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Mainstream - The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time

The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time

The Greatest Bad Movies of all Time
Phil Hall
BearManor Media 2013 258 pages

I judge books about bad movies in terms of how many of them I was not aware of and how many the author makes me want to check out for myself. On this term, The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time is excellent. It belongs in any B-movie fan's reference collection. Many will be surprised as to how often Elizabeth Taylor shows up Hall's choices or the inclusion of Mystic River by Clint Eastwood.

Author Phil Hall writes an interesting synopsis for each movie, reveals why this is a bad movie and some behind the scenes history that may explain it. Something a little unusual for a bad movie book is Hall is not afraid of quoting other critics when they penned a particularly good slam.

This does not mean Hall does not have a few good putdowns of his own. For example about 1937's In Old Chicago, “enough corn to keep the nation's ethanol plants at full production for a year” while in Steven Soderberg's Bubble, “George Romero's zombies have more life, style, and soul than the leading players here”.  Fans of this kind of book live for these kinds of passages.

Another interesting feature of this book is Hall did not limit his choices to Hollywood offerings but limited his selections to one per director. This allows for a greater variety of titles such as Britain's The Green Cockatoo and Mr. Freedom (with Yves Montand as French superhero Capitaine Formidable) I hope veehd dot com  or youtube has them.

Classics like Gigli and Battlefield Earth are of course included but even the most knowledgeable B-movie fan will discover a couple of new titles here. Personally, I am interested in The Iron Petticoat with Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn and

I really want to checkout Hungary's animated Hugo the Hippo with the evil dude voiced by Paul Lynde and songs by Marie Osmond and Jimmy Osmond “screechy little Jimmy somehow think's he's Ethel Merman and belts out lyrics with show-stopping panache.”

Richard Lanoie

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