Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Every year, I subject myself to a week of eye blistering, soul crushing, brain cell shredding torture as I plow through the very worst films of the year all in one go. Just about everything I hadn't yet seen with a notorious reputation gets screened here at the Casa de la Wyrm, whether it is going to make the list or not. Truth is, only a small fraction of what I watch makes it in, but it lets me write my list in peace, confident that I saw everything truly awful and don't just shit out some lazy "These are the worst films I bothered to see this year and want to take some parting jabs at" list to tack on to my top 10. These are the 10 films that truly hurt, that pained me to watch all the way through.
10) Skyline. I always reserve my 10 spot for the very best-worst movie of the year, and this year, that movie is SKYLINE. The story of several douchebags, trapped in their swank, LA apartment during an alien invasion, this movie throws needless subplots at you in the vain hope of getting you to give a shit – when in truth it makes you hate its characters even more. Of course, that makes it all the better. If you cared, it wouldn’t be as funny. There is nothing clever or redeeming about SKYLINE except to say that it transcends its own awfulness and becomes funnier than it should be. The film goes from bad, to awful to fucking ridiculous and never, ever looks back. Beer plus SKYLINE equals an hour and a half that you probably won’t regret. Read my initial thoughts here.
9) Valentine's Day. This is what happens when an aging director calls in every favor he has left in hopes of making his own version of LOVE, ACTUALLY, but doesn’t actually square together solid enough of a script to get him the film he was hoping to make. When Ashton Kutcher is the very best thing about your movie, you have problems and boy howdy, this movie sure as shit has problems. It wants to be so much at once that it becomes a steady stream of nothing. The worst part of it is that you can see an honest to God movie swimming around in there, but one that is lost and drowning in a film that wants to surprise you with its twists rather than deliver simple, straight forward emotion. If this were a film about a florist on Valentine’s Day, jumping through hoops to save relationships or sidestep disasters, this could have been something. Instead, it’s about more characters than any sane person can pay attention to, all trying to hide something from you until the third act…with a florist. A total waste.
8) Resident Evil: Afterlife. I received more angry letters and tweets for not covering this wretched little mongrel than I’ve ever received for passing something up in the past. Apparently, some folks still feel the need to be warned off from the fourth bad film of a remarkably tainted franchise. But this one was the very worst of the series. Anderson desperately needs to take a cue from the Paul W.S Anderson that made DEATH RACE and stop using CG altogether if he can help it. This is a guy who needs to be making practical effect genre movies, not silly, CG festivals of farce that we can never, ever connect with. I don’t think I’ve ever given so little a shit about survivors of a zombie holocaust before, and I’ve seen BURIAL GROUND. Twice.
7) Vampires Suck. Friedberg. Seltzer. This is pretty much the same as every other shit-stain they've greased out over the last several years. To be fair, it is probably the best film they've ever made, if only because they spent more time imitating TWILIGHT than they did making fun of it. And on the upside, they hired an actress capable of mimicking every single one of Kristen Stewarts expressions (both of them). But it's still an unending run of low rent gay jokes, "remember that movie/TV show/cultural moment from 6 months ago" references, idiotic dance sequences, and whenever they can't think of anything else to do, somebody gets punched in the face inexplicably. These films are so lazy at this point that I can't even bring myself to get mad about them.
6) The Back-Up Plan. Oh dear Christ. Now we’re out of the bad films and into the utterly unwatchable ones. THE BACKUP PLAN is the stereotype of movies that do nothing but stereotype. It is so patently artificial and embarrassingly forced that it’s almost hard to believe that it is a real movie. But it is. And it was one of the most gut wrenching experiences I had of the year.
5) Gulliver’s Travels. Wow. Really? A Jack Black film made it onto my worst of the year list? Imagine my utter surprise. But GULLIVER’S TRAVELS isn’t just bad; it pushes the very boundaries of what is considered “juvenile.” The minute Gulliver gets to Lilliput, the first thing the movie does is pull down Gulliver’s pants and trips him so he can shove a Lilliputian up his ass. Moments later, the King is in mortal danger from a fire, with water nowhere in sight, so Gulliver must whip it out for King and country. And if gags like that weren’t enough, all it takes for Gulliver to woo the woman he’s been stalking for five years is to mention that he’s “had a crush” on her and that’s why he’s been skulking around her office so long. I don’t think this movie was simply written FOR Twelve-year-olds; I think it was actually written BY Twelve-year-olds.
4) My Soul to Take. The question isn’t “How could Wes Craven make such a bad movie?” He’s made terrible, terrible films before. CURSED anyone? The question here is whether or not this is the worst thing he’s ever made. It just might be. Dumped for obvious reasons and mostly ignored by everyone, this is one of those films that would have felt right at home in 1981, during the infamous glut of slasher horror knock offs, and still would have been completely forgotten. The film is about a schizophrenic killer named “The Ripper” (ooooh! Scaaarrrrry!) who may or may not have been killed on the same night as seven of the town’s teenage stereotypes were born. Now known chiefly for their shared birthday, this Jock, Slut, Religious fanatic, dork, token black guy, token goofy Asian guy and school weirdo must suddenly contend with the possible return of this killer on their 16th birthday. There are HUGE secrets that are obvious from the get go and silly plot twists that will just frustrate the living fuck out of you. This was the very definition of bad horror from a legendary director who continues to disappoint us time and again. Oh, and the ending will probably make you want to punch someone in the face for no other good reason.
3) Furry Vengeance. Holy fuck. Watching this back to back with MARMADUKE only served to show how the *exact same fucking story* can be told poorly and how it can be told in a manner that retroactively damages your very childhood. Where MARMADUKE tried its damndest to avoid butt-sniffing jokes and slipping in poo gags, FURRY VENGEANCE relishes them. In place of celebrity voice over, we get treated to visual thought bubbles over the heads of angry, sentient animals who are dead set on protecting their forest from developers – all while an out of shape Brendan Fraser mugs for the camera as he moronically wanders into every ridiculous Rube Goldberg trap these gleefully demonic woodland creatures set for him. It’s like watching ANTICHRIST for children, only you're the one that ejaculates blood.
And yet, nothing, I mean NOTHING, in the film can prepare you for how diabolically Lovecraftian the end credits are. I dare you to watch all the way through. Once you do, you will truly understand the nature of the elder gods.
Oh, Ken Jeong. Noooo.
2) The Last Airbender. Early last year, my wife and I decided to prepare for the release of THE LAST AIRBENDER by watching the original animated series AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. Within a few episodes, we were hooked and plowed through the series, all the way to the end, enjoying the hell out of it while trying to turn on as many people to its overall awesomeness as we could. 20 minutes into this shitstorm and my wife did something she’s never once done to me during a film in our 16 years together; she said “I’m ready to go now.” Not only is THE LAST AIRBENDER disrespectful of the original material, it is also just a good old fashioned terrible movie. And it only got worse. Easily the worst thing Shyamalan has ever done, this film redefined how awful a studio adaptation could be. Usually, even when adults hate the shit out of something, they have to roll their eyes at their children who – lacking a fully developed sense of taste – like it despite itself. But when even eight year olds want to hatefuck your movie in the face because you can’t even pronounce the name of the characters right, you’ve accomplished something truly special. It takes a real clusterfuck to make a kids movie that even kids hate. Way to go M. Night.
1) Standing Ovation. When word got out that Legendary director Stewart Raffill had once again returned to the chair, no one was quite sure what to expect. It's hard to find a director as notorious as the one behind such dispicable awfulness as MAC AND ME, MANNEQUIN 2: ON THE MOVE and ICE PIRATES. But his exploits beyond the early 90's all seemed to fall flat - never again quite able to achieve the level of bad one would expect from someone capable of this:
Well, he's back, baby! And this time Raffill has really outdone himself. STANDING OVATION is nothing but one inexplicable nonsequitur after another. Just when you think you have a bead on what the fuck this movie is doing BAM! it's doing something else entirely. Worse still, it feels like a Disney Channel film made with a complete and utter lack of adult supervision. There are dance routines performed in this by 12 year old girls that will destroy your career if anyone walks in on you watching it alone.
You know what you didn't see? Scorpions. Mobsters. Gambling addiction. Oh, and the jaw dropping final 15 minutes of the film. This film is a complete and total mess and a goldmine for connesuirs of truly terrible cinema. I hear this thing tore the roof off of the New Beverly when it played and I have friends so deeply in love with the utter insanity of it all that they're pissed I've even considered it for my worst of list - let alone for the top spot. You've not seen anything quite like it - nor should you without alcohol, friends and a strap around your chin to keep your mouth closed.
And those, my friends, are the very worst films of the year.
Until next time,