Tag Archive: Badasses Boobs & Bodycounts


What film is this from? Tune in next week...

What film is this from? Tune in next week…

A roundup of what I’ve watched, read or listened to lately:

  • Projection Booth #144 on “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” (1962). I loved the part of the episode that one commenter dismissed as “psychobabble” about this film being a reflection of the male Id of that era, how the legacy of Nazi physician Joseph Mengele is portrayed on film, the subgenre of “disembodied head/brain/brain-in-a-pan” films, etc.

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  • Also from the episode we learn that both Brain and Debbie Does Dallas both have musical theater adaptations!

  • Lastly, here are the trailers for the best films I saw in September, in no particular order:

Covered on episode 6 of 1951 Down Place.

Will be covered on a future episode of Badasses, Boobs, and Body Counts–I suggested it as part of “listener appreciation month,” and Mike and Iris took the suggestion. However, Mike says its the one film for the BB&BC listener appreciation month he’s not looking forward to… I suspect we’ll be agreeing to disagree about this classic.

bottom-of-barrel-headerI do love the terrible movies, but sometimes there are those that make you guzzle the palette-cleanser afterwards. Here are some of the worst films I saw last year, as told to Mike and Iris at the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast. Here are my faves of last year. Spoilers ensue, so reader beware.

1. Lords of Salem (2012)–Way too much build up and confusing imagery, but little follow-through on story. I really want to like Rob Zombie as a filmmaker–I remember really liking House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejectsbut those were getting to be a long time ago now.  My problem with Lords, was that just as I was finally expecting the horror movie to start, as the Heidi character made her transformation (or whatever) into a full-fledged witch (or whatever), the end credits started to roll. All the menace and the malevolence of the coven in the first scene that threatened to wreak havoc on modern-day Salem was reduced to a couple on-screen sentences where we had to read what the final implication of this film was?  Did Zombie run out of money two-thirds of the way through his production?

And in any case, the final implication was pretty limited–the penultimate reveal was that the witches create a ritualistic mass suicide? That hardly seemed worth the effort, or 90 minutes of everyone’s time. No huge threat to the city, let alone humanity. Like I said, I really wanted to like this film and Zombie as a director. Surely I must be missing something. I went as far to track down the novelization of this film that Zombie wrote. And? Nothing. It’s just a simple description of what we see on screen with a smidge more detail, but no insights into what I was missing. Probably because with this project–book and film–there’s no there there.

Rob, I’ll always love your music, and your first few films, but you really are making a lasting relationship harder than it should be.

Gappa

2. Gappa the Triphibian Monster (1967)–basically, a get rich quick rip-off of Japanese monster films by one of Japan’s oldest film production companies (Nikkatsu), which has been in the business for nearly a century. At times, as the KaijuCast podcast (another favorite) discussion of this film noted, Gappa is almost a shot-for-shot remake of classic kaiju scenes. As if the best parts of Japanese giant monster movies were all mixed up and thrown against the wall to see what would stick. The resulting film is like watching the whole sticky mess slide down the wall.

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Of course there is “Hobo With a Shotgun” in Lego!

3. Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)–started as a fan-made exploitation film trailer on a $150 budget for a contest that Richard Rodriguez was sponsoring, and when it won, they got rid of the fans and hired pro actors like Rutger Hauer to make the “real” film.

I’m not exactly sure what bothers me more: having pros replace amateurs, or the mere presence of Hauer. There’s only a few films I like him in, and I’m afraid I like him even less once I heard what an ass he can be on-set. Had the amateurs been able to stay on, this could have been (probably at best) something only as good as Thankskilling or Antfarm Dickhole. I find those sorts of films have much more charm than actors slumming it and trying too hard to recreate 70s grindhouse.

the-werewolf-of-washington-movie-poster-1973-10202498394. Werewolf of Washington (1973)–I live in the DC metro area, so maybe the idea of a political operative becoming a werewolf just hits too close to home.

But seriously, the last scene of this film–in which the President of the United States contracts lycanthropy in the back of Marine One–should have been the starting point for this whole affair. Just so we could be spared the site of (an impossibly young) Dean Stockwell as some silly aide doing his best to keep up appearances.

All that said, this film may have the best line of dialogue of any film I saw in 2014:

I think your father is a cross between Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ.

The President–this cross between Lincoln and Christ–goes on to tell Dean Stockwell who’s turning into a werewolf again to “stop scratching at your palms. It’s just not manly.” Or somesuch. Not sure why I believe that our protagonist sees this guy as a blend of two of America’s most respected historical figures… But on it goes… An we didn’t even get into the secret Frankenstein lab under the White House staffed by little people.

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Um, your administration is in jeopardy when your aides can’t tell the difference between a pent-a-gram and the Pent-a-gon…

host5. The Host (2006)–I love monster movies, and this Korean variation on the theme seems to have learned all the wrong lessons, but I suspect it’s just that something got lost in translation. The trick to watching this movie, I suspect, is to know something about the cultural context it is embedded in. At least one person sees a number of visual references to Korean touchstones that probably would blow right by most American audiences. Most Americans–including me–being oblivious to all this might have just seen this as an incoherently scripted monster movie.

In which case this movie seems like it had a marketing problem. Don’t inflict oblivious horror/monster movie aficionados with coy social criticism and expect the film to do well as a horror flick. On the other hand, given the amount of comedy in this film, how sharp was the cultural criticism? I have no idea, and won’t get too wrapped around the axle on this.  I keep saying to myself, it’s only a movie… it’s only a movie… it’s only a movie.

My Top Five First-Time Watches of 2014

ep114_5A bit ago over at the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast, the inestimable hosts Mike and Iris asked listeners to submit their top and bottom five first-time watches from 2014. I jumped on that action quickly, and got my email read on the podcast–mine was first up in fact.  Here it is again, slightly edited:

These Are Tops

1. Ginger (1971)–classic sleaze. Whenever I post on this movie here, these posts are always among the most popular ones of the year. Notable for starring gay porn star Casey Donovan and for having an early full frontal male nude scene.

2. Films of Fury (2011)–great intro documentary to the world of Kung Fu cinema. This is not a genre I am very familiar with, but I’ve been Kung Fu-curious for a long time. This doc is the perfect intro–I counted clips from at least 107 different films shown at some point in this.

In this trailer you’ll see some footage from Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976), though I do not recall seeing discussion or footage of this popular film in the documentary itself.

3. Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)–nothing to add to what’s already been said to this great film doc, except that it’s being snubbed for a Best Documentary Oscar was highway-fucking-robbery. A great intro to Jodorowsky’s filmography for folks unfamiliar with the master film surrealist.

4. Bong of the Dead (2011)–And now for something completely different: I actually discovered this film from Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts, and watching this earnest little film especially knowing something of its backstory from the interview just cemented my love for ultra-low budget horror. This film and the faire discussed over at the No-Budget Nightmares podcast have been my gateway drugs to other shlocky films like Antfarm Dickhole, Rock n’ Roll Space Patrol Action is Go!, Treevenge, and one of my all time faves from this end of the pool, Thankskilling.

Extra credit for a film subtitled into Arabic!

5. The Day After (1983)–I finally got around to watching this some 30 years after my parents wouldn’t let me watch it in prime time (I was in the 6th grade in ’83). Impressed that this imperfect but unflinching film, considering its vintage and medium, got on the air at all. Remembering the class discussion that followed the original broadcast–this was the most-watched made-for-TV movies in US history–all I can say is that we were freaked the fuck out.

All for now–next time, my bottom five from 2014.

Also, support the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast, where I first heard of this gem, and Midnight Corey and his Electric Chair podcast, and of course, the Bong of the Dead official site.

We’ve arrived, after a fashion, at our final five films, as chosen mainly by you. I say “mainly,” because one match-up that had originally ended up in a tie was re-competed, and ended up in a tie once again. To keep things moving along, I’ve made an executive decision in favor of one film.  Somehow, I doubt you’ll mind.  Because this match-up has lingered a bit, it’s thrown off our nice even numbers, so we have a final five, not final four.  Again, I doubt you mind terribly.

At any rate, here are your Final Five:

1. Black Sunday (1960), after tying with The Day the Earth Stood Still, twice.

2. The Thing (1982), after beating Witchfinder General (1968) 3 votes to 2.

3. I Drink Your Blood (1970) beat The Exorcist (1973) in a 4-0 shutout, the second shutout for IDYB in as many rounds!

4. Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) finally put an end to the reign of terror wreaked by She-Devil on Wheels (1968).

5. Carnival of Souls (1962) is still patiently waiting after beating Grizzly (1976) a couple rounds ago.

So here are this week’s match-ups, awaiting your consideration:

1960s Horror!

Go ahead, watch the whole thing!

The winner of this match takes on The Thing!

Exploitation Championship!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmmnfs_i-drink-your-blood_shortfilms

Do yourself a favor while you make up your mind, and give the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast a listen–it’s most recent episode covers this one.

The winner of the round will be our “right side” conference champ, fwiw.

I’m loving, loving, the fact that as our little contest winds down, that the most recent movie still in contention, The Thing, is 32 years old.  Also, how is it the The Thing is 32 years old already?!

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