While we enjoyed reviewing a slew of Blu-Rays, DVDs and movies in 2023, they haven’t all been picks of the litter. Time to take a look back at the worst of them. Our list consists strictly of titles which were sent to us for review purposes.
BLEH...THE WORST: As much as we love movies, there are times when reviewing them feels like an actual job. The following titles deserve to be buried in the litter box:
GANGNAM ZOMBIE (Well Go USA) - This Korean horror-comedy is a derivative bore, with the sprinting undead chasing a dull cast around an office building. The death scenes are fairly lame and largely free of the gore that has saved even bad zombie movies from being a complete waste of time. Dust off your old copy of Train to Busan instead.
THE VAGRANT (Arrow) - Though it has some admirers, The Vagrant is a tonal and narrative mess, noisily grinding gears between horror and black comedy, with a screenplay that’s never as clever as everyone involved seem to think it is. The story grows increasingly outlandish and implausible, with only Christopher Young’s evocative score to remind us the whole thing is supposed to be funny.
THE BLUE JEAN MONSTER (88 Films) - If given the choice between watching The Blue Jean Monster again or sitting in a room for 90 minutes while someone raked their fingernails across a blackboard, I’d have to think long and hard about it.
BLOODTHIRST (Lionsgate) - Another post-apocalyptic film (this time with vampires) set in the barren desert, presumably because such locations require no real expense. Expect drab direction, lethargic action scenes, howlingly bad dialogue and performances that border on amateurish. Costas Mandylor looks like he’s here because he lost a bet.
SLOTHERHOUSE (Gravitas Ventures) - An entertaining B-movie could have been made from the intentionally ridiculous concept. However, Slotherhouse blows the opportunity. The cast tries their best, but they’re stuck in a horror-comedy bereft of both the horror and the comedy, wasting the one decent joke it had in its arsenal.
THE MAN FROM TORONTO (Sony) - I have yet to see a movie that isn’t made worse by the presence of Kevin Hart and this one’s no exception, with gobs of laughless, embarrassing sequences where his manic “character” sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Poor Woody Harrelson is mostly stuck playing straight-man. What a waste.
KILL SHOT (Well Go USA) - This is Cliffhanger minus the budget and talent, with laughably gratuitous T&A tossed in instead, particularly the superfluous (and plentiful) scenes of Cook running around in her underwear. Viewed as an unintentional comedy, Kill Shot might be good for a few shits & giggles.
DEVILREAUX (Lionsgate) - A cheap, ship-shod rip-off of Candyman, without the relevant social commentary. It’s just a lazy slasher film, devoid of atmosphere, dread or an interesting killer…just a guy in face-paint and dreads who repeatedly pops up behind his victims. The death scenes are underwhelming and Tony Todd's role is just a cameo.
THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN (MVD Visual) - Of all the inane teen sex comedies we were inundated by in the ‘80s, this was the worst of them…a lame attempt to sugar-coat soft-core sleaze and misogyny with manufactured poignancy. Some relics should remain buried.CALAMITY OF SNAKES (Unearthed Films) - Throughout its running time, literally hundreds of real snakes are killed on-screen in just about every violent, cruel and agonizing way you can imagine. Fuck that.