There’s something about low-budget dystopian sci-fi from the eighties and nineties…I don’t know if I can explain it. It’s just so…exuberantly bad. No computer graphics, no fancy set design, just a bunch of weirdos who somehow got access to a budget, and went running amok in the desert with a few old cars and gallons of fake blood. Horrible, yet innovative practical effects. Props made from spray-painted thrift store finds. Terrible dialogue. Worse acting. Bitchin’ synthesizer soundtracks. I love ’em. I’m not sure what that says about me, but there it is.
Now I’m not saying these movies are good. They didn’t get robbed of an Oscar or anything. They ain’t Children of Men. If you’ll care to look to your right, you’ll see Matt Kincade’s Circle of Cheese™, illustrating that movie quality is in fact more circular than linear. If it gets bad enough, it gets good again. Crazy, counter-intuitive, but true. Because I said it’s true. And I think I know what I’m talking about.
Buckaroo Banzai, Mad Max, Escape from New York, some of these are pretty well known. But there are a few gems that seem to have slipped through the cracks.
These are a few of my favorite video-store finds, from back in the days before Netflix, when your parents wouldn’t pay extra for cable so you had four channels to choose from, and KTVU played The Road Warrior or Robocop like every other week which was cool, but still… if you wanted to see something different, you had to go on down to Blockbuster. And honestly, for being usurious corporate robots, they still had some pretty weird, obscure stuff.
Most of these you can find on the internet, whether on Netflix, for free on YouTube, or off the pirate bay. I don’t know, google it. Most of these are more fun if you’re slightly inebriated on your intoxicant of choice. Continue reading