Bad Movies Done Right — Death by Rodent, Death by Nun

I would like to ask you, the reader, to take a break from reading this article and look around you.

Are there any animals in your immediate surrounding?

Chances are good that there are.

It could be nothing larger then an ant or a spider crawling across the floor of your office. If you are reading this outside, perhaps a squirrel is hiding a nut in a nearby tree. If at home, it could be your faithful dog Rover lying at your feet; legs twitching as he dreams of chasing rabbits. Maybe it’s just the three-toed sloth that’s watching you though binoculars from the rooftop across the street.

That’s right, the sloth is there. Don’t look now, you’ll tip him off that you know. You may be confused but the truth is this: animals know martial arts.

This past summer’s comedy G-Force may have seemed like a rollicking good time.

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A movie featuring a team of wisecracking guinea pigs surely is full of heart, warmth and more life lessons then one can rightfully bear — but that’s exactly what they want you to think.

In truth, the movie, recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray, is a cautionary tale put forth to warn humanity of the danger that lurks behind every litter box.

If given a chance, animals – every single one of them – would not only bite the hand that feeds it, they would give it a roundhouse kick to the head.

That ant crawling around your feet — it’s doing reconnaissance.

The squirrel hiding the nut — it’s been storing projectile weapons in place for the upcoming revolution.

And the dog seemingly dreaming of catching rabbits? Try dreaming of performing Capoeira — the Brazilian form of dance/fighting.

Perhaps you’ll regret all those years of training Rover to dance in hopes of entering him on David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks when your dog is a swirling cloud of kicks and two-steps.

G-Force is not the first film to attempt to warn humans of the danger of animal warriors. Did you really think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was just the result of two men getting drunk and eating a lot of pizza? No, it was there to inform the rest of us that animals were secretly training to become experts in both karate and Renaissance painters. Same with Kung Fu Panda. I’ll bet you thought Hong Kong Phooey was just a bad cartoon from the ‘70s instead of a desperate warning that there exits canines that are both number one super guys and quicker then the human eye.

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So as you watch the animated adventures of a bunch of warrior rodents from the comfort of you couch, be afraid. Be very afraid.

(Psst…  To any animals that may be reading out there, I’m more then willing to betray the rest of humanity in exchange for my own life.)

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Bad Movie of the Week: Nun of That

I went into Nun of That with more then my fair share of trepidation.

Having seen more then my share of super-low budget ultra-violent action comedies in the last year, the novelty of watching low-rent thespians crack groan-worthy one-liners while attempting to remember poorly-choreographed fight scenes and prancing around in gallons of jarringly fake-looking blood has lost its novelty.

I can appreciate the ingenuity of independent filmmakers cranking out movies purely out of the love for cinema, but that doesn’t stop me from pausing in fear before popping in another movie with a title that’s bound to be a million times more entertaining then the film itself.

Nun of That, with its admittedly very clever title, took me by surprise. Not just because it was a fun movie but also because it caused me to laugh out loud — something I very rarely do when watching a movie by myself.

Richard Griffin and the Scorpio Film Releasing production company bring fans of cheesy exploitation films a modern throwback to the classic nunsplotation genre.

Sarah Nicklin stars as Sister Wrath, a nun with a temper problem who, after being shot down by an order of habit-wearing vigilantes, is resurrected to join that same order and rid the world of mafia dons, pimps, drug dealers and other assorted scum of the Earth.

Chief among the villains Sister Wrath must put down with extreme prejudice is Momma Rizzo, played by a crossdressing Rich Tretheway.

Rizzo is not alone, though. Along with her gang consisting of the usual Italian caricatures, she is joined by Viper Goldstein, a Jewish hitman played by David Lavallee Jr. This murderous mohel is armed with razor-tipped yamakas and a love for torturing nuns.

Luckily Sister Wrath is not alone either. Alexandra Cipolla, Shanette Wilson and Ruth Sullivan all play fellow members of the Order of the Black Habit.

Sexy, sleek and all-too prone to desires of the flesh, these nuns more then happy to give nun fetishists what they are looking for in their entertainment — erotic nuns doing all kinds of sexual acts with each other.

The action may not be of professional caliber but it’s still a lot of fun.

Computer-enhanced gunplay leads to shoddy-looking special effects but it sure helped the filmmakers ensure that they could make the bloodiest bang for their buck. Heads are dismembered and gangsters are pumped full of more bullets then the cast and crew of the film are going to need to say Hail Mary’s.

The cast, made largely of amateur actors, is quite apt at delivering co-writers Richard Griffen and Ted Marr’s clever dialogue. Full of all the corny puns and eye-roll-educing punch lines you’ve grown to love in your low-budget action movies, the film sets itself apart from the unwatchable with its sheer determination to take itself as serious as humanly possible.

While it’s not above having an electroinca-inspired musical number by a bigamist Jesus Christ, the film still retains a tone that is, for the most part straight faced.

This attitude helps sell some of the more zany aspects of the film — something constant winking and nudging to the audience would not have been able to accomplish.

One of my favorite bits in the movie has to do with Oscar, Sister Wrath’s obnoxious guardian angel played by Luis Brandon Aponte. Instead of offering the bits of soul-touching insight and heavenly guidance that guardian angels are prone to dispensing, Oscar is more apt to wonder around completely nude like some blitzed frat boy or a castoff of MTV’s Jersey Shore.

Look for cameos in the film from Debbie Rochon and Lloyd Kaufman — staples of the independent horror scene.

Extras on the DVD include a making-of feature, two audio commentaries, the original short film that inspired the making of the movie and a collection of trailers for similar micro-budget horror films.

Nun of That may be a bad film — but it’s one of those bad movies that so entertaining it becomes a joy to watch.

Robert Saucedo hopes nun of his pets were offended by this week’s column. Visit him on the web at www.robsaucedo.com

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