Friday, January 23, 2009

The Worst Movies We've Paid To See

While I was treadmilling at the gym yesterday, I watched a news story about both the Oscar nominations and the Razzies. I love that the Razzies people announce their nominees and hold their ceremony one day ahead of their Oscar counterparts; it's a great juxtaposition of cinema art and cinema crap.

I've seen a lot of crappy films. Between living in a family hopelessly devoted to horror movies and living in a house that had HBO, these eyes have probably seen more bad than good. As an adult with not a lot of free time on my hands, I do a much better job now of not spending precious time and money on the worst Hollywood has to offer.

So here's what I want to know today: what are the worst movies you have ever paid to see? We all know that awfulness is available as part of a basic cable or satellite TV package, so don't include something that aired on your TV. No, I want to know about the movie that you actually shelled out some coins to see, either in the theater or from a video store. And the movie can't have intentionally been bad. I mean, I paid to watch a screening of the Bruce Campbell flick (with Bruce introducing the film in person!), The Man With the Screaming Brain several years ago, and it was campy and overdone and awful, but it was supposed to be campy, overdone, and awful. Plus, Bruce can do no wrong. So I am not counting that.

And of course, I will start it off. I'll go in reverse order to save the best, er, worse, for last. And because these are fairly obscure, I will attach applicable links. If you've actually seen any of these...well, I am sorry for those hours you will never get back.

3. Inner Sanctum. This is what happens when high-school students get Blockbuster cards and you send someone to the Blockbuster at 10pm on a Friday night and say, "Just get a new release." I am guessing the liner notes said this was a "psychological thriller" and in the post-Silence of the Lambs era, this probably seemed like a safe bet. Or maybe the person we sent to the store was just feeling kinda randy that night and recognized soft-core when she saw it. Whatever the reason, I don't buy her argument that "there wasn't anything better left." It was pretty unwatchable, though in its ridiculousness it has lived on; one of my friends still quotes the most "memorable" moment in the whole movie.

2. The Phantom of the Opera (the 1989 non-musical version). I had just started dating this guy and he let me pick the movie I wanted to see, and being a choir girl, I chose Phantom. Never mind that it wasn't the Andrew Lloyd Weber version my friends and I were so ga-ga over. In my defense, my date had wanted me to choose Next of Kin because it was a movie about "my people." Because we hillbillies are all about revenge! I actually was too smitten at the time to be offended, but I feel I got my revenge by forcing the guy to sit through Freddy playing The Phantom.

1. Phantasm II. And let me just say that it gets a much higher ranking on IMDB than I remember it deserving. Huh. Maybe it was the circumstances of seeing this movie more than the movie itself that make it a bad memory. A friend of mine wanted me to go with her and her boyfriend to see this movie, and I was smart enough to know at the time that this was most likely so she could fool her parents into thinking she was going to the movies just with me but then could make out with her guy in the back of the theater. But I loved scary movies, so I agreed. I had no idea that I was being set up on a sorta blind date until I got to the theater and my friend's boyfriend had brough his best friend. So I'm watching this God-awful gory and not-scary horror movie sitting next to this guy that I kinda know from school but who I am completely not attracted to and who is completely not attracted to me and our friends start making out. I was seriously ticked about the whole uncomfortable situation and didn't even give the guy the time of day. And the movie SUCKED. And then years later I learned that this guy I was being kinda fixed up with played for a while in the NFL. So maybe I should have given him a chance.

Your turn!


Shan said...

I just tried (emphasis on the tried)to watch Tropic Thunder. Granted, we rented it...but we still paid. And it was still horrible.

Robert K. said...

No way! I loved "Tropic Thunder."

I did, however, pay to see "The Libertine." The wife is a huge Johnny Depp fan, but even she had to admit that movie was crap.

I've also paid to see "Bedtime Stories" and "Bolt" with my cousin and his daughter, but I consider that the price you pay for moviegoing with a 9 year-old.

Shan said...

Robert, I got 30 minutes into it and just couldn't stand it anymore. Maybe I should have given it more of a chance, but I don't know.

I also watched Burn After Reading last night...another no so stellar choice on my part.

Karen said...

Bride Wars. My almost five year old could have written a less predictable (and better) movie. ;)

Shan, you can't listen to Rob. He has questionable taste in movies.

Library Lady said...

You know, it's funny about Tropic Thunder. It's a divisise movie; I enjoyed it when we rented it, though Jason fell asleep halfway through. When I told him the next day that Robert Downey Jr.'s performance was worth his trying again, he let me know in no uncertain terms that he was not giving that movie another shot. I don't know if I think it's the best comedy of 2008 like some critics do, but I did enjoy its dark humor. And I think Robert Downey Jr.'s performance is Oscar-worthy, as shocking as it may have been to see him get nominated.

So really, I see both Shan's and Robert's points. I think with that movie, you just have to agree to disagree.

Mrs Rob K said...

Karen... I will second your questionable taste comment about Rob and raise you ARMY OF DARKENSS and BAD TASTE as evidence of his 'taste.' I did not dislike The Libertine as much as he claimed I did, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. I DID like Tropic Thunder even though I went in not expecting to.

Library Lady said...

WHAT! Was that a slam on Army of Darkness? Oh, that movie has such a special place in my heart. It is bad, but it makes me feel...goooood. (Yes, I just pulled out my "Sheila" impression.)

Robert K. said...

Yes, I'm sorry to say that my wife does not appreciate the genius of Army of Darkness, and may have picked the wrong forum to slam it.

As far as Bad Taste, it is hilarious in its grotesquerie, and I would point out that without Bad Taste and Dead Alive, you would not have the Lord of the Rings movies.