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August 10, 2004

Worst. Movie. Ever. (60 points)

In Popping Culture's opinion, and in honor of the way Catwoman burned through all 9 of Halle Berry's lives, this would be the movie Gymkata.


Simply using the term "plot summary" is a rare mercy for gagging pile of wasted VHS tape. Kurt Thomas, Olympic vaulting horse star and ninja, "stars" in this tale of, um, tale of... well, it's not as long as you might expect, anyway.

I don't want you to hear that the cheap special effects were the only problem with this steaming pile of eye-burning, sensibility-offending tripe. With a 30 million dollar budget, this would still be crap, just nicely wrapped.

The acting is of a quality you expect - no, demand! - from your average Olympic gymnast. Unfortunately, the actual actors they surrounded him with are even worse.

The best part, however, is that they didn't even TRY to PRETEND this was a real movie. It seems they only had a roll or two of film to work with, because glitches, bad edits and special effects gaffes are simply left in. Part of the mystique, I imagine.

For instance, when our hero is attacked (one at a time!) by a band of Arabian thugs in a back alley (who are cleverly disguised as white, American males in bedsheets), you can CLEARLY see that there are gymnastics mats ON THE STREET. In the alley. For not just a few glimpses, but MINUTES ON END. Another prize moment (although my buddy Lloyd and I counted at least three dozen - hey, it was college. What were we gonna do, go to class?) is when a hapless Arabian prisoner (translation: white American male) is hanging from a rope bridge.

He is shot by an arrow that is clearly held only to his shirt by tape. As he is shot, instead of letting go of the rope immediately, he twists and spins, but the arrow STAYS IN PLACE until it is bent to a 90 degree angle from his body and hanging limply from his shirt. The arrow that killed him. The one they left in the film as a drama-building moment.

This is just horrible beyond words. You could use the "romantic" subplot to induce vomitting in case you ever gulped down something caustic, which this movie might just inspire you to do.

In any case, Thomas would have been killed immediately, the enemy held at bay only by his sudden uncontrolled urination at the site of real bad guys - except for one saving grace. He is in Yugoslavia! Yes, Yugoslavia, where the hordes of rampaging ninjas (oh, they got em, all right) attack in a very sociable one-at-a-time order and gymnastic equipment appears in every home, village, market and roadway.

In what might be the most memorable scene of Gymkata (hard to pick just one, I know), Kurt is surrounded by at least 30 ninjas. He runs to the center of the dirty village where there is (surprise!) a vaulting horse!

If your brain hasn't hemmorhaged by now, you might survive long enough to see the 30 ninjas surround Thomas and then... ATTACK!

One at a time.

After pausing between each ninja for Kurt to do a few spins, handstands and leg twists, or whatever you do on a vaulting horse.

At one point, Kurt is still whupping up on one assailant when another charges into the fray, realizes he has charged too early, and returns demurely to the angered crowd.

My vote for the worse movie ever.

What's yours? Time for Three Sentences.

You have until Thursday midnight EST to place an entry, with the following guidelines:

1 - Three sentences, no run ons.
2 - You must describe a movie you have seen all the way through, and you must give the reasons you think this movie qualifies as the worst ever.
3 - You are allowed two separate entries in two separate comments.

Winner (chosen by our crack Popping Culture staff) gets 60 Culture Mavens points. Second place gets 30. Everyone else gets to vent.


Posted by Dan at August 10, 2004 11:15 AM

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Battlefield Earth,
Forest Whitaker looks stunned;
"Fuck, my agent sucks!"

Posted by: The Chairman at August 11, 2004 11:28 AM

Daisy Miller starring Cybill Shepherd had to be the most excruciatingly painful movie going experience I have ever had. Being a young teenage boy at the movie theater with his older sisters, I had no escape from this monotonous, dull and poorly acted piece of celluloid. As I left the theater, my head throbbed with pain and I had the distinct feeling that all my senses had been assaulted with hot pokers.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin starring Nicolas Cage is a war movie that would be suitable for use in war as a technique for prying information from captured soldiers. Cage's accent is the highlight of the film as it rival's Dick Van Dyke's cockney in Mary Poppins in terms of authenticity. I must have been severely hung over the day I watched it in order to have made it to the final credits.

PS: I hope you're not pissed about our run-in the other day. I apologized on the thread if you haven't looked.

Posted by: Ralph at August 11, 2004 03:35 PM

Ooops. I put both my entries in one comment. Should I repost?

Posted by: Ralph at August 11, 2004 03:36 PM


You're cool. And we didn't really run-in, I think, we just disagreed.

The Dick Van Dyke reference is gold, and more than makes up for anything that happened in the past.

Posted by: Big Dan at August 11, 2004 09:07 PM

This took a LOT of thought. For one thing, I have studiously avoided bad movies for the past decade. However, I have scoured my brainfor the worst movie that I ever sat all the way through.

Take a mediocre novel written under what must have been hangover conditions by someone who ordinarily turns out work of relatively high quality. Start the script for the movie in the middle of the story, and populate it with actors who are underwhelming in their ability to portray shallow characters and often can't track their accents any better than Tom Hanks in "Volunteers". Shake well, and I give you the craptacular waste of celluloid that is "Dreamcatcher".

Posted by: Mr. E. at August 23, 2004 11:35 AM

I've heard bad things about Dreamcatcher, come to mention it.

Of course, I can't give you points since the event is over, but anything rivalling Gymkata is welcome.

Posted by: Big Dan at August 23, 2004 11:39 AM

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