Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Randomness

The Best Worst Movies of All Time

These are films that are in the "it's so bad, it's good" genre. It takes a special kind of patience to tolerate them, and it's much easier to watch in large groups of friends, Mystery Science Theater style. I can't say that I'd truly recommend any of them...but if you have a free Saturday afternoon some time in the near future, why not?

Mommie Dearest (1981): Originally intended to be a profound drama/biography on the later years of actress Joan Crawford's life, it's a trainwreck of a film. It has some of the worst editing I've ever seen, with scenes sporadically following one another with no coherent reason or flow. Faye Dunaway's portrayal of Crawford as an abusive mother is completely over-the-top to the point of comedy. It's intended to be disturbing, but comes across as just plain silliness. The pivotal scene is when Crawford, decked out in some Kabuki-style facemask and red lipstick, gets all fired up about wire clothes hangers in her daughter's closet and goes on a rampage. If I were a professor in film school, I'd have to show this as an example of what not to do when creating a film. (Click here for the overly long and somewhat boring trailer)

Troll 2 (1990): There are absolutely no trolls in this entire film. None. Seriously. Plot: Young Joshua find that his grandpa's creepy bedtime stories about goblins are coming true in the town of Nilbog (yes, it's "goblin" spelled backwards), where his family has decided to take a vacation. The citizens of Nilbog try to get the family to eat disgusting green food, which they happily agree to do, until Joshua literally stands on the dinner table and takes a leak on the food. I am not kidding. And it only gets worse. There are some really weird scenes in this campy film. I showed this at a bachelor party for my friend Brian, and we laughed until it hurt.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987): Plot: The fourth Jaws film has a great white shark literally following the Brody family from the first film around the world trying to eat them all. How it travels from Amity to the Caribbean is beyond me. The shark also roars (which sharks can't do) and (spoiler!) spontaneously explodes when it gets poked by the mast of a sailboat. Plus, Michael Caine miraculously remains totally dry seconds after falling into the water, and Mario Van Peebles manages to survive being eaten with a few minor scrapes. I am not making this up. (Click here to see the ending, shark roars and all)

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964): Here is the plot summary from IMDB: The Martians kidnap Santa because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents. I can't think of anything that gets me more in the Christmas spirit than thinking about aliens kidnapping Santa (and two children, by the way). I saw this film in the $1 bin at Target last December and gave it away as a raffle prize at our junior high Christmas party. Speaking of bizarre alien holidays...

Star Wars Holiday Special (1978): While this is technically a television special, its abnormal length puts it in the film category. At the height of Star Wars mania, this spin-off was created with all the original cast members, including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. Plot: Han Solo and Chewbacca head to Chewie's home planet to celebrate Life Day with Chewie's family. Much of the film is watching Chewie's family do nothing. Seriously. You watch Chewie's wife cook dinner. You watch his son play with toys. You watch Chewie watch TV. You do this for nearly two hours straight with almost zero dialogue (apart from grunting). And with names like "Itchy" and "Lumpy" for Chewie's family, it sounds like the writers made this whole thing up in about 9 minutes. It takes determination and discipline to sit through the entire two hours and stay awake. Highlights: A cartoon with Boba Fett riding a dragon; Carrie Fisher singing the Life Day song (!); Mark Hamill looking like he's wearing mascara. (Click here for the entire two hours in a five minute version)

Gigli (2003): Plot: a lesbian assassin and a moronic thug kidnap a mentally disabled guy. Nothing happens for two hours, then they leave the mentally disabled guy at the beach to watch Baywatch being filmed. The End. It's one of the worst films in recent history. There were multiple points in the film where I threw up my hands in frustration, stunned at the incredible lack of coherent plot and the stupid-to-the-point-of-offensive script. It even has Christopher Walken and Al Pacino, both of which give the worst performances of their acting careers. Ben Affleck needs to stay behind the camera as a director (Gone Baby Gone) or writer (Good Will Hunting). And J-Lo needs to stop doing anything in film, period.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959): Arguably the worst film ever created, this sci-fi horror film is completely and utterly ridiculous. Directed by the famously terrible Ed Wood, this film has one of the most outlandish plots ever: Aliens enact their ninth plan--the first eight didn't work--to take over the world from the "stupid-minded humans" by raising a zombie army. They only manage to create three zombies, but that doesn't deter them. Along the way, there are random shots of people staring off into space or wandering around aimlessly. There are also lots of scenes running through a cardboard cemetery (there is one moment where an actor actually trips over the rug meant to be the ground). There is so much wrong with the film, it's almost awe-inspiring to watch. Out of all the films on this list, I would recommend this one the most--it is the American Idol reject of film history. Sample dialogue: "We are all interested in the future, for that is where we will spend the rest of our lives." (Click here to watch this film in its entirety)

What's the worst film you've ever seen? Any films you know in the "it's so bad, it's good" category?


  1. Joel, where is Killer Clowns From Outer Space!?!?

  2. Holy cats, how could I forget Killer Clowns!? My apologies. That is one terrible film that makes me laugh every time I see it.

    For those who haven't seen it, here's the plot: alien clowns from outer space come to earth to kill people by wrapping them in acidic cotton candy in order to drink their blood. Kinda morbid, really. But hilarious.