Tag Archives: bottom 100 movies

Killer Robot Week: “Robot Monster”

Robot Monster


Welcome back to Killer Robot Week here at the Misan[trope]y Movie Blog! For those that missed the first entry, you can check out the “Red Planet” review here.

Today’s installment into Killer Robot Week is a truly beloved B-movie classic: “Robot Monster.”

“Robot Monster” is a classic among classics in the realm of B-movies. You will rarely find an elite ranking of “good-bad” films that fails to mention it in some way, and that back-handed praise is more than deserved for this feature.

The most memorable aspect of “Robot Monster,” and what consistently keeps it mentioned in the same breath with films like “The Creeping Terror,” is the awful monster design. The eponymous Robot Monster, Ro-Man, is instantly recognizable by movie buffs, given his simplistic wardrobe of a gorilla suit and a slightly modified diving helmet.


I’ve mentioned before that a poor monster design isn’t a death sentence for a movie, but “Robot Monster” makes a lot of the same mistakes in that department that “The Creeping Terror” does: most notably, the embarrassingly awful monster gets way too much exposure and screen-time. The only way you can get away with a bad monster is by being creative with its absence, which can’t very well happen if the creature is never absent.

The writing in Robot Monster is nothing short of astounding. The story feels like a “Twilight Zone” episode written by an 11-year-old with dialogue penned by a younger sibling, and the allusions to Cold War anxieties are brandished towards the audience like a bludgeon. In short, the writing has all of the subtlety and sophistication of a man in a gorilla suit with a robot head. Here are a few choice lines worth noting:

[Ro-man]: I cannot – yet I must. How do you calculate that? At what point on the graph do “must” and “cannot” meet? Yet I must – but I cannot!

…and some more gold from Ro-Man:

[Ro-Man]: Hu-mans, listen to me. Due to an error in calculation, there are still a few of you left.

And, of course, Ro-Man threatening a child. This happens a fair amount:

[Johnny]: I think you are just a big bully, picking on those smaller than you are!

[Ro-Man]: Now I will kill you.

It certainly doesn’t help the dialogue that the acting isn’t exactly stellar to begin with. The movie features not one, but two major child characters, which is almost always a recipe for disaster. As you might expect, the two precocious kids can’t act with a damn, and are on screen almost as much as the robot monster himself. The rest of the characters include an elderly scientist and a love-hate couple, none of which are portrayed much better than the kids.

Peripheral vision is negated by true love

There is an interesting question that I had to ask myself while watching this movie: is Ro-Man, as the title suggests, actually a robot? It seems like a necessary question to ask, given this is Killer Robot Week and all. His behavior and speech are very mechanical and robotic until later in the film, which seems to be a trait of his race (also called Ro-Man? There’s an anti-individualism aspect to them). It is also unclear if the diving helmet is part of a uniform / space suit, or if it is biologically part of the creature. Ro-Man’s commander, who is not on the planet, also wears the same helmet, so I don’t think it is a necessary breathing apparatus. In any case, I’m tempted to say that the Ro-Man are a sort of cyborg race, which incorporates both robotic and biological aspects. Interestingly enough, the term “cyborg” wouldn’t be officially coined for another 7 years after the release of “Robot Monster,” so maybe there actually is a little forward thinking there?


“Robot Monster” was directed by a man named Phil Tucker, who didn’t do much else with his career. He has a few other directorial credits on films like “The Cape Canaveral Monsters” and “Dream Follies,” but nothing particularly notable.  He popped back up briefly in the 1970s as an editor and production manager, working on movies like “King Kong (1976),” “Orca,” and the “Wonder Woman” television show.

In the acclaimed book of film failures, “The Golden Turkey Awards” by the Medved brothers, it is stated that Phil Tucker attempted suicide after the abysmal critical reception to “Robot Monster.” From what I could find, this a bit of a bending of the truth: it is reported that the film’s distributor refused to pay him for his work on “Robot Monster,” which left him unemployed, broke, and in general dire straits. In addition to his history with depression, all of these factors apparently culminated in his suicide attempt in December 1953.

The writer of “Robot Monster” is listed as Wyott Ordung, who likewise doesn’t have a whole lot credited to his name. He had a few directing credits, specifically “Walk the Dark Street” and “Monster from the Ocean Floor,” but didn’t do much at all outside of the 1950s.

The cast of “Robot Monster,” to the surprise of no one, did not produce any major stars.  George Nader, who plays Roy in “Robot Monster,” seemed poised for stardom after winning a Golden Globe in 1954 as one of the most promising male newcomers, but never really managed to break out. Selena Royle, who is credited in “Robot Monster” as “Mother,” was a character actress throughout the 1940s for MGM, but was publicly accused of being a communist sympathizer in 1951, which was enough to essentially destroy her movie career going forward. “Robot Monster” would be her next-to-last big screen credit, with her movie career concluding in 1955 with “Murder is My Beat.”


“Robot Monster” was filmed at Bronson Canyon, a particularly famous B-movie filming site outside of Los Angeles that has seen the likes of “Eegah!,” “Army of Darkness,” “They Saved Hitler’s Brain,” “The Searchers,” and countless others. “Robot Monster” has the distinction of having been filmed almost entirely at that location, with only one sequence being filmed in a nearby residential neighborhood. You will probably recognize the cave from “Robot Monster” as being the same one used for external shots of the Bat Cave in the Adam West “Batman” television show.


A handful of clips from other films are used throughout “Robot Monster,” including a number of shots of stop motion dinosaurs from “Lost Continent” and a sequence of lizards fighting from “One Million B.C.” to make up the perplexing catastrophic conclusion.

Overall, “Robot Monster” is more than deserving of its reputation, regardless of how you want to interpret that statement. The film is a showcase of incompetence at every level, and the end result is absolutely entertaining.

For bad movie fans, this is a must see. “Robot Monster” is essentially a foundational work, on the level of “Manos: The Hands of Fate” and the more notorious Ed Wood films. Particularly for monster movies, this stands amongst the elite of the awful.



Worst Movies of 2014

Better late to the party than not showing up, right? Well, here I am: a week into January, and just now doing the “Worst of 2014” post.

Many of you have probably seen the highly publicized listing of Rifftrax’s “Worst Movies of 2014” list, as voted on in a public poll. For those that haven’t, here it is:


  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  3. Dumb and Dumber To
  4. A Million Ways too Die in the West
  5. Left Behind
  6. The Amazing Spider Man 2
  7. Ouija
  8. Sex Tape
  9. Noah
  10. 300: Rise of an Empire

Interesting. I certainly have some quarrels with it, but such is the nature of democracy. Let’s compare that with a handful of other “Worst of 2014” lists, shall we?

Here is one pulled together by the good folks at the Stinker Madness Podcast, in no particular order:


  • Noah
  • Left Behind
  • Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
  • A Winter’s Tale
  • Sabotage
  • Godzilla
  • 3 Days to Kill
  • Pompeii
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction

Here is another one, done by Rolling Stone:


  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  2. The Expendables 3
  3. Godzilla
  4. Men, Women & Children
  5. The Amazing Spider Man 2
  6. The Judge
  7. Divergent
  8. Transcendence
  9. Annie
  10. God’s Not Dead

And yet another, for good measure, by The AV Club:


  1. Left Behind
  2. 3 Days to Kill
  3. Septic Man
  4. Lullaby
  5. Winter’s Tale
  6. Labor Day
  7. The Bag Man
  8. Dark House
  9. Drive Hard
  10. If I Stay
  11. Hector and The Search for Happiness
  12. The Legend of Hercules
  13. Miss Meadows
  14. Best Night Ever
  15. America: Imagine The World Without Her
  16. Third Person
  17. A Million Ways to Die in the West
  18. Saving Christmas
  19. Devil’s Knot
  20. Atlas Shrugged Part III

Needless to say, it was quite a divisive year for bad movies. None of the lists agreed on a number one, and different films show up in each of them. Notably absent from all of them is the Bollywood movie “Gunday,” that sparked so much controversy on IMDb and other social media sites, instantly tanking to the bottom of the IMDb Bottom 100. Also, the much-maligned “Saving Christmas” is oddly underrepresented, barely cracking the AV Club list, and not making the other lists at all. Even the latest “Transformers” movie, which topped one list and was runner up in another, totally missed the AV Club list of 20. The Rifftrax number 1, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” missed the AV Club and Rolling Stone lists. “Left Behind” consistently showed up in three of the lists, but missed the Rolling Stone ranking altogether. In another shock, “God’s Not Dead” only appears at #10 on the Rolling Stone list, and nowhere else.

I can’t express how astoundingly bizarre this is. I expected to see a significant difference between the Rifftrax list and the others, because Rifftrax was democratically run and open to the public, whereas the others were selected by critics. But the critics didn’t see any kind of agreement between them! We’re not even talking about minor gripes with the ordering: they are selecting entirely different movies!

All right, let’s see what another one says. TIME:


  1. Blended
  2. A Million Ways to Die in the West
  3. Men, Women & Children
  4. Walk of Shame
  5. Let’s Be Cops
  6. Legend of Hercules
  7. Winter’s Tale
  8. Nut Job
  9. Transcendence
  10. Hateship Loveship

Holy shit. Not only is there another different #1 worst movie (one that appeared on no other list, I might add), but 5 of 10 movies on the TIME list did not appear on any other list. You have to be kidding me.

Just for even more giggles, here is the Chicago Tribune list:

  1. Left Behind
  2. A Million Ways to Die in the West
  3. The Nut Job
  4. Horns
  5. And So it Goes
  6. The Identical
  7. Winter’s Tale
  8. Sex Tape
  9. Muppets Most Wanted
  10. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

That is the first repeat top selection so far! However, there are also 4/10 that haven’t appeared on any of the other lists, so we aren’t making much progress there.

So, I’m going to try to come up with an aggregated “Worst Movies of 2014” out of these lists. First off, any film that only appears on one list is disqualified. That leaves me with the following 15 movies to rank:

  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • The Nut Job
  • Winter’s Tale
  • Left Behind
  • Sex Tape
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • Transcendence
  • Amazing Spider Man 2
  • 3 Days To Kill
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction
  • Noah
  • Godzilla
  • Men, Women & Children
  • The Legend of Hercules

Now, I’m going to come up with a formula to decide the ranking. I’m thinking I am going to add together the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregate score, the Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and the IMDb score times 10 (it is on a 10 point scale normally, so this makes it out of 100). For each movie, that will give me X/300, and I will rank them from lowest to highest. Lets see what that looks like…

  1. The Legend of Hercules (79/300)
  2. Left Behind (86/300)
  3. Sex Tape (103/300)
  4. The Nut Job (113/300)
  5. Winter’s Tale (119/300)
  6. Transcendence (120/300)
  7. Transformers: Age of Extinction (130/300)
  8. 3 Days To Kill (135/300)
  9. *TIE* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (136/300)
  10. *TIE* A Million Ways To Die In The West (136/300)
  11. Men, Women & Children (147/300)
  12. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (158/300)
  13. Noah (181/300)
  14. Amazing Spider Man 2 (189/300)
  15. Godzilla (207/300)

Well, isn’t that interesting? Another new number 1 in “The Legend of Hercules,” but I am more interested in the higher numbers on this list. Those of you who are math-inclined may have noticed that the lower entries on here don’t have horrible scores: “Godzilla” has a 69%, which is damn near a “C”, and a passing grade however you cut it. “Amazing Spider Man 2” has a 63%, which isn’t good, but is certainly nowhere near the bottom for the whole year. For comparison, this scale gives “Saving Christmas” a 46/300, or a 15.3%, which is well lower than anything else on the list.


I think the conclusion here is that 2014 is a year that we are all going to have to “agree to disagree” when it comes to movies. I’m personally very interested to see how this shakes out on the other end of the spectrum: a lot of people are expecting an equally competitive field in the “Best of 2014” category, which is going to be quite a firefight once awards season rolls around.


Ranking the IMDb Bottom 100

Well, here it is: an entirely subjective, rough ordering of the IMDb Bottom 100 movies I watched over the course of 2014. If you want to read some thoughts on why there are 104 of them, how they were selected, etc., check out my previous IMDb Bottom 100: COMPLETE post.

I tried to rank these by giving consideration to production values, earnestness, dialogue, acting, plot coherence, off-screen calamity, entertainment value, technical prowess, and sensory/general offensiveness. It wasn’t easy to do, and I tinkered with it constantly while writing it up: there are just too many factors and subjective aesthetic aspects for this sort of ranking to be broken down into a science. In any case: here they are, in a rough order from best to worst:

  1. Torque
  2. Super Mario Bros
  3. The Mangler
  4. Tangents
  5. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
  6. Jaws 3D*
  7. Robocop 3
  8. Highlander 2
  9. Bratz: The Movie
  10. Captain America (1990)
  11. Mitchell
  12. In The Mix
  13. Leonard Part 6
  14. McHale’s Navy
  15. Alone in the Dark
  16. Simon Sez
  17. American Ninja 5
  18. Glitter
  19. The Atomic Brain
  20. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
  21. Laserblast
  22. Final Justice
  23. The Omega Code
  24. Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders
  25. On Deadly Ground
  26. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  27. Crossover
  28. Anne B Real
  29. Eegah
  30. Touch of Satan
  31. Hobgoblins
  32. Son of the Mask
  33. Car 54, Where Are You?
  34. Chairman of the Board
  35. Gigli
  36. From Justin to Kelly
  37. Santa With Muscles
  38. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  39. Santa Claus
  40. 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain
  41. Space Mutiny
  42. Girl in Gold Boots
  43. I Accuse My Parents
  44. The Final Sacrifice
  45. Bat People
  46. Pod People
  47. Track of the Moon Beast
  48. Horrors of Spider Island
  49. Battlefield Earth
  50. Aag
  51. Soultaker
  52. Demon Island
  53. Miss Castaway
  54. Pumaman
  55. House of the Dead
  56. Ed
  57. Popstar
  58. Epic Movie
  59. Breaking Wind
  60. Surf School
  61. The Hottie and The Nottie
  62. Devil Fish
  63. Saving Christmas
  64. Lawnmower Man 2
  65. .com for Murder
  66. Disaster Movie
  67. Nine Lives
  68. The Gaul
  69. Blubberella
  70. Fat Slags
  71. Boggy Creek II
  72. Pledge This
  73. Copper Mountain
  74. The Hillz
  75. Going Overboard
  76. Zombie Nightmare
  77. ROTOR
  78. Ator, The Blade Master
  79. The Wild World of Batwoman
  80. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
  81. Baby Geniuses
  82. Prince of Space
  83. Invasion of the Neptune Men
  84. Zaat
  85. Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies
  86. Turks in Space
  87. Legend of the Titanic
  88. Titanic: And the Legend Continues…
  89. Troll 2
  90. Beast of Yucca Flats
  91. Manos: The Hands of Fate
  92. Garbage Pail Kids
  93. The Creeping Terror
  94. Die Hard Dracula
  95. Zombie Nation
  96. Foodfight!
  97. Red Zone Cuba
  98. The Starfighters
  99. Ben and Arthur
  100. Oasis of the Zombies
  101. Daniel der Zauberer
  102. Birdemic: Shock and Terror
  103. Monster A Go Go
  104. The Maize: The Movie

Happy New Year! Be sure to check back in 2015 for more Misan[trope]y movie reviews and (Plot)opsy Podcasts. Thanks to all of you readers and listeners for making 2014 the best year yet here at Misan[trope]y Movie Blog!


IMDb Bottom 100: COMPLETE

It has been many months, but I can confidently say that I successfully watched over 100 movies from the IMDb Bottom 100 ranking in 2014. That was my goal at the beginning of the year, and here we have it! In no particular order, here are links to my reviews of 104 IMDb Bottom 100 movies.

  1. In The Mix
  2. Blubberella
  3. Monster A Go Go
  4. Santa Claus
  5. Anne B Real
  6. Santa With Muscles
  7. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  8. Battlefield Earth
  9. Saving Christmas
  10. Daniel der Zauberer
  11. Bat People
  12. Popstar
  13. Nine Lives
  14. Garbage Pail Kids*
  15. Ator, The Blade Master
  16. Baby Geniuses
  17. Oasis of the Zombies
  18. Copper Mountain
  19. Aag
  20. The Wild World of Batwoman
  21. Breaking Wind
  22. Track of the Moon Beast
  23. Demon Island
  24. Invasion of the Neptune Men
  25. Horrors of Spider Island
  26. Beast of Yucca Flats
  27. From Justin to Kelly
  28. Eegah
  29. ROTOR
  30. Bratz: The Movie
  31. The Mangler*
  32. Highlander 2*
  33. Surf School
  34. Simon Sez
  35. Jaws 3D*
  36. On Deadly Ground*
  37. Foodfight!
  38. Robocop 3*
  39. Miss Castaway
  40. The Hillz
  41. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning*
  42. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan*
  43. The Hottie and The Nottie
  44. Prince of Space
  45. Zaat
  46. Troll 2
  47. Red Zone Cuba
  48. Glitter
  49. Disaster Movie
  50. Die Hard Dracula
  51. Fat Slags
  52. McHale’s Navy*
  53. Ben and Arthur
  54. Torque*
  55. The Omega Code*
  56. American Ninja 5
  57. Titanic: And the Legend Continues…
  58. Legend of the Titanic*
  59. Captain America (1990)*
  60. Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders
  61. The Creeping Terror
  62. Hobgoblins
  63. Zombie Nightmare
  64. Mitchell
  65. Gigli
  66. Super Mario Bros*
  67. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  68. .com for Murder
  69. 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain
  70. Touch of Satan
  71. The Maize: The Movie
  72. The Gaul
  73. Car 54, Where Are You?
  74. Alone in the Dark
  75. Tangents
  76. Chairman of the Board
  77. Zombie Nation
  78. Final Justice
  79. The Atomic Brain
  80. Epic Movie
  81. The Final Sacrifice
  82. Ed
  83. I Accuse My Parents
  84. Leonard Part 6
  85. Laserblast
  86. Lawnmower Man 2
  87. The Starfighters
  88. Soultaker
  89. Son of the Mask
  90. House of the Dead
  91. Pod People
  92. Pumaman
  93. Devil Fish
  94. Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies
  95. Girl in Gold Boots
  96. Turks in Space
  97. Space Mutiny
  98. Pledge This
  99. Crossover
  100. Birdemic: Shock and Terror
  101. Boggy Creek II
  102. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
  103. Going Overboard
  104. Manos: The Hands of Fate

Let me explain why there are 104 movies, and what those asterisks mean. As it turns out, watching all of the IMDb Bottom 100 is more complicated than you might think for a number of reasons.

Thanks to the international representation that has grown on the list in the past couple of years, there are a fair number of films in the ranking that did not get a Region 1 release: this means that no only was there no official distribution in the US, but there are also no official English subtitles or dubs. For some of these films, like “Daniel der Zauberer” and “Turks in Space”, they have enough of a following that fans have created subtitles so that English audiences can watch them. More often than not, however, these international entries in the IMDb Bottom 100 are just not available in any form to an English-speaking audience. Movies like “A Fox’s Tale” and “Danes Without a Clue”, for instance, just do not exist in an English-friendly form, and aren’t popular enough to have fans distributing them online and creating subtitles for them.

“Danes Without A Clue” never made it to Region 1 distribution

In addition to foreign films that lack English language versions, a number of other movies in the IMDb Bottom 100 simply don’t have any distribution, and similarly lack the popularity for there to be online copies of them available. IMDb Bottom 100 movies like “The Tony Blair Witch Project”, “Anus Magillicutty”, and “Ghosts Can’t Do It” all fall into this category: the first two are just low-budget projects that didn’t get spread around, whereas “Ghosts Can’t Do It” is simply out of print and only available (scarcely) on VHS.

In an attempt to make up for these unattainable members of the ranking, I went back through some archived versions of the IMDb Bottom 100. Because the list is democratic and constantly accepting new votes, movies regularly fall out and break into the ranking, meaning that a snapshot of the IMDb Bottom 100 from 2004 looks very different from the one that exists today. All of the movies in the above list marked with an asterisk were pulled from these archived lists to make up for the missing movies that I couldn’t get copies of.

“Highlander II” was one of these Alum features I covered

So, how did I wind up with 104 movies covered? As I mentioned, the IMDb Bottom 100 is consistently shuffling in new movies as votes come in and movies reach the qualification quota of 1500 votes for the list. As was the case with “ROTOR” and “Saving Christmas”, I chose to cover new movies as they popped into the Bottom 100 over the course of 2014. Between covering movies from the IMDb Bottom 100 archive and new members of the ranking from 2014, I managed to tip over 100 movies covered in total. In fact, there are even more IMDb Bottom 100 movies that I could still cover (and in all likelihood I will at some point).


For now, I am going to put the IMDb Bottom 100 on the back-burner: I managed to watch and review over 100 of them in 2014, and I am interested in taking on some new bad movie challenges in 2015. That said, I am planning on doing my own ranking of those 104 movies in the near future, and writing a more in depth retrospective on the challenge after I’ve had some time to mull it over.

As for now, I wish you all a Happy New Year, and look forward to having you back in 2015!

IMDb Bottom 100: Blubberella



“Blubberella” is yet another entry in the IMDb Bottom 100 brought to us by the much-maligned director Uwe Boll, who was also behind IMDB Bottom 100 flicks “Alone in the Dark” and “House of the Dead”. His immense unpopularity as an individual (among critics and audiences alike) is almost as notable as his his astoundingly awful filmography at this point, something that has certainly had an effect on the public perception of his works. Given that the IMDb Bottom 100 is in many ways based on popularity and public opinion, it is no surprise to see Uwe Boll pop up numerous times in the ranking.

Uwe Boll is literally Hitler

However, “Blubberella” sets itself apart from the typical Uwe Boll fare: not only is it a comedy (not Boll’s strength), but it is also a parody movie. If there is anything that the IMDb Bottom 100 can tell you at first glance, it is that parody movies can go wrong very easily, and Uwe Boll certainly isn’t Mel Brooks when it comes to the craft of cinematic comedy.

Adding to the bizarreness, “Blubberella” is a parody of a Uwe Boll flick that was being filmed simultaneously (“BloodRayne 3”), so it isn’t even aping a movie that the audience would identify with.  According to some behind the scenes footage, this was a decision made first and foremost to save money: Boll’s logic was that it would cost the same to make two movies at the same time with the same sets, cast, and crew. In theory, if both movies did well, the profits would be exponentially better. This is an old principal that dates back to the classic Roger Corman B-movies, but those films were usually unrelated apart from the cast and setting: they weren’t designed to be symbiotic.

Personally, I feel that Uwe Boll’s already unpopular personality combined with this economic motivation for the making of the film would have led to a negative perception of “Blubberella” regardless of whether it was any good or not. Unsurprisingly, though, it is absolutely awful. Not only is it the worst Uwe Boll movie in the IMDb Bottom 100, but I personally think it is the worst parody movie as well. That put it is some truly elite company.


The humor in “Blubberella” is not just crass and lazy (just as with the other parody movies in the IMDb Bottom 100, it relies heavily on stereotypes), but it also comes off as generally cruel and bitter. I think just about every joke in the movie punches down, which is generally a poor practice and sets a thoroughly uncomfortable tone to the movie. By the end of the movie, it is pretty clear that Uwe Boll not only isn’t funny, but that he has a lot of personal ire for women, homosexuals, and fat people (not to mention pretty much everyone else). He comes off as even more of an asshole than everyone already believed he was.

Another huge issue with the humor in “Blubberella” comes from the fact that the movie is effectively unscripted: Uwe Boll left an excessive amount of the dialogue up to the actors to improvise (the two lead actors apparently did enough of this to justify co-writing credits on the film). Shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” can pull off this style of improvised scripting because of the comedic talents of the players, but it definitely requires a lot of skill from everyone involved for the technique to work. If you haven’t seen poorly done improv before, I assure you that it is some of the most uncomfortable, miserable comedy you will ever come across. In the case of “Blubberella”, the actors just aren’t up to the improv weight that is thrown on them by Boll. In the behind the scenes interviews, it seems like the actors are appreciative of the freedom that they were granted with this style, but I highly suspect that Boll made the decision to go with improv dialogue because he didn’t want to waste the time writing a fleshed out script (time is money, after all). In any case, it doesn’t work, and the end result is poorly paced and painfully unfunny.

A titanic comedy duo, in the sense that all of the humor sinks into the icy depths of misery

As far as the cast goes, the only real bright spot is beloved oddball character actor Clint Howard, and even he doesn’t perform up to his usual par. Worst among the cast list by a mile, however, is Uwe Boll himself, who portrays Adolph Hitler. To put it lightly, his acting is atrocious.

Clint Howard playing a Nazi Doctor

There is nothing to recommend about “Blubberella”: it is a creature spawned from hate-based humor and cheap economic logic. The pacing and comedic timing throughout the film is just awful, and there aren’t any redeeming performances or aspects that can justify sitting through the flick. Worse yet, you can tell how rushed the production was, and it is evident that there was no effort put forth to make this movie. Unless you are planning to watch all of Uwe Boll’s movies for the challenge of it, I would definitely avoid “Blubberella”.


IMDb Bottom 100: Monster A Go Go

Monster A Go-Go

1965’s “Monster A Go Go” is an astoundingly bad film, enough so to be a true separation from the rest of the IMDb Bottom 100. The movie is a patchwork built primarily from parts of an unfinished product (that was poor in its own right), and then supplemented with original footage filmed years after the fact to complete the movie. This has been done with a number of other B-pictures (“They Saved Hitler’s Brain” comes to mind), but “Monster A Go Go” is the most distractingly awful example of this that I have come across.

The props are pretty awful as well. But then again, so is everything else in “Monster A Go Go”

Apparently “Monster A Go Go” was only cobbled together to fill out the second half of a bill for a double feature. With that in mind, a lot of the flaws in the movie make more sense: the sound issues, continuity errors, inexplicable sets, and abrupt editing are all explained by the simple fact that there was only a minimum amount of effort put into creating the film. The fact that “Monster A Go Go” was also a cheap attempt to salvage an abandoned film certainly contributes to almost all of the most glaring problems in the movie, such as the replaced actors and seemingly unrelated asides throughout the film.  The disjointed product of all of these problems is a film so unfocused and bizarre that it is nearly unwatchable and incomprehensible.

You have to love the laundry room science lab set

As with many of the other IMDb Bottom 100 entries, “Monster A Go Go” owes much of its reputation to the show Mystery Science Theater 3000. However, none of the other movies in the list have the honor of being considered by the MST3k crew as being the worst movie ever to have been featured on the show*. Considering the sort of movies that made their way onto the MST3k screen, that is really saying something. That said, they certainly do their best to make the movie worth the watch, and the episode highlights are worth checking out:

Personally, I am conflicted about Monster A Go Go. It is undoubtedly a spectacle of how to do everything wrong in making a movie. From an academic perspective, that makes the movie kind of fascinating. On the other hand, it lacks much of the entertainment value that people expect from “good-bad” movies. The MST3k riff is fun and makes the most of the overall rather dull movie, but it is still a tough film to sit through if you are expecting to have a good time. Some of the lighting goofs, silly sets, and the hilariously awful ending get genuine laughs, but they are very few and far between. Unless you want to watch a bad movie for the sake of seeing a movie gone terribly wrong, “Monster A Go Go” is skippable. It certainly isn’t the ideal flick to watch with a group of people to have a good time.


Surprisingly, “Monster A Go Go” is pretty low in the IMDb Bottom 100 (it has been sitting in the 80s). Without a doubt, this is one of the most objectively worst films I have seen while going through the list, standing out with movies like “The Starfighters” and “The Maize”. Given the influence of MST3k fans on the IMDb Bottom 100, I don’t expect it to fall out of the ranking anytime soon, but it is quite surprising to see it so low. I am somewhat curious if there is an odd subset of people over-ranking this movie intentionally, because I have a hard time believing that any significant number of people would rate this movie with more than one star in earnest. In any case, it is sitting where it is for some reason hidden within the will of the masses.

Plotopsy Podcast #6 – Santa Claus (1959)

Santa Claus (1959)

santaclaus1 santaclaus2

Today on the (Plot)opsy Podcast, I am spotlighting a particularly infamous IMDb Bottom 100 film as part of the 15 Days of Bad Christmas Movies: a 1959 Mexican production called “Santa Claus.” Despite the simple title, this is one of the strangest Christmas movies out there: the plot involves Satan, Merlin, some of the creepiest surveillance devices in cinema history, robotic reindeer, and Santa’s captive child workforce who are housed indefinitely in his space castle. I recommend seeking it out.

santaclaus11santaclaus12 An assortment of Santa’s humanoid listening devices
Santa with his mechanical toy reindeer
Santa with his mechanical toy reindeer
The demon Pitch attempting to tempt Lupita
Santa Claus with Pitch
Lupita with giant, horrific, dancing dolls
Promotion for the December 2014 Rifftrax Live event featuring “Santa Claus”

Be sure to visit my cohorts in the “15 Days of Bad Christmas Movies”:

Stinker Madness Podcast
If We Made It Podcast
JT Movie Podcast
Dark Corners of This Sick World

Also, you can check out previous episodes of the (Plot)opsy Podcast here.

IMDb Bottom 100: Anne B Real

Anne B. Real


This may seem to be an obvious caveat for a post covering a movie on the IMDb Bottom 100, but I feel like it still  bears stating: “Anne B Real” is not a good movie. However, in my opinion, it is also not an excessively bad one.

When I initially heard the synopsis of “Anne B Real”, I expected that the film would be blatantly offensive, and generally atrocious. Here is the sort version currently on IMDb:

ANNE B. REAL is the coming of age story of a young female rapper, who finds her inspiration by reading the Diary of Anne Frank.

From reading that alone, it certainly seems like there are a lot of ways for the story to go very wrong. As it turns out, “Anne B Real” is basically just a low budget passion project about growing up in the face of adverse circumstance, and is a story that focuses on a young girl slowly gaining self-confidence in her abilities. Again, this isn’t a good movie: it is the sort of thing that wouldn’t make the cut at your average film festival I feel. Mercifully, Anne Frank doesn’t serve as an ethereal rap coach or anything like that, which was what I was expecting. The downside of this, however, is that the movie is really boring.


There isn’t a whole lot to say about the movie: every aspect of it is just a little below par. The writing, the acting, the directing: nothing is offensively bad, but none of it is particularly good. This actually brings up a very interesting question: how did “Anne B Real” wind up in the IMDb Bottom 100? How did this little passion project art film draw so much ire and garner so much attention as to break into the ranking in the first place? Honestly, I have absolutely no idea. The movie is very forgettable and boring, but it is nothing like the rest of the films in the IMDb Bottom 100.

This is the only actor I recognized, and I only know him as "that one guy from Dexter"
This is the only actor I recognized, and I only know him as “that one guy from Dexter”

The only other movie where I had this feeling after watching it was “Crossover”, which I covered way back when I first started with the list. That movie is similarly low-budget and amateurish, but not at all painful to sit through if you ask me. Honestly, I’m inclined to say it is better than “Anne B Real”, if only for Wayne Brady’s role in the movie as a skeevy sports agent.

There is a pretty notable similarity between “Crossover” and “Anne B Real”, and as much as I hope it isn’t why these films are so lowly ranked, it may very well be the case: both films have almost entirely black casts. One of the downsides of a no-holds-barred democratic ranking system like the IMDb Bottom 100 is that it will inevitably reflect biases among the users. I’m not saying that IMDb is like Stormfront or anything, but I am curious if there are some latent tendencies in the IMDb userbase to be unfairly harsh on films like “Crossover” and “Anne B Real”. They are both bad movies, but they are also ranked much lower and judged much more harshly than I think they should. These aren’t Ed Wood level movies by a long shot.


In any case, there aren’t any compelling reasons to recommend “Anne B Real”. The movie is pretty dull, and there isn’t much in the way of entertainment value to be had. The story isn’t all that bad, but it just feels sloppily executed and poorly paced. It is squarely on the wrong side of mediocre when it comes to bad movie enjoyment, but I would rather sit through this countless times than take on another Ulli Lommel movie.

IMDb Bottom 100: In The Mix

In The Mix

There are plenty of things to complain about with “In The Mix”. It is definitely not a flawless movie (it isn’t even a good movie), but it was damn near refreshing compared to most of the things I have had to watch in the IMDb Bottom 100 as of late.


Most of the complaints I have seen about “In The Mix” are completely valid. More than anything else, I have seen a lot of criticism of the stereotype-laden script, which also spends an inordinate amount of time worshiping the lead character played by Usher. The way women treat Usher in the film is far beyond unrealistic, to be sure, and the constant reliance on Italian and African-American stereotypes is both lazy on the part of the writers and tiring to sit through. Even more baffling is the fact that Usher has no loss of mobility after being shot in the shoulder at the beginning of the movie, and is allowed to act as a bodyguard while recovering from a serious injury.  However, I’m going to focus on some positives with this review. Because, shockingly, I found a lot of things positive worth noting in this train-wreck of a movie, particularly in comparison to other IMDb Bottom 100 flicks.

“Look, it is just a gunshot wound. I can still be an effective bodyguard for your daughter”


First off, “In The Mix” bears a significant similarity to a handful of IMDb Bottom 100 members, primarily in that it is structured around and starring a non-actor celebrity. But, in comparison to those (“Daniel der Zauberer”, “From Justin to Kelly”, “Popstar”), “In The Mix” pulls this off pretty well. The problems with “In The Mix” are almost entirely compartmentalized to the writing, which is shocking for being a movie centered around a non-actor. Usher, despite what I expected, was pretty serviceable in this movie.  Compared to Justin Guarini or Aaron Carter, he’s Orson Welles.

Well, he’s at least Robert Costanzo. Maybe not Orson.


More importantly, Usher seems to actually have chemistry with his co-lead Emmanuelle Chriqui, and both of them seem to be enjoying themselves. I think the greatest weakness of any of these celebrity vehicle movies is a lack of connection between the actors, which can make a huge difference in how watchable and believable the movie is on the whole. Usher manages to pull this off, and despite the poor quality of the movie overall, deserves credit for that.



I’ve noticed that a lot of folks direct their ire about this movie towards Usher, but not typically because of his performance. More often than not, I’ve seen complaints that he didn’t take responsibility as one of the film’s Executive Producers to ensure the ultimate quality of the project. I have a bit of a problem with this complaint. First off, the director is the one responsible for the project as a whole. When it comes down to it, the role of Executive Producer is left intentionally vague: it can mean a lot of different things on different productions. As I understand it, Usher was given that credit primarily due to his vested interest in the product as its public face. Just because he holds an Exec. Producer title doesn’t mean he is responsible for the quality of the film: producers are far more likely to be responsible for the fundraising and the marketing of the flick than anything else.  Also, Usher isn’t an experienced movie maker, so how exactly would he have spotted a problem during development if he didn’t know what to look for? It may not have been wise to give him a producer nod, but even that falls back to being the director’s fault. From what I can tell, at worse Usher was complicit in the failure of the movie. At best, he did his damnedest to make it better, and failed to single handedly save the movie.

The accessory cast of “In The Mix” is, appropriately, a mixed bag. The poor dialogue and writing in general anchor the whole product down, but a few folks still deliver half decent performances. It is always nice to see a bunch of character actors like Robert Costanzo and Chazz Palminteri doing their mobster thing, but the grating comic relief performance by Kevin Hart leaves a whole lot to be desired (like, for instance, the sweet embrace of death).



“In The Mix” is a film teetering on falling out of the IMDb Bottom 100, and for good reason. It is a movie that is just “good” enough to not be entertainingly bad, which puts it unfortunately into the range of forgettable mediocrity. There isn’t anything outlandishly bad enough about it for me to recommend watching through the whole thing, but it serves as an interesting side-by-side comparison with the other celebrity-driven IMDb Bottom 100 features I mentioned here.

IMDb Bottom 100: Daniel – der Zauberer

Daniel – der Zauberer


Ulli Lommel is one of those rare filmmakers who seems to be able to do no right. I honestly can’t think of any other filmmaker who so thoroughly embodies the legendary incompetence of Ed Wood for today’s film world. Some time ago, I covered his film “Zombie Nation”. As bad as that film is, it is a masterpiece in comparison to Lommel’s infamous part-documentary, part-fever dream known as “Daniel – der Zauberer”, which is widely considered to be the worst German movie of all time.


“Daniel der Zauberer” is a thoroughly fictionalized tale centering around the inexplicable German pop sensation Daniel Kublbock, who gained notoriety after winning Germany’s equivalent of American Idol. Speaking of which, this movie makes “From Justin to Kelly” look like a narrative masterpiece and in-depth character study.


In the world of “der Zauberer”, Daniel Kublbock is not just a pop star, but is also a wizard in training under the tutelage of his long-deceased grandfather (played by Lommel himself). In addition, he is apparently such a divisive figure in German society that a number of teenagers feel so much ire for him and his music that they wish to see him die. A good deal of the plot centers around a couple of these disgruntled youths attempting to assassinate Daniel, and that is unbelievably one of the less ludicrous aspects of the movie. Daniel ultimately wins over his would-be assassins and all of his other passionate detractors with his positive energy and friendliness by the time the movie ends, which is particularly notable given how painfully awkward Daniel is in front of a camera. Frankly, Daniel wouldn’t be able to win over a puppy with his charm and charisma.

Daniel with Ulli Lommel, who plays his wizard mentor / dead grandfather / sometimes one-armed brass musician companion.

For “Daniel – der Zauberer”, the devil is definitely in the details. All of the things that are typically invisible in well-crafted movies stand out like swollen thumbs here. The cinematography is on par with an amateur home video, the editing and sound are painfully distracting, and one continuity error is even so blatant that there is a half-hearted attempt to write it into the movie (Ulli Lommel’s character has a disappearing and reappearing arm).

The writing is really unfocused and vague throughout the movie, and fails to establish important elements to the story for the audience: most notably, it is not made absolutely clear that Daniel is a wizard in training until the last act, and his relation to Ulli Lommel’s character isn’t covered until the film’s conclusion. The dialogue isn’t much better, but it is hard to tell whether the writing or the acting is more to blame for what ultimately makes it on screen. Either way, the result is nothing short of abysmal.


There are a number of directorial decisions in this movie that truly boggle my mind. In a number of scenes, archival footage from various reality show appearances by Daniel are spliced in for seemingly no reason at all. I can understand the extensive use of concert footage in the movie given it more or less ties into the character, but the reality show clips just don’t make any sense at all. One of these sequences takes place while Daniel is having a nightmare where a mysterious man slowly approaches Daniel with a knife while he is sleeping. During the sequence, clips of Daniel on a German version of “Fear Factor” are cut in seemingly at random. Without provocation, the screen flashes to Daniel covered in bugs on what is clearly a reality show setup. In a more baffling sequence, footage is shown of Daniel playing with a couple of baby tigers, intercut with him…not really doing anything at all. He is just kind of standing around.

I am on the fence about whether I can recommend “Daniel – der Zauberer”. Part of me wants to say that this is a movie so incompetently made that it has to be seen to be believed. At this point, even Daniel Kublbock has admitted that it is truly awful, and that has to mean something from someone whose career is built on spreading positive energy. However, it is also a pretty boring experience to sit through, and given it didn’t get a release in English, the necessity of digging up the fan-made subtitles means that you have to go a bit out of your way to watch it. If you have a handy copy, give it a watch. I would just say do it with the caveat that it isn’t going to be a fun experience. This isn’t a movie for a group of people to watch and enjoy ironically, it is a movie that must be suffered individually, like a ritual.