Top 10 So Bad They're Good Genre Flicks!
Damn, doesn't it seem like the summer blockbuster season starts earlier and earlier with each passing year?!? Here were are, it's only mid-May, yet we're already plunged dick deep in the time of mega-studio-tent-poles. Oh well, you know what that means, right? Yup, this where the so-bad-they're-good candidates of the year typically rear their ugly little heads. Off the dome, that Sandler flick BLENDED might have a shot, though his films are just plain despicable at this point, aren't they? Brett Ratner doing HERCULES strikes me has having oh-so-bad-it's-good potential, as does TMNT, EXPENDABLES 3 and even SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. You just never know. So unpredictable film by film, yet so predictable in that there's always a Razzie contender or two released between May and September. It's as constant as gravity. Or Chris Brown smacking a broad. And like always when we notice a trend, it gets the old wheels spinning. We'll pose it to you like this, what are your all time favorite So Bad They're Good Genre Flicks? Well, jump above to find out what we think what our Top 10 are!
One cannot hold a legitimate discussion of all time so-bad-it's-good cinema without making mention of the master of such schlock...Mr. Ed Wood. So consider this a tip of the cap to the progenitor (along with maybe William Castle), as we salute the abysmal PLAN 9 FROM OUTERSPACE. Have you ever seen this flick? Holy hell is it atrocious! Yet in precisely the manner which defies you to turn it off. It's nearly impossible to do so. It's like watching two trains hissing full speed towards each other from opposite directions, and you know only a matter of time before they collide, crash and burn-up in a thick plume of black smoke. You have to see how it all plays out, despite the predictability. Well, that's essentially Ed Wood's career in a nutshell, a theme you can explore in far greater detail via his own filmography, as well as his pseudonymous Tim Burton movie.
Come on now, how are you gonna call your movie JASON TAKES MANHATTAN yet my man Voorhees spends two thirds of the picture on a goddamn barge? Insanity! Often cast aside as the runt of the longstanding FRIDAY THE 13TH series, the eighth installment was deemed so terrible upon release it basically put a screeching halt to a factory-line output of what, a new sequel a year? Hell, Paramount dumped the property after JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, didn't they? All that to say we've always held a soft-spot for the flick, as I'm sure many of you do. It's so entertaining in its inferior quality, especially comparing it to the halcyon Voorhees days of say, 1981-1986. I mean, what's not to love here? You've got Kelly Hu's sexy ass on the dance-floor, that sweaty sleaze-bag teacher who gets his gruesome comeuppance, the toxic sludge that reverts Jason back into a deformed baby, and of course, Voorhees literally knocking that dude's block off, Tyson style, from the roof a Manhattan skyscraper. Shite's too good!
A running joke around here at AITH for the longest time was this, M. Night's THE HAPPENING is the equivalent of cinematic autism. It means well, but it's not all there. In fact, you're likely to find yourself drooling once the credits roll. Hell, even capable actors like Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo and Zooey Deschanel appeared to be hit hard on the head, they looked so abjectly incredulous throughout the whole thing. Just completely dumbfounded in way you can sense is more than life imitating art. Come to think of it, have any of those actors worked with Shyamalan since? Didn't think so. All that said, THE HAPPENING is like that fatal 12-car pileup you just can't avert your eyes from, no matter how cringe-worthy the damage may seem. Sure, you may walk away lobotomized after seeing it, but sometimes you have to makes sacrifices.
Chuck. Fucking. Norris. You're halfway home right there! How many of you have seen the 1994 Norris action-horror yarn HELLBOUND? F*cking bonkers, right? Let's run it down for the uninitiated. The Chuckster finds his way to Israel (yes Israel!), where he and his police partner Jackson are investigating the grisly slaughter of a local rabbi. Only problem is, it's not a man that's responsible for the killing, but instead a supernatural phantom stalking the night. Jackson and Shatter (Norris) must hunt this odious roaming vapor down, try to corner or capture it, and put the sumbitch down for good. But how the hell do you shoot a ghost? Sublimely stupid yet undoubtedly entertaining, HELLBOUND deserves to be ranked side by side with Norris' 80s extravaganza INVASION U.S.A. I mean, look at that stiff kick to the nuts up top! Unfortunately, this would be the last film Norris did for The Cannon Group, as the company basically went bankrupt immediately after releasing this picture.
GARBAGE DAY-AYYYY!!!!! How in the hell did a single line from an otherwise utter trash-heap of a horror sequel live on ad infinitum? Wow! Such is certainly the case with Ricky, the wildly unhinged psycho-serial-killer avenging his brother's death in SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2. What's so amusing about the sequel, aside from such a random line being spouted right before firing a bullet at a neighbor holding up a trashcan lid, is that the film really only features about an hour of original material. The rest of the 88-minute runtime is merely comprised of flashbacks from the original, tons of them, and then a post-credits intro of the entire cast and crew from BOTH films. F*cking hilarious! Word is the entire plot of Part 2 were derived from ideas intended for the original, but ultimately got cast aside. All of this just adds to the inherent I-can't-believe-how-bad-this-is quality.
Looks like we need to make some room for the new kid on the block. And by kid, I of course refer to the unthinkable offspring between a massive hurricane system and a voracious school of sharks. Good god! One question, why the hell is it called SHARKNADO then...you know, if it's a hurricane? Oh, shame on me, why question anything regarding this totally laughable, IQ-dropping, massively entertaining SyFy mash-up. Just get sucked up in this big dumb bastard and roll with it! I mean, Steve Sanders from 90210 and that toeless blonde bitch from THE BIG LEBOWSKI...equipped with cheaper animated FX than an early South Park episode? What more do you need? SHARKNADO took the masses by storm when it dropped in the summer of '13, creating a massive social media frenzy. The flick became so profitable for SyFy it immediately announced a sequel, SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE, which looks to do similar business this July.
Paint me partial if you'd like, after-all, BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR was filmed in and around my home town. Be that as it may, there's such a genuinely palpable sense of naive enthusiasm in director James Nguyen, that you can't help but be charmed by the spirit put forth. Currently rocking a 1.9 rating on IMDB, I believe the lowest rated flick on our list, BIRDEMIC is essentially one long, 90-minute tutorial on everything NOT to do when making a move. So cheap, cheesy and cartoonish are the CG birds that it's virtually impossible to take even remotely seriously. Still, the amusement factor is sky-high for that very reason, it's so ineptly made and so operatic in its broadness, it plays like a f*cking Ed Wood movie for crying out loud! Too bad the 2013 sequel, BIRDEMIC 2: RESURRECTION, failed to recapture the charm of the original.
Tommy Wiseau has become known as the Orson Welles of unspeakably terrible movies, with THE ROOM forever cemented as his CITIZEN KANE. In fact, THE ROOM is so incredibly awful that it's become a worldwide cult-hit, playing at midnight shows for rabid fans quick to revel in the ridicule. It's one of those movies so bad it defies description of such, instead having to be seen to be believed. I mean, no one in their right mind could accidentally make a movie this bad, right? Oh yes...yes they can! Seriously, you know you've achieved memorable status when James Franco makes a narrative account about how bad your movie is, as he's been reported to do with THE ROOM. Sure, it's not quite a genre film on the surface, but the execution of this indie romantic drama and unintentional comedy is beyond horrific. Hypnotic in how mind-bogglingly bad the film is!
Guilty as charged, I not only watched JAWS: THE REVENGE like 50 times on VHS as a kid, I did so in a non-ironic, non-guilty-pleasure sort of way. Had to. That said, I actually consider it these days a better overall movie than its predecessor, JAWS 3D. Sure, the premise of a vengeful shark out for the Brody family blood is beyond ludicrous...just stupefying beyond belief...as is the climax when the shark leaps out of the water, stands up on its tail and roars like a goddamn Kodiak! WTF?!? Not asinine enough for you? How about a Great White Shark roaming the Bahamas for fresh flesh? The Bahamas! The follies are innumerable, for sure, but damn is this flick entertaining in its ineptitude. Van Peebles' dreadful accent, Michael Caine's ghastly little S-curl, Lorraine Gray's over the top hysterics...and of course, the mystifying alternate ending where, depending on the cut, Van Peebles either lives or dies. Not for nothing in this non-sequitur, but I maintain the opening nighttime kill is as good as any in the series (save for Quint!)
NILBOG!!! Articulated perfectly in the 2009 documentary BEST WORST MOVIE, TROLL 2 has to be seen to be believed...it's that entertainingly awful! First off, it bears no ties whatsoever to the original TROLL movie, a fact Italian director Claudio Fabrigasso still hasn't realized, as he clearly can't differentiate between a troll and a goblin. Be that as it may, as a child of the 80s, this happens to be one of those movies that would run all the time, late night even, on HBO through the early 90s. I remember watching it alone one day and thinking I was either dreaming or hallucinating...there was just no way in hell my brain could accept what my eyes were showing me. Shite f*cked me up...f*cked me up good! Worse yet, anytime I tried to mention the movie to someone, they'd leer at me askance. I was trapped. It wasn't until the internet age I learned what a legion of likeminded fans also had a weird, almost psychedelic nostalgia for such a bizarre movie.