Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Interlude: Movies from Hell

There is one other requirement for a movie to be considered one of the worst ever: it must keep getting worse. By this, I mean that it not only must keep getting worse while you are watching it, but it must, upon subsequent viewings, seem even worse than the last time you saw it. That is what distinguishes Ishthar from Gigli and Showgirls from Swept Away. Widely viewed as one of the worst movies ever when it was released in 1987, Ishtar actually has several comic moments. Gigli doesn't. Similarly, Showgirls has a certain campy allure that grows a bit each time I see it. Madonna's Swept Away doesn't; it seems more amateurish on each viewing, like a morass that starts out as a quagmire, then morphs into a cesspool and finally turns into a slime pit on the road to its ultimate destination in the bowels of Hell.

Joe Queenan -

Why not next year do excruciatingly bad films? That might be fun.


Teacake said...

I don't get why you'd be watching a bad movie twice to test this.

Natsthename said...

Ishtar has several comic moments? I'd like Joe Queenan to point them out to me, since I must have missed those. Gak, that movie is awful all around.

The thing is, there are SOOOOO many bad flicks out there (no wonder I loved Mystery Science Theater!) that we may have to specify "bad mainstream movies" or something. There are tons of bad sci-fi flicks to include, so it'd be a wide-open race.

O' Tim said...

Given Queenan's theory, perhaps I'm due another viewing of The Secret Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu or The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Natsthename said...

LOL, I liked The Long Kiss Goodnight, actually, although it has its problems.

Maybe I should revisit "The Philadelphia Experiment" and "Eddie And The Cruisers."

Paticus said...

I have not watched Ishtar again since it came out in the theater, but i remember at the time thinking that the songwriting scenes were pretty funny.
I liked The Long Kiss Goodnight too.
I also liked Eddie & the Cruisers. It's one of my top 5 favorite Michael Pare movies.
Can we put Titanic on the list of excruciatingly bad films ?

Brad said...

I would watch Ishtar, Gigli, Dragonheart, and Glitter all in one sitting before I even touch the box for Battlefield Earth. In my opinion, there is no reason to have a 'Movies from Hell' Movie Madness because this would be the clear winner.

I saw Battlefield Earth as part of a 'MST 3000' type live viewing with some comedians doing commentary and, although they were really funny, the movie was so bad that even making fun of it could not shed any light on this piece of crap.

Ok, I feel better now that I have that off of my chest.

Grapes 2.0 said...

I don't even know most of these films you're talking about. I'd like to see a regular feature wherein Freaks review in a serious way the worst films of their acquaintance. Never mind next March, get started now! I could use a little entertainment.