Welcome to the first edition of Not On My Watch (AKA Streaming Pile Of Crap), a column dedicated to the downright terrible movies that can be found on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
This isn't a ruse to get you to watch those 'oh my god, this is so bad it's good' type of films. Nope, not in the slightest. I implore you: don't watch these films.
They are the worst of the worst. I have wasted my life watching these so you don't have to. I have ruined my Netflix and Amazon Prime recommended algorithms so you don't have to. I have become a much dumber person as a result of watching these movies so you don't have to.
With that in mind, here's what's on the streaming pile of crapheap this week.
Please note: these movies were available on the UK version of Netflix and Amazon Prime at time of going to press. If, for some reason, they aren't available in your particular country then you are a very lucky person indeed.
- Streaming on Netflix
The premise: Australia, it's usually a very hot place. But in Arctic Blast it becomes a very cold place because of a MASSIVE amount of chilled air that's taking over the country and threatening a new Ice Age. It's air con geddon!
Ooh, Arctic Blast. Sounds exciting, cool, a little sexy. It's the sort of name you would associate with a mighty breath mint, or a chewing gum that's so good it just won't lose its flavour.
Then again, it's also the name you may give an air freshener that's solely been designed to mask the smell of poo. Which is an apt, if rather disgusting, metaphor for this movie.
Arctic Blast sees the good people of Australia threatened when a solar eclipse sends a blast of super chilled air hurtling towards earth, which in turn sets off a catastrophic chain of events that forces the world to endure some terrible CGI and even worse dialog.
Dialog that includes such zingers as:
"My mother's a forensic pathologist and my father studies meteorology."
“I didn’t know your dad studied meteors.”
That sound you hear is a grown man crying.
Most of the film is people looking scared at smoke that's obviously come from a rented smoke machine situated behind the camera. Smoke, I can only presume given the name of the movie isn't Smoke Blast, that's meant to actually be freezing fog.
When people aren't looking scared at the rented smoke machine smoke, they are walking while looking scared at the rented smoke machine smoke or running scared while looking at the rented smoke machine smoke.
Then, in a massive twist, we get a rented smoke machine smoke eye's view of the world. We see what the smoke sees! Are we the smoke? I don't know what's happening anymore.
When the big arctic blast does finally come and actually freeze people it does it in achingly slow motion, with dubious effects and screaming worse than what's heard in that new Tom Cruise Mummy movie.
Once they actually figure out how to deal with the freeze - something to do with dropping a big payload of magnesium - you simply won't care but feel sad that this is a movie from the director that once gave us the stone-cold classic BMX Bandits.
Best watched: while wearing a big jumper and a balaclava with no eye holes.
- Streaming on Netflix
Premise: The inhabitants of a swamp town in Louisiana start dying because some radioactive SnakeHead fish start to get a bit chompy.
First, credit where credit's due. The name of the director who made SnakeHead Swamp is Don E. FauntLeRoy. Everything about that name is superb, from the inter-capped surname to the way the first name and initial make up a brand-new moniker. Fantastic stuff.
Now on to the movie. SnakeHead Swamp isn't the worst movie on this list *cough* Quest For The Egg Salad *uncough* it's just a bad movie.
It starts with someone who likes an old Biff Tannen driving a truck with a teenager who doesn't want Biff to drive too fast, because he wants to see the love of his life again.
And, just like that, the kid is the first to die. He goes to the back of the truck and it turns out that the contents of the vehicle has for some reason made SnakeHead fish eggs radioactive and things get messy from there.
Then good ol' Don E. FauntLeRoy decides to confuse things and show someone putting a curse on the swamp. That someone just happens to be the guy that played Huggy Bear in the the 1970s TV show Starsky and Hutch.
So, are these fish giant, deadly and alive because of the curse or the radioactivity? Honestly, I have no idea and neither to the filmmakers.
In the end they really come alive by the magic of low-budget CGI and look absolutely dreadful as a result. For some reason they also make a sound like the Cookie Monster talking as they are gobbling people up.
At least Huggy Bear is blessed with lines such as: “Take care of the swamp and she take care of you. That’s what my momma told me.”
Best Watched: when the only alternative is you sleeping with the fishes.
- Streaming on Amazon Prime
The premise: I have absolutely no idea what is happening in this movie.
Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of surrealism. In the right hands, namely David Lynch, a surreal movie can be a masterpiece. In the wrong hands it becomes Magnetic.
The film starts in New York City (I think). The main protagonist is a woman called Alice (from what I can gather) who decides NYC isn't for her anymore so she goes home (possibly) but she's also something to do with the end of the world (maybe)... and that's where I give up.
The first half of the film is a lengthy, badly edited mash of music videos. Alice seems to like listening to music and every time she listens to a mixtape the film sort of creates a bad music video for that track.
There's also a bit where she chats to a woman dressed as a spider. Or it might be a spider dressed as a woman. Whatever it is they have a conversation about some sheep, all while the spider lady pretends to be trapped in a web.
There's another bit where Alice has tea with a bunch of people dressed as sheep, dogs and other things, laughing and giggling about how they love riddles. It all hints at big, Alice In Wonderland-style subversion but ends up being a mess of a movie wrapped up in a bow of pretension.
The soundtrack, mostly taken from Bandcamp is actually okay but that shouldn't detract from how formless and utterly silly this movie is.
Best watched when: you find yourself in the same situation Alex does in A Clockwork Orange - strapped to a chair, eyes forced open and you have no choice but to stare, while someone kindly pipets moisture into your tear ducts.
Quest For The Egg Salad
- Streaming on Amazon Prime
The Premise: A ragtag group of fantasy folks, lead by Balfazar, journey to Central Earth on a quest to find the sacred ‘egg salad’.
Where do I start? Well, Quest For The Egg Salad is a real film, in so much that it is available to watch on Amazon Prime. I can guarantee that it won’t be the movie that will make you buy an Amazon Prime subscription, though, but it may will be the movie that will make you cancel your Amazon Prime subscription.
Shot in 4:3 by a bunch of 'filmmakers' who wanted to cash in on the LOTR craze at the time, this is a piss-poor parody of fantasy movies that’s completely misses the mark.
It’s badly acted, full of some of the worst makeup and camera work you will ever see. It's badness is just plain offensive.
Director Chris Seaver has made a living out of churning out the lowest of low budget nonsense that makes Lloyd Kaufman - who cameos here, much to his shame - look like Scorsese. The kicker is this isn’t the worst movie Seaver has ever made - that accolade goes to puerile Carnage for the Destroyer.
Quest For The Egg Salad has no redeeming features. It's not even a movie you can watch with your booze-soaked mates for fun as it's simply unwatchable.
I'm lost for words to describe how bad this movie is. Thankfully someone on IMDB explains it best: “There are terrible movies. There are unwatchable movies. And then there is the work of Chris Seaver.”
Best to watch when: your television is not connected to the mains.
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- 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.