Staff Picks: 18 Movies So Bad They're Good

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Movies So Bad They're Good
Sometimes, movies are so bad you can’t look away. Then you watch them again…and again.

What makes a movie good? Is it the acting, the cinematography, the story, or everything combined? When movies are bad, it can be disappointing. However, when they’re really bad, they can have the opposite effect. “Perfectly horrible” is suitable oxymoron to describe some of the films in this week’s GeekDad staff picks.

Some dreadful movies have found a cult following later in life due to their cheese factor. Best Worst Movie is a personal favorite documentary of mine which captures the appeal of what many consider to be the worst movie ever made, Troll 2. I don’t think any of the movies on our list descend to the level of Troll 2, but many come close.

Several of the GeekDad writers stepped up to reveal some of their favorite picks for their “best worst movie.” I’m fairly certain that a few of their selections will ruffle some feathers, so feel free to record your objections and share your favorite bad movie in the comments below. For now, enjoy some of our favorite movies that are so bad they’re good:


 

The Wizard of Speed and TimeThe Wizard of Speed and Time
When I was a kid, my mom placed far too much faith in the description of movies on the back of VHS boxes. On the surface, a movie about a man who can control both speed and time sounds like the perfect pick for a kid who loves superheroes, but, in actuality, what my mom brought home has gone down in history as one of our family’s funniest memories as we laughed at how bad this movie was. While the stop-motion animation was undeniably cool, the rest of the movie’s elements (acting, plot, etc.) were decidedly uncool. This movie was so bad it never made it to DVD, much less Blu-Ray, so if you want to own it, you’ll have to look for a beat up VHS copy, but the entire film is available on YouTube if you dare to view this cinematic disasterpiece. –Preston Burt


National Treasure 2: Book of SecretsNational Treasure Book of Secrets
They are more than a few Nic Cage movies that would qualify for this list, but this is my favorite terrible one. If you thought stealing the Declaration of Independence was a bit much, Nic is after a Native American treasure, hidden by the Masons, and has to kidnap the President along the way in this preposterous sequel. You can see the cheesy dialogue and action wear on the faces of the great cast: Ed Harris, Helen Mirren, Jon Voight, and more. But it somehow all works as a cheesy romp. I secretly hope the President does have a book of secrets somewhere. –Kishore Hari


Battle Beyond the StarsBattle Beyond the Stars
“The Magnificent Seven in Space!” John-Boy Walton hops into the world’s sexiest spaceship (designed by James Cameron!) and gathers his own team of mercenaries to defend his planet from scenery-chewing villain John Saxon. Features George Peppard as a perennially-intoxicated space trucker, Robert Vaughn playing the same guy he played in The Magnificent Seven, a noble lizard-man, Sybill Danning as a Valkyrie warrior whose costume provides fuel for adolescent libidos, a pair of heat-generating little people, and more cheese than all the dairies in Wisconsin. Roger Corman’s most expensive movie. –Jim MacQuarrie


Transformers MovieTransformers
I’ve heard “Michael Bay ruined my childhood” more times than I can remember. For better or worse, I am not one of the people who feels that way. The Transformers have been such a huge part of my life as far back as I can remember that I get excited about anything to do with them no matter how good or bad. Yes, I understand and accept all of the things wrong with these films and why people love to hate them, but I love them anyway. Big, realistic (though often hideous) Transformers are something I always wanted, and I enjoy them even if I know they could have been done much better. –Will James


Flash GordonFlash Gordon
Flash Gordon can definitely be described as cheesy. It’s got ridiculous costumes, scenery-chewing acting, an exploitative plot, and a full checklist of tropes. A whole platter of different kinds of cheese. But I can’t help it. I love it. It’s so much fun. Something deep in my child’s heart understands the straightforward hero, the snappish banter of dislike turning to love, and bad guys that are just plain bad, without depth. No pretension. It knows what it is and takes joy in being just exactly that. –Samantha Bryant


The Lost BoysThe Lost Boys
Back when I was a junior in high school, I started wearing a long black trench coat and black leather boots, despite living in Florida, where the average temperature any given school day was 90+ degrees. Was I trying to fit in? Had I discovered my goth side? No. I’d watched The Lost Boys. For those of you unfamiliar, this late-’80s hunk of blood-soaked gouda starred not only the ever-present Coreys (that’d be Haim and Feldman), but Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, and Jami Gertz. Heck, it was even directed by Joel Schumacher. But did the presence of all this burgeoning talent keep this tale of two brothers moving to California and stumbling into a hive of too-cool, party-hard vampires from being anything other than a overwrought schlockfest? No. No it did not. The plot was so paper thin, I have a hard time remembering character names unless I’m looking at IMDB. Do I cringe whenever I stumble upon it now (especially the scene where there’s, honest to Buffy, a punk saxophone solo)? Yes. Yes I do. Do I care? Let’s just say that I’ve got an emergency trench coat in the closet, just in case. –Anthony Karcz


BraveheartBraveheart
This movie either seems to make people’s best or worst list. As a history buff, and one with a focus on Scottish Medieval History, no less, I feel guilty admitting that I love this film. A lot of people complain about all of the historical inaccuracies and the freedom that was taken with historical figures. I like to think of Braveheart as an epic historical fiction with a couple of moving love stories, some quotable lines, great battle scenes, and loosely based on history and my guilt is somewhat assuaged. –Will James


Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
This third entry in the franchise followed a poorly-performing 2 Fast 2 Furious. Without any stars from the first two films, the format was opened up to embrace the Japanese style “Drift” Scene. Bright colors, beautiful people, and cartoon-like physics accompany fast cars in this film. This was intended to be a throw-away entry to the franchise, but it was directed by unknown Justin Lin who revived the series. After directing Fast & Furious 4 through 6, he has taken the helm in directing the next Star Trek film. –Stephen Clark


Little Marines an AdventureLittle Marines An Adventure
Part of the magic that I miss from physical video stores is the fact that a multi-million dollar blockbuster could share shelf space with a low budget straight-to-video release from Arkansas. Studios were out of the equation and the customers got to choose. Sometimes the random picks were good, other times they were Little Marines An Adventure. I’m convinced this film about a small group of friends that go camping and have “adventures” was entirely self-financed by the parents of one of the actors. Sub-plots and bad acting abound in this movie that somehow produced a depressingly bad sequel. –Preston Burt


The RoomThe Room
“Oh hi, Mark!” Words cannot describe how wonderfully terrible this movie is. It has to be seen to be believed. Seriously, despite the NSFW content, check it out! -Preston Burt


GeekDad “So Bad They’re Good” Honorable Mentions:

Santa’s Slay -Mark Vorenkamp
Kung Fury -Jonathan Liu
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure -Garth Sundem
Pootie Tang -Jason Gipson-Nahman
Hudson Hawk -Michael LeSauvage
Army of Darkness -Tony Sims
Beast Master -Jamie Greene
Hell Comes to Frogtown -Tony Nunes

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