Back in the good old days, someone used to produce a book called The Big Book of Bad Poetry, which was a yearly anthology of the worst poetry published that year. Now those folks get the joy of poorly-executed art. Almost no one likes poetry, but really bad poetry is another matter entirely. (I think the editors of the series got bored with the idea when avant garde poetry methods hit the scene…kind of took the challenge out of it). That was the most entertaining book ever!
The best football game I ever watched was a hilarious calamity of errors from start to finish. (I think it was the junior college championship game in 1994). There were like 20 turnovers, and it was one of those rare experiences that, at almost every moment, felt like: I do not think this can possibly get any worse, but…oh, my! It just did. I remember at the very moment I was finally beginning to admire the sheer beauty of poorly-played football for its own sake, beginning to appreciate the art of disastrous sports – at that very moment, three turnovers in a row occurred…during the same play. That’s right: One play, three turnovers. Sports have always disappointed me ever since; no joy could ever measure up to that play.
Well, it’s in that spirit that I hope you can enjoy the joy of truly bad movies…and this week we continue my top 5 list of the worst Christian movies ever. We’ll pick up with number 2. In fact, it turns out that we’ll almost certainly stop with number 2. Yes, that’s right, I’m perfectly happy stopping a top 5 list at 2 (as I’m sure you’ve noted on prior posts, some of my top five lists have eight or even thirty five entries. Why are you being such a numerical literalist? So typical of you.) This is the guy who said that Jesus talked of “gauging” your eyes out, remember? I mean, as if Jesus was saying “it’s better for you to, you know, use an isometric sensometer gauge to measure your eye muscle tone than to end up in hell.” (And no, don’t bother going back to find the blog post – I’ve changed it to read “gouge.” Not even I wanted myself to look that stupid for posterity).
Enough already! Here’s number 2.
2. Meteor Apocalypse. This movie’s main character is played by Joe Lando, who used to be famous as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’s dashing beau. And he can still act…sort of. Really, this movie has disappointingly decent acting all around. So if you want bad acting, you’ll be cheated by this one.
But, oh, that muddled plot! The plot alone makes this movie one of the worst in human history. There is this giant meteor hurtling right at the earth. So everyone’s worried about this meteor hitting earth, right? I mean, if a meteor was going to hit earth, I would think that might be an important part of the movie. Not if you are a script-writer for Meteor Apocalypse. Apparently, you are more worried about contaminated water. That’s right – parts of the meteor have broken off and hit the earth, a little sooner than the rest of the meteor, and…well, they’ve contaminated the water. Given people some awful disease. A very select group of people get the disease, mind you, and yet they are strangely widely distributed across the U.S. These meteor chunks are amazingly widespread and yet alarmingly discriminating in who they choose to make sick. And Joe Lando somehow figures out an antidote to the disease, puts it in two vials, and runs around doing…I’m not totally sure what he’s doing. Well, he’s trying to find his family…while hanging out with some young blonde-headed lady who has a crush on him…and he’s meeting angels…and getting shot at by people who, for undisclosed reasons, want to keep the formula from getting out.
Now, I like earth-getting-destroyed sorts of movies, I really do, and I don’t mind suspending belief for a bit to enjoy them. But really, it’s humorously difficult to believe that scattered pieces of a meteor would contaminate water with an undisclosed disease that can be cured by something in a little vial (I mean, think about this for one second – meteors don’t have any bacteria on them, right? So what’s making people sick? And what’s the stuff in the vial going to do, exactly?). It’s even more difficult to believe that these little meteorites would somehow hit every major cities’ water supply. And no one apparently in any government office apparently thought to distribute bottled water or any of the hundreds of other easy solutions to the problem. But of course, most of the people seem unaffected by the water problem, despite its widespread nature. Huh?
And meanwhile, a big meteor is hurtling towards the earth – that no one seems to care about. I mean, a few people are dying of a random disease, and sure that’s bad. But…I don’t know…maybe it’s me…but I’d be a little more tuned in to the end of the world?
Yet the best is yet to come. For at the very end of the movie, the meteor does arrive. In fact, the main characters all watch the meteor, which is the size of Los Angeles, flatten the entire city of LA. The special effects alone of this scene are enough to justify the price of the movie – it looks like it was done on my old Commodore 64, circa 1982. I once wrote a video game – in BASIC – that I swear had better graphics than that final scene. It’s like a PONG flashback. Blip…blip…blip.
But the most amazing part is how the movie actually ends. I mean, this giant meteor flattens Los Angeles, and the main characters sit on a hillside right outside the city and watch the whole thing happen. They are unscathed; and life goes back to normal, sans LA. What in reality would be an event that would likely wipe out life on the entire planet doesn’t even scratch people who watch it on an adjacent hillside. Oh, the hilarity of it all!