My suggestions for bad movies that are fun to watch with your bad movie buff friends (Part 1)
The list below is NOT complete and I do not attempt to name every bad film—just the ones I’ve seen. I will most likely add a second or even third list later. And, if you can think of a movie that you think I should add, let me know.
To be included on the list, the film has to be fun to watch due to its ineptness. Usually, watching these films with like-minded friends is a major plus! Boring films like The English Patient and The Conqueror are not eligible nor are most big-budget flops like John Carter or Heaven’s Gate unless they reach a certain level of awfulness. Also, while I have heard that the Turkish version of Star Wars is horrible, if I cannot find it subtitled or dubbed I will not include it on the list.
- Anything by Ed Wood, though you must see Plan 9 From Outer Space*, Bride of the Monster and Glen Or Glenda. I should warn you—Glen Or Glenda is a bit painful and Wood himself stars in this semi-autobiographical film.
- Anything by Al Adamson, though you should try to find Dracula vs. Frankenstein* and Blood of Ghastly Horror.
- Anything by William Grefe, though you should try to find Death Curse of Tartu and Impulse (with William Shatner)*. Impulse is simply amazing—one of the best bad films on the list.
- Anything by Ray Dennis Steckler, though you should try to find The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters. His films have a real home-made feel to them and he generally didn’t try to make great works of art!
- Anything by Larry Buchanan, though you should try to see Curse of the Swamp Creature and Zontar: The Thing from Venus.
- Most films made in the Philippines for US audiences in the 1970s.
- Eegah!! Featuring Richard Kiel as the caveman who inexplicably lives in the 20th century.
- Robot Monster—Occasionally dull, the film features a guy in a gorilla suit and a diving helmet!
- Birdemic—Worst CGI in history?
- The Apple*—My favorite bad film and one I wrote about recently for Influx.
- The Room*–This one has a HUGE cult following. The director LATER said he was trying to make a bad film but so far, no one believes him.
- Xanadu—Yes this is a big budget film and some of the music is nice but it’s still crap from start to finish.
- Roller Boogie—Like The Apple, Can’t Stop the Music and Xanadu, proof that 1979-80 was the low-point in cinematic history.
- Master of the Flying Guillotine*–A blind kung fu master who is unstoppable and an Indian guy with 10 foot-long arms!
- Shaolin Invincibles—Featuring baddies with 3 foot long tongues and guys in gorilla costumes doing Kung Fu!!
- Any movie with Timothy Farrell—He starred in more horrible films than anyone I can think of—not a bad actor in spite of this.
- Sex Madness* and Reefer Madness—Both by the same gifted director
- Dondi—This film could make Mary Poppins kill the child starring in the film!
- They Saved Hitler’s Brain—The highlight is the head of Hitler in a pickle jar yelling “Mach Schnell”!
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare*–Previously discussed on Influx. The film is terrible BUT has great music at the same time!
- Phantom of the Paradise*–Brian De Palma manages to make the list with this one.
- The Ten Commandments—The 1950s remake by Cecil B. DeMille and I am very shocked other folks don’t find this film an unintentional laugh riot. The overacting is just amazing to watch. DeMille seemed like he was on a one-man crusade to advance atheism with much of his work yet he’s inexplicably respected for his work.
- Sign of the Cross*—An earlier DeMille ‘Christian’ film that included bestiality, lesbianism and much more!
- I Want to Live–Inexplicably Susan Hayward received an Oscar for her amazingly overwrought performance. Too funny and it must have inspired Divine in Female Trouble!
- Trog—With Joan Crawford!
- White Commanche—With William Shatner playing an American Indian!
- Frogs and The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant—both established that a once fine actor, Ray Milland, was simply out of his mind later in life.
- Once Upon a Time—proof that a great actor like Cary Grant can make crap.
- Empire of the Ants*–Joan Collins battles gigantic ants!
- Lost Horizon (the musical remake—not the wonderful Ronald Colman version)—Have a barf bag handy when you watch this saccharine mess!
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull—A film where all the actors are birds. Seriously—the 1970s was DEFINITELY the decade of drugs and this film is proof.
- Jet Pilot—Shorter and more fun to watch than The Conqueror—and both starred John Wayne flick.
- A Change of Habit—Elvis falls in love with a happenin’ chick (Mary Tyler Moore)—too bad she’s already a nun!
- Blackenstein—Yes, this is a REAL movie from the blacksploitation era and it’s BAD!
- Any of the el Santo* luchador films, though I particularly love the ones where he fights vampires and werewolves. I especially like to watch this masked crime fighter on dates or showering while STILL wearing his mask!
- The Aztec Mummy series*—Any of these three Mexican films deserves to be on the list, but perhaps The Aztec Mummy Against the Humanoid Robot is the worst.
- Pierre le Fou and Alphaville—Proof that a respected and critically adored French New Wave director can deliberately make crap and the critics will still adore it and declare that it’s a work of genius! I am pretty sure he’s STILL laughing about these films!
- Any of the Starman movies—Such as Evil Brain From Outer Space. I cannot blame the Japanese entirely for these films, as they were chopped to pieces, dubbed and shipped off to America in a different form than they were intended.
- Any Gamera film—He’s a giant Godzilla-like turtle that shoots flames out of his butt as he flies. Need I say more?!
- Gone With the Wind—Actually, I am just seeing if you are actually reading the list. This is a great film…duh.
*This indicates a movie that is particularly bad and really, really enjoyable. Sort of like the Holy Grails of bad movies.
Article by Lead Entertainment Writer and Film Critic, Martin Hafer