Looking for awesomely-bad movie suggestions, please help!
December 4, 2012 3:26 PM   Subscribe

It has become an Xmas tradition of mine to get a `bad`movie for my sister for Christmas. It all started when I found some `Catman`movies at a local dollar store, and every year it is becoming harder and harder to out do myself. Please help!

Over the past few years I have got my sister horribly-awesomely-bad movies as a gag gift for Xmas. Cheesy, campy, odd, random, doesn't matter - but there still must be some entertainment value while still being horribly-"awesome" (let me put awesome in quotes here). I am not afraid of any genre, as I have done action (Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Catman: Lethal Track), cartoon (Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo), horror (Black Sheep) in the past.

This year I have dropped the ball... I have no ideas, and minor searches have come up with nothing. The dollar store I originally got the movies from has gone all, like "upscale" and are now selling more mainstream movies (blah!).

Please help, what are some awesomely-horrible movies you have seen and can recommend.
posted by groovesquirrel to Media & Arts (94 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like the perfect opportunity for some Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter!
posted by warble at 3:30 PM on December 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

Chill Factor, with Skeet Ulrich and Cuba Gooding Jr.

It is ridiculous, you will shake you head, and there is a modicum of entertainment value in it.
posted by chloe.gelsomino at 3:30 PM on December 4, 2012

Tokyo Zombie. It is awesomely bad.
posted by patheral at 3:31 PM on December 4, 2012

Have you ever seen "The Terror of Tiny Town"? Usually called the world's only all-midget musical Western.... and if you see it, you'll know WHY it's the only one.
posted by easily confused at 3:33 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

leprechaun: back 2 tha hood
freaked featuring an uncredited keanu reeves
posted by nadawi at 3:34 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! and speaking of vampires... 30 Days of Night was like a car wreck, so bad, but I couldn't stop watching it.

Also, Vampires Suck is one of those movies that will make you die laughing or die groaning. Either way, it's awful.
posted by patheral at 3:35 PM on December 4, 2012

2-Headed Shark Attack. Ridiculous plot, risible dialogue, atrocious special effects (the shark, as one Amazon reviewer noted, looks like a Muppet) - this movie is AWESOME!
posted by essexjan at 3:35 PM on December 4, 2012

Starcrash. Leather bikini wearing on an ice planet! Spaceships clearly made out of legos or similar! David Hasselhoff! The immortal line "You would have attempted to change the future, which is against the law!"

The trailer I linked doesn't even cover half of this movie's glorious awfulness.
posted by ActionPopulated at 3:37 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

So Bad It's Good
Cult Classic
Guilty Pleasure
I Liked It Better When It Sucked

Trope Quotes:
So Bad It's Horrible

I highly recommend the Star Wars Holiday Special, sometimes easiest to find on eBay. Get the one with the original commercials, if at all possible.
posted by SMPA at 3:38 PM on December 4, 2012

Get her the Showgirls collector / gift / special edition. Its the best/worst movie evah and it comes with shot glasses, a pin-the-tassles-on-the-dancer game and other things I forget.
posted by fshgrl at 3:39 PM on December 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

Oh, and check Netflix instant for almost-but-not-really a major blockbuster. A search for 2012 is like a freaking goldmine of terribleness.
posted by SMPA at 3:40 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

One word: Birdemic.
posted by Wild_Eep at 3:40 PM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Elf, duh.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 3:46 PM on December 4, 2012

I knew I could count on you guys!
So many of these sound perfect... keep 'em coming... I'll be set for years ;)
posted by groovesquirrel at 3:47 PM on December 4, 2012

The Apple!

It's this insane disco-glam musical set in the "future" of 1994 (filmed in 1979). It's wonderfully terrible. You can preview it on Netflix instant.
posted by O9scar at 3:48 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or The Apple, which sort of transcends "bad," "good," or "so bad it's good." It's pretty amazing. I wouldn't go around calling it an objectively good movie but there is not a second of it that's boring. Compellingly insane from start to finish. It is the Platonic ideal of the midnight movie.

Uwe Boll's Postal. He's made a lot of entertainingly awful movies but this is the craziest. And the main character is Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story!

The Worst Witch, starring Fairuza Balk. It's mostly just a low-budget kid's movie from the '80s with a cheap Casio score and a weird habit of Diana Rigg appearing out of goddamn nowhere (seriously, she just sorts of teleports into a scene a whole lot), but then Tim Curry shows up and, for no discernible reason, performs a completely fucking unbelievable musical number.

I would caution against the Star Wars Holiday Special - it is not so bad it's good, it's just kind of grinding and depressing. It feels like it's eight hours long.

For the true (and very patient) connoisseur of enjoyably bad film, there is Southland Tales, one of the most aggressively perplexing things ever committed to film.

Ultimately I would go with The Apple if you only have to pick one. Here is the trailer. If you need more convincing, here is the eponymous song.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 3:49 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about Jackie Chan's 'The Fearless Hyena.' Whenever the bad guys show up there are jingle bells.
posted by Caravantea at 3:50 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

OR, if you'd like to show your sister the most awesomely crazy martial arts film ever made, try Taoism Drunkard.

Seriously. Watch that whole trailer.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 3:58 PM on December 4, 2012


Oh it's so good for laughing/cringing. There is singing. Aliens.

The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia does sort of science-themed MST3K shows; in the past, they've done such cinematic classics as Sharktopus and Bigfoot; the audience once suggested 2010: Moby Dick. I can assure you that Sharktopus was horrifically, hysterically bad.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:00 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I was thinking you might want to go thematic with Scrooged. You really can't beat Bob Goulet's Old Fashioned Cajun Christmas.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:01 PM on December 4, 2012

making mr. right, with ann magnuson and a charmingly young john malkovich. it, as i remember, is kind of a stinker, about a woman who falls in love with an android who is "shockingly human".
posted by koroshiya at 4:10 PM on December 4, 2012

I was going to recommend The Apple, perhaps you’ve heard of it?
posted by bongo_x at 4:17 PM on December 4, 2012

The Room, of course!
posted by carrienation at 4:22 PM on December 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

There is a porn, with a talking mattress.... it is utterly horrible.
posted by Jacen at 4:23 PM on December 4, 2012

There's always the classics, like Manos: The Hands of Fate, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
posted by ckape at 4:25 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Brother from Another Planet; Under the Cherry Moon (Prince).
posted by caoimhe at 4:25 PM on December 4, 2012

Casino Job. Worst movie (in the best way) that I have ever watched.
posted by Marinara at 4:28 PM on December 4, 2012

Ohhh... Student Bodies... I had a co-worker who made everyone she could watch this awful comedy/spoof of a movie.
posted by Captain_Science at 4:28 PM on December 4, 2012

Night of the Lepus!
posted by scody at 4:30 PM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Bubba Ho Tep. Ossie Davis and Bruce Campbell who is Elvis.
posted by Leezie at 4:33 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Left Behind III: World At War is my favorite bad movie these days.
posted by rhizome at 4:35 PM on December 4, 2012

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death!
The title alone puts it in my top-five-favorite-terrible-movie list, and the movie MORE than lives up to the name. It is a thing of beauty and a joy forever and ever.
posted by tabubilgirl at 4:37 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I always recommend MONOLITH with Bill Paxton (a cop who doesn't like female cops), Lindsay Frost (his new female partner), their sad and cliched boss Louis Gossett Jr., and John Hurt (who has imprisoned an alien spaceship under his tower block and using it to make money in some sort of Web 2.0 style tech startup incubator). B-cheese-movie tactic, and perfect for cliche bingo.

Here's the Amazon link.
posted by ewan at 4:39 PM on December 4, 2012

Here's a pack of 50 of them, all Horror.

Science Fiction.

posted by THAT William Mize at 4:49 PM on December 4, 2012

If Monkey Christmas is any indication, Castle Films' output looks promising. Not sure if any of it is available on DVD.
posted by islander at 4:54 PM on December 4, 2012

bubba ho tep isn't so bad it's good! it's legitimately good!
posted by nadawi at 5:01 PM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

From Hell it Came.
posted by BibiRose at 5:01 PM on December 4, 2012

No Holds Barred

80's film starring Hulk Hogan. Soooo bad I can't even
posted by citron at 5:02 PM on December 4, 2012

even mormons agree that saturday's warriors would fit in this category.
posted by nadawi at 5:02 PM on December 4, 2012

Some friends of mine run an "awards" show for really bad movies. Like, find them in the grocery store for 50 cents bad. They've been doing this for 20 years. Here are 812 (not a typo) movies they've watched over the years to find entries for the show. All of them are horrible - I thought of the website because they have had a few of the Catman movies in the award show over the years:


If you're in the US and in Ann Arbor, go to the Origins gaming con, or Smith College, please come by some year and check out the show! It's tons of fun. :)
posted by RogueTech at 5:06 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sharks in Venice, starring Scarlett Johannson's sister (you would think ScarJo could do her a solid and get her a better movie, but no) and the arguably least appealing Baldwin brother. And an absurd storyline about lost treasure, and awful accents and lousy writing and oh the special effects! It's just horrible and I love it.

Wait, wait, I found the trailer! I dare you not to laugh/groan.

From the Amazon review: And the weirdest part is that there wasn't even a good reason the shark was in the movie. And you know what? I think the shark could tell.
posted by mochapickle at 5:18 PM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Challenge to Be Free (1974) includes both stock animal footage and a voiceover narrating the story of a trapper in the frozen north. He's on the run. It's not so good.
posted by Francolin at 5:23 PM on December 4, 2012

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
posted by Fleebnork at 5:24 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Blood Diner.
posted by emkelley at 5:28 PM on December 4, 2012

I'm always recommending Undead because it's so bad it's fucking AWESOME but it might be a little hard to find.

Robogeisha is also completely awful in a way that is hysterically funny (breast-guns, butt and armpit katanas etc etc) and it's full of all sorts of Japanese weirdness.

If you like bargain bin stuff, try to find Redneck Zombies. It is the most god-awful appalling mess (zombie rape, death by corncob etc) and it'll be 75 minutes of your sister's life that she won't get back. Made by the fabulous people at Troma. You've been warned.
posted by ninazer0 at 5:31 PM on December 4, 2012

Computer Beach Party!
posted by Madamina at 5:31 PM on December 4, 2012

posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:43 PM on December 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

Runaway, a movie that stars Tom Selleck as a cop whose job is to track down and deactivate malfunctioning robots. In doing so, he runs across a plot to turn robots in to assassins by installing doctored processors. Except this is the realistic near-future, so he has to deal with hexapods that leap through the air to deliver syringes of deadly poison and a roomba with a handgun.
posted by ckape at 5:56 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Post-apocalyptic kung-fu Buddy Holly is hard to beat: Six-String Samurai
posted by Brody's chum at 5:59 PM on December 4, 2012

Chatterbox, one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
posted by h00py at 6:00 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Brainsucker is deservedly very obscure and completely low-budget WTF from beginning to end.
(But it's brightly-coloured, with an unforgettable theme song!)
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:06 PM on December 4, 2012

Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus was the best worst movie I've seen in the last few years.

Person highlights were the cliché "science montage" where they mix variously brightly coloured liquids until one "works" and they all nod their heads and give each other high fives.

Also the scene where the shark jumps out of the water to catch an aircraft at cruising altitude. There are some fun infographics out there calculating how fast the shark must have been going when it left the water...

There is a sequel too - "Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus" - so if it's popular this year you've got next year sorted.
posted by trialex at 6:46 PM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

In addition to the many awful movies mentioned above:
1990: The Bronx Warriors (this was made when 1990 was in the future)
Robot Jox (sort of like Real Steel, but without Hugh Jackman, and 20 years earlier, and incredibly bad)
Gigli (I have not seen this, but from what everyone said, it is squarely in the "so bad it's awful" category)
Lost in Space (The movie, not the TV show. Holy cow, what a stinker. Even though it has Gary Oldman and William Hurt and Heather Graham and Mimi Rogers)
posted by adamrice at 7:06 PM on December 4, 2012

Seconding Star Wars Holiday Special. It does feel like it's eight hours long, but they are eight glorious hours.

The movie Bottoms Up is a romantic comedy starring Paris Hilton and Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob). It is exactly as bad as it sounds. HIGHLY recommended.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:06 PM on December 4, 2012

Ankle Biters. Whole thing on YouTube. From the comments: "this movie is so fucking stupid no offence"
posted by stephennelson at 7:14 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

For nonsensical schlock somewhat ennobled by a surprisingly good performance by George Takei, I recommend Ninja Cheerleaders. For unremitting juvenile awfulness with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, I note (but do not recommend) Cheerleader Ninjas. For a game of Russian Roulette, get both and when, as you inevitably will, you forget which is which, watch one of them.
posted by jackbishop at 7:28 PM on December 4, 2012

Martians Go Home
posted by Trivia Newton John at 8:20 PM on December 4, 2012

Future Cops! It's a zany comedy from Hong Kong about... the characters from Street Fighter? Who are somehow time travelers? And go undercover in a high school?? It is awful and bizarre in a very entertaining way.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:22 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

It might be hard to find but look for Santa Clause and the Ice Cream Bunny
posted by hellojed at 8:34 PM on December 4, 2012

I just wanted to say that although I had never heard of Shark in Venice until today, I see director Danny Lerner's oeuvre also includes Shark Zone and Raging Sharks: each one coming in at a 2.7 rating on IMDB. Sounds like a fantastic triple bill.

And just as a good rule of thumb for finding schlocky movies: the third installment in any franchise started in the twentieth century is usually the most dire. These days we have people like Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi sticking around for three movies, but thirty years ago, anything with a III in the title was made by Lewis Slaight Jr. or Carl van Alden or Manny Williams or some other name that you cannot place from anywhere.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:39 PM on December 4, 2012

It doesn't matter which movie you get if you buy it for her on VHS.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:48 PM on December 4, 2012

Bordello of Blood, the pinnacle of Dennis Miller's career.
posted by XMLicious at 9:54 PM on December 4, 2012

"Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" or any of Ed Wood's films like "Plan 9 from Outer Space" or the movie "Ed Wood" (I really like "Ed Wood" but many people are perplexed by it.)
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:55 PM on December 4, 2012

Oh my god, THE SHADOW is made for this.

It's a 1994 comic book hero film that almost - but not quite - works.

Alec Baldwin is the hero (he can read minds).

Genghis Khan is the villain (he comes out of a magic tomb in the city museum).

It has Ian McKellen and Tim Curry in it.

It's hilarious, and watchable.
posted by pink_gorilla at 10:08 PM on December 4, 2012

Seconding Troll 2. Unfathomably awful, in a very, very campy way.
posted by lunasol at 10:11 PM on December 4, 2012

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
posted by carsonb at 10:13 PM on December 4, 2012

The Stuff
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:33 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

This thread is so much WIN! What a great question, groovesquirrel. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone; this list will keep me entertained from now til Doomsday.

My contributions:

Blacula and Patrick. I saw both of these when I was very young and my parents (wrongly) thought I was sleeping while they hooted and cackled their way through them. Both movies haunt me to this day -- frighteningly, terribly awful, yet deliciously and sublimely magnificent in that so bad it's good way.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 10:48 PM on December 4, 2012

Another vote for Birdemic: Shock and Terror as the worst unintentionally bad movie ever. Pure awful.

My top intentionally bad movie? Black Dynamite! Pure awesome!
posted by platinum at 12:14 AM on December 5, 2012

This is the only place I would recommend "2019: After the fall of New York".
posted by biffa at 12:18 AM on December 5, 2012

I know who killed me Lindsey Lohen attempts to hunt down the seriel killer who killed her while transforming into a burlesque dancer. Her body parts fall off throughout the movie- it's hor-mazing or amaz-ifying whichever you prefer.
posted by dadici at 4:58 AM on December 5, 2012

Since no one else seems to have mentioned it (and since I never miss an opportunity to pitch this unrecognized masterpiece), I'll suggest Bobcat Goldthwait's Shakes the Clown, a movie Martin Scorsese called "the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies".
posted by JaredSeth at 5:23 AM on December 5, 2012

Liquid Sky. Just god-awful!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 5:32 AM on December 5, 2012

Staying Alive is bloody awful too. Outstandingly awful.
posted by h00py at 5:55 AM on December 5, 2012

My friends made two great/terrible films that I'd be happy to get you copies of-
Lusty Limbless Lesbos
Terrorist She Freaks of Texas
posted by jaksemas at 6:36 AM on December 5, 2012

Yet another vote for Birdemic. It really raises the bar on bad.
posted by jbickers at 6:40 AM on December 5, 2012

Deathrace 2000. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

My mom intended to get my dad "Smoky and the Bandit" and bought this by mistake (It was something about cars right?). We watched it and laughed our assess off.
posted by VTX at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2012

Lifetime movies
posted by Neekee at 8:20 AM on December 5, 2012

Has she seen Gymkata? It tried to cash in on America's loves for karate and gymnastics in one go in the '80s.

Death Wish V also comes to mind. "In the world of glamour and high fashion...a new crime syndicate is taking over." It's got:

- Tons of McGarnagle-style "You're off, your case, chief!" arguments.
- Lead guitar as soundtracking.
- A very, very old Charles Bronson.
- A ridiculous body count.
posted by ignignokt at 8:36 AM on December 5, 2012

Slumber Party Massacre (there are four of them). The first was written by Rita Mae Brown, author of the "The Cat Who.." cozy mystery series, and was intended to be a parody of the slasher genre. The filmmakers did not understand that and filmed it as a straight up slasher movie. It is hilarious.
posted by zoetrope at 9:37 AM on December 5, 2012

Wow, thank you everyone!

I am totally looking forward to these... so far Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (if not for the name alone) and The Apple (haven't done a musical yet) are standing out to me... but mostly because I haven't had a good chance to look into a lot of the suggestions from the later parts of this thread (but I will I promise).

Birdemic got a lot of votes, so I'll be checking that one out for sure. FUN TIMES!
Thanks again, Christmas has been saved ;)
posted by groovesquirrel at 10:13 AM on December 5, 2012

Ooooh, almost forgot: "The Conqueror", with John Wayne in an amazingly cheesy mustache as Genghis Kahn, Pedro Armendariz as his sidekick, Susan Heywood as a Mongol princess, and Agnes Moorhead as Genghis Kahn's mother.
posted by easily confused at 10:22 AM on December 5, 2012

posted by BibiRose at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2012

I see it's already been suggested and favorited, but just on the off chance you might not be considering it strongly enough, allow me to most enthusiastically nth The Apple. It's so beautifully terrible!

Gor is also really, terribly, thoroughly comically bad. (In case you're familiar with the books of the same name and skeptical about giving the movie to your sister, let me assure you that the movie has nothing in common with the books besides the title and character and place names).
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:33 PM on December 5, 2012

How bad is bad? Lethal Ninja cruises right past so-bad-it's-good and wraps back around to omg-wtf-horrible. I use it for desensitization training, but my friends, no strangers to badfilm, won't let me play it anymore.

Seriously. There are no words.
posted by lekvar at 2:56 PM on December 5, 2012

The Valley of Gwangi. Cowboys vs Dinosaurs.
posted by kjs4 at 4:50 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Evil Bong is pretty much the worst thing I've ever seen.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 5:50 PM on December 5, 2012

Oh, Lifetime is a good reminder to go back to the originals of our times!

Not Without My Anus...er, Daughter
posted by rhizome at 8:25 PM on December 6, 2012

Not Without My Anus...er, Daughter

Well that’s just weird. Half the reviews and the synopsis are for Tom Jones, the rest for the correct movie. Makes for confusing reading.
posted by bongo_x at 10:24 PM on December 6, 2012

Wait, we've gotten this far and no one has mentioned Zardoz?? Futuristic sci-fi dystopia! 1970's era softcore porn! Hopelessly convoluted philosophical message! Sean Connery in a red leather slingshot thong! Your brain will never be the same.
posted by platinum at 1:07 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Xanadu"..... Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton-John, roller skates, and a weird version of the Greek Muses. AND it's a disco-era musical!

As a general rule, Troma Studios' entire output might qualify. (And good lord, how COULD we have forgotten "Zardoz"?!?)
posted by easily confused at 2:06 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Update: I purchased both Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and The Apple... and they were both very, very, VERY well received.

Bonus points to JCVH for being Canadian made ;)

Bonus points to The Apple for having the bad guy from "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" - which we promptly watched following the feature presentation.

Thanks again everyone - I will be continuing to use the suggestions in this thread for years to come I'm certain.
posted by groovesquirrel at 6:22 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

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