Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Having a devil of a time with Bad Movie Month

One of the regular features of this blog is Bad Movie Month,which takes place in August and for the uninitiated,on every Friday of that month we highlight those cinematic experiences that you so wish to unsee.

 For 2013,our theme is The Devil Made Me Do It and I'm sorry to report that in pulling together this list of Beelzebub box office bombs,I realized that I actually paid to see every single one of them during their original theatrical run. Perhaps Satan did have a hand in my choices there but since I have to watch them yet again in order to provide fresh blog fodder this summer,my pop culture punishment will be complete.

First in our sin basket is 1999's End of Days that has Arnold Schwarzenegger as a former NYC cop trying to prevent Satan(who possesses the body of Gabriel Bryne,a man I wouldn't mind possessing but I digress...) from impregnating his chosen bride with the Antichrist on New Year's Eve. Funny how Arnold doesn't seem to be the type of guy that would stop a fella from getting a little illicit congress there but then again,that was before he decided to run for political office which has it's own soul selling policies:

 Next up is Spawn,a disappointing adaptation from 1997 of Todd McFarlane's ground breaking comic book series that has a former military man getting another chance at life by joining the service of the devil upon his death. Why ex-law enforcement officers/soldiers get picked on by the Prince of Darkness so much is a good question for discussion-why not people who cut in line,for example?

What makes this Hollywood version even more regrettable is that an animated series based on Spawn was airing on HBO around the same time and that show had more of a realistic dark edge than the movie,which turned just about everyone onscreen into cartoonish cliches:

 On the lighter side,we have the 2000 remake of the British comedy classic Bedazzled,with Brendan Fraser playing the Dudley Moore role of hapless romantic who bargains for seven wishes from the Devil(played by Elizabeth Hurley,quite a change of pace from Peter Cook in the original).

Having the Devil be a woman is the only creative notion in this less than sharp satire that descends into a hell wrought of sitcom level jokes. We're not talking Everybody Loves Raymond or How I Met Your Mother style of standard humor either,more like According to Jim or Rules of Engagement as in "this thing is still on the air?!":

You can't have a discussion of devil movies without an evil kid or two and Bless The Child fills that bill nicely. Kim Basinger stars in this 2000 clunker as a nurse whose abandoned niece is suddenly reclaimed by her former junkie sister whose new man in her life happens to run a cult dedicated to bringing forth hell on earth.

Since the girl in question happens to have psychic powers,her satanic stepdaddy is hoping that she'll be the one who lets the Big Bad in, a family dilemma that not even Dr. Phil would want to touch with a ten foot pole. Too bad Basinger didn't use a similar device to get away from this script but perhaps she's a glutton for punishment(insert Alec Baldwin joke here):

Speaking of bad kids, the movie that my sister Stephanie chose for her birthday salute(known as Sister's Choice) also has a wicked offspring on board.

2004's Godsend features Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as parents so desperate to revive their deceased son that they let suspicious mad doctor Robert De Niro clone their boy who,of course,comes back wrong.

This movie is so bad,folks,that I actually forgot that I had seen it at all! Guess the mind has to do something to protect itself from too much bad data,I guess. My sis remembers it all too well,as something "we've done" together and for her sake,I'll risk the mental reboot:

Back to our Lucifer list,last and possibly least is 1993's Needful Things,based on one of Stephen King's far from truly frightening horror novels. As much as I love Big Steve, even he wouldn't try to sell you on this stinker.

 The plot line here has Max Von Sydow as a sinister shop keeper who demands a special price for his goods and services and he's about the only one in this whole mess who appears to be having a good time. However,his presence is not enough to make up for the overwrought story telling and gruesome goings-on that grow tiresome rather than terrifying:

 This summer should get a lot hotter around here with this pack of hell hound horrible flicks indeed. I hope that you all join in the fearsome fun and share your thoughts about these silly Satanic mess-terpieces. Misery does love company after all. Tune in this August and when it comes to quality movies,just ignore them for the hell of it for awhile:

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