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146. Baby Geniuses – Summer of ’99 (-#23)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Luke Dunne, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, continuing our Summer of ’99 season, Bob Clark’s Baby Geniuses.

1999 was a great year for movies, with a host of massively successful (and cult) hits that would define cinema for a next generation. It was also home to some of the very worst: Wild Wild West, Jakob the Liar, Bicentennial Man. However, one bad movie towers about all the others. The Summer of ’99 season would not be complete without folding in the only film from that year to make the IMDb‘s storied Bottom 100 list.

Underneath a skyscraper in Los Angeles, there is nestled a terrible secret. A sinister laboratory is running grotesque experiments on children, hoping to crack open the key to universal knowledge. Only one person can stop them. One of these so-called “baby geniuses”, the self-described “Sly Man”, embarks on a rip-roaring race against time to stop the sinister machinations of his evil great aunt.

At time of recording, it was ranked 23rd on the Internet Movie Database‘s list of the worst movies of all-time.

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141. Escape Plan 2: Hades – This Just In (-#100)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and with special guests Babu Patel and Giovanna Rampazzo, This Just In is a subset of The 250 podcast, looking at notable new arrivals on the list of the 100 worst movies of all-time, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Steven C. Miller’s Escape Plan 2: Hades.

At time of recording, it was ranked 100th on the list of the worst movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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119. Race 3 (-#28)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Giovanna Rampazza and Babu Patel, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, Remo D’Souza’s Race 3.

They’re going back to the ra-aaa-ce. Caught in a violent gang war between two rival arms dealers, Sikander Singh must navigate a web of betrayal to find the truth and to see that justice is done. It’s about family.

At time of recording, it was ranked 28th on the Internet Movie Database‘s list of the worst movies of all-time.

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97. The Open House (-#58)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The Bottom 100 is a subset of the fortnightly The 250 podcast, a trip through some of the worst movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. The Bottom 100 is a special series of episodes that will be randomly interspaced with regular releases, covering the way in which the Internet Movie Database recently renovated their list of the worst movies ever made to include more populist fare.

This time Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote’s The Open House.

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Bottom’s Up: The IMDb Bottom 100 and the Art of Identifying “Worst” Movies…

Readers of the site might be aware that I co-host a weekly podcast called The 250 with my good friend Andrew Quinn, in which we pick a movie ranked on the Internet Movie Database as one of the best movies of all-time. It’s a dynamic and public list, which means that it covers a wide variety of films and tastes. In the part couple of months alone, we’ve covered everything from Mission: Impossible – Fallout to Battle of Algiers to Paper Moon to The Secret in Their Eyes to The Prestige. I’m very proud of the podcast, and a lot of the discussions that we’ve had on it.

Part of this podcast has also involved looking at the list that the Internet Movie Database maintains of the worst movies ever made. We originally planned to rotate through both lists in an even-handed manner; five episodes of the top two-hundred-and-fifty for two episodes of the bottom one hundred. Indeed, we cover a number of the bottom one hundred as part of the show; episodes like Crimea and United Passions. However, we moved away from covering the bottom one hundred because we found that the movies populating the list weren’t so much awful as just mind-numbingly dull; Lawnmower Man 2, Crossover.

However, something vaguely interesting happened in the middle of July. The Internet Movie Database made a change to their list of the one hundred worst movies of all time that radically revised the nature and composition of the list. Suddenly, a lot of the smaller and stranger titles disappeared. Fringe films like Space Mutiny, Die Hard Dracula, Invasion of the Neptune Men and Santa With Muscles were all wiped out in an instant, replaced by more familiar and recognisable films like Jaws 3D, S. Darko, Blair Witch II: Book of Shadows, The Wicker ManBatman and Robin and Fifty Shades of Grey.

The result was a list that was suddenly a lot more fun to talk about, composed of films that people had actually seen instead of disastrously bad cult curiosities. Indeed, one very small consequence of this change is that we’re actually going to try to get back into talking about these terrible movies on a semi-regular basis on the podcast, because the list is now populated with films that will engender more interesting discussions both about the films themselves and their larger cultural context.

At the same time, it raises larger questions about what we consider to be the “worst” films, how we rank and access bad cinema and what that actually means in the grander scheme of popular culture. The change implemented to the IMDb’s bottom one hundred list is a conscious attempt on the part of the organisation to answer these questions, to create a broad consensus about what it means to be the “worst” films ever made. It’s an intriguing effort, and arguably something very different from trying to pick the “best” films ever made.

After all, it’s broadly possible to forge something resembling a consensus on the best movies. Trying to identify the worst is a much more difficult proposition.

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