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I LOVE a bad movie!


slappy3500

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Paul Newman's debut film, "THe Silver Chalice" is a hoot.It is set in about the 60's AD, during the reighn of Nero. Among it's many charms is a blonde, teenaged Natalie Wood who becomes an adult Virginia Mayo with Mr Spock eyebrows. Among the stellar cast is Joesph Wiseman, best remembered as Dr. No. He plays the leader of a super secret revolutionary group...the Sicarii. Their costumes would be right at home as the uniforms of Bond villians. A matching pants and shirt set complete with nifty cummerbund with horizontal stripes (see Dr No , Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice..etc) with the only nod given to it's 1st century setting are the sandals and cape. It's always good for a secret society to wear a universally recognized uniform... so they aren't confused with the Shriners or the Order of Water Buffaloes. The main villian is Jack Palance as Simon the magician, who does all his "Miracles" with the aid of trick photography (remember this is before "Special visual effects.") I especiaLLY LOVED the disappearing snake trick: He has the snake, they stop the camera, take away the snake, restart camera; poof !!! snake gone. Impresed the heck outta the Romans. When he gets drunk and sings a few bars is it Jack singing like a drunkard? No, they dub in an Operatic bass singer!!! Tears of mirth! At the end Simon builds a 300 ft tall tower with a contraption that will make it look like he can fly. But on the spur of the moment he decides he CAN fly and plumets to an unfortunate death. He is wearing a wonderful red leotard with fake wings and little spermatzoa? cut outs on it. Stop me! Then, since Nero is worried that the crowd will be disappointed that they didn't get to see Simon fly, he has Virginia THROWN off the tower, this being so much more entertaining than JUMPING off it. Can't go on! See this movie!

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I don't know if I love this bad movie, but I love to pick on it. Teehee. I hated Ivanhoe (1952 I believe), with Joan Fontaine (a might too old for her part, I love her in most other films, but not this one!) Man, it seems like a boring crummy play with the 1950 broad shouldered-padded men in tights, and it is just so blah. I must admit I only watched half or so , I couldn't take anymore. It reminded me of that I Love Lucy episode with Tellulah Bankhead and the midieval play she did for the PTA. If only I could put a knights armor on someone in Ivanhoe, light them a cig, and shut the visor! Then there would be some action! I am sorry to offend , I know many people like this movie. I just don't. : )

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Just yesterday I watched a TRULY bad movie, but then again, it's supposed to be bad - "Desperate Living," one of John Waters' earlier works. It was disgusting, but in a funny way of course. He makes fun of pedophiles, transvestites, transexuals, lesbians, ****, and everything else you can imagine. It's so incredibly shocking that you can't help but laugh. And Waters' regulars Mink Stole and Edith Massey were hysterical as usual. Normally I wouldn't even bring up a movie like this on TCM's boards, but since the topic is "bad" movies, this one immediately came to mind!

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Moviejoe, I'm not sure that "Desperate Living" (1977) is a "bad" movie, provided that it's taken in the context that John Waters intended for it to be taken. Yes, it appears to be very offensive, thoroughly tasteless, and even shocking. But, it was his intention, and in keeping with the style of most of his films, to depict the callousness of society itself, and the need for acceptance/tolerance, and in the overall view becomes quite warm hearted, not "mean spirited", and outrageously funny. Many would say that he "made fun of" the characters in this film, but look deeper to see what he was really "making fun of". ;)ML

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I don't have a problem with Waters spoofing middle-class morality. It's an easy target. What makes this country great is that people can make the most outrageous criticisms of our society which are not only tolerated but rewarded, provided one has the vision of a John Waters. Think of the totalitarian, or Islamic fundementalist nations, where the slightest hint of deviation results in a trip to places that make "Mortville" look like a four star hotel room at Disney World. BTW I love the name "Mortville". Would love to know whom or what Waters is kidding with that. Mort Sahl????

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Mary Lou, thank you for pointing out the "deeper" message that "Desperate Living" had. I've always looked at Waters' work strictly as entertainment, and viewed him as a radical filmmaker, who just likes to push the envelope. But, I understand your point, that he's basically exploiting the "average" person, not the different types of people portrayed in his films.

 

But whether looking at the social context of his films, or just looking at them to laugh, they're GREAT entertainment. Especially the movies he made with Divine. I only wish I could see "Pink Flamingos" - it's not on DVD, and I don't think it was ever on VHS either.

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