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View Full Version : The fifty worst fillms of all time (Medved + Dreyfus, 1978)



Robin Bougie
07-10-2010, 09:41 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51plvpZ8Q6L._SL160_.jpg
Ok, I'd like to get some feedback and a little discussion on this book going, because I have owned it for years, and I assume a bunch of you have as well. When I first got it as a teen, I thought it was terrific and funny. Happily read through it 3 or 4 times.

Then, over the years I became better and better versed in movies, and as I happened to see many of the movies cataloged in this list of 50, I started to realize that this book written by two teenagers (15 and 17 years old at the time of starting the project) was about as correct and balanced as you would expect a book written by kids that young to be: namely, not at all. Total amateur-hour.

Now I look through this thing all these years later, and I see that it is a total fucking joke. I'm dismayed that it is, to this day (and because of its age), cited as some kind of comprehensive source on "bad movies". That these twits went on to write the Golden Turkey books only seems to make people think their opinions on film were all the more valid.

Take into account:

The blaxploitation movie Troubleman (1972) is here, representing the WORST in that genre. Pfffft, not even remotely close. That they make a point of saying "even the music is forth rate" about Marvin Gaye's score -- a gorgeous melding of jazz, funk and horns that I (and many other soundtrack collectors) consider to be one of the 5 best of the entire decade, only seals the deal. These kids didn't know JACK SHIT, and apparently older brother movie reviewer Michael Medved didn't either, since from what I hear he helped ghost-write the stupid thing.

Sam Peckinpah's Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). REALLY?? Really. No, really? You have got to be shitting me. How about The Omen, Zabriskie Point (1970), or Last Year at Merienbad (1962)?! Did they just see "bad" in the title of this French new wave classic and assume it was descriptive of the content?

Here is the full list of 50 films, for those of you who haven't seen the book:
http://www.listal.com/list/medved-dreyfuss-worst-films
(It is alphabetical, not listed in terms of badness.)

Yeah, there are some truly bad movies in there, but there are a hell of a lot of average, good, and even a few excellent films.

The Matt Helm-ed inspiration for Austin Powers, "The Ambushers" from 1987 is a personal fave, and they go up and down the wall with it. Sure, it's not Citizen Kane, but within its genre of sexy spy-spoofs from the 60s, it's pretty goddamn entertaining.

Oh, and how about The Return of Sabata (1972) described as "wretched" and held up as their pick as the worst of the Spaghetti Westerns? Don't make me laugh. Pathetic. Lee Van Cleef had chunks in his stool bigger than these two turds and their cruddy book.

Daniel S.S.
07-10-2010, 09:48 AM
Sam Peckinpah's Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). REALLY?? Really. No, really? You have got to be shitting me.

That's all I needed to hear. There are countless films on the borderline where there quality can be argued. But not this one.

Robin Bougie
07-10-2010, 10:12 AM
That's all I needed to hear. There are countless films on the borderline where there quality can be argued. But not this one.

Dude, not even just that... they even state that it is shame that so many people get gunned down in the movie, and yet no one thought to murder Peckinpah, "the person really responsible for this whole fiasco".

The criticisms aren't even valid: "Microphones bob in and out of the picture, every room used appears to be the same one with different wallpaper, and the same motley band of Mexican peasants appears everywhere, like Coca-cola and MacDonalds."

My personal "fave" line from the review: "the flies (buzzing around the severed head) at full speed manage to upstage the entire cast, including Warren Oates."

Bill S
07-10-2010, 10:31 AM
I've mentioned the Medved books in other threads. I think I have all the Medved "bad movie" books: HOLLYWOOD HALL OF SHAME, 50 WORST FILMS, GOLDEN TURKEY and SON OF GOLDEN TURKEY. Those books, along with THE PSYCHTRONIC ENCYCLOPEDIA are what started me on loving film. Even though the Medved books are sarcastic and pompous, I really have to give the books credit for introducing me to some cult classic staples. I probably never would have heard of Horror of Party Beach, Plan Nine From Outer Space, Eegah, Robot Monster, or Santa Clause Conquers The Martians until much much later if I hadn't read these books.

Danny Peary's CULT MOVIES 1-3 is a much better series. In Peary's review of Blood Feast, he questions whether Medved and Co. had even seen the films they write about because they describe Mal Arnold as "youthful."

james_brummel
07-10-2010, 10:32 AM
I remember seeing Harry Medved on some talk show promoting the book and Burt Reynolds just skewered him. At the time I was pro-Harry/anti Hollywood establishment so I was enraged--poor Harry! He looked like a scared dog.

I still get pretty pissed when an Ed Wood or Andy Milligan is referred to as a "bad" filmmaker. To compare PLAN 9, budgeted at $20,000 and shot in 4 days, to a typical sci fi film from that era, usually $200,000 and a slightly more relaxed shooting schedual, is unfair a reeks of eltisim--like "How dare some upstart think he can enter our club".

I'd like to see what some hollywood bofo could do with restraints like that.

Robin Bougie
07-10-2010, 11:01 AM
Danny Peary's CULT MOVIES 1-3 is a much better series. In Peary's review of Blood Feast, he questions whether Medved and Co. had even seen the films they write about because they describe Mal Arnold as "youthful."

I don't even think it needs to be questioned -- it can be assumed as a pretty safe bet that they didn't see many of these movies. As mentioned: Harry was 15 years old, and there was no such thing as vcrs when he wrote this book. He would have had to have seen all of these movies in the theater, and assumedly many many more films -- with which he could compare "good" and "bad". I think it is a pretty safe bet that all of those plentiful negative critics quotes that he sites and used to pad out each "review" in the book were where he was getting his info and his opinon on the movies themselves. Even if he stayed up for the "late night movie" every night on tv and lived next door to a theatre, how many movies could a 15 year old possibly have seen?

I honestly think he spent a lot more time in the library searching through microphishe catalogs of newspaper and magazine cinema reviews than he ever spent in theatres actually watching these movies.

Richard Owen
07-10-2010, 11:21 AM
Danny Peary's CULT MOVIES 1-3 is a much better series. In Peary's review of Blood Feast, he questions whether Medved and Co. had even seen the films they write about because they describe Mal Arnold as "youthful."

He was around 29-30 when Blood Feast was made so they do kinda have a point.

Troy Howarth
07-10-2010, 12:36 PM
It's all a matter of taste, of course, but these books seldom impress me. Why? Because the critics in question seldom have delved that deep into world cinema of all eras. Roger Ebert did a similar book, and it included some excellent films, including Polanski's The Tenant. OK, he hated the film, that's OK - but one of the worst ever? I don't know... I think WE could compile a far better list of films.

Gary B.
07-10-2010, 01:24 PM
MYRA BRECKINRIDGE is on the list too...it's considered terrible by a lot of people, but I'm not sure how an over-the-top, insane movie w/ Raquel Welch fucking a guy in the ass can be considered bad? Anything that amuses/entertains me is never bad.

Stu C
07-10-2010, 02:12 PM
I honestly think he spent a lot more time in the library searching through microphishe catalogs of newspaper and magazine cinema reviews than he ever spent in theatres actually watching these movies.

I wouldn't even give them that much credit. I've always suspected that the Medved "research method" just consisted of browsing random back issues of FM and COF and asking a few older family members about films they saw years earlier.


Case in point: I bought a copy of Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster" because the description in "The Golden Turkey Awards" made it sound so lovably inept that I had to see for myself.

Why, there's a hilarious scene in which Wood neglected to put in the sound of a phone ringing, so a secretary appears to have flipped out and be carrying on an imaginary conversation!

Nope, not in my version. There's not even a scene with a secretary answering a telephone.

Bela Lugosi flubs a line and gives the heroine the wacky assurance that Tor Johnson is "as harmless as a kitchen!"

Nope, he defintely says "kitten"-- as my mom would've gladly confirmed for you after I spent one Saturday making her hear that line over and over again from the next room. ("For God's sake, son!! It's KITTEN, I tell you!! Move on!!")

But since Uncle Forry put that "kitchen" meme out there in an old issue of FM (actually, it may have been MW), it's going to get repeated by people who never actually heard Lugosi say "kit-ten".


Another case in point: I actually slogged through "The Exorcist II: The Heretic" eagerly awaiting the moment the Medveds describe in TGTA in which Richard Burton, in a bizarre fit of overacting, responds to Louise Fletcher's query about what they're up against, by opening his mouth wide and blasting her with "EEEEEEE-VIIIILLLLLL!!!" Wow! Can't wait to see that!

Well, while "Evil" actually is Burton's response to Fletcher, he just says it quietly and matter-of-factly, but with a crisp British enunciation: "E-vil" (instead of, I guess, "Evul"). It may be a hokey exchange of dialogue, but I wouldn't have even remembered the scene if I hadn't read their misleading description.


And I don't give the "they were just a couple of kids" argument any weight when judging their books. "The Golden Turkey Awards" was co-written with Michael Medved, who was an established writer of some sort at that time.

Since that led to MM somehow getting taken seriously as a film critic-- and subjecting me to snidely impersonating Richard's Gere's accent in a TV review of "King David" a few years before writing a book trashing "liberal-controlled Hollywood" for not making religious movies-- well, I've actually grown to hate those books in hindsight.

Steve R
07-10-2010, 03:04 PM
That worst movie, Golden Turkey stuff became kind of a fad for awhile. You could even argue that it was the forerunner of the Mystery Science Theatre series where making fun of movies was the goal and more important than the films themselves.

Robin, " how many movies could a 15 year old possibly have seen? "

Which 15 year old? What kind of 15 year old? I can only speak for myself and my buddies then, but those of us who were really into movies had seen a really tremendous amount between tv, rep and revs theaters in NYC, and first run releases. I have sat through countless "bad" monster movies just wating for a glimpse of the damn creature. FM and many of the Everson fillm books had titles that just stuck in your mind so when you scoured TV guide and saw them, you stayed up or tried to see the films. TV in those years was full of oddball 30s, 40s and 50s films. Even the 60s and 70s films were well represented till the explsion of channels killed the movie market on TV. Sure lots of them were on late or so early in the morning; no one but you and your looney friends wanted to see them. In the process of watching all these films, you can't help but develop an appreciation for the really downtrodden lesser titles that you like for apparently no good reason. Guilty pleasures is a much better term. The two authors you site, Robin, I guess never got how to have fun with a "bad" movie. I do not mean that MST making fun OF it, but enjoying it for what it was.

Sure I think they are right that the musical version of Lost Horizon is the pits, Dennis Hopper's Last Movie is an incoherent mess and that Myra Breckenridge is crap - but to me. Eegah I have seen, at least three times as a kid. No way it is remotely a good movie. But I dug it then and had cultivated a palatte for low budget horror fare even then. I guess these guys just plain don't like movies as much as most of us.

I'd much rather go on about what I like than try to complie a list of bad movies I did not like. Makes no sense to me. But that's just me.
And for the record, Bruce Lee was one of the fight choreographers on The Ambushers. His student Sterling Silphant, the screenwriter, got him the gig. You are right on about the Trouble Man soundtrack, killer Marvin Gaye tunes.

Troy Howarth
07-10-2010, 03:29 PM
Anything that amuses/entertains me is never bad.

I'm inclined to agree, and it's because of this that I've never wholly subscribed to the "it's so bad it's good" argument. From my point of view, if you relate to a film - no matter how ragged it might be - there has to be something going for it. I laughed my ass off at the first Twilight, but to me it's not so bad it's good - it's just inept and that's all there is to it; I'd never watch it again, even if I "enjoyed" the experience of laughing at it.

Marshall Crist
07-10-2010, 03:44 PM
Anything that amuses/entertains me is never bad.

What's that line in STARSTRUCK? "There's only boring and interesting, and you weren't boring."?

Alex K.
07-10-2010, 04:42 PM
It's all a matter of taste, of course, but these books seldom impress me. Why? Because the critics in question seldom have delved that deep into world cinema of all eras. Roger Ebert did a similar book, and it included some excellent films, including Polanski's The Tenant. OK, he hated the film, that's OK - but one of the worst ever? I don't know... I think WE could compile a far better list of films.

(Strokes chin) I think you may be on to something sir.

Stu C
07-10-2010, 05:19 PM
That worst movie, Golden Turkey stuff became kind of a fad for awhile. You could even argue that it was the forerunner of the Mystery Science Theatre series where making fun of movies was the goal and more important than the films themselves.

I disagree.

IMO, the Medved books were way snarkier than MST3K ever was, and despite the professed assessment of a given film as "so bad it was painful to work with", I always got the impression that the Best Brains gang really had a fondness for the films they sent up.

There's a major difference between ranting about who the most inept directors/actors/writers were (while proving your own superiority through supposedly witty put-downs) and having irreverent fun with a movie-- like commenting "Audrey Hepburn's hat from 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' has landed!" as the cheap spaceship in "Teenagers From Outer Space" makes its appearance.

The real predecessor for what Mike/Joel and the 'Bots did on MST3K was the audience interaction with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"-- where loyal viewers who had a special appreciation for the film took it beyond its own boundaries to a new level of enjoyment.

Ironically, the midnight showings of RHPS (which got slammed in one of the books in a quickly- tossed off "reader's poll" section) went nationwide around the same time the first Medved books were being published.

Troy Howarth
07-10-2010, 05:33 PM
(Strokes chin) I think you may be on to something sir.

It would be easy enough, really... we'd just need somebody to collate the data... everybody could contribute their picks of the worst films they've ever seen, and we could tally it based on the average number of votes. Mind you, I'd hate to think of the decent mainstream fare that would be tossed about just because it's popular and mainstream - but between all of us, I think we've seen more than our fair share of truly inept wastes of celluloid....

Aleck Bennett
07-10-2010, 05:45 PM
The real predecessor for what Mike/Joel and the 'Bots did on MST3K was the audience interaction with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"-- where loyal viewers who had a special appreciation for the film took it beyond its own boundaries to a new level of enjoyment.

You could take it back farther than that -- the roots of MST3K lie in the horror host phenomenon spanning the '50s-'80s. Zacherley, for instance, would have the cameras cut to him in the studio doing something wacky to interact with the film while the movie's soundtrack would continue, and all of them had snarky remarks and skits riffing off the movies being played. MST3K took it a step further by providing a running commentary on the film being shown and making that interplay the main draw (which indeed does draw from RHPS, though I don't know if it was a conscious thing on their part).

Robert Richardson
07-10-2010, 06:08 PM
I remember seeing Harry Medved on some talk show promoting the book and Burt Reynolds just skewered him. At the time I was pro-Harry/anti Hollywood establishment so I was enraged--poor Harry! He looked like a scared dog.
.

Wasn't that on Merv Griffin's show? I know I caught it at the time....Burt's film AT LONG LAST LOVE was one of the fifty skewered in the book. Reynolds is arguably one of the best talk-show guests of all time - his appearances on THE TONIGHT SHOW (which he even hosted) in the 1970s were gold - and in this instance he took the kid to task for how he did the book. It wasn't so much the criticism of his own work, because Reynolds has been very self-deprecating about his career (especially the early stuff), but rather the mocking tone of the writing. Burt had already done his segment on the show and was sitting on the couch while Merv interviewed Medved, with Medved running down different actors and directors. Reynolds wanted to know what films Medved had made or acted in himself that gave him the right to not be merely critical but to openly ridicule the work of others.

Robin Bougie
07-11-2010, 02:31 AM
I disagree.

IMO, the Medved books were way snarkier than MST3K ever was, and despite the professed assessment of a given film as "so bad it was painful to work with", I always got the impression that the Best Brains gang really had a fondness for the films they sent up.

There's a major difference between ranting about who the most inept directors/actors/writers were (while proving your own superiority through supposedly witty put-downs) and having irreverent fun with a movie-- like commenting "Audrey Hepburn's hat from 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' has landed!" as the cheap spaceship in "Teenagers From Outer Space" makes its appearance.

The real predecessor for what Mike/Joel and the 'Bots did on MST3K was the audience interaction with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"-- where loyal viewers who had a special appreciation for the film took it beyond its own boundaries to a new level of enjoyment.

Ironically, the midnight showings of RHPS (which got slammed in one of the books in a quickly- tossed off "reader's poll" section) went nationwide around the same time the first Medved books were being published.

Stu, this is exactly right. I couldn't have put it better. A lot of the critics of MST3K often site one of its negative traits as being that it mercilessly made fun of the movies, and yet you never hear anyone complain about Rocky Horror audiences in that regard. It seems unfair to me. MST3K is clearly making fun *WITH*. That its fans genuinely adore so many of the movies featured is a good indicator of that. I often lovingly mock my wife -- just because I give her the gears doesn't mean I think I'm better than her or hate her.

As far as us making our own list of the 50 worst films, before you undertake that kind of thing you have to really consider what is "bad"? Is bad when a movie is technically inept? Some people think box-office earnings should be relavant; the oft-cited ISHTAR and WATERWORLD are clearly not very bad movies, but there they are, always on those bad movie lists. Or is "bad" a genre? Notice you rarely see silent movies, arthouse or classics in a modern bad movie list. People seem to equate populist genre films (comedy, action, sci-fi, horror) as the sole domain of "bad", but why is that?

As mentioned, is boring and totally unmemorable not a better classification for the word? No, instead of that, "bad" movie lists are filled with fun, dumb, nonsensical, crowd-pleasers that are anything but forgettable. Seems to me that "bad" means a lot of things to different people.

And I still think 15 (or any age under 20, really) is WAAY too young to have the kind of wide-defining experience one would need to even think about making a half-decent "all-time" list, which by its very title presupposes magnitude and scope. Shit, you're not even old enough to get admission into many movies at that age.

Steve R
07-11-2010, 02:22 PM
Robin, "MST3K is clearly making fun *WITH*. That its fans genuinely adore so many of the movies featured is a good indicator of that. "

Thanks. I hadn't really considered that to be the case.
Heartening to hear that. :)

Steve

Thomas Hart
07-11-2010, 02:41 PM
My problem with books or lists like these, are the phrases "... of all time" or "... ever made". To make such an assumption, you would have had to have seen every film, from every country, made over the last 100+ years. If "... in my opinion" was added, I could be more forgiving.

Plus, I really don't think a 15-18 year old teenager's critique on best/worst of film is all that encompassing, especially from TV in the sixites and seventies. Watching films on basic network TV before cable and VHS/DVD, was like driving a corvette in first gear; you get a feel of what it's really like, but never the full appreciative experience.

Steven McLaughlin
07-11-2010, 03:45 PM
One of the funniest books I ever read, but the book was really written by Michael Medved--not his brother Harry. Medved didn't want his name on the book because he had a couple movie projects in the works at the time. Yeah, the same Rush Limbaugh-lite Michael Medved. Really started me on the road to cult films back when it came out in the late 70s. I stole if from my local bookstore. Then I grabbed Michael Weldon's film book and it was all over.

Troy Howarth
07-11-2010, 04:05 PM
My problem with books or lists like these, are the phrases "... of all time" or "... ever made". To make such an assumption, you would have had to have seen every film, from every country, made over the last 100+ years. If "... in my opinion" was added, I could be more forgiving.

You've nailed it. It works both ways, with both "best" and "worst." Sure, some of us have seen tons of films... but there's still so much out there that remains out of reach, to say nothing of the hundreds of silent films that have been forever lost to the ravages of time. Like you, I'm more inclined to take something like "Worst films I've ever seen" or what-have-you more seriously. But this brings something to mind: I suspect we've all missed some major films. When I say major, I mean both old and new- films that maybe don't look interesting to us on an individual level for one reason or another, but films which, like it or not, have made a definite impact.

AnthonyT
07-11-2010, 04:14 PM
I am not familiar with these books, but it is kinda humorous to hear 15 year olds put this together. As the question Robin asked, how many movies can a 15 year old see? I dont know the exact date of publishing, but some of the movies I imagine are not suitable for a 15 year old in the theater (i.e. Rated R films like The Omen), and further, what 15 year old would want to watch, let alone sit through The Last Year At Marienbad? Even at 18, when I first saw Clockwork Orange I thought it was junk. So to want to watch both parts of Ivan the Terrible and have a credible opinion about it seems unbelievable.

I do wonder how they were even to get the book published at such a young age as well. Who did they know to make it happen? How would a book publisher allow them to publish the book without any real validation of their credibility? It sounds like they were kids just ranting about things they knew nothing of, which seems irresponsible on the publishers part.

Stu C
07-11-2010, 05:01 PM
As far as us making our own list of the 50 worst films, before you undertake that kind of thing you have to really consider what is "bad"? Is bad when a movie is technically inept? Some people think box-office earnings should be relavant; the oft-cited ISHTAR and WATERWORLD are clearly not very bad movies, but there they are, always on those bad movie lists. Or is "bad" a genre? Notice you rarely see silent movies, arthouse or classics in a modern bad movie list. People seem to equate populist genre films (comedy, action, sci-fi, horror) as the sole domain of "bad", but why is that?

As mentioned, is boring and totally unmemorable not a better classification for the word? No, instead of that, "bad" movie lists are filled with fun, dumb, nonsensical, crowd-pleasers that are anything but forgettable. Seems to me that "bad" means a lot of things to different people.

Edward Margulies and Stephen Rebello addressed this point in the forward to their 1993 book Bad Movies We LOVE, which expanded on their MOVIELINE column of the same name.

In their selections for the book, they carefully distinguished between movies that were simply "bad" (i.e., merely unsatisfying, boring or ineptly made) and movies that suddenly jumped the tracks and went so off-kilter as to be enjoyably "bad".

I think it goes hand-in-(opera length) glove with the phenomenon of "camp"-- which is equally easy to spot, but hard to put in words.

There's material that's "intentional camp", like the "Batman" TV series or "Barbarella", but then there are films that were once serious mainstream films-- some even highly regarded at the time-- that through changing tastes and acting styles have aged into "unintentional camp". This is where most of the selections in Bad Movies We LOVE lie.

And at a comfortable distance from the time of their production, you wind up with the enjoyably "WTF?" moments that litter old "classics" like "The Great Lie" (1941) where Bette Davis and Mary Astor get into an overacting contest in a remote cabin, and Davis-- clearly outmatched for once-- apparently runs out of steam and just slaps the hell out of Astor. (Amazingly, Astor won a "Best Supporting" Oscar for her scenery-chewing.)

If you're in the right frame of mind, something "classic" like "Caged" (1950, with Oscar nominations for actresses Eleanor Parker and Hope Emerson and scripters Virginia Kellogg and Bernard C. Schoenfeld) can be just as rewarding as an Ed Wood movie-- even though it was intended as a serious "problem picture", unlike the WIP exploiters that followed.

(Tom Eyen even adapted "Caged" fairly closely as the off-Broadway play "Women Behind Bars", with Divine in the Hope Emerson role!)

Stu C
07-11-2010, 05:18 PM
I am not familiar with these books, but it is kinda humorous to hear 15 year olds put this together. As the question Robin asked, how many movies can a 15 year old see? I dont know the exact date of publishing, but some of the movies I imagine are not suitable for a 15 year old in the theater (i.e. Rated R films like The Omen), and further, what 15 year old would want to watch, let alone sit through The Last Year At Marienbad? Even at 18, when I first saw Clockwork Orange I thought it was junk. So to want to watch both parts of Ivan the Terrible and have a credible opinion about it seems unbelievable.

I do wonder how they were even to get the book published at such a young age as well. Who did they know to make it happen? How would a book publisher allow them to publish the book without any real validation of their credibility? It sounds like they were kids just ranting about things they knew nothing of, which seems irresponsible on the publishers part.

I think John Bloom may have been making fun of Harry Medved when he created his alter-ego "Joe Bob Briggs".

I can't remember if it was in the intro to his book Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-in (1986) or in a PLAYBOY article, but Bloom once "interviewed" the drive-in critic "Joe Bob", who was then said to be in his late teens.

When Bloom questioned how a teen could possibly have seen the hundreds of movies he claimed to have seen-- and under the darkness-limited showing times of the drive-in, no less-- "Joe Bob" confidently replied, "You han't seen these kind of movies."

Robin Bougie
07-11-2010, 06:54 PM
And for the record, Bruce Lee was one of the fight choreographers on The Ambushers. His student Sterling Silphant, the screenwriter, got him the gig.

I did not know that. That is flippin' awesome!

Aaron G
07-11-2010, 08:09 PM
For the sake of tolerance I rewatched my four WORST movies of the decade SAW, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and LORD OF THE RINGS1, STAR WARS PHANTOM MENACE

SAW confirmed my prejudices, a movie that spat in the face of it's audience with totally ilogical plot holes and the killers reveal, and also blatanly ripping off chunks from films like AUDITION and MAGIC, though i thought the razor blades thing was pretty neat. I got so angry I flung the DVD disc across the room and nearly decapitated my mothers poodle, Snoopy!

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES - had its moments, but also made no sense, had 0 suspense, and tried so hard to be 'transgressive' but was actually lamer than say the 'texas chainsaw' remake. It kind of reminded me of a film version of Michael Jackson's 'thriller' but for people with too many tattoos and occasional drug addictions!

LOTR1 - if you haven't read the books, all the talking and the jibberish and for three hours in an environment that is only slightly brighter than a cave/sewrage tunnel is certain to put the most severe insomniac to sleep! Only took me 25 minutes 2nd time around!

STAR WARS PHNTOM MENACE - a generation of Star Wars nerds has goosebumps when they heard the theme start the movie off (me too!), bdt the ones that actually grew up from when they were 6-8 years old when they saw the first one, realised that the only thing good about the movies were the 'fresh' fx for the time. Also more jibberish and on-screen acting 'chemistry' of a video game.

Seriously I could probably find a book full of the worst movies EVER from the last decade alone!!!!

Daniel S.S.
07-11-2010, 08:16 PM
For the record there is this thread here which was pretty lively...

http://www.avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15284&highlight=worst

dave hartley
07-11-2010, 08:31 PM
Never read the book and not likely to but I saw a weekly TV series Michael Medved did on C4 in the UK in the early 80s called The Worst of Hollywood in which he introduced film screenings. It concentrated on the Plan 9, Robot Monster type of cult movie. I thought it was utterly obnoxious, partly because I like some of the films it used, partly because Medved himself seemed like a prize jerk, and partly because the whole idea of an anti-pantheon seemed even more pointless than its opposite - it being dependent on some commonly accepted pantheon of 'good' films and commonly accepted standards of what 'good' film making is.

This generally means 'established', 'well-made', 'middle brow', sentimental fare. Pretty much like Medved's own ten best list (http://www.spu.edu/depts/uc/response/summer2k3/critics.html) in fact : “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939). “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945), “The Wild Strawberries” (1957, Swedish), “The Bicycle Thief” (1948, Italian), “E.T.” (1982), “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), “Casablanca” (1941), “Rules of the Game” (1939, French), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)).

Looking at the 50 worst list from the book it just reeks of career move. From Z films at one end, through camp classics in the middle to art house monuments at the other. Let's pander to every prejudice held by the sort of person who thinks the above are the best films ever made. Bluuurgh.

(Not a big fan of MST3K either but not for the same reason. No problem with cracking jokes with friends about a film. Listening to someone else do it just seems a bit unfulfilling. And how dare those miserable fuckers pick on Diabolik :) ).

james_brummel
07-11-2010, 09:32 PM
While I now really dislike the Medved book for its attitude and lies it was the first mainstream acknowledgment of the films type of films I like. So I think it opened a lot of doors, opened a lot of eyes to these films. When the video tape boom started a few years later suddenly they were available to see, I think had these books never been no one would have watched them.

On the flip side is ED WOOD Mad Genius which I don't think I will finish. It assumes all the tech gaffes and screwy POV were intentional and tries to explain Wood's cohesive world view via meandering shots of driving in Necromania. Sorry, no.

PaulC
07-12-2010, 11:24 AM
On the flip side is ED WOOD Mad Genius which I don't think I will finish. It assumes all the tech gaffes and screwy POV were intentional and tries to explain Wood's cohesive world view via meandering shots of driving in Necromania. Sorry, no.

Ha, I reviewed ED WOOD: MAD GENIUS for RUE MORGUE and was completely taken aback by its outlandish arguments--I found myself wondering whether the author even believed his own highly dubious theories that Wood intentionally made filmmaking errors as a tribute to Brechtian theatre.

I agree--critical books like ED WOOD: MAD GENIUS, of which more and more seem to be coming out lately (thanks McFarland), are almost the flipside of the Medved's undiscriminating putdowns of bad cinema 30 years ago--they seem to dishonestly praise schlock directors and ignore the obvious. Y'know, I actually like a few Ted V Mikels films, but don't try and tell me that THE DOLL SQUAD is a pro-feminist masterwork of cinema. It is what it is.

Alex K.
07-12-2010, 03:37 PM
I think if we're going to chronicle the worst films, and by that I mean so bad it's good and just genuinely painful cinema, we need to draw up two categories: The first being Hollywood films that might have a name actor, had significant production value, and had a few million (or more) behind it. The second being Z-grade, indie, Genre films made for under a million.

For example:

Worst action movie: Samurai Cop. Too much to go over in a brief reply, but this has to be seen to be believed.

Worst comedy: Anything made by the guys behind Date Movie/Epic Movie/Meet The Spartans.

RichardDoyle
07-12-2010, 04:26 PM
What I find obnoxious about books and lists like this is the presumption that someone is going to proclaim what are the objectively worst films ... as if they have some unique insight into what makes a film bad and are going to enlighten us with their superior insight. Somehow if they'd even just called it "50 Really Terrible Films" it would seem less obnoxious.

The fact that they have films on their that are obviously open to debate (The Last Movie) and films that are immensely enjoyable despite their faults (nearly every one of the Z grade ones they include) suggests that they should be a lot more modest in what they claim to be telling everyone.

To then include films like "Ivan the Terrible", "Last Year at Marienbad" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" which any idiot can tell are not the WORST films even if they personally do not like them ... I just don't know. It just confirms my feeling that Medved is a smarmy little asshole.

Troy Howarth
07-12-2010, 07:16 PM
I think if we're going to chronicle the worst films, and by that I mean so bad it's good and just genuinely painful cinema, we need to draw up two categories: The first being Hollywood films that might have a name actor, had significant production value, and had a few million (or more) behind it. The second being Z-grade, indie, Genre films made for under a million.

For example:

Worst action movie: Samurai Cop. Too much to go over in a brief reply, but this has to be seen to be believed.

Worst comedy: Anything made by the guys behind Date Movie/Epic Movie/Meet The Spartans.

I don't really subscribe to the whole "so bad it's good" argument. A trash film that works is good for what it is. On the other hand, there's not much pleasure I can derive from a film that's just flat-out bad... not even with unintended laughs.