Tag Archive: Barb Wire

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

To me there is nothing like a bad movie.

I don’t mean good enough but not a great movie. I mean bad, I mean super bad. I mean something so preposterous and unrealistic that there is no way you can buy into the story line. There may not be one character, including the lead, that you can find likable, sympathetic, or even heroic enough to root for in the proceedings.

But it has to be a movie that is so bad that you want to watch it again and laugh at it.

My go-to-movie in this situation is always Barb Wire (1996) starring Pamela Anderson Lee in a bad futuristic dystopian drama in which Pamela Anderson does her best Humphrey Bogart. She is the owner of the hippest night club in town that is only mildly harassed by the police. Things get done through he club that don’t happen anywhere else.

Barb Wire IMDb com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

However, Barb wants nothing to do with it. He goal is to keep herself and her blind brother alive. Her sideline job is being a bounty hunter and she is the best. Once upon a time she worked in the resistance but no more. Barb doesn’t take sides and she doesn’t like being called “babe.”

This is not a movie for small children as there is plenty of violence, swearing, and nudity on the part of Miss Lee. It has a lot of energy with some fantastic scenes of action, destruction, and explosions. Sure, it is a reboot of Casablanca and it is interesting to see how the director imagined 2017 back in the 90s. But this is not high art. Fun to watch, yes. Great cinema, no.

The same could be said about a movie that was released over the winter called Monster Trucks. The story is about an oil company that is fracking in North Dakota. But one night something comes out and it is something that likes to eat oil.

Meanwhile, Tripp – a young man who works at the local junk yard – notices weird noises and happenings. Soon he discovers the reason for all of the weird noises and creates a bond with this strange monster. In doing so, he requires the help of pretty Meredith and must keep the secret away from his step father and the oilmen.

Monster TrucksThis is not a great movie. In fact it was held back for release until January 2017. More over, Angus Till went on to star in the re-boot of the McGiver TV show. But what this movie has is fun, Who doesn’t want to see trucks destroyed or able to climb walls and practically fly over roof tops. Not only that, we get the heart-warming story of a boy developing a bond with his step-father.

Lastly, we get a buddy movie as the monster and Tripp develop a relationship while fighting evil oil guys. Can it get any better? Probably not but this movie is family friendly and filled with fun action.

And in the days before school, sometimes a relaxing night with a bad movie is just what the family needs.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Break Out the Old Ones

Family Movie Night

Do you ever get on a kick to watch certain types of movies?


I have had weeks in which I only watch movies based on Jane Austen books or Jack Black movies.


Sometimes, the only thing I want to watch is musicals or animal stories or something I know will make me cry my eyes out.


Lately, I have wanted to watch nothing but classic movies. I am talking about movies that were made during the 40s and 50s with actors who brought a certain something with them to the silver screen.



Movie Poster image from IMDb.com

Case in point – the other night we watched Casablanca (1942). Our 14-year-old stopped to watch the movie with us. I kept saying things like “look, there is Humphrey Bogart. He was a great actor.” Or “look, there is Sydney Greenstreet. He was one of the best character actors around, in his day.”


I made him wait for Ingrid Bergman, one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the planet. I wanted him to hear her voice and look at her face to see that glow that only Bergman possessed.


But more importantly, I wanted him to hear the script with lines that are ageless. We know the color of Ilsa’s dress when the Germans invaded Paris. We know Rick has a heart despite his front of disinterest. We know that Claude Rains plays the captain with an air of insouciance. 


He is shocked to find there is gambling going on at Rick’s just moments before he is handed his winnings. The Germans sing their anthem proudly until the French citizen comes back strong, even those women willing to go out with German soldiers.


There are strong moments throughout that remind me what made this movie making so great. Moments that are presented by strong actors such as Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Paul Henreid and S.Z. Sakall.


It makes me think about current actors who are just as good. My mind lists quality people such as George Clooney, David Strathairn, Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, and Richard Gere. I think of Angelina Jolie, one of the few Hollywood stars that still glow. Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush and Brendan Gleeson get me excited. Alan Rickman has been thrilling in performances for over 20 years.


Pamela Anederson is "Barb Wire," Image from IMDb.com

Could I see a re-make of Casablanca? I could and there have been remakes of this movie. My favorite is Barb Wire, a so-bad-it-is-good Pamela Anderson vehicle set in a post-apocalyptic world. Good idea, poor execution. I could see a number of men – or women – pulling off the role of Rick.


Directed by Michael Curtiz, this movie is a wonderful balance of fear and hope, of passive behavior and aggressive assertiveness.  I enjoy watching Victor’s continued show of strength and Major Strasser’s determined path for the Furher.


Next classic movie I plan to watch is Rear Window (1954) starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The director is Alfred Hitchcock.


Do you have a favorite classic?


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

In my mind there is no better amusement than a truly bad movie.

Picture by IMDb.com

 Last week, The Bounty Hunter came out on DVD. This PG-13 movie was not given many good reviews. Roger Ebert stated only the personalities of the lead actors, Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston, carry the movie.

 The plot is about Butler working as a bounty hunter who gets the assignment to bring in his ex-wife, newspaper reporter Anniston. She is currently working on a story about an unsolved murder which gets both of them deeper and deeper into trouble as well as back into love.

 But is it truly the worst so-bad-it’s-good type of movie?

 It is one thing to have poor performances and a cheesy script. What I love is a movie that goes all out despite all of these factors.

 My favorite truly bad movie is Barb Wire starring Pamela Anderson Lee and Victoria Rowell. It is a re-telling of Casablanca in a post-apocalyptic world. Lee does her best to be Rick and Rowell is a female Victor Laslow.

Pamela Anderson as Barb Wire, picture from IMDb.com

 There are some great fight scene and truly over-wrought moments. Lee even gives us a good look at the assets that have made her famous. While there have been some truly bad movies made since then, this movie ranks as my personal highest. With the bit of nudity and salty language, it is no wonder that this movie has an R rating.

 We can argue if feminists would hate or love this movie, the rightness or wrongness of Lee’s outfits or her actions in the face of completely de-moralizing actions of others. But the explosions and fights along with the parting scene is enough to make me love this movie every time I watch it for the joy of its badness.

 Most people think that any movie made to be family-friendly must always be of lesser quality. I hate that thought and believe that this genre can be as well made as any other movie. However, there are some that one cannot ignore as being very bad although not so bad they are good.

picture from IMDb.com

 Every time I see Son of the Mask being watched by my children, I cringe. Jaime Kennedy and Traylor Howard are the parents of a child who has the abilities of the Mask that we came to know in The Mask with Jim Carrey. However, this time Loki is looking for the mask.

 While this movie goes all out, I can not find enjoyment in the badness of it all. You have to be able to like or identify with one character to truly love a movie and I have never been able to do that with this one.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note in the comment section or become my friend on Facebook.