Ten Movies So Bad They’re Amazing
1. The Apple
It’s a biblical allegory in which the devil runs the music industry, set in the far-off future of 1994 as envisioned by the 1970s. Oh, and about 20 minutes in, it decides it’s also going to be a musical.
So, what did the ’70s predict for the ’90s? Lots of hologram stickers, for one thing. Also frantic disco, massive cars with random plastic domes stuck to them, and colonies of stubborn homeless hippies. Oddly enough, the movie accurately predicts media consolidation and American Idol.
Stick with it all the way to the end, and you’ll be rewarded with the most literal interpretation of “deus ex machina” ever committed to film. And apparently, there’s a long-lost deleted scene featuring dinosaurs — this movie has everything! — and it breaks my heart that the dinosaur footage was probably destroyed.
Surely you are familiar with the “different places” scene, wherein Elizabeth Berkeley makes some striking acting choices. Sullen and weird, she answers a question about where she’s from my exclaiming “different places” while exhibiting five or six simultaneous self-contradictory emotions.
But have you ever noticed the amazing costumes on the extras behind her during that scene? There’s a lady pirate, a man in chain mail, a woman with devil horns, and a ninja that walks by in the background at least three times.
No matter how many times you watch this film, there’s always more to discover.Let’s also touch on the amazing “doggie chow” scene, in which two women bond over their childhood love of eating dog food. No actual human being has ever spoken to another in this manner ever before, in the history of anything, but this film won’t let that stop it.
This is a controversial choice! Some people just can’t get into Xanadu, and I can’t say I blame them. There are definitely some long stretches of boring bland beige, and if you want to skip past them, I say “wise choice.”
But there’s still a heavy-enough concentration of WTF in this film that I think it’s worth at least one watch.Olivia Newton-John’s career had a hard time bouncing back from this flop. And Gene Kelly’s never did, because he died immediately after it came out. Reportedly, he only took the role because they were shooting the movie down the street from his house.
I genuinely love the insane mashup of ’40s swing and ’80s music in the “Dancin’” number, which seems to have been filmed in a state of total confusion by the crew. Where do we point the camera? Who do we light? What part of the scene are we shooting again?
4. Danger Diabolik
Be patient with Danger Diabolik. There are some languid stretches where you can relax and zone out, but whenever the music picks up or voices are raised, it’s time to sit up and pay attention.
And don’t worry about the plot: it has something to do with spies, jewels, money, and a master criminal, but who cares. If you try to follow along, you’ll just get annoyed that it doesn’t make sense.
The delightful “Exhilarating Gas” scene seems to be an accidental homage to the dancing soup of The Wild World of Batwoman, in that both baffling scenes feature a criminal with the inexplicable plan to distract people by subjecting them to a drug that makes them party.And then there’s an animated composite-sketch sequence with a hooker that is a genuine, un-ironic work of art.
5. The Room
This is a great equalizer when it comes to bad movies, because pretty much everyone can agree that it is both terrible and a lot of fun.
The rumor I heard is that “filmmaker” Tommy Wiseau made the movie after getting rich through some scheme involving counterfeit jeans, although that makes almost as little sense as the plot of the film.
Watch for hammy acting, plot threads that go nowhere, and sexual situations that seem to have been written by an extraterrestrial that observed but did not fully comprehend the human species.