Sometimes there are movies which are such a mess as to go beyond being terrible and achieve greatness. This list contains 10 of those movies, with any that were made to be INTENTIONALLY bad disqualified. Also, “The Room,” isn’t on this list because everyone already knows it is the all-time champion of movies so bad they’re good, so it wouldn’t be fair to compare any other flicks to it!
10. Snakes on a Plane
Sometimes everything you need to know is in the title! This movie with Samuel L. Jackson as the lead trying to fight-off a bunch of snakes, on a plane (of course) is deliriously silly and knows it. With some real-life snakes as well as a lot of passable-to-awful computer-generated ones, the flick is absurd but accomplishes being so off-the-wall-crazy it ends up working.
9. Plan 9 from Outer Space
Coming in at number 9 is a movie with that same number in its title–“Plan 9 From Outer Space!” Created by Ed Wood, a director well-known for making movies with a certain terrible charm, this movie has everything from an alien-invasion (of cardboard flying saucers) to random zombies, and any other idea Ed Wood had he hoped might work. Sometimes you throw everything at the wall to see what might stick, and this movie is an example of everything, “Sticking,” to make a work that is accidentally genius.
8. Batman and Robin
The movie that essentially killed the Batman franchise for a number of years until Christopher Nolan came along and resurrected it, “Batman and Robin,” takes so many wrong turns it ends up becoming a wonderful piece of camp. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze saying terrible puns about cold weather mixed with George Clooney as a terribly uninterested Batman, plus Uma Thurman vamping as hard as she possibly can in the cheapest Poison Ivy costume you’ve ever seen makes a train-wreck that is strangely watchable.
7. Troll 2
This film was so bad it actually has had documentaries made trying to figure out what happened to create such schlock. From the most amateur actors possible to a confusing plot (monstrous trolls are hungry but are vegetarians so they hunt humans down and transform them into plants), “Troll 2,” is also notable because there actually isn’t a first, “Troll,” movie…it just is inexplicably given a 2 in the title because the creators thought, “Why not?” and did it. That same, “Let’s do whatever,” vibe is in the whole movie and makes it strangely entertaining even as it continues to make almost zero sense.
While the numerous sequels eventually leaned-in to the absurdity with a knowing wink to let viewers know, “We’re in on the joke,” the first Sharknado that kicked-off the craze is actually incredibly earnest in how dumb it is–and that arguably makes it the best in the franchise by not realizing how just plain stupid it is. A bunch of people try to fight a tornado full of sharks and don’t jam-in a bunch of self-aware humor, they just make a bad-yet-genius movie.
They made a movie that was based on a board game, and for some reason added-in a bunch of space aliens while the game itself does not have any. Now, there are stupid movies, and then there are STUPID MOVIES, and trying to based an entire film on a game that involves trying to guess where an opposing player’s ship could be is a pretty bad idea, as this movie shows. Still, there is a weird pleasure in watching a shockingly good cast (Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, Rhianna) take such a silly concept so seriously.
4. The Happening
Trees start giving-off a chemical that makes people want to kill themselves. Yes, in this movie trees are literally the villain and we get to watch Mark Wahlberg make a confused face about it for almost 2 hours as everyone dies in gross ways. Just the fact that trees are the bad guys make this a trash-masterpiece.
3. Deep Blue Sea
Another movie where Samuel L. Jackson goes-up against nature (a bunch of Great White Sharks) but–spoiler alert–he doesn’t come out on-top in this flick, instead getting eaten by one of the shark mid-inspirational speech. Honestly, he and everyone else who gets gobbled-up kind of has it coming, considering the movie is about sharks made super-smart by humans trying to research a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease who don’t think about whether it is a bad idea to make a creature that excels at killing as intelligent as a human. Their mistake is our gain, however, as we get to watch a lot of people learn the price of their hubris, e.g. they get chomped.
2. Battlefield Earth
John Travolta really wanted to make an adaptation of a famous L. Ron Hubbard novel full of drama and big ideas. What he created instead was a weird mess where he’s supposed to look nine feet tall and has space-dreadlocks for no apparent reason. People might think the movie is supposed to be joke were Travolta himself not so darn earnest throughout the whole thing as if he really thought he was launching the next, “Star Wars,” and that incomprehensible love Travolta floods this piece of trash with elevates it beyond being a simple flop.
When it was released a lot of people thought, “Showgirls,” was one of the worst films ever made. Then they realized it was one of the BEST films ever made. The plot makes zero sense of some random woman becoming a big name Vegas showgirl, the sex-scenes that were supposed to be spicy and earn the flick its NC-17 rating are hilariously tacky, Gina Gershon’s Southern accent seems to be unsure what State it hails from, and every single scene tries its hardest to seem grim-and-gritty about the cutthroat word of…dancing in Vegas shows for drunk tourists. It is an unholy abomination of a movie, and it is glorious.
David Bitterbaum is the longtime writer of The Newest Rant where he discusses how he loves all of popular culture, except for the stuff he hates. He often rambles about everything from movies, to music, television, and often comic-books. He lives in Saint Louis with his extremely patient wife and son.