About 4 years ago my good friend David [Editor’s Note: Hi!] invited me to watch a movie called The Room with a group of people. Directed by Tommy Wiseau, this black comedy/ dramatic romance was the worst film I had ever seen. The poor use of stock footage, stale yet over dramatic acting, poor sound quality, and an accent that can only be described as alien. Yet it was fascinating, like watching your friend have a Subway employee mishear their order, you just want to see what happens next.
During the weekend of August 26th, 2016, many people including myself, sat down for the fourth time and watched more horrible movies. The goal of this event was to find more beautiful catastrophes like The Room. For those who were not able to participate but have interest in bad movies I have attempted to find the words to describe my experiences with some of the films I watched. My only hope is that this information can help others make responsible movie watching choices.
Arnie Swartz (Arnold Schwarzenegger) plays a male Austrian Doctor with an accent, who is developing a drug which could help barren woman carry children to birth. But when his project gets canned by the FDA, he is forced to stop his work and return to his homeland, Austria. Fellow doctor and fertility expert Danny “Frankie” Devito, stops his friend from giving up and convinces him that the only way they can keep the project alive is to run human testing in secret, on Arnie. But unable to find an embryo to fertilize with Arnie’s “swimmers”, Danny steals one from the female British scientist with an accent, Emma Thompson, and her egg freezing experiment. Hilarity ensues with all the classic early 90s feel good movie vibes.
Highlights: Arnold trying to carry babies, one of the better examples of gender role reversal humour.
The Skateboard Kid (1993)
The Skateboard Kid moves to a new town that and he is not happy about it. A skateboard gang has it out for him, his dad gets demoted from his new job as television studio manager to general fuccboi of the TV station, and apparently the guy who owns the used car lot runs the whole city. But by performing some illegal tampering of municipal equipment for the local pawn shop owner he gets a magical skateboard. He then decides that a magic skateboard isn’t cool enough and has to make it a robot with Dom Deluise’s voice as well, since nothing says skateboarding like Felix from American Tails. He then uses his magic robot skateboard to break up a relationship, take down the skateboard gang, and find a buried treasure. Scott Border, yeah yeah yeah. Scat Border, yeah.
Highlights: Dom Deluise, and the completely legitimate music video at the end of the movie of a song that wasn’t in the movie at all.
Teen Witch (1989)
In this, the 3rd installment of the Exorcist franchise, our favourite tiny old woman is tired of exorcising teenage girls and decides to help them become popular in high school instead. Robyn Lively (Blake Lively’s older and infinitely better sister) is a lucky girl whose life gets turned upside down. Through various music numbers, misadventures, and the disintegration of one geeky kid, she learns the values of friendship and being true to one’s self. Honestly just watch this movie, it’s so good. Nothing can Top That!
Jack and Jill (2011)
In this real life version of the Producers, Adam Sandler convinces as many celebrities as possible that they can get Hollywood to pay for a cruise, a Laker’s game, and a trip to a Spanish castle by banking in on the insurance money. Spoilers: it works, and everyone gets through each scene as fast as possible so they can get back to the cruise.
This documentary details the struggles of three main conflicts, the invasion of the walking catfish species into the Florida waterways, a man who has to deal with dumb people and just wants to be a fish, and one woman and the struggle to remember her lines without the script in her hands. Our second party is able to attain his desire using a unique scientific formula and becomes a fish man, which is in a surprisingly clever costume for early 70s television. Sadly though this creates a new struggle of moving around in a costume covering a scuba suit. This creature strikes down those who wrong him before turning his anger towards the rest of humanity, excluding the hippies, who are pretty cool dudes.
Highlights: Again really cool how they made a costume over a scuba suit, and the 70s were just such a great time, man.
God’s of Egypt (2016)
The orgy child of 300, Power Rangers, Xena, and the Egyptian pantheon, this movie is actually surprisingly entertaining. Jaime Lannister plays the god Horus, who is inheriting Egypt from his father but Gerard Butler doesn’t like that much and murders Jamie’s father and pulls out Jamie’s eyes. Elektra then saves Jamie’s life because she loves him and Jamie is exiled to the desert where Butler once lived. A nondescript male human protagonist must now steal back Jamie’s eyes and defeat Gerard Butler in order to restore Egypt to it’s better slightly less desert-like state.
Highlights: Egyptian mecha Power Ranger’s fights, the Captain Barbosa of the Black Pearl piloting a sky ship [EN: R.I.P. Geoffrey Rush’s career].
A poor woman comes to Las Vegas to be a dancer and makes her first mistake, going to Las Vegas. Shortly thereafter she mugs a guy then karmically gets all of her stuff stolen. She befriends a make-up artist/university student and proceeds to mooch off of her forever. Through her mooching she paints her nails, strips, and then dances her way to the top and does whatever she can to stay there, including seducing Muad’Dib to let the spices flow.
Highlights: Muad’Dib continues to control dance girls while governing the Freemen and collecting the spice, how good everyone is at dancing.
The Happening (2008)
A man has the luckiest day of his life: He just landed the million dollar deal he need to push his online company to the top, he meets the high school hottie of his dreams who also happens to double as a supermodel, and he just placed an order for a Ford Mustang [EN: Which is a plug in hybrid]. Nothing could go wrong, or so he thought. Due to global warming, humanity’s lack of solar panels, and general environmental ignorance the birds have started crashing into buildings and exploding in fiery destruction. After this event begins, our rag tag couple will have to make their way through this birdemic, or die trying.
Highlights: Hanging out, hanging out, hanging out with the family, having ourselves a par-teh [EN: *Clap*].
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)
As Marky Mark ponders why the bees have disappeared, a group of people within New York’s central park commit suicide in really weird ways. The north eastern part of the country goes into a panic as the government, and our funky bunch of heroes try to figure out whether this strange happening is due to terrorists, the government, pollution, or an inexpiable natural phenomenon. Their only hope is that they can escape the disaster zone before they are filled with not so good vibrations.
Highlights: I don’t know for this one, just give me a minute, give me a minute, dammit, can someone give me a goddamn minute. Lawnmowers, and a completely superfluous bottle of cough syrup [EN: And hot dogs!].
Troll 2 (1990)
Open on a forested area, where we see a man being chased by the scariest ewoks I have ever seen. These creatures run him down until we find out at a particular climatic part that we are actually hearing a story being told by a grandfather to a child getting ready for bed. Grandpa Seth is warning the child that goblins are coming to inflict a really convoluted plot onto the child and his family. To inform our viewers it should also be noted that though this film is named Troll 2, the film is neither a sequel nor has any trolls.
Highlights: You don’t piss on hospitality, popcorn sex, Grandpa Seth
Fateful Findings (2013)
Neil Breen, architect, film maker, space Jesus, and overall just the best, gives us a truly beautiful experience by recreating a fever dream-esque sequence within this movie. As a child Neil Breen finds a weird mystical die which has been painted black a bunch to times and is really shiny. This lets him hack everything as a successful writer and a failed computer scientist, which according to Neil Breen is a fate worse than death. But life takes a weird turn when as an adult Neil Breen forgets how to use a crosswalk and gets hit by a car. This one event has a domino effect which resonates through his current marriage, his high school sweet heart’s marriage, and his best friend’s family.
Highlights: Neil Breen getting hit by a car repeatedly, when the doctor who hijacked you as a patient crashes your pool party, the thought of working in Neil Breen’s architecture office while this is being filmed
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
After a gruesome boating accident a small child is left without a home and family, due to the outdated partnership laws of the 70s. This kid is then left with their deranged relatives who have decided that when you are this mentally unstable you should do what every parent does when they want to get rid of their kids, send them to a sleepaway Camp. All appears to be a casual summer experience, until people start dying one by one in increasingly horrific ways. Can the kids stay alive with all this trouble afoot or are they more involved in these deaths than we thought?
Highlights: This was the good movie that snuck through, I loved every moment from the grueling summer camp friend-making experience to the horrific beehive related homicides.
– Ian Fyfe