- January 23rd, 21:43
I won't do a movie-by-movie rundown, because I nodded off repeatedly during the later films. Instead, I'll do a categorical assessment of the Fest, since I saw the majority of every film.
Note that "best" and "worst" don't attempt to judge a film against the merits of "good" cinema, since most of these movies are bad by an objective standard. Instead, they judge against the other films at the fest.
Best Movie: A tie between Adventures of Hercules and Super Inframan. While lacking the bear-throwing of its prequel, Adventures of Hercules is so self-embracingly goofy that it practically generates raw joy. Super Inframan, meanwhile, is an unashamed ripoff of Ultraman (with a touch of Kamen Rider), but between the amazingly poor dub and the sheer insanity of the plot and characters, it deserves attention.
Runner-up: The Human Tornado
Worst Movie: Blood Mania. It's astounding to contemplate, but there was a worse movie than Garbage Pail Kids on this year's schedule. Incredibly dull, with some of the most atrocious scene pacing ever put to celluloid, a cast that makes Death Bed's infamous acting look compotent, and a script riddled with holes (what happened to Craig's wife? Why does Nurse Turner stay around after her patient dies?), this quickly earned infamy among the festgoers for being this year's backbreaker.
Runner-up: Calling Dr. Death
Most Uncomfortable Film: Garbage Pail Kids. While surprisingly not the worst film this year, it was easily the least fun to watch. The famous Nostalgia Critic review covers a lot of it, but it bears remarking how mean-spirited this movie gets. The Kids are vile creatures in both appearance and deed - they steal food and equipment as a first resort, inflict physical violence for fun, spend time backing up the sewer system into a guy's hot tub, and in an astonishing scene, it's implied that Greaser Greg attempted to rape Messy Tessy. That scene caught everyone off-guard.
Least Notable Film: The Fifth Muskeeter. I skipped the middle 30 minutes of this film to get lunch before the rush, but those around me insist I missed nothing. A poor attempt at mashing together "The Man in the Iron Mask" and "The Three Muskeeters", the film wanders around randomly, misses the mark on several tries, and finally gives up and falls asleep in a dumpster. This is a surprise, given the cast holds several decent names (Lloyd Bridges, Ian McShane, the woman who played Emmanuelle), but it's a reminder that talent can only do so much for a bad script.
Runner-up: Moon Zero Two (except for the animated intro)
Best Aspect of B-Fest 2016: Insanity. We had Adventures of Hercules, where the final battle is a laser light show; Roar, shot entirely with untrained wild animals and boasting a massive injury toll; Americathon, showing us why exactly the 70s are so uncomfortably remembered; and Super Inframan, the world's first Chinese superhero. Even the more "normal" films gave us moments like The Human Tornado blatantly ignoring the fourth wall for the first five minutes or Moon Zero Two's zany opening.
Runner-up: The beautiful women of the B-Fest lineup - from Hercules's allies to Raquel Welch
Worst Aspect of B-Fest 2016: The Doldrums. This year's B-Fest had a depressingly long stretch of movies with almost nothing happening. Calling Dr. Death sounded the warning toll, and then after a brief reprieve, we were hit with, in a row, Blood Mania, Moon Zero Two, Low Blow (which had moments of insanity but was mostly, sad to admit, a generic cop flick), and The Fifth Muskeeter. The closing three were 2-out-of-3 on entertainment factor, Roar and Super Inframan balancing out the mostly-blah Kansas City Bomber. But all in all, that wasn't a very good track record...
Runner-up: Volume issues
Best Personal Moment: Realizing Noah "Spoony" Antwiller was sitting two rows behind me.
Final assessment: More misses than hits, but man, the hits were dead-on this year.