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After-School Evil

When bad movies turn good

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You can't go to class all the time. Your brain will turn into mush. Therefore, treat your mush accordingly. Here are some gems of mindless cinematic entertainment selected to ease your scholarly pain. Light vs. Dark, Good vs. Evil -- they're plots for a tired soul.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Daredevil/physicist/rock star and all around Renaissance man Buckaroo Banzai must stop an invasion of evil aliens from the eighth dimension (we must assume that all the evil from dimensions four through seven had prior obligations). Don't try to follow the plot -- there isn't any. That's why it's so much fun.

The Muppet Movie

This film chronicles the "history" of how the Muppet gang got together and made it big. Doc Hopper, the owner of a franchise of frog leg restaurants, provides moderate evil. But the real fun comes from realizing that this movie is filled with innuendo and dirty jokes that went directly over your head when you were a kid. If you can keep a straight face while Dom DeLuise compliments Kermit's skillful tongue, then there's something wrong with you.

Cecil B. Demented

A merry band of renegade filmmakers kidnap a Hollywood actress and force her to star in their underground production. They feel obligated to push on with their no-budget film because -- say it together now -- they are Fighting the Forces of Evil that reside in Hollywood. Their guerilla tactics of shooting public settings and forcing bystanders to be extras may seem absurd, but it's also how John Waters is said to have made his first movies in Baltimore.

Army of Darkness

In this film, the finale of the Evil Dead trilogy, cult icon Bruce Campbell travels back in time to fight an apocalyptic battle with, who else, the forces of evil. Fortunately, the chain saw fused to his hand will help him along the way. It's the kind of subtle craftmanship we've come to expect from Sam Raimi, the director who brought us Spiderman.

Grosse Pointe Blank

Martin Blank (John Cusack) is a hit man who returns home to take care of one last job, rekindle the flame with the girl he abandoned on prom night, and attend his high-school reunion. Dan Aykroyd, as the president of the assassins' labor union, is uncharacteristically evil.

The Boondock Saints

Two Irish brothers believe they are on a mission from God to rid the streets of Boston of -- you guessed it -- evil. And Willem Dafoe is the cross-dressing FBI agent assigned to stop the brothers from killing all of these bad guys. This movie wasn't released in the U.S. of A., but if you, like so many free spirits before you, flee to our Canadian neighbors, you can probably find a copy. Or just revel in your slothfulness and look online.

-- Eddie Kovsky

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