Good old Ponty is keeping the lights on at this blog with his submissions. They are welcome at a particularly busy season for yours portly, and especially after traveling to Indiana this past weekend for my older brother’s wedding.
Ponty and I share a love of horror movies, but especially a love of bad movies generally. I tend to be much more forgiving of bad movies, as many of them possess entertainment value in their own right (a premise so crazy the film is interesting, even if the parts don’t fit together; or a film that is “so-bad-it’s-good”). I’m also just not that discerning—or, perhaps, I just like trash.
Whatever the case might be, Ponty doesn’t share my ecumenical approach to films. He calls a spade a spade—and a pile of crap a pile of crap.
As such, he’s submitted the first of a list of ten films he regards as the worst films of all time. I’m dubbing this gloriously long miniseries Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films. The tentative plan is to post these alternating Mondays in lieu of the usual Monday Morning Movie Review from yours portly. The non-Ponty weeks will be my list of the worst films of all time.l
I’ve kept all of Ponty’s colorful commentary intact; I’ve just added in years for the films, and italicized the titles. I’ve also provided some useful hyperlinks for those looking to learn more about the subject of his ire.
With that, here is Ponty’s review of Dead Snow 2 (Død snø 2, 2014). I don’t know if this is his tenth worst film or his first worst film; either way, he makes it sound pretty bad:
I’m sure anyone reading this will have gone through a moment or episode in their lives and said to themselves, ‘well, there’s (add in amount of time) I’m not getting back.’ I’ve said it myself. I remember, many years ago, stretching as I came out of the cinema having fallen asleep during James Cameron’s multimillion dollar borefest, Titanic (1997), saying that I’d never retrieve those lost hours – though the brief nap was fine – and so it was. When I get to the end of my life, I’ll look back at the good and not all the wasted hours where I could have been doing something more productive but that’s the rub, isn’t it? You don’t always know when you enter into something what you’re going to get. Certainly in terms of movies where even if you’re armed with the views of critics beforehand, you just have to see for yourself what all the fuss is.
Titanic, in particular, was lauded as groundbreaking by the critics. I’ve heard stories of some people watching that film hundreds of times. Maybe that was their cure for insomnia because whatever the critics said, there was nothing groundbreaking about that film, aside from my quick and heavy footfalls up the aisle at the end, desperate for the pub and the many drinks that would empty my mind of that crap. Trust me when I say, the hangover was less painful than the movie.
Anyway, I figured that one of the best ways to make up for lost time was to write about some of the tripe I watched, as a way of alleviating my guilt for not choosing something more beneficial and productive. Plus, it may save you, dear reader, from repeating my mistakes. Why spend hours sitting through something that will tear at your brain, like a Cenobite’s hook, rather than engaging in something that will stay with you, in a great way, forever?
There’ll be a mixture of big and low budget films here though I should say that movies with a decent financial backing should never find themselves on these lists; they have the money to pull together a good cast, scriptwriter and director and yet, despite this, still get everything wrong on so many occasions. That’s unforgiveable, in my opinion.
With all that said, I present to you my Top 10 worst films of all time, starting with Dead Snow 2 (Død snø 2, 2014).
I could have been really lazy with this, providing the link for the review I wrote for Going Postal, but I felt a retrospective was in order rather than the blue piece I wrote the morning after, when I was crying and pulling my hair and asking the good Lord why something like that was allowed into the world. As it is, I’ve added the link but I can try (and as much as I try, I might never get there) to be at least slightly objective this time.
I described this film, in my initial review the morning after, as thus: Do you remember that scene from The Shawshank Redemption (1994), when Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshanks and has to wade through 500 yards of s**t? Getting through Dead Snow 2 was like wading through the remaining 300 yards and finding someone had blocked it on the other end.
I stated, in said review, that this was the second worst film I’d seen in my life but I think I was in the moment, having just watched and wasted my time on it. More recently, I’ve sat, thought and trawled back to some of the most horrific crimes ever committed to celluloid and figured there was worse out there than this, though Død snø 2 is pretty horrible and I’ll tell you why. I apologise, by the way, for giving you the review for the sequel when you probably haven’t seen the first film but trust me, when you’ve read this, you’ll have no desire to visit either film. Plus, you can always click on my above link and read about it yourself.
Horror sequels, as a rule, tend to be worse as they go along. More nudity, more profanities, more deaths and gore. This film has no interest in the nudity aspect but makes up for the over abundance in other ways.
A direct follow up to the events of the first movie, this Norwegian film, which weirdly describes itself as a comedy horror, sees the survivor of the first film, Martin, recuperating in hospital, handcuffed to the bed and under armed guard because the police think he was responsible for the murder of his friends. He also lost his arm in his escape and discovers, to his horror, that the arm of the Nazi zombie leader has been attached to his stump; later on, you’ll find out that this has given him extraordinary power. Bear with me here because it gets wackier.
Anyway, Martin escapes from hospital with the use of his magic arm and drives to a war museum because… whatever, and meets up with 3 geeks who call themselves the Zombie Squad (one of them later departs with ‘May the force be with you’ which makes you want to reach into the screen and pull them apart yourself). He also teams up with, who I called in my first review, the only gay in the fjord, a pointless character who I guess was only there for tickbox purposes. Martin finds out that the zombies came back to complete a mission they failed in wartime, the Nazi zombies meanwhile butchering their way across the country. They eventually find their way to the museum where they kill and revive the dead to boost their zombie horde and Martin and the gang escape. Martin realises he can use his magic arm to build his own zombie army and he directs his own hordes to a kids playpark where the final showdown occurs.
Victorious, he drives back home, revives his dead girlfriend and they get it on in the back of his car as the final credits roll.
Yes, this really does happen. It sounds more ludicrous typing it a second time. If you watch it (you can find both the first and second films on YouTube), you’ll realise that my distaste for this movie isn’t mere hyperbole.
My main issue (and there are many) was, like the first movie, it didn’t really know what it wanted to be. There are more cult references littered across the first flick than the second but this follow up has a blooming good go at alluding to films such as Idle Hands (1999) and Braindead (1992) without ever getting anything right. Was it a comedy or a horror? Was it a parody? I really don’t know and I don’t think they did either. The gore is superfluous, the violence overzealous and the expletives frankly bizarre. The only conclusion I can come to is everyone on the set was hammered during the making of this film.
In terms of the story, the writer and director couldn’t even make their own rules track – the appearance of the zombies in both movies is explained in different ways, none of which make sense when you actually watch them – and the less said about the acting, the better. No timing, no presence, no idea.
Like I said, you can watch both parts on YouTube but really, wouldn’t your time be better spent on something worthwhile?
As a massive horror movie fan, I want to see new groundbreaking horrors from all over the world. I love low budget horrors as much as I enjoy the big budget offerings. I want to be scared, surprised. I want to feel the fear characters in the various scarefests feel. The problem is, of all the genres, horror offers more disappointments than most. This, unfortunately, is one of those. To be fair, I should have known when it advertised Nazi zombies.