Got tired of the dysfunctional Flixter Facebook app. Grading movies A-F. Only movies that I find interesting, but not necessarily high quality. Some blockbusters, some interesting rarities and oddities, and occasionally some turkeys.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965) - Top Ten of Worst Movies Ever Made

I've been waiting for this. A true turkey.

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster was ranked number seven in the 2004 DVD documentary The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made. In their book “Son of Golden Turkey Awards”, Harry and Michael Medved awarded this film the Golden Turkey for “Most Ridiculously Inane Rock 'n' Roll Lyrics Used in a Motion Picture” for “To Have and To Hold” by The Distant Cousins and The Poets.

Martian invaders led by the wicked and scantily dressed Princess Markuzan and her evil scientist Doctor Nadir, who looks like Uncle Fester, are exploring our solar system to find a new home after a nuclear war. They prepare an attack on Earth while NASA sends a rocket to Mars, manned by an “astro-robot” – an android named Frank  Saunders (Frank Saunders... FRANKenstein! Get it?)

The aliens shoot down the rocket that crashes in Puerto Rico (where else?). The android pilot is damaged and goes bonkers on a murderous rampage throughout Puerto Rico’s beach areas, populated by bikini girls.

The evil Doctor Nadir is the mastermind behind the Princess’ evil plan to kidnap scantily dressed girls at the beach for “breeding purposes” (but of course) to repopulate Mars, with the help of the surviving Martians males (all five of them), in order to save the dying Martian race. Doctor Nadir in particular really loves his job, and it shows. A scene where the princess and Nadir inspect the first of the Bikini Babes is a small gem.

The movie ends with a climatic ray gun battle at a cheesy beach pool party between the astro-robot and the Martian space monster.

It is a bit unclear why the princess and Doctor Nadir brought the space monster with them, but it comes in handy at this part of the movie. While the fight between the astro-robot and the space monster goes on, the bikini girls make their escape from the spaceship. In the end the astro-robot blows up the Martian spacecraft and prevent another Martian invasion of Earth.

Advisory: Bald evil scientist, lots of bikini girls, excessive use of scratchy NASA Mercury rocket and Korean war newsreel footage, extremely variable acting, reverb surf guitar music occasionally deafening at inappropriate moments, and aliens attacking dancing teenagers at a pool party. Some actor are trying to keep a straight face.

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster rate an easy 10 on my Bad-Film-O-Meter.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Doomsday Machine or Escape from planet Earth och Death in Space (1972)

I watched the movie because the plot sounded like an adaptation of a great mid-1960s comic book I own. Both includes space stations, colonization of the Moon, and exploration of the outer Solar System. The movie also included Mike Farrell (best known for Captain B.J. Hunnicutt in M*A*S*H) and Casey Kasem (the original voice of "Shaggy" in Scooby-Doo).

Alas, I was wrong. Originally begun shooting in 1967 under the title "Armageddon 1975", this movie was never completed. Why is unclear, but I read about budget overruns, mismanagement and threats of lawsuits.

Apparently the movie was rediscovered a decade later and re-edited it into a complete film, with some added footage taken from old Japanese Godzilla and Rodan movies, and some stock NASA film.

The plot: the evil communist Chinese develops the ultimate planet destruction weapon. Meanwhile a peace-loving US space mission to Venus is being prepared. The Chinese plans are detected and half of the US crew is replaced with women. A bit unclear why. A rocket, with a psychedelically lit command bridge, is launched because the peace-loving US realize the world is doomed and they plan to repopulate on Venus. (Sex for everyone. What else?)

Shortly afterwards the evil communist Chinese destroys Earth. Our seven heroes in the rocket are shocked by this evil mastermind plan, which eventually leads to an existential crisis amongst the astronauts, hilariously bad dialog, and more psychedelic lighting. Luckily on Venus there are aliens. The movie ends.

This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The base idea is ludicrous, the effects are ridiculous, the acting is really bad, and the script is awful. It's so bizarre it's actually compelling viewing. The female head actress is walking around the shuttle in a scantly pink bath robe, exposing herself to the male crew until they become sex-crazed maniacs and talk about "vibrations". After all this flick was made post flower power, free sex and all...

Grade: F-

Advisory: Doomsday Machine is a painfully bad movie. Fortunately, it's so bad that watching it becomes an exercise in self-amusement. Watch at your own risk. An indispensable epic.