Eegah (1962, Directed by Arch Hall Sr.) English 3

Starring Arch Hall Sr., Arch Hall Jr., Richard Kiel, Marilyn Manning, Ray Dennis Steckler

Image result for eegah

(3-Horrible Film)

Inept. Unappealing. Bad.

“The Nephilim (giants) were in the earth in those days,” the narrator tells us, quoting the bible. From that line, meant to lend the film austerity, perhaps gravitas, we get Eegah, a sixties rock and roll picture with a giant caveman named Eegah (Kiel) running through it. Roxy Miller (Manning) discovers the prehistoric man driving idly one summer day. He doesn’t hurt her, and when she returns to town to tell her neighbors, they assume she’s crazy. Her father and lame-brained boyfriend (Arch Hall Sr. and Jr.) take her seriously enough to investigate. What ensues is basically a really pale version of King Kong. Eegah, so named because it’s the only thing he says, seems to care for Roxy, although unlike King Kong’s surprising tenderness, Eegah’s infatuation seems awfully assaultive. The technical aspects of this film are terrible. Sound and visuals conspire to make Eegah an all-time terrible movie. The soundtrack is emblematic of the film as a whole: so bad it’s good. My question throughout was where was Eegah for the thousand years in between his era and the time the main characters’ found him? No one else in all that time ever saw him? It’s not like he was frozen in a block of ice. He was barely even hiding. One of life’s unanswerable questions, I suppose.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

(362)

 

Theodore Rex (1995, Directed by Jonathan R. Betuel) English 3

Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Juliet Landau, Richard Roundtree, Bud Cort, George Newborn (voice), Carol Kane (Voice)

Image result for theodore rex

(3-Horrible Film)

Witless. Joyless. Dumb.

In a futuristic society, dinosaurs still roam the Earth. Walking, talking dinosaurs that resemble humans in their behavior, and yet, they’re treated like second-class citizens by humans who still represent the majority. After a prominent dinosaur gets murdered, a friendly T-Rex type named Theodore wants to get to the bottom of it. He partners with wild-card police detective Coltrane (Goldberg) to catch the perpetrator. Does this film sound good to you? Best case scenario, how good could a film with that plot be? Well, this is not even best case scenario. Horrendous visuals and design of characters accentuate the ridiculous plot at every turn. On top of that, there may not exist a more witless, talentless script. Instead of dialogue and banter, we get fart sounds and weird voices. It’s embarrassing that three Oscar nominated actors appear in this. My feeling is that after Jurassic Park, studios thought you could just put dinosaurs in movies, and it would sell, regardless of quality.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

(111)

City Limits (1985, Directed by Aaron Lipstadt) English 2

Starring John Stockwell, Kim Cattrall, Rae Dawn Chong, Darrell Larson, James Earl Jones

Image result for city limits 1985

(2-Atrocious Film)

Lousy. Amateurish. Indecipherable.

James Earl Jones’ narration starts. The picture fades in, and we see a post-apocalyptic world overrun with children and teenagers. The remaining population has sectioned itself off into biker gangs, living by a self-made code, mistrustful of strangers. When a big-league corporation tries to take over a nearly deserted city, two rival bike gangs that live there, team up and fight back. City Limits has all the elements of a cult-classic 1980s action flick. True, it’s a little bit derivative of Mad Max, but that’s no great crime. The crime is that this film is an atrocious bore, crudely done, with wasted talent in front of the camera, and no discernible talent behind the camera. The visuals are grimy, under lit in the extreme, the costumes look like the actors brought their own costumes, and the plot unfolds incomprehensibly. It’s astonishing how poorly executed this premise was. Calling this a B-Movie is an insult to a lot of great B- Movies.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

(36)

Batman and Robin: So Terrible, it’s Amazing (1998, Directed by Joel Schumaker) English 3

Starring George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle

Image result for batman and robin

(3-Horrible Film)

Campy. Goofy. Idiotic.

1998’s Batman and Robin is, simply put, a joke. They notoriously gave Bruce Wayne’s suit nipples, they chose for their lead villain, Mr. Freeze, played by a blue painted Arnold Schwarzenegger, spouting one bad ice related pun after another (“let’s kick some ice”), and made Poison Ivy look like Divine from a John Waters movie (google it). I’d like to catalog for you, the film’s many shortcomings and harebrained moments, though it’s a Herculean task to try and catch all of them, but it’s also important to note and preface this with the truth, which is that I love this film. Definitely falls within the “so bad, it’s good” variety. I think it’s hilarious. I laughed out loud on more occasions during the length of this superhero flick than, let’s say, 95% of the straight-up comedies I’ve seen.

Technically the fourth entry in the pre-Christopher Nolan series of Batman films- it’s amazing how silly all of the Batman movies before Bale and Nolan seem now that I’ve seen their grittier, more realistic take-Batman and Robin stars George Clooney as the billionaire playboy slash caped crusader. It’s incredible, and not enough is said about how Clooney was able to have a career after this film, let alone the Oscar winning, lifetime achievement award receiving career he has had. Bat nipples should have been career ending. I will say that among the cast, who should all feel embarrassed, Clooney comes off the least foolish. He gives the role some gravitas, granted, masked behind layers of inanity, bad dialogue, and bat nipples (I’m going to keep coming back to bat nipples; they color the entire film). I would even go as far as saying that Clooney could make a great Bruce Wayne in a much better, more competent picture. Now, if you think I’m being over dramatic about bat nipples being potentially career ending, take a look at the rest of the cast of then-stars. Chris O’Donnell returns asĀ  Batman’s close ally, Robin. O’Donnell, who’d given a very strong performance six years earlier in Scent of a Woman (1992) with Al Pacino, never recovered from this dud. Neither did Alicia Silverstone, at the time of the film’s release, still riding the waves off of her early success in Clueless (1995). Here, she plays Barbara Wilson, grand-niece of Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred. She appears to be a nice, wholesome girl, but is later revealed to be a hardcore, action adventure heroine, and dons the ready made Batgirl suit Alfred leaves her. Together, Batman (having trouble trusting his young sidekicks), Batgirl, and Robin take on Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Bane (3 on 3) who team up, rather improbably, to take over the world (or at least Gotham) with a telescope Mr. Freeze turned into a freeze gun. The villains are where the film really reveals its suckage. I’m going to address them one by one.

I’ve already referenced Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze, and you probably got the point, but not enough can be said about his puns:

Cop #1: Please show some mercy!

Mr. Freeze: Mercy? I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.

See too, a scene where he sings along to the snow miser song from A Year Without Santa Claus (1974), while his henchman, who dress in fur coats and talk like they’re from the Bronx, provide backing vocals. Where does he get these guys? Honestly? He goes to New York and posts hiring notices? It’s insane. And they help him, why? Then again, Ted Bundy had followers. Perhaps, it’s one of those things that defies explanation. Like when Mr. Freeze zaps Robin with his freeze gun, and Robin’s cemented in a block of ice. The solution: Batman picks Robin up and puts him in hot water, and Robin’s perfectly fine. Science! What’s the point of Mr. Freeze’s gun if it doesn’t even kill anybody? It looks cool on an action figure?

Poison Ivy, as portrayed by Uma Thurman, is, against all odds, even worse. She escaped this travesty thanks to Tarantino casting her in his Kill Bill saga, otherwise, I’m certain this would have been career curtains. Let’s start with her “origin story.” The origin stories in the old Batman movies were the worst/most hilarious parts. She’s working in some kind of lab, minding her own business one minute. She opens a door, and all of a sudden, she’s in some weird underground cult room, complete with evil experiments. That’s it. All she did was open a door. The mad scientist in this new room goes, “how did you get in here? Now, I’ll have to kill you. You know too much.” What do you mean, “how did you get in here?” You didn’t even lock the door. His attempt to kill her somehow imbues her with the power to manipulate plants and toxins, and the sexy ability to kill men with a kiss. Almost lost amid Mr. Freeze’s bad puns are Poison Ivy’s equally lame lines: “They replaced my blood with aloe.” “Animal protectors of the status quo.” Worst of all: “My garden needs tending.” Smh. Uma’s performance is bad too. The dialogue is horrible and does her no favors, but her delivery only compounds the terribleness. She talks like a bad theater actress. And then there’s the striptease she does while wearing a gorilla costume. Has to be seen, to be believed. Yes, someone thought that was a good idea.

Bane, while equaling his compadres in stupidity, has far less screentime, thus leaves far less of an impression. Still, in his rare moments to shine, the filmmakers turn him into a Frankenstein figure; like a campy Frankenstein figure. He starts off as a scrawny child molester or something, and is then given serum thatĀ  makes him jacked. How to defeat him? Robin simply pulls the rather large tube from the back of Bane’s head and he disintegrates. So, so bad.

There isn’t much logic to Batman and Robin. Instead there are pointless cameos from Elle MacPherson and Coolio. I’m sure the fimmakers were convinced their target audience wouldn’t notice (their target audience being 8 year-olds), and they were right. There was a solid 3 year period when I legitimately thought it was the greatest film ever made. Now, I see clearly. It’s in my exclusive top ten worst movies ever made list. So many poor choices, lapses of logic, head shaking moments, and bat nipples. Never forget bat nipples.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

Chairman of the Board (1998, Directed by Alex Zamm) English 2

Starring Carrot Top, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Raquel Welch, Larry Miller, Jack Warden, Estelle Harris

Image result for chairman of the board 1998

(2-Atrocious Film)

Annoying. Infantile. Repellent.

This isn’t fair, or nice, but I strongly dislike Carrot Top. Before his demon clown personality even set in, and cast its stench upon this abysmal movie, I strongly disliked him. Before he opened his mouth, and said some lame joke involving some lame prop, I knew immediately that I did not want to see him on screen for another second, but I persevered, watching Chairman of the Board, wherein the “comedian” plays Edison, a dreamer, inventor, and surfer. After a chance encounter with a multimillionaire, Armand McMillian (Oscar nominee Jack Warden in the who cares stage of his career), Edison is left with the majority share of a major company, and uses his newfound power to push out his inventions. He also falls in love with his assistant, Natalie (Thorne-Smith). Carrot Top’s performance and personality justify my bigoted feelings about his appearance. This film is garbage besides him, and something less than garbage because of him.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

(70)

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959, Directed by Ed Wood) English 2

Starring Bella Lugosi, Vampira, Gregory Walcott, Duke Moore, Tom Keene, Paul Marco, Tor Johnson

Image result for plan 9 from outer space

(2-Atrocious Film)

Incompetent. Silly. Confusing.

A U.F.O, grave robbing aliens that look like humans, and zombies that look like vampires fill the scattered narrative of Ed Wood’s infamous film, but basically it’s about evil invaders from a more advanced planet who want to wipe out humanity. Besides being amateurish and inept in several aspects of filmmaking, Plan 9 is also awfully hard to follow. There’s no discernible character development, introduction, or suspense to speak of, and only towards the end do we get a sense of character motivation. Ed Wood was just as woeful at script writing as he was at directing.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

(109)

Mac and Me (1988, Directed by Stewart Raffill) English 3

Starring Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Ward, Martin West, Danny Cooksey, Jade Calegory, Lauren Stanley

Image result for mac and me

(2-Atrocious Film)

Third-rate. Shoddy. Laughable.

A young alien, given the nickname Mac (mysterious alien creature), crash lands on Earth, separated from his family. Discovered and befriended by brothers Eric (bound to a wheelchair) and Michael, Mac looks to reconnect with his family. If this premise sounds awfully similar to E.T: Extra-Terrestrial, it’s because Mac and Me is a blatant rip-off of that classic, released just six years prior. Add to that, Mac and Me is a lousy rip-off, devoid of any imagination, and damned by poor design for the central alien figure. There are two especially bad scenes: one where Eric loses control of his wheelchair and falls off the side of the cliff, and another set in McDonalds, where everyone begins a choreographed dance number. The latter is mind-blowingly bad. Baffling, really, and not the only embarrassing moment of product placement. The former is unintentionally hilarious. Surprisingly, the acting is professional, keeping Mac and Me out of the seventh circle of movie hell where The Room and Troll 2 live.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-

(52)