"That will be $37.00 please"
Now, it would be bad enough that I have spent more than I care to share at the concession stands at movie theaters.....but I have also seen some TERRIBLE movies in addition to some truly spectacular ones. Now, I could try to share how some movies (see: Turtles Can Fly, Schindler's List, What Dreams May Come) continue to this day to blow my mind with their awesomeness, its a lot funnier to tell my tales of woe and how I came to watch some of the worst movies of all-time. Admittedly, I haven't seen ALL of these movies in theaters and I will distinguish those accordingly. I thought about doing some sort of Top 10 list, but these movies really all contribute to the same pile of excrement that I choose to discuss them as an aggregate while only differentiating them to both explain specifically why they are awful as well as to add any funny anecdotes I may have. These are numbered, but only in terms of the order that they appear to my recollection.
1.) The Fountain
Alright, I want to be absolutely clear....this is more than just ONE bad movie. Somehow, and really this was a bit of an achievement (the only achievement that this movie managed), the writers managed to combine the worst space monk movie they could think of with a terrible romantic drama and a nonsensical short film about a Spanish conquistador. The resulting shitstorm of a film had my brain about to implode only to end with a scene involving Hugh Jackman ingesting tree semen then shortly thereafter crashing himself into a star. Does that sound potentially awesome...maybe, but the execution had myself and several others confused as to how we were ever convinced to go see it in the first place (the answer being that we were persuaded by a harpy of a woman that from here on in will be known as "It")
2.) Battlefield Earth
This one was truly my fault that I went to (I even convinced a friend to go to it with me). I honestly and truly thought that a movie starring John Travolta and Forest Whittaker portraying aliens that took over Earth while adhering to much of the mythology (there I said it) of Scientology was going to be awesome. Suffice it to say...I couldn't have been more wrong. Aside from the fact that John Travolta's good performances on-screen have turned out to be the exceptions to the rule, the rest of the cast was terribly cast, the story was horrifically predictable and transparent, and the special effects were less than exciting. This one haunts me to this day.
3.) Spice World
This one was only partially my fault. You see...I was extremely awkward in middle school and I found myself with a rare chance to go on a date with a girl who hadn't lost a bet. She proclaimed that we had to go see this movie because it was going to be "amazing". The resulting first 25 minutes of this film made me realize a couple things. First, while the Spice Girls were extremely attractive, I was amazed that they had survived as long as they had without killing themselves trying to figure out VCR instructions (combined IQ of 45...max). Second, I was perfectly fine being alone, without a girlfriend, so long as I never had to watch movies as bad as this again. Seriously....this set my dating life back a couple years. I left her after those 25 minutes...in the theater....and called my parents to pick me up. She never spoke to me again.
4.) Epic Movie
Now, it does sort of go without saying that most, if not all, of these parody movies are terrible (a couple of the Scary Movie parodies weren't awful). However, what made this a particularly memorable moment was I went with the UWG debate team to this movie....in Chicago...in the middle of the blizzard. We took a cab to the theater (because the blizzard had delayed our flight) and afterwards, we were unable to find a cab back to the hotel which was 2 miles away. So what did we do? Yes, we walked...in the middle of a blizzard...in Chicago. It was like our own little Trail of Tears where we almost lost one of our debaters to a rather steep hill and my shoes began dissolving due to the toxic slush that was on the streets of Chicago. All of that...to see Epic Movie....sigh.
5.) Tomb of the Blind Dead
This is the first movie on the list that I did not see in theater...mainly because it came out in the 1970's and is a Spanish film. First of all, the premise of movie is laughable. You see...the zombies/mummies/whatever they are are awakened and kill people. Thats simple enough....but you see, they are, as the title alludes, blind. Just wrap your head around how stupid the victims have to be to be hunted and killed by blind zombies and you can begin to understand how bad this movie is. Its terribleness is capped by the fact that not only is there a rape scene that is comically bad in terms of its timing ("We are running from the blind zombies...I will now take this opportunity to rape you") but also by some of the worst subtitle translations I have ever witnessed. Fun fact: This movie was viewed with a couple good friends of mine on the same night as the next movie on the list (we actually watched three movies that night...the other being the timeless cult classic "Slugs")
6.) Dollman vs. The Demonic Toys
Now, far be it for me to disparage the storied Dollman franchise (and when I say "storied"...I mean that watching Dollman's adventures actually can cause someone to want to jump off a ten story building), but this movie is just awful. Bad special effects (as per the usual in the early 1990's) combined with terrible acting and a laughable plot makes me honestly wonder who thought that both "Dollman" and "Demonic Toys" ACTUALLY warranted a crossover sequel. Then again...they did make Rocky 5, so I guess folks just liked making sequels 20 years ago.
If you have read my previous Musings, you may have come across my hatred for one Bill Paxton and this movie is a primary reason why. See, I wanted SO badly to see this movie in theaters. The special effects looked awesome, tornadoes are cool, and the combination of the two seemed like an unbeatable combination. What did we get? Paxton staring at tornadoes and trying to channel their feelings into some sort of predictive prowess. I had hopes that he was going to get impaled by a high-speed chicken or getting launched by high winds into the horizon, but sadly he survived and my dreams of watching the greatest films EVER were dashed. There were some other shortcomings (watching Helen Hunt try to appear scientific knowledgeable is awkward at best), but my primary hatred revolves around Paxton as the "tornado whisperer". Curse you, Bill Paxton!
One day, Paxton.....one day....