There’s no accounting for taste, which is why two people can see the same film and have drastically different reactions. Usually you can find all kinds of conflicting opinions about movies, where some love it and some hate it and some fall on the fence. It makes for some good discussion, and differing opinions make for a well-rounded look at film.
Then there are these.
These ten films are just terrible. No one will argue with you, and the only way that people like them is in the howling-with-laughter way. These “films” are inept from start to finish, and most of them have some truly memorable moments. How else would they become classics?
We present, in no particular order (because how can you put a quantifier on such artistic beauty?) ten of the worst movies ever. There are plenty more terrible movies out there, but these hold a special place in my heart.
1. Battlefield Earth. Roger Christian, 2000
*Dramatically rips out nose plugs.* This flop starred John Travolta in his cybergoth phase, and is based on an L. Ron Hubbard novel. What could go wrong? It’s you’re average futuristic dystopia with some oppressive alien overlords and some plucky human revolutionaries, and in case that’s too subtle a plot for you, the protagonist’s name is “Jonnie Goodboy.” Really.
2. Showgirls. Paul Verhoeven, 1995.
This was supposed to be Elizabeth Berkley’s post-Saved By The Bell break into ~serious~ acting. Surprise! It wasn’t. It was, however, to become one of the worst movies ever made, with lots of glitter and nudity and catfighting–although some critics praise it as legitimate satire and has, like many others, gained a cult following. It’s gratuitous on all levels, and that’s why people hate-love it.
3. Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Stephen Chiodo, 1988
Yes, it’s klowns with a K. That’s how you know it’s kwality. In this sci-fi romp, aliens that resemble clowns invade the earth with the deadly plot to encase humans in cotton candy. Sticky, sticky world domination. Naturally, it’s up to some plucky teens to save humanity. The movie’s saving grace is that it seems fairly aware of it’s camp (kamp?) and runs with it. If you have a really intense fear of clowns, you might want to skip this one. Or it might be the thing that helps you conquer your fears. Remember. Aim for the nose.
4. Samurai Cop. Amir Shervan, 1991
Samurai Cop is magical. Pretty much everything you can conceive of going wrong in this movie goes wrong, from the bizarre dialogue to the inexplicable synth soundtrack to the red paintballs used to simulate bullet wounds. The best acting comes from the title character’s wig, and it’s got a horny nurse, a stuffed lion, and a very strange waiter. Don’t ask me to explain. You have to see it for yourself. The best part? It’s gained such a cult following that they’re making a sequel! Seriously!
5. Troll 2. Claudio Fragrasso, 1990
While there was a movie called, Troll, this is not its sequel. This movie, though, is more memorable with sexual popcorn, dialogue written by a non-English-speaker, and lots of green ooze. It’s also got goblins, not trolls. There is not one troll in Troll 2.
6. Legend. Ridley Scott, 1985
I don’t care about your childhood or how good a director Ridley Scott is. Legend is terrible. A recently-discovered director’s cut improves on the original 89-minute print, which contains a lot of confusing plot holes, but even that can only do so much. The plot is generic fantasy involving true love, unlikely heroes, unicorns and ultimate evil (played by Tim Curry, whose makeup seems to have made up the bulk of the movie’s budget). Tom Cruise, post Risky Business and pre Top Gun, plays a forest boy who has not, evidently, discovered the human world invention of pants, so there’s a lot of Tom crotch. Like, a LOT.
7. Manos: The Hands of Fate. Harold P. Warren, 1966
The only thing you really need to know about this movie is that it was made by a fertilizer and insurance salesman on a bet, and that its premiere resulted in the audience throwing their shoes at the screen. The fact that the people involved had little to no experience in filmmaking becomes pretty obvious immediately. This “film,” if you can call it that, was featured on MST3K and, like Samurai Cop has gained a considerable cult following.
8. Crossroads. Tamra Davis, 2002
So, it was generally considered by critics to be better than the Mariah Carey vehicle, Glitter but that’s not saying much. It’s the Britney Spears movie. I mean, come on. It has Spears showcasing her vapid charm and butchering “I Love Rock & Roll.” Luckily for us, Zoe Saldana and, to a lesser extent, Taryn Manning, got out unscathed.
9. The Room. Tommy Wiseau, 2003
OH HAI. If writer/director/star/producer Tommy Wiseau’s drunk-looking mug on the poster doesn’t serve as a warning, I don’t know what does. Not meant to be funny (I think), the movie is hilarious, replete with surreal dialogue and surreal, well, everything, including the title, since no one room is terribly central to the plot, which is inconsequential other than YOU ARE TEARING ME APART LISA. An IF review
describes Wiseau’s speaking voice as “like Borat trying to do an impression of Christopher Walken playing a mental patient.” Also having gained a cult following, this bizarre series of events (again, it’s more that than a “film”) can be found on the midnight showing circuit in many cities, where audiences can be found gleefully throwing spoons. Really.
10. Eragon. Stefan Fangmeler, 2006
Based on a popular novel, this film is a plodding, lifeless adaptation, and it feels like all the actors are just itching to get it over with, especially John Malkovich, who seems to appear in this movie under duress. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have any (unintentional) humor to it. The ham-fisted dialogue and the ham-fisted, well, everything are good for laughs.
So the next time you’re sitting at home wondering what you should watch, consider one of these gems. Invite over some friends, have plenty of booze and have the best film festival ever.