Tag Archives: imdb bottom 100

Interview with David Giancola of Time Chasers

The following is a rough transcription of an interview I had with David Giancola, who directed the IMDb Bottom 100 feature Time Chasers. Many thanks to Rifftrax for setting this up. Be sure to check out the Live Riffrax of Time Chasers, to be simulcast in theaters on May 5. Likewise, many thanks to David for his time.

GM: Hello David! I have a few questions about Time Chasers here for you.

DG: Shoot!

GM: I first saw Time Chasers a few years ago when I went through the entire IMDb Bottom 100. What is it like to have a movie in those depths? That is some illustrious company to keep.

DG : You’re a glutton for punishment, huh? Well, being on that list is kind of like being in prison: once you are in it, it is on your record, and it isn’t going away. If I remember right, we got as high (low?) as #6 in the ranking. I actually really wanted to get it to #1, but you just can’t be worse than Manos. That movie barely even has sound! In any case, I look at it fondly now, and can laugh about it. I made that movie when I was 19, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I can look back on that now with perspective. Also, the audience attention from the riffs has been mostly positive, and the MST3k fans are generally pretty great.

timechasersGM: Speaking of MST3k, what has it been like to be on the receiving end of the riffs? How does it feel to be chosen for the Rifftrax Live show?

DG: Really, the riffing is what brought eyes on the movie. I have seen plenty of movies over the years that are worse, but they have mostly been forgotten. I feel like, really, I was lucky. I have also been lucky to still be in the business. Being forgotten is the worst thing that can happen. For Time Chasers, it released on 12 screens in 1993, and now it’ll be on 700. That’s huge! I was excited that Time Chasers was chosen, but it only dawned on me how big this would be when I saw the trailer. I’m also thrilled that they are bringing me and much of the cast to the show. Most of those people don’t work in movies, so we haven’t been together in 25 years. They’re farmers, school teachers, etc. I had to talk one of the cast members into coming, because he was worried he couldn’t find someone to milk his cows! Luckily, he did find someone, and he’ll be there.

GM: Something that really stands out about Time Chasers is how big the vision is behind it. It doesn’t look or feel like a YouTube movie, because there are some big aspirations in there.

DG: I always wanted to do big visions, particularly when I was young. However, I did write the screenplay keeping in mind what sort of resources would be available to us, like the warehouse and the airport. Unfortunately, money was always an issue with that vision. And, when you don’t have the resources to fulfill a vision, it winds up looking cheesy. Really, I was naiive enough for that vision and enthusiasm. I always knew I wanted to do time travel, but had to figure out a way to make it happen with what was available.

GM: Speaking of the airport, one of the things that really makes Time Chasers stand apart from most movies like it are those plane stunts. It all looks incredibly difficult and dangerous.

DG: A lot of that was the benefit of the time period. Back then, we were able to film at that airport, which would just be impossible today. We were, astoundingly, given the run of that airport, and a lot of local pilots were enthusiastic about helping us out with the footage and the stunts, and even loaned us the planes. Those shots of planes flying parallel to each other are incredibly difficult and dangerous, and were only possible thanks to those pilots. My father was also an amateur pilot at the time, and flew the plane that picked up the point of view footage going into the cliff. I was shooting, and remember telling him to “fly closer!” to the cliff-face. That’s definitely a benefit of youth, and I certainly wouldn’t do that today. There are so many ways those stunts could have gone wrong. I remember always expecting the local police to shut us down during the bigger stunts. They definitely drove by a few times, making a point to slow down, but never stopped us. Somehow.

GM: So, how did those Revolutionary War sequences work? Were those just local reenactors?

DG: Yeah, those were legitimate reenactors. There are two big reenactments in Vermont every year. For most of those shots, we just filmed one of them in action, before we even started shooting the rest of the movie, and that came together with the magic of editing. For the shots where the actors are in the foreground, we did that later. We had all of our permissions in order, but the General on site (a plumber by day) was far from cooperative and definitely didn’t want us there. He would yell at the crew and stop the battle in the middle of shooting, trying to throw a wrench into things. Worse yet, he was speaking in period dialect the whole time. It was a nightmare.

GM:  I read on IMDb that there was a big delay between the filming and the release of Time Chasers. Was that due to trouble finding a distributor?

DG: Part of it was trying to find a distributor, but most of that time was due to post-production and editing, which was a much more time-consuming and expensive process back then (thanks to the physical film). Frankly, we were out of money, and it took a while to afford the finishing touches on the film. Once we did wrap up and find a distributor, that’s when the title was changed from Tangents to Time Chasers. I always liked the original title, but apparently it doesn’t translate well. That’s business, though. Nowadays, they’ll change movie titles just to have an alphabetical advantage, because movies that start with numbers or “A” show up first in search listings.

GM: Always have to capitalize on that alphabetical advantage, huh? That’s an odd side affect of the rise of streaming services. So, you are still in the movie business today?

DG: I run Edgewood Studios, so I have done some producing on Hallmark movies, and I’ve directed a few more movies over the years. Most notable among them is probably Illegal Aliens, that I did with Anna Nicole Smith and Chyna. In the years since, they’ve both died of overdoses, so that production might just have been cursed. I made a documentary about the experience of making that movie a few years ago. Much like Time Chasers, it got a title change from Craptastic! to Addicted to Fame (thanks to the alphabetical logic I mentioned earlier). Right now, I have a movie coming out in July called Mail Order Monster, which is about a young bullied boy who finds an advertisement in an old comic book that promises the delivery of a monster. To his shock, it actually comes. Because I have done these movies with my own company, I’ve had a lot of creative control, which I’ve really enjoyed.

GM: Thanks for your time! This was all very interesting information. I’ll look forward to seeing Time Chasers on the screen!

DG: This was a blast! Thanks!

 

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IMDb Bottom 100: Theodore Rex

Theodore Rex

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Today, I’m going back to my old stomping grounds of the IMDb Bottom 100 to cover a flick that has recently broken into its ranks: Theodore Rex.

Theodore Rex was written, directed, and produced by Jonathan Betuel, who was also behind the films My Science Project and The Last Starfighter.

The cinematography on Theodore Rex was provided by David Tattersall, who also shot the flicks Speed Racer, Next, The Green Mile, and Con Air, among many others.

Theodore Rex featured two primary editors:  Steve Mirkovich (Con Air, 16 Blocks, Big Trouble In Little China) and Rick Shaine (Pitch Black, A Nightmare On Elm Street).

The music for Theodore Rex was composed by Robert Folk, who also provided scores for movies like Lawnmower Man 2, Wicked Stepmother, and Police Academy.

The makeup effects work for Theodore Rex was done by the combination of Michael Burnett (Baby Geniuses, The Dentist), Jake Garber (Battlefield Earth, Ed), and Joseph Yuss Simon (Battlefield Earth, Escape From L.A.).

The Theodore Rex special effects team included Marilee Canaga (Silent Hill, Dr. Doolittle 2), Thomas Dickens (Carnosaur, Army of Darkness), Mike Edmonson (DeepStar Six, Wild Wild West), Steve Fink (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Men In Black), Patrick Gerrety (Red Planet, Con Air, Mortal Kombat), Doug Hudson (Happy Gilmore, White Chicks), Hans Metz (Mannequin, McBain), Darren Perks (Spawn, Leprechaun 4), William Stout (House, The Hitcher), and Joshua Pinney (Death Race, The Cell).

The visual effects for the film were provided by Jesse Silver (The Core, Super Mario Bros, Highlander II), Thomas Thill (Volcano, Blade), Jongwoo Heo (Daredevil, Swordfish, Red Planet, Mortal Kombat), Robert Habros (Suburban Commando, Leviathan, SpaceCamp), and Allen Blaisdell (Red Planet, Anaconda).

The cast for Theodore Rex is famously headlined by Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost, Sister Act, The Color Purple), and also includes Armin Mueller-Stahl (The Game), Juliet Landau (Ed Wood), George Newbern (Scandal), and Richard Roundtree (Shaft, Maniac Cop, Q).

rex1

Theodore Rex takes place in an alternate universe where dinosaurs have been resurrected bu a team of scientists, and co-inhabit the Earth with humanity. After a dinosaur is mysteriously murdered (the first instance of such a crime), an investigation is launched that teams up a hard-nosed veteran cop with a rookie dinosaur new to the force.

Reportedly, Whoopi Goldberg desperately wanted out of her role in Theodore Rex almost as soon as the production began, but wound up forced to complete the movie after a nasty lawsuit. However, she was ultimately paid an extra $2 million on top of her initially agreed cost to do the film.

Theodore Rex was never released to theaters in the United States, as the distributors decided that the film wouldn’t be worth the cost of a theatrical release domestically. Because of this, it is widely regarded as the most expensive straight-to-video movie of all time.

Theodore Rex himself, along with the other dinosaurs in the film, were portrayed with complicated puppetry, often requiring at least two operators per creature.

Theodore Rex shockingly racked up only one Golden Raspberry nomination, specifically for Whoopi Goldberg as Worst Actress. However, it came out during a stacked year that also boasted the legendarily terrible movies The Island of Doctor Moreau and Striptease.

Theodore Rex unsurprisingly received miserable reviews, and is well-remembered as a massive failure. It currently holds a 2.4 rating on IMDb (landing it in the site’s Bottom 100 listing) and has a 21% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

One of the biggest issues with Theodore Rex is the Rex suit itself: it is distracting, the mouth movements are awful, and it has clear mobility issues that were clearly a hassle for all of the actors that had to work around it. At the same time, the cumbersome spectacle of the puppet suit may also be the only reason to actually watch this movie, or at least a few clips of it.

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As you could probably deduce from the lawsuit and her outspoken disdain for the film, Whoopi clearly didn’t give her all in Theodore Rex. Interestingly, her attitude about the film in real life mirrors her character’s disdain for dinosaurs in the story, giving her performance an almost method sense of genuine emotion at times. For most of the duration, however, she is just garbage.

The story of Theodore Rex contains a number of blatant parallels to real societal racial tensions that feel beyond unnecessary, particularly for a movie that is theoretically a family-oriented comedy. The entire movie becomes a little too dark as a result, which is further exacerbated by some of the noir-like aesthetics of the film.

If the acting and effects weren’t enough, Theodore Rex is also a very slow-moving movie that takes its time to get through the loose plot framework. It felt to me like there wasn’t quite enough written story to fill out the film, and that comedic asides had to be injected to pad out the length. The obvious downside of this is that the supposedly comedic moments bring the motion of the story to an absolute stop, making the film seem longer than it is.

I’m sure that this has been said before, but Theodore Rex looks and feels very much like Super Mario Bros. The dinosaur designs, the dark scenery and tone, and the weird juxtaposition of childlike antics with adult themes all pop up in very similar iterations in both productions. That is particularly astounding given that Super Mario Bros. released and very publicly failed just two years prior to Theodore Rex, begging the question of why the team chose to use such a similar aesthetic?

Overall, Theodore Rex is a dull movie that lacked focus all the way back to its inception. There might have been a nugget of a good idea in the premise somewhere, but it never came to fruition. As I stated earlier, the spectacle of the massive, unwieldy dinosaur puppet is the only reason to sit through this movie, and that can really be satisfied by watching a handful of clips. If you ask me, this is a movie that you can skip without any regrets.

UPDATE:

Right after I finished the initial writing of this post, a fantastic piece on Theodore Rex released on /Film, which features in-depth interviews with the major players involved with the production and release of the movie. If you are interested in delving further into the trivia surrounding this colossal flop, definitely check it out.

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:

rifftrax

  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:

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  • 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:

rollingstone1

  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:

avclub

  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:

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.

savingxmas2

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
“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.

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“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).

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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

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.