On those evenings when you want nothing more than something to make you simultaneously laugh and cry, or to take your mind somewhere utterly bizarre, there is nothing better than watching a so-bad-it’s-good movie.
There’s no single reason why we enjoy watching bad movies so much, but Charlie Jane Anders of iO9 sums up some of the pre-requisites wonderfully:
“What all of these movies have in common is a certain amount of ‘I can’t believe they went there,’ combined with a mostly non-ironic insanity of the performances and dialogue. Cheesy visual effects, logic-defying plots, flubbed story beats, mad set pieces. A really great bad movie makes you fall out of your seat laughing and cheering for the awfulness.”
With that in mind, we’ve tracked down 10 of the best bad movies that you can stream on Netflix (US) right now to truly waste a few hours of your life. If you want to look further afield than just Netflix, there are plenty of other terrible movies to add to your playlist.
After all, it’s not like any of us have anything better to do, eh?…
When a movie promises to show a huge tornado of vicious sharks being dumped over a waterlogged Los Angeles, you know you’re in for a good time. And that is exactly what Sharknado delivers.
My personal favorite review states, “Absolutely nothing make sense. Physics and natural laws are ignored. Horrible CGI and cringe-worthy dialogue… and you can’t stop watching. My friends, yelled, laughed, joked, stomped, laughed some more and had a fine time. Now how many times can you say that watching a movie? It literally becomes an interactive experience” (Flixspix).
Whether director Anthony C. Ferrante knew he was making such a classically so-bad-it’s-good movie is unknown, but it’s fair to say that this picture will remain a classic for many years to come.
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
This ridiculous, ironic horror/comedy tries far too desperately to make itself into some form of cult classic, leaving us laughing at, but not with, the whole ordeal. And that’s what it is to watch. An ordeal. It was also a depressing ordeal for all those involved, when this $500,000 picture grossed a whopping $23,000. Ouch. No wonder cinema is dying.
The premise of the story is an exploration of what the hell happens when you build a fast-food chicken franchise on top of a Native American burial site. Yep, you guessed it, zombie chickens, of course. Although the whole thing may be the most outrageous thing you’ll ever see, it’s 103 minutes worth of laugh-out-loud gore, singing, and slap-stick humor. Best served alongside strong beer and great friends.
There’s nothing odd about Robert the homicidal car tire trundling through the desert using his telekinetic powers to go on a three-day rampage, blowing up bunnies, birds, and humans alike. Is there?
In the opening scene, the viewer is introduced to the movie via a monologue selling it as an homage to the “no reason” aspect of many great movies (“In the Steven Spielberg movie E.T. why is the alien brown? No reason.”). But Rubber takes the idea of “no reason” to absurdity in this hilarious, pointless 80 minutes of craziness, that sees the audience become part of the movie itself.
Grease 2 (1982)
Get introduced to a much more pitiful side of Rydell High with Grease 2, the utterly disastrous sequel of the original, Grease. It’s not so much the acting that makes this movie bad. Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield did as well as they could with what was put in front of them. Really, it’s the utterly terrible music (which somehow remains so alluring) that makes this movie a perfect fit for the so-bad-it’s-good category.
Despite all of your inclinations to hit the “Stop” button throughout the movie, there’s something hypnotic that leaves you enjoying the atrociousness of it all. For all its faults, once it ends you can’t help but remember it fondly.
The Toxic Avenger (1984)
After watching The Toxic Avenger, you’ll wonder why Spider-Man takes all the praise. When Melvin, a victim of bullying, is thrown into a vat of toxic waste, he’s transformed into a terrifying superhero, hell-bent on pursuing justice across the town.
The crazy makeup, costume (which took lead actor Mitch Cohen four hours to get into each day), and special effects, will keep a smile plastered across your face. The dialog is nothing short of shocking (in a good, low-brow kind of way). And the acts of justice are horrific. It’s no wonder this movie put Troma on the map.
Just when you thought you’d already seen Jennifer Aniston at her corniest, you force yourself to watch Leprechaun. In this movie, a father and daughter move into a new home, where a 600-year-old homicidal leprechaun is already resident, looking for his stolen gold (naturally).
This whimsical horror needs to be taken with much more than a pinch of salt, but if you go into it expecting the worst, you’ll come away more than content. Yes, it is pretty bad, but it’s also great, silly entertainment for a lazy evening spent lounging on the couch.
John Dies at The End (2012)
When a new drug, offering a trip that transcends time and space, starts sweeping the nation, while simultaneously robbing people of their humanity, the only people to save the planet are two college dropouts who have no idea what they’re doing.
Throughout this award-winning movie, homages to several other cult classics weave between the absurdist plot which never fails to take itself lightly. Despite the absurdity, John Dies at The End is remarkably well made, and extremely compelling. In my personal view, it’s a must-watch. Reviews on a variety of movie rating sites are consistently positive.
Dracula 3000 (2004)
When an abandoned vessel is discovered by the crew of a deep space savage ship, evil beyond their wildest nightmares is unleashed. Well, that was the plan. In reality, we have one of the worst movies ever made.
For anyone studying film and television, this has to be the go-to movie to depict the worst acting imaginable. How bad this film is cannot be expressed in words, and the trailer only hints at the disaster about to play out in front of your eyes. If you decide to torture yourself, please turn watching Dracula 3000 into a drinking game, or you may end up falling into a very deep coma instead.
Blood Surf (2000)
In Blood Surf, a group of surfers pioneer the next extreme sport, where blood is trailed in the wake of the surfboard to attract sharks. However, the plan fails, and a 30-foot salt-water crocodile is hungrily brought into the fray, resulting in bloody, gruesome consequences.
This is a rare movie in that its badness is thorough. Lacking in the humor, wit, and eccentricity that’s needed to revive bad dialog, acting, and a terrible story, it’s hard to find any redeeming features. But somehow, it does redeem itself.
There’s an entertainment factor here that’s hard to pin down. Perhaps it’s the confusion of how something like this could have ever hit the screens. Perhaps it’s because there is the occasional exciting scene. Or perhaps it’s just that the dialog is so basic, that following this movie is easier than any other movie out there, despite its dullness.
ATM is the nonsensical story of three hapless co-workers who are terrorized in an ATM booth by a somewhat scary villain wearing a parka jacket.
Somehow this movie cost $3 million to produce, and unsurprisingly made just $2,000 (that’s not a typo) at the box office. It’s no surprise that ‘ATM’ is now synonymous with “A Terrible Movie”. The main issue is the plethora of plot-holes throughout the 90 minutes that infuriate the viewer (He walks so slow. Just run!). But the acting isn’t that bad, considering the script they had to work with.
Nevertheless, it can still be a fun watch if you dedicate the time to picking apart the movie, finding the flaws in just about every aspect of it, and laughing at the ridiculous lines that these poor actors were forced to recite.
Which Other Movies Would You Include?
There are literally hundreds of terrible movies on Netflix if you’re looking for a light-hearted night, filled with picking holes in plots (like these terrible hacking scenes), or laughing-out-loud at unwatchable acting. These are just 10 that we recommend if you’re so inclined to torture yourself.
The only question that remains is, Are these the 10 best bad movies to watch on Netflix right now? They’re certainly our picks, but you may have stumbled across others that you feel need talking about. If so, which other hilariously bad movies would you add to the list? Please let us know in the comments below.