Good news! I’m oddly wedged between being 1/5 and 1/4 of the way done with my challenge to watch through the IMDb Bottom 100! I’m going to go ahead and count it as the quarter mark of the challenge. That means that this is as good a time as any to do a recap!
Once again, as I did for Boggy Creek II, I decided to do these reviews in video form, wrongly assuming that would save time. For most of these I also wrote a short text review, so I’m going to go ahead and include those as well.
I hope you all enjoy!
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is quite horrible. Any time you are relying on child actors you are running a big risk, but the fact that this was riding on baby actors didn’t even scratch the surface of why this movie failed. The acting was obviously crap from the “leads”, I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. Voight hams it up a bit in truly bizarre fashion, but that is hardly enough to make this thing watchable. The fighting scenes are laughable in their incompetence at first, but that novelty dries up pretty fast. The effects are awful and completely jarring, and I’m still not sure why anyone felt they were necessary in this movie. This movie had no need of bad computer generation at all. Then again, there was no need for this movie at all. As far as the writing goes, this has a pathetic attempt at a twist that anyone could spot from a mile away, and the plot is pure idiocy. Everything else is exactly as mind-numbing as you would expect. None of the jokes were funny, which I don’t think I even need to point out.
If you are one of those people that turns to mush whenever you see a baby, I think this movie is actually made for you. Or rather, this movie was made because of you. More specifically and to the point, this movie is your fault, and I hate you.
In all seriousness, if watching babies be babies for an hour and a half seems like a raucous good time to you, then have at it. This movie has exactly what you want, and I’ll just go ahead and avoid being around you.
For everyone else, don’t watch this movie. It is a horrible mess of a film with no redeeming qualities outside of yet another Jon Voight villain. I think there might be a meta-plot to this movie about how it is actually capable of killing your brain cells, just in case you are the sort of person who wants to read too deeply into a movie about babies. I’m probably alone there.
Going Overboard is bad, and the whole crew knew it from the very beginning. The cinematography is horrible, but that’s what predictably happens when you try to film a movie in the cramped confines of a cruise ship. Go figure. The decision to preface the film with a blatant apology to the audience, and subsequently have Adam Sandler break character throughout the movie to further apologize for the quality of the film, must have been an attempt to get some laughs out of this thing. It didn’t work, for the record.
It is interesting to see a pre-SNL Sandler at least. He is just as bad as he always is, and can’t act in any way. No one on the cast is putting in any kind of effort anyway though, almost as if the motivation behind this movie is that they just wanted to go on a cruise and film along the way. Still, it is interesting to see Sandler at the beginning of his career…I guess.
For what it is worth, I don’t think this deserves the #8 spot on the IMDb Bottom 100. It is actually mostly watchable, but it just isn’t funny. It has plenty of technical and writing issues for sure, but they clearly weren’t working with anything to start with, and didn’t much care about putting out a quality product at any point. I’m not sure if the self-aware aspect of this movie helps it or hurts it, to tell the truth. I do know that I would still take this over a movie like “Pledge This!” absolutely any day, so there is at least that to be said for it.
I actually think that there is a potentially funny movie hidden in here somewhere, but it would just need a new director, new cast, a serious re-write, a budget, and some actual damn effort. So, pretty much an entirely different movie with the same basic premise. Like, imagine this plot with Louis CK as a cruise ship waiter who is down on his luck and dreams of doing stand up comedy, and Marc Maron or Dennis Miller featured as a washed up asshole stand-up comic on his way out, relegated to doing a cruise ship show. There is a potential movie there.
Anyway, Poseidon and Noriega both feature prominently as characters, which I don’t think any other movie can claim. So there is that I guess. I also don’t think any other Sandler movie incorporates a Panamanian hit squad with aspirations of stand up comedy, which is actually something positive to say about the rest of Sandler’s film career.
This movie ends with Adam Sandler hooking up with a demigod, and the rival comic
drowning after being tossed overboard in what is basically a stand-up comic mutiny. That sounds like the way you would end some sort of greco-roman epic, not an Adam Sandler comedy. The bizarreness of the ending coupled with the unique incompetence behind the scenes actually makes this whole mess relatively interesting, in the same way that dissecting a dramatically mutated squirrel from Chernobyl would be relatively interesting.
Ah, “Manos”. This movie has been covered countless times before, so there isn’t anything new to say. I actually love this movie. This is a classic B-movie, and I’ve seen it more than a few times before. There isn’t a lot of commentary to be had because I enjoy it so damn much.
If you haven’t seen this movie, it is an amazing experience. This and “Plan 9 From Outer Space” are THE essential B-movies that most people know. Interestingly, “Plan 9” is not in the bottom 100, despite them being comparable movies (a downside of the democratic ranking system of IMDb is that people will rate bad movies highly for unintentional entertainment value. Hell, I’d give “Plan 9” a 10 myself).
Torgo and the Master are iconic oddball B-movie characters, and the little girl with the bizarre adult voice-over is simultaneously unbelievable and the creepiest thing in the movie. The acting is hammy and over the top in the best possible way where it needs to be, so there is nothing to complain about there.
The story and writing are completely bogus, and barely anything makes sense throughout the film. I suggest just going with the mad tide on this one, and you’ll be just fine. Don’t try to make any of it make sense.
I sort of understand why it is all the way down towards the basement of the bottom 100, because it is a very incompetently made film. It was an honest effort to make a movie though, unlike other Bottom 100 movies (such as “Going Overboard”) that weren’t even genuine attempts to produce something. I almost feel like there should be accepted categories of bad movies to differentiate between failures and unintentionally brilliant works like “Manos”. The fact that there is so much entertainment value out of such an honestly incompetent attempt at a film makes “Manos” charming and magical in a way that only a B-movie can be.
Also, I love the “Manos” soundtrack. Seriously. I also would kill to have a re-creation of the Manos cape-thing (note that there are hands on it, those aren’t stripes).
“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” is one of the best bad movies to come out in recent years. Every aspect of the movie is done incredibly poorly, which is an amazing feat. The effects are unspeakably bad, the acting is a step below what you would find in a commercial for a local car dealership, and the sound editing might actual cause your ears to bleed. The cinematography is bad, the pacing is atrocious, and the driving/parking scenes are some of the most boring shots that have ever made it into a movie.
Despite all of these issues, the movie comes out as a genuinely enjoyable watch. There is so much wrong that it is almost the perfect showcase of how not to make a movie, which has entertainment value to it to be sure.
Not unlike the classic relationship between “Plan 9” and “Manos”, “Birdemic” is one half of a couple of films that have become the face of contemporary bad movies (the other being “The Room”). I think it is a fantastic representation of how a bad movie can have entertainment value despite countless technical failings. Just like “Manos”, this movie has the intangible charm that makes certain cinematic failures into B-movie classics. I highly recommend this movie to just about anyone as an introduction to bad movies, given you have a copy of either of the Rifftrax commentaries of the movies. Watching this straight might be a bit much for a casual movie watcher.
I’ll Part 2 up in the next few days with 4 more of the Bottom 100 movies!