Tuesday, 24 November 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 41 The Puma Man

Early 80s low budget super hero movie? Yes, indeed. Aztec shamans, paleontologists, evil organizations and ladies with mouths that would make Steven Tyler whimper in shame. Also yes. And you know what, it could’ve gone well. But it didn’t. It went the opposite direction of wherever well is. That’s where this went. And to add insult to injury, I could only find this particular movie with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 shit dragged over it. So not only did I have to watch a movie that sucked hard, I had to endure constant talking from two robots and some guy, making the least hilarious jokes, since Hitler attempted stand up before his evil dictator slash worst human in the history of everything ever career kicked off. So stick with me, as I take an all but casual look at…

A death star knock off that looks more like somebody flipped a vacuum cleaner upside down.

Weirdly enough, the cover of this movie looks pretty decent. A super hero looking dude, mostly resembling a less feral Wolverine, leaping towards us, arms outstretched, in front of a Death Star type space station. I never had any kind of hope, that this movie would be a perfect mix of two of my favorite things: Star Wars and X-Men. I never for one picosecond thought that was a thing that would happen. But I had no idea just how abysmally done this was. Just how incredibly stupid everything would turn out to be. You could argue I ought to know by now, but we both know, that despite having watched somewhere in the area of 60 shitty movies, each one worse than the previous, I just don’t learn. That being said, watching a shitty movie is in itself a trying thing. But with this Mystery Science Theater 3000 stuff added to it, it’s like I’m watching two movies at the same time, competing for crap superiority.
Looking as if he's shouting "Are you seriously saying I have to wear this shit?"

This movie is about a Puma Man. Nothing surprising there. What IS surprising, however, is that apparently aliens in a Death Star knockoff looking contraption, have bestowed us with some kind of gene modified Puma Man blood line. Just to make it clear right from the get go: Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes sense in this flick. The main dude, whose name I’ve blissfully forgotten despite having watched this movie not 30 minutes ago, is a professor of paleontology in London. He’s American. Not an impossible feat, surely, but he looks like he’s 25. Anyway, some South American looking dude comes looking for him, to see if he IS the Puma Man. The way he finds this out is to throw our hero out of a 3rd story window. The South American guy is a shaman apparently. Some mask has been stolen by evil people. We don’t know how, why, where or when. But it has. And Puma Man is the hero we need but never deserved. The woman with the mouth is hypotized or convinced by the evil guys using the mask, to invite hero dude to the Dutch embassy, where her father is the Ambassador. I’m shaking my head as I write this, because it literally makes zero sense. Shaman guy tries to convince hero guy that he’s the Puma Man like his father before him (why hero guy wouldn’t know his dad was a super hero, I don’t know) but of course hero guy waves him off, because he’s going to a ball at the embassy with some blond tart and has no time for Aztec shamans or ramblings of Puma Man. If only he had listened…

Mobile phones in the early 80s. They were a thing. A classy thing. Look how happy she is talking in it.

At the embassy evil men show up and nothing happens at first. They need to kill Puma Man so that nothing stands in the way of them and some goal that isn’t ever revealed to us. Probably world domination, because why the fuck not. We don’t know, and trust me when I say we don’t really care. Puma Man escapes to the roof of the embassy, where Shaman guy has tracked him, and throws this old garter belt or something to him. Puma Man puts it on and instantly transforms to Puma Man, embracing his legacy. He immediately flies off. Yes flies. He has a cape. Puma Man flies. Shaman guy shows up at his house, and trains him for five minutes. What follows is a series of seemingly unimportant and unrelated scenes, where Puma Man tries to seduce the big mouthed lady, and unravel the evil syndicate. I might’ve dozed off somewhere in here, because suddenly Puma Man is pretending to be dead, with bad guys surrounding him. They don’t shoot him, because now his death has to look like an accident. The bad guys does several double takes, as Puma Man CLEARLY moves during his feign death move. But they buy it, and go off. Shaman guy turns up and Puma Man transforms again, and kicks final ass. He recovers the mask, and the death star turns up and grabs it. Puma Man kneels in awe, and promises Shaman guy that when he has a little Puma Boy, he’ll bring him to the Plateau (Aztec I guess) and Shaman Guy will teach him some moves for the ladies or something.

This shit happened in between parts of the movie. Why the hell would anybody do this to other people?

The movie was bad and whoever made it should feel bad. It is from 1980, so I get that it being low budget and all, it’s going to look like shit. And it does. But really, the style and stuff utilized in this movie just went above and beyond shit. When Puma Man flies, it’s some weird super imposed thing, where he’s clearly suspended on some kind of string, and we see pictures of stuff moving in the back ground. It looks ridiculous. His costume is laughable. Like just random shit from a thrift store thrown together. The acting is so horrible, I wouldn’t be surprised if every single person, upon viewing this movie, didn’t immediately decide their careers were effectively over. The villains utilize the classic villain look - squinty eyes. It’s all they do. And carry guns. At one point Puma Man picks up a bad guy, flies him up in the air, and drops him to make him talk. It looks so unimpressive, the only thing that made that scene was how unimpressed the bad guy seemed with being flown 600 feet into the air and dropped. Several times. It looked about as real as Scientology. Equally real were the several times we saw Puma Man rush through a wall in his hide out / where ever he was for chunks of this movie. It was the same little scene over and over, sometimes mirrored to make it appear as if it was totally new and fresh.

Words fail me when I look at this hat or whatever the hell it's supposed to be.

I was too tired to even really hate this movie. It was stupid and pointless and lame and without merit of any sort, but I just couldn’t even muster the energy to outright hate it. I had a long day, and I was tired, but this movie just sapped me completely. The Mystery Science shit didn’t help. The dialogue from those two talking robots fill almost every silent moment from the actual movie, and the result is, you just don’t have a moment’s peace. Speaking of, there is a kickstarter to bring Mystery Science Theater 3000 back, with some new guy hosting it, and people are losing their fucking shit over this. I don’t get it. I expressed as much on their facebook post, and I was told gems such as “The right ones will get it” and “Some things aren’t for everyone.” Alright I understand, but I wanted to know why people liked it. I find it incredibly dull and unfunny. But I guess I’m a minority there. Perhaps it stems from not growing up with it? I guess so. I’ve tried my best to find versions of these movies where the MST3K people hadn’t already soiled things. Once in a while, that just isn’t an option. And I have to endure their weird little skits that have nothing to do with the movie. This time it was a dress up party or something. A lady, who might possibly be the person keeping the guy and his robots in space (I can’t figure it out. Mostly because I just don’t give a shit) was dressed up with a massive wig. And somebody else was there, who stole all her guests. It was supposed to be funny I think. It wasn’t. They also interrupt the movie a few times for commercials. The commercials aren’t there, but it’s still annoying spending 2 minutes watching countdown animations and interludes with these assholes, when really I just want to get this shit over with. Like now. 

This fucking guy.

"Oops I totally tripped" super imposed onto a picture of some stairs. If only green screen had been a thing then.

Monday, 9 November 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 42 The Beast of Yucca Flats

The amount of monsters roaming the country side movies on this list is too damn high! Another movie that seems to function solely as a vehicle to dress some stupid moron up and have him wander about in a desert, trying to convince every poor sod who happens to watch it, that the amazing cinematography alone is worth the money. Here’s the dirty little secret: It’s not. Not now. Not ever. It’s just like taking a big fat steaming dump, wrapping it up in glittery gold paper and trying to sell it as the gift everybody wants for Christmas. If you wake up Christmas morning in about 7 weeks, and unwrap this little gem, it’s time to seriously reconsider your familial allegiances. Read on, and see why, when I take a not even that critical look at…

This was the opening scene. It had nothing to do with anything. Nothing. I don't know who the guy was, and why this lady was killed. It just happened. For no reason.

The third and, as far as I can see, last of Coleman Francis’ movies on this list clocks in at number 42. For you lazy readers out there, and by Iehova I know there are several of you, the other two were The Skydivers and Night Train to Mundo Fine at 83 and 52 respectively. Whereas Skydivers was just stupid and lame and unbelievably daft and without merit, both Night Train and now Yucca Flats were thinly veiled, and ultimately failed, attempts at riding the government sanctioned witch hunt for communists across the States during the 60s. I say failed mostly because anybody who actually watched the movies would be hard pressed finding coherence and any sort of feasible conclusion, but the cover of Yucca Flats mentions commies and how they turned somebody into a monster, and I guess that sums up the effort nicely. I didn’t see the cover until after I watched the movie, and I honestly didn’t get this whole painting a shitty picture of communist Russia until then. So yes, failed.

This is exactly how I would expect a highly trained KGB agent to hold his little crappy peashooter of a pistol.

In The Beast of Yucca Flats, a Russian scientist is defecting to the States with top secret Russian science. Exactly what isn’t explained and it’s soon clear that nobody gave a shit really. He lands in a tiny little Cessna plane, and is immediately antagonized by the two best KGB agents sent to intercept him. It’s a totally deserted airfield, and the one, presumably, US government agent sent to meet the Russian doesn’t see the car with two suspicious looking people? A car chase ensues. For some reason the US government car has a black driver in what appears to be a bell hop uniform. He is shot during the chase proving the old “black guy dies first” rule was alive and well even then. Eventually the Russian scientist bails on the car and starts running on to Yucca Flats, the military installation he was going to. No guards or anything are in sight though, and just as he does, a nuke goes off. It’s a testing facility apparently. Apparently, they blow up bombs without checking if anybody is around. Or any other security. Super impressive. The guy is mutated into a beast, whose only function becomes to kill. Makes total sense.

This seems totally sensible. Flying at a couple of hundred mph aiming at a running guy below, I'm sure the scope is steady.

Not soon after, a car with two random people drive by, because the nuke that went off not minutes before didn’t deter them in any way. The man gets out of the car to fix an engine problem in the back, and is murdered by strangulation. The woman sees nothing, and is soon strangled too. She is carried off by the beast, for reasons that aren’t explained. One cop somewhere else knows they were killed, either by divine intervention or because he’s psychic. He picks up his cop buddy and together they start prowling the desert randomly, looking for… something. They don’t really know. Of course they find the woman, who is still alive and abandoned. They decide to move her, but she dies moments later. And is never seen or mentioned again. I guess they just leave her there. She’s dead. Who cares. Now another car pulls on to the side of the road somewhere. Flat tire apparently. The dad gets out to fix it, and the two kids decide to go off exploring. They literally disappear less than 30 seconds after the car has stopped. It amazes me, in a landscape dominated by flat desert as far as the eye stretches, that they manage to completely vanish. The dad runs off looking for them. We see him running for a good ten minutes through landscape wildly varied. The cops are now airborn looking for the beast, see the dad running and just starts shooting at him with a rifle. From an airplane. With a scope. What the fuck? He falls down clutching his body twice, but isn’t shot apparently. The cops decide on a new tactic: find the beast. Good work. They eventually do, and the movie ends. Thank God.

This car chase was so lame and went on for quite a while. Also they kept adding gunshot sounds but nobody was firing any guns out the windows.

This was… incredibly stupid. I mean even for Coleman, whose track record is less than impressive, this movie was completely fucking devoid of sense and plot. It was only 53 minutes long, which was by far it’s most appealing feature. The beast’s only function was to stagger around waving a large stick in the absolutely least convincing way. The cops, who were presented as trained parajumpers, shooting a rifle with a scope at a moving target from a fucking airplane were just beyond belief. It’s a recurring theme in his movies though, as I believe I commented on before. I get the feeling that Coleman either owned an airplane or knew somebody who did and insisted on working it into his stupid movies. The beast had like 5 minutes screen time, and barely even wore make up. I mean he was a big dude, and had a little bit of stuff around the face. Besides that, he was just the same dude acting befuddled and awkward.

The beast. It really seems like they had just given up on everything at this point. Most of all he just looks like an angry drifter.

So much time was spent on the cops chasing that fucking dad. At one point he walks past a sign that says “Yucca Flats. Authorized personnel only” on it, and he looked alarmed. But the stupid thing is, he came from behind the sign and stepped out. So he already was on the military installation. Way to go, Coleman you blind moron. He ran back to his wife, told her to wait and fucking took off in the car to get help. How awesome is that? He drove to the nearest ranch and managed to recruit like 10 people to run around the desert looking for his kids. This stupid subplot isn’t touched upon again. The cops, after failing their sneaky plot of spotting the beast from above, decide to just find him by running around randomly once more. A brief fight ensues. A fight completely lacking excitement and realism. The beast faints? Or dies? And a little bunny, for some godforsaken reason, runs up and nuzzles his face a little. He grabs it briefly and then possibly dies for the final time. What the fuck is the point of this bunny? The two cops just leave him and go about their business.

He had just killed this lady's boyfriend behind the car, yet for some reason his hands kill her from inside the car. Even small things like this just doesn't make sense.

Through the whole movie, there are maybe 10 lines of dialogue from the characters. The rest is a narrator. And everything he says is mindnumbingly stupid. Talking about the kids, he goes on about how they are yet unspoiled by society. Or how the beast was once a brilliant scientist but now only has a mind for killing. Why? Why is this? It kills 2 people and then spends the rest of the time flailing a stick around like a halfwit. For fuck’s sake this movie was so fucking pointless I can’t even understand how Coleman Francis thought it was ok. Skydivers was stupid, but at least there was a motive for things happening. Night Train… well there wasn’t really a motive for much but still it felt like that movie had an intricate plot and three dimensional characters compared to this travesty. You could have showed me only the screenshots from this review, and I would’ve had a perfect grasp of what was going on. So fucking stupid. The narrator tried to give it depth and soul, but he failed miserably. Coleman died at 53 in Hollywood. I can only assume an angry cinemagoer was fed the fuck up with these wastes of screen, and strangled him. I don’t normally condone violence, but I’m not sure I’d convict that person, if I was on a jury of his peers. With a spot of luck, my calculations are correct, and I won’t have to sit through anymore Coleman from here on out. 

The cops leave the beast because fuck it, right. Walk away from that shit. Nobody knows who the guy in the background is.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 43 Santa Claus

Santa Claus! Always up for fun and games and being weirdly creepy around kids. Also fighting Satan apparently. Yes, this movie has that, and so much less. We’re treated to amazing cultural faux pas and dialogue so tame and infested with mental stagnation I’m surprised it wasn’t a Twilight prequel. On the plus side, they did actually manage to find and/or make a pretty decent looking Santa costume. Yes, credit where credit is due. That has been my motto all the way from the beginning of this paragraph. But besides that costume, everything else is wasting everybody’s time. I don’t know if I can get through this whole review, guys. But for what it’s worth, join me as I attempt a somewhat coherent review of…

Mindless drones in little costumes. All the kids looked dead inside. Dead from Christmas exploitation!

Santa Claus (1959)

Well this was fucking pointless. Granted, all the Christmas hoolah has just started, but it still felt stupid watching a Santa themed movie in late October. Then again, I had already seen Hulk Hogan be Santa as well as Santa fighting martians, so really what is one more? Turns out one more is incredibly dull and boring. When the end credits finally rolled, I had to check date and year, to make sure I hadn’t slipped into a coma somewhere along the way. In fact, this movie was so unbelievably boring, I sat down and tried to write the review right after, but I just couldn’t. My mind had been lulled into a near catatonic state. It took me 8 days and one school paper to bring myself back up to complete this review. Whereas most movies on here are kind of lame and drawn out (especially those indian ones), this was straight up mindnumbing. I didn’t want to stab or murder. I just wanted out. I wanted to sleep and not look at what was happening. The fucked up part is, this was almost the hardest movie to watch yet, for those very reasons. It’s like every time I think I’ve figured out how this B100 stuff will go down, they throw me a curveball, and I’m basically back to square one.

Pitch doing what Pitch does best: convince kids to stay in this career ending movie lest they be sued by the studio.

Describing what is going on in this movie seems as boring and dull as watching it. I’ll illustrate with a few more pictures than normal. The gist of it is, Santa Claus and Satan Claus are fighting. Over what? That remains somewhat diffused, but I think it’s possibly who the kids believe more? Satan is pissed at Santa anyway, and sends a smaller devil to fuck Santa’s shit up. The movie opens with this magnificent sentence: “Up in heaven, far out in space right above the North Pole.” Yes, far out in space, but still right above the North Pole. Which one is it? And why? Why space? Anyway, Santa is in his Crystal Palace getting prepared to manufacture presents for the kids. He has kids from around the world sweatshopping it up already. To illustrate just how diverse this collection of kids is, we are treated to a god damn 20 minute montage of like 30 different groups of kids singing the same shitty christmassy song in whatever language fits. It’s like unbelievably enervating to spend 20 minutes watching kids in the most tacky culturally obnoxious outfits sing while fiddling with toys. I seriously considered skipping forward, but some misplaced sense of loyalty to you, dearest reader, made me halt my actions and watch on. To feel like I had taken a stand at least, I swore a lot.

Santa and his trusty sidekick Merlin. I feel like a spin off with Merlin would've been in order here.

After the song that reduced every country on earth to its stereotype, we can finally get cracking on this stellar story. Satan wants to ruin Christmas in a next level attempt at persecuting Christians. If it isn’t this, it’s trying to stop Easter from remaining a bank holiday. Anyway, Satan, being the ruler of Hell, is far too busy to take care of Santa himself, so he dispatches Pitch, a goofy looking devil, under pain of chocolate ice cream should he fail. Pitch heads straight to Earth to start influencing kids and adults for the worse. Some kids are easily swayed, but one little girl is so pure of heart, not even the subtle manipulation of an unseen hellish minion can push her away from the glorious idolization of Santa he has spent all 3 years of her life building up. Santa, obviously, is not about Pitch fucking things up too much, and with the help of his trusted friend, Merlin, Santa embarks on an epic journey to deliver presents to kids while gifting Pitch’s ass a shiny black Santa boot. Things go awry, however, when it turns out Santa is a big worthless hunk of bovine fecal matter. He gets himself stuck in a tree, having dropped the magic flower that Merlin gave him to turn invisible. While Pitch is blasting off tricks from all canons, Santa must call upon Merlin and some of the kids from the opening montage to escape back to the Crystal Palace in the sky. Sadly, everything ends well for everybody. Save, perhaps, Pitch.

Santa with... Hephaistos possibly? I don't even remember if it was explained. Santa didn't use many weapons, so it wouldn't make sense if it was him.

This movie is from 1959. As such we can only expect it’s views on petty issues like race and gender are anachronistic in nature. All that aside, there still was a weirdly wooden quality to everything. Turns out the movie is Mexican and dubbed to English later. I don’t know why, but it showed. What also showed were super low budget props. The reindeer for instance. I can’t honestly tell if they were meant as a joke. But they look like the prop department was a 5th grade graduation project for the local elementary school’s arts and craft. The hell scenery was similarly built. Just lots of red, and people in red outfits. The costume department did slightly better, solely on the strength of that Santa costume. On fucking point. The guy looked like he actually had white hair and beard. And not like he was wearing some 2 dollar Santa outfit from Walmart. I was impressed by his size and stature too. He was just cubby enough to pull off Santa, but not so much that it looked stupid. He couldn’t act for shit, obviously, but he looked the part for sure. 

This fucking machine. It was some kind of communication device with Earth. It made little sense, obviously, but even so, whoever created it was probably high as balls.

Pitch looked like somebody had blood in their shit on costume fitting day. So stupid. Also who the fuck doesn’t like ice cream? What kind of threat is that? His horns were the single stupidest looking thing in this movie. No wait, actually I take that back. Because Merlin. Merlin was in this movie for reasons unknown. I’m no Arthurian Legend expert, but as far as I remember, neither Santa nor Pitch the Demon were mentioned as participants at the Round Table. Ever. But Merlin, apparently, lends his assistance every year around Yuletide, seeing as Santa is a big tub of lard unable to handle the one fucking thing he has been put on Earth to do. Merlin, in this movie, looks horrendously annoying and stupid. I wanted to throw a bucket of leeches at his face. The beard and his tunic, the way he’s putzing around, how he couldn’t hear anything until somebody was shouting right next to him. All of it. Just stupid. He did save Santa’s stupid ass a few times, so I guess he has that going for him, which is nice.

These... these reindeer. What the actual shit?

Then there was the girl. Lupido or Lapida or whatever her name was. She wanted some toy so badly, and still managed NOT to steal shit from the market, despite Pitch really going at her. He later invaded her dreams and tried to sway her that way. But Lulapidado withheld, and ultimately beat Pitch’s effort to shit. Not on my shift! Her dad was unable to find work, and even though it was Christmas night at like 3 am, he still was out there trying to find work. Amazing. Her mom spent time at home sewing. I don’t know why this whole thing existed, but I just know I wanted it to not. We move from scene to scene with way too much effort. The only reason I wasn’t thrown off by plotholes, was because there really wasn’t much of a plot to begin with. It was boring. And pointless. It was Santa and some red clothed guy and lots of people walking around confused and dazed. It was 90 minutes of my life I wish I had been in a coma for. Sometimes I shake my head. 

All this kid wanted was attention. His parents were at the god damn bar on Christmas night while he was, apparently, home alone. Amazing.

Bonus picture, for absurdity alone. Presumably these kids were banned from watching the movie in segregated movie theaters.