Battlefield Earth (2001)

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F*** me…

The good news: you have a hero – someone you nearly worship. This hero has inspired you in ways that you could never have anticipated. The example of this hero has kept you brave during the darkest times in your life. This hero’s legacy guides you and brings you comfort. When you feel weak or hopeless, you think of this mentor and find the wind you need to fill your sails.

Eventually, you are back on top. You use your new-found power and status to do a kindness: bring this hero’s dream to reality. Share this strength and vision with the world.

The bad news – and the news is VERY bad: this hero is famed con-man, domestic abuser, and kidnapper L. Ron Hubbard. Your stand-in in this fable? John Travolta.

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The Worst Song Ever Written

Love is a complicated subject. There are a wide array of meanings within the word. For instance, there is obviously a difference when I say “I love my lover”, versus “I love cherry Jolly Ranchers.” Incidentally, it would be really easy to add something snarky here, but I am going to pass on that. Anyway, as with many complicated subjects, it attracts many a crappy songwriter. It is oh, so very easy to fall from sentimentality to schlock.

As you can imagine, there was stiff competition for this one. Strangely enough, most of the competitors are from the 70s. I eliminated songs with the word “babe” or “baby” in the title, because there are so many and they were all low-hanging fruit.

This, unfortunately, left out the song “Baby I’ma Want You” by Bread, which tends to trigger dyspepsia in me. I also left out break-up songs, or songs about missing someone who is gone. I place those under the subheading “Whiny-pants songs.” No, the song has to be a tribute, or a declaration of love/adoration/unnatural attachment to the poor soul who is the focus of someone’s misplaced creepiness.

Without further blather, I present to you the worst love song ever written: Young Girl – a 1968 song by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. Here is the song on YouTube. This song was written by Jerry Fuller, who should have to register himself with the authorities. Why this song?

This song has what so many other crappy love songs have: Does it make one cringe? Yes. Does it stack cliches one after the other? Check. Is the music cheesy? Hoo boy! Even better, it has a horn section! But that is not what puts it over the top. It has something that none of the others I’ve considered has: pedophilia! 

This song is about a man who claims that the young girl in question is seducing him, so he has to chase her out before he changes his mind and has sex with a kid.

Lyrics:

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You’re much too young, girl

With all the charms of a woman
You’ve kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe
You’re old enough to give me Love
And now it hurts to know the truth, oh

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You’re much too young, girl

Beneath your perfume and make-up
You’re just a baby in disguise
And though you know
That it is wrong to be alone with me
That come on look is in your eyes, oh

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You’re much too young, girl

So hurry home to your mama
I’m sure she wonders where you are
Get out of here before I have the time
To change my mind
‘Cause I’m afraid we’ll go too far, oh

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You’re much too young, girl

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You’re much too young, girl

Young girl, get out of my mind

You see? It’s her fault for making this man want to sleep with a child! How dare she? And how dare I listen to this song again? The subject matter is horrible and the music is schmaltzy. The music is what I imagine Lawrence Welk would write if he wanted to take a stab at rock music and child porn in one blow. This is a song that most “baby boomers” should remember. My parents had the album. What were they thinking? And why didn’t Child Protective Services not swoop in?

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

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And here we are at last with what the Golden Turkey awards called the “worst film of all time.”

That’s right! Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s high/low point in glorious cinema! Here is where all of the lessons he learned from “Glen Or Glenda” and “Bride of the Monster” were completely ignored. This is the baseline for any measurement of terrible movies.

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Godzilla (1998)

In “If You Can’t Say Something Nice,” I try to take a work of “art” that is widely (and justifiably) scorned and try to see the bright side of things.

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Size might matter, but so does scale. Ha! A pun!

Ever hear of Maria Pitillo? There’s no reason why you should have. She was an up-and-comer, someone to look out for – in short, a future star. Her acting credits included “Chaplin,” “True Romance,” and “Natural Born Killers.” She was climbing up the system, getting larger roles and honing her camera presence. Then something tragic happened.

She was the leading lady in 1998’s “Godzilla.”

It drove her to TV roles. She fled mainstream blockbusters; or more to the point they fled her.

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