Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Other End of the Telescope

To complement my earlier post on Time magazine's 100 greatest films list, I respond here to this unsourced list of the 100 worst films ever, cribbed from Byzantium's Shores. Films I've seen are in blue.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)
An Alan Smithee Film-Burn Hollywood Burn (1998)
Anaconda (1997)
The Apple (1980)
Armageddon (1998)

I was very amused by the badness on display here; the wife and I laughed hysterically through the entire thing.

Arthur 2: On The Rocks (1988)
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1980)
The Avengers (1998)
Baby Geniuses (1999)
The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (1978)
Barb Wire (1996)
Batman & Robin (1997)

Remarkable how badly Schumacker mishandled this frnachise. In the space of what? eight years? they went from boasting of how far they'd gone away from the camp aesthetic of the series to embracing it with inappropriate lust.

Battlefield Earth (2000)
Best Defense (1984)
Best of the Best (1989)
The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)

I thought this was good, if wildly overhyped. One of those great concepts that can only be done once.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Boxing Helena (1993)

Not good by any means, but not that wretched.

Caddyshack II (1988)
Caligula (1980)
Can I Do It ...Til I Need Glasses? (1977)
Can't Stop The Music (1980)
Car 54, Where Are You? (1994)
The Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986)
The Cheech and Chong Films of the 1980's
Clambake (1967)
Cobra (1986)
The Concorde - Airport '79 (1979)
Cool As Ice (1991)
Crow: City of Angels (1996)
Drop Dead Fred (1991)
Dungeons & Dragons (2000)

This was the in-flight film on a flight I took back from Jamaica a few years ago, but I ignored it. Take a look at this and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and see the gap in understanding of what's at heart very similar material.


The Exorcist Sequels (1977, 1990)
Far Out Man (1990)
The Forbidden Dance (1990)
The "Friday The 13th" Series (1980-1989)

Never seen a one.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
Glen or Glenda? (1953)
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1984US)
The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989US)
Godzilla (1998)

I like big dopey popcorn films (I liked Independence Day) and thought this was horrid.

Grease 2 (1982)
Gymkata (1985)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Harlem Nights (1989)
Heartbeeps (1981)

I'm pretty sure I saw this in the theater as a young tyke, and remember liking it a lot. Haven't seen it since, though, so can't comment.

Heaven's Gate (1981)
The "Highlander" Sequels (1991, 1994)
Howard The Duck (1986)

As bad as it was, Howard himself looked pretty good, I always thought. And Lea Thompson in skimpy underwear is always welcome.

Hudson Hawk (1991)

Fun in a dopey way, I thought. Sandra Bernhard was great.

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1963)Independence Day (1996)

See above. It's not good, but it was fun.

Ishtar (1987)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
It's Pat: The Movie (1995)
Jaws 4: The Revenge (1987)
Judge Dredd (1995)
Lambada (1990)
Last Action Hero (1993)
Leonard Part 6 (1987)
The "Look Who's Talking" Sequels (1990, 1993)
Lost In Space (1998)
Manos - The Hands of Fate (1966)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
Natural Born Killers (1994)

Another I liked. It had its flaws, some serious, but some great performances and a wonderfully unhinged, bold sensibility.

The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
North (1994)
Nothing But Trouble (1991)
Penitentiary 2 (1982)
The Pirate Movie (1982)
Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
Pok√É©mon: The First Movie (1999)
The "Police Academy" Series (1984- 1994)

The first wasn't bad.

Popeye (1980)

Am I the only person on the planet who loved this? Some great songs, perfect casting, and a spot-on rendition of that old Popeye sensibility. The ending was muddled, but really, howunforgivablee is that?

The Porky's Trilogy (1982, 1983, 1985)

Saw the third several times as a randy teen.

The Postman (1997)
Red Dawn (1984)

That opening invasion stuff was pretty chilling at the time, I thought.

Rhinestone (1984)
Rocky V (1990)

So bad. This may take over in my earlier estimation offranchisess that devolved the greatest. Rocky is brilliant, and wonderfully written to boot. Seems like Stallone had one great idea in him, and that since then he's been tapped.

Sextette (1978)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
Shanghai Surprise (1986)
Showgirls (1995)
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Spice World (1998)
Star Trek-The Motion Picture (1979) and the "odd numbered" original cast Star Drek sequels
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)

I'm one of those apologists blogger John Scalzi derides. The kid was remarkably awful, but as the first in a long series it did a good job of setting things up I thought.

Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)
Striptease (1996)
Superman IV (1987)

See here.

Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its sequels (1974-1997)
Titanic (1997)

The increasing demonization of this film since its release is almost entirely a result of its ridiculous success, I think. If it had flopped, the majority of film critics would be singing its praises today.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1993)
Waterworld (1995)

Meh. (Not bad; just meh.)

Weekend at Bernie's and Weekend at Bernie's II (1989, 1993)

Saw the first; another meh.

Who's That Girl (1987)

An HBO staple years ago; I saw it several times but don't remember a thing. That can't be good.

Wicked Stepmother (1989)
Wild Orchids and Wild Orchids 2 (1990, 1992)
Wild Wild West (1999)
Xanadu (1980)

Until Whenever

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