It’s time for the last part of our retrospective on the year 2019. This time we’ll look a bit at statistics, at my actual best, worst, oddest and most disappointing, what 2019 movies I actually hated and liked, and lastly what the plans for 2020 are.
The Year 2019
A Year in Stats
Before we finally get to talk about the ultimately best, worst, oddest and most disappointing movies, how about we look at some stats? I will keep this on the shorter side, though I thought it might be interesting for a few people and it gives me the chance to improve on my movie watching behavior in the next year. The genres will represent all genres available on Letterboxd in an alphabetical order with the number of movies per genre and an average rating for all of them. As many movies are multi-genre, the numbers will of course not match up with the number of movies I watched last year, but the average rating for the year will be cleaned up for that.
|Genre||# of movies||average rating (1-5)|
Average Rating for the year: 2.9
It’s no surprise that my most watched genres are action and horror, and it’s also understandable that I barely watched any documentaries, war or history movies. The low rating for TV movies was definitely expected, as the genre was filled with Hallmark Christmas movies and DeCoteau Lifetime trash. And what would you expect from family movies? Those are mostly Christmas films and shit like Baby Geniuses, so of course I hated them.
When looking on the positive side, I’m kinda happy that fantasy movies have the highest rating. A genre that surprised me this year, thanks to all the martial arts fantasy flicks from Asia.
Also, as letterboxd informed me, my most watched actor for the year is Eric Roberts and my most watched director would be David DeCoteau. Just wonderful!
With those things said, it is finally time to look one last time at the twelve favorites, worst movies, oddities and disappointments and decide on the best of each category. I will start by listing all the contenders and then will give out the prizes for all of them.
|January||American Cyborg: Steel Warrior|
|May||Buddha’s Palm / Holy Weapon|
|July||Dasepo Naughty Girls|
|August||Heroes for Hire|
|September||Dracula of Exarcheia|
|October||Dancin’ It’s On|
Seems like my line-up for the best of the best is very international. There’s something from Asia, Europe, Africa and the two Americas, with just Australia being absent. There’s also action, musical, horror, pretty much something for everyone. But what are my three favorites?
Starting with the bronze, I am going with an action movie that is way too unknown for how great it is. The plot is batshit ridiculous with an actress getting revenge for the murder of her family and the near rape of her sister. I am of course talking about Mind Trap. I’m honestly sad that I never heard about this one before 2019 and would recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone.
Onto the silver medal, and this has to go to japan. I’m really a sucker for weirdo movies with a positive message and that’s where Dasepo Naughty Girls really delivered. It might not be the most perfect movie, but it is just so damn charming and if you make a weird-ass movie that involves a poverty-sockpuppet, cross dressing, yodeling and queef-fights, then I have to love it. And when I can see my own younger self in a certain character of the movie… it’s something that makes me smile, laugh, tear up. I honestly fucking love this!
If Dasepo Naughty Girls already gets all my love, then what could possibly be the best movie of the year? It’s the movie that absolutely wanted to be a real movie and failed on a level, in a way that only the very best of the worst achieve. Something so incredibly bad, that it reaches the level of The Room and Fateful Findings. David Winters achieved something special with Dancin’ It’s On in that it doesn’t even feel to be of this world. There’s not a single character in this who I’d call normal. It had me absolutely in tears from laughing, had me laugh-shouting at the movie and my friends and for the next two days, I barely had any voice. And it also broke our drinks record (not that I’d actually drink). This is what you want of your Bad Movies. Absolute perfection!
|January||Zombie Gang Bangers|
|February||Dead Walkers: Rise of the 4th Reich|
|April||The Curse of Bigfoot|
|May||Christian Mingle: The Movie|
|June||Psycho Space Demons|
|August||O.C. Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown|
|September||Beyond the Call to Duty|
|October||Naked Horror: The Movie|
|December||Last Ounce of Courage|
I’m pretty sure my bottom three will come as a surprise to some, as there will be a few movies, I personally hate a bit more than those, but that I just couldn’t name in good (or bad) faith.
Let’s start of with the third spot. Airplane Mode is one of the worst comedies that I have seen in a very long time, as not a single joke worked and it made me get seriously angry at the movie. They always just shout or hurt each other and calling yourself the “Airplane of a new generation” is just bullshit.
Psycho Space Demons is actually not my worst movie of the year, even though it has every fucking right to be. It’s dreadfully bad, has no acting in sight and is basically just padding for the whole run-time. You will wish for it to end as fast as possible.
While both Airplane Mode and Psycho Space Demons were awful, they at least were just really shitty movies. Zombie Gang Bangers is much worse, as it will make you feel bad and dirty, makes you lose faith in humanity, and you most definitely will need a shower afterwards. It’s so vile, so dreadful, so bad, that I honestly lost my enjoyment in movies for a few days afterwards, as all I could think of was how shit this was. We watched it nearly one year ago now yet I still feel my hatred so passionately that it just has to take the bottom spot. Fuck this movie!
|January||Adventures Into the Woods|
|March||Gramps Goes to College|
|May||Mexican Predator / Psycho Kickboxer|
|July||Every Dog Has His Date|
|August||Be-Bop High School|
|September||Tere Bin Laden|
|November||Shimoneta (anime month)|
It’s time for the oddities, or guilty pleasures if you prefer so. Movies that were weirdly enjoyable, though they had a few too many problems to call them the best.
This time we begin with the rapiest movie of the bunch. In theory I should hate Lewd Lizard just like I hated Zombie Gang Bangers, but there is one important difference. ZBG has the one normal character be the lead and everyone else is just a crazy nihilistic asshole. Lewd Lizard goes the opposite route and the evil asshole is our lead character. He’s the one with such hatred for women that he trains lizards to fuck them to death. This makes it much easier to accept the awfulness of the character and hope for him to lose his fight. And it makes for a much better movie that you can still enjoy, even though you will feel dirty.
My oddities are in no way in order of the biggest enjoyment I got from them, but they are the three that I consider most interesting. That’s why the surprisingly stupid Mexican Predator is going to make my list. It’s a low budget ripoff of the original Predator movie, while combining it with Escape From New York. It involves a surprising level of politics and corruption, while giving the predator the urge to fondle the tits of his victims. It’s wonderful how easy it is today to watch this kind of obscure shit.
The oddest movie of the year to me, was Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven. Have a side character of the original film get their own sequel. Let that person also write, direct and produce and you get a vanity project of special (as in retarded) proportions. It really tries to catch the magic of the original, but fails horribly. Yet in doing this, it creates its own magic that turns it more into a Showgirls if it had been directed by David Lynch. This is not how humans act. This is not how anything acts. But it just works.
|February||The 50 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen|
|April||Suicide Girls Must Die|
|July||Farce of the Penguins|
|October||Ghost in a Teeny Bikini|
|December||A Raunchy Christmas Story|
How much does quality play a role in how much a movie disappointed? Should my biggest disappointment be something that was a really bad movie in the end, or could it be something I enjoyed, but simply not enough? For me it definitely is the latter. A movie that is kinda fun can still be really disappointing, as there was much more potential.
That’s why my bronze medal goes to Simmba. I actually liked the movie, as it had nice songs and some good action, but as a spin-off of Singham my expectations were sky high. It never had a chance to actually reach them, but it went lower in enjoyment than I hoped. It’s still worth a watch though.
Suicide Girls Must Die! was technically a re-watch for me, but as it wasn’t on Letterboxd at that time, I only logged it this year for the first time and therefore treat it like a first watch. How can you honestly make a movie about the Suicide Girls, have it feature tons of nudity and still turn it into something so boring that I’d prefer to read the Fifty Shades books instead? The pervert in me cries…
But the top spot shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I love Neil Breen and his early movies are absolutely fantastic, but somewhere along the way to creating Twisted Pair he finally lost his power of making something real, something honest, and instead he went on to make what he expected us to like. It is missing the most essential parts of what makes a Breen movie a Breen movie and replaces them with cheap Shutterstock effects, simply because that’s what he thinks his fans want.
(Normal) Movies of 2019
There were more than a few movies that I watched in 2019, though I’m still missing some of my most anticipated movies. My worst 2019 movie was already part of the list, so I’m not talking about that again (hint: It’s Airplane Mode)
My biggest disappointment of the year might have been Triple Threat, which promised an all out action fest with Iko Uwais, Tony Jaa, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and more great b-movie action stars. Sadly that meant that barely anyone got the chance to shine, with Tony Jaa, Adkins and White having the most and best fights. Iko Uwais was completely wasted here, but what hurts most is how badly JeeJa Yanin was treated by the movie. Up until mid-movie she might hang out in the background, doing nothing, until she finally gets her moment. Though it’s literally a moment, as she got barely 30 seconds to show of her skills and then she’s already gone again.
It was also very odd to me, that The Fanatic got that much attention. It’s a really basic thriller, that no one would have talked about if not for Travolta’s ridiculous performance which outshines everything in the movie. He’s so incredibly bad in this that it raises the movie to another level. He alone makes the movie worth a watch. Well… and hearing Sawa talk with his kid about how damn awesome Limb Bizkit is.
When it comes to my favorites of the year, I don’t want to talk about the big hitters like The Lighthouse or Once Upon…, but more about the enjoyable fare, that fits to us and deserves a bit more attention. I already said how disappointed I was with Triple Threat, which made it an even bigger surprise that Avengement was absolutely fantastic. It’s basically an oldschool Guy Ritchie gangster movie with a bit more brutal action added. The action is great, the comedy really funny at times and Adkins gives one of his best performances. Definitely worth to check out
Ready Or Not is getting a bit attention at the moment and it absolutely deserves it, as it easily is one of my favorites of the year, no matter what. A horror-comedy about a family that made a deal with what might or might not be the devil, so they could build up their successful board-game empire. In exchange, they have to play a special card game whenever a new person enters the family. The new person has to draw a card and they play whatever game shows up, with one special card being a game of death. Our lead married into the family and exactly draws this card and now has to play a deadly game of hide and seek with the psychotic family. It’s funny and brutal, but more importantly, thanks to both Samara Weaving and Adam Brody, the movie got charming actors that give it heart. Loved it!
Lastly I want to give a short shoutout to Crawl, which was my first surprise of the year. It’s tense croc-horror, which we don’t get too often. I’d prefer Sam Raimi to finally direct another horror movie, but if he produces stuff like this I’m also going to be happy.
So what is there left to say? I had fun with 2019 and all the movies and shows I watched. I’m definitely continuing, but I won’t try to go even further. I know that if I overdo it, I might grow tired of movies at some point, as the same happened with video games and anime before. Hobbies I still enjoy, but don’t put as much time into as I did once did. Movies are much more important to me (and always were), so I don’t want that to happen. Still though, the new year has started and I’m not going anywhere, so movies will stay with me.
And what about the retrospect? I really had much fun writing this, but it was also a lot of work to write up all five parts. I’m not sure if I’d do this again next year, but instead will change things up a bit. So let’s use this last part for a small announcement of sorts (Defector Edit: Drum-roll please…).
Starting with this January, I will instead go with a monthly retrospect. This way I have a bit more time in between write-ups to go into a bit more into detail with the months on their own. Similar to this retrospect, I will again look at my favorites, the worst and oddest movies, and the big disappointments. And to keep those categories to the movies, I will introduce a fifth category for whatever else I might want to talk about. Maybe anime or a tv-show. Maybe a book. Maybe a video game.
With the monthly retrospect, I would also keep an end of the year thing going, but it would only be like this last part, a look back at the whole year.
So… that’s it for now from me. See you again for more retrospects through the year!