Bloody Bloody Bible Camp – #MovieReview

please hold still for decapitation

Well hello out there in the world. Slick Dungeon here, ready to tell you all about a movie I just watched. Is it an Oscar contender? Is it going to win any SAG awards? Is it full of stellar acting, brilliant plotting and the most heartwarming emotions you will ever see put on film? Should you watch it? No, no, no and heck yes you should see it! What is this film you speak of Slick? It’s Bloody Bloody Bible Camp.

If you don’t enjoy horror and have a low tolerance for gore, don’t watch this but if you have the stomach for it, this film is a lot of fun. Also, if you are particularly religious this might be offensive but I think that’s obvious from the title and cover. It’s a throwback to slasher films like Friday the 13th or Halloween but with more religion and less suspense. If you do want to watch this but don’t want spoilers, you have been forewarned to stop reading at this point. Grab a s’more sing a hymn, watch the film and come back.

Still with me? Okay good. Bloody good. Bloody Bloody good. Our film starts off with a group of teens who are clearly portrayed by adults, at Happy Day Bible Camp in 1977. Right off we know that there will be tons of death and unnecessary nudity and buckets of blood. I mean, what else do you expect from that title? In the first few moments one of the characters says that Star Wars sucks so I wanted him to die because, that’s definitely a sin to say. I was not disappointed.

Someone with an ax and a crucifix with a knife on the bottom goes through and decimates the campers one by one. Why exactly the people in the camp stand and scream as an ax comes at their heads is a little beyond me. I mean. run right? But anyway, that’s definitely harder to film special effects wise so I guess that’s the reason? Anyway there are a few gruesome deaths and we as the audience know for sure that more will come.

We flash forward to 1984 where a group of campers comes along to try the camp out and perhaps purchase it. We get the obligatory townsfolk warning the campers off only to be completely ignored. But we are the audience and we are smart so we know that the fact that one of them doesn’t even want to go into the store where these locals are means she probably knows something more.

We see an older adult refer to a bunch of definitely not teenagers as kids over and over. We get to see a grown man air high five himself and say “Tad!” for no apparent reason. We get to see grown women contemplate religion and analyze, let’s just say parts of their anatomy. We watch as some of the guys try to hook up with some of the girls and other guys get to be the picked on overweight kid. It’s pretty obvious most of them are gonna die so I put my money on the one questioning religion as a definite survivor, the picked on “kid” as a fifty percent chance and the leader of the bible camp as likely to be the one to off the serial killer.

After quite a few silly jokes and comments in the woods (a smartly cheap place to make a film btw) it gets to be night and one of the adult counselors goes to get some beer. Then it is on, the killing spree begins. Twice in the movie the killer decapitates someone and then repositions the body so that the head falls off for the next victim and the killer catches them by surprise. Classic. Of course both times it’s kind of on the victim because they stay where they are once they see the killer rather than, say, duck, move or fight back in literally any way.

We also get to see the blood spurt in the fun old eighties style where there is no CGI just someone pumping that corn syrup or whatever they use out. One by one the campers are decimated once again but this time we get flashbacks to a little kid being verbally abused by a nun. It’s pretty clear that this kid is the killer and is in need of major therapy. The killer goes on, swatting down campers and reciting bible verses over and over.

Back in town we find out that one of the locals had survived the last incident like this, albeit with severe brain trauma as a result. His brother finds out that this guy has left in hopes of getting himself some revenge. So he goes out to try and save the day. He said that with so much conviction, I actually shifted my money onto him as a survivor.

In the camp we find out that the guy running the bible camp, wanting to buy it knew all along what had happened here seven years ago. We also find out that, yes indeed, the woman who wouldn’t go into the store had been there seven years ago. To which I thought, why in the world would you go back there? Especially knowing the killer had not been caught. Also, it seems like the killer camps near by so, wow, there are some bad detectives around the area. I could say that about a lot of slasher films though.

For a moment it seemed that I was wrong about the leader of the bible camp being the one to bring down the killer, who we start to learn is a man who dresses up as a nun with a devil mask. Never really explained why the devil mask is worn but, sure why not? But then this movie pulled a move I didn’t expect. There’s a cameo in here where an actor known for, uh… other kinds of movies… shows up as Jesus. It’s not as good of a cameo as Bill Murray in Zombieland but it’s close. Jesus gives the bible camp director a weirdly offensive message of acceptance and boom, he’s back up after having been slashed.

I was starting to think I was a decent gambler because he was still alive, the guy who warned the bible camper was still alive and so was the camper who questioned religion and even the picked on kid was still kickin’. But then Sister Mary Chopper (very decent killer name) shows up and stabs the the guy who warned the campers away in the neck. Then she drops a cinder block on the picked on kid. Now I want to call out this particular head destruction. They drop a cinder block on the guys head. I had to watch this twice because the editing here was seamless. You can’t tell when they moved the actual actor out of the way at all. Best death in the movie in my opinion. But now, I am losing half my bet.

Everyone kind of stands around watching as the killer does the last two murders I just described. Who would not run??? We also find out that the killer is a guy we saw in the store early on in the film. He had been walking around as what you might call a goth, I guess but I was pretty sure that was the killer to begin with. But confirmed here. Then the leader of the camp has his big battle with the Sister. It’s kind of played a little too much for laughs towards the end and I think the movie might have benefited from making that more serious but that’s a minor nitpick. However, he saves the day and all is good.

But wait! Post credit scene! We see that Sister Mary Chopper sits up again. And that one of the girls we thought was dead is not. She just comes on to make a joke though so I don’t know if we count that as true survival.

I really actually enjoyed this movie, even if most people probably wouldn’t. You have to have a sense of humor and a high tolerance for gore. But here’s the biggest compliment I can pay this. While I was watching it, I thought that it had actually been made in the eighties or nineties and that I had somehow missed it. It’s exactly the kind of movie my friends and I would have rented for a slumber party when I was a kid. Turns out this thing was made in 2011. I am so glad there are people still out there making stuff like this. Kudos to Reggie Bannister, Vito Trabucco and literally everyone else involved in this film. You have made a movie so bad it’s good and I loved it.

Next week, I am going to slog through an Academy Award winning actress’ almost finest work as I force my eyeballs to stay open for Halle Berry’s Catwoman

Bloodily Yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Snacks for fueling through B Films

Slick Dungeon here, coming to you from the damp and musty cave dungeon that I call home. Tonight I am going to be watching Bloody Bloody Bible Camp and while I will be posting my review on Monday, I thought I would share with you what it takes to get me through these films, Here are Slick Dungeon’s essential snacks for watching films that are never going to win any awards.

  • Pizza – you’ve got to have a main course and this is it. Heck, put enough vegetables on it and it’s almost like a salad on bread! Who wants salad on bread? Not me!
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – I assume that some of the people in this film are going to end up where it’s flamin’ hot below. I figured I might as well have the smallest sampling of the experience.
  • Caffeinated soda – I don’t really care what kind. Give me any soda that will keep me awake, not only for this film but for a second feature I might have to watch if this one actually turns out to be scary.
  • Popcorn – well, duh. Yeah, I needs me some popcorn for watching, well, literally anything from presidential debates to films where people get decapitated.
  • Crispy M&M’s – There are not a lot of rules in my dungeon. Here’s the main one, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY CRISPY M&M’s!!!!! This is the best kind of candy ever made, hands down and you can’t convince me otherwise.
  • Ice cream – I am partial to Ben & Jerry’s and their Phish food flavor but I’ll take just about any kind of ice cream, honestly.

The only drawback to eating all these snacks is that I have to do extra laps around the dungeon the next day in hopes that I will some day fit out of an escape tunnel here. So what are your favorite film snacks? Got any candy you would release a Tarrasque or 30-50 feral hogs to keep other people away from? Let me know in the comments.

Hungrily yours,

Slick Dungeon

Waterworld – #Moviereview

Looking for Dryland, watch out for jetskis

Hey there landlubbers. This is Slick, I live in a dungeon and I review movies that most people can’t stand. Let’s talk about Waterworld.

Believe it or not, there was a time when Kevin Costner wasn’t just famous for being the voice of a dog that loves car racing. He was also known for being the web footed, gill having, urine recycled water drinking, hero of the major Hollywood flop, Waterworld.

It’s the year, the future, and the polar ice caps have melted, causing the Earth to be drowned in water. In 1995 that sounded like a much more remote possibility than it does now. The filmmakers hadn’t figured out the true cost and difficulty of filming this thing on the water. You can’t shoot while planes are flying or you can see the Los Angeles skyscrapers in the background, so everything took forever to set up and there had to be multiple re-takes for everything. Plus, this not only had Kevin Costner raking in the big bucks but Dennis Hopper hamming it up for the cash too. This guaranteed that Waterworld had to be the hugest blockbuster this side of Jaws to make any money for anyone. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it was nearly universally hated by critics and audiences alike when it came out.

But the question remains, is this movie any good? If you ignore the history and just watch the film, can it work on an entertainment level? Nooooooooooope. It’s still pretty bad. Although, I could see how this one could reach a kind of cult status. It does have some dedicated fans and I suppose there could be a CGI remake or something that might work somehow with this thing. But for that to happen, a lot of things would have to change. That’s not to say you shouldn’t watch this though.

You can think of this film as Road Warrior but on the water. Land is scarce and basically considered a myth by the people inhabiting the planet. But there’s a never named drifter played by Kevin Costner who seems to be able to find dirt whenever he wants, There’s also a little girl named Enola who has a tattoo on her back that might be a clue to finding dry land. There’s a group of crazy jet ski riding, machine gun having, “Smokers” led by Dennis Hopper who want to get the tattoo map and find that good ol’ dry land for themselves. Why? Because the boat they are on, the Exxon Valdez is running out of oil and they need it for their tractor pulls! But don’t worry, the drifter guy is gonna save Enola. Well, eventually. You know, after he tosses her in the water, threatens to leave her behind and basically sells her mom to a dude for paper. But after that, man you better watch out because that guy who’s name we don’t know is gonna be out for blood against these Smokers.

Visually, this movie isn’t that bad. It’s got a kind of steampunk feel to it, not that different from the latest Mad Max movie. I do think, the fact that the boats everyone rides around on had to be made and exist in three dimensions actually helps this film. The acting isn’t bad either. Sure Dennis Hopper goes over the top with his performance but it’s done in a fun and relatively entertaining way. The little girl and her mother deliver serviceable performances and so do most of the extras around the film. Kevin Costner’s acting wasn’t bad although his accent is certainly a little weird here.

You know what I think makes people not like this movie? What a complete and total jerk Kevin Costner’s character is. He’s a drifter out on the sea and he barely says two words to anyone. People help him to survive an attack by the Smokers and he promptly wants to toss a little girl who can’t swim overboard. (Wouldn’t that be like the first thing you teach kids in this world but whatever). He’s considered a freak because he has webbed toes and actual gills. Let’s just never mind the fact that’s not how evolution works at all and go with it for a minute. I didn’t have that much of a problem with the gills and all but the jerkiness was messed up. At one point the dude does actually toss the girl overboard. He also chops off her mother’s hair and then her hair, because he was big and intimidating to them and they touched his stuff. Not sure I can get behind a hero like that but at least I can think, hey in the end he’ll come through. But then a dude comes along and asks to buy the mom and the girl, Obviously disgusting stuff going on there. The drifter doesn’t stoop so low as selling the girl but he sure does “rent out” the mom for a half an hour. The drifter does come in and stop the guy before he does anything too bad, but by then it’s too late for me to get behind this hero anymore.

The drifter dude then shows the mom how he’s been getting dirt. His gills let him get to the bottom of the ocean here all our cities, cars and nacho cheese has been buried under water. He’s just been grabbing this stuff cause he can hold his breath longer than other people and then trading the dirt for the stuff he needs. So this dry land thing could still be a myth.

But not only is the drifter a jerk, he’s a moron. While he was down below, the Smokers show up and kidnap Enola. By the way, while watching this movie, I defy you to be able to not think the first few times that they are actually calling this girl granola. But anyway, she’s kidnapped. Now the drifter has to go and save her. I didn’t buy at all that he would want to do that, period. He really seemed to have no empathy for anyone but himself. But obviously, Kevin Costner doesn’t want us hating him for his acting choices so he goes ahead and takes on the smokers, blows up their ship and saves the girl.

Here’s the reason you should watch this movie. The fights in this spot are actually really fun. From watching the dudes on the Valdez drive around a rusted car, to Kevin Costner calling out Dennis Hopper, to the old dude in the bottom of the boat thanking God for death, I got lots of chuckles. The rest of the movie, I could pretty much take or leave. Well, except for the drifter. I could leave him. It had me almost wishing they had tried to make this into a comedy. That I could have gotten behind.

So next time, if you’re wondering if you should go back and see some of Kevin Costner’s classics, include uh… parts of… Waterworld.

Next week, be sure to put on your Sunday shoes because I will be reviewing Bloody Bloody Bible Camp. You know it’s good cause it has an extra Bloody.

Soggily yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Anyone Else Out There Get Zombie Anxiety Dreams on a Regular Basis?

I watch a lot of television and films with different kinds of monsters in them. Same for the books I read. But for me, there’s one type of monster that no matter what, when I see it, or read it, or even think about it for more than five minutes, I end up having a nightmare about it. It doesn’t matter if I am watching Zombieland, Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days later or Shaun of the Dead. It doesn’t matter if I am reading a quality zombie book, or a terrible zombie book, or anything in between. Every time I read this stuff I have a nightmare. I love these stories so I keep reading and watching. Just wondering if anyone else out there has this happen to them? Do you have another type of creature that does that for you? I can watch vampire movies and read vampire books until the sun comes up (see what I did there?) and no trouble in my dreams. Werewolves, no problem. But if you put a flesh eating crowd monster in my head. it’s there to stay. Let me know what your favorite nightmare monster is in the comments.

Sleep Deprivedly yours,

Slick Dungeon

High School Musical – Movie Review

is this bad for a musical or bad for a movie? Maybe it’s just bad

Way back in the dark ages, long before Zac Efron was the star of the box office flop Baywatch, long before Vanessa Hudgens was mildly funny in failed television sitcoms, in the ancient dark days before Hamilton had made it big on Broadway, there was the completely, absolutely, utterly, unnecessary made for television Disney special, High School Musical.

This has a stunningly high 56% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. That means that more than half of the people who have viewed this, enjoyed it. I have no idea how. Unlike Emo: the Musical this film is so saccharine sweet that it will give you a stomach ache. Like Emo: the Musical, this depiction of high school seems to believe that you can only be one type of person. Until the end of course.

Now look, for a little television special aimed at pre-teens wanting some good old wholesome entertainment on a Saturday night, this is perfectly fine. The singing is decent for a sort of pop-ish sound, the acting isn’t bad for the Disney channel and the plot is the same as like ninety percent of eighties rom-coms.

But as a normal adult, suffering through this, the movie is painful. I’d rather be strapped to a chair while Mr. Blonde listens to Stuck in the Middle with You than watch this again. I’d rather be a young padawan facing a yellow eyed Anakin Skywalker than watch this again. I’d rather jump into a tornado full of sharks and chainsaws than watch this again. I would rather read an Agatha Raisin novel than watch this again. In case you don’t get it, I would rather be tortured than sit through this again.

The story centers around a star basketball player named Troy and his math whiz love interest Gabriela. Randomly they meet and sing karaoke while on vacation and feel a strong connection. The karaoke song has a lyric that goes something like, “I never knew this could happen until it happened to me.” So uh, yeah, the lyrics are that incredibly… good? Troy and Gabriela are clearly attracted to each other because, hormones. Lucky for Troy, Gabriela conveniently moves into his school in the next scene because, script.

The basketball players start singing a song about how basketball players don’t sing. Apparently they don’t play basketball either because they go through this huge choreographed dance routine, including several instances of traveling, illegal passing and all kinds of on court violations. Then as a unit they throw all of their basketballs in the air. There are like twelve guys in the scene and a total of none make a basket in the whole scene. This is their whole practice because they leave immediately after. Then, we establish that this team has a CHAMPIONSHIP game coming up. Are they playing the Washington Generals? Because if not, the dudes from East High are going to lose.

Meanwhile, Gabriela doesn’t want it known that she is good at math. Because, that’s a great message to send to girls (sarcasm font activate). She also doesn’t want to seem like she can sing even though she pines at the sign ups for the er… high school musical. PLOT POINT: that’s why it’s called High School Musical, I get it now, I finally get it! Gabriela is outed pretty quickly and has to join the math team because, we need conflict in the third act.

Not only is Troy the basketball star, his dad is the coach. And not only that, his dad has beef with the drama teacher who insists on pronouncing it musi-cal every time she says the word. She hates the jocks and the jocks hate the drama geeks and the nerds are nerds and skaters are skaters and everything is good at generically named East High.

In the drama club there is a brother and sister who will disturbingly remind you of the Lannister twins without ever doing anything more than singing and dancing with each other. They of course, are the villains and drive the plot so that we can have conflict between the leads.

Gabriela and Troy both sneak over to the auditions for the musical and of course, end up singing and upstaging the villainous drama siblings. The drama teacher calls for call backs which infuriate the drama twins and also lets the whole school know that Troy and Gabriela tried out. Makes me wonder what they thought would happen if they just got the parts but whatever. Then all hell breaks loose. The basketball players start admitting in song form that they like to bake, skater guys admit to playing musical instruments and brainiacs admit to liking hip hop. It’s a seriously stupid scene.

Also, and this is just a side note, when I was in high school and people got call backs for anything drama related that was always a good thing. Everyone hoped to be called back so I don’t get the reaction of the drama siblings at all.

Now that we have established who is who here, the next part of the movie is the math team trying to expose Troy as a jerk and the basketball players trying to get Troy to break up with Gabriela. It works because if it didn’t, there would be no conflict. Could that conflict have been resolved with a thirty second conversation amongst the main characters? Yes because later it is. After a song.

The big conflict/climax comes because of ridiculously stupid scheduling conflicts. The drama villains make it so that the math competition, the basketball game and the call backs are all schedule for the exact same freaking time. Now, any good principal or teacher or, you know, person with access to a calendar, would fix that right quick. But no, we need more songs instead.

But the tables turn so hold onto your top hats and canes because the math team and the jocks come together in the end to help both Gabriela and Troy. They realize that they have treated these sweetheart American teens poorly so they plan to cut the lights at just the right time in the gym so that Troy and Gabriela can swiftly make the call back and then back to their respective events before anyone is the wiser.

Guess what? They sing well at the call backs and are cast for the play, the match competition is won, and so is the basketball game. Yay! Not at all what I expected. Never saw that coming, Not even close. Hey, did you know that if you take one thing and then put another of that thing together, you have two of them? Me neither.

The movie ends with a big musical number and everyone is mostly happy except of course the drama villains. Troy is given the game ball for, I guess missing most of the practices, showing up for part of the game and making a single basket. He promptly turns around and gives that ball to the composer of the music for the play. She looks about as uninterested in that ball as I was in this movie. He was like, “your the play maker, you get the ball.” I suspect the actress was confused too.

Somehow, this thing sparked sequels and an actual musical on Broadway, despite the fact that in the movie, there is never a musical. Let me repeat that. There is never a musical. What there is happens to be tryouts for a musical. There’s no actual freaking musical in High School Musical. I feel extremely cheated by this. How dare they call this High School Musical when we don’t even get to see the musical. It’s like Jaws with no jaws. It’s like The Godfather with tryouts for being a godfather. It’s a complete and total rip off!

Ok, sorry, got off on a rant there. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, High School Musical sucks and it’s inaccurately named despite the fact that they try out for a high school musical. How did this company go on to produce Avengers: Endgame? Hopefully because they fired the people with the terrible idea for High School Musical.

With all of that off my shoulders, there is one instance in which I think people should watch this movie. First, if you have never seen it, go ahead and suffer through it once. It’s difficult but you can do it. Immediately after that, watch the Bad Lip Reading version of it. Chorky and Lumpkinella are waaaaaay more entertaining than Troy and Gabriela ever hoped to be.

After the sweet, sweet taste of High School Musical, I need something to wash it down with. I’m going to take a big old drink of Waterworld so come back for that next week.

Low-spiritedly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Let me know what movie I should review next

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Emo the Musical – Movie Review

Smells like Teen Angst- but with Rhythm!

Welcome back to my little world of bad films and strange creatures. Here at Slick’s Dungeon, I try to find the worst of films and review them. It’s a long haul and sometimes there is not much joy in it. But occasionally a real oddball pops up and I can’t help but kinda thinking something is so awful it’s good. That’s Emo the Musical in a nutshell for you. It’s bad, but it’s also good. Be forewarned, spoilers abound below.

Ahh.. breathe it in, the bittersweet smell of teenage angst. No, I’m not talking about a song by Nirvana. This is the smell propelling itself off of Ethan, the main character in Emo the Musical. All he wants is to be a tortured soul who can join the coolest band in the school so he can win a recording contract in an upcoming battle of the bands style competition. To do that he has to be an “Emo”. For those of you who are three thousand years old and don’t know the term, it’s the type of kid who wears mascara, dresses in all black clothing, talks about death and speaks up when he sees injustice in the world. At least, that’s the way the movie defines it. The problem for Ethan? He’s sometimes actually happy.

Also, this is a musical. If you don’t like people randomly breaking out in song at the strangest of times, remove this from your Netflix queue immediately. The weirdest thing to me about this movie is that the music all kind of sounds the same, whether it’s the “Emo” clique or the hyper Christian music, or the sweet duets between Ethan and his love interest, Trinity. Yet, somehow all the music is both catchy and forgettable.

To sum up the movie, Ethan is kicked out of his high school for attempting to commit suicide six times (although he didn’t really mean it he says) and he gets transferred to a new school. This is Ethan’s big chance to re-brand himself a true Emo, join the band and become, I dunno… liked I guess? On the way to accomplishing this he falls for one of the majorly Christian girls at school. Trinity, quickly figures out that Ethan can be happy. Also they are very attracted to each other. This is a problem for Ethan because he can’t be seen around Trinity or his friends will lose respect for him. Trinity can’t be with Ethan because he’s a heathen. But that all works out cause, you know, hormones.

The film basically defines people as fitting into one of about four categories. You can be an Emo, or a Christian, you can play sports, or be an adult. That’s pretty much the sum total of choices. If you are Christian, it’s old school fundamentalist Christian. The type that still has the truly messed up idea that conversion therapy is a good idea for anyone. Being a student who plays sports seems to be, uncool kind of, but not that big of an issue unless you are an Emo cause you are not allowed to be both things at once.

It’s pretty apparent right from the beginning that the guy who leads the Emo band is really a jerk and sort of psychotic. And that the church group doesn’t actually accept anyone. Yet Ethan doesn’t see that Bradley (the band leader) is a complete jerkwad until he is glad a kid goes to conversion therapy because then the church group loses a guitarist. This is after Bradley makes Ethan break up with Trinity, destroy a bunch of musical equipment and light a crucifix on fire. For being a character that is supposed to be empathetic, Ethan, sure takes his sweet time about it. Trinity, on the other hand, accepts people even if they have committed terrible sins like pre-marital sex. She also makes a solid singing argument that “Jesus might have been an Emo”. That was my favorite line and lyric in this whole dang movie.

I’m just going to highlight some of the best parts of this thing. I have no idea how they decided to come together with this stuff but here it is.

  1. Ethan joins the band by singing a song about how he doesn’t want to join the band.
  2. Trinity hilariously tries to baptize Ethan on the sly.
  3. The school has basically one teacher because every other teacher has been fired due to scandals of one kind or another. (That is a solid strategy to keeping casting costs down and I super respect this decision)
  4. The school is more or less run by a drug company trying to prescribe serotonin enhancers.
  5. The side plot with Violet wanting to play basketball is the literal reverse of High School Musical.
  6. There is a battle of the bands competition at the end and Ethan somehow gets to play in two different bands.
  7. The guy awarding the recording contract is asked why people call him “Doug Skeleton” and he answers, “Because it’s my name.” Major dad jokes in a musical about emotionally troubled teenagers? Sign me up!
  8. Things end relatively happy for everyone (although I think they do lose the thread of the conversion therapy character and that’s a real shame)
  9. Ethan proves he is an Emo to Trinity by slightly parting his hair differently.
  10. Although there is a lot of singing there is very little dancing. Mad respect for that.

I don’t want to give away everything in this movie because I do recommend you watch it. It’s really odd and totally worth the view. I can’t entirely define it unless you have seen it. But, it’s like High School Musical because there is singing and it takes place in a high school. But unlike the Disney channel anti-masterpiece, this one is kind of fun and re-watchable. I would watch Emo the Musical a thousand more times before I watched High School Musical again even once.

Now let me see what I have on my shelf of awful projected images to watch next time. Of course, should have known… High School the Musical.

Grief Strickenly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Attack of the Tromaggot! – Film Review

Ummm… What?

Slick Dungeon back again with a film review that nearly didn’t happen. Not only are the beasts in the walls making a horrible racket, this film (if it can even be called that) was almost too hard for even me to finish watching. My standards are pretty low considering I am locked in a dungeon and watching nothing but terrible films. But this one almost broke me.

A little background to this film. It was made in Germany for $1000 Euros. Apparently Lloyd Kaufman was there (he’s one of the geniuses behind the creation of the whole Troma operation) and they decided to make a… series of images that include sound and motion. I hesitate to actually call this a film. Most of the budget apparently went to renting a broadcast building they could film at.

There is a mix of American and German actors and most of the lines are clearly spoken in German but then dubbed in English. This is supposed to be Troma’s take on a body horror film. Things like The Human Centipede or Alien would also count as body horror. Attack of the Tromaggot is full of fake looking slime, a really cheap looking puppet that is supposed to be the Tromaggot, and a major amount of fart jokes and confusion.

The last Troma movie I reviewed, Space Zombie Bingo!!! didn’t exactly have a plot but I could at least explain the attempt. This one? Well, there’s a company that deals in, slime I guess? Some people kind of eat it sometimes. There’s a cadaver under the sewers that has some maggots in it. Slime goes in sewers and there’s a monster created. There’s some scientists trying to cover it up and there’s an illegal organization that deals in this slime. There’s, maybe police? I can’t really tell. Lots of people get murdered by the lamest looking puppet ever. They tend to break the fourth wall in this movie extremely frequently. It’s like this thing is daring you to actually finish watching this.

With a studio like Troma, you do sometimes get truly unique things that revel in their awfulness and can be entertaining to watch. This was a thing and you could watch it. If you want roughly ninety minutes of making your brain hurt. I hate to say this, but if Troma puts more like this out, they aren’t going to last. Or at least, they are going to lose their reputation for being cutting edge subversive. This one seems like just an accidental series of things put on video (definitely not actual film) that they packaged into a DVD to sell to suckers at conventions.

There are a few standout moments in the movie so I am going to tell you what they are so you don’t have to suffer through this.

Lloyd Kaufman has a cameo in this and he wants to trade the “stuff” for the “trash” so he can get his teddy bear back. The stuff is the slime mucus. But the trash was a stack of Troma DVD’s. That kinda made me chuckle.

There’s a guy who is sort of a street dealer, bad guy, I think? Anyway he needs to meet with this organization called Mucus and they say that they need to meet at a quiet warehouse, “Like the kind that’s perfect for cheap film makers. We’ll do it towards the end of the movie.” Again I got a little chuckle here.

The best stunt they pull in this movie is when a guy gets killed in a fight. He takes a punch to the face and goes down. His head is cracked open but what they use for the head in a quick cut is a watermelon. Seconds later a woman who was in the scene is eating watermelon.

That’s it. That’s all that was good in this. I usually like to give a longer review to something I’ve watched but this is all I can give. Even so, I think that I may have written the most extensive review of this ….thing? that has ever been written. I could be wrong about that but if you did a longer review than me, I have only one question. Why?

I’ll be back again next week with another review. I’m slowly and silently setting down the Troma and hoping it improves with age. Next I will be reviewing Emo the Musical. Do you think they are just missing an L in that first word?

Lucklessly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Top 10 Signs a Movie is So Bad it’s Good

So bad yet so good

How do you know something is not just bad, not just awful, not just terrible, but so bad it’s good? I mean something where the film stands out in it’s awfulness so much that it is destined to become a cult classic? I’ve spent a lot of time around bad films so I came up with this list to help you identify that something has gone so bad that it will last forever. Here’s how we separate The Emoji Movie, destined to be forgotten and hated forever, from the stand outs of trash cinema like The Room and Pink Flamingos. Hope you enjoy!

  1. The plot is utterly outlandish. While this isn’t the most essential part, usually having a strangely concocted plot helps. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is about a couple that get stranded on a rainy night in a castle run by murderous transvestites (I know that word may not be PC anymore but it’s what is used in the film). Tremors is all about giant earth worms being mistaken for earthquakes. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is about, well, the title sums it up doesn’t it? If you are watching Sharknado and it’s got a tornado full of sharks, it’s destined to be so bad it’s kind of awesome.
  2. Production value is low. Again, this is not the most essential ingredient but it sure helps. There are films that counter this point and have a great production value but are still cult classics. But you know something is awful when everything looks like it’s duct taped together and held in by rusty screws. One of the reasons Ed Wood films stand out in cinema is that you can see how little money was put into them. In Plan 9 From Outer Space you can actually see foam gravestones get kicked over as if they were made of… foam. Upon repetitious viewing, it’s still hilarious.
  3. The Budget has exploded. This is counter to point 3. Watterworld had a huge budget. So did Battlefield Earth. Yet they failed on essentially every level. People still watch them today because of how bad they were. It’s incredible to see big name actors like Kevin Costner and Dennis Hopper prance around these huge sets and just kill the whole thing with the absurdity of it all. It combines to make a truly unique, so bad it is good kind of experience.
  4. The Acting is Awful This one is vital. You can have a low budget, or an overblown budget and an absurd plot but if you have even one stellar stand out acting performance, there is no way this will become a cult classic. Tim Curry does nearly invalidates this point in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But if you have seen The Room, you know without question how bad acting can take an otherwise so so plot, fairly decent production costs and a typical love triangle and make into a sort of car wreck you can’t take your eyes off of. It’s so bad it’s good. You can watch it over and over again, and it’s even more fun if you watch it with a live crowd.
  5. There’s a shocking amount of Something. For this one, it can be gore, it can be foul language, it can be a creature of some type but most essentially it has to be excessive. The Toxic Avenger has a stunning amount of gore, practically pouring through the screen in every other scene. The film doesn’t shy away from it. It revels in it. While this point does not always have to be in a film for it to be so bad it’s good. a majority have this. Another good example would be Showgirls. It has a seriously alarming amount of unnecessary nudity. There are other things about that film that make it so bad it’s good but this aspect contributes heavily.
  6. The dialogue isn’t just bad, it’s memorably bad. Good films need stand out lines like, “I’ll be back.” Cult classic films need lines like “You’re tearing me apart!” (The Room) and “Alright everybody, drop your tacos or I’ll blow your brains out.” (The Toxic Avenger). It might not be Casablanca but I guarantee you will find yourself quoting these lines to your friends.
  7. The special effects don’t work. Can you see that the body thrown off a cliff is just a mannequin with a wig on it? Do the ray guns used in the film just emit a slightly grainy light? Is the makeup so bad that you can’t even tell what the character is supposed to be? Then you just might have a cult classic on your hands. This is usually more reserved for the cult classics that are science fiction related than set in every day life. But, if you have seen Space Zombie Bingo!!! then you know how bad poorly designed effects can be. So bad that you have to watch again just to convince yourself you really saw what you think you saw.
  8. There are problematically unusual directing choices. It’s one thing to get experimental on purpose and try something out in film. It’s another to have jagged and pointless cuts, splice in stock footage, switch from day to night in the same scene or make someone look ten feet tall in one shot and like they are vertically challenged in the next. Normally, one or two of these in a film would just be considered a mistake. A cult classic takes this to the next level. There are so many errors in there, you get to thinking they must have been planned. Actors flub their lines, drop things and get tangled up in the scenery constantly in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It’s like the original Easter egg just watching that movie to see all the times something went horribly wrong.
  9. The film either takes itself too seriously or not seriously enough. Waterworld thinks it is staging Hamlet. It’s not. Showgirls wants to be a serious exploration of the working conditions dancers (not strippers!) have to deal with every day. It doesn’t. Plan 9 From Outer Space didn’t take itself seriously enough to take the time to develop into a decent story. When you get either side of this spectrum you can end up with an amazingly bad movie that is just fun to watch.
  10. People know the film is bad but they watch it repeatedly. This is the ultimate sign of a film being elevated from bad to so bad it’s good. I think The Meg was trying for this but it missed the mark. However, The Room, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Toxic Avenger, and Plan 9 From Outer Space have all taken on a life of their own outside of the regular box office. Showgirls has web pages and forums dedicated to it. People don’t view these things to appreciate them on the surface, They go because it’s a chance to laugh a little. They go to interact with other weirdos and oddballs that can also see the mangled attempt at art these movies represent. There’s nothing wrong with being bad. Heck, at least these film makers tried. That’s a whole lot more than 99% of people can say.

So the next time you are watching something and you are sure it is bad but not sure if it’s so bad it’s good, remember this list. It can separate out the cult classic from the classicly awful.

I hope you enjoyed my take on this. Did I miss anything? If so, leave a reply.

Badly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Space Zombie Bingo!!! – Movie Review

Kiss your rental fee goodbye

It’s been a long time since I have been outside of these dark dungeon walls. I’m not sure if I can remember the last time I felt fresh air blowing past my face as I struggled to keep my top hat upon my head. But I do remember when video stores were a real thing. And I remember a time when a film like Space Zombie Bingo!!! might lie on the shelves in hopeful anticipation of an evening rental.

This film is uniquely of that era. Have you ever heard of a found footage film? This is a stock footage film. A similar movie would be Plan 9 From Outer Space. This film is almost a reboot of that movie. At the time, reboots weren’t really a thing, so I can’t quite call it that. It mixes live acting with stock footage that movie studios let anyone use for free without any strings attached. They throw in some horrible effects like fake weapons blasts and body parts that are supposed to look like they have been cut off etc. It combines for a stunningly cheesey effect.

I wish I could give you a good summary of the plot here but that’s essentially impossible with this film. It’s insanely disjointed but I’ll give it a go. It’s so disjointed I think calling it an actual movie might be a bit of a stretch. Like, a downward facing dog across the Grand Canyon size of a stretch.

The film starts off with a voice over telling us what is going to happen. There are space robot zombies that are trying to take over Earth. As far as the plot goes, it’s pretty basic but the way it plays out is, totally nuts. So there are alien invaders with weapons that outmatch ours. These space robots want to destroy or take over the earth and then the military fights back. Luckily a mad scientist is able to engineer a weapon in order to fight back against the invaders and Earth is once again safe.

The film is grainy and scratchy like most from the late eighties or early nineties. It’s full of bad pun dad jokes. The love interest is named Barbie Queue while the heroic military soldier is named Kent Bendover. The news station featured is K-I-L-L. It does not improve from there.

During one portion of the movie, the news anchor literally looks into the camera and says that you paid $3 to rent this so you might as well watch it or your money is wasted. Pretty sure your money is wasted anyway. They are also sure to point out that they are telling you this after the fifteen minute mark. Video stores used to do a thing where if you watched more than fifteen minutes of a video, you couldn’t take it back and get your money returned. That was the policy of most places but sometimes you could rewind and lie and get your money back anyway. They later added a mechanism to prevent that.

The space robot zombies wear a cardboard suit that basically looks like a reject from a lost episode of Dr. Who some time in the 1970’s. And in one scene, there are mannequins that have been dismembered and painted with fake blood as the narrator assures us that those are real actual humans who have been dismembered and NOT, painted mannequins.

This film revels in it’s awfulness and that kinda makes it almost great. Of course the acting is far below the level of a third grade Thanksgiving play production. But some of the more hilarious things are in the actual plot. In order to destroy the space robot zombies, the military decides to nuke the earth. Barbie Queue gets mad at Kent Bendover because he doesn’t park his jeep far enough from the mushroom cloud. They both survive of course, but then Kent is abducted by the aliens. There he makes a umm… let’s say “friendly connection” with one of them. This alien wants to go to Earth and live in peace with the “Earthians” and be Kent’s wife, never mind the fact that this alien would want to eat every other human for dinner. But we Earthians are lucky because Kent (the guy who had the idea to nuke the Earth) has tricked this alien to coming back where it can be dissected. A brilliant scientist who we know is brilliant because he wears a lab coat (don’t they all?) is able to discover through looking at a fake helmet and some seriously fake looking guts that the thing is made of “Pure Evil”. The only thing that can stop them is the solaranite bomb. If you are wondering if that is the same weapon used in Plan 9 From Outer Space you would be right, and you have seen too many bad movies. Welcome to the club! Also, they straight up say that they ripped the weapon off from another movie, in case there were any doubts.

Also, the narrator turns out to be this psychic guy who can predict what is about to happen. He doesn’t seem to do anything about it, but he knows it’s coming. So between the scientist and the narrator we know that we need to use that Solaranite weapon on the zombies, We do. The end comes stunningly abruptly and what’s left of Earth gets to live happily ever after.

However, I think I have to say that my absolute favorite part of this movie comes when the nuclear bombs are about to be dropped on major cities all across the globe. The news anchors tell the audience that they will be safe as long as they cover themselves in wet newspapers. Yep, wet newspapers will totally work!

Honestly, with this film, I don’t think they could have made something worse if they tried. And I believe they tried. Very hard. If that’s what they were going for, so that they could bilk a sixteen year old out of his allowance in 1993 by putting the words Space, Zombie and bingo (because teenagers really love bingo) on the cover, with a picture of women in bikinis holding a machine gun, they succeeded. I should mention that the women with the machine guns in bikinis never appear in the movie. Neither does bingo.

I can’t imagine this film made much money if any at all but any that it did was definitely through trickery. It’s an awesome spectacle of horrendously bad taste and worse film making. This is the kind of thing that will one day end up in the congressional library as an example of what not to do when making a movie. It should be watched. Late at night when you really have nothing else to do, this is perfect for the sheer spectacle of badness.

I can’t imagine that I can actually watch something worse than this. But then again, the next film on my dusty shelves is Attack of the Tromaggot! so we’ll see.

Dolefully yours,

Slick Dungeon