I’ve always had a great fondness for a good lousy movie. As a child I used to watch the sorts of movies that played in the middle of a saturday afternoon or the middle of a friday night on television. Remember, this was long before DVDs, VCRs, MST3K, and cable channels devoted to incredibly specific tastes.
Sure, sometimes you’d see something really great starring someone worth watching like Carey Grant or Ingrid Bergman. More often, though, it was rubber monsters on parade, sappy soaps in black and white, and unfunny comedies best forgotten in the mists of time.
My favorites were always the sci-fi ones. Unfortunately, since these were all played at peak non-television-watching hours to fill spaces cheaply, it was sometimes difficult to prove some of the worst ones actually existed. For years people doubted me when I spoke of Robot Monster. After all, who would dress up a guy in a gorilla suit and an antique diving helmet and think it would frighten anyone? And yet it is real.
I felt real gratitude when the The Golden Turkey Awards came out and proved that Robot Monster, The Terror of Tiny Town and dozens of other unlikely outpourings of Tinsel Town and ambitious independents everywhere were sadly as real as I’d said they were.
What’s more, that book opened up a whole new world of appalling wastes of celluloid to me. Just think! Up to that point I had never heard of Edward D. Wood, Jr. The Medved brothers voted him the worst director in the world, and I couldn’t wait to find out whether that was true. While I think there are people who have made worse movies (White Pongo, I’m looking at you!), Wood stands out because he not only made so many more movies than the directors of these turkeys, but also because the quality never improved. If anything, it got worse over time.
So what brings up these amused musings on lousy movies? Well, last week Rotten Tomatoes released their list of the hundred worst films of the last decade. There are some terrifying titles on that list. It’s also settled an argument between me and my brother the alpaca rancher. You see, he thinks because he wound up being forced to sit through Battlefield Earth (#27 on the list), I should be forced to share his misery. I told him I’d sat through even worse, so I didn’t need to do any such thing. Well, Rotten Tomatoes informs me that having suffered through Meet the Spartans (ranking in at #25 or two worse), I did, indeed, see the worse film.
So share with me, people! What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen? What was the one that was so bad it was hilariously good? Has anyone ever doubted the existence of a film you’ve tried to describe?