It’s finally happened. Amazon and Netflix’s algorithms have caught up with my bad movie watching and now they are delivering dross to me on a daily basis. When I first started writing Not On My Watch, I had to dive deep into both services to unearth the terrors within. I saw myself as as one of those mystical freedivers who swim to the bottom of an azure ocean to find that big ol’ oyster shell that contains a majestic pearl.
The difference being that I am no beautiful freediver but a mere failed film journalist sitting in my pants late at night, the seedy belly of streaming services my azure ocean, the crud of the movie crop my pathetic pearl.
Now these awful movies are served to me wearing a frayed bow. My Netflix and Amazon homescreens are covered in curated crap. I have to now explain to my wife quite why such classics as Milfs Vs Zombies, Strip Club Massacre and Werewolf Bitches from Outer Space are now in my ‘recommended for you’ section. Joy of joys.
I’m in too deep, folks, there’s no way out so I may as well continue offering up you lovely bunch of Not On My Watchers the very worst movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix you can view with your own eyes.
A word of warning: this is my life now, but you can still get out while the going’s good. I cannot. I am a trader of the terrible, a hawker of the horrible, a vender of the vile. And, with that, on the menu this week are vampiric samurais, abysmal animated animal antics and the worst parody movie you will ever see - so much so I’m convinced it’s a parody of parody movies, made with the sole intention of making all other parody movies, even Meet The Spartans, look like Oscar contenders. Enjoy. Endure. Adieu.
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Shira The Vampire Samurai
The Premise: Shira is part vampire, part samurai, all sass. She's meant to be the future leader/mother of day walking vampires but some idiot named Kristoff is hell-bent on making sure that never happens.
Shira The Vampire Samurai begins at a frenetic pace. There's a lot of running, everyone is running, so much running and drumming, drumming and running. Then, once the cameraman gets everything into focus - it takes a while - it's revealed that it's ninjas and samurais that are running, chasing each other. At this point I'm hooked. Ninjas! Samurais! I've got this movie all wrong, it's not a B- movie but a portentous overview of the class system of feudal Japan in 1100AD, where the ninjas are the kick-ass lower class and the samurai are militia of a better stock.
How wrong I was. The title sequence kicks in and lasts so long I thought the tape was stuck, then remembered we don't use tape anymore but ones and noughts, and everything falls apart. You see there are two things Shira is: a vampire and a samurai. And one thing she is not: an actress. As well as sucking blood, she sucks the life out of this entire movie. And the plot doesn't help either. Instead of staying in historic Japan, things shift to the modern world where Shira tries out as a stripper, has sex with a man with flesh-coloured balloons for arms (they maybe muscles, if they are they're weird muscles) and meets Kristoff who makes whiny noises when he fights. And that concludes how to make a movie with samurai, ninjas and vampires, well, suck.
Best watched when: you're a vampire, have been alive for centuries and watched and read everything the world has to offer. Only then should you buy a Prime subscription and take this one for a spin.
The Premise: A sleepy village in England has a terrible secret: it's filled with werewolves... and people who think they are filmmakers but are definitely not.
Crying Wolf begins with two middle-aged people dropping double entendres aplenty in an antique shop about a book. They manage to equate buying a book to sex, with classic lines such as (said in hushed sexy tones): "I love her for her prose" and "I buy second hand versions of her books because the new ones are wrapped in plastic to protect their posterity". Hubba hubba.
We then get a homage to a James Bond credit sequences of old, where silhouettes of ladies dance to a tuneless theme. But this time the silhouettes contain piles of offal and blood. Beautiful. And just like a James Bond movie, the cast eventually say the name of the movie, or at least a version of it, with the fantastic line: "Being a serial prankster, no one listened to him. Andy had cried wolf once too often."
That is the extent of fun you will have with Crying Wolf, a horror comedy so insipid that its real frights will make you laugh and its jokes will scare you off. Wait, that means it's actually doing its job as a horror comedy... now I don't know whether to love it or hate it.
I'm so confused.
Best watched when: you're the director and you have to watch the rushes as you are making the film.
The Premise: A video guy gets lost delivering movies and subsequently turns into a monster hunter.
This film offends me on many levels. I grew up with all the horror characters Stan Helsing parodies. Freddy was my friend at secondary school, Jason and his machete saw me through college and Chucky was the doll I cuddled at night. So, seeing these horror icons in a movie as bad as Stan Helsing is just plain wrong. The film tries to lampoon the horror genre, seemingly forgetting Scary Movie did the same thing seven years previous, but it backfires so badly that it ends up being more of a mess than what happens to your average non-virgin teenager visiting Camp Crystal Lake.
It's not a movie, it's a set of skits stuck together by a gunk of toilet humour and sex jokes. Stan Helsing is seemingly void of actors and a script. It's as if the camera crew turned up and just demanded random people did something in front of the camera, while someone dressed as Leatherface mucks around in the background with a leaf blower and Chucky pretends to give someone head.
To put it into context: this movie is worse than Jason X.
Best watched when: you have just been slaughtered by Freddy's knife glove.
Pegasus Vs Chimera
The Premise: Pegasus has a fight with a chimera, hilarity ensues.
For the most part of Pegasus Vs Chimera,Pegasus is just a white horse. The filmmakers don't even mask the fact that they are just filming a white horse do horse things, such as canter and trot and neigh a bit. Then there is one glorious moment when Pegasus takes to the skies and develops wings, scribbled on wings. Harryhausen stop-motion this is not - it's a scene that's been animated by someone who has never seen a horse before, but had one described to them a few years ago by the medium of mime. It's mesmerising to watch.
When Pegasus does eventually fights the CG Chimera, it's a scene packed with so much slow-mo, if they took it out the whole film would be 20 minutes long. And that's what cemented this movie for me as being the greatest telling ever of this Greek myth.
Best watched when: you want to understand the Greek myth of Pegasus, but need it told through the medium of the scribblings of a 10-month old baby.
Marc Chacksfield is a former film journalist (and TechRadar's global managing editor) who is already regretting agreeing to watch terrible movies for the sake of his column Not On My Watch.