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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Last Man on Earth, The Adventures of Mark Twain and the freak of the week, the worst movie ever made

Hello, and welcome back, freaks.

Sorry for the delay in posting the films, but as it tends to, real life got in the way of entertainment. Which is weird because my real life is entertainment; just ask a cop, judge or lawyer? They all get a lot of good laughs from my existence.

Enough of that real life junk, let’s watch some movies.

Due to my tardiness I tossed up a quintuple secret feature, which, in my opinion (and I’m not alone) is not just one of the worst movies of ‘08 but of all time. That’s right, several months ago
Lions Gate dumped a 500 pound, steaming gorilla turd on pop culture and a few poor souls who thought it was a sequel to another film. I usually would not post a film that was (sort of) still in theaters, but, believe me; this view will not cost Lions Gate more money than they already have. It is a film so bad that the only bordering on clever bit are three characters whose names in the film are from Aristotle, who suggested that these three elements are necessary for persuasive rhetoric. I only say clever because I am astounded and or doubtful that the films writer/director has even heard of Aristotle.

The ongoing gag is one of the worst comedic bits in cinematic history. In all fairness, this falls into the SO BAD IT'S FUNNY arena of cinematic war crimes, but with the money involved, the sheer ineptitude is astonishing. If not for a major star and a few recognizable B actors, you would think this was shot for Youtube.
Fortunately our features and intermission should make up for this film, so dreadful that I swear I saw the ghost of Ed Wood sitting in the theatre, pointing at the screen, shouting “What a loser!” It has taken the heat off of Battlefield Earth and Catwoman.

The worst of the worst. Well, it’s not as torturous as Gone With the Wind, but at least that had good cinematography. Our Freak of the week is actually worse than MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE (1966) and that is major statement of contempt as you can make in regard to a film. Not as bad as GONE WITH THE WIND, but WORSE than MANOS.

Tonight’s features are the classic Vincent Price Film, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964) and The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985) First off, Vincent Price gives an atypically restrained performance as the sole survivor of a worldwide plague that revives its victims as bloodthirsty vampires. During the day, he canvasses his abandoned hometown, tracking down and stalking his former friends and neighbors, always making sure to return before nightfall, when the dead rise to assault his fortified house. Hope arrives in the form of an apparently normal young woman (Franca Bettoia), but her agenda proves to be even more sinister than that of the vampires. Based on the 1954 novel by coscripter Richard Matheson Italian-made production is best known for its influence on George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. The similarities between the two films go beyond the presence of shuffling zombies and housebound heroes; both feature taboo-breaking scenes of interfamilial murder, and both end on bleak, dystopian notes. While The Last Man on Earth lacks the political and darkly satirical shadings (and graphic gore) that make Night of the Living Dead a more memorable experience, the combination of Bava-esque Gothic atmosphere and bleak, documentary-style camerawork by directors Ragona and Salkow (the brother of Price's agent Lester Salkow) lend themselves to moments of pure frisson that compare laudably to Romero's film. Matheson's novel also provided the source material for the dreadful 1971 Charlton Heston vehicle The Omega Man. And a third imagining, a Will Smith vehicle which actually used the books title “I AM LEGAND.” Not a perfect film, but very scary, with loads of action and a fantastic performance by Smith. I would call I AM LEGEND a great horror film if not for the tacked on happy ending.

Enough of that… THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964)

This one is chock full of goodness

Our second feature is one of the weirdest claymation films of all time and I’m including the works of Jan Svankmajer in that bold statement:

Instead of writing my own review of this strange little gem, I thought I’d let you hear what a kid had to say about it:
A must see movie, October 8, 2008
A Kid's Review
This one of the most creative and interesting movies I have ever seen!
It's very detailed and smart. Butif you live in Australia it will only play on your computer.
It is about two boys and a girl, who sneek into Mark Twain's hot air balloon, and all the adventures they have in it.
It is a sensational movie and lots of fun to watch.

Roll on drum, hit the high hat and blow your kazoos: THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE

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