Category — so bad they’re good
It takes a truly awful movie to reach the dizzying heights achieved by Yilmaz Atadeniz‘s Yilmayan Seytan [aka Deathless Devil] (1973). You wouldn’t be able to ever plan the sublime weirdness that comes from overly ambitious and under-talented Turkish filmmakers staging a low-budget exploitation super-hero movie. You just have to thank your lucky celluloid stars they did it. Bask in the illogical insanity as the prodigiously-mustached Dr. Satan [Erol Tas] traps the kindly Professor [Yalin Tolga] and kills his heroic nicely-mustached bodyguard. How much do I love this scene? Let me count the ways: first there’s the entrance, in which Dr. Satan bows, then walks all the way across the room to take his mark… then there’s the moment where the bodyguard reveals that he’s been hiding off frame, though given the room size he MUST have clearly been in plain view. Then there’s the funny business with the robot-summoning button – and an ensuing back-up button cleverly placed not far from the first. And of course there’s the hulking robot quietly creeping up on the good guy, and crushing him quite unconvincingly as the professor reacts with the most hilarious head in hand ever. And finally, my favorite moment – where Dr. Satan subtly asks the actor playing his henchman to move to a different mark – “Stand there!” – after all, these guys don’t want to waste another take on this scene – film must have been very expensive in Turkey!
October 16, 2012 No Comments
Fist of the North Star (1995) director Tony Randel is an interesting figure – a Roger Corman disciple who specializes in delivering intriguing special effects on the cheap, he somehow found his way into directing Hellraiser II (1988) – a guilty pleasure packed with high-value/low-cost spectacle – and somehow also found his way into directing this low-budget adaptation of the popular manga. And while it’s by no means a good movie, FOTNS is an interesting relic from a year when Japanese film company TOEI was promoting itself with a rash of B-movies aimed at American home video – films which include 1995′s No Way Back (starring a young Russell Crowe) and 1995′s Crying Freeman (directed by Brotherhood of the Wolf director Christophe Gans). It’s an otherwise awful flick which pairs an anti-charismatic unknown (Gary Daniels) with an overabundance of hammy actors (Malcolm McDowell, Chris Penn and Clint Howard), but this is a fun scene, enhanced by clever prosthetics and laughable kung-fu. And of course it fits snugly into our exploding head series. Enjoy – and please resist seeking out the full feature – unless you’re a ciné-masochist.
May 9, 2012 4 Comments
Our Halloween hangover continues with this greasy piece of gruesome fluff courtesy of schlock-meister Antony Balch, Britain’s answer to the Herschell Gordon Lewis‘s, and Stuart Gordons of American film – we’ll call them the lowbrow auteurs. Just check out this incredibly hokey opening – from 1973′s Horror Hospital (a.k.a. Computer Killers [!?]) – which has more decapitations per square midget than any other film in history (apologies to anyone offended by that last sentence but I’m pretty sure it’s true even without the benefit of googling it). Pretty fantastic stuff! I mean, as they say at the Isle – “How can you scoff at a film starring Gough?” I should apologize for that last one too – we’ve never actually said that – not at, on, near, or even around the Isle.
November 3, 2011 No Comments
Wong Jing‘s particular brand of broad brainless comedy is hard to swallow in bucketfuls, but in little bite-sized chunks it makes for the perfect snack – which is why he’s a recurring guest in our great scenes section (see here and here). Today’s scene comes from Future Cops (1993), starring Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Chingmy Yau as an assorted cast of humans who for some reason morph into Street Fighter characters to stop an evildoer from the future. And if that doesn’t seem ridiculous enough, there’re also lasers, whirlwind kicks, some insane wire-work featuring flying single-occupant vehicles with Gatling guns (somebody needs to bring these back stat!), poorly constructed exterior walls, and of course an overabundance of your standard “hilarious” Hong Kong “na-ni-na-ni-boo-boo” hi jinx!
October 3, 2011 No Comments