The Bad Movie Report

Evidence of a Decaying Mind

The Requisite 2nd Anniversary Column


Another year already. Hm. This one felt more like a year. Frankly, I'm quite surprised I'm still around; back at the beginning, I swore I'd do this until it wasn't fun anymore. Sometimes it hasn't been any fun, but for some reason, I've kept going, like some curmudgeonly Energizer Bunny, beating loudly on my drum so everybody will look at me. Taking a two-month vacation while I dredged up the cash for a new computer when my old one Forbined on me probably helped, a little.

Actually, it has been more fun than not. In two years, I've only gotten two letters from what could broadly be called "The Jerks". The first was early in my career, a letter which stated, "You suckb a**hole". That one has always puzzled me - although the comma key is located under the k key, it's still fairly far away from the b key. This was a case of quite determined stupidity. The other arrived a few months ago, an enigmatic one-word message: "arse".

For a record-breaking three weeks, I was the call-in critic for a Webcast TV show on Cyberradio. Well, it was winkingly referred to as 'call-in', as I had taped them earlier. My nocturnal work schedule precluded my rising early to do the calls live (work hard, play hard, sleep hard). After three reviews, they decided they need someone live for their VJ to play off, and that was the end of my tenure. Not wholly unexpected.

In the middle of a stressful two-week work binge, I blearily checked my e-mail over my morning coffee ('morning' for me is about noon) and found a surprise: Bad Movie Night's Bad Movie Site of the Week Award. This was nice to receive... I'd be lying if I said I didn't covet at least one of those shiny little graphics everybody else seemed to have. Well, now I had one. Hooray for me. Slap it on the index page, upload it, go to work.

Then it got better. Andrew Borntreger e-mailed me to say that he and his elite staff had decided to give me the Dancing Slime Award. I would hate to choose that day as my Personal Best of the year (the work part was no fun), but it's in the Top Ten. I mean, come on - I won the last Dancing Slime to be handed out this century.*

Peer recognition is really, really cool, but we also found out this year that there were a lot of people who knew about us, and we'd never even met them. On September 20, the venerable, writing about the Woodstock Riots (you damned kids!) and the incipient youth-bashing, linked to our review of Wild in the Streets, which garnered more hits that week than the brand-spanking new review, which became quite bitter and pouty.

Our neighbors up north (well, St.Paul-Minneapolis, anyway), Pioneer Planet, also gave us a featured link, saying the following:

It's Friday, you've arrived too late at the video store to capture the 40th and final copy of the new Julia Roberts or Don Knotts megamovie, and you're faced with choosing from a vault of dusty movie titles. Time for ``plan B,'' which in this case is a B-movie review site called Hailed and/or lamented by the New York Times as ``a place to indulge your questionable cinematic taste,'' the site laughingly puts under the microscope a litany of forgotten gems including the likes of ``Terror of Mechagodzilla'' and ``Drunken Wu Tang.'' Click on the Bad Movie Report, and then the ``Archives'' link if you have a hankering for an evening of do-it-yourself Mystery Science Theater 3000. It even rates the offerings according to how lampoonable they are.

And now Chris sends me news of a listing on an Italian page of movie links, which describes us as follows:

THE BAD MOVIE REPORT : sembra un'opera di pubblica utilità, in realtà cela un irresistibile amore per le schifezze...

which Babelfish translates as:

THE BAD MOVIE REPORT: it seems a work of public usefullness, in truth hides a irresistibile love for the schifezze...

Okay, we've stumped the online dictionaries. Anyone who knows what 'schifezze' is, let me know. Grazi.

I've made a few changes since I've gotten back online, and there will likely be more to come. This week, for instance, I've grown up and finally gotten rid of the hit counter (okay... so all I did was de-emphasize it. Breaking up is hard to do), since I stopped paying much attention to it a while back. Instead of peppering "new" graphics all over the front page, I'm trying out a Java applet that will tell you everything you need to know, right at the top, with linkable text. Let me know if you like it or hate it.

This is probably as good a time as any to warn you: ads are coming (Oh, stop snivelling). They're a necessary evil, and they'll be bannered at the top, just like Stomp Tokyo's, so you can scroll down and ignore them, if you so desire. Of course, I first have to figure out the proper placement and implementation of the arcane Javascript formulae that Chris has sent me - this probably requires the part of my brain that can do algebra, which I believe to be the part I killed back in the 70's. But I'm one of the types who learn only by getting their hands dirty, so it will happen; I just have to grit my teeth and hit it with a hammer a few times.

Any other changes? No, not too likely. I get the occasional letter asking why I don't do more recent movies. That one's easy - lots of people do those. If I do review something fairly recent, it's as a departure from my usual stomping grounds, and will continue to be uncommon (I do have a copy of Dean Koontz' Phantoms standing by, which I paid $2.00 for - I'm told I overpaid). Some want more giant monster movies - not my favorite flicks, but we'll still go there now and then.

Doubtless I'll still get the odd letter berating me for daring to apply "real movie" criteria to bad movies, and urging me to "get a life". I'm getting better at using the delete key on these. For those of you who are sharpening their keyboards, preparing to send just such a missive this way, I have the following words: if it is on film or video, and claims to be entertainment, it is a "real movie". As for getting a life, you first. I'm not the one badgering some middle-aged guy in Texas for having a hobby. There. I've saved both of us (and the reading public) lots of time.

Assuming I don't hit the delete key on that entire last paragraph, let's end on a more positive note. Two years ago, I started this site with a rough list of movies I wanted to review and examine. After two years, I've barely hit half of those. As you delve ever deeper into the realm of the crap movie, you find rich veins and abandoned cities in the jungle you had forgotten even existed. Think it's been a long strange trip so far? Just look ahead.... into the darkness. <evil laughter, followed by coughing, and the sound of a rescue inhaler>