Day #224: Pangea – “Make Me Feel Weird”
UPROXX posted another marathon of 5 Second Films. This time with Patton Oswalt and Juliette Lewis guest star this time in what are literally blink-and-you-miss them parts. I still prefer the first round of Top 20 picks. Watch it now. Seriously, it’ll take like less than 5 minutes to watch both unless your Internet is just embarrassingly slow. In which case, you probably won’t be able to offer a sound explanation as to why people would willingly walk into a baby shower. How could you?!!
By way of The Other AC comes Patton Oswalt’s Wired Magazine article, “Wake Up, Geek Culture, Time to Die” on the global raid of once-sacred geek culture. But The Other AC advises reading with optimistic caution: fear not, for the fringes can and do still exist!
I just hope there’s longevity in those things living under the radar.
Our first BBQ of the summer this year ended with something different this time: a screening of the spectacularly bad fantasy film, Troll 2. The recent release of the making-of documentary, Best Worst Movie, has sparked renewed interest among cult fans. That it has generated headlines in major media goes to show you that the history of an utterly shitty movie can turn out to be even more entertaining than the movie itself. And this particular making-of documentary was directed by none other than Michael Paul Stephenson, the toothy, freckle-faced young star of Troll 2.
There’s something really intriguing about bad movies. Like that way that you pass a really bad car wreck and just can’t look away. Badly written, poorly acted, and shoddily designed, these movies are some kind of confounding testament to serious malfunctions in filmmaking, if not the human psyche altogether.
And yet, even the worst can, paradoxically, be the best…around. Their sole redeeming value is basically social cohesion. That they are (laughably) horrible makes them rife for riffing with a roomful of friends. And there’s certainly been far more cinematic stinkers than any “Worst Of” list can reasonably fit without being overwhelming. There’s plenty of obvious choices. Most any movie Ed Wood ever made. A slew of Japanese creature features from the 1950s. (The Japanese have come a long way, even inspiring American filmmakers who hunger for source material for sub-par remakes). There’s the over-hyped flops like The English Patient (elaborated on in a Seinfeld episode) and the Battlefield Earth (which was labeled “Travolting”). The commercially-drive star vehicle like Cool as Ice.
With the Drive-In and late night movie marathons on cable television now being all but a thing of the past, obscure selections like Space Mutiny, Mitchell, Santa Clause Conquers the Martians, Monster A Go-Go, and a curious abundance of 1950s teenage rebel movies that overdid it on the slang were resurrected for Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Mike Nelson and the gang continued the tradition with the mp3-based Riff Trax). In addition to regular screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show, the midnight movie circuit in various cities now run a small monopoly of so-bad-it’s-good fare. DC residents at least are also privvy to the goodwill of the Washington Psychotronic Film Society, now with 20 years of real turkeys under their belt. Carl, the host, usually enlightens attendees of the free, weekly screenings with hilarious backstory.
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