Sunday, August 17, 2014

1987: Guilty Pleasures

And now the cream of the crap.

In a way, I sort of prefer the fourth Death Wish film to any of the others.  It's a little less mean-spirited (to a degree, the series as a whole isn't exactly a bucket of laughs); having Bronson going after drug dealers is funnier than just having him shoot random muggers and any time John P. Ryan gets a chance to ham it up it's all good.  I also get a kick out of one scene where our stoic hero enters a video store that seems to carry nothing but films from Cannon Films.

Speaking of Cannon, 1987 was also the year they managed to kill the Superman film franchise dead for nearly twenty years.  The fourth Superman movie is an astonishingly bad movie with an overbearingly dumb plot, horrendous f/x and a sense of humor that would be privileged to be called asinine.  Despite all that, I find it endlessly entertaining for the simple reason that it fails so spectacularly.  Superman is out to rid the world of nuclear weapons and Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) manages to create a nuclear powered super villain to defeat the hero.  Their fights are the highlights of the film, though not the reasons the makers of the movie intended.  Superman pulls new powers out of his ass like its going out of style, the f/x are laughable and you just have to admire a movie that fails this completely.

How the hell anyone managed to convince anybody a third Howling movie was a good idea is beyond me but somehow, some way the third movie ends up being surprisingly entertaining.  Coming hot on the heels of the hysterically awful second one (I'll cover it at a later date, forgot to pout it in the 1986 posts), this sports the same director, Philippe Mora and a wild plot about Australian werewolves who, as the title above indicates, are marsupials.  There are a ton of [plots going on here with a young werewolf woman giving birth, a Russian ballet dancer who is also a werewolf, military strikes against a tribe of the beasts, there's more in this one 94 minute movie than in most other movies.  It's cheesy, it's funny and if you can get into the right frame of mind it's actually pretty solid fun.

Sometimes, you just need to see a film so utterly stupid that it defies logical comprehension.  Jaws: The Revenge is such a film.  Sporting a hilariously dumb plot (because as Siskel and Ebert said, what shark wouldn't want revenge on the people who killed it?) and one of Michael Caine's most embarrassing roles, this managed to kill the franchise stone dead.  It's truly awful and also very funny.  You gotta hand it to a big budget movie that has special effects that don't improve on similar stuff from 1975.

Coming soon: The Best of `1987

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About Me

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