Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Evil (1980)

Title: Christmas Evil (1980)

Director: Lewis Jackson


Christmas Horror films are a misunderstood sub genre. Many people (mostly uptight conservatives) think films that portray Christmas as something evil or scary should never be made because they soil something that they consider holy and sacred and….WHAT EVER!! First off, those conservative douche bags should remember that one of the biggest ideas behind Christmas, that a fat jolly old man comes down your chimney during Christmas Eve and leaves presents for the “good boys and girls” underneath the Christmas tree is a big fat lie! And according to the bible, lies come from The Devil! So put that in your pipe and smoke it you self righteous hypocrites! Now, on with the rest of my review for this excellent Christmas horror film called Christmas Evil.

Story for this film centers around a young boy named Harry. One night, Harry’s parents decide to surprise the kids by having their dad dress up as Santa Claus and visit their home. The kids are delighted by Santa’s visit! After the kids are put to sleep, Santa decides he wants some action, so he begins to give his wife (while still dressed in a Santa suit) some head. That’s right! Mom and Pop decide to go down on each other while dad is still wearing his Santa suit! If that isn’t freaky enough, little Harry decides to take one last peep at Santa and catches his mom and dad going down on each other. Now Harry knows there’s no such thing as Santa Claus! He’d been lied to all these years! Fast forward thirty years into the future and now Harry is a 30 something dude, working in a toy factory. He has never quite recuperated from what he saw that night, and little by little, the events that unfold during the Christmas season start driving him mad! Can Harry keep his madness under wraps? Or will he go out and pass judgment on the little boys and girls of his neighborhood?

So this movie is that kind of film where the quiet introverted person suddenly goes nuts and is tired of being pushed around, so he finally explodes and decides to make all those people that screwed him over pay! “The worm has turned” is a phrase commonly used for films of this nature and it means that even the most humble person will strike back if abused badly enough! And poor old Harry is abused a lot on this film. Harry works as a manager in a toy factory, but he gets no respect from his employees. His brother constantly abuses him verbally and emotionally. His boss gives a younger kid the position that was supposed to be for him. Basically, Harry gets no respect from anybody in this movie…until he cracks under the pressure! That’s when he decides to dress up as Santa Claus and goes out into town being good to the good people and brutally killing whoever pisses him off! In this way, the film is very similar in nature to Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) though Christmas Evil predates it, since it was released in 1980.

Christmas Evil was a small film, with a meager budget and very low production values. Yet I have to tell you naughty boys and girls out there, the low production values help the movie a whole lot! Everything feels dirty, old, dark, shadowy and poor. The proper ingredients for a guy like Harry to loose his marbles in! Speaking of which the actor who plays Harry (Brandon Maggart) did an excellent job of playing the good guy who goes bananas! There are some memorable moments in the film where we can really feel Harry loosing it. There’s this great scene where Harry glues a fake Santa beard to his face with super glue and starts pulling his beard making sure it’s stuck to his face, all the while he looks at himself in the mirror and laughs maniacally. Awesome moment! Just like in that other Santa Claus gone crazy movie called Santa’s Slay (2005), in Christmas Evil Santa uses Christmas ornaments to kill people! One particularly gruesome moment has Santa slitting somebody’s throat with a Christmas Tree Star. But to be honest, the film does not go over the top with the gore. We do get a bit of gore splattered all through out the film, but it’s not the films main focus. This film is more concerned with showing us Harry slow descend into madness, shinning a light on the fakeness of the idea of Santa Claus, and establishing great atmosphere.

Why had I not heard of this movie before? Probably for the same reason why films like Silent Night Deadly Night and Santa’s Slay are not widely known. Because they make Santa Claus look evil. People don’t like for movies to portray Santa as murderous or evil Any film that does so is guaranteed to live a short life at the box office. For example, Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) though an excellent slasher, was pulled from theaters on the very first week of its release because of raving parents! Some don’t even make it to theaters at all and are sent straight to DVD like Santa’s Slay (2005). A fun Christmas horror film if there ever was any! Apparently, you just can’t go around messing with the cash cow known as Santa. Santa has to retain his squeaky clean image, and it has to remain untarnished and clean so that kids across the world will always dream of getting Christmas presents from him on Christmas Eve. In this way businesses all across the world are assured to make millions, and the economy stays strong. Still, thank god for DVD!

I loved how the film makes an effort to show the fakeness of Christmas. In one scene Santa walks into a Christmas party and begins talking to a bunch of little kids. He begins to explain to them how if they are good, he will give them toys every year to reward them, but if their not, he will give them something horrible! I loved that part of the film because its true. Parents use the idea behind Santa to scare kids into being good “or else you wont get any presents”. So kids begin to learn how to act out of interest rather then being good because its really the best thing for them. Theres another great where Santa tries to go down a chimney, but realizes that this is physically impossible, so he gives up! Another scene shows Santa trying to break into a house to leave some gifts, but in reality, he looks like a burglar trying to break into a house.

This is a very low budget film, with low production values and laugh inducing dialog, yet it is entirely watchable in my book. It doesn’t forget that it’s trying to be a parody of Christmas and at the same time it criticizes it. What makes it so watchable for me are the complete zaniness of the ideas it portrays! For example, Harry is so obsessed with Christmas that he literally has books where he writes down little boys and girls names and all the good and bad deeds that they performed all through out the year! So next time you want to watch a funny and enjoyable Christmas horror film, don’t pass up Christmas Evil, it’s a jolly good time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1992)

Title: Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1992)

Director: Frank Henenlotter


In the very first Basket Case movie we met Duane and his freaky brother Belial. Both of em where out on a hunt for the doctors who separated them at birth. You see, they were born stuck together. Duane is the "normal" one and Belial is the freaky one. Belial was born stuck to Duanes torso! And Belial is a deformed little monster who has telepathic abilities which he shares with Duane. In the second film, Duane and Belial met with "Granny Ruth" a lady who devoted her life to helping "unique individuals" (read: the freakiest beings on this planet) to adjust and find a place where they can be accepted for who they are. In this home both Belial and Duane found love! But strangest thing of all is that the "freak" Belial is the one who actually gets some action! If Basket Case 2 was the film where Belial was going to "get some" then Basket Case 3 is the one where Belial becomes a dad!

The big attraction for me with the Basket Case films is the continuity they have, one picks up right where the other one left off, so if you’ve seen the previous films, you should enjoy this one a lot. In this installment Belial (the freaky deformed half that was born stuck to Duane) still resides in Granny Ruth’s House of Freaks, and well, his gotten his girlfriend "Eve" (another similarly deformed female) impregnated! That means that Belial’s going to be a dad! Duane is out in the world, searching for his brother Belial whom he hasn’t found yet, you see, Duane and Belial had a falling out of sorts at the ending of the second film. Granny Ruth decides to take all the freaks out on a trip to the country. Unfortunately some people aren’t willing to live with the fact that there’s a whole colony of freaks living in their town, so they go out on a monster hunt to kill Belial and Duane! Will Duane ever reunite with his brother Belial? Will the world accept Belials offspring? Or will they try to kill them off because they are different?

The story behind this Basket Case movie is that Frank Henenlotter didn’t really want to make it. He'd grown tired of the whole Basket Case thing and wanted to make different films. This of course is completely understandable. What’s a filmmaker to do when he wants to make another film then the one producers are willing to finance? You make the one their willing to finance in order to make some cash for your next film, that’s what you do! So Henenlotter did exactly that, in spite of the fact that he didn’t really have his heart on making this movie and he didn’t really get to make that other film he wanted to make. But its weird, for not having his heart set on this movie, he made a very freaking entertaining movie! And he brought that dirty, grimy, dark, grindhouse feel of the first one back!

In fact, this might even be a weirder film then the first two Basket Case films! The first movie will always remain my favorite of the three because it’s so grimy. The first one feels like Henenlotter walked up to the darkest dirtiest alley in New York City and said: "Hey! Who wants to be in a movie?!!"  I love it for that alone. People arent "Hollywood Models" on Henenlotters films. Neither are his locations and sets. The second film is weird and freaky, but too squeaky clean for a Henenlotter film, in spite of the fact that it gets its balls back somewhere around its third act. But this third film in the Basket Case franchise goes extremely freaky. It goes back to the dark and dirty roots of the first film and throws out the slick look of the second. Let’s see, Belial has a girlfriend, she gets pregnant and has a bunch of baby Belials! Just imagine that! Meanwhile, Duane meets a dominatrix chic! If you think that’s nuts, wait for the third act where the freakiness goes into high gear! I mean, Belial goes Terminator on a couple of bastard cops who mess with his offspring. The ending has gross out deaths and gags galore. These deaths are are cartoony, gory, silly looking, and insane, but they are extremely entertaining as well. And just when you think things are goes into freaking overdrive! I’m not going to spoil it for you...but Belial gets some help from some of his freak friends and gets an upgrade! That’s all I’m going to say.

In conclusion, Id say Basket Case 3: The Progeny managed to make things even stranger then the first two films, if that’s at all possible. I mean, saying that this Basket Case film is weirder then the previous films is a bold statement, because the first two are already extremely weird films. But believe me it does. So strap yourselves on tight, and get ready for one weird final chapter for Duane and Belial's freak saga.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Basket Case (20th Anniversary Special Edition)Basket Case 2Basket Case 3: The Progeny

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Basket Case 2 (1990)

Title: Basket Case 2 (1990)

Director: Frank Henenlotter


Frank Henenlotter is one of those directors that is proud to wear his freak badge. He loves for his films to be grimy dirty films, the kind of film you feel they wiped the floor of the movie theater with. Dont believe me? Then take a look at any of these films he made: Frankenhooker (1990) and Brain Damage (1988). You wont be the same after you watch those two movies I can gurantee you that! With this in mind, can somebody tell me why was Basket Case 2 so clean cut?

Story picks up right where the first Basket Case film left off. I appreciated that continuity about it. It picks up with Duane and Belial falling to their "deaths" from the window of that shit box of a hotel in New York. Surprisingly, they both survive! They escape the hospital and end up being picked up by this lady and her daughter, who have a home where Freaks can feel at ease. Where they can be understood and loved for who they are. Will Belial and Duane fit in this new home? Or will the media find them and make a circus out of their lives?

I’m a Henenlotter fan. I love the grimy and dirty nature of his films. The first Basket Case is a prime example of a Henenlotter film. That film was very low budget. The lighting was terrible, the sound was terrible, hell, even the stop motion animation was terrible. Yet, somehow, the story grabs you. It’s characters are so freaky, so mundane and plain bizarre that you simply have to keep watching. The fact that Henenlotter’s films are so low budget and technically challenged is what makes them all the more watchable. Their griminess makes them all the more special. Usually the characters in a Henenlotter film are comprised of freaks, whores, thieves and just plain poor bastards. Since his films deal with such scummy subject matter, the low technical standards add to the feel and atmosphere of the film. It’s a perfect marriage, scummy freaky characters and themes, low technical standards equals b-movie magic. The stuff cult films are made of.

Problem with Basket Case 2 is that it’s not so scummy looking. Apparently Henenlotter got himself a couple of more dollars to make this second Basket Case film. His budget went up, but unfortunately the level of scumminess and griminess went way down. The movie looks too squeaky clean! Where the first film used real locations, real New York City streets, real shitty places, this one used lots of fake looking sets. Scenes are well lit! The film actually has decent production standards! The problem with this for me is that the thing that I love most about Henenlotter’s films was now gone! Everything looks to well lit, there’s actual colors, the lighting is too perfect...technically speaking the movie went up. That’s normally a good thing on any movie, but in Henelotter’s case its not! The grimminess of his films is what made them special for me!

But what the hell, I decided to accept this as a natural progression in any directors career. Can’t blame a guy for wanting to go higher in terms of quality with each film. So I let that go and focused on the film itself. I have to say, it also had its freak balls cut off! The first movie was flat out gory, low budget and raw! The deaths were something special, shocking and in your face. Not so on this sequel! In fact, for the most part, most of the deaths happen off camera! No gore involved! It focused a lot on getting you to feel some amount of sympathy for the freaks. It felt like Henenlotter was restrained somehow. I guess with this movie, he didn’t want to go too out there. I’m guessing he wanted to make a horror movie that was slightly more marketable, something not too crazy like the first Basket Case film. That saddened me as well, for as the movie progressed I saw that I was not going to get that raw shock value that I got from the first one.

Is there anything good I can say about this movie? Is it a complete departure from what I loved about the first Basket Case? Well, fortunately, it wasn’t a complete departure. Belial and Duane end up in this house of freaks, inhabited by some really interesting looking creatures. And by this I mean, lots of dudes in monster suits. Lots of latex make up. The creatures are very odd looking in deed. One creature has its whole face filled with noses, another has its face shaped like a moon, another has giant teeth, you know, crazy looking freaks. Nothing that looks realistic (far from it) but a strange mixture of cartoony and freaky. Belial himself looks way better then he did on the first film. I also enjoyed seeing the actor who played Duane in the first Basket Case (Kevin Van Hentenrick) return. Duane has always seemed to me like this odd ball weirdo kind of guy, a quiet dude that you do not want to mess with and Kevin plays that angle perfectly. His connection with his brother on this film is taken further, I liked that aspect of it where Duane doesn’t want to be a part of Belials life anymore. He is looking to live his own life and maybe find some happiness.

Good news is that finally, somewhere around its third half, this movie grows its balls back! Almost as if Henenlotter said "wait a minute, this movie is too soft for me! I need to turn up the juice!" And he does! The last twenty minutes get really freaking crazy. Just when you think the movie is over with, whamo! Basket Case 2 gives you a good slug to the head and wakes you the hell up. I’m glad the ending was as freaky as it was. I was beginning to think Henenlotter had lost his knack for the truly bizarre.

So anyways, in conclusion I have to say that Basket Case 2 is not as grimy and raw as the first one. It kind of lost its edge. It manages to entertain, and yeah, its still quite the freaky film. Its just not AS freaky as the first film. Fortunately, if you stick all the way to the end you will see a glimmer of the bizarre that Henenlotter is so known for.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Basket Case (20th Anniversary Special Edition)Basket Case 2Basket Case 3: The ProgenyFrankenhooker

Scrooge (1951)

Title: Scrooge (a.k.a. A Christmas Carol) (1951)

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst


There are so many film adaptations of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol that it can become a small task to try and differentiate them all. I try and see a different version every year, just because I want to see them all. See what little differences they have between each other, see what that one is missing, see what the other added. In my search for all of these different film adaptations, I discovered that the 1951 version with Alastair Sim playing the titular role of Mr. Scrooge is one of the most beloved film versions of the story. What makes this one so special?

I’m not going to go into a plot description, because I’m sure 99.9% of you out there already know what this story is all about, I mean, who doesn’t right? Instead, I’ll try and describe the film and what makes it one of the best Christmas Carol’s out there. Number one, the movie is in black and white. This being essentially a ghost story, the black and white makes everything darker, creepier. That’s one thing I have always loved about Dicken’s story, it’s a ghost story and as a result, it’s a creepy film. Which kind of contrasts with the whole Christmas thing in the same way that Nightmare Before Christmas did. But really, isn’t that one of the films biggest attractions? It’s spookiness? And this one has lots of it! The black and white nature of the film makes everything grimmer. The art direction helps a lot as well, you get a feeling you are living in the slummiest parts of London. Old buildings, filled with shadowy hallways filled with old clocks, books, chandeliers…everything is spooky and dark.

A Christmas Carol has been adapted to film on many occasions. Old film versions of A Christmas Carol go as far back as 1910! Just this year we had a version of the story directed by Robert Zemeckis, with Jim Carrey playing Mr. Scrooge as well as all of the ghosts. And it was completely computer animated. I still owe it to myself to check it out. But every film version of A Christmas Carol is just a little bit different then the other. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) is one of my favorites because most of the characters in the story are played by different Muppet characters. Michael Caine plays Scrooge. On this one, we get Alastair Sim, playing old Ebenezer. Gotta say I loved his portrayal of Scrooge. And on any Christmas Carol film, what makes or breaks the film is who you put on that role. The actor has got to nail it. Alastair Sim nailed it! You know that part when Scrooge turns all good and happy and suddenly LOVES Christmas? You know, the part where Scrooge goes almost mad with Christmas spirit? Well, I believe this is the happiest and craziest Scrooge on any of the film versions I’ve seen. He really does seem mad with happiness! Also, this film really dives deep into that whole sequence when Scrooge goes “good”. It’s always my favorite part of A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge suddenly warms up to the world. It always makes me want to go out and do good to everybody, which was probably Dicken’s whole point.

I don’t really believe in Christmas the way everybody does. I'm not a religious person myself. I don’t believe Jesus was born on the 25th (in fact I doubt he was even born at all) and I believe that on its surface, Christmas is really an elaborate sham to get people to buy things compulsively. Ever think about how many things Christmas makes you buy? Gifts for everyone, Christmas tree, Christmas decorations, gift wrapping paper, Christmas clothes, Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas food…the list goes on and on. I really see it as a way to boom the economy. It’s strange, but in many ways, I can identify with Scrooges hatred of Christmas. I mean, when he says ‘humbug’ he is saying “this is all false, wake up people!” Still, what I like about Charles Dicken’s story is that it focuses a lot on the doing good to others, making other people happy. That part of the story where we learn about giving to others without expecting anything back. Of the films themes, these are the ones I like the most.

I still celebrate Christmas anyways because I like the festivities, I love sharing time with family and friends, and yeah, its fun to give and get gifts. But I don’t know if I agree with the whole thing about lying to kids about Santa Clause coming at night and leaving gifts under your Christmas tree, Id rather tell my kids I bought them those gifts, because I wanted to. Because it’s that time of year when everyone is extra nice to each other, just because we want to. I see Santa Clause as the first lie in a long list of lies that a person will be taught to believe in through life. But hey, don’t take me for a bitter person, cause I’m not. I love this cheerful part of the year anyways; I just see it slightly different then everyone else. I’ve learned not to put so much emphasis on the buying, and a lot more emphasis on the sharing and the love and the being good to others for no reason whatsoever but to feel good while doing it.

Speaking of the whole religious nature of this film, this version is one of the most Christian versions of the story I’ve seen. Most of the modern Christmas Carol movies don’t focus so much on the whole “repent from your sins” angle of things. I’m guessing this is so because filmmakers realize that not everyone who watches their movies in our world is a Christian, so they have kind of dropped that angle from modern takes on the story. But this particular version of A Christmas Carol is all about repenting from your sins, because if you don’t, you’re going to pay in the after life! Constantly, Scrooge is reminded that he has to repent from his sins on this version.

But all in all, a very good version of the film. My favorite is still the one with George C. Scott as Scrooge. There’s just something super evil about George C. Scott’s portrayal of the character. Next year I will try and go even further back in time, see if I can get my hands on the 1938 and 1910 versions of the story. Consequently, I hope you had a happy holiday season, and wish you all a happy new year.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Monday, December 28, 2009

Update for all my readers!

First of all, Happy Holidays! Hope you guys are having a blast during this holiday season, sorry for being on hiatus for a couple of days there. I had not posted anything these past few days because I was on my Christmas Vacation, and I didnt really have any time to go online and write.  But good news is, as of today, Ill be coming back with a vengeance! So be on the look out for an onslaught of reviews coming your way!

Thanks for reading!

The Film Connoisseur

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

13 Cheesy Movies from the 80's!

According to the dictionary, ‘cheesy’ is a term that can be used to define something banal, tripe or in bad taste. Now that’s according to the dictionary. For me it means something just a bit different. For me cheesy means a film that is fun, in spite of its flaws and its hard to swallow storyline. In spite of its bad acting and its bad effects. Sometimes cheesy films are just films that are silly to the max, but I love that about them! So on this post, I present you with only some, of many cheesy 80s films. There were a lot of movies from the 80s that fell in that category, the ones I mention here are only a small sample of the ample choice of cheesy films from the decade of decadence! Im only including American films, because if I was to include foreign films, especially films from Italy, this list would have to be a lot longer! Feel free to add any cheesy movie you might remember from your childhood!

#13 - Flash Gordon (1980) - Max Von Sydow plays Ming the Merciless, who plans on destroying Earth simply for his own amusement! Flash Gordon (Quarterback for the New York Jets!) goes up to Mongo to try and stop Ming from doing so. This movie is so cheesy, it has Flash Gordon playing football in Emperor Mings Imperial Courtroom! Its ultra campy, very retro, so much so that it feels like a science fiction film from the 50’s. To the films advantage, the Queen soundtrack makes the film even more watchable! Ming the Merciless is played by Max Von Sydow who has some of the best lines. Im talking about golden nuggets of wisdom like: “Pathetic Earthlings, hurling yourselves out into the void without the slightest inkling of who or what is out there. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would’ve hidden from it in terror” Audiences back in the day didn’t get the retro vibe that this movie was going for, so it tanked at the box office, but across the years, its gathered some serious cult following. Its one of my favorites, I can watch it and rewatch it over and over again.

Favorite Cheesy Line: “Flash, Flash, I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the earth!”

#12 - Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983) - I must’ve watched this one a million times when it was first released! I remember loving the villain, played by Michael Ironside. The bad guy was half robotic, half human, and he moved around on this giant crane. I thought that was so cool back in the day, saw it recently and realized how unthreatening this villain was! I mean, the guy can’t even properly move on that thing! He is a sitting duck on that thing, why do people choose to follow him or fear him? I don’t know! The film stars a very young Molly Ringwald, in fact, I believe she was still a teenager when she starred on this film. But basically, the films plot is, this mercenary guy has to rescue these three hot chicks who are stranded on a dangerous planet. You see, the interstellar cruise ship they were vacationing on exploded, and they crash landed on this dangerous planet. So yeah, that’s how cheesy this movie is. The main jist of the film is the hero has to rescue three hot space tourists! 

Favorite Cheesy Line: After being promised he would be set free if he passed a test, and he does, the villain replies: “I lied! Nobody goes free! Chemist, prepare the Fusion Tube!”

#11 - Howard the Duck (1986) - This movie is the one that George Lucas doesn’t want you to know about. It was a huge disappointment at the box office! People didn’t know if this movie was for kids or for adults, the ensuing confusion was what shot this movie down before it could fly. It is an extremely cheesy film; for starters, Lea Thompson gets romantically entangled with a duck from outer space! I mean, he is a midget duck lady! At one point in the film, it is implied that they are going to have sex! Howard the Duck even has a condom in his wallet! Still, I enjoy it because it’s just so freaking 80s! Lea Thompsons character (Beverly) is part of a hair band that plays the cheesiest synth rock, the movie ends with a “Howard the Duck” theme song in a big ass concert with everybody singing along! Fireworks and all! I always enjoyed the stop motion animation on this one, its one of the last films to use stop motion animation, before CGI started to take over. I also enjoy Jeffrey Jones performance as one of the Dark Overlords of the universe, a truly over the top performance. The visual fx on this film are pretty cool as well. On the downside, Tim Robbins is a bit annoying on this one, still, not as bad as some might lead you to believe, to me this film is highly enjoyable. 

Favorite Cheesy Line: “No one laughs, at a master of….QUACK FU!”

#10 Terrorvision (1986) - This movie is so freaking awesome! Storyline is about this alien creature that has traveled from another planet and transported itself to earth via one of those giant TV antennas that people use to have on their houses back in the 80s. You remember that? When the coolest thing in the world was to have this big ass Antenna in your backyard, cause it meant you had 500 movie channels to watch! Anyhows, this movie is so entertaining, the make up effects are awesome! The characters are so freaking 80s! There’s a teenage girl who dresses like Madonna, her crazy stoner boyfriend who is obviously a metal head! Then there's the crazy war veteran grandpa, and the little kid who has to save the day! I also love this show that the kid watches that is hosted by a lady who looks like Medussa! The kids parents are swingers! The grandpa eats lizards tails because he thinks they are nutritional! This movie is pure insanity, but its so much fun! Highly recommend you check it out in whatever way you can!

Favorite Cheesy Line: “People of Earth, you must heed my warning! Destroy your satellite receivers, dismantle your communications systems, render your TV sets inoperable for the next 200 earth years!”

#9 Killer Klowns from Outerspace (1988) - Killer Klowns from Outerspace have landed here on earth! Their main goal? To harvest humans and feed on their blood! Yup! These alien killer klowns, are actually space vampires! The funniest thing in this movie are the gags the Klowns use to kill people with, they drown people in pies! They use toy guns to capture humans! Their spaceship is shaped like a big circus tent! They have killer pop corn that transforms into little creatures that bite! This movie is all kinds of fun, thanks to the Chiodo Bros. and their cool make up effects work and their crazy ideas! In the end the good guys confront a giant Killer Klown dubbed Klownzilla! Its all kinds of crazy, but all kinds of fun as well. The silly dialog really gets me sometimes! 

Favorite Cheesy Line: When a concerned citizen calls the local police station for help because the clowns took his wife, the chief of police says “They took your wife away in a balloon? Well, you don’t need the police pal! You need a psychiatrist!”

#8 Ice Pirates (1984) - You know a movie is cheesy when the tagline for the film is: “Bad Taste in outer space”. This movie is all sorts of hilarious. Basically, water is precious in this universe, and there’s not enough of it to go around. So the hero and his crew do what anyone in their right mind would do, they steal ice and sell it to the highest bidder! Cheesy factor on this movie is extremely high! The main characters are almost castrated in this machine that castrates men and turns them into sexless slaves! Ron Perlman plays himself on this one, like he does on most of his films. Angelica Houston must really hate this movie, because she is in it! She is this swashbuckler character, and actually kicks some ass in the movie! There’s this hilarious scene in which time is moving forward, because they are traveling so fast through space, and everybody on the ship starts getting super old, it’s hilarious! Robots actually crap on this one! They crap nuts and bolts! In one particular scene, the good guys are infiltrating the bad guys spaceship, and they walk in on an alien taking a dump! The special effects aren’t all that special, but the movies tongue in cheek spirit is what keeps me revisiting it.

Favorite Cheesy Line: “I hope no one minds, but I have no intentions on facing this sober!”

#7 The Last Dragon (1985) - This movie has one Bruce Leeroy (that’s right, sign #1 of the cheesy nature of this film is the main characters name!) who has to protect his families restaurant against a gang of martial artist who are also thugs! Somehow, a vj figures into the plotline, which means you'll see and hear a bunch of cheesy 80s songs. The movie tries to pay tribute to Bruce Lee, but in a strangely funny way. When characters start using their martial arts, they start glowing with a special neon aura thing around their bodies! They can catch bullets with their teeth! The villain looks like Busta Rhymes on crack! This movie was made during that time in the 80s when people carried boomboxes on their shoulders! There’s actually a scene in which kids are watching a Bruce Lee movie in a theater, and they get so into it that they start break dancing with their boombox in the middle of the movie theater! This kung fu movie has to be seen to be believed! 

Favorite Cheesy Line: “I am sick of hearing these bullshit Superman stories about the -wassah!- legendary Bruce Leroy catching bullets with his teeth. Catches bullets with his teeth. Nigga please!”

#6 My Demon Lover (1987) - This movie is about a guy who is cursed. Whenever he gets it on with a girl, he transforms into a demon! I remember loving the gooey make up effects, which were all the rave during the 80s. Every movie had to have some sort of transformation sequence, cool thing about this one was that every time the guy started messing around with his girlfriend, he would go through some crazy ass transformation! This is the kind of movie where the villain turns into an evil demon/warlock spewing powers out of his hands! The effects were very gory and gooey, a good example of the kind of horror effects we'd see during the 80's with lots of latex and slime.

Favorite Cheesy Line: Can't remember any!  

#5 Eliminators (1986) - On this one we have a dude who rides around in a tank, he is half man half robotic tank. Its hilariously cheesy. All you have to know is that the good guys are made up of an android, a mercenary (Indiana Jones type) , a lady scientist and a ninja. That’s right, I said ninja! The bad guy is a mad scientist looking to use time travel to conquer the world. He wants to travel back in time to the Roman Empire, to try and conquer the world in the past, but instead, he gets stranded in prehistoric times! Its fun times because it’s so freaking silly. Too bad it isn’t out on DVD either! 

Favorite Cheesy Line: “What is this? Some kind of comic book? We got robots, we got cavemen! We got Kung Fu!”

#4 Rock and Roll Nightmare (1987) - You know how everyone thinks Troll II is like the worst film ever made? That’s because they haven’t seen Rock and Roll Nightmare! This movie is so bad it defies description! First off, wanna know how cheesy this movie is? The films director is a guy named Thor! And he stars in his own movie! In it he plays a heavy metal singer named John Triton who takes his band to a secluded house in the middle of nowhere so they can record their demo. Little by little the band members get killed, until only John Triton is alive to face off against the devil! Funny thing is, the devil is the stupidest freaking puppet they could have ever conceived! And John Triton ends up wearing spiked leather thongs, boots, wristbands and a cape! And whats the best thing that the devil can do to battle John Triton? Hurl squids at him! This movie was all sorts of funny, precisely because it’s so bad. I say again, it rivals Troll II! Take that for what its worth! 

Favorite Cheesy Line: “Let’s tune our weapons!”

#3 Troll (1986) - When anybody mentions the Troll movies, Troll II gets most of the attention because its such a bad film. But people forget, the first one, the original was actually not a bad horror/fantasy film, and its actually quite cheesy. The story is about this little girl who’s possessed by an evil Troll who wants to try and open a portal to his dimension. The troll's plan is to turn every human in the apartment building into a Troll. Then, open up a portal for the rest of the Troll’s to come through and take over earth. What’s cheesy about this movie? Well, Sonny Bono plays one of the neighbors; he is this sex fiend always looking to get laid, he has some of the cheesiest dialog on the whole movie. The Trolls themselves are such cheesy looking monsters. They don’t really move all that much, and quite honestly, are simply hand puppets! The one cool thing about the movie is the main Troll, played by Phil Fondacaro. The make up effects work on the main Troll are cool, everything else is lackluster. But still, the film retains a certain amount of charm to it. It’s a fantasy tale, with a bit of horror sprinkled for good measure. 

Favorite Cheesy Line: “Honey, did you do a lot of drugs before you were married?”

#2 Alan Quartermain and The Lost City of Gold (1986) - This is the sequel to King Solomon’s Mines, an Indiana Jones wannabe from the 80s. This movie is pretty cheesy! Its tries to imitate Spielberg’s films, but falls short, mainly because the budget was so low! We get a bunch of campy sets that are suppose to be in the middle of the jungle somewhere. Basically, Alan Quartermain has to go get his brother who has been trapped by the evil ruler of the “Lost City of Gold’, where everything is made of Gold! Sharon Stone and James Earl Jones must hate the fact that these films are out on DVD! They both suck ass in them! James Earl Jones plays a good guy, tagging along with Quartermain. Stone plays the annoying girl who is suppose to nag nag nag every step of the way, just like Kate Capshaw’s Willie was in Temple of Doom. If you want to see a low budget version of Indiana Jones, check this one out! 

Favorite Cheesy Line: “I will squash your eye like a grape!”

#1 Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo - Wow, this could quite possibly one of the cheesiest most non sensical movies ever made! At times, it is completely incomprehensible! One scene has one of the characters, who has just broken his leg, resting in a hospital bed, when suddenly, in comes the break dancers and give him some break dancing holy spirit and he freaking walks out of the hospital! Miraculously cured! What? It’s the kind of film that makes you think “what the hell were they thinking?” One scene has Ozone, the main character in the film, break dancing on top of a building, for no reason whatsoever! Not to mention that Turbo, another one of the films characters starts dancing on the ceiling (ala Lionel Ritchie) for no reason either! Simply to fill time, simply to show the “magic of dancing”. It has that typical storyline where the big corporations are trying to make a mall, and they want to tear down their community shelter, so they stand in front of the tractors and trucks, so they cant tear it down? This has to be one of the most overused plot lines in the 80s! A reflection of how things were back in those days? Or simply a bad script? You be the judge! Whenever the Shabba Doo guy walks around with all these chains hanging from his pants, I just bust a gut laughing! The film has a couple of homosexual undertones hidden within. Theres something weird going on between Turbo and Ozone, was I alone in noticing that? Also the dialog has many homosexual undertones to it, with the guys saying things like “Girls are whack man!” Ice T appears in the movie as well, Guaranteed laughs. 

"Quick! Somebody call an ambulance, we got a couple of fashion victims over here!"

Other Cheesy films I had no time to write about: 

Galaxina (1980)

Over the Top (1987)

The Stuff (1985)

The Dungeon Master (1984)

The Beast Master (1982)


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