There are good movies. There are bad movies. And then there are movies so bad that they end up being good. Entertaining, even. How can you tell if a movie’s good bad or just plain bad? Good bad movies make you laugh; bad movies bore you to tears. Good bad movies offer an escape from the stress of everyday life; bad movies make you stress over why you wasted your time and money watching them. Good bad movies inspire you to watch them over and over again; bad movies don’t inspire anything other than disappointment and regret.
Entertainingly bad movies become guilty pleasures of sorts. A part of you doesn’t want to admit to loving them so much because they’re so bad. But the extent of their badness makes them almost genius in a way. Many horror movies fall into this category. Think Jason X or Trick ‘r Treat. Plenty of comedies are essentially awful, but you can’t stop watching them just the same. Most of Adam Sandler’s movies fit this description. So do many of my father’s favourite films. The fifteen movies you’re about to read about will never be critically acclaimed. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy every minute of them.
15. Mars Attacks!
Picture a woman’s head on a Chihuahua’s body, and a Chihuahua’s head on a woman’s body. That’s Mars Attacks! in a nutshell. Any movie that would transplant the heads of a woman and a dog in the name of alien experimentation is a movie that’s worth watching. Sure, Mars Attacks! is a little on the ridiculous side. One character is reduced to a living disembodied head; the disembodied head finds love with the woman-Chihuahua; the Martians’ heads explode when they hear the song “Indian Love Call” by Slim Whitman. If you’re looking for a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then give Mars Attacks! a chance. The exclamation point in the title should tell you everything you need to know.
14. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
By the time a horror movie franchise hits five movies, the quality has usually declined rapidly. It isn’t unusual for one of the movies in an endless horror franchise to be more of a comedy than a horror. That’s what The Marked Ones is to the Paranormal Activity series. In this instalment, teen Jesse is pursued by a supernatural entity. When he wakes up one day with a bite mark on his arm and special powers, does he seek help? No! Instead, he shows off his powers by blowing up an air mattress really fast. He’s more concerned about people calling his powers fake on YouTube than about how he got those powers in the first place. Funnily enough, that’s probably how most teens these days would behave. Oh, and how could I forget Jesse’s grandmother attempting to cleanse his spirit using eggs. The supernatural entity must have an egg allergy.
13. Deliver Us from Evil
Deliver Us from Evil was just plain old bad, until the exorcism scene happened. Let me set the scene for you: a Jesuit priest and a cop trap this possessed marine in an interrogation room at the local precinct, where they attempt to perform an exorcism on him. There’s a lot of chanting and demanding the demon to speak his name; you know, the usual. The demon eventually rasps his name. It’s… wait for it… Jungler. Jungler. That name’s sure to strike fear in the hearts of men. The demon is finally expelled from the marine’s body in a flurry of special effects as the cop hears “Break on Through” by The Doors playing in the background. You have to see it to believe it.
Sharknado started a trend in entertainingly bad made-for-television B-horror movies. From the opening credits, you know that you’re watching a train wreck film in progress. When your movie stars washed-up actors like Ian Zering and Tara Reid, expectations are definitely low. Still, there’s something strangely compelling about sharks travelling via tornado and terrorizing Los Angeles. If you think about it, it’s kind of a metaphor for Hollywood. I urge you to watch Sharknado at least once. It’s got killer sharks, bombs, and one shark even gets a chainsaw to the mouth. What could be more entertaining than that?
11. Black Sheep
Australian horror films are real masterpieces. Consider the following movie plot: genetically engineered sheep terrorize a New Zealand farm. Who wouldn’t find that movie appealing? Black Sheep was never going to be the next The Exorcist. It’s still entertainingly baa-d. What’s not to love about werewolf sheep? If you get bit by one of these sheep, you turn into a weresheep yourself. The transformation is hilarious to watch. The human weresheep even baa! At one point, a flock of weresheep descend upon a gathering of people and massacre everyone. The scene is extremely gory, complete with disemboweling. Just try to turn these sheep into Ugg boots. I dare you.
10. Drag Me to Hell
Two words: talking goat. Is there any more reason to watch Drag Me to Hell? The movie tells the story of Christine, a bank loan officer who becomes cursed by a gypsy whose request for an extension on her mortgage payment she denied. Projectile nose bleeds and kitten sacrifices ensue. The highlight of the movie, though, is when the spirit of a child-eating demon is transferred from a medium’s body to a goat. Once inside the goat, the demon yells, “You biiitch,” in the most hilarious animation you’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong; Drag Me to Hell is a terrible horror movie. But that goat scene deserves an award.
Obsessed stars Beyoncé. Enough said. To sum up the plot, Beyoncé’s husband is seduced by one of his employees (played by Ali Larter), which leads Beyoncé to take matters into her own hands. Her husband is so dumb it’s equal parts laughable and frustrating. He repeatedly puts himself in Ali Larter’s path knowing that she’s dangerously obsessed with him. He ends up getting drugged and raped by her, making it look like they had an affair. His stupidity endangers his wife and child, but it also paves the way for the greatest cat fight in movie history. Beyoncé beats the crap out of Ali Larter, and it feels so good.
8. Ernest Scared Stupid
The Ernest films are real treasures. Sure, they’re no Academy Award winning movies, but they’re entertaining as hell. In Ernest Scared Stupid, the franchise’s Halloween special, Ernest accidentally releases a demonic troll on the town the night before Halloween. The troll turns children into wooden dolls and feeds on their energy. His only weaknesses are unconditional love and milk. Yes, milk. What does this mean? It means that the townspeople have to engage in an epic milk fight with the multiplying trolls. The battle culminates in Ernest literally loving the master troll to death. Look me straight in the eye and tell me that you aren’t downloading this movie right now.
7. Bride of Chucky
The first Child’s Play movie was an excellent horror movie. It took creepy dolls to a whole new level. By the time the series reached Bride of Chucky, they’d left spine-tingling horror behind in favour of self-referential parody. In Bride of Chucky, Chucky murders former girlfriend Tiffany and revives her spirit in the body of a bride doll. The two go on a killing spree in an attempt to transfer their souls into the bodies of a young couple. Along the way, Chucky proposes to Tiffany, and the movie takes a turn into twisted romantic comedy territory. The movie ends with Tiffany’s dead doll body giving birth to a baby doll. Bring on Seed of Chucky.
6. Soul Plane
How could a movie starring Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg not be entertaining? Soul Plane is all kinds of bad, but in the best way possible. Imagine an airline for Black people called N.W.A., complete with dance club and hot tub, and piloted by weed-smoking Snoop Dogg. There’s even the requisite white family on board. Kevin Hart ends up having to land the plane when Snoop Dogg dies eating mushrooms, and not the fungal kind. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Sofia Vergara is in this movie? That reason alone makes the movie worth watching.
5. Knock Knock
I didn’t realize how bad of an actor Keanu Reeves could be until I watched Knock Knock. The premise of the movie is as follows: two young women test men by tempting them to cheat on their wives. Keanu Reeves, like most men, fails the test. He allows himself to be overpowered by two young women as they torture him for cheating on his wife. “You came on to me!” he cries in defence of his actions. “What was I supposed to do?” How about not get into the shower with them? Keanu Reeves’ acting is so bad in this movie, you want him to suffer for it. And you enjoy every minute of it.
Twilight was one of those rare instances when I thought that the movie might be better than the book. Instead of improving upon weak points in the novel, the movie decided to highlight the novel’s absurdities. Take Edward walking away abruptly in the middle of a conversation, for example. Or Edward staring intensely at people in the most awkward way possible. Or Edward telling Bella he likes watching her sleep without her knowledge. You have to wonder how any woman could find Edward a desirable romantic partner. Then there’s Kristen Stewart, who’s acting in the role of Bella Swan is like watching paint dry. But the icing on the bad movie cake is the sparkling vampires. Be afraid; be very afraid.
3. Illegal Tender
I distinctly remember the first time I watched Illegal Tender. My mother had found it on the Movie Network and I had decided to watch it with her. The movie didn’t disappoint. Wilson Jr.’s father is killed when he tries to leave drug dealing behind; years later, Wilson Jr., his mother Millie and his brother are being pursued by the vengeful drug lord who wants his money back. Wilson Jr. proves to be just as stupid as his father when he decides to go to Puerto Rico by himself, without telling anyone, to convince the drug lord not to kill his family. Lucky for him he’s only beaten up and not killed. The general storyline might not interest you, but the movie’s worth watching for one reason: the scene where Millie singlehandedly takes out two assassins in a massive shootout. Talk about badass.
2. Ghost Shark
While channel surfing one night, I stumbled upon a real gem of a movie. Don’t get me wrong; Ghost Shark is a dreadful movie. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s strangely entertaining. Maybe it’s the fact that the spirit of a shark murdered by a bunch of rednecks is terrorizing a small southern town. Or maybe it’s the fact that the ghost shark can appear in any body of water, including the water tank at the local police station. The special effects are so bad they’re almost good. The highlight of the movie is when a guy drinks water from the police station water tank and the ghost shark manifests inside of him, ripping him apart from the inside. Pretty creative if you ask me.
1. Wrong Turn
Wrong Turn will forever be one of my favourite guilty pleasure films. What starts out as a creepy horror movie quickly turns into a parody of The Beverly Hillbillies; The Beverly Hillbillies from hell, that is. Wrong Turn tells the story of a group of college students who are hunted by a trio of disfigured cannibal rednecks while on a road trip. The cannibals are appropriately eerie at first, but too much exposure to them early on in the movie renders them laughable. I even found myself rooting for the cannibals to murder and consume the flesh of the college students by the end of the movie. I think that’s a sign that the movie took a wrong turn somewhere, but one that’s oh so enjoyable.
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