And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Moonraker (1979)
We both know it's going to be broken at some point, James. You might as well cut out the middle-henchmen.

We both know it’s going to be broken at some point, James. You might as well cut out the middle-henchmen.

For various reasons, I haven’t been feeling so well lately. And when I feel like shit I like to take it out on bad movies. So I am very glad to be reviewing a Bond film I honestly despise, considered by some people to be one of the worst James Bond movies ever made. Of course, things would be pretty boring if it weren’t also acclaimed by almost-as-many people as the quintessential representation of everything this series is, was, or should be. It’s the Bond movie parents think they can safely pass down to their children…especially if their children have a pre-existing interest in sci-fi films, like some of us.

Because of that, it’s the first James Bond movie (though not mine) a lot of people see, forever coloring their expectations of the franchise. I’ll admit I’m predisposed to enjoy some the elements you Normals may find the most ludicrous. But even for me, Moonraker goes right off the rails, abandoning any pretensions of being an intelligent spy-fi thriller made for people with functioning brains. In that, and one more area, it is the quintessential Bond movie: things start off well, but get steadily worse as they go on…and this movie does go on. At length. So at least it’s in good company, eh? Continue reading

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Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983)
Suplex!

When Captain America throws his mighty...um...whatever...all those who oppose his loincloth must yield.

Here it is: the movie Bad Movie websites everywhere are obliged to review if they want to flesh out the “Y” sections of their archives. It’s certainly worthy, nominated for three Razzie Awards, including Worst Original Song, Worst Score (it “lost” both to The Lonely Lady) and quite-unfairly-named Worst New Star (he “lost” to Lou Ferrigno).

Not that Reb Brown isn’t a star in his own, strange right. But by 1983 Brown was a long way from “new.” He built up quite the career catching bit parts on every 1970s TV show you might actually remember. Scratch The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Rockford Files or Happy Days with enough force and you’ll find Reb Brown already there. But fame is a fickle bitch, unwilling to give Reb the time of day even after he played Captain America. Twice.

The 70s were a spiteful decade, driven by desperation…but at least that drove innovation. Occasionally, a truly weird experiment in movie lunacy (like Reb Brown’s first movie, the turning-men-into-snakes epic Sssssss) escaped the wreckage of Hollywood’s old studio system. But the 80s saw Reb slumming more and more as the character of the times changed. The desperate spite of 70s gave way to the angry spite of the 80s, a trend exemplified in the rise of the American Action Movie. Like an intergalactic race of cyborgs, Action Movies rose to international prominence by assimilating everything in its path. Our culture adapted to service theirs. Resistance was futile. And Reb didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing. Continue reading