5. G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra
This is the only movie I’ve ever gone to see in the theater and not stayed for the whole thing. As you might guess, ‘Joe and the Baroness have a special place in my heart, going back to the cartoon I loved as a kid. Don’t get me wrong – Sienna Miller looks killer in that black leather, but to all the guys who argued with me, citing that as the reason this movie was worth watching, I say: get a life, and if you’re lucky, a girlfriend. For those of us who weren’t enthralled by Ms. Miller’s awkward posing and having difficulty not falling over in those high heels, we need just a little somthing more to keep our interest and make us forget what an awful bastardization we’re beholding. We all just wanted Duke to shoot the Baroness in the head and go about his business. The end. No such luck.
There was a glimmer of hope when I saw Brendan Fraser enter the scene. I thought, “hey, I like Brendan Fraser. He’s cute and funny and… what is he doing?! Make him stop!” We left about the time we were trying to keep our brains from melting during the most boring ninja fight ever filmed. As my friend Chip accurately stated as we fled, “it’s like being force-fed a Slurpee when you’ve already got a brainfreeze.”
4. The Warriors
Go ahead. Try to convince me this is a great movie. I dare you. Come out and play-ayyy! With the exception of Lynne Thigpen’s husky “boppers” messages, this movie just sucks. Even then, having Thigpen as the DJ was probably only cool to me because I was a gifted-school nerd who watched Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego. What’s good about crappy dialogue delivered badly by ugly people? See above comments on crappy dialogue being delivered badly by attractive people and you get some idea. After hearing all the hype, I was flummoxed at just how terrible the object of it was. Maybe there was some social commentary or soulful insight into the life of angsty gang members, but stuff like that belongs in a movie that’s good enough to make me care. If you just like it without being able to articulate why, I can dig it. We all have those things, but try to make me sit through that again, and I’ll make up government secrets to tell you just to make it stop.
3. American History X
This isn’t on here because it’s such a terrible movie, it’s torture to watch. I actually thought it was pretty good, but I know I’m not the only one who just can’t watch it. I know there are lots of folks out there who can watch Edward Norton stand in his underwear and curbstomp a guy, but I am not one of them. I saw it one time all the way through back when it first came out, and I’m pretty much set for life. We the viewers are supposed to be shocked and horrified, so I say job well done to all involved, and never, ever watch it again.
To maximize the torture value, I suggest alternating screenings of this film with trips to the dentist.
2. KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
I’m not even sure where to start with this one, but I’m sure some of you will feel tortured just reading about it. You take KISS, more or less – sometimes the part of Ace Frehley is clearly played by someone who is, well, not Ace Frehley – and give them some magic talismans that let them do all sorts of wacky things, and mayhem ensues! Gene talks like he swallowed a distortion pedal and breathes fire. The Star Child shoots a laserbeam out his eye, and the results of this vary. Peter Criss defeats robot nijas with lightsabers by dancing at them. Oh, and they can all fly. There is no Phantom, incidentally, but a dude named Abner who either wants to blow up the amusement park or just defeat KISS. It’s not clear which, but we can’t ask him because after the robot versions of the band are defeated, Abner is found suddenly really old, like he’d drunk from the wrong goblet in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and is mourned by his peers as a scientific visionary. It kind of hurt a little just typing that, but adding insult to that paragraph of self-injury, I’ll add that the one thing that might have made this worth watching – that is, seeing KISS perform on stage in their youth – was ruined by the sound being muffled and every song being cut off as the scene switches to some albino robot wookiees climbing the rollercoaster or something. Oh, my head!
1. The Star Wars Holiday Special
I wish I could, but I can take no pride in saying I watched the whole thing. Instead of a badge of honor or mark of achievement, it feels like a permanent detriment to my mental stamina. I was raised a Star Wars fan. I can quote it backwards and forwards and I dutifully suffered through each prequel in the theater. I even watched the Ewok movies and sat through the recent animated Clone Wars feature (which could be an honorable mention to this list). It seemed only natural then, upon finding that a former roommate of mine had downloaded the Christmas Special, to watch it from beginning to end and complete the experience. Oh, I was wrong. Even if you don’t get hung up on details like, “why is Chewbacca’s wife, on Kashyyk, watching a wookiee cooking show and preparing bantha, which is native to Tattooine?” I guarantee you’ll be hurting before you get too far in. Bea Arthur, who I usually think the world of, is a singing bartender at Mos Eisley? Yeah, I just said that. It happened, and that’s still not even the worst part. Most of it is too horrifying to even mention, but if you don’t heed my warning here and watch it anyway, don’t blame me when you find out what kind of sexual fantasies Chewie’s dad entertains. Of all the things George Lucas has decided to do with the franchise – both horrifyingly stupid and simply wonderous – I think the most brilliant decision was in suppressing this technological terror.