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Author Topic: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?  (Read 270 times)

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Offline MathimTopic starter

Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« on: May 05, 2016, 06:20:49 PM »
I know we've all indulged in a guilty pleasure movie that we just knew is going to suck, or at best we feel like it could be 'so bad it's good'. But if you watch enough of this stuff, sometimes you come across hidden gems. Okay, maybe not 'gems' exactly, but something that would be worth its salt if a real studio had greenlit the screenplay.

So what are some titles that really managed to impress you in spite of their nature? And it's okay, you can also recommend some of the 'so bad it's good' stuff too, those are always good for a laugh.

I can think of two right now that you can find one Netflix. Zombeavers is rather interesting, definitely a relatively new idea as far as animal zombies go, with a couple of neat twists and a good sense of humor. It lets you know right away that it's not to be taken seriously and even has its own bizarre theme song that sounds like you'd hear it in a casino lounge.

Zoombies is another one. The production values are astonishingly good for this kind of low-budget fare and the acting for the most part isn't half-bad. The way they handle the 'zoombies' is also interesting and could have been fleshed out more if this had the opportunity to be a short TV series instead of a single film. My only real complaint is the amount of suspension of disbelief about how much injury a human would sustain from certain situations, how much said injuries should affect their capability to perform physical tasks, and how everyone who, in spite of never firing a gun, becomes a crack shot out of nowhere. I did also like how it wasn't readily obvious in many cases who would ultimately survive at the end, so that was unconventional as well.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to a classic, the Toxic Avenger. I really love most of the stuff I've seen from Troma Films and even though the sequels are pretty much god-awful, the first one has no business being anywhere near as good as it turned out. I guess the Superhero genre really buys any concept attached to it some bonus points. But when I think about it, it's almost like Deadpool in some ways, with a touch of that blind woman that Ben Grimm/The Thing from the Fantastic Four was involved with. The combination of an interesting story and over-the-top gory violence (think of him as a very low-tech, improvisational Punisher with super-strength) make it an enjoyable flick even if most of Troma's other stuff failed miserably and didn't even retain any cult classic appeal.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 06:24:31 PM by Mathim »

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Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 08:10:38 PM »
Does Snowpiercer count? (IMDB page)

Because it's really good for what it is. It actually has some pretty concentrated social commentary, it might not always be as capable of capitalizing on it, and can be way over the top in some weird ways, but it's really, really good.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 08:50:05 PM »
Does Snowpiercer count? (IMDB page)

Because it's really good for what it is. It actually has some pretty concentrated social commentary, it might not always be as capable of capitalizing on it, and can be way over the top in some weird ways, but it's really, really good.

I figure if it never got a theatrical release, sure, why not? I certainly never heard of it til I saw it on the shelf at Walmart.

Offline Far eyes

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 03:58:15 AM »
One of my personal favorites
- Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (1991)

This is maybe one of the best examples for the good kind of 'bad' movie its silly and nonsensical but it never feels like it takes it self to seriously and you just kin of figure yah they knew what they were doing. Besides that i just find it enjoyable.

- A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

Its Italian splotation i am not sure it is even a B movie but it is awesome if you like the genre at all
 

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2016, 07:41:42 AM »
One of my personal favorites
- Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (1991)

This is maybe one of the best examples for the good kind of 'bad' movie its silly and nonsensical but it never feels like it takes it self to seriously and you just kin of figure yah they knew what they were doing. Besides that i just find it enjoyable.

- A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

Its Italian splotation i am not sure it is even a B movie but it is awesome if you like the genre at all
 

I actually remember like most of the Man With No Name Trilogy, but I think the middle film, For a Few Dollars More, bored me so much I couldn't get all the way through it. Loved The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, though, so awesome, shows the director really got better as he went along.

Offline Far eyes

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2016, 08:31:24 AM »
They are slow movies, a lot of it is very built up and long shots...  i am not necessarily saying its a great movie but it is what it is.
he Good, the Bad and the Ugly still probably has one of the best stand off scenes


Sergio Leone did love his long shots, but there is something about it i find appealing it also kind of works for the film genre.

Offline Far eyes

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2016, 08:37:00 AM »
Here i will add a maybe controversial entry
Conan the Destroyer (1984)

I have herd a lot of people have a very bitter feeling to this movie, personally i always still liked it. Its not as good as the first one, there are a couple of reasons for that but i have always found it enjoyable on its own. What people seem to forget is that Conans stories were not exactly a novel there continuity is touch and go
Plus Grace Jones is both attractive and scary in very strange ways

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 08:42:08 AM »
Near Datk is one of my favorites

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Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 02:10:46 PM »
The Phantom with Billy Zane. Billy Zane was pretty good. Treat Williams as the villain seemed to enjoy the role. Some effects were a bit cheesy, but it is an entertaining movie.

Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis.


Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2016, 05:05:20 PM »
The Phantom with Billy Zane. Billy Zane was pretty good. Treat Williams as the villain seemed to enjoy the role. Some effects were a bit cheesy, but it is an entertaining movie.

Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis.

LOL, Cutthroat got a theatrical release but was one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. Phantom also got a theatrical release. I tried watching it on Netflix and it really just didn't grab me.

Offline Far eyes

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2016, 05:44:41 PM »
I like The Phantom with Billy Zane if i look at it then a less campy Flash Gordon.
Honestly i feel like if it just went a bit harder on the campy it would have been a better movie

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2016, 09:55:45 PM »
I know if you're browsing this thread, you've most likely heard of the Asylum, that production company that makes...well, 9 times out of 10, they make cinematic shit. But a few of their things have been half-decent. I remember one of their first films I saw, Mortuary, was actually pretty good. Really great concept, worth checking out.

I think Zoombies is another one of theirs that I already mentioned. I almost can't believe the show Z Nation is as good as it is being produced by them.

Anyone ever see 2001 Maniacs? It's a pretty interesting horror movie with Robert Englund and it's pretty clever in how it weaves the story and mixes in a few different methods of killing.

Offline Zekromnomnom

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2016, 07:32:27 AM »
Here i will add a maybe controversial entry
Conan the Destroyer (1984)

I have herd a lot of people have a very bitter feeling to this movie, personally i always still liked it. Its not as good as the first one, there are a couple of reasons for that but i have always found it enjoyable on its own. What people seem to forget is that Conans stories were not exactly a novel there continuity is touch and go
Plus Grace Jones is both attractive and scary in very strange ways

I always figured most people's problem with any Conan was classic "The book was better" syndrome. I didn't know people that liked the first hated the second.

And I think Snowpiercer was a good movie, but I didn't like it? Kind of how I know some books I had to read in high school and college have literary value but I absolutely hated reading them. Like Lord of the Flies for me. Sure it has value, but it made me feel icky. Same with Snowpiercer.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2016, 07:44:49 AM »
While it's probably much bigger in Japan, it's definitely got that cult classic-ish vibe that if it were American-made, it's definitely in the B-grade category, but one of my favorite movies of all time: Versus. I love the director, he's done some awesome stuff, both American (he's fluent in both Japanese and English) and Japanese films. This was one of his earliest and, in my opinion, best films to date.

Offline Far eyes

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2016, 08:37:38 AM »
@Zekromnomnom

Having actually read a lot of his stories, i usually do not have a problem reading "in the time" i can do that most of the time. I can accept some things will be in a specific way because it was written by somebody who was not perfect, shock. With some conan stories i really struggle to, its occasionally bad, the fantasy racisam dos not bother me that much because its removed far enough that i can just wave it off, but much like with a lot of John Wayne westerns the sexisam makes my teeth ache.

I am not even sure its the sexism directly. its more the way both decaracterize the females in the stories. In most Conan stories written originally by Howard the female 'character' is barely one at all. In a lot of John Wayne westerns you have that trope of "no actually means she wants to be slapped and its a yes" kind of thing, that and he regularly play a massive duchbag who the movie is convinced is the "hero". Unlike say westerns Clint Eastwood did later on ware no, he is not a hero he is just a guy who is usually out to do something, he is often selfish but sometimes he dos something good to. But in a similar way the female characters are often barely that... the credits read Cactus 833, Female character main love interest.

Anime had an annoying trope of doing it even today     

Offline Zekromnomnom

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2016, 08:59:50 AM »
You know, it's funny how much I didn't notice that with some things before. But now, with all the places I go online and the people I talk to, it's hard not to notice it a lot anymore. Like I'm reading the Witcher books and I only vaguely know that Triss Marigold is a possible love interest in the games and in the books she plays a big part (though I haven't gotten to it yet) but they introduce her basically like "She's the friend of Geralt's real love, and she's fucking THIRSTY" and I think I literally said "eww" out loud when I read about how much she wanted to do Geralt in the books. Years ago I never would have had that kind of reaction.

Back to Conan movies, though, I feel like that could actually be something to be said in defence of them. Like it's not perfect, but in the one with James Earl Jones, the woman that travels with him is a pretty strong female character. And they never made the third "Conan" they planned and instead had Ahnold in Red Sonja, but it sounds like those are both a step up from the books. I dunno.

I really should know more about Conan movies because my friend always puts them on when we're getting ready to play D&D and we're like leveling up or whatever and the DM is preparing and whatnot.




Offline Far eyes

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2016, 09:11:18 AM »
The conan movies are loosely based on Conan stories, there really is not a conan "novel" they were mostly short stories i am actually not sure how long the longest of them is. But i think it might be like a really really thin book. He basically did a lot of writing like Lovecraft the two actually had some communications.

The connan movies i kind of put them in a slightly different place, the first one actually has a strong female character and it has a lot of drama built in around her death, its largely considered the best and partially its because he is given motivation and because James Earl Jones makes an interesting contrast as a villain as his power at this point is very diferent from Conans he dos not necessarily challenge him physically.

The second one is more a classic DnD adventure, i mean watching it i can practically imagine the module for it :P

Red Sonja, i actually like the film quiet a bit and yes it had some bad parts. Mostly if you actually cut the annoying kid out it would be a lot better movie   

Offline Beorning

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2016, 05:16:08 PM »
I'm really surprised to see movies like Cutthroat Island, Snowpiercer and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly mentioned here as B-movies. The first two movies got theatre releases here - and as for the third one, every movie critic here considers it a cinema classic.

When I think B-movies, I think stuff like... Roger Corman's Not Of This Earth? The 1950s version of this movie is actually quite good. Just like Corman's another movie, It Conquered the World.

Speaking of new stuff, let me mention Sorority Row. A movie which I decided to see purely for guilty pleasure, because I assumed it would be yet another dumb slasher movie. Meanwhile, the movie is well done, well acted and has some good self-conscious humour. A much better movie that you might expect...

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: Schlocky B-Movies That Are Actually Pretty Decent?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2016, 05:40:10 PM »
Regretfully this one is no longer available on Netflix, but if I hadn't seen it there when it was, I never would have gotten the opportunity to see it: Wolf Cop. I mean, the makeup is fairly decent but the story is reminiscent of something out of Troma. An alcoholic sheriff's deputy who becomes a crimefighting werewolf by night. It's a lot more hilarious than it sounds.