The Terrible Movie Marathon FInale: #19!

(Edward D. Wood Jr., 1959)

Greetings, my friends. 

The only way to end the Terrible Movie Marathon: Quarantine 19 Edition is with the most famous terrible movie of all time: Plan 9 From Outer Space (aka Grave Robbers From Outer Space). Ed Wood's masterpiece is the final film of Bela Lugosi, and the first for Ed's girlfriend's chiropractor who doubled for Lugosi in order to complete the picture. It's a harrowing message to earthlings everywhere that we need to change our evil ways or perish. It's certainly been said before, but Plan 9 From Outer Space, while underfunded and technically inept, is far from a truly terrible movie. It's a DIY masterpiece before DIY was a thing. It has a beauty all its own, as do all truly terrible movies. After viewing 19 terrible movies to pass the time in quarantine, Jen and I needed to chase it with the equally re-watchable and truly wonderful Tim Burton movie scripted by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski: Ed Wood. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend giving it a spin. As people are talking a lot about "comfort movies" lately, that one definitely comes to mind.

Thanks to my brave and beautiful partner Jen for enduring this crazy marathon with me. You make me feel like I've snorted the magic love cocaine from Willow. Some people see movies as "tests" for their partners, which we've never really done...but our simultaneous and mutual realization that Hell Comes to Frogtown is brilliant made me feel even more connected to you than I already did. Rowdy Roddy Piper just brings people closer together, I guess.

Stay healthy and stay indoors, everybody! Don't be a stupid, stupid human! And remember my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future!

Jen's Award for Best Dialogue

(Paula to Jeff)


Don't worry about me.


Oh, forget about the flying saucers, they're up there! But there's something in that cemetery.


The saucers are up there...

[she looks up to the sky]

...and the cemetery's out there...

[she looks to the right ]

...but I'll be locked up in there.

[she looks left to the house ]


Terrible Movie Marathon #18

(Stewart Raffill, 1984)

Before Mac and Me and Tammy and the T-Rex, Stewart Raffill unleashed "space herpies" onto the world with the Star Wars/Mad Max rip-off The Ice Pirates. I saw this movie at age twelve on the silver screen, and apparently thought this crap was perfectly acceptable entertainment. It's not. It's the type of "PG" comedy adventure that would never receive a "PG" rating today, especially when it comes to the pervy "hero" Jason (Robert Ulrich of Vegas fame), and the poorly pitched racial humor. The "pimp-bot" scene is a particularly jaw-dropping gag that might be offensive if it weren't so damn unfunny. The problem with The Ice Pirates--among many--is that none of it is funny, from the castration gags to the kung-fu robots. It makes Spaceballs look like the highest of comedies. 

Surprisingly, Ice Pirates appears to have a more substantial budget than your average late 70's/early 80's Star Wars knock-off (I'm thinking Galaxy of Terror or Star Crash), but the mark of any production value only makes this ridiculous movie more infuriating...as does the presence of Angelica Huston (leather-clad crew member Maida). Yes, Angelica Huston is in this movie, and the more Ulrich hams his way through this mess, the more I began to daydream about The Ice Pirates as a legitimate, serious sci-fi movie, not a comedy (or parody, or whatever they thought this was), with Huston's bad-ass character as the lead.  As it is, Huston's character has a stellar wardrobe, but no arc. In the final shot she turns to kiss some random dude on the space crew in an exceptionally lame attempt at a romantic coda.

Jen's Award for Best Dialogue


Next up: Number Nine...teen! 
A classic finale to the Terrible Movie Marathon: Quarantine 19 Edition


Terrible Movie Marathon #17

(Ron Howard, 1988)

From the director of Eat My Dust comes the family fantasy favorite Willow. To be clear: at this point in the "19 Terrible Movies Marathon" my ability to discern the "Good-Terrible" from the "Bad-Terrible" is waning. Each terrible movie is terrible in it's own unique way, to be sure, but Willow is clearly just terrible: no fun, no laughs, and too long. In some cases (The Boyfriend School comes to mind), a short running time is made to seem interminable, but Willow is one of those movies that is both long and interminable. Like the recent film version of Cats, one doesn't so much "watch" Willow as they do "endure" it. Warwick Davis plays the titular character and somehow gets third billing. The killer shrews from The Killer Shrews play themselves. That guy who played Jim Morrison is also in it. I liked some of the more Ray Harryhausen-like effects. That's all I can tell you about this movie. I'm tired. 

Special commendation: Friend of Ecstatic "Bill" recommended Willow for the Terrible Movie Marathon, and...we thank you? Bill's experience with this movie is one I'm sure many are having recently, as we revisit childhood comfort movies only to discover that "childhood you" thought awful movies were perfectly acceptable. Feel free to post your favorite re-visited horrors in the comments! 

Jen's Best Dialogue Award

(Madmartigan to Sorsha, after having inhaled some of lil Kevin Pollak's love dust)

"You are my sun, my moon, my starlit sky, without you I dwell in darkness."

"Your touch is worth a hundred thousand deaths."

Up next: More knock-off 80's crap!


Terrible Movie Marathon #16

(Frank Marshall, 1995)

From the director of Arachnophobia and Eight Below comes the jungle adventure film where "you are the endangered species," along with tonal consistency and entertainment value. Congo features a cast that might fool you into thinking it's worth seeing: Laura Linney and Tim Curry star as explorers with different motivations. Former Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson is their guide, and star of Mitchell Joe Don Baker is the megalomaniac "Communications" mogul who cares less about his own son than he does about recovering diamonds from the Congo that somehow activate a high-powered laser. The "son" is played by screen legend Bruce Campbell, and the film begins with him having recovered the laser-enabling diamonds. At this point, I'm thinking: "Bruce Campbell traverses the Congo with a high powered diamond laser? Great! I'm in!" Congo--obviously a movie that follows Bruce Campbell with a laser gun in the jungle--then shifts to a tonally incongruous plot line involving a gorilla named Amy who speaks via a high-tech sign language-interpreting backpack rig. Amy (played by an actor in a gorilla suit) drinks and smokes her way through the movie like she's in a remake of Every Which Way But Loose. The entire trajectory of the movie is a dull search that leads to a lost city of ancient ape monsters and Campbell's dead body. To be clear: this movie begins with Bruce Campbell shooting a laser gun, and for the next hour and forty minutes this movie is defiantly not about Bruce Campbell with a laser gun. I still really want to see that movie. It has to be better than Congo, the most sinister misdirect in cinema history.

Jen's Award for Best Dialogue

Dr. Karen Ross: Are you serving that ape a martini?

Up next: A fantasy favorite?


Terrible Movie Marathon #15

(Mark Region, 2009)

Without a doubt, this is the most perplexing and inept thing I've ever seen...and that's saying something. Not to be confused with Hallmark's After the Fall (or That Championship Season), Mark Region's one and only feature (so far) is, perhaps, a movie. You will have to see it to decide. The DVD has been priced in the $150.00+ range in rare times, although occasionally it gets uploaded to youtube in full. Here's an excerpt from what I originally wrote about it in 2012:
In terms of exposition and dialogue, to say that After Last Season has a tendency toward narrative meandering is like saying The Tree of Life jumps around in time a bit.  After Last Season is a grand dare of comprehension that works so aggressively on ones taken-for-granted ability to piece together narrative that it can't help but beg the question of whether or not it is a "hoax" of some sort.  The repeated cutaways to arrows pointing in different directions and signs guiding us cryptically to "Rooms A-B" or "Rooms C-D" may lead one to conclude that an auteur possessing some rare combination of Brechtian obsession and autistic brilliance may be putting us on.  

The overall affect of After Last Season is maddening, with its disjointed discussions of nearby towns and markets, its mind numbing use of computer graphics that make the Dire Strait's "Money for Nothing" video from 1986 seem groundbreaking, and set design that suggests the entire production was shot entirely at actual sites of serial killings. The soundtrack is plagued by a recurring background noise that is a combination between digitally suppressed traffic noises and supernatural intestinal feedback.  One of the most difficult aspects of the production to wrap your brain around is the inclusion of an MRI machine that appears in the first scene, is supposedly integral to the plot, and is clearly constructed out of taped together pieces of paper.

After Last Season is only for those with a certain degree of synaptic fortitude. Structurally, though the film posts many signs, the path is remarkably unclear. The film is littered with shots of signs, arrows, and various cheaply printed copy, made even more frustrating by being cross-cut with mid-conversation discussions about locations and points of destination that are entirely irrelevant.  In many cases, scenes include shots of paper that have nothing on them pinned to walls and doors, as in one particularly baffling, recurring cutaway shot of a symmetrical row of blank sheets of paper taped to the outside of a house. When we finally return from any one of these various enigmatic cutaways to check back in on the characters, their reactions are invariably more perplexed than any reaction an audience could muster.

Jen's Award for Best Dialogue

(A character to another character)

I've never been TO that town, but I've been through it."

Up Next: Is this a Bruce Campbell movie?! 

Sadly, no.