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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Definitive Fantastically Terrible Films: 20-11

scene from "The Love Guru" courtesy
Some more recent messes of the 21st century this entry, as we begin to get to the top (or bottom) of the list. Although these are bad films, a few of these movies were really made with quite a bit of love, though maybe misguided. The most prolific B-movie director of all time is on this list, plus some of the biggest flops of all time. Here they are - #20 through #11.

#20. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

Ed Wood was the master of low budget, terrible films and Plan 9 was always the staple as the worst film ever made. I have to send it further down the list because, at the very least, you could tell he had a passion. He just didn't know how to do this well. When aliens come to Earth and resurrect dead humans as vampires and zombies, they work to fight mankind and keep them from creating a super bomb that is somehow connected to the sun. And poor, elderly Bela Lugosi is here as the brunt of some later jokes.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: Watch Tim Burton's Ed Wood as a partner piece - it's actually an enjoyable double feature that helps add some back story to this train wreck.

Memorable QuoteI'll bet my badge that we haven't seen the last of those weirdies.

#19. Birdemic:  Shock and Terror (2010)

The most recent entry on our list may be the most insane. Directed by James Nguyen, Birdemic is a shock horror film (I guess) about a group of eagles and vultures that just attack a small town. There's no explanation. Some people fight back. Put it this way - this ain't no The Birds. And, to top it all off, Nguyen is planning a sequel to come out later this year called Birdemic: Resurrection in 3-D. And people will go see it. Because that's what people do. Terribly acted and just awful. Maybe it's a metaphor...who cares.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: The attacks are hilarious. This movie is so insane I can't even explain it.

Memorable QuoteIt's the human species that needs to quit playing cowboy with nature. We must act more like astronauts, spacemen taking care of Spaceship Earth.

#18. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

Cabbage Patch Dolls dominated toy store shelves in the 80's, so it was only a matter of time before somebody parodied them.  First came Garbage Pail Kids cards (which I collected; I would win packs as prizes from the arcade at the River Valley Mall in Lancaster, Ohio). Then came this abomination of a movie. Look at the image above and tell me if it looks good. Essentially, these weird kids are created by some slime from a garbage can and decide not to follow the rules set forth by their master. Enter conflict.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: Weird connection to another film on the list - Phil Fondacaro, who plays Greaser Greg, also played the title villain in 1986's Troll. It's not on the list, but you'll see.

Memorable QuotePerhaps it would have been safer to lock them away from the world. But as you've taught me, Dodger, you can't change the world by locking yourself away from it. 

#17. Glen or Glenda (1953)

Ed Wood again, this time telling two stories: Glen dresses as a woman, but hides the secret from his fiancee; Alan is a pseudohermaphrodite who undergoes a painful operation to become a woman. The story is told from the perspective of a doctor, but jumps all over the place with flashbacks and dream sequences. It attempts to preach a message of tolerance, but just ends up creating a warped view of these people and turning it all into an unintentional joke. And Bela Lugosi is here again as a scientist offering a different perspective on the stories.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: In the same way I suggested with Plan 9, this film would make an interesting double feature with Tim Burton's Ed Wood.

Memorable QuoteMy mind is in a muddle. Like... thick fog. I can't make sense to myself sometimes. 

#16. The Wicker Man (2006)

Sometimes, it just takes an ill-conceived re-imagination of an already successful film. Sometimes it takes an absolutely bonkers performance from a lead actor. Sometimes it takes a misguided vision from a typically talented director. Sometimes it's all three - and it's 2006's The Wicker Man. A remake of the 1973 cult classic, Neil LaBute's attempt to retell the story with Nicholas Cage as the lead is laughable, at best. While the original was an intelligent look at counter culture and ritualistic society, the remake glazes over the sociological aspects and amps up the over dramatic elements, thanks to Cage's bug-eyed craziness.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: It's Nicholas Cage at his absolute craziest. I'm talking Drive Angry crossed with Season of the Witch crazy. It's fantastic.


#15. The Happening (2008)

The second entry from M. Night Shyamalan was a clever idea (kind of), but so badly executed that it can't be forgiven. Mark Wahlberg plays a science teacher who apparently is the only one who can save humanity from a mysterious evil that is making people kill themselves. Also starring Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo, this attempt at a parable about "saving Mother Earth" is unbelievable, thanks in part, to the mind-blowingly forced performance from Wahlberg. To quote Wahlberg: "It is what it is...trees, man. The plants...You can’t blame me for wanting to try to play a science teacher."

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: Seriously - it's amazing how bad Wahlberg is in this film. Plus, early scenes when the suicides start to happen are actually pretty frightening.

Memorable Quote:  Filbert? Does anybody know where that is? Why are you giving me one useless piece of information at a time? What's going on? Hey, why would you just stop? You can't just leave us here!

#14. Son of the Mask (2005)

Jim Carrey burst onto the movie scene with Ace Ventura in the early 90's, following it up with 1994's The Mask. Eleven years later, some idiot decided to make a sequel to what was already a lackluster film, but included supremely irritating Jamie Kennedy instead of the, at least, mildly tolerable Carrey. A PG-rated mess of a film, Son of the Mask focuses on a cartoonist whose dog stumbles on the mask and then eventually he has a baby who acts like a cartoon. I don't want to get into it - it's terrible.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: Alan Cumming, Kal Penn, and Steven Wright are in it. That's about it.

Memorable Quote: I'm a god. I can shape-shift. I can create stuff out of nothingness. I can alter the fabric of reality. So please, quit being a knucklehead. 

#13. Catwoman (2004)

Somebody, somewhere decided to shove Halle Berry down our throats in dramas, action films, and even comic book movies after her Oscar win and misconstrued that as her being a "money-making actress." She starred alongside Sharon Stone and Benjamin Bratt in Catwoman, an absolute mess. It has no real connection to the DC Comics series and tries to employ the "shy person who becomes a hero" overdone storyline and make it something more. But, unfortunately, it's just an expensive mistake.

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: If you're a big Halle Berry fan, she's dressed provocatively for a while.

Memorable Quote: Amateurs! You boys thought you could come in here and steal all these beautiful things? What a purrrfect idea!

#12. Glitter (2001)

Oh the humanity; another pop star who tried to become an actress and failed miserably. Mariah Carey starred in Glitter, a fictionalization of her life and how she became a professional singer. Essentially, take 8 Mile, make the music worse, and make the acting just atrocious. Carey would eventually become a decent actress in small doses (see Precious), but her first steps into the movie industry were so terrible it was mind-blowing (and it was toward the beginning of her short transformation into a bad musician).

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: I guess if you're a Mariah Carey fan you won't hate it. If you aren't, you'll love watching her crash and burn. Terrence Howard is in here too.

Memorable Quote: We ask ourselves, is she black? Is she white? We don't care. She's exotic. I want to see more of her breasts.

#11. Gigli (2003)

In one of the first overexposed relationships of the 21st century, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck became tabloid fodder that seem to help doom their short-lived romance. Unfortunately, Gigli came first. A weird attempt at a crime drama starring the lovers and featuring a number of weird cameos, the story revolved around a criminal lesbian, a hit-man, and a mentally challenged man and their unusual friendship. It also tries to be funny. I don't want to spoil anything...

Reasons to Watch It Anyway: Christopher Walken and Al Pacino have what amount to cameos, for the most part, though Walken is in it for longer. But they're great in such a waste of time.

Memorable Quote: Your door's not thick enough to pretend you're not home when you're home. 

We've come to the top ten. The top ten of garbage. Enjoy the next post.

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