Tag Archives: Bristol Bad Film Club

StarCrash screening: “I only have logic and emotion circuits. No room for craziness.”

For our final screening of 2013, we pulled out all the stops with a fantastic venue in the heart of Bristol, a knowledgeable and witty guest speaker and a film that features chauvinistic robots, The Hoff in a laser beam-firing monster mask and some of the best/worst dialogue this side of the Haunted Stars. 

Starcrash screening

Since discovering that Bristol Planetarium had the facilities to host a screening (not to mention weddings should you be interested), Tim and I have been racking our brains for the perfect film to show there. Something space-related obviously, but something that would entertain the 100 or so people that we could accommodate.

Proteus? Too rubbish. Inseminoid? Too disturbing. The Pink Chiquitas? Too much Frank Stallone.

And then it hit us. StarCrash.

Zarthan

“I’m the bad guy!”

With its perfect blend of on-the-nose dialogue, rubbish FX, a mixture of over-the-top (take a bow, Joe Spinell) and underplayed (Christopher Plummer) acting and the slowest walking ever seen on screen, it was perfect – and the city of Bristol seemed to agree.

Tickets sold out in 8 days due to the unprecedented demand and people were pleading with us to do two showings. Unfortunately, we opted to just do the one, but after the wonderful service we received from Sarah Gwynne and the staff of At-Bristol, we can guarantee that we’ll be back in the future.

The night itself was a roaring success. Dr. Mark Bould opened the proceedings with some wonderful insight into Italian sci-fi cinema and the production of StarCrash. He also managed to expertly deal with some heckling from an unexpected source – a very enthusiastic 7 year old, whose recall of cinematic trivia made Tim and I doubt our own extensive knowledge.

The film itself hit all the right spots. Whether it was the awkwardly long tracking shots of the poorly made models, Joe Spinell strutting around the sets shouting “Kill! KILL! KILL!!” or the bizarre sidekicks that were Elle and Akton, there was something that simultaneously produced laughter and disbelief for everyone.

If you missed our screening last night, for your pleasure below is one of the great, no – the GREATEST, scene from StarCrash. Enjoy, and we hope to see you in 2014 for Miami Connection.

Tim also promises not to cough all the way through the next screening. His recent bout with man flu unfortunately left him unable to thank you all for coming, but he will return! Just like Elle…

“It’s so nice to be turned on again…”

“Gentlemen, it’s time to spread the word. And the word is… ‘bad movies’.”

As well as using social media to spread the word of our screenings, we’ve also been reaching out to and receiving a wave of good will from some of Bristol’s biggest magazines, websites and radio stations.

Bristol Magazine headline

When we first started the Bristol Bad Film Club, our first problem was – how do we let people know that we even exist? In this day and age, the answer is generally social media, so our first step was setting up a Facebook and Twitter account.

This was all well and good, but we soon realised that we wanted to let people that might not be online know about who we are and what we were attempting to do. As one of us is an online editor, we wrote a series of press releases which we then sent out to the likes of the Bristol Post, Guide 2 Bristol and Bristol 24/7. Anything to get a couple of column inches or a passing mention.

The response we got was beyond anything we ever hoped for.

The Bristol Post put us on the cover on their weekend magazine and both Guide 2 Bristol and Bristol 24/7 ran articles on us. All of them were instrumental in building buzz for our first screening.

Now, ahead of our fourth (Starcrash), we’ve even been getting requests for interviews.

This month, co-founder Tim was featured in the ‘Bristol Lives’ section of Clifton Life Magazine, while the both of us were interviewed for Bristol’s biggest monthly magazine – Bristol Magazine (see below for both interviews).

We’ve also been invited numerous times on to BBC Radio Bristol to plug our shows and are very grateful to Laura Rawlings, Phil Hammond and Martin Evans for having us on.

Local movie podcast The Bioscopist has even had us on twice! Clearly we have the perfect faces for radio…

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