The 50 Film Challenge
The movies that Oscar forgot


One of my many presents for Christmas 2002 was new DVD player. Hyundai, actually. With the player, there was 50 films from Prism Leisure, worldwide distributers of DTV "classics".

You know what I mean: Roger Corman films, exploitation movies, badly-dubbed martial arts flicks and, the most curious of all, the misleading boxes. These feature a recent photo of a big star. If said star appears more than fleetingly in the movie, then it was a long, long time before the cover photo was taken.

The original challenge

So, the self-imposed challenge was to watch all 50 films and review them within one year.

That sounds easier than it is. Some of the films are good, some are passable, but most - like Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy 2 - are hard-going. But I have learned to expand my horizons and learn to love the dire, embrace the risible and revel in dialogue that would make even daytime soap writers cringe with embarrassment.

Well, it didn't go at all well. I managed to watch 18 all the way through and review 12. And I promise you, I lost a lot more than 30 hours of my life. There are others which I tried to watch and just couldn't put myself through it (Cyborg 3, for example). I also gave the martial arts DVD away to a better home, so bye, bye Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

The new challenge

So, having failed miserably, I turned my back on the movies and just walked away. Didn't so much as look at them for a whole year, but hope springs eternal. There's a new challenge in town and that is to finish watching the remaining ones and review them by 31 December 2005.

The films

Here's all the films, in alphabetical order. I've tried to identify who the most recognisable star is, so you get an idea of the quality of film we're dealing with here. Those highlighted in grey are movies I either couldn't sit through or gave away.

You can also have a look at the status report, which list the films by date added and provides some meaningless statistics on the films seen so far.

Title Biggest Star Rating
Alien Intruder Billy Dee Williams  
America's Dream Wesley Snipes  
Armageddon Rutger Hauer  
Black Eagle J-C Van Damme  
Bloodlines: The Lord Lucan Story -  
Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy 2 - none - 0/10
Call of the Wild, The Rutger Hauer  
Corrupt Harvey Keitel  
Cyborg 3: The Recycler Malcolm MacDowell  
Dark Side of the Sun, The Brad Pitt 4/10
Darrow Kevin Spacey 7/10
Def By Temptation Samuel L Jackson 7/10
Dollar for the Dead Emilio Estevez  
Fire on the Amazon Sandra Bullock 1/10
Fist of Fury II Bruce Lee  
Gulliver's Travels Richard Harris  
Hammers over the Anvil Russell Crowe  
Home Team Steve Guttenberg  
James Dean: Race with Destiny Robert Mitchum  
Justice James Belushi  
Kickboxer J-C Van Damme  
Kid Called Danger, A -  
Klansman, The Lee Marvin  
Lawnmower Man, The Pierce Brosnan  
Lost World, The Patrick Bergen  
Magic Bubble, The George Clooney 6/10
Man and the Myth, The Bruce Lee  
Massacre in Rome Richard Burton  
Master with Cracked Fingers Jackie Chan  
Molokai: The Forbidden Island Sam Neill  
Muhammad Ali: King of the World -  
Nightmaster Nicole Kidman 2/10
Peacekeeper, The Dolph Lundgren 4/10
Primal Species Scott Valentine 2/10
Red Surf George Clooney  
Return from the River Kwai Denholm Elliot  
Riot Sugar Ray Leonard  
Robocop: Crash & Burn Leslie Hope  
Robocop: Dark Justice Leslie Hope  
Robocop: Meltdown Leslie Hope  
Robocop: Resurrection Leslie Hope  
Rumble in Hong Kong Jackie Chan  
Shepherd, The C. Thomas Howell  
Skeleton Coast Oliver Reed  
Split Decisions Gene Hackman 4/10
Tiger Warsaw Patrick Swayze  
Titanic (animated) -  
Train to Hell Hugh Grant 1/10
Treasure Island Jack Palance  
Whistle Blower, The # Michael Caine 7/10


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