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Often people overly and unfairly despise big movies (Star Wars 1-3 being a quite prominent example of this) based on no concrete things, which is something which also irritates me (I discussed this in Finnish in another article).
Here is a list of movies which I consider truly bad because of their technical details (and not because "I expected it to be a mind-blowing movie but it disappointed me"). While these are, of course, only my opinions, I truly think that if you want to see a really bad movie, you can choose any from this list.
I will probably update this page (by adding items at the end) when I get to watch more horrible movies.
The first Superman movie was quite ok, especially taking into account that it was made in 1978. The special effects are quite good for that time and overall it's quite well made.
However, the sequels of the movie get worse and worse with each one. Superman 2 is already quite bad compared to the original and Superman 3 starts being just ridiculous in special effects, script and acting.
However, the culmination of badness is reached with Superman 4. All the previous movies are good compared to this. It's just simply and plain horrible in every possible aspect. The script is utterly naive and boring, the acting is horrible (especially that of the main villain) and the special effects are simply crap. Movies made 10 years earlier had often much better special effects than this.
What makes this worse is that the movie tries to be a "big movie" like its precedessors. The result is a total abomination which should have never been made.
This is a serious candidate for the worst movie ever.
The original movie, An American Werewolf in London, was made in 1981. Its special effects were groundbreaking at the time, and are actually pretty good even by nowadays' standards. The story is also quite good and it still has quite impressive and thrilling moments (especially the first quarter of the movie is very thrilling and has a great ambient). I warmly recommend this movie for any classic movie enthusiast.
The sequel, An American Werewolf in Paris, was made in 1997 and is a great example of a Sequel Which Should Have Never Been Done.
The original movie, having been made in the early 80's, uses special effects of that time, and they are surprisingly well done. The sequel uses computer graphics for its special effects, and they look HORRIBLE! They are so horrible that I couldn't actually watch the entire movie.
I'm not very picky about movies like so many people seem to be. I have heard way too many times how people have been bored by movies (which I think are quite ok) so much that they have fallen asleep or stopped watching the movie halfway through. I myself basically never do this.
However, An American Werewolf in Paris was so utterly and horribly BAD, that I simply had to stop watching it about halfway through. I tried and tried, but I couldn't bear it anylonger and couldn't watch it anymore.
While in some way this movie does not reach the badness of Superman 4,
it is still a blasphemy compared to the quality of the original movie.
If any sequel, this is one which should have never been made.
Parkour is a very interesting... sport? Hobby? Acrobatic show? I don't really know how to classify it, but it's really cool nevertheless. Amateur parkour videos which you can download in the net are really cool, awesome and entertaining.
In these amateur videos you usually see very long contiguous shots (long as in time, I mean) of people climbing buildings, jumping from structure to another, etc etc. They are wonderful shows of what these people can do and they are very marvelous to watch.
Then there's this movie called Yamakasi. It is an attempt to make a movie based on parkour. Due to the very nature of parkour, it has great potential to make an excellent movie.
However, putting it bluntly, this movie just sucks.
The fact that the script is utterly naive and cliche, the acting is mediocre at best and the technical implementation is subpar would have all been forgiven if the movie had shown awesomely cool parkour stunts like those you see in the amateur videos.
However, it didn't. Oh, yes, it did show parkour stunts, but they were in no way "awesomely cool". They all looked totally fake.
Even if the stunts were real (which they probably were), they looked completely fake in the movie. This is because for some inexplicable reason the movie never shows any stunt in one single contiguous shot, but always cuts the stunts at least in two, often in more shots. For example, a guy jumps from a high place and out of view, then the movie cuts to another view, and the guy appears from out of view and makes a somersault which looks totally faked. It looks so fake that it completely destroys all that is cool on parkour.
One probable cause for this is that, again for some inexplicable reason, it seems that the director of the movie had the principle that any shot longer than 3 seconds is too long. Now, imagine a 90 minutes long movie where no shot, not a single one, lasts for more than 3 seconds. It gets quite distracting quite soon. And of course it means that no parkour stunt is shown uncut.
Add to that the already mentioned bad script and mediocre acting, and you get a really bad movie.
Once again: This movie simply sucks. It's a complete waste of money and
time. If you want to watch parkour, download amateur videos from the net;
they are a hundred times more interesting than this crap.
Ghost Lake, made in 2004, is a very odd movie. It's very odd because it looks like it has been made by complete amateurs with no movie-making experience.
I'm not exaggerating here. You may hear people unjustly making that claim about many professionally-made movies (simply because they didn't like them), but I don't do that. When I say that, I really mean it. Just watch the movie if you don't believe me.
The acting is... amateurish. In a horrible way. The actors act like they were doing it for the first time in their lives. I'm serious. I'm not exaggerating a bit here.
Also everything else in the movie is really amateurish. The image quality looks like it was made with a home camera, the make-up looks home-made, in fact almost everything in this movie looks like it's a home-made movie.
This was rather amusing. For the first 10 minutes. After that it became a real pain. It was really hard to watch the movie through. In fact, I got so bored even before half of the movie that I just let the DVD player software roll on windowed mode while I IRC'ed etc at the same time.
I don't understand why this amateur video is being sold as a pro movie.
Another one of the very few movies which has been so utterly boring that I actually started seeking forward at some point to skip the most boring "action" sequences.
The actors are clearly professionals (and there are some known names) and their acting is acceptable. The problem is that they are acting an incredibly stupid and naive script, with incredibly stupid and naive lines. The lines are so cliche and naive that just their contents makes it look that they are bad actors. Incredible, but true.
This is supposed to be an action movie with tons of explosions, gunfire, plane-in-danger, thrilling moments and so on. However, I don't even understand how, they managed to make these action sequences boring. At the end of the movie I was seeking forward in order to skip the boring "action" sequences because they were simply so boring.
Big part of it is that the special effects and stage props were completely subpar. They were horrible-looking and artificial. Just a small and perhaps amusing example: There were big barrels with the word "GASOLINE" written on them, and nothing else. They were like directly pulled out from a cartoon. It looked so fake and unrealistic that it alone succeeded in ruining the scene. Of course that was just one tiny detail. There were countless other similar fake-looking props and special effects everywhere.
This movie was simply bad. I really regret wasting my money and time on it.
While this movie is really bad, it's somewhat of a borderline case because it's perhaps just not really horrible. Consider this a "honorable mention".
The concept of the movie, although a bit naive (year 3000-something, spaceships, vampires), could have perhaps worked with a better script and a much better implementation. The beginning of the movie was ok'ish and could have developed into a mediocre-but-enjoyable movie.
However, as the movie progresses, everything goes from worse to really bad. What promised to be a mediocre script at first resulted in something which has probably been written by a 7yo. If the key concepts of the movie (spaceships, vampires) sounds naive, the movie did nothing to correct that feeling, but in fact it only made it worse. Especially the main villain ("Dracula") was so utterly naive as a character (with his costume and all) that one could momentarily think that this is some kind of odd remake of plan 9 from outer space. Oh, and the "hero" of the movie is no other than a direct descendant of Van Helsing.
Not all was bad, though. The movie actually got 1 point of originality (ie. not being utterly predictable) near the end. However, even this one thing felt more an artificial twist than something truly original, and it got watered down by the very ending of the movie anyways.
I really wonder if an early version of the script for this movie was
written by a 7yo. I don't understand why they bothered making this movie.
It's just bad.
'The Great Challenge' seems to be a sequel to the movie 'Yamakasi' which I described above as one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I was curious to see if it would be an improvement to its predecessor.
The first minutes were promising. At least some of the "maximum of 3-seconds-long shots" problems were apparently fixed: The very first scene in the movie is a contiguous shot which lasts for almost 2 minutes (it seamlessly changes to CGI at one point, at about 1 and a half minutes into the sequence, but technically it's still one single contiguous shot). It was not a parkour shot, though. Some shots later in the movie were also long.
However, otherwise the movie was still a disappointment. There still were basically no uncut parkour stunt sequences (a couple of individual jumps were shown uncut, barely, but that's all). The script was slightly better than in the original, but not much. Rather boring in the end.
Overall, it still somehow failed to bring the spirit of parkour to the movie. The stunts were short and cut into pieces, and overall they were not used as extensively and deeply as they could have been (think about the movie 'Entrapment' to understand what I'm talking about). I think the movie concentrated too much on talking-talking and mediocre martial arts and too little on parkour. Adding to this that the rest of the movie contents were rather boring, it was still a disappointing movie. Not equally bad as the first, but disappointing.
So this is not really an entry in this list. Just a sidenote related to 'Yamakasi'.
There are several movies which fall into this category, and although I don't really want to single out any one of them, I really hate this kind of movie. This kind of movie is usually a murder thriller where suspense is created by having an unknown killer, and most protagonists get their turn on being highly suspicious but end up having a good alibi, and so on. The protagonists are killed one by one, and the survivors are completely puzzled about who could be the killer and how he is doing it.
When the movie is good, a mind-boggling complex explanation comes completely as a surprise in the last 10 minutes of the movie (IMO good examples of this are Scream and I know what you did last summer).
However, instead of that, the bad movies give a completely unrelated supernatural explanation to the problem. The suspense is completely killed with the ultracheap "explanation" and the viewer is left feeling cheated. First the movie built a complex murder puzzle, but then a completely disappointing "deus ex machina" cheap explanation is dropped at the end, completely destroying all the interest and suspense.
It almost feels like the script writer developed a complex situation
and couldn't figure out anymore how to get out of it in a logical way,
so he just goes the cheap way and writes a supernatural ending to get
rid of the problem.
Another good example of a very bad recent movie. The acting is completely sub-par at moments, the actors are continuously delivering ridiculously chiched lines, and the script is overall really simple, naive and full of obvious plotholes and goofs. It feels like a conglomeration of bad cliches. Seems that we have here another script written by a 10-years-old who has seen too many cheap movies.
The special effects are not absolutely horrible, but very cheap-looking nevertheless. The sets, especially those inside the spaceship, are ridiculous. They look like pulled directly from a 70's low-budget scifi movie. And the color scheme... Aaargh! The person who designed those sets must be color blind. Many of the gadgets inside the spaceship look like some bright-colored fisher-price toys for toddlers.
Some minor spoilers follow (although who cares, with such a bad movie?)
The basic premise of the movie is just ridiculous, taking into account the details revealed during the movie: Some deadly bacteria from outer space arrives to Earth on a meteorite. The bacteria is infectious by skin contact and presents very strong symptoms in just a few hours from infection. Ok, that's fine, but the premise of the movie is that this disease spreads all over the world before anyone could stop it. This is an obnoxiously ridiculous idea. There exist real-life diseases with similar forms of propagation, and even worse, and with much longer symptom-free incubation times (like weeks or months) and which haven't taken over the world. The idea of a bacteria which presents strong symptoms in just a few hours and requires skin contact to spread taking over the entire world before anyone could stop it is just ridiculous.
(For example, the ebola virus spreads by skin contact and has an incubation period between 5 and 10 days, and while it's extremely dangerous it hasn't taken over the world, precisely because of its short incubation period.)
For such a bacteria to spread all over the world it would at the very least need a completely symptom-free incubation period of several months, if not longer. The pandemia needs to get very widespread before it's discovered so that it can wipe out the entire world without any hope of stopping it.
LOL moment: The helicopter exploding to oblivion in 2 seconds from one single bullet hit.
LOL moment 2: Bullets sparking when they hit a wooden box. (Bullets
sparking at all, regardless of what they hit, is a physically incorrect
movie cliche, but a WOODEN box?)
This section contains spoilers of the movie, so be warned. (But the movie sucks big time, so who cares?)
George Romero's "dead trilogy" is a classic. The two remakes of the two first movies as well as the kind of spinoff-sequel movie Land of the Dead are not half-bad. When I saw this movie in the video rental I thought "oh, they have made another remake/sequel, cool". I wasn't at all disappointed with Land of the Dead, so I thought this could be cool too.
I don't like reading movie reviews or even descriptions before watching a movie because I don't want to get spoiled. I regret this principle in this case. This movie is a horrible caricature of the "dead trilogy" movies. It's a low-budget movie, and that can certainly be seen. It's an infamy that they had the right to use the name "Day of the Dead" in this movie because this movie has basically nothing to do with the original. It's a complete and horrible caricature.
The movie is supposed to be some kind of prequel to the original "dead trilogy" (why they named it "Day of the Dead 2", as if it was some kind of sequel, is beyond my comprehension). However, it doesn't make any sense as a prequel to the original trilogy. It badly breaks continuity with it (iow. the original trilogy would not fit at all as a continuation to this movie) and many of the details are completely different. Most of these different details are ridiculous and make no sense.
The basic premise of the movie is that it tries to explain where all the zombie-business started from. (IMO this already is a braindead idea. One of the major points of the original trilogy is that nobody knows what is going on, which is cool). It establishes some persons as being the "first-generation" zombies, ie. "original" zombies.
These "original" zombies are people infected by some kind of "virus" (which is a flying light of about 1 cm of diameter, rendered with very cheap CGI, I kid you not). These original "zombies" remain in possession of all their faculties, ie. they can talk, reason and think normally. They can infect other people by biting them or by other similar means, and these "second-generation zombies" have less faculties left, but can still talk and make more or less rational decisions. They also rot much faster (and the rotting is visualized with another cheap and strange CGI effect). The rotted "zombies" in this movie look nothing like the zombies in the original trilogy or the remakes. They look like someone had put some minced meat all over their head.
These "zombies" do not only talk, they make bad jokes. This kind of talking "zombie" which doesn't look anything like a zombie is in no way scary. It just looks ridiculous.
It gets more ridiculous still. The original "zombies" are telepathically connected, and if someone is hurt, they all get hurt. It goes even beyond that: If someone is wounded, they all get the same wound. The movie doesn't even attempt to explain how that is physically, logically or in any other imaginable way possible.
There are a few other places with cheap CGI in the movie, and it looks just horrible. In one scene they clearly didn't have the budget to make a true explosion, so they faked it with CGI, and it looked completely ridiculous and unrealistic.
How about the acting? At first the acting looked odd, until the movie established that the place was a mental institution. Ok, I thought, they are acting lunatics, so maybe it can be forgiven. Lunatics behave strangely so I suppose it could be plausible. The doctors also acted quite badly, but I assumed that they were just being a bit excentric. After all, what do you expect from people working for years in a mental institution. However, the more the movie advanced, the more it became clear that they were not deliberately acting in that way. They just were bad actors. They looked like amateurs trying really hard to act in a theatre play for the first time. Good try, but you can really see the lack of acting experience, no matter how well they try.
One would think that acting a mindless zombie would be quite easy? Quite amusingly they even failed at that! The zombie acting, somehow, was just not very credible. It felt like badly overacting.
This movie is an insult to the original trilogy.
I know it's unfair to criticize a low-budget movie made in 1974, but...
I'm simply at a loss of words with this movie. It's beyond bad. It's beyond horrible. I don't have words to describe it.
Some people call this a "cult classic". Perhaps a cult classic in badness, in complete and absolute lack of any kind of quality.
You know those old movies which are so bad that they are actually good,
in an ironical way? Well, this movie is not such a movie. This
movie is just plain bad. Beyond bad. "Bad" doesn't describe it.
There are acceptable low-budget movies, and there are horrible low-budget movies. This movie is a prime example of the latter.
So, you have lots of killer rats and a helpless victim. How do you shoot a scene where the rats kill the victim? With such a low budget, you can't. So what you do is that you show lots of shots of the rats and lots of shots of the victim helplessly running around and screaming, who clumsily falls onto the ground for no apparent reason, and then in the next shot, he is suddenly covered with rat dummies.
And that's not the worst the movie has to offer. There's this giant killer rat, which is so clearly a person in a badly-made rat suit that it makes those goofy Japanese Godzilla movies actually look credible. And when this "giant rat" attacks the helpless woman who for an unexplicable reason cannot run, it looks more like they are having sex than anything else. (I suppose some furry fan could actually get some kicks from this scene if they showed a bit more of it.)
And the movie utilizes quite a lot the technique of not showing who is talking. The voice of the person who is talking but not shown sounds so different from when he is shown talking that it couldn't be any clearer that the talking has been added in post-production.
I also get the feeling that the original script had the story located at a university, but because of the low budget they had to shoot in an abandoned building, so they had to change the script accordingly.
And in a typical modern low-budget movie fashion, fake and cheap-looking CGI shots here and there.
These are just some of the blatantly bad things this movie has. If I wrote
all of them, the list could be quite large.
Like The Great Challenge, this is not an actual entry to this list, but more of an "honorable mention". However, this movie pissed me off so much that I just had to write about it here.
The previously mentioned Day of the Dead 2: Contagium was a really horrible movie in all possible aspects, and a true entry in this list. This movie was not technically that bad, but it still fully deserves an honorable mention.
The promotion for this movie claims that it's some kind of remake or reworking of the original Day of the Dead by George Romero. The DVD cover even has the audacity to claim that this movie is "faithful" to the original movie. However, the sad fact is that this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the original Romero movie, and is just a farce. Like the other Day of the Dead movie in this list, also this one is an insult to the original trilogy. This movie could have perhaps been passable as a parody of zombie movies, but it was clearly trying to be too "serious" to be even that.
What I don't understand is why these crappy spinoffs always try to radically change the premise of the original trilogy, and do a really bad job at it. There's nothing inherently wrong in making a reworked version of some cult classic, by applying some changes to the premise, but these movies just do it in a completely ridiculous way and go completely overboard, making a complete mockery of the original. If it was a parody, then fine, but they fail even at that (principally because they don't even try to be parodies).
What makes the original trilogy so cool is that it's, in its own way, realistic and doesn't try to go overboard with anything. The only extraordinary premise in the original trilogy is that suddenly, for an unexplained reason, dead people reanimate. Basically their body becomes a mindless animal, in other words, the body is still able to live and move even though the person itself, his consciousness, has died, and the only thing left in their brain are the most basic primitive urges. The body is still dead, in other words the cells don't regenerate (and consequently the body rots with time by natural processes) even though it can still move.
And that's it. The bodies of dead people reanimate for an unknown reason. Nothing else is "supernatural" or unrealistic. There's no need for anything else. The movie trilogy works perfectly well with this simple premise. Everything else can be completely realistic and there's simply no need to stretch reality any further. The movies work perfectly well like this.
Furthermore, there's no need for any concrete pseudo-scientifical explanation for why the bodies are reanimating. That's actually what makes the original movies even better. It leaves it to the imagination of the viewer, or just unexplained if the viewer so chooses. Either way is fine. It just works.
I simply can't understand why these ridiculous "remakes" can't go with this simple, perfectly-working premise. They just have to try to give some kind of far-fetched explanation, and they have to go overboard with everything else as well, even though there wouldn't be any need.
The original Day of the Dead movie had a perfectly good premise: Many years have passed since the reanimating phenomenon started happening, the vast majority of people on Earth are dead (and in a very advanced state of decomposition, naturally), and only a few survivors are struggling to live. A perfectly simple premise which works well.
This 2008 "remake" has absolutely nothing to do with the original movie, nor the original trilogy. And by absolutely nothing, I really mean it. And naturally it had to go overboard with everything. The list of ridiculous premises is long, but here are a few things:
The movie is also full of ridiculous plot holes. For example, the military has quarantined the town because they know that some kind of epidemic is running wild, yet they don't seem to be at all concerned in going into the town completely unprotected and without any fear of getting the disease themselves.
Why do these people get the rights to use Romero's zombie trilogy franchise
name to promote these movies which have nothing to do with the trilogy, are
pure crap and a rip-off? These movies are a complete waste of money, and
people (like me, I must admit) are fooled into viewing them for the sole
reason that they use the same names as Romero's movies. This is just bullshit,
and an insult to the cult classic trilogy.
I rented this movie without reading any reviews on it, based solely on its cover. And man, did I regret this.
This is, and I'm not exaggerating a bit, the most boring "high fantasy" movie I have ever seen in my entire life. About 15 minutes in I was so bored out of my skull that I started skipping forward to see if something interesting would happen... After skipping forward for like an hour of film and still nothing interesting happening, I just gave up hope and stopped.
And by the way, the cover is in no way indicative of the production
quality of this movie. It's perhaps, and I'm still not exaggerating here,
slightly above that of a home-made video. But just slightly. I have seen
home-made amateur productions that are of much higher quality than this.
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