THE VISITOR (1979)
A little girl appears to an old sage on an alien planet. Space Jesus (Franco Nero) explains to bald children about the escape of the evil general Sateen to the planet Earth. The old man (John Huston) tells Christ of his vision of the girl, and heads off to Earth to once again stop Sateen's evil genes from propagating. The first 7 minutes of The Visitor. Following that is many crazy things. I've seen a good number of B movies, and this one is one of the most baffling. The number of names in it (Mel Ferrer, Shelley Winters; Kareem Abdul Jabar and Sam Peckinpah also cameo) is bewildering. According to Lance Henriksen, he and some other members of the cast agreed to do the movie primarily to get a free trip to Italy. Which I'm sure they enjoyed. And I enjoy the nonsensical garbage they produced after that trip was dead and buried. I like when the evil little girl and John Huston play Pong and she dares him to kill her.
HARD TICKET TO HAWAII (1987)
If you only watch one "B movie" in your entire life, make it Hard Ticket to Hawaii. People like B movies because they're over-the-top, ridiculous, half-baked, and a hell of a lot of fun. This one is all of those things and more. It has it all. Ridiculous action, Playboy models I'm supposed to believe are DEA agents, a snake that's "infected with deadly toxins from cancer-infested rats," a 2-minute jacuzzi break, and more. The film's full of awful acting because, believe it or not, a Playboy model does not a lead actress make. A major plotline in this film is they bring a big snake to Hawaii and it starts attacking people. That could be a whole movie in itself. But it's just a side plot in this fully loaded corndog of a movie. What does that mean? I don't know!
SANTO & BLUE DEMON vs. THE MONSTERS (1970)
. . . why. . . Why?. . . WHY DID NONE OF YOU TELL ME ABOUT LUCHADOR MOVIES? If I had known that there were dozens of films where masked wrestlers face off against vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies, Frankenstein, neo-Nazis, 16th century conquistadors, etc., I would have been investing in my collection this whole time. But no. Y'all just left it up to me to figure out myself. Thanks. I could've been watching Santo y Blue Demon Contra Los Monstruos that whole time, because it kicks ass. The speed this movie moves at just grabs your attention and holds it. Every few minutes there's a little lucha match between Santo, Blue Demon, and any number of monsters you know and love from classic Hollywood horror movies. It even has a laboratory in a cave. That's something you get when you watch this: these guys love classic horror movies, and they fuse it with their love of lucha in such a fun way. It's the kind of movie that when you see the bad props and costumes you smile, because hey, they're trying! They give a shit! That can be rare. But the earnestness of Santo, Blue Demon, and everyone they're working with comes through so clearly you can't help but enjoy it. Watch this movie. It's a blast.
TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE (1987)
Do you know what good writers do? They write horrible things. Do you know what else they do? They throw those things in the trash. Unless we're talking about Norman Mailer, in which case, he adapts it into a feature length movie. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Mailer seems to be one of the worst actor's directors in history. Not a single performance is believable and most of them are hilarious. No one talks like a real person ("we are on a zoom," "we're special looney tunes," "get your ass off my pillow"), no one moves like a real person, no one is still like a real person. It's hard to describe, but you can see it. What is this movie supposed to be? Different places call it a "comedy-drama," what the hell is that? Is it supposed to be a real drama that's funny because of the cartoon characters performing it? Then why make it a real drama at all? Or why make cartoon characters? I'm so confused. I don't know what the hell this is supposed to be. But damn is it hilarious.
ALIEN PRIVATE EYE (1989)
White fingerless gloves. A white jacket with a massive collar and rolled-up sleeves. Chains on white pants. The deepest neckline on a white undershirt. And a black, wide brim fedora.This is the first shot of Alien Private Eye and our introduction to Lemro, an alien private eye. See, Lemro came to earth (imagine me chuckling every time I type Lemro) for a vacation, because apparently his home planet Stix with ten suns and intelligent fish doesn't know how to party. And apparently, Lemro's idea of a vacation is to get licensed as a private investigator and operate an independent business. Every new detail of this film makes it more ridiculous. The lead's overacting and ignorance of the idea of subtlety is endlessly entertaining. It's even funny after the credits roll. That dance club song is great.
X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (1963)
Ah, Roger Corman. What a guy. Corman has had a hand in so many Hollywood stories it's insane. The number of careers he launched and the number of movies he helped create is astounding. X is a Corman classic. While many B movies are loved because they're bad, X is just a good movie made on a budget. And it's technically an A movie but fuck it, what do words even mean anyways? Ray Milland plays a doctor obsessed with increasing his range of visible light so he can x-ray patients with his eyes because he's not satisfied with x-ray machinery for reasons unspecified. "A doctor with x-ray eyes" kind of writes itself in your head when you hear it, but this movie takes it down unexpected but logical paths to be frequently surprising and entertaining. Solid effects carry the "x-ray vision" through to the end of the movie, where they slightly turn crappy but just for a moment. As Dr. Eyes or whatever goes further and further with his experiments, the effects really sell the idea of what this man is going through, and it works. And, yeah, this is an x-ray eyes movie from 1963, so there is a scene where he gawks at women 30 years younger than him with a big smile on his face. Luckily it's just one scene and not the plot of the whole damn movie.
MIAMI CONNECTION (1987)
/ Bikers by day, ninjas by night / Swift and fearless not afraid to fight / Steal all your cocaine along with your life / Strike with no mercy, into the night! Is there a better opening song to a movie? Literally 60 seconds into the film it hard cuts to about 40 ninjas riding motorcycles, and while it was obviously intended to be ridiculous, it was also intended to be serious, in a way it seems only old action shlock can be. This film was almost lost in time, forgotten in a basement, and destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully though it made it through the decades to discover its real audience here, in ~the futuuure~, where people will enjoy things not in spite of its poor quality, but because of it. Yeah that happened in the past too. Shut up. If I ever see you around here again I'll call up the rest of my international rock band of taekwondo orphans who all live in a house together and walk around shirtless feeding one another grapes.