Admit it, we all have them. Those film that are just so awful that you cannot help but laugh and find huge enjoyment in them. Joining me this week is my friend John Parker to dive into those cult classics and guilty pleasures as we run down out Top 5 films that are so bad they’re good.
- Shuggie: Road House – You can’t go wrong with Patrick Swayze. That’s just a fact of life. And Patrick Swayze ripping out a bad guy’s throat with his bare hands is literal perfection in what is not a good film. Roadhouse is so much fun, has a great lead, AND A GUY HAS HIS THROAT RIPPED OUT WITH SOMEONE’S BARE HANDS. I feel that is all I have to say. Road House is easily one of the best good-bad movies.
- John: The Expendables – This bloated, star-studded action film is simply beyond ridiculous in its plot, cast and number of heroic poses and explosions. It shoves action in your face from the opening scene, through to the hero’s (Sylvester Stallone) ‘crisis of confidence’ to him returning to the action one last time for one last mission to overthrow a dictator. It makes you cringe and crease throughout but, having said this, the action is well directed, the all star cast is good and the performances, despite the explosion riddled script, are really rather entertaining.
- Shuggie: The Wicker Man (2006) – The original 1973 Wicker Man is brilliant, and sadly we lost the director of that film, Robin Hardy, less than a week ago. The same cannot be said of this remake starring Nicolas Cage. Even Cage himself called the remake absurd. The unintentional comedy is primarily down to Nic Cage giving a ridiculously over the top and strange performance. This manages to stand out in Cage’s career, despite being in the prime period of OTT Cage performances. It’s just one has to be seen to be believe. I’m going to leave you with the quote “”OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY’RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH!”.
- John: Drag Me To Hell – Watching this for the first time at the cinema in 2009 I couldn’t help but laugh all the way through. Laughing at the ridiculous nature of scenes such as the fight scene between the gypsy woman, Mrs Ganush (Lorna Raver) and the star of the film Christine Brown (Alison Lohman); or the séance scene in which a goat becomes possessed by the antagonist demon Lamia and begins to talk. In short, it isn’t particularly scary but the ending is quite clever, and satisfying; the cinematography is good and the acting, on the whole isn’t bad at all. Overall it gives an impression of a quality horror film with a good script and a neat story, despite the, quite simply, silly nature of some of the scenes.
- Shuggie: Batman and Robin – This is one of the worst superhero films ever made by far. It’s also one of the two videos I had as a young kid (the other being Looney Tunes), so I’ve seen it more than I care to admit. When you get George Clooney to play Batman, which just seems like perfect casting, along with the talent of Uma Thurman and Arnold Schwarzenegger, not to mention the fact that it had three successful films behind it. But let me just list some of the ridiculous things in this film; Bat-Nipples and Bat-Asses, the codpieces, a Bat credit card, Arnie’s Mr Freeze making A LOT of ice puns (go watch a compilation on YouTube), whatever Alicia Silverstone was doing in her career killing performance as Batgirl, and the fact that almost everyone involved in the film has since apologised for its existence. Just hilarious.
- John: Jason and the Argonauts (1963) – Perhaps a little unfair to include this here as it is very much a film of its time. Overacting is rife, the villains are ridiculous, the costumes are all far too short and revealing, and the special effects are simply awful. To its merit, all films were overacted around this period; think of the Sinbad films or Clash of the Titans (1981). The special effects are bad by today’s standard but, in 1963, they were really rather impressive. In terms of mythical accuracy, it sticks quite closely to the story by Apollonius of Rhodes (The Argonautica), which is always nice for a Classicist, such as myself, to see. Finally, despite its flaws, I remember watching this film as a small child, it is what first inspired me to go into Ancient History and, as such, will always hold a special place in my heart.
- Shuggie: The Room – This film is notorious in its awfulness. Written, Produced, directed by, and starring Tommy Wiseau this film fails across the board. It is completely melodramatic, and has become something of a cult classic because of how bad it is. In fact, despite it originally being sold as a romantic drama film, Wiseau later tried to claim that it was a black comedy. Such is the infamy of The Room that a book, The Disaster Artist, by one of the actors, Greg Sestero, was written about the production of the film. This is currently being turned into a film called The Masterpiece starring James and Dave Franco as Wiseau and Sestero respectively.
- John: DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story – This film is so bad it doesn’t even pretend to be good; cameos from Lance Armstrong and Chuck Norris do not manage to save it. Lazy writing, poor acting and obvious attempts to appeal to a male-centric audience all make you physically throw up a little in your mouth. Still, the humour, despite its lack of intellect and for all its obvious nature, still makes you laugh very hard. Its also incredibly quotable and the character of ‘Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn) is simply genius.
- Shuggie: The Happening – What makes this film such a masterpiece in awful is that it is a perfect storm of a terrible premise, horrendous acting, and complete unintentional comedy. From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan (who brought us such masterpieces as The Village, After Earth, and The Last Airbender… oh god the horror), The Happening was a film where something was happening. The trees are putting out some kind of toxin which is making people kill themselves, which tends to be signified through the least terrifying think ever, wind rustling through trees. On top of this the acting is horrible, everything Mark Wahlberg says sounds like a question, whilst Zooey Deschanel displays less emotion than the trees. An absolutely hilarious film, but one that’s not meant to be.
- John: Black Dynamite – Anyone who truly loves films so bad that they are good needs to watch Black Dynamite. I implore you to grab a couple of drinks, a huge bowl of popcorn and enjoy the sheer spectacle that is this masterpiece. It is a film that will make you say “what the actual f**k” more times than any other, it is simply indescribable. Full of action, impossibly choreographed fight scenes and more heroic one-liners than the Expendables; it is thoroughly entertaining, horrifically scripted and horrendously acted. The pinnacle of a really good, s**t film.