Monday, 18 April 2016

Top 20 Bad Movie Beatdown Episodes

Back when I had a more vocal presence in the online chats amongst LordKaT’s community, as well as when I was making reviews on YouTube, one comparison would keep cropping up. Okay, two comparisons given how I borrowed a fair bit from a critic that we will eventually get to later on in the month. But whenever someone would hear my inexplicably British sounding accent (or American sounding, depending on which way the wind is blowing on a given day), I would repeatedly get reminded that, yes, I sound an awful lot like Film Brain. This is one of those occasions where my connection with a critic is a lot more personal than I would have ever expected, and while he is a critic who I do tend to disagree with the most, that isn’t quite enough to make me discount the videos of his that work. As such, I present to you the 20 best episodes of Bad Movie Beatdown.

#20: Bear

A slasher film involving a bear; yes, this exists and it has some of the worst hidden poor production values of any film I’ve yet seen. FB’s quick eye pretty much points out every production mishap on screen and, when we get to the revelation that the plot is indeed just as stupid as it sounds, FB’s look of utter defeat is pretty damn funny.

#19: Live Wire

There’s something in the water that turns people into sub-Cronenberg humanoid explosions. Add to this Pierce Brosnan failing hilariously at an American accent and you have a good foundation for FB to go all riff crazy on this little-seen dose of camp.

#18: Epic Movie

My first review was on the Seltzerberg monstrosity Disaster Movie and I freely admit that I didn’t go about looking at the film’s painfully obvious problems. I specify this because FB actually does have the right approach in looking at this film: Looking at the jokes made in context and highlighting just how much Seltzerberg had absolutely zero focus when it came to what got made fun of. Have to admit, I think I ended up drawing serious inspiration from this review when I wound up revisiting those cinematic idiots in my review of Superfast! (And Superfurious)

#17: Fat Slags

A film so bad that it brought serious concern about the state of the British film industry when it was released. Between the film’s own complete idiocy and Film Brain reaching the point of insanity as a result, you definitely buy into how much damage this one film ended up causing.

#16: The Haunted Mansion

A team-up between Film Brain and reviewer/filmmaker Braeden Orr that not only highlights how much I seriously wish that I checked out Review Impossible back when it was available (thanks again, Blip!), but also how good their chemistry is together. Braeden’s more simmering anger works well against FB’s crackly British monotone.

#15: Good Luck Chuck

A horrendously sexist piece of garbage, it’s honestly kind of cathartic seeing Film Brain tear the film several new holes. Probably has something to do with the fact that, unlike the majority of the films on this list, I actually sat through this one in full at one point. Yeah, after that horrifying experience, seeing someone else share their contempt for this shit is very comforting.

#14: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Given how often Oancitizen gets brought in to play the overly intellectual critic, it’s nice seeing a change of pace with this review where both the film and Film Brain bring out the fanboy side of him. While I do like Kyle’s more analytical work on his own show, seeing him tap into that feeling of fan betrayal thanks to this hackery of an adaptation of a beloved comic book series is very satisfying.

#13: Awake

This is an incredibly goofy medical thriller that, thanks to the casting of bad movie veterans Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba, I’m fairly certain most people haven’t seen. And yet, with how much Film Brain highlights in terms of the just plain weird moments in this film, up to and including the intended entrance for Christopher McDonald’s character, a moment so silly that neither Film Brain nor anyone else who has seen it can comprehend how this isn’t a comedy.

#12: The Cavern

Film Brain called this one of the worst films he’s ever seen and… dear God, if it wasn’t for his jokes being laid over it, this would literally be unwatchable thanks to its hideously misguided lighting and camera choices. It’s probably the biggest showcase of actual seething hate we’ve so far gotten out of Film Brain, as his utter disgust at the ending shines through brighter than the head lamps of the characters in the film.

#11: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

This uncharacteristically graphic entry to the already muddled annals of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre series makes for perfect material for both the tradition film fan that is Film Brain and the more outlandish but no less snarky Welshy. They’d end up reuniting to take down Texas Chainsaw 3D, at a point after Welshy had apparently retired from reviewing, but this review is just stronger in how Welshy almost plays mentor to Film Brain’s understanding of the film.

#10: 10,000 B.C.

This is just a fun bit of fact-checking on Film Brain’s part, putting Roland Emmerich’s almost legendary ignorance of actual history to task and highlighting how the anachronisms on display almost reach an artistically bad plateau in how nonsensical they are. Given how this is a lesser-discussed addition to Emmerich’s already ripe for mockery filmography, it’s nice seeing this get the same incisive treatment that most people reserve for The Day After Tomorrow or Independence Day.

#9: The Happening

You know you’ve accomplished something incredible when you’re a filmmaker who is already known for making some of the most obviously bad films in recent memory, and yet this is easily the worst in that regard. It may be an exceptionally easy target, but that doesn’t mean that Film Brain slouches when it comes to putting this film’s mesmerizingly awful acting, writing and direction.

Given Film Brain’s kind of weird approach to what is considered part of the Bad Movie Beatdown series, this video technically falls into that listing. As such, I’m justifying including it on this list. Nash of Radio Dead Air fame’s reactions are always good in just how well he is able to articulate inarticulate guttural yells, and Film Brain works as a good mediator for the almost cutely misguided attempts of trying to create a shared comic book movie universe. Actually, come to think of it, Film Brain works really well as a multiplying factor for a lot of the crossover reviews he’s done.

#7: The Condemned

While the matters he addresses are along similar lines to his previous review of Gamer with Gerard Butler, his barbs feel a lot more focused in pointing out how hypocritical the film itself is acting about its own subject matter, not to mention intentionally trying to demoralize its own audience. It’s also seeing someone else bring up how Stone Cold Steve Austin, despite the rest of the film around him, has some pretty cool moments in this thing.

#6: Reckoning Day

It’s always a troubling prospect when an up-and-coming filmmaker decides to release one of his student films for profit, and even though other reviewers would look at similar releases that may or may not be entirely ethical to look at (looking at you, Oancitizen’s review of What Is It?), this is probably one of the more justified looks. Between the serious editing quirks and how badly the film tries to cover up its own budget issues, Film Brain has a lot of fun playing up how desensitizing a lot of the more graphic action scenes are in this film.

#5: Mega Piranha

For better or for worse, it’s because of Film Brain that I know that mockbuster factor The Asylum exists. And while that was more a result of his review of the hilariously titled Transmorphers, I honestly think that this review better highlights the unintentional joys of watching an Asylum film. Seriously, Film Brain’s reactions to just how ‘mega’ these piranha get syncs pretty well with most people’s reactions to seeing those mockeries of CGI for the first time.

#4: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

Starting out on a slightly shaky foot with Film Brain and the Rap Critic making ebonics jokes, FB’s multiplying factor kicks in soon enough leading to some great riffing on how badly this film wants to be Glee (which is a prospect so horrifying as to make my hair fall out in clumps). The entire video is worth it just for the reactions to a certain game of Twister, but their rapport is still excellent throughout.

#3: Breaking Wind

How do you manage to outdo Seltzerberg in terms of horrible “parody” films? Well, giving that name to your Twilight spoof is a damn good start. Film Brain gives the same approach to the attempts at comedy here that he did with Epic Movie, except adding in notions that the films being parodied are far and away funnier than anything these people could come up with.

#2: Moonraker

At the time of writing this list, this is the latest episode of Bad Movie Beatdown to be released. And going just by how much Film Brain seems to have drastically improved since his previous efforts, I genuinely want him to work on more of these. While it employs the far more monotone voice that he has taken to using of late, it also contains some of FB’s more insightful tidbits on the film in question, particularly with the production history, and his sense of humour has gotten a serious upgrade. Seriously, I can only hope that this list gets even a quarter of the response my Music Movies list did, because I really do want more episodes if they are of this calibre.

#1: Sunday School Musical

This video was the introduction to Todd In The Shadows and, honestly, it’s probably the best introduction I could have gotten. The instant he made that Savage Garden joke, I knew that this was a guy I had to check out and even with everything that has transpired since then, I’m still glad I did. As for what Film Brain brings to table, his choice of this weirdest of Asylum films (and that’s saying a lot) is aces on its own but his banter with Todd is top-notch. It’s almost like an encapsulated bromance between the two of them with how well they act off of each other, making for easily some of their best respective work.

Now that we’ve looked at Film Brain’s ability as a critic, it’s time to see Mathew Buck’s ability as an actor as we take a look at his first feature film role, written and directed by another very British critic that… well, you’ll have to wait till next time for my thoughts on it.

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