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Friday, Jun 11, 2010
By the end, when righteousness is battling the demonic for ultimate control of the cosmos, all we care about is how tenuous the lighting, acting, cinematography, and this film's grip on reality truly is.

They say God works in mysterious ways (and anyone whose sat through the Micheff Sisters vegetarian cooking exhibitions on the 3ABN Network can attest to that), but none have been more bizarre, more baffling in their sacrosanct ridiculousness than C Me Dance (yes, that’s the actual title). The faithful often accuse the secular of crapping all over their attempts to bring the Lord’s good word to the masses via moviemaking and other outlets - and with good damn reason. Most of these efforts are awful, pandering to an already converted contingent while completely locking out the individuals most in need of an inspirational message. After all, what does it say about Christian filmmaking that the most potent pro-JC missives come from Michael Tolkin’s brilliant end of times drama, The Rapture?


This hasn’t stopped writer/director/producer/star Greg Robbins from trying though. Lost in a world where the Messiah rides dinosaurs and the Big Boss Man hates homosexuals, he’s been responsible for a string of bizzaro world media entries, including the faith-based courtroom show Almighty Justice, the pro-God sitcom Pastor Greg, and the religious exercise program Professor Bounce’s Kid Fit. Of course, he realizes that such specialized programming is not going to reach out to the wealth of sinners wandering around the 5,000 year old planet, so he decided to ride the coattails of the urban dance genre, except without any interracial romance, any city setting, any real conflict, or any real talent. Thus was re-born the abysmal C Me Dance, a film about ballet, bribing the Lord, and taking on Beelzebub.


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Thursday, Jun 10, 2010
The overall awfulness of this fabulous disaster oozes from every misguided cinematic orifice like yellow matter custard from a dead dog's eye.

According to writer/director/concerned citizen-conspiracy theory crackpot James Nguyen, global warming, the continuing devastation of our natural resources, the unchecked rape of the world around us, and the lackadaisical reaction to our unfettered passion for fossil fuels, tagged to a continuing quest for material gain and capitalist control will lead to one horrific conclusion - deadly acidic bird shit. That’s right, as part of his prophetic warning to the people of planet Earth - Birdemic: Shock and Terror - our ecological ennui will result in avian adversaries who release a fatal stream of blinding bird feces, that is, when they’re not kamikaze dive bombing into gas stations and SUVs, or tearing out the throats of less than innocent bystanders. Apparently when eagles and vultures get pissed, they will target humanity for their terrifying twist on a “turkey” shoot.


Labeled a ‘romantic thriller’ by its creator, Birdemic begins by introducing us to upwardly mobile software salesman Rod (the robotic Alan Bagh). Closing million dollar deals with ease, he takes time off from his rise to the top to stop at a local diner. There, he meets suspect supermodel Nathalie (Whitney Moore) whose just landed a big gig with Victoria’s Secret. Soon, the two are dating, making cow eyes at each other and discussing - endlessly - what they want in the perfect mate. Rod continues to succeed at his job, so much so that when the company is bought for $1 billion (with a “B”), he takes his stock options and starts up his own solar panel concern. As things get more serious with Nathalie, the future is considered - again, endlessly.


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Wednesday, Jun 9, 2010
Clearly crafted as a wake-up call to all the nasty "normals" out there, it substitutes schmaltz for sincerity to create a heated hate crime all its own.

The plight of ‘little people’ - dwarves for those who need a more technical term - used to be an unspoken predicament in supposedly polite society. Few ventured to guess about the turmoil and troubles of those hampered by diminutive size and their surrounding medical/psychological issues. Instead, they chalked their life up to a ‘sad until the circus comes to town’ mentality and propped them up as punchlines in their own private prejudice. As with any other disability, dwarfism is easily misunderstood and frequently mocked - and it hasn’t helped that cable channels like TLC have used the biological anomaly as the means of exploiting the ratings ripe visual of seeing a tiny chocolatier covered in his own product (it’s even ickier than it sounds). Into this battle between virtuous intention and Verne Troyer comes Tiptoes. Clearly crafted as a wake-up call to all the nasty “normals” out there, it substitutes schmaltz for sincerity to create a heated hate crime all its own. 


Steven (Matthew McConaughey) is a firefighting instructor. He is in love with and engaged to the beautiful bohemian artist Carol (Kate Beckinsale - who you can tell is an oddball because she has red tint at the edges of her hairdo and sports a sassy silent movie actress tattoo). When he finds out she is pregnant with their child, it instantly causes chaos. You see, Steven has been hiding a pretty big secret from his lady love, and he’s not sure how she will react: he is a twin, and his brother Rolfe (Gary Oldman in Elephant Man weird make-up) is a dwarf. In fact, his whole family are dwarves, with Steven the only “regular” relative among an extended group of mini-kinfolk. Naturally, he is afraid that he will pass on the pint-sized genes to his offspring, and this causes massive concern. Still, our couple eventually marries, and after the baby is born, Steven has a crisis of conscience. Luckily, Carol has Rolfe and his collection of halfling heroes to help her understand the turmoil her man is going through - as well as the benefits of going “small.”


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Tuesday, Jun 8, 2010
In the dynasty of dung, among the many pretenders to the best worst movie throne, Tommy Wiseau and his oddly named tragedy truly earns its rotten rep.

One conversation, that is all it would take. Our main characters, surprisingly successful bank employee cum Euro-trash face transplant Johnny (the multi-hypenated and minimally talented Tommy Wiseau) and his borderline plump diabolical dream gal fiancé Lisa (Juliette Danielle), simply needed to sit down and talk out their obvious relationship issues, and everything would be right with the romantic world. He would see what a conniving and manipulative biz-nitch she truly is, and she would…well, probably have a hard time understanding his forged behind the Iron Curtain accent. Still, a little interpersonal palaver might have saved them - and anyone desperate enough to view their cracked kitchen sink drama - from the 100 minute nightmare known as The Room. As with most of what this abysmal movie stands for, the title makes about as much sense as the dozens of dangling (and still unresolved) plot threads.


Wiseau, who wrote, directed, produced, conceived, and still-bore this fascinating disaster is a money making maverick, his lead’s key career profile having something to do with savings and/or loans. His Johnny is so flush with the green stuff that he can keep the lumpy Lisa living in a swanky part of San Francisco (the apartment itself looks like a poorly furnished studio set - which it is) and also provide former adoption candidate, now wimpy college student Denny (Philip Haldiman) a place to live in the same building, as well as his full tuition. He is constantly buying is beefy beloved flowers and cheap hooker dresses, and while apparently swamped with important work, he always has time to hook up with BFF Mark (Greg Sestero) and toss around the pigskin. Of course, what our swarthy hero doesn’t know is that Lisa no longer loves him, she is telling everyone within earshot of same, is planning on halting their upcoming wedding, and now has her mad cow eyes (and loins) set on seducing Johnny’s bud. Why? Well…um…because, after all, she deserves it?


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Monday, Jun 7, 2010
Not every bad film is Battlefield Earth. Sometimes, you have to sit through something like Tommy and the Cool Mule to see just how shoddy a subpar effort can really be.

Get ready, Short Ends and Leader fans. Starting tomorrow, 8 June and running straight through Sunday, 13 June, we will be celebrating a week of “worsts”. Now, before your get your celluloid skivvies in a bunch, let’s review some of the important critical criteria involved in this selection of these pungent examples of cinematic stool. First, we will avoid all the “traditional” pics that usually make such lists. We aren’t looking to roast Plan Nine from Outer Space over the consensus coals one more time (BTW - it is NOT the most horrible movie of all time, period) nor are we trying to champion those oft talked about “so bad, they’re good” efforts. We’ll leave that to Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its Cinematic Titanic/Rifftrax offshoots. We also are looking to discuss dismal efforts that never wanted to achieve very much in the first place. And finally, we aren’t interested in no budget indie twaddle that would never have been decent no matter the money pumped into it. No, over the next six days we will be looking at artistic ambition dashed, filmmaking incompetence exposed, and the undeniable stench of someone who firmly believes that they have a complete grasp of the language of film. The god-awful gobbledygook they produce suggests their grip is a tad weak.


So check back every day this week for the latest scrappings from the medium’s endless trough of tripe. For a rating scale, we will go with something a little different than the norm. Giving a really horrendous entry a simple numerical score is not enough. We need to go with something more substantial. That’s why the six films featured will be judged on a scale of “1” to “5” WTFs - “1” being borderline abysmal, “5” being so outlandishly offensive that local governments out to pass some kind of law. A couple of the choices will be familiar - especially for those who follow such fringe aspects of the industry. Others, however, will hit you right between your bleary, unbelieving eyes. By the end of this self-inflicted trek into torture, we hope to illustrate how vast the chasm of motion picture crap can be. Not every bad film is Battlefield Earth. Sometimes, you have to sit through something like Tommy and the Cool Mule to see just how shoddy a subpar effort can really be.


The Schedule for A Week of Worsts


8 June, 2010 - The Room


9 June, 2010 - Tiptoes


10 June, 2010 - Birdemic: Shock and Terror


11 June, 2010 - C Me Dance


12 June, 2010 - Killa Season


13 June, 2010 - Gooby


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