IMDb Bottom 100: Car 54, Where Are You?

Car 54, Where Are You?

Car 54, Where Are You? is a “comedy”, using a loose definition of the word. However, apparently it was almost a musical as well. Here is an excerpt from an AV Club interview with star John C. McGinley:

I have mixed feelings about Car 54, Where Are You? Because we shot it as a musical and whoever the studio head was at Orion, or whoever the powers that be were, cut all but, like, two musical numbers out of it. That is the same as cutting the musical numbers out of TheWizard Of Oz; it wouldn’t be that interesting. So the film, to me, doesn’t make sense without the musical numbers in it.

I wouldn’t pretend to know what happened, what the decision-making process was, but we busted our humps on those numbers, and then the film came out and I didn’t understand what I was watching.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that more musical numbers would not have saved this unfunny, poorly-crafted cartoon of a movie. It might have made it more entertainingly bad though, but the quality and storytelling certainly wouldn’t have been helped.

“this would make more sense with singing, right?”

Not unlike fellow IMDb Bottom 100 movie Son of the Mask, this movie feels a bit misplaced in time, in that the movie’s creators are trying to bottle and re-purpose an older style of comedy in such a way that it can be pitched to a new, younger audience. Unfortunately, somewhere along the process this movie lost the apparent charm of the original Car 54 television show, ultimately turning off (and outraging) many fans of the show upon its release. That is one of the worst things you can do when doing a remake or adaptation, as one of the major advantages you have to start off with is an existing fan base that can potential help support your work. However, when the fan base turns on you, it can do very serious damage to the movie’s reception. Car 54, Where Are You? is a very good example of this potential boon turning into a negative weight, as the show’s fans were outraged at the poor quality of the movie. While the movie is certainly not good or entertaining, I can’t help but wonder how much of the negative reputation of the movie can be attributed to the scorned fan base.

As far as the plot of the movie goes, the audience is presented with a pretty basic buddy cop formula: a loose, sketchy cop (David Johansen) is paired with a by-the-books, top-of-his class rookie (McGinley). The movie quickly establishes that their coverage area is particularly crime-ridden, and that they are incredibly incompetent as a duo via an assortment of unfunny shenanigans. The primary plot of the movie sneaks in after the main characters are established: the precinct is tasked with holding a bookie-turned-informant (Jeremy Piven of Entourage), who is the key to putting away the infamous and eccentric local mobster played by Daniel Baldwin. The Car 54 duo is roped into this plot after a failed assassination attempt on Piven’s character alerts the police chief to a potential mole in the department. Believing that the Car 54 partners are far too incompetent to be moles, he entrusts them with defending the increasingly bizarre and detached-from-reality Piven character. Predictably, this plan goes awry because everyone involved is dramatically incompetent.

Another brilliant idea from the police chief
Another brilliant idea from the police chief

The movie has moments that almost reach levels of genuine comedy, particularly an unprompted cameo by Penn & Teller, and a hitman doing one of the worst Luca Brasi impressions you will ever run into. The finale takes place in an amusement park, which concludes with the claustrophobic mob boss confessing to all of his crimes after being put through the Tunnel of Love. Despite these few moments of mild laughs, the whole movie just isn’t funny enough to make the grade. There are too many jokes that completely whiff, and all of the characters are played way too over the top. Daniel Baldwin and Jeremy Piven both put in complete nonsense performances, to the point that their characters just aren’t believable in any way. Baldwin’s mob boss character is played up to be hilarious because of his claustrophobia (which isn’t funny to start with), but is so overblown that it doesn’t even make sense within any kind of logic. A scene in his office shows that his condition is so severe that he has a chalked circle around his desk (in the center of the cavernous room), over which no one is allowed to cross. Piven, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to have any sense of self-preservation. Despite obvious assassination attempts on him, at no point does he connect that he is in danger. His character is supposedly offering testimony to police against a dangerous mob boss, yet he doesn’t at all understand the gravity of his situation. There is just too much of this kind of unfunny nonsense for the movie to be enjoyable.

As with many of the comedies on this list, the behind-the-scenes work doesn’t appear to be particularly incompetent. From what I have been able to find out about the movie, there was a lot of editing done after the fact to produce this unfortunate result. That said, I don’t think that the hack-job is particularly noticeable, which I suppose is a credit to the editing team. McGinley clearly wanted to level blame in that direction, but the fact of the matter is that the jokes in the remaining script still aren’t funny. The director clearly had an odd vision for this movie to start with, which certainly didn’t help, but even a master couldn’t have made this screenplay work without a serious rewrite. Likewise, it is hard to blame the actors for treating the movie like a cartoon, because that is what they were given to work with. To my surprise, Rosie O’Donnell’s bit role in the movie has been particularly singled out as a poor performance. She certainly isn’t a high point, but she hardly compares to the bizarre performances by Piven and Baldwin in my opinion.

There are a lot of bad elements to the movie, but unfortunately none of them are quite poor enough to make the movie unintentionally enjoyable. That tends to be hard for comedies to pull off anyway, but I wonder if those extra musical numbers might have put this over the edge. Perhaps if there is a director’s cut of this movie out there somewhere, it is a ridiculous enough spectacle to give a watch. However, as it stands, it appears that someone tried to save this wreck in post-production, and may have turned it from being an opus of poor film-making into a sub-par, difficult-to-watch attempt at comedy.

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IMDb Bottom 100: The Maize

The Maize: The Movie

maize1

I am incredibly surprised that I had never heard anything about this movie before. Honestly, Dark Harvest 2: The Maize: The Movie (take your pick on the title) is the most poorly crafted movie I have come across on the IMDb Bottom 100. It has all of the technical and acting incompetence of Birdemic combined with all of the filmmaking laziness of Zombie Nation. It is an unbelievable spectacle. I mean, the opening credits are even horrible.

The story loosely follows two young girls as they get lost in a haunted corn maze, and their ambiguously psychic father as he tries to rescue them from his premonition of a mysterious local child murderer who is hunting them down in the maze. There are also ghosts poorly ripped out of The Shining.

The majority of the movie consists of the father character yelling the names of his children while aimlessly wandering in the corn maze. It becomes infinitely boring and nauseating very quickly. Oftentimes, the director chooses to “enhance” these meandering scenes with picture-in-picture effects, which look bad even when they are done with a high budget (Ang Lee’s Hulk). Here, the effect looks atrocious.

As mentioned briefly, the acting in this movie is unforgivably bad for anything outside of YouTube. However, the script doesn’t do anyone any favors. There is one sequence where the daughters are talking to each other while lost in the maze, and it may be the most unwatchable sequence I have even seen in a movie. Both children sound like they are stumbling through reading their lines, and the lines themselves sound like the most inhuman dialogue even put to paper. Even the simple shot looks bad, like it was a home video from someone’s dusty VHS collection. It was like watching a perfect maelstrom of utter incompetence.

I recommend that any bad movie fan attempt to watch through this movie. It is a chore, but it feels like something that must be done: A rite of passage of sorts. If you can sit through this film, then no movie will ever be able to hurt you again.

IMDb Bottom 100: Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark is yet another video game adaptation by infamous director Uwe Boll. I already covered another one of his films, House of the Dead, which also resides in the IMDb Bottom 100. I thought that House of the Dead had a little bit more redeeming value to it than Alone in the Dark though, and I loathe that movie immensely. That alone says a lot about my dark opinions of this film (sorry about that).

I honestly try to be a little charitable when talking about Uwe Boll movies, because I think his personality and unpopularity among critics has colored a lot of reviews of his works. That said, it is pretty hard to deny that his movies are terrible, and I’m certainly not going to be one to deny that here. Regardless, I’ll try to start with some positives about this movie.

The first (and, well, only) positive thing I have to say about this movie is possibly a bit backhanded, because it is also a major complaint. I was impressed with his use of lighting in how he used it to relatively cover up some of his cheap/poor CG effects. That actually felt like a pretty good move, given what I assume were imposed budgetary limitations on the movie. However, the CG monsters were a bit integral to the plot, so the whole movie winds up being incredibly dark with random flashes of light (Uwe Boll bargain bin bullet effects), which makes the whole thing a pretty blinding experience. At times Boll tries to make up for this by substituting the CG monsters on screen with off-screen noises that imply their presence, but it winds up being a bit obvious as to what he is doing. Good try though, I guess?

Most of the movie looks like this

The movie’s plot is pretty typical if you find yourself watching SyFy Original movies on a regular basis. It isn’t deep, and there certainly isn’t too much though put into it. If I remember correctly, the monsters are underground dwellers (aliens at one point maybe?) that have been around throughout human history, and the characters find evidence of them in mysterious archaeological findings. The lead character (Christian Slater) is a former member of a secret government organization that tries to conceal the existence of these creatures, like a more militaristic version of the Men in Black. He teams up with some archaeologists (including Sharknado‘s Tara Reid) to try to contain (I guess?) the resurrection of these poorly CG’d creatures.

The acting is all pretty sub-par, and there isn’t anyone playing up their roles to add entertainment value. Everyone seems to be taking this movie incredibly seriously, which is really a shame. I feel like this had some potential if any of the actors would have been able to really let go, but I feel like they were equally constrained by the screenplay and the directing.

The biggest problems with this movie all come down to the lighting. I mentioned previously that this was a good way to try to conceal iffy CGI, but the whole movie comes out as too dark as a result of it. Equally, the constant darkness emphasizes another classic Uwe Boll cheap trick: post-production gun flashes. Uwe Boll loves these cheesy, bright gun flashes that are added in after the fact (I mentioned their presence in House of the Dead as well). In his other movie they look bad, but in a film where the characters are constantly immersed in darkness, the jarring flashes constant, and undo all of the work of concealing the flaws of the poorly CG’d monsters. It doesn’t matter much that you can’t see the shitty details of the monster CG when you are using the cheapest gun effects you can get your hands on.

oh come on

Alone in the Dark is a boring and painful watch. There isn’t any entertainment value to leech out of this thing, and you will almost certainly regret watching it once the headache from the constant flashing sets in. Worse, Boll once again concludes his movie by ripping off a much better, cherished cult classic. This time around, it is Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead: Boll concludes the movie with the first-person camera crashing in on the characters from behind, straight out of the fantastic conclusion to the original Evil Dead. Worse yet, the effect wasn’t necessary. The movie was already essentially over, and it could easily have just cut to black with the monster noises and had the same effect. At this point, I suppose that is just what you can expect from Uwe Boll.

IMDb Bottom 100: The Gaul

The Gaul

To start off with, I am unashamed to admit that I do not hate Christopher Lambert’s acting. He is a one-trick pony for sure, but I always liked him in the otherwise abysmal Mortal Kombat and Highlander movies. He is usually just the right amount of hammy for a B-movie, and can overact with the best of them. So, I was actually really disappointed to see him in this “historical” drama snooze-fest. It just doesn’t suit him, and he doesn’t suit this movie.

Druids / The Gaul is an attempt to adapt bits of Julius Caesar’s tale of his campaign in Gaul, focusing specifically on his relationship and rivalry with the Gaul leader Vercingétorix (played by Lambert). For those unaware, Vercingetorix is a legendary figure in history for uniting the tribes of Gaul to fight against Julius Caesar. There are a number of statues in his image around France today, so it isn’t so far fetched for someone to take a stab at making a movie based on his exploits.

Unfortunately, the people who chose to make this movie did not have the money or skill to fulfill their vision for an epic based on the great Gaul. The entire movie feels like it is aspiring to the successes of movies like Gladiator, but falls far short of the mark. It is clear during the few battle scenes that the film-makers are trying their best to make a “realistic” battle on a budget. There is very little in the way of compelling injuries or fighting, and a lot of clearly improvised spears to the gut. Some reviewers have been particularly harsh towards the costuming in the movie, but that is something I would forgive if they could manufacture a compelling battle. I don’t think I can be so merciful about Lambert’s hair though.

druids2

Despite Lambert’s uninspired performance and the budgetary issues, this movie still might have been decent if there had been an impressive script beneath it all. Unfortunately, it is at best mediocre. The dialogue isn’t horrible, but it certainly isn’t good enough to impress or make up for the other issues in the movie. Worst of all, the pacing of the film is very slow. I’m not sure who to blame that on exactly, but I am tempted to say that in this case it was a cacophonous concert between the directing, writing, and editing. I assume that they all wanted and expected a long-ish run time, because this was supposed to be an epic tale on screen. Unfortunately, it just comes off as boring instead of grand, because there isn’t much sense of motion or driving force in the film.

Overall, this is just sort of a boring, under-performing film. There are nuggets of a potentially good movie here, but no aspect of the movie is done well enough for it to get there. Everything is just shy of average, from the acting to the directing. It is certainly more watchable that a lot of Bottom 100 fare, but it is a long-shot from a good movie. It also isn’t bad enough for there to be unintentional entertainment value, so there really isn’t much of a reason for anyone to watch this movie. In general, I would recommend that people skip this one and watch something else, either something better or something worse.

 

IMDb Bottom 100: April Update, Archives, and Alumni


Hello every0ne!

As April is wrapping up, that means that I am now 4 months into my quest to watch and review the IMDb’s Bottom 100 movies by the end of 2014. So far, progress has been pretty good! I have watched 54 Bottom 100 movies, and done video and text reviews on this blog of 30.

Despite this, I have run into an issue. As I have mentioned before, IMDb is a living, democratic-driven list. I knew going into the challenge that there would be movies in the Bottom 100 that would be difficult to dig up, but I was hoping that the living nature of the list would mean that enough new movies would make the list that they would be able to make up for the movies I wouldn’t be able to find. That has not so far proven to be the case. If anything, there seem to be more difficult-to-find movies sneaking into the Bottom 100 recently. More specifically, movies that don’t have and won’t have a western release are making their way into the list, primarily out of Turkey and Bollywood (Gunday, Keloglan vs The Black Prince, Yes Sir)

There are a number of these sorts of Bottom 100 movies I have been able to find through various sources after doing some serious digging, but the bigger challenge at this point is finding subtitles for these foreign movies that are so bad that people want to bury them forever. Ulli Lommel’s Daniel Der Zauberer is a prime example of this. Other Bottom 100 movies either don’t have a recent/wide release, or don’t have the general demand to be locatable online (Ghosts Can’t Do It, Anus Magillicutty, Tony Blair Witch Project, Dream Well, Danes Without a Clue).

This problem has thrown a bit of a wrench into my ability to find 100 IMDb Bottom 100 movies to review. So far, I have only been able to find just over 80 movies that have been on the list between January and now.

However, I have come up with a solution for this problem!

Out of curiosity, I went digging through the internet looking for archives of the IMDb Bottom 100. I came up with two complete lists from forum posts, one dating 03/26/2005, and one from 01/06/2004.  As you might expect with a wildly volatile ranking at the mercy of a democratic system, these older versions of the IMDb Bottom 100 contain a good number of films that are no longer in the list, either due to qualification changes or being outvoted by newer movies. To my delight, the lists also contain a number of movies that I already own copies of.

In my mind, if I am going to allow new additions to the Bottom 100 to qualify for the challenge, why not allow alumni of the list as well? I’m going to keep searching for the elusive currently ranked movies, but in the meantime i will plan on plugging the gaps that they are leaving with alumni members of the Bottom 100.

Here are both archived lists that I dug up in their entirety:

01/06/2004 IMDb Bottom 100

1 From Justin to Kelly (2003) 1.6 (3822 votes)
2 ‘Manos’ the Hands of Fate (1966) 1.6 (5256 votes)
3 Future War (1997) 1.7 (897 votes)
4 Space Mutiny (1988) 1.7 (1204 votes)
5 Troll 2 (1990) 1.7 (1229 votes)
6 Eegah (1962) 1.8 (778 votes)
7 Hobgoblins (1987) 1.8 (1512 votes)
8 Backyard Dogs (2000) 1.8 (971 votes)
9 Gigli (2003) 1.8 (6264 votes)
10 Santa with Muscles (1996) 1.8 (1946 votes)
11 Going Overboard (1989) 2.0 (813 votes)
12 Werewolf (1996) 2.0 (734 votes)
13 Giant Spider Invasion, The (1975) 2.1 (637 votes)
14 Glitter (2001) 2.1 (3578 votes)
15 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997) 2.2 (782 votes)
16 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994) 2.2 (3925 votes)
17 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) 2.2 (1353 votes)
18 Kazaam (1996) 2.3 (2293 votes)
19 Leonard Part 6 (1987) 2.3 (1789 votes)
20 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000) 2.4 (11235 votes)
21 Hercules in New York (1970) 2.4 (1675 votes)
22 Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996) 2.4 (1777 votes)
23 It’s Pat (1994) 2.4 (1904 votes)
24 Baby Geniuses (1999) 2.5 (2148 votes)
25 2001: A Space Travesty (2000) 2.5 (1139 votes)
26 Jaws: The Revenge (1987) 2.6 (3767 votes)
27 Cool as Ice (1991) 2.6 (878 votes)
28 Bolero (1984) 2.6 (1027 votes)
29 Mitchell (1975) 2.7 (951 votes)
30 Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1994) 2.7 (1729 votes)
31 Teen Wolf Too (1987) 2.7 (1563 votes)
32 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) 2.7 (3172 votes)
33 Smokey and the Bandit III (1983) 2.7 (1007 votes)
34 House of the Dead (2003) 2.7 (665 votes)
35 Steel (1997) 2.8 (1010 votes)
36 Vercingétorix (2001) 2.8 (959 votes)
37 Captain America (1991) 2.8 (878 votes)
38 Cat in the Hat, The (2003) 2.8 (1909 votes)
39 Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988) 2.8 (3732 votes)
40 Mannequin: On the Move (1991) 2.8 (813 votes)
41 Rollerball (2002) 2.8 (3459 votes)
42 Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) 2.9 (929 votes)
43 Ringmaster (1998) 2.9 (1059 votes)
44 Master of Disguise, The (2002) 3.0 (2285 votes)
45 Problem Child 2 (1991) 3.0 (2410 votes)
46 Spice World (1997) 3.0 (5389 votes)
47 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) 3.0 (1307 votes)
48 Cop & 1/2 (1993) 3.0 (1053 votes)
49 Mr. Nanny (1993) 3.1 (882 votes)
50 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) 3.1 (3860 votes)
51 Street Fighter (1994) 3.1 (4632 votes)
52 Jaws 3-D (1983) 3.1 (3562 votes)
53 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992) 3.1 (3954 votes)
54 Double Dragon (1994) 3.2 (855 votes)
55 Crossroads (2002) 3.2 (5794 votes)
56 Barb Wire (1996) 3.2 (3834 votes)
57 Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, An (1997) 3.2 (917 votes)
58 Bats (1999/I) 3.2 (2141 votes)
59 FeardotCom (2002) 3.3 (2935 votes)
60 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) 3.3 (2343 votes)
61 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) 3.3 (4483 votes)
62 RoboCop 3 (1993) 3.3 (2978 votes)
63 Mangler, The (1995) 3.3 (758 votes)
64 Iron Eagle II (1988) 3.3 (814 votes)
65 Best Defense (1984) 3.3 (967 votes)
66 Mac and Me (1988) 3.3 (808 votes)
67 Grease 2 (1982) 3.3 (4035 votes)
68 Mr. Magoo (1997) 3.3 (1786 votes)
69 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) 3.3 (9520 votes)
70 Mr. Wrong (1996) 3.4 (1296 votes)
71 Glen or Glenda (1953) 3.4 (1019 votes)
72 Ticker (2001) 3.4 (1014 votes)
73 Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1999) 3.4 (2569 votes)
74 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) 3.4 (4110 votes)
75 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) 3.4 (7358 votes)
76 Avengers, The (1998) 3.4 (8728 votes)
77 Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) 3.4 (2019 votes)
78 Jury Duty (1995) 3.4 (1394 votes)
79 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) 3.4 (5463 votes)
80 Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) 3.4 (2001 votes)
81 Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993) 3.4 (1515 votes)
82 Derailed (2002) 3.5 (678 votes)
83 Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 3.5 (5894 votes)
84 Caddyshack II (1988) 3.5 (3014 votes)
85 Omega Code, The (1999) 3.5 (1654 votes)
86 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003) 3.5 (1974 votes)
87 Super Mario Bros. (1993) 3.5 (3471 votes)
88 Endless Love (1981) 3.5 (819 votes)
89 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) 3.5 (2924 votes)
90 Nothing But Trouble (1991) 3.5 (2841 votes)
91 McHale’s Navy (1997) 3.5 (1277 votes)
92 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) 3.5 (1060 votes)
93 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) 3.5 (2205 votes)
94 Kangaroo Jack (2003) 3.6 (2248 votes)
95 On Deadly Ground (1994) 3.6 (2619 votes)
96 Batman & Robin (1997) 3.6 (21823 votes)
97 Stupids, The (1996) 3.6 (1128 votes)
98 Pet Sematary II (1992) 3.6 (1416 votes)
99 Leprechaun (1993) 3.6 (1645 votes)
100 Soul Survivors (2001) 3.6 (1640 votes)

03/26/2005 IMDb Bottom 100

‘Manos’ the Hands of Fate
From Justin to Kelly
Future War
Tangents
Space Mutiny
Girl in Gold Boots
Troll 2
Son of the Mask
Hobgoblins
Eegah
You Got Served
Santa with Muscles
Backyard Dogs
Ator l’invincible 2
Night Train to Mundo Fine
SuperBabies: Baby Genuises 2
Daniel- Der Zauberer
Glitter
The Wild World of Batwoman
Soultaker
Werewolf
Alone in the Dark
Going Overboard
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
Los Nuevos Extraterrestres
L’uomo puma
Gigli
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow
3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain
Kazaam
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
The Giant Spider Invasion
Stjerner uden hjerner
House of the Dead
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Leonard Part 6
Robot Monster
Lawnmowner Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
Baby Genuises
Cool as Ice
It’s Pat
Hercules in New York
Jaws: The Revenge
2001: A Space Travesty
Dis- en histoire om kjaerlighet
Simon Sez
The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Bolero
Rollerball
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
Steel
Mitchell
The Master of Disguise
Marci X
Teen Wolf Too
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3
Shanghai Surprise
Vercingétorix
Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach
Captain America
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
Mannequin: On the Move
Ringmaster
Spice World
Bride of the Monster
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Tarzan, the Ape Man
Street Fighter
Rhinestone
Barb Wire
Problem Child 2
Out for a Kill
Mr. Nanny
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
Plump Fiction
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
The NeverEnding Story III
Double Dragon
The Smokers
RoboCop 3
Torque
Son of the Pink Panther
Cop & 1/2
Crossroads
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn
The Foreigner
Soul Plane
Jaws 3-D
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
The Cat in the Hat
The Mangler
FearDotCom
Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice
Cyborg 2
Universal Soldier: The Return
Mac and Me
Iron Eagle 2
Speed 2: Cruise Control
Il Silenzio del proscuitti

I also mentioned in the video that I would list out the current IMDb Bottom 100 movies that I haven’t been able to locate. I am willing to trade or pay for English language (or subtitled), region 1 DVD copies of any of these:

Keloglan vs the Black Prince
Danes Without A Clue
Yes Sir
Gunday
Tony Blair Witch Project
Anus Magillicutty
Daniel der Zauberer
Ghosts Can’t Do It
A Fox’s Tale
A Story About Love
Dream Well
Addiction
Maskeli besler: Kibris

IMDb Bottom 100: Zombie Nation

Zombie Nation

Uli Lommel is to Uwe Boll what Michael Bay is to Stanley Kubrick. That isn’t to say that Uwe Boll is any kind of cinematic master: he is quite incompetent, without any doubt. However, Uli Lommel exists on an entirely different plane below Boll. Just like no one considers Michael Bay a comparable filmmaker to Kubrick, Lommel’s “films” aren’t even to be considered in the same class as lowly Boll works like House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark.

Zombie Nation is an astonishing testament to the human capacity for failure. I have previously cited Birdemic as an example of a movie that failed in every aspect of filmmaking, but at least Birdemic didn’t mess up any makeup. If there is anything that is absolutely essential for a zombie movie, it is convincing makeup and practical effects. Zombie Nation does not have them.

I could type pages upon pages about how poorly done this movie is. The poorly utilized warehouse that is used for every set, the abysmal acting, the disappearing characters and storylines, the bad editing, the shitty effects, the inappropriate and baffling soundtrack, the non-ending, the stupid zombie rules…there is just too much to burn through. I could spend days talking about this movie, but I want nothing more in this world than to forget about it.

That said, if you are interested in bad movies and how bad they can be, Zombie Nation is a must watch. I challenge you to find things in the movie that would be passable in any genuinely respectable film. If you are just curious as to the extent of the incompetence in this movie, check out the more in-depth review by Obscurus Lupa. She hits the highlights of the movie, and you don’t have to sit through the entirety of the movie if you go down that route.

I recently came across a bargain bin box set of Uli Lommel movies (this was not included), and all of the films come with a commentary track done by Lommel himself. I’m actually really curious to listen through a couple of these, because I am curious as to how this guy ticks. Just from seeing this movie and knowing his reputation, I am curious if he thinks there is some sort of method to his “art”, or if he has the same hatred for critics that Uwe Boll does. I’m curious if he is the sort of filmmaker who insists that all of his films are masterpieces without flaws, because that seems pretty indefensible when you are producing things like Zombie Nation.

In conclusion, I can only recommend this one to really dedicated bad movie fans. The only way to approach it is from the perspective of a dissection, or you are just going to have a miserable experience. I can’t imagine what casual viewers thought if they rented / bought this movie based on the cover art. If you aren’t prepared for this movie, it is going to be incredibly jarring. I wouldn’t spring this on a group of friends, anyway.

IMDb Bottom 100: Final Justice

Final Justice
finaljustice

For quite some time, Final Justice actually held the top slot in the IMDb Bottom 100. Personally, I don’t think this is anywhere near the worst movie in the Bottom 100. The plot is repetitive, Joe Don Baker is far from an inspiring lead, and there are some moments of really poor editing in the movie. All of that considered though, this is definitely a watchable movie. The pacing slows down quite a bit in the middle, but it doesn’t drag in the way in The Starfighters or Devil Fish do, and it isn’t as incompetently composed as Birdemic. I am at a loss as to how it was propelled to the #1 position for so long.

The writing for the movie isn’t good, but it didn’t stand out all that much. Something that definitely does stand out is the somewhat shoehorned setting of the movie in Malta. Honestly, I think that the Malta setting was written in as an excuse for the crew to film in an exotic location. It seems like an odd choice to me though, and not your typical fish-out-of-water setup. In any case, the audience gets to see quite a bit of Malta for better or worse.

The plot follows a Texas Sheriff named “Thomas Jefferson Geronimo” (Joe Don Baker) as he is escorting a captured criminal overseas. Do to some mistake, the criminal gets free during a stop over in Malta. Baker’s character then spends the rest of the movie trying to track down the criminal across the island, while repeatedly annoying the local Maltese police. That is pretty much the extent of the movie: it is unquestionably a Joe Don Baker vehicle, and none of the other actors stand out at all. I would go so far as to assume that a good number of the accessory cast members are local Maltese folk who were roped into the filming, but I haven’t been able to dig up much information on the movie at all to confirm any of my suspicions.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about Final Justice. The fish out of water concept works pretty well in a comedy setting, but throwing it into a crime drama just strikes me as odd. Beverly Hills Cop managed to use the concept in a hybrid crime drama/comedy, but it relied pretty heavily on Eddie Murphy’s abilities to make it work. Joe Don Baker doesn’t have the same wit or presence as Murphy, nor is the writing for Final Justice comparable to Beverly Hills Cop. Hell, it isn’t even comparable to The Golden Child. That said, this might have been an interesting movie if there had been a better comedic focus on the culture shock between Texas and Malta, or if they had just ignored it entirely. As it stands, the writing just half-heartedly pokes at the differences in the cultures. Doing it half-way just doesn’t cut it, and makes the movie less focused and distracted overall.

As mentioned previously, there were a number of editing goofs throughout the movie. I think the whole movie could have used a little more hacking from another set of eyes, but it may have been too much of a jumbled mess to save. Surprisingly, the editor of this movie is still working today in television and film alike, and has some pretty big credits to his name now (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks). Color me surprised.

I’m not sure how strongly I can recommend Final Justice. There is a lot of repetitiveness in the plot, which really makes most of the movie a dull experience to sit through. Even the MST3K treatment does a bit of joke retreading, but it does improve the overall experience without any doubt. The only thing that I can strongly recommend about the movie is the awesome theme song. Give that a good listen and you are probably set for this one.

If you are interested in a Joe Don Baker shitty movie showcase, I’d recommend watching Mitchell instead of this. I think there is bit more enjoyment to get out of that movie, and his character is way more over the top than “Thomas Jefferson Geronimo”.