Basically, “Hot Tub Time Machine” could not have tried any harder to lower expectations based on their title alone. It’s the butt of its own joke. Oh, so if you get trashed in this mystical hot tub, you’ll magically be transported to this decade when you first screwed up your future and have the chance to change everything? Isn’t that kind of a liability? Regardless of the absurdity, or certainly in thanks to it, “Hot Tub Time Machine” has already received the biggest honor available in popular culture: a “30 Rock” reference. So, it deserves a modicum of respect. Plus, it’s definitely one of the top ten “Awesomely Bad Movie Plots” ever … the other winners of this award will be presented after the jump.
- “Snakes on a Plane.” In order to kill a trial witness, a gangster fills a plane’s cargo hold with venomous snakes. In order to ensure snake attacks, the passengers (leaving from Hawaii) are given leis sprayed with special attack pheromones. People die. Samuel L. Jackson yells a bunch, and after an emergency landing, the witness gets bit in the chest by a flying snake and Jackson shoots it. The witness survives and brings Jackson to Bali to teach him how to surf. Seriously.
- “The Butterfly Effect.” Based on the scientific theory that something as seemingly inconsequential as a butterfly’s wing flap can change the course of history, Ashton Kutcher suffered childhood traumas and figures out he can travel in time from reading his old journals. So he goes back to fix things and save his childhood sweetheart (Amy Smart). Depending on the changes he makes, he comes back in totally different situations (prisoner, amputee, frat boy, etc.) but realizes this time travel is what caused his childhood blackouts and his time traveling/new memories causes brain damage. In the end he scares away his one true love so they never knew each other, and he destroys his journals.
- “I Know Who Killed Me.” This movie is a great reminder that if you’re having really weird memories and feel like you have a split personality, you might just have a stigmatic twin you didn’t know about and could be suffering sympathetic resonance from her plights and from the crazy serial killer who’s cutting her apart very slowly over time. And if you can track down his den and kill the guy, you can have your very own stripper twin sister, just like Lindsay Lohan! What?
- “MAC and Me.” A “Mysterious Alien Creature” (MAC) escapes from the evil NASA dudes in order to make friends with a wheelchair-bound boy. They spend the movie looking for MAC’s family and blatantly advertising Coca-Cola, Skittles, Sears and, most of all, McDonald’s. The highlight of the movie is a 10-minute dance number outside of a McDonald’s, starring Ronald McDonald as himself. That’s one way to finance a movie!
- “Jaws: The Revenge.” In the third sequel to “Jaws,” the main character from the previous movie has died from a heart attack and his widowed wife, Ellen, lives with their son, Sean. Sean is suddenly killed by a great white, so Ellen bails and goes to the Bahamas to stay with her other son Michael’s family. Then that jerk shark shows up … and is totally preying just on their family. Because it totally knows who they are and was capable of swimming across the globe, to a place where there are no great white sharks just to mess with them. ‘Cause that’s what sharks do. They’re the bullies of the sea.
- “Old Dogs.” I don’t think the trailer for this movie made it clear how ridiculous it actually was. Basically, Dan (Robin Williams) has to take care of kids he didn’t know he had when his ex-wife goes to prison for environmental activist activities. The kids have to stay with Charlie (John Travolta) since Dan’s building doesn’t allow children and the guys are supposed to close a business deal in Tokyo. The kids switch their prescription drugs. Hijinks ensue. The guys drop the Tokyo deal to go to the kid’s birthday at the zoo and end up in the gorilla enclosure; Dan steals a jet-pack and flies to the party. Why, oh why do these things sound like a good idea?
- “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” A spoof of B movies, “Killer Tomatoes” opens with a woman being cornered by a thrown-out evil tomato. More tomato-related deaths ensue involving killer tomato juice, swimming tomatoes, and biting tomatoes. A specialist named Mason Dixon wears various disguises to trick the tomatoes and somehow figures out that the song “Puberty” love causes them to shrink and die. The movie ends with a carrot rising from dirt and saying, “All right, you guys. They’re gone now.” I gave up V8 juice for a year after watching this movie. For reals.
- “Joe’s Apartment.” You might not know this about cockroaches, but they are totally capable of speech, song, and dance. Joe (Jerry O’Connell) figures this out when he moves into a filthy New York apartment in a building that is to be demolished by a mean senator and meets thousands of cockroach friends who scare away the thugs trying to man-arm the tenants. Joe falls for the senator’s daughter who’s trying to build a community park next door, but the roaches scare her away and their apartment and park are burned down. Then the roaches feel bad and get the rats and pigeons to help them make a giant garden and fill out paperwork preventing the senator from turning it into a prison. The moral of the story is: don’t clean up because someday your cockroaches will be your friends and will save everything. Maybe.
- “Howard the Duck.” There’s a planet in the galaxy where humanoid ducks live parallel lives to humans, and when Howard the Duck is accidentally sucked to Earth, he falls for a struggling rock star named Beverly (Lea Thompson). While trying to get Howard back to his planet, an evil demon posses a scientist and tries to kill everything and Howard almost does it with Beverly. It’s maybe one of the best movies ever.