There’s a fine line between a bad movie and a movie so bad, it becomes something great. There are the films whose complete lack of quality, from acting to set decoration to story lines, elevate them far above average, middling movies. The best thing about this category of film-making is that it’s all debatable, whether or not you think Nicolas Cage’s movies are the greatest or the worst of all time is irrelevant. These movies are so entertainingly bad, they’re made for such arguments…and drinking games.
Nicolas Cage movies
Within the realm of terrible movies, Nicolas Cage reigns supreme. From Ghost Rider to Drive Angry to Next, his filmography contains more than his fair share of bad gems, and none more terrible than The Wicker Man. The movie is a remake of a far-superior British film from 1976, a remake that seemingly nobody asked for. Cage plays Edward Malus, a no-nonsense sheriff who’s sent to a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. That’s not to say Malus really takes any of it seriously, taking any opportunity to overact his way through the pagan cult he uncovers, as this insane clip will prove:
Evil Dead (1981)
Shot on a shoestring budget, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead is actually a B-movie horror masterpiece. Released in 1981, it’s about a wild cabin in the woods romp involving a book of the dead, demons possessing teens, low-budget uber violence and horror’s future pin-up boy, Bruce Campbell. The practical effects are at once totally unconvincing and yet impressively transfixing, much of it created by complete amateurs. The movie isn’t bad so much as charmingly low-budget, directed with all the hallmark talent that Raimi would bring to the Spider-Man series. The madness continued six years later in the bigger budget sequel/remake, Evil Dead II, where Raimi and crew completely embraced the insanity, creating some of the most inventive horror comedy that’s ever been put to film.
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Anaconda maybe one of the worst films of the 90’s. A National Geographic crew, including Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Owen Wilson, are kidnapped by a mad hunter, Jon Voight, who coerces them into helping him capture a fearsome anaconda. The problem is, the anaconda, rather than, say, anything resembling a real snake, is a horribly designed animatronic. Worse yet, it boasts prime evidence that the 90’s just weren’t ready for CGI special effects. That’s no worry though, during a meagre running time of 89 minutes, you’ll be treated to an experience so haphazardly put together, even seasoned B-movie pro, Ice Cube, can’t seem to make any sense of it.
The Happening (2008)
Night Shyamalan is no stranger to criticism. His debut, The Sixth Sense, was released to huge hype and fanfare, with critics and audiences alike loving its twisty dynamic and intensity. Sadly, it was a standard he would never reach again and now, some 16 years later, his films are almost all guaranteed to be a laughing stock. For the perfect example, we can look back to 2008’s The Happening. This thriller (not that anyone was actually thrilled by it) puts Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel on the run from a toxin that causes people to commit suicide. After 90 minutes of insane overacting and a basic disregard for any form of logic, we find out that (SPOILER ALERT) the trees are responsible, because global warming? It’s a film that proved Shyamalan’s early films were indeed incredible flukes.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
1993’s Jurassic Park firmly cemented CGI as the next big thing for blockbuster movies. However, its special effects turned out to be so special, most of the projects that followed needed almost a decade to meet the same standard. One such project was Deep Blue Sea, an insane film that proved creating realistic sharks maybe something special effects can never achieve. The story has a bunch of scientists accidentally creating hyper-intelligent sharks, who then cause absolute chaos on an isolated research facility. None of what follows makes much sense, however the death scenes are so utterly insane, that they elevate the film to must-watch status:
Winter’s Tale (2014)
This movie is very hard to explain, so rather than give any kind of overview, we’ll give you a couple of delightful highlights:
- While this is a “true love” story, it features The Devil who’s played by none other than Will Smith. The only indicators we seem to have of his hellish status are a couple of glorious earrings.
- Colin Farrell, this movie’s hero, is accompanied by a sometimes-winged horse that’s more a sort of guardian angel. It shows up when it pleases and has magical powers, none of which are explained in any reasonable way.
- Russell Crowe is in this film and has a terrible Scottish/Irish/British accent. He’s also angry 90% of the time, making his already mumbly demeanour that much harder to understand. Not that anything in the script is understandable anyway.
Our conclusion? Put this terrible gem on your to-watch list.
The Room (2003)
Often voted the worst film of all time, The Room holds a special place in the hallowed halls of terrible movies. Written, directed by and starring Tommy Wiseau, the film was initially a massive flop, making only $1,800 back on its insane $6 million budget, before being pulled from cinemas. Reviews weren’t negative, they were downright angry, one even equating the experience of watching the film to “being stabbed in the head.” Wiseau somehow found the courage to try his luck one more time, playing the film exclusively on a midnight circuit. To everybody’s surprise, the film actually started picking up steam. Drawn by word of mouth and reviews so sensationally negative, audiences even began creating their own traditions for screenings, the most famous of which involves bringing spoons into the theatre and throwing them at the screen for the duration of the film. The Room is not only the biggest waste of $6 million ever, it’s the stuff of bad movie legend. With its complete lack of quality, it continues to unite audiences across the globe in the celebration of good-bad movies.
This collection of gems barely scratches the surface on amazingly bad movies. There are way too many out there to include here, from Mel Brooks comedies to early science fiction and monster flicks.