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The Worst Movie Ever

posted by Matthew on 1/30/02

It seems nearly every day that some "internet journalist" hack claims to have found the worst movie of all time, which he then describes in cliched hyperbole. It is as inevitable as Madonna adopting a goofy accent or Tom Cruise fooling no one but Michael Jackson when it comes to his sexuality. Today, however, is different; I am actually a capable writer, and the movie I speak of is so awful that it makes hyperbole almost impossible. I would have to say something like, “This movie is worse than skullfucking Hitler while being raped by Vhing Rames during which you are forced to watch both your mother getting bludgeoned to death with a tuna and a Full House marathon with the commercials replaced by necrophilia snuff films starring Colombo’s Peter Faulk and Clara Bow” to even approach what I could call hyperbole. This movie is like the offspring of Pauly Shore and God: it sucks in mysterious and incomprehensible ways.

Now, before I get e-mails, yes, I have seen a lot of awful films. From Battlefield Earth to the Wu Tang Kung Fu collection to Ed Wood, I have endured every kind of incompetent, boring, and reprehensible film. Hell, just imagine all the dire movies I have suffered through just to see some tits! You would think Kurosawa or Welles or Scorcese would have realized more people would watch their films if they saw the word “nudity” under the movie’s description in TV schedules, but no! I am forced to watch funhouses of horror like Mischief just to see Kelly Preston’s tits (hottest...beard...ever!) or claptrap like Species. My dick has worse taste in films than Rex Reed.

MST3K ruled

Until a couple nights ago, the two worst movies I have ever seen were clear. The first is superlatively nonsensical Manos: Hands of Fate (for my non-sombrero-wearing audience, that translates to Hands: Hands of Fate). Despite such a boss title, the movie is as exciting as watching flies fuck and has cinematography that looks like it was done by a drunken Thomas Edison in 1892. Written by a fertilizer salesman and performed by a cast who, unsurprisingly, included 3 suicide victims soon after production ceased (it’s true!), the movie is basically the story of an uncompromisingly boring family whose car breaks down, leaving them stuck at some weird guy’s house. This guy turns out to be an evil cult leader who wears a ceremonial garb with a big red foot on it; he is served loyally by Torgo the knock-kneed freak, who can be seen above, and a harem of women who wear ceremonial garb with a big red hand on it. Most of the movie consists of Torgo slowly (and I mean REALLY FUCKING UNBELIEVABLY SLOWLY) walking around and carrying luggage. There’s no reason for him to be doing it, outside of the fact that the director thought it would probably be a good way to take up some time. This movie is also notable for being shot without 1966! The dialogue is then dubbed over so it sounds completely disconnected from the action, like the voice over guy from Reefer Madness or something.

Elizabeth Taylor without make-up or a wig terrorizes the desert!

Tied with the Manos is The Beast of Yucca Flats, a movie which makes the fire-bombing of Dresden look like a handjob. This movie stars Tor Johnson in the leading role...and that pretty much guaranteed it would suck a great deal right there. Tor plays a big guy (no surprise) who underwent horrible radiation and, for whatever reason, decided to go evil as an effect. There is one notable scene in which he comes out of cave and throws a rock. There’s no one around to scare or hit or anything like that, he’s just so dedicated to being nuclear evil that he throws rocks even if no one’s around. This movie tops Manos in the sound department, as director Coleman Francis just fucking lost the soundtrack. His solution: full-length narration. He took the time re-dub a couple lines here and there, but most of the time all you hear is Coleman Francis’ wacked out narration saying things like “110 degrees in the shade...there is no shade.” You might as well be listening to the Dikembe Mutombo farting.


God’s revenge for Christian Rock

Now, Saving Silverman is not as technically incompetent or pathetic as either of the above mentioned films; nay, it is worse on a level much more profound and irreparable. While the other two movies were attempted horror movies with a budget comparable to my weekly apple juice allotment and cast by the Special Olympics of the film world, this movie was a high priced studio comedy. Not only that, it wasted two of the silver screen’s greatest talents in a way so mind-blowingly thorough that it makes The Velvet Goldmine’s use of uber-comedian Eddie Izzard look spirited.

Movie nerds quote me more than Monty Python

Ah, former Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, crafter of one of the greatest characters in film history: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. Ermey, in one of the seminal performances of all time, fires off lines like “I’ll bet you’re the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddam common courtesy to give him a reach-around!” and “You climb obstacles like old people fuck!” as if he was Satan’s general. This is a man who is so fucking cool in a manly, asshole type of way that I think he could play the lead in The Sound of Music and turn it into a film Hell’s Angels would be intimidated by. In this movie, however, he plays a tenth rate knock-off of Hartman as the main characters’ high school football coach who gets sent to jail for killing a referee with a yard marker by flinging it, like Achilles, something like 50 yards. It’s not funny. He also, in one of the most boneheaded decisions in movie history, gets his ass kicked by Amanda Peet. Motherfucker please! That’s like having Shaft get his ass kicked by Laverne and/or Shirley. Sadly, it is a minor disgrace compared to the ending...

They took THIS man’s dignity

Jack Black is what I imagine God would be like if he decided to be a rotund comedian with a guitar. He singlehandedly stole every damn scene he was in in High Fidelity, and his comedy band Tenacious D is funnier than Mike Tyson pronouncing words with more than two syllables. In this movie, however, he is given nothing to work with and just looks bored. They even managed to have him sing Neil Diamond songs (more on that later)...without letting him improvise and do anything funny with it! That is like making George Carlin play a straight Catholic priest!

Delta Burkestein

Could probably kick your ass

The cast is rounded out by leads Jason Biggs and Amanda Peet. Now, Biggs has absolutely zero talent; the only thing I can discern from his performances is that he is trying to play the quasi-anal retentive Jewish stereotype without going full-Seinfeld on it. Otherwise, he just stands there looking like a dumbshit. Amanda Peet, however, happens to have put in a very good performance in the awful The Whole Nine Yards and is an Ivy League educated actress with good comedic timing and well above average looks who is able to come off as a sweet girl while still keeping her edge. She, of course, is forced to play a domineering vixen, a role which she is utterly unsuited for, and is, therefore, unable to rely on any of her strong points. She’s one of those people who you can tell is just acting mean in a movie, as opposed to someone who could legitimately be an asshole, like, I don’t know, Reese Witherspoon. Steven Zahn is also wasted as Jack Black’s sidekick.

Now, for where it really gets bad...

If I had to nominate a single plot as the most disastrous in film history, this movie is definitely the frontrunner. Short of Jason Biggs, this is a first rate cast which is perfectly built for an uproarious farce. However, this screenplay would make a cast of Monty Python, Richard Pryor, the guys from Mr. Show, and George Carlin boring. The basic plotline is that Biggs, Black, and Zahn are best friends who are Neil Diamond obsessives (arrggghh) when Amanda Peet comes in and steals Biggs’ attention and time. She begins to ruthlessly dominate and humiliate Biggs and eventually convinces him to marry her. Zahn and Black, who are jealous and think that the marriage must be stopped, decide that they must kidnap Peet and set up Biggs with his high-school sweetheart, who happens to be preparing to be a nun. At this point, I’d be remiss if I did not mention how utterly frictionless Peet and Biggs are; Mickey Rourke and Estelle Getty could have more screen heat than these two. Furthermore, Biggs looks to be on ludes this entire film; the motherfucker barely blinks, let alone acts!

So, Black and Zahn’s dumbass plan works up to a point, as Biggs and the nun hook up. Of course, this also involves Black and Zahn forcefully tying up Peet and, on numerous occasions, inflicting physical violence on her to stay in their garage. They also digg up a corpse, putt it in Peet’s car, and drive it off a cliff, convincing the world that Peet’s dead. And this is a fucking comedy! To be honest, though, I don’t remember many jokes really being attempted. Peet, while in captivity, also convinces Black’s character that he’s gay; to be honest, his nonchalant reaction and the utterly unconcerned way the film handles this turn of events is telling. Apparently, the director thought just saying the word “gay” a couple times was funny, as the scene makes no sense, leads to no comic payoff, and is just there. This is, of course, followed by the rather abrupt arrival from jail of Ermey’s character. Immediately after Ermey arrives, Peet escapes, beating the shit out of the three men. She then arrives at Biggs’ house, where Biggs was about to consummate his relationship with his nun-love. Biggs, in one of the most horrifically acted scenes in the history of film, sees his dead fiancee walk into his house and, without registering more emotional reaction than Keanu Reeves eating a bagel, decides that, since he loved her first, he will return to Peet. This is such a stupefyingly bad sequence that words cannot possibly communicate how absurd and flat and embarrassing it is.

The movie slowly makes its way to its finale, with all the momentum and excitement of a BBQ fart. Black and Zahn are sprung from jail in an utterly nonsensical sequence by Ermey (who, without visiting, knows exactly where the boys are incarcerated and slams a van through the wall, leading to their rather easy escape), and then the movie gets really bad. For reason known only to God, the director decided it was a good idea for Black’s character to somehow abduct Neil Diamond; we have no clue why he does so or how (coming straight from jail, he drives to a random building and comes out with Diamond in a bag...what?!), and Diamond responds by basically being pretty cool with the whole idea. En route to interrupt Biggs’ wedding to Peet, they pick up the nun (at the exact moment she was going through her commencement ceremony), and, for no explained reason, Ermey jumps out of the van, gets hit by a few cars, and gets put back into the van. The entire group, finally, arrives at the wedding, where Diamond sings one of his awful songs and Biggs and his nun sbegin to sing along. See, they’re both Neil Diamond fans, so they’re made for each other. Peet, pissed off at the sudden loss of her fiancee, gets into a bloody fight with Zahn which includes both of them getting teeth knocked out.

The movie ends on the shittiest note possible with Peet marrying Zahn (because they hate each other), Biggs marrying the nun (because they like Neil Diamond), and Black marrying Ermey (because they had six characters and needed a third couple) a Neil Diamond concert...with the authorities apparently given up on the reclusive Black and Zahn...who are getting married at a Neil Diamond concert. It’s all as stupid and nonsensical as it sounds. What you can’t get from reading my synopsis is how every joke in the entire movie completely fails. Every one! It’s like the feeling you get watching your kid or sibling in a junior high play where everyone fucks everything up, and the crowd is just increasingly uncomfortable for the people on stage. For wrestling fans, imagine There’s Something About Marry written by Dusty Rhodes and directed by Vince Russo; unfunny and completely unnecessary homophobia mixed with idiotic plot twists that are there solely to be there.

It’s shocking this movie was made. It’s shocking someone thought that just making characters gay, without any jokes or plotting, is funny. It’s shocking that someone thought that two guys kidnapping a woman and treating her like an animal was a funny premise. It’s shocking that Zahn punching out one of her teeth was considered humorous by the writer. It’s shocking that someone thought Neil Diamond was so charismatic as to deserve a part in this movie. It’s shocking that someone could actually make a movie with a funny cast where every single joke failed. It’s shocking that no one got their asses kicked for wasting so much money on this cinema abortion. It’s shocking that I can even formulate complete sentences after devoting so much thought to this movie. After watching this movie, I felt like Moses if God just told him that he was really just playing a prank on him and that he really didn’t care much for the Israelites.

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