Five Movies Not to Rent

If you’re looking to veg out with some movies this weekend, here are a few that you’d do well to avoid.

Bluebeard (1972), starring Richard Burton (!) and the half-comatose Joey Heatherton, is surely one of the very worst movies ever made. I can’t be sure, because I got up and walked out long before it was over. All right, go ahead and tell me I missed all the good parts.

Zardoz (1974), written and directed and turned into drivel by John Boorman, stars Sean Connery in a pair of hot pants. It’s hardly watchable even in a drive-in with plenty of beer. Immortal line: “The p**** is evil. The p**** shoots seeds!” I dare you to keep watching.

Mandingo (1975). What was James Mason doing in this turkey? He should have shot his agent. It also stars Susan George, sounding like a cockney barmaid trying to impersonate a Southern belle (“Aah was riped!”), and boxer Ken Norton, who was probably better than Sonny Liston would have been.

Blade Runner (1982). In this overrated opus by Ridley Scott, a secret agent (Harrison Ford) falls in love with a robot (Sean Young). Psst, buddy! She’s a machine–like your car. It’s not like you can settle down with her and have a lot of little robots. Something rather unwholesome about the whole idea…

The Fifth Element (1992). I don’t know if this is the worst movie I ever saw, but I’m sure it’s the ugliest. Screenplay by a pair of French comic book writers–well, that says it all, doesn’t it? But it’s cheaper than going to see a psychiatrist. Just turn on The Fifth Element, and if you can sit through more than 20 minutes of it, you know there’s something wrong with you.

To the Reader: Please feel free to nominate any films you think I did wrong to leave out, or which, in the interests of public safety, you are sure other readers should avoid.

27 comments on “Five Movies Not to Rent

  1. Have no fear, Lee. I promise not to rent, buy or even go near any of those you mentioned.

    I’m still downloading, watching and thoroughly enjoying Virginia Christine movies like “Coverup,” 1949. LOL.

  2. Good post, good list of movies to avoid. As to your, ” To the Reader,” at the end of your post. It would take me several weeks to compile the information on terrible films that no poor soul should ever watch. One piece of advise I would add, ” AVOID ALL REMAKES,” they are Hollywood’s pitiful attempts to add sexuality and political correctness to many wonderful classic films. Shameful, indeed.

    God Bless Your Day & Your House Lee
    Dale G. Nowhere, Idaho

  3. Lee I’m assuming you already knew this from the Philip K. Dick story, but in Blade Runner (Do Androids dream…) isn’t “Decker” also a robot? Which begs the question, shouldn’t he have been named “Black and Decker”?

    I’m not sure how I feel about robot couples. I didn’t get where I am today by approving of robot couples.

    1. I dunno, I only saw this movie once–once was enough–and it was years ago. Also, Wikipedia says there are several versions of Blade Runner out there.

      I will even admit there are worse movies than Blade Runner which I didn’t get around to mentioning. Maybe this weekend. Certainly something ought to be said about such overrated prat falls as The Missouri Breaks, Rollerball, Tommy… on, the list could go on. But I wanted to leave scope for the readers to suggest a few.

  4. If you ever run into a movie called If Ever I See You Again, flee. I saw it nearly thirty years ago and just writing the name chills my very soul. It is the sappiest, stupidest thing I ever saw. Gotta go and upchuck, now. 🙂

    1. OK, I looked it up.
      I am protected from such things by my natural preference that a movie should have either a swordfight or a monster in it, or both. I’ll also go for a good murder mystery, even if it lacks both the prime elements required for proper entertainment. But a film about some guy trying to get his act together… naaah.

  5. I’m in an especially sadistic mood today, so I will write a synopsis based only upon the recurring nightmares which have haunted me since viewing this dreck, once, in 1989.

    The hero, we’ll call him Bozo, is a songwriter and arranger whom has come into prominence and perhaps a bit of fame after scoring a movie, which for the purposes of this discussion, we’ll call You Light Up My Life. He is called to HOLLYWOOD, yes, The HOLLYWOOD, to take a hands-on role in the score for another movie, because the finest session musicians in HOLLYWOOD can’t even begin to capture his brilliance on their own, in spite of the fact that these people do that sort of thing daily without ever breaking a sweat. (I’ve met some of those session musicians and I assure you, that they would laugh in the face of the twinkie portrayed in this movie. Many of them were sarcastic, acerbic and wouldn’t have been impressed by Vesuvius, but they could play almost any piece perfectly in one or two takes. You’ve heard these musicians play, literally thousands of times if you listened to music from the fifties through the early eighties.)

    So anyhow, Bozo shows up in HOLLYWOOD, rents an Eldorado convertible and makes for BelAir, or was it Malibu? One of them Chevy names. 🙂 He tweaks the arrangements and at some point meets up with an old girlfriend from COLLEGE, yes COLLEGE, played by Cheryl Ladd. We find out that they were quite the item, but she didn’t want to be tied down (probably because it interfered with being, selfish, self-centered and promiscuous). But they take up again because, SHE was the fish that got away.

    Next, we get to see Bozo conducting his arrangement so that the silly HOLLWOOD musicians will get it right. They are brilliant professionals, but Bozo’s music is so awesome that even they can’t play it without him in the room. Instead of conducting by waving his arms, Bozo really gets into it, using his entire body to express the mass quantities of feeling that his music, alone, contains. Imagine a six foot tall earthworm wriggling in front of an orchestra and you have the idea. Visions of a snake charmer at work fit as well, with an entire orchestra attempting to charm a wriggling Bozo.

    Then it was time to return to the cold, bleak east; back to being the single parent of an adorable little girl whose mother had died. Cheryl Ladd’s character wasn’t about to give up her freedom for something as mundane as true love and Bozo prepares to saunter forlornly in the direction from which the Sun rises. Then, at the last possible second, Cheryl Ladd pastes on a patronizing smile and decides that she wants to be part of Bozo’s life after all. The last scene I recall has Cheryl Ladd wearing her pasted on smile as she enters the room where Bozo and his incredibly adorable little girl are waiting before they leave for dingy New York.

    I recommend this movie highly for those times when Ipecac just isn’t up to the task.

    1. I just read the Wiki page on this bomb and I had (blessedly) forgotten some of the details. The female lead was Shelley Hack, not Cheryl Ladd. I had some of the logistics wrong, and one of the plot points was that the hero wanted to stay in New York while doing film work.

      Apparently there were some autobiographical elements to the story. It was conceived, written, etc. etc. by Joe Brooks, a man that made a fortune doing advertising jingles and then decided that the world needed two Barry Manilows, selflessly offering to fill that vital social role. He created You Light Up My Life, including the hot theme song. Then he decided that he’d make lightning strike twice by writing an awful movie and keeping it afloat on the strength of the songs, which turned out to be about as appealing as a a jingle for cheap toothpaste. The movie apparently failed not only to recover its production costs, but didn’t even recover the cost of its publicity campaign. The place where I rented this bomb has free parking, but in my opinion it wasn’t worth even as much as the free parking spaces. 🙂 He produced this, as I understand matters, with the money of someone hoping to buy their child a career as a movie producer, so apparently the loss didn’t extend to his wallet.

      Joe Brooks went on to produce a couple more movies, notably Eddie & the Cruisers, which was hundreds of times better, but still barely watchable. He also did a Broadway Musical about an OCD Personals Editor that is brought together with a Tourette’s Syndrome musician by a “god” that sings jingles. I wonder where he saw himself in that little fantasy?

      He was charged with 93 counts of sexual assault and rape related to a casting couch enterprise he allegedly operated. He commmitted suicide before it went to trial, leaving a note declaring his innocence. There was all sorts of financial intrigue regarding his estate . It sounds to me as if his reputation and his movies smell much alike.

    2. Definitely would have been a better movie with a swordfight in it, and probably a monster as well.

      I get the distinct impression that you didn’t enjoy it.

    3. If a monster had plucked the writer, director, male lead off the John and eaten him (think Jurrasic Park) it would have been a great movie. 🙂

      It was rented on a slow night when renting a movie seemed like a good idea. I think it was about the last thing on the shelf that looked even vaguely interesting, but the music angle sounded promising, so I rented it. By the time I realized how bad it was, I had been reduced to a catatonic state and could no longer operate the remote. Some time after it played to the end I came back into myself and started the long process of rehab. 🙂

    4. If the main character of this movie had been swallowed whole by a T-Rex it would have been better, but then again if unlikeable characters are eaten by T-Rex it makes any movie better. If Bruno Ganz, as Hitler had been eaten alive by a bunker-busting T-Rex people would have cheered at the end of Downfall. Wouldn’t Casablanca have been better had they watched Godzilla and Mothra battling it out at the end? 🙂

  6. Movies I don’t like often win Oscars, like “American Beauty” & “La La Land.” Then there is “Surfer Dude” which is a take off of “The Big Lebowski” which I found both disgusting yet many say they are their top favorite movies, even using the adjective “classic.”

  7. Can’t we just stick to The Creature From The Black Lagoon or Mighty Joe Young? Or The Notebook or The Book of Eli? At least they don’t produce nightmares by their mere existence.

    1. “The Book of Eli” did have a lot of scary scenes in it; but Patty and I still loved it. Come to think of it, we love the Creature, too.

    2. Some of the scenes in The Creature were filmed 5 minutes from my house when I lived in North Florida – at a beautiful, peaceful place called Wakulla Springs. There were riverboat rides, glass bottom boat rides, alligators swimming on the other side of buoy rope from humans swimming in one area of the river (without ever an incident may I hasten to add). National Geographic did several excursions there, too, looking for the source of the spring, but to this day, as far as I know, it hasn’t been found.

  8. Just a quick FYI – the hymn requested by Susan – ‘Once in David’s Royal City’ – blasted WordPress. Comments are disabled.

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