Unwatchable #32: Car 54, Where Are You?

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

Welcome to the semi-triumphant return of Unwatchable! I was going to say I wish we had a better movie to discuss…but then it wouldn’t be Unwatchable, would it?

Car 54, Where Are You? was not the first movie based on a sitcom and it was far from the last, but it just might be the most perplexing. It wasn’t adapted from a beloved childhood favorite like The Brady Bunch or a staple of syndication like The Beverly Hillbillies or The Addams Family, but from a fairly obscure early ’60s series that doesn’t even boast an easily marketable hook like My Favorite Martian. Whatever popularity it had was largely dependent on the comedic chemistry of its cast members, notably leads Fred Gwynn and Joe E. Ross as NYPD officers Francis Muldoon and Gunther Toody.

It would only seem logical, then, that a revival of Car 54, Where You Are You? would serve as a vehicle for the storied comedy duo of David Johansen and John C. McGinley. Read the rest of this entry »

Unwatchable Update

First, my thanks to those of you who have contributed to the cause so far. Thanks to your support, Unwatchable will continue with an all-new entry next week, and the pledge drive has brought in enough to cover at least five more after that. It’s certainly not too late to make a donation to ensure the completion of this very important project (which for some reason has attracted no government funding whatsoever). Your name will be added to the Unwatchable Golden Circle of Honor!

Tune in next week for Unwatchable #32, and in the meantime, enjoy the archives!

Unwatchable Recap: 33-40

40. Son of the Mask. “If he keeps working hard and honing his craft, Jamie Kennedy may one day achieve his goal of becoming a second-rate Jim Carrey. On the evidence of Son of the Mask, that day has not yet arrived.”

39. The Invisible Maniac. “Although Rifkin was no doubt inspired by the rich history of invisibility literature and film, I’d have to guess that the opening scene of Carrie served as his primary muse. He seems determined to absolutely exhaust the possibilities of the high school girl’s locker room and, more specifically, the showers within, which he envisions as an all-singing, all-dancing nonstop party of sudsy boobs and steam rising from glistening buttocks.”

38. Chairman of the Board. “Larry Miller in particular seems to retreat to a safe place in his mind every time Carrot Top gets near him (perhaps the place where he cashes his paychecks).”

37. Bad Girls from Valley High. “Aside from providing humiliating late career roles for Christopher Lloyd (as a suspicious, accident-prone teacher) and Janet Leigh (as a comatose stroke victim – don’t ask), Bad Girls from Valley High is just the sort of dopey, barely competent high school comedy you’d expect to go straight to video after sitting on a shelf for five years, which it did.”

36. Daddy Day Camp. “There’s a recreation of the famous Blazing Saddles campfire scene, except with belching instead of farting. But don’t worry – there’s also farting! Also vomiting, pooping, nut-punching and balloons filled with piss. All the classics!”

35. Santa with Muscles. Look for the review elsewhere on this blog.

34. House of the Dead. “To give Mr. Boll his due, I must admit House of the Dead is a groundbreaking work: it’s the first movie based on a videogame that is actually less entertaining than watching someone else play a videogame for two hours.”

33. Glitter. “As played by British-born Beesley, Dice has to rank among the top five worst romantic leads in motion picture history. He’s a sleazy mook in a wife-beater, gold chains and a Ratso Rizzo accent, but we’re supposed to think he’s a tortured artistic soul because he has a marimba in his apartment. Come on, that’s the oldest trick in the book!”

Unwatchable Recap: 41-50

50. Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace.Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace is, as you may have deduced, the sequel to The Lawnmower Man, which was once known as Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man until the master of horror sued New Line Pictures to have his name removed from the credits. When you consider some of the movies Stephen King has seen fit to leave his name on, this would seem to be quite an indictment.”

49. Laserblast. “I’ll say this much for the aliens: they may be cheaply made, but at least they have personality, which is more than I can say for Billy or any other human in the movie. Otherwise, Laserblast has little to offer besides periodic explosions and a chubby girl in a bikini eating cake. I know some of you are into that sort of thing.”

48. Cool as Ice. “Here’s a little-known etymological fact for you: the term ‘assclown’ did not exist before 1990. It was specifically engineered by a team of Harvard linguists assigned to devise a shorthand description of Vanilla Ice.”

47. Creepshow 3. “I can’t say I didn’t learn anything from Creepshow 3. For instance, I learned that, at some point, there must have been a Creepshow 2.”

46. 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. “Since these kids are no-names, however, we need an actual trio of big stars to headline the picture. I have placed the names of 732,891 members of the Screen Actors Guild into this hat. Please choose three. Let’s see…Loni Anderson…Jim “Ernest” Varney…and Hulk Hogan! Perfect!”

45. Another 9 1/2 Weeks. “Now that the Mickey Rourke comeback arc is complete – with our redeemed hero falling just short of the ultimate prize, a Best Actor Oscar – what better time to look back at one of the movies that made a comeback necessary in the first place?”

44. Leonard Part 6. “The joke of the title is that Leonard’s previous five adventures have been confiscated in the interest of world security. Sadly, the same criteria apparently did not apply to the Ernest movies.”

43. American Ninja V. “I didn’t think there was enough of a shortage of official Karate Kid sequels to warrant a fake one, but then again, I didn’t know there were five American Ninja movies and four 3 Ninjas movies until I started this project. I am learning so much.”

42. Zombie Nightmare. “I’ll just say this: nobody’s life should have this many zombie movies in it. OK, maybe George Romero is an exception, but at least he’s made a good living at it.”

41. Troll 2. “There’s more, oh, so much more. There’s a general store that sells only curdled milk. A witchy temptress who uses a corn cob as a means of seduction. The revelation that Nilbog is…wait for it…”goblin” spelled backwards, and that the town is populated by goblins who use their bright green food to turn humans into plant-people they can then consume.”

Unwatchable Recap: 51-60

60. Carry On Columbus. “It’s stunning to think it was actually made in the ‘90s; you would think medical science had brought us no advances in humor since 1958. If you enjoy old-school sniggering innuendo (“Come up my end!”) or jokes that would have slayed your fifth grade classmates (“We just had a leak in the hold!” “Did you? Well, next time go over the side.”), you may find my judgment too harsh.”

59. Don’t Go in the Woods…Alone! “I have since learned that Don’t Go in the Woods was made for about $12,000, which is about $4000 more than I would have guessed.”

58. Ed. “Anyone who knows me will tell you there are two things I love above all others: baseball and monkey movies. So it would only stand to reason that Ed, in which Friends doofus Matt LeBlanc befriends a baseball-playing chimpanzee, would be my favorite movie of all time. This turns out not to be the case.”

57. Phat Girlz. “The lesson is, of course, that Jazmin is beautiful inside and out. Except I saw little evidence of her inside beauty on display here; she’s mostly loud, obnoxious and shallow, although she goes through bouts of self-pity just to spice things up.”

56. Araf (The Abortion). “This could be a scary scenario (or just an offensive one if you choose to read Araf as an anti-abortion screed), but the video effects are so poorly rendered, it just looks like a junior high AV club’s remake of The Ring.”

55. A*P*E. “The United States Army cooperated with this? For what possible reason? Did anyone in charge read a script?”

54. Meatballs 4. “Note to aspiring filmmakers: if the success of your movie is dependent on the audience perceiving a character played by Corey Feldman as “the cool guy,” you have already failed.”

53. Baby Geniuses. “I really wish something bad would happen to everyone involved in making Baby Geniuses. I’m not talking about something life-threatening or even physically debilitating – I’m thinking more in terms of a flat tire, a tax audit or perhaps a visible soiling of pants at a high-profile public event.”

52. In the Mix. “Comes described as an ‘edgy romantic comedy,’ which I guess is a romantic comedy in which people shoot at each other.”

51. Simon Sez. “One thing I don’t recall thinking is that Rodman would have a long and successful film career. In fact, I very specifically remember not thinking that, and I think history has proved me right.”