April 15, 2004

Viewer Discretion Advised

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To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what to write about for this column. So, I was forced to resort to one of my favorite activities — heaping shit on movies that are down right awful? The weather is miserable here in Ithaca, and what better to put you in an even worse mood than spending money on a train-wreck of a film? Here are a few films offering proof of devolution.


Harmony Korine was lauded as America’s next great screen writer when he penned Kids at age 19. Such praise quickly dissipated upon the release of his directorial debut, Gummo. I can say with no exaggeration that Gummo is the worst film ever made. Korine pirates every camera and narrative technique done by every great director, creating a carnival freak show of fecal Americana. We follow two precocious young men as they kill cats, have sex with a retarded woman, huff nitrous, and euthanize a comatose woman. Korine takes a five-minute sequence of drunk rednecks destroying a chair and has the audacity to call it social commentary. I call it shit. Absolutely abysmal.

Howard the Duck

Only a decade as bizarre as the ’80s could possible produce a film like this. The world has never seen, and probably never will see, a movie as relentlessly innovative and genre-crushing as Howard the Duck. Howard is a giant, talking duck, transported to earth from a distant planet of other, giant, talking ducks. Howard laughs, he cries, falls in love, rocks out, and has sex with Lea Thompson. I doubt there has ever been something so bizarre as this. Space travel, rock music, romance, action, and bestiality are all fused into one. Wait a minute, holy shit, that’s incredible. I digress, this film is a classic.


Guilty confession of the week: I was a big fan of Shaq-Fu. But then there was Kazaam, causing me to lose faith in Shaquille O’Neil, cinema, modern man, and God. Thanks for ruining my life, you big, dumb animal. Shaq plays a genie who springs from a jukebox, raps, and fights drug-dealing club owners. What the fuck? I’m sorry, I saw this film at the very gullible age of eight, and I still thought it was atrocious. Shaq will inevitably go on to win more NBA titles and be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but Kazaam remains a disgraceful stain on an great career. And that’s not even counting Steel.

The Breakfast Club

I’ve got this great idea for a film. I’m gonna take five of the most unrealistic, histrionic, and gratingly annoying teenagers in all of existence and put them all in an eight hour detention together. They bear their souls, get high, do coordinated dances together, and fall in love, and kids will totally relate to it … You are a disgrace, John Hughes, a disgrace! Whoever considers this film a classic should be beaten with a hammer. Had I been in that detention hall, there would have been bodies everywhere.

Archived article by Zach Jones
Red Letter Daze Associate Editor