“Monstervision” ran for five years here in the US on the TNT cable station late on Saturdays and Fridays. Often times you could find it at midnight, but often it would be on late in the night thanks to whatever sports game or special TNT decided to air that night. Joe Bob Briggs is one of the last gasps of great cable television where he migrated from The Movie Channel to TNT to hose “Monstervision” for many years. During that time, he hosted many movies of the cult variety, and some mainstream stuff, mostly due to TNT’s demands. Though the show was called “Monstervision” Briggs was pretty much obligated to air movies like “Love Potion No. 9,” and “Twins” while Briggs was able to mostly air his kind of movies like “Shaft,” “From Beyond,” and “The Return of the Living Dead.” Throughout the span of the series, Monstervision aired some truly terrible movies that could only be appreciated with commercial breaks for the sake of the audiences sanity. And Briggs’. These are ten of the worst movies ever aired on Monstervision.
The Company Of Wolves (1984)
People blame Stephanie Meyer for watering down the werewolf and turning the beast in to pussies? Well, I have news for you, “The Company of Wolves” covered that ground a long time ago. A meandering, and monotonous piece of junk, this alleged werewolf movie is an endless stream of melodrama and badly staged horror sequences that are redeemed by solid special effects.
There are flashbacks in flashbacks, and dream sequences within flashbacks, and none of it ever managed to keep me awake for more than five minutes.
Night Of The Lepus (1972)
It doesn’t matter how good a director you are, there is no way you can film rabbits and make them terrifying. “Night of the Lepus” is considered something of a classic, but in its true form it’s a meandering moronic mess that fails to turn badly edited footage of bunny rabbits in to a valid menacing monster.
In an age filled with monsters on a rampage movies starring frogs, worms, bees, and the like, this is just the scraping of the bottom of the barrel. The only thing worse would be a horror movie about giant hamsters. Poor Janet Leigh.
Embrace Of The Vampire (1995)
I know this came at a time where most people were lusting for Alyssa Milano, but it’s such an utterly terrible excuse for soft core porn disguised as a horror movie, that Milano’s appeal wears off instantly. I never understood much of anything that was going on during this snooze fest, and for the most part, the light lesbian interplay and moments of sexual interaction are bland and listless.
Even uncensored, the movie is so monotonous and dull it fails to entice the viewer. I especially hate the inexplicable appearance by Jennifer Tilly as a female seductress trying to lure Milano’s boyfriend in to sex, only for us to discover Tilly is really the male vampire in disguise. It’s a pointless moment in an awful film.
This is one of the several episodes featuring Joe Bob marveling at the gorgeous actress Kadamba Simmons who met a terrible fate at the hands of her boyfriend. Simmons starred in B pictures for the majority of her career, but was absolutely beautiful, and Briggs discusses how beautiful she was, and how sad it was to see someone so unique be murdered. “Grim” for the most part is an uneventful and utterly boring monster on a rampage film that takes forever to get started, barely features its creature, and squeezes in an awkward romance between its main characters in the midst of the forced horror.
Not to mention much of the props are blatantly re-used for the films extras, while the creature’s final appearance is absolutely anti-climactic leading in to an inexplicable weakness that causes it to die before the director runs out of money. The beginning of the movie takes the cake as Joe Bob cackles at the opening (badly dated) CGI sequence that he jokingly suggests most of the budget was poured in to. I wouldn’t be surprised.
Future Hunters (1986)
Dear god, there’s never been such a bafflingly bad movie as the one that aired featuring Robert Patrick and Bruce Li. The movie is hopelessly inept, badly written, and is scattered in to a script that meanders more than Jimmy Stewart in his later years. There’s a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a sacred spear, a helicopter chase, a lot of really bad fight scenes, Robert Patrick gets his ass beat up by just about everyone in the film, and Bruce Li appears as a supporting character and disappears mid-way for no reason.
He literally shows up to help our heroes in their quest, gets in to a long comical fight with a kung fu master in front of a dojo, and then is written out of the movie, inexplicably. There are also Amazon people that appear out of nowhere, characters that serve zero purpose, and–in one of the most heinous editing mistakes since “Plan Nine”–an action packed car chase that begins at night and awkwardly shifts in to day time. Man, Robert Patrick owes James Cameron a huge debt.
The Howling: New Moon Rising (1995)
This is a movie so god awful host Joe Bob Briggs can barely make it through without wanting to throw in the towel mid-way. Briggs really has to finish the movie for the sake of the show, but you can see he’s just about lost all endurance for the sheer awful depths this pseudo-sequel sinks to with its random musical numbers, endless clips of the former movies that double as filler, and really bad acting. Not to mention the lack of werewolves.
Did I mention the ridiculous musical performances that fill up about sixty percent of the run time for this crap fest?
Ice Cream Man (1995)
All things considered, Clint Howard does appear in the episode where Joe Bob premieres “Ice Cream Man” but for the most part, the movie is too awful to sit through. I’m not even sure if the movie itself is a slasher, a dark comedy, or just a character study about a demented man who mutilates people, but Clint Howard is allowed more screen time than about 95 percent of his resume has ever allowed, and plays upon his ability to look creepy whenever he wants to.
“Ice Cream Man” is too bogged down in its uneven tone and hit or miss comedy to really be entertaining. Though I do like the gruesome imagery of the Ice Cream Man serving people frozen treats with barrels littered with human body parts including eye balls and fingers.
The Howling III: Marsupials (1987)
One in a long line of really awful “The Howling” sequels, this third film sets the light on a tragic romance involving humans and werewolf women. This time set in Australia, werewolves have become a sub-set of civilization and now are known as marsupials where the women are used to breed their own babies. Much of it revolves around a ballerina who happens to be a werewolf, and a psychiatrist who falls in love with a marsupial mid-way and lives happily ever after with her in the finale. The movie is so ridiculous it flies over funny and is just embarrassing, and Joe Bob suffers through it with us, marveling at the confusing story and barely being able to finish it.
To The Limit (1995)
Joe Bob has a lot of fun with this movie, spending all of the introduction marveling at PM productions and their odd relationship with Joey Travolta. Travolta of course funded and did most of the work for this god awful and unwatchable action vehicle, and Joe Bob goes to town on it, mocking Travolta at every turn, and taking many, many digs at Anna Nicole Smith and her especially rotund appearance that’s apparent throughout the film.
This is a time where people were still lusting for Smith, so it’s hilarious and refreshing to see Joe Bob mocking her plus size appearance and going beat for beat with this terrible action picture revolving around mobsters, revenge, and a lot of shots of Smith nearly nude.
Hercules in New York (1969)
This is the picture that premiered the iconic Arnold Schwarzenneger as the potential big screen star of the eighties and nineties, positing him as the Greek God Hercules, who is marooned in New York City. Armed with a taxi driver as his best friend, he shambles in to the city, steals outfits from pedestrians, fights off a bunch of dock workers single handedly, and stumbles through ninety nine percent of his dialogue.
The movie comes in dubbed form, and in pure Arnold accent form. The latter is so much more entertaining to watch. If you saw this movie in 1969, you’d never figure that the goofy muscle head who blankly stumbles through the movie as the Greek God would ever be seen again on film, but surely enough Schwarzenneger’s charisma far outweighed his acting ability. The rest is history.