Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

FROM DECENT TO DOWNRIGHT AWFUL - INTRO TO LESS THAN ZERO




Ulli Lommel

I was watching some really REALLY bad horror movies (still am unfortunately) for a series on my blog I'm calling Less Than Zero - movies that if I were rating them would get negative stars-thumbs-numbers, whatever because either the story or the movie itself sucks on a particularly low level. That's where I ran across the name Ulli Lommel.

I was going to watch a movie on the Black Dahlia. For those who don't know, on January 15, 1947 a young would-be actress named Elizabeth Short was found murdered and dumped by a woman walking with her daughter. She was literally cut in half, drained of blood and portions of her body missing. Her face was slashed in what is known as a 'Glasgow smile' - a cut from the corners of her mouth to the ears. This is also matches an urban legend in Japan of the slit mouthed woman. Cause of death was officially from blows to the head and the face lacerations. Her body was nude and 'posed'. Her murderer was never discovered.

The story is fascinating and I hadn't seen a movie about her in a while so I started a 2006 movie called (duh) Black Dahlia. After five minutes of constantly saying WTH I realized that this was NOT going to be about the life and murder of Ms. Short. Instead it was an exploitation movie about, I guess, some psychos that want to repeat the murder over and over again. One dressed like a schoolgirl, one a baseball player, one a butcher. In other words, I wouldn't watch this movie if you paid me. A lot. In cash. Non-sequential bills.

So being in the mood for a bit of true crime documentaries I went to the next one on the list. After a minute or two of WTH moments I looked and sure enough, it was made by the same man. So I looked HIM up and found out that, while the beginning and bulk of his career was quite impressive, he's definitely a name to avoid, especially as a director.

He didn't used to be that way - in fact he had been in quite a few good movies as an actor and later as a director. But something must have happened - it's like he decided to take massive shortcuts and from then most of his movies have gone straight to video. One person remarked (not a reviewer) that any movie with Ulli's name on it should have a warning because the packaging was much better done than the movie inside. Ouch.

These straight-to-video movies are mostly about the lives of serial killers (except The Black Dahlia). Done badly. Very, very badly. Maybe when I have the patience (and lots of those sick bags airlines hand out) I might do an Ulli marathon, but don't hold your breath. In the meantime, the following are movies that definitely COULD have been made by Ulli but instead were butchered by other directors.