This week’s deeply amusing episode of “Spoiled”, combined with a fascinating discussion with Stephen before this week’s MSP, has gotten me thinking about what REALLY makes Bad Movies bad.  It’s no secret that I am an enormous fan of Disney’s 1979 sci-fi boondoggle “The Black Hole,” and have been known to argue it to be a superior viewing experience to “Star Wars.”  I’m not even talking about a MST3K kind of ‘Fun To Mock’ or ‘So Bad It’s Good‘ experience, but instead a genuine attachment to the film’s message and characters, regardless of the accumulation of flaws…

The MS-QOTD (short for “Vital Information Necessary: CENTralized“) wonders:  What movies that are widely considered “bad” do you non-ironically love anyway?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. The Great NateO on

    Well here is a short list, and like you I LOVE “The Black Hole” I’m the only one in my group of friends that has seen it or will admit to it, and still watch it every year. I have always wanted the laser guns that they used.

    Huston Hawk
    The Sword and the Sorcerer
    Robot Jox
    Mortal Combat
    The Prophecy

  2. The Concorde: Airport ’79. The attempts at drama are so overwrought & random that they’re funny, the attempts at comedy are such failures that they’re funny in ways that are not at all what they intended, the disregard for physics is amazing, and it got screwed by RL history, since it involves wealthy Americans travelling to Moscow for the 1980 Olympics. I feel it’s non-ironic, since the movie studio saw it was so crazy it had to sell it as a comedy instead of the thriller the makers intended.

    I have a weird love for The Fifth Element. Its faux-anime aesthetic makes it the only Bruce Willis movie that doesn’t irritate the hell out of me.

  3. A lot of the same: Tron, Hudson Hawk, Krull, The Black Hole, Transforrmers: the Movie (Animated)

    Like Matthew, I also had an argument that The Fifth Element was a better movie than the Matrix.



    • Like Matthew, I also had an argument that The Fifth Element was a better movie than the Matrix.


      Me, too. It’s the lack of pretentious sequels.

    • I’ve never considered the original TF movie to be “bad”, honestly. It had flaws, yes, but it has consistently been one of my favorite movies of all time.

      As for bad movies I like or enjoy:
      – Mortal Kombat: It’s just fun to watch, cheesiness and all.
      – Godzilla (the CGI one): Ever since the Japanese Godzilla films retconned the CGI creature as Zilla, a creature the US mistook as Godzilla, I’m no longer disgusted with the movie and will happily watch it at 2am.
      – UHF: It is Weird Al’s movie. Need I go on?
      – Doctor Who (The made-for-TV movie about the 8th Doctor): I like it, that’s all there is to it.

  4. First of all, great topic. Of those already listed, I’ve seen some I totally agree with (Tron, Krull, Time Bandits), and some I totally don’t agree with (The Fifth Element, *shudder*), which is what makes this kind of exercise fun. Anyhoo . . .

    Buckaroo Banzai is a no-brainer. I’ve shown it to friends who HATED it, but I love every quirky, weird, clever, postmodern second.

    The 1976 remake of King Kong–far inferior to the original, of course, but so much more entertaining than Peter Jackson’s bloated, boring, masturbatory version.

    Speed Racer–people seem to hate it because it’s essentially a CGI cartoon with live actors, but that’s precisely why I love it. Plus, it has John Goodman.

    Deep Blue Sea, Deep Rising, The 13th Warrior–well-made, entertaining genre pictures that don’t aspire to be anything more than that.

    Signs–I’m not sure if it’s really considered “bad” as much as it’s a victim of Shyamalan hate, but I have an incredibly high opinion of it.

    • That’s the exact same reason I enjoyed Speed Racer, too. I burst out laughing at the part where Spridle & Chim Chim get the awesome freeze-frame-before-the-fight-scene bit with the ninja. I guess people expected Citizen Kane with cars or something.

  5. Zardoz. If you’re a college freshman with a Marxist streak, this is the film for you.

    You have to put The Black Hole into perspective. It was the final version of the old 30‘s to 50’s space adventure genre, movies like Forbidden Planet.

    You know how westerns always has a town drunk, a tough but fair sheriff, a hooker with a heart of gold and a cattle/railroad/gold baron? The old school space adventure always had a square jawed captain, a wise or maybe evil professor with a hot young daughter, a crewman from Brooklyn who says things like “get a load of that asteroid field”, and may or may not have a pet monkey with a fishbowl on his head.

    At that point they hadn’t made a movie like that in decades, but when the original Star Wars made a zillion dollars, everybody and their uncle rushed space themed stuff to the market. I don’t know this for sure, but I assume that Disney pulled some old guys out of mothballs, gave them a big ass budget, and told them to do what they want, but make sure they had a cute robot and some BS spiritual angle (ala the force).

    They made the professor’s daughter the professor’s student, and made the monkey a robot, but it’s basically the old format with a few changes to fit what was the modern sensibility at the time (and a lot of bellbottoms).

  6. I like Superman Returns, but all my fellow nerd/geeks around me claim it was horrible. It was far from the best, but it had its moments, and they never have a good argument for why it is bad. Most of the time they just point to the kid and say “That could never happen!” and when I ask where they got their doctorate in Fictional Alien Genetics they just tell me I’m still wrong and we move on to another topic.

    • There are several problems with Superman Returns. One is that it spent too much time referencing the Donner films. Entire paragraphs of dialog are lifted right out of the original movies, not to mention the kryptonian crystal gimmick. You can’t just remind someone of a good movie to be a good movie.

      Second is the implausibility. Yeah I know talking about realism in a movie with an alien that flies seems ridiculous, but in a movie with a fantastic premise, you have to go out of your way to sell realism in the non-fantastic parts, otherwise the audience has no way to relate to the universe your building. If things like physics and mathematics doesn’t exist in your universe, there no consequences to the decisions that characters are making on screen and there is no dramatic tension. Tossing a 747 into space without it popping like a toy balloon or plopping an entire continent into the ocean without the whole world flooding, just undermines reality too much to be taken seriously.

      And third, in writing there is a thing called a grubby apartment story. There are a lot of loser writers out there, guys that never made it big and ran their lives into the ground because of it. So there are a lot of stories out there where the man character is a dead beat dad, whose wife has remarried, who are estranged from their children and are given one last chance to make things right. Think of the last War of the Worlds, 2012, Independence Day, there’s a million of ‘em.

      Turning Superman into a grubby apartment story, were Superman runs out on his unborn child is absolutely inexcusable. Now I don’t know if one of the guys that wrote the script has an estranged son, but if he does, using the Superman myth as a way of forgiving himself is narcissistic to the point of megalomaniacal.

  7. Zorro The Gay Blade didn’t do well which I guess is a way of saying many thought ill of it. But I love it!

    Other movies I enjoy that I think fit:

    – Logan’s Run
    – The One And Only (a better wrestling movie that The Wrestler!)
    – The Phantom
    – Escape From L.A. (yeah, the president was ridiculous and the villain kinda sucked but there was more than enough Kurt to make up for it)
    – Tango & Cash

    • I feel the same way about Love at First Bite.

      The Fonz ruled in The One and Only.

      T&C was Zdar’s magnum opus.

  8. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo is a terrible, terrible, stupid, terrible movie, but my wife and I will watch it and laugh our butts off every time it comes on. Did I mention terrible?

    Beastmaster is pretty cool. JCVD’s Bloodsport is pretty awful, but damned if I don’t cheer every time he smashes the brick…ON THE BOTTOM OF THE STACK!

  9. – I don’t care what Disney thinks (or anyone else for that matter), JOHN CARTER was great.
    – The Lady in the Water. I thoroughly enjoyed that movie the first time I saw it and subsequent viewings have not lessened my appreciation and love for that movie.

  10. – The entire Resident Evil franchise
    – Repossessed
    – Army of Darkness, at one point I rented it every wekend then I noticed I could have bought it 20 times over…
    – Demon Knight

    • I didn’t put Army of Darkness on my list because it has a decent fan following, but thinking back it was considered bad by critics, wasn’t it?

      I had rented it so much that the video store in my old town gave me one of the extra copies when it went from new release to the older movies section.

  11. I am also a huge fan of The Black Hole, it was my favorite movie as a kid, and I’ve never stopped loving it. If anyone loves that film more than Matthew does, it would be me.

    Some other “bad” movies that I thoroughly and sincerely enjoy:
    The DaVinci Code
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Masters of the Universe
    the Star Wars prequels
    Superman Returns
    The Transformers: The Movie (1986)

  12. Everyone seems to ridicule Contact, but I have always liked it.

    I’m thinking more along the lines of under-rated sf movies…
    – Deep Impact (no, not THAT Deep Impact, Stephen)
    – Outland (Sean Connery in an outer-space remake of High Noon)
    – Star Trek The Motion Picture (don’t listen to Matthew)
    – The Thing from Another World (original b&w from which all The Thing movies come)
    – Highlander (not sure if it is really under appreciated)
    – The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

    This idea could spark a Major Spoilers Film Festival?!?!

  13. Biodome- don’t like any other pauly shore movies but that one is hilarious to me

    Zoolander- my girlfriend hates it, but I love it.

    All of Kevin Smith’s movies…usually people say they like one or two but I love them all, always have.

  14. cant believe no ones mentioned one of my all time favs Big Trouble in Little China. Another movie I love to death is Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon. The sound track is amazing!

  15. John Carpenter seems to be myfavourite director for films like this.
    Prince of Darkness
    The 5th Element
    Battle Beyond the Stars (Magnificent 7 in space)
    They Live
    John Carter (sorry Stephen)
    Hawk the Slayer
    The Barbarians
    Near Dark

  16. Does Big Trouble in Little China qualify?

    For another almost on target pick, I always had a soft spot
    I swear…
    Don’t laugh…
    Robin Williams is…


  17. -Resident Evil: Afterlife
    This one came out on my birthday, so I had to see it. And while a lot of people like to bash it, I thought it was leagues and bounds better than Extinction. Not to say it was a great movie, but it sure seemed more like a zombie movie. It did take every opportunity to undo a lot of the decisions in earlier films (like get rid of the Alice army and Alice’s superpowers), and from a certain perspective this is a good thing.

    -Matrix Reloaded
    Maybe it’s just me having watched the damn thing on TV a dozen times, but this film grew on me. I even understood most of the pseudo-philosophical stuff, especially the stuff with the Architect. Now Matrix Revolutions wasn’t nearly as good, although some scenes I liked, and the ending theme was bitchin’.

    -Home Alone 3
    What can I say? It was a frequently replayed movie in my house as a child, so I can’t hate it. In fact, I don’t recall anything about the first two films, assuming I saw them at all.

    -Green Lantern
    It’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It’s certainly not Dark Knight, but that’s a hard pair of shoes to fill as is.

    -The Shadow (1994)
    …okay I confess, there’s just a bit of ironic love here. So sue me.

  18. Hey, Netflix or Hulu Plus, are you listening? All the above and below needs to be on streaming! Along with Surf Ninjas.

    • Raistlin Majere on

      A few were on Netflix but they are constantly shifting their content on and off. I don’t know much about how their licencing works but Hulu Plus can suck it ;P

  19. Kevin Flythe on

    This one’s easy: Munchies. I still can’t help but snicker anytime someone mentions Macchu Picchu, no matter the context.

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