Author Topic: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'  (Read 8674 times)

Thomas

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Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« on: December 12, 2020, 03:05:45 AM »
It's a commonly used phrase, but a rare enough achievement.

Renowned shitflick Birdemic, for example, qualifies as 'so bad' because it is a) an earnest attempt and b) so bad. However, despite generating true mirth here and there, it also manages to get quite boring in its 93-minute runtime. There are no 'so boring they're good' films. Would not watch again.

One film I have rewatched for 'so bad it's good' value is Love, Actually. I hate it - with a real seething loathing - for all the usual reasons I hate every Richard Curtis film I've seen; and yet it surpasses them, managing to crawl out of the red and into the black of my entertainment-reception nodes, perhaps merely by virtue of its variety. Just as you've tired of wincing through one uber-posh, supposedly quirky/charming/funny exchange, we whizz across the splendid kitchen islands of London to experience another, with a different set of characters. It's League of Gentlemanlike. You proclaim 'oh, fuckin' 'ell, I forgot this bit!' as blokey from The Walking Dead struggles to portray his alien character as a human.[1]

I could never use my time on Earth to rewatch About Time, or the alleged classics of the 90s, but I can see myself settling down again in a few years to genuinely enjoy the good badness of Love, Actually.

I'd have to revisit Die Another Day, but that might belong here.

I've never seen The Room. But I suppose my question is less about those oft-quoted efforts universally embraced by the canon. What films do you sensibly hate, but simultaneously enjoy for the wrong reasons?
 1. the more Richard Curtis stuff I've seen, the more I think Mr. Bean was a sincere attempt at an ordinary character study.

More truthfully, I think Richard Curtis can obviously write bits and sketches, but for some reason insists on elongating sketch-worthy scenarios into super-length features. Love, Actually is a bunch of sketches and shorts permitted to remain essentially sketch-length, rather than stretched to transparent thinness like the premise of About Time. All of his films meander.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 03:36:21 AM by Thomas »

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2020, 03:46:47 AM »
After Last Season
Does this count? I'm pretty sure it's more a work of audience alienation than it is a misguided attempt to make a good movie. But it's horribly compelling, all the same.

Lady Street Fighter / Revenge of Lady Street Fighter / Run Coyote Run
Lady Street Fighter is the original, about a pleasant middle aged German lady who's investigating her sister's death, and is also a martial arts master. Revenge...was made 15 years later, and uses around 10 minutes of new footage and some very confusing editing of the original to tell a sort of sequel story. Run Coyote Run was "made" in between the two and remained unreleased til recently, and is one of the most confusing movies I've ever seen. It's also made of 80% the first movie, but edited differently to Revenge.

Solid good times to be had with all three.

All the Neil Breen movies

I'm sure you know about these if you're reading this thread.

Cool As Ice

Vanilla Ice's vanity project. It works because of how seriously Ice takes it. I hate it but I love it.

Master of Disguise and The Love Guru
Dana Carvey and Mike Myer's low-points. So unfunny they go out the other side, then back again a few times.

Saving Christmas

Kirk Cameron's ode to consumerism and how Jesus would have wanted us to drink hot chocolate and spend too much money on tat. The central chunk of the movie is Kirk sitting in a car outside a Chrstmas party with his brother-in-law, batting down the laziest arguments and being the smuggest douche of all time. One to be enjoyed at this time of year.

Armageddon - The Final Challenge

Genuinely incomprehensible (and not just what you say about a normal movie with plot holes) about a guy trying to get a charge removed from his bank account and then falling in love with a robot version of the daughter of some scientist who's trying to get Jesus to come back to earth and kill all the evil people. Kind of.

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?

A crazy local preacher became friends with an exploitation filmmaker who'd recently found Jesus, so they made a film which is the preacher's droning prattle, occasionally just a film of him but often his stories over the top of footage of commies taking over America and getting everyone to wear the mark of the beast.

I love watching all these, even if they're appallingly made.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 03:58:15 AM by Famous Mortimer »

Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2020, 03:55:24 AM »
Ignore all the hype, The Room really is worth seeing if you are at all interested in this sort of thing. I think I posted about this in another thread not that long ago, but to me it is a singular achievement unlike anything else that ever has or ever will be made. Nothing else compares to just how strange it is (which is distinct from most famous bad movies, which are often more about mere gross incompetence.)

This one is not too obscure anymore either, but based on your original post Mac and Me also comes to mind. I think it falls within the parameters of the thread, because it's a movie that I originally saw (as a child) as a "normal" movie, not something that has just become famous for being bad. Still have vivid memories of watching it for the first time and seeing the bizarre and incredibly poorly judged elements that have made it infamous.

M

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Famous Mortimer

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2020, 04:00:47 AM »
Fritz Lang leaves thread in disgust.
Bloody bluetooth keyboard.

Agree about "The Room", which works like so many other classics of the genre because of how seriously the creator takes it.

Chedney Honks

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2020, 04:22:14 AM »
The Star Wars films.

magval

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2020, 05:25:05 AM »
The Happening is a film stuffed with bizarre performances and a couple of horror ideas that you're supposed to think work in the context, but they don't. The central conceit is that nature is fighting back against humanity so after a while, once the group of survivors figure this out, the lingering shots of gently rustling bushes take on a delirious quality. There's also a really funny shot where an obnoxious, lisping but ultimately innocent teenage boy is violently blown to hell by a shotgun blast. It's so far beyond the necessary.

A guy suggests eating hot dogs. They're a cool shape, full of protein, he says.

Mark Wahlberg is having marital problems with Zooey Deschanel, who plays her role like she's playing a wee girl, all big-eyed "shhhhhhh!" expressions like she's trying to keep a secret. The implication that he's slept with her, ever, is unsettling. Wahlberg is hilarious though. Whatever it means to not be ABLE to act, this is it. Can't emote properly and when he does it's the wrong emotion. There's a scene where someone on the other end of a phone call describes the scene in detail so precise that you catch yourself wondering why it wasn't just shot and shown to you. Mark just stands mouth agape and repeats. "What's that? Everybody's dead?"

On top of that it's stuffed with properly unsettling suicides. I don't believe it can be properly defended, I don't think it was a joke, or a throwback to 50s style filmmaking. I think it was a swing and a miss and after Lady in the Water appeared to confirm Shyalaman had lost it.

Like The Room, as mentioned above, it's worth the watch because it's not about incompetence (like Breen's shitty VFX for example) or budget (it doesn't look cheap at all) - it's just full to bursting with odd, odd choices. If I hadn't seen it in the cinema I probably never would have as it doesn't come up in these conversations as often as it should, I reckon.

Well worth a watch. Very enjoyable :-)

samadriel

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2020, 07:18:08 AM »
The only bad movie I've actually enjoyed for being bad was the Nicolas Cage remake of The Wicker Man. Loads of laughs, mostly covered by YouTube videos, but seeing the context is great fun too.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2020, 08:02:18 AM »
That's another great one too. I'm a sucker for any instance where we're told what's happening instead of seeing it, like when Cage screams "my legs! You're breaking my legs!"

Another great laugh in that film is when he runs out of the graveyard, and the camera remains fixed and just follows him for aaaaages until he disappears out of frame.

another Mr. Lizard

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2020, 08:30:13 AM »
San Andreas (2015). Ludicrous even by 21st century blockbuster standards, but somehow you just can't stop watching. Hilarious Freudian imagery at beginning and end (The Rock guiding his chopper into a crevice; Ioan Gruffud's pride-and-joy skyscraper toppling over). Don't you love a disaster movie where the hero mainly only rescues members of his immediate family/close acquaintances? My pick as worst film of 2015, by far, but I keep wondering whether to buy the 3D Blu-ray, which I suspect I would play a lot.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2020, 08:42:19 AM »
Santa Claws (2014) - Recommended by The Mollusc in another thread, after Santa Claus falls off the roof and is knocked unconscious it's up to three sassy talking kittens to save the day and deliver the presents across the world. The majority of the film is footage of incredibly cute kittens fucking about, the cgi is appalling, the dialogue often plain weird, and there's a subplot with a next door neighbour who I'm pretty sure in real life is a serial killer as his eyes are so cold and dead. Santa's also a surly bastard, the reindeers for some reason sound like stoned surfer dudes, and the whole thing is completely idiotic, but I can't say I didn't enjoy pretty much every minute of it.

bigfatheart

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2020, 09:48:22 AM »
A Talking Cat!?! (2013) - family film directed by David DeCoteau, a director better known for his '1313' series of horror/gay softcore films. Like many directors, he has a stable of recurring actors, which in this case means every young, male actor is a cute twink. This aesthetic stretches to the sets - the houses used just look porny, somehow. It's also horrendously, painfully padded - if a character has to walk from their kitchen to their bathroom for the next scene, we will follow them the whole way just to eat up a bit of time.

The most remarkable thing about it, though, is the titular talking cat - forever staring at the omnipresent laser pointer, he's voiced by Eric Roberts, not a man you'd immediately think of when you're casting a character you'd probably describe as loveable and whimsical. In fact, he sounds like he's not touched anything but whiskey and fags for weeks, rasping away into his mobile phone in the toilet of a seedy bar, echoes and background noises and all, having somehow decided he should deliver his lines as if he's a hard-boiled detective rather than a cutesy cat, knowing full well that the film's budget won't stretch to making him do a second take.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2020, 01:41:27 PM »
Low Blow

Like if you described private eye movies to an alien, then got them drunk and asked them to write you a new one. The great Leo Fong tries to get someone out of a cult, led by Cameron Mitchell, who by this point in his career wasn't doing much (he moves a grand total of once in this). The sequel, "Blood Street", is also brilliant.

Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2020, 02:55:09 PM »
Demon Cop (1990) -  A probation officer is given demon blood during a transfusion following a drive-by shooting which causes him to transform into a hideous beast and throw garden furniture around in a murderous rage. In between those events lots of stuff happens and nothing makes any sense as the film is clearly cobbled together from at least two or three different shoots, Godfrey Ho style, with a lot of ADR to try and fill in the gaps where a story should be. Seriously, this film has thirteen voice over actors. It frequently cuts willy-nilly between sequences shot on film and video with the thinnest strands of "plot" linking the disparate scenes together. For most of the outdoor scenes the monster is filmed from behind or from very, very far away as they obviously couldn't recreate the make-up for most of them, which is the only part of the film that looks like it had actual money spent on it. Actors are often framed with their faces out of shot, or from behind, or in extreme close-up to try and disguise the fact that they obviously aren't speaking the lines.

I would love to know the actual story of filming as I'm sure it would rival Manos The Hands Of Fate in terms of legendary production disasters. One thing that really baffles me is the involvement of award-winning effects designer Hal Miles in the production, who not only designed the creature make-up but also produced and was DOP - how he ended up attached to this project is a story that has never been told.

I've also tried to find any information on writer/actor/director Rocco Karega (aka Radford A Moore Jnr), all I can tell is that he was a bit-part actor with a handful of credits and this is the only film as director. He has no other credits in any capacity after this film. I did find his website that looks like it was made on Geocities in 2001 by a crazy person - http://ramlibra.yolasite.com/ - and has apparently self-published two books which he doesn't tell you where you can buy. He also had a twitter account which was active for the space of one month in 2011.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2020, 02:56:23 PM »
A Talking Cat!?! (2013) - family film directed by David DeCoteau, a director better known for his '1313' series of horror/gay softcore films. Like many directors, he has a stable of recurring actors, which in this case means every young, male actor is a cute twink. This aesthetic stretches to the sets - the houses used just look porny, somehow. It's also horrendously, painfully padded - if a character has to walk from their kitchen to their bathroom for the next scene, we will follow them the whole way just to eat up a bit of time.

The most remarkable thing about it, though, is the titular talking cat - forever staring at the omnipresent laser pointer, he's voiced by Eric Roberts, not a man you'd immediately think of when you're casting a character you'd probably describe as loveable and whimsical. In fact, he sounds like he's not touched anything but whiskey and fags for weeks, rasping away into his mobile phone in the toilet of a seedy bar, echoes and background noises and all, having somehow decided he should deliver his lines as if he's a hard-boiled detective rather than a cutesy cat, knowing full well that the film's budget won't stretch to making him do a second take.

As a man with a disturbing fondness for bad talking animal films, I've had that on my hard drive for a couple of months now, and your review has definitely pushed it up to near the top of the list of movies I'm going to watch very, very soon.

beanheadmcginty

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2020, 03:28:25 PM »
The Buck Rogers film (technically a pilot for the TV series but released in cinemas), specifically the disco dancing scene.

https://youtu.be/NcfnRl0Gwcc

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2020, 03:49:10 PM »
Demon Cop (1990)
More accurately titled "Werewolf Social Worker"

I'm sure you found this during your research too - it was originally titled "The Curse Of Something Bestial" (one of the all-time worst names) but was partially unfinished, or just unreleased. Fred Olen Ray bought it, filmed a few new scenes, did some ADR and voila! The bit at the beginning with Cameron Mitchell was also used in another Olen Ray movie, whose name I can't remember.

NoSleep

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2020, 03:59:24 PM »
If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?

A crazy local preacher became friends with an exploitation filmmaker who'd recently found Jesus, so they made a film which is the preacher's droning prattle, occasionally just a film of him but often his stories over the top of footage of commies taking over America and getting everyone to wear the mark of the beast.

Best known for being sampled by Negativland in Christianity Is Stupid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EseXUufowr8

Shameless Custard

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2020, 08:07:09 PM »
The Man In The Mirror, the Jacko biopic is amazingly shit and amazingly entertaining

https://youtu.be/4wAbDCPakHk

Glebe

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2020, 08:25:36 PM »
The Swarm is a chucklesome classic... then there's 1982 horror Pieces which is like Scooby-Doo with gore.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2020, 08:28:50 PM »
A Talking Cat!?! (2013) - family film directed by David DeCoteau, a director better known for his '1313' series of horror/gay softcore films. Like many directors, he has a stable of recurring actors, which in this case means every young, male actor is a cute twink. This aesthetic stretches to the sets - the houses used just look porny, somehow. It's also horrendously, painfully padded - if a character has to walk from their kitchen to their bathroom for the next scene, we will follow them the whole way just to eat up a bit of time.

The most remarkable thing about it, though, is the titular talking cat - forever staring at the omnipresent laser pointer, he's voiced by Eric Roberts, not a man you'd immediately think of when you're casting a character you'd probably describe as loveable and whimsical. In fact, he sounds like he's not touched anything but whiskey and fags for weeks, rasping away into his mobile phone in the toilet of a seedy bar, echoes and background noises and all, having somehow decided he should deliver his lines as if he's a hard-boiled detective rather than a cutesy cat, knowing full well that the film's budget won't stretch to making him do a second take.

As a man with a disturbing fondness for bad talking animal films, I've had that on my hard drive for a couple of months now, and your review has definitely pushed it up to near the top of the list of movies I'm going to watch very, very soon.

And so it came to pass. And it is everything that you said it was and more, and strangely a hilarious movie and a shockingly boring one at the same time, the amount of pointless establishing shots in the film is amazing, Roberts' narration is hilariously awful, and the way the same piece of terrible incidental music is used over and over again made me laugh a fair amount too. You have to really love bad movies to like it, but if you do it'll be something you'll, well, um, cherish isn't the right word, but you won't regret watching it. 7.0/10 and 1.2/10 at the same time.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2020, 08:45:01 PM »
R.O.T.O.R.
Futurekick
Gymkata

Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2020, 10:35:06 PM »
KNOWING

Promising first half leads to utter madness as it all falls to pieces in the second, with some classic OTT Nic Cage.

Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2020, 11:06:34 PM »
A lot of RLM favourites mentioned, so I'll throw in a couple of my favourite MST3K episodes, all of which you can watch the non-riffed versions and still have fun:

Space Mutiny is one of those 80's Star Wars knockoffs, but with some deliciously hammy acting, Cameron Mitchell and the meatiest of meatheads.  Bonus points for recycling Battlestar Galactica SFX.

Lords of the Deep Abyss knockoff that I find simultaneously charming and shit.

Also, Hard Ticket to Hawaii if you want a shit version of Miami Vice but with tits and 'splosions. Miami Connection is just *chefs kiss* as well.

EDIT:  Big fan of shitty movies, never been able to watch The Room all the way through.  Just find it boring...

Thomas

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2020, 11:18:47 PM »
I will watch The Room at some point. I've just never got round to it. Every time I've considered it, I've decided instead to watch a film so good it's good, rather than bad.

That said, I did watch Plan 9 from Outer Space some time ago. I was exploring sci-fi classics and thought I ought to delve into the notable shittos as well. Particularly loved Lugosi's postmortem stand-in working hard to cover his face throughout. Don't think I'll ever sit through it again, though. 'So bad it's fascinating - once.'

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2020, 11:23:38 PM »
Also, Hard Ticket to Hawaii if you want a shit version of Miami Vice but with tits and 'splosions. Miami Connection is just *chefs kiss* as well.

Worth it for the frisbee scene.

bigfatheart

  • Breakdancing Detergent
Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2020, 11:24:40 PM »
And so it came to pass. And it is everything that you said it was and more, and strangely a hilarious movie and a shockingly boring one at the same time, the amount of pointless establishing shots in the film is amazing, Roberts' narration is hilariously awful, and the way the same piece of terrible incidental music is used over and over again made me laugh a fair amount too. You have to really love bad movies to like it, but if you do it'll be something you'll, well, um, cherish isn't the right word, but you won't regret watching it. 7.0/10 and 1.2/10 at the same time.

Glad you enjoyed and was simultaneously bored by it! It really is an astonishing work - the sort where you can't fathom how someone could watch it back, tell themselves "yep, that's adequate," and release it into the world with their name on it.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2020, 11:26:01 PM »

That said, I did watch Plan 9 from Outer Space

We land in Albuquerque at 4 am. That's strictly a nine o'clock town.


Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2020, 11:31:31 PM »
Quote
Every time I've considered it, I've decided instead to watch a film so good it's good, rather than bad.
I think the problem with Plan 9 is that you'll sit through it thinking 'I could be watching Ed Wood instead'.  Although having said that, I never thought 'Hey I could be watching Lethal Weapon' when I was watching Samurai Cop.

purlieu

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Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2020, 12:01:28 AM »
The Room, to concur with everyone else, is worth watching. I had no hopes for it being worthwhile when I watched it and came out loving it because it's just weird and wrong on every imaginable level. Appallingly bad films are a dime a dozen, but films that genuinely feel like an alien's coursework entitled "A Study of Human Life" are rare.

The Happening is an astonishing film, because it's a really good film done really badly. The whole "it's a b-movie" thing came along sometime after the critical slating it got, as far as I know, so I think it's meant to be real. The "hold on, someone thought this was a good idea?" aspect never lets up throughout.

Plan 9 from Outer Space, however, is one I found boring. I could definitely see the awfulness, but on no level did I feel massively entertained by it. I think I actually fell asleep at one point.

Re: Films you truly consider 'so bad they're good'
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2020, 12:13:39 AM »
More accurately titled "Werewolf Social Worker"

I'm sure you found this during your research too - it was originally titled "The Curse Of Something Bestial" (one of the all-time worst names) but was partially unfinished, or just unreleased. Fred Olen Ray bought it, filmed a few new scenes, did some ADR and voila! The bit at the beginning with Cameron Mitchell was also used in another Olen Ray movie, whose name I can't remember.

Yeah, after my previous post I found an episode of the Grindbin podcast where they go into the history as much as is known, including all the Fred Olen Ray stuff. They even bought Rocco Karega's book for research purposes (apparently it's basically just a series of anecdotes about all the famous people he met while hanging around LA, and has two paragraphs on the making of Demon Cop).

It's here if you're curious - https://www.stitcher.com/show/grindbin-podcast-grindhouse-and-exploitation-films/episode/108-demon-cop-1990-54594773

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