Oscar season is heating up which means there are several great titles being released in theaters and over-streaming right now. However, we’re going to say ‘no thanks’ to all that and instead focus on the rotting celluloid waste stinking up the Tubi channel. Only available with 80-second commercial blocks every 20 minutes, of course! Relax, some of these movies can be a blast with the right group of people. With the wrong group of people, they might cost you your family or at least your in-law’s respect.
Now, these movies are all bad so I'm not going to bother using my regular letter grade ranking system. Instead, I'm going to rate these based on entertainment value.
5 out of 5 = Entertaining from start to finish, the perfect shitty movie
4 out of 5 = Mostly entertaining from start to finish.
3 out of 5 = Has its moments but definitely not great.
2 out of 5 = The boring outweighs the fun.
1 out of 5 = Borderline unwatchable, maybe one or two big laughs surrounded by an ocean of misery.
NOPE out of 5 = Unwatchable, really rare rating.
Let’s get started…
Deadly Cheer Mom (2022)
Untruthful Cheer Daughter or Deep Fake: Cheer Edition might have been more accurate titles for this seeing as though this really isn’t about a “Deadly Cheer Mom” but more about some white girl cheer captain who gets a lot of shit because her mom (Mena Suvari) is the coach. Whenever the cheer daughter gets a promotion on the cheer squad, everyone suspects nepotism. She’s actually really boring and nice but people are haters, so a DEEP FAKE video of her drinking tequila and saying terrible things about her teammates emerges and all her friends turn on her. She almost gets expelled, her mom almost gets fired and the mean cheer mom, who is not yet confirmed as a “deadly” cheer mom, celebrates because she hates the coach mom and her daughter because she wants to coach the team. Anyway, there’s a silver lining to all of this because, as the cheerleader’s dumb friend points out, “There’s no such thing as bad press, you got 300,000 new Twitter followers!” What are these kids doing on Twitter?? That’s the REAL mystery of the movie!
What ensues is a terribly written, cringe-y Lifetime Original Movie knock-off about a stupid mother/daughter combo being taken down by Deep Fakes. There are enough big laughs and WTF moments to justify watching, but given the ridiculousness of the title, I was expecting a lot more. It’s ultimately pretty forgettable but not a bad time killer.
Entertainment Rating: 3 out of 5
Death Spa (1989)
A far less fun version of Killer Workout, I’m told, Death Spa is a movie from 1989 that doesn’t look a day over 1983. This is pure, unadulterated 80s fetish porn from the pink/purple neon color scheme, excessive aerobic dancing, its dumb two-word title, and the one-dimensional, often stereotypical characters. The story is simple – there have been a few incredibly theatrical “accidental” deaths at this gym/health spa, so two detectives – a fat guy who can’t stop eating and a woman of color – arrive to suss out the creep. The deaths seem to be happening because this prehistoric SMART system they run the whole gym on, has gone rogue. BUT WHY? Is it because one of the characters is secretly using the technology to get rid of their enemies, or is it because one character’s dead ex-wife, who is a ghost now, is super angry the alive husband is having sex with people? I’d encourage you to tune in and find out but Death Spa just isn’t worth your time. There are probably five good laughs in the whole thing but it’s slow and often a pretty straightforward movie about exercising. Also, two of the main guy characters look EXACTLY alike. Note to casting director – don’t confuse your audience by casting almost twins!
Entertainment Rating: 2 out of 5
Head of the Family (1996)
Wow, Full Moon Entertainment has fully delivered with this gleefully insane and completely self-aware hunk of vomit salad. Full Moon Entertainment is a low-budget horror production company best known for the 14 Puppet Master movies as well as The Gingerdead Man, Evil Bong, and Demonic Toys franchises. They also purchase the streaming rights to a lot of softcore pornos with the actual sex scenes cut out. If you ever want to see a 54-minute boob-less version of High Noon on Makeout Planet, I suggest subscribing to their streaming service.
Anyway, knowing what type of production company Full Moon was, I had very limited expectations about Head of the Family, but I have to say I was blown the fuck away. Yes, it’s technically a bad movie, a very, very bad and stupid movie. However, it knows exactly what it is and exactly what its audiences want out of a movie like this – something outrageous, funny and short.
Head of the Family is about a weird family of quadruplets – one is super strong, one has really good hearing, the sole female is good at having sex (ughhh) and the leader is just a giant head/brain in a wheelchair, who controls the other three. Like a hive mind, I guess. Anyway, they live in a one-horse town where a horny diner owner is trying to blackmail them into killing his girlfriend’s crazy biker husband. Will the diner owner be able to control this deranged family of killers or is this dumb ass in over his head? This is an aggresively stupid movie but I kind of loved it.
Entertainment Rating: 4 out of 5
Ice Cream Man (1995)
A relentlessly entertaining, bizarre, and funny low-budget 90s horror film made by retired pornographers. Ice Cream Man stars Ron Howard‘s more talented brother, Clint Howard, who you’ve definitely seen as a bit part actor in a few of Ron‘s films (Apollo 13, Parenthood, Backdraft, Frost/Nixon) along with two Adam Sandler movies (Little Nicky, The Waterboy), two Mike Myers movies (Austin Powers, The Cat in the Hat), a Rob Zombie movie (3 From Hell), as well as 200 or so other movies. He’s a wonderful actor with great comedic timing but is usually typecast due to his non-traditional physical appearance. In Ice Cream Man, he plays a weird serial killer dude with a gravely voice who likes to put dead bodies in his ice cream. The insanity doesn’t stop there as Ice Cream Man acts as a rolodex of batshit side characters including Olivia Hussey as a retired nurse suffering from dementia, David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) as a horny married dad, Jan Michael Vincent as a cop who randomly opens fire on hospital patients, a fat kid named Tuna who is so obviously played by a skinny kid in a low-rent, wadded-up-pieces-of-clothing fat suit, a small child named Small Paul who was sick as a younger boy, and my favorite character, the older twenty-something brother of the main kid who aspires to be a cop and is a character straight out of We Own This City, basically a #pizzagate dude.
At just 84 minutes, it’s a short ass movie but feels longer. This isn’t to see Ice Cream Man drags, I was hanging on the edge of my seat in either “WTF is going on?!” or hysterical laughter the whole time. It just means it has like no clear narrative structure, the movie seems to build up to something, resolve it and introduce a new problem like four times. It’s perhaps not quite at the level of toilet horror classics like Chopping Mall or Sleepaway Camp, but it’s really fucking close. Maybe my favorite movie discovery of the entire year!
Entertainment Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Sand (2015)
This was almost impossible to watch. At 84 minutes, it feels like a goddamn eternity because it’s abundantly clear that the filmmakers had no idea what they were doing. It’s one thing to make a bad, incompotent movie but when you make one that so lazy and uninspired that you can barely have a good time making fun of it, that’s just sick. The filmmakers are sick for wasting my time, and they’re also assholes. This has to be the most egregiously lazy set-ups ever – a wild graduation party on the beach turns deadly the next day when a creature hatches from an egg and attacks people underneath the sand. Basically the movie is a giant game of “the floor is hot lava” and when the teens step on the sand they get stuck and their organs get sucked out of them. We barely see any of this as the killer is this invisible force hiding beneath the sand. Anyway, the acting is abysmal in this, like depressingly bad. The characters are one-note and mean-spirited. Even beyond that, the writing is uncomfortably mean-spirited in places. The best performance comes from Jamie Kennedy, and you have no idea how much it hurt me to write that sentence. He has a glorified cameo role as a dumb beach cop who encounters the teens and then gets eaten by the sand. Out of the entire movie there is only one laugh-out loud entertaining scene. One of the teens is randomly this 35-year-old fat dude stuck in a trash can and when he witnesses the sand eating a seagull he screams “Holy shit! It ate that fuckin’ bird! It’s eatin’ that fuckin’ bird!” Wow. It’s hilarious and I wish I could find a clip of it. Instead, here’s a clip of that character getting eaten at the end. If I could turn back time, I’d not watch this and get my almost 90 minutes back. The only reason I pressed play was because I thought the description said it was about an “alt-right graduation party” but it was actually about an “all night graduation party”. Whoops.
Entertainment Rating: 1 out of 5
ACTUAL REAL MOVIES STREAMING AND IN THEATERS:
Barbarian (B+) – In Theaters
Pearl (B+) – In Theaters
House of Darkness (C-) – In Theaters & $6.99 rental on Amazon
Top Gun: Maverick (B+) – In Theaters & $19.99 rental on Amazon
Everything Everywhere All At Once (A-) – $4.99 rental on Amazon
Moonfall (A+/F/Whatever) – HBOMax
Elvis (B) – HBOMax
Last Night in Soho (B-) – HBOMax
Old (C-) – HBOMax
Dune (B+) – HBOMax
Malignant (A+/F/Whatever) – HBOMax
Belfast (C) – HBOMax
Shiva Baby (A-) –HBOMax
The Card Counter (B) – HBOMax
Drive My Car (A) – HBOMax
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (B) – HBOMax
F9 (C) – HBOMax
Freaky (B-) – HBOMax
The French Dispatch (C+) – HBOMax
Nobody (B-) – HBOMax
Halloween Kills (C-) – HBOMax
Judas and the Black Messiah (B+) – HBOMax
The Many Saints of Newark (C+) – HBOMax
Nightmare Alley (D+) – HBOMax
MORE HORROR SHIT
The Puppet Master Franchise
- Part 1: The Early Years (#1-#5)
- Part 2: The Shitty Years (#6-#9) – Coming Soon
- Part 3: The Nazi Years (#10-#14) – Coming Soon