Cyberzone (1995)


Want a practical example of why bad films get released under multiple names? This bit of viewing was picked purely on the grounds of there being the word “cyber” in its title; so had it been seen under its “Phoenix 2” or “Droid Gunner” monikers then you wouldn’t be about to read this cautionary tale. Then again, had just that bit more effort been put in by director Fred Olen Ray then the following would probably have been far more positive. It’s funny how life works out like that.
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Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)


I’m not sure what I was expecting when I finally got around to watching this “must see classic” of trash/psychotronic culture. Obviously, having read about it in a thousand cult movie guides, I was expecting the constant presence of sex and violence that is Tura Satana and the satirical sleaze of Russ Meyer’s oeuvre, of which this film delivers in spades. But I wasn’t prepared for what else was lurking under the tight top of this juggernaut of a cinematic experience. Continue reading

The Undertake (1988) is underwhelming


Whilst this 1988 film has nothing to do with the most successful persona of Mark Calloway, of the great wrestlers of all time, it does have a lot of the hallmarks of professional wrestling of this era. Bad acting, weak camera, incredibly cheap tricks, a near-incomprehensible plotline, and the audience constantly having to work to maintain the willful suspension of disbelief are all on show here. The end result is something that is utterly unenjoyable as intended, and only marginally fun as a beguiling slice of bad cinema.
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Dark Planet (1997)


Dark Planet is directed by Albert Magnolia, who also directed Purple Rain, Sign ’o’ The Times, and Tango & Cash. As such, it’s fair to say his carrier has been “varied” and that if you watched this without never having had me tell you that you’d call me a filthy liar. Then again, Michael York is also in it, so clearly a lot of people had cars to fix when the casting for this project was doing the rounds.
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Killer Pinata (2015)


There is a grand tradition in the horror genre of random and ridiculous things getting possessed; Cars , Sofas , even lamps have been so afflicted, to varying levels of success. So let’s skip giggling at the pretext (even though it is joyfully stupid) and instead giggle at how funny this micro-budget comedy-horror is. Also, at how wonderfully messed up some of the ideas in this film are, as this is an effortlessly inventive bit of nonsense.
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Vamp (1986)

On paper, this film is a very good idea. It’s a blend of the classic genres of the 80s: sexy teen comedy and sexy vampires. It’s also got the amazing Grace Jones, who adds a touch of sexy and terror to any movie she’s in. Throw in some strippers, a few curious-looking street punks (including a top-notch appearance by Billy Drago), and what do you have?
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Strippers Vs Werewolves (2012) is annoyingly dull


I’ve rewritten this intro three times because I’ve been trying to find a way to make the review interesting. This means that I’ve probably put more effort into talking about this film than went into the decision process for its script or direction. I did this because I was trying to be upbeat, and negativity isn’t that much fun, as I want my audience to enjoy itself. Again, this is clearly something the people behind this film weren’t that concerned with.
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Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985)


When a film starts with Christopher Lee talking pseudo-biblical nonsense into a camera, carrying with it the weight of the world as we know it and with a skeleton staring at his neck, and then kicks into the outrageously silly title “Your sister is a werewolf” you know that you are in for a hell of a ride. Whilst none of that gives a clue as to just how thirsty this mid-80s horror will be, the film fulfills all its promise of gothic nonsense with unrelenting determination. It also manages to be far more entertaining than it should be as, unlike its predecessor, it leaps both paws first into the trashier side of the werewolf world.
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Nightmare Beach (1984)


I saw this one doing the rounds on the “so bad, they’re good” social media conversations recently, but to risk a fight with the people yelling “cult classic!” one too many times I can safely put this slasher on the “so bad it’s actually just a disappointing viewing experience” pile instead. And I use disappointing with great care because had the filmmakers put any care into it there was the chance of a decent film.
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Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape (2010)

For fans of psychotronic cinema there are few things more enticing than forbidden content and establishment outrage, and Jake West and Mark Morris’s 72-minute documentary on the often-oversimplified era of the “Video Nasties” brings both in the bucketful. Information, education, and entertainment abound in this vivid and engaging oral history.


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