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What’s Your Favorite Bad Movie?

By / 08.10.12

If you love movies, especially genre movies, eventually you develop a taste for, and affection for, total pieces of crap. There’s not a point that it happens, it just seeps in gradually until you find yourself genuinely enjoying movies you know to be objectively awful.

My personal favorite, and it has been since I’ve seen it, is Birdemic.

There’s only one cultural crime I can fault Mystery Science Theater 3000 for, and that’s popularizing bad movies so much that crappy filmmakers discovered the word “campy”. If somebody knows, on some level, that they suck, all they have to do is throw a lesbian vampire at the screen with a wink and say “See? See! I could do better, but I’m not, because CAMP!”

There are rare gems that actually pull off the trick of being deliberately campy and still funny: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra comes to mind, a movie where they nail the tone and refuse to wink at the audience, no matter how stupid it gets.

Still, that’s not a genuinely bad movie. It’s a good one that pulls off a very hard trick. That’s not somebody sincerely doing his best and failing miserably. For that, you need James Nguyen. You need Birdemic.

Here’s a scene from this classic:

Birdemic is a movie I actually own on Blu-Ray because I love it that much. Not because it’s any good. It’s miserably incompetent in just about every respect. James Nguyen has no filmmaking talent whatsoever.

But the result is a movie so bad it’s absolutely hilarious. It becomes even funnier if you’ve actually made a movie with no money, because you know exactly what situations he faced and his complete inability to solve them creatively. Places where he had to cast his friends, or just the one person who made it to the casting call. The fact that he put in the Ford Mustang he so obviously rented because it cost a fortune and dammit, he was going to get his money’s worth.

In other words, it’s a guide to absolutely everything that can go wrong. And it’s brilliant.

How about you? What’s your favorite bad movie?


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