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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Department of Book Reports Numero Nueve

We sometimes get too serious, even dour, around here often, and this week I decided to lighten up. So I dipped into Better Living Through Bad Movies (iUniverse $18.95) by our friends from the blog World-o-Crap, Scott Clevenger and Sherri Zollinger.
This guide to bad movies isn’t your Roger Ebert or Leonard Maltin reviews. Nope. This book is hilarious. I can’t recall belly-laughing so much while reading in I don’t know how long. Every paragraph has at least one chuckle, usually more. And Clevenger and Zollinger seem to have every cultural and pop reference at their fingertips and they are not afraid to use them.
Over fifty films are reviewed. They are grouped by category which include “Coping with Grief: The Five Stages of Bad Sequels”, “Chick Flick Versus Ick Flicks”, “Bats Entertainment” and “It’s Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist” among others. Each film’s plot is detailed in a fractured fairy tales style, and then life lessons are derived from them.
I hate to just spot quote from the various reviews because context is important to the humor. But here is a taste from the movie, “The Bride”, the 1985 retelling of the “The Bride of Frankenstein”: It’s a dark and stormy night. Baron Von Frankensting is sitting around his ancestral home, Schloss Kardboard Kutout , playing “Mousetrap” with Quentin Crisp and a crash test dummy. For some reason, the game Frankensting’s monster to experience nocturnal emissions, so they pack it in and decide to electrocute Jennifer Beals instead. The rest of the plot is described in loving detail. Then we can learn our lessons: So, if you are a picky guy or gal who just can’t find anyone good enough for you, why not make your own partner with, using ordinary items found around the house? (And this really isn’t necrophilia, since Jennifer Beals is alive, ALIVE-it’s just her performance that reeks of carrion.
For my part, I am grateful to Clevenger and Zollinger. They have watched these movies here, so I don’t have to watch them there. This is the best movie review guide to come along in years, smart, smart-alecky, and did I mention funny? This is one very funny book.
Bettter Living Through Bad Movies is available at Jackson Street Books and other fine independent bookstores.
Tip of the hat to Annti for pointing us to this book. democommie™™™™®© has seen most of these movies and recommends them to everyone.


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