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What could go wrong with a movie built around the love story between a duck and Lea Thompson?
In the arts, "bad" is mostly relative. The entire genre of cult classics is predicated on the idea there are certain things where a small segment of the audience believes the mainstream view that something sucks is wrong. But it's interesting how this sort of thing overlaps with the nature of most political campaigns, especially some of the ones on the fringe.

In the past, I've written pieces that asked what were the worst political gaffes and mistakes. I usually find the horribly run campaigns more fascinating to read about. It's either a rich millionaire with more money than smarts, who decides in an act of public masturbation to get into politics. Or it's a group of supposedly smart people with millions of dollars in contributions, who fail spectacularly. Usually at the heart of every political mistake is someone or a group of someones that got their heads together and came up with a policy proposal, campaign move, statement of reaction or other cunning plan that wasn't thought all the way through, and it fails to live up in execution to how well it read on paper.

Most bad movies are concocted in a similar manner, except instead of a group of political aides sitting around a table trying to fashion a poll-tested message, it's a group of producers and film executives sitting around a table trying to create a film around marketing research. But there are many ways to fail and screw up horrendously. There are many different levels of bad, with some films that are just plain bad, some that are godawful bad and still others that are so bad they become an enjoyable experience.

So a simple question for the evening: Which bad film experiences stand out? And why?

Right now at some bar, there's a band that should probably burn their instruments because they're so bad. Yeah they're horrible, but you don't go into the experience expecting much. I think what makes a bad movie particularly memorable is when it was made by someone who had all the resources they needed and should have known better.

As this xkcd graph illustrates, there are some films that are so bad they defy the very fabric of the universe and become watchable in spite of themselves. It could be just the "car wreck" factor or somehow, some way, all of the negatives come together and become positives.

Usually a good script can rise above bad acting, but a bad script will drag down good actors. There are some exceptions to this. For example, there's the interesting career of Patrick Swayze, who had a way of making lemonade out of lemons and arguably one of the greatest ranges of any actor in his particular era of films (e.g. any guy that can be believable in Red Dawn and Road House, and also Ghost and Dirty Dancing has range). Road House is a movie that on paper should not work, and probably only works because of Swayze's performance. If you plugged almost any other actor into that role, the movie wouldn't be the cult film it is today. Arguably, the same thing is true for Point Break.

And then there's the "midnight movie," usually a cult film with appeal is built around audience participation. The most infamous example of this is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has been called a "true successor" to the Rocky Horror throne. It's a horribly acted, written and directed film that has the production values of a late-night soft-core porn film, from a guy who looks like he escaped from the set of a Geico cavemen commercial.

From Scott Tobias at the A.V. Club:
Thanks mainly to an excellent Entertainment Weekly piece by Clark Collis, what was once a well-kept L.A.-only secret—or as secret as anything promoted by a bizarre billboard could be—has recently been spreading throughout the country, popping up in sold-out shows in New York and other cities, and on a recent episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show Awesome Show, Great Job! Approaching the film as a Chicago-based outsider, with a healthy skepticism of L.A. phenomena of any stripe, I’m now convinced that it’s the real deal. It may not have the staying power of a Rocky Horror, if only because midnight-movie culture just isn’t as sustainable as it once was, but in the annals of bad cinema, The Room deserves shelf-space next to Ed Wood’s Glen Or Glenda? Both are personal and shockingly amateurish laughers that put their directors in front of the camera and are all too revealing of their odd peccadilloes. Wood has a thing for angora sweaters; Wiseau has a thing for pillow fights, red roses, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Who are we not to luxuriate in their fetishes?
Making a movie is a large undertaking. Even the independent filmmakers who're trying to make a name for themselves by maxing out their credit cards on a production are in for a long process. However, there are some films that while watching you start wondering how it's possible to spend hundreds of millions on a movie, and it seem like not a dime went towards the piss poor script. On the other hand, there are times where the filmmakers' reach exceed their grasp. People complain all the time about the same cookie-cutter movies being made over and over again. But there's a thin line between creativity and going off the rails.

The George Lucas produced Howard the Duck is an infamous bomb. It's a really expensive film where the people behind it had no idea which audience they were appealing to, so the movie has a really schizophrenic tone.

On the one hand it tries to be a big-budget science fiction film that appeals to families, and uses Lucas' name to market to the Star Wars audience. But it's also centered around a duck having sex with Lea Thompson, features "duck tits" and a giant alien penis/tongue going into a cigarette lighter. And to show you how far the MPAA ratings have moved in the last 30 or so years, this was a movie that was rated PG in 1986.

Howard the Duck is technically the first, modern big-screen depiction of a Marvel Comics character
Howard the Duck is also indirectly responsible for the creation of Pixar. The company was originally a computer graphics division of Lucasfilm/ILM. However, because George Lucas was experiencing money problems from his divorce and the failure of Howard the Duck, Lucas sold off that division to Steve Jobs for $5 million and it became Pixar. In 2006, Pixar was sold to Disney for $7.4 billion.

There are many ways to waste money and destroy careers in the film industry. Right now, all you have to do is turn on cable and see a horrible, shitty film playing. However, the following are some of the more common ways "awesomely bad" films are made.

► These People Were Actually Nominated For Oscars... And Some Of Them Won!

An actor, actress or director lands a great project. The film is successful, gains critical acclaim, and the person is recognized with an Academy Award for his or her contribution. That means their career is set, and there will be nothing but roses ahead, right? Wrong.

Either through poor choices or cashing in on the success, there are a number of Oscar winners whose post-win careers have veered into a straight to DVD ditch. Since they now can be listed in the trailer and on the poster as "Academy Award Winner," the actor, actress or director now has the power to get films into production that might be stuck in development hell just by attaching their names to the project. However, there might be a good reason it was stuck in development hell.

A good example of this is Nicolas Cage, who won the Best Actor Award in 1995 for his role in Leaving Las Vegas. If you look at his IMDB page for everything post-1995, arguably with the exception of 'Adaptation and one or two others, it's pretty damn bad. And reportedly, Cage is in the position of doing any film that he gets offered to pay off debts and back-taxes.

Other examples of poor post-Oscar decisions that probably should have gotten an agent fired:

  • Halle Berry followed her 2001 Oscar winning performance in Monster's Ball with the James Bond film Die Another Day, the horror-thriller Gothika and then the pièce de résistance that is Catwoman.
  • After winning his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams has been in RV, Patch Adams, Jakob The Liar, Bicentennial Man, House of D, License to Wed, August Rush, Old Dogs and Man of the Year.
  • It is possible to bounce back. Hillary Swank won her first Oscar for her role in Boys Don't Cry in 1999. She then did a string of films that bottomed out with 2003's The Core. However, her very next film was Million Dollar Baby.
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Jerry Maguire in 1996. In the 15 years since, his IMDB page consists of Radio, Norbit, Home on the Range, 'Instinct, Chill Factor, Pearl Harbor, Rat Race, Boat Trip, Snow Dogs and Daddy Day Camp.

However, the studios won't abide diminishing returns forever, and sooner or later if things don't change, it's off to straight to DVD land ... or worse ... late-night soft-core porn.

► The Vanity Project

Similar to what I mentioned above, this is when someone in Hollywood has a pet project they have enough clout to get made but (for a myriad of reasons) it doesn't work. As a general rule, if in the opening credits you see the same person listed as "Produced by, Written by, Directed by, and Starring ..." it's a bad sign. Yes, good films can be the product of an auteur's vision, but you could probably count on both hands the number of directors who get that kind of control and more times than not things work better in a collaborative process. Usually there needs to be someone with enough power to offer a different perspective, and from time to time say, "No."

The film adaption of Battlefield Earth was the pet project of John Travolta, who as a member of the Church of Scientology wanted to get L. Ron Hubbard's book to the screen.

"Some movies run off the rails. This one is like the train crash in The Fugitive. I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies."
-Roger Ebert
1980's Heaven's Gate is an infamous debacle that contributed to the collapse of United Artists and ruined director Michael Cimino's career. Cimino was coming off the success of The Deer Hunter, which had won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director in 1979, and decided on a western epic based on the Johnson County War.

What was originally a film budgeted for $12 million eventually ended up costing $42 million (which, if adjusted for inflation, would be over $100 million in 2014 dollars) because of blown schedules and production delays. Studio executives forced Cimino to trim the film from its initial run time of over five hours to around three hours, forty-five minutes. The theatrical cut ran about two-and-a-half-hours. And if you cut almost 50 percent of the narrative out of anything, it's going to be a poorly paced, disjointed mess.

As an example of his fanatical attention to detail, Cimino tore down an entire street set because it "didn't look right." Cimino wanted the street to be six feet wider. When the set construction boss pointed out that it would be cheaper and faster to tear down one side and move it back six feet, Cimino insisted that both sides be dismantled and moved back three feet, then reassembled. Heaven's Gate is also the reason why the American Humane Association (AHA) monitors animal activities on all movie sets. In Cimino's pursuit of authenticity, four horses were reportedly killed and others seriously injured while shooting the battle scene, as well as allegations that other animals were slaughtered for various scenes. The AHA picketed the film and asked the public to boycott it. The uproar led to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) authorizing the AHA to monitor the use of animals in film production.

All in all, Cimino shot more than 1.3 million feet (nearly 220 hours) of footage, costing approximately $200,000 per day. Heaven's Gate earned less than $3 million domestically when it was released.

Another interesting example of the "vanity project" is  M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water. After the critical and financial success of The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan was seen as the next potential "great" filmmaker of his generation and was given a certain degree of freedom on his movies. However, every film after The Sixth Sense received progressively worse reviews, and the hype backlash against Shyamalan has grown with each movie.

Maybe it's that I like what Paul Giamatti does with what he's given, but I don't find Lady in the Water as bad as the likes of:

  • Signs—Hydrophobic aliens, wearing no protection, invade a planet covered in water, has water vapor in the atmosphere and try to eat a species composed 3/5 of water?
  • After Earth—After just a thousand years, every organism on Earth has evolved to kill humans ... even though humans don't live on Earth anymore. Evolution doesn't work that way.
  • The Happening—Killer plants and people running from the wind? Just think about that for a second.

From Christopher Orr at the New Republic:

Perhaps oddest of all, The Happening imagines itself to be a powerfully pro-environment movie. The snatches of televised commentary we see at the end of the film declare that this murderous act of nature was a warning; everyone seems to assume the obvious lesson to take is that we’d better treat nature nicer lest it decide to start wiping us out again. Allow me to suggest, contrarily, that if millions of Americans were killed by some tree-originated pathogen that could be released again at any time, the immediate result would not be a renewed enthusiasm for peaceful coexistence, but rather a program of deforestation so aggressive it’d make the Brazilian lumber industry look like tree huggers.
However, Lady in the Water is Shyamalan's least successful film. It also caused a very public split between Shyamalan and Disney, which distributed The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village, which had problems with elements like Shyamalan casting himself in the film as a visionary writer whose work inspires a Messiah.

► The Unnecessary Prequel/Sequel/Franchise Killer

If something is successful, why not do it again and make more money? However, if you want to make more money and a good product as well, the sequel/prequel/reboot runs into a situation that requires a fine balance. It can't be more of the same or people will complain it's redundant. And it can't be too different, or people will complain the filmmakers forgot the elements that made the original film great. And if it doesn't work, it can lead to a Broken Base, where fans will just ignore entire elements of the story or reassess how good the original product actually was.

The Matrix is a great film. The problem though is they didn't stop after the first film. Many feel the impact of the original film has been dragged down by the two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and some fans of the original like to pretend the sequels don't exist.

If the concern was the overall story, then the Star Wars prequels should never have been made. They're not necessary, and do the opposite of enhancing the original films. They diminish them. They also suffer from some of the things I wrote about in the "Vanity Project" section. You just get the feeling that at no point during the production of any of the prequel films did anyone pull George Lucas aside and say, "I just don't think Jar Jar works in the film." Instead, it was "Yes ,sir, Mr. Lucas. I'll get right on making Darth Vader's "Nooooooo!!!!" scream even more ridiculous." With the original trilogy, Lucas didn't have as much power, had problems getting the production of A New Hope off the ground, and it was more of a collaborative process. The film generally considered the best in the series, The Empire Strikes Back, had its screenplay written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, with Irvin Kershner directing it.

And then there's Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin.

To grasp how truly bad this movie is, keep in mind that it put the Batman movie franchise on hold for eight years, and when it did kick in again, it was a complete reboot. After the box-office success of 1995's Batman Forever, a sequel was inevitable. Audiences that backlashed against the edge of Batman Returns found the lighter, more comedic tone of Forever more conducive. So come 1997, what does Warner Bros. do? Secure an all-star cast, turn the camp and throw $125 million into the production of the film. What came out is a film that many people love to hate, even to this day.

Both the Star Wars prequels and Batman and Robin are also examples of being ...

► Commercials For Toys, The Soundtrack, Cups At McDonalds, etc.

I remember an episode of HBO's The Chris Rock Show in which Chris' guest was Spike Lee. If I remember right, they were discussing how a movie like Belly got made, and Chris Rock's response was "the soundtrack." The film is not really a film. It's a 90-minute commercial (or music video) for the soundtrack.

A film's profit is more than just its box office nowadays. It's also merchandising (toys, video games, coloring books, cups at McDonald's, etc.) So it's entirely possible for a movie to not make back its budget in the theater and still be successful. Of course, in order to do this, it sometimes restructuring the plot to include elements that may make little to no sense. As a general rule of thumb, if you're watching a film and a character or object shows up that doesn't fit, ask yourself whether it could be sold as an action figure and then you'll have your answer.

► Cocaine Is A Hell Of A Drug

If you watch a lot of films from the mid-70s to the early 80s, it seems a lot of film executives were getting high on cocaine. And I mean Tony Scarface Montana mounds of Cocaine. It's the only way to explain how some of these films got greenlit and distributed.

With 1980's Xanadu, starring Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly (in his final role), it's something that on paper seems like it should work. Olivia Newton-John was coming off the success of Grease, Michael Beck had just starred in The Warriors, producers Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver somehow convinced Gene Kelly to take part in the movie, and Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra contributed a big chunk of the songs used for the film. Of course, there was one small thing; the script. According to IMDB, filming began without a finished script and the story was basically cobbled together as filming went on.

I do have to wonder about the power of Zeus and Mount Olympus if the best a muse can inspire is a roller disco. The film is indicative of a lot of attempts at musicals/music films from that era that just went off the damn rails.
For example:
  • There's the Village People epic Can’t Stop The Music, where Bruce Jenner wears a crop top and daisy dukes.
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Because who doesn't want to watch George Burns sing Beatles tunes?
  • KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park - Produced by Hanna-Barbera, this movie was made at the height of KISS' popularity and it's a shameless cash grab by the band.
  • The Apple - A particularly Godawful film that is so full of plotholes and an ending that seems to come out of nowhere. My theory for the abrupt ending is that the crew ran out of coke.

► "Paint By Numbers" Versus "True Art Is Incomprehensible"

This is probably the greatest source of bad films.

When I did the diary about TV and film clichés, I noted that almost every work employs a certain amount of tried-and-true clichés, conventions, formulas and stereotypes to hold a story together. In a good film these type of things are usually forgiven, since the audience doesn't really notice 'em. However, in bad films they stand out like a sore thumb, with the writer and director sometimes serving up a cliché storm to the audience. Depending on the film, it's possible for it to work, but usually it leads to an uncreative, boring mess in which the viewer could figure out the major plot beats during the first five minutes.

For example, Roland Emmerich's 2012 goes down a checklist of disaster film clichés.

Among them:

  • An apocalyptic event that defies all known real science is discovered.
  • Secret government conspiracy/program to save humanity.
  • The government program will be led by the biggest asshole the world has ever known, who will disregard any and all advice given to him.
  • A precious few find out about the coming DOOM and try to warn their family, from whom they are estranged.
  • The disaster begins, signified by blowing up a given country's national monuments.
  • The survival of everyone is dependent on the guy who's estranged from his family doing something incredibly heroic, which "earns" his redemption in his family's eyes.

On the other end of the spectrum are the films that throw out the clichés and structure, not as part of a coherent narrative decision, but as a purposeful way to show how different they are. A lot of bad "Art" films wallow in this. Things don't make sense? The plot is incomprehensible? You "just don't get it."

I shudder if the majority of people look at my brush work and say it is pretty, for then I know it is ordinary and I have failed. If they say they do not understand it, or even that it is ugly, I am happy, for I have succeeded.
An interesting middle ground example between these two extremes is 1999's American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. When it was released, the film was critically lauded and won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Kevin Spacey, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

However, the film has not exactly aged well, and it now has a tendency to show up on lists of the most overrated Best Picture Oscar winners of all time. It largely stems from the fact that when you sit down and watch it now, American Beauty comes off as a movie that thinks it's really "deep" in its cultural commentary when it's not (i.e. "You mean upper middle class people have dysfunctions and problems too?!?!"). Nothing exemplifies that more than a scene of characters watching and pontificating on the significance of a plastic bag floating in the wind.

► Gimmick-y Movie-making

Sometimes movies aren't really about anything. Not in the Seinfeld-ian sense, but they're not really about characters or story progression. They're centered around a concept or gimmick to put butts in seats. The problem though is that a gimmick might get people to take a chance on a film, but you can't really base a two-hour film around a gimmick ... at least you can't base a good film around a gimmick.

1995's Showgirls, directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas, who sold the script for this sucker for what was a record $2 million at the time, is a prime example of this trope. The entire marketing hook and hype for Showgirls was sex. I believe it's the only studio film to have a wide release with a NC-17 rating. The trailer for Showgirls plays up what they can't show you, and how erotic and controversial the film will be. It's probably the last big-budget studio sex film. Although, I guess I should point out that Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike follows similar beats as Showgirls, just a bit more sanely and from the perspective of a male character.

Rather than using nudity for artistic or dramatic purposes, this is the movie with the chick from "Saved By The Bell" getting naked for the sake of getting naked.
However, sex scenes are not the only way to gimmick-up a film. How many times have you seen a movie marketed for its explosions, violence, stunt casting, visual effects and the most recent one of "Lifelike 3D!," only to see it and find out that beyond the CGI-gasms there's nothing else? Bad horror films are particular offenders on this score. Some are marketed as the "scariest" film you'll ever see. It's so scary they can't even show you clips from the film. May God help you if you come to the theater, because you may die from a heart attack. And then you finally see the film, and it's a cliché-ridden crapfest.

1979's Caligula is primarily infamous for trying to straddle the line between being high art and a porn film, and failing miserably at both. The original script was written by Gore Vidal (who later disowned the film) and it was directed by Tinto Brass. However, the film was produced by Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse magazine, who had final cut. Unhappy with Brass' product, he brought in someone else to recut the film and added in hardcore sex scenes, with some of them not making any sense to what little plot the movie had. This led to many different versions of the film.

There are nine different cuts of Caligula, and with each of them you're still left pondering how a movie with good actors (Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole and John Gielgud), and gratuitous amounts of sex and violence, can be so damn boring.

From Zack Handlen at the A.V. Club:

A porno starring Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, and John Gielgud? Oh hell yeah. I was under no illusion that Caligula would be any good at all, and that 156-minute run time did make me nervous (yes, I went with the unrated cut; would you expect less?), but some movies persist in the cultural memory simply because they’re so outrageous, we can’t help but be delighted they’re real. Oh of course it’s trash, and of course it’s filth and perversion and horse-fucking and girl-on-girl and Peter O’Toole being crazy and Malcolm McDowell fisting a dude and—wait, what was I saying? Right. It’s trash, but in concept at least, it has the potential of being gloriously transgressive trash... Watching Caligula is like flipping back and forth between a prestigious but dull historical epic and a movie in which people masturbate a lot. The masturbation may be some kind of symbolism, but when you’re watching actual genitalia onscreen... well, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a dick is just a dick.

It’s tempting to blame most of Caligula’s flaws on Guccione’s meddling, and there’s little doubt that his additions—including, most infamously, a five-minute lesbian sex scene that doesn’t have anything to do with anything beyond being a five-minute lesbian sex scene—were distracting, pointless, and, by the end, irritatingly dull. During a late-movie orgy sequence, I’d swear I saw the same woman giving the same guy the same blowjob at least six times. Apart from ruining any sense of narrative momentum, the constant assault of fuckery just gets old. It starts as shocking, becomes compelling in a Rube-Goldberg-meets-the-Marquis-De-Sade kind of way, but by the time you hit your third finger-bang, the magic is gone...

Take the plot: Malcolm McDowell plays Caligula, inveterate sister-fucker and heir to not-quite-dead Emperor Tiberius (Peter O’Toole). The movie opens with a familiar quote about gaining the world and losing one’s soul, but let’s be honest here: When your idea of a perfect day involves romping naked through the woods with a sibling, then screwing that sibling to your heart’s content, the soul train has already left your particular station.

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Comment Preferences

  •  With a username from Mystery Science Theater.. (40+ / 0-)

    I am a major lover of bad movies.

    From Manos to Teen Martians.

    But, i find this one gets me everytime.  In every way.  Pod People.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle
    Follow @tmservo433

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:04:10 PM PDT

    •  Oh, and my free tickets story.. (12+ / 0-)

      Here's my experience with free tickets.

      Get free tickets for being a paperboy in small Kansas town.  Tickets are for Howard the Duck.

      Get free tickets for winning a science fair.   See Johnny Mnemonic

      My first day out of rehab after coma, first film I see is Highlander 3.

      Advanced Screening pass for myself and 25 other people in theater with production crew of major hollywood film so we can all talk later about what 'worked' and 'didn't' as a test audience..  Grown Ups 2.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle
      Follow @tmservo433

      by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:13:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BURNED! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433, avsp

        Trauma after trauma -- too bad you didn't get tickets to Tron, or Zombie, or Gymkata, or Love At Stake, or -- wait, something seems wrong here ...

        Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

        by MT Spaces on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:00:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What gave you the coma? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433, stevemb, avsp
        Get free tickets for winning a science fair.   See Johnny Mnemonic

        My first day out of rehab after coma, first film I see is Highlander 3.

        I didn't think Johnny Mnemonic was so bad as to deliver comas :)

        Though in the 90s I did date a newspaper editor and she got me in to see 12 monkeys, City of Lost Children and Powder, though I did have to sit through some horrible other ones I can't seem to remember :)

        Still free movies are free movies - esp if you have a date.

        Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

        by sacrelicious on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 01:41:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My favorite MST3K bits (13+ / 0-)

      were always the "educational shorts," like "Mr. B-natural" and the one warning to stop at railroad crossings.

      For full-length ones, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" was a particular favorite.

      Did MST3K ever do Night of the Lepus?  It's up there with Plan 9 From Outer Space for hideous lines, laughable monsters, and repetitious use of stock footage.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:14:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Manos, the Hands of Fate rules! (9+ / 0-)

      I, too, love bad movies.. at least those of the MST3K stripe.

    •  TRUMPY! I LOVE YOU! (9+ / 0-)

      (also - serendipity that your post came out two days after mine on bad movies.....)

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:29:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Po-tay-tohe... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just saw that one on Netflix not long ago, actually.  Hilarious.  But The Giant Gila Monster still has to be my favorite.  I know it dates me, but I remember when The Giant Gila Monster (and some of the others form MST3K) were still running on TV.  Tarantula!, Day of the Triffids, The Hypnotic Eye...

      I didn't hate Howard the Duck. I never read the comics, though, so I didn't have that reference.  (That doesn't always matter, however... I never read The Shining either...)

      Lots of folks have mentioned Sharknado, and while I was amused by it, I'm not likely to watch it again, and didn't find anything in it especially quotable except the title song of the soundtrack.

      I thought the original Night of the Living Dead hits all the right notes for cult classic status.   Low budget, no-name cast and still considered one of the seminal films of the genre, but empirically... it was really bad.  Halloween (the original) was done on a fairly modest budget, and spawned a number of lookalikes, but missed the mark on being "bad".  (Some of its "clones" however, made up for it.)

      Repo Man is a favorite of mine and my girlfriend's, though it may not have gained enough traction for "classic" status.

      Humanoids From the Deep would be great MST3K fodder.  In fact, there was a similar movie that they DID do... the name of which escapes my memory just now.

      Billy Jack hits all the right notes for "cult classic", though it really should have been a one shot deal.

      On my list of Movies So Pointless Even MST3K Shouldn't Touch Them are (in no particular order):
      Tristram Shandy (Even Dylan Moran couldn't salvage this one.)
      Morons From Outer Space (I kept waiting for it to get better... and it just didn't.)
      He Knows You're Alone (though it did give us Tom Hanks)
      The Shining (much as I love me some Jack, even he couldn't bail that one out)
      And somebody mentioned The Warriors?  I can't believe I paid actual money to see that in its big-screen opening where I was living at the time.
      Steel Dawn (of all the pointless Patrick Swayze movies ever made-- which was pretty much all of them -- this one took the taco)

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 08:39:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reaaly bad.. Repo the genetic opera (0+ / 0-)

        I think that's what it was called. Woof.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle
        Follow @tmservo433

        by Chris Reeves on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:58:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Something on the order of (0+ / 0-)

          Bride of the Creature From the Black Lagoon... that's not what it was called, but that was the gist.

          Then there were the "giant locusts" climbing on picture postcards of buildings.  Sooooo bad.

          I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

          by mojo11 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:02:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I could feel brain cells starting to die... (11+ / 0-)

    just from watching Battlefield Earth for less than five minutes. My cable remote saved my life.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:08:55 PM PDT

    •  It was so bad (7+ / 0-)

      That it wasn't even fun to make fun of it.  I think I got 10 minutes into before realizing that I'd have far more fun jabbing icepicks into my skull

    •  The sad part was the book was pretty good. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, Major Kong

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:23:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Battlefield Earth was also a designed scam (5+ / 0-)

      Part of the reason it was so bad, was the producers planned from the beginning to embezzle a large portion of the budget from the investors. They 'cooked up' the books to cover the $85 million dollar budget, when in reality they only spent about $45 million on the film, pocketing the rest. They had done this on a much smaller scale with low budget films - but there's a big difference between scamming a couple of hundred thousand, and $40 million. There were lots of lawsuits, money was recovered, and jail time was spent. And we were left with a legend of a film.

      "Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail." - My President

      by Fordmandalay on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:28:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't remember Battlefield Earth being that bad (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, it's more of the level of those B-grade sci-fi flicks I used watch on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid. Flicks that were definitely not the level of "Citizen Kane" or even "The Dirty Dozen", but for a kid who was not hung up on factual accuracy or plot logic, a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.

      Then again, I remember within the first five minutes identifying several errors or mistakes in fact or plot logic. And this was before the flick got to that death scene slavishly & without any reason stolen from "Blade Runner". (If you haven't seen "Battlefield Earth", let's just say that decades or generations after human civilization has been smashed, a department store window display somehow survives intact only to be egregiously destroyed before our eyes.) That was the point where I decided, if I was going to actually sit thru this movie, much beer would be needed.

      I went thru 6 or 8 bottles before the flick was over. Maybe that's why I don't remember it being all that bad. (But even that wasn't enough beer to convince it was anywhere near as good as "The Dirty Dozen". I don't think it would be healthy to drink enough beer to think that in two hours.)

  •  And with SEAN CONNERY, no less!!... worst ever (14+ / 0-)


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:13:32 PM PDT

  •  After Jaws, (13+ / 0-)

    there arose a whole genre of films I like to call ____ goes homicidal. Insert animal or object, usually posessed by the Devil. One of my favorite 'cult classics' of this Jaws type was The Car:

  •  Howard the Duck (13+ / 0-)

    is the "Citizen Kane" of the Duck-From-Outer-Space genre.

    But seriously, I don't get why people have hated this movie.  It's a film based on an underground comic book about a three-foot-tall anthropomorphic duck from outer space.

    What in the hell were people expecting?  A Sam Shepard script with Olivier in the lead role?  It's an action-adventure comedy about a talking duck.


  •  Is Sharknado bad enough to be (7+ / 0-)

    really, truly bad?

    It sure sounds like it.  

    Haven't seen it, but I like watching bad movies, so if somebody out there has seen Sharknado, let me know if it's truly bad enough or me to go see.  

    On Sharknado, I defer to y'all's judgment.  

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:18:57 PM PDT

  •  Speaking of blow jobs.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, MT Spaces

    no review of bad movies would be complete without mention of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  But then it never was intended to be, or presented as, a serious film.

  •  Worst movie I've ever seen is (7+ / 0-)

    Skeleton Man.

    I love horror movies, and those tend to lend themselves to awful movies, but this absolutely crossed the line.

    It is the measuring stick by which myself, my roommate, and my landlord's fiance measure bad movies.

    "Man, I just saw XYZ, and it was TERRIBLE."

    "Was it SKELETON MAN terrible?"

    "......I guess it wasn't that bad....."

    I encourage everyone to watch it at least once. It will automatically make every movie you've ever seen slightly better, solely because they were not Skeleton Man.

  •  Half Moon Street (7+ / 0-)

    This is based on a novel by Paul Theroux and stars Michael Caine and Sigourney Weaver (who plays a Harvard Phd in London working in a research institute and is a prostitute at night).

    The film makes no sense and I have no idea why Weaver is constantly topless.


    Let's not forget Ishtar.  We rented it and I found the racism so bad that after twenty minutes I stopped it. It should be on this list way before Heaven's Gate (which is an interesting failure).

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:22:14 PM PDT

    •  Yes! My roommate at the time and I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, MoDem

      had serious crushes on Weaver, and how can you go wrong with Caine?  Well, you can go very, very wrong.  Horrible fucking movie.

      Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

      by jazzmaniac on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:41:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Steven Soderberg's Heaven's Gate (4+ / 0-)

    Living is easy with eyes closed...

    by skybluewater on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:23:06 PM PDT

  •  Roadhouse is awful (7+ / 0-)

    but for me the saving grace is Sam Elliott, not Patrick Swazye.

  •  Plan 9 From Outer Space (8+ / 0-)

    The worst film ever, from the worst film director ever, Ed Wood.

    Tim Burton's movie about Wood, however, is well worth seeing.

    •  There was another one (6+ / 0-)

      called "Ed Wood:  Look Back in Angora," which gave hilarious examples of his use of stock footage, including the inexplicable buffalo stampede in Glen or Glenda?

      In the Burton movie, I love the moment at the end when they've just watched the screening of Plan 9, with the flying saucer taking off while on fire, the strings plainly visible.  And an enthralled Wood says, "This is it!  This is the one I'll be remembered for!"  

      How right he was.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:41:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He wanted to direct in the worst way ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... and he did.

      On the other hand, the movie about his life and oeuvre, Ed Wood, was charming and touching.

  •  Razzies-Awarded Movie "All About Steve" (7+ / 0-)

    with Sandra Bullock.

    Yes! We have a WINNER.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:27:28 PM PDT

  •  Ishtar & Heaven's Gate (4+ / 0-)

    2 of many films originally regarded as failures, now correctly regarded many as among the most interesting films of the 1980s, though each is somewhat flawed.
    Ishtar is for me particularly good, with a purposeful awkwardness (which was the point) that turned off people at the time. It has, for me, by far Dustin Hoffman's most interesting performance.
    Most people who list Ishtar have never seen it in my experience.

    •  I love the songs in that movie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      seanflynn, MT Spaces

      Hot Fudge Love

      Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

      by pucklady on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:53:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A fair review of Ishtar I read (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, MT Spaces, waytac

      It started off by mentioning the amazing amount of money they spent making it, nearly $50 million, at a time when big-budget movies were generally made for half that. The reviewer said, in essence, "Are there $50 million worth of laughs in it? No, but what do you care? It's not your money." Indeed, Hoffman and Beatty playing roles more properly suited to the other does make the film sort of interesting. Not that I want to see it again.

      Lousy sucky movies? You have to include "A.I.", the Steven Spielberg suckfest of a Stanley Kubrick project Kubrick never could get made. I don't know why Kubrick never actually got the film going, but watching Spielberg's product, it's obvious that it shouldn't have been made.

      Forget the tedious length, and focus instead on the (hah!) plot: Married couple has young son go comatose from near-drowning experience. In their grief, husband suggests to wife that they "adopt" a little project his supertoy company is experimenting with: A little boy android, about their son's age, who imprints with its parents, and is designed to be, Pinocchio-like, a real boy.

      The first and most obvious insuperable obstacle is who would ever let this little monster into their household? The boy (played by Haley Joel Osment, of course) never ages, never grows up, is forever eight years old. He never hits puberty, never matures into adolescence and adulthood, never ever gets out of grade school, fer crissakes. He is always and forever eight years old.

      But you're not. That is, you're not 30 or 35 forever. You get older, your hair gets gray, you slow down. In short, you age. But the boy never does. You've just barked your 64-year-old shin on the edge of the coffee table, and you're hopping toward the medicine chest, swearing, and trying to get some ibuprofen, when little Marblehead gets in your way with drawing number 3,152 in a never-ending series called "Mommy  and Me" and get out of my way, you little shit!

      I think Kubrick was a genius, and one of the reasons he was a genius is he never really got this movie to work, and never made it. Spielberg, on the other hand . . .

      •  Miraculously, AI almost sorta works because (0+ / 0-)

        Haley Joel Osment.  IMHO, he personally willed this movie into a deep poignance and relevance.  When you think of it, most every movie he was in as a young actor on paper sounded like a completely bad idea...he seemed to either personally make them worthwhile (like AI) or a borderline masterpiece (The Sixth Sense....seriously, can you see any other actor having not made this work, but work brilliantly?).

        I'd also heard about the short story it was based on ("Super-Toys Last All Summer Long") and in a medium like science fiction where plots can be paper-thin in the service of greater conceptual realization, I thought it sounded really cool.

        You're right about large parts of the rest of it though.  I seem to be the only one I know who found Jude Law's character insufferable.

    •  The problem with those films is the $ spent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces

      When that amount of money is spent on a film, you expect that it's going to be terrific. And neither of those films are. Indeed, in those two films, most of the money isn't even there on the screen. It's completely wasted.

      Ishtar is very flawed, but I agree it's rather interesting, as Elaine May intended it as a nasty satire of U.S. foreign policy disguised as a Hope/Crosby kind of buddy picture. The best parts of the movie all involve Charles Grodin's double-dealing CIA man and his cold reapoltik. ("The U.S. government will not be blackmailed. However, I have no problem meeting your timetable.")

      Heaven's Gate, however, is just a complete disaster. Pretty to look at, great cast, but just disastrous. One of the dullest movies I've ever seen.

  •  Sir Ben Kingsley (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realalaskan, MT Spaces, Simplify

    Thundebirds (Live Action)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:29:18 PM PDT

  •  Zardoz, Empire of the Sun, Midnight Cowboy (6+ / 0-)

    The category is "bad movies that many people inexplicably consider great achievements."

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:30:05 PM PDT

  •  Armageddon is the worst movie ever (12+ / 0-)

    Sure, you can make a case for some low budget schlockfest, but Armageddon had a huge budget, at least a few decent actors, and was still so bad I was literally looking for things to throw at the screen.

    Drunken Russian cosmonaut blows up the space station. No astronaut can be trained to work a GD drill. And one if the astronauts goes space crazy and climbs into a rover with a machine gun on it.  It's just a parade of stupid so bad, hung together with no concern to plot or sense, that it makes me want to hunt people down.

  •  The KISS movie does not belong here. It was TV ... (3+ / 0-)

    The KISS movie does not belong here. It was TV movie (NBC, I believe).

  •  I list bad movies in two ways (8+ / 0-)

    One category of bad movies consist of low budget indie romps that usually involve cheap horror and/or gratuitous sex sequences that are essentially straight-to-video vehicles for various non-actor former sports stars, washed up child stars turned adults, or Playboy/Penthouse models.  Think of movies like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, I Spit On Your Grave, Surf Nazis Must Die, or Invasion of the Bee Girls and you get what I mean. There was a film made a few years ago that was a sendup of grindhouse movies made in the 1970's that is a classic example of this type of movie.

    But the movies I can't stand are the colossal big budget blockbusters that show a lot of explosions and special effects but have god awful scripts and unlikely scenarios.  I hate this movie to this very day.

  •  The Rabbit Test (6+ / 0-)

    One unfunny gag after another, without mercy. Joan Rivers sole movie magnum opus.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:32:19 PM PDT

    •  Oh yeah, I saw this many years ago (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, avsp

      Joan Rivers had gone on the road to work up some publicity for it. She handed out free tickets to the kids at the college I attended -- which is why I saw it, & saw Joan Rivers. Watching a famous actress talk about her movie was the best part of the experience.

      Until you mentioned it, I had forgotten I had seen it. Now excuse me while I try to forget that I had seen it.

      •  Rivers flogged that movie as hard as she could (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        avsp, llywrch

        That was the only thing that kept it from being a total box-office disaster.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 03:44:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  as good as it gets (6+ / 0-)

    was so self-consciously cutesy i almost walked out. and i was watching it at home.

    the blind side was awful on every level, beginning with its being a case study in white privilege film-making. caricatures not characters, some of the stupidest dialogue imaginable, and the acting... another example of the film awards making complete fools of themselves.

    and speaking of which- the hurt locker? maybe the most forgettable oscar winner ever. that year, i said in ten years no one would be watching it, or care to watch it. it didn't take that long.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:33:07 PM PDT

  •  Here is my "so bad it's good" movie list (8+ / 0-)

    These are films so horrifically bad I enjoy watching them:

    The Room - Very possibly the worst movie ever made.  Easily the worst dialogue of any film I've seen, but the acting and script is so LOL bad it's funny.


    Troll 2 - There was actually a great documentary called "Best Worst Movie" done about this film 20 years after it's release.

    Killer Klowns from Outer Space

    Plan Nine From Outer Space

    Manos the Hands of Fate

    Birdemic: Shock and Terror

    Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 - Shockingly enough Bob Clark directed this POS of a movie.

    Gigli - Affleck and J-Lo acting at an all-time low.

  •  There are quite a few movies I've seen that (8+ / 0-)

    were shitty, irritating, laughable, boring and/or completely insipid - well, where to start?  Usually it's the ones that irritate me because I'm disapppointed it's so bad such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Or, The Day After Tomorrow. Or, any one of the Friday the 13th sequels. Or, any movie with Keanu Reeves.

    Or, any movie on the Sci-Fi Channel.

  •  Evilspeak (6+ / 0-)

    Stanley Coopersmith (Clint Howard), a young cadet at an American military academy, is a social outcast bullied by his classmates.

    In the film's introduction, we see Satanic leader Father Estaban (Richard Moll) and his followers on the shore of Spain during the Dark Ages. They are approached by a church official who tells them they are banished from Spain and denied God's grace unless they renounce Satan and their evil ways.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:37:32 PM PDT

  •  Though not a feature in the truest sense (5+ / 0-)

    It stars plenty of stars that make features features

    Movie 43

    Who doesn't like a good  fart joke    But this was beyond your average smell o Rama.

    From Hugh jackman as a true to life teabagger ( you have to see to believe) to Halle berry to Dennis quaid.  It's hard to believe any of them (and more) agreed to make this movie after reading the script

    The only saving grace was I saw it on netflix

    He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot...Groucho Marx

    by distributorcap on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:37:36 PM PDT

  •  I was ten years old (6+ / 0-)

    and Panasonic's Laser Disk player was supposed to be the future.

    Everytime I went to the Mall, one of three films was playing:

    1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    2. Can't Stop the Music (Village People Movie)
    3. Xandadu

    I thought this was why the player failed to catch on.

    You had to be high to enjoy your options.

    Imagine my shock when I met a Panasonic Laser Disk dead-ender in the early 1990's who had a collection of some of the greatest films of all-time on the large disk format.

    The marketing was malpractice.

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:40:55 PM PDT

    •  For 20 years... (5+ / 0-)

      LaserDisc was the serious collectors' format; thousands of quality films that never saw the light of day on videocassette (many of which still haven't on DVD). Also the format that pioneered audio commentary tracks.

      Which reminds me: it was Pioneer, not Panasonic.

      I'm wondering if those marketing displays you saw weren't for the short-lived rival, the RCA Selectavision CED videodisc (contemptuously referred to as "needle vision"), which employed a pickup similar to that of LP's rather than an optical one. I used to see those displays all the time.

      Marketing malpractice or whatever other reason(s), LD never became a mainstream format. If memory serves, there were only about 3 million players sold. But Pioneer took very good care of its niche market: for all those years, more new releases, both current and classic, in each one, with labels like Criterion going to great lengths to track down, restore and newly-master titles that couldn't be found anywhere else.

      During the years videocassette was king, LD was a beautiful oasis for film fanatics.

      •  Still use mine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My Pioneer LVD player is easily the most durable home electronics component I've ever owned.  Built like a Sherman tank, it will easily outlast me, it may outlast my 12-year old daughter.  I still pick up a LVD or two off of eBay.  Problem is, so many of the things pressed to LVD wee/are crap.  The ones that aren't (e.g., the Criterion Collection offerings), if you can find them inexpensively, have enormously increasing collector's value.

  •  Switchblade Sisters (5+ / 0-)

    Best bad movie ever.

  •  Thoughts in no particular order: (4+ / 0-)

    Yep. Xanadu IS  terrible film, and I feel sorry for Gene Kelly being in it. When I think about the distance from An American in Paris and Xanadu, well, I despair.

    There are films that are overrated as "bad films." Showgirls is one, I think.

    There are films I can't call "bad," but are simply meh, and forgettable right after I see them. Prometheus, for one, was disappointing, and immediately forgettable. But it wasn't "bad." Ditto Oblivion. I like films that stay with me. Lord of the Rings, for example.

    I almost reached for Caligula years ago to rent it, but stopped myself with the thought, "You're gonna regret this!"

    There are films that are SO bad that they're parodies of themselves as they unfold, and produce laughter where the filmmakers perhaps thought there would be thrills and goosebumps. Battlefield Earth fits this bill superbly.

    No one here has mentioned Plan Nine in Outer Space. That's too easy, perhaps. But I recommend everybody seeing it: it has to be seen to be believed.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:43:08 PM PDT

    •  You know, I was downright angry when (7+ / 0-)

      I saw that hot mess called Prometheus. I wanted to love that movie SO MUCH when it came out.  What ended up on the screen was an incomprehensable mish-mash of ideas, none of which were well executed or well thought out.

    •  I liked Xanadu! (3+ / 0-)

      Granted, I saw it when I was a kid and had not seen any of the "great" musicals from the 50s and 60s (except The Sound of Music, or course).

      If you don't know what a musical is supposed to be, then Xanadu is cute.

      There was a Broadway production that was even better, btw.

      And ELO rocks, I don't care what you haters say, so there.

    •  Prometheus is the worst ever. (3+ / 0-)

      "Everything Wrong with Prometheus" barely scratches the surface of what's wrong with Prometheus.  (In part because they focus on idiotic inside jokes about what other movies the actors were in.  Nobody cares.)

      I shouldn't be cheering for everyone in the entire damned cast to die horrible deaths.

      I shouldn't be disappointed that any survive.

      When the crew recommend marooning one member, I shouldn't think "Best idea I've heard yet, when do we start?"

      It's an Alien franchise trope that the android always has a secret mission.  But it's handled so ham-handedly, you'll be screaming at the screen.

      Can you read this?
      Every little rage inducing moment during the movie.  The mission briefing.  The horrible landing flight.  The plot-sensitive radio jamming.  Anyone being dumb enough to remove their helmet.  Everyone being dumb enough to remove their helmet.

      Seriously, you're forgiven if you walk out right now.

      The rest of the rage inducing moments during the movie.  The geologist being the one to get lost in the tunnels.  "Hey little fella."  Weyland.  The eye worms.  The cure for infertility.  The pregnancy.  The idea that a medical device is incapable of working on one gender.  The C-section.  The alien head.  The alien control room and the musical cue.  Rolling, Rolling, Rolling.

      Poorly executed bad idea after poorly executed bad idea, all seared into your memory.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:55:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Titanic (3+ / 0-)

    Worst. Movie. Ever.

    Worse than Manos.

    I appreciate that Hudson Hawk was not list as the worse vanity picture.  Willis has made may bad pictures, but this was just a bit of good fun.

    As far as toy commericals go, I never understood toy story to be anything but.  Technically it was a good film, but was such a crass commercial, like pokemon, without the fun.

    She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

    by lowt on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:44:47 PM PDT

    •  thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

      I did not like Titanic. Dreck. Couldn't understand why it got so much hype.

    •  I feel that way about Gravity.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not sure why it was considered to be such a good film, unless everything else was so bad this year comparison. It broke some ground for visual effects, but I found it to excessively visually busy with a weak story and mediocre acting.

      •  To say nothing of the way it mangled science! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dancing Frog

        I read some prerelease hype about how they allegedly tried to adhere to science. That was bullshit--every single plot turn in Gravity violated simple science. Avatar was a more believable movie, if for no other reason than that it took place on another planet, where I suppose mountains could float in the air. When that drunken astronaut got bad publicity for yelling at the screen, well, I felt for him! I likewise felt like the film insulted my intelligence!!!

        Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

        by candid psychiatrist on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 07:13:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the behind the scenes, I heard.... (0+ / 0-)

          that they were trying to "honor the reality" over and over from every department. When I suggested in my review over on that if that was true then they all should of resigned in protest, a person accused me of nitpicking.  

          It has been a problem in science fiction movies lately, I have heard more than a few prominent directors say that they wanted things to look and feel real, but felt that having to adhere to any kind of science on any level would ruin the story that they were trying to tell. That's why you get technology in movies like "Elysium" and "Edge of Tomorrow" that makes no sense at all and actually subtracts from the story.

  •  I love Jackie Chan's Chinese movies (6+ / 0-)

    The acting and the script/dubbing are atrocious, but the action is so much fun.   The ones billed as comedies are gold.  I highly recommend City Hunter.  I think it's on You Tube.   As for his more serious endeavors, Police Story has a jaw dropping scene where an entire village is leveled, and then there's that city bus he chases.  

  •  Almost forgot Eragon (7+ / 0-)

    Based on a novel written by a teenager, and it shows.  Rips off every trope from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings in ways that are obvious a mile off.  

    The worst part, though, was the Mary Sue/Marty Stu quality of the hero.  Every other line is, "I hope that boy realizes how important and special he is!"

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:46:59 PM PDT

  •  Can't Beat (3+ / 0-)

    No matter how you try you will never beat Plan Nine from Outer Space. You just can't although we did do a MST3000 from Metropolis once that was hysterical.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:54:17 PM PDT

  •  I'm one of the 12 people (7+ / 0-)

    who actually saw Howard the Duck.  The comic book was awesome,  The film--a terrible disappointment.  On the other hand, I went with a couple friends who didn't seem to notice how bad it was.

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:56:11 PM PDT

  •  I just figured out what actually happens in the (5+ / 0-)

    place called hell. Inhabits are required to watch all nine cuts of Caligula. I think I had better start being good!

    bring your own petard.

  •  Here's a movie I HATE that everyone else seems (5+ / 0-)

    To love - Black Swan.  One of the few movies I've ever walked out early on.  And I usually like Aronofsky movies.  It was utter incomprehensible crap to both myself and my friends I went to see it with.  Guess it doesn't help that Natalie Portman is one of my least favorite actresses of all-time.  She's eye candy with very little acting ability.  Just watch the Star Wars prequels - she heaped ruin them.  It always amazed me she was nominated for, yet alone won Best Actress for Black Swan.

    •  That was quite the twisted film (4+ / 0-)

      And the ending--even more bizarre. But I guess ballet has all the cutthroat drama of opera.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:29:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not a fan of Black Swan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

      Though I thought the primary fault was the script, not Portman. And I don't think Natalie Portman can be blamed for her performance in Star Wars. Lucas made both Samuel L. Jackson and Liam Neeson look like second-rate actors. Bad directors can make even the best actors look terrible.

      For a really good Natalie Portman performance, I prefer her in The Professional, back when she was just a kid. She's also quite good in Beautiful Girls, and even gives an amusing performance in Mars Attacks!.

      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

      by moviemeister76 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:51:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought it was great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:58:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hate it too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

      I sat through the whole thing. I loathed it. I don't mind any of the cast members, but it just didn't come together for me. I was baffled as to why people liked it so much.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:27:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's better watched when you're stoned (0+ / 0-)

      (i heard from a friend. yeah. that's it.)

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

      by terrypinder on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:14:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bonfire of the Vanities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

    Just flat out sucks.  Sucks so bad it's suckiness isn't even amusing on any level.

    That's a rare achievement.

    •  One of the worst adaptations ever done (3+ / 0-)

      Maybe the worst. Nothing about that film was done right. Arguably the worst cast movie in film history. Tom Hanks as a blue-blooded WASP A-hole? Bruce Willis as a drunken British reporter...I mean, Bruce Willis as himself? (And he can't even do that competently!) The book's embittered Jewish judge rewritten as a heroic black man played by Morgan Freeman, in a story where no one was supposed to come off looking good? Ugh.

      The film was probably doomed from the start (Bonfire is pretty much an unfilmmable book), but I'd think their chances would have been better if they'd gone with their original choices of William Hurt in Hanks's role and John Cleese in Willis's and kept Alan Arkin as the judge.

    •  Great books tend to make bad movies (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure if the inverse is true.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 03:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Death Row Game Show. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

    "Walnuts? I don't remember eating walnuts!"

  •  I nominate Surf II. (3+ / 0-)

    It's not a sequel. It was supposed to be a parody of beach party movies with a mix of science fiction, zombies and teen films. There's one scene where the two surfer dudes start picking their lunch out of a mass of washed up seaweed that gags me every time in watch it. I've never watched anything that gave me such a visceral effect.
    Hard to find but worth viewing. The soundtrack is the most redeeming factor.

  •  Ya know, Lucas already had the plot ideas for (4+ / 0-)

    NINE Star Wars movies before the first one got made.

    Why he started with four I don't know, but I think he talked about it once.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:22:51 PM PDT

    •  As I recall... (4+ / 0-)

      ...Lucas said he wanted to start with episode IV because IV-VI would be the cheapest to make.

      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

      by moviemeister76 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:53:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The story, as I have heard it... (0+ / 0-)

          Is that Lucas' original idea was just ONE movie, but then he realized that using all of his ideas would make the story too long for one movie.  

            So he divided the story up into a series of sequels.  But Lucas was worried that if the first movie bombed, he would never get the chance to make the sequels.

            And I think that when Star Wars was first released, it did NOT have the subtitle: "Episode IV: a New Hope".  It was JUST "Star Wars".  When the movie was a smash hit and the sequels were a sure thing, the subtitle and episode number were added to subsequent releases.  

            If Lucas had started with the backstory of Episodes 1-3, he might never have gotten the chance to tell the true heart of the story, which was the journey of Luke Skywalker.  

            Lucas also incorporated some ideas intended for the sequels into Episode 4, because he was worried that if Star Wars flopped, those ideas would never be seen.  For example, the world of Endor in Return of the Jedi was originally intended to be a planet populated by Wookies.  But because Lucas was afraid that Return of the Jedi might never get made, he introduced Chewbacca in Episode 4 so that audiences could see the Wookie species in the first movie, and then changed the Wookies of Endor to Ewoks.  I also think that the destruction of the Death Star was originally intended to occur only in Episode 6, as the climax of the series, and NOT in Episode 4.  But because Lucas feared there might never be an Episode 6, he used that plot element in Episode 4, which is why Return of the Jedi seems a bit repetitive with its plot centering around the destruction of ANOTHER Death Star.  

           I also think that by the time of Return of the Jedi, Lucas had decided to end the series with Episode 6, with no intention of ever producing Episodes 7-9, and possibly not even Episodes 1-3.  With the destruction of the Death Star, the death and redemption of Darth Vader, and the fall of the Empire, the story seems to be pretty much OVER.  Perhaps Lucas originally intended for the fall of the Empire and the final confrontation with Vader to occur in Episode 9, but then he compressed his timeline to finish with Episode 6.  

           That's why I'm wary of the upcoming sequels.  If they are presented as Episodes 7-9, i.e. a direct continuation of the original Star Wars saga, even though all of the important plotlines of the original Star Wars saga were wrapped up with Episode 6, then the sequels might come across as redundant and unnecessary filler.  The upcoming Star Wars movies might still be good, in the way that Star Trek and Star Trek: the Next Generation are both good.  Star Trek: TNG works because it doesn't attempt to continue the story of Kirk and Spock, but tells a separate story set in the same Star Trek Universe.  So if the upcoming Star Wars movies tell a new, standalone story set in the Star Wars Universe, they might be judged as good on their own merits.  But if the upcoming movies are  presented as the continuing adventures of a geriatric Luke, Leia, and Han, when their story has already been told, I just don't know if that's going to work...

           Sorry.  This turned into a real nerd-rant...kind of pointless considering that this article is at least a day old, so my comments might not even be read...But I guess I just couldn't resist the opportunity to spew some of my pet theories on Star Wars...

  •  No "Night of the Lepus?" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

    It's pretty awful.

  •  Alien franchise got it from both ends (3+ / 0-)

    Alien 3? Yecckk. Though it did have some memorable scenes, I found the movie pointless and terrible. I never saw Alien Resurrection but from what I have heard, I will never bemoan not getting those two hours of my life back.

    And then, on the other end of time, you have Prometheus. I found that one entertaining and at least a bit suspenseful, provided you suspend 99% of your belief and 100% of any knowledge of science. It just . . . made no freaking sense. None at all! But it had cool special effects.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:34:26 PM PDT

  •  worst movie I ever saw, bar none, (4+ / 0-)

    was called The Oregonian. It was one of the midnight movies at Sundance a few years ago (the Midnight and New Frontiers series are always a bit risky...) At least a quarter of the audience (maybe half?) walked out, and boy were they smart. I hung in until the bitter end, hoping it would eventually make some kind of sense. It was basically a series of bizarre nightmare images, some of which continued to pop into my mind many weeks later (not welcome). I think my brain has finally cleansed itself of those disturbing images.

    The filmmaker was smart to not show for a Q&A, because it would have been ugly. Those of us who were stupid enough to stay to the end were cursing him in his absence. I have never seen an audience so angry. We were so pissed, at the filmmaker for making it, at Sundance for screening it, at ourselves for wasting 2 hours of prime sleep time on it. We were livid. What the hell was that? Really unpleasant and gross, with no discernible point or plot. No other experience at the movies has ever matched the depths of anger and disgust that this one provoked.

    Apparently, there are a few people out there who actually liked this piece of crap, but I am still angry at the guy who made it.

    NOT a so-bad-it's-good thing, just utterly bad.

  •  Uh.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

    Not that this isn't interesting - because it really is - but isn't this diary a rerun?

  •  Bad movie? Please see my user name... (5+ / 0-)

    Cannibal The Musical is a farce of a historical drama about the real-life cannibal Alferd Packer. It's also the film school project by the guys who went on to create South Park. It's very very very bad, but quite a lot of fun too. Highly recommended.

    Some other more obscure bad movie favorites of mine, all fun, all terrible, all highly recommended:
      - Simon Sez (Dennis Rodman as action hero; it's like a James Bond movie, only stupid)
      - Black Samurai (Jim Kelly administers kung fu on dope fiends and midgets)
      - Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (JC and his hot friend Mary Magnum solve Canada's "critical lesbian shortage")
      - Ghosts Can't Do It (Bo Derek communicates with her dead hubby, often while taking baths and showers)
      - The 1925 version of Wizard Of Oz (yes indeed, a so-bad-it's-good silent movie)
      - Inchon (OK, this one isn't so recommended, but it's painfully bad)

    Already mentioned, and I do concur:
      - Howard the Duck (Oh God Oh God it's terrible, not in a good way either)
      - The Room (awesomely bad, be sure to read Sestero's The Disaster Artist)
      - All the Ed Wood crap (yeah, of course, Plan 9 being the most fun of them by far)
      - Battlefield Earth (oh yes, it sucks, more so because it was trying so hard to be the new century's Star Wars)
      - Troll 2 (Troll 1 is some kind of awful too, and it's included on the same disk!)
      - Birdemic (Yup, gotta pad this puppy out to feature-length by showing the guy filling up his plug-in-hybrid Ford Mustang at a Chevron station)
      - Can't Stop the Music (yes, fun & bad)
      - Killer Klowns (woo hoo, music by the Dickies!)
      - All the MST3K stuff (of course, needless to say; Manos and Mitchell stand out for me)

    No No No!!! These are not bad movies at all!:
      - Road House (not great, but a solid "B-movie")
      - Point Break (yeah, it's corny, but come on, it's awesome; Swayze's performance actually makes an absurd character believable)
      - Ishtar (ok, not Oscar material, but parts of this are brilliant)
      - Rocky Horror (not as much fun as the stage musical version, but still, this doesn't try to be anything more than the silly romp that it is)
      - Showgirls (Stop it, everyone! You don't get it. This is a great movie about schlock and terrible taste, exactly what its genius director intended it to be. It's not bad, it's ABOUT bad.)

  •  So many bad movies. (3+ / 0-)

    I have to put in a mention for Grease 2. What a godawful movie. Or Two of a Kind. Or...or...or...

    I'm really hating the more recent trend of taking source material that no sane mine should consider usable and making it into a film. Like Battleship. Or The Cat in the Hat. Or any of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. 2011's Red Riding Hood.

    Board games. Kindergarten books. Lame theme park rides. Fairy tales. What studio exec signs off on this shit? No one wants to see a damn Candyland or an It's a Small World movie.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    by grape crush on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:54:42 PM PDT

    •  Oh, and... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

      ...Disney is trying waaaay too hard to have another billion-dollar product like Pirates of the Caribbean. John Carter of Mars and The Lone Ranger sucked hard.

      "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

      by grape crush on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:00:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unnecessary sequels. (3+ / 0-)

    Highlander 2-4 ("There should have been only one") and Alien 3-4-Prometheus come to mind.....

    And Spider-Man 3.

    And The Dark Knight Rises.

    And Superman 3, 4, and Returns. (Actually, though the action was choppy, Reeve acted the "battle with himself" scene really well in Superman 3.)

    So many sequels that should never have been made....

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:20:09 PM PDT

  •  Tommy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

    Jack Nicholson can't sing for shit and Ann-Margret drowning in baked beans always makes me want to puke.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:22:30 PM PDT

  •  No one is going to agree with me (4+ / 0-)

    But I think that Tarantino is one of the most overrated filmmakers of all time. I'm not saying he's without talent. But his films are devoid of original ideas -- each is just a tribute to some other genre of films that came long before, and we're supposed to be delighted as an audience when he lifts tropes from those genres, even when they're horrifically mismatched, such as lifting from spaghetti westerns for Django Unchained. Kill Bill Pt. 1 was just intolerably stupid -- yes, yes, I get it, all the decapitations and squirting blood were, once again, homage, but to what end? And Tarantino's obsession with the n-word is downright disturbing. Anyway, no one is going to agree with me, everyone absolutely adores him, but I think he is terribly overrated. He loves B movies, and he makes, at best, B movies -- nothing wrong with that, but why are the critics always leaping over themselves to praise everything he does?

    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

    by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:32:23 PM PDT

    •  I"m not a big Tarantino fan, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

      I tend to cut lots of slack when something or someone is respected by some kind of a serious following; I'm content to say "I guess I don't get it".  (I was considering making a similar comment about Zardoz.) Also, it's not a crime to be derivative. And I have to admit, parts of Deathproof are pretty great.

      •  Nobody can "get" Zardoz. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alferd Packer

        Either you've done acid or you haven't.
        < /superior sounding jerk>
        Seriously, though, that movie was so far out there that it hurt my brain watching it. And I'm into surrealism.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:33:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I find his obsession with feet (0+ / 0-)

      to be far more disturbing.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 08:03:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On American Beauty (5+ / 0-)

    Sorry for two comments in a row -- will leave it at that -- but I love that you included American Beauty here. I went through the exact same thing you describe here when it came out and in the years sense. I was an older teen when I saw it in the theaters, and I adored it; I thought it was brilliant. But over the years, the film, to me, has fallen apart, especially with the economic changes that America has undergone. In the late 1990s we had the luxury of worrying about whether or not comfortable middle class people were fulfilled. But after the Bush years, America's big worry was having a job, being able to afford college, being able to prevent the family home from being foreclosed on, of not getting shot by the "neighborhood watch." And I think of that scene, of Kevin Spacey's character raging at his wife, "It's just a couch!" when she asks him to be careful of spilling his beer on the couch when they're starting to get hot and heavy. I remember thinking when I first saw it, yeah, that's right man, it's just a possession! Don't worry about the beer. But now I'm a little older and I think, don't spill your goddamn beer on the couch, asshole, couches don't grow on trees. Anyway, that film certainly didn't age well.

    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

    by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:38:13 PM PDT

    •  About that couch... (3+ / 0-)

      what got me was the hypocrisy. I'm so sure Spacey's character would have been just fine with his wife spilling beer all over the luxurious interior of the obligatory hot rod car he'd bought himself for his midlife crisis. Right?

      Anyway, ditto that the film hasn't aged well.

    •  American Beauty isn't perfect... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Up close, it does come off like a messy, expressionistic trinket.

      But, in spite of arguable directorial and production misconception, it somehow does manage to be a vehicle for Ball's vision, and what a vision that is!

      It winds up being a pretty good, potentially healing portrait of what goes wrong with families in affluent societies. It captures the essential contours of a certain kind of all-too-common spiritual sickness.

      When my marriage was going south, I tried to get my wife to sit down an watch it with me; I thought it just might help us put things in perspective. But, by that time, she'd become too staid and fearful and declined the invitation. And I still feel the movie possesses the kind of functional, explanatory power that might have helped turn the tide, if given the chance.

      And the narrative bullet is astounding; that people don't take steps to wake up because that process is attended by so much messiness; and how messy AmBeaut is! It shows a man who starts down a path to bodhisattvahood--and that first step is to try to turn the dream of cheerleader tail into a reality!

      Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

      by razajac on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:55:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  american beauty (0+ / 0-)

      Saw it back then.  Hated the movie. It was pretentious, stupid, meandering.  The rose petals were pointless and "arty".  Couldn't believe the "best picture" award to this piece of schlock.  One of the worst movies ever to have received an oscar nomination.
      Seemed like the screenwriters and director must have thought: everybody's going to be interested in stuff I think about or experience.  And just look how I can be ironic in a pointless denouement.  Oh, and floaty plastic bags and rose petals.
      Stupid movie.

  •  so bad it's bad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, thanatokephaloides

    why did anyone like Top Gun? Val Kilmer's hair is the the funniest thing about the movie, so it cannot reach the level of "so bad it's good".

    You can never get back the 98 seconds if you watch this clip...

  •  Here's one no one's mentioned... (5+ / 0-)

    When I was attending grad school in Houston, I knew a fellow student and sometimes went to the movies with him and his wife (Hi, Brian and Christy!).  She was a teacher and I think had majored in English, and one time she suggested the film for that particular trip.

    Which is how I found myself in the audience at a discount theater for The Scarlet Letter.  Yes, the 1995 Demi Moore version.

    I think the credits said "freely adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne"; if not, it should have.  The first third has the feel (as Roger Ebert noted) of one of those "Playboy Fantasies" videos, with soft photography and such, then it starts going off the rails.  About half an hour in, I was mentally responding to lines a la MST3K, and then saying them under my breath some time later.  By the time it got to the end scenes with the Native Americans coming into the village and flambeing much of it, I was really hoping that they would just keep going and take care of most of the cast and crew.

    The mention of such videos also brings up a film that was directed by David Kellogg, who did about a dozen of them before making the dreadful "Cool As Ice", starring Vanilla Ice.  That one does look good, at least, since the cinematographer was Janusz Kaminski, just before he became Spielberg's go-to cinematographer and started winning Oscars.  Hecklevision helped this one a lot.

    It's definitely a bad film if you find yourself wanting to return to the 3:30am, dressed in black and carrying accelerant.

  •  Some of my worst (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Manitou (400  year-old medicine man growing out of a woman's back

    Roger Rabbit (I actually walked out the theater in sheer annoyance)

    Exorcist II - The Heretic (not Richard Burton's finest work)

  •  I watched " The Counselor" recently (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A depressing movie that got more and more depressing as it went.

    Any movie that ends with Penélope Cruz's character getting dumped in a landfill....I will skip it when it gets to TNT on a Sunday afternoon.

  •  Anything with Adam Sandler (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not sure why but I just never "got" Adam Sandler. He just grates on me for some reason.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 03:18:18 AM PDT

  •  "Evolution doesn't work that way" (0+ / 0-)
    After just a thousand years, every organism on Earth has evolved to kill humans ... even though humans don't live on Earth anymore. Evolution doesn't work that way.
    Yeah, well, if parodies of evolution and infeasible biology are criteria for rejecting films - and I do notice them, but usually manage to shrug them off - there are an awful lot of sci-fi-ish films that fail horribly.

    This is not a sig-line.

    by Joffan on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 04:30:21 AM PDT

  •  Red Dawn (0+ / 0-)

    Only film my wife ever walked out of.

  •  poor nicholas cage (0+ / 0-)

    reduced to doing rapture porn for white evangelical conservative christians (coming, this fall.)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 04:48:59 AM PDT

  •  My worst of all time, (0+ / 0-)

    choice weighted for sheer volume of dreadful public adoration, is Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:02:49 AM PDT

    •  nope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom was far worse.

      •  Just because pre-Mrs. Spielberg (0+ / 0-)

        screeches in "terror" throughout? Or the "let's try to create a theme park ride part in the movie for our corporate sponsors"? I know, I know, why can't it be both?
        I was working in a videostore when it came out on tape, and when my customers came in asking for it, I told them that I would rather watch 2 hours of a blank screen than ever see that trash again.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:37:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Raiders was a pastiche. (0+ / 0-)

      It wasn't a great movie, but movies were becoming increasingly god awful through the 70s. It was a relief to have something with a plot and that respected the great conventions of adventure films. Star Wars was like this too. It was a relief after all that art.

  •  Bad Movies List (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alferd Packer

    I have so many! But I'll limit it to a few.


    2. Mac and Me- this star wars ripoff had a dance number in a McDonalds. WHAT WAS WITH THE DANCE NUMBERS, 80s?!

    3. Daylight- The Hudson Tunnel is destroyed by a car crashing into a truck full of explosive toxic waste and the rest of the plot is "the city fathers want this tunnel open for traffic by tomorrow's rush hour." THAT ISN'T HOW IT WORKS. THAT ISN'T HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.

    4. Stop! Or My Mom will Shoot!- this movie's only saving grace were the gratuitous shots of Sylvester Stallone's perfect power-glutes. Actually watch the movie and ignore the awful plot and acting. Whoever directed this LOVED his ass, and I mean how could one not? In 1994 it was at its peak of perfection.

    5. The Pirates of the Caribbean Movies- the last one is incoherent and incomprehensible. I've seen it 3 times because if it's on TV i'll usually just leave it on. I still don't know what happened or what the fuck that movie was about.

    6. anything by Nicholas Cage post Leaving Las Vegas - although The Weatherman was tolerable and bland.

    7. the Godzilla movie with that dude from Ferris Bueller- what WAS that?

    8. All of the Police Academy Movies- and they want to reboot these?!

    9. Crash- overrated racist dreck

    10. Speed 2- i hope someone was fired for that.

    11. The Great And Powerful Oz- so terrible, and problematic, and THAT is the origin story you choose for the Wicked Witch? what the fuck

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:32:44 AM PDT

    •  "Mac and Me" is an "ET" ripoff, not "Star Wars" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And I mean ripoff. Mac and Me pretty much defines "ripoff."

      It also feature the most blatant and crass product placement any movie has ever done. The McDonald's dance number you mention (Ronald McDonald even gets a cast credit!) is only the tip of the iceberg.

  •  Howard the Duck (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alferd Packer, DMentalist

    The funniest moment in that movie was when my buddy turned to me and announced (loud enough for everyone in the theater to hear) "If she fucks that duck, we're leaving"

    •  My Favorite Moment Was During The Trailers (0+ / 0-)

      During a trailer for "Alien vs Predator", the narrator portentiously declared "Place Your Bets!".

      Somebody cried out, "I bet this movie will suck!"

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anything (0+ / 0-)

    With the following names attached:
    Roland Ememrich, Dean Devlin, Jar-Jar Abrams, Michael Bay.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:06:41 AM PDT

    •  I dunno, I like that Abrams fellow. (0+ / 0-)

      Different strokes on that deal, I suppose.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:39:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two bad movies (0+ / 0-)

    1. Return of the Jedi - really the first step on the way to Jar Jar Binks

    2. Hollow Man - got free tickets to this. At some point the film got screwed up and the thing was playing upside down. it was so terrible that it took a while for anyone to really notice that in fact it wasn't intentional. Just awful.

  •  So bad movies (0+ / 0-)

    How about Stewardess School? This was the Thanksgiving "turkey" on our Boston area station presented a la Masterpiece Theater. It was really awful, but all the bad jokes and overdone cliches sort of grow on one. We groaned, we moaned, but we actually looked forward to this after gorging on Thanksgiving dinner.

    Then there was Robot Jox which seemed to be an Italian film made for the Japanese market and then dubbed into English. It had giant robots, a mom and pop robot fighting operation and every cliche in the book. It was so awful, it was actually enjoyable. It was hard to imagine anyone on screen (or in the crew) taking it very seriously.

    How about Company of Wolves, a semiotic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood complete with overdone Freudian symbolism and magnificent surrealism. It was almost embarrassing to watch, but eventually sheer fascination took over. One other contender for a semiotics film festival would be The Seventh Seal. This was an art house favorite. It's the one with the original chess game with death so well parodied in one of the Bill and Ted movies. (I think they played Twister.) Does King of Hearts qualify? It was possibly the best anti-war World War I as insane asylum movie. Even in the anti-war 60s it was overdone. (It was skewered nicely in The Stuntman.)

    Teenagers from Outer Space is currently my favorite so bad it's good movie. It involves aliens, giant lobsters, skeleton ray guns, a terrible plot, bad acting, and so on. In its favor, there is a certain enthusiasm. Someone clearly wanted to make this movie and had fun doing so, even if it took their last $100 which I'm guessing was the total budget. (A friend of mine used to make movies so I know how much fun it can be. He processed his own 16mm film in his basement. He lived near the Sunnyside Yards and wanted a shot of a train explosion, so he taped it from Lawrence of Arabia then showing on television. Hey, great artists steal.)

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