Tag Archives: bottom 100 movies

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.

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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!