I love movies. I love great movies – Oscar winners, classics that are studied in film classes…but let’s be honest: I also love a movie that dares to be called “A Smell Of Honey, A Swallow Of Brine.” I mean – C’MON. That is a movie that puts you in its mouth and BITES DOWN HARD.
Remember the first time you watched a movie that was SO BAD, SO MISGUIDED IN EVERY WAY, that your jaw dropped lower and lower until it hit the ground? Well, here are ten of those movies, each misguided in so many ways that you just had to wonder “what were they thinking?!?” Let’s examine the cinematic evidence…
10 – The Sinful Dwarf. Yes, this is “THE MOTHER OF ALL DWARFSPLOITATION FILMS!!” I have written about this legendary and recently uncovered 1974 film before, so I will let Amazon’s product description do the rest: “A young bride,” promised the ads, “left alone to the lewd passions of an evil dwarf!”
Severin Films is officially going to Hell – and taking you with them – with the first time ever in America DVD release of what may be the sleaziest film in EuroCult history: Diminutive former kiddie-show host Torben Bille – who looks disturbingly like Jack Black in a trash compactor –
Yes, that is Torben Bille – The Sinful Dwarf – who stars as the pint-sized pervert who imprisons drugged teenage sex slaves in the attic of his drunken mother’s decrepit rooming house… and that’s just the first ten minutes! The delicious Anne Sparrow – in her first and understandably only screen role – co-stars in this towering achievement in graphic depravity, now fully restored from a 35mm print discovered hidden in a janitor’s closet at the Danish Film Institute!”
Oh, did I mention that his Mom is CRAZY – and yes, she SINGS! You will never clean your ears the same way again…
This was originally known as “Dvaergen” in Denmark – I mean, LOOK AT THIS POSTER!!
And yes, that’s right – this movie was not only found in a janitor’s closet in Denmark – but they chose not to throw it out! You will never see a more bizarre film…this is grindhouse at its best – or worst!
Now, speaking of grindhouse…remember “Beach Blanket Bingo?” That was the antithesis of grindhouse, and in 2003, it came roaring back to life – only to flame out in a BIG BIG WAY!
9 – From Justin To Kelly. In 2003, American Idol exploded on television as one of the biggest hits of all time. So what was the misguided idea that resulted? How about taking winner Kelly Clarkson, along with her runner-up, heart throb Justin Guarini, and rushing a “beach blanket bingo” movie into theaters to capitalize on their new found fame. And how better to to that? Get them on a beach, baby, and dance dance dance!
The plot is clearly NOT the point here–Kelly and two gal pals go to the beach for spring break, where one of her friends gets jealous of Kelly and tries to ruin her budding romance with Justin–
OK, was this REALLY a movie? Maybe the point was to jump on the “Idol” wave and ride it to box office gold. No such luck.
This movie bombed spectacularly, but don’t worry – there is actually a “special edition” version of the movie on DVD! As for Kelly Clarkson, she survied this to go on and sell a few records, which song titles such as “My Life Would Suck Without You!” I don’t think she was referencing Justin Guarini, who seems like a nice guy, but just couldn’t turn that smile into gold…
8 – The Brave. You love Johnny Depp. We all love Johnny Depp. So did you see his 1997 directorial debut, with Depp also starring as a down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail, who is offered the chance to “star” as the victim of a snuff film…convinced that he has nothing to offer this world, he agrees to be tortured to death by a gang of rednecks in return for $50,000. OK, you can ask: “WHAT THE F?”
I saw this film at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and Alex interviewed Johnny at the time, but nothing could change the fact that this was, even as sincere as he was, one of the most misguided movie ideas EVER. It didn’t help that Marlon Brando had a small cameo as the man who offers him this chance…”The Brave” was never released in the United States, although it has finally shown up on DVD…and I really admire Johnny Depp…but this is a tough tough tough film to watch, and if you can make it through the scene where he builds an entire amusement park overnight while his kids are asleep inside the trailer – yes, an entire amusement park – well then I salute you.
Depp is currently the biggest movie star in the world, and I admire that he uses that power to make smaller films like “The Rum Diary”…and I admire that he made “The Brave”…but what was he thinking?
7 – The Human Centipede (First Sequence). Speaking of “WHAT WAS HE THINKING?” LETS ADD THE NAME OF DUTCH DIRECTOR TOM SIX. You know that you know what this is about…but in case you have refused to believe, here is the topline:
“A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a new “pet”– a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums.”
OK, I know what you are thinking: “I will never read this blog again.” And neither will I. But this post is to discuss movies SO MISGUIDED, SO WRONG, that you have to appreciate the lengths that I am willing to go to entertain you.
AND THIS UPDATE: MORE THAN A FEW PEOPLE WERE UPSET THAT I WOULD INCLUDE THIS FILM…AND I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU! HOWEVER, I WANTED TO GET AWAY FROM SUCH OBVIOUS CHOICES AS “GIGLI”…AND MY RATIONAL, WHILE MISGUIDED! WAS THIS: It’s the simple matter of the idea of the film – what was he thinking? But in hindsight, clearly not misguided!
I have seen some of the craziest movies the world has to offer: “Visitor Q”…”Irreversible”…”A Serbian Film”…I can handle them all…but I just CANNOT WATCH THIS FILM!
Here is the IMDB description, in its entirety: “Two pretty but ditsy American girls are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany, they end up alone at night with a broken car in the woods. They search for help and find an isolated villa. The next day, they awaken to find themselves trapped in a terrifying makeshift basement hospital along with a Japanese man. An older German man identifies himself as a retired surgeon specialized in separating Siamese twins. However, his three “patients” are not about to be separated but joined together in a horrific operation. He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric systems. By doing so, he plans to bring to life his sick lifetime fantasy, the human centipede. ”
6 – All This and World War 2. You ever hear of The Beatles? Great music, right? Makes you think immediately of World War 2, doesn’t it? NO? Well, in 1976 these geniuses decided to take the Mop Tops greatest hits and, you know, cover it with documentary footage of World War 2! Bad? Beyond!
Look at this guy in black’n’white, forced to have his documentary footage mixed with some of the worst cover songs EVER?!?!?!?!
Oh, and did I tell you that they got stars of “the moment” to lend their talents? Well, Helen Reddy sings “Fool On The Hill” while Hitler relaxes at Bertchtesgaden, and Rod Stewart husks “Get Back” while Nazi troops goose step. Yes, it really is as bad as it sounds!
This according to Wikipedia: Critics savaged the movie with gusto, audiences stayed away, and Fox promptly yanked the film from release. The reviewer in the New York Daily News wrote that the film’s PG rating had to have stood for “Positively Ghastly”. It appeared out of competition at Cannes in 1977, has occasionally been shown at film festivals, and even on American cable TV. On June 1, 2007 the film played a single midnight show at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles.
There is bad, and then there is BAD. This is BAAAAAAADDDDDDDD………
5 – Sextette! In 1978, legendary sex kitten Mae West decided she need to make a comeback, so she would get Ringo Starr, The Who dummer Keith Moon and Dom DeLuise to star with her. Yes, you can take a moment to consider what I just told you.
As Amazon describes it: “It’s a musical comedy like no other when Mae West and Timothy Dalton wed, but put their honeymoon on hold while West saves the world! This outrageous comedy-musical features an all star cast that includes Dom DeLuise as Mae’s personal manager, Ringo Starr as her fourth husband, George Hamilton as her fifth husband, Keith Moon as Mae’s coiffure, Tony Curtis as her Russian ex-lover, Alice Cooper as a singing waiter, Walter Pidgeon as a Congressman, and Regis Philbin as what else? Himself!”
According to IMDB, Alice Cooper recorded the piano ballad “No Time for Tears” for his scene in the film, but it was rejected by Mae West, who stated her character would never cry over the loss of a man. The song was ultimately replaced by the peppy disco number “Next, Next.” More than two decades later, the recording of “No Time for Tears” was finally issued in the boxed set “The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper.”
Take another moment, as this synopsis alone is enough to cause heart palpitations…and thanks to DVDs, you can own this! Just a warning: the vasoline on the lens is so thick that, while it was unsuccessfully trying to cover up Mae West’s age, it also made it impossible to see her! This movie is a lot like being forced to make out with somebody’s grandmother – with tongue.
4 – -Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yes, as if “All This and World War 2” didn’t defile the Beatles quite enough, Producer Robert Stigwood dug the knife in deeper with this amazingly misguided attempt to bring the Pepper Band to life, courtesy of the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton!
Look away children, look away! Steve Martin, Alice Cooper and Earth,Wind & Fire also share the blame for agreeing to star in this 1978 disaster.
I understand that the Bee Gees were HUGELY popular at this time in history: but they were trying to play THE BEATLES! It turns out Paul was never deak, but he no doubt turned over in his grave for most of this year…
3-Can’t Stop The Music. As the poster says “Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen Before!” Like nothing, INDEED!
Here’s the idea…Hey, hipsters. Let’s capture this disco craze by doing a musical starring the Village People and Bruce Jenner…
Oh, and let’s get aging “character actress/never-directed-before so let’s have her do it” Nancy Walker get behind the camera! For the first ten minutes your guests will tap their feet and hope for the best, by the halfway point, clear the bathroom!
Yes, the movie stars The Village People. But it doesn’t end there = Let’s just rundown the highlights:
1) Bruce Jenner (PLAYING A STRAIGHT MAN, I must reiterate), running around New York City in Daisy Dukes and a bare midriff, shrunken tee shirt.
2) A group of little boys in full VP drag, including the Leatherman’s get-up. (It’s for a milk commercial. Don’t ask.)
3) David Hodo’s (the Construction Worker) big solo number, “I Love You to Death,” which, to be fair, seems to have been conceived as an intentionally comic parody. (However, the same could be said of the entire film.) At any rate, David can’t sing, but he’s really hot jumping around in his skintight jeans, while being clawed at by overly-made-up mannequins in Halston knock-offs.
4) The “YMCA” production number, which is a hysterically inept homage to “Million Dollar Mermaid” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”–but you do get to see a lot of bare, buffed skin.
5) The finale ultimo, with the VP is sequined versions of their uniform drag–prior to going onstage, they’re visited by “special guest star Leigh Taylor-Young.”
And yes, those highlights are from the amazon description of the DVD release…see, I not only share this misguided efforts with you, I help point you to the place where you can buy them for your very own!
2-PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH. That’s right: PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH. Never heard of it? Well, I PAID TO SEE IT ONCE! Thanks to our friends at Something Weird video, it is still around to steal you blind. Say you have some b-roll of a city, AND you get your girlfriend to wander around a bit – film her. Oh, and did I mention that she’s just NOT THAT GOOD LOOKING?????
Looks aside, shoot her taking her clothes off and writhing around on a bed. Then shoot a couple of shots of an eerie face in the mirror. That’s it, you have a film! Don’t worry about dialogue, just record your girlfriend’s vacant, mono tonal voice for 90 minutes while you cut together this footage with no rhyme or reason.
Get it? This is movie making so lazy and cynical, it was destined to take $5 out of the pocket of a young kid who would pay to see anything! You know – ME! Now I can return the favor, and help you clear out a party that just won’t stop on its own.
The worst indignity is that “4D WITCH” is actually the second feature on this dvd double bill, behind the black’n’white nonsense called “Monster A Go-Go!”
1 – The Day the Clown Cried. That’s right, the legendary, never-released movie from master Comedian Jerry Lewis! “Clown” is apparently unfinished and of course unreleased. Jerry Lewis starred and directed this 1972 lost masterwork, which is all about a circus clown who is imprisoned in a Nazi camp. He entertains the children who are there, and in the rumored finale, finally leads them in full clown makeup into the gas chambers. Nice.
Now you are thinking: is this somewhat similar to “Life Is Beautiful”, Italian rubber-faced funnyman Roberto Benigni’s critically-acclaimed 1997 film? As reviews said at the time: “Benigni accomplishes the impossible in his World War II comedy Life Is Beautiful: he shapes a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust.” And he won Best Actor for it! So why not Jerry?
Why has this never been released? We will never know, but can only imagine….
There have been a few stories written by people who CLAIM to have seen it, or who say that Lewis is still bitter that nobody took him seriously…
This is destined to be a masterwork never seen by the public…but don’t fear – all of the other movies on this list are available for your viewing pleasure right now!
Most of these movies are easy to find on TV and DVD, so dip your toes into the world of misguided movies and let me know what you think!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, Christina Lindberg, Comedy Movies, Foreign Films, Grindhouse, Horror films, Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Travel, Uncategorized