movie diary '18

by klday | created - 19 Jan 2018 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

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1. Be Here Now (2015)

100 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

As though life is imitating art, actor and sex-symbol, Andy Whitfield, had just become a star as the lead in the hit television series,'Spartacus,' when he is faced with his biggest ... See full summary »

Director: Lilibet Foster | Stars: Jai Courtney, Andy Whitfield, Indigo Whitfield, Jesse Whitfield

Votes: 2,902 | Gross: $0.02M

I've been watching and enjoying Starz' series "Spartacus" series. The pilot is a bit rough, with its cartoonish gore, excessive use of slow-motion, and overwrought dramatics; these things are essentially baked into a sword and sandals epic like "Spartacus", but the show finds a better balance of its pulpier elements swiftly, and it finds its voice in no small part due to charismatic lead Andy Whitfield.

After filming the first season, Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and immediately went into treatment. Treatment was successful, and he went into remission, but shortly before he was to return to the show it was discovered that the cancer had relapsed. Treatment resumed, but a year after the relapse was discovered, Whitfield died, leaving behind a wife, Vashti, and two children.

"Be Here Now" was shot during this traumatic time, chronicling Whitfield's treatment and shortlived recovery, and the staggering toll the disease takes on his body. It is not an especially intimate portrait of the disease process, as the salient details are conveyed mostly in interviews with Whitfield and Vashti, yet still, when watching it, I felt as though I were intruding in a private moment of grief.

2. Buford's Beach Bunnies (1993)

R | 101 min | Comedy

Fast-food mogul Harry Buford serves up the best barbecued bunny sandwiches, and the hottest waitresses, in town. His only son, Jeeter, will inherit the empire only if he can overcome his ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Pirro | Stars: Jim Hanks, Rikki Brando, Monique Parent, Suzanne Ager

Votes: 366

cheap, gross misogyny from the USA channel's Up All Night era

3. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayley Atwell

Votes: 688,484 | Gross: $176.65M

2/23 on demand. Formulaic, as Marvel movies are, but I like this one more on revisiting. Visually it is one of the studio's biggest departure from the its own house style, with warm colors and even a rousing musical number. Good performances by Evans, who's square hero is charmingly sincere and sweetly awkward, and Atwell, though she gets more the spotlight she deserves in the "Agent Carter" series. Plus you got Tommy Lee Jones.

4. Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Romance

Planet Express sees a hostile takeover and Bender falls into the hands of criminals where he is used to fulfill their schemes.

Director: Dwayne Carey-Hill | Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille

Votes: 31,973

Futurama came to a proper close with "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", the finale of its fifth season. But Matt Groening and company weren't done with the Planet Express crew, bringing them back in four made for tv movies, then bringing the season back for 2 more seasons on cable. I have been rewatching the original run of the series. Probably should have waited a bit to delve further. My reaction, then as now, was that the series did not especially cry out for resurrection, and that the continuation did not make an especially good case for it. The movies are episodic, like a handful of episodes spliced together, and so the story does not build but rather darts about here and there; and its a convoluted story, too, with lots of time travel and concomitant paradoxes. The villains, a trio of gross naked alien email scammers, lack much in the way of motivation, and though they willingly resort to violence to get what they want, it doesn't occur to anyone to respond in kind until toward the end, or indeed to do anything to try and stop them at all. Nor do the scammers bat an eye while our heroes go about with their usual shenanigans. It may amount to a lot of fan service, but as a fan being serviced so, I did enjoy it a bit more than before. Really, I was glad just to see Fry happily reunited with his faithful dog Seymour.

5. Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs (2008 Video)

Not Rated | 90 min | Animation, Comedy, Romance

The Planet Express crew discovers a tentacle covered, planet sized alien that wishes to copulate with it all the inhabitants of Earth.

Director: Peter Avanzino | Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille

Votes: 22,263

6. Futurama: Bender's Game (2008 Video)

Not Rated | 88 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The Planet Express crew get trapped in a fantasy world.

Director: Dwayne Carey-Hill | Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille

Votes: 19,081

I've said before that these movies are episodic, but this one barely bothers to tell a story at all, let alone a different one every thirty minutes. Here, Bender is determined to prove that he has an imagination, becoming obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons in the process. And a weird science thingie sucks everyone into his quarter-assed fantasy world, where they go on a generic quest that has no bearing on anything.

7. Hot Property (2016)

Unrated | 83 min | Comedy

Hot Property is an anarchic satire for 'generation rent'. An un-romantic comedy about love, greed and psychotic estate agents. Set amid London's deranged property market and self-parodying hipster culture.

Director: Max McGill | Stars: MyAnna Buring, Andrew Havill, Alex Ferns, Tom Rhys Harries

Votes: 175

Tone-deaf millennial "satire"

8. Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009 Video)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Dark forces older than time itself are on the attack, hell-bent on stopping the dawn of a wondrous new green age. Don't you hate when that happens? Even more shocking: Bender's in love with... See full summary »

Director: Peter Avanzino | Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille

Votes: 16,826

When he gets a piece of jewelry lodged in his head, Fry discovers that he can read minds. A secret society of fellow mind-readers convinces him to save an emerging ecosystem from developer Leo Wong. Not nearly as awful as Bender's Game, but hardly great.

9. Reptilicus (1961)

Passed | 82 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After copper miners discover part of the frozen tail of a prehistoric monster in Lapland, scientists inadvertently bring it back to life.

Directors: Poul Bang, Sidney W. Pink | Stars: Bent Mejding, Asbjørn Andersen, Povl Wøldike, Ann Smyrner

Votes: 3,337

on MST3K: The Return. This Danish kaiju pick is pretty odd, not a bad pick for the much awaited return.

10. Nerdland (2016)

Not Rated | 85 min | Animation, Comedy

46 Metascore

The story of two best friends whose dreams of success and stardom have fizzled, so they decide to become famous in one day - at all costs.

Director: Chris Prynoski | Stars: Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt, Hannibal Buress, Kate Micucci

Votes: 893

Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt voice two pathetic roommates eking out a squalid existence in the LA sprawl, scheming to somehow find success, or at any rate notoriety. This, the first feature from cartoon studio Titmouse, is a good showcase for their animation, but the story is aimless, and the free-floating misanthropy becomes grating.

11. Just Before I Go (2014)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

24 Metascore

On the verge of giving up on life, a guy travels to his hometown to make amends.

Director: Courteney Cox | Stars: Seann William Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Garret Dillahunt, Kate Walsh

Votes: 16,894 | Gross: $0.01M

Sentimental drivel centered on a bunch of repugnant characters.

12. Trailer Park of Terror (2008)

R | 98 min | Horror

Six troubled high schoolers and their leader become lost after their bus crashes during a raging storm. They seeks refuge for the night in an abandoned trailer park, managed by a sexy woman, Norma.

Director: Steven Goldmann | Stars: Nichole Hiltz, Lew Temple, Jeanette Brox, Myk Watford

Votes: 3,624

Ugly, unpleasant, and cartoonish

13. Meek's Cutoff (2010)

PG | 104 min | Drama, Western

85 Metascore

Settlers traveling through the Oregon desert in 1845 find themselves stranded in harsh conditions.

Director: Kelly Reichardt | Stars: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Will Patton

Votes: 10,730 | Gross: $0.98M

I was expecting a more plot driven movie, which is my mistake, as I know director Reichardt from her similarly quiet, ruminative drama "Old Joy". "Meek's Cutoff" is also a sort of travelogue, but the journey of a band of settlers across the desolate wastes of the American west is more rife with danger than the weekend camping trip from "Old Joy", naturally. Rather than creating a rousing spectacle, Reichardt the realist excels at capturing moments of quiet desperation. Desperate to lighten their load, the frontier wives toss clocks, furniture and valuables out the backs of their wagons. The big climactic set piece, such as it is, hinges on the simple yet perilous process of getting a wagon down the side of a hill. And for much of the film, the characters fret over their dwindling supply of water. It is a gorgeous looking movie. I may appreciate it more on revisiting sometime down the line.

14. Tale of Tales (2015)

R | 134 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

72 Metascore

From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.

Director: Matteo Garrone | Stars: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C. Reilly

Votes: 24,652 | Gross: $0.08M

ntflx streaming. A decidedly adult spin on Italian folk tales. Certainly a handsome production, but a bit cold, and the three tales are inter-edited somewhat distractingly.

15. Coco (I) (2017)

PG | 105 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

81 Metascore

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina | Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach

Votes: 304,997 | Gross: $209.73M

Nflx streaming. This is a movie that is perhaps better knowing the twist. Top tier Pixar

16. Sabretooth (2002 TV Movie)

R | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Scientists create a genetically engineered sabretooth cat and must hunt it down after it escapes and begins eating innocent people.

Director: James D.R. Hickox | Stars: David Keith, Vanessa Angel, John Rhys-Davies, Jenna Gering

Votes: 1,718

This Syfy channel schlock is truly bottom of the barrel stuff, pitting a nefarious geneticist and her greedy investor against their creation, a cloned sabertooth depicted with stiff puppetry and cartoonish CGI. Can our villains and hired huntsman David Keith subdue the big cat before it makes a meal of some dumb teenage hikers, including Lost's Josh Holloway? Find out, if you dare to waste an hour and a half.

17. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

73 Metascore

The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton

Votes: 435,280 | Gross: $209.40M

For my money the best of the series thus far. Watching it at home on demand is hardly as spellbinding as it was on an IMAX screen, but the big set pieces are all top notch. Cruise climbing the side of the Burj Kalifa with just a glitchy pair of magnetized gloves is Brad Bird's piece de resistance, but when it's over we don't get a moment to catch our breath, as the IMF team hurtles through the next daring set piece.

18. Cry Wilderness (1987)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A Bigfoot-type creature befriends Paul, a young student. His father is a park ranger trying to capture an escaped tiger. Everyone in town is on edge and wants the tiger killed. David tries to keep Bigfoot a secret.

Director: Jay Schlossberg-Cohen | Stars: Eric Foster, Maurice Grandmaison, John Tallman, Griffin Casey

Votes: 1,117

MST3KR. A very poor man's Harry and the Hendersons, which finds a young lad running away from boarding school after receiving word from his old friend Bigfoot that his father, a forest ranger, is in dire trouble. He hitchhikes to the forest where dad and his quick-to-laughter Indian chum are investigating a deadly animal attack with the unwanted help of a cocky big game hunter, that is, whenever they aren't laughing at the kooky antics of the raccoons and other strangely plentiful woodland creatures.

19. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

78 Metascore

The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander

Votes: 246,401 | Gross: $75.75M

Superhero movies were largely regarded as a niche market way back when del Toro's Hellboy came out. Sure you had your Batman movies, Raimi's Spiderman franchise, and If someone could make a good Superman movie again people would've been into that, but other than that comic book movies were the province of geeks. But the same year as Hellboy II, a picture called Iron Man came out, and since then superheroes have been big business. And not just the old household names, but goofy characters like Ant-Man, and more obscure creations like Task Force X. Del Toro's Hellboy was bit too far ahead of the curve, maybe. Maybe it was a bit too odd a mix for audiences at the time, and they didn't like getting Lovecraftian horror in their superheroics. Anyhow, I loved this one at the time, but in retrospect it feels a mite too conventional, like a slightly more oddball marvel movie. I've been reading Mignola's comics, too, and having that basis for comparison may diminish the movies a bit as well. The comedy is a bit too broad here, which lessens the impact of the horror. In addition to Perlman's smart-mouthed take on the character, there's Seth MacFarlane doing a silly accent as an ectoplasmic BPRD agent.

20. Black Mirror (2011– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

Stars: Daniel Lapaine, Hannah John-Kamen, Michaela Coel, Beatrice Robertson-Jones

Votes: 361,040

watched "Nosedive" and "USS Callister". I would add the episodes individually, but imdb is seemingly bent on making the list feature, like the rest of the site, less and less user-friendly, so why bother

21. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

PG-13 | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

75 Metascore

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate - an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Director: Christopher McQuarrie | Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg

Votes: 319,735 | Gross: $195.04M

Rogue Nation has the series' breakneck pacing down pat, but McQuarrie, though a capable enough director, can't match the peerless eye of Ghost Protocol's Brad Bird, still the franchise's high water mark.

22. The Time Travelers (1964)

Approved | 82 min | Sci-Fi

In 1964, a group of scientists create a portal that takes them to a barren, mutant inhabited, Earth in the year 2071.

Director: Ib Melchior | Stars: Preston Foster, Philip Carey, Merry Anders, John Hoyt

Votes: 1,969

MST3KR. My favorite thus far from the revival. Three scientists and a dorky janitor fall through a time portal and wind up in a future populated by mutants and androids.

23. Time of the Apes (1987 TV Movie)

97 min | Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Three bumbling morons accidentally stumble into a cryogenic freezer and end up in the future, where monkeys populate the Earth.

Directors: Kiyo Sumi Fukazawa, Atsuo Okunaka | Stars: Reiko Tokunaga, Hiroko Saito, Masaaki Kaji, Hitoshi Ômae

Votes: 982

From the second season of MST3K, a lousy bargain-bin Planet of the Apes ripoff for Japanese TV. Two schoolchildren and their minder are touring a cryogenic lab when an earthquake hits, and they wind up getting thawed out in a future populated by fascist ape police. Also, there's a flying saucer buzzing around for reasons that never become clear. I'm going to have to pace myself a bit more on this show, because I seem to get tired of it when I'm watching every day.

24. The Flintstones (1994)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

38 Metascore

In a parallel modern-day Stone Age world, a working-class family, the Flintstones, are set up for an executive job. But they learn that money can't buy happiness.

Director: Brian Levant | Stars: John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O'Donnell, Halle Berry

Votes: 71,549 | Gross: $130.51M

Inexplicable attempt to bring Hanna and Barbera's caveman variation on The Honeymooners to the big screen spares no expense on that account, and nevertheless looks distractingly cheap. Amblin brought dinosaurs to startling life just a year before with Jurassic Park, but the special effects work here isn't aiming for that high bar, its running the fool's errand of "bringing the cartoon to life". In this empty exercise of nostalgia, does it matter whether or not they succeed?

25. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

G | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

73 Metascore

A waitress, desperate to fulfill her dreams as a restaurant owner, is set on a journey to turn a frog prince back into a human being, but she has to face the same problem after she kisses him.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey, Bruno Campos

Votes: 113,244 | Gross: $104.40M

Boilerplate Disney princess stuff

26. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

PG-13 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there, while an InGen team approaches with another agenda.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn

Votes: 353,721 | Gross: $229.09M

I originally rated this 1 star. That's far too harsh. Sure, it's not as good as the first, which is Spielberg in prime blockbuster mode. Besides Moore and Goldblum, our new heroes don't make a huge impression. But it has a bunch of great set-pieces: the compeys on the beach, the raptors in the high grass, the literal cliffhanger where our heroes are saved by the unfortunate Richard Schiff. The latest flick in the franchise, Fallen Kingdom, steals a lot from Spielberg here, and frankly it was mostly done better first time around.

27. Scooby-Doo (2002)

PG | 86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

35 Metascore

After an acrimonious break up, the Mystery Inc. gang are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings on.

Director: Raja Gosnell | Stars: Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini

Votes: 90,464 | Gross: $153.29M

Unlike The Flintstones, I actually made it through this one. Do not read that as an endorsement. That means I suffered through some real lousy stuff, like a belching and farting contest between Scooby and Matthew Lillard. I'm not sure if your could actually make a convincingly realistic Scooby Doo, but this is a distractingly bad effect, and Raja Gosnell's impulse is to distract from that with garish sets, hysterial performances, and surrounding Scooby with a bunch of other lousy effects.

28. Avalanche (1978)

PG | 91 min | Action, Drama

The vacationers at a winter wonderland struggle to survive after an avalanche of snow crashes into their ski resort. Their holiday then turns into a game of survival.

Director: Corey Allen | Stars: Rock Hudson, Mia Farrow, Robert Forster, Jeanette Nolan

Votes: 1,663

mst3ktr. This Irwin Allen imitator has too many inconsequential b-plots and too little mayem to entertain.

29. Tales of Halloween (2015)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Horror

64 Metascore

Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.

Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet | Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Hunter Smit, Cameron Easton, Caroline Williams

Votes: 10,794

This cheapie comic anthology is pretty light on the scares and the laughs, but its a passable diversion for horror buffs. The only segment I out-and-out hated was a Darren Lynn Bousman's (go figure), which wastes a creepy premise on bad jokes and half-assed foley effects. But let's dwell on the highlights. "Trick" by Adam Gierasch is pretty good, featuring a laid-back Halloween party that explodes into violence without warning, and the segment has a good twist ending, too. Axelle Carolyn's "Grim Grinning Ghost" is probably the scariest offering in the film. "Ding Dong" is a stylish oddity from Lucky McKee, with a great performance from Pollyanna McIntosh as a childless woman who seems to get a little too wrapped up in playing the spooky witch for trick-or-treaters. Mike Mendez' "Friday the 31st" is an entertaining trifle, in which a disfigured slasher ala Victor Crowley has an unfortunate run-in with an otherworldly visitor; it has a bit of that gonzo energy Sam Raimi brought to "The Evil Dead" trilogy. Ryan Schifrin's "The Ransom of Rusty Rex" is a gruesome spin on a classic O. Henry tale, and I don't mean "The Gift of the Magi". I hoped for more from Neil Marshall, who brings things to a close with "Bad Seed", a weird and wild tale which for whatever reason pivots into a police procedural, but it has his usual energy and pays winking homage to John Carpenter a few times.

30. Train to Busan (2016)

Not Rated | 118 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

72 Metascore

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon | Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Su-an Kim

Votes: 117,798 | Gross: $2.13M

stock characters run away from zombies on a passenger train. some suspenseful moments, but its at least a half hour too long.

31. The Voices (2014)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

58 Metascore

A likable guy pursues his office crush with the help of his evil talking pets, but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date.

Director: Marjane Satrapi | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver

Votes: 49,612

Despite a commited performance by Reynolds this does not work on pretty much any level. Ostensibly a comedy, it doesn't provide much anything to laugh at, and though the murders are disturbing, they're generally not very scary. Jerry's fake movie psychosis isn't dramatically involving, and Satrapi oddy doesn't show much concern for his victims.

32. Haze (I) (2016)

TV-MA | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

In the aftermath of a brutal fraternity hazing death, a college freshman's desire to join the best fraternity on campus is compromised when his older brother launches an anti-hazing crusade. A modern retelling of ancient Greek mythology, HAZE is a sobering, realistic portrait of what truly goes on behind fraternity and sorority house walls.

Director: David Burkman | Stars: Kirk Curran, Mike Blejer, Jeremy O'Shea, Kristin Rogers

Votes: 373

These earnest movies about the horrors of fraterity life are just so bad. The characters are all despicable. and hanging out with them for an hour and a half is a straight up chore.

33. The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)

Approved | 79 min | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi

An American cowboy living in Mexico discovers his cattle are being eaten by a giant prehistoric dinosaur.

Directors: Edward Nassour, Ismael Rodríguez | Stars: Guy Madison, Patricia Medina, Carlos Rivas, Mario Navarro

Votes: 1,386

mst3k Gringo rancher in Mexico notices that his cows are disappearing, eventually finds that a claymation t-rex is to blame.

34. Starcrash (1978)

PG | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon by the evil Count Zarth Arn.

Director: Luigi Cozzi | Stars: Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff

Votes: 5,607

mst3k I think I had this one confused with War of the Robots. THAT has Antonio Sabato Sr as a fighter pilot in space fighting space robots, if I recall correctly. This one is much stranger. In it, a pair of space criminals (Marjoe Gortner and Caroline Munro, the latter wearing a bikini with a Dracula collar) team up with their enemies, a pair of space cops, in a mission to save Emperor Christopher Plummer and Prince David Hasseloff from a rebellous count and his forces. One of the space cops is a green bald guy, the other is a Robby the Robot lookalike with a thick southern accent. In one memorable scene there is a topless giant lady robot they must run from, who looks like she just stepped out of a really pervy Ray Harryhausen flick.

35. The Land That Time Forgot (1974)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Fantasy

During World War I, a German U-boat sinks a British ship and takes the survivors on board. After it takes a wrong turn, the submarine takes them to the unknown land of Caprona, where they find dinosaurs and neanderthals.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon, Keith Barron

Votes: 5,082

mst3k Subpar Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation finds a swashbuckling American and a crew of British sailors commandeering the u-boat that sank their ship. Sabotage causes them to become lost at sea, and they stumble across an uncharted continent where rubbery dinosaurs and patchy-haired cavemen dwell.

36. The Loves of Hercules (1960)

Not Rated | 98 min | Fantasy, Adventure

Hercules must save his true love from an evil queen.

Director: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia | Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Mickey Hargitay, Massimo Serato, Tina Gloriani

Votes: 911

mst3k Soldiers kill Hercules' wife and neighbors, so he sets off to avenge them, only to fall in love with one queen and be seduced by another queen, who is evil and turns the men she courts into trees. Mickey Hargitay is forever picking up things above his head, like a fallen tree or a huge wagon wheel, and while that's impressive it just doesn't convey an image of Herculean strength, as this is clearly pretty taxing and Hargitay is visibly very pleased with himself every time.

37. Vampire's Kiss (1988)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Horror

31 Metascore

After an encounter with a neck-biter, a publishing executive thinks that he's turning into a vampire.

Director: Robert Bierman | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jennifer Beals, Elizabeth Ashley

Votes: 12,776 | Gross: $0.73M

David Loew is a young publishing exec in New York City. He terrorizes a temp for being unable to find a misfiled document by day. He trawls the singles' bars for one night stands at night. One of the girls he hooks up with bites him on the neck during sex, and Loew begins to entertain the fantasy that he is becoming a vampire.

This is a very strange performance from Cage. Loew has the aloof tone not necessarily of a scion of wealth and privilige, more like a parody of one. As his madness progresses there's a Renfield stage where he's gobbling up cockroaches, and a Count Orloc stage where he dons a pair or plastic fangs and strides stiffly through a nightclub, looking for prey.

38. Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)

G | 80 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Earthquakes in central Korea turn out to be the work of Yongary, a prehistoric gasoline-eating reptile that soon goes on a rampage through Seoul.

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Stars: Yeong-il Oh, Jeong-im Nam, Sun-jae Lee, Moon Kang

Votes: 1,291

mst3k South Korean Godzilla knockoff Yongary may be a guy in a cheap monster suit. Yes, the version of Seoul he rampages through is an unconvincing miniature. No, the filmmakers never manage to make him look especially scary or imposing. And yes, when he breathes fire you can plainly see the torch in the back of his mouth that the jet of flame is coming from. But darn it, there is something lovable about this big scaly oaf, how when he demolishes a building it's either out of sheepish clumsiness or spiteful rage, how he conks out after slurping down his favorite meal: a huge tank of burning crude oil. Yongary isn't just an unstoppable force of nature, he feels almost human in his foibles. And Yongary can dance, too. Yongary is like us also in his tragic, undignified end, brought about by his own hubris. A driven scientist, his fiancee, a newlywed astronaut, and his wife take a mischievous little boy on a helicoptor ride, and they dump poison on Yongary's head to put an end to his reign of destruction. Yongary keels over, howling in pain and bleeding out of every orifice into the Han River.

39. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985)

PG | 72 min | Action, Adventure, Family

When evil screams throughout the world. When all the galaxies converge. When all that's fair and fine seems lost. A Hero will emerge.

Director: Héctor Olivera | Stars: Bo Svenson, Vidal Peterson, Thom Christopher, Barbara Stock

Votes: 1,245

mst3k A young magician and his offbrand Wookiee flee into the forest after a palace coup, where they befriend a drunken marauder (Bo Svenson) and convince him to help depose the new tyrant.

40. Punisher: War Zone (2008)

R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama

30 Metascore

Frank Castle known as Punisher ruthlessly demolishes organized crime, but it starts an even bigger war.

Director: Lexi Alexander | Stars: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Doug Hutchison

Votes: 58,166 | Gross: $7.95M

Stylish, violent comic book pulp has a good Punisher in Ray Stevenson but it doesn't give him much to do outside of the usual gruff action hero wheelhouse. And the story is a loose and shambling mess. The Punisher simply walks away from a potential confrontation with the villains halfway through, and after copping a plea deal with Homeland Security his nemeses just walk into three different criminal syndicates and recruit a new army of henchmen. Who knew that being a gang boss was so easy?

41. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II (1989)

PG | 80 min | Action, Fantasy, Adventure

Three kingdoms have been overtaken by three evil lords and only Tyor, a teenage boy with magical powers, can restore peace to the land with the help of a bumbling elder, wizard and a hero ... See full summary »

Director: Charles B. Griffith | Stars: Mel Welles, Robert Jayne, David Carradine, Susan Lee Hoffman

Votes: 883

mst3k Wizards of the Lost Kingdom is assuredly no classic, but this in-name-only sequel is so dire that even a vigorous drubbing can't make it bearable. Incompetent sorceror Mel Welles seeks out his predestined apprentice, teenage horndog Bobby Jacoby, and schools him on the ways of magic as they set out on a leisurely paced quest to save three kingdoms from an alliance of dark wizards. They make a pretty pathetic pair, and even David Carradine, playing a grizzled warrior who eventually joins them on their journey, can't muster up much charisma under these trying circumstances. Usually it doesn't seem fair to rate the movies on Mystery Science Theater since they've been cut for time and may be enjoyable on their own merits, but I can confidently say that this one is a big dud.

42. Carnival Magic (1981)

G | 86 min | Fantasy

A magician in a carnival--who actually can read minds and levitate people and objects--works with a superintelligent chimp named Alex, who can also talk. The magician and the chimp soon ... See full summary »

Director: Al Adamson | Stars: Don Stewart, Jennifer Houlton, Howard Segal, Regina Carrol

Votes: 597

mst3k "Rainn Wilson IS... Deputy Mark David Chapman." "You are Gus, and Gus is alive!" A mystic strongman in a low-rent carnival hides away a secret: a chimp that can talk, if a bit gruffly and laconically. Naturally the secret is revealed, and the surly ape becomes the carnival's star attraction, arousing the jealousy of the tiger tamer and attracting the attention of a scheming vivisectionist.

43. Jingle All the Way (1996)

PG | 89 min | Comedy, Family

34 Metascore

A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. However, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

Director: Brian Levant | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson

Votes: 85,103 | Gross: $60.57M

He-man Alpha dad Arnie's bratty little son doesn't appreciate all the bacon he's bringing home, so like some magnanimous czar he deigns to get the little tyke some much-coveted toy for the Yuletide. But every other little cuss wants that toy as well, and their spineless birthing units have already gotten it for them, leaving our hero high and dry. Striking out in the holiday shopping season, he ventures into a black Santa's market of knockoff toys and battles with a rival dad/deranged letter carrier (Sinbad), alsoin hot pursuit of the elusive action figure. This makes two movies directed by Brian Levant that I've watched this year, a sure sign that my viewing priorities must be sorely misplaced.

44. The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966)

G | 89 min | Family, Fantasy

Santa has to get a job as Santa to earn money to pay his overdue rent bill

Director: Rossano Brazzi | Stars: Paul Tripp, Lydia Brazzi, Alberto Rabagliati, Sonny Fox

Votes: 667

mst3k Sub-Seussian Christmas fantasia "with all the fun of hiring a lawyer to deal with your landlord." Miserly zillionaire Phinneas Prune despises children, so he buys the North Pole and starts charging the Clauses rent. Being essentially a not for profit organization, Santa can't pay the bills, so Prune intends to take the presents intended for all the children of the world as payment. To escape this dastardly scheme, Santa retains the services of a kindly if bumbling attorney, who suggests that Santa get an actual job.

45. At the Earth's Core (1976)

PG | 89 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A Victorian era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic bird and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, Caroline Munro, Cy Grant

Votes: 3,895

mst3k Kevin Conner and Doug McClure reunite for another cheap Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation that nobody ever asked for, this time with cheaper looking effects on a poorly lit sound stage.

46. Mac and Me (1988)

PG | 95 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

An alien trying to escape from NASA is befriended by a wheelchair-bound boy.

Director: Stewart Raffill | Stars: Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Ward, Tina Caspary, Lauren Stanley

Votes: 10,832 | Gross: $6.42M

mst3k Hey, a cheap E.T. rip-off with shameless wall-to-wall product placement. “PREEEETTY NICE!” Featuring Bruce Campbell AS Mel Gibson IN ... The G Gordon Liddy Story.

47. From the Sea (2013 Video)

Not Rated | 85 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

When giant monsters crawl out of the Atlantic Ocean and attack the Eastern Seaboard the US Government is forced to trust a trio of mischievous soldiers, specialized in piloting gigantic robots, to defend America.

Director: Jared Cohn | Stars: Graham Greene, Anthony 'Treach' Criss, David Chokachi, Jackie Moore

Votes: 3,400

mst3k episode "Atlantic Rim", as this cinematic atrocity its better known as Though this is a movie that deserves every insult you can throw at it, doing so doesn't make it fun. It's been said that the best bad movies are ones that were made with some noble purpose, a genuine creative vision perhaps, or at least the genuine admiration of a superior filmmaker's vision. But what were tangling with here isn't an earnest ripoff of Pacific Rim, if such a thing were imaginable. No, the ethos of production company the Asylum is to make a movie superficially similar to blockbuster products which clueless grandma's will choose instead of the movie their grandkids asked for. (Also, let's not count out the audience of self-congratulatory ironic viewers, not too different from you or me). Nobody making this movie cared that it was terrible and cheap. The fact that it was cheap saved them money. The terribleness is how they cater to half their audience. Maybe this is mean, but it's funnier to watch someone try very hard and fail in the attempt than to not even try because passion and effort are for suckers.

48. Lords of the Deep (1989)

PG-13 | 77 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller