Sunday, December 20, 2009

The World's Worst Movie

I had the misfortune, back in the late 90's, to see one of the worst movies ever to come out on celluloid. This movie was so bad that it makes the campy drug movie Tell Your Children (aka Reefer Madness) look positively brilliant.

I know you're sitting there scratching your head, saying, "What in the world are you babbling about?", so good old G will give you a little background info.

Back at my first job, my co-worker and I would read some of the various newspapers that we were microfilming with great interest. We would search out unusual articles and pictures of interest, and regale each other with our findings. One of the many things that we would find amusing, would be the old movie ads from the early part of the 20th century.

For those of you who remember shows like "Leave It To Beaver", you would hear them mention incredibly bizarre titles for horror movies. Well, we (meaning the both of us) would actually find movie titles like that in the old newspapers.

Anyways, we saw an ad for a movie called Lash of the Penitents*. We were immediately intrigued with the movie, simply because the ad featured a scantily clad woman in chains, which for the 1930's really was something, considering the Hay's Office was just around the corner ready to implement a thirty-five reign of prudery.

*You'll have to scroll down to the L's to read an incredibly brief synopsis of the movie. Sorry, this was the best I was able to find, as most everything else on my Google search was related to the actual practice of lashing yourself for your sins.

My co-worker decided that he wanted to see this movie, so he went on a two day search and destroy on the 'net (mid 90's there were no DVD's to speak of back then), and he managed to find a VHS copy that someone made of this movie. After he watched it, he told me it was the worst thing he ever saw. The dialogue was crappy, the plotting was crappy, and even the copy of the movie he found was crappy, because whoever created the copy, taped about three minutes each of two other movies and spliced them onto the beginning and the end of the main movie. He then asked if I wanted to see it, and naturally, I said yes.

Pfft~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~) [picture me on the ground clawing my eyes out]

This 'movie' was so bad, that the only memorable thing about it was this small piece of dialogue by an actor pretending to be a Mexican:

"No, no, senor! It is too dangerous!"*

*This small piece of dialogue became our personal running joke for anything that had a whiff of difficulty to it (and I do mean anything) for the rest of my librarial career (which ended in January 2003)

This movie in no way, shape or form, matched up with the advert. The advert gave the impression that it was about a young nubile woman ensnared in the spider web that was white slavery, or about a young nubile woman in religious peril (hence the name "Penitents").

So kids, should you ever, ever, ever, want to explore the underground 'sex' movie scene from the 1930's, don't. Instead, skip a couple of decades and watch the movies done by Betty Page. Even though her stuff had a flavoring of S & M/B & D/sexual fantasy, they still made much more sense than Lash of the Penitents.


  1. I am very selective about the movies I watch, I usually wait for DVD, and then only ones that are up for Ocsars and / or have been well reviewed by out local art mag.

  2. You're one up on me. I usually wait until it either comes to cable, or wait until the public library gets a couple of copies.

  3. That sounds truly awful. You and my friend Darth should be movie critics together. That would be a blast to read.

  4. So did it make all subsequent movies seem fabulous in comparison? ;) There HAS to be an up side to really bad movie!

  5. Woah, woah, are telling me this movie is WORSE than Karate Kid III? The film where 1/2 the run time is devoted to evil karate masters smashing bonsai pots? I dunno if I can believe that...

  6. R.K.: I don't know about that. I'm sure he gets out to the movie theaters with a greater degree of frequency than I do. Last time I was in a movie theater was summer of 2008.

    Talon: It made most of the movies from that time period (1930's) look like award winning stuff.

    I'm not sure if this movie had an upside, other than most people really didn't care whether or not it was good, so long as it got them to forget about life for a while.

    Miles: I'll have to take your word for it about Karate Kid 3. I usually don't watch sequels because the movie industry 98% of the time can't do them correctly.

    But yeah, this movie was in the realm of badness. Might of been bad enough for Mystery Science Theatet 3000.

  7. I find that the Oscar nominees are some of the worst movies of the year. Unless you are into elitist crap that Hollywood likes to pat itself on the back for.

  8. I would have to agree, because most of the movies that are nominated for Oscars, I don't quite understand.

    Never have and never will.

  9. The worst movie I ever saw was "Monster a Go Go." Egads it was horrific. An astronaut goes into space and comes back a monster. He's too big to fit in the capsule he lands in. Then he wanders through the sewers for a while.

  10. "No, no, senor, it is too dangerous!" ROFL. That's a good one. I think that the worst movie I've ever seen was Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes. Reefer Madnes was just plain funny.

  11. Charles: I think the worst one I saw in the modern decade was one called "Black Widow", which was about a lady who kills her husbands with poison.

    About the only thing I remember from it was that movie theater had less than 20 people in it.

    Writtenwyrdd: I think I saw "Refer Madness". I don't think that I saw the whole movie though.

    Yeah, that one line was the only memorable part of this incredibly bad movie.


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