All posts by Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

Five Bad Movies for the Perfect Valentine’s Day

We’ve all been there: it’s Valentine’s Day, and you’ve been putting off making plans with that special someone. Buying them flowers? Cliché. A romantic dinner? Too expensive. A terrible movie? Now we’re talking!

But not every bad movie is right for this most romantic of holidays. You have to find a film that oozes with love and romance, one that will speak to your relationship and set the perfect mood for a great night. With that in mind, here are five wonderful bad movies for you and your significant other to watch this Valentine’s Day!

The Room

The Room

Is there any bad movie couple more beloved than Johnny and Lisa? These two know the secrets to a successful Valentine’s Day: he makes sure that Lisa never forgets how beautiful she is, and she orders in a pizza they’ll both love (half pesto and artichoke, half pineapple and Canadian bacon). Add in those romantic love scenes, and you have the perfect bad movie for Valentine’s Day.

At least until the ending. That’s slightly less romantic. And you may want to look away when Johnny starts making love to Lisa’s red dress, too. Ladies, you may not want to pretend to be pregnant, either: that’s a Valentine’s Day faux pas.

Ben & Arthur

benarthur

Do you need a movie that proves love has no bounds? Then Ben and Arthur is the film for your Valentine’s Day! This touching story about a same-sex couple trying to have their relationship recognized by their friends, family and government shows us that we’ll do anything for the ones we love. Including murder or burning down a church. And if you need some vacation ideas, take a look at the beautiful shots of scenic Vermont, known for its palm trees and tropical climate. Enjoy the beach, love birds!

Birdemic: Shock And Terror

Birdemic

Romance is really about getting to know someone, and Birdemic is all about the growing relationship between Rob and Nathalie. You’ll spend the first 45 minutes of this film watching as these two soul mates grow not only as individuals, but also as a couple. It’s a true testament to how two lovers can be more than just the sum of their parts.

Then there are some exploding birds and shit. That stuff’s less important, though.

City Dragon

city dragon

Sometimes we must fight for love. Who better to do that than MC Kung Fu? This rappin’ man learns that it can be better to settle down with that perfect woman than picking up a different girl every night. Plus, he’s a songwriter who understands the importance of chemistry with his life partner. Plus, when he has to fight to save his family, he gently places the baby on a roof and barely even nudges it while engaging a crazy man in a fight to the death just feet away. He’s a provider and a caretaker!

Cool As Ice

coolasice

The best romances always pair two partners from vastly different backgrounds to show us that ultimately, love conquers all boundaries. Cool as Ice asks us the question: can a rich, white, studious girl truly fall in love with a rich, white rapper? The answer may surprise you! Vanilla Ice shows every inch of his acting talents in this heartfelt love story about dropping that zero and getting with the hero…of your heart.

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

Fateful Findings: The Best Bad Movie You’ve Never Seen?

I can’t even remember where I first heard about this film, but somewhere along the line I learned of the existence of Fateful Findings, an independent low-budget “thriller” from Neil Breen. From what I’ve read, Breen is a Las Vegas architect who – much like Tommy Wiseau – wrote, directed, starred, produced and funded his own feature-length movie.

As far as I can tell, Fateful Findings is a “paranormal thriller” about a writer who becomes a hacker and breaks into government and corporate computer systems, revealing some sort of horrible truth along the way. Also, he gains magic powers at some point. Just check out this trailer, for goodness sake:


My goodness, can that man throw a book! You might also want to watch this riff of the trailer from Isle of Rangoon.

By and large, the comments I’ve seen about the movie say that it’s highly entertaining, with some apparently loving it more than The Room – or at least saying that it’s a better film in an objective sense. A few people seem to question the sincerity of the film, though it seems that this is similar to the James Nguyen issue: many people have trouble believing Birdemic is for real until they actually meet or listen to Nguyen, after which it all becomes clear.

The sad part is that I have no way to see this movie – at least until there’s a screening near me – and you may not be able to either. According to an article at deadline.com, Breen turned down some specialty distributors and instead went with Panorama Entertainment, which seems to be focused on limited engagements at film festivals and the like. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any plan to release it on DVD or in a digital download or streaming format, at least for now. That article also suggests that Breen, unlike many who have made similar films, is a bit sensitive about the “so bad, it’s good” reputation of the film.

But the good news? According to Neil’s Twitter feed, Fateful Findings will be hitting New York City theaters (or a theater, at least) in March. I may just have to head down to the city to check this one out. Meanwhile, I’ve also discerned that there are screenings coming up in Chattanooga (2/15), Cincinnati (2/21), Columbus (2/22) and Tucson (2/21, 2/22). If you get a chance to see this film, let me know what you think of it!

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

So Bad, It’s Good II Preview: Social Nightmare

Social Nightmare
Directed by Mark Quod
The Asylum (2013)

Lifetime-Movie-Social-Nightmare

If you enjoy bad movies, chances are that The Asylum has produced at least a few of your recent favorites. If you like cheesy made-for-TV melodramas, you’re certain to be a fan of the Lifetime Network. So what happens when The Asylum and Lifetime start teaming up to make movies together? Why, magic, of course!

These two titans of enjoyably bad films have collaborated on several projects at this point, but my favorite has to be Social Nightmare, the tale of a perfectly perfect high school student who suddenly finds her life turned upside down when someone starts to hack into her social networking profiles and posting fake messages that threaten to ruin her friendships and her chances to head to college. It’s a Lifetime plot with Asylum production values and Daryl Hannah as our star student’s mother: what more can you ask for?

The story begins when we meet Catherine “Cat” Hardy (Kirsten Prout), a high-school senior who is living a life that idyllic doesn’t even begin to describe. Her best friend Emily (Chloe Bridges) is planning to travel across the country and attend Brown with her, after which they’ll open up a design business together—a very realistic expectation for any pair of high school BFFs. She has a loving boyfriend in Daniel (Brandon Smith), and all the support in the world from her mother Susan (Daryl Hannah). She helps protect Daniel’s younger sister Joan (Brittania Carraway), a special needs student who gets picked on by bullies. She even beats Emily in the race for class president for the second year running!

Things start to go wrong when Cat finds out that she made it into Brown—on a full scholarship no less—but Emily did not. They two stay up with Cat’s mother to write a letter of appeal, after which the two girls are confident that they’ll get to live out their dreams yet. After Emily goes home, she sees a mocking message on Cat’s BuddyMe page (the Social Nightmare universe’s equivalent to Facebook). Initially angry, Emily eventually believes Cat’s story of being hacked: after all, they are best friends!

But matters only get worse the next day. A website suddenly appears (supposedly posted by Cat) that makes claims about who most of the student body is sleeping with—including both Emily and Joan. Worse still, the pictures on the site come from a yearbook camera that only Cat had access to, and some of the information on the site was only known to her. Cat starts losing her friends, gets kicked off the yearbook, and the student government impeaches her and makes Emily president in her place.

That sets up the mystery of the movie: if Cat isn’t posting these things, who is? Suspicious falls on Emily, who benefited most from Cat’s fall from grace. Cat is particularly upset when she finds out Emily got into Yale, apparently not realizing that the two schools are less than two hours apart. Really, it’s just a quick jaunt down I-95—you guys can still be Ivy League buddies!

It’s around this point where the Asylum’s influence in the film can really be seen. You might expect a straightforward mystery, but instead we get a series of increasingly unfortunate events that make Cat’s life a living hell. An attempt to enlist the aid of a hacker goes terribly wrong. Her boyfriend is turned against her, leading to the release of some very private photographs. A gang of mean girls beat her up in the bathroom. The students burn a giant likeness of Cat in effigy during the halftime show of the homecoming game. That last one may not have happened, but it sure sounded like a reasonable escalation, right?

As the movie goes on, the list of potential suspects grows. If it’s not Emily, could it be a vengeful Daniel? Or perhaps it’s Haylee (Skyler Vallo), the mean girl who has hated Cat all along? Or, just maybe, there’s another painfully obvious suspect that nobody points the finger at until the end of the film. It’s not exactly a shocking twist, but it’s especially transparent in the DVD release, in which the movie was renamed Mother.

In the end, though, you’re not watching Social Nightmare for the surprise factor: you’re watching it because it’s the perfect intersection between two awesomely bad styles of TV movies. All of the little details take this movie from simply amusing to downright hilarious, and I don’t want to ruin them all for you. There are over-the-top performances, a subplot involving a website called HoneyDaddies.com, and a reveal at the end that’s based on one character’s bad grammar. There’s also the way in which the film tries to emulate the way teenagers speak on Facebook, with lines like:

• “dat bitch cray!”
• “She’s a ho fa sho”

Between a plot that never stops finding new ways to punish our heroine to the awkward dialogue and the over-the-top performances, Social Nightmare has become one of my all-time favorite Lifetime movies. It’s certainly more Lifetime than Asylum, but there’s enough in the movie that shows the latter’s influence, adding just enough delicious frosting to this moist and delicious movie cake.

You can purchase Social Nightmare (aka Mother) at Amazon.com.

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

So Bad, It’s Good II Preview: Miami Connection

The following is an excerpt from the first draft of an entry for Miami Connection, one of dozens of films featured in So Bad, It’s Good II: Electric Bookaloo.

Miami Connection
Directed by Woo-sang Park and Y.K. Kim
Y.K. Kim (1987), Rereleased by Drafthouse Films (2012)

Purchase Miami Connection at Amazon

Miami Connection is something of a bad movie miracle. It was nearly lost to time, unseen by all but a few lucky viewers who caught the movie during a brief local theatrical run back in 1987. But a recent rerelease has given the entire world the chance to experience the wonder that is this film – and you’ll want to thank the b-movie gods that you get to watch what has quickly become one of my favorite bad movie night staples.

The story of Miami Connection begins in 1987, when taekwondo master Y.K. Kim met Richard Park (also known as Woo-sang Park), who convinced Kim to make a movie in which his taekwondo skills could be put on display.

There was only one problem: Kim knew absolutely nothing about making a movie. As he threw every dime he had into the project, it began to become clear that the film wasn’t going to get the wide release he had hoped for, as countless distributors and studios rejected his film. Kim trudged on, reworking the film that was made almost entirely using his students as both stars and extras.

Finally, Kim found success: a small distributor was willing to buy the film and had it placed in eight films in the greater Orlando area (along, apparently, with a run in West Germany). Kim expected the film to be a hit, but unsurprisingly, it flopped. Local media panned the movie, with the Orlando Sentinel naming it the worst film of 1988.

The result was a film that had cost Kim about $1 million to create but only managed to recoup a small portion of that total, nearly bankrupting him. The film faded into obscurity: while there were copies floating around and it was apparently never entirely forgotten, it certainly wasn’t widely known in the world of bad movie connoisseurs.

But that began to change in 2009, when Zack Carlson of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema found a copy on eBay. He showed Miami Connection in the theater, and it got a good reception, leading him to pass it on to Drafthouse Films. It took a while for Drafthouse to get in touch with Kim – he initially thought their plan to re-release the film was nothing more than a joke – but once he was onboard, a limited theatrical release with some midnight showings in cities around the United States had begun to create buzz around the movie. By the time Miami Connection was released on DVD in late 2012, it had become one of the hottest “new” bad movie sensations – despite being 25 years old.

So, what’s this all about? Miami Connection is essentially the tale of five men – all orphans – who live together in an Orlando-area home. All five are taekwondo experts (led by Mark, played by Y.K. Kim himself) and they also make up the majority of a band known as Dragon Sound. John (Vincent Hirsch) is dating Jane (Kathie Collier), who sings for the band during their shows.

But all is not well in the world of Dragon Sound. Jane’s brother Jeff (William Ergle) is unhappy that his sister is hanging out with John and the rest of the band. Worst still, he’s a highly-ranking member of a band of ninjas led by Yashito (Siyung Jo). These ninjas are shown in the movie’s opening scene breaking up a cocaine deal in Miami and stealing the drugs for themselves, presumably setting up the “Miami Connection” the title refers to.

Given the mounting tension between Jeff and the band, it’s only a matter of time before Dragon Sound finds themselves fighting thugs, bikers and ninjas in a number of (reasonably well-choreographed) fight scenes. Will the band be able to find peace once and for all?

Find out in So Bad, It’s Good II: Electric Bookaloo!

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

Where to Purchase So Bad, It’s Good

Looking for a book that will help you find the best in bad movies? Want to introduce a friend or relative to the world of enjoyably bad film? There’s no better way to explore your love of the worst in film than with So Bad, It’s Good!

So Bad, It’s Good features more than 50 of the greatest bad movies ever made, from classic b-movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space to new favorites like The Room and Birdemic. No matter what types of movies you enjoy laughing your way through, you’ll find more than enough to fill up your next bad movie night.

If you’re looking to purchase So Bad, It’s Good, it is available in both paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.com.

Click here for So Bad, It’s Good in Paperback!

Click here for So Bad, It’s Good on Your Kindle Device!

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

Welcome to So Bad, It’s Good Books!

Welcome to the new home of So Bad, It’s Good Books! Here, you’ll find information on So Bad, It’s Good, as well as future books in the series. In addition, I’ll also be posting lots of fun stuff about the terrible movies we all know and love. Stay tuned for more details!

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.

Introducing So Bad, It’s Good II: Electric Bookaloo!

electricbookalooIf you enjoyed So Bad, It’s Good, I’ve got good news: So Bad, It’s Good II: Electric Bookaloo is on the way! With more content, more contributors and — most importantly of all — more terrible movies, it’s going to be one of the rare sequels that surpasses the original. Look for more information on the book and its associated Kickstarter in the weeks to come.

Ed Scimia

About Ed Scimia

Ed is the author of "So Bad, It's Good" and the upcoming "So Bad, It's Good 2: Electric Bookaloo." He also serves as the Chess Guide at About.com.