This post was inspired by contentcatnip’s embarrasingly cringey music: 70’s and 80’s edition.
The line between intentionally campy and unintentionally funny is often hard to distinguish. Below are a few films I enjoy despite ridiculous moments.
The Room (2003)
Often cited as the worst movie ever made. A flop when released, but has since gained a cult following. Horrible acting from the lead Tommy Wiseau, he’s the worst actor I’ve ever seen. Way too many sex scenes as well as scenes of throwing a ball. That laugh Johnny has, “ha ha” is hilarious. How the hell did this film cost $6 million!? 🙂
Just about the only positive is the photography of San Francisco in the intro.
If you enjoy “so badly done it’s funny”, an essential watch.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Indiana Jones was always a bit campy and over the top. The realism was lost in Temple of Doom which I love but when a boy is beating up grown men it’s hard not to chuckle. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) also took liberties with reality such as Shia LaBeouf swinging through trees like Tarzan accompanied by monkeys. Ludicrous yet amusing.
Flash Gordon (1980)
Based on a cartoon strip from the 1930s. Was it intended to be funny? Who knows. What I do know is as a child I loved the sets and the colors. Great escapism. Like a world you have never been to and the characters are very memorable. I’ve read the filmmakers kept fiddling around with the script, trying to decide whether to be funny or realistic. Has a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman.
Cashing in on the Star Wars hype in the late 70s, Moonraker is easily the silliest Roger Moore Bond film. The scenes with henchman Jaws are so laughable that it’s endearing. And the gondola chase in Venice should be in a comedy movie, not a secret agent film. The best scene in is “You missed Mr Bond.” “Did I?”
Suitable when you are craving a mindless action film. The 92 minutes just fly by. Especially the opening hour surprises with its action sequences. The acting and one-liners tend towards so-bad-it’s-good territory. The silliness is part of the fun. I still consider Commando a quintessential Schwarzenegger actioner, and superior to the movies he’s made in recent times.
A very divisive film. Is it a misunderstood satirical masterpiece or superficial misogynistic trash? I’m not sure. Some believe it’s worthy of critical re-evaluation such as Adam Nayman who examines the film in his book It Doesn’t Suck. Others laugh at it ironically.
I’ve only seen Showgirls once and was never boring to me, although the frequent nudity was overdone. The characters do illogical things, such as kiss someone for no apparent reason besides it’s sexy. The ridiculous ending is an improbable one-in-a-million coincidence. The movie derailed Elizabeth Berkley’s career but has gained cult movie status. Although the film was not successful when first released, it generated $100 million from video rentals and became one of MGM’s top 20 all-time bestsellers.
Road House (1989)
About bouncers and with plenty of bar room brawls. Big chunks of the movie are clichéd, the acting is below average, and the dialogue an 80s cheese-fest. Yet somehow defies logic and is entertaining throughout!
Roger Ebert wrote: “Road House exists right on the edge between the “good-bad movie” and the merely bad. I hesitate to recommend it, because so much depends on the ironic vision of the viewer. This is not a good movie”.
Did you watch any of these films and what is your opinion? Which bad movies do you think are entertaining?