Lizzie Borden Took an Ax – #MovieReview

Soundtrack Choices are Important

Hello out there internet people. Slick Dungeon here to tell you about why a made for television movie is not worth watching. Bet you never would have guessed that right?

Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one.

We’ve all probably heard that rhyme a few times in our lives. Likely while someone was skipping rope. And if the film version starring Christina Ricci had its way, that would pretty much sum up the whole story. Except for the fact that there were eleven axe wounds inflicted on the father and around 17 on the mother. Pretty much the rest of the film just wants to scream guilty at Lizzie.

Ricci’s portrayal is almost downright maniacal and I don’t see how any jury would have found her not guilty acting the way she was in the film. In reality I am sure it was a lot more of a gray area.

The film goes into gory detail pretty quickly but doesn’t cast much doubt as to who murdered Lizzie’s parents. Lizzie has an older sister who in the movie lies to protect her, even though that made no sense at all. The acting is not good in this and the story is so black and white it feels like it is cut out of a newspaper from the time period. But all of that said, you know what freaking kills this movie to death? THE SOUNDTRACK!!

They stupidly decided to go with modern popish music with depressing and disorienting undertones that in no way work. As annoyed as I was by forcing my eyes to view this, it’s my ears that were truly offended.

There is no way to concentrate on the images and drama happening in this movie while listening to the soundtrack.

This is a story that has been told over and over in a variety of formats. I don’t know if Lizzie is guilty or not and I doubt anyone will ever know for sure but this movie doesn’t add anything to the story in any way.

So what were the film makers thinking? I think I have their thought process below.

  • Hey what’s that song my kid is singing, is that real?
  • It is, I should look it up on wikepedia.
  • Holy moly, it’s a real murder.
  • I bet I can make a movie about a famous murder.
  • I’m gonna write it right now, but you know pretty much as the papers had it.
  • Now I am going to cast it. I bet I can get a big star, Christina Ricci is available right?
  • Okay, watching the dailies.
  • Wait, will the audience understand that this murder-y acting character is a murderer? Not sure, let me add some more obvious information. And let’s make sure to show her holding an ax. A lot.
  • Hey I wonder if there are any other possible explanations for this murder? Possibly, according to the papers of the time. I am going to make sure to just gloss over those. Wouldn’t want to make it not obvious because the audience would be too dumb to grasp it.
  • You know, I don’t think Lizzie looks guilty enough, let’s have her look like a crazy evil person at the camera. Maybe they will get it now?
  • Okay, almost done, time to add a soundtrack that will give the proper mood, make some mystery and turn this into a great film. Wait, let’s just add pop music.
  • This is gonna be huge, We’re going to release this to theaters and take our bags of money based on the gory details of this famous murder!
  • Oh, made for TV movie instead? Sure, why not.

The moral of the story here is, if you want to make a movie about a rhyme that relates to a murder, you still need to make a good movie. The rhyme can’t do it all.

My next film reviews will be in Christmas mode, so get ready for some festive joy when I count down the 12 days of terrible Christmas movies.

Guiltily yours,

Slick Dungeon

Yoga Hosers – #MovieReview

I’m Not Even Supposed to Be Here Today!

It’s November and around here at Slick Dungeon’s Dusty Tomes and Terrible Films that means turkey. And boy do I have a turkey of a movie for you.

Kevin Smith is a witty and gifted film director. He has made some brilliant films that touch upon and reflect current attitudes among working people, that say important things about relationships, and usually at their heart are about friends overcoming adversity, even if that adversity is as simple as struggling through a typical work day in a boring job. Yoga Hosers accomplishes none of that.

Yoga Hosers is a spin off of the Kevin Smith project Tusk. Full disclosure I have not watched Tusk so I can’t really evaluate how this fits with that. I can tell you that Yoga Hosers is a terrible, terrible film. It lacks any charm and although there is some humor there, most of it veers off into the insanely inept.

Now, I actually like a lot of Kevin Smith films, especially his work from the nineties, including Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy. While all of those had their issues, not one of them came even close to being as much of a waste of time as Yoga Hosers.

I am going to attempt to summarize Yoga Hosers but it’s difficult to make this make sense.

There are two fifteen year old girls, both named Colleen. They work at a convenience store called the Eh-to-Zed in Canada. They are both in high school. That’s about where the plot stops making sense. These girls spend a day rocking out at their store, after which a customer is mysteriously killed. The only thing we know is that whatever killed that customer is small and crawled up his, er, you know, where the sun don’t shine.

The Colleens are unaware of this and go on their day to school, doing some yoga at a strip mall yoga place called Yogi Bayer’s, and generally doing a bunch of instagram posting or whatever.

The Colleens are asked to a party by a couple of High School Seniors. This is thrilling but the Colleens get stuck having to work and are unable to attend. So one of the Colleens calls the boy she likes and suggests they bring the party to the convenience store. Problem solved.

Only there are more problems and here’s where it gets weird. First, the two boys who come over to the convenience store try to kill the Colleen’s because they are “Really into Satan.” The Colleens are able to defend themselves with Yoga poses they learned from Yogi Bayer. Then those two boys die because more, uh, small things (I promise I will reveal what they are and you are going to think it is stupid) crawl up their respective rear ends. The Colleens are safe but now are arrested for murder. But before that happens, the Colleens are attacked by what I can only describe as, bratwurst dressed as Canadian mounties yelling in German. Yeah, you read that right.

Earlier in the film, when the Colleens (aka the Yoga Hosers) were in school they learned about a Canadian Nazi who wanted to control Canda by sending people to the Hudson river.

Also earlier in the school day this dude who wrote some book that I think must relate to something that happened in Tusk came in and interviewed the Colleens. He’s seen something supernatural before so when these bratwurst attack he has no problem believing the Colleens and springing them out of jail. But they don’t have their phones.

They go back to the convenience store in order to get changed and they discover a secret passageway. The passageway leads to this huge room which is where the Canadian Nazis were doing experiments including cryogenic freezing and cloning. So, remember those small things that were killing people? Yeah it was the bratwurst. For the rest of the film they are called Bratzis. Turns out that one of the Canadian Nazis was frozen and then made bratwurst clones to do his bidding. He spent a lot of time on Netflix to acclimate himself to current culture and now, he doesn’t exactly want to be a Nazi but more of an artist. He’s created a sculpture out of, uh, human flesh and a hockey mask. This thing can be piloted by the Bratzis. The Nazi guy wants the Colleens to take a picture of him so he can be in Them magazine and be famous. They can’t because they don’t have their phones. So instead, the Nazi orders this weird sculpture to kill all the art critics in Canada. The Colleens are able to defend themselves and stop the thing once again using Yoga. The Bratzis are stopped, the Nazi dies, the book author gets to write a new book and the Colleens are still stuck in their boring old jobs and still in High School. But they do get to sing a rendition of O Canada to take us into the credits. Also at the very end of the credits we hear the sound clip of Kevin Smith on his podcast where he first heard the term yoga hosers.

That may or may not be the weirdest film summary I have ever written but it’s right up there with one of the weirdest films I have ever seen. There are a very few funny things in this film and I am going to point them out.

  • Justin Long plays an awesome militant yogi and I found myself wanting to see him in way more scenes.
  • Jason Mewes has a cameo because, well of course he does.
  • Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin’s daughter) yelling I’m not even supposed to be here today was a great modern nod to Clerks and I am totally here for that.

And that’s everything good in this, period. Honestly, there was a lot in this that I straight up couldn’t figure out and it was pretty jarring. It was random and weird but not in a good way. At least Kevin has a lot of other good films going for him and those I can get on board with.

Next week I will be watching #realityhigh I bet it #reallysucks.

Candianly (but not really) yours,

Slick Dungeon

Halloween III: Season of the Witch – #MovieReview

I guess Michael MYers was Busy This year?

You’ve made two smash hit horror thrillers for dirt cheap money and made a fortune. These films feature an extremely relentless killer that infuses true horror on the screen. Also, these films feature a scream queen who sells the horror with every reaction she makes. What on earth should you do next? Should you make another film with those two characters? You know the ones everyone wants to see more of? Naaaaaaaaah. Who wants to do that? Instead make a film where the villains are, oddly silent androids, Stonehenge, a digital pumpkin and Halloween masks with shamrocks on them. Sold!

Happy Halloween everyone! I will say it’s just as dark here in my dungeon on Halloween as it is on any other day. Slick Dungeon back with a doozy of a bad film for ya.

I love Halloween and the Halloween film franchise is one of my favorites to dive into on this day. But you know what? They have a few stinkers in this series. For my money though, the worst of them is the one that has the least to do with the rest of them. Halloween III was almost never made because John Carpenter and Deborah Hill were tired of the films after making two of them. The only thing that really sold them on it was that this film would not star the original characters and they would be producing without too much more involvement than that.

The idea was to make this franchise into a sort of anthology series always centered around the day of Halloween. This might have made sense if they had made this film before making Halloween II but it was a bit weird for audiences to go expecting to see horror and watching this sort of science fiction, witchcraft mashup that had nothing to do with the first two films.

I think no one really went back to the idea of a good ol’ horror anthology series until the television show American Horror Story came around and pretty much did it brilliantly (not counting the season with the witches – coincidence?)

Anyway, this film stars a random doctor named Dan Challis who is disturbed by a death he witnesses outside of the hospital he works at. See there are these seriously not scary looking guys, wearing suits, who seem to be strong enough to rip heads off people’s bodies, jab their fingers deep into eye sockets and just generally look kind of menacing. Although, I guess a lot of the time, there is nothing more menacing than some old white guy in a suit, tbh. But not in fiction.

Dr. Dan, is divorced and has a couple of kids and all they want is these masks made by a particular mask company. The Shamrock novelty company masks have become all the rage, despite not looking like Mike Myers at all.

Strange things are happening though as at least one dude has been murdered while holding one of these masks. Then the guy who did the murdering went out of the hospital, sat in a car, poured gasoline all over himself and lit a match. Dr. Dan was troubled by that, especially because, the guy holding the mask told him that, “They’re gonna kill us all.”

Well, Dr. Dan being a single guy in search of a sexual harassment lawsuit, flirts around with the nurses a bit and with one of the assistants at the morgue. So naturally when the daughter of the guy who had the mask in his hand when he died shows up, Dr. Dan is all in for trying to figure out what is going on.

Ellie, the daughter, and Dan go to a small town called Santa Mira. Yes, Saint Look for anyone who is translating. So this town is famous for producing toys and novelties. The Shamrock novelty company runs the place and they have their biggest success yet with these Halloween masks. Why? They’ve been airing a relentlessly annoying but admittedly catchy Halloween commercial to try to get kids to buy these suckers. And it has worked big time. For some reason, this year, all the kids in California want one of only three masks, a pumpkin, a skeleton or a witch. No other Halloween creativity allowed! No princesses or vampires or pair of twins dressed as Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee or anything. Kids only want 3 masks and no other costumes for Halloween, this is proven scientific research!

Anyway, Ellie and Dan are there because basically a series of clues tells them that Ellie’s father was last spotted in this town. Not only that but he has sold some of these masks and should have had a supply in his car but his car seems to be missing.

Right away after the good Doc and Ellie get to town, the owner of the Shamrock Novelty company shows up and acts seriously suspicious. I mean we all know he’s the bad guy right? Spoiler he is.

Most of the folks in Santa Mira (St. Look) are employed by this guy, enamored of him, or deathly afraid of him. At night a bum who spoke with Dan for a few minutes gets his head straight up ripped off his neck because he said bad things about ol’ Mr. Cochran.

There’s another family visiting who sold a bunch of these masks and is super excited to see this factory. Well, Dan and Ellie don’t want to look suspicious so they say that they are married. This gives them a great excuse to hook up in the hotel room later. Despite being warned that people are watching and listening everywhere, Dan makes a phone call to the morgue worker from earlier and finds out that in the car fire, there have been no human remains found which is pretty odd.

This Cochran guy gives everyone a tour of his creepy factory, which is waaaaay less creepy than the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory tour and incidentally has fewer deaths than ol’ Willie served up.

Still, Cochran captures Dan as well as Ellie, but I guess Cochran is kinda sexist because he takes Ellie away and gives Dan the grand tour. Dan gets to see a big room with, uh, Stonehenge? (Checks notes: yes Stonehenge.) Stonehenge in it. Plus a whole bunch of computers. Dan is in for a demonstration! Lucky guy. He watches as the kid from that overly excited family puts on his mask, watches another of those annoying commercials and then the kid’s face melts and he turns into snakes, spiders and other creepy crawly things. Yeah, I don’t know how that works either.

That whole family gets toasted but Cochran is not the kind of guy to follow through with stuff, so he lets Dan live for, reasons. After he explains that he imported Stonehenge (Checks notes: yes still Stonehenge) to a small town in California without anyone noticing and that he is going to kill all the kids because, “The planets are in alignment.” Yeah, good a reason as any I guess?

Of course, Dan gets free, gets Ellie, breaks out of this factory after messing up a bunch of the computers that do, uh stuff. Oh, and figures out that those dudes in suits are robots. (Checks notes: yes robots) Robots that are definitely not programmed with the three laws of robotics. Dan puts it together that he has got to stop this commercial from airing or there’s gonna be a lot less kids and a lot more spiders and stuff because, Cochran is doing, uh, witchcraft. I guess that’s why this is the “season of the witch”?

But we’re all waiting for the twist here because ever since Dan got Ellie back she has not said a word. Instead she waits until he is driving and then tries to kill him. She’s a robot now! Or there is a robot that looks like her now? Or there is a witchcraft powered robot of her now? Err, Ellie is bad now, but not smart enough to kill Dan before he got in the car when he could cause a crash and stop her.

Dan does manage to get to a phone (see how useful cell phones can be?) and dials the networks to try to get them to stop this commercial from airing. If they get to the last screen of the digital pumpkin, we are all doomed because, uh, Stonehenge, robots, witchcraft, computers, and digital pumpkins. (Checks notes: yes, Stonehenge, robots witchcraft, computers, and digital pumpkins) For the first two channels, the commercials go off the air but the third station (imagine only three freaking television stations! What would we all do with our time?!) is slow to act and we see the last bit of the digital pumpkin…

I assume all kids in California are snakes and spiders now. Or maybe Stonehenge witchcraft robots. Whatever, this Halloween some jerk will probably just put a full sized candy bar on top of their inflatable Minions costume anyway so it’s all the same right?

A couple things baffle me about this film that I want to point out.

  • Why would this guy need to freaking move Stonehenge for his stuff to work? Also, if the planets are aligning for this, doesn’t Stonehenge need to be in the right place for it to work?
  • Like I said before, why would kids only want 3 kinds of masks for Halloween. No chance man. Kids are much more creative than that.
  • These androids have been going around killing people for months and no one has noticed until a week before Halloween? Really?
  • Dr. Dan seems to be a terrible husband, doctor, and father. Do we have to like this guy? I guess so because he doesn’t want all the dead kids and a bunch of other people are cool with that.
  • In this movie there are some indications that Halloween is fiction. We see a commercial for it, and there’s a mask in the background. So uh, what exact place is this? Is this real? Let me check and see if Stonehenge is still there or not.
  • It’s still there, we’re good.
  • Also, and I cannot stress this enough, bring back Michael Myers and Laurie Strode!!!!!
  • Oh, wait, okay, Halloween III: Season of the Witch did poorly at the box office and John Carpenter and Debra Hill want more money? Phew, we’re good.

In conclusion, Happy Halloween everyone. Stay safe out there. Avoid all masks with Shamrock logos on them, all old white guys in suits who seem like androids, all old guy factory owners who talk about,”Planets in alignment”, and all annoying commercials ending with digital pumpkins.

Next week I will be back with another bad movie review that has nothing to do with horror at all. Barely Lethal here I come!

Halloweenishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Leprechaun 5: In the Hood – #MovieReview

Ice-T’s Finest Work to Date

What’s up party people? Err, actually what’s up people reading my blog quietly to yourselves. It’s Slick Dungeon back with a review for an exceptionally stupid movie, Leprechaun 5: In the Hood.

I can hear the protests now. Why would I review a movie about a leprechaun in the middle of the month of October? Shouldn’t I have saved this for St. Patrick’s Day? To this I answer, much like the underprivileged neighborhoods depicted in this film, leprechauns just don’t get enough screen time as a general rule. I’m here to correct that. Leprechauns can be terrifying. But not this one.

This isn’t supposed to be terrifying anyway. No, this is a nonfictional film that is an excellent instructional video on how to have a hip-hop music career. Follow these instructions and you too can be just like Postmaster P. and launch a big rap career in Las Vegas. It gets a little complicated though, so pay close attention here.

Step 1: Let Ice-T (aka Mac Daddy) and a buddy go on a quest somewhere and find a statue of a leprechaun wearing a gold chain. Next to the leprechaun is a pot of gold containing many treasures and in particular a tiny golden flute.

Step 2: Let Ice-T do some of his most astounding acting work and obtain the pipe, and then watch his buddy die but somehow accidentally put the magic gold chain that was on the leprechaun back on him, thus freezing him in place.

Step 3: Make sure Mac Daddy is dumb enough to not only take the pipe but also the leprechaun with him to display in a glass case at his house where everyone can see it.

Step 4: Form a rap group where you are trying to break through in Compton and make sure that you want to deliver “positive messages”, thus explaining the P in your moniker Postmaster P. Harp on being “positive” throughout the film despite the fact that only one rap song you do doesn’t involve guns or killing or degrading women and/or Jesus.

Step 5: Randomly bump into Mac Daddy in the neighborhood, give him a demo tape, go to his home, see his treasure and the leprechaun that is on display in a glass case. Get rejected because you want to stay positive.

Step 6: Definitely break into Mac Daddy’s house, knowing he has a tendency towards violence. When he comes home before you finish stealing from him, be sure to shoot him. Also make sure you break the glass case with the leprechaun in it and remove the gold chain. This will revive the leprechaun. I cannot stress to you how important this step is to your music career. You must free an evil leprechaun or no record deal for sure.

Step 7: Make sure your bullet only hit the leprechaun gold chain that Mac Daddy wears, thus saving his life. You will need him later.

Step 8: Go on the run, hiding in homes in your own neighborhood, so that you can make sure to show up for the local rap competition so that you can go to Las Vegas. Mac Daddy is definitely not going to figure out that you would show up at the local rap competition even though you gave him a demo tape of rap music.

Step 9: While on the run, be sure to do an impromptu rap show. When you do the rap show, blow on the little golden flute. And now, this is important and you must listen here. When you blow on the flute, do not move your fingers or cover the holes at all like any rational flute player would do. Just hold it to your mouth and look towards the camera as if you knew there would be dubbed flute music and no one will notice that even though the notes are changing you are not doing anything whatsoever to make actual flute music happen.

Step 10: Get a big crowd at this show because everyone was hypnotized with the flute.

Step 11: Let your host/hostess/drag queen get murdered by the leprechaun

Step 12: Run away from the leprechaun.

Step 13: Go to a church? (Checks notes) yes, go to a church. The preacher will ask you to perform a church song, knowing full well that you are a hip-hop act and not a gospel act. Start by singing a terrible song. Then play the pipe by holding it still again without any finger work and get everyone to love your terrible song.

Step 14: Run around town again for a bit, run into Mac Daddy and the leprechaun here or there. Let one of your buddies get killed by the leprechaun in an off screen sort of way. Prior to this the leprechaun will have killed random people you interacted with for no apparent reason and also pretty much off screen.

Step 15: After all this carnage, realize that you just gotta have this flute to make it big, your talent is not enough.

Step 16: Go to the rap competition, use the flute. But no finger work on the flute. Get noticed by a record label executive who want to send you to Las Vegas but doesn’t give you any information other than to show up at the airport. Trust that this guy is telling the truth. Let some girls in for an after party. Realize that the girls have become hypnotized by the leprechaun and run out the place.

Step 17: Realize the leprechaun is not going to give up and kind of has a tendency to not only speak in limericks but get kind of murder-y to people around you. Have your buddy read Leprechauns for Dummies.

Step 18: Your buddy will get the idea to give the leprechaun some weed with crushed up four leaf clovers in it. Definitely don’t see your friend find the clovers and just trust that he somehow got them. These clovers, if smoked by the leprechaun will temporarily take away his powers so you can, um I guess get on a flight to Las Vegas?

Step 19: Decide that the best way to deliver the lethal clovers is to cross dress to get close to the leprechaun. Then, give it to him, watch him pass out, see that Mac Daddy is still back and still wants that flute he stole, Let your buddy get killed. Shoot Mac Daddy several times. Be there long enough so that the leprechaun comes out of his weakened state. Let Mac Daddy get back up even though he has been shot full of more holes than Swiss cheese. Let Mac Daddy try to stop the leprechaun with that bullet stopping gold chain. When Mac Daddy dies the chain will somehow fly way up in the air, despite the fact it was held at a low angle to the ground when he was killed.

Step 20: Make sure that the chain didn’t land on the leprechaun because now you and he are rockin’ it hip-hop fashion in Vegas together. That’s right, you and the leprechaun are now homies. Sorry, it’s gotta be that way or you can’t have three women in gold dresses as your backup singers and dancers. Plus let the leprechaun come out with his own rhymes, claiming himself to the be “the true O.G”

There you have it. Instant fame, fortune and success in twenty steps. You’re welcome.

Next week is the week of Halloween so I will be reviewing everyone’s favorite (least favorite?) so bad it’s good, Halloween film Halloween III. You know the one that doesn’t have Luarie Strode or Michael Meyers. Great decision guys….

Luckily yours,

Slick Dungeon

Stitches – #MovieReview

Everybody Happy?

Hey out there to all you clowns not trapped in a dungeon watching terrible films! It’s Slick Dungeon here and I’m back with another very odd film review.

I get a lot of people asking me for particular types of movies. What film has the most innovative camerawork of all time? I would say, Touch of Evil or Rope or maybe even Inception. What film has the best space battle sequence of all time? Anything Star Wars. What might be the greatest film of all time? Again Star Wars but in serious contention would be Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

But Slick, what film has a resurrected clown scooping out someone’s brains with an ice cream scoop while a whole house party is singing (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight?

Can’t tell you how often I get asked that but if I had a penny for every time I was asked it, I would have a number of pennies. At any rate, the answer is Stitches.

This film is out and out bonkers, no two ways about it. I guess I could see how it might be kind of scary if you really were truly afraid of clowns. The film has about the only real excuse I have seen for having coulrophobia.

The main character, Tommy, is having his seventh birthday party. It’s pretty obvious from a quick look around at these kids that they are a bunch of messed up jerks, possibly Tommy excluded.

Stitches is a clown and from the first scene where he is smoking and engaged in uh… adult activities with a woman, it’s pretty clear he’s not a very good clown.

Stitches arrives to Tommy’s party and starts into his routine. The kids give him hell for it and Stitches is only half giving it a go anyway. It’s clear no one wants to be there. Well, needless to say, Stitches ends up falling onto a knife sticking up in an open dishwasher, which goes straight through his eye. He is somehow able to stand up, knife in his head and all, he pulls the thing out in front of Tommy and blood gushes all over the kid. Then Stitches tries to stab Tommy but because some of Tommy’s jerk friends had tied Stitches shoelaces together, the clown slips. Once the clown lands the knife flails through the air and lands exactly where it started, in Stitches eye.

I can’t tell you how many parties I have been to where that exact thing happened. Okay, to be fair, I won’t tell you. Also, who in their freaking right mind would ever put a knife into a dishwasher BLADE UP?! This whole movie is about Stitches coming after these kids six years later, but I have to wonder why he didn’t want to off Tommy’s mom. What kind of stupid idea was that?

Okay sorry, back to the summary. Right after the clown is buried in a graveyard that is conveniently close to Tommy’s house. Tommy can’t resist checking in on ol’ Stitches and he finds an evil cult of clowns performing a ritual. The head evil clown tells Tommy that a clown can never rest if he doesn’t finish his act and that the jokes are never as funny the second time round.

Fact check: True.

Tommy also finds out that there is an egg painted like Stitches’ make up.

Fast forward six years and Tommy is on major meds, has plenty of hallucinations and by the way all those kids who were at the party are also screwed up in one way or another.

Tommy’s mom is away for his birthday and so he decides to have a few friends over for the first time since that last party. It turns into your typical teenage party. I’ve seen enough horror films to know that being a teenager and going to a party just means tons of people are going to end up dead. We all see this coming right?

Yeah so Stitches is magically resurrected and goes through killing most of the kids in ways that they might have deserved if they hadn’t been, you know, little kids, at the time of the first party. Tommy figures out what is going on, no one believes him, and more people die.

Eventually people do believe Tommy, especially the one girl who was nice to him at his first party, Kate. Kate and Tommy have to elude the clown, find the egg and destroy it and poof, there goes Stitches.

Lots of gore happens first, including intestines pulled, decapitations, the aforementioned ice cream scooping, and a head inflated like a balloon until it pops. You know, the usual stuff you see at most parties.

In the end, Tommy and Kate do find the egg, cause Stitches to fall on it, it cracks and yokes go everywhere, then Stitches dies again.

You know what bugged me most about this whole entire movie? Like the one thing where I was like, no freaking way? The egg, when Stitches falls on it breaks as if it was just taken out of the refrigerator. Even if Stitches had made this egg on the day of Tommy’s party that would be six years ago. Why wouldn’t they have hard boiled it?! That makes no sense at all! But anyway it kills Stitches and Tommy and at leas two of his friends are safe.

Or are they? We get to see that cult clown gluing Stitches egg shells back together, so I guess sequel is coming?

Forget Rotten Tomatoes, this one was a rotten egg. I’ll spare you all my egg puns.

Stitches was a very bad clown and a worse movie but if you want to see some weird clown related gore, this is your go to film.

The only way to top a killer clown is a killer leprechaun. Next week I will be back to review the fifth film in the Leprecchaun 5: In the Hood. The title alone tells me this will be some amazing film making.

Coulrophobically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Lesbian Vampire Killers #MovieReview

Huh?

Hey all you lovely homo sapiens out there. It’s time once again for your old friend Slick Dungeon to take you through a mystical, magical, maze of wonderment at just how bad cinema can be. So you want to watch an Oscar contender instead? Pffft. Booooring. It’s the really bad movies that are interesting. Well most of them. Sometimes. Not this one though…

Last week I reviewed Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. Why? Because it came up in a segment on James Cordon’s show. James immediately mentioned that he also was in a terrible movie called Lesbian Vampire Killers. So first, a word to the wise. If you are looking for this movie, it might be titled just Vampire Killers. Apparently the use of the word Lesbian in the title isn’t cool with all platforms so they removed it. However. don’t confuse it with the actual film, The Fearless Vampire Killers from 1967 directed by Roman Polanski. It’s not the same movie at all.

For James Cordon’s movie I had a lot of trouble prior to watching this, just because I wondered about the title. Are they Lesbian vampire killers? That is lesbians who are vampire killers. Or are they Lesbian vampire killers? That is, lesbian vampires who kill. Or are they Lesbian vampire killers? That is, killers who kill lesbian vampires. The answer? Mostly yes. There are no lesbians who are vampire killers in this movie. But there are lesbian vampires and there are killers who kill the lesbian vampires. Got all that? Good cause I am not going through it again.

This film is set in merry old England around 2009. At the beginning though, we get one of those cool narration scenes where there is a British guy talking and telling us about the horrible, horrible monster that was defeated centuries ago. In a lot of movies this can be pretty cool. In this one, it was pretty dull. There was a vampire and she seduced some baron’s wife and then he finds this sword and he kills her with it. But the vampire (Carmilla by name) gives a curse on this guy’s bloodline. It was very rambly and I think mostly a reason to show women posing in ridculously silly vampire poses while topless.

Forward to today and we get to meet our heroes of the film. These are Jimmy, played by Mathew Horne and Fletch played by the one and only, singing and dancing late night British television comedian who now lives in Los Angeles, James Cordon.

Jimmy and Fletch are best buddies. Jimmy is heartbroken because his on again off again girlfriend Judy has made it clear that she is ready for off again. Jimmy and Fletch drink the night away and try to think of an adventure to keep Jimmy distracted. They don’t have a lot of money and don’t know where to go so the obvious drunken solution is to toss a dart at a map and then go hiking to that destination.

Jimmy hits on the little town of Craigswitch. Lucky for us, this is the exact same town where Carmilla stalked her prey centuries before. So we know that one of these guys, probably Jimmy, because Fletch seems like the sidekick type, is the last of that baron guy’s bloodline and you know it’s gonna hit the fan when they get there.

They hike for about two whole minutes, Fletch carrying nothing but beer and condoms, and make it to their destination. This is a little creepy town that looks like it is stuck in the middle ages. Nevertheless, the people at the pub are very friendly to ol’ Jimmy and Fletch cause, well, we all know that there must be lesbian vampires around who want to suck some blood. And we all know that Jimmy and Fletch are probably just an appeasement to the vampires. (Checks notes: yep, that’s what they were) But of course these guys are our guys so we don’t want them to die.

Here’s what happens that night. First, a van full of vaguely Swedish hippies get stranded when their van breaks down. Guess what inn these women end up needing to go to? Yup, the same one that Fletch and Jimmy are staying at. Fletch is super interested in all the women and Jimmy is getting over heartbreak by finding some common ground with Lotte. She’s there because she knows all about the legend of Carmilla and wants to check this stuff out for herself.

So like any good horror film, there’s a party with beer and women and then one by one, the women leave, get picked off by lesbian vampires, turn into lesbian vampires and then come back to kill their friends. Okay, maybe not like any good horror film, just most of them.

Jimmy, Fletch, Lotte and the rest of the women who are not yet vampires agree this situation is not great. They do kill a couple of the vampires who after death seem to just ooze some kind of goo. Not blood, and it really looked like the film makers decided they just were gonna save on the cost of coloring the goo and use the rest of the money to, I dunno, pay more women to be topless in this movie?

Needless to say, all the non-essential characters get turned, leaving Jimmy, Fletch, Lotte and this Vicar who is from the town to strike down these vampires. And the only way to stop it for good? Mix Jimmy’s blood (because he is the last of that baron guy’s line) with Lotte’s blood (because she is a virgin) and this will bring Carmilla back, at which point, they can use a sword that is buried with the baron to kill Carmilla. You might ask, why that would work, as Fletch himself asks. The vicar’s answer? It just does. Fair enough.

They go through the night, fight the vampires, get the sword, Jimmy gets Lotte, Fletch gets to complain, the vicar gets dead, and at the end they decide to take the show on the road and permanently become, Lesbian Vampire Killers. Yay!

Yeah okay, so there are two jokes in this film that almost make it worth watching. First, at one point, Lotte tells Jimmy that the vampires who are outside the inn can’t get them because they have to be invited. To which Jimmy says, “It’s not like I am gonna say, come on in Lesbian vampires”. At which point, of course the vampires enter. Second, there is a point where the Vicar tells Fletch to stick with him because he knows a lot about vampire lore. Like that they need to be staked through the heart etc. And then Fletch is like, “Literally everybody knows that. It’s common knowledge, in books, film, television.” That made me laugh.

This is supposed to be a horror comedy. Does it succeed as a horror? Horribly bad maybe. Comedy? Not very funny. Most of James Cordon’s lines I can’t even repeat because they are just all about sex. And not like in an actually funny way.

At least James can acknowledge that this film is bad. And honestly, between the Bill Maher disaster of Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death and Lesbian Vampire Killers, I gotta go with the lesbian vampire killers. Dimension films, which made this thing has a long history of making some pretty bad decisions and this is right up there.

I do think James Cordon is right, over Bill Maher’s comments on fat shaming and I do think James’ bad movie is better than Bill’s movie. But they are both profoundly bad films. So if you are trying to decide who has better judgement here, the answer is, none of them. Not the people who gave the green light to these movies, not the people who were in them and definitely not the people who directed these abominations. And absolutely not the people who currently have late night talk shows.

Speaking of abominations, next week we begin my favorite fall pastime. Nope, not drinking pumpkin spice latte. Nope, not watching football on television. Nope, not raking leaves. Yep, I am talking about watching really, really bad horror films.

For all of next month, everything, and I mean everything, no exceptions, on Slick Dungeon’s blog is going to be horror or Halloween theme related (book reviews excepted).

Next Monday I am kicking off the month of horror with the how did anyone miss this 1986 film, Chopping Mall. Let the blood spilling begin!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death #MovieReview

There are Feminist Jungles in California?

Last week Bill Maher proved himself to be a giant blowhole when he encouraged the public shaming of people who happen to be overweight. Now, you might call that a lapse in judgement or an opinion that might need revising upon further consideration. You might say, that a person might reasonably make the statements Bill Maher made and think that he makes some good points about health and that what is really needed is his attitude to adjust because Bill is a smart guy. But if you think that, I encourage you to take a minute and look at his entire career. Because no matter what you think of what Bill said last week, only a completely moronic person would intentionally choose to star in Cannibal Women in the Avocado of Death. And that is exactly what Bill Maher chose to do.

I suspect that you can tell from the title that this film sucks. Yet, if you were not sure, let’s add in the fact that the big co-star of this film was Shannon Tweed. If you don’t know who that is you are probably not in the KISS army. Shannon is married to Gene Simmons of KISS. From that you can probably tell that her judgement is not the best. Even with these stars who were around the Z list at the time, the movie would have gotten no better if we had Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan playing the respective leads.

I tortured my own eyes for ninety minutes of this thing and I will never get that time back. The, I don’t know if you can call it one, plot of this film is so stupid that I find it hard to summarize here but I am gonna give it a shot.

We start off with two guys walking around what can only be described as a forest not a jungle. They seem to be lost until they find an avocado on a string. One guy goes to grab it, at which point there is unnecessary nudity and a bunch of women wearing bikinis shoot arrows at the guy and then promptly tie up the second guy who is too stupid to even run away.

Next we find out there is an avocado shortage in the United States of America and the military must do something about it. What can they do? Well, there is an avocado jungle in the middle of most of California. We know this from a map that a military guy shows. We can tell it is a jungle because it is made of straight green lines and says Avocado Jungle on it. This guy is talking to Shannon Tweed aka Dr. Margo Hunt. See, she is a prominent ethnographer and professor of feminist studies at some university. The problem with this jungle is that in the jungle there are cannibal feminist women there. The military threw tons of resources at taking the jungle, including heavy weaponry, tanks etc. The problem was that the women fought back with sticks and spears and the modern military had no idea how to deal with that. The proof? At the edge of the jungle they found dog tags covered in… guacamole. Have I mentioned this is supposed to be a comedy, I think? Anyway none of the jokes ever land in this thing.

So naturally the military think that maybe it takes a feminist to catch a feminist. They let Dr. Hunt know that another famous feminist has gone missing after attempting to go into this jungle. This convinces Dr. Hunt to not only go into the jungle but also to take one of her students, Bunny. Bunny is a home economics major considering becoming a feminist. She can’t seem to decide between wanting to have a husband and bake or becoming the first female president of the United States.

Off they go, after a really dumb visual joke implying that women can’t drive. What’s the joke? The line on the map heading toward the jungle circles in ridiculous directions. They finally end up in San Bernadino which is apparently the last stop of civilization before this jungle. Err… I have driven all the way to San Diego before and you know what? THERE. IS. NO. JUNGLE. THERE. I know, I should calm down, this is just a joke but oh my God this movie is stupid.

As if that was not dumb enough, Dr. Hunt and Bunny decide to stop in a bar and look for a guide to take them deep into the jungle. A Rambo type, a ninja and a pro-wrestler offer services until they find out where Dr. Hunt wants to go. Then they all chicken out. What Dr. Hunt really needs is a man’s man. Who is that? Bill Maher. Yeah. No kidding. This is the guy this film chooses to portray the most stereotypical aspects of masculinity. Bill freaking Maher. That is only one of the billion reasons this movie is so stupid.

Anyway, of course Bill aka Jim goes because Dr, Hunt and Bunny have no other options. Next we have to spend an uncomfortably long time hearing about how men should behave and how women should behave as they basically meander through dry areas of Southern California that will look familiar to anyone who has ever lived there, driven there, or seen a single movie set in Southern California.

At one point they come across a village of men who live apart from the avocado women and get along by knitting and giving these things to the avocado women so they won’t get eaten by the feminists. Yeah, I am not making this crap up.

So Bill Maher being the prototypical male that he is, digs out a whole bunch of beer and teaches these guys “how to be men”. “Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” – Homer Simpson, poet and philosopher.

Next thing you know these guys are catcalling Bunny and asking if she wants to ride in their corvettes. In my humble opinion, Jim wasn’t teaching guys how to be men. He was teaching them to be jerkwads who should just shut up.

Finally we come across the cannibal women and their temple. You know what their temple looks like? Exactly what I would imagine the back side of the building used for the university looked like. And yeah, we all saw this coming, the feminist who was missing is now the leader of the avocado women. Why? From what I can understand, she didn’t want to go on David Letterman anymore. Yeah, that was the joke. No, it wasn’t funny at all. Not even like dad joke funny, these jokes were just stupid.

These women immediately want to cook Jim and Bunny wants to join the avocado women because they get to wear cute outfits. Just to mention, these outfits are completely impractical bikinis, that sort of resemble jungle leaves that you would not find in a forest which is where this is filmed.

Bunny can’t kill Jim because she is in love with him. Dr. Hunt escapes and finds a rival group of cannibal women who hate the avocado women. Why do they hate them? They want to eat the men with clam sauce instead of guacamole. Yeah…

Dr. Hunt ends up fighting with the missing feminist, using weapons that would never have shown up in a jungle. Dr. Hunt kills her adversary but not before finding out that the military has a plan to get all the avocado women to come to Malibu (which is in the middle of where the jungle is shown on the California map if you know anything about California geography) where they will be brain washed with spa treatments and Cosmopolitan magazines. Did I mention this is supposed to be funny?

Jim, Bunny and Dr. Hunt get the avocado women to start a dialogue with their clam sauce rivals and head back to the university. Dr. Hunt threatens to expose the whole military plan on David Letterman unless she gets a grant for researching expanded opportunities for women in the military and a healthy dose of cash for her department. Meanwhile Jim and Bunny get married because, I guess someone has to kiss Bill Maher on occasion?

Ughh. I lived through watching this and now retelling it so that’s twice I have forced this thing upon myself. A couple of things before I sign off here though.

First of all, Shannon Tweed in real life is actually pretty smart. Her bad judgement in marrying Gene Simmons aside, I have no idea why she would agree to be in a film this stupid. I get why Bill Maher is here, he needed a career boost at the time. It did not age well for either of them though.

Second, never let it be said I am not an equal opportunity reviewer. James Cordon had a response to Bill Maher’s remarks and in it he mentioned how both of them have used poor judgement in their film careers. Jame’s opus of stupidity is apparently called Lesbian Vampire Killers and he says it’s every bit as bad as you think it is. Is it though? Is it? You can bet your last freaking avocado I am going to find out!

Feministically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Robot Monster – #MovieReview

we know how it will end

Slick Dungeon here, in the tenth room of my dungeon. This is where I watch the weirdest, baddest and sometimes oldest movies and give you a little review so you know if you should invest your time in them. You totally should.

This week I watched Robot Monster. Also known as the granddaddy of so bad it’s good science fiction films. It was poked fun of by the guys on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was so bad and did so poorly at the box office that the director tried to kill himself. His shot missed though and he survived. His movie, for all of the bashing it gets, is still around and people still talk about it. It’s not every movie that can say that!

This thing was shot in four days in Bronson Canyon. It has a whopping ensemble cast of eight people. Two of which are mostly in a monster getup that was not well thought out. The rushed filming shows if you look closely. There are spliced scenes from other movies, there’s a point where a woman is loosely tied up and unconscious in one shot and when we see her again, she is fully bound and fully awake, you can see a hand controlling the model spaceship in the special effects shots and if that was not enough, you can see the actor’s face in the space helmet when he is supposed to be some kind of technologically superior space gorilla.

But those things I just listed, are the unintentional mistakes. I feel like the conscious choices here are much, much worse. They wanted the monster to look like a huge furry ape creature in a space suit. Mission accomplished and it looks as stupid as it sounds. Let me give you just a brief plot summary here and as we go on, I will point out even more of the ridiculous.

The film starts out with a nice little family having a picnic. Johnny, the little boy in the film and his sister Carla run off to play unsupervised near a cave. At the cave there are two archaeologists digging out some fossils. They explain to the kids that their job is to dig it out and send this stuff to a museum for people to study. Johnny is more interested in space aliens. The older sister of Johnny and their mother find the boy and then they leave. Johnny can’t resist coming back and there’s a flash of lightning. Dinosaurs (from another movie) roam the planet! Lizards (from another movie) wrestle each other! Action! Excitement!

Next we see a monster. This is Ro-man (Pronounced Row-man not Roman thank you very much) and he is armed with a bunch of antenna, a television screen and even, a machine that makes bubbles! Ooooh watch out!.

But this dude is serious. He’s killed literally everyone on the planet with one stroke. Except for our five remaining cast members. Lucky for them, their father, “The Professor”, had cooked up a serum that protected the whole fam from any sort of disease at all. Yay for illegal science! There’s also a couple of people on a “space platform” that have survived, also thanks to the Professor.

Ro-man spends the rest of the movie, slowly turning dials, slowly wandering around in grass, slowly picking up little girls and women, and loudly yelling back and forth at his leader in space. It’s super obvious that the visibility from this outfit was zero for this actor. It’s awesomely funny.

There are also some choice bits of dialogue from the handsome lead to his love interest. Roy, who is not related to the rest of the family but was an assistant to the Professor also got to have an injection of the serum. Good thing for him too because he is in love with the Professor’s oldest daughter Alice. Alice is a beautiful and brilliant scientist in her own right. How do we know? Well, she almost fixes the screen that speaks with space. And, Roy, says to her, “You’re either too beautiful to be smart, or too smart to be beautiful.” Because you clearly, cannot be both. The fifties must have sucked so much if you were not a straight, white, male. Anyway.

Ro-man, as can be predicted wants to kill the humans. But not Alice because, well, I guess he’s got an open mind about dating. He shouts at the humans on the screen a few times and says they should ask for a painless death, but like, can he date Alice or what? Alice is kinda like, well, if it will save humanity, I’ll go talk to the space alien monster. The Professor and Roy decide to tie Alice up for her own good instead.

Then later, when there is still a dangerous monster out there, Johnny gives up the secret of the serum to Ro=man. Does Ro-man kill Johnny after that? No. Why? Because Johnny is on top of a rock above Ro-man, and that costume is unwieldy my friends.

Even later Alice and Roy decide to go do some necking as they might have said in the fifties. You know, despite the fact that there is a murderous alien. By the way, none of them ever once seems to think it’s a good idea to move away from the cave at all. Also, they don’t seem too broken up about the entire rest of the planet being dead.

When Alice and Roy get back from their fun time, Roy asks the Professor if he can marry Alice. Not like the Professor and his daughter have a lot of options but he agrees. Alice has time to find a veil but Roy doesn’t seem to have time to put his shirt back on. There is a little ceremony and they get married. They head off for a honeymoon. Yes, a honeymoon right near the cave where the murdery space gorilla lives. Roy, you must have been one amazing assistant.

Carla, Johnny’s little sister, runs after the happy couple, gives them some flowers and runs off (in the totally wrong direction). Ro-man finds her and strangles her off screen. Why off screen? Because that costume is unwieldy my friends.

Soon Ro-man finds our happy couple and the epic last battle for humanity begins again. He strikes Roy! He captures Alice! Alice is slowly taken to the cave! Alice has her dress torn (that’s seriously out of line, Ro-man) and she is slowly tied up, loosely! Ro-man turns around and argues with his boss that he should get to keep the girl. Boss is unhappy, Alice is now fully tied up completely!

Roy makes it back to the house with the Professor where they have just buried Carla! Roy dies! For a moment Ro-man seems to regret his actions! Boss zaps everyone on the planet including Ro-man!

Johnny wakes up! Oh, oh wait. This was all a dream. Yep, they went there. They Wizard of Oz’ed this sucker. I guess we knew that from the start since the actors don’t change at all from before Johnny went unconscious. Ah, well, all good they won’t be the last to rip that off. Roy and the Professor turn out to be the archaeologists! And Roy asks Alice on a date! Yay!

Now look, as ridiculous as everything I just described sounds, here’s the thing. I don’t think this deserves the harsh treatment it gets, I get what the film makers were going for and at the time it made sense. It was kind of poorly executed but you know what? This totally could have worked as a Twilight Zone episode. With a little more careful editing you wouldn’t catch the mistakes and the premise is not that bad. One family survives the destruction of Earth. Could be interesting. I recommend checking this out with the realization that this movie has actually lasted. It doesn’t seem that out of place from the rest of sci-fi at the time. Give ol’ Ro-man a break will ya? I mean have you seen the original Star Trek show?? They have a ton of weird stuff in there too and we don’t bash that the same way we do this.

That’s all for now, next week I will be watching Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama. At least Captain Tiger hasn’t gone after the treasure of Rama Lama yet.

Defensively yours,

Slick Dungeon

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