Is there really such a good thing as "so bad it's good"?

Yes there is.

The Room. I rest my case.

Yep. And I still think it’s a great movie. I think it gains even more on a second viewing because you notice things that you didn’t see before. I thought the use of the color red was great and the atmosphere and pacing of the story worked really well.

Submitted for your consideration: Murder on Flight 502

I wouldn’t choose to watch a “so bad it’s good” movie with everyone, but a group of my friends had a great time watching this. I found the DVD in a $1 bin. So much the better. It’s a combination of questionable acting, and cliche’s galore.

Seconded - we heard this in the car on a trip to Florida and laughed so hard we had to pull off the road, because I couldn’t see to drive. Tears ran down my face.

The original “Little Shop of Horrors” fits perfectly in the thread. It was terribly written terribly acted and you could not turn it off. it was run on Thanksgiving Day for years and it became a family tradition.

Me making love is often described as “so bad it’s good”.

One of my favorite SBIGs is The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Aside from the hotness of John Philip Law as Sinbad, and the trademark silly yet awesome Harryhousen effects, there’s really nothing to recommend it as a straightforward film. But the OTT acting from Tom Baker (aka the fourth Doctor on Doctor Who), the crazy bad performances from most of the rest of the cast, and the cheesey script all combine to be great fun.

Similarly, but probably with more tongue firmly in cheek, is Mommie Dearest. Diana Scarwid’s bizarrely off-key performance, Faye Dunaway’s psychotic scene-chewing, and (along some genuinely good character actors like Michael Lerner and Howard da Silva) some of the worst supporting cast members ever – Crawford’s loyal assistant is staggeringly unnatural as an actress – are accompanied by off-the-charts execrable writing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s funny as hell but I don’t think it was intended that way. Now it’s a cult classic to be delighted in, its lines lovingly cheered along with.

Also: Jack Nicholson. :cool:

How about Battlefield Earth? I think it’s hilarious.

For me, no. There are movies I like despite the flaws, but none I like because of the flaws.

I agree with Shark Attack 3.

“Yeah, but I’m still kinda wired. What do you say I take you home and…”

Mean Guns. Christopher Lambert (Highlander) and Ice-T. A group of criminals is invited to a completed but not yet open prison to compete in a deadly game off last man standing for a suitcase full of cash. Cheesy dialogue, wooden acting and a ridiculous script combine for a hilarious good time. “It’s about redemption”. Bwah-hah-hah!

I love you IP, so I’m tempted to put some work into my answer, but I think the other posters have given some pretty good reasons already, so I’ll just respond to some of your points, and add one additional criteria.

It’s more like “it was shit by several normal benchmarks for movie quality, however there was some element or elements that made it highly entertaining despite it’s failure by those benchmarks”.

Well there’s three major factors involved.

  1. There are a whole shitload of elements that go into making a film potentially good and/or entertaining (not always equivalent). Being very strong in any element can easily overwhelm a large number of failures in other elements. So a film might not have succeeded in some areas but did succeed in others.

  2. Intention vs execution. While a film might have intended to be one thing and failed to do that, it might unintentionally be superb in some other way. So it was “bad” at what it was trying to be, but ended up being “good” at something else.

  3. “Humor is other people’s misfortune”. In addition to the myriad other ways in which a film can entertain when some elements fail, the main one is of course humor. Failure is often funny. And “bad” is often hilarious.

Usually it’s either 1) it’s good because of a reason OTHER than the bad parts or else 2) it’s FUNNY because of the bad parts

I have to wildly disagree with you here (personal preference - obviously a lot of people love the show). I LOVE to MST3K as an activity, but watching other people MST3K something is horribly boring to me (the actual show is especially annoying because they don’t even show the whole movie, so a lot of context is missing). MST3K is NOT a spectator sport. Participants only!

I’ve never actually seen it, but I can imagine it being enjoyable in the same way that seeing your elementary school kid play third lobster at the birth of Jesus would be.

Anyway, entertaining is not equivalent to of quality.

My other element: Cultural Dissonance!

It’s fun to watch films from other countries that are played seriously, but for which seem kind of cheesy or weird or funny because we come from different cultural norms.

My ultimate “So bad it’s good” film: D-War.

At the time it was the highest budget Korean film. And it was played for seriousness, and had both American and Korean actors, in both languages. And it had elements of awesomeness, but, they were things like dragons fighting helicopters, which, let’s face it, is the wet dream of our inner boys, but seems silly in adulthood. Even in the face of ‘silly premise’, “AWESOME!” brings us unavoidable joy. Also, the stiltedness of American actors trying to spout dialogue written by ESL Koreans was full of fun. Plus the absurdity of “flashback within a flashback within a flashback”. Plus the dialogue where characters made comments about their own situations that were dead on how the audience were feeling about the silliness of the plot.

To summarize: something can be FULL OF WIN, even if unintentionally, and even if not Oscar worthy.

Although I can vouch for the phenomenon sans mind altering, I suspect that many cases involve some sort of substance.

She’s in the attic!

I should probably add the mention of ‘exploitation’ films, which are intentionally of low quality, but include lots of one or more categories of titillating material to gain viewership.
Sex, TNA, violence, explosions, one-liners, etc.

Who was quoted saying: “Yeah, I’d love to make another movie with Roger [Corman]. As long as I don’t have to watch it. . . .”

I agree, it’s his only movie that is worth watching. But I agree with pepperlandgirl that his weaknesses are apparent in it; this particular movie played into his weaknesses, in a way. He got lucky, but he is a terrible, terrible director through and through.

Shatner is the king of so bad it’s good.

Thanks all for the enlightening comments. I’m still not sure I really get this, but will try and have an open mind. Personally I’m all about satire - I went to see Twilight and thought it was awful but then found a Twilight breadbox online and actually did fall off my seat laughing reading it, so it was okay. But the movie only gave the satirist material to work with, it didn’t make the movie any better.