Ahead of the NZ Film Festival (which is full of excellent films), the Herald team decided to watch five of the worst films we could think to inflict on each other. First up, Siena Yates watches 1993 Australian "cult classic" Bad Boy Bubby.
First of all, let me be clear: I'm not by any means recommending this movie. But there is something about it that really kind of needs to be seen to be believed.
If you've ever wanted to watch a movie with this look permanently plastered to your face...
...Bad Boy Bubby is the film for you.
I made some notes while watching this, the first of which was just: "HOLY WTAF IS HAPPENING??!@!?#"
And that's pretty much my overall verdict.
Bubby is a grown, 35-year-old man, but he's been kept in a tiny apartment for his whole life and barely even knows how to talk.
His mum - because she's honestly one of the most awful characters I've ever seen - told him that outside their apartment the air is poisonous, and also ruled over him using the literal fear of God: "If the poison don't get you, God will".
She feeds him, washes him and dresses him. She also abuses him and makes him have sex with her. His idea of fun is playing with cockroaches and torturing his pet cat and sometimes, he goes full Norman Bates and dresses as his mum before pretending the cat is his "bubby".
Sidenote: I'm really worried about that cat. If anyone knows if that cat was looked after during filming, please let me know. Thanks.
Anyway. Norman - I mean Bubby's father - comes home after apparently being MIA for 35 years and Bubby figures out he can go outside. So he wraps everyone in Gladwrap - true story - and goes off on his merry way.
Out in the real world, he likes to grab women's breasts (because that's what his creepy mum used to make him do), while parroting quotes from his father: "You've got wonderful tits, Flo", and somehow, NONE of these women have a problem with it - one even takes him home with her.
There's some homophobia - "as long as he ain't a poofter... I'd disown him first"; some racism - "Who'd want to steal from a boong?"; a tonne of fat phobia and even some police brutality, presumably because... well, 1993.
There's a god awful prison rape scene, Bubby gets the life kicked out of him when someone (finally) takes umbrage with being felt up by a strange man on the street, and - don't ask me how, I'm still not sure - Bubby joins a band, starts a whole fandom movement, winds up at some kind of mental health/disability facility, gets a girlfriend, has kids of his own and settles down.
There's then this weird kind of "poignant" moment where the camera pans some sort of power plant to make the point that; hey, the air literally is poisoned after all. But it's not entirely clear what point it's trying to make - should Bubby have stayed home? Do we just pick the lesser of two poisons? Or is it that living life is worth it even if you have to breathe in poisonous air? I don't know. I don't know anything anymore.
Bubby became the frontman of a band, for crying out loud.
I mean, if you wanted to, you could likely read into all kinds of observations around mental health, crime, victim psychology, environmentalism, gender relations and even consumerism, but honestly, it's just...
We're doing this because having to watch bad movies is funnier than getting to watch good ones. But if you want to see better movies, check out what's going on at the NZ International Film Festival.