In conjunction with my post from yesterday, I would like to submit to you, my benevolent readers, five films from the 50s and 60s that you should avoid at all costs. They are in order from horrible to unimaginable slop.
The Starfighters (1964)
I think there's a story floating around in here, but most of the film consists of stock footage of Air Force maneuvers intercut with unbelievably dull scenes of people talking. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a film made by the Air Force for propaganda purposes, or if someone just came across a vault full of Air Force stock footage and decided to make a movie around it. Oh, and there is an endless succession of shots of planes refueling in midair (in fact it might even be the same footage Kubrick used for the opening of Dr. Strangelove).
Santa Claus (1959)
This film is incredibly painful to watch. I don't know what the writers were smoking when they thought this one up, but the Santa Claus featured in this movie bears no resemblance to the Santa Claus that I keep hearing stories about. The fact that he has child labor from all over the world is disturbing, and his toy wind-up reindeer are frightening enough to give even me nightmares, let alone unsuspecting children. And who thought it would be a good idea to cast Satan as Santa Claus' nemesis?
The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (1958)
This is classic B-movie fare. The Aztec Mummy doesn't look scary in the slightest, and the Robot from the title doesn't show up until the end. It's a good thing too, the costume was so laughable that I would have been damaged for life with more prolonged exposure to it. There is a plot (I think) but it mostly consists of an archaeologist or something reviewing what already happened to a room full of people that were all there when it all happened the first time around. It's as if the director had all these scenes, but had no way to tie them all together, so he had his main character expound to his compatriots to fill in the gaps. I think there's a bad guy in it as well. Of course what I find the most astounding is that it still occasionally screens at the Egyptian Theater (how is that for a double bill with Lawrence of Arabia?).
Red Zone Cuba (1966)
If you are able to overlook the bad acting, the bad screenplay, the poor casting, the repetitious editing, the lousy characters, the cheesy sets, the awful Fidel Castro impersonator, the theme song sung by John Carradine, and the fact that you have no idea WHAT is going on, it is still a bad movie. Written, directed, and produced by Colman Francis, it is part of the unholy trinity of Colman Francis films which also include Skydivers (1963) and The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961), which lost its soundtrack in post, so has a stupid narrator telling the audience all about what is going on.
"Manos," the Hands of Fate (1966)
This is the worst movie ever made, and so painful to watch, I will never forget the pain that it caused me. It is 100% likable character free, and the "shocking" ending is just dumb. It is supposed to be incredibly frightening, but the only things that frightened me with this movie were Torgo's knees (you know what I'm talking about if you've seen it) and the fact that I may make something as bad as this, and not recognize its horrendousness before it is unleashed on an unwitting public. Three of the actors committed suicide shortly after the movie ended shooting. Coincidence? I think not. I guess this is what should be expected from a manure salesman.
If you feel the need to visit any of these films, please do yourself a favor and watch it with three of the following: Joel Robinson, Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, or Crow T. Robot.