Bad Movies

— WARING: listicle. Enter at own risk —

I know, I know. I never intended to write a listicle. But there’s no way to write this and not end up with a listicle. Not only am I committing one of the Deadly Medium Sins, I am hoping people respond in kind and help me discover some gems I have missed.

I have been encouraged to put a screen play I have been playing with on Medium. I will, probably, some day soon. The thing is, I am pretty sure it will be bad. Not because I doubt my skill (well, that too), it’s because my first screen play is almost guaranteed to be bad. I’m okay with writing a bad screenplay, because I love bad movies. Of course I love good movies as well. But bad movies are a special kind of joy to watch. And as I am transcribing my notes and scribbles that are all over the place, I keep thinking about my favorite bad movies. They inspire me. If it’s going to be bad anyway, I might as well aim for so-bad-it’s-good. I hope to be as bad as these.

5. Manos, the Hands of Fate.

Or for Spanish speakers: Hands, the Hands of Fate. This movie is all around terrible. I am pretty sure the plot, as little as there is, was written as a vehicle for the weird, soft porn ‘fight’ scene that goes on (and on, and on) towards the end. The wisdom of the internet tells me that one of the actors was actually tripping on LSD during the filming, which seems about right. The best (worst?) part of this whole movie is the creepy picture in the house. I hope they spent most of their budget on that painting. That artist deserves to be paid. No one would want to paint something like that without compensation.

4. Deathbed, the Bed That Eats

This one is a real joy. The movie makes no sense. At all. It is senseless from the very fist scene where a bunch of criminals have put a card table on top of the bed for a game of cards. The narrators (plural, I am pretty certain) ramble on throughout the movie without adding any explanation. The acting…I’m not sure there is any acting to be honest. Look.

3. Black Dynamite

Maybe this one should not be in the list. It is intentionally bad. It’s bad done really well and people know it. Black Dynamite has 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. But you just can’t call it a good movie. You can call it a whole lot of fun though. This movie is all shades of wrong. It is in fact so over the top wrong, you will have to laugh about it. Who doesn’t want to see President Nixon get in a Kung Fu battle? If you’ve not seen this blaxploitation parody, consider making this your next movie date night.

2. Southland Tales

This movie stars Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore, and Justin Timberlake. That is the only thing I can say for certain about Southland Tales. The first time I saw it, my reaction was pretty much this

The movie is trying to make a bunch of points and does it in a really confusing way. Days after watching it, I was still thinking about it, trying to make sense of it all. Where a movie like “Deathbed” is simply senseless, and “Black Dynamite” takes the point and beats you over the head with it for 80 minutes, “Southland Tales” feels like a smart movie that is suffering from a severe case of ADHD. It keeps distracting itself. I had to watch it again. And again. Somewhere along the line I realized I had fallen in love with it. Anything that makes me think this much tends to do that.

And the worst movie I love is

1. Son of Morning

I have to confess, I only realized this movie was considered a really bad movie when I read the reviews after I saw it. People mercilessly rip this movie apart. I kind of loved it from the start. It’s obviously not a good movie. I really liked the feel of this movie. It feels so much like life. You get this impression it should have had much more meaning than there is, that there should be much more importance to events than just screw up after screw up. To me, the point is that there is no point. Yes, it’s cliché in a lot of things. Yes, we’ve seen it all before, just done better. Events range from stupid to absurd, which should be funny but they are not. Misunderstandings can kill. That’s exactly how I feel a lot of the time.

I’ve also noticed people absolutely hate the sound effects. They use music and noise layered on top, creating this feeling of too much coming at you from all sides. As someone who has suffered from anxiety, I thought it was spot on.

The ending especially felt correct. When you figure it all out for yourself, no one cares. Because it only applies to you. Everyone already knows the answers. But unless you feel it, knowing it won’t do anything. This movie makes me feel good because it points out everyone is trying to deal and almost everyone is dealing badly, it will still be okay most of the time.

So am I making this movie better than it is, reading way too much between the lines that might not even be there? I’m pretty sure I am. Much like ‘Southland Tales’ this movie gets me thinking. In this case by giving non-answers to obvious and often asked questions. Just for that, I love it.

Writer of fiction, blogs and erotica. Frequency in that order. Popularity in reverse.

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