Bad Film Society scrapes bottom of the barrel

Don't even imagine that you really know what "BAD" means until you come to the next meeting of The Bad Film Society 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20, downstairs at the Ashland Elks Club.

The feature film will be "Frankenstein Island" from 1981 directed by Jerry Warren. The basic story line is that hot-air balloonists and their dog, Melvin, crash land on what they think is a deserted island, only to encounter leopard-skin bikini-clad women who are also space aliens. The film also contains a female mad scientist married to the 200-year-old, bedridden assistant of Dr. Frankenstein, holographic images (well, sort of) of John Carradine spouting meaningless dialogue over and over, a bunch of brain-dead ex-seamen who are zombie guards, and blood donor Cameron Mitchell who has been imprisoned for 17 years in what looks to be a building made of balsa wood and there is also a Frankenstein monster, but he's underwater for most of the movie and doesn't show up till near the end.

This lurches breathlessly from scene to scene, never stopping once to make sense. There are an amazing array of gadgets and props to make the jaw drop. For example, there's something called an "oscillator" that looks like either a small tackle box or lunch box, painted pink and balanced on one corner to spin endlessly while experiments are performed. This is just an absolutely, desperately, ridiculously bad movie, but it is also vastly entertaining and fun, despite all that.

As one character says, "So much has happened, the mind can't catalog it!"

It took the director 15 years to make this movie since he got in so much legal trouble from his 1966 film, "The Wild World of Batwoman," shown by The Bad Film Society two months ago.

Short subjects include coming attraction trailers and a 12 minute version of "Star Wars" performed by puppets made by mentally disabled adults at a day-care center in Oakland, Calif. Titled "Puppet Wars", it is far superior to the George Lucas original.

Thrill to the third episode of the hair-raising 1939 serial "The Phantom Creeps" starring Bad Film favorite Bela Lugosi as Dr. Zorka with his giant snarling robot, invisibility belt, Z-ray gun and mechanical death spiders!

The festivities will begin with a potluck dinner open to all members.

Also, unload trashy videos for door prizes in a humiliating and hilarious raffle.

For more information, visit /badfilm

The entrance to the Ashland Elks is on Will Dodge Way (the alley between East Main and Lithia Way and 1st and 2nd Streets.) The private Elks parking lot will be open for use. There is a $3 donation requested to cover the costs of the room rental and supplies.

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