Tag Archives: Bristol Bad Film Club

A look back at Troll 2 and Best Worst Movie

Back at the end of August, with one sell out screening under our belt, and a fast-selling-out second screening imminent, we put our minds to Hallowe’en, and what horrifically bad horror films could be shown.

Troll 2 leapt out as the obvious choice, (and because EVERYBODY had asked us to screen it) but we wanted to do something special. Discovering the child star of Troll 2 had made a documentary about the film (Best Worst Movie) and that successful double bills had been held of them both at venues around the world, we decided to gamble a little on whether a double bill would go down well with the bad film fans of Bristol.

It was a gamble that paid off. With an outside venue that held around 80 we were set for a fine Sunday evening of excruciating entertainment: 90 minutes of inexplicably deluded cinema followed by 90 minutes of endearingly frank, warm-humoured cinema. It was going to be great.

And then a few days before the screening, the news broke that the “worst storm of the last two decades” was going to hit. That night. Perfect. Would this decimate our audience? Would it keep people away? We were, after all, “outside” (albeit covered and heated).

In short, no. The bad-film-loving good people of Bristol braved what turned out to be just “a lot of rain” to enjoy the evening’s entertainment. And oh my goooooood, what entertainment. Troll 2 is deliriously bad, making little sense, with ‘actors’ who seem like they have never read anything before ever. Best Worst Movie reveals the troubled production and self-deluded director, whose insane decisions are the reason for most of the film’s awfulness.

Our next screening, Starcrash, amazingly (and unfortunately for those who weren’t quick enough) sold out within eight days. But for the disappointed ones who didn’t manage to get a ticket, rest assured: our future venues are getting bigger. So, get your friends to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and bring them along to a future screening. As ever, our first post-Starcrash screening will be announced on the night of that screening, so keep an eye on our site and social media on the 21st for the lowdown on the next screening to avoid disappointment. Because, believe me, our next screening is going to be AWFUL. And by awful I mean AMAZING.

SOLD OUT: STARCRASH (1979) – 21st November 2013: The Planetarium, At-Bristol

It’s an Italian-produced Star Wars rip-off starring David Hasselhoff! Why have you not already bought your tickets?!

Everyone has heard of the spaghetti Western, but in the wake of Star Wars there were numerous European-produced ‘spaghetti space operas’… and this is one of the most infamous! STARCRASH! Continue reading SOLD OUT: STARCRASH (1979) – 21st November 2013: The Planetarium, At-Bristol

Bristol Bad Film Club’s Troll 2/Best Worst Movie Poster! Oh My Goooooooood!

To promote our Troll 2/Best Worst Movie double bill screening, the wonderful Tiffany Farrant has once again cooked up an amazing poster.

Screen 3. 27 October, 2013, The Lansdown
Screen 3. 27 October, 2013, The Lansdown

Look out for our flyers and posters around Bristol, or come to our screening on the 27th October and pick one up there. Remember, it’s at The Lansdown in Clifton!

 

 

The ever growing cult and popularity of Troll 2

From the moment we started the Bristol Bad Film Club, we have been besieged with people going “Oh, you’ve got to show Troll 2“, but how did this film that famously scored 00% on Rotten Tomatoes become such a cult phenomena? 

trolls

The story of Troll 2 has become legend to its legions of fans. In 1989, a bunch of first time actors were hired to make a film written and directed by a man who spoke no English. No one knew what they were doing and it shows.

“I was just having fun. I just thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll be in a movie for the experience of it. I probably will never get another experience like this again,'” says George Hardy, who is now a dentist in Alabama and who starts as Michael in the film. “We were just trying to make a good movie.”

They failed spectacularly.

Not only does the film have nothing to do with 1986’s Troll (the ‘2’ was added to cynically cash in on its success), but there’s not a single troll in the movie. Instead, it’s about a little boy, Joshua Waits, who is terrorised by vegetarian goblins who want to turn his family into plants and eat them.

“I thought that I was going to be a movie star. I thought that this was the next Gremlins or the next Labyrinth,” said Michael Paul Stephenson, who played Joshua Waits. “We put the VHS in and we all sat around the TV, and seven seconds in, my dad’s jaw dropped and he said, ‘Oh, Michael, this is a terrible movie.'”

troll2-21

However two decades later, the fact that it is SO bad has made it a fan favourite with people putting on special screenings all around the world to sold-out audiences.

“The biggest reason Troll 2 has become this phenomenon is that it’s sincere. It’s a sincere failure that haunts us,” Stephenson said. “With Troll 2, we thought we were making a great horror film, and that’s what causes people to smile and to laugh.”

Stephenson wanted to find out what happened to the people behind Troll 2 so he made a documentary, Best Worst Movie about the movie’s renaissance.

Unlike Troll 2 though, Best Worst Movie has received critical acclaim and turned George Hardy into a kind of cult celebrity.

It’s got such a following that word is that Troll 2: Part 2 is in development, giving the actors another chance at becoming a household names.

To get tickets to Bristol Bad Film Club’s double bill screening of Troll 2 and Best Worst Movie, click here.

Samurai Cop screening. “I want bigger.”

Last night at The Island – the old police station in Broadmead – over 100 bad film fans sat down next to the jail cells to enjoy our sophomore screening: SAMURAI COP.

Made in 1989 by Amir Shervan, Samurai Cop is a film that just keeps on giving. And for the vast majority of the audience (me included), this was a gift that was being unwrapped in all its awful, aweful glory for the very first time. And OH MY GOD it was glorious. The remastered version has just been released by Epoch Cinema, and I can’t recommend picking up a copy enough.

Welcoming the audience – an audience that was nearly double that of the Club’s first screening in August, of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space – was oddly less nerve-wracking than the first time. Funny how that works out.  At that first screening we raised over £200 for Awamu, and that is thanks to the paying audience who came to enjoy the awfulness.

David Fells, founder and director of the Whiteladies Picture House Campaign talked about the project’s fundraising efforts, and the progress being made. Proceeds from this screening are going directly to the group. (We’ll let you know how much was raised from this screening once we’ve crunched the numbers.)

Timon introduced the film itself – of the two of us, he had seen it, loved it, and was insistent this be an early screener. Now I see why… He teased out details to look out for in the film itself – wigs falling off, black underwear, uncomfortably long love scenes – so that we could better enjoy the masterpiece to follow…

It’s a pure joy to be part of over 100 people laughing along to a truly terrible film. It’s a great thing to know there are fans out there wanting more of the same. Next month is a Hallowe’en special. And it’s going to be very special indeed…

See you at the next one.
-Tim

SOLD OUT: SAMURAI COP (1989) – 18th September 2013: The Island (The Old Police Station), Broadmead

Imagine a low-budget version of Lethal Weapon where Mel Gibson spends most of his time being racist to the Japanese, attempts to sleep with anything that moves and walks around in his pants a lot. That’s Samurai Cop, but it really is so much more than that…

Described as “both the best and the worst action film ever”, Samurai Cop is an unintentionally hilarious action film that sees San Diego cop Joe ‘Samurai’ Marshall dispatched to stop the drug-trafficking Yakuza cartel – The Katana Gang. Continue reading SOLD OUT: SAMURAI COP (1989) – 18th September 2013: The Island (The Old Police Station), Broadmead

Bristol Bad Film Club takes over Movie Talk on 8th September #MTOS

On 8th September, Bristol Bad Film Club will be taking over #MTOS and turning the conversation to cinema’s worst.

Every Sunday at 8pm on Twitter, a series of 10 questions (one every ten minutes) is asked around a particular theme, with the hashtag #mtos.

Started by @MovieTOS, it has grown to be hosted by different people each week, with a wealth of topics covered. It’s a bit of fun on a Sunday evening.

Just start each tweet on the topic with the answer number, and finish it off with the #mtos hashtag, so your tweets look thus:

A3. My amazing thoughts on this film. #mtos

Anyone can join in – just follow @MovieTOS, or search the #mtos hashtag.

On Sunday 8 September from 8pm, Bristol Bad Film Club will be hosting the questions, all around – unsurprisingly – bad films. Of course, we’re not talking bad films like Transformers 3 or Taken 2, but the ones of the ‘so bad, they’re good’ variety.

Follow us @TheOtherBBFC (or click the Twitter follow button on the left) for the questions appearing on the night. To have a think in advance, please take a look at the questions below.

The questions

Q1. What makes a bad film so enjoyable? #mtos

Q2. What do you think of the recent trend of ‘intentionally bad’ films, like Sharknado? #mtos

Q3. What is the best giant animal monster seen on the big screen? #mtos

Q4. Who is the best DTV star of their generation? #mtos

Q5. What’s your favourite piece of dire-logue ever? #mtos

Q6. What are the worst special effects you have ever seen? #mtos

Q7. Sci-fi bad film or action bad film. Which is the most entertaining and why? #mtos

Q8. Which decade is the best for producing bad films, and why? #mtos

Q9. How do people making bad films not realise they’re bad films? #mtos

Q10. If you could see any bad film on a big screen, what would it be? #mtos

Bristol Bad Film Club holds screenings of these films at venues around Bristol. Our first screening, a sell-out, was of Edward D. Wood Jr’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Our second screening is of the 1980s bizarre classic SAMURAI COP. If you’re local, why not come along and join the mayhem on Wednesday 18 September, at 8pm, at The Island (The Old Police Station) in Broadmead, Bristol.

Tickets are available here.

Samurai Cop and the films of Amir Shervan

September’s screening from the Bristol Bad Film Club will be 80s action classic Samurai Cop – but who made this film and what other wonders did he give the world?

Samurai Cop

All around the world, there are film fans and historians that are delving through archives trying to find lost footage of Kubrick’s assorted masterpieces and other beloved movies. However, in a far corner of the internet, there is an equally passionate group who are trying to find the lost films of Amir Shervan – the Iranian director of two of cinema’s best trash action masterpieces – Samurai Cop and Hollywood Cop.

Firstly, who is Amir Shervan? Well, a quick look at IMDB and Wikipedia will glean little information, but he was born Amir Hosein Ghaffar in Tehran, Iran on 24 May 1929, before he moved to California in the 1940s to study theatre. He returned to Iran to start his career as a film-maker, but after the 1979 Iranian Revolution all movies were subject to review by the Iranian government and many of them banned due to their content. For anyone who has seen Shervan’s work, you can imagine his were heavily “purified” or altered to suit the growing anti-western and pro-Islamic sentiment.

Unsurprisingly, Shervan upped sticks and moved to the US to begin his film-making career abroad. According to assorted fan sites, Shervan liked to use improvisational acting and dialog  – mainly as English wasn’t his first language and this was the Iranian style. His fellow crew members and actors were often as equally educated in the ways of film-making, and thus Shervan made films of a much lower standard than most US audiences were used to. However to Iranian audiences, they would have been top-notch.

As his films contained a large amount of accidental humor and bloopers, due to the cultural differences, he soon became a cult-classic b-movie director in the US, thought ironically he is still regarded as one of Iran’s most polished filmmakers of the 1970s. Apples and oranges, I guess.

He died on 1 Nov, 2006 at the age of 76, however his films live on.

As well as Samurai Cop, which you can book tickets for here, Shervan’s CV contains some truly wonderful titles that if you have the means, you must check out.

Hollywood Cop (1987) is the most famous and sees a mullet-wearing dectective attempt to save a kidnapped child. So far, so average, but look at the trailer!

Shervan’s other films are desperately sought by film fans Killing American Style (1990) (starring Jim Brown and Samurai Cop veteran Robert Z’Dar) and Young Rebels (1992) (starring Robert Z’Dar (again)). Little is known about them as they appear never to have been released on VHS or DVD, but the posters alone put them on our ‘must find and watch’ list.

Rumours are that Cinema Epoch are planning special edition releases! Here’s hoping that’s true.

For all news relating to Amir Shervan films, check out Facebook.com/AmirShervan

“Visits? That would indicate visitors…”

Last night, at The Lansdown in Clifton, The Bristol Bad Film Club held its first ever screening – and by all accounts, it was a complete success!

Ed Wood’s anti-classic Plan 9 From Outer Space, often called the worst film ever made, was received incredibly well, selling out four days before the screening. There were even people turning up at the door hoping for last minute seats.

For a first screening of a never-before-tried venture, in the middle of the quietest month of the year, it was humbling to have such an incredible response.

We mentioned some names at the screening, but wanted to make a more public note of appreciation and thanks to several people without whom the evening could not have been possible.

Kerry Bradshaw of The Magic Lantern Film Club and James Ewen of CineMe, who provided some invaluable advice in the early stages of planning the BBFC.

Elliot Jay Stocks, who designed our fantastic logo, proudly emblazoned on our T-shirts last night.

Tiff Farrant, who designed our immense flyers and posters which you may have seen around the city. The number one in the top right corner is indicative of things to come…

The staff at The Lansdown, for making us feel so welcome.

And of course Dr Mark Bould, a lecturer in film at the University of the West of England, who was our guest for the evening, and gave an insightful and enlightening talk before the film. Enhancing the viewing with tidbits about the film, we are indebted to Mark for taking time out to talk about this film – on his birthday no less! –  and for doing a Q&A afterwards.

It turned the evening from a simple film screening into a fuller, more satisfying, evening.

And finally, to the audience who came – you really made our night.

You showed us that Bristol has a thirst for bad films and by coming you supported Awamu, the charity for the evening, to whom all profits from the screening will be going.

Watch this space for details of our next screening, coming very, very soon. We have exciting things on the horizon, and we hope you can all join us.