Tonight is the night when the best and brightest of the movie industry gather at the stunning Kodak Theater to honor one another with glimmering golden phallic statues. The Oscars are upon us once more, and all of Hollywood is getting ready for the glitz, the glamour, and those magical little envelopes that can turn a B-list up-an-comer into an A-list star. Millions of people around the world are making bets as to who will win which award and which film will take home the coveted title of Best Picture of All Time for the Past Year. It's a night of a thousand thrills, from daring political acceptance speeches to daring dresses that barely cover a thing to the benign humor of Billy Crystal. Truly, tonight is all about Hollywood's glory.
But outside of Hollywood, there is another film industry that is not abuzz with its own fame. The actors and directors in that second industry are not putting on makeup or ten thousand dollar dresses. They are tearing open packages of Lipton's Cup-O-Soup, scratching their groin where the elastic waistband in their underwear sticks out and chafes, and clicking on the television sets they bought in 1982 to flick through the channels, looking for inspiration. Those people are not the shining celebrities of the mainstream film industry. They are part of something different, something timeless, something noble: the shitty film industry. In the shitty film industry, names like Polonia, Demick, Mikels, and Hail represent a breed of filmmaker that never says die. They don't say die when their thousand dollar budget gets slashed in half. They don't say die when their actors don't show up. They don't say die when they have to make their own monsters out of socks, condoms, and duct tape. They don't say die when the only way they can light a scene that takes place in the middle of the night is by shooting it at three in the afternoon. They don't say die when the only way they can fill the entire cast is by forcing their friends, families and friends' families to do the parts out of obligation. They don't say die when I send them three thousand word emails telling them how much I hate them, their work, and everything and everyone they have ever touched. Really, the dumb fuckers never know when to quit. They just keep turning out movies, and by God, they're absolutely awful. But that doesn't make them any less worthy of recognition. No, wait, it absolutely makes them less worthy of recognition. But we here at Something Awful are going to recognize them anyway.
The Razzies, which took place last night, pay their respects to the worst movies of the year. Titles like "Gigli" and "Glitter" have been big successes in that illustrious competition. But the Razzies have nothing on the level of badness that we're talking about today. We need to create an entirely new league to encompass the level of absolute crap made by the men and women we'll be honoring. To that end, I would like to present the real antithesis to the Oscars, the first annual Grouchy Awards! Get it? Oscar? Grouch? Look, people, I was up late last night. You can't expect a humor miracle. In any case, tonight we honor those special individuals and those amazing films which have done so much damage to my fragile little mind. And unlike the Oscars, you won't have to wait all night for the awards you actually care about!
The hopeless romantic. The determined survivor. The charismatic antihero. The menacing villain. All of these are roles that have been royally screwed up by some of the no-budget film world's Y-chromosome carriers. As the primary masculine onscreen presence, these men have the difficult job of providing their movie's definition of what a man should be. Naturally, they do this through horrendous hair, bad teeth, flabby, bosom-like pecs, speech impediments, nasal voices, and a complete inability to look a woman in the eye. The Best Actor makes a statement with his physical appearance. That statement is "The Seventies are here to stay!"
The nominees for Best Actor are...
David C. Hayes as Luther in "Back Woods"
John "Jhon" Polonia as any character in any movie he's ever been in
Jon McBride as Derek in "Feeders"
Jim Mills as Detective Jeff Haley in "Mr. Ice Cream Man"
Vincent Simmons as Renny in "Bad Magic"
Move over, Brad Pitt! No, seriously, get out of the way, man. I have to puke.
And the Grouchy goes to... John "Jhon" Polonia!
John Polonia has worn many hats in his filmmaking career - director, producer, writer, one of those dumb hunting caps with the earflaps - but tonight we honor his contribution to his art as an actor. He has appeared in nearly every movie he has made with his brother, Mark. Although some of his roles have been small, collectively they create a body of work that Pauly Shore wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole for fear of it destroying his career by association. John's face is one of the most readily recognized icons on the shitty film scene. And why not? With hair, teeth, glasses, and general facial construction as bad as that, there's no way that any amount of makeup could ever mask his identity. Not that any Polonia Brothers movie has ever used any makeup more complex than some ninety-nine cent blood capsules from Walgreens. John's physical deformity has not prevented him from being irritating to listen to or be around, though. Even when delivering lines that he wrote himself, John stumbles through the syntax of each sentence as if the English language was just a series of randomly selected sounds shouted at him only moments before the camera started rolling and he is doing his best to parrot them back. Nevertheless, John's character frequently manages to overcome his obvious physical, mental, and societal difficulties to win over the heart of some young lady. He has women swooning over him in "Feeders," and he is the only man we see spend an evening with Calico, the androgynous prostitute in "Bad Magic." He is an inspiration to us all, conquering all odds, including misspelling his own name, to prove that anyone, no matter how unlikely, can realize the dream and be in the movies.
Women are often forced into secondary roles in cinema, as the male stars handle most of the action, solve most of the problems, and get mauled by most of the poorly-constructed monsters. But whether they are playing second fiddle to their male co-stars or taking the center stage on their own, these are the women who gave the performances we will all remember in our darkest nightmares for years and therapy sessions to come. In order to endure the difficult situations that characters often find themselves in in crappy horror movies, these actresses must be tough and feminine at the same time. Unfortunately, it's usually the male actors who end up filling those shoes, while the actresses just fill up on Hostess snack cakes. Ranging from obese and untalented to anorexic and untalented to mannish and untalented, these actresses represent every image any man has ever thought of to keep himself from getting aroused.
The nominees for Best Actress are...
Andrea Marcovicci as Nicole in "The Stuff"
Melissa Torpy as any character in any Polonia Brothers movie she's ever been in
Vanity as Danja Deering in "Never Too Young to Die"
Sharon Mitchell as Brenda Whitlock in "Feast"
Megan Wyss as Joni in "Night Screams"
This poor woman. She's been eaten by the Pilsbury Dough monster.
And the Grouchy goes to... Melissa Torpy!
Sweet Jesus, the crap this woman has had to put up with. On multiple occassions, she has agreed to stand in for younger, hotter, more human-looking women who bailed on the Polonia Brothers' projects when they heard what the budget was. Or when they read the script. Or when they met their costars. She has played teenage girls, trashy housewives, and yellow-haired prostitutes. She has had to have simulated sex with her husband's brother, John. That's right, she is married to Mark Polonia himself. Even after having to endure the indignity of appearing in their movies, only to then be ridiculed in reviews by Lowtax and myself, she has stayed with him. For the record, since learning what a terrific lady she is, I'd like to have it known that if I could retract that ridicule, I would. [Author's note: to find hilarious examples of our ridicule of Melissa, look here, here, and here toward the bottom.] Melissa has always come through with a boffo performance. For a fine example of her work, check her out as Donna in this clip from "Feeders." Melissa, we here at Something Awful are proud to present you with the Best Actress award, and wish that you never again have to appear in another one of those cinematic dry heaves your husband calls a movie.
Best Supporting Actor
The lead actor has an entire movie to make an ass of himself on camera. The supporting cast may only get a scene or two in which to totally fuck up any attempts at anything that could remotely be considered acting. Nonetheless, it's a wacky supporting character that we really remember when we come away from a film. These are the men who have taken a juicy character part and turned it into a mess of bungled line deliveries, awkward gestures, and painful stuttering.
The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are...
Jim Edberg as Mama in "Back Woods"
Jon McBride's Hair as Derek's Hair in "Feeders"
Scott Barrows as Max Assassin in "Terror Toons"
Todd Carpenter as Sal in "The House that Screamed"
Some Annoying Bastard as the voice of Charlie the Monkey in "Nukie"
And I had almost gotten over the nigthmares...
And the Grouchy goes to... Some Annoying Bastard!
If you haven't seen Nukie, then for the love of all that is holy, do not. If you have seen Nukie, though, then I'm sure you remember with stinging clarity the appearance of Charlie the talking monkey. That annoying little shit only spoke when someone else was talking about something actually relevant to the plot. To make matters worse, he had a voice that could crack open a coconut. Like any redblooded American, I normally love monkeys and their antics, but Charlie was a nightmarish migraine headache covered in filthy, feces-encrusted fur and a pointless red T-shirt. He was utterly detestable, much like the movie itself. While the actual identity of the person who lent his hemorrhage-inducing vocal chords to Charlie remains a mystery, he in no less of a legend. Never before has a monkey been so universally hated. That is a feat that few could pull off. Congratulations to Some Annoying Bastard for his achievement, and may his scrotum in no way become entangled in the inner workings of a printing press.
Best Supporting Actress
Most of the movies we've been talking about tonight have been horrors, and the supporting actress often has a critical role in that genre. Often she will play the sexy seductress, or an alluring co-ed who gets killed early on. The supporting actress is often chosen for sex appeal, rather than acting ability. Unfortunately, most of the films up for these awards were made by people without attractive friends they could coerce into appearing in their work. From teenage bad girls to erotic succubi to moderately priced hookers, all manners of roles originally intended for good looking girls have ended up in the hands of some doughy, inept monstrosity. We honor those monstrosities now.
The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are...
Shanti as Felina in "The Corpse-Grinders 2"
Lizzie Borden as Candy in "Terror Toons"
Glynis Johns as Sister Anne in "Nukie"
Gabrielle as The Goddamn Annoying Freespirited Woman in "The House That Screamed"
The Beaver-Faced Implosion who played Michelle in "Feeders"
Okay, this one I just flat-out hate.
And the Grouchy goes to... Gabrielle!
Lordy, do I ever hate this woman. Although the Polonias managed to get their hands on a decently attractive woman to do a striptease at random intervals throughout "The House That Screamed," the real sexual role of the film was portrayed by Gabrielle, a lumbering seacow of a woman whose mere presence is enough to make a man's libido disappear faster than a can of hairspray in Jon McBride's bathroom. But to hear her spew out a string of gibberish about finding houses sexy and wanting to screw them is enough to turn even the biggest womanizer into a eunuch. It's not enough to hear her go on and on about house-fucking while grinding against a column. We also had to see her half-nude and gyrating on top of poor, poor Bob Dennis. Her jiggling arm flab instantly ruined sex for me forever. In a category with some tough competition, Gabrielle stands above the rest. Well, not so much above, but definitely to the sides of. Let's face it, if we didn't give this award to Gabrielle, she'd probably eat us, then fuck our houses.
This is the one you've all been waiting for! Which movie set the bar for all other shitty films to follow? Which one had all the right elements: the cast of negative-talent, wooden, ugly no-names; the drug-addled, pedophilic director whose storyboards consisted of a couple doodles in crayon on a napkin; the special effects made from papier mache and cardboard; the script written in by grade-school dropouts; the music stolen from various SNES titles? Which movie is so bad that it is classified as a terrorist act by the Department of Homeland Security?
The Nominees for Best Picture are...
"The Corpse-Grinders 2" directed by Ted V. Mikels
"Ax 'Em" directed by Michael "Mfumay" Mfume
"Nukie" directed by Sias Odendal
"Feeders" directed by Mark and John Polonia
"Feeders 2: Slay Bells" directed by Mark Polonia
DO NOT WATCH.
And the Grouchy goes to... "Nukie!"
What can I say about "Nukie" that hasn't been said? I can barely even talk about this movie without bile rising in my throat and my hands trembling with vomity rage. The movie follows the exploits of one horrible, weepy, potato-esque alien as he cries and moans and makes everyone around him miserable in his search for another horrible, weepy potato-esque alien. "Nukie" isn't a movie, it's a torture device. If you ever want to see how your tolerance for pain stacks up against your friends', just gather them all together and stick "Nukie" in the VCR. The last person remaining in the room is a brave soul, but it's that same person who faces the greatest challenge. Without the comfort of friends and loved ones in the vicinity, watching "Nukie" is a harrowing look into the depravity that mankind has unleashed upon itself, wrapped up in a friendly kid's story and given a PG bow. I, myself, have vowed never to watch this movie again. Nonetheless, I keep my copy on my shelves at all times. I think of it like the One Ring. I must keep it safe, lest it fall into the wrong hands and be used to end civilization as we know it. Someday I will destroy it in the fires from whence it came. That is to say, I will beat writer/director Sias Odendal to death with it, thus freeing all the world from two great evils. Under no circumstances should you ever willingly allow yourself to see this movie. If someone tries to force you at gunpoint, welcome the sweet release of death. At least you'll go to your grave without knowing what suffering truly is.
Keep on keeping on, oh Unholy One.
The Ed Wood Lifetime Achievement Award
This prestigious award is bestowed upon one individual who has spent years making contributions to the shitty film industry that have made it what it is today. This year's award goes to Satan. It is only by his infernal powers that any of the directors of any of these films could have gotten even the tiniest bit of disposable income to use to make a movie. Although at first I hoped it would be possible to combat him, the rate with which absolutely meritless movies are produced makes it completely clear that his reign of evil has only begun, and resistance is futile. We hail thee, oh Dark Lord, and may death come with agony and torment to your enemies!
I'm afraid those are all of the awards we have time for. There are just so many films that we couldn't even touch upon tonight, but that doesn't mean they're any less awful. Now that we've established the standards for excellence in the Field of Crap, all of those aspiring shitty filmmakers out there know what they have to shoot for. So you all keep making the pathetic excuses for cinema, and I'll keep on sending thousands and thousands of my brain cells to their painful deaths by watching them. It's a deal!
The Weekend Web: Let's All Go to the Lobby
Hello internet friends, Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez here with another installment of the internet feature that just won't go away. Before we begin today I'd like to give a "shout out", as the kids say these days, to my two favorite radio talk show hosts Tim Conway Jr. and Doug Stecker who host the Conway and Steckler Show here in Southern California. While there are tons of those "two guys who may or may not be homosexuals bullshitting for three hours on the radio" type call-in shows across this great nation of ours, none of them have nearly the amount of chemistry these two guys have. Somehow between the two of them they have managed to forge a unique program in a sea of generic radio. They can be heard weeknights from 8 PM to 11 PM on KLSX 97.1 FM in Southern California.
This week we are headed to the movies which seems fitting since the Oscars are tonight. I just realized this right now as a matter of fact. Here's a little something something to get your pencil moving:
Alright enough of this. It's time for The Weekend Web!