Why people keep watching the worst movie ever made

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/14/why-people-keep-watching-the-w.html

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Anyone who thinks The Room is the worst movie ever made hasn’t seen gems such as Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, Christmas with Whizzo the Clown, or Manos.


But if a movie is so bad that it becomes good, how can it still be the worst?

The truly worst movies are the ones that no one remembers.

My personal nominee in this category is 1991’s Nothing But Trouble.


“Plan 9 from Outer Space” - I thought that was the worst movie ever made? Or “Ishtar”? Or fercrineoutloud, “The Love Machine”?


So anyway, how is your sex life?


I’ve seen “Manos: Hands of Fate”, but it was on MST3K. I commend you - I’ve never even heard of the other two.


The worst I’ve ever seen is ‘Manos. The Hands of Fate’.

On filming: “Warren’s (writer/director/producer) small crew became so bemused by his amateurishness and irascibility that they derisively called the film Mangos: The Cans of Fruit behind his back.” (Wiki)


For a movie to be bad, it truly has to have no redeeming qualities. There’s plenty of bad films out there that are enjoyable in some way – despite the fact they are terrible. This is how many critical bombs become cult classics and appreciated well after their time.

Nobody will say Plan 9 from Outer Space is a good movie, but it’s still entertaining in its terribleness.

Sometimes bad movies can be redeemed after the fact once you learn more about the story behind them. Manos is definitely one of those – I mean nothing can retroactively make it good, but learning about its history can change one’s perception about why it was so bad and gain some appreciation for it.


Same here; even on MST3K it’s hard to get through. “Manos” is like watching a snuff film or found footage from an attic. The other two are films I was introduced to thanks to Rifftrax. I’ve seen plenty of terrible movies – Plan 9 is incompetent, but a lot of fun. I genuinely think “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny” is the worst thing I’ve sat through.


That’s a good point, although I don’t think history (and time) would benefit, say, ‘Cat In The Hat’ (w/Mike Myers). Horrible.


Indeed. I am much more willing to give a pass at a bad movie that’s at least somewhat self-aware of how bad it is (like most B movies tend to be) versus a big budget bomb that plays everything straight.

I can sit down and enjoy Fast & Furious, Transformers, or Troma films because I know they are going to be terrible, but they are also fun and don’t take themselves seriously.


In that context, ‘good’ (for me) means’ interesting to watch’ (in a sort of post-mortem kind of way, or to poke fun at for being so bad).

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Truly one of the worst. The only person in that movie having fun is Alec Baldwin, and even that’s painful.

Many years ago, I worked at an agency doing ads & packaging for P&G, who was a major sponsor of the movie. We did tons of ads and things using the creepy photos of Mike Myers. I didn’t have much hope for it but we got to use lots of Seuss fonts and art, that was fun. My team went to the local premiere with some bigwigs from P&G. As the movie rolled on, they squirmed and recoiled. They started walking out when he used the Asian babysitter as a boat. By the time he’d gone to a rave with Paris Hilton and made a “dirty hoe” joke, all of the P&G execs had left the theater in disgust.


Yes! Coleman Francis!


At least these other movies try to be actual movies.

This, on the other hand, does not:


Night Train to Mundo Fine / Red Zone Cuba remains my pick. Simply baffling. Or, in the words of Crow: “See, the movie has finally thrown up its hands and said ‘I just don’t know.’!”

As for The Room, surely it is like The Rocky Horror Picture Show in that it’s something that just isn’t right to watch alone? I speculate that gathering in a group to ritually debase this mockery of all human creative endeavor has, in this secular age, a cathartic quality – perhaps one addictive in nature.

Also, Plan 9 From Outer Space is just kinda boring now, says I. And Manos, despite its faults, at least has a smidgen of novelty value.


Totally agree. Also, it inspired work Manos: Hands of Felt.

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a movie made by an alien who has never seen a movie but has had movies thoroughly explained

This sounds like my biography!