Defining One End of The Spectrum: 5 of The Worst Films You Will Ever See.

Call it schadenfreude, call it masochism, call it crazy but, there is an enthusiastic horde of cinephiles out there who prefer the delights of failure to success. Just as with any subculture, the bad movie aficionados can be subdivided. There are those who prefer big budget Hollywood failures like Cats or Battlefield Earth. There are those who like awkward and cheap 1950’s science fiction classics. There is a very large crowd to match the copious output of horrible horror films. Of course there is the Ed Wood crowd too, and there are the polymorphous perverse enthusiasts who seek out low quality wherever it may lurk. This particular essay concerns itself with the lowest of the low. This is about the bottom dwellers who dig deeper, way past The Room and Troll 2 to a place few are willing to tread.

I offer you five “films” that define one end of a continuum of quality. Just as their refined counter parts at the other end of the spectrum set a lofty goal for supreme achievements these disastrous productions set a marker that helps calibrate the spectrum. When we walk out of a movie into the daylight we can say, “Well that was pretty bad but it wasn’t Homoti” bad thereby qualifying our statement and hence being more precise and descriptive.

Homoti

Homoti was made in 1987 in Turkey. It is an unsanctioned, copyright infringing, rip off of ET. Ninety percent of the film takes place on a couch in a featureless living room somewhere. Homoti is the name of ET’s gay cousin who has come to Earth in search of love. He falls hard for the first man he meets and then spends the rest of the film whining about how his feelings are not reciprocated. That’s it, that’s the whole thing. After a half hour the novelty of gawking at how horrible the costume is, and how terrible the dialogue is the film begins to run thin and it becomes difficult to carry on watching.

Like many of the films on this list Homoti is a cautionary tale for filmmakers. It provides examples of what happens when you spurn certain cinematic conventions. If you don’t cut back and forth in dialogue and just sit the camera on a tripod in front of a couch you get something interminable. If you eliminate all shadows with flat, even lighting you will drain the life from the scene. These little lessons are actually part of the appreciation. Well made films are so seamless and slick its hard to keep track of the craft. With the addition of CGI you don’t even know if what you are watching is a film or a cartoon. In films like Homoti, all the seams are exposed. The bad sewing, the frayed ends, the dropped stitches all show and in a way its relief to see them.

Bat Pussy

Bat Pussy is a bit like Homoti at least in its cinematography. Instead of a couch the tripod is set at the foot of the bed and stays there through most of the film. Ed wood actually used this angle in his porn film Necromania. Of all the places you could put a camera to record a sexual encounter, the foot of the bed is just not optimal.

Bat Pussy doesn’t really have a plot. It opens with what must be the most unerotic sex scene ever captured on film. Come to think of it, it closes with the same thing. The whole film is one long “sexual” encounter with a short break to feature Bat Woman speeding her way to join in on the fun. I use the word “fun” in the loosest possible sense, but even then its misapplied. The man and the woman who star in the film basically argue, complain and rebuke each other while they roll around naked on a bed.

They alternate between calling each other names and burying each others head in each other’s genitals. Neither of them gets aroused but they persist. This may be the only hardcore porn film where the man never achieves an erection, not even a softy. They end up having to ape intercourse. Even when Bat Woman arrives in an ill-fitting Bat-suit and jumps in to join them nothing happens downstairs. Its not for lack of trying. In an ill-conceived and overly enthusiastic attempt at cunnilingus the man dives head first into Bat Woman’s crotch knocking her off the bed. All the actors look to the director off camera but don’t seem to get a response. Whoever the director was he or she must have lost interest and was probably busy doing something else. The “actors” stay frozen and confused for a few moments but eventually they just continue pawing at each other.

That’s it, that’s the movie. It was apparently found in a closet of an old theater just before the theater was torn down. There are no credits or dates on the film so there is no one to arrest for making it, but shockingly it is available on DVD. I’m not sure watching this movie more than once is safe. Certainly it is not doctor recommended.

Alien Beasts

Unlike Bat Pussy, Alien Beasts does have a plot. Things happen but the connections between scenes is indecipherable. Of all the films the production level and cinema craft of this one has to be the worst. It looks like it was shot and edited by a child, a slow child, a slow, blind child, in a coma.

I see this film as a motivational tool. Show Alien Beasts to an eighth grader and watch as they realize they could easily do better. The film reaches out and not only ignites the DIY spark but it asks to be bested. You can plainly see how much fun they are having because they laugh all through the fighting scenes.

Despite its being the absolute bottom of the barrel in construction, Alien Beasts does have variety where Bat Pussy does not. In Alien Beats there is gore, nudity, fighting, and an attempt at costumes. One could feasibly say that an effort was made.

Alien Beasts distinguishes itself from the other four films in that it is actually entertaining. Watching it you can feel the director’s excitement behind the camera. You can imagine him calling up his friends and enthusiastically coaching them on blocking and dialogue. The film fails miserably at everything it attempts, but there are enough attempts. failed or otherwise, to keep you interested. When it was over I wanted to die less than when I watched the others.

War Is Menstrual Envy

The best thing about War Is Menstrual Envy is the title,. The director, Nick Zedd, had a way with words. Titles of his other films include; Geek Maggot Bingo or The Freak from Suckweasel Mountain, Thrust in Me, Elf Panties: The Movie, Whoregasm, and, I Was a Quality of Life Violation.

Nothing about War Is Menstrual Envy makes it worth sitting through. Although if you have been looking to watch twenty minutes of a naked woman humping a pink, plastic octopus this might provide a rare opportunity for you. I suppose while you’re at it you might also enjoy the scene where a soldier in a gas mask stabs an infant, or the part where a dwarf whips a naked man in a gimp mask, but all of this makes it sound a little too interesting. It isn’t.

War Is Menstrual Envy is an “experimental” film. Unfortunately it is possible that the filmmakers actually thought they were avant guard artists shaking up the cinema scene. Annie Sprinkles who calls herself a performance artist, is in it and so is Al Goldstien. These people would be familiar to you if you were in New York City when it was New York City back in the 70s. Al Goldstien was porn royalty. He had a sleazy tv show on cable at midnight. Never ever look up “Midnight Blue, Al Goldstein as The Amazing Spare Rib.” Its two minutes that will scar you for life.

I have digressed but only because there is nothing to say other than this film is a pointless assembling of green screen effects and incongruous imagery. Of the five films profiled I believe this one to be the least watchable, or the most unwatchable, its awful.

Things

Imagine a film shot without any consideration paid to lighting. I mean none at all. Some parts would be overexposed, others underexposed, some would have no contrast or be so grainy you could hardly make anything out. It would be insufferable. Now imagine a film where no thought or attention went into recording or balancing the sound. You would have sudden jumps in volume. Some sound would be close and other sound would echo as if in a cavern. It would be very hard to sit through. Well! dream no more, the fantasy has become reality. The craft in Andrew Jordan’s 1989 horror film is just about as bad as it can be and still function as a movie. Some of the sound seems like it was recorded using a pair of paper cups on a string.

The premise is that an impotent husband becomes so desperate to impregnate his wife he makes her take some kind of experimental drug that causes her to have yucky killer bug babies. There aren’t many other discernible features in the film. Its mostly just a dark mass of noise. 80s porn star Amber Lynn is in it but she doesn’t do anything porny. (spellcheck seems fine with porny, huh ). There is a lot of dialogue that goes nowhere, and a lot of scenes that don’t seem to have a purpose.

Things and War Is Menstrual Envy are tied for most painful to watch. Making it to the end is an arduous and joyless endeavor, and still these are important films in that there has to be something at the bottom of the well. There has to be an end to a spectrum, a pole. Watching these films puts all other films in perspective. Remember when we all thought that George Bush was the worst president in American History? I remember when I could’t even bear to see his face.

I have an MFA in painting and I’m an art professor but I managed to convince my school to let me teach film.