Shaq Kazaam

Sepatown: In defense of ‘Pootie Tang,’ ‘Kazaam’ and other classic cinematic skidmarks

May 23, 2012

Have you gone to see “Battleship” yet? We haven’t either. For the sake of your wallet (and sanity), we recommend you don’t.

Painfully bad movies are nothing new to the industry, and a film’s budget is far from an indicator of the project’s success. Disney’s “John Carter” recently set records with an inflated budget of $250 million, but an abysmal box office performance in the United States blew a hole in Walt Disney’s pocketbook.

There are, however, a special assortment of films that we absolutely love precisely because their lack of quality and overall substance. These aren’t movies that were initially poorly-received then found a surge of popularity in the next generation; “cult classics,” if you will. These are movies that are straight up bad. So bad that we can’t help but fall in love.

“Pootie Tang”

I’m hesitant to include one of my personal favorites on this list, but it’s one that begs discussion. “Pootie” is a film that looks bad on the surface, but is teeming with comedic genius. Many haters forget that the character is a creation of comedic genius Louis C.K., with Pootie first appearing on the Chris Rock Show (Rock picks up a few roles in the film), and therefore needs to be analyzed beyond surface level.

Mr. Tang is “too cool for words,” speaking in an incomprehensible dialect that might turn off some viewers (a collection of his jargon can be sampled below). But with time, the audience realizes it doesn’t need “words” and “sentences” to understand. C.K. connects us with his character on a more potent level than words could achieve; he pierces the soul. He “sines your pitty on the runny kine.” Quality? Maybe not. Substance? Sepatown!

“Joe Dirt”

A Comedy Central mainstay and David Spade’s only good movie since his Farley days, “Joe Dirt” is a film for the people. If you’ve ever felt uncool, beat up, beat down or forgotten, “Joe Dirt” provides the life lessons to persevere.

“Life’s a garden, dig it.” “You gotta keep on keepin’ on.” “Def Leppard SUCKS!” “Joe Dirt” is truly the coming-of-age story for our generation. Where else can you see Kid Rock play a white trash illiterate? (Other than a Kid Rock concert, that is) Plus, Christopher Walken.

“Robot Holocaust”

I found this movie at 2:00 a.m. while browsing the “Free Movies” section on Comcast’s On Demand. I can’t decide if it was terrifying, exhilarating, hilarious, or if I was on a really bad acid trip. A group of humans that survived the—you guessed it— “robot holocaust,” venture on the outskirts of a post-apocalyptic New York City, which is really just some tall grass and rocks. Once inside “The Dark One”‘s lair, the gang is attacked by vicious sock puppet cave worms and a giant hairy arm, which presumably has a terrifying body just off-screen that the budget wouldn’t allow.

And it’s called “Robot Holocaust”… obviously a must-see.

“Gigli”

Ben Affleck surprised me when he…wait…there’s nothing redeeming about this movie. Just plain awful.

*No video clip available because no one has ever asked to see one. Ever.

“Kazaam”

Because Dr. O’Neal can do no wrong.

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