Top 5 So-Bad-They’re-Good Movies
The world of cinema is not so cut and dry that we can divide films into simply good movies and bad movies. Sure it can be easy to denounce a movie that is poorly made as “bad” but every so often there are movies that are poorly made and should be deemed bad, yet despite they’re terribleness people latch onto them. This is a phenomena in movie of the movie that is So Bad it’s Good, movies that while poorly made are rich in entertainment, and after all isn’t entertainment the reason we watch movies to begin with.
5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A camp classic which has ingrained itself into popular culture’s collective consciousness, to the point that it was granted a spot on the National Film Registry to be preserved by the National Library of Congress due to its cultural importance. Despite the current love this strange musical enjoys now, it is easy to forget that upon it’s release the Rocky Horror Picture Show was slammed by critics and bombed and the box office. Prominent stuffy critics failed to understand the satirical look at classic horror combined with catchy tunes and outrageous set designs. But the handful of fans the picture did acquire upon its release had to wait with antici……pation for Rocky Horror to finally get the recognition it deserved. Sure enough slowly but surely late night showings of the movie caught on, and viewing Rocky Horror is hands down the most unique movie going experience anyone can experience. Today 40 years after it was criticized by Newsweek as “tasteless, plotless, and pointless” you will be hard pressed to find a major city that does not host a major screening of this film.
4. Road House: An action movie directed by a man named “Rowdy”, where do I sign up?! In a world where bouncers are the thin line between anarchy and order (in bars and nightclubs at least) one man stands above them all and his name is Dalton. Played by the late great Patrick “Crazy” Swayze, Dalton is a zen and meditative hero who seeks a peacful solution to conflicts, but when peace is not the answer he is not afraid to tear the throats out of bad guys with his bare hands. Director Rowdy Herrington viewed this movie as a modern day Western with a lone vigilante bringing justice to a lawless town ruled by a ruthless businessman. Many critics lambasted it for its obvious flaws; hokey dialogue, romantic chemistry non-existent between the two leads, ridiculous plot. But despite these flaws, Road House succeeds in being pure fun, and huge part of this is the fact that Swayze plays the unflappable Dalton with a cool seriousness that fans enjoyed. This flick has become one of the ultimate guilty pleasures for lovers of macho action-cinema and those who enjoy Swayze at his best.
3. Manos the Hands of Fate: In 1966 a bet was made between two men, bit actor Harold P. Warren bet the successful screenwriter of films like, Towering Inferno and the Poseidon Adventure, that he could make a movie. The result of this movie was a flick that lives in infamy, Manos the Hands of Fate. Warren rented some equipment and drove out to the dessert and created a strange film about a family stumbling across the home of Torgo and his Master. Due to the cost of renting the equipment he needed, Warren slapped together this nonsensical movie as fast as he could. He did not record any dialogue while actually filming the movie, instead he and a couple of friends dubbed over the lines for every single character in post production. This nonsensical exercise in lunacy was largely forgotten after an incredibly limited release (a few theaters in El Paso, Texas), but it was rediscovered by cinephiles in the 1990’s when the hit television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 worked their riff magic on the flick in one of their best episodes.
2. The Room: I hold the belief that at some point aliens in outer space picked up signals from human movies and television shows. Now despite their obvious deficiencies in undertanding how humans interacted with each other in these movies and shows, the extraterrestrials decided to make a movie and the result was the Room. This is a strange bit of madness from; writer, director, producer, actor, and man of undetermined nationality, Tommy Wiseau. I would recap the plot for you at this point, but nobody really seems to pin down a plot, there seems to be the story of Johnny and his psycho girlfriend cheating on him; but along the way they have a creepy kid in their life who gets into trouble; and the psycho girlfriend’s mother has breast cancer (and then she doesn’t); and people randomly going to Johnny’s apartment to bump uglies; and every guy in the movie seems to be practicing for the NFL in formal attire. Nothing about this movie is coherent and because there has never been anything like it, the Room has built a cult following who pack theaters for the kind of late night showings that give Rocky Horror competition.
1. Plan 9 From Outer Space: Here it is the granddaddy of all bad movies from the patron saint of bad cinema, Ed Wood. A race of aliens attempt to conquer the world with a plan; plans 1 through 8 apparently will not work, forcing them to resort to PLAN 9!!!!! This involves resurrecting three dead people in an attempt to conquer humanity, and they also use hubcap flying saucers as well for reasons we humans apparently can not comprehend. Featuring the final performance of acting legend Bela Lugosi and a whole host of stock footage and bad production values, Wood’s masterpiece has left an imprint not just on B-Movies but on popular culture as a whole with nods in; Seinfeld, the X-Files and How I Met Your Mother. In the film many consider to be Tim Burton’s best, the appropriately named Ed Wood, the making of this picture was the crescendo of the movie. Despite the reputation of being the worst movie ever made, Plan 9 From Outer Space stands as one of the most influential movies in cinema. On a personal note, me and my friend Will Aymerich, host of the Aymerich Show on Rock, Radio and More, recently began a campaign where we are petitioning to add this cult classic to the National Film Registry in order to be preserved for the impact it has had on our culture. If you wish to join us in this campaign Like our Facebook page HERE and follow the link we have to tell the Library of Congress that this movie is important.