NPF: PAIN DON'T HURT

Posted in No Politics Friday on September 20th, 2013 by Ed

A friend and ex-colleague was (and is) unusually obsessed with the 1989 Patrick Swayze work of art Road House. For the uninitiated, Road House is a movie about people punching each other. Swayze and Sam Elliott also take turns acting like hardasses. One of the best things on the internet is this 11 minute compilation of every fight scene from the movie.

It had been about 15 years since I saw this film when I discovered it on Hulu Plus last week. For shits and/or giggles I played it in the background while I did some grading and other mindless professorial tasks. Road House, ladies and gentlemen, is just terrible. Yet I can see how someone would get obsessed with it (and force repeated viewings upon his poor wife, which will almost certainly be a factor in the divorce proceedings). It is that lovable kind of terrible. It makes you want to like it by sheer force of its crapulence.

Alas, I don't think one can see a movie at the age of 34 and adopt it as a new Guilty Pleasure film; I am already set in my habits. Road House cannot be my Road House. In order to develop a lasting love affair with a movie that isn't even any good, one must be exposed to it as a child or adolescent (which I discovered when I watched The Princess Bride for the first time in my early thirties). One terrible movie I recall clearly from dozens of viewings as a child was Arnold Schwarzenegger's Commando. But it didn't age with me. I've tried to watch it maybe once in the last 20 years and holy balls it might be the worst movie ever made.

Also, adult viewings of Commando force me to confront the questionable parenting that resulted in me watching it a hundred times when I was like eight. My dad also took me to see RoboCop in the theater when I was nine. I'd buy that for a dollar.

So what is my Road House? The closest thing I can think of is Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls, which I have probably seen fifty times. It is terrible. It is terrible and I love it ("It's in the bone. It's in the bone!")
I have plenty of other go-to movies, but they're mostly Good. At least they are not obviously and aggressively bad and I love them in spite of that. For bad action movies I guess I don't mind throwing on Predator while I'm folding laundry although it doesn't arouse any strong feelings in me.

What are yours? The ones you know damn well are terrible yet you watch them repeatedly? It might be time for me to explore some other options in the universe of the charmingly crappy.

Oh, and I'm serious about Commando. Awful. Just awful. It's Bennett. Look at that fucking guy. Truman Capote would be a more menacing villain.