Sunday, February 8, 2009

The "Worst Movie Ever" Competition

The Value of Watching Terribly Bad Movies
by Jason Pyles

Contrast is a great teacher. It gives us insight into the distance between two extremes, in this case, good films and bad movies. For months, the contributors on this blog have selected unusual films that were usually also excellent.

But I think I've lost all my contributors, except maybe a faithful, singular writer. (Thanks, Andy.) And since I've gotten no one else to lose — except maybe Andy, who's characteristically intrepid — I figured I'd brave a bad movies series, just to see what we can learn from them and their awfulness.

When writing about film, it's easy to call a film good or bad, but without offering support behind those claims, such judgments are not credible, and therefore, useless.

For the next couple of months, we're going to subject ourselves to some kind of masochism to see if we can write meaningfully and critically about some of the worst films ever made.

None of the films is mandatory viewing, and the same goes especially for these movies. But just for fun, I have two unofficial selections listed below that won't be featured, but can be watched and commented on at any time. Also, Gabe Wells, one of the contributors, couldn't make a distinction between two very poor films, so during his two weeks we'll feature both movies, and you can watch either one of them --- or both as a double-header, if you dare.

Two films of special note:
No one has chosen it yet, but I've heard that Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is considered by some to be the worst film ever made. It is fair game at any time.

Also, my cousin Brian Emery tells me that "Blood Diner" (1987) is terribly good. I'm told it's extremely rare and essentially impossible to get a copy of, but alas, Brian is endlessly innovative and well-connected: One of his pals managed to order a copy of "Blood Diner" from overseas. Brian is willing to pass along "Blood Diner" and let you borrow it. If you'd like to join in on the "Blood Diner" discussion, send me your snail mailing address to

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