Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Bad Movie of the Month Club

A few years ago, hitting Blockbuster became dreadful for me.  Seemed like fewer and fewer watchable movies were coming out, and I was becoming alarmed at the number of times I’d drop $5 or so to only make it halfway through a C-grade effort like Tomcats.  After college, I swept through every classic movie I hadn’t seen but wanted to, including the Hitchcocks and 007s.  Unfortunately this well was tapped dry before too long, again leaving me with hour-long triple rounds through the New Releases aisles.  My saving grace arrived when my sister founded our Bad Movie of the Month Club.

In a nutshell, you play your own game of MST3K.  Go for ridiculously bad movies that are unintentional comedies.  You have to pick selectively, though, there are many films out there that are just upsettingly bad.  I nearly lost my wife over Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and lasted 2 minutes into Dude, Where’s My Car (I should note that I later endured the entire thing during a work trip in Detroit – beat going downtown by a mile, maybe 8 miles.  Anyway, by the end of the movie, aliens get involved in the plot.  Stay away for your own sake).  

So what to go for?  Worried that you’ll mistakenly grab a crappy movie instead of a funny-bad one?  Put the training wheels on by getting a MST3K classic like Santa Claus versus the Martians or Pod People.  You’ll quickly get the feel and be ready to move on as a sophomore member.  

You can rarely go wrong with crossover movies featuring pop stars (Glitter, Cold As Ice), rappers (anything directed by Master P is a lock), or athletes (Shazzam, Suburban Commando, Simon Sez).  If we’re lucky, Jessica Simpson might one day costar in a 50-Cent-directed action thriller featuring Terrell Owens.  That’d be off the chizzle.

Straight-to-video efforts by no-name directors with no budget thinking they can make up for an allowance-provided budget can work well, as American Movie taught us.  The no-money horror movie far and away owns BMOTM Club collection.  Makes sense, considering how incredibly hilarious the 70s/80s horror films have become over time.  Usually the good picks stand out in the horror movie section.  Rodentz (hide your cheese!) is easily an all-timer for me, with its paper-mache creature of fright, terminator-rat-eye shots, and endless bloopers passed off as scenes.  

Sequels are clearly the goldmine though.  It’s like a guy in his thirties letting himself go.  Thought the above list has it all?  Take it to the next level with Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, The Dentist 2 (Truth or Tooth!), Sleepaway Camp 2: Happy Campers, Leprechaun: Back in da Hood, and others!  Another big one in our household was Bring It On 2.  Really classic stuff there.  Even Bond isn’t invincible.  The Dalton-piloted License to Kill is an abomination, featuring a Van-Damme styled plot, a tied-up Felix being fed to sharks by drug dealers (he’s okay!), Hispanic clichés across the board (the Mexican villain is introduced with a Spanish guitar riff in most scenes and can’t help but slip back into his native tongue when trying to say difficult English words like “Mister” or “Thank You” or “One moment please.”  Isn’t it strange how those words are always such a language barrier?), and more.  I’m telling you, Segal or Vin Diesel is filming the remake as we speak.  I honestly need to revisit this as its own topic – a few sentences couldn’t possibly cover how L2K is definitively the worst Bond Film ever made, including Never Say Never Again.  At least you can laugh at this one; Connery’s is just depressing.  

There’s one final blue chip to look for in the BMOTM Club: the R-rated pornos.  When Showtime gets jealous of Skinemax but won’t totally cross the line, you get…Naked Ambition!  Or some of these other fine jems: Sex Court, The Sex Substitute (2), and more.  All the acting you’ve come to expect in an X, but with a laughable attempt at character development instead of 15 minute sex scenes!  Fantastic!  You may take this and try to tangent off into Lifetime original movies, but I would strongly caution against that ill-fated decision.

So, when you hit the video store this weekend (why in the world haven’t you gotten Netflix yet???) and are playing Russian Roulette with Derailed, Elizabethtown, The Man, and Rent, remember that you have an alternative.  Say no to time-wasting flicks and get yourself some real entertainment on the Bad Movie Train!


Blogger Sarah said...

My friends and I used to do this back in the day (highschool). It has a lot of potential for laughs. The most memorable was this one movie throughout which the mic would drop into the shot...seriously.

5:26 PM, April 08, 2006


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