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Rotten Films 101- Part 1

 My suggestions for bad movies that are fun to watch with your bad movie buff friends (Part 1)

The list below is NOT complete and I do not attempt to name every bad film—just the ones I’ve seen.  I will most likely add a second or even third list later.  And, if you can think of a movie that you think I should add, let me know.

To be included on the list, the film has to be fun to watch due to its ineptness.  Usually, watching these films with like-minded friends is a major plus!  Boring films like The English Patient and The Conqueror are not eligible nor are most big-budget flops like John Carter or Heaven’s Gate unless they reach a certain level of awfulness.  Also, while I have heard that the Turkish version of Star Wars is horrible, if I cannot find it subtitled or dubbed I will not include it on the list.

  1.  Anything by Ed Wood, though you must see Plan 9 From Outer Space*, Bride of the Monster and Glen Or Glenda.  I should warn you---Glen Or Glenda is a bit painful and Wood himself stars in this semi-autobiographical film.
  2. Anything by Al Adamson, though you should try to find Dracula vs. Frankenstein* and Blood of Ghastly Horror.
  3. Anything by William Grefe, though you should try to find Death Curse of Tartu and Impulse (with William Shatner)*.  Impulse is simply amazing—one of the best bad films on the list.
  4. Anything by Ray Dennis Steckler, though you should try to find The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters.  His films have a real home-made feel to them and he generally didn’t try to make great works of art!
  5. Anything by Larry Buchanan, though you should try to see Curse of the Swamp Creature and Zontar: The Thing from Venus.
  6. Most films made in the Philippines for US audiences in the 1970s.
  7. Eegah!!  Featuring Richard Kiel as the caveman who inexplicably lives in the 20th century.
  8. Robot Monster—Occasionally dull, the film features a guy in a gorilla suit and a diving helmet!
  9. Birdemic—Worst CGI in history?
  10. The Apple*—My favorite bad film and one I wrote about recently for Influx.
  11. The Room*--This one has a HUGE cult following.  The director LATER said he was trying to make a bad film but so far, no one believes him.
  12. Xanadu—Yes this is a big budget film and some of the music is nice but it’s still crap from start to finish.
  13. Roller Boogie—Like The Apple, Can’t Stop the Music and Xanadu, proof that 1979-80 was the low-point in cinematic history.
  14. Master of the Flying Guillotine*--A blind kung fu master who is unstoppable and an Indian guy with 10 foot-long arms!
  15. Shaolin Invincibles—Featuring baddies with 3 foot long tongues and guys in gorilla costumes doing Kung Fu!!
  16. Any movie with Timothy Farrell—He starred in more horrible films than anyone I can think of—not a bad actor in spite of this.
  17. Sex Madness* and Reefer Madness—Both by the same gifted director
  18. Dondi—This film could make Mary Poppins kill the child starring in the film!
  19. They Saved Hitler’s Brain—The highlight is the head of Hitler in a pickle jar yelling “Mach Schnell”!
  20. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare*--Previously discussed on Influx.  The film is terrible BUT has great music at the same time!
  21. Phantom of the Paradise*--Brian De Palma manages to make the list with this one.
  22. The Ten Commandments—The 1950s remake by Cecil B. DeMille and I am very shocked other folks don’t find this film an unintentional laugh riot.  The overacting is just amazing to watch.  DeMille seemed like he was on a one-man crusade to advance atheism with much of his work yet he’s inexplicably respected for his work.
  23. Sign of the Cross*—An earlier DeMille ‘Christian’ film that included bestiality, lesbianism and much more!
  24. I Want to Live--Inexplicably Susan Hayward received an Oscar for her amazingly overwrought performance.  Too funny and it must have inspired Divine in Female Trouble!
  25. Trog—With Joan Crawford!
  26. White Commanche—With William Shatner playing an American Indian!
  27. Frogs and The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant—both established that a once fine actor, Ray Milland, was simply out of his mind later in life.
  28. Once Upon a Time—proof that a great actor like Cary Grant can make crap.
  29. Empire of the Ants*--Joan Collins battles gigantic ants!
  30. Lost Horizon (the musical remake—not the wonderful Ronald Colman version)—Have a barf bag handy when you watch this saccharine mess!
  31. Jonathan Livingston Seagull—A film where all the actors are birds.  Seriously—the 1970s was DEFINITELY the decade of drugs and this film is proof.
  32. Jet Pilot—Shorter and more fun to watch than The Conqueror—and both starred John Wayne flick.
  33. A Change of Habit—Elvis falls in love with a happenin’ chick (Mary Tyler Moore)—too bad she’s already a nun!
  34. Blackenstein—Yes, this is a REAL movie from the blacksploitation era and it’s BAD!
  35. Any of the el Santo* luchador films, though I particularly love the ones where he fights vampires and werewolves.  I especially like to watch this masked crime fighter on dates or showering while STILL wearing his mask!
  36. The Aztec Mummy series*—Any of these three Mexican films deserves to be on the list, but perhaps The Aztec Mummy Against the Humanoid Robot is the worst.
  37. Pierre le Fou and Alphaville—Proof that a respected and critically adored French New Wave director can deliberately make crap and the critics will still adore it and declare that it’s a work of genius!  I am pretty sure he’s STILL laughing about these films!
  38. Any of the Starman movies—Such as Evil Brain From Outer Space.  I cannot blame the Japanese entirely for these films, as they were chopped to pieces, dubbed and shipped off to America in a different form than they were intended.
  39. Any Gamera film—He’s a giant Godzilla-like turtle that shoots flames out of his butt as he flies.  Need I say more?!
  40. Gone With the Wind—Actually, I am just seeing if you are actually reading the list.  This is a great film…duh.

*This indicates a movie that is particularly bad and really, really enjoyable.  Sort of like the Holy Grails of bad movies.

Article by Lead Entertainment Writer and Film Critic, Martin Hafer

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