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Sunday, December 25, 2011

(christmas with the kranks)

As has been previously mentioned, we don't like doing comedies at Bad Movie Night.

On the surface, they're perfect for us, because bad comedies are the most worst kind of movie. At least with bad action movies you're likely to get some cars and shit blowing up, which is all you can really ask for.

Bad horror movies? Fake blood is cheap and plentiful. If you have a masked guy with a knife, you're set. Doesn't mean it's a good movie, but at least the movie will deliver what it promises.

Bad comedies? Whooboy.

See, the bare minimum you can expect from a comedy is to laugh. But making people laugh is tough. It ain't easy being funny, and more often than not you fail. Ever watched me — and by "me" I mean Sherilyn — introduce a movie? QED, bitches.

So, the experience is painful enough just watching a bad comedy. Trying to also riff on it is even worse, since the movie makes the same obvious jokes as we do.

But we're making an exception this time, because I — and by "I", I mean Sherilyn — ain't going to be around, and Mike Spiegelman really wants to do this movie.

So come on down on Christmas night to join him and Alexia and Jim to deliver the final volley in the War, and I'll see you in 2012.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman, and Alexia Staniotes
don't have anything better to do that night, and neither do you.

December 25, 2011 Christmas with the Kranks
Tim Allen learns the true meaning of Christmas, or maybe he's a lawyer on the run or something. It's based on a John Grisham, so who the hell knows?
Cranky pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman, Alexia Staniotes, and other Aykroyds.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

(christmas evil)

Well, shoot. Our annual showing of It's a Wonderful Life not only failed to destroy Christmas, but people still consider that movie to be a heartwarming family classic. Curses!

That battle may have been lost, but our War on Christmas rages on, even if Fox News continues to ignore us. (Why? Because they're afraid of us, that's why. Neener!)

This week's feature is not the first Christmas-themed horror film, but as near as we can tell it is the first one where a killer dresses up as Santa, beating Silent Night, Deadly Night to that punch by four years.

It also kinda slipped through the cracks compared to that film, which received a legendarily harsh review from Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert:

On the other hand, Christmas Evil did receive one of our very favorite things, the YouTube-review treatment...

...which means Christmas Evil wins. Even if we, the audience, lose.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, and Tim Kay
are not the kings of jingling.

December 18, 2011 Christmas Evil
The original killer-Santa film, and John Waters' favorite Christmas movie. Need more be said? Maybe, but we're not gonna.
Jingling wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Tim Kay, and other kringlers.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

(it's a wonderful life)

As usual, the San Francisco Weekly's repertory calendar said it best a few years ago:

Yeah. What's wrong with these people? Which is to say, us?

How can we make fun of a movie that's so beloved, that's unquestioningly revered by so many people, so much so that we evidently aren't supposed to...well, make fun of it?

Well, have you tried to actually watch the damn movie recently?

If not—or even if you have—come on down and watch it again. By the time it's over, you'll feel just like the kid at the bottom of the picture with his hands on his face.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Maura Sipila, and Tristan Buckner
will not be getting their wings.

December 11, 2011 It's a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart spare every sitcom for the next sixty years from having to come up with an original idea for a Christmas episode.
Suicidal pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Maura Sipila, Tristan Buckner, and other wingless angels.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(the nutcracker)

And so our War On Christmas begins, with a movie that by all rights should have done the job when it was released theaters last year.

But it didn't, so we'll be giving it another shot this year.

This movie also fulfills our long-standing tradition of showing at least one "family" film which is in fact truly horrifying. The picture above should give you sense of the abject terror that awaits...

...and, quite frankly, there's nothing else I can say about this movie that its German trailer doesn't:

So, yeah. Welcome John Turturro's rat-man into your nightmares, because he's going to be there for a very long time.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman, and Dan Foley
will probably make more testicular-trauma jokes than they really should.

December 4, 2011 The Nutcracker (2010)
The children's story no child actually likes becomes a nighmare-inducing CGI abomination for all ages.
Unshelled wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman, Dan Foley, and other ballbusters.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

(lost boys: the tribe)

Well done, Internet! That's more like it.

You guys managed to let the WarGames sequel come and go without so much as a pip of vloggy protest, but thankfully the (first) sequel to The Lost Boys didn't escape your attention, probably because of the making of it was the subject of a bad reality show. (Which is to say, I a reality show.)

And you took to YouTube to complain about it, gods love your virginal hearts.

Let's start with a fellow who doesn't actively hate the movie, cerdo24. He also does one of my favorite things in YouTube movie reviews: he holds up the box the entire time. You know, just in case we forget.

Meanwhile, teenmoviereview chooses to keep his mug offscreen altogether, instead offering commentary over a super-pixelly trailer. (There's one good thing about this movie, and his name is Corey Feldman!)

While neither of those reviews are particularly witty, they do share a particular quality: brevity. EvilDeadFan1990 is not into the whole brevity thing, and it sounds like he's recording in a pretty bad neighborhood, but at least he's a little more creative with how he holds the box.

CinematicVenom offers a minute-long preview for what is surely a much longer review on a different site. And he's British, too!

The longer review. Mr. Plinkett, he ain't. Still, dig the British spelling of "metre." So exotic!

Back on American cybershores, there's OcpCommunications, who doesn't make me proud to be an American at all. He goes on for fifteen minutes and twenty-seven seconds. Don't even bother trying to watch it all.

Finally, clocking in at a mere two and a half minutes, we have fiedy88, who's very proud of his South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut poster, has a camcorder which was built after 2002, and actually understands how to make a video.

Whether or not the video should have been made is not for us to say.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Maura Sipila, and John Hell
are going to make a ranting video about other people making ranting videos.

November 27, 2011 Lost Boys: The Tribe
A sequel which took (2010 minus 1987 equals) twenty-one years to make. That's a long time to go without Coreys!
Haimy pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Maura Sipila, John Hell and other feldmans.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

(war games: the dead code)

Okay, Internet. We need to talk.

I'm very disappointed in you.

When a movie comes out that you you don't think should exist, you're supposed to get all angry about it. More importantly, you're supposed to get all angry about it on YouTube, like you did for Titanic II.

But there's nothing, not a thing, about this week's feature. It's a sequel to WarGames, for pete's sake! Doesn't that get your dander, or whatever?

This is not okay, guys. Not okay at all.

You've let me down. Nay, you've let the world down.

To make up for it, let's watch Eddie Deezen's scene from the original film.

Ahhhh...that was nice.

A little Deezen makes everything better.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Ziad Ezzat, and Rose Lacy
would much rather play global thermonuclear war.

November 20, 2011 WarGames: The Dead Code
A sequel which took (2008 minus 1983 equals) twenty-five years to make. Not that anybody noticed.
Gamey wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Ziad Ezzat, Rose Lacy and other whoppers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

(tron: legacy)

There are a lot of things I don't understand about my childhood, but the great abiding mystery to this day is the fact that I never saw the original Tron in the movie theater.

I wanted to, very much. I was totally excited about the movie—it's about video games, and features lots of glowing stuff? sign me up!—but it just didn't happen. Maybe it was because I was nine years old, and thus too young to go by myself? I remember my brother Jonco and I going to see WarGames the following year without parental supervision, and he was fourteen, so surely at thirteen he would have been allowed to take his nine year-old sister to see a movie she so desperately wanted to see?

Maybe, but I'm still not sure, especially since I did a lot of stuff on my own. This was the early eighties, before parents discovered that the world was dangerous for young children. I of course saw it on VHS, and it was the centerpiece of my tenth birthday party, which was attended by exactly one (1) other person. Oh, like you were so popular as a kid.

And I loved the arcade game, which I'd already played several times before I ever saw the movie.

The aesthetic of the video game's cabinet, not to mention the common look of arcades at the time, instilled a taste for blacklight remains with me to this day. I'm not going to say the blacklights currently installed in my bedroom have gotten me laid, but I'm not going to say they haven't gotten me laid. In fact, I'm not going to say anything about that at all.

Aside to Aquarius Records: guys, please please please move the machine out of direct sunlight.

I remained a fan of Tron for the next few decades, long after it was fashionable. Actually scratch that: it was never fashionable, but that didn't stop me. As recently as the early 00s, quite possibly the nadir of interest or respect for Tron, I had a poster in my bedroom, plainly observable in this clip from kittypr0n, the public access show I produced at the time:

So: that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have poor taste, and don't know care what small segment of the population (very few people watched kittypr0n on public access, and fewer watch it on YouTube) knows.

In spite of my deep love for the original film, I was never one of the people clamoring for a Tron sequel. I had a sneaking suspicion that they would screw it up, that what made the original film special would be impossible to replicate, that it would just be another crappy, poorly-plotted CGI-fest. And I wasn't wrong.

Granted, the original Tron was crappy, poorly-plotted CGI-fest, but, hey, I was ten years old when it came out. Gimme a break, already.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Jim Fourniadis, and Dan Foley
will derez Sherilyn's childhood memories.

November 13, 2011 Tron: Legacy
A sequel which took (2010 minus 1982 equals) twenty-eight years to make. It was still too soon.
Pandemonium reigns on bridges.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Sherilyn Connelly, Dan Foley and other daft punks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

(wall street: money never sleeps)

Oh, sure, Oliver Stone.

Make yet another movie about the dangers of the current financial system, and the damage the people and companies on Wall Street are doing to America.

Jeez. What-ever.

Call us when you have an idea that's remotely relevant to what's happening in the real world, huh?

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, and Mike Spiegelman
will occupy the front row of The Dark Room.

November 6, 2011 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
A sequel which took (2010 minus 1987 equals) twenty-three years to make. Not that it needed to be.
Greedy wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Mike Spiegelman and other bulls.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

(day of the dead)

So, George Romero was finally getting it right. He learned his lesson and made sure to copyright Dawn of the Dead, and bucked the system by refusing to cut the film to achieve an "R" rating, instead opting to release it unrated. He also made the best modern zombie movie ever.

Of course, a third movie was just a given. Night followed by Dawn, which of course is followed by...what? New Moon? Eclipse? (Breaking) Dawn? (Those are all titles in the Twilight series. I'm clever!) Nope. Day, of course. And he intended to up the ante, to outdo Dawn of the Dead.

And he might have, except for a couple of things. First off, money: he had very little of it, and his original script had to be severely cut back. Next, the artistic success of Night and Dawn are arguably a fluke. Romero, god love his horn-rimmed heart, is not a very good filmmaker. Oh, he's visionary and he started a genre, but that's not the same as being a great director.

Worst of all, the thunder of his third film was stolen by another zombie movie that came out at the same time, and one which was also spawned by Romero's original Night of the Living Dead:

It was more or less produced by Romero's Night co-producer John Russo, who retained the rights to the words "Living Dead" and could do whatever he wanted with them (like the horrible Night of the Living Dead 30th Anniversary Edition), and what he wanted to do was undercut Romero's movies.

And it worked like gangbusters. Return of the Living Dead introduced two long-lasting but very questionable elements to zombie lore—brain-eating and (ugh) running—while Day of the Dead...

...well, it has good gore effects. You gotta give it that.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Tristan Buckner, and Ira Emsig
will give it oh so much more.

October 30, 2011 Day of the Dead (1985)
Not a remake, but George Romero's actual third zombie movie. Still kinda pointless, though.
Diurnal wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Tristan Buckner, Ira Emsig and other daysleepers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

(dead snow)

Look, they're nazi zombies, okay? In the snow.

They're snowbound nazi zombies.

You may think you need to know more than that, but you really don't.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Dan Foley, and Damien Chacona
will eat the yellow snow.

October 23, 2011 Dead Snow
Nazi zombies in the snow! Which makes it a cross between Cliffhanger and Shock Waves.
Necro-teutonic pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Dan Foley, Damien Chacona and other schneejugend.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

(dawn of the dead)

With his second zombie film (and fifth feature film) Dawn of the Dead, George Romero got it right and copryrighted the fucking thing. Good on him for that!

Not that the film didn't get reworked and redistributed nearly as much as the original Night, though. Romero co-produced Dawn with Italian horror director Dario Argento, who got to edit and re-title the film as he saw fit in non-Engligh speaking countries. As a result, there's several different versions, under different names, most of which tend to involve the word "zombie." That's actually the true birth of the zed-word meaning "dead people who walk around eating alive people," since it was never spoken in Night. (The "brains" thing didnt come up for another several years, and we will not discuss it here.)

The release in England (is that an English-speaking country?) combined the two, calling it Zombies: Dawn of the Dead.

Or, if you're not into the whole plurality thing, just Zombi(e): Dawn of the Dead.

It was of course a big genre-definining hit, so it spawned lots of imitators, the most famous being Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2. It was marketed in Italy as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead, which was just called Zombie over there. Eventually, Fulci's film came to be known simply as Zombie...

...though its own sequel is still known as Zombie 3, which I suppose is no less convoluted to how the sequel to Rambo: First Blood Part II is called Rambo III.

So, it's not like a Dawn of the Dead remake is a case of besmirching a previously un-besmirched classic or anything. The original film was besmirched like crazy, by design. There's not even anything wrong with the concept of remakes, never mind how much people like to wring their hands over them and go into "Why can't Hollywood make original movies like they used to?" rants, conveniently ignoring that some of the most beloved movies ever made during Hollywood's so-called Golden Era (The Wizard of Oz, The Maltese Falcon, and many many others) were remakes themselves.

Nah. The problem with this movie is that the zombies run.

Fuck this movie.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, and Tim Kay
will selling Bad Movie Night overseas as "Riffers."

October 16, 2011 Dawn of the Dead (2004)
A pointless remake of George Romero's second zombie movie. But it does have Sarah Polley.
Snyderian wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Tim Kay and other zed-words.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

(resident evil: afterlife)

I wonder sometimes why Milla Jovovich doesn't have Angelina Jolie's career. Mainly that comes from the fact that I think Milla is a much prettier, and Angelina is really weird-looking.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest. (Insert your own joke about Milla's and/or Angelina's chest here.)

There's not a lot to be said about these movies, except that they keep Milla reasonably employed, and that they should have been directed by George Romero. He direct some commercials for the video games they're based on, which are called Biohazard in Japan, so let's enjoy one:

And this one, too, with a girl who I think is cuter than Angelina or even Milla (I'm a sucker for eyebrows shaped like that):

But George Romero did not direct any of the Resident Evil movies. This one and the first one and the next one (but not the second or third one) were directed by the guy who did Mortal Kombat and Alien Vs. Predator and who's also married to Milla Jovovich and and and and I DON'T WANNA TALK ABOUT HIM ANYMORE.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Sherilyn Connelly, and Maura Sipila
could have totally had a shot with Milla if
they'd directed these dumb stupid movies.

October 9, 2011 Resident Evil: Afterlife
The...fourth movie based on this video game? Fifth? Is anyone even counting?
Transient pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Sherilyn Connelly, Maura Sipila and other locals.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

(night of the living dead 3d)

NOTE: We will be showing this film in old-school 3D, and we will provide the glasses.

We here at The Dark Room are big fans of copyright, so we now present a cautionary tale.

When George Romero and John Russo and their band o' producers known as Image Ten made Night of the Living Dead in 1968, it was a confluence. A syzyzgy. Everything just came together, and they made an enduring classic, and launched a new genre. It was a happy accident.

Unfortunately, there was also an unhappy accident: they didn't copyright the movie.

Well, sort of. The original title Night of the Flesh Eaters, and the first prints with that title included a copyright notice. However, the distributor changed the title to Night of the Living Dead (a wise decision in and of itself) but forgot to put the copyright notice back on, and in 1968 no copyright notice meant no copyright, meaning the film was in the public domain, meaning anyone could show or distribute or do whatever the hell they wanted to do with the movie without having to pay a dime, meaning Romero and company were pretty well fucked.

The movie was a big hit, and played all over the world, but Romero et al got nothing from it. When video came around, there were dozens of different releases, some of them colorized, and, again, Romero didn't get any scratch from that other than the ones he released himself. He produced a remake in 1990 that didn't do very well at all, mostly because it wasn't very good.

And there have been several remakes, quasi-sequels and remixes since then, like John Russo's lauded Return of the Living Dead series as well as his much-hated Night of the Living Dead 30th Anniversary Edition:

There was an animation mashup called Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated:

There's also been plenty of stage versions too, including a 2003 production in which I may or may not have played Barbara. (Note: I did play Barbara.)

And 3D, of course. Can't not have 3D, can you? Nope, you can't not. So there's the original movie, colorized and "Now In 3D!":

Or the forthcoming Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D, which I guess is going to be CGI:

And, finally, this week's feature,

Look, just copyright your fucking movies, okay?

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Alexia Staniotes
put a copyright on your mom last night.

October 2, 2011 Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)
A pointless remake of George Romero's first zombie movie—in 3D, for no good reason! We'll be showing it in 3D, and will provide the glasses.
One-dimensional wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Alexia Staniotes and other flatlanders.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

(mega shark vs crocosaurus)

I gotta say, I'm sad that Mockbusters month is coming to a close. Battle of Los Angeles last week was more fun than all of Bruce Willis month combined.

As I'd mentioned, the interweb critics didn't deign to appear on camera when discussing that movie, but, holy cow, did they come back out in force for this week's feature. Which is exactly what The Asylum knew they would do, which is why the Asylum wins.

None of the kids who hated Titanic II so very much had anything to say about this movie, so let's check out some new schmucks.

Since Jaleel "Urkel" White is in the film, SpecialMark (probably so named because his poor greenscreening has aliased him within an inch of his life) can't resist the temptation to do an Urkel impression. He calls the movie "bad with bad frosting," but also acknowledges that it's okay to laugh at the movie:

A number of the reviews are apparently part of the CTFxCinema Club, which is no doubt a thing. PurpleHairVlogs (probably so named because she has some purple in her hair and she vlogs) goes straight to the "Why was this movie made? WHY?" well. To wit: "This movie is so bad, it was terrible, I did not like it, not one bit, oh my god, why?" I could ask the same thing about that Furby on the shelf behind you, sister.

MattyFreg tells us that "everything about this movie...SUCKED." Y'know what's not going to suck? The rockin' biceps he's gonna get from holding the camera.

JustinrpVlog tells us that he's wearing his US Army cap specifically because it's a CTFxCinema review, unlike the glasses he wears for LTA reviews. Well, duh! Anyway, he has to go sub-verbal to describe his feelings about the movie:

Another CTFxCinema review by a British girl with colored hair. She respectfully requests that we do not laugh at her for being scared of Jumanji.

And here's one by...oh, never mind. You get the point.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman andTristan Buckner
prefer to use Vimeo to complain about movies.

September 25, 2011 Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus
Hey, it's that movie where the Mega Shark fights the Crocosaurus! (Well, it is.)
Ultra pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman, Tristan Buckner and other sphyrna zygaena.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

(battle of los angeles)

So, yeah. This, after Snakes on a Train, is about as pure an Asylum product as it gets.

Obviously, this is a riff on the movie Battle: Los Angeles. What a difference an "of" makes. And this wasn't even the only alien-invasion movie that was rushed to capitalize on Battle: Los Angeles (which is not a very good movie anyway, by all accounts), and unlike this week's feature, Skyline actually played in theaters.

And this stuff has been going on a for a long time, y'know. To name but one example, in 1978 The Bees was a blatant attempt to draw some of the audience of the much, much bigger-budgeted The Swarm. Aren't you glad you know that now?

Anyway, since it was so much fun last week, let's look at some people on the internets complaining about this movie at length.

KidVlogger317, who never actually appears on screen and thus is not strictly vlogging, calls this movie a "shit fest" and uses the word "constipated" a lot. Take that to mean what you will.

AlexJowskiable doesn't appear on screen either, even though he spends about fifteen minutes dissecting the film. Mr. Plinkett, he ain't.

And there's No1ThatSpecial, who also does not appear on the screen, though he rocks the MS Paint.

Last as well as least, Fjolsvin presents a five-second version of the film. It is what it is. (Barely.)

Ye Gods, I'm actually missing watching doughy geeks complain about movies into their webcams. What's become of me?

Damn you, The Asylum! Damn you!

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, and Ira Emsig
will also go on YouTube and complain that Bad Movie Night exists.

September 18, 2011 Battle of Los Angeles
Hey, it's that movie the guy who played Two-Face in The Dark Knight battles aliens in...oh, wait. No, it isn't.
Angelic wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Ira Emsig and other Angelenos.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

(titanic ii)

As I've mentioned before, I like The Asylum. Hell, I respect them.

They're all about the buzz, the chatter, the fact that people on the internet will always get all "WTF? They made a [insert title of blood-angrying film here]? WHY?"

So people like you will talk about it and thus give them free publicity, dum-dum. Sheesh.

For example, QuikVidGuy took to YouTube to not only ask that persistent question and warn people not to watch this week's feature, but to read his snappy tweets from when he was watching the movie. Post-meta livetweeting!

Bigmike starts off with some background about the obscure James Cameron film Titanic, and then goes on to display both standard "Why did this movie get made?" outrage, along with a fondness for the word "centralize":

We can't not mention wetmovie1 (ew!), who appears to be an Alien Resurrection-esque failed clone of our own Mikl-Em and who doesn't hate the movie so much as not entirely hate it, giving it a "four, four and a half maybe":

Finally, the guys at fanboyflicks have much stronger feelings about it (though I question their methodology in determining the "WORST MOVIE EVER!"):

So what have we learned?

Just because you can go on YouTube to make fun of movies, that doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Buy you should totally come do it at Bad Movie Night.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman and Dan Foley
will then go on YouTube and complain that Bad Movie Night exists.

September 11, 2011 Titanic II
Hey, it's that movie where Leo and Kate fall in love as...oh, wait. No, it isn't.
Very sinkable pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman, Dan Foley and other ironsides.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

(snakes on a train)

We aren't the only ones doing this, y'know.

Far from it. There are plenty of shows across the country where you can watch an ostensibly bad movie and yell at the screen. It's part of the further media democratization that the entertainment industry hates so much.

Some go by very creative names, and some are also called Bad Movie Night:

There's even a series at the Academy of Natural Scienes in Philadelphia called Mega-Bad Movie Night where scientists tear apart the recent wave of Mega- movies. How cool is that?

And I love that they all exist. The more movie-riffing, the better, says I.

For the record, I am in no way shape or form suggesting that these other shows have anything whatsoever to do with us, that they got the idea from us or anything of the sort. They all developed independently, some of them surely started before we did, and really, the phrase "Bad Movie Night" has been in the vernacular, or at least on the internet, for a long time. As far as I'm concerned, we're just another fish in the pond created by Mystery Science Theater 3000, and we're proud to be a small part of it.

Anyway, one of the things that makes us different / worse from the majority of the other shows is that while we often do movies which have a modicum of quality, they actually respect their charter and feature only bad movies. I mean, heck, watch the video above to see the truly horrible movies coming up in Gall 2011 at the Ciné Athens Bad Movie Night: Lady Terminator, Nail Gun Massacre, Hollywood you can tell from the titles alone, there ain't a non-stinker in the bunch. Speaking from experience, it's reminiscent of the dregs you'd find at a video store on a Saturday night in the early 90s after all the new releases have been rented -- and that that, my friends, is a truly a night of bad movies.

This month, we're finally getting it right, doing a survey of the worst of the bad -- and focusing on the Asylum, the current kings of absoludicrious straight-to-SyFy cinema.

You're welcome!

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, and Tim Kay
will probably say "motherfucking _________" many, many times.

September 4, 2011 Snakes on a Train
Hey, it's that movie where Samuel L. Jackson battles snakes on...oh, wait. No, it isn't.
Slithery wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Tim Kay and other impersonal trainers.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

(drive angry)

Last week, we talked about how Nicolas Cage is a fan of movies and comic books, and how that results in him taking parts less for prestige or any particular acting challenge, but because it looks fun.

And we can respect that, and maybe that kinda helps him deal with the fact that he's in deep shit with the IRS, and needs the money in the worst way.

Like $14.6M deep, which is pretty far down.

Nic's money troubles have been public knowledge for a few years now—hence movies like Season of the Witch or this week's feature having come out in 2011—and in 2009, these gentlemen discussed how he got there in the first place:

They're right—Indonesian islands are cheaper. (Maybe? I have no idea.)

Anyway, he has a lot of movies to make before he digs himself out of the hole.

And we'll be here to watch 'em.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis and Mike & Andy Spiegelman
will be shot in 3D.

August 28, 2011 Drive Angry
This time, instead, of riding, he's driving! And he's angry! Okay, he was angry last time too, but...yes, it is totally different.
F1 pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman, Andy Wenger & Damien Chacona and other cabbies.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

(ghost rider)

You gotta give Nicolas Cage credit: he's a fan.

In the long run, the man loves what he's doing. Sure, he sometimes sleepwalks through obvious payday films like, oh, Season of the Witch or Knowing, but he's also an unabashed fan of movies and comic books. There's a reason he almost played Superman in spite of being completely inappropriate for the role.

Heck, he named his son Kal-El. Celebrities giving their children unfortunate names is nothing knew (cf. Moon director Duncan Jones's birth name, Zowie Bowie), but stiill, if that's not proof that he's a fan, I dunno what is.

His take on Superman never happened, and it could have actually turned out great. Remember when everyone was "Waaah! Michael Keaton's going to ruin Batman!" in the late eighties? (Of course you don't. You're too young. And I'm very, very old.)

Nic did manage to score the role of one of his other favorite superheroes, however. And the result is this week's feature.

Y'know, on second thought...yeah, it's for the best that he didn't play Superman.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em and Rose Lacy
will roll this film, oh yes they will.

August 21, 2011 Ghost Rider
Nicolas Cage is a ghost who rides! Which would make him a riding ghost, wouldn't it? God, this movie can't get anything right.
Ectoplasmic pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em, Rose Lacy and other stowaways.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I used to get excited about movies once upon a time.

More specifically, I got excited about movies where an actor or actress I liked was being directed by a director I liked. Susan Sarandon (who I was deeply crushed out on) in Paul Schrader's Light Sleeper, for example, or Nicolas Cage (who I was not al all crushed out on, but who had a lifetime pass from Raising Arizona) in David Lynch's Wild at Heart.

Obviously, I'm talking about the early nineties. I was young and foolish. Whaddaya want?

I've learned a lot in the decade or two hence. Like, just because someone makes Raising Arizona and Wild at Heart in their career, that doesn't mean they won't eventually make, oh, Snake Eyes or 8MM or—you knew this one was coming—the remake of The Wicker Man.

Same with directors, not just Paul Schrader or David Lynch, but ones like Alex Proyas, who make visionary pieces of work like Dark City or not exactly visionary but still trend-setting flicks like The Crow. And then they make, of all things, I, Robot.

So, by the time they get to pieces of misfiring dreck like this week's feature—which has potential, and squanders it with one of the goofiest finales of any movie ever—Nicolas Cage is ready, too.

What I'm trying to say is, Nicolas Cage and Alex Proyas have both done great work. But this ain't it.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Alexia Staniotes and Ira Emsig
don't know. They just don't know.

August 14, 2011 Knowing
Not since I, Robot have the words "From the director of Dark City" inspired such dread.
Unknowable pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Alexia Staniotes, Ira Emsig and other know-it-alls.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

(season of the witch)

You might be inclined to think that Nicolas Cage would lay off the movies where it's him versus evil women.

You might very well be inclined to think that, epsecially after The Wicker Man.

But you would be very, very wrong.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Maura Sipila
are keeping their fingers crossed for another bear suit.

August 7, 2011 Season of the Witch (2011)
Nicolas Cage as a knight in the Crusades who plays chess with Death. Right? Or it's a Halloween sequel without Michael Myers. Something like that.
Warty wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Maura Sipila and other w-words.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

(the lord of the rings)

Oh, you kids today. You think that the seventies were all about disco and wide lapels and bell-bottoms and Star Wars. And it was about those things, yes, but it was also about a movie industry that had no clue what to do with itself—at least, not until Star Wars (and Jaws right before it) came around.

Before that, things were kinda weird. At the beginning of the decade, the studio system was breaking down, youth-oriented movies like Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider were huge hits, and the people with the money were casting their nets wide, trying to find something/anything with counterculture cachet which could rake in those bucks. Any bucks, really. And since "safe," "family-friendly" movies weren't doing it anymore, it was okay if the movies were a bit ribald. Risque. Racially charged, even.

That's where Ralph Bakshi stepped in.

He'd been toiling away in the animation salt mines for well over a decade when he made his first feature film in 1972, based on R. Crumb's comix character. Though it was made with independent financing, there's no way it could have been produced or distributed had the major studios not been attempting to do the same thing anyway.

It was a smash hit, the most financially successfully independently produced animated film ever (up to 1972), and also the first cartoon to get an X rating. Crumb hated it, and killed off the character in his comix in protest—which didn't stop another producer from making a Bakshi-less sequel, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, a few years later, since killing the character on paper didn't change the fact that he'd sold off the film rights. Nice try, Bob.

Bakshi continued on with 1973's Heavy Traffic, which combined animation with live action, his signature trick. It was a sloppy signature, but by god, it was a signature, and it continued until they stopped letting him making movies twenty years later (two words: Cool World). Anyway, Traffic delved deeper into his obsessions with ubran decay and racial stereotypes of all stripes:

1975 brought Bakshi's most Bakshi-riffic film. My video store in Fresno had a VHS copy (kept on the "Mature" shelf in our Adult section) under the name Streetfight, which I guess is supposed to be less offensive than its original title:

Is it an offensive title and/or an offensive film? I don't know. 1975 was a different time—I mean, I guess it was, I was only two years old at the time so my memories are a bit fuzzy on the subject—and we can't fairly apply our 2011 sensibilities to it. All that said, I am willing to state that the movie's opening theme song by Scatman Crothers is awesome from a strictly musical standpoint:

I have absolutely no opinion about it from a lyrical standpoint. His scatting is great, but that's why he was called Scatman, duh.

Bakshi shifted directions after Coonstreetfightskin, moving into the now more-profitable fantasy realm with the obviously-named Wizards. It's also the first film in his career on which he's credited as the producer as well as the writer and director, so depending on your take on the auteur theory, it's the first movie for which he can be solely blamed—or praised, since a lot of people love this film:

Bakshi also abandoned the combining of live-action with animation, sorta. Rather than cutting back and forth between the two or having animated characters interact with the real world, he rotoscoped Wizards within an inch of its life in the battle scenes. Since it was cheaper and more practical than doing new background or hand-drawn animation, he lifted copious battle footage from movies like Patton, El Cid and Zulu, and, well, take look for yourself. It gets particularly egregious at 1:35:

Yeah. And this was just a dry-run for his next film, this week's feature, which has lots (and lots and ohmygod lots) of barely-there rotoscoping, not to mention an attempt to squeeze the first book and a half of Tolkien's trilogy into 133 minutes. Which he possibly might have pulled off if not for what feels like six hours of fantastically ugly rotoscoping of orcs. If you've ever wondered why Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies had to be so damned long, the thorough incoherence of this movie will explain it all.

Though this film was by no means a hit, Bakshi continued to make feature films, and also produced the brilliant late-eighties revival of Mighty Mouse, which in turn unleashed John Kricfalusi of Ren & Stimpy onto the world. So he gets props for that.

Ralph Bakshi's last motion picture was released in 1992, and nobody's asked him to make one since.

Remember those two words from before?

Cool. World.

Yep. Those are the ones.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Ira Emsig
just hope Legolas is still dreamy.

July 31, 2011 The Lord of the Rings (1978)
In 1978, the Tolkien-loving Connelly family dragged their five year-old child to see this movie in the theater. In 2011, she gets her revenge. (On the movie, not her family.)
Rotoscoped wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Ira Emsig and other lost wanderers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

(percy jackson & the olympians:
the lightning thief

So, as you may have heard, the Harry Potter movie series has come to and end.

Theatrically, that is. It won't officially come to an end until we riff on it next January.

In the meantime, at least we have the Harry Potter ripoffs, right?

Like, um, this week's feature. It's not quite up to eight movies yet, though. This is only the first one, and...

Hrm. Let's see what the IMDB has to say about it.

Found it! Apparently, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters is "Scripting; nearing a greenlight."

Oh, yeah. That's gonna happen.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Tristan Buckner and Mike Spiegelman
are still keeping their fingers crossed for
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Deathly Hallows, Part 3.

July 24, 2011 Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Is this a shameless attempt to start a Harry Potter-esque franchise, or an even more shameless display of iPhone product placement? Yes!
3G pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Tristan Buckner, Mike Spiegelman and other special Olympians.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

(conan the barbarian)

Speaking as someone who spends far too much time reading about movies, I can attest to the fact that John Milius is a weird, weird guy.

He's also a fascinating guy, a big blustery motherfucker with reactionary-to-fascist ideals for which he is no less charming, and he gives great interview. I'd listen to him talk about anything, and even if I disagree with his politics, which I usually do. But that doesn't matter in the least.

Milius was part of what is generally referred to as the as the Film School generation, the first wave of filmmakers who, well, went to film school (since it didn't really exist before)—people like Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, guys like that.

Among other things, he did uncredited work on the Dirty Harry script and is credited with the first followup, Magnum Force; he wrote Robert Shaw's U.S.S. Indianapolis speech in Jaws; he has story credit as as well as executive producer billing on my favorite Spielberg film, 1941, as well as Paul Schrader's Hardcore; and, perhaps most significantly, he wrote the original script of Apocalypse Now, which was initially going to be a low-budget black and white film directed by George fuckin' Lucas.

Just let that one rattle around in your brain for a while.

He also had a bit of directing career of his own (admittedly stalled since the nineties), including the surprisingly forgotten Big Wednesday, The Wind and the Lion, and of course the signature Bad Movie Night flick, Red Dawn. He's done a lot of scriptwriting since then, including the miniseries Rome, which I guess some people like.

But, in some ways, no film comes closer to the heart of Milius than this week's feature, especially since, unlike Red Dawn, he isn't stifled by having to concede to pseudo-reality or a tiny budget.

And it's got a barely-Americanized and largely shirtless Arnie, so you can't go wrong with that, either.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Jim Fourniadis and Tim Kay
will probably make jokes about the lamentations of Arnie's housekeeper.

July 17, 2011 Conan the Barbarian (1982)
In this movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger crushes his enemies and hears the lamentation of their women—no, wait, that was when he was Governor. (Timely political zing!)
Miliusian wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Jim Fourniadis, Tim Kay and other destroyers.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Because it applies just as much to this movie as it did to A Christmas Carol last year and The Polar Express the year before that, I continue to ask: does anyone else wonder what the hell happened to Robert Zemeckis?

He was easily the most protigious of Steven Spielberg's proteges, clicking with Steve-o in a way that (for example) Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper did not. But Spielberg and Zemeckis had a thing, and it's a testament to the power of the thing that when Spielberg's first big flop (1941) was based on a Zemeckis script, they kept working together.

While Spielberg wisely never directed a Zemeckis script again—though, for my money, 1941 is underappreciated masterpiece which will hopefully someday receive the critical reapprisal it so richly deserves, probably when it inevitably hits Blu-Ray—he did produce Zemeckis's first few directorial efforts. There was I Wanna Hold Your Hand (featuring Eddie Deezen, as all movies should), Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future...

...which are all fine and good, and despite its low budget I Wanna Hold Your Hand is clearly the work of an auteur —seriously, track down a copy of the VHS tape, and notice how much the climactic action scene resembles the climax of Back to the Future, among others—he also made one of the best smart-raunchy comedies of the early eighties: Used Cars. The awesomeness of this movie simply cannot be undestated. I Wanna Hold Your Hand isn't available on DVD and you're already sick of Stone and Future, but get Used Cars from Netflix right now, damnit.

The trailer doesn't really do it justice, as is the case with most movie trailers, but oh my lord is this a funny movie. Still the best thing Zemeckis ever did.

Which is not to say it was downhill after that, necessarily. He did some damn fine work afterward, including the aforementioned Back to the Future and its sequels, Who Framed Roget Rabbit?, and the movie which perhaps harkened back most strongly to his 1941 / Used Cars roots, Death Becomes Her. Like Used Cars, the movie has heart, but it also has a mean streak a mile wide. And nobody has a funnier mean streak than Roboert Zemeckis.

Then there was something called Forrest Gump. I don't know what that is, either. Sounds kinda retarded. (ZING! Geddit? Because it's about a...oh, never mind.)

As a Carl Sagan fan, I liked Contact quite a lot. It fixed some narrative problems with the book while creating new ones, as is usually the problem with adaptations of novels. (The poster really cheesed me off, though, since it described the movie as being "from the Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author of Contact." No shit? The movie is based on the book by the...the author of the book of the movie is based on? That makes my brain hurt.) The mean streak was pretty well gone, though.

And then...oy. I don't really wanna talk about it, but I'm gonna. He started experimenting with "motion capture," which basically means dressing up overpaid actors like The Green Man (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans represent!) and covering the footage with CGI. It's bascially a digital version of the same process which gave us the nightmarish Ralph Bakshi version of The Lord of the Rings. You remember that, right? (And if you don't, wait a few weeks.)

Yeah. Ick. But it's even worse in this case of this week's feature, because the advanced technology makes the characters look much more human, and indeed that's the intention, but they're not quite there. Something doesn't quite fit. Though his recent movies are based on beloved works—or works people are forced to read in English class, like this week's feature—watching them leaves one stranded in the Uncanny Valley, a dark and disturbing place filled with quasi-humanoid creatures like something out of your deepest nightmare.

Huh. Y'know, now that I think about it, maybe Zemeckis's mean streak hasn't gone away after all.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Dan Foley and John Hell
will be wolfin' all over this movie.

July 10, 2011 Beowulf (2007)
Robert Zemeckis drags once again drags us deep into the Uncanny Valley. Seriously, what'd we ever do to him?
Anglo-Saxon pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Dan Foley, John Hell and other bee hunters.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

(dungeons & dragons)

I was never into Dungeons & Dragons or any other role-playing games as a kid

By all rights, I should have been. My oldest brother was a heavy D&D player and I used to hang around when he'd play it with his friends, and my own friends in high school were also into it. But I just couldn't get into those kinds of games. They took way too long to play, there was a lot of math and die-rolling and stuff, and I didn't feel any particular need to play a wizard or whatever. I liked looking through the books, especially the Monster Manual, but otherwise, it didn't do anything for me.

It might have to do with the fact that I don't like fantasy stuff in general. I was (and am) the only person in my family who doesn't care for Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia or any of that. It all bores me, and I'm still mildly traumatized from being dragged along to see Ralph Bakshi's execrably animated Lord of the Rings when I was five. (We'll get to that one at the end of the month.)

Video games were a little better, especially in the eighties when they couldn't be overly complex. Not like text-based games like Zork, mind you, where I had think and stuff, but games where you move around and shoot arrows at stuff, like Venture or (Ad)Venture or, if I'd had an Intellivision, probably this:

Then again, maybe that was the problem: I felt sorry about killing dragons. Poor dragons.

Anyway, fuck fantasy movies. Let's get to work.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em and Bryce Byerley
will earn 10 hit points in snark.
(Am I doing that right? "Hit points?" I honestly don't know.)

July 3, 2011 Dungeons & Dragons
A horrible, horrible movie which besmirches the legacy of the classic Saturday morning cartoon.
Six-sided wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em, Bryce Byerley and other gygaxes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

(the spirit)

Look, I have no freakin' clue what's going on this movie.

I haven't seen it yet, obviously. What, you think I actually watch the movies before we riff on them? Please. Most of these movies are too painfully bad to watch once, let alone twice. And what I've read about it hasn't cleared things up much.

It doesn't help that it's trying to look like Sin City, a film which I didn't care for. (Assuming I actually saw that movie. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't.) I don't know an awful lot about the original comic strip The Spirit, but I do know for all its noirishness, it doesn't actually look much like the original Sin City comic.

But director (and Robocop 2 & 3 screenwriter) Frank Miller is kind of a dick, as acclaimed comic book writers have a tendency to be, and after co-directing Sin City with Robert Rodriguez, he wanted to show the world that he was the real deal, not this south-of-the-border upstart.

Since this film came out, Rodriguez has directed three more movies, and Frank Miller has directed none more.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer dick.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Tristan Buckner and Rose Lacy
will try to not make "motherfucking snakes" jokes
every time Samuel L. Jackson is on screen.

June 26, 2011 The Spirit
Director (well, "director") Frank Miller tries to recapture that Sin City magic. Problem: there is no such thing as "that Sin City magic."
Overmilled pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Tristan Buckner, Rose Lacy and other Eisners.

Sunday, June 19, 2011, 6pm

rhiannon and sherilyn's
superman double feature
birthday sleepover!

Much like my confession to being a Star Wars fan last year, I have another bomb to drop.

My name is Sherilyn, and I'm a Smallville fan.

It's not something I like to talk about in public, but I dig the show. I haven't really kept up with it over the years, but I'm just about finished with the eighth season, which means I have two more to go. (No spoliers about the series finale, plz!)

Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for a catchy theme song:

I've also been really fascinated to watch how they've built up the mythos, being both faithful to the history of Superman while going into a new direction with it. And I'm not saying it's a good show, exactly—it's not Breaking Bad or anything—but, as they say, it pushes my buttons. As does Allison Mack, who I've been crushed out on for a good long while now.

What I appreicate most about the show may be that the producers clearly have a great affection for the Christopher Reeve movies, as do I—the first movie came out when I was five, so, you know, I was the right age. And they even brought Reeve onto the show in the second season for an important episode that still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.

My name is Sherilyn, and I'm a dork.

And speaking of dorks, in honor of the birthdays of The Dark Room's favorite Geminis, Rhiannon (June 12) and myself (June 16), we're riffing on the first two Superman movies, the ones that weren't lousy. In a row. Back to back.

For the second film, we're riffing on the special Richard Donner cut, with less slapstick, more Marlon Brando, and an ending which might seem eerily familiar. (I'm comin' to get ya, Lois!)

It's more Christopher Reeve than you can shake a stick at. And why would you want to shake a stick at someone at a paralyzed guy who died in a wheelchair, anyway! Damn, you suck.

But that's okay, because you're still our BFF, and we totally want you to come to our birthday party, okay? It's going to be a total blast, we swear. Our parents are out of town and it's just going to be a whole lot of fun and you don't have to stay for the whole time if you want to and just please show up, okay?

We know it's a schoolnight for a lot of you, so we're starting early: 6pm. That's when we're going to watch the original 1978 Superman: The Movie, with Mikl-Em co-hosting. At 8pm we'll watch Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut with Mike Spiegelman, and after that we'll all go home and go to bed.

Oh, and presents? Don't worry about it. Your presence is your present.

If you really wanna get us stuff, here's Rhiannon's Amazon wish list, and this is mine, though blank DVD-Rs always make me happy.

Though nothing would make me and Rhiannon happier than you joining us this Sunday, 'kay? 'kay.

(Be sure to get there at 6pm for maximum Zod.)

June 19, 2011, 6pm Special Event (in a box!):

Rhiannon and Sherilyn's
Superman: The Movie
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
Double Feature Birthday Sleepover!

To celebrate Rhiannon and Sherilyn's birthday(s), we're going to riff on the first two Superman movies, the ones that (mostly) didn't suck.

For the second film, we're riffing on the special Richard Donner cut, with less slapstick, more Marlon Brando, and an ending which might seem eerily familiar. (I'm comin' to get ya, Lois!)

Bring your jammies and blankets and get cozy.
Necking with the birthday girls encouraged.
Caped wackiness will ensue. SHOW BEGINS AT 6PM, BITCHES.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Rhiannon Charisse and...

6pm: Superman: The Movie - Mikl-Em
8pm: Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut - Mike Speigelman

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Well, they tried, didn't they?

The original Superman films (which we'll get to next week) had no business being any good, since producers Alexander and Ilya were mercenary even by Hollywood standards—and these guys were French.

After acquring the rights to the Superman character for a relative pittance, they made a big deal of hiring Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman for huge sums of money, not because they were necessary right for the roles because it showed how much money and gumption to Salkinds had. (That said, Brando was perfect for his role, and Hackman was miscast. I'm sorry, he just was.)

Superman was a critical and commercial success, almost entirely due to the director Richard Donner, who was willing to stand up to the Salkinds and make a movie which wasn't just a cash grab. Donner wanted an unknown to play the lead role; the Salkinds wanted freakin' Robert Redford. Wash that one around in your brain for a while.

Donner got kicked off the Superman II (which, again, we'll get to next week) and most of it was reshot by British director Richard Lester, whose tendency to not argue with the Salkinds got him the oh-so-plum job of directing the Richard Pryor vehicle Superman III. See what being a team player gets you?

By the end of that experience, Richard Lester was through, so the Salkinds had to bring in someone new for their next milking of the franchise, this week's feature. And if you're thinking to yourself, "There's only one man for the job—the director of Jaws 2!", then your last name is probably Salkind.

Anyway, the movie is it what it is, and we like to think of it as an excuse to watch Helen Slater looking smokin' hot. And here she is getting in shape to play Supergirl:

Or we might just repeat the clip of her on the trampoline over and over for two hours. You'll have to come on down this Sunday night to find out.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Ziad Ezzat and Ira Emsig
are not going to ogle at all, they swear.

June 12, 2011 Supergirl
Billed as "Her First Great Adventure," which is only untrue if you consider "first" to imply more than one. Not so much with the "great," either.
Unfranchised pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Ziad Ezzat, Ira Emsig and other omegahedrons.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Here's the thing about comic fans: while they clamor for movie adaptations, you can never, ever satisfy them with said adaptation. Period. Dot. End of line.

Which is why, in a lot of ways, this week's feature never stood a chance.

The source material is considered sacrosanct. Hell, even I've read it, and I'm neither a comic nor superhero fan—beyond a childhood fondness for Superman, which we'll get to in a few weeks.

And I liked the graphic novel a lot, even if I wasn't smart enough to get it on a meta level or whatever. Alan Moore is much, much more intelligent than me. And probably you.

But for as much as I liked the graphic novel, I had problems with it. I got the feeling that Alan Moore didn't care for his female characters, and as lauded as David Gibbons's artwork is, I never quite understood why everyone's head was disproportionately small for their bodies, particularly the women. Again, maybe it was working on some meta level that I'm not smart enough to get.

All that said, I absolutely adored this movie. My favorite movie of 2009, by a long shot. Not the best movie, but it doesn't have to be.

And a lot of people who are much bigger fans than myself hated it, because they're impossible to satisfy. Like Patton Oswalt said, this the only Watchmen movie we're going to get, people, so, quit yer bitchin'.

Well, almost, the only one:

God, I wish that was a real show. But the movie will do, and we're going to have fun riffing it to pieces.

Out of love.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Dan Foley and Mike Spiegelman
are glad there's no giant psychic octopus thing in the movie. Just sayin'.

June 5, 2011 Watchmen
Zack Snyder's adaptation of the graphic novel is so faithful, he not only retains the comic's hatred of its female characters, he cast a really horrible actress in the lead. Good job!
Glowy blue wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Dan Foley, Mike Spiegelman and other Manhattanites.

Sunday, May 29, 2011



Everybody loves robots, right? Sure they do.

And while it's no I, Robot, this flick has got plenty of robots. And it's got Bruce Willis. Happily, this is the end of Bruce Willis month, so it's the last time we're going to see him in a movie for a while.

Hell, the way his career has been going, it may be the last anybody is going to see him in a movie for a while, especially if Kevin Smith has anything to say about it.

Back to the matter at hand: robots. What kind of robots does this movie have?

Are they the cool kind?

Or are not-so-cool kind?

We're not telling.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Maura Sipila and Rose Lacy
seen things you people wouldn't believe.

May 29, 2011 Surrogates
Robots that look like humans—and one that looks like Bruce Willis, too. (ZING!)
Substituted wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Maura Sipila, Rose Lacy and other skinjobs.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

(the fifth element)

I don't remember much about this movie.

I saw it in the theater because I really liked La Femme Nikita, the director's previous film, so this one couldn't suck, right? Yeah, whoops. Hell, I liked the American Nikita remake (Point Of No Return) better than this messy mess of a mess.

(I know a lot of you love this movie. That's okay. You're entitled to be WRONG.)

All I remember is that it had something to do with the world about to be destroyed by something or other. I also remember Milla Jovovich with orange hair and wearing an outfit made of a medical tape, but quite frankly, I wasn't impressed. This girl did that same look some years later for Halloween in the Castro, and looked much hotter doing it.

Anyway, the real question: is it a coincidence that we'll be doing this movie the day after the beginning of the end of the world?

The short answer: Yes. Yes, it is.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Ira Emsig, Dan Foley
are gonna need some more FBI guys.

May 22, 2011 The Fifth Element
Do you like bad CGI, nonsensical plotting, Chris Tucker and the color orange? Lucky you.
Bozo-haired pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Ira Emsig, Dan Foley and other molecules.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

(live free or die hard)

The original Die Hard changed everything.

If you didn't see it in the theater during its original release, you can't really know the impact it had. It also means you aren't incredibly old like me.

There was a slew (plethora? myriad?) of copycat films over the following decade, like Under Siege and Speed, some which wore their "It's Die Hard in a _________!" on their sleeve and some which tried to be a bit more coy.

Those two in particular were major studio films, as of course were Die Hard's own inevitable sequels, but the format was also attractive to low-budget producers, since it could be shot more or less in one location. As a result, video stores were flooded with this stuff in the early 90s. Again, if you weren't in that culture at the time, you can't really know. It also means, once again, you aren't incredibly old like me.

Anyway, the abolute peak of the genre came in 1996 via the action movie factory PM Entertainment (whose impact you can't really know unless...oh, never mind) and their full-circle "Die Hard in a really tall building" movie Skyscraper, starring Anna Nicole Smith:

Yep. Now, Anna Nicole Smith was a tragic figure who was ultimately very sad and exploited by the media and yadda yadda yadda. May she find the peace in death she was never able to find in life.

There, now that that's done and we won't go to Hell for speaking ill of the dead—please enjoy these outtakes of Ms. Smith from Skyscraper:

Ya wanna know what "acting" is? Watch the poor schmucks who have to share scenes with her. Acting is that they are doing. What Anna is doing? Not acting.

Nor is Bruce Willis in this week's movie, come to think of it. But for some reason, he gets away with it.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Tristan Buckner and Ziad Ezzat
are gonna need some more FBI guys.

May 15, 2011 Live Free Or Die Hard
Also known as Die Hard 4.0, it's Bruce Willis vs. cyber-villains, because timely!
Cyber-wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Tristan Buckner, Ziad Ezzat and cyber-your mom.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

(color of night)

So, sex.

Let's assume we all like sex. We do, right? And we probably all like porn of some kind or another.

The problem is, sex is one of those things—the thing—which, if it's not presented correctly, is bad. Distasteful, really. Not in a moral sense, but in an aesthetic sense, as in icky icky icky gross!

Which brings us to this week's feature, which attempts to be sexy but is mostly just unpleasant. And I'm gonna call it: the reason is Bruce Willis. Jane March is gorgeous, but holy cow, does anyone need to see as much of Bruce Willis as we see in this movie?

Sure, somebody out there must find Bruce sexy in this movie. Rule 34 and all.

And what about the rest of us?

Common wisdom suggests that European films are sexier than American movies, so maybe if we pretend this movie comes from some exotic land, it'll be more palatable.

So let's try an experiment—the film's trailer in another language:

Wow. That didn't work at all.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Tim Kay and Jason Wiener
would like to rush this movie's director.

May 8, 2011 Color of Night
Nekkid Jane March. Also: Nekkid Bruce Willis, complete with cock. YMMV.
Photoreceptive pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Tim Kay, Jason Wiener and other rods and cones.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

(the last boy scout)

Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in a Tony Scott film produced by Joel Silver, released in 1991 but arguably the last of the 80s action movies.

Explosions, death, testosterone.

Fine. Whatever. There's nothing going on here that you wouldn't expect.

So let's cut to the good stuff:

We must never forget.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Andy Wenger & Damien Chacona
are hoping Bruno returns again.

May 1, 2011 The Last Boy Scout
Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, sweat and testoserone. You know if that's your thing or not.
Wackiness—which isn't homoerotic in the slightest, honest!—ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Andy Wenger & Damien Chacona and other brownies.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

(slaughter's big rip-off)

And here we are, at the bottom of the blaxploitation barrel already.

We did the seminal classic (Shaft), the Pam Grier classic (Foxy Brown), the not-really-classic-but-still-familiar-classic (Scream Blacula Scream), and now we're onto...well...

See, there was a basic formula to blaxploitation movies—as there is any genre, which is what makes it definable as a genre, due—and after Shaft it would have been easy to just fill the month with "badass soul brother taking on the bad guys" titles, like Super Fly, Truck Turner and Black Belt Jones. But we wanted to spread out the month a little, show the genre's comparative range, because here at Bad Movie Night, our mission is to educate.

Plus, you know, Pam Grier. Have we mentioned Pam Grier yet? We like Pam Grier.

Anyway, for our fourth and final flick this month, we decided to focus on one of the genre's other tropes, one which is familiar to anyone who's seen I'm Gonna Git You Sucka: the suprising actor playing the villain. Like Nichelle Nichols in Truck Turner, or Shelley Winters in Cleopatra Jones. But just we had to go with the greatest one of all, which you've probably already gathered from the picture above:

That's right. Hi-yo, motherfuckers!

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Sherilyn Connelly and Tim Kay
probably don't drink socially more than anyone else. Probably.

April 24, 2011 Slaughter's Big Rip-Off
Jim Brown plays yet another bad motherfucker who, once again, takes on the mob. However, the head mobster is played by Ed McMahon. Seriously.
Pandemonium (which is totally worth the price) reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Sherilyn Connelly, Tim Kay and other slumming sidekicks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(scream blacula scream)

Pam Grier is back!

So that's the good news. She's totally in this movie.

Well, not totally totally. The problem is that it's not a Pam Grier movie. It's not Foxy Brown or Coffy or Friday Foster or 'Sheba, Baby' or...well, that would be about it. She's in a ton of movies, but the wasn't the star of many of them.

And a lot of them were like this week's feature: a supporting role in a sequel to a movie that was questionable in the first place. (See also: Drum, the movie that tied up all the loose ends left over from Mandingo.) This week, the SF Weekly isn't even faux-offended that we're calling this movie bad. (Our fake beef is already over!)

But, hey, in addition to Pam (or Miss Grier if you're nasty) (and you know you are), playing Blacula himself is William Marshall, known to battalions of virgins around the world as Richard Daystrom from Star Trek, an awesome performance in which he acts everyone else off the screen:

So, yeah. There's that.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Maura Sipila, and Dan Foley say:
riff, bad movie watchers, riff!

April 17, 2011 Scream Blacula Scream
William Marshall plays a bad bloodsucker who takes on the...actually, wait, no, he doesn't take on the mob. But he does take on Pam Grier.
Non-sparkly wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Maura Sipila, Dan Foley and other vamps.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

(foxy brown)

Oh, someone is always angry at us about something.

Usually it's for the movies we imply are "bad" by showing them at Bad Movie Night, or, worse, people who don't know that we talk over the movies—cf. the girl who works at my neighborhood co-op and is still angry that we talked over Xanadu. And, of course, there's the "Bad Movie Night just makes us all that much more stupid" comment, originally said to me in a private email but which I've mined (mostly unsuccessfully) for maximum lulz over the years.

So, yeah. Some people, they have beef with us.

Of course, speaking as a vegetarian, the best beefs are the fake ones—particularly the beef between us and our pals at the SF Weekly. We love the Weekly because they love us, and I'm the first to admit that I repost their original 2007 mock-admonishment of us for doing It's a Wonderful Life every year because I'm lazy, and it beats coming up with something new.

Speaking of me being lazy and just reposting existing content, this is reposted without permission (but with love!) from on April 4, 2011:

Why You Won't See a Listing for Foxy Brown at the Dark Room in the SF Weekly Print Edition

The Dark Room Theater [hey, that's us! -- ed] is awesome.

However, while doing our Arthouse film showtimes listings for the print version of SF Weekly, we noticed the tiny theater's "Bad Movie Night" series was in Blaxsploitation Month, which includes Shaft and Foxy Brown. Shaft we could handle, barely, but when it came time to write "Bad Movie" and Foxy Brown in the same database entry formbot, it wasn't gonna happen. We've been at these listings since Bad Movie Night started, in 2005 and we've never given a crap what they've screened before. We have gone to it many times, yelled insults at the screen along with the hosts (who call it "Mystery Science Theater 3000 live") and died laughing.

The series has a slight history of misunderstanding us in nearly insignificant ways: The organizers still think that we joined in with the self-appointed defenders of filmic art who complained to them about including It's a Wonderful Life. We did no such thing since It's a Wonderful Life is corn, right off the cob, and deserves to be grilled once in a while; we enjoy laughing at it as well as crying with it.

But if loving Foxy Brown unironically and uncritically is wrong, we don't wanna be right. Pam Grier is a superhero for practically anyone who's never had one! The awesomeness -- shit, the fashion alone -- completely outweighs the off-kilter filmmaking, etc. etc. Obviously, you should go see it and decide for yourself.

Upshot: You won't see Foxy Brown listed in the Weekly under the heading of "Bad Movie Night." Ha ha ha ha! But you will be able to see it at the Dark Room April 10 at 8.

I certainly couldn't have said it better myself (plus, there's the whole lazy thing). All I have to add is that our misunderstandings are never "nearly insignificant"—here at Bad Movie Night, our misunderstandings are always completely insignificant. We never don't misunderstand anything!

Wait, is that right?

Bottom line: Pam Grier kicking ass! That's all you need to know.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Ira Emsig and Tristan Buckner
will not mess aroun' with her. Well, maybe just a little,
since it's Ira's birthday and all.

April 10, 2011 Foxy Brown
Pam Grier plays a bad momma who takes on the mob, while also proving to be quite the machine o' sex.
Afrolicious pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Ira Emsig, Tristan Buckner and other quick brown foxes.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I'm in New York as I write this.

Well, Brooklyn if you wanna get technical, and a particularly sketchy block of Bed-Stuy if you wanna get all specific. But New York overall.

Never been here. I'm embarrassed to admit it, especially since I'm almost thirty-eight (hey, come to my thirty-eighth birthday party at Bad Movie Night on June 19, okay?) and it seems like most people have gotten here by now.

Like most people who don't actually live in New York, everything I know about it is from teevee and movies. Shit, everything I know about everything is from teevee and movies. I'm a regular Chauncey Fucking Gardner over here. (See what I just did? That was kinda meta and stuff, since I used a movie character who only knows about the world from movies to describe myself, and...)

We've hit all sorts of cool and interesting things, but there were also some touristy places I simply had to visit, like Times Square. After all, the opening credits of this week's feature make Times Square look awesome and gritty and turns you into a total badass just by walking through (and even though the hero is a boy and I'm a girl, and I have a similar fondness for wearing leather):

And what did I get intstead? Frakkin' Caprica City, Before The Fall:

Yeah, that was a little disappointing—almost as disappointing as SyFy canceling Caprica, or the fact that they still have all their Caprica video pages up, but the videos themselves are down, hence having to embed that vaguely crappy slideshow above rather than the proper main titles.

Anyway, Shaft! Let's let the black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks get this month started...

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Mike Spiegelman
also understand John Shaft, even though he's a complicated man.

April 3, 2011 Shaft (1971)
Richard Roundtree plays a bad motherfucker (no, you shut your mouth!) who takes on the mob when not attending to his sex-machine duties.
Ya damn right that wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Mike Spiegelman and other copulating automatons.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

(red dawn)

Hot damn! It's our anniversary, you guys.

On March 27, 2005, Jim Fourniadis and Ty McKenzie unleashed Bad Movie Night on an unsuspecting world.

Damn. Six years of bad movies on Sunday nights. That's, like, three hundred weeks of copyright violation love.

No one thought it would last. Some of you were hoping it wouldn't. You know who you are.

One former Dark Room regular actively boycotts Bad Movie Night, claiming it "just makes us all that much more stupid." To that, we mom!

Someone else allegedly said that we should be burned down for making fun of It's a Wonderful Life, as we do every December.

But the scorn fueled us, like tiger blood fuels Charlie Sheen. (Topical!)

In honor of the haters—hello, haters!—we're once again showing the flick that started things off in those sepia-toned days of the mid-Aughts: the 1984 paramilitary fantasy Red Dawn, in which multicultural Commies take over the USA. Or at least a budget-friendly midwestern town.

Come on down and take over The Dark Room as we celebrate six years of Bad Movie Night making the world stupid for everyone. Especially your mom.

Your hosts will be Jim Fourniadis, Ziad Ezzat, Dan Foley
and ZOMG Teh Wolverines!!!11!!1

Bad Movie Night's Sixth Anniversary!
March 27, 2011 Red Dawn
Patrick Swayze plays a high-school football player leading a bunch of kids in a battle against multicultural commies.
Painful math: this will be the seventh time we've done this movie.
Socialized pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Ziad Ezzat, Dan Foley and other Wolverines!!!11!!1

Sunday, March 20, 2011

(godzilla: final wars)

First off: if you haven't donated to the The Red Cross for earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan, please do so now. It's okay, we'll wait.

Now then.

As soon as it begins, Godzilla month is coming to an end, with the 2004 film which supposedly allegedly by all acounts is going to be the last Godzilla film EVAR, or so Toho would have us believe, anyway. Hell, "final" is even in the title and everything, and it don't get much more final than that!

Thus far, there has in fact not been another Godzilla film, which means there will surely never be! (Fun fact: Toho actually was only retiring the character, and has since franchised the rights to Legendary Pictures, and a "reboot" is expected to be released in 2012.) And, for the last one, Toho decided to go a batshit crazy, throwing in over a dozen different monsters and plenty of aliens and subplots and references to past films and pretty much everything they've got. Indeed, they were attempting to out-batshit 2002's Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Try to wrap that concept around your brain.

It was also one last attempt to break into the American market, as evidence by the very post-Matrixy, very American trailer (minus the part where this one is dubbed into German):

The problem is, it didn't work.

Financially, we mean. It flopped in Japan and didn't really make a dent elsewhere, and considering that Toho spent far more money on it than usual, this would have ended the Godzilla series even if it hadn't been intended to be the big finale. (Toho themselves have been doing fine, however. Their anime film Steamboy, released the same year as Godzilla: Final Wars, has something of a cult following in the United States, and the Western intertubes got all excited last year about the live action Space Battleship Yamato.

And as for that far more important standard, batshit-craziness?

This may well be the most successful film ever made.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Jim Fourniadis and Mike Spiegelman
will be back in 2013 to take care of that reboot.

March 20, 2011 Godzilla: Final Wars
For their final Godzilla movie (hence the name, geddit?), Toho pulls out all the stops. And lordy, are there a lot of stops—which is to say, monsters—to pull out. It gets a little messy.
Monster-jamming wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Jim Fourniadis, Mike Spiegelman and Gamera (we hope, since he got shut out of the movie).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

(godzilla: tokyo s.o.s.)

NOTE: 100% of the proceeds from
tonight's show will be donated
to The Red Cross.

For as much as we all love some great man-in-suit stompin' action, the original Godzilla film was a very different animal.

I don't mean the movie with Raymond Burr that you probably saw on teevee growing up. I mean the film that it was before it got Americanized with Perry Mason edited in and a whole bunch of the dramatic content edited out. The original 1954 Gojira.

While it's always been part of Godzilla lore (referred to as "Gojira" in the Gojira, of course, but I'll continue to use the Americanized name for sake of clarity) that he was created by radiation from atomic testing, that aspect is much more in the foreground in the original Japanese film, especially coming less than a decade after the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The parallels are drawn quite clearly—there are shots specifically meant to evoke the photographs from the 1945 bombings—and Godzilla is portrayed as a force of pure destruction. And, yes, it's a man in a suit, but thanks to some wonderful black & white cinematography, there's still a palpable sense of dread during Godzilla's primary attack on Tokyo, especially as he emerges from the murky sea.

If you can divest yourself of all your baggage from the silliness that emerged in the rest of the series, Gojira really is a very powerful film, with some scenes of genuine grief and loss. It also helps to remember that this is from a culture with a long history of dragons in its folklore, and while Godzilla is more modeled upon a dinosaur than a dragon, the very notion of a large lizard-like creature is not as inherently laughable as it is to American audiences.

This week's feature has none of that thematic weight or emotional resonance. But it does have Mothra (you know, that giant flying moth) and Mechgodzilla, as well as those disturbingly hot little twins. So that's cool, too.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Ira Emsig and Tristan Buckner
would just like to say · · · — — — · · ·

March 13, 2011 Godzilla: Tokyo SOS
Featuring Mothra, the giant moth, and Mechagodzilla, the giant mechanical Barbra Streisand.
Winged robotic pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Ira Emsig, Tristan Buckner and other tiny identical twins.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

(godzilla 2000)

Right off the bat, Bad Movie Night would like to announce its love for the venerable movie review site Stomp Tokyo, which partially inspired this month's lineup.

And unless you're a regular reader of Stomp Tokyo—if you aren't, you should be—you probably didn't know that authentic Godzilla films from the original Toho Studios had even been made in recent decades. Starting in 1999 and often referred to as the Millennium series (clever!), Toho made them to compensate for the horrible, horrible American version in 1998 (which we did a few years back), and also because the world can always use more Japanese monster movies.

For reasons we've never quite understood, though, the movies didn't make much of a splash on these shores. They played at arty theaters like the Red Vic, but for the most part, they were never properly distributed to American audiences. And keep in mind that we're talking about the post-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon era, so if the gaijin could handle that subtitled snoozefest, you'd think that they'd certainly enjoy watching Godzilla fuck shit up. (And, yes, we know that Crouching Tiger was Chinese, not Japanese. Our point still stands. Neener.)

But it was not to be, and that's a shame.

Anyway, what we truly adore about the modern Godzilla movies—and the concurrent Gamera films too—is that they're a fantastic combination of old and new. Is Godzilla still a man in a suit? Sure. Is he still stomping on a miniature Tokyo? You bet he is.

But is it in the context of a modern action movie, with moody lighting and quick editing and (comparatively tasteful for the genre) CGI? Oh my yes.

Don't believe us? Let's check out the trailer, dubbed into German for your convenience:

Aw yeah. That's what we're talkin' about.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Ziad Ezzat
will be in their own rubber suits for this movie. Or not. Probably not.

March 6, 2011 Godzilla 2000
A valiant attempt by Toho, the producers of the original Godzilla films, to wipe away the stench of the 1998 American remake. Can't blame 'em for trying.
Rubber-suited wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Ziad Ezzat and other retconners.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

(the expendables)

(NOTE: I'm recycling my Eat Pray Love writeup from two weeks ago, because I can.)

When I was a teenager, my mother once commented that when I'm into something, I'm really into it. If memory serves, she specifically referring to the fact that I'd just seen Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me for the fourth time in the theater.

And she wasn't wrong. Other movies I saw multiple times in those days included Big Trouble in Little China, Barton Fink and Cabin Boy. Something all those movies have in common? They were all considered flops, or at the very least, were not big hits. Not even Big Trouble in Little China, which for all its cult popularity now, played to mostly empty theaters at the time. I know, because I was one of the only people there.

And, hell, back in those days I actually went to movies on a regular basis, often once a week. Now it's difficult to get me into a movie theater at all—any theater that's not The Castro or The Red Vic, anyway—both because of ticket prices and because people just will not shut the hell up. I mean, is there anything ruder than talking during a movie? No, there is not. (See what I just did there? Because we talk incessantly during Bad Movie Night, and...)

But there's one movie last year which I not only saw in the theater, I went back and saw it many times.

That movie is Scott Pilgrm vs. The World.

I almost can't reasonably explain why I love the movie so much. I'm fan of director Edgar Wright's past work, to be sure, but I'm not generally into comic book movies, and a lot of the video game references went right over my head. The movie that should have been my biggie last year is Tron Legacy, since the original movie meant to so much to me as a child, but I could barely sit that horribly overwritten and tone-deaf sequel. (Oh, and it's coming to Bad Movie Night this November.)

By god, though, Scott Pilgrm vs. The World pushed my buttons they way I like to have 'em pushed. It just makes me happy, bringing out the fangirl the way that few new films do lately, the way they used to get to me as a teenager. I made a character avatar (dig me, I'm The Groupie!), and hell, it even got me going back to Hot Topic, because that's where the Sex Bob-Omb shirts are. On a related note, if anyone wants to make me a Ramona Flowers bag, my birthday is in June.

Some things never change, though. I'm older now, but when I see a movie more than once in a theater, chances are nobody else is even seeing it once. Which was the case with Scott Pilgrm vs. The World—it's considered one of the biggest financial flops of 2010.

That's because it was thoroughly trounced at the box office by the other two movies which opened that same day: Eat Pray Love and The Expendables.

Fuck 'em both. We've already taken care of Eat Pray Love, so here we go...

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Jason Wiener and Andy Wenger & Damien Chacona
still wish Van Damme had been in this movie. Or any movie.

February 27, 2011 The Expendables
Theory: in twenty years, this movie will be remade by M. Night Shyamalan and Megan Fox.
Testosterone-poisoned pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Jason Wiener, Andy Wenger & Damien Chacona and other fodder.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

(prince of persia: the sands of time)

Oh, who the hell knows?

It's based on a video game I never played, and it's a blatant attempt by the producers of the Pirates of the Caribbean series to replicate the success of those films.

Financial success, I mean. There was really no artistic success to speak of, and let's face it, the whole "Oooh! Johnny Depp in eyeliner doing a Keith Richards impression!" grew stale about five minutes into the first sequel.

If nothing else, we can take solace in the fact that it was a failed attempt—this movie barely grossed back half of its $200M budget. So, whoops.

I think I'll use it as an excuse to watch Homestar Runner's Peasant's Quest trailer:

And I'm not even going to get into the whole "Is it racist for a white person to play a Persian?" thing, because whatever. Have fun tilting at that windmill, kids.

Let's just try to get through this movie, then pretend it never happened. That's everyone else did.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Tim Kay
don't know. They...just...don't...know.

February 20, 2011 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
All I know is that it's based on a videogame, like Legend of Zelda or Tetris or something.
Khaki wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em, Tim Kay and other wastes of time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

(eat pray love)

When I was a teenager, my mother once commented that when I'm into something, I'm really into it. If memory serves, she specifically referring to the fact that I'd just seen Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me for the fourth time in the theater.

And she wasn't wrong. Other movies I saw multiple times in those days included Big Trouble in Little China, Barton Fink and Cabin Boy. Something all those movies have in common? They were all considered flops, or at the very least, were not big hits. Not even Big Trouble in Little China, which for all its cult popularity now, played to mostly empty theaters at the time. I know, because I was one of the only people there.

And, hell, back in those days I actually went to movies on a regular basis, often once a week. Now it's difficult to get me into a movie theater at all—any theater that's not The Castro or The Red Vic, anyway—both because of ticket prices and because people just will not shut the hell up. I mean, is there anything ruder than talking during a movie? No, there is not. (See what I just did there? Because we talk incessantly during Bad Movie Night, and...)

But there's one movie last year which I not only saw in the theater, I went back and saw it many times.

That movie is Scott Pilgrm vs. The World.

I almost can't reasonably explain why I love the movie so much. I'm fan of director Edgar Wright's past work, to be sure, but I'm not generally into comic book movies, and a lot of the video game references went right over my head. The movie that should have been my biggie last year is Tron Legacy, since the original movie meant to so much to me as a child, but I could barely sit that horribly overwritten and tone-deaf sequel. (Oh, and it's coming to Bad Movie Night this November.)

By god, though, Scott Pilgrm vs. The World pushed my buttons they way I like to have 'em pushed. It just makes me happy, bringing out the fangirl the way that few new films do lately, the way they used to get to me as a teenager. I made a character avatar (dig me, I'm The Groupie!), and hell, it even got me going back to Hot Topic, because that's where the Sex Bob-Omb shirts are. On a related note, if anyone wants to make me a Ramona Flowers bag, my birthday is in June.

Some things never change, though. I'm older now, but when I see a movie more than once in a theater, chances are nobody else is even seeing it once. Which was the case with Scott Pilgrm vs. The World—it's considered one of the biggest financial flops of 2010.

That's because it was thoroughly trounced at the box office by the other two movies which opened that same day: Eat Pray Love and The Expendables.

Fuck 'em both. And we'll get to The Expendables soon enough.

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Ira Emsig and Dan Foley
don't quite share Sherilyn's enthusiasm for Scott Pilgrim,
but that doesn't mean they're happy about doing this movie, either.

February 13, 2011 Eat Pray Love
Y'know what my favorite movie of 2010 was? Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Now guess what movie came out on the same day and thoroughly defeated Scott Pilgrim at the box office.
Privileged white pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Ira Emsig, Dan Foley and other foodies.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

(jonah hex)

So, I don't like Megan Fox. She just ooks me out. It's the whole fakey quasi-pr0n star thing she has going on, plus the constant emphasis on her tits and ass. Doesn't work for me at all. Nor does it help that she's a horrible actress who only ever got work because of her looks.

This, however, is not the same as hating her because she's beautiful. Because I genuinely don't think she's beautiful.

But I don't care for the implication that I would dislike an actress just because she's beautiful—I mean, yeah, I'm petty and vain, but not that petty and vain—I would like to announce that I have the serious hots for Judy Greer, who I think is a zillion times hotter than Megan Fox, and extremely funny to boot.

Let's enjoy some Judy Greer from Arrested Development right now, won't you?

Oh, Judy Judy Judy.

Doesn't make the hurt of Megan go away, though. At least we won't have to deal with her again too soon after this movie.

Right? Right.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman and Maura Sipila
are very happy that Megan's career is hexed. (Geddit?)

February 6, 2011 Jonah Hex
As great as it is that Megan Fox's career is dying, it would have been even better if it had died before this movie. But nothing's perfect.
Jinxed wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman, Maura Sipila and other conjurers.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

(the twilight saga: eclipse)

Okay. Two things which I've said before but will say again because it beats trying to think of something new to write about these fucking movies)—



Second: fuck you, Stephen King.

"Stephen King is not better than Stephanie Meyer. He will never be better. He is equal to, just as good as, and exactly the same as in almost every single way but differently."

That settles that, pretty much.

Bring on the sparkliness! (And the, um, werewolves with six-pack abs.)

Your hosts Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em and Tim Kay
promise to twi' their 'tardest.

January 30, 2011 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Blah blah blah Team Your Mom blah blah IS IT OVER YET?
Sparkly pandemonium just keeps on reigning.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em, Tim Kay and other teamsters.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(iron man 2)

Oh, god. That's right. Mickey Rourke is in this film.

I'd kinda forgotten that detail until I slapped up the above graphic. Ugh. I'm sorry, but he just ooks me out these days.

I know we're supposed to all be inspired by his comeback or whatever, but holy jesus, his face is scary. I don't care if it was just from boxing or plastic surgery or what, but that right there, that's a nightmarish goddamn visage. (Which is going to come up again next month in The Expendables. Fuck!)

And I'll be honest: I didn't care for The Wrestler. It didn't feel like a Darren Arofnosky film to me (my favorite of his being The Fountain, oddly enough), though the "Mickey Rourke Was Robbed!" backlash when he didn't get an Oscar was highly entertaining. But otherwise, I hoped his career might just fade away again. Could still happen.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the workout video Gwyneth Paltrow's personal trainer made to help her get into proper Pepper Potts shape:

Nope. That didn't help at all.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman and Tristan Buckner
wonder why Scarlett Johansson became a big star
after Ghost World, but Thora Birch didn't.
(Actually, only Sherilyn wonders.)

January 23, 2011 Iron Man 2
When the first Iron Man came out, a lot of people wondered if it being so good was a fluke. Now we know.
Magnetic wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman, Tristan Buckner and other Scarletts.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

(the a-team)

As we all know, this movie is based on the eighties teevee program starring Mr. T.

And as we also all know (right?), the rule of doing movies based on old teevee shows is that you cast the original actors in cameos whenever possible. Which is why both Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz show up in this movie. (If you don't know who they are, there's no much I can do to help you.)

Who's missing? George Peppard for one, but he's dead and stuff, so we'll that slide for now.

Which leaves the guy, let's face it, who was responsible for such a crappy show being a big hit:

That's right, Mr. T. Also known to some younger folks as "the guy on the cereal box at the beginnning of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." Because the younger folks know Pee-Wee's Big Adventure by heart the way all us Gen-X'ers do, I'm sure.

The director claims that Mr. T's absence from the film was a mutual decision, but I ain't buying it.

I say it's because Mr. T lives up to his character's name of B.A. Baracus—Mr. T was too badass for this movie.

I also say we should boycott this movie.

But, you know, after we do it this Sunday. So, on January 17 the boycott begins!

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mikl-Em and Ziad Ezzat
won't be "boycotting" the movie so much as "desperately trying to forget it."

January 16, 2011 The A-Team
The Onion was off by a decade: we're only just now getting to the bottom of the barrel.
Hannibalistic pandemonium reigns.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Mikl-Em, Ziad Ezzat and other faces.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

(the last airbender)

I do love me a movie marathon.

I'm a big fan of Jesse Hawthorn Ficks's Midnites for Maniacs series, and The Castro in general often does great day-long marathons.

Sometimes, though, you just have days where you want to go see as many movies as you can. My most memorable such day was November 21, 1999. Four movies in a row, and not a dud in the bunch. That ain't easy.

It began at the now-defunct Regency on Van Ness, where I caught a double feature of Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead and David O. Russell's Three Kings.

I confess, for as much as I adore Martin Scorsese's work—I can practically quote Taxi Driver and The Last Temptation of Christ verbatim—Bringing Out the Dead is the last film of his that's interested me. Gangs of New York was okay, but I haven't watched any of his since then, not even No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, which I can't rightfully account for since I'm a huge Dylan fan. I just haven't been compelled to keep up. Maybe it's the Leo factor, who knows?

As for David O. Russell, I couldn't get into his next film I Heart Huckabees, and quite frankly, he's become more interesting for his meltdowns than anything else:

Anyway, after those I crossed the street to the also-defunct UA Galaxy to see David Fincher's Fight Club and M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense.

(Fun fact: even though I was making Mad Dot-Com Bux in those days, I'd never heard of Ikea before I saw Fight Club, and at first assumed it was a made-up company. I may have been young professional working in the city, but I never did get the "yuppie" thing right.)

Fincher's had an interesting career. I'm an Alien3 apologist—he did the best he could, and if you don't believe me, check out the extras on the Alien Quadrilogy box set—and the opening credits of Se7en are probably the single most influential two minutes of the past couple decades. It looks like a cliche-a-thon now, but Se7en did it first:

Since then, he's tended to alternate between fascinating, challenging projects (The Game, Zodiac, The Social Network) and meh-worthy stuff which mostly wasted his talents (Panic Room, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the upcoming and thoroughly unnecessary American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

Then there's the persistent rumor that he's going to film Arthur C. Clarke's Rendevous with Rama, which sounds awesome, but it's also supposed to be Avatar/Beowulf-esque performance capture CGI, which is less awesome. But we'll see.

And as for the director of the final film that evening, The Sixth Sense...actually, I have no idea what happened to that guy. Doesn't really matter, I guess.

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman and Dan Foley
are already dead. What a twist!

January 9, 2011 The Last Airbender
M. Night Shyamalan's career continues to die. (SPOILER: It was dead along.)
Snarkbending wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Sherilyn Connelly, Mike Spiegelman, Dan Foley and other avatars.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

(snakes on a plane)

You heard about it. You laughed about it.

You probably even blogged about it, you motherfuckin' nerd.

But you didn't actually pay ten bucks to see it, did you?

Didn't think so. You probably barely even remember that it existed.

But that's okay. We here at Bad Movie Night exist to make sure you get a chance to see internet-famous financial flops which you'll probably never get around to putting in your NetFlix queue.

You probably shouldn't watch it on teevee, though. It won't be quite what you expect:

Anyway, it's our tradition here. It's how we started 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, after all.

And those years turned out great, huh?

2011 will be better. We promise.*

*promise not valid

Your hosts Sherilyn Connelly, Tim Kay and Ira Emsig
have not yet had enough of the motherfucking snakes.

Annual Kickoff Movie!
January 2, 2011 Snakes on a Plane
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by motherfucking snakes.
Slithery wackiness ensues.

Hosts: Jim Fourniadis, Tim Kay, Ira Emsig and other bad motherfuckers.