Though I’ve already used this space to sing the praises of Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly’s “Destroy All Movies : The Complete Guide To Punks On Film”, our extended Xmas break provided me with additional opportunities to get stuck into this impressive reference manual. There’s amazing factoids and brutal critiques on almost every page (the turgid Arye Gross college radio star vehicle, “A Matter Of Degrees” is dismissed as “the emotional trials of a guy who looks like he’s been in school longer than Archie”) and best of all, many introductions to cinematic sludge only the insane or truly obsessed would already know about.
Case in point, 1998’s kiddie film. “The Purple People Eater”, described by Connolly as “the strangest E.T. rip-off of them all” (and this is coming from a man undoubtedly familiar with “Mac & Me”). “Is this the only film based on a novelty song?” Well, that depends whether not you consider C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” a novelty song. But either way, it might be the worst film ever based on a novelty song. In addition to the cast mentioned in the above trailer, “The Purple People Eater” also features a pre-“Dougie Howser” / “Starship Troopers” Neil Patrick Harris, a pre-parental flipout Thora Birch, and inexplicably, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who might have the weirdest filmography of any professional athlete not named Todd Zeile.