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Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies: A Film Critic's Year-Long Quest to Find the Worst Movie Ever Made

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  273 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
"Michael Adams's book is great fun! No one intends to make a truly bad movie, but when they do, Michael Adams will be there to watch it...and make it entertaining!" —John Landis, director of Trading Places and The Blues Brothers

In Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies, film critic Michael Adams embarks on a year-long odyssey to discover the worst movie ever made, whic
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Dey Street Books (first published December 31st 2009)
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Jill Hutchinson
You have to be a fan of bad movies (which I am) to appreciate this funny, irreverent book of the author's search for the worst movie ever made........not the usual "so bad they are good" such as "Plan 9 From Outer Space" by the beloved Ed Wood, but the "so bad they are bad". These are films that are almost beyond belief in their ineptness....terrible acting,, no comprehensible story line, hysterical "special effects". look like they were filmed in your grandmother's rec room on a telephone, and ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Adams watched one or more bad movies every day for a solid year as an experiment/endurance test. It's almost something Morgan Spurlock would try except there's no real social comment to be made. He watched everything from the Hollywood shit you can imagine (Ishtar, Batman & Robin, Superman IV, Jaws The Revenge) to stuff on VHS that was barely feature length and often had the boom mike showing. Adams also interviews various filmmakers for their picks, which adds to his growing list. I ...more
May 19, 2016 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dare anyone to find a more entertaining book about the artistry of awful films. The art of analyzing horrible movies is not as simple as you think. What constitutes shit to one person might be gold to another. However, I don't think a whole lot of people would protest what's good or bad with the films author and film reviewer Michael Adams researched. They're all bad. Real bad. Basically, every movie he analyzes (some of these films don't require much analysis) are all pretty much bottom of th ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written book for what it is, but by 3/4 of the way in, I was so offended by the central premise that I just skimmed the rest of the chapters to see if I recognized any movie titles. The book is an overview of the author's self-imposed quest to watch a bad movie every day for a year in an attempt to find the worst movie ever made. This is on top of his work obligations as a movie critic and his family obligations as a husband and the father of a young girl. I generally like books b ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film
This is one of those types of books where an author sets up a quest of some kind and seeks to fulfill it, not unlike the Year of Living Biblically and other like-minded stunt books or movies. The set-up in Michael Adams' book is that he will watch at least one bad movie per day for a year in an effort to discover the worst movie ever made.

Of course, we all know that rating a movie as the "worst ever made" is a pretty subjective judgment, so in order for this book to be worthwhile, it had better
Australian movie critic Michael Adams did what few cinephiles have attempted to do: to discover the worst movie ever made. In order to do so, he resolved to watch an average of one "bad" movie each day after spending time compiling a comprehensive list of bad movies from all over the internet. He uses a bingo machine to randomly select his movies each week; the movies are grouped into categories in different ways, including content, filmmaker, starring actors, or production companies. He develop ...more
Oct 11, 2013 Luke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't enjoy crappy movies you probably won't enjoy this book. Luckily, I find a lot of appeal in fuckawfulness, so this is right up my alley. If you're one of those people who owns those 50-film box sets, this is pretty much tailor-made for you. Thankfully, it's not all out-of-copyright stuff reviewed, and modern crapola has an equal run. I mean, if the book hadn't included Gigli it would've failed at the first hurdle, right?

(Side-note: I know someone who was in Leonard: Part VI, so I di
Jul 14, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad book but you can see that this is effectively a blog turned into a book. Adams has some interesting and at times funny things to say about the films he watched, however the frequent interpolation of personal life moments between the film critiques does little to improve the interest in the movies and his comments about them. There were some elements within the book that worked quite well and Adams does have the capacity to deliver enough content to make a bad film fan consider him wort ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, kindle
Super-fun. Adams really likes movies and people who make movies, so he approaches his project with a lot of good will. And because he's a film journalist, he's able to get people to talk to him about their movies. There is also much musing about what makes a movie bad, what counts as a "movie," film history, and so forth. It's a lot of fun discovering the "worst-movie" picks of people like John Waters and David Sedaris. I've read quite a bit about weird, bad, and "psychotronic" film -- and even ...more
P. Aaron Potter
Jul 06, 2010 P. Aaron Potter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: geek
This was an interesting read, in an episodic sort of way. While the author's commentary on specific films and auteurs were often amusing and enlightening (and I was both shocked and horrified to find how many of them I'd seen myself), there was never any particular conclusion. I kept anticipating some sort of 'summing up' of either the experience or the author's insights into film. Something, perhaps, could have been made of the fact that many critics find movies like Titanic or Star Wars episod ...more
Mar 21, 2011 Daria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media, film
An engaging read, because Michael Adams is a man who knows how to love a bad movie while still knowing it's a bad movie.

The only real proble with the book is the number of films he watches (compared to the length of the book). Given he spent a year watching bad films (and talking to professionals about them), of course there's a lot to cover. But sometimes it feels like his commentary on a film is just getting going when it's time to switch to something else. Some movies even get a few-word des
Jayne Lamb
Jul 27, 2011 Jayne Lamb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing I like better than reading about film is reading about BAD film. Michael Adams' does a stellar (if slightly dangerous) job in watching at least one bad film every day for a year in order to determine the answer to one of life's great puzzles; what IS the worst film ever made? Aside from the dud movies themselves, Adams also writes about film in general, film history, chats to some cinema greats and reminds us to be grateful for the patience of partners/husbands/ wives.(Maybe I sho ...more
Terry Collins
May 28, 2016 Terry Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant enough time-killer about bad movies that would normally have earned a three-star review, but I had to add another because Adams actually watched Rollergator and lived to tell the tale. Yes, Rollergator is just ... wretched, and shot on non hi-def video as well. The version I saw came with the Rifftrax trio of Mike, Kevin and Bill struggling to make fun of this abomination, and finally giving up in frustration.

Regardless, this is a fun book to read, but beware of some of the films the
Jun 05, 2014 Ransom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely for a certain kind of person or a special interest group. I don't think the average reader wants to read about all the cheap and amateurish movies that someone else watched, but I loved it. I'm fascinated by stories of people with show-biz dreams that are too big to be contained by a lack of talent and budget. I love cheap old movies because we can watch them today as accidental documentaries on the history of America and as evidence of the dreams and dreamers that popula ...more
Jun 19, 2010 Yael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On New Year's Day 2007, Michael Adams embarked on what had to have been a quest so scary even Indiana Jones would have turned it down: the hunt for the worst movie of all time. The result: one of the funniest books of all time, not to mention the best instruction manual on how to get the most out of pop culture I've ever run across.

What can you say about really, really, REALLY terrible movies? For one solid year, Australian film critic Michael Adams watched at least one and, on some days, three
Dec 19, 2010 Craven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy spent a year watching at least one bad movie a day in order to find the worst movie of all time. I'm usually a little put-off by the whole I'm-going-to-do-this-for-this-length-of-time genre of memoir. usually, it's just some aging hipster jerk-off who has an essay-length idea filibustering for 250 pages. However, Adams was a movie critic before he took on this quest and it's a subject that I am, in spite of my own intellectual shame, obsessed with (not because I like watching bad movies ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Cale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This odyssey through a more than a year's worth of bad movies is interesting in its discussions of the movies, as well as how the project affects the author's life.
The book's focus on being a diary is at odds with its stated goal of finding the worst movie of all time, as it ends up giving shorter shrift to the movies themselves in exchange for covering the author's life. As well, there are references to his scoring system, with a brief description at the beginning, and some of the point scores
Mar 23, 2010 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adams does a MASTERFUL job of plumbing the depths of cinematic depravity, laziness, and mediocrity in his search to find the worst movie ever made. Covering a wide array of genres and subgenres -- from horror to exploitation to gross-out comedy to vanity projects -- and sparing no expense or effort, Adams makes good on his pledge to watch AT LEAST 365 movies in the course of a year. While doing so, he manages to discover some forgotten gems lost in obscurity, and other pieces of dreck that shoul ...more
May 09, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media
I wouldnt recommend reading this to someone who doesnt like movies, or cant appreciate a bad movie. I can appreciate a bad movie. I wholly love bad movies. 30 days of night? BRILLIANT. Hot Shots 2? CLASSIC. SPice World? should be owned by every baby sitter in the world. Josie and the Pussycats. I dont even know where to start!. I also love to hate bad movies. Captain AMerica? Captain cheeeeeese. Pirates of the carrribean 3? when will it be over????.

If you appreciate Ed Wood, Burt Reynolds, Grind
Rocco Thompson
Really reads more like a year-long movie blog than a well written film criticism book, but honestly it fulfilled my expectations. Though it doesn't go too deeply into any film mentioned, the sheer amount of cinematic atrocities covered makes the book indispensable for fans of garbage like myself. Amusing and brief, it's the perfect book if you're a schlock cinema junkie who's looking to add some new gems to your watch list.
Jun 03, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, memoirs
The gf found this while browsing B&N randomly, and it instantly sparked my interest. My group of friends and I are big fans of bad movies, mainly ones so bad they transcend their own crappyness and entertain. Thankfully, it nice to see that we're not alone. For fans of terrible movies, this read will give you enough ammo to last your a long time.

For one year, film critic Michael Adams begins a personal quest of finding the worst movie ever created. Weaving parts of his personal life, researc
Jan 27, 2014 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man I love this book, funny and interesting it asks the hard question of "what is the worst movie ever made?" Although he does find a movie in the ended that he thinks is the worst, he can never be too sure, as there will always be another movie made that could be worse. But what I found interesting was how it affected his life and how he managed to interview some of the creators of the movies he watched. All n all, I loved it.
Mar 18, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Adams has given me the gift of time by writing this book. I was looking for a humble Gen X Australian film critic to sift through the piles of cinematic garbage for me and I didn't even know it until I read this. Now I have a much smaller list of so bad it's good films to watch (Death Bed, The Magic Christmas Tree, Black Devil Doll from Hell) and I can skip the works of Uwe Boll and Al Adamson entirely. Thank you Michael!
David Macpherson
A fun though overlong detailing of an Australian film critic spending a year trying to find the worst movie ever made. Some of it is great and very funny, though at over 300 pages, a little long for the silly premise. It made me want to watch bad movies again, I mean on purpose.
Aug 20, 2010 Terrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read. Michael Adams, a film critic in Australia, takes a year to watch (at least) 1 "bad" movie a day, in his quest to find the worst movie ever made. This book covers his journey, month by month, as well as talks about his life (that help you see what made him a film critic, or bits that tie into the movies he's watching... as well as current affairs in his life.)

Adams has a conversational style that is well-suited to this sort of story, and while I don't agree with many of his thoug
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I haven't read this cover to cover, mostly because I collect these types of books as reference material. I like to have them handy and look up bits and pieces to add to my knowledge of whatever movie I'm watching at the time. This book isn't intended as a reference book though - it's one person's story of their experience in watching a whole lot of movies and determining which is the "worst". Adams has a very different sensibility to mine when it comes to films, his rating system isn't what I wo ...more
Sep 16, 2011 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Over the course of an entire year, an Australian film critic watches the worst movies ever made, including "Plan 9 From Outer Space," "The Room," "Troll 2," several "Mystery Science Theater 3000" offerings, and the entire Uwe Boll filmography. He provides extensive research on some crazy directors, gets some interviews with repeat offenders, and acquires "favorite bad movie" recommendations from John Landis, Eli Roth, and some MST3kers themselves. The concept itself is pretty ambitious and he ge ...more
Mark Desrosiers
Apr 09, 2016 Mark Desrosiers rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cinerama
This MST3K addict was hoping for a much funnier book, but there are loads of bad movie recommendations herein. Hopefully he'll publish a ranked list.
Sep 29, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a person who loves extremely bad movies, this book was super enjoyable. Not only did I find some fantastic recommendations for future bad movies, but I was also justified in my hatred for Ben and Arthur. The author also provided interesting bits about his life, and it helped me feel empathy for the book's author. The only problem would be the fact the book jumps around a bit, and I wished he had talked longer about some of the movies he watched. If you love watching bad but enjoyable movies, ...more
Feb 20, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very readable and funny. Michael Adams is a reveiwer for Rotten Tomatoes (he was working for Austraila's edition of Empire at the time of his bad-movie binge) so not only do we get his take on >365 howlers but he also interviews some of the best "bad movie" auteurs around.

Confession: I have seen "Showgirls" and "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", two of the movies he saw that year. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is actually entertaining; "Showgirls" is pretty painful (I will never, ever
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