Call me odd (plenty of people have), but sometimes you just can’t beat a genuinely awful movie. Sure, there’s a reason bad cinema gets blasted by critics and fans alike, but occasionally a film is so bad that it’s almost good.
‘Almost’ being the operative word – there’s often an awful lot of enjoyment to be had from a badly produced feature length film. Above all you’ll probably feel a sense of incredulity that the film ever made it to the DVD bargain bins, let alone cinemas.
Without further ado, let’s unleash some of the worst films ever made. You are tearing me apart, cinema!
Cashing in on the microscopic success of the original Troll movie, Troll 2 is a film that does not actually feature any trolls. Instead we’re treated to goblins (yes, there is a difference – jeez), a cast made of wood and lots of odd looking green food coloring.
The film was written and directed by Claudio Fragasso, an Italian who at the time spoke very little English. This led to a script full of broken sentences and awkward deliveries as the (American English-speaking) cast were told to deliver each nugget of dialogue verbatim, without any correction. Of course, Fragasso insists the film is a masterpiece.
My other favourite “fun fact” about this movie is that the entire cast turned up hoping to be extras, only to find out they’d been given lead roles. You simply couldn’t make this all up. Please watch this movie.
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
How do careers survive outings like this? Battlefield Earth is probably the best comedy sci-fi film of the last 15 years (not including any films that were intentionally funny) but was critically floored by movie-goers and reviewers alike.
John Travolta really brings this one to life (he doesn’t) as poorly worded dialogue and maniacal laughter is fired across the green screen for nearly 2 hours. The film is thought to have cost $44 million to make, much of that budget probably disappearing on Battlefield Earth’s CGI which makes up large portions of the film.
If you thought the latest Star Wars films were empty, soulless CGI-fests with overpaid actors, a convoluted plot and had very little in the way of redeeming qualities you should take a look at Battlefield Earth. Oh, and Star Trek called – they want their Klingons back.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were already booked to appear in this black comedy when they became the hottest Hollywood couple the world had ever seen (probably). Once the news broke, filming had already begun, but this didn’t stop the producers demanding re-writes to cash-in on the celebrity loving.
And thus – Gigli happened. A black comedy with some very poor-taste jokes and a confusing and entirely unnecessary romantic sub-plot. Picture J-Lo, provocatively placed on a bed sweetly whispering to Ben that “it’s turkey time” only for him to muster his best acting face and reply with a “huh?” that might as well be “derp!”.
Gigli was already a poor production that suffered further at the hands of the producers who tried to incorporate elements of a real-life romance to make a quick buck, which is pretty horrible if you think about it.
I could write an essay about The Room, but for the sake of those who haven’t seen it I will try and contain my emotions. Written, directed and entirely centered around the film’s benefactor Tommy Wiseau, The Room is an absolute tour de force of bad acting, dialogue and screenplay.
A scene simply described as “the roof scene” can be viewed in the video below in which Tommy delivers one of the finest outbursts of his career. This is not an isolated incident – if you do indeed decide to sit down and enjoy this modern masterpiece, you will encounter multiple scenes that make just as much sense.
Some trivia, for the discerning fan:
- The film was shot simultaneously on both 35mm film and in HD on modern equipment that Wiseau bought for the film (instead of renting, like most productions of this ilk).
- The film now enjoys a cult status, with regular midnight viewings and appearances from Wiseau himself.
- The production was initially written as a play, then a novel before the film was made. At first the film was intended to be serious, but since its reception and new-found cult status, is now marketed as a comedy.
Birdemic: Shock And Terror
Save the best till last, right? No. That’s not it. At all. Birdemic: Shock And Terror is another of those “has to be seen to be believed” outings. If you’re simply looking for bad dialogue and wooden acting then go and watch The Room. Birdemic has far more to offer – exploding birds and the worst CGI I’ve ever seen.
Honestly, I’m not sure that compositing a couple of basic 3D models over the top of raw footage on a fixed plane counts as CGI – but that’s the only loose term I can find to describe… this. Not only are the special effects abysmal, but it has to be one of the most brazenly preachy films ever made too – with repeated lectures to the audience about global warming and saving the earth.
The film’s writer and director James Nguyen submitted his creation to the Sundance film festival in 2009, which unsurprisingly rejected it. He then drove around the festival in a van covered in stuffed birds, blood and posters in order to find a distributor. The funniest part? He spelt both the URL and tagline wrong as “BIDEMIC.COM” and “WHY DID THE EAGLES AND VULTURES ATTACKED?” respectively.
Nguyen is currently making the sequel, Birdemic II: The Resurrection. In 3D! I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not looking forward to it.
This list provides proof that bad movies can provide just as much entertainment as good ones. In fact, I’d rather watch a terrible movie of this caliber than a middle-of-the-road 5/10 flick that doesn’t sink or swim. This is just a tiny percentage of films from the “so bad it’s good” category, so if you have any of your own favorites please add them below.
Have you seen the films on this list? Do you enjoy terrible movies? Moan, rave and discuss in the comments!