Unintended Hilarity
July 2, 2010 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday I finally got around to watching The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. So much fun! Now I'd really like to see the old and unintentionally hilarious movies it parodies. Being completely unfamiliar with films of that age (50's low budget B-movies), I have no idea where to even begin. What titles would you recommend for cringing and laughing at?
posted by Tequila Mockingbird to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just about any move shown on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 will fill the bill, although some are newer than the 50s. Also learn about Ed Wood. There are other directors out there known for their cheesiness as well.
posted by TedW at 9:46 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some of the parodied are mentioned on the imdb trivia page and a bunch more in this list from a user at imdb. Oh yeah, a lot of those are unintentionally hilarious - the terrible acting and the super cheesy special effects especially.
posted by iconomy at 9:47 AM on July 2, 2010

If I were embarking on this journey, I would start by going through some pre-compiled lists and picking the ones with the most ridiculous titles. For instance, there's the list on wikipedia of all of the titles MST3K did. And IMDB's Bottom 100.

As for particular titles, Plan 9 from Outer Space is the go-to classic. I've also seen clips from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, and it looks very promising.
posted by phunniemee at 9:50 AM on July 2, 2010

Judging by your profile, you're in the US. You may have a lot of good luck looking at the streaming movies on Hulu - specifically here. They're not all from the fifties of course, but they are almost universally cheesy.

Also, my current favorite cult film house is "Something Weird Video" if you ever want to move on to some other cheaply made films of the home video era
posted by Think_Long at 9:57 AM on July 2, 2010

I'll cast a vote for "The Bat Whispers" (1931). Although it actually has some really amazing photography, it is a crazed, demented hoot in a lot of ways. As if an Academy award-winning cinematographer had shot "Plan 9." One-of-a-kind experience. Also, "The Giant Claw." OMG. You have to see this to believe it. (But with one proviso -- the script isn't really that bad and the actors thought Ray Harryhausen was going to do the effects instead of a little fly-by-night outfit in Mexico.)
posted by rexknobus at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2010

The Slime People, is perfect, Lemora, Lady Dracula. Anything you find in those piles of dvd's for sale cheap will usually fit the bill.

I loved The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, it was a fab! (I made Mr. C watch it too, although he failed to see the greatness.) Plan 9 From Outer Space is of course the classic, and The Evil Dead movies are good.
posted by chocolatetiara at 10:52 AM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: I somehow completely ignored MST3K - that might be exactly what I need! However anything they didn't poke fun at would be an awesome suggestion as well.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 10:58 AM on July 2, 2010

If you have dollar stores in your area, these movies are in a big bin for a dollar.

And, I'm going to gloat - a local theater group did a play of "Plan 9 from Outer Space" last year and they are hopefully planning to do "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" this year. Great fun.
posted by CathyG at 11:02 AM on July 2, 2010

I honestly enjoyed "Creation of the Humanoids", supposedly an Andy Warhol favorite.
posted by wittgenstein at 3:48 PM on July 2, 2010

I concur with Wittgenstein (always wanted to say that).

When I showed my wife the trailer for Lost Skeleton she started laughing as soon as she saw the cave - It's been featured in so many schlock movies. For more cave action, I suggest Robot Monster and It Conquered the World. Both have been featured on MST3K, but they are hilarious in their own right.
posted by gamera at 7:30 PM on July 2, 2010

Manos: The Hands of Fate is epic for what you're looking for
posted by Redhush at 10:09 PM on July 2, 2010

Hulu is now carrying free (and legal) episodes of MST3K. Right now they have seven up, and of those, I'd start with "Giant Gila Monster."

The great thing about the show is that it's like three in one: there's the cheesy movie itself, the plentiful wisecracks you get with it, and the awesomely imaginitive and hilarious skits during the breaks. Those guys were weird, which resulted in creativity.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:50 AM on July 3, 2010

Oh yeah, Netflix also has most of the commercially available DVDs, some with streaming. You might want to look around for fan-favorite lists, but some I'd recommend are the aforementioned Manos, Eegah (a 1962 movie about a modern-age caveman), Teenagers from Outer Space, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:58 AM on July 3, 2010

Zaat, but I couldn't help wondering what Joel Robinson would say about it.
posted by Mael Oui at 9:19 PM on July 3, 2010

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