The Adventures of Hercules (1985)

How do you follow up one bad movie? With another!

Welcome to this week’s new B-Movie Enema article. Last week, I took a look at Luigi Cozzi’s attempt to revive the classic sword and sandal movies starring the Greek demigod in Cannon Films’ Hercules. This week, we’re just going to go ahead and knock out the sequel, 1985’s The Adventures of Hercules. Now, I typically don’t do stuff like this where I just take two random weeks in the course of a month that has no theme and cover a duology, but, frankly, if I don’t do this right now, I never will.

These movies are dreadfully bad and boring, and I struggle to say they are so in a fun way.

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Hercules (1983)

Here’s the first of two more movies I’ve wanted to cover on B-Movie Enema for quite some time – 1983’s Hercules. This is Luigi Cozzi’s update of the 50s and 60s tradition of the Italian sword and sandal movies that ran from 1958 to 1965. You might think that, oh, there were only five or six or so Hercules movies released in that time frame. NO! there were a total of NINETEEN Italian Hercules films starring a handful of various American stars with bodybuilder Steve Reeves being among them.

Yeah, the Italians loved them some Hercules. It kind of makes sense. These movies were almost like comic book style movies. You have a beefy hero, scantily clad (and absolutely gorgeous) women, and high action and adventure. It basically offered something for everyone. They were badly dubbed when brought over here and they were kind of goofy. After all, a few of them would be lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Still, they were popular enough to continue to be made with multiple movies released each year.

Hercules, the movie character and Italian cinema was so well tied together, I’m honestly shocked that it took 18 years between the last of the Italian produced Hercules movies to this one released by… OH BOY… Yup, this is a Cannon Films flick.

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Alien from L.A. (1988)

From Bill Rebane last week to Albert Pyun this week.

Welcome to another B-Movie Enema article – the 328th if we’re counting, and… I do. This week, we’re going back to good ol’ Cannon Films to peel back some layers on a peculiar little sci-fi film from the late 80s – Alien from L.A. Now, why is it peculiar? Well, it’s because it doesn’t take itself very seriously. It’s almost a comedy in how our lead character, Wanda Saknussem (what kind of name is that?!?), acts with a nasally, dorky voice. But it’s played by the mega-hot Kathy Ireland, so isn’t that funny?!?

But, more to the point, it’s, yes, an ALIEN from Los Angeles that Ireland is playing, but not in the sense you’d think. No, she doesn’t go to outer space or accidentally stow away on a spaceship or anything like that. She actually gets into the center of the Earth and finds an underground civilization that isn’t too far off from what we have up here. It’s more like when you call someone who immigrates from another country an alien. So, yeah, it is a little different than we normally see, but it kind of makes it a much more interesting and subtle Cannon movie.

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The Mummy Lives (1993)

Welcome back to B-Movie Enema, you sexy bastards!

You know what else is sexy? Endless, timeless, and reincarnated love. Yeah, I’m getting mushy with you assholes this week. AND I’m doing it real aggressive like by calling you bastards and assholes. Don’t forget I also called you sexy, so… Don’t forget that.

ANYway… This week, we’ve got another Edgar Allen Poe adaptation. This was based on the 1845 satirical short story “Some Words with a Mummy”. Last month, I looked at Lucio Fulci’s take on The Black Cat. This month, I’m gonna look at a movie about a resurrected mummy – that stars, for some reason, Tony Curtis as an Egyptian fella. Eek?

With that said, this week, I’m looking at The Mummy Lives from 1993. This was directed by Gerry O’Hara. O’Hara was a second unit and assistant director for years and worked on some really big deal movies like Cleopatra and Tom Jones. Later, he was his own director, and did a movie called The Bitch starring Joan Collins and written by her sister Jackie Collins. I have no idea about what that movie’s all about the poster has Joan Collins in sexy lingerie and the title is THE BITCH. How can you top that?

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The Apple (1980)

There are movies that are bad. There are movies that are REALLY bad. Then there’s The Apple.

The Apple was Cannon Films co-owner Menahem Golan’s fever dream of a passion project. Right there, you see it? You see the three red flags of that statement? First, Cannon Films. They were the schlock studio of all schlock studios of the 80s. They cranked out movie after movie of fodder that I could cover on this site. In fact, I have! I could very easily load this blog of Cannon articles week after week after week. It is almost unfair to every other movie ever made.

Then you have Menahem Golan. Here’s a guy who is fairly fascinating. He’s not a bad idea guy. He knew how to sell his movies. He knew how to crank out that schlock onto cable, video stores, and movie theaters – all over the world. The problem was that he didn’t have very good, completely well-thought out ideas. He had almost no concept of nuance. Anyone outside the United States is either an enemy or a weak-willed wimp in the face of terrorism. Chuck Norris shows up and kills everything, but, because some of those people he killed were indeed bad guys, he is right. That’s the mindset of Menahem Golan.

Then, there’s the concept of a passion project.

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Savage Weekend (1980)

We have ourselves a treat for this week’s new B-Movie Enema. Savage Weekend is NOT a well liked movie. In fact, David Paulsen’s made-in-1976, sent-to-Cannes-in-1978, released-by-Cannon-in-1980 exploitation horror is so disliked, I think it would be a good idea to see what some of the reviews have been.

First up is TV Guide: “A truly reprehensible exploitation film… Ultra-low budget and shot on grainy color stock, the film is borderline pornography, and the gore effects are extremely gruesome.” I’m not sure what the problem is here, TV Guide. Borderline pornography, gruesome gore effects? Sounds pretty good to me.

Next is Ed Blank from The Pittsburgh Press: “Incoherent and inept.” Eek. What else you have, Mr. Blank? “Sexist in nature featuring female characters who serve no other purpose other than to appear in various stages of undress and back up against walls and trees so they can be slain or tied up.” Again, what’s the issue here? Hmmm… Let’s try one more.

From Joe Baltake of the Philadelphia Daily News: “[Nicky, the gay character] is the foulest movie character of recent memory, enough to set gay rights activism back several decades… It’s still not clear to me whether Paulsen wanted to make a soft-core porno film, a horror movie, or a combination of both. It’s not clear because he’s failed at all three.”

Okay, that last one was pretty funny.

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New Year’s Evil (1980)

Cannon Films…  You son of a bitch!

It’s been a bit, Cannon.   How have you been, you ol’ salty dog?  Way back at the start of February, we went on a Hospital Massacre together.  I thought I said something wrong to not see you for a while, but here you are to help me wrap up the year.  You’d have almost thought that last week’s Christmas Evil would have been one of yours, but you have a much, much worse mov… er evil – New Year’s Evil!

Oh man…  For about 3 years, I’ve wanted to talk about New Year’s Evil.  It’s actually a movie I enjoy watching at the end of the year.  Is it because it’s good?  Nah.  It’s because it’s actually really dumb and kind of pointless.  But it’s a good mindless numbness I need as Christmas is over and the new year approaches. Continue reading “New Year’s Evil (1980)”

X-Ray (aka Hospital Massacre, 1982)

You know what I haven’t had in a while?  The sudden urge to kill myself out of utter desperation.

Er…  I mean a Cannon Films movie.  I…  Um.  That’s what’s I meant.  Uh…  Anyway, one thing that you can definitely say about the Cannon gurus Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus is that they sure think they know what people want.  In the example of X-Ray (aka Hospital Massacre), they assumed we all wanted a slasher film in a hospital with a hot babe.

Their assumptions were right, but we also kind of want some sort of story that makes sense.  Is that here in this movie?  No?  Yes?  Not really? Continue reading “X-Ray (aka Hospital Massacre, 1982)”