Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Billy The Kid Versus John Carradine

I really enjoy bad movies. I don't like movies that are poorly acted or written, exactly; I like films that just never quite come together. Last night, the mighty Hercules himself, and faithful companion Sarah, were subjected to one of the classic bad films, Billy the Kid versus Dracula. This stars John Carradine as Dracula. Poor John probably didn't know what he was getting into, and he certainly deserves better. He was in John Ford films, he shouldn't be a dime store Dracula in the wild west. But, sorry though it is, he was.

The first mistake they made was calling the movie Billy the Kid versus Dracula. Dracula really has all of the cards. Billy basically defeats him at the end with bad writing. After failing to kill Dracula with bullets, somehow the old, Superman TV show "throw the gun at the invulnerable guy" trick yields positive results. I'm not sure what self-hating hack allowed that on screen, but it was an embarrassment to behold.

Movies like this are fun precisely because you always wonder how they ever get made. None of the pieces make any sense, and cobbled together inexpertly they just make you concerned for our country and a little sad. I don't pretend to know a lot about making a good movie, of course. I imagine getting all of the elements to coalesce into a beautiful, moving work of art is really damned difficult. But, like cooking and sex, it seems like you know when it's going wrong. Do they care? Are they upset? Are they Corman-ing, just hoping the drive in's make enough cash to make it a wash? For the sake of real artists, I hope they're a little ashamed. The actors certainly look upset in most of the scenes. Even Carradine looks depressed to be in the movie. This is not the outfit of someone who has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Oh, wait, it is.

The other actors don't really need to be mentioned, except to note the strange blonde girl playing the lead, and her inexplicable dialogue. Her resounding, "That's stupid!" was a rallying cry for her decade.

No it wasn't. That's stupid.

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