Readers’ Choice: Todd Mason Asks …

OK, what are your worst [film] overall? And do you have an affectionate worst and simply angering worst?

Whoa! This is a thought-provoking question. I guess it would be easy to say I dismiss all the bad, but I don’t. In my lifetime I have seen a whole lotta bad, the term “bad/worst” of course being relative. And even with that I have never thought of categorizing the worst I have seen by those I have great affection to and those that draw my ire. But it makes sense. Many films considered are guilty pleasures while others make you want to throw something or walk out of the theater.

So that is where I will start. Walking out of the movie theater. While I have made myself suffer and endure many a turkey, the only film I have ever wanted to walk out of was the 1998 extravaganza Armageddon. There was just something about that experience that made me slink in my chair and wish it were all over. Perhaps the drifting of the Bruce Willis’ accent or the bombast that is often associated with Bey-ian films is what did me in. Even hearing the Armageddon love song I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (as sung by Aerosmith), while a lovely ballad, stirs up some rather unpleasant memories for this moviegoer.

Why didn’t I just leave then you may ask? Well, I was a newly-minted college graduate who did my post graduate duty by becoming an RA at a summer camp on campus, I could not leave. I think that made the experience even more agonizing for me. So yeah I will stick with this one.


An honorable mention to Wilson (1944). I just do not understand how this film was a multiple Academy Award nominated film. It was the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry and I really did not like myself for sitting through it. I must be a glutton for punishment.


As for the worst film I have seen and have the greatest amount of affection for … hmm, I have to think about this one for a minute. My lovely dad had a penchant for presenting my siblings and I with the dross of the cinema world for fun. The law of unintended consequences as they are means that eventually we grew to love these duds, in spite of themselves. So it really is a great honor to be among the tops of this list. But after long and hard consideration I would have to say …


It just is not fair or right that I would have to choose just one film, for there are several that hold a warm place in my heart. So in no particular order, here we go:

They Live (1988): This film is obviously an exploitation film meant to look cheap and schlocky; kind of like in a Plan 9 From Outer Space Away (1959) (another one for the list).

Masters of the Universe (1987): It is a childhood thing, yeah it does not stand the test of time and if I were to see it again after all of these years, I might hurl, but that’s okay.

Reefer Madness (1936): The ‘victims’ descent into madness is a riot to watch.

Mama Mia (2008): I like ABBA; so sue me …

Refer Madness

Reefer Madness

Just one note: In my research (yeah I sometimes do that) I saw the 2000 film Center Stage on someone’s list. Well that is just wrong – that film is brilliant!

So Todd, I basically answered 50% of your question as you so nicely asked it. Hope you enjoyed the rather verbose response.