Posts Tagged ‘plan 9 from outer space’


Five Shitty Movies

July 9, 2007

For years, one of my favorite hobbies has been watching horrible movies. Yes, it sounds stupid. But there are few things I enjoy more than making popcorn and watching a shitty movie. To me it is one of life’s finest pleasures. And trust me, I have seen a lot of shitty movies in my time. I have seen movies that I was told were shitty and turned out to be great, and I have seen movies that are said to be great and turned out to be shitty. Although it is all about perspective, some movies just take the cake, and are horrible films that I simultaneously love. I enjoy a bad movie, but it takes a special breed of shitty to make me feel the certain euphoria that drives the hobby. There are about five of these such movies that truly take the cake, my favorites I guess. Watch them. Soon.

The Blob

There are a few movies that I would consider very priceless and classic to the creature flick genre, the first and foremost being The Creature From The Black Lagoon and possibly Attack of the Giant Leeches. But The Blob is special in it’s own way, not just because it is a classic. What this gave birth to was the sub genre of creature flicks that featured a pathetically stupid antagonist, in this case a gigantic gelatinous pile of goo. This is, in some ways, a science fiction flick too, because The Blob does come from space. In the time that the beast spreads its greasy reign of chaos, it eats several residents of a small suburban town. When it sneaks into a movie theater, a classic shot is spawned when what feels like hundreds of innocent bystanders (a mildly impressive amount of extras anyway) race out of the building screaming, some with their 3D glasses still glued to their face. The final showdown between the blob, a terrified family, and the rest of the town is a joy to watch. As expected, the acting is horrible and the story is horrible. But it’s worth it just for the dull earthshaking bad ending. This is truly a great place to start in the realm of bad movies, because the realization that what you are watching is completely ridiculous takes a while to set in.

The Buddhist Fist

Another quintessential bad movie sub genre is the chopsaki kung-fu flick genre. I’ve seen a lot of chopsaki flicks. But I don’t think I have ever seen one as genuinely bad as The Buddhist Fist. It was one of those movies that I felt, at least for a time, was the worst I have ever seen. For sure it is the worst chopsaki flick I have ever seen. Every other movie of this kind has at least some kind of redeeming quality… Good one liners, good martial arts, good screenplay, SOMETHING. The Buddhist Fist is so astoundingly bad that there is simply nothing purposefully good about it. Instead, the movie is of worth on terms of hilarity only. The plot is incoherent and almost completely nonexistent, but you get the feeling if it did exist to a bigger extent, it would be severely retarded. It has something to do with two brothers who were both trained in martial arts, or something, that end up being enemies in the end. One of the movies best moments involves the lead actor killing his brother in the end, after which his master simply pats his shoulder and says, rather quaintly I might add after absolutely nothing is revealed or any higher ground is reached in the plot, “Now you understand.” I don’t feel bad about spoiling this, because it will make your eyes widen when you watch it even if you know it’s coming. Embarrassingly horrible moments like this are not few. The plot progresses with little to no rhyme or reason. The director is Yuen Wo Ping, who did the choreography for the Matrix. By those standards, I was expecting something at least half decent when I first bought this, but in fact, the choreography is absolutely horrible with obviously rhythmic and calculated, and completely stupid, “martial arts.” One of the catch lines was that this is also a humorous movie. That’s true. But only because of how much it embarrasses itself. The original dialog probably wasn’t even close to funny in it’s native tongue, let alone when dubbed poorly. The camera quality is deplorable on numerous occasions, the characters aren’t likable… You know what, I’m going to stop there. This is an astoundingly shitty movie that only reveals more faults every time you watch it. Essential martial arts film.

The Killer Shrews

This is just one of those movies that would have it’s effects tripled by gross amounts of marijuana. For several years, this has been the shitty movie of choice in my group of friends for many reasons. It was probably the first truly shitty movie I ever saw, introduced to me by my own mother, an avid fan of bad movies herself, when I was much younger. I can picture her screaming in laughter on a ratty old couch back in the seventies watching this movie, as the parade of dogs dressed up as Killer Shrews invade the house where our protagonists live, trapped on an island isolated from anyone who doesn’t smoke or drink in every shot. Some people actually cite this as a classic creature flick, which might be true. Sometimes, it actually does make some kind of sense, and it does progress in a way that could be entertaining to a mass audience. Perhaps this is why we like it so much…because we can make some kind of case for it. But make no mistake, the movie is absolutely abysmal. The acting sucks, the shews themselves are deliciously cheesy, and funny details are revealed upon numerous listens only reinforcing that this is one of the most poorly thought out movies ever. Just for a few small examples, the movie is obviously quite racist (think the classic quote “Automatic pilot can’t play Dixieland jazz on those banjos like I can!” and also the fact that god himself seems to smite our poor, sensible black accomplice), the main actress having an orgasm underneath the bizarre trashcan contraption that the team makes to escape the island, and the absolutely monumental train wreck of dialog in the final scene on the boat. This is a movie you come back to. This is a movie you watch every Halloween. Just say the name out loud, right now, in front of your computer monitor. The Killer Shrews. You know you want to watch this movie. Positively unfathomable.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

The phrase “worst movie ever” may be thrown around lightly in the world of film, but if you ask any given expert or film fan what the worst film ever made is, the chances are actually very good that they will mention Plan 9 From Outer Space. It is a movie that people talk about for a reason. Something this quotable or statistically loathed has to have something running for it, and it is true, this movie just might be the shittiest in existence. It probably isn’t the funniest in terms of poor quality, or even the most obvious, but it is a classic shitty movie. Astoundingly shitty. Written by cult hero Ed Wood, the movie is about bureaucratic aliens raising a select few zombies from the earth in hopes to take over the world, or at least save it from making the universe explode (a controversy that at first seems interesting until the viewer realizes how grossly implausible and stupid it is). And I suppose this detail might fairly represent how down-to-business this movie is in terms of it’s poor quality. From the getgo, people say stupid things, act poorly, and spot deliciously cheesy wobbling flying saucers in the sky. The magnitude of silly quotes in this movie is really uncountable. There was one good actor, Bela Lugosi, possibly the greatest hero of this entire genre. But he was given a part that held absolutely no significance to the movie and involved no dialog, the part of an old man who shortly after death was zombified by the aliens. At first this seems pretty awesome, because his specialty is bad movies. And in fact, he uses the same cape that he used in the original Dracula back in the day. But he died halfway through filming, and another extra was forced to wear the cape and hold it over his face, as if his part actually mattered or anything. Anyway, this movie definitely deserves it’s title, and perhaps through the years of shitty movies and endless questioning, it might still be the worst movie ever made. Ed Wood would accept no less.

Teenagers From Outer Space

In the great scheme of things, the most hilarious movie in the vein of “so bad it’s good” classic cinema is by far Teenagers From Outer Space. Almost nothing is good about it, and yet every bad aspect leads back to hilarity. This is the quintessential science fiction shitty movie. The premise is somewhat believable. A race of aliens that happen to speak English, and none of which are teenagers, seek to enslave the world to aid their lobster growing economy, except one of them, the son of the race’s supreme ruler (named Derek no less), who befriends the humans and wishes to turn the rest of the invaders back home. It makes some sense. The dialog is cheesy, and the acting is deplorably bad. The strongest point of the movie is it’s consistency to surprise. While movies like Plan 9 and Killer Shrews have their low spots where they are boring and do not surprise with any particular moments of idiocy, Teenagers From Outer Space stays really bad all the way through and has more memorable bad moments than other favorites. The sheer magnitude of stereotypes covered in this movie is, to many, off-putting, but it is likely that this movie staked many of them for the first time. Experts (aka my friend who knows ten times more about bad movies than I) cites some of the films best moments as the awkward alien/human cheesy love affair, classy rayguns that immediately turn all humans into the same plastic skeleton instantaneously, and the fact that the main nemesis is not a lobster, but the SHADOW of a lobster. I find few words to describe this movie. You really should get it. In fact, if you are going to get only one bad movie on this list, you had best be getting this one.