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Terror at Blood Fart Lake (2009)
For God's sake, see this movie.
I saw this on a Bad Movie Night expecting some horrible schlock filmed on a handicam like "Taintlight". I saw the Low Budget Picture logo and went "huh boy, Taintlight time..." This is not "Taintlight". I actually laughed at this, a lot. I found almost every line of dialog genuinely clever. It was almost too clever for a production this small. Like, "why couldn't they raise higher than a handicam budget with writing this solid?"
Everyone is doing an improvised caricature like a parody of Old Hollywood. Had these performances been delivered by name actors with a wink, it would probably be a guilty pleasure, direct-to-video staple. "It could be bigger than Leonard Part 6!" - a line from the film. But there's something very real and charming about their averageness. It makes it unique.
I feel like more people aren't seeing this and that sucks. You will laugh the whole time, no joke. "You wanna take a spooky walk down a mysterious trail?" Please do, fun times ahead.
The Wayward Fart.
There's a scene in Bucky Larson that kind of sums the whole thing up. In the trailer, there's a scene where Bucky catches bugs in his teeth while riding in a convertible. When that scene appears in the film, someone involved in the production said "hmm, that looks like a good place for a fart. Stick one in there if you can." So while the driver is smiling at Bucky's amazement over being able to stand in a car, there's an arbitrary "FLERNT!". You can't tell who farted or even where the fart came from. It sounds like it came from in between them in the back seat. Like Sandler was lying on the floor of the car with a whoopee cushion.
That's pretty much all there is to say about Bucky Larson. It's just painfully, tragically lazy. There aren't any real "jokes". Jokes have a setup and a payoff. They have to conform to even the loosest of rhythms or structure. Presenting Bucky's hick appearance, Fargo accent and tiny penis as "jokes" doesn't qualify. There just kind of there, pointed out endlessly to no real comic effect. His prosthetic teeth also look so cheap and fake you want to rip them out of his mouth, smack him on the back of the head and bellow "Swardson! Go to your room!"
That's really it. Don't bother picking this up even for Bad Movie Night. It's insufferably childish, lazy and boring. It marks a new low for Happy Madison, which I didn't think could be achieved. It was so depressing, I had to turn away after Bucky bursts in on Kevin Nealon when he's on the can. I had to try and find funny in the world again.
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)
A few friends and I loaded this up for bad movie night right after "U.S. Catman In Lethal Track". The contrast was pretty startling, and demonstrated the huge difference between a commercially produced, large budget disaster like this and quirky, extremely low budget, foreign oddities like the kind featured on MST3K. Those low budget gems, for the most part anyway, had some creative spark behind them that went wildly awry. Stuff like "Monster A-Go-Go" was put together by small groups of people who at least cared about what they were putting together but had no idea how.
Having said that, Superbabies is a whole different animal. It's coldly calculated to appeal to 5 year olds and somehow still misses the mark. I know kids don't mind disjointed action as long as it's flashy and fast paced, but there's too much going on here that makes absolutely no sense. There's this really creepy, drawn out back-story about how the King Baby, Kahuna, is actually an old man trapped in a child's body. Not only is it disconcerting and weird, but I can't imagine a small child following all the labored exposition getting us there.
In fact, the babies themselves don't really do anything. They just stand around in diapers while Kahuna and the adults bray like jackasses and make fools of themselves in the most irritating ways possible. Like Jon Voight, who can't even be bothered with a passable accent. Anyone remember the MST episode "Angels Revenge"? Where Jim Backus was playing a right-wing militant and you didn't believe it for a second while he puttered around, painfully phoning it in with a look of horrified embarrassment? That's Jon Voight in this film. He produced the first one for some God-unknown reason, and I guess he felt compelled to try and salvage this one.
All that said, it's pretty fascinating how poor this is. Everything looks so lazy and sloppy, like everyone just shrugged and said "screw it, it's Baby Geniuses for Christ's sake, who cares?" The Bubble Baby in the orange ball suit has a particularly horrendous CGI effect he's plastered into toward the end that had us all crying out in outrage over how lame and lazy it was.
These poor kids will never live this down.
It's Pat (1994)
Somewhat fascinating as a time capsule.
It's Pat is one of those movies whose very existence is baffling today. Well, it was obviously intended to cash in on the success of the Wayne's World sequel the year before it came out, but apart from that it has absolutely no substance. I don't think I can think of another equally cynical, lazy cash in.
Sweeney just doesn't seem to care. If anything, it feels like she was actively trying to shoot the project in the foot. Why else would she choose to make Pat so unlikable and repellent? A project like this could only succeed if we care about Pat and want to see him/her save the day. Instead Pat is constantly complaining, putting people down and gurgling like a sick cat.
I had to use "him/her", a phrase now considered offensive given the rise of transgender awareness, because It's Pat's only "joke" is predicated upon Pat's gender ambiguity. The entire time I was watching it I thought "man, imagine the balls it would take to release this today?" At the time Pat first appeared on SNL in the late 80's and early 90's, I thought it was just hacky, lame and instantly tiresome. But watching the feature length version today, that one-note joke now feels downright mean spirited and cruel.
And all in the service of 1 laugh. Just one, but man it's a gut buster. Pat's creepy neighbor develops a sexual fascination with Pat that one would normally find in a Todd Solondz film. Not surprising given the script treatment by Tarantino. But at one point Pat comes over and his pervert neighbor is caught still wearing a Pat wig and glasses. It was so much funnier than anything that came before or after, I completely lost it for five minutes straight.
This doesn't redeem the film of course. It's a black hole for laughs that only exists now as a testament to what things were like immediately before the time of re-evaluating gender normative.
The Singing Forest (2003)
Bottom 100, Here We Come!
For those of you seeking to view the entirety of the IMDb "Bottom 100", get a head start on a future contender with "The Singing Forest". It's on Netflix Instant and it's a howler. Oh man, is this ever a doozy.
I warned of spoilers, and I don't think this film can be "reviewed" in any conventional sense though many linked on Metacritic have tried. It's basically 70 minutes of Super 8 footage about a middle-aged homosexual who had an affair with his daughter's fiancé in a past life. This past life involved one of them as an SS Officer and the other as a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Yes. The older one makes a number of sexual overtures toward the fiancé until he gives in to the "truth" of their situation and they sleep together. I kid you not, and it's every bit as laughably absurd as it sounds. Grab some Bad Movie Night friends and crowd around this instant camp classic.
Pretend Time (2010)
Better Than It Has A Right To Be.
Well, it's Happy Madison. And as much as their legion of fans would like to protest, their work was never headed for 10/10 territory. That being said, Pretend Time is better than it has any right to be mostly thanks to Swardson's innate charm. The vast majority of his sketches are lazy and one-note but there are a few gems like the painting with creepy eyes that goes blind and Swardson can often carry the weaker ones by virtue of being a big affable goof.
It's extremely rough around the edges and could use a system of links ala Monty Python to give the show a more natural flow. His current "the last sketch airs on a TV screen in the background of the next sketch" device only adds to the suspicion he's half-assing it. All in all though I'm looking forward to seeing if Nick can step up his game in season 2. It definitely deserves a chance.
Daniel der Zauberer (2004)
Nearly impossible to track down, but worth it.
It's unfortunate that the only place this can be tracked down is Germany's Amazon. As much as they may be sick of it, this is a bad movie buff's wet dream. It's unintentionally funny from start to finish, even if you can't understand a word of the dialog. The mistaken "consummate entertainer" at the heart of this mess, Daniel Küblböck, is a sexless clown who spends the entire film in old lady sweaters while he writes the most banal, oppressively bland pop songs imaginable.
Some goth weirdos show up to stalk Daniel outside his home and backstage at his concerts, muttering their intentions while Daniel croons away like a dying cat. They're lead by a shady nogoodnik who bares a distracting resemblance to Peter Stormare. Their acting, especially that of the long haired, brooding guy in black leather had me laughing out loud. An actual "wizard" of sorts shows up at one point as well, but what his significance is, and whether he's simply a product of Daniel's diseased mind, is totally incomprehensible to me.
There are far more unbearable films to pick up for Bad Movie Night. This is Germany's "Ben & Arthur". Track it down on their Amazon, it's the equivalent of about five American dollars and well worth it.
Ben & Arthur (2002)
Up there with Troll 2.
It's tough to give Ben & Arthur a rating. It's so spectacularly bad, so Earth-shatteringly misconceived and awful that it becomes downright hysterical and eminently watchable. One could spend pages going over all of the technical failings, the risible acting, the clearly gay man playing a homophobic Christian, but for me there are moments in Ben & Arthur that become transcendent in their hilarity. When Arthur, played by the writer/director/producer/editor/grip Sam Mraovich actually says things like "what if I quited?" or "YOU need pray for" I hunch forward in my seat laughing. Forgive my insensitivity, but Arthur is played as autistic. He reminds me of this guy that pushes carts at a nearby Stop & Shop. He behaves like a child trapped in a hell-scape populated by bizarre, absurd cartoons. "Ben" seems to be in on the joke however, text messaging in his performance with a heavy sigh. It's a tough sell even for bad movie buffs, but if you and your friends get off on bad movie schadenfreude, you can't do better than Ben & Arthur. Well, maybe "Woodchipper Massacre", but that's a whole other animal...