I've been watching a lot of really crappy movies in the last week or so. Some good ones, too, but far more stinkers than winners.
For example, at the moment I'm watching the moon-faced blond woman who was the med student in V (Julie) torturing an obstetrician to make him tell her the truth about her bratty daughter. It turns out, she's some kind of succubus sent to prepare the way for the birth of the Antichrist.
Or something like that. I'm not following the plot that closely. (I figure if the screenwriter couldn't be bothered to pay attention, why the hell should I?) Anyway, the teen girls in the tennis camp where I worked in the '80s were three times as evil as the little bitch in this movie, so I'm not impressed.
Why am I watching such schlock? I'm not on some masochistic celluloid freak-out bender. I'm just enjoying the chance to try out lots of different movies with minimal risk.
See, ever since TiVo started letting us watch streaming Netflix movies without having them count against the films in our queue, I've been trying anything that even remotely catches my eye.
It's quite cool. Anyone with Netflix knows the dangers of poor queue management: Friday night arrives. You settle down with a drink and some popcorn for an evening's entertainment, but to your dismay, all of the movies in your Netflix stack have subtitles. Or they star the vile Tom Cruise. Or maybe it's disk four of a series you have started watching yet
What follows is rarely pretty. Tears, acrimony, pissy sotto voce mumbling...
But now, even though not all Netflix titles are available in streaming form, I can try out a movie, quickly give it my thumbs-up or down, and move on. No harm, no foul.
Here are a few of the recent clunkers I've endured.
- Big Eden: Gay man leaves NYC and returns to his small town to care for his ailing grandfather. Finds love, but not where he expects it. So earnest. So plodding. I watched most of this one at 3x speed. Still seemed to drag.
- Prince in Hell: They had me at "the squalid streets of post-reunification Berlin," but that's pretty much where they lost me, too. Sure there was full frontal male nudity, but I have a computer--I don't need to sit through bad acting to wait for the Full Monty. It was sort of cool to see Berlin as I first experienced it in 1992, but I would have enjoyed looking at my old photos more.
- Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler: Ugh, don't even ask.
- Klimt: This one combined an actor I usually really like (John Malkovich), a city I love (Vienna), and one of my favorite artists, all to depressingly sucky effect.
- Prince of Darkness: (No relation to the above Prince in Hell.) A crappy John Carpenter horror movie that I occasionally try (and fail) to sit through, all because I once watched it with a cute boy in my dorm room in 1987. I had high hopes that night. He was straight. Of course.
So yes, all of these movies are pretty terrible. But a lot of well intentioned people worked really hard on them.
PS. Apologies to those of you who have a soft spot in your heart for Big Eden. Didn't mean to offend to you--it just wasn't my cup of tea. Perhaps I'll give it another chance some day.