I’ll admit that I’ve never been a fan of Maxim magazine. For one, I find it unnerving that they can make photographs of clothed women seem lewd, and for two, I’ve never thought that reading something should result in me getting covered in Axe Body Spray samples. That stuff attracts raccoons. Uncool, man. For three, the only person I’ve ever known to have a subscription was a guy named Dale who was known at my university for his appreciation of Keystone Light and an extensive knowledge of rufies.
But because my stereotype of Maxim readers as unhip, Neanderthal frat boys wasn’t enough, they had to go and prove themselves cinematically illiterate. As if it were something to celebrate, Maxim posted up its list of the 25 Most Watched Movies as tabulated by a poll of their readers, and the results are depressing.
It’s not that any of the movies on the list are anything to be ashamed of. Ghostbusters, The Matrix and Die Hard are all fantastic, geek-worthy movies as are the other 23 on the list. It’s just that the list looks like the Netflix queue of a sixteen year old who, like the average Maxim reader, has never heard of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The oldest movie on the list is 1977′s Star Wars and 11 of the top 21 were all made after 1995. Even worse, the list is a companion piece to Maxim’s list of 300 movies to watch before you die. If the percentages are any indication (and they should be every indication) then the typical Maxim afficianado has approximately a shit ton of movies left to watch before he kicks the bucket. Luckily, since it would appear the typical Maxim buff is just now growing armpit hair, he – and it’s definitely a “he” – can look forward to 80 more years of life to get the job done.
In an effort not to come off as too much of a film snob, I’ll leave the outrage over flicks like Throne of Blood and Salo being unpopular at the door. Instead, I’d like to focus on the tragedy that is the long list of movies that, in a perfect world, should be defining Maxim’s readership. But isn’t.
Less Than 15% Had Seen:
The Last Picture Show, Three Days of the Condor, Duck Soup, The Searchers, Death Race, Sid and Nancy, True Grit, Jeremiah Johnson, Network and On the Waterfront.
Less Than 30% Had Seen:
Blue Velvet, Bullitt, High Plains Drifter, Chinatown, The Manchurian Candidate, There Will Be Blood, and Dog Day Afternoon.
Less Than 50% Had Seen:
Easy Rider, Evil Dead II, The Great Escape, Cool Hand Luke, Night of the Living Dead, The Dirty Dozen, This is Spinal Tap, Raging Bull, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Enter the Dragon, Taxi Driver, No Country For Old Men, The Road Warrior, Memento, and Dirty Harry.
This is just a sampling of the piss-poor showing. I can let a movie like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind slide without being watched. I get it. Experimental director using forced-perspective imagery to tell a science-fiction love story in reverse. It’s genius, but it’s weird, and it’s hardly something to discuss over the beer pong table.
But who are these people that haven’t seen Cool Hand Luke or Easy Rider? FTW? I won’t even get started on the fact that more people had seen Revenge of the Nerds than Godfather I or II. Either Maxim’s readership is the least manly readership on the planet or they just never go out to the movies. Seeing the amount of people that would even admit they’ve never seen Enter the Dragon makes me want to send every Maxim reader a free copy of the DVD and directions to a store where they might be able to purchase a set of testicles.
Feel free to peruse the list at your own risk. Once again, Maxim has proven itself to be the poor, unstylish man’s version of Playboy. In their defense, they have put together a fairly solid list of 300 movies that are must-sees. If you find yourself nodding along in agreement, count yourself a bit hipper than the average Maxim reader, and if you find yourself not recognizing the movies on the list, either lie and say you’ve seen them or don’t speak to anyone until you get a chance to add them to your shopping cart on your next Keystone Light run.