The Horror Anti-Masterpieces: Five Great Bad Horror Movies

Senior Contributor
10.10.13 50 Comments

Stephen King, in his seminal book Danse Macabre, discussed bad movies and admits something any film fan knows; while it’s great to see a good horror movie, seeing a total hilarious misfire can be almost as good. That said, there are movies that are so bad they’re good and movies that are so bad they’re celluloid hatred. So here’s a guide to the great bad movies.

I’ve seen a lot of bad movies, and I made it a specific criteria that these are more entertaining the more friends you have. Also, optionally, the more alcohol you have. But here are five of the best, in all their, well, anti-glory.

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A hilariously incoherent anthology film, this was actually an attempt to salvage a bunch of bad horror movies from the ’80s and make them into something profitable. Built around a framing device of God and Satan arguing over what souls they get to keep, the main problem is that three ninety minute movies are chopped down to twenty-five minutes or so, and held together with, well, this:

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Yep, giant killer bunny rabbits.

The genuinely sad thing about this movie, aside from the fact that anybody thought giant bunny rabbits would be remotely terrifying, is that most of the effects, when they’re not stuntmen in fursuits, are not half bad for the time. And, aside from DeForrest Kelley, the entire movie is played completely straight, which just makes everything funnier. The best part is that the novel it’s based on is actually a satire, something everybody involved in this production missed completely.

<!–pagetitle:The Happening–>

Overall, it’s sad to see just how far M. Night Shyamalan has plunged from the genuinely good The Sixth Sense and the classic Unbreakable to, well, crap like this. But, separated from the Hollywood downfall, it’s really, really hard not to enjoy this movie as a slice of cheese. Basically, M. Night Shyamalan tries to make us scared of the wind blowing through the trees. That’s it. That’s the bad guy.

Essentially it’s like watching a big-budget movie with the effects removed, and as a result, it’s pretty much a comedy classic. Unintentionally, but still a comedy classic.

<!–pagetitle:Blood Freak–>

Fundamentalist Christian Turkey Monsters just didn’t test as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Yes, this is an anti-drug, pro-Christ movie about a man who gets turned into a turkey monster. Really.


Birdemic, though, is a classic bad movie in the best sense of the word. The thing about this movie is that it’s not a cash-in, or a cynical film at all. No, the filmmaker had a dream, and it didn’t matter how limited his budget, how hard it was to find anybody remotely capable to act, or that he had no idea how to do a damn thing involving film production, he was going to make a movie.

And by God, he achieved his dream. That’s really the best part of all this: James Nguyen set out to make a hugely popular movie and he pulled it off. Birdemic isn’t just a great bad movie, it’s the American Dream. Yeah, on any objective level, it’s awful. But hey, nobody said you had to be talented to make it in America.

We’re assuming you’ve got a favorite as surely as Nilbog is Goblin spelled backwards, so hit us up in the comments. The more obscure, the better!

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