BETTY STEIN: Picking your favorite movies is easy, how about your worst?
So in addition to the list of books one should read before going to college, there was another list, too, in the drawer I was cleaning out. This one was of “the bottom 100 movies as voted by YOU!” It went on to say that each title included had received 50 or more votes.” Intriguing. I took a look.
There were few titles I recognized. Did you see “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” which was released in 1980? That one that rang a bell, but I remember it as a spoof, not to be taken seriously. And I didn’t remember it well. The other was “Ishtar,” released in 1987, but I hadn’t seen it. I’d only heard of it. So the list and I didn’t agree at all. And I tried to remember a film or two I should have walked out on. That was difficult.
I didn’t like Bette Davis and religiously avoided her movies. I felt the same way about Charlton Heston so didn’t see his “Ben Hur,” though I wouldn’t have liked it. Many years before his version, there was an exemplary “Ben Hur,” starring Ramon Novarro and Francis X. Bushman. As far as I was concerned, Mr. Novarro could do nothing wrong, and his Ben Hur was true to Lew Wallace’s book.
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” in 1964 would never have had appeal for me, but it was high up on the list of bottom movies as was “Manos, the Hands of Fate” (1966) which headed the list. Do you know it? How about “Caddyshack II”? not far down.
So I wondered if there is something wrong with me, although I loved “La La Land” recently and it has been extremely popular so I couldn’t be completely disagreeable. In fact, I found “La La Land” enchanting. So I asked my children to name a film they’d put on a “I Hate You” list. Daughter immediately replied “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” a really new one, with Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell. Her husband thought it the worst picture he had ever seen. Son named two. One is “The Immigrant” — but no comment on that one. “Terror of Tiny Town” was the other, and he explained it was made to laugh at midgets. No laughing matter.
Well, you’ve been going to see films for years and now you can see them while lounging comfortably on a couch at home. As you look back, are there any you’d ask “why did they make that one? It was one of the worst!” Let me know, please, just for fun.
You know, most films are reviewed before they get to Fort Wayne so if we see a really bad one, we often have had fair warning. Sometimes we’re fooled because the new one is a sequel to one we thoroughly enjoyed — but the remake can’t compare. There are a lot of those on the list, like “Rocky 5” and “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2.
I didn’t find any more lists, so I guess the next column will be on recently read books or a quiz. Ready for a quiz? How about one based on seasons of the year, such as “when would ‘When lilacs last in the courtyard bloomed’ be set? Can you name the poet?