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Unwatchable: A True Story

April 20, 2009


Next week marks the one-year anniversary of the Unwatchable project. As a writer for the film blog The Screengrab, there’s one thing I learned early on: the blog requires constant care and feeding. If you want to draw the eyeballs from other sites and keep the page views coming, you need a steady stream of new content, and those of us who have heard the call of this noble vocation must provide this content whether we feel inspired or not. So it helps to come up with a handful of go-to features you can call upon whenever you can’t think of anything else to write about. One day I posted about an article I’d read in The Guardian by Sam Richards, who had subjected himself to a few entries from the 100 lowest-ranked movies on the Internet Movie Database. Yes, many people know that the IMDb maintains a list of the Top 250 Movies as voted on by you, the moviegoing, computer-literate public (and there was a bit of a kerfuffle last year when The Dark Knight briefly overtook The Godfather for the top spot), but did you know they also keep track of the Bottom 100 Movies? You did if you’ve been reading Unwatchable. Anyone can watch a few of the 100 worst movies of all time, I reasoned. But who would be foolish enough to watch all of them? Only me.

And so, starting with #100 (Devil Fish), I began my ascent towards to the top of the heap – in this case, the garbage heap. As of this writing, I have made it up to #37 (Bad Girls from Valley High), and I figure to hit the top ten – er, bottom ten – by summer’s end, which will surely be cause for celebration. There have been a few pitfalls along the way; so far, four or five movies have proved impossible to find, but since the Bottom 100 is a continually evolving list (because it’s determined by the votes of IMDb users), I am able to find adequate substitutions by consulting a later version of the list than the one I’m using. Another problem is the number of films that made the list mainly because they were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I hate when this happens, partly because it doesn’t feel organic – someone told you that movie was bad, you didn’t decide it for yourself – but mostly because they’ve already used most of the good jokes.

Anyway, I’ve managed to hold onto my sanity so far, but if you haven’t been following my adventures, here’s your chance!  You can start with the link to Bad Girls from Valley High above and work your way backwards, or you can check out these recaps I put together when I reached the halfway point:






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