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The Dead Pool

The Dead Pool
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Dirty Harry finally becomes the worst cop in the history of cops when he decides asking questions or arresting people is boring; it's just better to shoot everyone in the face. Sprinkle in some karate, self-deprecating jokes, an unnecessary love interest, old-man grumble dialogue, a car/rc car/car chase, dubious action, and a plot that leaves the audience thinking it was invented by monkeys and you've got the recipe for a franchise killer. Goodbye, Dirty Harry.

The primary problem with The Dead Pool is the incapable hands behind the camera. The script is incredibly dumb, with a "surprise" twist that is blatantly obvious from the first scene in the movie. You're then stuck with a setup for the twist that you're already clued into for the next hour. You know that all the character actions are irrelevant to the actual story and it makes it painful to deal with. So you've got an audience bored with the movie, why not put in another plot as a vehicle for action? Seriously, when your main story doesn't have any call for action, don't add a subplot that is just there so that your protagonist can shoot people in the face. Terrible writing. 

Next there's the horrible directing. The movie starts with some horrible stock shots of San Fran with post-production slow motion. Slo-mo is bad enough but slowing down stock shots? What? Team that up with some of the worst crappy cop music that sounds like euro-pop and you've got a pretty bad start for the audience. 

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Punisher: War Zone

Punisher: War Zone
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Our final film in our superhero threepeat is 2008's MCU bonkersfest Punisher: War Zone and its a masterpiece. Its the most violent, over the top, ridiculous, preposterous, bad-assery, poorly acted gem of an incredible time. It would have been impossible for this film to be successful but it is also impossible to NOT be a cult-classic. It's great.

Ray Stevenson kills it as the Punisher. There should be no other person to ever play Frank Castle (Sorry Joe Bernthal, Punisher doesn't have roof top conversations with men in tights; he just kills people). Ray's big, formidable, and hardly has any lines. He's brilliant.

Then, on the other side of the acting, you have Dominic West (Jigsaw), who seems like possibly the worst actor imaginable. He's a caricature of a tough guy. It seems impossible that anyone could be worse, but then....it happens. Doug Hutchison (Looney Bin Jim) is bananas. He wins the bad act-off contest in stunning fashion. If bad-acting was a gladiatorial tournament, then Dominic West would yell at the audience "Are you not entertained?" (poorly) and the audience would go nuts but the Emperor would give the thumbs down and in comes the ringer, Doug Hutchison. Doug is blindfolded and has one hand behind his back and a moldy orange as his weapon, and beat the crap out of Dominic West. And then they team up to take down the whole Roman Empire for the rest of the movie. It's amazing.

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Supergirl

Supergirl
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Part 2 of our 3 Superhero Movie Festival just so happens to be our 200th podcast episode! Congratulations to us! Sadly the movie, Supergirl, does not contain any of the fanfare that revolves around our momentous milestone. It's just one of the most boring, uneventful films ever made.

There are so many problems with Supergirl. The first and foremost is that absolutely nothing happens of interest. It's truly unwatchable in the level of bore. Make something happen guys...anything.

Secondly, it breaks its own rules constantly. First is the entire franchise. Superman's home of Krypton got exploded and he was the only survivor right? Well Supergirl is his cousin, which is fine. But the total lack of exposition about how she exists is troubling. She and a group of others who may or may not be Kryptonian live in the bottom of a lake in Minnesota (in micro-size, none the less). So did they get there before Krypton exploded? They've been on Earth this whole time? Shouldn't they have the powers of the yellow sun as well? Who are these people?

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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
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Its time for another great threepeat of similarly themed crappy movies and in honor of Cap Vs Iron Man we are going to delve into some of the less talked about but maybe even worse superhero movies that have graced the silver screen and then tripped upon entrance. You'll thrill at Superman IV's ineptness! You'll gasp at the offensiveness of Supergirl! You'll wonder at the banana business that is Punisher: War Zone! Join us for this excellent showcase of flops in the worlds of DC and Marvel.

Superman takes on Lex Luthor's crappy cro-magnon clone of the Man of Steel while adding the power of the sun. So he's made of the thing that gives Supes his power on Earth? Bad design, Lex. Oh also, Superman owns a net specifically made to store nuclear missiles. Did he buy that?

Wow, this film...wow. What a train wreck. Superman IV is very easily one of the worst executed films of all time. The writing is awful, the action is awful, the acting is awful, the set design, costumes, sound, editing and even the film credits are awful. At no point in the production process did anyone stop and say, "Guys, this is not it! Start over!" Its preposterous!

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She

She
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Sandahl Bergman and a couple of nut-sacks take us on an Odyssey through one bonkers town to the next in a post-apocalyptic/swords and sandals mashup. We welcome our very special guest, Toren Atkinson of The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets and the Caustic Soda Podcast, to help us attempt to make sense of 1982's She.

We want to say a huge thank you to the very funny, Toren Atkinson. We've all been huge fans of the Caustic Soda Podcast and are happy to have our second of the three hosts on our show. Don't hesitate to go back and listen to our hilarious American Ninja episode with Joe Fulgham for more Caustic Soda business. Toren is also the front-man of the "Chuthulu" rock band, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. TDotHT is recording and new album and Toren was kind enough to let us include one of the most badass of tracks, "Nyarlathotep". 

For more on Toren, Caustic Soda, and The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, please please please visit:

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Purple Rain

Purple Rain
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Last weekend, millions of Prince fans watched the 1984 music film, Purple Rain, in honor of his Royal Highness, the Purple One. The 3 hosts of Stinker Madness joined in and celebrated the incredible talent and brilliance of Prince Rogers Nelson. The world won't be the same without him.

Purple Rain is not a musical, let's just get that out of the way. The songs take place within the world as part of concert performances, NOT the characters singing the narrative of the film. As such, this film becomes one of those hard ones to classify that may end up being in the same genre as Ray, Walk the Line, That Thing You Do and even Metallica's Through the Never, which barely contains any narrative at all. While Purple Rain is one of the finest examples of this genre there is, we will not be judging it against those particular types of movies, but movies as a whole. 

There's some problems with Purple Rain. The story is conflicting with itself for one. The Kid (Prince) and his band Revolution as supposed to be causing the owner of the nightclub grief, because Kid only plays songs that he likes and isn't pulling in much of a crowd. The problem there is that you can't say such a thing and then start the film with a phenomenal performance of "Let's Go Crazy" that would make the entire town of Minneapolis go ape-shit over. Any manager/bar owner would have seen that and said, "You know what, these guys are headlining this place for as long as I can keep them; which probably won't be for long." There's no conflict with the band that makes any sense; they are clearly the most incredible thing this place will ever see from the start.

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Tomboy

Tomboy
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Betsy Russell cranks up the charm while the movie's everything else sets women's equality back 20 years. It's possibly the most offensive to women (and anyone with a brain) movie to come out of the 80s packaged as a rom-com. Enjoy this movie, but in no way practice anything from it in real life.

We'll start with Betsy Russell, the star (Tommy Boyd). She's quite cute. She's quite charming. She's got a huge rack. But her hair stinks. She suffers from a case of Adrienne Barbeau head. Yes it was the 80's and yes perms were the norm but in "these modern times" perms look ridiculous and only belong on people that work the counter at your local golf course. With that caveat, we'd love it if we could find more stinkers with her in them. She's got IT!

The rest of this movie is a series of bad and offensive ideas where people behind the camera had no concept of reality nor how to treat women properly. The lead beau is an EPIC douche/rapist. In one scene he punches Tommy in the mouth and then while "unconscious" he begins the process of rape. Then she falls in love with him. This guy just punched you in the face and was going to sexually assault you! Don't fall in love with him! Call the cops!

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Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt
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2016's Gods of Egypt has not done so well at the box office nor with the critics, so its time for the SM team to take another bad movie field trip. Can the power of Gerard Butler and Jamie Lannister facing off against each other prove to be awesome?

This movie has been lambasted pretty hard by critics and the wiseness that is the Internet. So many people had mad-ons because there were 0 Egyptian actors in the film and its again just a bunch of white guys pretending to be ethnic, ie. Dracula Untold. Well I have a question....who gives a rats ass! If this film was chock full of Egypt's hottest stars (that aren't joining/getting murdered by Daesh) would it be a good movie? Nope. So eat shit, the Internet.

This movie is a triumph is stupidity. This is truly a bad Hollywood movie. That's the last I'm going to say about how bad this movie is.

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Deadbeat at Dawn

Deadbeat at Dawn
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It took four years and many many punches, but the final product is a roller coaster of a stinker. Jim Van Bebber's gang-revenge film has one of the craziest final fights ever captured in film.

Along the way is a series of bonkers sequences that may or may not work for everyone but it's still a wild ride. The first 2/3 of the film is pretty slow, if we are honest. You have your typical "gang murdered my babe and now I gotta get me some revenge" plot but it seems there just wasn't enough material to have just that plot line. The film would have been about 30 minutes if it stuck to the plan. So there's alot of scenes that seem to be put in as time fillers. These time fillers setup the protagonist's (Goose) life and universe but they have very little to do with anything and can be a little tedious to get past.

Once the movie hits the gas pedal though, watch out! The last 1/3 of the film is some seriously ridiculous action. Goose's handling of the attacks on him and his subsequent attacking of the gang members rivals Danton (Deadly Prey). He kicks some serious ass. He dispatches about 30 guys in less than 20 minutes. He's offing guys at a rate of 1.5 per minute. It's awesome. 

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Gone with the Pope

Gone with the Pope
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Duke Mitchell gives us his best Godfather impression and along the way offends all of mankind, sails the Atlantic without problem, nabs the most powerful man on the planet with a pistol, and then finds God? It's one of the most bonkers films ever made and shouldn't be missed.

This film is one of those rare "masterpieces" that come once every few hundred years. When films like Gone with the Pope are released, the stars and planets must all be in line and druids must sacrifice a virgin on top of some rocks. This is incredibly unique. It's two movies mashed into one with one of the least charismatic actors fronting the entire show all while not having a clue on how to make a movie. It's a vanity piece on par with The Room with a screenplay that is written on napkins and roll up hundreds primarily used for snorting coke. What Duke Mitchell put together in 1975 is a trainwreck of catastrophic proportions.

But then you take the incredible work that Bob Murawski did with restoring and recutting the film and the incredible soundtrack by Jeff Mitchell (Director Duke Mitchell's son) and you've got this travesty of a film packaged in a box that rivals the production qualities of Heat and Good Fellas. It's insane. Imagine if Troll 2 was reproduced by Steven Spielberg. 

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Vampire's Kiss

Vampire's Kiss
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Academy Award winning Nicolas Coppola (he's not the Nic Cage we know and love yet) stars as a completely insane man and gives a completely insane performance in a movie that seems to be about vampires but....no. It's known as a true stinker but we have a different take.

This film has its flaws for sure. There's some technical flaws, there's some bad shots, way too much stock footage, a piss poor actress with a huge head that isn't deserved but for the most part it's a solid piece. The mystery from Vampire's Kiss stems from the over the top performance by Nic. So let's just discuss his little acting job.

He's crazy. He's got this weird accent that can't be defined. It's like a mixture of Irish, SoCal dude bro, New York and New Zealandese (is that a thing?). Depending on his emotions the accent fades out of one ingredient to another. He seems to get much more Irish when he's pissed and much more SoCal when he's calm.

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Street Trash

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A fairly accurate look into the life and mind of the bum that captures the essence of the transient; 100% crazy. Take a bunch of homeless people and then stuff them full of the worst alcohol ever created and watch them melt. Plus many not safe for children topics including penis keep-away...wait what?

Street Trash really isn't for everyone. On many levels, it is almost too morally offensive. There's several sequences that are almost too uncomfortable. These bums are horrible, horrible people. They truly care about nothing but themselves and have as little regard for human life as Dr. Josef Mengele. Enter at your own risk and do not bring a date to a viewing of Street Trash.

If you can not only suspend your disbelief but also suspend your revulsion of disgusting people, there's alot of good stuff here. Spoiler Alert - This movie is "about" melting bums. There's a batch of hard alcohol called Viper that when consumed turns your insides-out and makes your guts turn into spectacular colored paint. Very interesting. Melting bums are the least gross thing in this film. That's how awful the actions of these bums are.

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Q: The Winged Serpent

Q: The Winged Serpent
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That ol' nasty Aztec cult living in NYC rears its ugly head again and resurrects a giant flying hotdog-turtle that eats bikini ladies. Meanwhile, a low level criminal butthole douchebag treats his girlfriend poorly and then takes a couple of barely working cops on an egg chase.

Believe it or not, this film shouldn't be called "Q", unless "Q" stand for "Quinn" because this film is not about a flying dinosaur(?) worshipped by an Aztec cult. It's truly about Jimmy Quinn, a low level criminal that doesn't understand how to do his job and his quest for fame and fortune, set to the background of a giant flying serpent attacking NYC. Here's a simple test to verify this: Tell us what the story of Q is in this film and then tell us what the story of Jimmy Quinn is in this film. You have a beginning, middle and end to Quinn; you understand his motivations, his relationships and his desires. Quinn is the main story.

What is the motivation of Q? Is he hungry? No, he doesn't really eat anyone. Is it just pissed? Maybe, but he should be stoked because he's got people sacrificing to him? Is it protecting its child? No, he's flying all over the place and not by the "nest". Is Q even intelligent? 

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American Ninja

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Private Joe Armstrong (Michael Dudikoff) makes his dramatic debut to Stinker Madness with enough cool guy stares to melt a polar bear when he and Steve James team-up to punch and kick guys....and shoot them...and blow them up....sometimes run them over....and other ways you can kill guys.

Joining us for this episode is Joe Fulgham from the always funny and sometimes grody podcast, Caustic Soda. If you've never heard or had the chance to listen to these guys you are blowing it. As in "not ever having seen No Holds Barred blowing it". We listen to each and every episode, its that good.

Check out Caustic Soda

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Turkey Shoot

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The deadliest game comes to Stinker Madness once again in the form of Ozploitation with 1982's Turkey Shoot. Brian Trenchard-Smith delivers a classic stinker with some seriously insane sequences and a hell of lot of fun.

Turkey Shoot has a reputation for being pretty hardcore with heavy exploitative tones and excessive gore. We're not really seeing it. This is a fairly tame movie (in relative terms) to other "exploitation" films (see Cannibal Ferox, Mad Foxes, Killer Elephants et al.) So no one should go into this one thinking they are gonna get really offended or grossed out.

There is a ton of great performances and memorable characters. The cast is great with especially epic jobs from Roger Ward, Carmen Duncan and Steve Railsback. Olivia Hussey does a pretty good job of playing an innocent virginal character that makes no sense. She however does NOT do a good job of shooting a .50 cal.

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Jem and the Holograms

Jem and the Holograms
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In October of 2015, Jem and the Holograms was released into US theaters with much fanfare, and by fanfare I mean people asking "They remade Jem? Well that was dumb..." and then one week later it was nowhere to be found, instantly making it a SMABFA contender. Whose idea was this anyways?

Jem is a moral tale for females of the Millenial generation. So think of the most annoying thing in the world. Correct, its a teenage girl from that generation. So that's not good. However, the moral really is a good one; that girls shouldn't be who society dictates they should be, they should be themselves and revel in their own strengths and weaknesses. It's a great moral and we at Stinker Madness fully support it.

The problem with Jem is the moral gets completely lost in the presentation. Sure, the plot is stupid. Sure, acting is not so good. Sure, the hunky boy is a total douche with the obligatory shirtless scene. These problems can be managed. The problem with Jem is the constant use of YouTube videos of other real life teenagers "practicing" music intercut into dialogue and montages. They are a hideous distraction and painfully annoying. Just what this film needs, more Internetting....blech.

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Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers
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Paul Verhoeven had a vision for a caricature of a Fascist future society and totally nails it in the guise of a silly space battle movie. Toss in a 3 way love story with incredibly strong and easy to care for characters, exceptional acting and you've got one of hell of a good movie.

Why then is this movie on Stinker Madness? Well because in 1997 the critics and Sam and Justin made a single mistake; they didn't get this movie. The world wasn't ready for Starship Troopers. We were expecting a film adaptation of the Robert Heinlein science fiction novel of the same title. We weren't expecting a high school football game with backflips. We weren't expecting children smashing beetles and mothers laughing maniacally at it. We weren't expecting Robocop and Total Recall with a serious story and moral statement. So it was panned by critics. Thus making it a "bad movie". But it truly is a masterpiece in pop culture.

We applaud Verhoeven's use of exposition in the clever guise of the "Would you like to know more?" Internet commercials. The entire universe is setup in these quick interjections and in a fast paced and entertaining manner, while some of the funnest moments come in these. The heaviest statements about this world take place in these and are hilarious. The children fighting over the guns and military passing out huge bullets, "The only good bug, is a dead bug", and the aforementioned children smashing beetles under foot.

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Point Break (1991)

Point Break (1991)
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For 25 years, people have been celebrating a film about a FBI guy spending 3/4 of the movie trying to get fired and perhaps sent to prison, while steadily falling in love with a dude brah. Since its release apparently no one has watched it because this crap stinks and not in good ways.

I'm sorry to say everyone but this movie just isn't very good NOR is it very bad. It is as middle of the road and completely unremarkable as any movie has ever existed. What? It's not very good? 

Point Break isn't good because:

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Point Break (2015)

Point Break (2015)
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For years people have been requesting a remake of a really stupid and poorly thought out 90's movie with horrendous acting and too many "dude bros" and then make it much much stupider. Wait...no one asked for that? Then wait the hell is the point of Point Break (2015)?

The story of 2015's Point Break is truly one of the more poorly thought plots in recent memory. Johnny Utah must go undercover into some extreme guys again and to do it he must also do extreme stuff to build up their trust. There the plot similarity ends. The real dumb stuff is the motivation of Bodhi and his crew. They are going to save the Earth (environmentally, ie. "Mans progress is totally harshing my groove, bro" crap)...by doing 8 extreme sport/stunts. Yup. Save the Earth by jumping off stuff. Now one can argue that they are environmental terrorists who are going to stop corporations from damaging the Earth by extreme criminality but at no point would any of their stunts do that, one, in fact, damages the Earth more than the activity they are preventing and then halfway through the movie, they just give up on that completely and just do extreme sports so, as Bodhi puts it, "become one with the Earth". If only "becoming one with the Earth" meant splattering into the side of it at terminal velocity.

Dumb story aside, the primary problem with Point Break is that the stunts and action sequences are painfully uninteresting. They are long and drawn out shots of dudes doing extreme sports. While that sounds ok, it's really just the same level of enjoyment of watching a Warren Miller or a Krusties video. You know the ones of just guys skiing, snowboarding, motorcycling, jumping off stuff videos in slow motion. One thing you gotta do is make these things more interesting and exciting than a TV show on MTV (Nitro Circus). The stunts are drab and too long. 

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Sssssss

Sssssss
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In what very well may be the worst mad scientist plan of all time, Professor Stoner (didn't make that up) turns innocent David from Man to Snakeman to.....well mongoose lunch. It's ssssssso ssssssstupid! It should be mentioned that no other film on this podcast is as worthy of being a MST3K episode.

Sssssss suffers from being not only very poorly thought out but also has some of the least movie making efforts ever attempted in film. It's not quite as useless as Frogs but tries to dupe us that it is a film but just showing shot after shot of crazy! snakes. However, they are live snakes and the actors aren't trained professionals so that at least makes these sequences viewable. Each sequence of snake business is spent wondering if the actors are going to get bit or smooshed or if they are accidentally going to kill one of the little serpents. ASPCA be damned!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Heather Menzies-Urich here. Her hair....wow. And those glasses....wow. No film heroine has ever nailed a Danny Partridge impression so well. Her visage is like the front end of a bus with a bike rack on it...right before it runs you over. Yipes!

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