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Stinker Madness is a podcast that comes out on a twice a week basis and is all about bad and cult movies. We try to dig deep into the vaults and find the best of the best in b-movies, cult classics, truly bad movies and hidden-gems. We also review streaming movies from Netflix and Amazon, have weekly trivia and general nonsense throughout. NOT FOR ...THE KIDDIES! More

Running Scared

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The greatest question posed by man since 1986 is "what the heck do people see in this pile?" It's like working next to a construction site. Its like a toaster that always burns your bread. Its like a script that tries to make the leads the two most annoying people on the planet and succeeds. Running Scared sucks.

Imagine yourself living in the universe as Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal's characters. Worse yet, imagine having to work with them. They're worse then Lumberg. Each and every Monday would be a compounding hell, when you the entire department is called in for the morning brief and you can't get through it because these two are trying to be funny throughout the whole thing. Keyword - "trying".

The "jokes" are constant - yes, but not only are they not funny - they aren't even jokes. It's the classic trick that crappy comedians pull on the unwitting - make goofy voices and talk really fast and constantly. Those are clearly jokes, right? Wrong. I mean look at this:

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The Lost Empire

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It's got a random gorilla, a laser "unit", eyebrows that change from shot to shot, a trio of tough ladies, possible ninjas and a dubious plot to build the Infinity Gauntlet so you know this must be a Jim Wynorski movie. Bring on the chesty women!

If you've ever seen a Jim Wynorski film, you know of two things to expect: the left boob and the right boob. This one is no different. It's just a silly budget movie with a fairly standard plot (a trio of chesty ladies team-up to destroy an evil plot to take over the world) but that's where the convention ends. Things get pretty loosey goosey with regard to its own script as Jim runs roughshod with his own project. It's glorious.

This is not a tight ship that's being ran here. And it was never supposed to be. This project was intended to lose money as a tax write-off for a movie theater owner. But Jim just can't help himself and made one of his most fun films. There's errors and mistakes everywhere including very strange and cryptic ad-libbing that couldn't be reshot due to time constraints and location limitations. There's bad props and terrible costumes. There's strange sequences that don't fit into anything leaving the viewer having to try and make sense of all the nonsense.

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Short Circuit

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There's a really good reason that this film disappeared from cable networks and the cultural lexicon. Take an heavy level of racism, add a cavalcade of annoying characters and jokes then sprinkle all that on top of inane plot and you've got yourself a monster bud movie.

We'll give this movie one thing - the animatronics and puppeteering are great. That's it. Everything surrounding the work of the grips, best boys and effects team stink. Guttenburg is groan-inducing, Sheedy is baffling, Stevens is offensive and Johnny 5 needs to take a long drive off a short pier. Even for a "kids" movie it's just so damned annoying. Like dogs barking while you're trying to sleep.

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Theodore Rex

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In a futuristic world, an evil billionaire recreates the dinosaurs (making them small, have normal arms, and recovering carnivores) and then hatches a villainous plan to wipe out all life on Earth, creating a utopia of dinos and humans - so just like the current status in the movie. WTF is this POS?

Theodore Rex is insufferable. At no point in its incoherent rambling is a modicum of enjoyment to be had. It's baffling yet it hurts your brain. It's fast-paced, yet nothing is moving the plot forward. It's got incredibly bad production design, but what happens in the foreground is so painful that you can't mind everything in the background. The acting is awful, the costumes are amateur, the "jokes" are "huh"-inducing. Yet all that takes a back seat to how atrocious the screenplay is. This falls into the "we are talking like you, Earth human. All your base are belong to us!" category of writing. 

While it's one of the biggest POS in history, it's just too insufferable to recommend. We absolutely hated it and just wanted it to end. It's truly one of the bottom 3 movies we've reviewed on the show. Stay away, all.

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Picasso Trigger

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Andy Sidaris once again dials the nonsense up to about 50 and matches that number with topless women. This time the LETHAL team has to deal with some internal double-crossing or triple-crossing, we're very confused on how many crossings happen here. 

We've seen that a lot of the reviews online for the 4th film in the LETHAL collection (this one proves that Seven is part of the franchise) that this one isn't good. There's no giant snake gimic, not as crazy stunts, and a much crappier version of the Malibu Express. Those points are all correct however, this is still a great time and as far as we can see has only one extreme drawback - the continuing degradation of the Abilene's in quality. Travis Abilene is the worst. He's just scummy. The actor belongs on the bad guy team - not among the coolest guys of all time. He stinks.

Picasso Trigger is a lot more complex than the previous three films with a very convoluted plot and that may have been a major shift in how Andy and Arlene made their booby-movies. There may have been too much to get hung-up on and that may have distracted everyone from the formula that worked so well in the previous three. We'll see if the Sidaris ship corrects itself in Savage Beach. 

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Who Killed Captain Alex?

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From Wakaliwood comes Uganda's first action movie! This is Uganda! Yeah Yeah Yeah Okay! Commandos! Tiger Mafia! Tiger Mafia Commandos! VJ Emmie on the mic! So yeah, we make fun of it.

Who Killed Captain Alex is one of the cleverly disguised as crap, but actually smarter b-movies we've reviewed on the show. We found the plot to be fairly conventional while watching the movie until the last 3 frames and we released that we had been duped. This was no common hyper-budget action movie. Nothing out of Vietnam, Philippines, or Mexico writes like this. Its absolutely riffing on the entire genre in the vain of The OP, Turbo-Kid, and Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. The hook is so subtle despite it being the title of the damn movie.

Nothing looks as good as Who Killed Captain Alex does....on a $200 budget. The film-makers REALLY stretched their budget and that is completely part of its charm. Admiring their costumes, props (especially the guns that they craft from found-materials) and the sets is all part of the experience and puts a small on the face of anyone who has tried to make their own budget movie.

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Burlesque

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A mediocre talent finds inspiration in an over-the-hill mentor and in doing so makes a nightclub successful. So Xanadu...right? Actually, it's also Chicago, Moulin Rouge and Coyote Ugly. Thanks Troy from Goonies!

Let's face it, gang. Burlesque is about 30 minutes too long and suffers from the typical drag of poorly thought out projects - there's too many subplots and no main plot. While most of them are just meh, one subplot is insufferable - the romance. What's her name Aquafina falls in love with her (seriously gay) roommate/coworker. And their relationship is like watching paint dry, then become acid and fly into your face. It is intolerably uninteresting until it causes you physical pain.

The songs don't fit the theme (they are pop hits, not the cabaret/vaudeville that fits with burlesque dancing). The dancing is pretty bland. The costumes are about as burlesque as a road stop strip joint and they are too few anyways. I can't understand why the signing/dancing movie fan would ever like this. I'd be pissed. It's like Batman Returns - a Batman movie with no Batman.

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Batman & Robin

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After years of steering well clear of one of the most notoriously bad movies of all time, we finally tackle the most butt and crotch heavy superhero movie ever made. Clooney brings the turtle-neck and somehow manages to not push Robin and Bat-Girl off the rooftops. Is it possible this isn't the torture-fest we expected?

In short - yes! It isn't the torture-fest we expected. We actually had quite a bit of fun with this turd. Don't take us incorrectly, this is a travesty, but after 22 years its inching itself into the "so bad its good" category. There's just so much wrong with it that really the only thing holding it back is Robin & Batgirl who are painfully annoying. If the movie had just been Clooney blowing it and Schwaz just hamming it up, it might be in the hall of fame.

Unfortunately, you are stuck with the corporate toys of Robin & Batgirl.

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Angels' Brigade/Revenge

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A super-elite team of hot ladies formulate to take down all of the drugs in the US. Instead they get a high school teacher kidnapped, a teenager shot and possibly killed, ruin a man's salesman career, and watch a man get eaten by a dog all so they can take down roving tampon salesman. Seven From Heaven indeed!

Man, when you line up movies from the late 70s this is strikes all the bells. A hot van with rockets, machine guns and a dirt bike with machine guns on it in the back - check. Busty ladies with no bras kicking ass - check. Drunk Peter Lawford - check. A winded Jack Palance chasing Darby Hinton over patios - check. Explosions, explosions, explosions - check! So why isn't this in the top 10 greatest bad movies ever?

Well...a its PG...weirdly. The opening shootout is like a GI JOE episode; hot lead is flying everywhere but not one person manages to get shot or sploded. There's little left to the imagination with the chests due to very loose shirts and no bras, but there is 0 nudity. Then there's plenty of "comedy" foley work when people jump or punch guys. A little live-action cartooning that we all hate so much. Why did they choose to shoot for PG in a drive-thru movie? The PGness doesn't fit and drops it down a couple stars for sure.

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Hard Cash

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When you must put your slowly dieing career into the dumpster forever, the fast path is to team up with Christian Slater in a crime-caper. A band of bozos get caught in an dirty FBI sting and must steal all the gold for themselves...and they only thing stopping them is their own idiocy.

We'll start by saying that this ALMOST has something. There's bookends of banana business but that squishy look-warm middle bit drags it back into the depths of quite not interesting. Despite it having the worst produced car chases, worse than SNL rear-projection, Verne Troyer in a toilet with a dart-gun, Val Kilmer giving his belief in his characters one last try, and Bill Forysthe in a washing machine, there's just not enough fun here to put it in the do column.

It's almost like it doesn't know what it wants to be - either a screwball bumbling crime gang movie or a hard-boiled heist movie with lots of betrayal and twists. 

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Batman Forever

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It's raining bats! Hallelujah! Nothing needs a little sexy sprinkled into it like Batman. Joel Schumacher decides that what the masses want to see are a bunch of butts in spandex. Now with nipples!

Batman Forever is a bit of a pill to swallow. Going from the very pale and stark Tim Burton films to this is a complete 180 shift. It's bright, vivid, colorful, loud, and filled with butts. It's like Ricky Martin was a technical adviser. Some might have a serious issue with this.

But I ask you one thing to consider upon revisit - is Batman: The Movie not much the same? We see this more of a sequel to the Adam West Batman than anything that Tim Burton or DC Comics had put before it. Under that perspective it's really hard to decide if Schumacher failed there.

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I Believe in Santa Claus

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"When the leader of the African rebels starts to interrogate Santa Claus and his fairy friend as CIA spies" is the start of a sentence that someone must say after watching this film. Shortly afterwards it's "then his kids grab some guns to free Santa from the rebels". WTF?

I Believe in Santa Claus (or J'ai rencontré le Père Noël in the original French) is a baffling film that turns out is just a vehicle for soundtrack sales that led to a Milli Vanilli situation - so possibly story took a pretty big back seat. Little can be said about it that will do the viewing experience justice. It's absolutely insane AND a Christmas movie. 

What we find with it, is that it could easily be your next annual Xmas movie. It's fun, it's stupid, its crazy, and there's a little something for everyone - including you Dad. This is must see viewing for any fan of bad movies during the usually unviewable Christmas movie season.

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Deck the Halls

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When it comes to the Christmas Flop, there's not too many floppier than 2006's Deck the Halls. I could be the groan-inducing jokes, the two one-time (and future) A-listers with their careers on the skids, or the really cliche and played plot. But mostly it's just that you hate the characters and want them to explode in a ball of fire.

Both of these men are horrible people. Which works great in a forum like Always Sunny but not so much in the yearly family outing at the movie theater with the cousins from Des Moines. Both Steve and Buddy are completely unlikable from the start - frame 1. You can't do that. When you have this plot (Dads take things too far!) you need at least your protagonist to be both likable and identifiable so that when the dads shake hands and treat each other with respect at the end, you have a location to return your character to with the viewer. This doesn't have it. Steve's a dick at the beginning and middle and end.

Aside from your disgust with the two people you have to watch for the next hour and half, the gags are awful and the jokes are poorly presented and delivered. Nothing is funny (aside from one unintentional laugh brought to you by a different movie playing in one scene). So there's nothing good here guys. Steer clear.

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Batman Returns

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Well if Die Hard is an Xmas Movie well so is this turd. Batman makes his debut on the show, yet manages to avoid being in the Batman movie. Catwoman is the un-sexy. Walkan doesn't Walkan out and Danny Devito gets thrown under the bus. Everything people think about this film is wrong.

First off, and here's you breaking point - BATMAN ISN'T IN THE BATMAN MOVIE!!! At the 1 hour mark, Batman has only been in the "Batman" movie for 123 seconds. 

Second off, Catwoman is sold hard to be sexy. But she's really really not. I mean there's a certain level of crazy that people will put up with if it's hot stuff but her nuttiness is over-the-top. She's boner-reducing. (see the "sexy" cat bath scene and then really analyze your definition of sexy)

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The Happening

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The film that puts you directly into the mind of the characters and the writer/director at the same time - you'll feel confusion and without direction. By the end you'll be giving the same answer as the movie - "I don't know!"

Not even M. Knight can say what this movie is directly about. Ask him 6 different times and you'll get 6 different answers. One could put this into the sub-genre of disaster movies, but please, someone tell us definitively what the disaster is. The best that can be done is "The trees take revenge on man for invading their environment" but that just opens up more questions that can only be answered with "I don't know!" The on-screen scientists can only say "I don't know". Wahlburg never figures out what's going on and repeatedly says "I don't know". We don't know!

Despite a few glimmers of ridiculousness, the film is pretty damn boring and consists mostly of people walking while no one has a clue what is going on. There's dialogue piled upon other dialogue just there to tell us "See! These are real Earth people." There's nothing happening that moves the story forward, only reinforcing that Shyamalyan had no clue what to do with this pile of crap.

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Howard the Duck

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It's been a long time coming and it's now finally time to delve into the complexities of the dark comedy/action thriller about a duck, man. George Lucas puts on his producer hat and then proceeds to lose all the money.

Howard the Duck is one of the hardest films we've ever had to review. Not because its that hard to watch (although it's chock full of groan worthy moments), but just because it's so hard to determine what the heck it is. Is it a kids movie? Is it a comedy? What's the moral or the point, really? It's just very hard to define and that makes ones expectations pretty hard to narrow down. I've tried to use our blog tag system to give some single words as to what it is - yet the only thing I can come up with is that it's an 80's movie.

The effects, the audio, Tim Robbins, and the animatronics are all top-tier performances but they disappear behind Munchie-levels of hyjinx. Once again the word comes to haunt a film and put it into the realms of the bottom 100 films. Just when you're finally about to relax and stop screaming at the idiocy before you, Howard gets into yet another series of buffoonery that make you want to break your remote between your teeth.

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Howling II: Your Sister's a Werewolf

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Buckle up for banana business as were-monkey-wolves try to throw a killer birthday party. Every body is invited. Leave your head at the door. It'll be a bloody good time. Ok..well unless Christopher Lee and some townies are party-crashers. Then you'll get shot up pretty good.

When you put Reb Brown next to Sir Christopher Lee, and then have a bunch of guys in Planet of the Apes costumes pretend (or not?) be werewolves, you're destined to have a mind-boggling mess on your hands. This thing is bafflingly bad. The events that transpire are sorta clear, but why they happen is absolutely nonsense. Best we can determine is that a lady's birthday orgy gets interrupted because he brother shows up.

It's gory as hell, hilarious from the opening frames, chock full of nudity, awful one-liners (from the forever wooden Reb), 80's new wave, insanely uncomfortable costumes and plenty of terrible acting and dialogue. Howling II is exactly what one signs up for in enjoying bad movies.

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The Exorcist II: The Heretic

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Six (count them - SIX!) Oscar nominated actors took a look at this garbage script and STILL signed up to do it. It's absolutely nonsensical. It's painfully boring. And it ALL sucks butt. Blech.

It's like they tried to say something in this film but had no idea what that was before they reached the end of the writing, so they just crammed in a bunch of nonsense to try to make a statement. If anyone can decipher what that statement is....

The acting stinks but not in a fun way. It looks like garbage but not in a fun way. In fact, I'm over this POS. I don't want to talk about it any more.

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The Midnight Man

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A couple ding-dongs find a box with some stuff in it, so their only choice is to summon a crappy version of Slender Man and have him chase them around until 3:33am. Meanwhile you've got Grandma upstairs complaining about the trouble-makers in Selma, absolutely no reward if you beat the game, and a villain with dubious intentions. Hope you all like lengthy rules!

Soooo many rules! The length of the rules of summoning Midnight Man need to have a team of professional editors go through them. You might run out of ink in your printer. BUT there's a myriad of holes within them. For instance, Midnight Man will leave you alone after 3:33am. Is that GST? What time measurement system is he going by? Will a sundial work? Or can you just use your cell-phone? What about time-zones? What happens if someone else summons Midnight Man in Italy and Chicago? What's he do when he's NOT summoned?

I mean the level of bullcrap is seriously leaps and bounds past Slender Man (which is about a 9 on the bullcrap scale).

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The Return of Swamp Thing

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How do you follow up Wes Craven's directing? You call Jim Wynorski? And he totally shows Wes how its done? Wow. Fan-Fave Jim showcases how you have fun with a failed superhero property. Replace Zach Snyder right now, DC!

The polarization between the two versions of Swamp Thing is night and day. It's known within the first 15 seconds as shown by the opening scroll:

"Once upon a time....in the swamp!"

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