Crash! Landen’s Worst 10 Movies of 1982

It’s definitely getting harder to make a list of ‘bad’ films the farther I go back. One tends to only watch the better, more highly acclaimed movies from the distant past. After #10 I can name some… Well… Films that weren’t exactly worthy of any Major Awards (TM), but I still wouldn’t call them ‘bad’.  Some examples are films like Six Pack, which isn’t a bad film if taken for face value, and a film that I REALLY love: Swamp Thing, one of Wes Craven’s early low budget shlocky successes. There are also comedies like Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid that might deserve to be here, but that one in particular was a Steve Martin film. Even in his worst films, he’s still funny. I recently saw an early Tim Roth film called Made In Britain that could be on the list if not for so many other atrocious films I had to choose from the year 1982. As I always say, I try to not pick on the ‘little guys’, but there are a few here that were SO malignant that it would be wrong NOT to put them on the list.

Here are my 10 along with a few that got bumped:

(Bumped) The Beastmaster ( I don’t hate this one. IMHO, it’s actually watchable. Sure it’s derivative of other films along the same genre lines as this one, but still watchable with the actors involved. Marc Singer was always a likable low budget action star and Tanya Roberts makes a decent love interest. Also featured Rip Torn and one of the stars of Good Times: John Amos. Don Coscarelli,  the film’s director and the man behind films like Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep, is a master at making low budgeters with ‘quality’ entertainment values. While this doesn’t succeed quite as much as some of his other cult hits, but it was better than most of the non-big studio stuff that was out there at the time… It’s still deserving to be on the list, though.)

(Bumped) Friday the 13th Part III (Believe it or not, I actually like this one, too, or maybe I just can’t say that I dislike it. This is the second in the series to feature the one note Jason as the killer. It’s also is the first where he dons the hockey mask to become a horror icon.  As much as 3D get a bad rap and deservedly so, this is the kind of film that 3D was made for. Sure the story is still pretty braindead and the whole production shlocky and amateurish, but as a low budget horror/slasher flick, it’s not so bad. Not the best in a crap series, but it’s far from the worst. There WERE about 175 sequels even before the remake/retooling. It went downhill from here.)

10 An Officer and a Gentleman (Whenever I think of this movie, I think of the late Chris Farley  crying ” Ah gaht no where els t’gooo” in Wayne’s World II. That’s how much I like this film. When I think of it, the first thing that comes to mind is a scene from another film spoofing it. So I guess I never think about the movie at all.).

9 Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (This film did have some things going for it. Diane Lane was one of them, but  a poor use of her as an actress. maybe even a bit exploitative in the false premise of art’s sake. It also features a nearly unrecognizable Ray Winstone. Am I making it sound like a movie worth watching? Let me change that. It tries to be satire, but contradicts itself so often that whatever anti-music scene/cult of personality/exploitation point that they’re trying to make ends up just sounding confused. If you’re a White Stripes fan, this is where they got their name from. It may be interesting to you for that if you’re a fan of theirs. I’m not. There was a good bit of bad direction in the film. Some poor editing, too. )

8 Q: The Winged Serpent [First, trust me when I say that you’re not going to get anything like what’s on that poster above, painted by Boris Vallejo. This was a low budget film made by a director, that if I recall correctly, seemed to make films that cause a little ‘controversy’. This wasn’t one of them, unless your definition of controversy is: (pronounced ‘krap’) -noun, a. excrement b.an act of defecation. c. Craptacular.]

7 Amityville II: The Possession (Half as good as the original and that one was barely adequate as a low budget horror flick.)

6 Halloween III: Season of the Witch ( The entry that didn’t feature Michael Myers…)

5 White Dog (As heavy-handed in ‘message’ movies as they come. I think this caused quite a bit of controversy at the time. So much that  I think it was shelved for some years before being released. It should have stayed on the shelf…. And yes, I used a foreign version of the film poster.)

4 Nightbeast (I saw it recently… I’m not proud. So I’m picking on the little guy. SUE ME…. I did admire the attempt. There was a healthy dose of gore and some no-budget FX which was fun. Was under the Troma name so that should tell you all you should know, only here there wasn’t the typical humor.)

3 The Beast Within (Gratuitous. Illogical in places. Poorly acted in others. A low brow attempt at a high brow psychological story that fails miserably. For some reason there is an abundance of horror and sci-fi monster rapists that came out of the 1970s and early 80s. But decent schlock FX for a 1970s low budget horror movie (especially in the transformation scene towards the end, even if it does solidify the film as a geek show). This is probably a much better film than Night Beast, but that was excused a little since it was in reality an effort by amateurs. The Beast Within had a number of well known participants.

2 Grease 2 (I would rather experience waterboarding than to watch this, even if Michelle Pfieffer stars.)

1 Basket Case (Don’t like to pick on the little guy, but this is a low budgeter that I wish that i hadn’t had the misfortune to watch. And I pull for the little guy. Shlocky can be fun… see entry #6… but this was just dreary and dull. Terrible FX. Weirdly awful story. Maybe it was shooting for depravity, I don’t know. I just remembered being shocked that a movie that terrible had actually made it onto a television station, even if it was a no budget local station. Highly recommended for masochists, though.)

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