2.05.2013

A FEW BAD FILMS : I HARDLY KNEW YE

   This is a tricky subject - it always has been for me. I've attempted a "worst movie" list a couple of times in the past, only to abandon it immediately, due to sharp boredom, or I was just startled by the futility of it. It's difficult because the concept itself is a contradiction. I don't know if my criteria differs from everyone else's, but the movies I dislike don't exactly stand out in my mind - that's why I dislike them. The notion of  "I Hated, Hated, HATED THIS MOVIE" is simply not applicable to most of the movies I've seen (a couple, maybe) because the ultimate failure a movie can carry is to be completely forgettable. So, if I've completely forgotten them, how can I include them in some inclusive list?

   Fortunately (not for the purpose of this list, but for the sake of it) I kept a list of every movie I saw from 1992 to 2004, tallying at roughly 1,300 movies. It's a helpful thing for projects like this, even if it is missing nearly a decade of recent stuff. But that's okay, because from 2004 up til forever is when I was and will be at my pickiest. I'm not a professional film critic, or Quentin Tarantino, so I'm not obliged to see everything (or even anything) that comes out. That's why this list (or any list Jess or I throw on here) is not Scripture. Speaking for myself, I'm sure the 2000s offered some clunkers that I didn't see (mostly because, when I could help it, I stayed away from horror movies, comic book adaptations, mumblecore indies, teen and romantic comedies, and pretty much everything else). Point is, this is not a definitive list for you, you, or you. I'll safely bet that there are some turkeys that aren't on this list because I didn't see them. Green Lantern might've been lame, but I wouldn't know because I didn't see that shit. So, it's not a "Worst of All Time," just the worst of my time.

   I like lists of bad movies just as much as the next really cool person. And there are a lotta them. And just like the "Best Movies" lists, they're generally vaguely similar from one to the next. The so-called "universally bad" movies that show up every time are what draw us to scan these lists and share a smile while we all remember all the funny, inept qualities of Troll 2. This is the paradox that presents a wall when I attempt a list like this. I don't really love Troll 2, but I remember it. I own it. It's colorful, fast-paced, and it makes me laugh. Anyone I've ever spoken to who has seen it openly feels the same way. I haven't seen the documentary, but it made it apparent that a lot of people actually do love it. Would they place it upon their "worst movie" list? Are they articulate or brave enough to defend it? Question is, when we enjoy and even champion a bad movie, what becomes of the definition or "bad?" Like George Carlin said: "Try to pay attention to the language we've all agreed on." Not that I'm so foolish and defiant that I'm unable to recognize all the ways Troll 2 doesn't exactly adhere to the basic laws of filmmaking, but it does make me that much more aware of all the other movies that deserve this dishonor so much more. And these lists are always littered with similar fare, so much so that it only ever furthers the love and cult status of most of them. Separate from, but similar to that, there are movies I'd watch again to blissfully marvel at their incompetence (Timeline, The Room). There are sci-fi and horror flicks that I think work cleverly within their genre (Plan 9, Manos). There's the contemporary smut that I find as exciting as classical trash, (Body of Evidence, Showgirls). Or, maybe I just like Sly Stallone (Rhinestone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!). I tend to draw a pretty short, straight line between movies and music. So, when it comes to pop, I want something catchy; a hook, a melody, something that might get stuck in my head. I don't think that's too much to ask, nor do I think I'm being very picky. Roger Corman and Jack Hill knew how to do it. Hell, apparently Tommy Wiseau knows how to do it. These are the movies that didn't know how to do it. Some of them tried to be pop. Some tried to be funny, or scary, or exciting, or moving. Some took a whiz on the original. Some actually had some talented people involved. Equally, though, I found them all to be irritating and/or boring, and there's no cult status in that.

-Paul

Problem Child (1990)
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
Reposessed (1990)
Arthur 2, On the Rocks (1988)
Big Top Pee Wee (1988)
Robin Hood, Men in Tights (1993)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Turtles in Time (1993)
The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
The River (1984)
Sliver (1993)
The Mask (1994)
Cabin Boy (1994)
Stargate (1994)
Street Fighter (1994)
Mixed Nuts (1994)
Species (1995)
The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996)
The Pest (1997)
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
Mallrats (1995)
And Now For Something Completely Different (1972)
An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
Dracula : Dead and Loving It (1996)
The Road to Wellville (1994)
Vegas Vacation (1997)
Lost in Space (1998)
The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Waterboy (1998)
The Players Club (1998)
Dennis the Menace Strikes Again (1998)
Bless the Child (2000)
Book of Shadows : Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Tomcats (2001)
The Wild World of Batwoman (She Was A Happy Vampire) (1966)
Zoolander (2001)
Daredevil (2003)
Hellraiser : Hellworld (2005)
2012 (2009)
Dune (1984)
Disaster Movie (2008)
Blues Brothers 2000  (1998)
Man of the House (1995)
Summer of Sam (1999)
Congo (1995)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Crash (2004)
Batman and Robin (1997) 
The Rock (1996)
Speed 2 : Cruise Control (1997) 

3 comments:

Jacob Spickelmire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Fist said...

Sorry to see there's no love for The Thin Red Line. You obviously enjoyed The New World better based on its inclusion in the films of 2000's vid.

But I must say, what on earth compelled you to see Disaster Movie?

HQ said...

Mallrats...nooooooo

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