Weekend Roundtable: Most Embarrassing Movie in Your Collection

C’mon, be honest now. If you have any sort of movie collection, there’s no doubt at least one title you’d rather not admit to owning. We all have them. For this week’s Roundtable, it’s time to come clean.

Here’s a look at some of our shame:

Drew Taylor

  1. The Wicker Man‘ – Neil LaBute’s ‘Wicker Man’ remake is in my home video collection (on Blu-ray, no less) for complicated reasons. It was a heady mixture of coming across it at a very respectable price, the forethought that it would be a good long while before the unparalleled original would make its way to Blu-ray, and warm memories of watching the “highlight reel” (in which headstrong detective Nic Cage keeps screaming about bees) on YouTube. Bees or no bees, every time I come across it in my bi-weekly reshuffling of my collection, I feel a twinge of regret and, I’ll admit it, embarrassment. What if I bring over a sexy lady who has been enamored with my outstanding taste in film, and she starts scanning my collection? I’ll watch as her eyes sparkle as she counts the spine numbers in my Criterion section, then sink just as quickly when she comes across ‘The Wicker Man’ 2006: that misogynistic, sloppy, woe-begotten little film. If there’s a cinematic deal breaker (to borrow a phrase from Liz Lemon), then sure this must be it.

Josh Zyber

  1. Speed Racer‘ – In my defense, I didn’t actually buy this movie. I was sent a screener copy to review (a review that ironically didn’t get published). Of course, this begs the question of why, after having seen it, do I continue to hang onto the disc? I mean, honestly, I truly hated this movie. Watching it was like torture – seizure-inducing, Skittles-colored, monkey-feces-flinging torture. I should have traded off or given away this disc immediately after yanking it out of my Blu-ray player. And yet, there it is, still sitting on my shelf. Part of it is a little bit of perverse admiration for the Wachowski brothers for their audacity in convincing a studio to pony up $200 million for a movie as thoroughly godawful atrocious as this. Part of it is that, even though the movie is horrible, the Blu-ray sure does make some pretty eye candy. (As if I don’t have enough other, better eye candy discs already!) And part of it is some misguided belief that one random day I may need to entertain an eight-year-old child with terrible ADD, and this will be an easy way to keep him occupied for a couple hours. (I don’t currently know any eight-year-old children, but that day might come, maybe.) But mostly… No, there is no “mostly.” I have no excuses. I need to get rid of this thing.

Mike Attebery

  1. Martha Inc.‘ – This 2003 made-for-TV movie starring Cybill Shepherd follows the formative years of America’s most ruthless and crafty (get it?) home-keeping guru. Before she was a jet-setting multimillionaire (and occasional billionaire) corporate magnate, she was a frustrated housewife and sledgehammer-wielding weekend warrior with an unquenchable thirst for copper pots, money, and power. Like a ‘Mommie Dearest’ for the Crate and Barrel set, this campy, over-the-top account features what I’d argue is Shepherd’s best performance, set to a dramatically dark soundtrack that would make Bernard Herrmann jealous. When this one is over, you think the events you’ve just seen couldn’t possibly have taken place in real life. But boy oh boy, you sure hope they did. What’s more, after seeing this desperate, monomaniacal woman in action, angry and hungry for success, the most surprising thing is that you just might kind of like Martha all that much more. I did. That’s why I bought this DVD the day of its release!

Junie Ray

  1. From the Netflix queue, the most embarrassing thing is that we’ve had ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘ checked out and sitting in front of our TV for at least four months in purgatory – we haven’t been able to bring ourselves to watch it nor return it unwatched. In the VHS collection, ‘Titanic’. In the DVD collection, ‘Dukes of Hazzard’. I had to venture down to the basement to see what lurked in the Laserdisc collection. Behind some cobwebs I found ‘Cool World’. In the record collection, the Bay City Rollers. I’m both embarrassed and proud of that one at the same time. S-s-s-saturday Ni-height!

Finally, Dick here had a very peculiar idea of where to go with this topic.

Dick Ward

  1. Fitzcarraldo‘ – I have a big problem trying to pick something in my collection that I’m embarrassed about. Since I openly watch bad movies for fun, I don’t really get embarrassed about watching bad movies. I do get embarrassed about the movies I haven’t watched, though. I’ve had the legendary ‘Fitzcarraldo’ sitting in my house for months completely unwatched. I’m told it’s a must see. I know that when I do finally do put the disc in, I’ll love it. I’ve seen the documentary about it, ‘Burden of Dreams,’ and even a ‘Dethklok’ episode parodying it, but I just haven’t gotten around to watching Herzog and Kinski work together yet. In the meantime, I have watched ‘Heartbeeps,’ the new ‘Resident Evil’ picture, and ‘The Room’ for what must be the tenth time.

OK, now it’s your turn to ‘fess up. Tell us in the comments what movies you’re embarrassed to own.


  1. Shayne Blakeley

    I can’t say I’m embarrassed by anything in my collection really, despite some things universally considered to be truly awful. For instance I own the entire series of Degrassi Jr. High and High School and the movie. I’m more proud of this than anything. The only thing in my collection that I do consider a little shameful is dubbed vhs copies of the entire series run of Dawson’s Creek… Allow me to explain. Several years ago, my then girlfriend was hooked on the show and every morning would catch the next episode in syndication before we each went to work. Thus I was forced into the narrative and if there is one thing I can’t stand it’s loose ends in tv (thanks a lot Fox) problem was for some reason they kept repeating the same seasons and never finished the series, so in my frustration I bought recorded tapes of every episode so I could finish it. And there they sit in my closet, away from public view.

  2. I got a few, on all formats. Keep in mind, I don’t have kids, and I am a heterosexual single male.

    Laserdisc: Annie, The Little Rascals, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Ferngully, and Yanni: Live at The Acropolis.

    DVD: Carebears Movie 2, all 8 sesons of Full House, and every single Veggietales video made up til 2006. Also have a boxed set of the American Girls movies.

    HD-DVD / Blu-Ray: Kitt Kitridge, Happy Feet, Babel (This last one came free, I can’t get rid of it!)

    • Junie Ray

      Wow. Carebears 2?? I really need more of an explanation on that one.

      I hadn’t mentioned it, but that was the other embarrassing part of our collection…no kids, but a great array of kid’s movies.

      • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090799/

        I was six when the movie came out, and had a crush on the girl who was picked on (I was six, I didn’t know cartoons were not real). I bought it as an adult for nostalgia reasons when it dipped below $10.

        Also, for the longest, my neighbors down the street would have me watch their kids. There was a period between college and when I started the carrer where I had odd jobs here and there, so I was cheap babysitter. Also about that time, everyone in the family (except for me) started going into the baby-making business.

        So, your first impression of me is that I am a single guy with a bunch of kid movies, but there were reasons other than the fact that I just like them.

        Of course your second quesiton is probably who in their right mind would get a single male to babysit their kids this day and age. I think the answer to that was, they were desperate. 🙂

      • Wait until you start collecting kids movies in other languages! I LOVE Hilfe Ich Bin Ein Junge!, i have a DVD of a Priscilla concert (French preteen singer – at least at the time she was a preteen), and Sailor Moon R, S, and Super S movies. I should probably be embarassed by these, but I am not.

        Probably the worst movie I own is Fireproof. Remember, I am single – not even in a committed relationship (long story – put it shortly, girl I was going to marry passed away two years ago, I’m not over it yet). If you have ever seen Fireproof, its a good message, but MAN, is it BADLY made.

        I’m at home now, so did another quick look through my movies. I am wondering whether to be embarassed by Dickie Roberts. I also have like every incarnation of Alice In Wonderland ever made EXCEPT for Disney’s – can’t stand the Disney version! But, my biggest sin, the one that I actually blocked out, is I have an Olsen Twins movie on DVD! To make matters worse, I have all the rest of their movies in my Netflix Que and was actually watching Switching Goals while writing this. 🙁 If it was one of their newer movies, at least I could probably get off with saying that they are hot now, but they are like 10 in that movie – I have absolutely NO excuse for watching this. I think I am going to go watch Ladybugs when this is over.:-(

  3. HuskerGuy

    From memory and considering only blu-ray titles, I’ll go with the Twilight titles I have. I bought them for the wife, honest!

    I’m sure I’ve got a few questionable dvds, but nothing is jumping out at me right now.

  4. don’t feel bad about owning Annie. i was 9 when that movie came out knew nothing about it except the previews looked cool. saw the movie twice that summer. twice. the first time i saw by myself. grew up straight. although the second time the theater had this great standee of Friday the 13 th in 3D and the blood moved. so cool.

  5. Junie, if the most embarassing thing in your collection is the last Indiana Jones film, that must be a pretty impressive collection you have. Are you sure there’s not a copy of The Phantom Menace hiding under the couch?

    • Junie Ray

      That’s the worst in the Netflix queue…I’m sure there are plenty of other things lurking in my closets. Come to think of it somewhere I have a copy of my audition tape for the Real World Season 2. Yikes.

  6. Jane Morgan

    My only embarrassment was this. Once my grandma was browsing my dvd collection and pulled out a movie to read the back. She struggled with her glasses, then saw the pictures. She put it back on the shelf, and avoided direct eye contact for about an hour.

    The movie… The Dreamers.
    (A gift from my husband, our first holiday together.)

    The following year, we gave grandma a copy via secret santa, which she opened in front of the entire extended family. Of the thirty relatives present, twenty-seven were uncomfortable. Thankfully, my sister captured the moment on video.

  7. Nathan

    I have an extensive collection of movies connected to “The Ring” including the Japanese versions, korean remake, Japanese tv show, and… The parody gay porn. I had to have ALL things connected to the series. Do I win?

  8. Patrick A Crone

    Transformers 2 and AVATAR. Both movies are just plain bad. Yet I own them both. In my defense I own them as demo films. Okay that’s actually a weak argument. If I was a HD TV salesman I could justify owning them. The truth is I am a collector first and a film lover second.

  9. Uhm the movie Kids. I bought it a few years back thinking it would be interesting, this was without watching any trailers or reading plot etc..just from what the back said. I can say i was pretty disturbed after watching it. Other movies would include Shoot ‘Em Up, 28 Weeks Later, Reno 911 movie, Funny Games, Starsky & Hutch movie. I think that about sums up all of my dvds i don’t bother with and sort of regret buying. I’m pretty happy with the rest of my growing library however.

  10. Art

    I can’t believe I am admitting this but here goes…Spanglish. I should not like it, but I see a chemistry between Sandler and Vega, and when Sandler and Leoni don’t overact, it has it’s moments.

  11. Joe

    I am totally embarrassed to report that I own a blu-ray disc of MEET THE SPARTANS! The reason why is even MORE embarrassing…… I’m IN the goddam thing! I am one of the dirty old toga’d “senators” who advise Carmen Electra (on what -not- to wear!) Unfortunately I did not get to say one of the egregiously dirty and utterly non-funny lines directed at MS Electra by some of my co-senators. Had I gotten a word in, I’d have been paid about 800 bucks more than I was for the day!! Arghh!

    There! I’ve confessed! I feel better now. Yes….I own MEET THE SPARTANS— in Blu-Ray, no less!
    Oh! I never watch the movie…only show the cover to friends who understand my desparation for stardom– even as I continue to age..gracefully.

  12. besch64

    I’m not truly embarrassed of anything. I suppose I don’t own any legitimately bad movies (aside from Zombie Strippers, which is awesome).

    But if the question is “what movie purchase do you regret the most,” then I will say Juno. I bought it back before I ever saw it based on positive word of mouth and a passing fancy I had for those quirky kind of movies. I don’t hate, or even really dislike the movie by any means. But I will definitely never watch it again and I wish I could get my money back (it was the $20 collector’s edition no less).

    Also, Speed Racer is one of my most prized possessions. Not only is the picture on the BD perfect, it’s a great, fun movie. And I hate the W brothers.

  13. I was out of town when this question went around, so I missed out on being in the Roundtable proper, but I can still go ahead and post my pick here.

    A few years back, a friend of a friend was nosing through my collection, and every so often, he’d excitedly pull out a DVD and gush about it. The arrow through the neck in “Sleepaway Camp”, the scarf through the motorcycle spokes in “Happy Birthday to Me”…that sort of thing. There was an awkward pause at one point. “Adam,” he asked, “why do you have a copy of ‘Soul Plane’ on DVD?” Another awkward pause. “Adam, why do you have *two* copies of ‘Soul Plane’ on DVD?”

    One was the R-rated theatrical cut, and the other was unrated. At least I get to blame writing reviews for that.

    I have a bad habit of grabbing the worst of the worst to review, so my collection’s filled with stuff like Manilow Live!, Norbit, Marmaduke, and The Love Guru, along with stuff you probably oughtta be thankful you’ve never heard of.

  14. Daniel O'Reilly

    Ward, you need to watch Fitzcarraldo. And Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

    I thought my collection was practically blemish free until I landed on Navajo Joe. I bought it because the I liked the tracks used in Kill BIll Volume 2, sat through it once, and tried to watch again to see if I might like it more, but I didn’t. Poor Burt Reynolds thought he was going to be making a Sergio Leone film, but it wasn’t even close.

  15. DieHard

    Being a film connoisseur first and foremost, I’m hard pressed to say I’m really ’embarrassed’ by anything in my massive collection. I own many movies considered horrible by film critics and the general public alike. I own many Disney and other childrens movies (without kids). I own many movies I wish I had never bought, some of which I truly wish I had never even watched. And to top it all off, some of those I have in multiple formats and versions. (I own every single different version of Showgirls on both formats and I have actually always liked the film…but I’m not embarrassed by that.) Out of everything I own, probably the only movies I am actually embarrassed about other people seeing I own are the entire line of “Married People, Single Sex” videos. Not exactly the kinds of titles family like to see in your collection…

    I would tend to agree that I’m also more embarrassed about the films I own (and have owned for a very long time) and still have not gotten around to watch. Salo (the original extremely rare Criterion misprint) being at the top of that list. Other great films like Maniac, Ran and Casablanca (which I saw when I was very young but haven’t watched again since reaching an age I can appreciate it) are also ones I need to finally sit down and watch sometime soon. My excuse for Maniac is that it is the limited-edition tin case and I don’t want to unwrap it just to watch it, but with the blu-ray fast approaching I won’t have any excuse then. Ran and Casablanca I just haven’t gotten to yet, although now that I own both on blu-ray as well, it has stimulated me to attempt to make time for them.

  16. I’m a lady, so I seem to collect a lot of musicals. My most embarrassing – Grease 2 and Xanadu – you know the Joel Silver produced musical that killed the genre in the 80’s – which I love to death and simply cannot explain why!

  17. EM

    I try to be careful in choosing the movies in my library, and so I’m not embarrassed by my selections, however lowbrow other people might consider some of them to be. I am a little embarrassed, nevertheless, by the sheer number of times some movies appear within my library. I am not a complete packrat: sometimes I have acquired an upgraded edition of a movie and discarded the earlier edition. But sometimes I do keep multiple editions of the same movie, for various reasons (differing special features, different cuts, Blu-ray/​DVD compatibility issues…). This is probably not a record among the Bonus View crowd, but I think the film purchase that appears the most in my collection is “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, with 4 (original 2000 DVD release, 2002 director’s cut DVD, and DVD and Blu-ray editions of “Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection”). Actually, I have even more iterations of the Lon Chaney “Phantom of the Opera”: I bought it only three times, but some purchases contained multiple editions, for a total of 6 iterations of the movie in my collection. It’s overkill, but fortunately I’m not embarrassed by “Phantom” or “Khan” in and of themselves.

    • I got you beat! I have ST2 on VHS, Laserdisc, the 2 DVD versions, and Bluray. I didn’t know that owning multiple versions of Star Trek 2 was something to be embarrased about.

      Actually, see many people listing movies I own. Never been embarrased by most of them. 🙂

      • EM

        It seems you have me beat by just one. I used to own “ST2” on VHS but gave it away after acquiring it on DVD. 🙂 (Never had all five iterations at once, though.)

  18. well, i was finally able to get rid of 9 songs on blu-ray, so…that’s one down. i’ve never owned the dreamers. i did have both fritz the cat films on dvd.

    i’m not embarrassed by this one bit, but i know some people would be: i own almost every UWE BOLL film put on blu-ray. i don’t care where i have to import them from, and if they’re region b locked (so long as they aren’t 1080i/50, i can play them). hell, just last nite when i was sick and couldn’t review, i watched house of the dead. HOUSE. OF. THE. DEAD. seriously. i love Boll, though, even if he’s an egomaniac douche. his films are just so fucking awesome. anyone can make a bad film, but few can do it as convincingly as mister video-game movie himself.

    i will not rest until my Boll collection is complete. any country, any time, any film. if it’s Boll and i don’t have it on Blu, i’m buying. hell, i may even rebuy if i can find Region A friendly copies of b-locked titles, or an uncut version of Rampage.

    • Well I’m right there with ya, I’m a Boll lover as well, cant get enough of the bad, cheesy and over the top greatness that he puts to celluloid every time…I have House of the Dead, Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, Rampage, Dungeon Siege (directors cut Bluray of that one), but I’m missing a few, I’ve yet to watch Farcry which is on my Netflix queue, gotta get to that….

      I have a great time with his flicks, but I love my cheese, Full Moon movies, Troma movies, anything but Asylum though, cannot STAND ANY of their movies, not funny, not cheesy and they take themselves way too serious to pull anything off well, I would be surely embarrassed if I had one of their movies in my collection

      If I had to pick anything I would say its the Director’s Cut of Pearl Harbor (that 4 disc set), god thats one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen and as much of a fan of Michael Bay I am, that is one of the biggest pieces of crap I’ve ever witnessed, AT LEAST the director’s cut adds some great extended battle sequences and gore….but thats the only redeeming value in this one, I hate it 🙂 But my wife didnt, so there ya go

  19. Scott H

    For me,and I only bought it cause it was marked down a great deal, was Snakes on a Plane. That movie is so ridiculously dumb but some of the kills by the snakes are pretty funny, and then there is that great line said by Samuel L Jackson

  20. CLARKETRON3000

    I too enjoy bad movies… but some are just too bad. It’s not worth getting into the kids movies that I’ve got, because kids have no taste apparently (*cough*elmo*cough*). My wife’s movies don’t really count either – Xanadu anybody?

    So for my movies, I think I’ll have to go with “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”, co-written by Roger Ebert. Seriously, how do you manage to work in the line “You will drink the black sperm of my vengeance”? And the part when the guy jumps from the rafters and they actually put in an airplane crashing sound effect. Okay, part of me enjoys this movie. But it’s still embarrassing.

  21. RollTide1017

    It is in my collection only by relation, my wife is the one who bought it: From Justin to Kelly.

    I’m not embarrassed by it but most consider it a very bad movie but, I have now bought Cutthroat Island 3 times. Once on VHS, once on DVD and now on Blu-Ray. I don’t know why but, I enjoy that movie.

  22. Ku98Grad

    I’ll go with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I cannot make it through that God-awful piece of trash without falling asleep. I saw it twice in the theatres (IMAX the sacond time, didn’t help) and then for some inexplicable reason I bought it when it came out on Blu. I hate that movie, and I actually enjoyed the first one. I don’t know why, but about an hour in I’m asleep, everytime. It could be the incomprehensible plot (if there is one), the long boring stretches in which nothing happens, or just the fact that that movie is amazingly bad from start to finish. In any case, I live in shame with the knowledge that I have spent forty dollars on a movie that bad.

  23. Anyone else have movies that you actually bought on a format, just to have it set on your shelf, unopened? Got movies in Laserdisc, DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray unopened. Babel was already one I mentioned. I gave away my DVD of Dumbo about two months ago because I was hardpressed to find a last minute gift for a kid’s party, and I had it unopened for about 3 years. I don’t think I ever opened 300. My copy of Lion King on Laserdisc remains unopened because I already had it on DVD when I acquired it. And I still have Santa Clause 3 on Blu-Ray unopened, cause I bought it in January. That one at least will probably get opened in about a week.

    Never opened Black Rain, and Apollo 13 on HD-DVD still sitting in its original shrink wrap – I just acquired it a few months back, about a week after I watched it on Laserdisc. Pirates of the Caribean 2 and 3 are still in their shrink wrap – not that I don’t like them, just haven’t had time to sit down and have my Pirates marathon. Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind and Logan’s Run have been sitting on the shelf for months still wrapped – I got them from Netflix originally, and ended up buying the movies from the Amazon deal of the day.

    Hey, Josh, that may be a topic for a future discussion – do you have any movies sitting on your shelf that you have never opened.

  24. Callenby

    I bought “The Hurt Locker” based off of the Oscar buzz. When I watched it, I wasn’t disappointed.

    I worked on an Army post, and found out not mention it publicly because of how totally unrealistic or inattentive to detail the movie was. As an action movie, it’s one of the best, but, unlike how critics praised it, was not the most realistic war film of the modern age.

    I also own “Swordfish,” which I bought as part of a pack of Warner Bros. blu-rays. That is a god-awful movie that even a topless Halle Berry cannot buoy into mediocrity. If I ever want to find out whether CDs and blu-rays react differently in the microwave, I will definitely test out “Swordfish.”