF
    Clerks
    - Worst acting ever, but hilarious anyway
    XXX

    And I agree with Ryan - while I love AoD, it's got some of the worst special effects ever!
     
  15. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    A Partial List:
    • Caveman
    • Hamburger the Motion Picture
    • Mom and Dad Save The World
    • Battle Beyond the Stars
    • King Solomon's Mines
    • Alain Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Dude? Where's My Car
    - I am alone in liking this movie. [​IMG]
     
  17. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Clerks definitely shouldn't be on this list. The acting was bad, because they weren't actors. Hell of a film.

    I definitely agree on Starship Troopers, I remember seeing it at the theater, and hating it...but now it seems to be one of the films that is always getting spinned.

    They Live is another one...pretty stupid, but you've gotta love the one-liners.

    For some reason I used to have a morbid obsession with Road Trip, I'd watch it like once a week. It deserves to be on this list.

    All of the Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street flicks. I know some of them are well regarded, but I love the crummy ones too.
     
  18. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    There is only one.

    GLEN OR GLENDA

    Anything else is but a pale imitation. [​IMG]
     
  19. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    StarCrash!
     
  20. Mike Hutman

    Mike Hutman Supporting Actor

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    Death Race 2000
    The Refrigerator(best worst movie EVER)
    UHF
    Flesh Gordon and the Cosmic Cheerleaders
    Frogs
    Real Men
    Super Fuzz

    I could go on forever. I love shit movies[​IMG]

    I like to go out and try and find the worst movie I can at the video store.
     

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