My friends and I have spent more than our fair share of evenings taking terrible B-Rated movies to task. From Jack Frost: Attack of the Mutant Killer Snowman to Terror Toons, we wasted so many vital minutes tearing apart holey plot lines and acting that was worse than a kindergarten kazoo recital. The worst part of it all was that it was voluntary. We could have pressed stop at any point but it was almost a badge of honor to have been able to sit through such schlock like Ed Wood’s Plan Nine from Outer Space. While we enjoyed completely trashing those schmaltz fests, I never liked any of them for one second.
But every once in a while, a movie comes along that has just the right amount of the various things that a production company can get wrong. D level actors, hacky dialogue, childish sight gags, and to top it off the movie doesn’t quite realize how bad it is. It’s that lighthearted lack of foresight in combination with the numerous other flaws that can turn a lump of coal into a diamond.
For me, that diamond can only be measured in Carrots.
Carrot Top (Scott Thompson-Prop Comic/Comedy Whipping Post) starred in a movie in 1998 that was so awful and unintentionally funny that it has become one of my all-time favorites. The movie is Chairman of the Board.
See, right from the start the movie is hilarious. It’s Chairman of the Board and the cover is Carrot Top surfing in a boardroom. Get it? Because he’s a surfer. Allow me to summarize the story.
Carrot Top plays Edison, a twenty-something, day-dreaming inventor whose life revolves around his wacky creations and hanging with his buds Ty (Mystro Clark-Lovespring International) and Zak (Jack Plotnick-Rubber). Edison and his friends are on the cusp of being evicted by their landlord (because Edison spent the rent money on one of his orange hair-brained ideas) when he happens upon Armand McMillan (Jack Warden-Problem Child) stranded on the side of the highway. Edison helps the old man and impresses him with his creativity while the Armand impresses Edison with his love of surfing.
Soon after, Edison receives a letter in the mail telling him that Armand passed away and that he is being left something in his will. As it turns out, Armand McMillan was the CEO of a fortune 500 company and decided to leave the company to Edison instead of his ne’er-do-well grandson, Bradford McMillan (Larry Miller-Ten Things I Hate About You). The company remains in Edison’s hands unless the stock plummets at which point Bradford takes over.
Naturally, Bradford doesn’t take kindly to some madcap misfit taking what he considered rightfully his, so he plots to sabotage Edison. Luckily, he makes friends with the rest of the board and catches his eye specifically on Natalie Stockwell (Courtney Thorne-Smith-Melrose Place). Will Edison lead the company to success with his inventions or will his inexperience give Bradford the opportunity to commandeer the company and sell it to their rival, Grace Kosik (Raquel Welch-One Million Years B.C.).
So, the plot is pretty generic and the actors are just known enough to have pretty quick recognition. But what makes the movie so funny is that it seems like none of them realize they are in a complete wet fart of a film. Would someone that looks like Courtney Thorne-Smith ever be caught dead dating someone that looks like the poster girl for recessive genes? Probably not. Would anyone ever wear a shirt that is also a lie detector that inexplicably can’t be removed by a grown man? Unlikely. But the writers, who were also responsible for such classics as Leprechaun 2 and Inspector Gadget 2, thought it made complete sense.
The sight gags are cartoonish and lame, the acting is hammy, and Carrot Top is unbelievable as an extra let alone a leading man. But that is what makes the movie great, it doesn’t seem to understand how bad an idea it was to make it. I liked this movie so much that I ordered it specifically from the vendor and waited 2-4 weeks for delivery to pay full price for a VHS copy of this movie. This may completely ruin your opinion of me but this movie takes each and every one of its flaws and submits them for Oscar nomination which is why it never fails to bring me out of a bad mood.
A movie doesn’t have to be Citizen Kane to be cherished. Not by me, anyway.