The five best so-bad-they're-good movies
There’s nothing worse than a bad movie that’s not even entertaining about it. But a bomb that manages to perversely delight you with its awfulness is just the kind of train wreck you want to usher into your living room.
For your kind (if somewhat sadistic) consideration, here are the top five good-bad flicks of the modern age. But bear in mind, I haven’t seen ABDUCTION yet.
1) THE ROOM (2003)
An overwrought love triangle courtesy of Tommy Wiseau—a weird, unknown multihyphenate who remains that way—this film was greeted with hoots and derisive laughter on its initial release. So they repackaged it as “a dark comedy” and launched it on the midnight circuit, with Wiseau claiming he always intended it that way. Yeah, whatever. Whether we’re talking about the bizarrely blithe breast cancer scene or the crazy bit where fast-talking Wiseau buys flowers for his unappealing lady love, you have to admire the imdb.com commenter who said, “This film is like getting stabbed in the head.” But it’s mad fun anyway!
2) LOVE RANCH (2010).
A Reno brothel is the setting for sexual harassment, tax evasion, missing quaaludes, and some serious overacting. Entrepreneur Joe Pesci is so busy torturing the hookers, it’s no wonder wife Helen Mirren runs off with an Argentinian boxer with a plate in his head. Add an in-jokey reference to Helen’s role in The Queen and you’ve got something so appalling it demands to be viewed again and again. Two Oscar winners have rarely been brought so low in such an amusing way.
3) GIGLI (2003)
“Gobble gobble,” says seductive Jennifer Lopez in just one of many lines that prove this romantic action comedy is a total turkey. She and Ben Affleck don’t exactly light up the screen, but they definitely make you want to ignite it. Don’t, though; this lame situation tragedy is the most inadvertently hilarious romp since Springtime For Hitler—albeit with less chemistry. I guarantee your eyes, ears, and mind will pop throughout.
4) SHOWGIRLS (1995)
Lap dancer Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) works her way up the Vegas ladder, only to find deceit, sleaze, and a big beyotch standing in the way of her happiness. Joe Eszterhas outdid himself by laying on every misogynistic cliché you could dream of in an inspiring tale of female empowerment. The underwater sex scene has to be seen to be disbelieved. And the presence of Gina Gershon as the beyotch will delight those who saw her in that other Nevada ‘ho fest, Love Ranch (my #2 choice, as you’ll remember). Showgirls never disappoints. It’s way more fun than that year’s Oscar winning Best Picture, Braveheart.
5) GLITTER (2001)
Debuting not long after 9/11, this squalid show biz saga provided a welcome catharsis for shell-shocked Americans, so it’s hard to really hate it. About 20 minutes into the film, the audience—all three of them—started laughing, and they didn’t stop till the end, when Mariah Carey emerged from her limo in a glittery gown to traverse a dirt road and reunite with her downtrodden mama. Just as classic was the scene where Mariah and her DJ boyfriend thought of the same melody at the same time, in two different places. They should have both fired their agents.