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Heretic and Flea Collar

Posted by scott on November 22nd, 2010

Sorry for the light posting around here lately, but we’ve been beavering away at the sequel to Better Living Through Bad Movies — anyway, that’s our story. But just to prove we weren’t actually snorting crystal meth off of naked call girls at a Minerals Management Service mixer in the Interior Department Grotto, here’s a piece from the chapter tentatively entitled When Bad Movies Happen to Good People.

Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)
Directed by John Boorman
Written by William Goodhart, based on characters by William Peter Blatty

The sense of dread begins with the credits, as blood-red words appear in a black void, while our ears are haunted by the strange and sinister score.  Not quite music, and too eerie to be a human voice, it sounds as though the composer somehow persuaded an elephant to fart into a vuvuzuela.

We open inside the Haunted Shack at Knott’s Berry Farm, which has been filled with twinkly Christmas lights and Richard Burton, who is dressed as a Roman Catholic priest and looking extremely uneasy, as if he expects at any moment to be handed a subpoena.

Richard is there to exorcise a young woman, but he can’t find the right page, and the Bible doesn’t have an index, and while he’s flipping through it the girl sets herself on fire and burns to a crisp right in front of him.  As an exorcist, this represents a personal best.

Cut to Linda Blair tap-dancing as a kid with a limp Shaun Cassidy hair-do honks out “Lullaby of Broadway” on a baritone sax.  Just in case you doubted that Satan is real.

Cut to Louise Fletcher, who is sitting face to face with a teenaged girl and shouting “Debbie!  Debbie!  Debbie! Can you hear me?” into a microphone.  Louise is a distinguished pediatric psychiatrist who is famous for pioneering the technique of screaming at deaf people.  Or she got the lyrics to Tommy wrong.

Linda breezes into Louise’s office, which for some reason is on the Space: 1999 set, and stretches out on the couch.  Louise asks Linda if she has flashbacks to the earlier, better film, then shows her “a machine we can use together,” which gives me flashbacks to Requiem for a Dream.

Fortunately, it’s just an AM radio with a couple of flashbulbs on top, which will put them in synchronized hypnotic trances so doctor and patient can make each other cluck like chickens.

Cut to the Vatican, where Cardinal Victor Lazlo orders Father Richard to investigate the death of Max von Sydow in the original film.  But Dick doesn’t want to do it because his faith in God has been shaken, and he’d rather it was a cocktail.  But then Cardinal Victor says “we all have a destiny – for good, or evil,” and he lights two cigarettes and gives one to Dick, and they decide not to ask for the moon, because they have the stars.

Cut to the Moonbase Alpha set, where Father Richard is staring through a window at disabled children.  Linda notices Dick, and stops to smile at him in apple-cheeked, sparkle-eyed delight, because she’s just so gosh-darned cute and nice, or because it’s been an awful long time – maybe too long – since she’s killed a priest.

Father Richard tells Louise he wants to question Linda, because Evil is “alive, living.  Perverted and perverting.”  That’s Linda’s cue, and she barges into the office to announce that she wants to use the machine with Louise, and she wants the priest to watch, because they can make a lot more money with a two-girl show.

The next day, Linda sits in Louise’s office, wearing a headband of electrodes and what appears to be Stevie Nicks’ wedding dress, while Father Richard stands over her looking worried about Evil and kind of hungover.  Then Louise turns on a strobe light bright enough to give Satan a headache, and he’s not even in the room yet.  Linda stares at it for three seconds, then her eyes roll back in her head; perhaps she’s having an epileptic fit due to the flashing light, or perhaps Louise has hypnotized her to be really sarcastic.

Louise slips on a headband and keeps telling Linda to “make your tone go deeper,” getting my hopes up that she’ll spend the rest of the film talking like Barry White.  Instead, director John Boorman points the strobe light at the camera while Louise murmurs, “You will remember none of this,” presumably addressing the critics.

Louise orders Linda to go “deeper…deeper,” then says, “Now I want to come down and be with you.”  She adds, “We will obey the commands that Father Richard gives us.”  This is the worst phone sex ever.

There’s a flashback to the first movie, with Linda in demonface and Max von Sydow having a coronary.  Except it’s not actually footage from The Exorcist, since it’s clearly Linda’s body double in the makeup, and Max’s ostensibly fatal heart attack seems about as serious as one of Fred Sanford’s.

After it’s all over, Linda borrows art supplies from an emotionally disturbed child so she can draw a picture of Father Richard with his head on fire.

“What does it mean?” Richard whispers, clearly worried that it means he’s going to die and go to Hell, or worse, live long enough to appear in Ghost Rider.  Then it suddenly hits him, and he realizes that the fire in his portrait means there’s a fire in the basement, because to Linda, his head symbolizes a dark, moist place filled with canned peaches and porn.  He runs downstairs, finds a flaming cardboard box in a closet, and smacks it repeatedly with a crutch.


Speaking Of Books…

Posted by scott on October 2nd, 2010

Dan and Tammy Domike, two of the most charming bibliophiles we know, have just opened their new indie book shop in the picturesque beach town of Hoquiam, WA:

(Jackson Street) Books on 7th
315 7th Street
Hoquiam, WA 98550

They also fill orders through the interwebs, if you’re in a mood to support independent booksellers.

And judging by this photo snapped earlier today by our friend Kelly, they stock Better Living Through Bad Movies.  (Sure, it’s probably a remaindered copy from 2006, but still, we’re touched and honored.)  Best of luck with the new place, guys!

Happy Birthday, Sting!

Posted by scott on October 2nd, 2010

Amazon offered the following party planning notion in an email yesterday, and if I had any doubts about who the online retailing giant likes better, me or Sting, this pretty much clears it up.  Still, I’m trying to take their suggestion in the spirit in which it was offered, but I can’t figure out how to virtually flip them off (I’m sure there’s an appropriate emoticon, but giving someone the finger digitally just seems redundant).  So instead of watching The Bride again (because, what with working on the sequel and all, we have fresh hells to visit), I thought I’d put on a little Kool and the Gang and just post our summary of it from .

The Bride (1985)
Directed by: Franc Roddam
Written by: Lloyd Fonvielle

Tagline:  ”A woman born of electricity…a man driven by passion!”

This film stars Sting, and is probably the best example you’ll ever find of Police brutality.

It’s a dark and stormy night.  Baron von Frankensting is sitting around his ancestral home, Schloss Kardboard Kutout, playing “Mousetrap!” with Quentin Crisp and a crash test dummy.  For some reason, the game causes Frankensting’s Monster to experience nocturnal emissions, so they pack it in and decide to electrocute Jennifer Beals instead.  True to the genre, a bolt of lightning succeeds in giving unholy life to her corpse, but it frizzes out her hair something awful.

The newly animated Jennifer loses a game of “Mystery Date,” and the Monster promptly arrives at the lab door to pick her up.  It seems that Frankensting is a sort of necrophiliac’s Chuck Woolery, but his matchmaking doesn’t go very well.  Rejected and emasculated, the Monster flees the castle and stumbles blindly into the forest, where he attends a John Bly workshop and attempts to get in touch with his inner corpse.

The Baron, we now learn, is a radical feminist who hopes to use Jennifer to create “the New Woman.”  Equal and assertive.  Fearless as a man.  Able to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan.

Frankensting sits by the fire, contemplating his utopia of sexual equality, when Jennifer toddles in stark naked, squats at his feet, and begins sucking her fingers.  The Baron reassesses his priorities.

Meanwhile, in a cave somewhere in the Alps, the Monster receives relationship counseling from a dwarf.

Frankensting gives Jennifer the Eliza Doolittle treatment, and her education progresses swiftly.  Soon she has learned to wear a hoop skirt and spin rapidly in a circle until she projectile vomits.  But somewhere in Bavaria, at that very same moment, the Monster becomes urpy, thus proving that there is a psychic link between the Baron’s two creations, or that the curried wurst the Monster had at Oktoberfest isn’t agreeing with him.

Frankensting takes Jennifer on a field trip to a mausoleum, and a pleasant time is had by all, picking through the loose femurs and ulnas.  But the Baron becomes insanely jealous over Jennifer’s infatuation with a rotting skull, and refuses to show her his bone.

By this point, Jennifer has become sufficiently refined that the Baron and Colonel Pickering decide to take her to the Embassy Ball, where she meets the extremely blond Cary Elwes, who is dressed in a Prussian Hussar’s uniform and looking slightly more Aryan than Beowulf.  Predictably, Frankensting becomes jealous of Cary’s skull, and runs off to hide in his secret fort and smoke crack.

Later, in an astonishing scientific breakthrough, the Baron invents glitter, and throws a party to celebrate.  But when he peeks into the master suite and finds Jennifer and Cary making out, he goes ballistic, because his parents are coming home soon and he told everybody to stay out of their bedroom.

Even later, Jennifer goes to Cary’s house, and in a tender, erotic scene, they strip down to see which one of them has the frilliest underwear.  This triggers the creatures’ psychic link, and the Monster, who lies chained and rotting in a dungeon somewhere, finds his nipples becoming perky.

All this talk of engorged nipples finally proves too much for the Baron, and he snaps, becoming so sexually abusive toward Jennifer that Louisiana Senator David Vitter tries to hire him as his chief of staff.  Suddenly, the Monster bursts into the room to rescue her, but has second thoughts when the Baron chases after him with a torch.  They run all over the castle in a weird, pyromaniacal Benny Hill sketch, until Frankensting, after several attempts, finally succeeds in falling off the tower.  And while the Baron’s death doesn’t exactly come as a surprise, it does answer a question the audience has been asking with increasingly impatience for the last 90 minutes:  Sting, where is thy Death?

As the superimposed face of a dwarf looks on and recites weird platitudes like Obi-Wan Kenobi, the two reanimated lovers go to Venice, where their rotting bodies cause a cholera epidemic that winds up killing Gustav von Aschenbach.  The End.

REAL Movies for Mythological Families

Posted by s.z. on August 13th, 2010

As Scott mentioned previously, the sequel to Better Living Through Bad Movies is coming along nicely, in that Scott has done some excellent work for it and I have thought about doing some work. Actually, Scott and I have discussed some categories and some movies that may offer valuable life lessons for you, the person in need of valuable life lessons. And just today, an email from the American Family Association made me realize that Scott and I have neglected a substantial market share: REAL people.

Here they are! REAL movies for REAL families

All you imaginary families will probably want to check out fake movies like The Mutants of 2051 AD and Gandhi II.

And hey, as we learned recently from Mr. Medved, same-sex couples aren’t REAL families, families without children aren’t REAL families, and presumably families where the fathers don’t sport dopey mustaches aren’t REAL families, so I guess you people should just move along.

No profanity, no inappropriate conduct, no gratuitous violence!

Because REAL families in REAL life never face any of that kind of stuff.

REAL families want REAL movies! The ones that actually depict REAL life, REAL places and REAL situations.

This is the reason that The Hills was so popular.

Here are just a few of the many family-friendly movies available right now in the AFA Online Store

Time Changer

The year is 1890 and Bible Professor Russell Carlisle has written a new manuscript. His book is about to receive an unanimous endorsement from the board members at Grace Bible Seminary until his colleague, Dr. Norris Anderson, has a “difficulty with something.” Dr. Anderson believes what Carlisle has written could greatly affect future generations. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle over 100 years into the future, offering him a glimpse of where his beliefs will lead.

“A secret time machine”? Yes, that sounds really REAL.


Caleb’s dad challenges him to a forty day experiment: The Love Dare. Will he be able to demonstrate love to a person who constantly rejects his love?

The Ted Haggard story.

Anyway, the email mentions several other REAL movies, but this one from the store piqued my interest:

Hollywood and God

Did you know that there was a time when the entertainment industry was bound by a code that forbade them from using any blasphemy in a movie?

It was the time of the Code of No Swears, the golden age of Hollywood.

The “Hays Code” stated:

Pointed profanity–this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless used reverently), “H*ll,” “S.O.B.,” “d**n,” or every other profane or vulgar expression, however used–is forbidden.

And because back then you could go to movies and never hear a “H*ll,” nobody ever went there, not knowing where it was.

Hollywood is no longer restricted by the code. Many of today’s movies don’t simply blaspheme the name of Jesus. They go one further.

They blaspheme the name of Jesus’ dog.

For example, the award-winning Blow, directed by Ted Demme, is a typical R-rated film. The name of Jesus Christ is blasphemed eleven times in the movie. Three of those times, for some reason, the “F” word is used in the middle of His name.

REAL families have no idea what the “F” word is, so you can see why they don’t relate to these kinds of movies.

So, how can you (as one person), make a difference and influence the powerful Goliath of the entertainment industry? The answer is in your own hands.

I (as one person) currently have a cat in my own hands. So, I guess the answer is: Throw cats at Goliath!

In 2005, roughly $8.8 billion was spent on movie tickets in the U.S. How much of $8.8 billion do you think came from those who call themselves Christians?

I worked my way though college working for a movie theater. I have fond memories of asking patrons if they wanted an Adult, Child, Senior Citizen, or Christian ticket. So, I would guess that about $7 billion of that sum came from those who call themselves Christians.

According to The Barna Group, it was a massive $6.94 billion.

I was close!

Over 70% of the box office intake comes from people of faith.

Of course, Jews, Hindus, Moslems, etc. have no faith, so we don’t care what kind of moves THEY see.

With more than 170 million professing Christians in America, we have a sling that has the power to hit the “dark side” of Hollywood between the eyes

So, the “dark side” of Hollywood is its nose?

. . .and leave a deep impression on its money-making mind.

Simply stop paying to see blasphemous movies

Sneak in through the emergency door!

and support the ones you know are good. My goal isn’t to clean up movies. That will never happen unless there is a Christian revival in Hollywood.

Or until we return to the golden age of the Hays Code, when studios were run by Jews.

In the meantime, I just want them to stop their blasphemy.

For a guy whose goal isn’t to clean up movies, he seems to want a lot.

They are causing an entire generation to hate Christianity, and to use the name of Jesus Christ to express disgust.

Yes, Hollywood is to blame for all of this.

Order your DVD today.
Suggested Donation: $5.00
On Sale For: $4.00

Maybe it’s just me, but I already have such strong mental images of the characters and the action of Hollywood and God, that I fear the DVD will be a disappointment.

Anyway, I am planning on next doing either Clash of the Titans or Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief for the
book. Which one would be considered the most REAL?

UPDATE: When I went back to the store, I noticed a DVD that seems like a must see!

They’re Coming to Your Town

Residents of the small Arkansas town of Eureka Springs noticed the homosexual community was growing. But they felt no threat. They went about their business as usual. Then, one day, they woke up to discover that their beloved Eureka Springs, a community which was known far and wide as a center for Christian entertainment–had changed. The City Council had been taken over by a small group of homosexual activists.

Eeek! They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…! Keep watching the sky!

Sunday Cinema: Hercules

Posted by scott on August 8th, 2010

The sequel to  is coming along nicely, so Sheri and I thought we’d revive our practice of posting bits and pieces of the work in progress.  Today it’s a selection from our chapter on heroes, legends, and dummi-gods.

Trivia Time:  The Latin word for bear, ursus, comes from the Greek arktos, which means “unlubricated.”

Hercules (1983)
Directed by:  Luigi Cozzi (as Lewis Coates)
Written by:  Luigi Cozzi

The screen is black.  Sadly, it doesn’t stay that way.

An heroic anthem lumbers across the soundtrack, played by the Ambien Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducted by a slow loris.  A deep-voiced, but effeminate narrator (sort of a cross between Darth Vader and Paul Lynde) rumbles at us,

“In the beginning, before Creation, there was darkness.”

$1.75 worth of Black Cat firecrackers explode, indicating that the Big Bang has occurred, and getting some flakes of charred paper stuck on the camera lens.

“From the primordial explosion,” Darth Lynde explains, “Emerged the Fire of Chaos.”  At this performance, the Fire of Chaos will be played by a Kingsford Charcoal Briquet, confirming Stephen Hawking’s theory that the Universe has no boundary in space-time, and that its edges light quickly.

“Chaos merged with Darkness, and from this union were born the elements:  Night, day, matter, and air.”

We’re pretty sure that Night and Day are not elements; nevertheless, we’re willing to split the difference and agree that out of the Primordial Darkness and the Fiery Chaos of Creation, there emerged a pretty catchy Cole Porter tune.

“Then,” the Dark Lord of the Lisp continues, “Out of this misty radiance of the cosmos, there came forth a jar. Golden and glittering.  Pandora’s Jar.”

Pandora’s Jar?  I thought she had a box.  (I know, I know, that’s what she said.)

Then some Minoan hillbillies put Pandora’s Jug on a fence post and take pot shots at it.  It blows up real good.

“From the fragments of the Jar, the planets and the solar system were formed.”  So according to the filmmakers, the Ancient Greeks attributed the origin of the cosmos to the Pottery Barn Rule:  You break it, you create the universe.

Due to layoffs and budget cutbacks, the Greek pantheon has been reduced to three gods, and outsourced to the moon.  This understaffed celestial call center is ruled by Zeus, father of gods and men, lord of creation, and judging by his wig and beard, an off-season Salvation Army Santa with one of those crowns you get when you taste Imperial margarine.

The gods live in a crater, in the middle of an open air (or open vacuum) temple which recalls the majestic architecture of Classical Greece; except the columns look like giant plaster dildos, and appear to be covered in melted wax like Chianti bottles, so it’s sort of like ancient Athens if the Parthenon were a gayer, more fetish-oriented Shakeys.

Zeus creates a champion “who is stronger and more intelligent than all other men,” a process which involves a “Spotlight Dance on Lou Ferrigno!’ while he goes through his Mr. Universe pose down routine in front a green screen.  Ordinarily this would just be horrifying, but Hercules goes the extra mile by having Lou wear a flesh-toned G-string to simulate nudity.  And for those who’ve wondered about the steroids/shrunken genitalia connection, check out the contrast between Lou’s bloated musculature and flat-front thong; it’s like someone grafted Barbie’s crotch onto a Stretch Armstrong doll.

Zeus plays flashlight tag with the earth, before depositing a glowing glob into a baby, in a scene about which the less said, the better.

Sybil Danning, who is dressed like one of King Tut’s molls from the old Batman TV show, conspires with the Captain of the Guard to kill the king and the queen, and the “little Hercules” (apparently Sybil saw Lou in his flesh colored jockstrap).

Before our regicide gets underway, however, the Captain has Viet Nam-like flashbacks to more expensive cheap Hercules movies from the 50s and 60s, with actual costumes and sets and battle scenes.

Meanwhile, an archer with a patent leather do-rag pulls a big sword out of a hibatchi and is rightwise born king of all England as soon as they invent it.

The Captain rallies his troops, and again we get a fresh perspective on the founders of Western Civilization.  In addition to their Illyrian helmets, Boeotian shields, and bronze spears, Greek soldiers were also equipped with Bedazzlers, judging by the generous use of rhinestones on their armor.  Apparently there’s a previously unnoticed footnote to the Iliad which reads, “Fashions by Bob Mackie.”

So the royal family is slaughtered, but a maid snatches up “Poor Little Prince Hercules” and flees through the forest, although according to the Foley artist she’s running through corn flakes with a goat in her arms.

She puts Baby Hercules in a boat and sends him drifting down the river, where he bumps into Moses going the other way.  The boat drifts past some View-Master slides, then goes over a waterfall, but the infant is saved at the last moment when his boat is caught in mid air by a giant cartoon hand from Monty Python.

Hera is one of the three remaining gods and is pissed that she has to work a double shift, so she sends two snakes to kill Hercules.  And when I say “snakes,” I mean “two yard long turds that have been flocked like Christmas trees and spray-painted the color of split-pea soup, then given two bicycle reflectors for eyes.”  It doesn’t work out.

Herc is plucked from the river by two Greek peasants who live in the Flintstone’s house for some reason (possibly Fred was laid off from the quarry after the transition from stone to bronze tools, and he and Wilma walked away from their mortgage.  Or maybe Dino matured into a velociraptor and learned how to open the front door).

Herc’s foster mother is barren, but likes to press the infant to her dry breast just to mess with him.  Nevertheless, he grows up into big ‘n tall Lou Ferrigno, who mercifully trades in his invisible G-string for a Naugahyde diaper.

Herc is out in the forest, harvesting Styrofoam trees, when his father is mauled by stock footage of a bear.  Hercules is so enraged that he screams and punches the camera, then throws a Build-A-Bear into orbit.  It collides with a bone hurled by a slightly more intelligent hominid from 2001: A Space Odyssey, then the murderous plush toy explodes into a Laser Floyd show, finally settling down and becoming the constellation of Ursa Major.

Meanwhile, Minos has abandoned Crete and is also now living on the Moon (it’s getting really built up over there), where he has been crowned king of an exterior set from Star Trek.  He uses the transporter to summon Dedalus, who in this version of the myth is an alien chick dressed in a plastic unitard and a shower curtain with a cellophane Dracula collar, a codpiece, green spray-painted cowboy boots, and a golden leather football helmet with fish fins.

Minos believes in Science!, so he commands Dedalus to create some mechanical monsters which can destroy Hercules.  She responds with some Mexican Day of the Dead figurines and a Millennium Falcon model someone assembled while on acid, then burned in the driveway.

Back on Earth, Hercules is plowing a field by dragging some rocks behind him.  Weaker men might have preferred to plow using something with an edge on it – like a plow – but Herc likes to flaunt his demi-godly strength, and frequently uses rocks in place of ordinary household items, like forks, or toilet paper.

Suddenly, Hercules’s friend Mulletus gallops over the hill and screams, “Your mother is in danger!”  Then he turns and trots off.   Herc’s expression is rather blank, but he undoubtedly appreciates Mullutus telling him that his mom is about to be killed.  He probably would have appreciated a ride even more.

By the time Hercules arrives, his foster mother has been killed by an infernal machine (it’s supposed to recall the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans grown to Brobdignagian proportions, but it more closely resembles a Norelco shaver made out of Legos and despair).

After an implied fight with the Tinker Toy monster thing, Herc cremates his mother, then torches the Flintstone place.  Mulletus asks why he’s burning down his own house, and Herc replies, “I don’t have a house anymore.”  Well, no, now that you’ve just set it on fire.

Hercules goes off to audition for some king (I think his name is Brad) who’s looking for bodybuilders with a minimal amount of stage combat training.  Our hero doesn’t seem to qualify, but his Fairy Godeditor helps out by enchanting Herc’s sword, so that whenever he smacks someone it burps out a crappy video effect.

Next, Hercules must fight twenty men at once.  Unfortunately, he never learned the complicated rules of Greco-Roman wrestling, so he just picks up a giant log and crushes everybody.  Then he hurls the log into deep space, where it becomes the Duraflame constellation.

The king’s daughter Cassiopea wears a veil, because it is foretold that she will marry the first man who sees her face, or maybe because she just hasn’t waxed her mustache lately.  She’s Greek, after all.  The king subcontracts Hercules to escort Casio to Athens, but first he has to clean all the horseshit out of the stable, then see what he can do about rinsing some of it out of the script.

Herc tosses a rock into the Grand Canyon, which somehow makes the Colorado River take an elevator to the top and drown all the horses.  It also turns the stable into a sparkling gay bathhouse

The mildew-free tile and wet, dead horses arouse Calliope, and she removes her veil in slow motion.  She and Herc stare at each other blankly for a minute, then they kiss; but suddenly, a badly superimposed Zeus appears and shoots a lightning bolt at them from his forehead.  Then Sybil Danning shows up in a formal swimsuit and has the unconscious lovers taken aboard her ship.

You know those majestic triremes people in Hercules movies are always sailing around the world?  Well, they can’t afford one of those, so instead we just get to watch Herc go swimming (apparently he was thrown overboard in lieu of chum).

Herc washes ashore on that island where H.R. Puffnstuf is mayor, and is immediately molested by Witchiepoo.  She takes him to the Cave Room at the Madonna Inn and tests him for steroids and diabetes, then drinks his blood sample and transforms from a hideous crone into a beautiful maiden!  Or at least into a pleasant-looking woman in her thirties without a lot of dried rubber cement on her face.

Cut to the Los Angeles County Arboretum, where Circe (for it is indeed she!) and Hercules are standing beside a waterfall.

“This,” Herc exclaims, “is a Garden of Eden!”  Apparently it’s the beta version.

Circe was exiled to this Sandals Resort by Minos, but she can help Hercules find Callista if he will only help her to recover a lost talisman.  “We need the charm, to carry us wherever we want to go,” she tells him.  “Even to Thera!”  Which is where Sybil took the kidnapped, Chlamydia.  Unfortunately, “they threw it where no one could possible get it.”

But Hercules can get it.  All he’ll need is both hands and a flashlight…

Meanwhile, Casserole is imprisoned in one of those cardboard jails where people pay “fines” to get “bailed out” at Rotary Club fundraisers.

Circe leads Herc across the “Rainbow Bridge,” which leads to “the Gates of Hell.”  They don’t find his girlfriend or the charm, but they are greeted by lots of dead pets.

Charon, the skull-faced boatman ferries them across the Styx (at this performance the role of the River Styx will be played by a cement floor and a fog machine) to “Skull Island,” where they can presumably rescue Princess Tiger Lily.

Circe and Herc find her talisman; it’s in a big plastic Easter egg on a papier-maché nest, but it’s “protected by a triple barrier,” according to Circe.  Herc reaches for the egg, which makes his hand disappear, and weird electronic music play, so apparently two of the three barriers are a process shot and a Theremin.

Herc reaches for the egg again, and this time his arm bursts into flame and burns cheerily like the WPIX Yule Log.  Then it freezes.  Then he reaches inside the egg (which is squishy – apparently ickiness was the third barrier) and pulls out a Christmas ornament.  And just in time for the holidays!

Okay, so now they can go find Cassette, right?  Nope.  Circe uses the talisman to transport them to the set of a Beach Party movie, where Herc has to fight the King of Africa, who arrives on a sedan chair borne by the Washington Generals.

The King offers to give our hero a ride to Thera, but only if the demi-god agrees to irrigate the land, because apparently Herc went to Agricultural college.  This could take awhile, so Circe transforms Hercules into Ultraman, and he grows large and tall enough that we really can’t help but look up his skirt.  Thanks Circ.

Unfortunately, one upskirt shot and Circle falls in love with Hercules, which makes her lose all her powers.  But they accidentally arrive at their destination anyway –  “the Green Isle of Thera,” so named because everything is shot with a green filter.  And wouldn’t you know, the instant they arrive, Circe is shot with a laser by – I’m not kidding – a robot Cyclops centaur.  Hercules smacks the thing around until it makes a sound like a 1970 Plymouth Duster swallowing a valve, and then, in it’s death throes, it performs anal sex on itself with its own tail.

I’m still not kidding.

Herc breaks into the Green Lantern Corps’ central power battery for some reason, then falls down a hole.

Meanwhile, Sybil takes Cassavetes to her father, who turns out to be that Minos guy from the Moon.  He watches Herc futz around inside a snowglobe for awhile, then suddenly stands and shouts, “Science!” like Thomas Dolby if he were dressed like an Amish Burger King.

Herc wakes up chained to the floor, just as Sybil arrives with a chalice full of “The Black Lotus” and tells Herc they’re going to get high and then boink.  But for probably the first time in the history of these movies, Hercules doesn’t actually drink the roofie.  Instead, he pulls off the fake chains, and then actually fights some opponents who weren’t made out of miss-matched Aurora model kits and added later in post production.

Minos takes Cass Sunstein into Mount Doom, where he plans to stuff her into a picnic basket and lower her into the lava.  She seems okay with this, probably because the “lava” appears to be Campbell’s tomato soup on a low simmer.

Herc arrives, freshly unboinked, and goes mano a mano with Minos.  But the king is armed with a glowing, flaming, multi-colored sword that’s kind like a light saber if they came in Neopolitan flavor.

Since our two foes are elderly and lumbering, respectively, it’s not exactly the climax of the 1938 Robin Hood.  But Herc does accidentally make the volcano erupt with stock footage, setting fire to the entire island, and killing hundreds of extras from other, less cheap Hercules movies.  Castrol and Herc panic and run around the tiny set, while we cut to shots of burning Styrofoam pyramids and hear the ADR folks shrieking gamely from the looping stage.

So, Herc has managed to kill everybody on the island, but he did get the girl.  He just doesn’t seem to know what to do with her.  Mama Cassiopea tries to give him a kiss, but he deflects it and retaliates with a little pack-patting hug.  Then they suddenly shoot into the stars, where they become the Just Good Friends constellation.

Indiana Jones And The Lost Index

Posted by scott on December 17th, 2007

Thanks to everyone who has summoned the courage to face your demons, plunge to the depths of your tormented soul, and bring up a bunch of crappy films for our sequel to . Please keep them coming — add your bad memories, suspected fever dreams, and other suggested turkeys to this thread.
Speaking of which, distinguished commenter preznit giv me turkee has implied that the original volume could have benefited from an index. So, in the spirit of holiday giving, we present, for the first time ever, Better Living Through Bad Movies: The Uncut Table of Contents, which was only released in Europe, and which until now has solely been available in samizdat.
Marital Success and Thinner Thighs the Hollywood Way
Indecent Proposal
The Story of Us
Eyes Wide Shut

It’s the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine But You’re All Dead
Judge Dredd
The Postman
Battlefield Earth

Coping with Grief: The Five Stages of Bad Sequels
Highlander II: The Quickening
Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows
Speed 2: Cruise Control
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Batman & Robin

What I Did for Love
Autumn in New York
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
The Chosen One: Legend of the Raven
Coyote Ugly

Deviled Ham: Torments of the Damned, or Just Overacting?
The Devil’s Rain
Omega Code
The Ninth Gate

Chick Flicks versus Ick Flicks

MSNTV: (Mars, Space & ‘Nowledge Television)
Mission to Mars
Red Planet

Sex, Lies and Direct-to-Videotape: The Rise and Fall of the Erotic Thriller
Body Chemistry
Body of Evidence
Color of Night

Satan: A Career Retrospective
Satan’s Cheerleaders
The Final Conflict: Omen III
End of Days

Ziggy Stardust, Action Hero!
Never Too Young To Die

Bionic Booty: Hollywood’s Enduring Love Affair with Man-on-Machine Miscegenation
The Colossus of New York
Saturn 3
Bicentennial Man

Weird Sex or: Making the Beast with Two Backs with the Beast with Two Backs
The Deadly and the Beautiful
Mars Needs Women (with bonus Mars Needs Women: The Musical!)
The Bride
Humanoids from the Deep

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist
The Ape Man
Mesa of Lost Women
Hollow Man

Bats Entertainment!
The Devil Bat

Teenage Wasteland
Teenage Devil Doll
Because They’re Young
Disturbing Behavior
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Live Fast, Die Young, and Leave a Bad-Looking Movie
Gone in 60 Seconds
Days of Thunder
Redline 7000

The Space-Crap Continuum
Red Dawn (the Special Edition)

Bitter Living Through Bad Movies

Posted by scott on December 13th, 2007

With the TV season disrupted by the writers strike, Fox has decided to delay the debut of 24, depriving Americans of entertainment, and presidential candidates of desperately needed mid-debate metaphors.  But for those who can’t wait until spring for a dose of spectator torture, we offer a simple solution:

Torture us.

Yes, s.z. and I have heard the cries of the multitudes, begging us for a sequel to (available through the link on the left for all your holiday gift-giving needs).   Now, in the spirit of candor, and upon advice of counsel, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that by some standards it wasn’t quite a multitude, and they weren’t actually begging – in fact, the chances are good it was just a possum giving birth in s.z.’s attic — but the important thing is that we heard something, and we are answering the call!

But this isn’t just a literary project, or random act of masochism.  No, it’s a pop culture emetic…for you, the World O’ Crap reader.  If there are any motion pictures which have gotten under your skin and begun to fester, then allow us to play medieval barber and lance that boil for you.  In other words, we’re pulling a Jonah Goldberg-style bleg (but stopping short of the Full Jonah, since we’re just looking for suggestions, not someone to write the book for us).  Compile a short or long list of films you would most like to see given the BLTBM treatment — any age or genre is fine, although we’re most interested in movies released in the last five years — and post them in the comments. 

Thanks!  And until then, we’ll see you…at the movies!  (You’ll recognize us, we’ll be the ones jackknifed in pain and weeping bitter salty tears into our Mr. Pibb.)

Wide World O’ Crap

Posted by scott on March 26th, 2007

Seattle Dan is a contributor at the General’s place, and also the proprietor of Jackson Street Books, a fine independent bookstore which stocks, among other fine, independent books, . And he’s been kind enough to post a review here. Feel free to join in the chaos in the comments.

Take A Peek, You Perves

Posted by scott on February 12th, 2007

Amazon has finally (some 7 or 8 months after publication) implemented the Search Inside feature for .  If you’ve thought about buying it, but haven’t yet taken the plunge, feel free to follow the link and root around in the books unmentionables.

And if you have read it, please consider dropping by Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com and leaving a review.  Even if you’re .


May God Have Mercy On Our Souls

Posted by s.z. on September 2nd, 2006

On Customer Appreciation Day, Scott and I announced that as a small token of appreciation and stupidity, we would view, summarize, and draw life-changing lessons from whichever two movies received the most votes from you, the Better Living Through Bad Movies buyer (and also from you, the Wo’C reader). 

But this offer is due to expire soon: you only have until midnight on Sunday, Sept, 3, to finish identifying worthy movies, making your case about why they deserve the BLTBM treatement, and voting for the ones you most want to force Scott and I to suffer through.

On Monday, I will ask Scott to use some kind of a scientific method to pick the movie that each of us will be learning the character-building lessons from.  (And it’s no fair for him to pick the easiest one for himself)

So, fans of bad cinema (and people who just hate Scott and me), have at it!  But remember, I know where some of you blog.