Friday, October 3, 2008

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter

For those of you who, like me, love bad movies in all of their awful glory I’ve got four words for you: Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. Holy shit, I have not seen a movie as bad as this since leg warmers and parachute pants were in. This brilliant cinematic masterpiece makes Student Bodies look like The Godfather. It is awesome! With a star-void cast of tens and special effects that can only be described as “low budget” the brilliance of this film has not been matched since Weasels Rip My Flesh (or anything starring Jennifer Aniston) has graced the silver screen. I mean how can you go wrong when the premise of the movie is that the son of God must save the lesbians of Ottawa, Canada from certain death by exsanguination by righteously kicking evil vampire ass. There is even a dance number. Yes, that’s right, a dance number. Oh, and did I mention that the Messiah is aided by a 300lb. Mexican masked wrestler (El Santo) who has a pilot’s license? Oh, yeah. The brilliance of the plot is only matched by the horrible editing. If all of the unnecessary zooms, pans and shots of people walking from one place to another were cut out the movie would only be 15 minutes long. This is an absolute must-see for any true fan of crappy movies. Truly, truly brilliant.

I’m glad I stumbled across it on Netflix the other day, because it has rekindled the fire inside me for truly horrible cinema. I think it is important the we make a distinction between bad B movies and bad mainstream movies. There is a huge difference between a movie that was intended to be viewed by a fringe audience and a movie that just falls flat on its face right out of the gate. For example, I know when I sit down to watch Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead that I’m in for an hour and 43 minutes of nonsensical zombie chicken cinematic mastery. But if I pay $8 to see a movie like A.I. or anything with Kevin Costner in it and I realize halfway through it that my eyes are bleeding because I’ve tried to gouge them out with a Twizzler, I get seriously torqued off. There is a real difference between intentionally bad and accidentally bad movies.

Watching these intentionally bad movies has been a hobby of mine since I first embraced my insomnia in middle school many, many, MANY years ago. It’s like watching a slow crash or seeing a poorly crafted raft set sail. You know it’s going to be a stinker, but the beauty is that so do the filmmakers so there is nothing that is off limits. There are no cinematic or societal taboos. No logic or necessity to adhere to anything resembling reality. Want to make a movie about murderous produce? Go right ahead. Think the plot of your movie should involve an evil cartoon character that terrorizes scantily clad coeds. Of course you do. Why not throw in a couple of huge radioactive insects? All the better. Gratuitous nudity is absolutely mandatory, and a couple of gallons of fake blood paint the path to theatrical bliss.

The movies that I love are very simple to spot. They usually have pictures of people running from something on the cover. If the cover is also holographic then you know it’s going to be a doozie. Anything with "Blood", "Gore", "Camp" or "Sorority" in the title is bound to be on the list. Also, if you have no idea what the plot of the movie is based on careful examination of the cover, it has to be good. If you can tell that the props are obviously made out of ordinary household objects then I’ve probably seen it once or twice. The ones that are serious gems are the films that have stars in them before they made it mainstream, and they aren’t listed in their filmography anymore. It’s a sure tip off if my wife walks by and says “Oh dear God! Is there something wrong with you?” Of course there is, Honey. Of course there is.

So I encourage everyone to put the kids to bed, nuke some popcorn, turn out the lights, sink back into the couch and enjoy a screen gem like Army of Darkness, Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds, Meet the Feebles, or Dark Star. Just don’t be surprised if the lady at the video store looks at you differently from now on…


Ken Keever said...

A few more classically bad movies need to be mentioned. "'Nam Angels (Hell's Angels beating up Green Berets and NVA in Vietnam)," "RB7: The Legend of the Rollerblade Seven (post apocalyptic roller blade adventure filmed in an arroyo in California)," "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (featuring the Strawberry Alarm Clock)," "Bloodfeast (ancient Egyptian king rises from the dead to kill anyone and dies in the back of a trash truck)," and "The Boogens (giant turtle-like insects come out of a mine and eat people)" all deserve special recognition. One of particular note just happens to be one of Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson's first offerings. It is titled "Bad Taste" and concerns an alien invasion of rural areas of New Zealand. Anything by Ed Wood also deserves special attention.

Dan said...

All brilliant movies, especially "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls." Russ Meyer holds a special place in my heart. Well, maybe my "heart" is aiming a little too high. Anybody that was ever a teenage boy knows what I'm talking about. Ed Wood is brilliant as well, but we can't forget the likes of Fred Olen Ray, Lloyd Kaufman and Sam Rami. There are some real doozies in their directorial encyclopedia. Geniuses all, and Peter Jackson is right up there with them. By the way PJ directed "Meet the Feebles" (linked above) which is absolutely the worst, most-bizarre puppet movie of all time. There will undoubtedly be more Bad Movie posts to come, so keep your eyes peeled.