As you can probably guess by now, I’ve seen a LOT of movies! I love all genres and styles. The issue with seeing so many films is that…well…they can’t all be good. Many of them are downright awful! But sometimes you get that rare breed: a movie that’s so bad, it comes out all the way on the other side and becomes…awesome!
I scoured my memory of personal taste and compiled a list of some of these gems for you. Every film on this list has such a special place in my heart in that I’ve seen them each at least five times. If you’ve never seen any of these, you MUST check them out and experience the joy for yourself!
1) Alligator (1980) – We’ve all heard that urban myth about baby alligators getting flushed down the toilet and ending up in the sewers and growing to immense proportions, haven’t we? Well, in this film we get to see that very same legend played out with deadly results! A huge and hungry alligator that suffered the aforementioned fate escapes the sewers and wreaks havoc on downtown Chicago. Wackiness, of course, ensues. It’s really just an attempt to remake “Jaws” on land but you can’t ask for better cheesy horror than this!
2) Krull (1983) – This one is a childhood fantasy/adventure favorite. I didn’t realize how bad the acting was until I re-watched it as an adult, however. The story is simple: an alien monstrosity has invaded a beautiful planet that looks like medieval England for some reason and kidnaps a beautiful princess. Our hero, Colwyn sets out to rescue her. Along the way, friendships are made, magic is used and abused and everyone acts as though they are performing Shakespeare! The highlight is the use of the amazing weapon, The Glaive! I can hear my eight-year-old self squee-ing already!
3) House (1986) – A fun and crazy mixture of monster movie horror and wacky comedy…for the most part. A Vietnam veteran and horror novelist inherits his dearly departed, eccentric aunt’s house. Everything is great until his young son disappears…and the next door neighbor turns into a goblin…and monsters burst out of the closet.
4) Big Trouble In Little China (1986) – Kurt Russell at his cheesiest and Kim Cattrall trying desperately to be taken seriously! Kurt plays a beer-swilling, home-grown philosophy spewing truck driver who, along with his Chinese friend, Wang, SOMEHOW get caught up in a mystical Chinese gang war. Girls get kidnapped and need to be rescued. A sorcerer needs defeating before he can…do…something bad. There are monsters and magic and martial arts and I swear there’s a cameo by Raiden from Mortal Kombat! And through it all Kurt Russell just won’t shut the hell up!
5) Hide and Go Shriek (1988) – Okay, let’s start with the cheesy, schlock, 1950’s title. Really, y’all? Do you know how hard it is to tell someone you liked a movie with a title like this?! ANYWAY…this is the, um, story of a bunch of horny teenagers (go figure) that have a slumber party in a department store. Where are you going?! There’s more! In between bouts of screwing, they decide to play a rousing game of (you guessed it) Hide and Go Seek. Stop rolling your eyes and listen! On top of all this, there’s a serial killer who happens to be gay for some reason that picks them off one by one. Damn, I just rolled MY eyes at that one.
6) Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) – I love the Nightmare flicks…except for “The Dream Child.” That one was bullshit. THIS one though…off the freaking chain, I tell you! Is it horror? Is it comedy? Is it a Warner Brothers cartoon? Omigod, 3D?! Tom and Roseanne Arnold?! I can’t–I just– let’s watch it again, please?
7) Showgirls (1995) – The first NC-17 rated movie. The Holy Grail of gold-plated turds. This is the first time I went to a movie already knowing it was going to be bad. It’s so much fun to watch everyone in this craptacular masterpiece play to the cheap seats like they don’t know what kind of movie they’re really in! The best way to enjoy this, er, film is with a room full of sarcastic friends…and possibly intoxicated! Oh yeah…what’s it about? Trailer trash chick Nomi wants to be a Vegas showgirl. She lies, sabotages and epileptically screws her way to the top…all the while showing her tits as often as is humanly possible!
8) Tales From The Hood (1995) – Thanks to John Singleton, Hollywood in the 90’s had an obsession with “The Hood.” Why should the horror genre be any different? Tales From The Hood is a series of short, slightly scary tales with an African-American twist all woven together by the storyline of three hoods (see what I did there?) breaking into what they think is a huge, treasure-laden home. Each of these stories is entertaining in their own way…if not a little preachy in spots. My favorite is the story of the dolls inhabited by the souls of the murdered slaves. The absolute best part of this entire movie, however, is the performance of Mr. Clarence Williams III. He is indeed..the shit!
9) Mortal Kombat (1995) – As a HUGE video game nerd, I was so excited to see MK on the big screen. Apparently, the filmmakers were having the same thought process I was: Forget the story just give me fight sequences! The problem with that is we kind of need talking and stuff to string the kick ass fight sequences together and…well…not so good.
10) Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight (1995) – I was a huge fan of the Tales From The Crypt series. I was so excited to see them venture from 30 minute episodes to a feature film. Luckily, they go for trashy with their scary. Funny with their creepy. Demon Knight is a perfect example. The DELICIOUS Billy Zane plays a demon master that is after a mystical key. If he gets the key, he and his demons can rule the universe. He descends upon a seedy motel whose inhabitants aren’t so willing to let him have his way. My love for this movie is in part because of the story but mostly because of the presence of not only Mr. Zane (le sigh) but the fabulous Jada Pinkett (not Smith yet.) I think I need to watch this again actually!
11) Tales From The Crypt: Bordello of Blood (1996) – Another Tales From The Crypt feature film entry. Angie Everheart plays the madam of a brothel exclusively populated by vampires. Remember that key I mentioned in Demon Knight? Well, Angie wants it in THIS film to become a daywalker and take over the world. Dennis Miller is a snarky bastard trying to stop her. Corey Feldman plays a drugged out fuck up. Was anyone actually acting in this movie?!
12) Not Another Teen Movie (2001) – Okay, it’s already a spoof flick so you know the bad is built in. Luckily it had several legit funny moments of it’s own instead of just restaging those from the original films it parodizes. All the John Hughes send ups are set against a mock-up of the plot of American Pie…which should be on this list actually. It’s bad. I laughed. So there.
13) Constantine (2005) – By Americanizing the character of John Constantine they automatically hobbled this film. But it’s Keanu…and demons…and Djimon Hounsou as Papa Midnight is just so…so…THIS! So, really, what’s not to love?! And for a time, this movie supplied me with a cool ringtone.
14) So Close (2002) – Imagine “Charlie’s Angels” except all three of the main characters are hot Chinese women who are all fierce martial artists. “So Close” is about…oh, you don’t care. Just watch it!!!