Undefended: Movies So Bad, They’re Good.

This week, movies that are so bad that they’re good. A few of these selections will probably be offensive.

Joseph Gross

1. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter- Abraham Lincoln fights a vampire on top of a stampede of horses and reveals that his ax is also a shotgun.

2. Battlefield Earth- “Crap-lousy ceiling! I thought I told to get some man-animals in here and fix it.” Or literally any other line delivered by John Travolta or Forest Whitaker, whose normal acting talent makes their low quality Saturday morning cartoon villains that much more entertaining.

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3. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet- The interpretation of the play’s prologue, which feels like a trailer for a movie we’re already watching.

4. Doctor Who (1996)- “Of course! The Doctor is half-human!” I could get into how little sense that makes with previous and subsequent Who lore, but really, everything Eric Roberts’ Master does in the TV movie stands as sufficiently awkward on its own.

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze- Vanilla Ice freestyles about the monstrous ninja fight happening in the nightclub, and nobody finds it particularly remarkable.

 

Remy Wilkins

1. “The Castle” Not actually bad, but on first blush this low budget Australian film may seem like it. But if you get on its wavelength you will “Feel the serenity.”

2. “The Mexican” Actually bad, but Brad Pitt is so awesome in every single scene. See the slo-mo gunfight pantomime. or the scene “I’ve gotta shoot you” for verification of its worthiness.

3. “Anything Else” It’s a shame that Woody Allen placed his greatest character in one of his worst movies. Dobel is a gun-toting wingnut and he’s worth the price of admission.

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4. “Judge Dredd” Confession: Sly Stallone screaming “I am the LAW!” still gives me chills.

5. “After the Sunset” A tepid heist movie that came out a decade too late to be anything more than a rote exercise, but even tepid exercises in roteness can be perfect.

 

Joshua Gibbs

1. Last of the Mohicans: basically just “Highlander” with Indians, which is neither more nor less awesome/ridiculous than it sounds.

2. Ghosts of Mars: features a character named Big Daddy Mars who speaks only in absolute gibberish. Also, Pam Grier.

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3. The Jackal (1997): after getting a D+ in Irish accents 101, Richard Gere plays IRA bomber Declan Mulqueen, who tries to track down blond, gay Bruce Willis. Sidney Poitier overacts for all 124 minutes.

4. The Saint (1997): Val Kilmer wanders around Europe in terrible disguises. Lots of good techno.

5. The Day After Tomorrow: spent an estimated 2.4 dollars on CGI wolves.

 

Remy remarks: Man, I knew someone would rip my heart out. Last of the Mohicans? I still can’t run without hearing that soundtrack.

 

Thomas Banks

1. The Warriors: the Greek mercenaries of Xenophon’s Anabasis reimagined in the form of a New York gang trying to fight their way back to their own turf after an organized crime summit turns bloody.The acting is so hammy that it’s a surprise the movie hasn’t been denounced by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

2. The Conqueror. John Wayne as Genghis Khan. Five dollars to anyone who can come up with a pithier condemnation.

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3. Seven Years in Tibet. If your day needs a laugh, just watch any scene in which Brad Pitt pronounces the word “Himalayas” in a German accent.

4. Bubba Hotep. Elvis and JFK try to exorcize the retirement home where they have hidden themselves of an ancient Egyptian curse. JFK is black.

5. Barry Lyndon. Director Stanley Kubrick’s misanthropy is given free reign in this most dismal of period pieces. The invariability of Ryan O’ Neal’s facial expression throughout the picture give the image of Washington on Mount Rushmore a run for its money.

 

Elizabeth Stinnette

1. Dune (1984): Sting in a diaper. Enough said.

2. A Knight’s Tale (2001): It throws historical accuracy out the window, but it’s a guilty pleasure and one of the most quotable movies I know. “I only laugh to keep from crying.”

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3. A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003): Hey, let’s make a steampunk fantasy starring all the famous characters of Victorian gothic novels…that won’t be campy at all.

4. Somewhere in Time (1980): Christopher Reeve performs self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet a lovely woman from the past. I’m not sure what’s more of a stretch–the acting or the plot. I didn’t want to stay at old hotels for a long time afterwards.

5. Walk Like a Man (1987): A guy (Howie Mandel) who was raised by dogs learns to live among humanity. Probably the best part is the montage set to the title song…and seeing Howie when he had curly 80s hair.

 

Sean Johnson

1. Labyrinth: Bowie repackaged for children.

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2. The Hunt for Red October: Not a bad movie per se, but Connery’s accent is so out of place, yet so unapologetic that the performance belongs on this list.

3. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka: A reductio ad absurdum of blacksploitation films. “So, it’s just you 57 cops against KUNG FU JOE? Master of KUNG-FU, KARATE, JIU-JITSU, and all kinds of other stuff you ain’t never heard of! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!”

4. Hamlet (Mel Gibson): Gibson’s Lethal Weapon character as the prince of Denmark.

5. Roadhouse: Patrick Swayze is a mystic-pacifist-bouncer. “All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice.”

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches great books, collects records and jogs to work. He and his wife have two children, both of whom have seven names. He tweets at @joshgibbs and blogs for the CiRCE Institute.

2 Responses to Undefended: Movies So Bad, They’re Good.

  1. A Knight’s Tale is not historically accurate? You have burst my bubble of happiness! I completely agree it is a “guilty pleasure” if one only indulges in movies that will challenge or deepen the intellect. (although, we did learn the name of a new country, Gelderland, and may open a jousting training facility based on the montage of William preparing to compete)It is full of quotable lines which our family use on a daily basis…well, if my married sons are home, a momentary basis. One day we may play a game where for several hours conversation is only allowed using lines from movies…or maybe just lines from A Knight’s Tale. Well, I’m off to change my stars! Love this blog. It is my first visit.

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