Guest Expressed: “5 Films That Are So Bad They’re Good”

Today Eli McGonagall points out a few terrible movies that may actually prove to be entertaining (sort of). Enter Eli:

There’s no doubt about it: some films are simply bad. They might be poorly written, poorly acted or just so camp that you can’t take them in any way seriously… but is this (particularly in the case of the latter) really such a bad thing? Here follows five films that, in my opinion, have gone far round the bad-o-meter that they’re reading as good as again.

Well, almost.

  • Catwoman

A pretty much universally terrible film; star Halle Berry even accepted the Razzie Award for Worst Actress in person. Deviating from the original story of Selina Kyle considerably, meek artist Patience Phillips is murdered by her evil boss only to return to live as the eponymous superheroine. I could say more about this one but you really have to watch it to fully appreciate its awfulness.

  • Flash Gordon

From the moment the film’s theme tune (performed by Queen) begins, you know that this movie will be nothing but camp. Both heroes and villains are portrayed with the latter firmly in mind: Flash defeats hordes of cars using the power of American football, while Max von Sydow’s Ming the Merciless is so fabulously evil it’s a wonder he doesn’t upstage everyone in the film. The film performed poorly almost everywhere except in the UK, where it was a huge success. Brian Blessed’s typically enthusiastic performance as Prince Vultan arguably seals the film’s reputation as a camp classic.

  • Snakes on a Plane

Seemingly following the format of most monstrous creatures films (X in/on a Y, X being the creature and Y whatever place the filmmakers decide would be most entertaining), albeit with a bigger budget, Snakes on a Plane’s name was purposely chosen as a homage to B movies. The film’s title summarises its plot rather well, with star Samuel L Jackson citing it as why he chose to take the role (and indeed enthusiastically rebuffed attempts to rename it). The film did pretty well at the box office, and received positive reviews from those who appreciated it for what it was.

  • Batman & Robin

Arguably the worst of the 90s Batman films. Tim Burton’s were pretty good (Batman Returns in particular), but things started going downhill with Batman Forever when directorial control was handed over to Joel Schumacher. With the campness amped way up (right up to fitting Batman and Robin with enlarged codpieces and adding prominent nipples to the sculpted pecs of their suits) and Schumacher urged to make the movie more toyetic (as in made in such as a way as to make merchandising easy), the film received largely negative reviews and 11 Razzie nominations (although Batman & Robin only picked up one in the end). However, Joel Schumacher, a big Batman fan himself, actually apologised to fans who found his rather less dark film disappointing, accepting the blame and stating that he would have much preferred doing an adaptation of the comic Batman: Year One.

  • Anything by Hammer Film Productions

Just go and watch one; you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Eli McGonagall works for a company that sells cheap dishwashers, and readily admits that there are some moments in these films where he’s not sure which he’d rather be watching.