The 3rd Yearual Junkfood Cinema Awards

By  · Published on December 30th, 2012

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; eat it, Mayans! Eat it with cheese! Yes, despite our best efforts, we’ve managed to survive another year and therefore it is once again time, in clear defiance of your best interest or our lawyer’s behests, for the Junkfood Cinema Awards. This year’s Junkies marks the third anniversary…of Film School Rejects’ editors proving monumentally lax in their duties. This year, we’ve rolled up our sleeves (because of the gravy stains) and dug deep into our own 2012 archives to craft a host of new and exciting (read: meaningless) categories for which let’s face it, there could only really have been one winner. And the winners are…

…not going to like being associated with this column.

Best Imitation of a Real Movie: Battleship

As giant, idiotic sci-fi blockbusters go, Battleship is that. However, it is also multiple thats. It actually infuses the DNA from several knuckle-dragging, smarts-free action epics and combines them in a petri dish of greed-tempered shame (and also regular shame), force-feeds them to a confused pelican, and then waits for him to bulimically redistribute onto the screen what will go down in history as one of cinema’s most abhorrent cash-grabs. We honestly would’ve found it more respectable if Peter Berg had simply run up to us, stolen our wallets at gunpoint, vigorously kicked our groin bits, and then run away screaming that Santa Claus and/or Michael Bay wasn’t real.

Worst Self-Imposed Nickname Ever That We Totally Want People To Call Us Now: Bad Motor Scooter (Human Tornado)

Rudy Ray Moore was…what is the most delicate way to put this…an exploited mental patient. Someone rolled him out of the hospital and tricked him into DOL(E)ing out the sheer MIghT(E) of his crazy in front of a film camera. If that joke seemed a touch, not good, it’s because it was/wasn’t. But at least, like calling The Human Tornado a movie, it was a hell of a stretch. The sequel to Dolemite proves the old adage about lightning striking twice, even when that lightning is frightfully dim…and pudgy…and thinks it can rap. Putting aside the dream sequence that still haunts us more than our blood pressure readout, The Human Tornado begins with good ol’ Rudy dropping some rancid ol’ lyrics about who he is and what we can expect from him during the course of the 85-minute celluloid debasement to follow. Pursuant to his dizzying wordsmithery, Moore refers to himself as a “bad motor scooter.” This is not only a terrible nickname by which I forevermore demand to be referred on pain of death, but also the only instance in the movie where the word muthafucka could be used and is not.

Our Favorite Cinematic Representation of the Complexities of Cold War Politics: The Movies of the 80s

Who needs misleading high school history textbooks when the 80s are still a thing? What? Everyone, you say? Shut it, commie! If there is one thing I’ve learned from this violent, Red-paranoid period of filmmaking, and I’d hazard one is exactly the number of things I can ever learn in a given sitting, it’s that movies are an effective way of masquerading fear-mongering as id-stroking, Tiger-Beat-coverboy-stuffed entertainment. Stringing together a group of our favorite Communism-inspired treats from that wonderful epoch, we were actually able to author an almost not even a little bit incendiary alternate history of the Cold War. We call it, Cinema Reagatee…when no one is around to hear us say that.

The Everlasting Gobstopper (aka Why Isn’t This a Real Food) Award: Kit Kat-ana

A new category this year at the Junkies is The Everlasting Gobstopper Award. Wait, aren’t they all new? Don’t we just make them up every year to suit a specific entry? Quiet, soon-to-be-executed-intern! The EGA as it is known around these parts, for the next few seconds, is more or less a grant supporting the realization of a junkfood pairing we fabricated in a fit of gluttonous fancy into an actual purchasable food product. Case in point: the Kit Kat-ana. What better way to make the world a better (tubbier?) place than by petitioning Congress to commission an actual four-foot sword made of chocolate and wafers? Global whatnow? Well sure, it may get a little hot over the next few years, but I mean…chocolate ninja sword.

Best Die Hard Ripoff to Incorporate Hockey and Belgians: Sudden Death

You remember hockey don’t you? It’s that game no one watches but then they get really upset when the players go on strike for the eighth time in thirty years. You remember Die Hard don’t you? It’s that classic movie about the homicidal indigent man who lives in your air vents and can’t afford shoes. You remember Belgium don’t you? It’s that country you mistake for Luxembourg on a globe, the one that gave us waffles, The Big Bang theory, and the other extremely dense thing that suddenly expanded rapidly: Jean-Claude Van Damme. While exploring the innumerable Die Hard ripoffs over the years, we were reminded of JCVD’s 1995 actioner that dared not pit our love of puck drops and penguins against our affinity for wanton plagiarism. I can’t wait for Sudden Death Hard 2: Try Harder.

Best Villain: Michael Shannon as James Cagney as Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant in Premium Rush…Electric Bikealoo

Premium Rush takes place on a distant planet where people somehow give two fork blades about the competitive world of bike messengers. Whether your interest in this movie is predicated upon your desire to see Jojo Gorgon-Levitate star in an unsanctioned Quicksilver remake/BMX Bandits sequel or your conviction that Google Maps represents a viable supporting film character, the fact of the matter is that this blissfully terrible baseball card in the spoke of 2012’s wheel of theatrical releases (see if you can follow that pathetiphor) is made all the more transcendent by Michael Shannon as the villain. Wearing what appears to be James Cagney’s puffy death mask and devouring scenery like Cookie Monster on an Oreo bender, Shannon plays a cop who can’t seem to stop losing money at pai gow; probably because, like most of us, he has no idea what it is. If he were hamming it up anymore, he wouldn’t be allowed to set foot inside a kosher deli. Folks!

Best Worst Fever Dream of All…Oh God Make the Jackals in my Head Stop Screaming: Die Another Day

After years of scientific research, hours and hours of psychoanalysis, and one drunken conversation with a guy we thought was our skinny spirit guide but who may in fact have been a street sign, it was definitively concluded that the only way Die Another Day can be rationalized is that it never actually happened. In our thesis, which incidentally was only slightly shorter than our letter to the editors of Popular Deep Fryer Magazine, we postulated that perhaps all of the unfortunate plot points that occur after Bond’s opening torture session were merely manifestations of his venom-induced fever dreams. To test our theory, we injected ourselves with scorpion venom and, apart from awakening each morning to the dulcet sounds of our own screaming, it turned out to be far more bearable than watching Die Another Day another time.

Why Wasn’t This Broadcast on Court TV/Is There Still a Court TV Award: The People vs. Alien vs. Predator

When one thinks of the most landmark court cases in our nation’s history, several undeniable standouts leap to mind: Plessy vs. Ferguson, Brown vs. The Board of Education, Vanilla Ice vs. Having To Write His Own Songs. One case that might manage to slip through the cracks is the one in which Alien vs. Predator was tried in the court of public opinion and found guilty of existing. Though ending in a no contest, only partially caused by a plasma blast to the forehead of the prosecuting attorney, the debate over whether simply cramming two good things together makes one good thing will forever rage. On a totally unrelated note, have you tried the official Junkfood Cinema potato chips? They sure are ice-cream-flavored!

Musclehead of the Year: Arnold Schwarzenegger

This is an honor that went unawarded last year due to an unfortunate technical oversight: we forgot it was a thing we made up. Basically the idea behind this hotly-contested award is to pick a yearly winner between the two most inevitably mocked actors in JFC canon: Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Each year it’s a close race. It’s amazing how often these two are neck and neck considering neither one of them actually has a neck. This year however, Arnie wins in a manslide. He had three of his titles skewered while Sly only had one. To celebrate claiming the title back from Stallone, we’ve been told Schwarzenegger has exuberantly added five more ill-advised projects to his even more ill-advised post-Expendables comeback. We’ll be waiting, Arns.

The Raw Deal Award for the Best Article Ever Written on Raw Deal: Luke Mullen for Raw Deal

We had several guest contributors this year, including a few noobs to the distinction: Jacob Hall, Kevin Carr, Scott “The Artist Formerly Known As Cole” Beggs. And yet once again, it is Luke Mullen and his abounding face carpet that take top contributor honors. Particularly outstanding was his dissection/vivisection of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Raw Deal in which he laid out all the ways people are stingy toward Arnie in the film. The various things you don’t give Arnold besides a raw deal angle did for Raw Deal what Raw Deal did for America; namely, improved it.

The Finale. In lieu of our traditional Junkfood Pairing, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on those JFC lost this year. Gone, but never forgotten.

Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.