Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Movie Badness

More craptacular cinema, courtesy of the Mill Creek release, 50 Chilling Classics. First up, I'm going to link to a hilarious review of Cathy's Curse.

Cathy's Curse

I've watched four of these puppies in the last five days, and Lord help me, I'm gonna keep right on!

Now I talked about The Cold, and it introduced me to a b-movie name I've never heard of before, one Bill Rebane. Bill is a terrible director, and his movies are among the worst I've ever seen. I say that with a joyous heart, because there are not one, not two, but *four* Rebane features in this collection, and I've seen them all.

And you get to hear about them, if you keep reading.

The Legend of Bigfoot is mind-numbingly bad. We're talking tonsillectomy-with-a-melon-baller-through-your-belly-button bad. So bad that it's bad. You know how some movies come right up to the edge of bad and then teeter there, entertaining the hell out of you? This one does a Thelma and Louise right from the get-go.

The Cold, see above and its own little review.

The Demons of Ludlow. If the basic premise of your movie is that demons live inside a piano, then rule number one should be that when people in the movie play the piano, then it shouldn't sound like an organ. Or a harpsichord. Or a three-piece combo, fer God's sake. The story is actually quite... uh, almost said good... I'll say interesting instead. It's the execution that falters badly, as usual. The special effects range from surprisingly fair to abysmal, and pointless comes to mind more than once. My favorite (though not the best by a long shot) is probably when the mayor goes to an old hollow tree looking for something. Stuff that tree full of fireworks and then in post-production add WWII audio files of an artillery barrage, and you have eeeeeirie evil demonic special effects. Uh huh.

Finally, the (oh so flawed) gem of the foursome: The Alpha Incident. Ignore the scenes with the two scientists, one who probably went on to father several global citizens with names like Rainbow and Sequoia, because they basically whine about things they can't change, while proving themselves inept at actually doing anything helpful. Oh yeah, you know the type.

The good part happens when a biochemist and four railroad employees are quarantined at a remote train station because they've been exposed to an unknown but dangerous organism. The biochemist has a gun and he uses it when needed to maintain order because these folks don't much like taking orders from him (or the disembodied "general" on the phone). It turns into a decent psychological thriller as the group tries to survive together, even though they don't much care for each other. Oh, and the kicker is, if they fall asleep they die. Horribly. Great effect for this one too, you've gotta see it to appreciate it. I'll mention here for my own future reference that I thought the lone female of the group was quite cute, and I was very surprised when she showed off an impressive rack. Also, you can enjoy watching Buck Flowers, a true legend in the biz. He's one of those actors you've seen many times without realizing it.

Ok, final score:

1. Alpha Incident - worth renting, if you don't get your hopes too high.
2. Demon's of Ludlow - especially if you don't like piano music.
3. The Cold - hit or MISS.
4. Legend of Bigfoot - dear God no.


Anonymous said...

"Bill is a terrible director, and his movies are among the worst I've ever seen."

HEH. It's just the dryness of it, in type, or something, that always makes me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

Is "if you fall asleep you'll die" a common sci-fi plot device? I swear I've seen other movies that used it (not to mention the episode of MASH where Hawkeye had a concussion.)

Ted said...

It's generally used in any genre. Think "if the bus slows down - kaboom" from Speed, or the dreaded "stand on something with a noose around your neck, hope you don't get tired" from many westerns and horror movies. It's a good tension producing device, the trick is to use it in some unique way.