by Michael Sauter
They don’t hand out Oscars for Worst Picture, but if they did, would Showgirls beat Waterworld for 1995’s bottom honors? Is contemplating the wretchedness of bad movies a little twisted?
Maybe, but it’s also wicked fun in this roundup of Hollywood’s most execrable efforts. Sauter, a freelance writer and film critic, doesn’t offer much fresh insight, but he gleefully dissects such “megaton bombs” as the 1982 Moonie-backed mess Inchon, the 1980 roller-disco dud Xanadu and the self-indulgent, four-hour (culled from 500 hours of footage) Heaven’s Gate, a 1980 movie that plunged so deeply into the red it helped to sink a studio.
After trawling through so much trash, you want to rush out and rent Citizen Kane, just for assurance that movies are indeed an art form; though it might be more fun to call friends and snicker at Ishtar all over again. (Citadel, $16.95)