There are good movies, OK movies and bad movies. And then there are movies so terrible, they transcend to a whole new level of bad. However, at some point a movie can be so awful, the acting so cringe-inducing, and the dialogue so cheesy the movie actually crosses into “so bad it’s hilariously entertaining” terriority.
There’s an art to watching an awesomely awful B-movie. You have to let go of all senses of better taste and just enjoy the movie for what it is: “so bad it’s good.” It’s also best to watch these types of movies in a group, so everyone can have fun riffing together (definitely don’t try to go this alone).
Here are some of my favorite low-budget “so-bad-they’re-awesome” movies, and I’d love to hear what some of your guilty pleasures are, as well!
“Sharknado” and “Sharknado 2: The Second One”
It’s not often the title alone is enough to sell me on a film, but the Syfy channel’s “Sharknado” did the trick. A tornado full of sharks — sounds like B-movie gold, right? These really are awful movies. The acting is cheesy, the plot is extremely over-the-top, and let’s not even get started on the topic of scientific accuracy. Yet there’s an undeniable sense of gung-ho fun to be had here; the film makers know they haven’t created an Oscar winner, and they simply revel in the ridiculous concept. The second movie has a string of great cameos, including a hilariously deadpan turn by Matt Lauer and Al Roker as themselves. If you’re willing to switch off (OK, completely shut down) your brain, you’ll find plenty of intentional and unintentional laughs in these films. As the movie’s tagline so appropriately states, “Enough said.”
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”
Everyone should see this movie — not just because it’s possibly the worst Christmas movie ever made, but because it’s in the running for worst movie ever made, period. The basic plot (believe me, I’m not making this up) involves a group of Martians who travel to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus because their children are depressed and there’s no Christmas on Mars. The special effects are awful, the acting hilariously bad, and the dialogue brings plenty of laughs (most of them unintentional). This movie features the creepiest portrayal of Santa Claus I’ve seen in a holiday movie, and also one of the most annoying opening credits songs. Its epic level of badness makes it entertaining to watch … but not more than once a year.
“George and the Dragon”
I believe I first saw this on the Syfy channel, a great place to find “so-bad-they’re-good” gems. It’s a low budget fantasy film about a long-suffering knight who gets into some unexpectedly complicated adventures while trying to rescue a princess from a dragon. The film has plenty of good actors who all deserve better, and Patrick Swayze oddly shows up in a role and is, for some reason, one of the only characters without a British accent. While it doesn’t have the blistering cleverness of the more famous medieval comedy “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” it’s actually of a higher caliber than the other films on this list (which admittedly isn’t saying much). It’s definitely cheesy, but has plenty of amusing moments.
Shout-out of the week: I’m planning to start a new little feature with my blog called “shout-out of the week,” where at the end of every blog post, I’ll link to another blog I follow. I’ve found a great community of bloggers and wanted to recognize some of the bloggers I’ve gotten a chance to know. 🙂 This week’s shout-out goes to my friend JGuyWrite, who writes fictionalized satire, at http://jguywrite.blogspot.com.