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.


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
Space Mutiny
Girl in Gold Boots
Troll 2
Son of the Mask
You Got Served
Santa with Muscles
Backyard Dogs
Ator l’invincible 2
Night Train to Mundo Fine
SuperBabies: Baby Genuises 2
Daniel- Der Zauberer
The Wild World of Batwoman
Alone in the Dark
Going Overboard
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
Los Nuevos Extraterrestres
L’uomo puma
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow
3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain
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
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
The Master of Disguise
Marci X
Teen Wolf Too
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3
Shanghai Surprise
Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach
Captain America
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
Mannequin: On the Move
Spice World
Bride of the Monster
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Tarzan, the Ape Man
Street Fighter
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
Son of the Pink Panther
Cop & 1/2
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
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
Tony Blair Witch Project
Anus Magillicutty
Daniel der Zauberer
Ghosts Can’t Do It
A Fox’s Tale
A Story About Love
Dream Well
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

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”.

IMDb Bottom 100: The Atomic Brain

The Atomic Brain

The Atomic Brain isn’t a good movie by any stretch, but it certainly has some charm to it if you ask me. This is an older movie that was dug up by the MST3K bunch, and has gained quite a bit of popularity through the show.

The Atomic Brain is centered around the idea of using brain transplants as a way of prolonging death, which is fodder for some grade A shenanigans as the plot progresses. The mad scientist who is pioneering the process is recruited by a wealthy aging widow (who is hilariously over-the-top evil and cruel) in order to execute a scheme for her to live on in a more youthful body. They invite a number of young women to their mansion under false pretenses, and start a process to select which one will host the old widow’s brain. I don’t completely understand why they needed to go through this final selection process, unless the widow just happens to be highly particular about her host. In any case, things go awry. Animal brains get mixed with human brains on a few occasions to hilarious effect, and ultimately the evil plot fails horribly as the house burns to the ground.

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit more than I thought I would. I loved how horrible the old widow was throughout the film, and how cheesy all of the human/animal hybrid experiments wound up. The leads weren’t particularly enthralling or interesting, but a lot of the peripheral action and characters were entertaining and ridiculous enough to make the movie a pretty decent watch (as far as bad movies go). I think this movie’s MST3K riff is golden as well, and adds a lot of entertainment value to the movie. I believe that this is one of the handful of MST3K episodes available on Netflix, so I can definitely recommend checking it out there.

IMDb Bottom 100: Leonard Part 6

Leonard Part 6

Boy, is there a lot to say about Leonard Part 6. In general, failed comedies are some of the hardest movies to sit through. They have one primary purpose: to draw laughs. If they aren’t doing that, they aren’t going to be saved by any other aspect of the movie, such as how a bad action movie might be saved by an impressively hammy villain. Leonard Part 6 is a rare exception in my opinion: it absolutely fails to get the laughs it aims for, but I genuinely enjoyed sitting through it. The movie was incompetently written and executed in such a way that I was in a state of awe through most of the film, which is better state than I had expected. There were points that I laughed, but it was either at the absurdity of the plot, the overacting, or the low quality of the effects every time. Regardless, I was able to sit through the movie easier than most of the Bottom 100 films I’ve been through so far.

When people have asked me if I have run into any pleasant surprises in the IMDb Bottom 100, this is usually the one movie that I mention. I have described it as akin to Douglas Adams’ “Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, if Adams had been a moron. There is an absurd element to the movie that has potential, but none of it is ultimately clever or capable of producing genuine laughter. For example, there are a number of instances in which Leonard (Bill Cosby) attempts to reconnect with his ex-wife. During these segments, the wife oddly covers Cosby in food (spaghetti if I recall correctly). It isn’t funny and it doesn’t make sense, but for some reason the movie plays it off like it should be hilarious. The situation is strange and unexpected, as are most of the happenings in the plot, but they aren’t funny beyond their inherent oddness. I found myself spending most of the movie wondering “what the hell is happening here?”, but I will say that I was never tempted to turn it off. It was a strange ride, but not one that I particularly regret taking.

The acting throughout the movie is very much constrained by the poor writing, but there are a few stand-outs. Joe Don Baker has a role as Leonard’s former boss, but he only shows up occasionally throughout the movie. His character is mostly there to catalyze the plot, but he manages to pull off a pretty entertaining sleazeball G-man despite limited screen time. Bill Cosby, who plays the lead, is probably one of the most forgettable people in the movie. Despite being a producer 0n the film, it doesn’t seem like he really wants to be in it. Given that he later disavowed the movie in post-production and has actively prevented it from getting a television release, he clearly isn’t a fan after the fact either. The villains (extreme animal rights activists, by the way) are pretty memorably hammy, but my personal favorite performances are by Leonard’s unexplained Jeeves-like butler and his nonsensical, vaguely eastern-European psychic consult. Neither character is necessary in the film at all, and pretty much only exist to make the movie that much stranger.

The plot to this movie is a bit difficult to explain. The movie starts with an assassination carried out by a rainbow trout, which is later explained as the action of a terrorist organization that has discovered how to mind control animals. This gets more convoluted as the plot develops, because the terrorists are animal rights activists. Why would extreme animal rights activists enslave animals to do their bidding? They seem to imply that this is going to liberate the animals in some way, but that is some confused logic that I don’t want to delve into. What is more important and perplexing is that vegans apparently explode into sawdust when exposed to raw meat in this universe. Yeah.

In any case, Bill Cosby’s Leonard is a retired super-agent who has apparently become extremely wealthy from doing covert government missions. His former employers are forced to turn to him to deal with the terrorist threat, and hijinks ensue as we follow Leonard through his mission. There is unexpected ballet, CGI ostrich action, a car with a tank cannon, and some very poorly executed explosions along the way.

I honestly can’t recommend this movie enough. It is a strange experience, and a complete train-wreck failure of a movie that is hard to look away from. Some apparently haven’t been able to enjoy this movie, but I thought there was some real entertainment value in it as an academic example of how not to make a comedic movie. You really have to just turn off all of your thought processes and embrace the confusion for this one. Just ride the ostrich.

IMDb Bottom 100: Time Chasers

Time Chasers

Time Chasers, or Tangents, is yet another IMDb Bottom 100 movie that can attribute most of its popularity to Mystery Science Theater 3000. Personally, I don’t think it is nearly as bad as most of the other movies on the IMDB Bottom 100. I actually enjoy it as a movie pretty well, despite the film’s obvious shortcomings.

The biggest flaw in Time Chasers is that the film-makers clearly didn’t have the capability to execute the vision of the script. Ultimately, I think that almost entirely came down to a lack of funds. Overall, I am impressed at the product that they did manage to create given their limitations. It creates some humorous moments as they improvise a number of their sets, but they put more effort into it than some other similarly-cheap movies. I think that the film also falls victim to the times in retrospect, as the special effects that are used in the time travel sequences look incredibly cheesy now, not to mention the fashion.

The MST3k riff of the movie focuses a lot on what they see as a miscasting of the lead character. The actor certainly doesn’t strike as a typical film lead, but his character isn’t supposed to be an action hero. He is a physicist and a hobbyist pilot, so why would it be necessary for him to look like a movie star? I also imagine that the film couldn’t afford experienced actors anyway (I’m assuming that from the dialogue delivery), but that “flaw” isn’t something I hold against the movie. The fact that none of the actors deliver lines very well is another matter. Again, I think they were making due with what they had available. I’m impressed that the whole movie is as watchable as it is given the circumstances.

Despite the poor acting, mediocre (and over-reaching) script, and low budget, Tangents is a thoroughly watchable movie. It is by no means fantastic, but it did a pretty good job of keeping my attention. Their future segments come up very short due to their limitations, but bringing in American Revolution reenactors actually served them pretty well in creating their 1777 setting towards the conclusion.

As with any movie like this, a good hammy villain goes a long way in making the final product entertaining, and Tangents really lucked out there. The antagonist is a great corporate CEO bad guy, who seems to get progressively more evil as the movie goes on. The whole movie picks up whenever he is on screen, and he almost makes up for the dull romantic aspect of the plot.

In general, I can recommend this as an enjoyable “bad movie” watch. It isn’t on par with a legitimate release by any means, but it has enough going on to be both watchable and enjoyably incompetent, and the pacing never slows down to a crawl like many poorly made amateur films do. The incompetencies are mostly compartmentalized into areas that make the movie more entertaining, which is a pretty rare occurrence.  The MST3k riff is a pretty good one, but this is a case where I don’t think it is necessary to enjoy the movie. If you want a slightly more obscure pick for a bad movie night, this is a swell candidate.

For Castleton!

Reviews/Trivia of B-Movies, Bad Movies, and Cult Movies.