Confession

by Dave Schuler on April 10, 2014

Of the 170 movies on this list of bad movies I have seen 59. One word of caution: it is not possible to unsee something.

Honestly, some of the pictures on the list aren’t actually that bad. They’re just bad relative to what they thought they were or what they might have been.

Does anybody who watches Glen or Glenda? really expect it to be good?

One thing that I noticed was that the more recent the bad picture, the less likely I was to have seen it. That definitely doesn’t mean that today’s bad pictures are worse than those of yesteryear. It just means that I like old movies.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

PD Shaw April 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I didn’t count, but agree that some of the movies like Star Wars I really suffer in comparison to the expectation of the first Star Wars movie. And it was certainly not worse than some of the immitators that came out after Star Wars success, like Flash Gordon. I like Van Helsing, but it missed the ball on reintroducing the Universal Monsters properties. But they could have just as easily listed some of the latter Universal monster movies from the original series.

I notice a lot of remakes listed and I really don’t know how you evaluate the Psycho remake. I had no interest in watching it. But was it bad, or is the reaction, why?

Dave Schuler April 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Plan 9 is kind of magnificent in its awfulness. Eegah! is just absurd. Mommie Dearest isn’t a bad movie. It’s a good movie on a subject that couldn’t be treated in any other way.

Most of the big budget examples aren’t really that bad. They were just over budget.

... April 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

First off, Last Action Hero was brilliant. The only reason it isn’t Arnie’s best is because he’s worked with James Cameron and John Milius. Frankly, Tom Cruise has never done anything so good, nor have most of the winners of Oscars for acting.

Second, how can they have SW: I and not have II and III? Those movies got progressively worse and even more stupid. George Lucas raped my childhood before Steven Speilberg did.

Also, I didn’t see Xiu Xiu: The Sentdown Girl, Eyes Wide Shut, or All About My Mother on the list, and those are the three worst fucking movies ever made. Absolutely horrible. The people responsible for those movies should be extraordinarily rendered to Hell.

Other bad movies that should have been included are An American Werewolf in Paris and the Leslie Neilson Mr. Magoo movie, which was possibly the least funny movie ever made not about sent-down girls, transsexual nun seducers with AIDS or directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I saw AAWiP and Mr. Magoo as a de facto double bill. A friend had convinced a bunch of us to go to a movie together, and since the more strong minded of us were late getting there, he decided on AAWiP. He even bought all our tickets. That movie was so awful a couple of us left thinking, “That is the worst movie of all time.” Someone else had heard that Mr. Magoo was worse, and we didn’t believe him. So two of us set out for that one. I believe it was Roger Ebert who said he didn’t laugh once during the movie. We didn’t believe it, but it was true! Even crotch jokes from Leslie Neilson werern’t funny! Amazing! Best of all, the theater we were in had the first few rows under water. Absolutely surreal, and I’m laughing hysterically just thinking about it. But Mr. Magoo was worse than an AAWiP, and that was the fifth worst movie of all time.

But I’d still rather sit through that double bill than watch Xiu Xiu, or Eyes Wide Shut, or All About My Mother again. Those movies were so incredibly awful that I’d rather gouge my eyes out and self-lobotomize than see them again. Xiu Xiu (third worst) was just miserable, Eyes (second worst) was boring, stupid, and weirdly acted (Tom Cruise’s character spends half the movie repeating what someone just said to him, but with a question mark at the end:

Not Tom Cruise’s Character: You didn’t see what you thought you saw.
Tom Cruise’s character: I … didn’t … see … what … I … thought … I … saw?

with each ellipses constituting a pause of at least one second), and All About My Mother was the most stupid thing in the history of all that is Stupid, not just in this Universe, but in any conceivable Universe. It couldn’t have been worse if the transsexual nun seducer with AIDS had been played by Ernest, of Ernest Goes to Hell fame. (Surely Ernest went to Hell in one of those movies.)

michael reynolds April 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm

44.

And I second EYES WIDE SHUT. I have such deep respect for Kubrick so I watched it twice thinking I must have missed something. Booooooong! (Oh, sorry, that was the score for EWS. The entire score.) But no, still sucked.

ZARDOZ however is in the category of so bad it’s good. Upvote for Beethoven’s Seventh.

... April 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm

The best thing about ZARDOZ is that Boorman wanted Burt Reynolds for the role of Zed. That’s the only possible way that movie could have been better, which comment should not be interpreted as a judgement of the movie as GOOD. It’s more of an interesting failure, or John Boorman bragging about having a LOT of truly righteous shit.

michael reynolds April 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Damn. I have to agree. As great as it is to see Sean Connery wearing a red diaper and bandoliers Burt Reynolds would have taken bizarre to an even higher level.

steve April 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm

We own a copy of Manos. It was voted worst movie ever by some group so we just had to see how bad it really was. Truly awful. (We have the MST3000 version.)

Steve

... April 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Remember that this would be the Burt Reynolds of Deliverance, not Smokey and the Bandit. Every scene in the movie has a little more … strangeness … if you imagine Reynolds doing it. Boorman directed Deliverance, too.

The main thing is that Zed had to be very hairy. If they made it ten years later they could have hired Ron Jeremy. Oddly enough, that wouldn’t make it all that different a movie.

... April 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm

21

I don’t have much desire to see movies that aren’t entertaining, so I havent seen a LOT of them on purpose.

And PD, you are so wrong about Flash Gordon. I saw that on a big screen again a few months ago, and it was Damned entertaining. High production values led to a distinctive look, many of the actors were quite good and knew how to handle the roles (WAAAAAY over the top), and the script had a LOT of clever moments.

AND! Bore worms!

I used to think the movie was so bad it’s good, but seeing it uncut on a big screen after many years, I’ve got to say that Flash Gordon is actually good.

PD Shaw April 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm

History will show that Generation X has complex feelings towards George Lucas. My kids know the answer to the question “Who shot first?” But they’ll never truly understand; they weren’t there. Someday when they’re older, they’ll tell me “Greedo shot first,” just to hurt me while establishing their independence. And I’ll forgive them, because my kids will never understand. And Ellipses, you’ll never understand that Flash Gordon was nowhere near as good as any of the Star Wars films. But its ok, because George Lucas.

... April 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Episodes I, II, and III are big steaming piles. I saw the original six times in 1977. It was magical. Empire was even better. And though Jedi had its problems, it also had a LOT of brilliant stuff. All three are better than Flash Gordon, it’s true. But the first three? No. They’re not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath with FlEsh Gordon. Phantom Menace was better after the second round of cuts by the Phantom Editor, which just makes the movie worse for knowing there was a good movie in it.

But II & III just got worse and worse. The end of III was particularly egregious. It’s so hard to believe that the man behind American Graffiti was responsible for such soulless dreck. It is entirely believable that the man behind Howard the Duck was.

PD Shaw April 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm

. . . and how about Willow?

Modulo Myself April 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Ishtar is a genuinely smart comedy, in my opinion. I would never call that movie bad.

PD Shaw April 10, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I’ve seen 19. Possibly more if they were featured on MST3000.

I watched Anaconda because Roger Ebert had it on his best of the year list (not in his top 10, but others that stood out). I always Ebert’s willingness to evaluate the genre films.

I didn’t watch Roadhouse until sometime in the last ten years, and that’s a pretty good update on the Western.

mike shupp April 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Only 13.

What can I say? My life has been a waste.

PD Shaw April 11, 2014 at 3:44 am

Or so much to look forward to.

Guarneri April 11, 2014 at 7:33 am

Christ, I’ve only seen 2 or 3. Something in the water I guess.

But I do have to register a protest. In point of fact Striptease was true art………not that I had the sound on or anything.

... April 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

I’ve never seen Willow, so I don’t have an opinion.

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