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Big Meat Eater (1982)
Musical Sci-Fi Comedy Horror Cannibal Romance! With Mutants!
Utterly, utterly indescribable...but I'll try anyway.
Okay...a friendly butcher in a small town discovers that the meat he is discarding in his basement has turned into the super-energetic element Baloney-ium.
The mayor of the small town fires Abdullah, the stoker for the city hall furnace. Abdullah gets angry and kills the mayor. He hides the body in the butcher's shop.
A youthful inventor builds a spaceship out of his car, but needs an energy source.
Aliens descend from the skies and turn the mayor into their undead slave. He breaks free from the butcher shop and acquires a prosthetic limb - an egg beater hand.
The town is celebrating their centennial. The undead mayor hires the butcher to design a "Town of the Future" pavillion (actually an alien landing site) and gets the father of the youthful inventor to build it.
Abdullah is hired as the butcher's assistant and starts serving up the town's residents and dogs.
The youthful inventor is changed into mutant and later poses as his fortune-teller grandmother to...I give up.
And so on. Big Meat Eater is actually quite funny...lots of singing and dancing numbers, horrible production values, the cheapest aliens of all time, and a climatic space battle at the end.
Hardcore jazz fans may recognize Abdullah as "Big" Miller, the Alberta jazz-man. Seeing him on film, it's very easy to see where he got his nickname. He's one of the largest men I've ever seen who could still walk around.
The only real criticisms I have of it is that it tries too hard in spots...sometimes it becomes a little too much of a self-conscious spoof. Also, the sound quality is poor at times. Abdullah is often inaudible, as is the inventor's sister.
This movie...well, it's a hidden gem to say the least. I know of only two other people who have seen it. Once in a very rare while it will be shown on late-night Canadian TV. I have it on tape, if anyone's interested in getting a copy.
No Down Payment (1957)
Now this is acting...
This is not the sort of movie, I usually like. It's basically a soap opera about of the lives of 4 young married couples in a new community in California. What makes it stand out is the truly amazing performances of the actors - Oscar material, certainly. It's well worth the rental, if you can find it. Occasionally shown at 2am on access cable, this is a hidden gem.
Ya Li ba ba liang ge da dao (1998)
This is an excellent spoof of Hong-Kong action cinema.
Most comedies produced in Hong Kong are fairly opaque to Western viewers, except when they degenerate to a purely physical level. This film, an excellent spoof of Hong Kong action films, is different. Essentially, it follows the attempts of a naive bank clerk to become a bank robber. Despite its...um...interesting title, it's harmless fun.