Althouse has a post up about bad movies, featuring a quot from someone who has very specific ideas about what it takes to be worst.
“Bad” is interesting. Take, for example, the After Dark Horror Fest. If you asked a group of people who saw the movies, they’d agree that some were quite good and some were among the worst movies ever made. This IMDB thread for Lake Dead illustrates it quite nicely.
For me, it’s all about the boring. I’m never bored in real life. Not since I was a kid have I been bored. Even in “bad” movies, I can usually find something to entertain me. So Lake Dead was almost unbearable because there was so little original in it.
But others have different criteria. For example, a movie that is undeservedly (in the critic’s eyes) popular seems to irk people enough that it earns the sobriquet “worst” for some people. For Trooper York, the mere presence of Robin Williams will do it, while others feel that way about Hugh Grant or Barbra Streisand. Reader_iam cringes at the thought of John Wayne playing Genghis Khan, so in her case, mis-casting is the worst.
There isn’t anybody I hate enough to allow ruining a whole film for me (not even Robin Williams, who ruined the otherwise sublime Adventures of Baron Munchausen or Barbra Streisand, who ruins everything when she’s not singing).
Mis-casting can also be highly amusing, as can bad acting.
A movie’s message can kill it for others, including me, but I can overlook a bad message if the movie is otherwise entertaining. Conservatives have to do that a lot. I suppose liberals have to do that with, I dunno, Heinlein, or something. Actually, Heinlein’s a good example of someone I can’t read at all because his message (which is something like “everyone should have sex with everyone else”) intrudes on otherwise good storytelling.
So…what punches your buttons? What pushes something into the “worst” category for you?