Saturday, October 8, 2016

31 Days of Halloween – Bad Movie Beware!

By Jerry Chandler



The month of October is upon us again, and that means that Halloween is fast approaching. With Halloween comes parties, get togethers, and intimate soirees dedicated to cheap drinks, bad takeout food, and even worse movies. Yeah, this is the time of year when you’re on the lookout for the newer gems the horror genre has to offer, but where’s the fun in it if you’re not having at least some so bad they’re good (or almost good) movie showings?

Now, it’s not always easy to track down such films if you don’t have a really good friend with really bad taste in movies. Yeah, you can turn to Google, but you’ll end up with 100 search results for lists that all give you more or less the same 15 “top” bad films. Fortunately for you, me, and that strange guy down the street none of us want to talk about, there’s Fail-Flix.



“Then we get this colossal donkey turd out of Denmark. Reptilicus is, indeed, yet another Godzilla rip. But this one goes in a different direction with a few of the same basic ideas: science is clumsy, nature is a b***h, and all the military knows how to do is blow s**t up, even when it just makes things worse.  Until it doesn’t. Michael Bay logic even in 1961.  Go figure.” - On Reptilicus 

Fail-Flix is the demented lovechild of Jason Gilbert, a film fan with masochistic streak a mile wide and an impressively solid command of profanity as literary flourish. Back in the long ago social media days when Myspace was still king, Jason sat down for a much anticipated viewing of Mutant Chronicles. His reaction to the film was much like everyone else’s, but he committed his reaction to writing in a Myspace post. This got some notice and was eventually followed by another rant on another bad movie. One thing led to another and before the world knew what had happened to it we had Fail-Flix the website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, and book.

While Jason’s berating of bad movies is not limited to the horror genre, it is a sizable chunk of the materials he covers in his quest to kill off as many of his brain cells as possible without the aid of drugs or alcohol. As such, he’s got you covered if your goal is to find some really bad horror films for your own Halloween do it yourself MST3K party with friends. 

“The plot is a mish-mash of stories that come together at the end with all the awkwardness of a couples’ dance on prom night regardless of the fact that your date is your bro in a dress because all the girls in class know better than to get within ten feet of you.” – On Standing Ovation 

Fail-Flix the website is your quickest easy access reference for bad films as well wry humor filled bits of bad movie dissection. The main page drops you right into a smorgasbord of bad movies lovingly reviewed by a man that may need professional help before the end of his reviewing career thanks to being exposed to the very same movies he’s reviewing. But if he is sacrificing his mental health here, it’s for a noble undertaking. He’s watching and reviewing films that not every mind can view and come away from unscathed. He’s risking sacrificing his own sanity to save others from a fate they might not be equipped to handle. In a way, he’s like the Trojan Extra Strength reviewer for bad movie fans.

However, if you’re here and reading this it’s a safe bet that you can handle the worst that any bad movies of the level reviewed at Fail-Flix have to offer. Anyhow…

The website is easy to navigate. The main page has entries for the most recent reviews. The top left of the screen offers up a convenient selection of categories to browse through. The reviews are separated into groups like Classic Fails, Cheesy Slasher Flix, Monster Fails, Grindhouse, Supernatural Silliness, and What the Hell? films. This makes it easy to peruse whatever subgenre of horror you want to focus on for a bad movie party. Or, you know, to just have a good laugh at the expense of a bunch of so bad they’re not quite good films.

The other way to get a lot of good suggestions for bad movie viewing is to have the Fail-Flix book, Bad Movie Beware!: Over 100 movies that no human being should watch. Ever. on your bookshelf and within easy reach at all times. 

“As if this wasn’t bad enough, I get kicked in the rocks by another bad sequel? I may be prejudging. I bet y’all are saying, “You haven’t even seen the third movie yet.” Well, I’ve seen Eat, Pray, Love. Wasn’t that enough punishment?”- On Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 

This rather hefty tome comes with a not so hefty price tag of $14.99 over on Amazon. Clocking in at around 340 pages, this hardback sized softcover is chock full of bad movie reviews selected from the website. It also has the weight required to use it as an object to repeatedly beat yourself in the forehead with in order to blunt the pain of watching any of the selections found in the book without the proper preparation and support systems in place. This may eventually be my usage of the book as multiple readings since snagging a copy at 2016’s ConCarolinas have piqued to dangerous levels my interest in suffering through The Gay Bedand Breakfast of Terror.

In book form the average review runs about three pages in length. Some are a page or so longer, some are page shorter, all are quick, enjoyable reads guaranteed to put more than a couple of grins on your face. It’s a book that bad movie lovers owe it to themselves to pick up and enjoy any time of the year, but especially this time of the year. 

“Okay, a combat sequence.  Let’s see if it’s better than the acting and dialogue. Nope. I’ve seen kids with sticks and garbage can lids do better choreography than this mess.  It literally looks like a self-defense class in an old-folks home full of retired cosplayers.  It’s bad when I can sit there and watch them break character to think about what the next move is.” - On Barbarian Queen 

Besides writing for Fail-Flix, Jason Gilbert is also an occasional fixture on the Central East Coast convention scene as a guest and panelist. If you’re at a convention he’s appearing at, check him out on his panels, swing by his table, say hi, and buy a copy of his book from him there if you haven’t snagged a copy already. 

Jerry Chandler is a serious horror geek with a lifelong love of trying to find books and movies that can scare the spit out of him. When not watching and reading horror, he can sometimes be found helping to make horror with his filmmaking family in NC. He loves Halloween slightly more than Christmas, and almost as much as Dragon Con. When not writing here, he can be found at his other homes on the web by looking at his own blog, his Twitter, and his Facebook.

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