The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

Because “Why not?”, and as it makes picking viewing easier, Trash Or Treasure is going through every movie in “Science Fiction – Double Feature”, the opening song for that trash culture classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This week 

Michael Rennie was ill, the day The Earth stood still. But he told us where we stand

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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 Basket Case Trilogy is surprisingly good.


The general pattern for b-movie horror movie trilogies is, to my mind, a relatively established, disappointing and inevitable one. The first film is a success, frequently because the people involved in making it are new to the business or coming in as outsiders so don’t know/care about the preconceived notions of “how to do it right” (Evil Dead, Ginger Snaps, Night Of The Living Dead). The second, often not planned when the first was made and often with a bigger budget, is often made soon after as an attempt to cash in on the success of the first by building on whatever part of the mythos or scares stuck with the audience the most (Friday The 13th Part 2, Hellbound, Evil Dead 2). The third part is normally where the wheels come well and truly off the bus in spectacular fashion, as the core talent moves on (Halloween 3), the budget falls away as the makers realise the core audience will buy anything with its name on it (Wishmaster 3), or it shifts into a new direction (Army Of Darkness).
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Monster Island (2004)


Jack Perez is hardly a household name and MTV Studios is hardly a benchmark in quality entertainment, so to find out that they got together and made a Straight-To-TV ironic-comedy monster movie in the mid-2Ks is to fill your heart with low expectations. That the trailer is heavily focused on cameos by Carmen Electra and Adam West, and stars some generic, moody-heartthrob bloke you’ve never heard of is to possibly fill you with more inertia. But at Trash or Treasure we make a giant-bee line for that kind of thing, and this film reminds us why. Continue reading

Ice Spiders (2007) is cheap, disposable, fun


Films made for the Sci-Fi channel have a reputation for cheapness, dullness, and zeitgeist abuse that is rivaled only by The Asylum mockbusters. It’s not that they’re bad, so much as they always make you think of a better movie that you could be watching. So, when sitting down to watch this film from the renowned Hallmark Channel Christmas romance director Tibor Takács (who also did the well-regarded The Gate back in the 80s), expectations were set to “please don’t suck”. Thankfully, these heady heights were surpassed.
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Burnt Offerings (1976)


It’s time for some “Classic 70s horror” that you’ve never heard of, which mostly means a couple of well-known actors getting caught up in some supernatural shenanigans until their next big serious role comes along. In this case, it’s Oliver Reed, Bette Davis, Burgess Meredith, and one of the first appearances of the soon-to-be “ooh, I know them! They were in the thing!” Anthony James. It’s all very intense, it’s all very moody, but is it any good? Read on or watch the trailer that follows the era’s trend of giving away all the best bits.
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The Stranger (1995) kicked some spooky arse


Ruffians are running the town in Arse End Of Nowhere, and the sheriff can’t stop them. A mysterious Stranger with a mysterious past rolls into town, all mysteriously, and starts dishing out some brutal street justice. We’ve seen the movie a hundred times, but is it enough that in this 1995 Fritz Kiersch The Stranger is a woman?
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Project Nightmare (1987) is bad and you should watch it


Currently, this bit of obscure techno-thriller is sitting at 4.4/10 on IMDB. This is quite fair, as it’s quite badly and very cheaply made. But, when I watched it as part of the Bela Lugosi’s Shed Poor Quality Film Club, I unironically enjoyed it. It’s possibly because I spent most of the time working out the film director and writer Donald M. Jones was trying to make, or I just have an unquenchable thirst for proto-cyberpunk concepts. Either way, I wanted to share news of its existence.
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10 Items Or Less (2006) was a joyful watch


I can vaguely remember this making a splash as an indie darling when it first came out, with the buzz being split between the marketing gimmick of Morgan Freeman doing something quirky and the marketing gimmick of being officially available online at the same time it was in the cinema. It got a reasonable amount of sofa-based interview TV, made some noise as “a touching, romantic comedy”, and then dropped out of view. So when we picked it for viewing, based mostly on the title but also because of Morgan Freeman, and had very little expectations as to what would happen next.
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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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