There are bad movies, and there are really bad movies, movies so bad that they actually physically hurt to watch them. Unfortunately, like a bad car accident, sometimes you just have to see how bad they really are.
Case in point, last weekend I watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I had sort of seen it before, but in that case, it had been Elvira-ized. I had seen and heard so much about how bad this movie was, from tv shows, books, web sites. Yet, for some strange reason, I had to see for myself exactly how bad it was in its original, unmocked form.
It was bad. It was really bad. It was unbelievably bad. It was obvious that the filmmakers were trying to make a parody of bad giant monster movies (not the Godzilla ones, the [insert animal] grows big and rampages ones), but just failed at every turn. The jokes were horrible and the acting hideous. Yet, I had to watch it all the way through, like some sort of horrible self-torture that I needed to endure. It is easy to see why it became a cult classic because there is just so much to mock in the movie. Even more shocking is that it spawned sequels. That’s right, someone thought it would be a good idea to actually make a sequel of this movie… and cast George Clooney in it.
Having watched this movie… intentionally… made me realize that I have seen a lot of bad movies in my life, many of which I actually chose to watch. Tank Girl, seen it, in theatres. I’ve even seen a movie with an Alan Smithee movie a theatre (Hellraiser: Bloodline) to be exact. I’ve even seen Spacehunter: Adventures of the Forbidden Zone, Jaws 3 and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn in theatres… in 3D no less (sorry for the link fest).
Personally, I think everyone should watch a bad movie every now and then. And by that I mean intentionally, not in “This is going to be so cool…. wait a minute, this stinks!” way either. Watching bad movies is a good thing. Communally, it can provide a great source of entertainment when you watch a movie and everyone in the room gives it their MST3K best. At the very least, a bad movie will make you better appreciate the good ones that much more.
Now if you will excuse me, I hear the original version of Piranha calling my name.
I modification of my Guilty 10 concept. This time, the list is open to anything on DVD and not just movies that saw cinematic release. It is also open to movies that were not necessarily released in the last ten years. There will not be a lot of duplication from this list and the guilty 10 in the last 10 list.
As always, I’m still working on my Best 10 in the Last 10 list
The Guilty 10 on DVD
1) Godzilla Final Wars – Supposedly the last Godzilla movie (just as Godzilla vs Destroyah was supposed to be the last Godzilla movie), Final Wars throws in everything to make one Hell of a roller coaster ride. Not only do we have the king of monsters, but just about every other monster Toho ever released (even the American Godzilla), but a human storyline draws upon a lot of the stunts that The Matrix movies used. On second thought, don’t really pay attention to the story, just watch Godzilla beat up on a lot of monsters.
2) Destroy All Monsters – Going retro with this Godzilla flick. Like the later Godzilla: Final Wars, Destroy All Monsters features a monster cast of Toho’s giant monsters in a Battle Royale against Ghidorah.
3) Five Deadly Venoms – Cheesy martial arts flick that is truly a master of cheesy martial arts clicks. The story centers around five martial arts masters (the titular Venoms), one apprentice trying to find who’s good and who’s bad, and a lost treasure. Granted, the treasure is almost secondary to watching the five Venoms introduce themselves to each other (“You’re Number One, the Centipede”) and fight, naturally.
4) Tarzan – I refer to the Disney version of the movie. A fun romp that brings the character of Tarzan to a new generation without losing a lot of what makes Tarzan, well, Tarzan.
5) The Phantom – One of those comic book adventure movies I know I shouldn’t like, but always enjoy watching whenever it’s on. Billy Zane is actually entertaining as the Phantom.
6) Doctor Who: The 5 Doctors – Not a movie, per se, but many of the DVDs out there stitch together this anniversary Doctor Who series into one mini epic. Even without a prominent presence of Tom Baker, the DVD is a fun adventure that pulls together not only the Doctors, but many of their most popular companions.
7) Cowboy Bebop – Anime series that is sharp, stylish, hip, and so well produced. Interesting characters and a hip non-anime style soundtrack help to make this a fan favorite in the U.S.
8) Final Fantasy: Advent Children – Similar in style to Final Fantasy: Spirits Within (well produced computer generated animation), only with the characters that those of you familiar to the Final Fantasy storylines will recognize.
9) The 40 Year Old Virgin – I have not laughed so much as when I watched this movie. Steve Carell is hilarious as the titular character, as are his friends that try to help him with his “situation.”
10) Godzilla – The original. A recent DVD release has on it the American version with Raymond Burr as Steve Martin (yes, that’s right, Steve Martin), as well as the original Japanese release of the film. Watch the original with subtitles to see the real themes of the movie come through.
Following the same guidelines set in my previous post Worst 10 in the Last 10, here are the 10 movies in the last 10 years that I like in spite of themselves (and other people).
I’m still working on the Best 10 list.
The Guilty 10…
1) Daredevil (2003) – There is just something about this movie that just clicked for me. Maybe it was Colin Farrell as Bullseye, or the really cool explanation (and effects) of how Daredevil’s radar sense worked, I don’t know, but I usually end up watching this movie whenever it’s on. Check out the Director’s cut, it actually added a lot to the movie.
2) Punisher (2004) – Granted, Rebecca Romijn is way too good-looking to be Joan (who was a bit mousey in the original story), but Thomas Jane is spot on as Frank Castle. Even better, we do see him wear the Punisher’s iconic skull in this movie, unlike the Dolph Lundgren version.
3) National Treasure (2004) – This one I saw on DVD because my dad wanted to see it. I have to say, I was really pleasantly surprised by this neat little adventure movie.
4) Snakes on a Plane (2006) – In another decade, this movie would have been late night theatre fare much, much like Rocky Horror Picture Show, with all the audience interaction of Rocky Horror. Still, it’s just a fun movie to watch, especially on commercial cable (“I am tired of these monkey fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!“).
5) Silent Hill (2006) – I loved the creepy video games. And this movie managed to capture the same creepiness.
6) Slither (2006) – I love old horror movies, the Universal monster movies, Them, Hammer horror. Slither manages to play into the who B-movie/alien invasion movie while keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing.
7) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) – This movie captures the feel of the old serials.
8 ) Hellboy (2004) – a decent job bringing Mike Mignola’s comic icon to the big screen. Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellboy.
9) Blade: Trinity (2004) – The last of the Blade movies, but it is Ryan Reynolds that shines as vampire-hunting wiseass Hannibal King.
10) DOA: Dead or Alive(2006) – This is the epitome of the guilty pleasure. It’s not well acted in general, and the story is, well, it’s based off a video game where the principle premise is that scantily clad women fight each other. Regardless, I still have fun watching it, sort of like the fun you have when you watch an old kung fu movie.
I originally did this roughly two years ago. In that time, I felt it was necessary to revisit the list, seeing what may have dropped off, and what may have been added.
The criteria for the list is simple. First (and obviously), the movie had to have been released in the last ten years (2001 to 2011). Secondly, I had to have seen it, or at least enough of it to know it’s garbage. Finally, it had to have seen theatrical release (thus eliminating a number of direct to DVD and Sci-Fi Channel movies).
I do hope to make a Best 10 in the Last 10 list, but this one is a lot easier to compile.
The List (in no particular order)
1) Piranha 2010 - Not much should be expected of a movie that is based off a Roger Corman movie. Corman’s films are not exactly known for being… what’s the world… good. But, at least Corman gave you a cast of characters that you could kind of care about. With the exception of Elisabeth Shue’s Sheriff Forester, that just aren’t any character that you feel sorry for when they get eaten by the titular creatures. In truth, this movie seems to exist only to show off the naked bodies of one-dimensional (ironic phrase, considering this movie was released in 3D) characters Danni and Crystal, but special gore effects used to show the carnage of the piranha.
2) Star Wars Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones 2002 – Episode 1 was a disappointment in that I thought it could have been a lot better than it was. Episode 2 killed the magic of Star Wars for me. Where the characters were flat and uninteresting in Episode 1, the were just total jerks in Episode 2. It is sad when you have a talented cast like Episode 2 had (and Hayden Christensen), and the best acting is from a computer generated muppet. I stopped watching Star Wars movies altogether because of this one.
3) Aeon Flux 2005 – Beyond the occasional appearance on MTV’s Liquid Television, I never really got into Aeon Flux. When I watched this movie, I found it incomprehensible. Somehow, I have a feeling watching the original series would do anything to clear up the confusion.
4) Ultraviolet 2006 – It is really saying something when half way through watching a movie, you decide to do something a bit more interesting, like house cleaning. This movie just did not make me care about it at all.
5) Alone in the Dark 2005 – Seriously. Did casting really think we would believe that Tara Reid was a scientist?
6) House of the Dead 2003 - The second Uwe Boll movie on the list (Boll directed Alone in the Dark), House of the Dead was based off the arcade shooter. The movie is horribly clichéd, badly acted, and just downright bad.
7) Bloodrayne 2005 - The third Uwe Boll film on the list, and probably the one that cemented his reputation as the Ed Wood Jr. of the 21st century, though that’s really kind of an insult to Ed Wood Jr. Even more shocking is that Ben Kinglsey, the man who played Gandhi (and won an oscar for that role) was in this… movie.
8 ) Matrix Reloaded 2003
9) Matrix Revolutions 2003 - I put these two movies together not because they are both Matrix movies, but because personally, I think the two of them, edited down and merged into one, could have been a great movie. Instead, what we got were two movies with scenes that were way too long (some almost painfully long), and action sequences that were added to say, “Hey, look what we can do!”
10) Underworld: Evolution 2006- I had high hopes for this movie. I loved the first one. Sadly, I was disappointed in this one. The story seemed to go nowhere, the characters seemed to do nothing, and the love scene between Selene and Michael seemed to be there so that the director could say, “Oh yeah, that’s who I get to sleep with every night.” From what I heard, the third movie in the series is supposed to be vastly better. From what I’ve seen of this one, I don’t think it could be worse.