Usually, bad movies are just, well, bad. However, sometimes they’re so awful that they end up becoming entertaining. There’s a reason ‘so bad it’s good’ is a thing. Over the years, there have been several atrocious films that are still a ton of fun to watch.
Recently, Redditors got together on r/movies, the largest film subreddit, to discuss the movies that were reviled by critics but which still pack more than enough charm (or unintentional hilarity) to justify a viewing. Their picks range from an awful Stephen King project to a Star Wars rip-off, an absurd fantasy flick to a love story involving a T-Rex.
10 ‘Maximum Overdrive’ (1986)
Maximum Overdrive is a sci-fi horror written and directed by Stephen King. After a mysterious comet crosses the sky, all machines come to life and start attacking humans. A short-order cook named Bill Robinson (Emilio Estevez), and truck stop owner Bubba (Pat Hingle) attempt to survive the mechanical onslaught.
The film features some truly memorable scenes, including a vending machine that launches cans at a customer’s head and a lawnmower that mows down a group of people. Although even King himself called it a “stinker”, it’s a wild, campy ride that fans of ridiculous horror are sure to enjoy. “[The] entire soundtrack is AC/DC, a coked-up Stephen King directed it (only movie he ever directed himself) [and]Emilio Estevez turns in one of his many Oscar-worthy performances,” said u/ElectroMatt333.
9 ‘Executive Decision’ (1996)
Executive Decision is an action thriller directed by Stuart Baird, known for his work as an editor on films such as Superman: The Movie and Lethal Weapon. Kurt Russell plays Dr. David Grant, a specialist in terrorism who is called upon to help a team of government agents board a hijacked 747 airplane that is headed toward Washington D.C. He’s joined by Steven Seagal as Lieutenant Colonel Austin Travis, the leader of the commando team.
It’s a mess of action movie clichés, but the talented cast, including Halle Berry, John Leguizamo, and Oliver Platt, somehow manage to keep it entertaining.
“It’s the perfect amount of Seagal,” says u/MOOzikmkr. “Five minutes where he acts like a pr*ck, gets told he can suck it by the protagonist, then dies saving everyone.”
8 ‘Moonfall’ (2022)
Moonfall is a sci-fi about two former astronauts and a conspiracy theorist who uncover secrets about the true nature of the moon. It was one of 2022’s biggest box office bombs, grossing just $67 million against a budget of over $138 million and drawing negative reviews. Nevertheless, several Redditors found it to be entertainingly awful.
“Moonfall is one of my guilty pleasures. The plot is absurd, most of the science is laughable and some of the sets look very fake, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained by it,” said u/stebus88. “My favorite absurd part is where they pluck a Space Shuttle, which miraculously works, straight from a museum, then 2 astronauts and 1 civilian launch it in the middle of a tsunami. The ridiculousness of it all kept me watching.”
7 ‘TerrorVision’ (1986)
TerrorVision is a horror-comedy about a suburban family who unknowingly receive a new satellite dish that picks up a signal from an alien creature that proceeds to wreak havoc in their home. It’s a hammy send-up of 80s culture, with exaggerated characters and a silly plot that have earned it a cult following.
The trashy special effects, especially the alien creature, add to the goofy charm. “Pacing is all over the place, the over-acting is <chef’s kiss>, the FX are gloriously ropey. It is super dumb. It’s on YouTube. It’s amazing,” said u/dustyfaxman.
6 ‘The Core’ (2003)
According to u/Citizen_Kong, “The Core is the best fun-bad movie ever.” Aaron Eckhart stars as Dr. Josh Keyes, a geophysicist who leads a mission to save the planet from an impending disaster. Hilary Swank plays Major Rebecca Childs, a pilot who helps transport the team to their destination, and Stanley Tucci is the eccentric scientist Dr. Zimsky.
The plot centers around the sudden stop of the Earth’s inner core, which threatens to trigger a series of devastating events on the surface. To prevent this, Keyes and his team embark on a dangerous mission to drill to the center of the Earth and restart the core’s rotation. A poll asked hundreds of scientists to vote for the worst sci-fi movie ever, and The Core won.
5 ‘Starcash’ (1978)
“[This] early 80s/late 70s Star Wars rip-off starting David Hasselhoff is also pretty epic,” said u/Napp2dope. “It’s so amazingterrible,” agreed u/Moozikmkr. Starcrash stars Caroline Munro as Stella Star, a smuggler who teams up with a rogue space captain, Akton(Marjoe Gortner), to rescue the Emperor’s son and save the galaxy from an evil force. The film also features Christopher Plummer as the Emperor, Hasselhoff as Simon, a young space pilot, and Joe Spinell as Count Zarth Arn, the main antagonist.
The movie is known for its over-the-top narrative, cheesy special effects, and bizarre characters. Despite its flaws, Starcrash has a legion of devotees, who appreciate its quirky charm and playful spirit. It stands out thanks to its colorful visuals and imaginative world-building, along with its theme song, although no one would accuse it of being good cinema.
4 ‘The VelociPastor’ (2018)
The VelociPastor is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to low-budget B-movies, featuring bad special effects, absurd plot twists, and cringey one-liners. Gregory James Cohan is Father Doug Jones, a Catholic priest who gains the ability to turn into a velociraptor after a spiritual awakening in China. The film follows Father Jones as he struggles to come to terms with his newfound powers while battling evil ninjas and corrupt politicians.
“I have no real way of proving it, but I am convinced that VelociPastor was the fully realized vision of an honest to god talented filmmaker,” said u/cookiemagnate. “The majority of so bad it’s good movies are pure accidents, but VelociPastor feels fully intentional. And that is so, so difficult to pull off.”
3 ‘Hard Ticket to Hawaii’ (1987)
Hard Ticket to Hawaii follows two undercover agents (played by Donna Speir and Hope Marie Carlton) who investigate drug smuggling on the Hawaiian islands, only to come up against a flamethrower-wielding villain (Harold Diamond). The film is known for its over-the-top action sequences, unrealistic dialogue, and gratuitous nudity, making it a quintessential example of the exploitation genre.
“My favorite bad movie. A bad Magnum P.I. rip-off with Playboy bunnies in the lead roles. It has everything from a mutated snake to razor frisbees, blow-up dolls being shot with rocket launchers and so much more,” said u/GabbiStowned.
2 ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’ (1994)
It’s your classic love story: girl meets boy, boy’s brain is implanted in a T-Rex’s body, girl tries to save boy. Tammy and the T-Rex is an absurd comedy-horror starring Denise Richards as a high school student who falls in love with Michael (Paul Walker), but tragically loses him when he is killed and his brain is connected to an animatronic T-Rex.
Together, Tammy and the T-Rex must elude nefarious enemies and uncover the truth behind his bizarre transformation. u/Napp2dope called it, “Grade A cheese.” “She ends up doing a strip tease for Paul Walker’s disembodied brain,” said u/AdministrationBig141. “The ridiculousness is throughout and it’s fabulous.”
1 ‘The Barbarians’ (1987)
The Barbarians is a sword-and-sorcery film featuring twin brothers Peter and David Paul as Kutchek and Gore, two barbarian brothers who embark on a quest to rescue their twin sisters from an evil queen (Virginia Bryant). Along the way, they encounter a variety of fantastical creatures and face numerous challenges, including battling a giant ogre and competing in a gladiator-style tournament. The film also features Michael Berryman as Dirtmaster, the queen’s henchman, and Richard Lynch as Kadar, the brothers’ mentor.
It’s a classic example of low-budget 1980s fantasy, with its muscular heroes, scantily-clad heroines, and epic battles. The pulpy dialogue and over-the-top action sequences have made it a cult favorite among fans of atrocious fantasy. “[Peter and David Paul] are hilarious together, and one of them has a really weird response to seeing nudity,” said u/Simplicius327.
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