Top 20 Movies So Bad They're Good



Top 20 Movies So Bad They're Good

VOICE OVER: Alexander Cometti WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
These horrible films are so bad they're good! For this list, we'll be ranking films that are infamous for being awful yet still have many devoted fans. Our countdown includes “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”, “The Star Wars Holiday Special”, “Reefer Madness”, “Batman and Robin”, “The Happening”, and more!

Top 20 Movies So Bad They’re Good

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Movies So Bad They’re Good.

For this list, we’ll be ranking films that are infamous for being awful yet still have many devoted fans. While we do love some of the movies on this list, we’ll include any flicks that initially had a bad critical reception before becoming cult classics.

What’s your favorite so bad it’s good movie? Let us know in the comments!

#20: “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (1997)

How do you kill a franchise with just one movie? The creative team of “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” could probably give you a a step by step guide. After the 1995 `”Mortal Kombat” film was a hit, a sequel was almost certainly a given. But “Annihilation” only made a slight profit against its thirty-million-dollar budget. And it’s not hard to see why. Multiple members of the main cast were recast without warning, the acting is over the top and the special effects are awful. While those issues doomed the movie’s theatrical release, fans grew to love the shotty visuals during the fight scenes and the hokey dialogue. This campy fighting tournament has attracted many spectators by embracing how ridiculous it is.

#19: “Spice World” (1997)

Any campy movie that fully commits to its ridiculous nature deserves applause. This is one of the reasons why “Spice World” hits all the right notes for fans. On the surface, the movie follows the popular girl group in the days leading up to a big concert gig. However, the film also takes numerous detours into plots that range from helping a pregnant friend deliver a baby to meeting aliens. And the Spice Girls also lean on the fourth wall before breaking it completely in the credits. Thanks to the baffling plot, famous film critic Roger Ebert said “Spice World” was one of the biggest cinematic disasters of 1998. But fans of this silly movie celebrate the quirky story as an absurd masterpiece.

#18: “Captain America” (1990)

Younger Marvel fans have no idea how good they have it today. Just a few decades ago, campy superhero movies like 1990’s “Captain America” were the best ones around. This particular big screen adaptation was absolutely overstuffed with plot. In just one film, Steve becomes Captain America, gets frozen in ice, and wakes up years later to fight Red Skull. He also steals cars. While the movie definitely feels rushed, it has a few big merits. Red Skull is intimidating, actor Matt Salinger looks great as Captain America, and we can’t help but laugh at the choppy editing used for the action scenes. It certainly doesn’t measure up to most MCU tales. However, it’s still worthy of a watch.

#17: “Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood” (2003)

Warwick Davis’ Leprechaun character had already been to Vegas and Outer Space by the time this spin-off sequel was released back in 2003. So, it would’ve been easy to write-off “Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood” as yet another, direct-to-video cash in for the franchise. And it is. However, we just can’t get enough of that Davis charisma. He carries a lot of the movie with his talent for giving us some groan-inducing puns and plenty of self-aware schlock. Although “Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood” certainly isn’t as good as the OG film, it still proved that fans will always line up to see what Warwick Davis brings to the table.

#16: “The Star Wars Holiday Special” (1978)

Honestly, how could we NOT include this legendary slice of seventies lunacy for all to see and celebrate? There’s just so much to love about how ill-conceived the “Star Wars Holiday Special” is. One of the biggest problems that emerges quickly revolves around Chewbacca and the rest of the wookies. Since none of their vocals or expressions come with subtitles, the audience has to guess together what’s being said in their inexplicably long scenes. Viewers also get a sensual song with Diahann Carroll, a kind of awesome song with Bea Arthur, and an animated Boba Fett doing excellent stuff. The inexplicable creative choices add up to a strangely brilliant product. It’s the perfect holiday present that no one ever asked for.

#15: “Samurai Cop” (1991)

The nineties actually had plenty of awesome, direct-to-video action junk that works really well with a crowd. One of the sharpest campy films of the time was unquestionably “Samurai Cop”. Title character Joe Marshall is brought in to use his specific set of sword skills to stop a criminal organization known as Katana. His adventures are full of infamous fanservice and over-the-top violence. Since voices were missing from the original film, director Amir Shervan had to go back and do some terrible dubbing. And “Samurai Cop” Joe Marshall can also be spotted wearing a wig in certain scenes because he cut his hair before reshoots were finished. While the production was troubled, the movie has no problem with getting audiences to check it out today.

#14: “Maximum Overdrive” (1986)

While many Stephen King film adaptations are certified horror classics, the writer directed a much less well received adaptation of one of his own stories. In “Maximum Overdrive”, average citizens are sent scrambling when a comet gives inanimate machines the ability to do what they want. What sounded like a chilling story failed to spook up anything higher than a 15% on Rotten tomatoes. While the movie fails to scare, it does succeed at making us laugh at green goblin trucks and how evil soda machines can be. It also helps that it features performances from actors who are trying to do the best with the material they have. “Maximum Overdrive” is a bumpy ride that fans of cheesy movies should definitely take.

#13: “Mac and Me” (1988)

Rip-off films are nothing new. However, “Mac and Me” is such a blatant imitation of a much better film that it deserves its cult status. Just like “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”, this ripoff largely centers around an alien bonding with a boy while trying to navigate earth. While both movies have humor and drama, “Mac and Me”’s tone is a lot more uneven. The ripoff also differs from “E.T.” by including an absolutely shameless McDonald’s product placement scene. Against all odds, “Mac and Me” has endured as an awful sci-fi cinematic classic. Paul Rudd also leans on the film for a funny running interview gag. Any movie that gets this much attention from both Ant-Man himself and McDonald’s can’t be all bad.

#12: “Birdemic: Shock and Terror” (2010)

Speaking of obvious ripoffs, try to guess what Hitchock movie “Birdemic: Shock and Terror” is trying to imitate. The 2010 film tries to make winged creatures threatening onscreen once more. But “Birdemic'' doesn't land close to making the animals menacing. Throughout the movie, the special effects for the birds are laughably bad. Even if the winged creatures looked good, the pitiful dialogue and bizarre acting choices would still get in the way. The film does deserve a little credit for its attempts to promote an environmental message. And the sight of heroes fighting fake birds with real hangers never fails to get a huge laugh. While Hitchcock probably wouldn’t have given “Birdemic” a second glance, adoring fans will never stop rewatching it.

#11: “Reefer Madness” (1936)

It may shock fans of this cult classic to learn that “Reefer Madness” was actually intended for a serious purpose. Originally, a church group genuinely wanted to address what they perceived as problems with cannabis use with a grounded movie. But when producer Dwain Esper got his hands on the footage, he decided to add ridiculous scenes to this morality tale. The finished product has overacting, unrealistic situations and doesn’t exactly feel like it’s based in fact. It honestly feels more like a parody of a propaganda film than a movie with an earnest message. But anyone who loves this film is probably thankful it went from a serious product to a ridiculous tale about cannabis use.

#10: “Street Fighter” (1994)

Putting a beloved action star of the nineties into an adaptation of a popular video game franchise seemed like a surefire recipe for greatness. While “Street Fighter” was a financial success, it wasn’t exactly a critical masterpiece. The movie comes off a big, dumb and overblown action epic that doesn’t know the meaning of the word “subtle.” Jean-Claude Van Damme presents the normally 100 percent American Colonel Guile with an outrageous Belgian accent with no shame. Meanwhile, Raul Julia hams it up as the ultra-evil General M. Bison. Ultimately his commitment to having a good time amongst the cheesy makeup and dialogue helps elevate “Street Fighter”. The film, which is dedicated to his memory, is all the better because of his work.

#9: “The Happening” (2008)

Much was made at the time of “The Happening’s” original 2008 release about it being the first R-rated film from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. And, the story of some unknown biological agent causing an outbreak of involuntary self-destruction was certainly intriguing. However, the execution of said premise, and questionable directing choices resulted in “The Happening” becoming one of the biggest duds of the 2000s. Both Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel looked lost in a story where ordinary plants are the big bads. Their line delivery and dialogue is consistently bizarre in a plot full of nonsensical turns and weird characters. But the biggest twist of the lackluster “The Happening” is that it’s actually a lot of fun to watch.

#8: “Super Mario Bros.” (1993)

Describing the plot of this infamous video game adaptation in a coherent manner would take hours. The movie took a simple premise about a plumber trying to rescue a princess into a tale that incorporates meteorites, de-evolution rays and alternate dimensions. Instead of trying to understand the madness, it’s best to just enjoy the film with a simply astonishing 28% on Rotten Tomatoes. Viewers of this film will see a legendary villainous turn from Dennis Hopper as President Koopa. At the same time, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo do everything in their power to make their lines sound convincing. While their efforts may have not earned the film coins at the box office, it’s grown into a nostalgic piece of video game movie history.

#7: “Manos: The Hands of Fate” (1966)

“Manos: The Hands of Fate'' is an excellent example of an obscure horror picture that received a new lease on life thanks to its spotlight on “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. That show’s riffing helped celebrate the film's herky-jerky editing, clumsy dubbing and absolutely nonsensical plot. While the movie tale about a family escaping a cult is interesting, the story of this movie’s production might be more fascinating. Lead Actor/Director Harold P. Warren famously bet he could easily make a horror flick. Although his dismal budget didn’t allow proper lighting or decent cameras, he did technically win the bet. Movie fans and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” are still celebrating Warren’s commitment to proving doubters wrong today.

#6: “The Wicker Man” (2006)

Did you know that the infamous bees scene from the 2006 “Wicker Man” remake doesn’t appear in the original movie? Yup, this oft-cited example of Nicolas Cage going, well, FULL Nicolas Cage, only appears in an alternate cut. But the film doesn’t need that iconic scene to be a so bad it’s good masterpiece. The tale centers around a man who tries to find his missing daughter on a mysterious island. During his quest, he has to wear a bear suit, throw a few punches and scream about a burned doll. Shockingly, these antics weren’t well received by critics in the slightest. But a 15% rotten tomatoes score doesn’t do justice to how quotable and entertaining 2006’s “Wicker Man” can be.

#5: “Troll 2” (1990)

After appearing in 1990’s “Troll 2”, actor Michael Stephenson directed a documentary about his experience called “Best Worst Movie.” Although the film certainly isn’t the most terrible movie out there, its legacy as a bizarre movie continues to grow amongst fans of weird cinema. “Troll 2” was an “in-name-only” sequel to the original “Troll” from 1986. Not only does the follow-up have goblins instead of trolls, but it’s also full of unforgettable performances and line deliveries. Even a weird dinner table scene becomes iconic thanks to the cast fully embracing the baffling script. While the movie’s full of great moments, the memworthy reaction to a certain on-screen death is usually enough to sell people on the legendarily bad film.

#4: “Batman and Robin” (1997)

To say that “mileage may vary” when it comes to director Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin” is an understatement. There are Batman fans that absolutely hate this film for its cartoony dialogue, over-the-top action set pieces and off-kilter sense of self-referential humor. Then again, there are also those who defend Schumacher’s vision for the exact same reasons. It all depends on how much fun fans like their caped crusader to have. “Batman and Robin” takes the spirit of the high camp of the 1960s television show to craft imaginative sets and tons of ice puns. While it’s not the dark knight tale fans deserved at the time, is the one they could use for a laugh right now.

#3: “Showgirls” (1995)

When a woman named Nomi tries to become a Veags “Showgirl”, she finds herself in the center of mature and scandalous adventures. While the film's commitment to sensual content earned it a NC-17 rating, its bad script and dialogue would pave the way for it to win seven Razzie awards. The film was blasted for its acting, directing and chemistry between actors before it was given the dishonor of being named worst film of the decade. So, why do so many people still flock to see it today? Some fans admire its courage to incorporate racy content. Others genuinely enjoy the humor and bad lines. No matter what pulls people in, “Showgirls” is living proof that the most unlikely movies can become guilty pleasures.

#2: “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959)

“Plan 9 From Outer Space” has been labeled in the past as “the worst film ever made.” But that label fails to mention how entertaining this 50’s film truly is. In this ambitious story, aliens have a plan to unleash zombies if the humans fail to heed their warnings. But the plot is hard to take seriously when the flying saucer footage looks like it’s taken from an elementary school film project. Since the actors are giving legitimately committed performances, the movie’s flaws come from infamous auteur Ed Wood’s script and direction. His unique vision certainly isn’t for everyone. But those who are willing to check out Wood’s low budget sci-fi plan might find themselves pleasantly surprised by a fun and definitely out-of-this world story.

#1: “The Room” (2003)

As soon as the first line of “The Room '' is uttered, it’s clear that the film will be a complete disaster from start to finish. Audiences couldn’t help but gawk at the cringy dialogue, embarrassing ADR dubbing, awkward love scenes and air of strangeness that permeates the film. “The Room” is seemingly supposed to be a serious drama about infidelity and betrayal. But writer, director and lead actor Tommy Wiseu later labeled it as an intentional black comedy. The way the actors approach every ridiculous turn 100 percent seriously certainly supports that notion. It’s still unclear whether Wiseu’s trying to save face by saying it was a comedy or truly set out to make us laugh. Either way, he’s responsible for one great bad movie.