A B-Movie review double feature brought to you by a night of staying up way too late with friends, beer, and a crying newborn (not mine). Burgers were grilled, four people crammed onto a three person couch, and we chose two movies to watch from our selection of 60+ recently purchased movies (a 50-movie horror classics boxed set included).
Before I get into a brief run-down of the viewings themselves, let’s go over some ettiquette for a group setting while horrible movies are being played. 1) As long as the movie is deemed “bad” even before it goes into the player, its perfectly acceptable to talk and make jokes ala MST3K (or Svenghoulie if you’re from Chicagoland). 2) Unless someone specifically asks, the movie is not to be paused at any time. 3) Upon a majority vote, the movie can be fast-forwarded to a more interesting part, rewound to repeat hilarity, or taken out altogether to prevent brain leakage. 4) Don’t bring people that take these type of movies seriously or can’t have fun with them.
So we had everything in line, all rules followed, and popped the movies in.
Oh, and if you’re the type to care about spoilers for horrible films…there’s probably a lot of spoilers below as they’re the only way to really get across some of the on-screen atrocities I witnessed.
First up; Japanese Hell
A straightforward premise of “Head honcho of Hell decides to give a girl a tour and show her how things work so she can tell the world”. Kind of Dante-esque in its mentality. It all starts out wierd and renders viewers speechless as the main character is brought to hell and brought to the river Styx, greeted by some demons who like to strip people and put their clothes in a tree, and then ushered across the river through the vagina-shaped gate of Hell. Then she’s forced to scry on some pederast child-killer and the watch the follow-up eternal punishment of the guy. At this point a lot of pretty decent costumed demons show up and torture the guy. There’s a lot of blood and the practical effects are worthwhile and evoke the proper ammount of joy. If the whole movie continued along the lines of “watch his sins, now watch him suffer” it would have been an amazing film experience. Instead, after a promising opening the tone of the film shifts a bit. Apparantly, we now had to watch the main girl’s past involving the cult behind the Japan subway sarin gas attack.
I’m pretty sure the whole point of the movie involved this way too long propaganda piece revolving around this cult. Frankly, it was rather boring. The idea that these guys were crazy, commited crazy atrocities, had crazy sex, and deserved to be crazy punished (I know, that last one was a stretch of the word crazy, but I still win) was hammered home within the first ten minutes of watching their antics. During this segment Rule #3 was invoked and the fast-forward button pushed. The only thing I can recommend about this part is that any fans of asian T&A will get their fill.
Long story short, the bad guys end up in Hell and are tortured and punished in various ways. Again, the special effects were solid but at this point the film’s message had jaded us too much and the novelty wore off. Eventually, however, a new character called “The Wanderer” shows up. He’s apparantly some dude whose so bad-ass that he travels the afterlives aimless with a samurai sword and cuts up anyone who gets in his way. He kills some of the demons. Then he leaves. I have no idea why he showed up, but it was cool to watch so I’m not going to complain.
After more of nothing, the girl returns to Earth and the movie ends. I felt like I had wasted a lot of time; the beginning of the movie and the samurai aside, the bad parts of this film weren’t amusing enough to ever warrant a second viewing. I wish I hadn’t even given it a first one.
One movie down, one to go. This one; Space Mutiny
This one is an old classic previously made fun of on MST3K. I’ll say right off the bat that everyone has to SEE THIS FILM. It’s outrageously and ridiculously bad, providing an endless onslaught of jokes to issue forth without having to even consciously having to create them.
The costumes and space culture are exactly what I have nightmares about. If the future (you know, the mystical place where everyone lives in space) ends up as a reprised version of the 80’s then I quit right here and now. Sure, I enjoy the fact that very few women have pants as much as the next guy, but when that rule applies to old women or women with serious problems in their netherregions (lumpy shapes under skintightness does not attractive make) I’ll opt for blindness. Tinfoil, spaulders, and bondage armor also seem to be fashion trends. On the plus side, the mustache avails and great, grey beards are still a sign of leadership. On the downside, a night out consists of a space hula hoop and bad space 80’s music. On the ugly side, sex is only possible if done on astroturf. And I thought rug burn was bad.
The special effects are special in the same way my mom meant it. I’m pretty sure the spaceships were just stolen footage from earlier science fiction endeavors (their familiar-looking fighters are even called “vipers” if you pay close attention to the IBM computers). The explosive devices – barrels of oil – can be seen before and after “explosion”. Also, in the future it’s possible to color coordinate your laser pistol depending on your mood. Cool, huh?
My favorite scene had to be when the main bad guy wanted to torture the heroine threatened her with a “laser” device that would…I’m not too sure actually. There was a tube, presumedly which funtioned as a slowing mechanism for a laser beam, which would hover inches away from the victim’s teeth. The beam would hit the teeth and a minute of villain monologue would occur. Upon interruption, the laser turns off and…the victim is perfectly fine! I think maybe her teeth were cleaner though.
Also, there’s a strange plasma-ball using, ripped body-stocking wearing, belly dancing, and psionic sex cult that predicts things. Or just gets people to pass out, I’m not sure.
My only real disappointment with the amusement this movie brought to me is that the sequel that was all-but-promised at the conclusion was never made. We should start a campaign to get that done.
That’s all for this installment of my B-movie meanderings. Until next time, over and out.