My Vote for Greatest Worst Movie of All Time
Presently, I am the most prolific reviewer on IMDB—with nearly 16,000 reviews. Clearly I have too much time on my hands. Considering the numbers, it’s obvious I love all kinds of films—Classic Hollywood, Bollywood, Indies, Rom-Coms … you name it. However, after watching all these wonderful films, every so often I am in the mood for a horrible film. And, when I say horrible, I mean absolutely horrible. The more ineptly a film is directed, the stupider the script and the more ridiculous the acting, the better. I especially love films where the directors tried so hard and yet failed so miserably—and these are the sorts of films that are a riot to watch with friends who also appreciate a bad film. However, there are two categories for bad films—those that are boring and painful and the ones that are downright silly and fun to watch. I am NOT a fan of the former and might include films like John Wayne’s The Conqueror or Jerry Lewis’ Cracking Up. The latter film actually induced a migraine—the one and only one I have ever experienced. Instead, I love the silly ones—the ones where it was obvious to everyone BUT the filmmaker that they were making crap! A few obvious examples are Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Room, Robot Monster, Mars Needs Women, Birdemic, Roller Boogie and Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (recently reviewed by this site). However, the list goes on and on—and I am pretty sure you can think of quite a few films like these. Heck, if you watch ANY of the films of Al Adamson, Larry Buchanan or William Grefe, then you know what I am talking about when I say bad and silly.
My vote, however, for my favorite bad film is one you probably have not heard of until now. It’s a somewhat obscure West German production from 1980 called The Apple (1980). The Apple is hard to describe, but I’ll try. It’s a sci-fi, musical religious allegory about a man named Mr. Boogalow (who is actually Satan) and he plans on ruling this futuristic world through his record production company! In the end, Mr. Tops (a balding Jesus-like character) takes all the good hippies away to Heaven in his giant Cadillac—leaving the Earth to the evil Boogalow! The film was mostly shot in a West Berlin shopping mall (though it is in English) and is one laugh after another after another….yet the production team of Golan/Globus was honestly trying to make some sort of serious statement (about WHAT I have no idea). As for the singing, it’s loud, it’s garish, it’s disco-inspired and it’s mostly bad. To make it worse, folks with absolutely no musical ability at all do much of the singing. My favorite of these is the musical number in Hell…complete with exercise equipment and LOTS of spandex! Another great scene is the opening number where everyone is ‘doing the BIM’(??). You just have to see it to believe it!
This film is actually available on DVD as well as streaming on Netflix, so the film is not completely obscure. However, it’s not for the uninitiated. You must be a die-hard bad movie buff and have a strong constitution (as well as, perhaps, a barf bag). Several of my friends who claim to be bad movie buffs couldn’t even finish watching this movie. To her credit, I gave the film recently to my wife’s office assistant and Caitlin loved it—making her the only person other than myself who I know that loves the film and actually watched it all! Try it if you dare and then let me know what you think.
Review by Martin Hafer, Film Critic