Friday, 15 April 2011

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon

I have a friend who works in the special effects industry (I’m very well connected). In fact she was the person who convinced me to start this blog. She said that in their office they have a collection of footage of really bad special effects, a blooper reel if you will, showing them what NOT to do. Now I’m fairly certain a large chunk of this consists of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.  All the best parts occur right at the end of the film, so if have got the DVD and are keen on seeing in full then you may not want to watch some of the videos below. But the plot is so wafer thin that it really won’t ruin your fun. Believe me you will want to watch it on multiple occasions.

While diving for Lobsters Ben Carpenter (John Barrowman) comes across a shark tooth stuck in fibre-optic cable that’s been freshly laid by a communications company.  Ben takes it home and takes a photo of it while holding the tooth in his hand. Then without connecting his camera to his computer automatically uploads it to Marine net (which claims to be a website “for shark lovers”) at which point a picture pops up on screen of the tooth without Ben’s fingers holding it and without a background (take that CSI ). Cat Stone (Jenny McShane) comes to talk to ben about his discovery, being a marine biologist she automatically can tell it’s a Megalodon! A massive pre-historic shark! How big is a Megalodon?  Well think of a really big shark, WELL IT’S EVEN BIGGER THAN THAT! That’s why it’s called a MEGA!-lodon! Oh and the Megalodon can roar like a Lion for no apparent reason.

Cat and Ben set off on a mission to bring this enormous Shark to Justice. Meanwhile he owners of the Fibre-optic cables, APEX communications, have a problem as the sharks are attracted to the electromagnetic field they emit (don’t question it just accept it and move on with your life). They try to cover it up in order to protect company profits. I’m not sure how they intend to continue with making money when their network of cable is constantly being eaten by sharks, but I’m not a businessman. Mr Tolley (the owner of APEX) won’t let anything get in his way of all that delicious money! Ben’s friend and employee of APEX, Chuck Rampant (That’s his name! Awesome!), discovers Tolley’s cover up and swears revenge.
The climax takes place on a Yacht with the company investors of APEX all on board (Great idea with those massive f**king sharks around).  The inevitable happens and people get swallowed whole with hilarious results. Mr Tolley’s gets his comeuppance when he drives straight into the gaping jaws of a Megalodon on a Jet-ski taking no preventative action to avoid it. Ben and Chuck Rampant (I wish I was called Chuck Rampant) try to fight the Megalodon in a sub marine with a spare torpedo Chuck just has lying around. Eventually Ben puts the Sub on auto pilot to drive into the shark’s mouth before casually swimming out of the sub and detonating it. Tale as old as time…

Right from the off Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is full of clunky dialogue and character just laughing at end of each other’s sentences, regardless of weather they ended with a Joke.  Barrowman and his co-star Jenny McShane have less romantic chemistry then Bert and Ernie in Sesame Street. In fact there she often seems to have the expression of someone who has just done a fart in a lift whenever Barrowman is around. That is until this happens….
Yeah that’s right! The ladies love vulgar pick-up lines like that. Go try it yourself!

Believe it or not (well believe it as it’s true) that line wasn’t in the script but rather adlibbed by Barrowman. At this point the director probably felt like driving a jet-ski into a Megalodon’s mouth himself so just kept it in. Also now you will know how hard I have to try and resist saying the line when someone announces “I’m really tired”.

I would like to think that the film gave Barrowman great life experience with coming face to face with dead-eyed soulless monstrosities. This explains why he is able to be on talent shows with Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Sadly the middle of the film drags a bit when it goes from being bad-funny to just bad but the ending more than makes up for it.  Oh and want to see the best ending line to a film ever?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Troll 2

I’m gonna tell you a fact about Troll 2 that will give you an idea of the kind of film it is.

Are you ready?... Sure?... OK then...

There are no trolls in Troll 2. 

The working title for the film was Goblins, which was then hastily changed to ride the very tiny ripple of success Troll had generated. The script was written by Rosella Drudi, wife of the director Claudio Fragasso, in order to piss off her friends who had become vegetarians. This makes it the only  anti-vegetarian propaganda film that i can think of. The majority of the crew were Italian and weren't able to speak English to the cast. The script were written in pidgin English and there seems to be a cat fight to this very day about how much freedom that cast were allowed to correct the script. It all makes for a delicious big green gooey cinematic mess.

I will let the blurb on the back of the box explain the plot. I have not made the following up, it’s not a load of typos, I have copied it word for word.

Joshua’s fears are well  founded for the Trolls, which are a particularly dangerous breed live in the woods around the village. The Trolls in the form of peasants offer the Waits family food, but Joshua is suspicious of their gifts and tries to persuade his family to refuse the food, which is a special concoction which will render them edible for the trolls...
for the Trolls are vegetarians...
Following so far?
And the food would turn the Waits into Vegetables!!
With only his Grandfather’s help,
(who can i mention is dead and is talking to Joshua from beyond the grave)
Joshua wages war against the Trolls. But he soon discovers that it’s not so easy to defeat the Trolls and escape.

So the Waits family go on a house swap holiday to a small quite town call Nilbog only later on the discover that as Joshua says

“Nilbog! It's goblin spelled backwards! This is their kingdom!”

The “special” effects consist of lots of green goo and some poor sod having tree bark glued to his face. The sub-plots of troll 2 are brilliant as well. Josh’s Grampa, Seth, can talk to Josh in his head, appear in mirrors, magic himself back into existence and freeze time. In fact he seems to be more super-human than dead. Joshua’s sister Holly spends a lot of time worrying that her boyfriend Elliot is having a four-way homoerotic affair with his three best mates. Elliot and his mates follow the Waits to Nilbog, all four of them in a small cramped camper-van, how homoerotic is that? One gets turned into a tree, one encounters a store clerk who can only be describe as mentally unhinged and the third one gets seduced by the Goblin queen in a scene involving loads of popcorn for no reason.

To add to the ridiculous plot line the cast seem to have been rounded up from the nearest bus stop. Joshua’s dad is played by a dentist who went to an audition in the hope of a small walk on part and ended up with a lead role. To be fair to them the script really doesn’t do the cast any favors. for example in the above blurb josh has to figure out how to stop his family eating food left by the goblins. How does he do it? Well Grampa Seth freezes time and...

JOSHUA PISSES ON ALL THE FOOD! OH YES! (click here for the linky it's well worth watching) The scene contains some of the stupidest dialogue I have heard (you can't piss on hospitality! I WON'T ALLOW IT!).

As you can see Troll 2 is absolutely right up my street. It’s gathered a cult following  and rightly so. It’s very simply a must have for any bad-film devotee. Don’t believe me? 

I rest my case.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Want to see a Hobo melt on the toilet?

This is from Street Trash, a film i haven't seen but really want to. I warn you it ain't pretty. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Room- How to hold your own "The Room" party.

You may be aware of the fun and games that you can have in the cinema while watching The Room. Here is a great guide for those lucky enough to be able to see it in in all its glory If you are in London head to The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, it shows regularly there.

But if you are unable to see it on the big screen why not hold a viewing in your own Room? I am actually planning such an event currently, so here is my plan for my ultimate Room Party!

1. Get the DVD: Well an obvious one to start with but you can’t waltz into HMV and buy it here in the UK. You need to get it shipped from or The Room store off the official website. Also not you need a Multi region DVD player (I use my Xbox 360 which plays it fine) or borrow something off a friend to play it on.

If you are from America ignore the previous instructions for you are the chosen ones.

2. Decorate your Room: Add classy effects like Pictures of spoons in small photo frames. Oh and don’t forget to get lots of candles (unlit) and Red Roses.

3. Get guest to dress up: There are more characters than you may think in the room so finding a costume for everyone should be easy, here’s my brief list...

-                    Main characters:  Johnny, Lisa, Mark, Denny, Claudette
-                    Secondary characters: Mike, Michelle, Peter,
-                    Others: Chris-R (Drug dealer), The Flower shop woman, Stephen (Peter’s replacement who we are never introduced to)

The person Playing Johnny should be the host and address everyone who arrives with the greeting “Oh Hai (name)”. The person playing Mark should constantly tell the person playing Johnny that he is Best friend. If someone is portraying Stephen (the guy who replaces Peter) should be continually greeted with “who the f*** are you?” The person playing Mark should have a beard. Prior to the tuxedo scene they must go to the bathroom remove and shave it off.

4. Drinks and Food: Red Wine should be served in Champagne Flutes. The only other drink available is “Scotchka”, made from 50% Scotch and 50% Vodka, as drunk by Johnny and Lisa in the film. If the thought of that is making your stomach churn then why not get an empty bottle of Scotch and fill it with Apple juice (You many need to add less vodka when mix unless you want to end up hunched over the toilet). 

Food should be Pizza Half Canadian Bacon and Pineapple, half Artichoke and Pesto (Light on the Cheese) as ordered by Lisa in the film. Crisps will be allowed along with Cake and Cheesecake. The person Playing Denny should dramatically eat an apple at the same time as Denny.

5. Drinking games: Simply choose one of the below rules to follow and have a shot (preferably of Scotchka) whenever they occur

-                    A spoon is spotted

-                    Someone states that Johnny is Mark’s best friend
-                    Denny Appears / goes away
-                    Johnny says “Oh Hai”
-                    There is a shot of San Francisco

-                    ALL OF THE ABOVE (this may lead to hospitalisation)

6. Smash the entire place up: …at the same time as Johnny. Have a spare TV on hand to throw out your window.

 Well that’s it, have fun and let me know how you get on. 

Disclaimer: The Bad Film Blog does not take responsibly for any damage caused by smashing up your Room, Possible alcohol poisoning, vomit stains and blindness caused by thrown spoons gouging people’s eyes out. Play safe.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Room

It’s difficult to know how to start this post for The Room seems to be the only film I have ever seen in which pretty much every element I absolutely awful.  The plot is basic yet has so many dangling plot threads that are just ignored, the acting is so wooden some of the characters could be mistaken for furniture, the sound is badly dubbed, the music dull, the directing if full of continuity errors and the “love” scenes make you feel like you have just walked in your best friends in the middle of the no pants dance in the middle of a giant pile of vomit. However it’s because of all of these factors that I have to consider The Room as the best bad film made.

Tommy Wiseau, the genius behind the project, takes credits as actor, director, writer, producer and executive producer. The film seems to be some kind of wish fulfilment on Wiseau’s  part, desperately trying to be seen as some kind of romantic martyr. Wiseau’s character Johnny seems to have it all. A “beautiful” girl, a job with prospects, a “trustworthy” best friend and a strange socially inept college kid who for some unexplained reason  he has taken under his wing. That is until he is betrayed by his “future wife” Lisa (Boo! Hiss!) as she starts an affair with his best friend Mark. Johnny ends up asking the most fundamental question in human existence (according to the DVD cover) “Can you really trust anyone?” (Well, yes you can)

The Room has many plot threads that I expect Wiseau had hoped to tie up but either ran out of time, forgot about them or just plain old couldn’t be arsed. Denny (a college kid who Johnny has brought an apartment for and paid his tuition fees) is threatened at gunpoint by a drug dealer who claims he owes him money. After a typically dramatic scene Denny’s drug habit is never mentioned again. Claudette (Lisa’s mother) announces to her daughter that she is dying of breast cancer, only to be reassured by her daughter that she isn’t. This is despite her receiving test results confirming the diagnosis. Still neither mother or daughter seem overly concerned about it and it’s never mentioned again for the remainder of the film.

Well at least Wiseau shows that he can gracefully highlight key plot elements, for example, the four main male characters all gather in Johnny’s apartment all in tuxedos when Mark arrives to reveal that… he has shaved his beard! This is greeted by the camera zooming in and dramatic music playing while the other character mumbles about how good he looks. It’s never explained why they are in tuxedos, but I’d like to think that Mark told them to hire them for the grand unveiling of his chin.

There is a strange lack of depth to all the characters. Denny is just some weird kid who Johnny wants to adopt, we never get told  how they met or Johnny’s reason for attachment to him. Denny lacks the very basic social skills leading a lot of people to suspect that he is mentally challenged, which is never built upon. Lisa changes her mind over her feelings of Johnny overnight, in fact it comes straight after a graphic love scene with Johnny. The next morning she goes and seduces Mark. Claudette spouts sexist dribble by insisting the Lisa should stay with Johnny as “he’s your financial security” and continues to say this even after Lisa tells her Johnny has been hitting her.  Mark is just a complete twat and Johnny walks around the place spouting his words of wisdom around like the second coming of Jesus.

Here is a clip of some typically naturalistic acting...
The Room seems to be filled with running gags (but I doubt any were intended). Characters often leave to door wide open when walking in or out  the apartment.  Johnny’s flat is covered in small photos of spoons (to which the audiences scream “SPOON!” and hurl vast quantities of spoons at the screen). Denny has a habit of walking into the apartment asking one question and simply walking out a second later stating that “he has to go”.  Characters throw a football to each other while standing about a yard apart. One character is replaced by a completely different character who we are never introduced to (this is due to the actor who played Peter leaving during filming). Almost all of Tommy Wiseau’s lines are dubbed over and terribly synced.

In an interview for a DVD extra Wiseau insists that everything which makes The Room great (acting, script, pictures of spoons in photo frames etc.) is intentional and meticulously planed. However this seems a dubious as his lines in the interview are laughably dubbed over. Most bad films seem to be made of a massive collection of individual errors but as Tommy Wiseau says himself “You have to have a vision, from the beginning of a project to the end of a project, otherwise you don’t have a project”, thank you for sharing your vision. I think I love you Mr. Wiseau.

(but I don’t want to see you naked)

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Shark in Venice

There seems to be an awful lot of bad films based around sharks. I suspect the popularity of the shark as an antagonist is due to the availability of library footage of sharks bumping into cameras and chopping on hunks of meat. All the makers of these “Shark-ploitation” films need to do is slap in a few reaction shots of people screaming and blood dispersing in water and they are in business.

Clearly from the same school as Snakes on a Plane, Shark in Venice is about a Shark in Venice (well actually several sharks in Venice). However Shark in Venice was clearly intent on ripping off other Spielberg classics as well as Jaws, by trying to turn Stephen Baldwin into Indiana Jones.  All that’s missing is Baldwin being visited by a lost alien looking for a way to get home. Baldwin spends half the film staring emotionless at other characters occasionally sighing and the remainder sounding like an asthmatic that has just run up four flights of stairs. In fact Baldwin cuts a sad figure, he’s like one of you friends dad who is in the middle of going through a divorce and spends all day eating ready meals and dreaming of buying a motorbike.

 Baldwin’s character David Franks (a doctor in marine biology) is told that his father has disappeared while on a diving mission, and his father colleagues were found dead. Baldwin takes this news by sighing, shrugging his shoulders and muttering that he better go to Venice. He ends up finding ancient treasure from the Crusades and a mafia boss shows up to try to get Baldwin to obtain the treasure for him. The mafia kidnaps his girlfriend forcing the 3rd best Baldwin to find the treasure, fight the sharks, reveal to the world that the police are covering up the existence of sharks in Venice and while trying to avoid the same fate as his Dad.

Bar a few scattering of poor CGI and library footage of sharks close up and limbs falling off there is actually very little about sharks in the film. The film may as well be called “Stephen Baldwin in Venice”. At one point Baldwin is bitten on the shoulder by a shark (great white sharks apparently) and just huffs and puffs his way out of the water with nothing but a scratch. Stephen also can’t be said to be in the best physical condition, so seeing him wriggle in and out of a wet-suit for 65% of the film may not be some people’s idea of a good time.

The acting and directing give the whole thing a feeling of an American soap opera, in fact there it’s only when a shark pops up to eat a gondola that you remember this is meant to be about a Shark in Venice. This is what annoys me about this film, if you have a concept as stupid as SHARKS IN VENICE why not use it! Embrace to stupidity! I wanted to see drunken college kid on holiday in bikini’s having a drunken swimming race get swallowed whole. Instead we have to make do with one drunken local and a gondola attack. “But hey! I bet that shark comes out to play in the finale” I hear you shout. Well barely, the majority of it is a gun fight between the mafia and the police that lasts five times as long as it should.

After a dramatic shootout, Stephen Baldwin gives up his mission to tell the world about the sharks in Venice, something he was shouting and screaming about for the first half of the film. Oh and if you care, it was the mafia putting the sharks in the water to stop others finding the treasure which they themselves have not found. Idiots.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Hercules in New York

When the opening line to a film is “When myth and history merge into mystery” you know you are in for a good time. 

I came across Hercules in New York when a friend pointed it out to me in a branch of the now defunct Woolworths. It kick-started my love of bad films so I hold it dear to my heart. It was the screen debut of a certain Arnold Schwarzenegger, then known as Arnold Strong (Mr Universe at the time). Over the course of the seventy five minute epic Arnie Flexes his mussels, fights a bear, throws a javelin, uses Greasy chat up lines and beats up a boat full of men. 

Plot-wise Hercules is cast as a bored little brat wanting to go to earth to have some fun. Sick of his constant whining his dad, Zeus, in a fit of rage… sends him to earth, thus granting his wish. 

After beating up everyone on the boat the picked him out of the ocean (including John Candy) he buddy’s up with Pretzie (Arnold Stang, voice of Top-cat!), a pretzel seller by the dock. It’s essentially a buddy movie between an ethereal prick and a walking stereotype.  Pretize looks like he was created during a game of Pictionary and the words “A Jew” were on the card. I personally feel slightly offended by the lazy stereotyping of this Jewish character, and I’m not even Jewish. Anyway they team up and “Herc” becomes a wrestler and money start rolling in. The world’s least threatening mafia boss turns up (he looks like Bob Hoskin’s and Jimmy Carr’s lovechild) and “Herc” loses his powers at one point blah, blah, blah… you really don’t need to know the plot. What you need to know is Arnie flips over a taxi then fights a bear.

“Herc” also gets his shirt off as many times as possible, at one point during the middle of talking to Mercury (yes he is a Roman god but attention to detail is not HINY’s strongpoint) proclaiming “I have to take a shower”. Arnie was only 22 at the time and he still had a strong Austrian accent. For the theatre release Arnie’s voice was dubbed over but thankfully restored on the DVD. It sounds like Schwarzenegger is doing an impression of Rainier Wolfcastle (the Arnie parody character from the Simpson’s) doing an impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnie and his rudimentary English skills (he was only 22) get to work with such great dialog as…

“Bucks? Doe? What is all this zoological talk about male and female animals?”
“Ha, ha, ha. You have strucked Hercules.”

The Guy who plays Zeus spends 97.6% of the film pissed off with his son, scowling for almost all of his scenes. Mount Olympus seems to have serious traffic congestion problems judging by the amount of honking car horns you can hear, and the Greek gods had a fondness for red brickwork as opposed to white marble (picking Central Park as the set was probably not the best location in hindsight).

Arnie openly admits regretting doing this film, and that’s from a man who played Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin. Thankfully for Arnie this was not the end, he was well on his way to stardom by 1982 (Conan the Barbarian), and well on his way to being in charge of the world’s 8th biggest economy (seriously how the hell did that happen?). The director Arthur Allan Seidelman also went on to hit personal highs by directing episodes of Magnum P.I. and Murder She Wrote. Still Hercules in New York Remains his Magnus opus.