Why I like Bad Movies: Punisher War Zone

18 Mar

punisherwarzoneposter-62908I’ve seen a lot of movies.  I mean, a ton.  I worked 5 years in a Hollywood Video and before that I survived middle school and high school on a steady diet of 5 rentals a week.  I had friends, I swear.  I just really dig films.  As I get older, I find myself really digging some bad ones, but honestly… They’re really great.

See, expectations are the enemy of everything.  Books, music, sex, parties, politicians, you name it.  Barack Obama could be the greatest president we ever have, but the expectations for his administration are staggering.  You throw that attitude at something overly hyped like The Dark Knight or Titanic or Forrest Gump and you’ll see some pretty unsatisfied viewers.  They’ll most likely say the following, “It was good.  I mean, I can see why so many people liked it… I just expected more.”  Some variation of that phrase usually will be the review.  You can only imagine what might happen with a movie that isn’t a blockbuster or critically acclaimed or even quality in the slightest.  These are the movies that make up a good third of my DVD collection.  These films are Why I Like Bad Movies.

Today I bought Punisher War Zone.  This movie is terrible, don’t get me wrong.  The acting is wooden and accents are hidden poorly and attempted worse (British actors do Brooklyn and American’s attempt Irish, all in the same scene), the action is gory as all hell (one scene involve the Punisher dispatching a villain like he’s a Pez dispenser) and the plot is non-existent (I honestly forgot there was one towards the end).  Yet, I saw this movie three times in the theater.  Why?  Because it’s just so much fun.  The trick with a character like the Punisher, a product of a bygone vigilante-obsessed era known as, “the 80’s,” is that you have to play it full tilt.  You can’t hold back one inch or you’ll lose what makes that character still resonate:  Revenge Fantasy.  See, John McClane in Die Hard probably kills more people than the Punisher but does it in a wife-beater instead of a costume.  While the vigilante has been done over and over again as so many different characters, exploring the idea of the audience being able to exact their frustrations on the cannon fodder of criminals will never go out of style.  Punisher War Zone even kicks it up a notch to Rambo levels of gore allowing for so many, “They did NOT just do that,” moments that any true Bad Movie Action Fan will crack at least one smile.

No this film is not for everyone.  Hell, it’s probably only for ten people.  Suffice it to say, Punisher War Zone is Why I Like Bad Movies.

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