Friday, June 10, 2011

A B@d Movie Trio

For whatever reason, I have a habit of sitting through bad movies.  Well, to back up and qualify that statement, I do like some bad movies...

I guess I call a "bad movie" as a movie that really... well, really isn't very good.  Maybe the movie is kinda dumb, maybe the plot is a little thin or inane or even stupid, maybe the acting or effects are pretty crappy... but sometimes, bad movies are fun.   As a matter of fact, as I type this, "Couples Retreat" is on.  Want to talk about bad?  Its stupid, the premise is ridiculous, but the movie itself is fun.  I'm fond of Malin Akerman, I enjoy Vince Vaughn and though its silly, its a good background movie--just turn it on, and go about your business at The Cabana.

Other movies that I watch frequently, even though most would consider them "bad"?  Dane Cook's "Employee of the Month"... "Four Christmases" with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn... "Leap Year" with Amy Adams (whom I'm in love with)... and I do enjoy "Grown Ups" with Adam Sandler and Kevin James.  All bad movies, all movies I can watch again and again.  And have.

There's a difference in "bad" and "Craptastic".  The former is described above, the latter is the same as bad, but with action, explosions, F-bombs   Like, "Con Air"... craptastic.  "Broken Arrow" with Travolta... craptastic.  "The Expendables"... perhaps the most craptastic, nay, craptacular movie ever made. 

So yes, there are good bad movies. 

Then... there are bad, bad movies.

And I saw three of them over the last few days... and I want to share my misery with you.  Of course, you will ask me, "d$, why watch such tripe, why put yourself through the torture of these moronic film ventures?"  My answer?  I just don't know.  I dunno.  Most of the time, when I invest 45 minutes into a movie, I just want to see it to its completion... and sometimes, I know its going to be such a bad film, it might be worth a blog. 

And here we are.

I've never seen "Traffic", but I hope that Erika
Christensen is better
First, let's talk about "Swimf@n"... 2002, its this story of this high school kid named Ben, played by Jesse Bradford, who is dating Amy (Shiri Appleby), but has a fling with Madison (Erika Christensen).  Well, Ben feels bad, but Madison is obsessed with him, and does everything she can to foul up his life so they can be together. 

All three leads in this movie are giving performances akin to making lemonade out of rotten lemons.   I feel like if you took the movie "Fatal Attraction", a far superior film", then sprinkled in Zack Morris and the gang, shook it all up, threw it some foul language and dark, moody scenery and then peed all over it, you'd get this movie.  It was kinda fun that it took place in 2002, before Facebook and MySpace took hold, when we were still AOL'ing it.  Well, no, that wasn't fun either.  This movie was bad.

I also giggle at the pretention of this film by using the "@" for the "a" in "Swimfan"... Madison is a fan of Ben, who is a swimmer.. she's a "Swim" "Fan"... get it?  And some of this movie takes place online, so hence, the "@" part... clever huh?  Yeah.  Its that bad.

Next, here's a movie called "Troll".  Because this movie was so bad, I ended up jumping onto Wikipedia to read about it and discovered that some critics call it "The Worst Movie Ever Made".   Now, I feel like I've seen worse (keep reading this post), but I can see where that argument would have some validity.

See that green ring?  It holds the Troll Power.  It comes
back later this summer in that Ryan Reynolds movie.
It stars a couple of no-names, but also this kid named Noah Hathaway--he is Atreyu from "The Neverending Story", a film that is pretty bad itself, but one that we tend to romanticize about how good it was because we all loved it when we were kids--anyway, Noah plays "Harry Potter".  No, that's not a joke.

As a matter of fact, the director, John Carl Buechler, was pretty unhappy when a few years later, some chick named J.K. Rowling used the name "Harry Potter" for a book she was writing.  Rowling claims she made up the name, and that its similiarity is coincidental.  Buechler says he thinks she stole it.   The guy who went on to direct "Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood" and "Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College", and is directing the upcoming "Troll" remake.  That guy. 

Back to the movie... its... its so bad.  This family moves into this house, and the little girl, sorta like Carole Anne from "Poltergeist", goes to the basement and sees this troll, who possesses her and then makes her go around the building and possess other people, including a horrible Sonny Bono, and has run-ins with people like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in a pre-"Christmas Vacation" and "Seinfeld" role, which was also bad. 

The trolls are terrible, like costumes you could buy at The Spirit of Halloween on clearance day, and the effects are even worse.  And the dialogue is just bad, so, so bad.   The ending is just awful, and after it was over, I was actually happy.  I was happy it was done.  I could have turned it, but I wanted to see it through, and I did.

Finally, I flipped on the MGM Channel, and there was this random movie called "Motel Hell".  Rather than giving you my own description, let me just tell you what Wiki has as the plot:

When your terrible movie poster is the best
thing about your film, your film does indeed
have problems
Farmer Vincent Smith (Rory Calhoun) and his younger sister Ida (Nancy Parsons) live on a farm with a motel attached. It's called Motel Hello, but the O on the sign constantly flicks on and off. Vincent makes smoked meats said to be the most delicious in the surrounding area. Vincent's secret is human flesh, and Vincent has the areas around his isolated motel strewn with various booby traps to catch victims. The victims are placed in a 'secret garden' where they are buried up to their necks and have their vocal cords cut so they cannot scream; Vincent keeps them in the ground, feeding them special food, until they are ready and then kills them.

Its worse than it sounds.  I think I ended up watching it because there really was nothing on, and I was completely enthralled and fascinated by how utterly atrocious this entire movie was.  Farmer Vincent ends up falling for a chick who doesnt know his little secret, and the love grows until Ida gets jealous and it all goes bad and the chick's old boyfriend, who is the sheriff, shows up and it all goes bad for everyone and so on and so on and it actually is a thousand times worse than I'm even making it out to be.

And get this... at the end, the sign that says "MOTEL HELLO"... the "O" on the sign shorts out, and the film ends with the sign just saying "MOTEL HELL".  Get it?  Clever, huh?  Yeah.  Its that bad. 

Two notes... first, this film does have John Ratzenberger (his role after his epic turn in "The Empire Strikes Back").. and secondly, its got Rory Calhoun as its star, who later went on to star in my 133rd favorite film of all time, "Pure Country".  But neither Cliff Claven nor Rory can save this piece of poop.

PS... wanna see a good movie... no, a great, great movie?  Check out "Out of Sight" with George Clooney, Ving Rhames and Jennifer Lopez, before she sucked.  Its smart, its a sexy movie and its just plain cool... its my 30th favorite film of all time. 

Summer of Blogging, Day Eleven

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