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Lucas Written by Lucas
Mar. 16, 2008 | 3:33 PM

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By Lucas J. Gutman

I drank my raspberry mimosa served by a bartender whose first love was probably the card tricks he performed when people stopped ordering booze at nine in the morning. Having eaten my complimentary Raspberry Hershey’s Kisses and Raspberry M&M’s, I made my way into the grand stage of the Magicopolis Magic Club in Santa Monica. Keenly scheduled in the morning hours before many of the same members of the international press would head to the Independent Spirit Awards, the Razzies are a press conference disguised as an awards show.

In order to care about the worst movies of the year, you have to be the kind of person who sees every movie that plays in theaters. The reason there’s not much outcry about the awfulness of I Know Who Killed Me is because most of us who saw the poster said to ourselves, “This will suck, but I wonder if Lindsay Lohan will show her tits?”.(By the way, the answer, sadly; is no, she doesn’t.) If you hated Daddy Day Camp, you probably blamed the ten-year old kids who dragged you there, not the lack of directorial skills demonstrated by former child actor Fred Savage.  I’m not upset that Norbit sucked, I wasn’t gonna waste my time anyway. But I’m pissed that I rented Hairspray and lost some of my soul. That movie got good reviews! I knew I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry would suck. So I did the logical thing and didn’t watch it.  How about an apology for Elizabeth: The Golden Age!? Director Shekhar Kapur really fooled me. Elizabeth from 1998 was tremendous. I was shocked by the level of suckiness in the follow-up. As far as Fred Savage as a director, I’m happy for the kid that he got a theatrical release. Maybe he can get a gig on Problem Child 4.  Mr. Kapur, on the other hand, owes me ten bucks as far as I’m concerned.

One problem for the Razzies is that most people never watch the films they’ve deigned to be the worst. So we’re all sitting around waiting for clips to demonstrate just how unfunny, unthrilling or unenlightening a movie happens to be. The sad secret about the Razzie’s is that it’s put on by a bunch of folks making fun of bad movies using terrible comedy. It’s filled with more leaden jokes than a tribute to Bob Hope hosted by Yakov Smirnoff.

The cold, hard fact is that theatrical films just aren’t as obviously bad as they used to be. There was a time when one studio (Cannon, for example) would release more than a dozen bad movies a year. I mean, if Nine Deaths of the Ninja had been released last year, Lindsay Lohan wouldn’t have been a blip on the bad movie radar. Now everything is vetted and screened so that everything that was fun in a bad movie is “improved”. The hellishly wrong-headed movies don’t appear at your multi-plex. For example, in the early days of the Razzies, there was a year when Pia Zadora was memorably raped by a garden hose in Lonely Lady and similarly honored with a Razzie. Those were the days, my friend. Nowadays, of course, there are tremendously bad films, but they usually head straight to DVD or a Turkish movie screen. You want bad movies, take a look at the output of Steven Seagal. He puts out more bad movies per year than Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba combined. That Buddha-loving, CIA wannabe is working his ass off to be included on a worst-of list and continues to be ignored for his efforts. But he still hasn’t been raped by a garden hose. Once again, pretty girls get all the attention.

All of this said, I don’t want to imply that the Razzies aren’t fun. The jokes are often as good as, if not better than the Bruce Vilanch’s tired lines in the real Oscars. The show is fast, amateurish and lovingly presented. All of which generates goodwill in the audience. It has the charm of a grade-school musical. I mean that in a good way.

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