According to Ponty, he’s already got several of his worst film reviews typed up. I wish I could claim to be so prepared. My methodology has been to watch a bunch of movies, and to select those that are particularly bad for review.
That might be a lackluster way to go about this process, but it’s how I picked this week’s film, The Pit (1981). I’ll strive for a more intentional approach as we get into the truly terrible stinkers, but I hope readers will still appreciate the badness of the movies selected.
The Ponty ‘n’ Portly Schlock-o-Rama rolls, on flipping back to Ponty’s countdown.
I can tell we’re really getting into the dregs already: Ponty’s review of 2006’s Hatchet makes it sound like the most predictable slasher film ever made, coupled with unsympathetic characters. The lead was apparently in Dodgeball(2004), but not Justin Long—the other nerdy guy. I read the review thinking it was Long, which was bad enough.
But enough of my yackin’. Let’s get on to Ponty’s review:
Ponty really pulled out all the stops with his #8 entry, going after some real, big budget badness. I feel as though I should follow suit, but that will come all in due time.
Instead, my #8 for my Top Ten Worst Films is, naturally, an indie cult flick that was a critical darling, which means you know it’s a stinker: the psychological horror asbestos removal film Session 9 (2001).
Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. I’m pretty sure my foot is broken, but I’m hoping to see an orthopedist this week. I’m also borrowing an orthopedic boot from my mom, who had foot surgery back in January. The boot works pretty well, and makes me feel like a cyborg—a low-rent, non-threatening RoboCop (1987). I’ll keep y’all updated, but I think I am going to be fine.
Speaking of mild tragedies, my #9 pick for my list of my Top Ten Worst Films is 1984’s Rocktober Blood, a visually low-quality, goofy film with great songs.
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.
After three poetical Sundays (here, here, and here), it’s time to get back to the schlock and sleaze you’ve come to expect from yours portly. That means more movie reviews!
These three flicks date from late October and early November, the beating heart of the so-called “spooky season.” As such, these films fall nicely into the spooky category. Two of them are masterpieces, while another is a dud.
“Monday Morning Movie Review: Halloween Kills (2021)” – Alternatively, some classics are meant to die young, even if their villains never do. 2021’s Halloween Kills is a lackluster sequel to the 2018 Halloween reboot/sequel/soft reboot/reimagining/etc. That was a good movie; Halloween Kills was tedious and grating (how many times can random characters shout “Evil Dies Tonight”? before it gets annoying; it might make a good drinking game for those so inclined). There’s a ham-fisted attempt to work in a message about the violence of mobs, but the movie is ultimately just dull.
“Monday Morning Movie Review: Wait Until Dark (1967)” – So it’s back to the 1960s, a time when concerns about youthful street hooligans and declining civic virtues (hmm, sounds familiar) wound up on the silver screen. 1967’s Wait Until Dark, starring Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman living with her photographer husband in a basement apartment in New York City, is actually a good movie, and a tense, Hitchcockian thriller. A couple of thugs and an intimidating Mod harass the poor blind woman, attempting to gaslight her into revealing the location of an antique doll full of drugs. The setup is a bit ridiculous, but the story itself is taut. Also highly recommended.
There you have it! Back to the movies this Lazy Sunday.
I’m finishing out January with one more Shudder-based movie review, then I’m going to knock out the growing list of film review requests. Audre’s been patiently waiting for a review of Bicentennial Man (1999), which is over two hours long (probably why I keep putting it off—ha!); my Aunt Marilyn has requested The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021), which stars Benedict Cumberbatch; and my neighbor Bernard Fife has recommended White Lightning (1973), which he hopes will be part of a “Hick Flick” series of reviews.
I promise to get to all of these films, and as February is the month of love, it seems like as good a time as any to show my readers some love. If you’ve got any recommendations to make, get them in now, while I’m awash in this generous mood. Fortunately for you, dear readers, I also experience a crushing, crippling sense of obligation, so chances are if you ask nicely, I’ll review it. Just leave a comment or e-mail me.
But it’s still January for one more day, so I get to pick the movie. This weekend, I stumbled upon the 2020 Spanish-language film The Last Matinee (or Al morir la matinée). The film is a joint production of Uruguay and Argentina, and takes place in Montevideo in 1993.
That alone made it unique, as most Spanish-language horror films seem to take place in Mexico or Spain (Spain, like Italy, apparently has a thriving horror film industry). What further drew me to the film is that it takes place in a failing movie theater in the heart of the city, and the events unfold during a screening of a cheesy slasher film.
I watch quite a few movies, and most of them come and go without leaving much of a mark. Indeed, I pretty much only watch movies now, with the exception of a few shows (like Bob’s Burgers). Some of them probably deserve more attention than I give them, as I’m usually multitasking—poorly—while watching them.
But for every eight duds there is one film that will stick out. These are usually the ones I write about. Typically they stick out in a positive way, though Ponty has encouraged me to write some reviews of movies I don’t like (you can read one such review here). This week’s selection really made an impact on me, and it’s one I heartily recommend.
The flick is 1973’s The Wicker Man, based on a 1967 novel by David Pinner called Ritual. The film is, perhaps, one of the most Christian (and pro-Christian) movies I have seen in a long time. I don’t think its creators intended it as a Christian film, but I’ll make the case for it in this review.
That said, if I’m correct, The Wicker Man probably has the most nudity of any Christian film ever made.