Junkfood Cinema

Junkfood Cinema Podcast

Junkfood Cinema. You’ve heard plenty of cyber banter on the “true classics,” on what’s popular in film now, and about projections for movies yet-to-come. Junkfood Cinema is a shame-free celebration of those films that have managed to slip through the cracks of time; the lost children of the medium.

These are films relegated to mainstream obscurity, and most even erroneously dubbed as “terrible.” To ravenous genre consumers like Brian Salisbury and screenwriter/novelist C. Robert Cargill, there is nothing more satisfying than gorging on cult and exploitation gems with the mad gluttony of a pre-dawn fourth meal.

GI Joe Retaliation

Let’s face it, bad guys get a bad rap. While people are pinning medals on the heroes just before the credits roll, somewhere across the galaxy, someone is writing hundreds of thousands of condolence notices on Death Star letterhead. Nobody ever tries to look at things from the villain’s perspective. That’s what was so great about Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, it recast bad guys in a pragmatic light. That and of course the renewed interest in Q*Bert that it engendered. Sometimes assignment to either side of the blurry line between good and evil becomes little more than a question of employment. This week, a certain blockbuster film hit theaters…and it hit with an agenda. Sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation continues the slander campaign begun by its 2009 predecessor against the hardworking men and women of Cobra. As much as this propaganda-filled action diatribe was aimed at painting Cobra as the most evil organization on the planet, the faulty execution of G.I. Joe Retaliation’s narrative inadvertently offers several compelling reasons why we should be swearing our allegiance to this supposed confederacy of megalomaniac scum. Here’s why you should be rooting for Cobra, and not G.I. Joe. Fair warning, there will be Retaliation spoilers ahead.

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MegaStill40912

It happens all too frequently. You go to a movie building, pay your eleventeen-hundred dollars for tickets and concessions, and you sit through a movie bearing a title comprised of a single cryptic noun. Scourge, or Continuum, or Memorandum. These inherently enticing titles were the reason you ponied up the admission price in the first place, but you leave feeling disappointed that the movie doesn’t live up to the nebulous expectations such an indeterminate title engendered. Frankly, we’ve been both flimmed and flammed by these deceptive marketing smokescreens for too long. What we need are more movies that adhere to stricter standards of transparency. Movies are consumable products after all, so misleading people with obfuscating titles constitutes an affront to truth in advertising. We need more movies like Robocop, Snakes on a Plane and Surf Ninjas. These are pretense-free film titles that allow you to make a more informed choice in your b-movie viewing. Really, we need more movies like Robocop, Snakes on Plane and Surf Ninjas just for the sake of general planetary betterment, but more specifically because they are upfront and honest with what they are selling. At this year’s SXSW, a listing can be found among the Midnighter slate for Big Ass Spider. The movie is about… that thing that it says its about. No matter how you may feel about the quality of this film, you can never fault the filmmakers for not delivering on their promises. In an effort to encourage all future filmmakers to be more forthcoming, […]

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Moonwalker

Here at Junkfood Cinema, we don’t often get “heavy,” as the kids say. By the way, the kids who say that are now very old people. It’s not that we shy away from the more serious aspects of life, it’s just that jokes tend to be our bread and butter; cookie bread and handfuls of butter-creme frosting respectively. However, there are moments when filmic oddities, those written off by most, offer startling new context upon revisit that, though categorically unfunny, deserve contemplation. These moments canonize what it is we love about the discarded, the forgotten, and the schlocktastic. In the cast of this week’s entry, we elevate our trivial hobby to an issue of life and death. And moonwalking. In 1988, there arrived on this planet a strange spectacle. It was called Moonwalker, and it was a…film?…starring the most famous person on the planet. The late pop icon Michael Jackson headlined just his second feature-length movie–again using the word lightly– since 1978’s The Wiz. Moonwalker begins with concert footage of Jacko performing “Man in the Mirror.” It’s ironic that a song about redefining one’s identity opens a film with no discernible clue as to what it wants to be. What follows is a montage of clips from his music videos as well as fan-made visual interpretative flourishes. Some of these are impressive, if creepy (the claymation accompaniment to “ABC” reminding us that before The Jackson Five, Michael and his brothers were somehow The California Raisins), while others are awful, if […]

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Star Wars

Traditionally, February is known as Blaxploitation History Month here at Junkfood Cinema. Of course, “traditionally” a “decent person” “puts on pants before leaving the house” and “doesn’t touch communal buffet food with his bare feet,” so we are far from averse to bucking tradition. To wit, you might call today’s Blaxploitation History Month entry more of an investigation of blaxploitation alternate history. One of the most interesting facets of this short-lived subgenre of film is how it appropriated, and left its unmistakable mark on, several existing popular films and styles of film. We therefore had blaxploitation Westerns, blaxploitation horror, blaxploitation spy films, and even blaxploitation versions of movies like The Defiant Ones, courtesy of a young Jonathan Demme, and…the Warren Beatty comedy Shampoo, courtesy of what I have to assume was a dare. But what about sci-fi? Apart from an exceedingly small smattering of titles, one of which is about a white man and a black man whose heads are sewn onto the same body (so, there’s that), blaxploitation did not venture into sci-fi territory. This is likely because blaxploitation films often operated on very limited means, and science-fiction tends to necessitate a larger budget than, say, a crime story. That’s not to say shoestring-budget sci-fi isn’t obtainable, but it may have been the concern over the potential production price tag that kept filmmakers in this subgenre from attempting the blaxploitation/science-fiction mash-up. This, unfortunately, deprived us all of what should have been the greatest cinematic accomplishment of the 20th century: […]

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Unbreakable Die Hard Sequel

Action heroes, or more accurately the stars who play them, are not often credited as being endowed of great intelligence. In fact, they are more likely relegated to the less distinguished, but no less scientific category of dummy dumb dumbheads. And yet, scratch the surface of the career of each of the biggest, beefheadiest action stars and you will find, in addition to giant foreheads and a shocking dearth of necks, at least one self-aware introspection masquerading as a movie. It would appear that not being able to spell “existential crisis” does not preclude one from suffering one. These aren’t necessarily brilliant deconstructions, in fact they are usually somewhat clever with plenty of destruction. Regardless, it is an interesting trend to note and often amounts to some very underrated fare from our meta muscleheads. In one specific instance however, an action hero’s meta movie can be so meta as to conceal its true identity as such. Could it be that the greatest twist Shyamalan ever pulled was convincing the world it didn’t exist? We’ll get to the inarguable meta connection between Unbreakable and Die Hard shortly, but first, to understand this connection, it’s important to identify the inner-directed titles of our most elusive hero’s contemporaries.

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bucket-of-blood

It has been the common self-effacing jab around the Junkfood Cinema lab that the canon of movies we feature and love are indicative of our total lack of taste. Of late however, the idea of a person stricken with a total absence of taste has seemed more and more a self-contradicting paradox. Taste is a wholly subjective construct as idiosyncratic as a fingerprint. It is a function of synaptic response. Our brains all see the same images, but how we perceive them on a critical thinking level is informed by our experiences and our individual archetypes for quality art. Therefore the only way for a person to indeed harbor no film taste whatsoever would be to never have watched a single one. You may take issue with the films a friend chooses to watch, but the very fact that they have a preference for those films precludes the idea that they have no taste. Such musing brings us naturally to A Bucket of Blood; in much the same way the Disney Monorail brings one naturally to Beirut. But kindly replace your necks to the un-whiplashed position and allow me to explain. A Bucket of Blood is a 1959 horror film from b-movie maverick Roger Corman. Corman is a name revered by some, reviled by others, and, sadly, unknown by most. The bulk of his catalog is typically written off as exploitation junk; white noise in the din of cheap cinema. His movies are to be appreciated only ironically, lest resurface […]

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Space Jam

In the game of bad movie coverage, we are poised on the same lofty levels of excellence as either the 1975 Washington Capitals or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back when they had those supposedly heterosexual tangerine uniforms with the smiling pirate on the helmets. Every week, Junkfood Cinema brings you the best of the worst of the best movies ever made; exposing their faults and cackling like insane toddlers at their dense layers of absurdity. We really do love these films, and that fact of remains despite the mockery, and despite our therapist taking the controversial tact of encouraging us to repress our feelings. To reward you, the unsuspecting reader, for eye-prancing all the way to the end of the article, we will top things off with a sinfully tasty snack themed to the movie. All that being said, today’s piece is different. It will not focus on a bad movie, but instead defend one improperly relegated as such. This article is fraught with anger, fraught I tell you! Today’s film is one most maligned by foolish plebes; those too bereft of wisdom to recognize its brilliance. This is a film that transcends the dubious confines of its genre and operates on a more didactic level vis-a-vis the human condition and societal mores. A film whose roots are embedded in the history of film itself and one that harkens back to some of cinema’s greatest achievements. I’m speaking of course of Space Jam.

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2012year_jfc

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; eat it, Mayans! Eat it with cheese! Yes, despite our best efforts, we’ve managed to survive another year and therefore it is once again time, in clear defiance of your best interest or our lawyer’s behests, for the Junkfood Cinema Awards. This year’s Junkies marks the third anniversary…of Film School Rejects’ editors proving monumentally lax in their duties. This year, we’ve rolled up our sleeves (because of the gravy stains) and dug deep into our own 2012  archives to craft a host of new and exciting (read: meaningless) categories for which let’s face it, there could only really have been one winner. And the winners are… …not going to like being associated with this column.

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junkfood_christmas

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; there arose such a taco platter. This is the broad-faced, round-bellied bad movie column that mines the lustre of greatness from schlock of even the dimmest merit. We tear open the stinker, throw up its faults, but in those wildly flaunted faults we find a bundle of enjoyment. As if that weren’t enough for all our readers on the nice list, or the naughty list (let’s face it), we then pair the movie with a unseasonably fattening snack food item guaranteed to eventually make you shake when you laugh at our terrible puns. If ever there were a holiday film worthy of being called ho-ho-horrible, it’s the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Instead of lamenting on and on about the innumerable woes of this holly jolly abortion, which would require several ticks off your sadvent calendar, it seemed more appropriate to gather everyone around the fire place, as the sugar cookie Pop Tarts roast away, and read you the classic story Twas The Night Of The Star Wars Holiday Special by Verily Ann Author. This is a real book that really exists for good and true but don’t look it up because that’s mean.

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Junkfood Christmas Movies

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; a real kick to the chestnuts. This is the most offensively festive (offestive?) bad movie column on the dingy, loosely strung tinsel garland of the internet. Every week we stumble drunkenly into Schlocka Claus’ stable and mock the lamest reindeer. You know, the one with the red nose…who is also a terrible movie. We should add “a grasp of figurative language” to our Christmas wish list. The absurd means by which we lampoon these absurd movies is made even more absurdly absurd by our synonym-for-absurd love for these movies. When we’re done examining this wildly conflicting relationship, moreso even than the one we have with bacon-wrapped sugarplums, we will offer you, the masochistic reader, a snack food themed to the movie in question. This week, we’ve reached deep into our sack and pulled out something truly naughty. We will now wait while you bleach from your mind the resulting image of that unfortunate phrasing. Vomited? Back? Good. Today’s Christmas offering is so bad, it’s practically its own Grinch. I’m speaking of course about the legendary, two-sizes-too-huge flop that is Santa Claus: The Movie. It’s essentially an origin story for Kris Kringle; Fatman Begins if you will, Silent Knight Rises even if you won’t. It is a titan of terrible, a colossus of crap…the sultan of suck. Wait, is it about Babe Ruth? No. No, definitely Santa Claus. What we’re getting at is, we don’t think you’re ready for this bowl full of jelly. Inspired by […]

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Junkfood Christmas Movies

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; giving fruit cake is tantamount to treason. It’s that time of year again, when we put on ugly sweaters, drunkenly sing carols off-key, and forget how much we hate Aunt Bagatha. What? Who doesn’t have an Aunt Bagatha? For all of me here at Junkfood Cinema, Christmas is a time to suck down as many festively-shaped sugar cookies and assorted pies as humanly possible before slipping into the firm embrace of a ho ho heart attack. And of course, I give myself the gift that keeps on giving: a giant stack of my favorite holiday movies. These movies are often, as you might expect,  terrible, but every once in a while a highly-regarded classic slips in. When this oversight occurs, my baser impulses, the ones that account for my DiMaggio-like twenty-eight year streak as a resident of Santa’s naughty list, take over. I begin to image ways to corrupt said classic films and stuff them back in your stocking as twice-baked/half-baked/bake-me-something-right-now-I’m-hungry treats. Today’s subject, or rather subjects, offer a particularly easy corruption. Director Bob Clark is renowned for making one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time: A Christmas Story. It is a movie so adored that some TV stations actually showcase it in 24hr rotation on Christmas Eve. Luckily, A Christmas Story is quality enough that we overlook the fact that the one and only movie that should EVER be played on TV in 24hr rotation is Raw Deal. What some people […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema. What we do here, besides significantly skew the national cholesterol averages, is to blur the line between the worlds of bad movies and worse food. Like junk food, we recognize the lack of substantial value in these movies as far as film school dieticians are concerned, but we will still happily and lovingly scarf down box after box of sweet, frosted VHS tape… (Our metaphors have mixed like as similes allusion parable — sorry, third sugar stroke today). Where this approach becomes fuzzy, like gravy-left-on-the-counter-for-eight-days fuzzy, is when a bad restaurant is at the center of a bad movie. As devoid of taste as either the restaurant or movie (or both) may be, we can’t help but find ourselves wishing we could slip the surly bonds of reality and cross through the screen. We also wish the bonds of Fazoli’s hours of operation weren’t so surly, to say nothing of its night security guard. Such is the case with Nickelodeon’s 1997 fatsterpiece Good Burger. It began life as a sketch on the comedy/variety show All That, and then someone decided this marvel of noncomedy was worthy of a filmic adaptation. I guess that sketch where Amanda Bynes screams at people didn’t quite have the legs as did a sketch that boldly draws attention to the … ineptitude of fast food employees. Inspired by a recent article in the New York Times, in which restaurant reviewer Pete Wells eviscerates Guy Fieri’s Times Square cafe by simply […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Listen up, junknuts. Normally we’d coddle you and explain how things work around here. But dammit man, there isn’t time for that today. Blah blah blah comparing bad movies to junk food until we’re stupid fat; stupid and/or fat. We have been presented with a crisis unparallelled in the history of humankind. I am choking back very real tears as I write this. Hostess, the purveyor of the only things that matter on this planet, has been forced out of business by a striking bakers union. The panic level here at Junkfood Cinema has not been this elevated since Oops! All Berries cereal had us convinced that the delicate balance of Captain Crunch had been irrevocably upended. You may laugh, but this is almost precisely kind of what the Mayans predicted and further emphasizes that the world totally might end in December. Now, I’m not an expert on labor laws or corporate litigation, but I am chubby and paranoid. Therefore, I have arrived at the only reasonable conclusion that we have entered the second Prohibition and somehow also Hostess will soon be our currency. As these delicious cakes are now illegal (that’s what they said, right?), we must find ways to smuggle them into our mouths using (shudder) substantial normie food. We have therefore entered the Junkfood Cinema alternate universe in which the food is the focus. In this universe, we select movie pairings to the food. We have come up with culinary disguises for some of our favorite Hostess […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; home of Her Majesty’s Secret Sauce. This is the movie column with the license to grill…terrible movies. We fry everything else. Every week we moon-rake a bad movie over the coals, shaking it, stirring it, and a third Bond pun as well. We mock the living daylights out it, but just when it seems we have a view to a kill, we offer the movie a quantum of solace in the fact that we actually do harbor an affection for it. At the end, as we’ve never been a proponent of the idea of live and let diet, we serve up a disgustingly delicious snack food themed to the movie and sure to add a few double chins to those double-0 agents. One of the problems with being a diehard fan of the James Bond franchise, is that it’s impossible to then be a JamesBond fan of the Die Hard franchise. Wait, no, that’s not what I was going to say. The real problem is that your fandom often prevents you from avoiding some of the series’ worst entries even though you really ought to. Sure, Skyfall was tremendous, but does that mean I can finally resign myself to never again watch Die Another Day? No, it’ll still be there, impossible to resist; like a burn at the roof of your mouth that you can’t stop tonguing while watching Die Another Day. It’s so bad, that I’ve actually had to come up with new methods […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only thing tricky about our treats is getting to them before we do. This is the scariest movie column on the internet. It combines the horror of watching terrible movies with every child’s worst nightmare: heart disease. Every witch-filled week we are haunted by a terrifyingly bad film that we manage to exorcise from the house by mocking its many ghastly faults. Then, because we don’t speak ill of the dead…when they’re in the room, we profess our undying affection for said abomination. Lately, we’ve been going the more conceptual route, which is frightening in and of itself considering the unsettling dearth of smarts in our skeleton crew. However, knocking on the door of Junkfood Cinema will always yield a delicious, if sure-to-kill-you-slowly, snack themed to the movie. Happy Junkfoodween, bats and ghouls! This is our absolute favorite holiday of the year. While we know many of you may be conflicted and not wish to choose Halloween over that other big holiday at the end of the year, we have no compunction about telling Guy Fawkes Day to take a flying fawk. This is the time of year when adults are allowed to be children again…wild, boozed up, scantily clad children. Okay, well maybe not children, but at least more inclined to indulge their love of things like candy, scary movies, and dressing up in costumes. This tradition is not lost on the horror genre and even the schlockiest of titles often feature Halloween […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we cook Pop Tarts in the VCR. This is the weekly internet movie column that John Carpenter recently heralded as “something I’ve [totally] heard of.” Each week we bring you a horrifically bad movie, forcing you to topple with us into the void, careening like damned souls through the film’s innumerable faults. Just when our doom seems all but certain, the fall stops suddenly as we land on a giant marshmallow peep. From one unspeakable nightmare, right into another. We are grateful for the fall, the journey that led us to sweet reward. To then celebrate the journey that will lead to our losing at least one foot, we will pair the movie with a decadent, themed snack. Of all the things Junkfood Cinema has been accused of — and that is a lengthy, chubby list — no one would ever call us ahead of the curve. We are indeed well within the curve — mid-curve even…sub-curve. Curvacious? How dare you. If you thought “old-fashioned” was just a drink order, you obviously haven’t seen the mountains of VHS tapes dotting the landscape of JFC headquarters. This supposedly outdated technology is our preferred viewing method for every film ever.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; our bubblegum is teeming with spider eggs. Legend tells of a bad movie column that resides in the darkest, stormiest parts of the internet. They say on this very day many years ago, a bad movie was murdered in this column. It was mocked mercilessly for all of its innumerable faults in what was supposed to be a prank, but things got out of hand. The perpetrator, JFC, tried to bury the evidence (i.e. their love for the movie), but it came back. When it comes to schlocky movies, like a car door handle at the end of a particularly silly 50s cautionary tale, JFC is hooked.  That affinity for awfulness should serve as warning to others…that we have an affinity for awful. To celebrate our addiction, we will guzzle down all the pop rocks and soda we can find, or some other snack food themed to the film that won’t dissolve our insides…quite as quickly. There are plenty of myths and tall tales swirling about the collective human consciousness, this one however is horrifyingly true. It occurred in the ancient era, in the time before time: September, 1998. According to the elders, it was a strange time to be alive. A man called William the Clinton was ruling our land, diamondbacks and devil rays were added to the field of professional baseball, and humankind was presented with the unfortunate task of choosing between Armageddon and Deep Impact. As the story goes, autumn’s arrival was […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only thing we haunt is casino breakfast buffets. You’ve arrived at the most unsettling of bad movie columns on the perfidious den of wickedness known as the interwebs. Every week we present for your viewing displeasure a particularly ghastly piece of cinematic schlock unearthed from the vaults of unspeakable horror (alias the Rubbermaid trash can full of VHS in the garage). As we force your unsuspecting eyes to behold the nightmarish horrors of the movie’s shortcomings, we cackle with sinister delight. We go so far as to then reveal our morbid appreciation for said filmic abomination. To top off the torture, we will force a fiendishly tasty snack food, themed to the film, down your cowering gullets. This boys and ghouls, is Junkfood Horror. October is the month that everyone watches horror movies. From the hardcore weirdos to the sissiest of sissy babies, for at least a few weeks, we all enjoy a good scare. As we sit on the front porch of Junkfood Labs, devouring bag after bag of “fun”-sized Snickers because the trick-or-treaters apparently won’t be showing up for several hours, and several days, it occurred to us that there is really no getting away from the horror genre. When November 1st arrives, you can lock away all your copies of The Exoricist and Amityville and Maid in Manhattan, but the irrepressible evil there contained will not relent. “Oh wait,” you say interrupting my column with your smelly internal monologue, “I can […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; send in the Mounds, or at least the Almond Joy. This is the weekly internet column that may appear as any other, but go in for a closer whiff and get sprayed in the face with our hilarious lack of taste; wholly evident in the phrasing of that last sentence alone. Every week we bring a bad movie to the middle of the center ring. We mock it, we roast it, we hit it repeatedly in the face with a lemon harangue pie. But then, we bring out the giant seltzer bottle of whacked appreciation, which is a totally real thing. Once the foolish movie feels only slightly less foolish, we offer a reprieve from this metaphorical circus in the form of a decadently unwise snack food item themed to that movie. October is here, and that can mean only one thing…the end of voter registration! Actually, that wasn’t what we were thinking, but it is an important reminder and we implore you to do your civic duty. Hehe, doody. No, for those of me here at Junkfood Cinema October means a month-long celebration of the greatest holiday this side of the annual return of the McRib: Halloween. In an ongoing effort to keep our wanton mediocrity at least on theme, we’re once again instituting Junkfood Horror. We begin this year’s slate with a hilarious bit of federal mail fraud. We maybe kinda definitely don’t worry about it intercepted a letter to the Chiodo brothers […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; they don’t make buns like this down at the bakery…well they do, we just bought them all. This is the weekly bad movie column that makes all other bad movie columns look far better by comparison. Every week we serve up a delightfully terrible movie with every intention of ripping it to shreds. But then, as we are forced to spend two hours with that celluloid terror, a funny thing happens. We begin to fall in love. The film engenders a genuine feeling of adoration within us that we can’t always fully articulate even as we articulate it. So yes, Junkfood Cinema has officially been reclassified as a form of Stockholm Syndrome. To wash down the deeply disturbing breakthrough we’ve just had, we will offer a disgustingly awesome snack food themed to the film. Fantastic Fest may be over, but its effects linger like the hangover we may or may not but totally are experiencing as we/I write this. One of those effects is the scorched Earth where once stood the Drafthouse theater that showcased a repertory screening of 1987’s Miami Connection. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Junkerford, isn’t Miami Connection a little too mainstream for this column?” Perhaps you’re right, but my name is Junkseph. However, despite the fact that everyone and their sister, Everywina, has seen this masterpiece, it somehow managed to go unreleased on anything but VHS. Drafthouse films, the harbingers of international genre fare of spectacular quality, as well as […]

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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