There was a time when I found no joy in terrible movies. I was raised to appreciate good films, and to see through the crap that the monkeys we call movie producers often fling at the screen in hopes that it will stick. As I grew older, though, I also grew wiser. I began to see the subtle joy I could feel from watching terrible movies. Instead of running from them, I embraced them.
The awkward dialogue, the terrible special effects, the forced romances and emotionally stunted characters. All of it became like a fine wine, and a wine that, for a long while, I chose to bathe in. Whereas some people only sip, and know when to say no, I made myself drunk on bad films, until it finally reached an apex with a film called Birdemic, but more on that later.
Does bad get any better than this? No. No it doesn’t. But trust me, it takes time to appreciate just how terrible this movie is, and I can forgive anyone who can’t.
This movie is SO bad, that you will watch it the first time, in awe. Everyone does. You will be in awe that anyone thought this was acceptable. You will be in awe that the performances in this film were ever actually allowed to be seen by anyone. You will be awed by some of the most uncomfortable love scenes you have ever seen. You will be in awe of the lack of continuity and the plot lines that are mentioned and allowed to fall away like sink holes. And then, as you sit there in awe, something snaps.
And it all becomes pure comedy gold.
To give you an idea just how unfathomably terrible this film is, let me show you just one scene. I need to warn you, lay some plastic bags around your laptop right now, because this clip is so bad, it oozes shit.
Every single, conceivable thing that could be done wrong in a film is done wrong here.
That single clip is only nineteen seconds long, and you can list an indefinite number of things that is wrong with it:
The syncing of the audio in the scene is off.
The forced, odd dialogue exchange between the two characters.
The rushed pacing of the scene for no reason.
Her initial reaction to Johnny (doesn’t know him and then, by the end, he is her favorite customer apparently).
His interactions with the dog. ” Oh, Hai Doggiee!” I spelled it weird because everything he says sounds weird.
Even if half of us tried, we could not make a scene that terrible. And like I said, that is nineteen seconds of a full length film. But somehow, after multiple viewings, it transcends crap and becomes absolutely hilarious. I would have to say Denny is my favorite character. He is a creepy mix between a child and a man (he looks like he could be anywhere between 16-37 years old) and his undefined relationship with Johnny and Lisa makes no sense in a world littered with things that make even LESS sense.
You want to see just how awkward Denny is? Here you go:
Arghhh, kill it with fire!
And don’t even get me started on Lisa. I truly believe there has never been a less appealing character ever put to film. Not to sound shallow, but she is so ugly that she is hard to watch. Come to think of it, that seems to be a running theme for the film, ugly people. Seriously, though, Lisa looks like a gamorrean guard from Star Wars. Except, we have to watch her have sex multiple times.
This is from a headshot from her actual IMDB page.
From the forced football games (of catch, in tuxedos?), to the films final, staggering moments, this film is so abysmal, that it becomes like magic. This is one film that has a cult following that is completely justified. I honestly could talk about this movie for days, so I better just stop now. Oh wait, one more clip. Keep in mind, this scene is supposed to be serious.
A Streetcar named disgusting.
On a final note, if you can ever find a midnight showing of this, go to it. The fans are almost as die hard as Rocky Horror, and it ends up being an amazing time. David Cross and Patton Oswalt have even held personal viewing parties, just to give you a full idea of the madness surrounding this film.
And don’t get fooled if you see ads billing this as a black comedy. The movie was made with a dead serious tone in mind, and insane filmmaker Tommy Wiseau has taken to calling it a black comedy since he learned people are laughing so manically at it.
I would think even the least internet savvy of you would know to expect this movie on the list. This is one of those movies that has attained a cult following over time for just how completely terrible it is, through and through. Often considered the best worst film ever made, there is even a documentary for it called, well, The Best Worst Movie Ever Made.
For me, the craziest part in all of this is the realization that this movie came out in 1990. Yes, the same year as Goodfellas and Dances With Wolves.
This is not a poor cosplay re-enactment. This is the ACTUAL FILM. Note the consistency between the appearances of the trolls.
This is another movie that is just so overwhelmingly bad, you can’t even fathom how it was made while you are watching it. Every effect is laughable. Every line of dialogue sounds like it was written by 6 year olds. And once you see the documentary about it, and you realize how much of a misfire it truly was on all cylinders, only then can you appreciate it for what it is. Bad art.
Everyone talks about this scene, but no one talks about the fly that lands on his face at the fourteen second mark and stays there. That has always stood out to me.
While I do not have the type of affection for Troll 2 that I do for The Room, I still think it is so terrible it borders on fantastic.
Oh, and this happens:
In attempting to refrain from making a Gumby money shot joke here, I ultimately made a Gumby money shot joke here.
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
Me having seen this movie was a direct result of how bad the last two films were. and I am infinitely grateful for it. You see, once friends caught wind of the fact that I adored bad films (adored being past tense, which will I will explain later) they began to send me films and bust out weird and rare films when I would hang out with them, just to see what I thought of it. This is one of those films. I truly believed that this was a modern day grindhouse satire when I first saw it a few years ago, it was that awful.
If you think about it, the entire concept is right there in the title. It is a f***ing bed that eats people. And it doesn’t even eat them in a cool way, with giant teeth and a mouth or anything. It just turns them to an odd yellow foam. So really, the bed is more acid filled than an actual bed that eats people, but those are small details.
And while some say the humor is intended in certain scenes (like the hands scene I am about to show you), in other moments in the film, they are obviously going for tension and scares, and the end result still comes across funny as hell.
So you want to understand why I love a film that is so terrible? Please watch this entire scene, and try not to have your mind blown in the process.
This, my good friends, is filmmaking at its finest.
It is a strange journey, unlike any other you have ever experienced. I think the scene when the bed drinks Pepto Bismol is the scene where I realized I had veered of the road of normalcy at frightening speeds, and much to my joy. The only creepy thing about this movie is the fact that someone had the balls to make it. I am weird, though, so I love it.
” I swore I had flesh wrapped around these things a minute ago.”
And if any of you guys do recall the grindhouse sub-genre of films, than you know that at the time, directors were making movies based around the idea of every possible thing killing people. There were killer cars, killer hands, killer rabbits (shout out to Night of the Lupine), killer fish, killer clowns. Basically, directors were just throwing the word “killer” in front of normal things. And this film, if I can actually call it that, existed because of those types of films.
Thank you, grindhouse. Just thank you.