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07.24.2013by: Jason Adams

Comic Con: Top 10 Awfully Good Movies

As winds down our coverage of this year’s San Diego Comic Con (and the staff recovers from four nights of parties), I bring you a very special edition of Awfully Good. There are always plenty of genre flicks and B-movies on the Con floor, as studios and distributors of all size seek attention (many times with the help of scantily clad ladies).

So here are 10 potential awfully good movies, some old and some new, that I discovered thanks to the nerd nirvana that is SDCC.

(Pictured: Some toys from the Puppet Master series at the Full Moon Features booth.)

#10 - Death Grip

The story to this one sounds a bit goofy—a guy has to fight a bunch of evil monks to retrieve a mythical coin and rescue his autistic brother—but the movie itself actually looks pretty fun. (You can watch the trailer here.) The fight scenes look solid and better than most DTV flicks. Plus, you have to give credit to writer/director/star Eric Jacobus and his indie action movement Action Kickback for trying to make good movies even if they are low budget.

#9 - Sizzle Beach USA

The Troma booth is a treasure trove of films that run the Awfully Good spectrum. (For example, they actually had a copy of BUTTCRACK on sale.) However, one of the movies that caught my eye was SIZZLE BEACH USA. Not because of the scantily clad bikini babes on the cover (okay, maybe a little bit of that), but due to the smiling mug of Kevin Costner in close proximity to said bikini babes. I'm guessing it was Costner's role in MAN OF STEEL this summer that made Troma bring this gem out of the vault and it looks like a good time.

Three girls with a penchant for toplessness rent a beach house for the summer and get in all sorts of adventures, one of which includes going for a ride with a stable boy played by a young Costner. (This was shot in the 70s before he was famous.) Watch the trailer here.

#8 - Detention of the Dead

This Anchor Bay release describes itself as "THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets SHAUN OF THE DEAD" and it definitely seems to fit that bill. The "vapid teens are already zombies" joke is a bit cliché, but this could still be mindless fun.

DETENTION OF THE DEAD is out on DVD this week.

#7 - Trancers 1.5: City of Angels

If you're not familiar with the 1985 sci-fi film TRANCERS (or the five sequels that followed), it's a time travel story where people can go back in the past but only by inhabiting their ancestors. The first movie followed Jack Deth, a cop from the future who came back to 1985 to look for a psychic criminal who turns people in to violent zombies called Trancers. A young Helen Hunt played the punk rock love interest.

So if there were already six films in the series, what is TRANCERS 1.5? Before making the first sequel in 1991, director Charles Band shot a 30-minute short film follow-up starring the original cast that was never released and thought to be lost forever. When the footage was found recently, Full Moon Features decided to use it to make an in-between prequel/sequel to the first film. It's an interesting opportunity for the series' filmmakers and fans and will be first screened August 9th at Chicago's Flashback Weekend, with a traditional DTV release to follow.

#6 - Ooga Booga

Charles Band has made a career with puppets and horror movies, from the Puppet Master to the Demonic Toys series, and this is his latest stab at the genre. A young black med student is murdered by crooked cops, only to have his soul magically transported in to an action figure named Ooga Booga. With the help of his tribal spear and a very understanding ex-girlfriend, the title character exacts revenge on those who wronged him. It probably won't be as offensively awesome as BLACK DEVIL DOLL, but it does star Stacy Keach and horror icon Karen Black.

#5 - Agent 88

Technically, this is a web series not a film, but it still sounds awesome. Billed as an "eclectic cocktail of KILL BILL, CRANK and MR MAGOO," AGENT 88 follows the world's most deadly assassin—an 88 year old British woman with Alzheimer's. The title character is played by spry 80 year old Kay D'arcy, a tai chi expert who does a lot of her own fighting and stunts (and who's also braved Comic Con the last two years).

I haven't seen anything from the show, but it sounds like a unique blast. The series debuts on August 8th at their official site.

#4 - Def by Temptation

Here's another lost classic I found at the Troma table. Samuel L. Jackson may have been at the Con for CAPTAIN AMERICA and ROBOCOP, but he was also present in this 1990 horror movie about a young man that falls in love with a demonic succubus. In addition to Jackson, the film also stars "A Different World's" Kadeem Harrison and Bill Nunn, who gets the classic line, "When she drinks that holy water, she's gonna start slobbering, farting and gagging."

Watch the trailer here.

#3 - Unlucky Charms

UNLUCKY CHARMS probably had the most unique presence at the Con, with Full Moon Features selling limited edition cereal box version of the film that contained a DVD, marshmallows, and a special surprise. The "magically malicious" movie tells the tale of five lingerie models who think they're competing for a high profile gig, but are actually up against mythical beasts including a Cyclops and a leprechaun.

You mean I can watch that movie AND eat marshmallows? Sold!

#2 - Bullet

"Cult action hero Danny Trejo is Frank Bullet who takes on a ruthless cartel in a race against time to save his family. The body count just keeps rising in this gritty action film laced with typical Trejo humor."

I knew nothing about this movie before seeing the poster on the Con floor and I don't think it even has a release date yet. But as generic as that synopsis sounds, there's nothing we like better than watching Danny Trejo kick ass. Add in Jonathan Banks (Mike from "Breaking Bad") and this just shot up to "must see" territory.

#1 - Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong

We covered the original GINGERDEAD MAN and EVIL BONG early in this column and both were equally dumb and fun. GINGERDEAD starred Gary Busey as serial killer Millard Findlemeyer, whose soul gets sucked in to a cookie after his mother sprinkles his ashes in to the baking mix. In EVIL BONG, a piece of voodoo cursed smoking paraphernalia named Eebee sends users in to the "Bong World," which is of course a strip club where she kills you.

It makes no sense as to why these two universes would collide, which makes us want to see it even more. Plus, Busey is back after skipping the last two sequels (PASSION OF THE CRUST and SATURDAY NIGHT CLEAVER), as is Tommy Chong, who missed out on KING BONG and THE WRATH OF BONG.

GINGERDEAD MAN VS. EVIL BONG is filming now. We'll have beer on standby.



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9:50AM on 07/24/2013

I actually saw this film in the early nineties!!

It was released by Troma and I watched everything they did back then. I remember it was (slightly)more competently made than most of their output and inexplicably I actually got a little scared at a certain point in the movie. Which even surprised me back then.
It was released by Troma and I watched everything they did back then. I remember it was (slightly)more competently made than most of their output and inexplicably I actually got a little scared at a certain point in the movie. Which even surprised me back then.
Your Reply:

4:15AM on 07/24/2013
Next in line is "Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong vs. Puppet Masters vs. Doll Man".
Next in line is "Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong vs. Puppet Masters vs. Doll Man".
Your Reply:

4:14AM on 07/24/2013
How come the main character in the poster looks a lot like Beetlejuice?
How come the main character in the poster looks a lot like Beetlejuice?
Your Reply:

4:12AM on 07/24/2013
I wanna watch this movie NOW!
I wanna watch this movie NOW!
Your Reply:

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