The internet is a wonderful thing, sometimes. When 'researching' this week's Not On My Watch – essentially clicking on any movie that sounded either terrible, hilarious, or hilariously terrible – I thought it would be fun to see what people say about the movies I chose on title alone before I'd actually watched them.
It was a bit like having a palette cleanser before a big meal. I knew the movies would be awful, but it was good to understand the level of awful I was about to witness. It turns out, people don't hold back.
Take, for instance, Carnage: Legend of Quiltface, now streaming on Amazon Prime and reviewed below. Go to IMDb – which is also owned by Amazon, so these reviews are similar to pooing on your own doorstep – and it's pretty clear that there's not much love for this movie.
Take Katatonia from Missouri who writes: "A pre-schooler could do a better film. Avoid this like the plague!"
Now, I know they are being subtle but I think I am getting the impression Quiltface wasn't for them.
Hottchopz from the United States has similar feelings, noting: "Straight up. It is honestly the worst movie I have ever seen… The only thing that sucks is that I threw it in the frigging dumpster right after I watched it. It was that bad."
I am sensing a pattern here.
But I'll leave it to Lucky__Boy from Minneapolis to deliver the final note.
Interestingly, it starts off positive: "Perhaps this film is of some importance, as it should inspire anyone with a video camera to run to the desert to make a slasher flick…"
Ooh, promising, do go on Lucky__Boy. "Because they cannot possibly do worse than this."
"Please do not think that I am saying this film is 'so bad it is good', but rather trying to emphasize that this film is 'so bad it is just plain bad'."
And with that, here's what I think about Quiltface and three other movies not fit for human consumption.
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1. Carnage: Legend of Quiltface
The Premise: Dude in a quilt mask, with an obvious rubber machete and a penchant for silly dancing, starts killing people in the Nevada desert.
There's a bit in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that's truly terrifying. It's when Leatherface goes full Leatherface after everyone escapes and he does this little dance with a chainsaw. It's the dance of someone who has truly lost it.
Quiltface does a similar dance in Carnage and it's absolutely hilarious. He snorts and grunts and does a strange foxtrot after killing one of his many victims. Watch this (it's about 46 minutes in) and discount the rest of this slurry of shoddy slasher nonsense. I mean, who calls their killer Quiltface?
Literally anything would be better. PenMouth, DoorknobEye, StairNeck – all better.
ChairNose, BedHead, DuvetTeeth… I could go on. Anything but Quiltface, it's not the name of a serial killer, it's a character in a detergent advert.
Best watched when: You are after a duvet, you Google it and Quiltface comes up and you click on it and 'oh my god what the hell am I watching?'
2. Moontrap Target Earth
The Premise: Er, I think a spacecraft is found on Earth. Then someone goes to the moon.
Moontrap Target Earth… that's a lot of words isn't it? A lot of words that don't actually make a whole lot of sense when put together. And that pretty much sums up this movie. It's a mishmash of ideas that reach far beyond the budget allows them to.
There's a lovely space-infused dream at the beginning where it's meant to look like a spaceship travelling through the vast reaches of the solar system but it ends up looking like someone throwing jelly at a wall. There's also two robots in it, one which forces the only woman – Sam Butler, who is the only good thing about this mess – in the film to undress (obviously).
So, if pervy robots, bad CGI and some of the worst acting this side of Mars is for you then by all means watch MoonTarget Trap Earth… EarthTrap Target Moon… TrapTarget Earth Moon… whatever this crap is called.
Best watched when: In space, the only place where no one can hear you scream about how bad it is.
3. American Poltergeist
- Steaming now on Netflix
The Premise: A group of people move into a house with a sinister past.
The best thing about American Poltergeist is that the movie is a lean 80 minutes long and that's with the credits. There's really only 73 minutes you have to sit through. The bad thing is that those 73 minutes will feel like the longest 73 minutes of your life. That's because there's nothing redeeming in American Poltergeist.
The filmmakers would have been better shooting a piece of paper with a long list of horror cliches on it – even that would have more substance than watching a group of people (mostly women in skimpy clothes ) run around a big house and get scared by the sudden appearance of someone with old-woman makeup on.
If you do stick it out to the end though, you get to hear a cop say the classic line: "Your god can't save you now, kiddo."
He's right, not even god can save you from this nonsense.
Best watched when: You're possessed, head turned 360 degrees away from the TV and are shooting pea soup from your nostrils.
- Steaming now on Netflix
The Premise: A baby-eating demon is let loose by a baby-holding woman after she purchases a butt-ugly figurine from a weird witch.
Picture the scene: director Mark Jones is pitching his latest movie to a bunch of execs, possibly over mimosas and seafood in a posh LA haunt. He's the director of none other than Leprechaun, a movie about a small murdering troll-like figure who goes on a rampage for a pot of gold.
The movie has spawned a number of sequels, including Leprechaun 2, Leprechaun 3, Leprechaun 4: In Space, Leprechaun in the Hood and Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood. Jones has created a money spinner and the execs are hanging off his every word, waiting for his new killer franchise idea.
Jones, not wanting to be a one-trick pony, puts down his shrimp, takes a final sip on the fizzy orange stuff and pitches his new idea, fingers in the air like he's holding the title. It's a movie called Rumpelstiltskin, about a small murdering troll-like figure who goes on a rampage for… a baby.
Everyone smiles, hands are shaken, contracts are signed, and more shrimp is eaten.
Rumpelstiltskin is a stupid movie. It's not funny enough to be a comedy, not scary enough to be a horror. It's the sort of movie that wouldn't look out of place in the '70s but it came out at the same time as Scream. It even tried to win me over by not having one but three homages to The Terminator movies. But then I looked at Rumpelstiltskin's stupid rubber face and remembered I was watching something rather awful.
Best watched when: You really want to see a vertically challenged Terminator chase a baby.
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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.