Good old Ponty is keeping the lights on at this blog with his submissions. They are welcome at a particularly busy season for yours portly, and especially after traveling to Indiana this past weekend for my older brother’s wedding.
Ponty and I share a love of horror movies, but especially a love of bad movies generally. I tend to be much more forgiving of bad movies, as many of them possess entertainment value in their own right (a premise so crazy the film is interesting, even if the parts don’t fit together; or a film that is “so-bad-it’s-good”). I’m also just not that discerning—or, perhaps, I just like trash.
Whatever the case might be, Ponty doesn’t share my ecumenical approach to films. He calls a spade a spade—and a pile of crap a pile of crap.
As such, he’s submitted the first of a list of ten films he regards as the worst films of all time. I’m dubbing this gloriously long miniseries Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films. The tentative plan is to post these alternating Mondays in lieu of the usual Monday Morning Movie Review from yours portly. The non-Ponty weeks will be my list of the worst films of all time.l
I’ve kept all of Ponty’s colorful commentary intact; I’ve just added in years for the films, and italicized the titles. I’ve also provided some useful hyperlinks for those looking to learn more about the subject of his ire.
With that, here is Ponty’s review of Dead Snow 2 (Død snø 2, 2014). I don’t know if this is his tenth worst film or his first worst film; either way, he makes it sound pretty bad:
There are a lot zombie movies. There are quite a few zombie comedy movies.
Slicing that down further—like a machete slicing through the neck of an undead corpse—is the zombie romantic comedy subgenre. Perhaps the best example of this extremely specific subgenre is 2013’s Warm Bodies, which I believe Helen Liptak recommended I review at some point (I probably should be reviewing that today instead!). That is, indeed, an excellent, heartwarming (pun intended) film.
Instead, I’m reviewing 2019’s Eat Brains Love (also stylized as Eat, Brains, Love), a far inferior film that, despite some poor acting and writing, is not without its own shuffling charm.
Regular reader and contributor Pontiac Dream 39—now going by the more cumbersome, but still endearing, “Always a Kid for Today”—surprised me last week with this excellent movie review submission. It’s a review of the 2004 romantic comedy Wimbledon (2004), starring Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany. As a Dunstophile, I very much appreciated this review.
It also saved me having to write a review of my own, so that’s always a plus, too. One less post to fret over—woooooot! I’ve left the substance of the review unchanged from what Ponty sent me, other than adding hyperlinks to the films he references, and italicizing their titles.
But enough of my rambling. Here’s Ponty’s/AaKfT’s/Mike’s review of Wimbledon (2004):
This week’s Monday Morning Movie Review is a double feature: I’m reviewing the comedy-horror flicks House (1986) and the even goofier sequel House II: The Second Story (1987). While the films share a name and both take place in odd houses, the two storylines are completely independent of one another.
In lieu of Supporting Friends Friday, I’ve decided to dedicate this Friday’s post to the memories of three great men that left us in the past week. One was a beloved funnyman; the second an influential public intellectual; the third a former colleague’s husband.
That order is not indicative of a ranking by significance or importance, to be clear. As I noted, I consider all three of these gentleman to be great men. Each contributed something to the world in their own way.
Today marks the end of summertime fun and the beginning of work. Classes for the school year won’t start for another nine days, but I’ll be filling out various bits of legalese paperwork and taking the same bloodborne pathogens quiz I’ve taken every August for the paste decade.
In the spirit of beginning another year of academic rigmarole and inspirational mind-molding, I decided to review the 1989 dark comedy Heathers, starring Wynona Rider and Christian Slater as two oddball teens who declare war against the titular popular clique that rules the school.
I first watched Heathers on Hulu back in 2019 with the girl I was dating at the time. I remember it being far darker than I anticipated, and found the second half of the film unpleasant. I usually enjoy unsettling movies, but tonally it seemed “off.”
Well, tomorrow I head back to the real world—at least, as close to the real world as teaching gets—and the glorious freedom of summer ends. I’ll likely spend today playing piano at church and watching crummy movies on Shudder.
That’s kind of a metaphor for the conundrum of summer vacation: you get two months of completely unstructured time handed to you, then blow it all watching B-movies and taking naps. I do think I had a more productive summer than usual, but many of my hoped-for projects—as usual—are incomplete, even un-started.
Oh, well. It was still a good summer. I loved living like a retiree for two months.
Anyway, on to the flicks!:
“Monday Morning Movie Review: Still (2018)” – This movie is about a magical water source deep in the Appalachian Mountains that grants eternal youth to two jaded outlaws. A young woman stumbles upon it, and is drawn into their weird world.
“Monday Morning Movie Review: Suburban Gothic (2014)” – This flick is a fun, quirky comedy-horror. The protagonist is a dude who looks and dresses like a gay man, but is just an eccentric weirdo. When some Mexican contractors dig up a young girl’s grave and steal her necklace, some supernatural shenanigans start to go down. Needless to say, this movie—which is only seven years old—could not be made today.
“Monday Morning Movie Review: The Housemaid (2016)” – I very much enjoyed this Vietnamese-language film, which takes place during France’s failed attempt to hold onto its southeast Asian colony in the 1950s. A young woman takes a job at a notoriously haunted rubber plantation and begins an affair with the wounded French captain and plantation owner. The flick is all about revenge and colonialism, but don’t let that second point spoil it for you—it’s quite good.
That’s it for this Lazy Sunday, my last Sunday as a free man until June 2022.
The description for the movie on Shudder.com reads thusly:
A lonely dog groomer in Hollywood searches for love, but his true passion is making weird video art that nobody understands. His menial routine spirals out of control when he meets the girl of his dreams, crossing boundaries between reality and fantasy as he dives deeper into his video experiments.
I guffawed as soon as I read the line “making weird video art that nobody understands.” That sold me on the flick, which I actually found enjoyable, if baffling.
Back in 2014 the indie game Five Nights at Freddy’s fired the imaginations and nightmares of gamers with its twitchy, fast-paced, stressful management of a low-powered security camera system and a couple of security doors. The premise of the game is simple: survive the night as a security guard while the animatronics at a haunted pizzeria come to life.
It’s not surprising, then, that Hollywood would take note of Five Nights at Freddy’s success and attempt to capitalize on this very specific horror niche. 2019 saw the release of The Banana Splits Movie, a horror comedy ludicrously based on the late 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Banana Splits.
I haven’t seen The Banana Splits Movie (though it’s definitely on my list of “weird things to watch”), but I have seen the most recent entry into the subgenre of animatronics horror: 2021’s Willy’s Wonderland, starring Nicolas Cage in a role completely counter to the over-the-top acting style Cage usually employs: he doesn’t speak a single word in the entire film.