Worst Films Ever – Part 1

A friend recently sent me a link to Wikipedia’s list of films considered the worst ever made and asked how many I’d seen. Today I answer that question in unnecessary detail …

Glen or Glenda (1953)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 90%

Although I haven’t seen this one, I feel like I’ve watched most of it already. You see, the director was Ed Wood – a man who since his death in the late 70’s has reached god-like status in the community of bad movie enthusiasts. Tim Burton even made a (brilliant) film about him in the 90’s, and the making of Glen or Glenda was a large part of the plot. Wood’s film was undoubtedly the work of someone with a comically poor understanding of filmmaking, but Burton’s movie also suggested it was the work of an eternal optimist who fought the odds to tell a deeply personal story (Wood was into cross dressing himself).

And didn’t he make it look good!? Hmm … maybe not.

Robot Monster (1953)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 40%

A “robot” that’s just a guy in a gorilla suit, and a plot that can seemingly be summarised with “everyone dies”. Could be good for a few laughs.

The Conqueror (1956)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 40%

I’m not sure this would be worth sitting through but it’s plenty interesting to read about. Usually when a truly atrocious film is released, the only burden the cast and crew have to carry is extreme embarrassment and a few less jobs being thrown their way – but in The Conqueror’s case the movie may have also killed them (it was filmed near a nuclear test site). It also has John Wayne cast as Genghis Khan. The jury is still out on which decision was a worse crime against humanity.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Mongolian Warrior.

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

SEEN IT?: Yes

Perhaps the most famous bad movie of them all – as also directed by Ed Wood. I watched this out of curiosity during a particularly long gap between lectures at uni. It’s worth a look, even if just for it’s notoriety.

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 50%

A murder in the first scene that is never referred to again. People being gunned down only to appear later without any explanation. Characters only speaking when off-screen or when their faces are obscured (apparently so the filmmakers could avoid the tricky business of synchronising dialogue). It’s the stuff B-grade movie dreams are made of.

Eegah (1962)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 40%

A caveman horror musical. Sounds … different.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 60%

Martians kidnap Santa because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents. The title and the plot synopsis are enough to make a strange part of my brain scream out “WATCH THIS”.

Santa knows how to play it cool when attacked by hairdryer-wielding aliens.

Still, I’m more likely to watch the Mexican movie simply titled Santa Claus, which is rated higher (or should that be lower?) on IMDB’s list of movies with the worst user ratings. In that one Santa faces off against the devil and for some reason Merlin is involved.

Monster a Go-Go (1965)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 50%

Apparently this one was only released because someone had to quickly come up with a second film for a double feature. They found an unfinished version of Monster a Go-Go and, in a very half-assed fashion, threw the scenes together with a few new ones featuring unrelated characters (because the original cast couldn’t be rehired in time). The result is supposedly one of cinema’s true stinkers, but it’s also supposed to be painfully dull so I’m not sure I could put myself through it.

Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

SEEN IT?: Kind of.

I watched about half of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version of this. On the show (which is sometimes shortened to MST3K) the characters watch bad films while cracking jokes about how terrible they are. I wouldn’t recommend watching Manos any other way because it really is that awful. It’s the kind of movie that leaves you wondering how it’s even possible that someone could create something that fails in every regard so spectacularly. And it doesn’t ease you in to the crappiness. The first scene is nine minutes of nothing but dialogue-free driving through unchanging terrain, and when the characters finally speak it’s the worst dubbing imaginable – seemingly all by one voice actor. It has the prestige of being the worst movie ever according to the MST3K team, and it often holds the top spot on IMDB’s bottom 100 films.

Here’s a pretty cool fan made trailer. It makes the movie look much better than it really is though …

Myra Breckenridge (1970)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 40%

I’m not sure if this one is truly awful or if it just offended a lot of people when it was released. It features a rape scene that’s played for laughs. Surprisingly not everyone found it funny.

At Long Last Love (1975)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 20%

Cybill Sheperd and Burt Reynolds in a musical that’s so bad the director publicly apologised for making it. What’s worse is it doesn’t look spectacularly dreadful enough to be amusing – the rating on IMDB is actually quite decent (4.8/10). I think I’ll give it a miss.

Heaven’s Gate (1980)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 40%

Whenever the film industry makes a decision that’s obviously motivated by cash rather than creative value (ie. all the time) apparently you can blame this movie. It lost so much money that it caused United Artists to go bankrupt, and studios haven’t trusted directors with their cash ever since. It seems like there’s a loyal following out there for the film though. Which means it’s another bad film that would suffer from not being gloriously bad enough to be entertaining. That said, it is directed by the guy that made the rather impressive Deer Hunter, so maybe I’ll get round to watching it at some point.

A search for “Heaven’s Gate” brought up a ton of pictures of this guy – the leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult that staged a mass suicide in 1997. I’m yet to confirm whether they were driven to it by 17 years of society ridiculing their favourite movie.

Mommie Dearest (1981)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 50%

This has earned a reputation as an unintentional comedy classic due to the overacting and stilted dialogue. Which is kind of bizarre seeing as it’s all about a mother abusing her child and it’s based on a true story. I’ve heard references to it a few times so I might have to see what the fuss is about.

Inchon (1982)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 30%

I can’t imagine God goes around giving filmmaking advice very often. Seeing as this movie, which lost the financers $44 million and ended up being known as one of the worst films ever, was supposedly kick-started by divine intervention (and the endorsement of a psychic) – any filmmaking advice God does give out should be taken with a pinch of salt. All up, it sounds like a long, boring Korean War film with bad acting, dialogue and effects.

Howard the Duck (1986)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 60%

Lucasfilm’s most derided picture (or is that The Phantom Menace?) might not be as bad as its reputation suggests if the cult following it has gained is anything to go by. Plus, I refuse to believe that anything with a giant talking duck could be completely void of entertainment value.

Especially if said duck plays guitar.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 60%

I thought I’d seen this because I figured it was the alternative title to Jaws 2, which was pretty bad itself. It turns out its Jaws 4 and it has a roaring, psychic, super-smart, super-fast shark that explodes for no good reason. A couple of IMDB users even say that the shark appears to levitate and stand on its tail in a couple of scenes. It’s got to be worth a few chuckles.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 40%

This is the first one I can remember from my childhood. Some of my older cousins were watching it and I tried to join them but it freaked me out too much.

This poster still gives me the creeps.

It sounds like I wasn’t the only one that had that reaction. It’s always interesting to check out things that you can only vaguely remember as a kid though. Some have said they tried to revisit the movie and couldn’t get all the way through. Sounds like a challenge to me!

Hobgoblins (1988)

SEEN IT?: No

CURIOSITY FACTOR: 50%

A lot of sub-par “little creature” movies came out after the success of Gremlins (Munchies, Ghoulies, arguably Critters) and supposedly this was the worst of them all. Cheesy horror flicks are always a bit of fun if you’re in the right mood though, and it’s standing as one of the worst films ever does make me want to see it a little.

Okay, so it’s a bad movie. But at least it has a hot, half naked- ….
What? Oh, she’s not even in the film.

On to Part 2 (of 2)

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One Response to Worst Films Ever – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Ghiblimania – Part 2 | A Hole in the Head

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