You must be like 90 years old! What other great Disney live-action movies came before 1989?
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You must be like 90 years old! What other great Disney live-action movies came before 1989?
The Last of the Mohicans | 1992 | dir. Michael Mann
So Bad They’re Awful: Some of the Very Worst Films of All Time
As long as there are movies, there are going to be bad movies. Some of these are hilarious, but others…they make you question what was ever good in the world. This is just a handful of some of the worst films ever, but let us know if you there are any others you think deserve to be up here alongside these “classics.”
"Manos": The Hands of Fate | 1966 | dir. Harold P. Warren
There are not many great films born out of bets made by fertilizer salesmen, and Manos is, unfortunately here to prove it. A lot of people will claim this is the worst of the worst, but despite literally EVERYTHING being wrong in this movie, there is a certain hallucinatory quality to its badness that makes it an intriguing, if frequently unpleasant and sadistic, watch.
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die | 1962 | dir. Joseph Green
This movie is easily the most well-made on the list, with a couple interesting concepts, a surprising amount of gore for the time (and a cheap but cool-looking monster), and one or two shots that I’ve always liked. But this deserves to be on the list simply for being one of the absolute sleaziest movies ever made. The scenes where the doctor cruises around town looking for beautiful women to be a body for his beheaded fiancé are especially disgusting, making the viewer wish they were watching something, anything, else.
Snuff | 1976 | dir. Michael and Roberta Findlay/Simon Nuchtern
Is Snuff even a real film? After all, it’s 95% another film entirely. I won’t go into detail about the production of the film (although it’s a fascinating story if you get the chance to look into it), but essentially, distributor Allan Shackleton took a low-budget exploitation film based loosely on the Manson family murders and thought that, since it was shot in South America, he could pass it off as a genuine snuff film. The film that makes up most of the film, The Slaughter, is laughably bad, with horrendous acting, dubbing, cinematography, and music. But the final scene Shackleton added on, in which a crew member supposedly is killed on camera, just feels so nihilistic and worthless, on top of having terrible special effects, that it leaves you with a really sour taste in your mouth, even if those last five minutes are far more effective as horror than anything that came beforehand.
The Guy From Harlem | 1977 | dir. Rene Martinez Jr.
Birdemic, The Room, Plan 9? Sure, those are all hilarious, but let me tell you, The Guy From Harlem is the Holy Grail of hilariously awful movies. There are flubbed lines everywhere, the dialogue sounds like aliens who have never spoken to another human being before, and the fight scenes are like something you might see on a kindergarten playground. Even though it’s hilarious, though, it is absolutely punishing to sit through the whole thing. The incredibly long silences between lines, the plot that just repeats the same story beats over and over again, it just becomes a chore to try and make your way through the full thing. Watch it in bits and pieces, because it is an incredibly hilarious film (keep an eye out for Harry De Bauld, one of the greatest performances in cinema history), but you’ve been warned.
The Beast of Yucca Flats | 1961 | dir. Coleman Francis
You can be experimental if you want or you can be a drive-in cheapie, but you can’t have the best of both worlds. This film, wherein not a single line of dialogue is spoken on-screen (Coleman Francis, the director, blocked all the scenes so as to hide the fact that they couldn’t afford to rent sound equipment), does not seem to occupy any real film world as we know it. There is no plot or recurring themes; there are simply events. A naked woman is strangled in her bed by an unseen being. A Soviet scientist carries a briefcase of military secrets. KGB assassins shoot at him and his comrades. The scientist survives a nuclear blast and turns into a beast. A family wanders around a desert. The beast scares some boys. A dumb guy in a plane shoots another dumb guy running across the desert. And it ends. Flag on the moon, how did it get there?
The Wild Wild World of Batwoman | 1966 | dir. Jerry Warren
Dubious Z-grade filmmaker Jerry Warren wanted to cash in on the fame of the 1966 Batman TV series, so he made a parody of the show, not realizing that the Batman series was a parody in and of itself, but it fails on every conceivable level, and some levels that haven’t even been thought up yet. Instead of a plot, people talk gibberish about some atomic hearing aid in between dance scenes. Instead of humor, we have a European(?) scientist and his own little overacting Igor, who resembles a pile of rags more than an actual human being. And instead of sex appeal, we have a bunch of scantily clad, obviously stoned women who look miserable to be there. It’s a film so painful that even one of the extras flicks off the camera at one point. And of course Jerry Warren never noticed.
Monster A-Go Go | 1965 | dir. Bill Rebane
Some movies are bad because they’re technically incompetent or the story has more plotholes more than it does actual plot, but oftentimes, these movies can be amusing and enjoyable experiences. Monster A-Go Go suffers the same flaws as many movies on this list, but, where there should be much joy and merriment, there is instead a crushing silence. It is the silence one hears when their soul has escaped their body and they realize that they may never truly love again. Monster A-Go Go has a couple humorous moments, but not nearly enough to make all the scenes of nothing worth it. There are one or two monster attacks, yes, but in the end, it turns out there was no monster after all. The viewer realizes they’ve been duped, but there is nothing to do about it. They sat through all of Monster A-Go Go. They’re already beyond saving.
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny | 1972 | dir. R. Winer
The films on this list are not in any particular order, just movies that I have seen that are some of the very worst of all time. This film, however, is the single worst movie of all time. Maybe there are others out there that can top its badness, maybe even some that were theatrically released, but I’m not sure if I want to experience it. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny has the unique distinction of being hysterical while also being one of the most painful viewing experiences you can ever have. Scenes go on endlessly. Dialogue (dubbed, I should say) seems improvised. The movie-within-the-movie, 1970’s Thumbelina (an advertisement for defunct theme park Pirates World), is simultaneously really creepy and really boring, dragging on until you forget all about Santa Claus. The Ice Cream Bunny is just a person in a bunny suit driving an antique fire truck (who doesn’t show up until the last ten minutes), almost driving over the dog in the film because they can’t see out of their bunny mask. And it can wink. Towards the end of the film, the children all laugh, but there is no laughter on the audio track. It is too late for them. It is too late for us.
So, what do you think are some of the worst films of all time? Let us know!
- Intern Kevin (thegreatestblogevertold)
Top ten live-action Disney films:
These ten live action Disney films all held a special place in my heart during my childhood (yes, I was a 90s kid). All of them convey a good message, whether it be by serious means, comedic, or even straight up goofy. I’ll never forget watching Jungle 2 Jungle, running around my house and repeating “hello you” to anyone in my sights, or singing along to “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” during any of my hundreds of viewings of RocketMan.
-Intern Tom (v-has-come-to)
Angels in the Outfield | 1994 | dir. William Dear
Flubber | 1997 | dir. Les Mayfield
Heavyweights | 1995 | dir. Steven Brill
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey | 1993 | dir. Duwayne Dunham
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids | 1989 | dir. Joe Johnston
Jungle 2 Jungle | 1997 | dir. John Pasquin
The Mighty Ducks | 1992 | dir. Stephen Herek
Mighty Joe Young | 1998 | dir. Ron Underwood
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | 2003 | dir. Gore Verbinski
RocketMan | 1997 | Stuart Gillard
Trash Humpers | 2009 | dir. Harmony Korine
The Holy Innocents | 1984 | dir. Mario Camus
The Endless Summer | 1966 | dir. Bruce Brown
I have always wanted to learn how to surf, so to watch Mike Hynson and Robert August travel across the globe to spots throughout Africa, Australia, Tahiti, New Zealand, California, and Hawaii to live their endless summer made me incredibly jealous in the best way possible, and the beauty behind Bruce Brown’s simple directing, cinematography, and narration made this documentary very relaxing and fun to watch.
Black Ice | 1994 | dir. Stan Brakhage
Simple Men | 1992 | dir. Hal Hartley
For Your Consideration | 2006 | dir. Christopher Guest
"I have learned that if I can expunge everything within, I am left comfortable in my own skin"
I am annoyingly invested to all of the hoopla that surrounds “Award Season” and I enjoy the strategizing and theorizing that goes along with predicting who the lucky nominees will be every year, so to see Christopher Guest totally goof on that whole aspect of the film industry, while also coming close to giving Catherine O’Hara a real Oscar nomination for her bizarre performance as veteran actress Marilyn Hack, was incredibly enjoyable to experience.
Happy 4th of July everybody! While you barbeque and crack open a beer and light something on fire, it’s fun to remember that some big movies are coming to theaters! They’re an interesting crop of films, so lets run them down and see what we’ve got!
The Talented Mr. Ripley | 1999 | dir. Anthony Minghella
Number 10 | 1956 | dir. Harry Smith
Number 7 | 1951 | dir. Harry Smith
Number 5: Circular Tensions (Homage to Oskar Fischinger) | 1949 | dir. Harry Smith