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Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Worst Worst Movie

Let's talk about bad movie. I love them, honestly a truly terrible movie is something to behold, something that transcends boundaries and becomes entertainment despite all points towards the contrary. There are a number of films which fit under this category of so bad it's good, including the infamous Trolls 2 which was featured in the movie the Best Worst movie. There are in fact a number of bad movies that I would watch rather than watching what may be considered a 'good' film, and I'd watch just about all of them and be more entertained than any number of average films. I'll go over a few of the most famous ones and explain what makes them good, bad, and ugly.

The first film that people like to talk about is the Room, a cult classic from the early 2000's written, directed, financed, and starred in by one guy named Tommy Wiseau. He is a vaguely European fan of unidentifiable origins, who made his money through a number of endeavors which were probably illegal, the most reputable being selling Korean made jackets. The film itself is a drama, a self-styled Citizen Kane by the director. It is often called the Kane of bad movies, because it manages to get everything wrong. The script is awful, the best actor is the mother because she's so overly dramatic, and side-plots appear and disappear with alarming regularity.

An entire essay could be written about what is wrong with the film, because it plays like a textbook on how not to make a film. There is also a strange obsession with playing football, including one scene where everyone is in Tuxes for no discernible reason. That is also a scene where one character disappears, never to be mentioned again. One of the strangest elements is a number of badly green-screened scenes on a rooftop, not only does it look bad but the budget of the film was 6 million dollars, most of which must have been used when Mr. Wiseau fired the entire cast and crew, twice. What makes it great is nothing goes right, it's the best kind of disaster. It's the same for a lot of these kind of films, but each one has something that is unique.

In this case it is the director and main actor. He is completely and utterly insane, both in character and out, including interviews and midnight screenings. He also overdubs some of his interviews, and lines in the movie, with terrible synching, and even more nonsensical responses than his original lines. Sometimes it is the creator of these movies that make them so unique, like the case of Manos: The Hands of Fate. Made on a bet by a dirt farmer he had no equipment, no actors, and no money, but still set out to make a movie because 'how hard can it be?'. It turns out it can be pretty damn difficult.

Manos was an unmitigated disaster, so much so that the cast and crew were laughed out of the first screening. The camera they had could only record 30 or so seconds of footage, and only video or sound, not both, meaning every line was overdubbed. One of the actors they hired also broke her leg during filming, and threatened to sue if she wasn't in the film, so throughout the film there are several scenes of her and guy in a car, making out. They never meet the main cast, excluding a few police officers, and never have any impact on just about anything.

Also of note is the opening ten or so minutes are simply the main characters driving, with very little dialogue or explanation. There would have been opening credits, but it turns out editing is tough as well so there are actually no credits anywhere. After this boring stretch we're introduced to Torgo, one of the main antagonists and one who's actor was on acid throughout the filming process. This leads to very strange behavior and movement from him, not entirely intentionally. But none of these elements by themselves would make it a good bad film, it's the combination of everything, from the low production values to a nonsensical script that make it great.

The film has so much heart behind it, so many unique elements mostly out of ignorance. The film is also completely public domain because no copyright was ever filed, enabling anyone to make a remake or a parody or what have you, leading to limitless possibilities to retell the honestly kind of original story. The actor playing the villain also got the part because he had his own costume, what production values, they are terrific. Honestly the movie as a whole can be watched over and over because of how many mistakes and errors were made. I've done quite a bit on just these two films so I'll stop for tonight, but remember don't just consider good films for any given film watching occasion, consider the truly shit of the shit for they can be amazing as well.

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