Tag Archives: bottom 100 movies

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 3

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 1
-SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2
-Going Overboard
-Manos: The Hands of Fate
-Birdemic: Shock and Terror

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 2
-Space Mutiny
-Turks in Space
-Crossover
-Pledge This!

Pod People


Most MST3K fans are likely familiar with the movie “Pod People”, a poorly constructed and confused mess of an ET ripoff film that was famously featured on the show.

I almost feel like this movie could have been decent. If someone has taken a keener eye to the script and done some better camera work, this might have been a perfectly mediocre movie. As it stands, it is an incredibly bad, confused mess of a film. There are some laughs to be had at the poor special effects and horrible acting, but in general the writing is too unfocused to keep your attention throughout the movie. The famously bad recording studio scene is about the only part of this movie worth watching, save for the poor effects during little Trumpy’s tirades. The plot just takes too long to get moving, and there are too many threads introduced too early in the movie. If you can stay awake through the first half-hour though, you are golden for making it through the rest of this mind-numbing movie.

About the only thing I can credit to this movie is that it was easy for the MST3K crew to tear to shreds. Their riff on this one is one of the better episodes of the show without a doubt, and is the only way I could possibly recommend watching this movie. Otherwise, it is just an incredibly boring time killer.

Girl in Gold Boots

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I have been ruminating on this one for a while. I initially procrastinated writing out my review on this so that I could read up more on the fascinating man behind this film, Ted V. Mikels. There is certainly a lot of interesting reading about his career and personality, and he has a lengthy filmography of crap to sift through.

Now, after sitting on this movie for a while, I think I actually like it.

This isn’t as good of a bad movie as “Manos” or “Plan 9”, but it really is an enjoyable watch if you are hunting for a B-movie. The acting is all way overdone, which is exactly what you want to see in a film like this. The same goes for the writing and dialogue, it all just hits the spot for what this movie is. The editing mistakes are actually pretty entertaining as opposed to jarring, which is ultimately a boon to the entertainment value of the film.

Last but not least, I think I have actually come to like the music in this movie. The whole film relies on the intermittent musical numbers, which alternate between Critter’s sappy acoustic bits and the backing band’s rock(?) numbers. The main theme is actually pretty catchy, and the others can actually grow on you if you aren’t careful. Kind of like “Hear the Engines Roll Now” in Pod People, they are sort of endearingly terrible. Honestly, I think that sums up the whole film: Endearingly Terrible.

House of the Dead

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To start off with, the movie isn’t unwatchable. It is bad in just about every way, but it isn’t particularly difficult to sit through. That is about the only thing positive to say about it.

The practical effects in this movie are somehow not over the top enough, believe it or not. There are times when zombies are briefly on screen when I’d swear they didn’t have any make up on the extra at all. The ones that they do put effort into came out way too cartoony if you ask me, and i just didn’t buy them. I actually think in this aspect Boll was a little too loyal to the games, whose zombies are a bit too sci fi and not very horror.

Speaking of loyalty to source material, this is a mighty inconsistent movie. Boll goes so far as to splice in direct shots from the game for transitions, but can’t be bothered to actually set the movie in a house. I actually appreciate that he tried to give the movie a video game feel with the death screens, but he didn’t do those consistently with every character. Even the few things he does decently wind up being used ad nauseam or inconsistently applied, which dulls down the whole movie. There were times I would groan at yet another bullet shot, and be let down when I anticipated a death screen.

The special effects are typical Uwe Boll schlock. A ridiculous amount of slow motion is used, along with inexplicable fireballs and CGI gunshots. That’s basically a trade mark of his movies at this point.

The acting is actually not particularly bad for low-level horror movie, with the exception of “Captain Kirk”, who I swear starts drifting into a Russian accent at one point. In general, these people had to do what they could with the script, which wasn’t doing them any favors.

Speaking of the script, the writing is just miserable here. The dialogue is all pretty forgettable, but the story really disappoints. We are treated to the legend of the island well past the halfway point, and the truth behind the island is all crammed into the last few minutes. At that point, why even bother? Nothing bothered me about this quite as much as the botched attempt at a “The Reanimator” ending. For all I can say about “The Reanimator”, the last scene / shot of that movie is awesome. This movie tries to do the same thing, but decides to cut that crucial shot, instead just telling us what happened over the course of the helicopter ride home via voice over narration. There are so many better ways to end the last couple of minutes of this movie that it is actually infuriating to watch this happen. You don’t even have to tweak the outcome or story in any way, and you could dramatically improve the effect of this ending. Did Boll not put any basic thought into his finale at all? “Show don’t tell” ring a bell, dude? Surely he’s seen “The Reanimator”, or he wouldn’t be blatantly ripping it off here. Maybe he just needs to take better notes the next time he makes a movie.

Speaking of blatantly ripping off other movies, there is a baffling and unnecessary sequence that directly rips off “Fellowship of the Ring”. Remember when Frodo famously hides behind the log when being chased down by the Nazgul? It is a really fantastic sequence that is impressively creepy and builds a lot of tension. Well, this movie decided to do that exact same shot, but without any of the ambiance or tense buildup that made the original sequence so excellent. It is painfully obvious that the scene was taken from LOTR today, so I can’t imagine how blatant it looked for people watching this in 2003. Just a really lazy move by Boll to throw that in, especially since it contributes nothing to the movie. The character who is hiding is caught and killed literally seconds after the shot concludes.

“Fellowship of the Rings” scene

“House of the Dead” scene (1:28-2:15)

There are so many more things to complain about in this movie, but I don’t really want to write a novel on how much Uwe Boll sucks. This movie has rocketed from #25 to #16 since I froze the IMDb bottom 100 for this project, which doesn’t surprise me. This movie has the internet’s nerd rage and Uwe Boll’s unpopularity as both a filmmaker / human being working against it, which is obviously going to show up on a democratic ranking. For what it is worth, the movie is watchable. It is worse than a typical Hollywood box office bomb, but not nearly as bad as the stuff you would find in MST3K. It probably belongs on an objective list of the worst somewhere, but this is honestly mostly a victim of the democratic nature of the Bottom 100. I could actually recommend this one to people who enjoy crappy horror movies. There isn’t much in the way of laughs to get out of it, but it is an interesting one to dissect in order to see how it ticks.

Pumaman

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I watched this movie twice, just to make sure I caught everything.

This is a very bad movie. A very bad, amazing movie.

The trailer alone lays out most of what you need to know. The attempted flying effect in this movie is just pathetic, to the point of being absolutely hilarious. It is something that you need to see to believe. Aside from that, there are a number of other really unimpressive attempts at special effects, that mostly come down to shaking the camera. It does not come out well.

The acting is unsurprisingly sub-par, but Donald Pleasence does ham it up a bit. There are a number of moments where you can tell that he knows how bad this movie is going to be, but he still puts a little bit of effort into it. It has to be hard to effectively act like a sinister villain when you are having to peek out from behind a giant ridiculous mask prop the whole movie. I’m amazed he put any effort at all into this movie, especially since he apparently listed it as the worst movie he was ever involved in.

The story makes very little sense. I’m still not clear on why the main character is a “puma” man, given his powers involve teleportation, flying, and faking suicide. Are those typical puma behaviors that I wasn’t aware of? I also particularly like how his powers are granted from aliens in a way that is directly hereditary(?). I’m going to try not to put too much thought into that, but I will note that the alien spaceships look like the Monarch’s Cocoon from “The Venture Bros.”, or alternatively like leftover Christmas ornaments. Clearly a lot of effort was put into this film.

This movie has been moving up the Bottom 100 with all of the grace and stealth of an actual Puma. It popped into the top 20 just recently, and is sitting at #19 currently. I am actually perfectly happy with that placement at this point, because this movie is a fantastic brew of various incompetencies that churns out a genuinely entertaining product. It is absolutely terrible in every technical aspect I can think of. It is a hilarious experience to watch it confusedly stumble its way through the run time. This is one that I may honestly go back and watch again just for the fun of it.

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 2

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 1

Space Mutiny

Ah, Space Mutiny. Another B-movie that faced the tribulation of an MST3K spotlight. Something I noticed when I first looked through the bottom 100 is that there are consistently tons of MST3K victims inhabiting the list.

I think that the MST3K treatment is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to this particular list. The show brought a lot of eyes onto some really obscure movies, and for some people that is as far as they go into the land of B cinema. Given that the IMDb Bottom 100 is both a democratic list AND requires a quota of votes for a movie to qualify, the popularity of MST3K movies definitely seems to skew the list in favor of them.

Space Mutiny, for example, is a movie that I find completely watchable. It is super cheesy in regards to the effects and stunts, and Reb Brown howls his way through the leading role just as he does in any movie, but I don’t think it is anywhere near the realistic bottom of the barrel of movies. The MST3K crew did an awesome riff of the movie that was a bit harsh in my opinion, but still very funny. I think their skewering has greatly manipulated people’s opinions on this one, and is the only reason it is as low as it is (top 10) on the list. I’m honestly not sure if this legitimately belongs on the list as all, much less that high. It isn’t good, but like Manos, this is a plenty enjoyable B-movie that somehow redeems itself through charming incompetence. Even the hammy accessory cast and the pathetic sets and props have a sort of endearing quality to their over the top-ness that is hard to put down.

If you are a fan of MST3K or bad movies in general, their Space Mutiny riff is one of the finest of the Mike Nelson era, and I can’t recommend it enough. It is definitely a fun watch. In fact, I recommend just about anything from Reb Brown’s filmography. He is a blast to watch work and has an amazing quality to elevate bad movies, just like how Nic Cage can make an otherwise miserable movie watchable.

Turks in Space

I had an odd thought about “Turks in Space” recently. The more I look back on the movie, the more it feels like a Shakespearean work.

That isn’t to say that the movie is good, of course. However, there are some very Bard-like things going on in this film. First off, there is a whole lot of focus on twins and mistaken identity (in the hopes of generating comedy out of confusion). Unlike in a Shakespearean comedy though, none of it actually comes out entertaining in the slightest. There are also a whole lot of almost entirely pointless comic relief characters revolving around the plot, acting as commoners who occasionally poke at current events through the fiction. All of their humor is low brow as well, which is consistent with their analogues in the comedies. It goes without saying that having the romantic interests tied into the mistaken identity subplot and throwing a diplomatically important marriage into the mix also calls back to the much finer works of the finest playwright in history.

As much as I hate the idea, I may actually give this movie a rewatch to see what else I can come up with. If there is more to find, then the making of this movie gets much stranger. It is already a very odd romantic comedy science / fiction concept, and throwing in a screenplay that is trying to imitate the Bard adds a whole extra layer of strangeness onto the making of this movie.

Maybe this is actually a lost work of Shakespeare. Maybe Shakespeare wrote an entire play about spaceships and bad Turkish social humor while he was incredibly intoxicated one night, and then promptly attempted to dispose of his abominable creation when he awoke to discover it. Sure he penned some less than great comedies, but I would wager that Shakespeare’s “Turks in Space” would have demolished his reputation. On the flip side, I would love to see someone try to turn this movie into a play and attempt to put it on. With some better dialogue and a lot of cutting from the script, it might actually not suck. Maybe.

Crossover

Well, this was quite unexpected.

This movie does not belong in the Bottom 100. It is incredibly cliche in the story and writing, and the acting isn’t great, but it is overall a pretty run-of-the-mill sports movie. This does not have any business being on this list, especially not as low as #15. That is just ridiculous.

One thing that I expected to be horrible in this movie was Wayne Brady, who plays a sleazy bookie and former sports agent. Honestly? He was pretty believable. He probably did the best job in the film, which was quite unexpected. The rest of the cast was pretty bland, but the acting wasn’t so bad that it was excessively distracting.

There seems to be a lot of criticism of the stunt work in the basketball scenes, but I didn’t find it incredibly distracting. It was definitely beyond belief, but I will forgive that because it sets the tone of the games being played. It establishes the skill of the players involved, which is important for the story to get across. If it just looked like standard pick-up basketball, a lot of the character motivations wouldn’t make as much sense.

The story, as mentioned before, is pretty run-of-the-mill. You can probably call everything that is going to happen in the movie well ahead of time, but overall it isn’t necessarily bad. The predictability makes it a little boring in that it takes out the stakes, but it isn’t so bad that you can’t keep watching. It is the same story with the dialogue, in that it will never surprise or enthrall you. However, it gets the job done.

This seems like a movie that isn’t ideal for hard core basketball fans, though. The unrealistically cut games apparently turn people off from the reviews I’ve seen, which seems like an interesting version of nerd rage for sports movies. I would imagine that a casual sports movie fan would be ok with the movie, though.

All of that said, I’m not sure if there is anyone who would absolutely love this movie. There is no way that this is anyone’s favorite film. It is one of those movies that is likely to slip your memory after a little while, and you won’t have any cause to recall it after it has.

I hope I run into more movies on this list that are as surprisingly watchable as this.

Pledge This!

Pledge This almost certainly deserves the very low slot (top 20) it has in the Bottom 100. That is almost entirely due to the script, which is a racist, shallow, mind-numbing pile of garbage. All of the acting is atrocious, but what the hell could they have done anyway with what was given to them? You could have the finest cast of actors here and this would still be a crap movie. As it so happens, they actually had the worst actors. So, it came out much worse than a crap movie.

I can’t think of any redeeming factors to this thing. There just aren’t any. The relationships make no sense, no characters are likable, there are idiotic cartoon sound effects inserted for no particular reason, the jokes are all flat, and there is no reason to be invested in what plot the movie bothers to have.

The one thing I can say for this movie is that it actually surprised me. I expected moronic dialogue and stupid hazing jokes. I did not expect Paris Hilton’s dog to blow a guy. I did not expect a toilet explosion. I did not expect a giant ball of used condoms. These were not good surprises, but they were certainly not expected.

Neither of the writers of this movie have written a movie since from what I can tell. That is reassuring to me. There should have been a notification of this fact post-credits, and I might have actually clapped.

I am deeply dreading the other National Lampoon movies that I have to watch on this list. I have to deal with Paris Hilton’s acting a few more times, and unfortunately one of them, “The Hottie and the Nottie”, is ranked even lower than this stinker. I really hope I have some watchable movies come up before then.

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 1

Good news! I’m oddly wedged between being 1/5 and 1/4 of the way done with my challenge to watch through the IMDb Bottom 100! I’m going to go ahead and count it as the quarter mark of the challenge. That means that this is as good a time as any to do a recap!

Once again, as I did for Boggy Creek II, I decided to do these reviews in video form, wrongly assuming that would save time. For most of these I also wrote a short text review, so I’m going to go ahead and include those as well.

I hope you all enjoy!

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

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Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is quite horrible. Any time you are relying on child actors you are running a big risk, but the fact that this was riding on baby actors didn’t even scratch the surface of why this movie failed. The acting was obviously crap from the “leads”, I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. Voight hams it up a bit in truly bizarre fashion, but that is hardly enough to make this thing watchable. The fighting scenes are laughable in their incompetence at first, but that novelty dries up pretty fast. The effects are awful and completely jarring, and I’m still not sure why anyone felt they were necessary in this movie. This movie had no need of bad computer generation at all. Then again, there was no need for this movie at all. As far as the writing goes, this has a pathetic attempt at a twist that anyone could spot from a mile away, and the plot is pure idiocy. Everything else is exactly as mind-numbing as you would expect. None of the jokes were funny, which I don’t think I even need to point out.

If you are one of those people that turns to mush whenever you see a baby, I think this movie is actually made for you. Or rather, this movie was made because of you. More specifically and to the point, this movie is your fault, and I hate you.

In all seriousness, if watching babies be babies for an hour and a half seems like a raucous good time to you, then have at it. This movie has exactly what you want, and I’ll just go ahead and avoid being around you.

For everyone else, don’t watch this movie. It is a horrible mess of a film with no redeeming qualities outside of yet another Jon Voight villain. I think there might be a meta-plot to this movie about how it is actually capable of killing your brain cells, just in case you are the sort of person who wants to read too deeply into a movie about babies. I’m probably alone there.

Going Overboard

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Going Overboard is bad, and the whole crew knew it from the very beginning. The cinematography is horrible, but that’s what predictably happens when you try to film a movie in the cramped confines of a cruise ship. Go figure. The decision to preface the film with a blatant apology to the audience, and subsequently have Adam Sandler break character throughout the movie to further apologize for the quality of the film, must have been an attempt to get some laughs out of this thing. It didn’t work, for the record.

It is interesting to see a pre-SNL Sandler at least. He is just as bad as he always is, and can’t act in any way. No one on the cast is putting in any kind of effort anyway though, almost as if the motivation behind this movie is that they just wanted to go on a cruise and film along the way. Still, it is interesting to see Sandler at the beginning of his career…I guess.

For what it is worth, I don’t think this deserves the #8 spot on the IMDb Bottom 100. It is actually mostly watchable, but it just isn’t funny. It has plenty of technical and writing issues for sure, but they clearly weren’t working with anything to start with, and didn’t much care about putting out a quality product at any point. I’m not sure if the self-aware aspect of this movie helps it or hurts it, to tell the truth. I do know that I would still take this over a movie like “Pledge This!” absolutely any day, so there is at least that to be said for it.

I actually think that there is a potentially funny movie hidden in here somewhere, but it would just need a new director, new cast, a serious re-write, a budget, and some actual damn effort. So, pretty much an entirely different movie with the same basic premise. Like, imagine this plot with Louis CK as a cruise ship waiter who is down on his luck and dreams of doing stand up comedy, and Marc Maron or Dennis Miller featured as a washed up asshole stand-up comic on his way out, relegated to doing a cruise ship show. There is a potential movie there.

Anyway, Poseidon and Noriega both feature prominently as characters, which I don’t think any other movie can claim. So there is that I guess. I also don’t think any other Sandler movie incorporates a Panamanian hit squad with aspirations of stand up comedy, which is actually something positive to say about the rest of Sandler’s film career.

This movie ends with Adam Sandler hooking up with a demigod, and the rival comic
drowning after being tossed overboard in what is basically a stand-up comic mutiny. That sounds like the way you would end some sort of greco-roman epic, not an Adam Sandler comedy. The bizarreness of the ending coupled with the unique incompetence behind the scenes actually makes this whole mess relatively interesting, in the same way that dissecting a dramatically mutated squirrel from Chernobyl would be relatively interesting.

Manos: The Hands of Fate

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Ah, “Manos”. This movie has been covered countless times before, so there isn’t anything new to say. I actually love this movie. This is a classic B-movie, and I’ve seen it more than a few times before. There isn’t a lot of commentary to be had because I enjoy it so damn much.

If you haven’t seen this movie, it is an amazing experience. This and “Plan 9 From Outer Space” are THE essential B-movies that most people know. Interestingly, “Plan 9” is not in the bottom 100, despite them being comparable movies (a downside of the democratic ranking system of IMDb is that people will rate bad movies highly for unintentional entertainment value. Hell, I’d give “Plan 9” a 10 myself).

Torgo and the Master are iconic oddball B-movie characters, and the little girl with the bizarre adult voice-over is simultaneously unbelievable and the creepiest thing in the movie. The acting is hammy and over the top in the best possible way where it needs to be, so there is nothing to complain about there.

The story and writing are completely bogus, and barely anything makes sense throughout the film. I suggest just going with the mad tide on this one, and you’ll be just fine. Don’t try to make any of it make sense.

I sort of understand why it is all the way down towards the basement of the bottom 100, because it is a very incompetently made film. It was an honest effort to make a movie though, unlike other Bottom 100 movies (such as “Going Overboard”) that weren’t even genuine attempts to produce something. I almost feel like there should be accepted categories of bad movies to differentiate between failures and unintentionally brilliant works like “Manos”. The fact that there is so much entertainment value out of such an honestly incompetent attempt at a film makes “Manos” charming and magical in a way that only a B-movie can be.

Also, I love the “Manos” soundtrack. Seriously. I also would kill to have a re-creation of the Manos cape-thing (note that there are hands on it, those aren’t stripes).

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Birdemic: Shock and Terror

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“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” is one of the best bad movies to come out in recent years. Every aspect of the movie is done incredibly poorly, which is an amazing feat. The effects are unspeakably bad, the acting is a step below what you would find in a commercial for a local car dealership, and the sound editing might actual cause your ears to bleed. The cinematography is bad, the pacing is atrocious, and the driving/parking scenes are some of the most boring shots that have ever made it into a movie.

Despite all of these issues, the movie comes out as a genuinely enjoyable watch. There is so much wrong that it is almost the perfect showcase of how not to make a movie, which has entertainment value to it to be sure.

Not unlike the classic relationship between “Plan 9” and “Manos”, “Birdemic” is one half of a couple of films that have become the face of contemporary bad movies (the other being “The Room”). I think it is a fantastic representation of how a bad movie can have entertainment value despite countless technical failings. Just like “Manos”, this movie has the intangible charm that makes certain cinematic failures into B-movie classics. I highly recommend this movie to just about anyone as an introduction to bad movies, given you have a copy of either of the Rifftrax commentaries of the movies. Watching this straight might be a bit much for a casual movie watcher.

I’ll Part 2 up in the next few days with 4 more of the Bottom 100 movies!