“Don’t give me any of that intelligent life crap – find me something I can blow up!”
Considering that this was directed by John Carpenter (The Fog, The Thing) and co-written and starring Dan O’Kannon (who wrote the script for Alien), this is a bit of a surprise. Four mismatched astronauts are floating many light-years from Earth, mostly idling around the ship, getting increasingly irritated by one another and occasionally nuking unstable planets. Unfortunately, current DVD production is pretty poor; the sound and picture quality hasn’t been cleaned up at all, so it may be worth waiting for this to be done.
- The cheapest alien you ever saw; it’s a beach ball. It’s just a beach ball with a bit of paint on it.
- A man trapped in an active lift-shaft. Not only is there nobody using the lift as everyone’s accounted for but this lift shaft has no doors in it.
- An atomic bomb undergoing an existential crisis.
2. Plan 9 from Outer Space
“Future events such as these will affect you in the future.”
Plan 9 from Outer Space comes top of a number of polls of the worst films ever made, but undeservedly so. Having gained its title because the Baptist sponsors considered “Grave-robbers from Outer Space” a little problematic (the entire cast and crew had to be baptised in order to gain funding), Plan 9 is a plan whereby the aliens, frustrated by their failure to get the Earth’s attention, decide to start resurrecting the dead - come on, their logic is undeniable. Director Edward D. Wood Jnr (subject of Tim Burton’s bio-pic Ed Wood) was doing a bit of resurrecting himself, mixing random silent footage of the great but by then deceased Bela Lugosi with footage of his, somewhat taller, chiropractor with a cape held over his face.
- A graveyard with extremely wobbling gravestones.
- Iconic flying saucers over the Hollywood hills.
- A peace-loving alien with far superior intelligence throwing a tantrum.
1. Tongan Ninja
“That fish looks just like the one that ate my father.”
I am on a personal mission to make this New Zealand based Martial Arts spoof a cult classic. I honestly can’t remember having laughed so constantly throughout any film, although I expect some of you may sit through it straight-faced. Tongan Ninja is sent from his home on some South Pacific island to New Zealand in order to protect Uncle Lee’s restaurant from being shut down by the So-Called Syndicate. A number of assassins are sent to prevent him including the appropriately named Knife Boy, Gun Man and finally his boyhood enemy, Action Fighter.
- Some of the worst CGI effects ever put on general release.
- Parodies of Crouching Tiger, the Matrix and every Jackie Chan film ever made.
- The climatic fight on The Patio of Death – an impressive open-air temple-like structure with writing carved into the stone, something like In memory of those who gave their lives, 1940-45