Wednesday, June 18, 2003

“A film by Alan Smithee”

An “Alan Smithee” is a film that is so bad or has been badly recut against the creative talents’ wishes, that the director or producer has asked to have their name removed from the credits. The Direcotrs’ Guild says somebody’s got to be credited with this particular work of art, and that man is Alan Smithee. The name is now in common usage and even has its own entry on imdb. He’s even had a movie made of his life. I bet it sucks.

There really ought to be a science devoted to bad film making. I’m not talking low-budget B-movie trash like Plan Nine from Outer Space and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians which wear their badness as a badge of pride. I’m talking big-budget Hollywood epics, promoted by idots in sharp suits, convinced they’re plugging the next Citizen Kane. I’m also talking rip-offs, exploitation movies, mindless sequels, trash masquerading as quality and anything featuring Eddie Murphy. I bet at least one of you has paid good money to see Blair Witch Project II. And I bet there’s someone, somewhere, who thinks “it’s not that bad, actually.”

And that’s what I’m after - nominations for the Worst Film of All-Time. It’s out there. For every Spinal Tap there’s a Glitter. For every Ghostbusters there’s a ...err.. Ghostbusters II. I’m looking for movies which you’ve actually seen and have written to the producers asking for two hours of your life back plus damages for mental cruelty. I’ve managed to avoid “Glitter” and “Battlefield: Earth” and my life is all the better for it, but I’ve more that paid for this with repeated exposure to “Spiceworld”. You've seen them. You've laughed. You've cried. You've cried some more. Get it off your chest. Here's some to be getting on with:

Spice World - Excuse: Pre-school daughter. It was dated even when it came out. Quite what Richard E Grant was thinking when he took a major part in this extended video promo is beyond me, apart from “Oooh! A big pile of cash!” Taught me to avoid the recent S Club movie, and for that I am thankful.

Spaceballs - Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Producers, there’s no denying Mel Brooks is a genius. And then he came up with this. By the time this movie was over, there were two of us left in the auditorium. I thanked the usherette for her patience, bought a choc-ice and left.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - plagued by production difficulties, budgetary restraints, industrial action and a poor script. And then they let William Shatner direct.

Speed II: Cruise Control - Essentially flawed by the fact that cruise liners, as far as I know, do not travel at any great speed. And the fact that it is complete and utter arse.

Flesh Gordon - Why, in the name of humanity, WHY? A cult movie in our school, right up to the moment we actually saw it.

You know the form by now. Speak your Brains. Give me bad films, tell me why. Nominate-o!

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