Halloween is right around the corner, and you’re probably looking forward to letting loose before the next onslaught of midterms. Sure you could go out and socialize, reaffirming your existence through the marvel of human connection. Or, you could hunker down in your most–likely vermin infested dorm and watch these terrible, vaguely Halloween–themed movies, one by one, until you forget that you’re even on a college campus. These movies provide for hours of pure, vapid entertainment. There’s no depth of meaning to uncover, no added stress of finding profound beauty in the dialogue. Just like Gary Johnson does before every interview, you can turn your brain off and j chill.
1. The Cobbler
Okay, maybe this isn’t quite Halloween related, but the plot of this comedy–drama delves into this super wacky form of magical–realism, so it qualifies. Plus you can’t really have a list of awful movies without including at least one Adam Sandler film. Sandler’s character, Max, is a kind–hearted yet despondent middle–aged cobbler living with his mother who has Alzheimer’s. Through its heavy–handed evocations of themes like self–fulfillment and filial piety, the film tries to present itself as a serious comedy à la Up in the Air. Fortunately for viewers, it instead comes off as insanely creepy and dark, making it the funniest Adam Sandler film of the decade.
2. The Purge: Election Year
Though you might not want to be reminded of the shit show that is this election season, this horror film will almost certainly boost your spirits. Starring such venerable Hollywood stars as Elizabeth Mitchell and Frank Grillo, this third installment of the Purge series maintains the same basic premise as the last two films, namely a 24–hour period when all crimes are legal. In a completely unsubtle, contrived attempt to make pertinent social commentary, DeMonaco succeeds in creating the worst Purge film to date, a pretty impressive artistic achievement.
3. The Mummy
Ancient Egyptian mythology has served as the thematic underpinning for many a lousy, gaudy Hollywood period film. The Mummy, though, takes the cake for the most flagrantly abusive appropriation of such mythology, exhibiting both a complete disregard for any semblance of cultural respect and an exceptionally buffoonish set of characters. The laughably inane plot line and cheesy dialogue, combined with the shockingly racist depictions of Egyptian locals make this movie a real standout. Oh, what you could get away with in the '90s.
4. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Conspiracy theorist and overall nutcase, political commentator Dinesh D’Souza is one creepy guy. From espousing the virtues of British colonialism to decrying feminism’s undermining effects on American culture, D’Souza, through decades of racist, misogynistic editorial work, has managed to profoundly disgust almost every reasonable individual in the political sphere. In creating this ludicrously partisan “documentary” about the origins of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s controversies, D’Souza cobbled together appearances from some of America’s most spiteful, incompetent public figures. Plus, Trump recommends the film, so you know it has to be good.
It’s really the music that makes this classic slasher film a true cinematic masterpiece. Director John Carpenter spent all of two weeks crafting this masterpiece of a soundtrack, focusing his efforts on maximizing “stingers”, terse, percussive bursts meant to enhance the shock value of climactic scenes. The proliferation of these “stingers” makes for one of the funniest movies of all time, punctuating what seems like every other scene with absurd jolts that only serve to further illuminate the amateurish acting and puerile plot devices. Filmed on a tight budget of less than 350,000 dollars, this horror classic, introduces the character of Michael Myers (Nick Castle) a vicious psychopathic who has recently escaped the sanitorium, where he was sent for murdering his sister at age six. TThough big budget imitators have definitely succeeded in creating worse films, you really have to watch this one to fully appreciate the origins of the cinematic trainwreck that is the “slasher film” genre.