Thursday, January 12, 2006

Golden Turkeys

I was perusing the old bookcase and stumbled upon my copy of "The Golden Turkey Awards" by Harry and Michael Medved. As I've mentioned previously, this book and the movie "It Came From Hollywood" served as my introduction into the world of cheesy movies.

I noticed the claim that one of the movies in the book was actually a hoax. I got to wondering which one it was and was getting ready to try to find it, but my crack team of researchers (I looked it up on Google) found that I'd been beaten to the punch by Peter Chattaway, who did some sleuthing of his own. Check it out.

Well, darnit, I'd already spent a whole minute scanning the book cover, so I didn't want my time to be wasted. So I went through the book to see how close I was to my goal of seeing all the movies profiled in the book.

So far, 48. A little more than that, actually; there are a few I know I saw when I was little but have no memory of.

Here they are. The titles with a * are movies that are a permanent part of the massive Siftin' Film Archive.

Attack of the Fifty-Foot Woman

It's okay. Allison Hayes is pretty easy on the eyes, and consequently, this was one of the first I managed to see. I also had the poster on my wall when I was younger.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

I was led to believe by my friend Ken that this was a laff riot. We watched it during a New Year's Eve "Too-Young-to-Party-and-It's-Not-Likely-We'd-Have-Been-at-the-Top-of-the-Invite-List-Anyway" movie marathon in junior high school. It was a triple feature of this, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Joe Versus the Volcano." I should point out that we weren't aiming for a so-bad-it's-good show.


I don't remember a lot of it. There was Jane Fonda and, uh, some guy with wings and the fast-forward button on the VCR remote.

Battlestar Galactica

The old one. Stitched together for theatrical release. Saw it on a really slow weekend movie on TV.

Beware! the Blob

Directed by Larry Hagman. I remember that this was pretty boring. This is a recurring theme, in case you hadn't noticed.

Blood Feast *

The granddaddy of splatter movies. Cheesy effects, real thin story. But it has a kooky charm to it.

The Brain from Planet Arous

Reviewed this for an assignment in my journalism class in high school. I can't remember if I actually got it in the school paper. I vaguely remember a part that referred to Mystery Mountain as a remote place that hadn't seen people in a hundred years. Shortly after, the leads mention that they were there last week.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die *

Immortalized in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is a pretty cool movie that gets bonus points for the ick-factor our hero exudes when he's looking for a replacement body to attach to his girlfriend's head.


Big roaches that shoot fire out of their butts. Awesome. This one kinda scared me a little when I saw it on TV as a kid.

Cat Women of the Moon *

It was cheap, and I think it had 3-D glasses, which I wanted for a 3-D comic I got out of a bargain bin. If not, then I have no idea why I bought it.

Damien: Omen II

Spelled doom for any hapless kid named Damien. Unless, of course, he could beat you like a tentpeg into the ground.

The Devil's Rain *

It's got William Shatner and a bunch of melty devil worshippers. What else do you want? Ernest Borgnine? Okay. Done.


I have no memory of seeing this, but my parents told me that not only did they bring me to this, but I slept through the whole thing. gives it a release date of Nov. 15, 1974, so I either my parents caught it at the drive-in after it had been out for a whlie, or they took a not-quite-2-week-old to the movies. I'm guessing the former, but if I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll hear about it.

Exorcist II: The Heretic

I've seen this more than once. On purpose. A contender for inclusion in Bad Movies A to Z, but I went with "Elephant Parts" because I didn't feel like doing that to myself again.

Grease *

There are a few movies in this book that probably wouldn't be included in a book of bad movies now. I've seen this so many times that it's a part of my childhood. I'd like to point out that I'm still not as old as Stockard Channing was when she played Rizzo. Not by much, but hey...

The Great Gatsby

Who'd have thought that junior-year English class would help me cross off one of the movies on my list?

Head *

I like the Monkees. This is a weird movie that I have to be in the mood to watch. I listen to the soundtrack CD a lot, though.

The Horror of Party Beach

In junior high school, I rented every horror and sci-fi flick I could get my hands on, and this was one of them. Some of them I remember well, and others, like this one, not so much.

The House on Haunted Hill *

A relatively slow but pretty solid Vincent Price movie. It's one of my favorites, and among the first of my horror acquisitions.

The Incredible Melting Man *

Cool effects, lame everything else. The movie opens with astronauts returning from a trip to Saturn. Saturn -- the gaseous planet. Somebody wasn't paying attention in science class, and it wasn't me.

It's Alive

Monster mutant babies terrorize adults. That's almost as cool a concept as Snakes on a Plane.

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

That's not Charles Ingalls stalking students, is it? Say it ain't so, Little Joe! I always wanted to make a movie called I Was a Teenage Teenager, but I see the title has been used elsewhere.

Jaws 2

Much better than "Jaws: The Revenge," but then, I could say that about almost all the other movies on the list.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter *

Technically, I haven't watched it yet, but I picked up the DVD from Target last Halloween for only a buck. I have yet to see if I got pooched on that deal.

Jesus Christ Superstar

My brother and I differ in opinion on Jesus-themed musicals. He prefers this one, while I liked "Godspell" better. I just know that when I was caught taking the Lord's name in vain as a youngster, my mom did not believe that I was building up to a performance of this movie's title song.

The Killer Shrews *

Another cheap DVD purchase. Easily the best giant rodent movie that features Roscoe P. Coltrane from "The Dukes of Hazzard."

King Kong

The 1976 version from Dino De Laurentiis, whose granddaughter, Giada, is on Food Network's "Everyday Italian," which seems to be always on around my house. She smiles an awful lot.

The Last House on the Left *

On my list of horror movies that will never be made into Disney animated features.

The Little Shop of Horrors (original)

A low-budget flick from Roger Corman. Don't watch it expecting a peppy musical.

Mars Needs Women

Movie needs plot.

Night of the Lepus

Yes! Giant killer bunny rabbits! This movie not only has DeForest Kelley, who played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek, but it also has Paul Fix, who played Dr. Piper in the show's second pilot. I knew that without looking it up. And no, I'm not a dork.


Nope, not influenced by "Jaws." It's an interesting story. Apparently, it was supposed to be about an infestation of killer okra, but there seems to have been a transcription error and it wound up being about a whale instead. Bummer.

Plan Nine from Outer Space *

I would guess that much of Plan Nine's rep comes from this book, as it was honored as "Worst Movie Ever." It's not the worst movie ever. I'd rather watch this than "Batman and Robin," and even that isn't the worst movie ever.

Reefer Madness *

I was disappointed by this. For one reason, it's reaaaaaaalllllly slow. If you've seen the "Play it faster!" or "Agony!" scenes, you've seen some of the best parts.

Robot Monster *

The titular creature is a guy in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on. That means some alien designed the robot to look like that. Now that is scary.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I would be willing to bet that this is a scream in a real theater or live. Watching it as a 12-year-old around midnight after a half-dozen donuts just didn't do it for me. But it's on my list to re-watch.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

I think this is much worse than Plan Nine From Outer Space. You at least got the feeling Ed Wood liked movies even if he wasn't very good at it, but this earns a place in the Halls of Suckitude.

Scream, Blacula, Scream

I prefer the original Blacula, but William Marshall rocks as the title vampire. If they'd made Blacula Conquers the Martians and he'd been in it, I'd still watch it.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band *

The first time I read this, I was mad that the authors were dissing it. It wasn't even that I thought it was a great movie. It was that they had a picture out of context and made fun of it.


Technically, I watched the end. Harry Nilsson sings the closing credits. All of them. Awesome.

Smokey and the Bandit

I like Smokey and the Bandit. But not the edited-for-TV version. At least with this one, they tried to find someone who sounds like the people being dubbed. Still bugs me, but not as much. See, a little bit of effort goes a long way with me.


I think that I managed to see every Disney movie released on video in the early days of VCRs, including this one and Condorman. Either that, or I saw it on the Disney Channel. Clearly, it made an impression on me.

Superman *

Was only included in the book for a goofy credit to General Mills for making Cheerios. Otherwise, a good flick.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre *

I like titles that tell you all you need to know before watching the movie. It's sort of like the theme songs to "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch."

The Thing with Two Heads *

Ray Milland plays a dying bigot who gets his head grafted onto Rosie Greer's shoulders. Hilarity ensues. This is dying to be remade.

The Tingler

Another Vincent Price movie from William Castle. In select theaters, the seats were rigged to deliver mild shocks, simulating attack by the Tingler. I can't imagine anyone even getting close to trying that these days.

The Towering Inferno

Not to be confused with Disco Inferno.

You Light Up My Life

I saw this at the drive-in when I was but a child, and the damn song is still stuck in my head.

And still, of all of these movies, not one was the worst movie I've ever seen. If I can bring myself to do it, I'll take another look at it and write about it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My favorite ornament

For Christmas, I tried something new. Sculpting with Sculpey polymer clay.

My sculpting experience was limited pretty much to the Play-Doh Fun Factory (and one or two tries with the Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop), so I wasn't sure how my project would turn out.

My goal was to make a Christmas ornament in remembrance of our son Harry. I drew up a little cartoon version of my little Wookiee that I liked, so I tried to translate that into clay.

If you do the math, it looks a little like this:

Fisher-Price Little People + Willow Tree figurines + Chewbacca =

It's not perfect, but I like it a lot and it looked cool up on the tree.

Monday, January 09, 2006

But they won't fall down

One of the things my son got for Christmas was Weebles Weebly Wobbly Tree House, which he enjoys quite a bit.

I try to be enthusiastic about it, but in the back of my mind, all I hear is "Those aren't Weebles!"

Let's look at what passes for Weebles these days.

And here's a Weeble from the days they were made of stone (Thank you, Google image search).

And even better, here's an inflatable Weeble from the Siftin' Toy Archive. Now that's a Weeble. I hear his older brother had a small role in "Airplane."

And to clarify, the inflatable Weeble and I are just friends. That's all. Perverts.

I have a similar problem with the Fisher-Price Little People. Compare:

Now, I realize that the old ones pose a choking hazard (anything that fits through a toilet paper tube, as I recall), but I like the way the old ones look better. The new ones look like the Campbell's Soup Kids.

My favorite was the dog, but I also thought the blonde lady was kinda cute. Those eyes...

In storage, I've got some of the Little People Playsets (including the REAL farm), but we'll have to wait till Brody's a little older before I he can play with them.