Sometimes, we like to watch bad movies. Sometimes, those bad movies are actually bad: Manos: The Hands of Fate, for example, or Basic Instinct 2. Maybe a direct-to-DVD movie like John West’s Bar-B-Q (Starring John West), or popular film Ice Grill. But then sometimes a movie is so bad, so absolutely incomprehensibly awful, that it comes back around again and has redeeming qualities that make it fun to watch. Sometimes those movies are just failures on every conceptual level, but have so much awesome crap in them that you can’t stop watching. I’ve always thought that the only true cinema crime is making the audience bored, and here are ten movies (plus a special lifetime achievement award) that might be completely goddamn terrible, but are nonetheless a total blast to watch, especially if you’re drunk with friends. But I did have one rule: The movie had to actually end up in theaters at some point. Otherwise this list would be nothing but crap I fished out of a bargain bin at the local Kroger.
10. Baby Geniuses 2: Superbabies – I had a hard time picking this one because it might just be regular-bad, since I was so drunk my liver was trying to jump out of my body while I was watching it. But there’s no denying that it’s great to watch Jon Voight dress up like a Nazi and get beat up by babies while you’re hanging around with your friends.
9. Gigli – Whenever I wanted to make her mad or disgust my girlfriend, all I had to do was make Ben Affleck’s “O face” as featured in Gigli, and she would immediately punch me in the stomach. Watching Gigli is also not unlike getting punched in the stomach, plus it has a retard who likes Baywatch. But I’ve got to say that it’s so bad, it’s kind of fun to watch, in a sick way. The J-Lo / Ben Affleck meltdown only makes it that much sweeter.
8. Rambo – Sylvester Stalone made a comeback from being a joke to being kind of awesome with Rocky Balboa, which is a legitimately kinda-good movie and doesn’t belong on this list at all. Then he went and made Rambo, which might be one of the ultimate good-bad action movies of all time: Rambo teaches non-violent Bible-thumpers that sometimes it’s okay to rip out a man’s throat and then destroy the entire nation of Burma by exploding heads with a 50-calibre machine gun mounted to the back of a jeep. What makes this movie truly good-bad is how seriously it takes itself, and how it’s trying so hard to be a return to the Serious Rambo of First Blood while giving us Crazy Rambo from First Blood Part 2. We can only hope that Rambo 5, which will apparently involve Rambo fighting aliens and/or super soldiers, will be as awesome.
7. 2012 – It’s a tough call between this and The Day After Tomorrow, which is amazingly bad in its own right, and Roland Emmrich probably deserves some kind of award for making two of the best worst disaster movies not just of this decade, but of all time. But 2012 is truly special: Practically the whole earth blows up because the sun is shooting Star Trek particles into it, people escape in progressively larger vehicles from progressively larger explosions, it has Danny Glover as the President because I assume Morgan Freeman was busy doing something else, and the ending not so casually implies that a bunch of white people are going to go to Africa and blow up a bunch of black people with enormous battleships. Pretty much everything you could want from a disaster movie.
6. Final Destination 2 – I’m so glad that the Final Destination movies did away with the second most interesting part of slasher movies (the slasher) in favor of the most interesting part of slasher movies (people turning into red mist with chunks in it). Characters we don’t care about avoid a million-car pileup on a highway, which causes Death to completely flip out and decide to kill them all in hilarious and inventive ways while they exchange stupid dialogue and ham it up so much that I’m pretty sure you can be kicked out of being Jewish for watching this movie. It also has the best use of a kid exploding ever, which makes this the cream of the crap that is the Final Destination series.
5. Bad Boys 2 – Michael Bay made his masterpiece back in 2003 and should have completely stopped making movies afterward. Terrible dialogue, no story, and mostly dudes shooting other dudes while chasing those dudes in fast cars make this just about the most perfect bad action movie. It’s like what would have happened if Michael Bay had directed Stallone trash masterpiece Cobra. But with more racist jokes, and also Martin Lawrence right when he was on the cusp of America realizing that he’s not actually very funny.
4. The Spirit – Frank Miller, drunk off of the money that he made from Sin City and 300, decided that it was time to make his own green screen epic. What was his brilliant plan for his magnum opus? To have Samuel L. Jackson dress up like a Nazi and deliver-ham fisted exposition. I actually paid real, physical money to see that, and was not disappointed, probably because Sam Jackson is always good-bad. It also gives The Wicker Man (later in this list) a run for its money as the “bitch, get back in the kitchen” movie of the decade.
3. The Number 23 – Jim Carrey goes insane for mostly unspecified reasons related to the magical number 23, but really all you need to know about this movie is that Joel Schumacher thinks that it’s scary to frame two people running next to each other so that their jerseys form out the number 23, and that two divided by three is POINT SIX SIX SIX… the number of the devil. This movie was so bad that Jim Carey fired his agent over it. This movie was so bad that Batman and Robin is no longer Joel Schumacher’s worst movie.
2. The Wicker Man – If misogyny could take physical form, I’m sure that it would end up as a DVD of the Wicker Man remake, which features Nicholas Cage in full-on crazy mode doing things like hitting women while dressed as a bear. If you’ve ever been on Youtube, I’m pretty sure that you’ve seen this entire movie by osmosis already, and already know about how bees swarm all over Cage’s face while he screams NOT THE BEES! I cannot think of a more perfect bad movie moment than that. Except for…
1. Southland Tales – Southland Tales is a failure on every single level. The story is a complete mess, the acting is terrible, it’s about two hours too long, and it has that guy who played the Italian in The Princess Bride as the bad guy. Who’s trying to bring the antichrist into the world or something, it’s never clear. Southland Tales isn’t so much a movie as it is an all-encompassing full-body experience that baffles the mind and leaves you wondering how, exactly, what you just witnessed happened. But it does have Sarah Michelle Gellar talking about Bang Bus, rips off the ending of cult classic Repo Man, and has The Rock teaching one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned: That pimps don’t commit suicide.