Silver Screen Streak List #11: How Did This Get Made?
Written by dorrk
For my next list in the Silver Screen Streak Movie challenge, Flickcharter Michael Reap either misunderstood the goal of the challenge or jumped three-feet-first on the self-destruct button. He picked a list of predominantly terrible movies. Like myself, Michael is a fan of the "How Did This Get Made?" podcast, in which comic actors Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas watch and discuss some of the most puzzling movies ever produced.
That is not to say that all of the movies covered by this podcast are unlovable; some of them I like quite a bit, especially those that emerged from the fantastical B-movie machines of the 1980s, like MAC AND ME (1988), SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983), NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE (1986), FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES (1986), COBRA (1986), OVER THE TOP (1987), HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982), STREETS OF FIRE (1984), CHOPPING MALL (1986), NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, and, of course, Nicolas Cage's masterwork VAMPIRE'S KISS (1988). So, while it may seem counter-intuitive to select a list of famously suspect movies for a challenge in which one displeasing film ends my streak, there is a sliver of hope for Michael.
Then again, Michael may have further limited his chances by picking a list, compiled at the website iCheckMovies, that stopped adding films in late 2017, making it some 70 movies short of the complete HDTGM oeuvre as it stands today. I suppose that odd condition fits with the overall dubious nature of choosing this list in the first place. Michael has asked me to sort this list by which films appear the most on iCM "Official Top Lists," their source for authoritative curated lists, which has hopefully filtered the best of this bad lot to the top.
As I've listened to every episode of HDTGM, I have some familiarity with every movie on this list. A few I have seen before, but too long ago to remember well.
THE FIRST TWO
THE APPLE (1980)
DIR.: MENAHEM GOLAN
Fortuitously, maybe, THE APPLE is the HDTGM movie at the top of my must-watch list: a Golan-Globus rock musical starring an 18-year-old Catherine Mary Stewart (with whom I spent most of my teen years in love). Why I haven’t already watched this is between my therapist and her therapist.
DIR.: MARK STEVEN JOHNSON
For a moment, I was excited, as I confused this with the 2003 film of THE PUNISHER; I am substantially less interested in watching Ben Affleck play a handicapped Marvel hero. This is the first of several landmines on this list.
THE NEXT EIGHT
DOUBLE TEAM (1997)
DIR.: TSUI HARK
I love some of Tsui Hark’s Hong Kong action films — like PEKING OPERA BLUES — but find others unwatchable — like BULLET IN THE HEAD. The presence of eccentric NBA star Dennis Rodman seems unlikely to tip this in a winning direction, but Jean-Claude Van Damme is occasionally acceptable.
FURIOUS 7 (2015)
DIR.: JAMES WAN
A few years ago I started watching my way through the FAST & FURIOUS franchise, but by the time I got through part 6, I had had more than enough, and could barely differentiate between the eternal bombastic sameness of the ones I had watched mere days earlier. After a break, it might be OK to get back to these; they’re mildly entertaining in their limited way.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (2017)
DIR.: F. GARY GRAY
Another loud and proud dissertation on how gleaming steel and turbo fumes fuel the brawny sentimentality of what it means to be “fambily.”
Plus: lots of punching.
DIR.: ROLAND EMMERICH
Although I’m a fan of the old rubber suit GODZILLA movies and, more or less, the recently reawakened CGI behemoth battles, I somehow missed this famously bad revival attempt. Another landmine.
THE LAST AIRBENDER (2010)
DIR.: M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN
I go against the grain a bit on Shyamalan’s fall from grace during the 2000s. I love THE VILLAGE, respect the oddball LADY IN THE WATER, and find the utterly misconceived THE HAPPENING strangely transfixing. Yet, even I could not muster any interest in this notorious anime-based bomb.
MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (1986)
DIR.: STEPHEN KING
If I make it this far down this list, God is either smiling down on Michael or has given up completely on me. I’ve seen this one, but not since the late 1980s. There’s fair chance I’ll enjoy it, but a better chance that I’ll have bailed at least twice already before getting here.
MORTAL KOMBAT (1995)
DIR.: PAUL W. S. ANDERSON
A move based on a video game I have never played by one of the true hacks of contemporary cinema. Watching this might make me wish for myself the escape of one of the game's famously violent deaths.
THE SMURFS (2011)
DIR.: RAJA GOSNELL
If for some unspeakable reason I make it down to THE SMURFS, Michael will become my mortal enemy and face the wrath of 1000 tiny blue incels.
This movie does raise the question, “Whyforever is this on any iCM TopLists?” (The answer is that it is on two Box Office Mojo lists of all-time high-grossing films, which is sickening.)
Films featured on the renowned "bad movies" comedy podcast
Movie:Films featured on the renowned "bad movies" comedy podcast