Monday, May 5, 2014

1982: Guilty Pleasures

Now for the films I like in spite of myself.

The third Friday the 13th movie would have made my worst list but for the hockey mask making its debut and the wonderfully cheesy experience that is watching it in 2-D. Taking place at a farm house where a bunchy of teens have come to party, it has a pretty good Jason in Richard Brooker and... Well, in terms of actually good stuff that's about it as the rest of the film is just wonderfully cheesy moment after cheesy moment.  Cheesy disco song for the main theme (in 1982, roughly three years after disco died stateside); completely cliched use of the 3-D format-just shoving things into the camera, some decent enough kills and a crappy twist ending that tries to ape the end of the first one and fails.  All in all, Friday the 13th Part 3 is not one of the better sequels, but it;s good for a laugh or three.

Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, this Australian lensed action film is both one of the worst films I have ever seen and also one of the greatest.  It's the year 2000 and the world has well and truly gone straight to hell.  Our main characters are enemies of the state who have been sent to a brutal prison where sadism runs rampant and the warden holds a regular hunt for rich folks.  Turkey Shoot (also known as Escape 2000) is pure exploitation at its best/worst/.  Chock full of gore, gratuitous nudity, violence and nastiness, it is one of the most unintentionally entertaining bad movies of the 80's.  Smith directs the action well enough but the actors aren't having fun, the shoot was apparently hell and the budget was cut in the middle of filming and it shows.  Still, this one is worth seeking out just so you can say you did.

Not the best cash-in on Jaws but by far the most blatant (to the point where Universal sued the filmmakers).  Great White (also known as The Last Shark) is also one of the more entertaining, though with a huge, cheesy shark head that is used incessantly and a plot that is essentially just Jaws on a lower budget with admittedly talented director Enzo Castellari running the boat instead of Steven Spielberg.  I'm a sucker for Italian versions of big Hollywood films though and this one is just fine for some good laughs.

This is the third big sword and sorcery film of 1982, it is also the cheesiest.  The debut for Albert Pyun, it is a remarkably cheesy affair with the usual tropes found in the genre, plus a nice villainous turn from, Richard Lynch as well as one from Richard Moll.  The highlight for me though, is the awesomely impractical three bladed sword the hero wields.  story ideas that were cooler in concept than execution were a staple of cheesy 80's films and this sword is one of the better ones.

Forbidden World might be the perfect exploitation movie as far as 1982 is concerned.  Cash-in on a famous hit, in this case Alien?  Check, in fact this is the second Alien cash-in in as many years from Roger Corman's New World Pictures but we'll get to that in time.  Gratuitous gore?  It's an 80's horror movie with all the requisite gore, including one of the grossest monster deaths I have ever seen.  One of the scientists on site has cancer and the beast is killed when the hero tosses the man's cancerous tumor into the monster's mouth which causes it to barf itself to death.  I'd call that a big check.

Gratuitous nudity?  Let me put it this way, the sole female characters, Glaser (June Chadwick) and Baxter (Dawn Dunlap) spend what could be considered an excessive amount of time either partially nude or fully nude.  The high point is when the two women discuss what to do about the horrific creature that is picking off the staff of their ship one by one... While taking a steamy shower together.

Forbidden World is one of the most enjoyably bad films of the year, the only thing keeping it from the top ten list was that the other films were just better.

Coming Soon: The Worst of 1982

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.