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The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst    by John Wilson order for
Official Razzie Movie Guide
by John Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I knew before I even started reading John Wilson's Official Razzie Movie Guide that it would be an entertaining read. I showed it to my roommate, expecting that he would get a kick out of the cover illustration, which is taken from the 1976 monster movie A*P*E depicting a guy in a bad gorilla costume flipping off the camera. I then proceeded to put the book in my review pile. A few minutes later I noticed my roommate on the couch laughing out loud - he was reading it. When I asked him what was so funny, he told me I'd have to read the book for myself. With this kind of enthusiasm from someone so highly opinionated, I knew John Wilson's book must be good, and I was not disappointed.

At an Oscar party at his home in 1981, John Wilson held the first annual 'Golden Raspberry Awards' 'Razzies', for short 'dis-honoring' the worst films of 1980. This year marks the 25th anniversary of these 'ill-lustrious' (a word Wilson frequently uses in describing some of the movies discussed in this book) awards, so what a fitting way to mark a milestone, with a book celebrating the hundred worst movies ever created. Since the Razzies were not created until 1981, many non-Razzie Award winning movies from previous decades are included in Wilson's collection - but just because they did not win any awards does not make them truly horribly hysterical to watch (or to read about).

Wilson gives a review of each of the worst movies, pointing out which scenes and performances a bad-movie-loving viewer should not miss. While these reviews prove to be formulaic when read consecutively, they demonstrate how much Wilson knows about movies, giving credence to his grievances. His writing, ribald with pithy puns, proves highly entertaining and had me smiling the whole way through. While not chuckling at Wilson's jokes, I was laughing at some of the idiotic plots that movie studios actually thought were serious dramas. Before reading The Official Razzie Movie Guide, I had only seen four movies discussed by Wilson (two of them on Mystery Science Theatre 3000). I now have a whole list of movies I plan to watch when I need a good laugh.

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