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Bad Movies

September 19, 2011


This is a blogfest Alex J. Cavanaugh is running today. [Apparently WordPress won’t let me just paste the image in like Blogger does, so fuck it.]   Mr. Offutt is right that I would enjoy discussing bad movies.  Unfortunately I was out of town this weekend and when I got back I was too tired to do anything, so I’m going to slop this together real quick, which is probably how most of these movies were made.

So the idea is to list a bunch of bad movies.  I’m going by bad movies I’ve actually seen, not ones I’ve heard are terrible.  Incidentally on Netflix you can watch a short documentary called “The 50 Worst Movies of All Time” or something like that.  The documentary itself is kind of dull; they needed to do it like all those VH1 shows where they talk to random comedians and celebrities about the terrible movies on the list.

Anyway, I’m agreeing with Mr. Offutt about #1:

#1 The Human Centipede

This movie is not only gross, but incredibly dumb.  The human centipede concept is dumb.  It serves no function whatsoever.  The human centipede is weaker than an ordinary human.  It’s slow and unmaneuverable.  It requires tons of care to make sure the components of it don’t die.  So what’s the point?  Why would even a mad scientist bother with it?

In the variations on “Frankenstein” Dr. Frankenstein creates the monster because he wants a way to bring back dead people or something like that.  See, that’s motivation.  Whereas the mad scientist in “Human Centipede” seems he’s just doing this for kicks.  Even the Jigsaw guy in the stupid “Saw” movies has a point to torturing and killing people.

Which really in monster movies the mad scientist is usually motivated by some misplaced desire to help humanity or to get revenge on humanity.  Because even though he’s a mad scientist, he still needs some kind of reason to do what he does.  Otherwise what’s the point?

#2 The Spirit

This comes from my movie review site.  Basically “The Spirit” made “Batman & Robin” look like “The Dark Knight.”  Campy with a capital C, uneven in tone, poorly acted, and again lacking in the motivation part.  Because since The Spirit can’t be killed and his nemesis The Octopus can’t be killed, what’s the point of their various slugfests?  It was the same question I had in the first lame “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie when Jack Sparrow was fighting Geoffrey Rusch and since neither could die at that point, what was the point?  This gets even lower marks because this wasn’t some small-budget straight-to-video thing, though it should have been.

#3 Troll

There’s a documentary about how “Troll 2” is the worst movie ever made, but Troll 1 is pretty terrible too.  I watched this on the THIS network at like 3am and to its credit I stayed up until about 5am watching it.  That’s because this movie makes no sense!  There’s an apartment building and for some reason this troll shows up and starts turning everything and everyone into trees and plants and stuff.  (One of those people was a young Julia Louise-Dreyfuss of “Seinfeld” fame.)  Incidentally this movie also made that 50 Worst Films documentary I mentioned.


This was another movie I watched late at night on THIS, back when they showed cheesy horror movies and not just cheesy regular movies on Saturday nights.  It was probably from the late ’80s and was trying to cash in on the cyborg thing like “Terminator” and “Robocop.” As I say on my review siteIn it a cop/scientist/rancher (seriously) in Texas creates a cyborg called ROTOR (don’t ask me what it means) to fight crime in a future time.  The problem is the thing is rushed online and not all the bugs are worked out.  After pulling over a speeder, ROTOR shoots the man and then begins pursuit of the female passenger. WTF Moment:  The hero calls a skunk-haired Amazon to help battle ROTOR and proceeds to take her to a hotel, where she promptly whips off her blouse to reveal a black tank top ala Rambo and they just as promptly leave the hotel, never to return.

#5 Jennifer’s Body

Diablo Cody really should have left horror movie writing to the professionals.  “Juno” was an OK movie, but Cody was really in over her head with “Jennifer’s Body.”  It’s supposed to be a horror movie, but it’s sooooo BORING.  The worst part is that despite having an R-rating, Megan Fox never goes naked.  What’s the point of her being in this sexy R-rated role if she’s not going to get topless?  Come on, stop being such a tease!  She does have a kiss with Amanda Seyfried, but Seyfried does a lot more with Julianne Moore in “Chloe” so you know, if you’re into that kind of thing…

Anyway, a horror movie without the horror or even decent nudity is two hours of tedium.  What’s more horrifying is to think of Diablo Cody writing an “Evil Dead” sequel/reboot/whatever.  Those movies were already pretty lame without her getting involved.

So anyway, there’s probably more I could rant about, but there you go.

Tomorrow I get around to Rusty’s 7×7 award!!!

And incidentally, if you want a book about bad movies, read “Bad Movies” by Peter Joseph Swanson.


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  1. I have a co-worker that wants me to watch Troll 2 and I keep telling him “No!” and he keeps trying to justify the watch as “hilarious.” I flat out told him, “I like watching good movies and I’m not wasting my time on a movie that I know is bad.”

  2. One thing I’ve never understood about movies, even most awful ones take a lot of effort from a lot of people… why not have someone put some effort into the script? I mean, bad acting, poor lighting, maybe even some cheesy dialog I can understand. What I don’t get is that sinking feeling that the plot is being made up as the movie goes along.

    Your description of ROTOR is a perfect example.

    • Well there are some people who are just terrible writers. What surprises me is that studios greenlight these things, especially big studio productions like “The Spirit” or “Jonah Hex” or anything Nic Cage has been in for the last three years. Who actually thought those were good ideas? Just like who thought “Bucky Larson” and “Creature” were a good ideas? There’s so many people involved in getting a movie made that it seems almost impossible some are so unbelievably awful. Or movies like “The Fountain” didn’t anyone ever come in and ask, “What the hell is this?”

      But two movies that were largely made up as they went along: “Beverly Hills Cop” and the classic “Casablanca.”

  3. I actually like The Spirit because it’s purposefully campy, and they did a great job with that.

    I can -almost- appreciate Jennifer’s Body for the story they were trying to tell, but they failed too hard.

    As for writing in movies, I think there are two issues:
    1. Actually, I think a lot of people in Hollywood really do believe the story is secondary, even less than secondary (and if you look at what movies people watch and the kind of crap that makes tons of money, you kind of can’t fault them). Really, what they’re selling is the brand, like with Green Lantern, and they just expect people to show up because of what it is despite what it turns out being.

    2. Often, they get too many people involved in writing a script. Again, Green Lantern is a great example. How can you get a script that makes sense when you have 6 or 8 people all trying to get their little bit into it?

    • I read a novel once–I forget what it was called because it was a few years ago–where a struggling Irish novelist was doing some work in Hollywood. He explained to the main character that sometimes a script will get written by one or two writers. Then it goes to the producers and they don’t like parts of it, so they send it back, but since the original writers are busy (or maybe just don’t want to rewrite it) it goes to someone else and the cycle continues until they get something to shoot. In the book the Irish guy was proud of getting paid to work on the scripts but never doing enough to get his name in the credits (because that made him less of a sell-out or something) until by chance he finally did and then he was bummed.

      By and large I think that’s what happens especially with bad movies is that they keep reworking it and so you get 10 different people’s contributions to it, which is usually why it doesn’t make sense because it ends up being a patchwork Frankenstein monster.

      But in a lot of cases especially summer movies I think they just go with the Bay Method of lots of explosions and hot actors. And as long as people keep buying that schlock they’ll keep making it.

  4. I remember seeing Daniel Tosh do almost a whole show on how bad The Human Centipede was. Guess he was right. I agree that they should have comedians get together and do The 50 Worst Movies Ever a la “I Love The…” series on VH1. I would definitely watch.

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