We all love good movies, but sometimes you just want to grab a few buddies, have some beers and watch an absolutely irredeemable piece of crap. It’s fun to trade jokes about a production that went wrong on every conceivable level.
Fans of train wrecks will be familiar with movies like The Room and Birdemic, but may not know that the medium of animation has its fair share of hilarious disasters, too. So the next time you’re looking for a dud to mock, why not check out one of the following animated spectacles?
7. Silver Circle
The year is 2019. The United States dollar has lost its place as the world’s reserve currency. The Fed intervenes, seizing control of America’s economy. Their intervention is disastrous, and America falls into shambles. One spunky group of rebels decides to fight back against their oppressive government the only way they know how: by minting their own silver coins to compete against the greenback. Star Wars, this ain’t.
Silver Circle is more of a 90 minute rant about the evils of the government from a teenaged Ron Paul supporter than it is a movie, which would be boring if not for the hilarious animation. You have to admire the creators’ dedication to their criticism of “worthless paper money,” as they apparently paid their animators in gum and handshakes.
Political junkies will have loads of fun ripping apart the film’s misplaced political paranoia and basic misunderstanding of economics, but even if you support the film’s message or just don’t care about politics you’ll still crack up at the campy dialogue and animation that looks like a video game gone horribly wrong.
The characters speak in strawman arguments and Internet debate talking points instead of real human words – in the trailer, the evil government (redundancy!) agent gives a speech about how freedom isn’t important, while our hip, sexy heroine never misses an opportunity to ramble on about how awesome silver is.
Combine that with facial expressions that make the characters look more like emotionally stunted robots than people and every conversation in the film is comedic gold. Er, silver.
6. Killer Bean Forever
There’s a lesson in the making of Killer Bean Forever, although I’m not entirely sure what it is. A fellow named Jeff Lew made a couple of short films to teach himself animation, and they proved popular enough to earn him calls from movie producers. After talks fell through, he decided to just make a movie himself, and five years later he ended up with this:
So I guess the moral is to not give up on your dreams, because they will come true -they’ll just be a lot crappier than you first envisioned.
You know you’re in trouble when the opening scene is a break dancing routine. Break dancing anthropomorphic beans. As more and more beans join the party, it’s like you’re watching your own mind slowly break apart.
Our “hero” shows up and guns all the beans down for playing their music too loud, which is a sign of severe sociopathic tendencies. And that’s the problem with Killer Bean Forever -it can’t decide if it wants to be a serious action movie or a comedy, and so it awkwardly fluctuates between both.
I have to give Lew credit – the animation is damn impressive considering he did it all himself (he actually works as a professional animator now). His singular artistic vision has been fulfilled in Killer Bean Forever, but that vision is insane. Watching a movie about sentient beans gunning each other down that took a half-decade to create is like watching evidence that will later be used in a psychiatric hospital.
5. B?b?’s Kids
B?b?’s Kids is based on a stand-up comedy bit by Robin Harris about his dates being ruined by three hell-raising kids that his girlfriend is stuck babysitting. Because bratty kids causing trouble for an inept adult is a hack comedy staple, turning an R rated stand-up routine into an animated family film was a logical decision for a Hollywood producer hopped up on cocaine.
You can tell they have attitude because of the crossed arms.
Because this was a movie about black people released in 1992 it was legally required to be full of rap music. It’s as gloriously awkward as it sounds – in an early scene, the trio run into some other kids and rap about how awesome and tough they are. They’re “straight jackin’,” yo.
The kids are taken to an amusement park, but escape the adults to go cause PG-13 trouble. No mascot goes unharassed in this movie! Later the kids find themselves in amusement park court, but are able to rap themselves out of trouble by winning the robot judge over to their side, despite the protests of the prosecutor, robot Richard Nixon. Robot Lincoln is there, too. I’d say it makes more sense in context, but that’s a lie.
B?b?’s Kids is every 1990s pop culture stereotype about rap music and black people rolled together. You’ve got sassy black women trading barbs over a man, kids that speak in dated slang more than real words and a bumbling, put upon man confused by it all. There’s even a baby voiced by Tone L?c who introduces himself as “Pee-Wee, the O.G.” It’s the only movie guaranteed to make even lily white nerds feel hip!
4. Kiara the Brave
Phase 4 Films are one the most prolific studios you’ve never heard of. Creators of cinematic classics like All American Orgy and A Talking Cat!?!, they specialise in low-budget schlock that runs the gauntlet from hacky to shameless rip-off. Kiara the Brave falls into the latter category, as the movie tries to cash in on the success of Pixar’s Brave with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the groin.
Princess Kiara, aka Princess Smooshed Face, lives in the idyllic kingdom of Dreamzone, which despite its name is not a location from a Sonic the Hedgehog game. But one day King Maximus’ brother, Badmis, banishes the king to the Neverworld and seizes the throne, leaving it up to Kiara to save the day. Damn, who would have thought Badmis would turn out to be evil?!
Kiara the Brave was animated by a single blind man and voiced by a group of aliens trying to blend in among Scottish people who haven’t yet mastered who-man tongues. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why the animation is so incompetent and every character talks like a head trauma victim. Every scene is like a clip from a film school reject’s demo reel.
The number of damns the filmmakers gave about their movie is so obviously zero that it’s almost endearing. I’d like to think they’d enjoy the idea of people getting together to mock their movie, because at least that way they’re providing entertainment. That’s more than can be said for the poor kids who have to sit through this after their parents accidentally buy the wrong movie – watching this will be the day their childhood ends.
You know how I just said Phase 4 Films makes hack “original” movies, too? That’s what we in the biz call foreshadowing. Bam! Behold Life’s a Jungle, a movie about a big city dog who has to survive in the African wilderness after his dumb family loses him. An outcast at first, he eventually makes friends and learns to yadda yadda, you know the drill.
Here’s a fun drinking game: take a shot every time you hear a stock sound effect. Only do this with the trailer. If you try it with the full movie you’ll pass out before the opening credits hit the screen.
Pip sounds like Niles from Frasier’s non-union Mexican equivalent, while his owner sounds like he’s constantly on the verge of breaking into tears.
The large cast of animals gives many species a chance to suck. There’s a sloth who sounds like a stoner, a stork and an anteaterish thing who talk like they’re trying to turn the movie into African Safari Deliverance, and a rhino who sounds like he’d be more at home douching it up at the gym.
The movie is 100 minutes long and feels like it’s moving in slow motion. Everyone walks like they’re stepping through a wall of invisible molasses, and even the simplest scenes drag on to the point where it becomes surreal. If we didn’t know any better we’d say this was some sort of Dadaist prank. In the end, Pip decides to stay with his new friends, and his former owner presumably kills himself as the credits roll.
2. Disco Worms
I’d like to share one final Phase 4 Films, uh, film with you, if only so you can verify its existence and reassure me that I didn’t imagine it in a drug-induced haze. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Disco Worms.
Disco Worms was originally released in Denmark before being given English voice acting by Phase 4, and the fact that the voices clearly don’t match the mouth movements is just one of many incongruities. Chief among them is the fact that this is a movie about discoing worms.
Starring a slumming Jane Lynch and a collection of Disco “hits,” Disco Worms is about a lowly corporate worm who discovers an old disco album that he immediately falls in love with, prompting him to form a disco band and enter a song contest with the hope of finally earning some respect for wormkind. Unfortunately, his efforts are opposed by his soulless employers and this is a movie about worms that boogie, none of it makes any goddamn sense.
How did this movie get greenlit? Do Danish children love disco music? Do any children love disco music? “It’s Saturday Night Fever with worms! The kids will love it!” the pitch from an executive drunk on his own insanity went, presumably.
To be fair, kids will watch pretty much anything, especially if their parents hate them enough. But so much emphasis is put on songs that children won’t recognize that they appear to be trying to lure in the adult market as well.
Are disco loving oligochaetologists willing to watch a children’s movie to hear songs they could easily acquire elsewhere an actual target audience? Did Jane Lynch owe money to loan sharks? What is going on in Denmark? There are so many questions we will never have answers to.
Foodfight! may be the first movie made by a supervillain. The story of Dex Dogtective solving a mystery in a grocery store is a thin excuse to cram as many corporate mascots and products into one movie as humanly possible. Foodfight! takes product placement so far it’s like they shoehorned a movie into an infomercial.
That it’s so shameless in its money grubbing just makes its complete failure even funnier. Foodfight! was originally supposed to be released in 2003, but it took until 2012 for it to reach the big screen. All those years in development hell produced a shambling monstrosity of a film; an undead, badly animated abomination starring Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff.
Sheen, as the heroic Dogtective, sounds like he’s reading his lines at gunpoint. Hilary Duff plays his cat girlfriend, the mentally challenged Sunshine Goodness, which I’m betting was also the name of a hippy porn star from the ’70s. For a family movie Foodfight! doesn’t shy away from double entendres and implications of inter-species sex, which seems like an odd way to sell Cheetos. But I’m not a marketing expert.
Sheen and Duff team up with the California Raisins, Mrs. Butterworth and other “beloved” mascots to stop a smutty Eva Longoria from replacing everything in the supermarket with products from the evil Brand X, a conflict sure to tug at your heartstrings. The Brand X forces march around doing Nazi salutes, just in case you didn’t get that they’re the bad guys.
To help you understand the scope of Foodfight!’s failure, back in 2004 the New York Times called the company making it “the new and upcoming Pixar.” The schadenfreude is delicious, as Foodfight! fails at everything but unintentional comedy. It’s pretty much the perfect movie to watch and mock.
Previously by Mark Hill: