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Great Bad Movies Since 1975
It'd take mucho time and effort for me to think of a single good film Hollywood has made in the past thirty years, much less a great one. I recently watched the mind-blowing Der Golem (1920), which cements my opinion that the Silent Era remains unsurpassed and untouchable.
But nearly everything pooped out by the big studios since the mid-1970s is bad. And not in a good-bad, camp-bad, so-bad-it's-good sort of way. It's all unwatchably plastic and depressing.
I don't want to dive into some ultra-gay Sontagian explanation for why clumsily composed filmic artifacts tend to have a more profound influence on the imagination than so-called “good” movies. You either already understand that concept or it's not worth taking the time to counsel you about it.
I used to think that the only so-bad-it's-good films came from the classic exploitation circuit of the 1950s and 1960s. I stand here naked today before all of you, as well as the superb God that we all worship, to admit that I was wrong.
Hollywood has made some films since the mid-1970s which are psychedelically bad. I could watch any of the movies listed below DOZENS of times. In the case of Gigli, I believe I already have.
I'll be doggone if Gigli with Ben Affleck andJ-Lo isn't one of the most entertaining offerings shat out by Hollywood in a long, long time.
This movie has it all: A pair-off of the worst male and female actors of this generation in the LEAD ROLES...a psycho, wrist-slashing lesbian stalker...a kidnapped RETARD who does, I shit you not, a capella versions of “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot and “I Need Love” by LL Cool J...and an extended scene wherein a yoga-performing J-Lo explains why she prefers pussy over cock. There are also cameos by Al Pacino and Christopher Walken where they both stumble around wondering what the fuck they're doing there.
It's one of those rare gems that rockets way, way past “so bad it's good” and inhabits some gorgeously weird stratosphere in which you're constantly questioning reality. Did you actually just watch Jennifer Lopez compare a penis to a salty slug? Did you really just see Ben Affleck doing a Travis Bickle in the mirror? Is the kidnapped retard truly gonna get some pooty tang from the hot Aussie chick?
I recommend Gigli without reservation. If I was a Native American, I'd leave the reservation and recommend it.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (2004)
I thought it was scientifically impossible for anyone to be a worse actor than Ben Affleck. Again—I was wrong. That actor is Ashton Kutcher, who is pulverizingly miscast in a “serious” role as a scraggly loner haunted by flashbacks of his childhood involvement in a kiddie-porn ring. Great prison sequence where Kutcher's being harassed by Aryan meanies, as well as a hilariously cringe-inducing moment where an armless Ashton can't quite clutch a granola bar with his artificial steel claw. The film is so disjointed, I suspect it may have directed by an autistic manatee stuck in a K-hole.
It has taken the world nearly two decades to realize what I have known all along—Tom Cruise was not only the worst actor of his generation, but he may also be the craziest person ever to live.
Hollywood films need a gimmick— Jaws had its murderous megalodon, King Kong had its giant ape, and Roll Bounce had its skating urban youth. In Cocktail, the gimmick designed to lure theatergoers was the fact that the two male protagonists JUGGLED LIQUOR BOTTLES while preparing mixed drinks! Sometimes, they even JUGGLED IN UNISON while singing along to songs such as “Hippy Hippy Shake.” Hoo-doggy! I wants to see me some of that!
Cruise plays a working-class kid who is, of course, searching for meaning. He physically assaults his employer after catching him swappin' spit with a former flame of his, hightails it to Jamaica, fucks around with an incredibly wealthy girl who hides her wealth because she just wants to be loved for her irresistibly lovable self, cheats on her with a society matron, moves back to New York, dumps the matron, stalks the rich girl, and finally gets her. Aren't you glad?
Cocktail 's advertising tagline was WHEN HE POURS, HE REIGNS. Bonus points for these dialogue snippets:
“I have never seen a club with such intense dance vibes.”
“Champagne: Perfume going in, sewage coming out.”
CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC (1980)
The year was 1980, and those lovable presumed homosexuals called the Village People were riding the top of the charts as if it were a giant hairy cock and they were a moist, red ass.
Team 'em up with wholesome Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, the pretty, vacant Valerie Perrine, and gooberific Tom Hanks prototype Steve Guttenberg—ALL of whom act faggier than the Village People in this film—and you have what may be the most enjoyable Silly Fag Film in cinematic history.
The lavish production number for the song “Milkshake”—featuring, if memory serves, giant milkshakes around which the boys writhe—puts Busby Berkeley to shame.
What's most surprising is how LIKEABLE every member of the Village People is. I know someone who used to hang out with them—which makes me jealous—and he says they were a blast. If this movie doesn't make you fall in love with them, you must be some kind of fag.
I'm amazed I'm still able to type after watching this one, because I suspect that viewing it made me retarded.
Dusky sperm whale Shaquille O'Neal stars as a genie who must grant three wishes to a wisecracking white child in the ghetto (?!?) seeking to make amends with a deadbeat music-producer dad. Unforgivably overdone special effects and several adorable “rap” sequences make this one a keeper. Don't miss Shaq's magical boombox—it shoots sparks!
PARADISE ALLEY (1978)
When you bolt out of the blue with a monster success such as the first Rocky, studio executives presume you aren't some Oily Goombah Douche with a twelve-year-old jock boy's naive sense of moviemaking and the all-important “arc.” This 1978 offering by Hollywood's Dumbest Auteur is so bad, you can SMELL it rolling in rancid waves off the screen. Stallone plays a shifty 1940s Hell's Kitchen thug trying to pimp out his brain-damaged brother as a pro wrestler. Intense overlong arm-wrestling scene foreshadows Sly's later triumph, Over the Top. Stallone's musclebound ego even has his tone-deaf self warbling through the Barry Manilowesque title song. He should have at least had the decency to hand over that task to a professional singer—like, say, Frank Stallone.
David Hasselhoff stars as a SERIAL KILLER who holds a family hostage in a remote Alaskan cabin. Michael Gross (Family Ties, Cool as Ice) is the righteously outraged family father who ultimately saves the day. I only caught fifteen minutes of this on Lifetime, but it was gold. Did I mention that David Hasselhoff stars as a SERIAL KILLER in it?