We are all interested in bad “B movies,” worse-than-mediocre pictures, and drive-in crapola, for that is the stuff we use to fill our lives when we are not swimming down at the lake. You are interested in the lost, the lonely, and the vicious—that is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing you the full story of some of the worst movies ever made. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony of the miserable soul who survived both a screening and a spin around the block in a souped-up dragster. I am that miserable soul. The absurdly low budgets, the unconvincing resemblance to real life events, the inane dialogue—my friend, we cannot keep these a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. Remember, my friends: terrible movies such as these will affect you in the future!
This film defines disappointment.
Johnnie is having a difficult time adjusting to fame. He takes to reading books about death and racing his cool dragster up and down the Sunset Strip. One night while skipping his own movie premiere, Johnnie almost runs over toothsome drugstore employee Helen Preacher (Barbara Wilson). Once she recognizes him as that hot new actor, Johnnie finds it easy to talk her into a nighttime swim down by the lake. (Johnnie keeps extra women’s bathing suits in his trunk just in case; I’m guessing he stocks several sizes.) Could Helen be LONELY?
Later, Johnnie returns to the coffee shop and gets into a hell of a punch-out with the still jealous Walt. Johnnie’s haymakers, needless to say, knock Walt for a loop. Is Johnnie VICIOUS?
The answer is no. That is too interesting to have happened anywhere near Lost, Lonely, and Vicious. This film’s story bears no resemblance to the life of James Dean—unless Dean’s life was a stultifying series of clichéd, mediocre set pieces culled from bad, low-budget teen flicks. If the real James Dean’s life resembled this film at all, perhaps we should be investigating whether Dean’s famous and fatal car crash were actually a suicide planned to provide the sweet release of death. Lost, Lonely, and Vicious is a botched smorgasbord of cheap production values, narrative dead-ends, and padding.
My friend, you have now read this column, based on my own sworn testimony. Can you prove that this film doesn’t exist? Perhaps on your way home, someone will pass you in the dark, and that person will be in a flashy sports car, driving down to the swimming hole with his best girl by his side. Many scientists believe that bad movies are being filmed at this very moment. We once laughed at fire, the wheel, actor’s schadenfreude, and vicious, lost loners. So much laughter! And now some of us laugh at very bad movies. God help us in the future.
JB, I do admire your ability to write a column about a movie which, from the sounds of it, would cause most of us to struggle to write three sentences about. I can only imagine the highs and lows that come with being both the Mr. Creosote and the Pope of film journalism.ReplyDelete