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RECESSION-PROOF MOVIES: Bargain Bin Alternatives To Classic Films

As the global economy dips into recession, now is the time to begin preparing ourselves for the worst. Finding ways to curb our spending is one thing, but it is perhaps more important to change our attitudes about the very way we live. Whether it is the food we eat or the clothes we wear, being less greedy and learning to budget can make us happier, healthier and wealthier. Why buy the most expensive brand of toothpaste when the cheaper brand does the same job? Why eat out at an upscale restaurant when you can save money by cooking at home?

Your movie-viewing habits are no different. We all love seeing a good film, but it can get expensive going to the cinema, not to mention renting and buying overpriced DVDs. It could be time to tighten the belt and stop demanding so much in a movie. Rich plot, brilliant acting, sweeping cinematography; these are luxuries those of us on a budget should learn to live without. If you choose to wear cheaper clothes and eat cheaper food, why not watch cheaper movies? Being budget conscious is a state of mind.

Who says a film needs to be good to be enjoyable? Since when do all films need critical acclaim to be recommendable? There is an often ignored group of films out there that are so unbelievably bad, they have crossed over into becoming pure guilty pleasures. You can find these movies by searching the bargain-bins of the world. Whether they are cheesy 1980s action films, poorly made horror shockers, or forgotten teen T&A flicks, there are thousands out there that can be yours to own for next to nothing.

Crap films can make for a fun night of viewing, not to mention an inexpensive option in an unpredictable economic climate. So take my money-saving advice and try these recession-proof alternatives to some of your favourite films:


CLASSIC FILM:
FORREST GUMP (1994)
STARRING: TOM HANKS

BARGAIN BIN ALTERNATIVE:
BUFORD’S BEACH BUNNIES (1993)
STARRING: JIM HANKS

If you were like so many others who sat through Forrest Gump thinking, “What this film really needs is some scantily-clad bikini babes with big norgs.” then Buford’s Beach Bunnies is the film for you. Featuring the acting prowess of Jim Hanks (Tom’s less-talented younger brother) this raunchy 1993 comedy-romp tells the story of a moron named Jeeter, a young man terrified of sex, whose popularity with females soars when his pushy father offers $100,000 to the first girl to deflower him. It’s the sort of sophisticated premise missing in movies these days.

Though hardly as lavish as Forrest Gump, the two films do share similarities beyond the Hanks connection. Both feature an eerily similar central character with mental deficiencies, and whilst Jim Hanks may tug the bikini strings more than the heartstrings in Buford’s Beach Bunnies, I think you’ll agree that he certainly comes off the more convincing idiot.



CLASSIC FILM:
ROCKY (1976)
STARRING: SYLVESTER STALLONE

BARGAIN BIN ALTERNATIVE:
THE PINK CHIQUITAS (1987)
STARRING: FRANK STALLONE

If you are a fan of films where the underdog overcomes great odds, forget Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, save your money and try Frank Stallone in The Pink Chiquitas. You’ll be in awe of Sly’s younger brother as he attempts to overcome a ridiculous story, terrible directing and some of the worst dialogue ever written.

With a plot that centres on a pink meteor crashing into a small town and turning all the female residents into horny, scantily-clad nymphs, The Pink Chiquitas is certainly more Schlocky than Rocky, more Hambo than Rambo, and for Frank Stallone’s first foray as a leading man, definitely more a First Dud than First Blood.

It may not have the rousing finale of Rocky, but I can guarantee you’ll be on your feet cheering when The Pink Chiquitas is over.



CLASSIC FILM:
OCEAN’S ELEVEN (2001)
STARRING: GEORGE CLOONEY, BRAD PITT, MATT DAMON, JULIA ROBERTS

BARGAIN BIN ALTERNATIVE:
BEACH BABES FROM BEYOND (1993)
STARRING: JOE ESTEVEZ, DON SWAYZE, JOEY TRAVOLTA, JACKIE STALLONE

We all love to watch a film with a knockout ensemble. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts are undoubtedly an impressive cast for Oceans Eleven, but it almost seems irresponsible to watch such an expensive looking film, featuring so many overpaid Hollywood A-listers during this time of financial stress. Why not try 1993’s Beach Babes From Beyond instead?

It may not have the slickness of Ocean’s Eleven but for fans of ensembles, it doesn’t get more impressive than the likes of Joe Estevez, Don Swayze, Joey Travolta and Sly’s mom Jackie Stallone all in the one movie.

The story involves three intergalactic beach babes who land their spaceship in California and do what any intelligent alien life-form visiting earth would do; enter a bikini contest in order to raise money to save a guy’s beach house.

Unlike Oceans Eleven, there is no thrilling heist in Beach Babes From Beyond. In fact, the only thing stolen is the 90 minutes of your life you spent watching it, but with such a large cast of deliciously untalented siblings of famous actors, it’s hard to complain. If you need more convincing, there’s also an appearance from Burt Ward who played Robin in the Batman TV series. Now that’s what I call bang for your buck!



CLASSIC FILM:
APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
STARRING: MARTIN SHEEN, MARLON BRANDO

BARGAIN BIN ALTERNATIVE:
MAX HELL FROG WARRIOR (2002)
STARRING: SCOTT SHAW, JOE ESTEVEZ

Not many people know that when Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack during the filming of Apocalypse Now, his younger brother Joe Estevez was flown to the set to act as Martin’s stand-in. Although he had no dialogue, and we only really saw quick shots of his back, it remains Joe Estevez’s finest work. Those needing proof should check out Max Hell Frog Warrior.

Estevez plays Mickey O’Malley, an evil madman and leader of Toad country, a man who loves the smell of mutant amphibians in the morning. His plan to take over the world turns sour when Max Hell (Scott Shaw) comes to town to kick some frog arse.

It may not have the same dark and brooding intensity of Apocalypse Now, nor has it won as many awards, but if there were an Oscar category for “Most Unconvincing Mutant Frog Outfits In Cinema History”, Max Hell Frog Warrior would be a hands-down winner.

Youtube clip of Max Hell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7oWUlqYn08 (sorry… Embedding disabled by request)


In a world pre-occupied with quality and substance, it is nice to know there is still an outlet for less discerning movie-lovers. So if you’re looking to save a few dollars during the financial crisis, head for your local bargain-bin and pick up a crap movie today.

by Adam Fay

Discussion

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  1. Dude…
    Hilarious.

    I’ve gotta see Beach Babes From Beyond…with a cast of untalented siblings like that, you can’t go wrong.

    Later.

    Posted by Wadrick Jones | September 7, 2009, 5:06 am
  2. Classic stuff…

    Right on Adam, I’m impressed with your sense of social duty. Thanks for looking out for all the financially-strapped punters…

    And it’s true, the crap films need to be celebrated too, for the joy they (albeit unintentionally) bring…

    If I may, I’d like to pledge “Cutthroat Island” as an alternative to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise…That is one brilliantly bad movie…

    Posted by Decoy Spoon | September 10, 2009, 8:05 pm
  3. hehe..great suggestion Decoy. Cuttthroat Island, phew what a delicious stinker that was. Renny Harlin has done a few more since too. “Driven” comes to mind.

    Posted by faystar | September 11, 2009, 5:23 am

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