I offer apologies in advance if this topic has already been done before. I also apologize for all the poor innocent bytes that will be sacrificed to record the fluff I’m about to write.
In this thread I invite you to list some movies that in your opinion were (A) awful, perhaps even unwatchable, but were (B) made worth your time, just, by one knock-down hilarious scene or event. To qualify, your movie should meet these conditions:
[li]The movie is trying to be serious, for the most part.[/li][li]The redeeming scene is fairly short — say under a minute.[/li][li]Ideally there is only one such scene in the whole movie.[/li][li]The scene, though perhaps funny on its own, benefits greatly from watching all the dreck that came before it, however taxing was for you.[/li][li]Movies you’ve seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 are disqualified.[/li][li]Battlefield Earth is also disqualified. It has no serious parts whatsoever.[/li][/ol]
Spoilers are highly encouraged to spare the rest of us your experience. I’ll begin with two examples of my own…
City of Angels: Total saccharine schmaltz. Nicholas Cage plays a guardian angel, one of millions who walk invisible among us every day apparently. (Who knew?) From afar he falls in love with Meg Ryan, a heart surgeon who sneaks into the hospital nursery on her breaks, wistfully gazing at the infants in their cribs. She fights passionately to save her patient on the operating table, even though he’s an insensitive blowhard and was mean to her. In fact she’s so irresistably wholesome and sweet and beautiful and yet still sexy (wholesomely so) that Nick cashes in his immortality and superpowers in order to become a lowly human. Now he can be with Meg, love her, grow old with her, watch her bathe, maybe have her watch him bathe, and do everything else that goes with blissful couplehood. And of course, she falls in love with him too almost immediately. All is now sunshine and daffodils.
But then one day, Meg is riding home on a bicycle, when she’s tragically hit by a logging truck charging out of nowhere from a side street. Fini.
I still cry thinking about this movie. Well, my eyes produce tears anyway, and I double over. It looks a bit like crying.
Monkey Shines: Not a movie for the squeamish. Allan, a young man in the prime of life, is hit by a truck while jogging. No no, not a logging truck like last time, but a hefty truck nonetheless. (We’re nowhere near the funny scene yet; be patient.) The accident leaves him a quadriplegic, and he struggles hard to adapt to his new, restricted life. Before long though he despairs entirely and attempts suicide by wrapping a plastic shower curtain around his head, but is interrupted when his friend Jeff pays an unexpected visit.
Jeff — a researcher who experiments on monkeys in a university laboratory — decides to help Allan out. He sneaks home one of his lab monkeys, “Ella”, who was earlier injected with a new serum for enhancing intelligence. As trained scientists, we naturally hesitate to form a conclusion before all the results are in, but the formula sure seems to have worked wonders on Ella. During her brief time as Allan’s helpmate, she acquires a thorough mastery of kitchen utensils, the telephone system, Stratego™, and household electrical wiring, among other things.
Speaking personally, I wouldn’t think a quadriplegic’s helper monkey would really need quite that level of brainpower. Jeff probably could have gotten by with a monkey from the control group. But clearly he wanted only the best and brightest for his woeful friend. If only they could have forseen that Ella was actually evil incarnate, with a fuzzy face, and would soon destroy or enslave them all.
In short order Ella eliminates all her rivals. She kills the house nurse’s pet bird and drives her away, screaming. Ella then burns down the country cabin where Allan’s ex-girlfriend and her lover are sleeping, killing them both. She tosses a live hair dryer into the bathtub where Allan’s mother is bathing, electrocuting her. When Jeff is onto her schemes and hunts her all over the house, Ella outflanks him, sneaks up and injects him with the lethal syringe that was meant for her. Now it’s late at night, four people are dead (and one bird), and Allan is all alone. He sits helpless in his wheelchair, trapped in a nightmare ruled by a monkey — the very monkey that was meant to save him.
Allan can only move his head and neck, but he has one big idea left. Feigning innocence, he fools Ella into thinkng that he’s acquiesced, that he’s happy to give her all his attention and be her loyal companion forever and ever. He talks soothingly to her, rewards her with food, and eventually lures her up onto his shoulders. Then, like a quadriplegic tiger, he pounces.
Allan seizes the monkey’s neck in his mouth and bites down as hard as he can, then begins whipping her around violently back and forth. Ella screeches with shocked betrayal. Allan shouts (muffled by Ella) with primal vengeance. He whips her back and forth, back and forth, ten or twenty times until she’s good and dead, then releases his grip. Ella’s body is hurled to the floor. Exuent monkey. The nightmare is over.
This post has been very cathartic for me. The healing process can now begin.