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July 23, 2007

{     Some of My Favorite Shitty Movies     }    

12. Cursed
11. The Big Hit
10. Airborne
9. Hudson Hawk
8. xXx
7. Miami Vice
6. Bio-Dome
5. Hard Target
4. Showgirls
3. Clambake
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
1. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Click "read on" to, well, um... read on.

12. Cursed - There are two main reasons to watch this: a) Seeing Shannon Elizabeth's disemboweled upper-torso tossed at Christina Ricci's enormous forehead and b) During one of the climactic final battles, one of the werewolves totally flips Christina Ricci's enormous forehead the bird. This film is yet another naive attempt by Wes Craven to go "meta" (See also Wes Craven's New Nightmare) by locating his story in La-La Land and involving real life celebs and characters written to be a part of the film and TV industry (Cameos by Scott Baio and Craig Kilborn!) It also features as one of it's main set-pieces a nightclub full of props, replicas and wax figures from horror films gone by, sort of like a Madame Tussad's with appletinis and overpriced Heinekens. So overwrought is this set, so detailed and cluttered and voluminous that it's very presence in the film dwarfs any attempt to "act", even by horror movie standards. It's so distracting that it almost makes you forget how terrible an idea it is for Christina Ricci to wear her hair pulled back, on account of the enormosity of a certain part of her physical anatomy that I may have mentioned twice already.

11. The Big Hit - Marky "Mumbles" Wahlburg stonefaces his way through this action romp pretty much looking like he has to poop the whole time. Thankfully, a subplot involving his hitman best-bro "Crunch" played by Bokeem Woodbine keeps things moving. Crunch begins the film with typical playa-centric troubles juggling his ladies. One of his fellow hitman buddies suggests taking matters into his own hands. Crunch initially scoffs, full of typical testosterone-fueled gangsta hyperbole about how he's always had a woman to take care of his needs. Eventually, in a moment of weakness, he gives in and rubs one out. From then on, he finds himself obsessed with jerking it; finding the right lotion, the best pornography, he is a man reborn- wanking becomes his self-help twelve-step life-saver.
Oh, and there's also a crazy Asian guy hawking a film he funded and starred in called Taste the Golden Spray.

10. Airborne - This movie takes the basic formula established by predecessors Rad and Thrashin' and crystallizes it into 91 minutes of pure fucking adolescent fantasy hardcore rollerblading brilliance. It's your basic story: new-kid-in-town rubs the local bad dudes the wrong way, falls in love with the sister of the bad dudes, has a showdown with said bad dudes and ends up proving himself not only worthy of the love of the girl, but a solid homeboy to those that once despised him. And then some even badder dudes show up, and the newly aligned homies have to take them on in the rollerblade race to end all rollerblade races. What's awesome about this is that the final confrontation is set up as a kinda class war, with the noble blue-collar and working class kids vs. the evil rich bastards. Also, you get a super-duo of comedic sidekicks with both Seth Green and Jack Black showing out, all young and fresh-faced and stupid.

9. Hudson Hawk - I can't believe the guy who wrote this isn't suing the shit out of Dan Brown, it's basically The Da Vinci Code with laughs and way too much stupid fucking singing. And why is this movie still better than The Da Vinci Code? Because instead of the Priory of Sion's albino-creepazoid hitman, HH has an entire team of hitmen named after candy bars. That's right, candy bars.

8. xXx - Quite possibly the most unintentionally hilarious film ever made, "Triple-X" is essentially a Mountain Dew commercial that freebased too much meth and morphed into a feature film. The main character is a preposterous amalgamation of extreme pop-culture cliches. Think Jackass meets Hackers meets Poochie from that Simpson's episode and a little bit of Charlie Sheen from Navy Seals and you're still not even close to how dumb this is. Among the more ridiculous highlights is a scene in which Vin Diesel jumps a 30cc minibike over a 15 foot barbed-wire fence. Then he jumps it over a giant warehouse. With no ramp. While the warehouse is exploding.

7. Miami Vice - About an hour into the film it suddenly occurred to me that Colin Farrell was trying to do some sort of southern accent with his character. They say that Farrell got a little too heavy into the Colombian booger sugar during filming, and it would be easy to blame that on his unintelligibility (and also why he's so damn sweaty in EVERY scene) but the reality is that he's just "acting" the fuck out of his role. Jamie Fox also "gets his act-on" with alternating currents of saccharine charm and macho bravado. The thing I love the most about this movie is how absolutely grimy, oily, sweaty and blurry everything is. The performances of the two leads are like twin rivers of magma-hot neon shit running through the middle of that, destroying everything in their path, deadly and noxious, and you just can't help but stare as they ooze and bubble their way across the landscape.

6. Bio-Dome - I will watch (and enjoy) any movie starring Pauly Shore, with the sole exception of Encino Man. The reason I prop Bio-Dome here above other Shore classics is twofold: A Tenacious D cameo and Stephen Baldwin. My reasons for loving The D are obvious, but in order to understand why I absolutely love Stephen Baldwin, you'll need to pick up his book "The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith". Let me share a quote with you: "I like to ask friends of mine, happy couples who seem to have a pretty good marriage, I will ask them, `How's your sex life?' . . . They will say something like pretty good or okay or no complaints here. Here's what I tell them: Imagine taking a healthy sex life and inviting the power of God into that exchange." Yes, that is actually in print. He talks at length about his pot-smoking half-retarded Bio-Dome character Doyle and admits that it wasn't much of a stretch for him to play the role at that point in his life, pre-hardcore Born Again. Stevie B is the best thing to happen to Jesus since Mexicans.

5. Hard Target - John Woo popped his Hollywood cherry with this '93 Van Damme vehicle, setting him down a dark path from which most feel he has never returned. Hard Target is the only Van Damme film to come up with anything close to a plausible reason for his ridiculous accent, casting him as an oily-mulleted Creole in the Louisiana bayou. The story that evolves from there is considerably less plausible, with the script consisting essentially of a rehash of "The Most Dangerous Game" threaded through with stunts and action choreography Woo cribbed from his own pre-US work. It's amazing to watch the collision of Hollywood action cliche with Woo's poetic bullet-ballet style, hokey catchphrases are dropped following breathtaking action scenes, explosions occur seemingly at random, there's even a fucking chase scene on horseback. It's like looking at an immaculate wedding cake embellished with gummi bears and oatmeal cream pies.

4. Showgirls - This film made me a Saved By the Bell fan all over again. Part of the appeal, of course, was seeing our teen-TV sweetheart Elizabeth Berkley deflowered on-screen. The rest of the appeal came in the film's amazing juxtaposition of the classic underdog-rises-to-the-top-then-falls-from-grace plotline (think Rocky for strippers) with some of the most provocative sexuality and sexual violence to ever hit the mainstream big screen. It's a train-wreck mish-mash of everything that Hollywood hold dear, and nobody seems to ever understand that Verhoeven is directing satire here (just as with most of his other American films), regardless of how bombastic and over-the-top he makes things.

3. Clambake - Not only was Elvis the King of Rock and Roll, he was the undisputed king of Shitty Movies as well. Because anything with his name slapped on it automatically sold, he was forced to star in an astounding number of absolutely ridiculous films, and Clambake is the best of the worst. It's like Trading Places in Hawaii!!! With fake water-skiing!!! And a psychedelic playground children's sing-along!!! Wikipedia tells me that this was also one of the first movies over which Elvis expressed true concern regarding the quality of the features he was starring in, which snowballed into the shame-spiral of depression that supposedly lead to his eating disorder. Clambake gave us Fat Elvis!!!

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 - I lived in a tiny pissant town in Texas when this movie came out, and it was such a big deal that they hired a guy to wear a full-on Leatherface costume and ride around in the back of a pickup truck swinging a running chainsaw at traffic and passersby to get people hyped up. (As if I weren't already going to be there on opening night.) My brother and I may have been the only people in the theater who weren't disappointed. This film is a comedy, and if you go into it looking for anything other than that, you'll be disappointed. Legend has it that Dennis Hopper was sucking down a half-gallon of Jack a day during the filming of TCM2, and that was just to take the edge off the eight-ball he'd just ripped through. It shows. The circles under his eyes are blacker than midnight, and he looks ready to accidentally chainsaw through his own leg at any moment. And what better "hero" for a film where the real heroes kinda turn out to be the family full of cannibalistic murdering psychopaths anyway?

1. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - I knew they were on to something with this sequel when instead of releasing the standard press-packet of film stills and teaser trailers, the F&F:TD squad instead put out glamor-shots of bikini-clad Japanese race-queens posing with the cars featured in the film. William Castle would be pleased (and slightly aroused). I don't even know if I've seen all of the first two films, and I honestly wouldn't have ever bothered with this one if they hadn't pre-packaged it so well. In addition to the fan service T&A, they also put together a pretty amazing soundtrack, with my favorite 5, 6, 7, 8s track ("Barracuda") and the mind-shattering title track performed by the Teriyaki Boyz. So of course I had to check it out. What spewed out before me for the next one-and-three-quarter hours was nothing short of genius. It flashes before me now like some kind of fever dream: Redneck... muscle car... Bow Wow... schoolgirl... Hulkmobile... DK=Donkey Kong? DK=Drift King!... yakuza... mountain race... Don Omar??? This is a cross-cultural social-commentary fish-out-of-water story broken down into shiny easily digested chunks, engaging the lowest common denominator. It's Lost in Translation for retards and I love it.


I know you're limited to dozens here but you gotta give an honorable mention to The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. That shit was THE Bomb and A Bomb. Those dwarves (I'm sorry Little People) dressed up as barfin' fartin' pre-adolescent miscreants won my heart as soon as they stepped out from behind those mysterious slime filled buckets in the basement of that antiques store.

Posted by: Aaron at July 24, 2007 6:19 PM

Props to GPK: The Movie, for sure.
As you well know, I could wax on this subject for days, so maybe I'll unleash a part two someday, or just make it an ongoing series.

Posted by: Adam at July 24, 2007 10:33 PM

A series would be splendid!

Posted by: GSB at July 25, 2007 8:32 PM

I must say you hit on some classics (<3 Showgirls). I am such a sucker for watching shitty movies. I watch them thinking it can't get any worse and then it does and I am so amazed I keep watching. I want to throw one of my favorites, the fish that saved Pittsburgh. Of course there is Pootie Tang but I think they knew it was going to be shitty so I don't know if that counts. Thanks for the good dozen.

Posted by: Tara at August 2, 2007 8:32 PM

That review of Miami Vice is absolutely beautiful especially the genius last sentence. . .lol 4 hrs

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