The Very Best B-Movie Directors – Part 1
It’s safe to assume that any director on this list has never been a darling of film critics. However, when it comes to assessing the strange, non-traditional, and extremely low-budget world of the b-movie, critical praise isn’t always what’s important. What is important is entertaining the audience. Whether that entertainment comes from pure intended on-screen fun or laughter attacks at how bad the film is doesn’t figure into the equation. We enjoy watching b movies because they make us either genuinely or ironically happy.
So, the best directors in the genre are those who have given us a lifetime of entertainment that was so bad it was good. We refer here to those directors who have presented us with a number of the cheapest, oldest, and just sometimes, worst, films. We’re talking about the kings of the genre.
While he has some stiff competition, Wynorski just might be the sleaziest director on this list. His career began when he gave us a number of b-horror classic like Chopping Mall before he moved on to more childish horror in movies such as Munchie in a sequel to a knockoff of Gremlins starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Dom DeLuise, as well as such action flicks as Demolition high starring Corey Haim. In the past two decades, he’s focused on soft porn films that have mocked horror blockbusters like Para-Knockers Activity, The Bare Wench Project and Cleavagefield. A documentary was shot about the director that covered his bid to shoot The Witches of Breastwick in just three days.
Ho would perch himself on a throne made from compost, tinfoil, and detritus that had been washed up from the sea onto the shores of Hong Kong, where he actually hailed from. No director has ever churned out such a high number of z-grade flicks in such a concentrated period of time. Ho has produced hundreds of movies (the exact number isn’t known) under different pseudonyms, with many of those films appearing in the 1980s. At least nine out of ten of those movies were based around ninjas. Most even featured the word “ninjas” in the title. Typically, Ho took footage from a number of unrelated movies and put them together, which resulted in some of the most bizarre action sequences ever seen on screen. His genre-bending supernatural flicks like Robo Vampire feature pretty much everything: rip-offs of Robocop, super-powered gorilla humans, and Chinese vampires.
Pyun is the kind of director who makes a dozen movies on the very same topic before saying that he’d never even had an interest in that topic, anyway, and that it was simply a tool that allowed him to make films. Those topics have often been post-apocalyptic worlds and cyborgs, such as the Jean-Claude Van Damme flick, Cyborg. Pyun also directed Captain America, not the Chris Evans version but a 1990 flop with Matt Salinger in the title role, and not forgetting Alien from L.A. featuring the once-famous Kathy Ireland.