Your "Wonderfully Bad" Movie List

I thought I had watched all the “so bad it’s good flicks” on earth, but I missed a doozy I saw on TCM this morning: The Silver Chalice, featuring an awful Paul Newman as a slave-sculptor, Jack Palance as a campy magician in a sperm-printed leotard, and Virginia Mayo as a first century Las Vegas showgirl/Vulcan chick in radical blue eyeshadow.

What are your less commonly cited cheezy flicks? I’d like to hear about movies outside of the usual “badness” category (Plan 9 from Outer Space, Barbarella, et al).

Scavenger Hunt

Gridlock (aka The Great American Traffic Jam)

I’ve been showing these for years at parties

The Classics:

**Plan Nine from Outer Space

Robot Monster**


**It Came from Hollywood

(Zacherle’s) Horrible Borror**

Just Bad Films, but entertainingly awful

** Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors

The Giant Claw

Doc Savage: Man of Bronze

Deadly Friend


Terror in the Tropics

The Forbidden Zone*

Invaders from Mars**

Battlefield Earth

10,000 B.C.

Zontar, The Thing from Venus***

Creature of Destruction ***

Invasion of the Eye Creatures***

Beginning of the End

Star Crystal****

And, of course:
The Star Wars Holiday Special

  • You may actually think this is good. It’s certainly weird, and creative. But I find it incredibly racist. I tried showing it at one of my Bad Film Festivals, and my wife asked for it to be turned off *during the opening credits*, but she was voted down. Everyone else agreed with her five minutes into the movie

** THis film is considered a classic, and I’ll give it props for direction and set design. But it’s irredeemably dumb. When I watched it at an Art Cinema (the kind where people get dressed up, and they don’t sell refreshments, because they don’t want the carpeted floors to get sticky), the audience started booing and yelling dereisive comments at the screen.

***These films are so bottom-of-the-barrel that they are actually lower-budget remakes of films that were already poverty-row original films. These are even lower in quality and in acting.

****One of the innumerable retreads of Alien that came out after 1979. This one has a unique twist, but an awful one – they stop the creature by

converting it to Christianity. No joke.

Thomas B. Costain, who wrote that book, wrote a great series on the History of England.

I own Doc Savage: Man of Bronze, because i used to love the books. CalMeacham: "You’re a brick. ":stuck_out_tongue:

My favorite is Cobra Woman, in which Maria Montez virtually has sex with a king cobra.

Then there’s Sins of the Fleshapoids, directed by Mike Kuchar, about future androids who are revolting (in both senses of the term).

The all-time winner has to be Manos: The Hands of Fate. The MST3K episode with it is priceless.

But that’s too easy. Here’s an obscure one: Zardoz. it features Sean Connery wearing a red diaper with suspenders, if you’re into that sort of thing (somebody somewhere probably is…), and a plot that defied my ability and / or desire to follow. But the speech by the flying statue in the beginning made me bust out laughing immediately:


Zardoz obscure? Heck, it was a major release when it came out.
I’ve shown Zardoz at my Bad Film Festivals. (I preceded it with a clip from the MST3K episode of “OPeration Kid Brother”, the film starring Connery’s younger sibling. At the end of one of the Satellite of Love routines, ostensibly tracing the younger Connery’s movie career, Crow says “Well, at least he wasn’t in Zardoz!”)

It’s fun to watch, especially to see where the name comes from.

You don’t do the litany stated by The Giant Flying Head justice:

[spoiler] [the gigantic Stone Head hovers before the worshipful horde of Exterminators]

Zardoz: Zardoz speaks to you, His chosen ones.

Exterminators: We are the chosen ones!

Zardoz: You have been raised up from Brutality, to kill the Brutals who multiply, and are legion. To this end, Zardoz your God gave you the gift of the Gun. The Gun is good!

Exterminators: The Gun is good!

Zardoz: The Penis is evil! The Penis shoots Seeds, and makes new Life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals.
Go forth, and kill!

Zardoz has spoken.

Let’s dig deeper. First rule: It’s gotta have a great title. How about:

Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.

Nude on the Moon.

The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak.

I watched that one, actually thought it was fun, if VERY corny. With all those folks caught on the freeway, it was hilarious when the helicopters came over the ridge hauling portable toilets, all to the music of “Ride of the Valkyries” Cheesy parody scenes galore in that flick!:smiley:
Cannibal Women*, from the previous post, is one of the funniest films I ever saw, or at least laughed at.

I don’t know – these movies were clearly trying to be campy. I think you get extra points if the filmmakers were really convinced they were making something good.

Mind you, I enjoyed all these movies you listed, but they lack the sincerity and therefore the unintentional humor of Plan Nine or Robot Monster.

There are thousands but my current favorites are
Dinosaurus! (1960)
Caveman with Ringo Starr and for that matter
The Magic Christian with Ringo Starr
Pelts with Meatloaf
Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
Cabin Boy

And the list goes on.

The brain that wouldn’t die.

The brain from planet Arous.

Fiend without a face.

Sensing a theme here?

General Kala, Flash Gordon approaching.


I find most of the “so bad they’re good” movies to be just bad. But this one…

No The Man with Two Brains? Or The Man with the Screaming Brain?

Star Crash

Christopher Plummer and a young David Hasselhoff play supporting roles in this fantastically bad rip off of Star Wars.

I’ve never been a fan of so bad it’s good. I prefer knowing camp… if it actually works. The downside is that if it doesn’t it’s so bad that it’s bad. Like Ed Wood.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms Bad? Bite your typing finger!
TBF20kF is the UR-1950s monster-on-the-loose film. It’s the first film to feature all the elements – the Monster released by radiation, It slowly makes its way to a major city. It cannot be stopped by ordinary means. It’s huge. It sends people scurrying away. Its coming is predicted by the Handsome Young Scientist (and the romantically-0involved Beautiful Assistant). They come up with the Magic Weapon to destroy the Beast, and They Only Have One Chance.

It was also the first major film by Ray Harryhausen. Lacking the army of technicians that his mentor Willis O’Brien had for KIng Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young, Harryhausen had to come up with a cheap and less labor-intensive way to incorporate his creations into footage of “real” people and locations, not using glass paintings, forced perspective sets, and the like, and invented his “reality sandwich” technique (which he called “Dynamation” and “Dynarama” in ads) It was a technical breakthrough.

All in all, it was well-handled. They came up with a plausible reason for the Beast to go to a population center, to explain WHY the Beast couldn’t be killed by ordinary means,and neatly brought the plot full circle by using atomic science , which had awakened the Beast, to also destroy it. Since this was the first time for all this, it wasn’t a cliché.
When they made the 1998 version of Godzilla, they stole the script from TBf20kF, not from the original Godzilla.

There were lots of imitators, including Gojira. Most of the others were simple imitations, almost always without the technical virtuosity or the originality. But, for all its faults, Beast was the first of its kind, and a trailblazer in the best sense. Bad, it ain’t.

Your post mentioned Plan Nine and Robot Monster, so that’s what I was referring to, not a movie you didn’t even mention.

I have a soft spot for this movie. I can even tell you the exact date I first saw it in the theater, Dec. 6, 1980. That morning I’d meant to do something that was really important to me. I woke up too late to do that thing. All day I kicked around in a VERY, VERY, BAD MOOD. That evening I went to the movie, solely as a distraction from my surliness. I came out feeling great, this campy, silly, film really cheered me up!:stuck_out_tongue:

The Queen from Outer Space with Zsa Zsa Gabor. So bad that it’s good!