So-bad-they're-good movies (80s-90s preferred)
October 14, 2018 6:35 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I (old-ish millenials) are on a bad-movie kick while waiting for the new MST3K season, and I thought AskMe might have some good recommendations for us. Films from the 80s-90s tend to be our favourites, but we're open to other eras if they're really worth it (we've already seen The Room and Rubber, for example). Our criteria and previous likes/dislikes below the fold.

Our requirements:

- No shitty misogyny or homophobia: I mean, there's probably going to be some baseline gender crappiness, but nothing that involves sexual assault or gay characters as the butt of jokes. I know this is a big ask for the era I'm looking at, but I believe it's possible!
- Preferred genres: sci-fi, action, fantasy, horror, etc., the more unbelievable the central conceits to the story, the better. Comedies are fine, but we prefer the earnest ones that are inadvertently funny, rather than the goofy ones.

Some of our recent favourite notable watches:
- Chopping Mall: Security guard robots go on a killing spree.
- Maximum Overdrive: What was Stephen King thinking when he directed this?
- We've gone through most of the original MST3K catalogue, and our absolute favourite is Puma Man. I don't imagine we've missed any gems in the archives, but it's possible.

Some that didn't quite fit the bill:
- Escape from New York: Has a wonderfully improbable plot, but was a bit too slow paced.
- TerrorVision: Too overly silly, plus some unpleasant gay jokes.

I have a few options bookmarked from this question, too. Hit me up with your best, worst movies!
posted by Paper rabies to Media & Arts (94 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
posted by sacrifix at 6:46 PM on October 14, 2018 [6 favorites]

UHF starring Weird Al.
Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze
posted by COD at 6:47 PM on October 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

"Buckaroo Bonzai" and "OC and Stiggs" both spring to mind, though may be controversial inclusions on a so-bad-its-good list..

Deadly Friend- is great and terrible

The Devils Rain- oh my god, the cast list reads like an episode of Love Boat.
The Baby- sorry veering 1970's with these last two.
Intruder- this might be too good for a list like this, but firmly 80's slasher flick.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 6:58 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

King was out of his mind on booze and coke when he directed Maximum Overdrive.

Anyway. I recommend to you The Beastmaster.
posted by thelonius at 7:10 PM on October 14, 2018 [8 favorites]

Do you want movies that were kind of tongue in cheek b-movies at the time (like UHF and Buckaroo Banzai noted above) or do you want movies that were intended to be serious and then turned out to be bad, but are entertaining now in a MST3K way? I think you mean the latter but I want to be sure.

(You want Passenger 57)
posted by ElectricGoat at 7:11 PM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Teen Witch?
posted by miasma at 7:15 PM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

posted by cirgue at 7:18 PM on October 14, 2018 [10 favorites]

I'm going to assume you've already seen Battlefield Earth. But just in case.... I suggest Battlefield Earth.
posted by BeeJiddy at 7:29 PM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!
posted by heatherlogan at 7:30 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

ElectricGoat - Both are honestly good by us, although I prefer the latter. For tongue-in-cheek B-movies, as long as they're not too overtly dumb, I'm okay with it.

I haven't seen any of these movies, with the except of Bill and Ted! Keep them coming!
posted by Paper rabies at 7:33 PM on October 14, 2018

Night of the Comet was recently added to Amazon Prime. A lot of people remember it fondly, and it's certainly watchable but also fairly MiSTable.

Among recent films, what comes to mind is Jellyfish Eyes. Bad enough to get a 4.8 at IMDb; good enough to be released in the Criterion Collection.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:38 PM on October 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

You need some early Peter Jackson splatter comedies:

Bad Taste
Braindead (aka Dead Alive) (aka that movie with the amazing zombie baby scene)
posted by Paragon at 7:40 PM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Forbidden Zone — Danny Elfman all by himself at his art school best, pre-Tim Burton, with his band Oingo Boingo.
posted by ananci at 7:46 PM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Iron Eagle
Red Dawn (the original... it's bad/good, not good/bad. Don't @me)
posted by bondcliff at 7:49 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

After Last Season
posted by Maecenas at 7:56 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thought of another one: The Last Chase, with Lee Majors, Burgess Meredith and Chris Makepeace.

You heard that right.
posted by bondcliff at 7:59 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

My favorite bad movie is The Core. It was released in theaters, has multiple famous actors/actresses, and the plot is "the Earth's core has stopped spinning; we need to drill to the center of the earth to make it spin again using nuclear bombs." It's like a disaster movie that takes itself very seriously and has a large budget.
posted by catabananza at 8:02 PM on October 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

splice It's from 2009. It's horror, and the ending is violent. YMMV>
posted by effluvia at 8:09 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

"Andy Warhol's Bad" concerns a rapacious middle-age housewife in NYC who runs an electrolysis business and a murder-for-hire (with only female employees) business out of her home.
posted by xammerboy at 8:11 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

You may like this site:
posted by xammerboy at 8:15 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

You can't go wrong/right with Legend of Billie Jean, quite a cast and a Pat Benetar song. When can I get a diaphragm?

My Chauffer. One-legged nun walking a goat?

War Party is probably more bad than good, but it does feature a 16 year old me in a crowd shot filmed during one of the very first times I skipped school.
posted by nenequesadilla at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2018 [9 favorites]

Stephen King would be the first to admit that Maximum Overdrive was largely a product of his cocaine use and in fact he has been on record claiming that he doesn't remember much about making the film.
posted by Kinski's Ghost at 8:21 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

In my opinion, House is so bad that it passes so-bad-its-good and circles back to bad again. However, it has its adherents. It is certainly memorable!
posted by latkes at 8:41 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Matthew Broderick. Michelle Pfeiffer. Rutger Hauer. That Alan Parsons's soundtrack. Oh my.
posted by miles1972 at 8:52 PM on October 14, 2018 [17 favorites]

A lot of people think Runaway Train is a classic but I thought it was one of the weirdest and dumbest things I ever watched.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:54 PM on October 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

Starship Troopers!
posted by chuke at 8:55 PM on October 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

If you liked Chopping Mall (aka Killbots) and Maximum Overdrive, and with the caveat that I haven't seen most of these in decades so they might have Unwanted Stuff I don't remember... and limiting myself to stuff that hasn't been mentioned yet

CHUD and CHUD 2: Bud the CHUD
Return of the Living Dead
SSSSSSSS (dunno how many s's)
Basket Case
maaaaaaaybe The Beast Within but maybe that one is pretty rapey?
Sword and the Sorcerer
Hell Comes to Frogtown
Saturn 3 (actually has a decent movie buried in it)
Rock and Rule (not actually so bad it's good but scores high on the WTFometer)
Tank Girl (likewise)
Death Race 2000 (I think it has some gay-jokes stuff, but Stallone is sooooo gooooood in it)
The Stuff
Big Trouble in Little China
Deep Star Six
I Come In Peace
Zombie Nightmare
Death Machine (if only for the infinite stream of references to horror/sf films)
Johnny Mnemonic
Hercules in New York (watch it with Ahnult's voice and not the overdub. Wait for him to fight bear.)
The 80s version of The Blob
Jaws 3D

Species but ABSOLUTELY NOT Species 2, which affirmatively hates women and in which the world is saved because the monster is so amazingly genetically pure that it dies because it touched inferior blood of a black man. Not making this up.

Post-90s, some are more just entertaining B-movies than so bad they're good:

Ultraviolet (the one with Milla Jovovich)
Jason X
Deep Rising
The Faculty
Deep Blue Sea
Event Horizon
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:07 PM on October 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

Wild Zero has everything a camptastic movie should have and so much more. A Japanese rock band, a hapless hero, zombies, aliens, a villain wearing hot pants. And entirely unexpected for a movie of it's caliber, a surprisingly progressive love story.
posted by FakePalindrome at 9:08 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Enthusiastically endorse Ladyhawke and Tank Girl, both of which I actually really like. Tank Girl has a great soundtrack too.

Labyrinth (Brian Froud muppets, David Bowie in Really Tight Pants and Jennifer Connelly being impossibly young).
Dude, Where's My Car which should be just really really bad given the cast but somehow is so bad it's funny.
Earth Girls Are Easy with Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey before he was famous, and Damon Wayans - the three blokes are really furry aliens and there is a vastly improbable plot.
Surely you have already seen Forbidden Planet? If not, you really must. It is a classic of the so-bad-it's-good genre.

Also if you like action there is a very, very rich vein of this kind of thing in HK martial arts movies. Jackie Chan's tend to be the most overtly funny, but there are some wonderful comic moments in even the supposedly serious. Ok, many of them have to do with translations ("damn you, stink man, try this melon!" or a baddy threatening to dehisce someone, but they are just a wonderful mixture of funny/serious. This awesome post is a great place to start and also this earlier AskMe.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:24 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Preferred genres: sci-fi, action, fantasy, horror, etc.,

St Elmo's Fire is none of these, yet it's truly hard to top for sheer 1980s so-bad-it's-goodness. I keep waiting for someone to update it as a Broadway musical.
posted by philip-random at 9:27 PM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Eating Raoul
Reform School Girls
Rock and Roll High School
Army of Darkness
posted by lemonwheel at 9:30 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town

I saw it when it was new and thought it was great. I was probably 20 years old then so ymmv. I don't remember too many details so I'm not sure about misogyny nor homophobia. The chopper chicks are the heroes of the film fwiw.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 9:31 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

"Researchers develop a system where they can jump into people's minds. But when people involved bring their personal problems into the equation, it becomes dangerous - perhaps deadly."
Christopher Walken goes out of his mind because he abuses the orgasm function on the brain machine.
It is very, very 1983.
posted by nantucket at 9:35 PM on October 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

The only movie I've seen in a theater that had me laughing all the way through even though it was honestly trying to be good was Fair Game, the 1995 movie featuring Cindy Crawford as an attorney in danger. It is relentless bad, and I had a great time watching it.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:36 PM on October 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Return of the Living Dead super holds up and is one of the best movies of all time with an amazing backstory and EXCELLENT soundtrack.
posted by jbenben at 9:47 PM on October 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

Logans Run
posted by sammyo at 10:00 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Legend: Tom Cruise and Tim Curry star in an airbrushed van painting-worthy fantasy adventure.
posted by emjaybee at 10:30 PM on October 14, 2018 [6 favorites]

Q) Maximum Overdrive: What was Stephen King thinking when he directed this?

A) cocaine

C) Videodrome
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:34 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding The Core. It literally makes up the element “unobtainium” and the actors somehow manage to keep straight faces talking about it.
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:34 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

I can't believe that They Live has not been mentioned yet. Bad 80s sci-fi movie starring a professional wrestler. So bad it's good dialog: "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum."
posted by cotterpin at 11:15 PM on October 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

Tape Heads, featuring John Kusack and Tim Robbins trying to get their music video business off the ground. Sam and Dave appear, as do King Cotton (in a wonderful Rosoe's Chicken and Waffles ad) and Don Cornelius for some reason. From the very early days of music videos, so terrible effects and lots of great/awful wardrobe choices.

The original Dune from 1984 was too big for one film, but that didn't stop David Lynch from spending a lot of money and making a hash of Frank Herbert's classic SF book.

And I would just like to bump a few mentioned above, including the original Red Dawn, Army of Darkness, and Big Trouble in Little China.
posted by Cris E at 11:52 PM on October 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Showgirls. Dear God, why has this not been mentioned yet? It's... amazing.
Dude Where's My Car? Also..... amazing
Red Sonja. A stoner classic.
Conan the Barbarian. Also a stoner classic.
Life of Brian. A, um, stoner classic.
Gymkata. I have no explanation for this one. Possibly the most 80s movie of all time.
Idle Hands. No one has any explanation for this one.
The Wraith. This is the worst movie I've watched to the end. It features Charlie Sheen as a haunted car. Yep.
The Chase. Also starring Charlie Sheen as a clown on the run. With Kristy Swanson, Antony Keidis and Flea and other people I can't remember as my brain has blocked it.
Deep Blue Sea- top ten marine biologist movies of all time.
Dead Man on Campus- we watched this at least 400 times in college in the 90s.
Highlander. And the various Highlander-ing: The Sequels.
Roller Blade- this is mostly just bad.
Copycat. This has 5 stars on Netflix for some inexplicable reason.
Tremors. This is so well loved you might get the mistaken impression it's good but don't worry, it's not.
Footloose. See above.

I mean, there's probably going to be some baseline gender crappiness, but nothing that involves sexual assault or gay characters as the butt of jokes. I know this is a big ask for the era I'm looking at, but I believe it's possible!

The world hasn't changed that much since the 80s, don't worry.
posted by fshgrl at 11:58 PM on October 14, 2018 [8 favorites]

It's arguably more 70s than 80s (it came out in 1980) but The Apple is my go-to recommendation for enjoyably bad movies. It's a rock musical set in "the future" of 1994 and is a ridiculous biblical sort of allegory with a baffling ending that comes out of nowhere. The trailer should give you a taste of what to expect.
posted by O9scar at 12:08 AM on October 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

I was heading in here to recommend The Apple, but I see that O9scar's beaten me to it. So I'll just supplement what he said with a link to the MeFi thread about the movie. Make sure you check out Hoist By His Own Pet Aardvark's comment-- his parents wrote the screenplay.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:46 AM on October 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

def UHF if you haven't seen it!!
Wayne's world (comedy)
I know what you did last summer, scream.. (horror)
true lies (arnie action)
con air (nick cage with a mullet action)
tai chi master (jet li action!!)
posted by speakeasy at 1:24 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

You can find a lot of choice films on the list of Rifftrax commentaries and VODs. I would not hesitate to recommend Deadly Prey, Troll 2, and Hawk the Slayer for your purposes.
posted by heatvision at 3:47 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Splice. It's amazing. Also The Happening.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:34 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Has anyone recommended Road House yet?
posted by jraz at 4:38 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Distressed by how many people are recommending legitimately good movies!

Cocktail (1988) stars Tom Cruise and is classic eighties escapism but also very stupid. You’ll love it.

I strongly agree with Showgirls. If you haven’t seen it and have only heard about it, it’s even wilder than you’re expecting.

Have you see anything in the Critters franchise?
posted by cakelite at 5:13 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Have you ever seen Time Bandits? I'm actually not sure it qualifies for so-bad-it's-good because I think it's fantastic and I love it very very much. It's just veeeerrrrrrry 1980s, very Python, and very weird.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 5:36 AM on October 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Legend is both the best and worst fantasy movie of the 80s.

I've got a lot of feelings about the director's cut, most of which can be summed up as "don't." Get the US theatrical version. It's got the best, proggiest rockiest soundtrack.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:50 AM on October 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ahem... Flesh Eating Mothers
posted by 256 at 5:52 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

My partner and I just watched Anaconda (1997), if you like baffling plots, poor CGI, and a surprising amount of famous people embarassing themselves.
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:12 AM on October 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Seconding the Legend of Billie Jean! Pure 80s magic
posted by natasha_k at 6:31 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tremors is too a good movie
posted by turkeybrain at 6:34 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Sleepaway Camp.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 6:55 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Troll 2, and its obligatory documentary analyzing just how bad it is-- Best Worst Movie.
posted by seasparrow at 6:59 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I recommend GCU Sweet and Full of Grace's list, which is missing only one film:

Blood Beach
posted by Morpeth at 7:32 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

They Live is both really good and really bad.
posted by so fucking future at 7:34 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man
posted by Vhanudux at 7:51 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by SPrintF at 8:02 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil It's out of your timeframe, but I see other posters aren't exactly hewing to that. Also it's a good movie.
posted by achrise at 8:06 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Beowulf, the 1999 version starring Christopher Lambert!
posted by bettafish at 8:07 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Howard the Duck. Talking duck from another dimension battles space aliens on earth (Howard had a cameo in guardians of the galaxy)

Soldier with Kurt Russel. I dont think it's supposed to be a comedy, but the movie takes itself so seriously it's funny.
posted by aeighty at 9:25 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're into movies like this, I highly recommend the "How Did This Get Made" podcast. It's brilliant and funny, and they've probably ripped into 75% of the movies in this thread.
posted by underthehat at 9:31 AM on October 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

I couldn't swear that this doesn't fail your criteria in some respect because I never saw more than the first few minutes of it, but my high school friends and I were thrown out of Yor, the Hunter from the Future because we couldn't stop laughing. First and only time I've ever been evicted from a movie theater. (Even the director thinks it's so bad it's hilarious!)
posted by velvet_n_purrs at 9:37 AM on October 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's 70s, so it's a bit outside the date range, but Dark Star by Dan O'Bannon and John Carpenter. It's basically Dan O'Bannon's first draft of the Space-Trucker Lived-In-Future concept that would become one of the core notes of his screenplay for Alien. Except in this movie, the alien threat is a beachball that looks like a diseased tomato with clawed webbed duck feet. And there's a bit at the end that Philosophy 101 instructors just love.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:38 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Trick or Treat (there is some supernatural sexual assault in it)
Cutting Edge
My Best Friend is a Vampire
The Last Starfighter
Streets of Fire
The Fly
Over the Top
Road House
The Lost Boys
Near Dark
Less than Zero
The Abyss
Weekend and Bernies
posted by willnot at 11:11 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nthing Troll 2 - really the most laughably terrible movie I've ever seen.
posted by lunasol at 11:11 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Blast from the Past
My Boyfriend's Back

And while not 80s or 90s but kinda riffing off those era of horror movies, Tucker and Dale VS Evil is totally worth it.
posted by zizzle at 11:16 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would recommend The Wraith, but they might actually do it on MST3K, so:

Future Schlock:
Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared-Syn, in 3-D - yes that's the full title, 'nuff said
The Hidden: Agent Dale Cooper From Space is hunting a body-hopping slug criminal
Cherry 2000 - searching the wasteland for sexbot replacement parts (as one does), maybe not as misogynist as it sounds, baby Melanie Griffith is great in this as a bounty hunter type

Let's Go Do Crimes:
Bugsy Malone - Al Capone-ish musical, but all child actors, incl Jodie Foster & Scott Baio
Shanghai Surprise - 30's heist caper starring newlyweds Madonna and Sean Penn, didja know that was a thing once?
Streets of Fire: a Rock & Roll Fable - Willem Dafoe in rubber biker gear, 18 year old Diane Lane, lady trucker sidekick, insane production design, musical numbers, something for everyone

The Last Dragon - a Harlem breakdancing martial arts movie with Prince's girlfriend, and the main guy calls himself Bruce Leroy, c'mon
Megaforce - GI Joe type dudes in spandex jumpsuits! Laser jeeps! Henry Silva!
The Phantom - Mr. (always a) Treat Williams chews ALL the scenery, Billy Zane wears a purple rubber wetsuit on land, Catherine Zeta Jones is a sky pirate

Swords and Sorcery:
Red Sonja - like Conan the Barbarian, but a Big Lady with a Big Sword
The Sword and the Sorcerer and Yor Hunter from the Future mentioned above
+million for Beastmaster and Krull, those are must-watches

Vamp - Grace Jones is a Vampire! Michelle Pfeiffer's little sister is charming!
The Stuff - mind control yogurt from beneath the earth's crust takes over the US by also being a tasty, low-calorie treat
Pandemonium and/or Student Bodies - both meta-self-aware ridiculous parodies of 70's/80's slasher flicks acting as rapid fire joke-delivery mechanisms
Really any 80's horror movie that you haven't already heard of by osmosis will be laughable, so just close your eyes and throw a dart

Wait, this is Actually Kinda Good?:
The Incredible Shrinking Woman - someday I will overhear someone saying "Who's Lily Tomlin?" and I will be sooo sad
Quigley Down Under - cowboy Tom Selleck goes to Australia, where Alan Rickman is evildoing
Enemy Mine - earth-man Dennis Quaid and lizard-alien Louis Gossett shoot each other's spacefighters down, then have to survive on a barren planet together (has made grandpas cry)

Rustler's Rhapsody is a pastiche meta-western that is supposed to be funny, and I think it is, but if you just put it on and don't tell anybody, you'll quickly get a bunch of "what the hell are we watching?"
posted by bartleby at 11:27 AM on October 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

I didn’t read through all the responses but if Howard the Duck isn’t on your list by now it most definitely should be.
posted by teamnap at 11:45 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't know why Scanners isn't on this list unless it is full of internalized something awful that I have not remembered. But I'll risk adding it.
posted by warriorqueen at 11:48 AM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

A few suggestion. Most with enough misogyny that I hesitate to mention them, but all are on the whole dumb rather than mean, I think:

Westworld (the film, not the new TV thing)
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
Super Mario Brothers
2012 Mefi favorite, FoodFight!
Land of the Lost (Television rather than film - but available in its glorious and embarrassing entirety on youtube.)

That Labarynth appears on other people's lists makes me feel sad and old.
posted by eotvos at 11:51 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

My absolute favorite: Volcano.

A volcano erupts in the middle of Los Angeles. The cliches and impossibilities are so out of hand that we were laughing out loud in the movie theater.
posted by MountainDaisy at 11:53 AM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I second the recommendations of Cube and Splice.

Also, Sudden Death, which stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as a fire marshal trying to stop a terrorist attack at the Stanley Cup finals. It was written and produced by the then-owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which is kind of amazing given the over-the-top grisly end that the Penguins’ mascot comes to in the movie.
posted by eirin at 12:25 PM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is so wonderful and terrible. I knew I could count on this community - we will never want for bad movies again! All are my favourites, although I might just start favouriting things as we watch them. Please, keep adding more as you think of them!
posted by Paper rabies at 12:40 PM on October 15, 2018

Randomly chosen and in no particular order:
Miami Connection (IMdB, Trailer)
Sledgehammer (1983)(IMdB, Trailer)
Furious (1984) (IMdB, Clip)
Ninja Busters (IMdB, Trailer)
The Redeemer (IMdB, Trailer)
Boardinghouse (IMdB, Trailer)
Voyage of the Rock Aliens (IMdB, Trailer)
W Is War (IMdB, Trailer)
Creatures from the Abyss [aka Plankton] (IMdB, Clip)
Katilon Ke Kaatil [Bollywood film featuring Dharmendra fighting a sasquatch (I guess) and Bruce Le] (IMdB, Clip)
Aatank [Bollywood Jaws movie] (IMdB, full movie)
Boxer's Omen (IMdB, Trailer)
Night of the Howling Beast (IMdB, Trailer)
Last Slumber Party (IMdB, Trailer)
The Fiend (1980) (IMdB, Trailer)
Games Of Survival (IMdB, Trailer)
Stunt Rock (IMdB, Trailer)
Scream Dream (IMdB, Trailer)
Blood Orgy Of The Leather Girls (IMdB, clip)
Things (IMdB, Trailer)
Wild Beasts (IMdB, Trailer)
A Night to Dismember (IMdB, Trailer)
Mardi Gras Massacre (IMdB, Trailer)
Killing of Satan (IMdB, Trailer)
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (IMdB, Trailer)
Crazy Lips (IMdB, Trailer)
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:52 PM on October 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Night of the Comet, mentioned above, is one of my all-time favorite movies and is enjoyable both as a thoughtful, good movie and as a piece of peculiar garbage.

Somewhat rarer, and somewhat further along both the axis of "good" and "garbage" is Miracle Mile. Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham in an earnest Serlingesque puzzle that is uniquely infused with 80s cheese and 80s dread. It staggers wildly through different tones. It is funny (both intentionally and unintentionally) and anxious and tragic and weird, and although I don't like it as much as Night of the Comet, I find myself recommending it more often. It's great.

Jay Carr, Boston Globe, said: "...a messy film, but it's got energy, urgency, conviction and heat and you won't soon forget it."

$3.99 on Prime and, Paper rabies, if you don't agree it's worth it I'll Venmo you a refund. Really.
posted by dirtdirt at 2:02 PM on October 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

Miracle Mile is great, if you like freeway maps in spaghetti, Coles notes Gravitys Rainbow, the End the World, etc. One of my fave films, underrated.
posted by ovvl at 5:12 PM on October 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

From 2000's the movie is called P2, a businesswoman is pursued by a psychopath after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve.
The movie takes place in NY, one of the docs I work with thought it would be a great movie for me to watch right before my first trip to NYC lol.
posted by irish01 at 5:41 PM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

It was mentioned in passing above, but I have to strongly recommend Gymkata as a champion of 1980s movie badness. It starred gold-medal winning gymnast Kurt Thomas as a an action hero who combines gymnastics with karate to defeat a bunch of ninjas in some game he has to win in order to enter a fictional Middle Eastern country as a secret agent in order to help the US government set up a satellite tracking system. Or something like that. It's really, really bad--hilariously so.

I remember watching it on TV in the late 80s and it was cheesy even then.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:15 AM on October 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tremors may be too good a movie, but lucky for you, it has four sequels and a prequel. All of them have Michael Gross as Burt Gummer, or as Burt Gummer's ancestor.
Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (the prequel)
Tremors 5: Bloodlines
Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:31 AM on October 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

The first thing that came to me when I read the question was the aforementioned Big Trouble in Little China, so plus one for that.
posted by thejanna at 9:09 AM on October 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Vampire's Kiss is the most entertaining movie of all time, good or bad.
posted by moons in june at 12:36 PM on October 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

This one is 2018 and I haven't seen it, but after reading the review in Rolling Stone (excerpt below), it's on my list. I figure anything that inspires such an entertaining review must have something going for it.

Life Itself: How do you rate a cinematic black hole that doesn’t deserve a single star? Do you simply give it five eyerolls? ...the melodrama goes thunderously wrong from the very first scene, steadily getting worse before going up in a hellish blaze of gross incompetence, crass tear-jerking, unrelenting tragedy porn, unearned self-congratulation and leaden dialogue that hits you like a blunt force trauma.
posted by she's not there at 2:54 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was thinking dammit, I've seen all these, but then Ashwaganda comes through!
posted by aspersioncast at 7:29 AM on October 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also a couple Cronenberg films have already been mentioned, but his first three or four, while of some genuine cinematic interest, are also firmly in so-bad-it's-good territory.

See also later Dario Argento films, especially things he wrote but didn't direct (Demons 2, f'rinstance). Phenomena has Jennifer Connelly psychically summoning murderous swarms of insects, a razor-wielding chimp, a dwarf with a trident, and a pool of corpses, which is essentially BINGO.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:41 AM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Beowulf, the 1999 version starring Christopher Lambert!

Is that the one where Angelina Jolie as Grendel's Mom had high heels built into her feet.

Enemy Mine is a GREAT movie, but, could probably be MST3k'd for Extreme Earnestness and also Upsetting Alien Reproductive Practices.
posted by emjaybee at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I cant believe I forgot The Wiz and Gremlins 2. You absolutely dont need to watch the original Gremlins, its too logical anyway.
posted by fshgrl at 6:15 PM on October 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you ever seen Stone Cold? If you haven't — and you enjoy the finer things in life, like exploding helicopters and greased mullets — I strongly urge you to watch Stone Cold.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:04 PM on October 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Been working my way through these gems, and here's a few updates in case folks are interested.

- Gymkata
- Krull
- The Core (oh man. I'm still reeling from the terrible science in The Core.)
- Legend

Ones that I'm dying to watch but haven't been able to find easily online:
- The Apple
- The Beastmaster

Ones which had some crappy sexual assault things that affected my enjoyment of them significantly:
- Dreamscape
- Face/Off
posted by Paper rabies at 12:41 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]

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