Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and even a stopped clock is more fun to watch for 90 minutes than most movies. For every cult classic there are a thousand abominations, and I've endured the comedy equivalent of A Clockwork Orange reprogramming just to bring you some fine comedy articles.
Every single one was worse than that film in The Ring.
But sometimes they reach a critical mass of failure and manage to screw up screwing up, shining through their own rivers of sewage with one accidental nugget of brilliance.
4 "It's a Good Day to Die!" (Starship Troopers 3: Marauder)
Starship Troopers is such an amazing satire most critics didn't even realize it was one. And when someone can't tell that Psychic Gestapo Doogie Howser isn't serious, they can't even be trusted to watch movies for a living.
"This is just one cheek of the size of the ass you would have to be to not get this."
Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation "fixed" that by removing the satire and actually being a stupid action movie. So stupid they spent all their money on the "Starship Troopers" name, then couldn't actually afford many bugs, despite the entire point of the fight sequences being many, many bugs -- also despite being made by the company that originally made the damn bugs. Which is why they invented a new breed of alien, with the amazing power to mind-control Z-list actors while mainly avoiding cameras!
"Well, lady, you're a presumed-dead trooper recovered from behind alien enemy lines, you've been acting strange ever since, and now you want to get me alone. But I'm a guy in a horror-ish movie and therefore brain-damaged by tit proximity, so, sure!
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder could afford to bring back the original star, but that was due less to an increase of budget and more to significant depreciation in Casper Van Diem. This movie is what the Ghost of Casper Van Diem Future would show to make him change his ways.
"YOU WANT TO HAVE SELF-RESPECT FOREVER!?"
He returns to find that the solution to the bug problem is religion. Not a freaky bug cult, nor Matrix-style rave religion, but actual swear-to-God swearing-to-Roman-Catholic-God.
"Maybe I should just ask the bugs to stop. No! Maybe I should ask someone invisible to stop them for me!"
Jolene Blalock throws away her assault rifle and falls to her knees to shout out the "Our Father" in the heart of the alien base, blowing it up and realizing why most ex-Star Trek actors settle for taking signature money at conventions.
The exact moment she realized she'd rather wear fake ears for a sweaty queue of signatures for the rest of her life.
The evangelist character is rewarded for her faith (which takes the form of 80 solid minutes of whining about Jesus during an action movie) with an actual halo of incoming Federation drop-mechs, and they found a way to make that non-satirical.
I swear to the god she's evangelizing they found a way to play this straight.
By the way, this is just after the commander of the Federation forces sells out the human race for the privilege of being eaten by a vast xenogina.
"This is still a better idea than making this movie!"
A xenogina that patiently waits while the unarmed humans have a debate about faith in the heart of the bug fortress.
"No, I'll wait over here. You guys go ahead and shout about your spiritual differences. That'll be an awesome climax for an action movie!"
The big sell promised on the DVD box the movie was released straight into was the huge anti-bug mech suits. Mech suits, which appeared more on that box than in the movie. They are built up for the entire film, then lumbered into shots like they'd gotten lost on their way to a PlayStation One scene cut 10 years ago, fought for two seconds and self-destructed. They'd have had more screen time if they were grenades.
It'll look even better when they can afford the licensed version of MyFirstRenderer.
Through all this, there shines one moment of true Starship Troopers glory: "It's a Good Day to Die!" In this nightmarish military future, the Sky Marshal commanding the war effort is also a Pop Idol-style singer, and troops are motivated to lay down their lives so often the song been recorded and sold as a No. 1 hit single.
"Sing along at home, then sign up to become cannon fodder!"
They condensed an entire movie's worth of satire into one perfect frame.
A single so dumb it can't even keep its catchline of "Courage! Duty! Honor!" in the right order all the way through. It's glorious.
X Factor fans as Mobile Infantry cannon fodder. That's not just fantastic parody, that's a genuinely good idea, a boost to natural selection. And I guarantee record viewing numbers for the hit new series.
3"A Little Anti-American Sentiment" (Gymkata)
Gymkata attempted to harness the celebrity of Olympic gold male gymnastics -- and probably succeeded. But measuring male gymnastic appeal in box office numbers is like measuring a kitten's meow in terms of astrophysical thermal output. You're wildly overestimating something's star power.
Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty
"Although we both cause a lot of interference in global communication systems."
The problem is that miniature besweatered Kurt Thomas looks like someone you'd see at a kid's slumber party. Until he inverts and thrusts his crotch directly at everyone's face for 90 minutes, becoming the exact opposite of what you'd want to see at a kid's slumber party, giving him precisely zero appeal to anyone.
Crotch so in-your-face you're now at third base.
He is a world champion athlete, but this was the Olympic version of taking Aquaman out of the sea and dumping him on a moonbase with alien gods.
And at least only octopii endured this from the Justice League.
In a script designed only to fill gaps in the male twirling, because you're not allowed to make a family movie centered only on centrifugal testicles ...
Exhibits A and B
... they accidentally struck comedy gold. Behold, as a special intelligence agent endures "a little anti-American sentiment":
I know most of you don't watch the videos. Please watch this one. I don't care if your workplace allows it or not -- if your job brought you as much joy as this clip can you wouldn't be avoiding doing it to read this. If infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters can generate the entire works of Shakespeare, the writers of Gymkata can manage one good moment. Which is a pretty accurate scaling of their skill level. If you didn't watch the video, a secret agent observes that there was just a little anti-American sentiment running around, and ARROW TO THE KIDNEY!
Immortalized in GIF form.
Decades before the Internet beat random violence humor into a horse sashimi pancake, this was so much glorious joy out of nowhere that it wasn't just a joke, it was a hilarious tribute to the Big Bang. One moment Kurt Thomas is being consoled like a whiny boy who got that sweater instead of what he really wanted for Christmas, then MEDIEVAL DIALYSIS! Comedic timing is one of the hardest things in the world. The rest of this movie has worse timing than the Doctor's TARDIS when he wants a peaceful holiday, more stilted lines than a moko jumbie DMV, actors blatantly waiting for their turn to speak then adding another second to make sure. And then, THUD! It shows that if you just flail at the camera for long enough something wonderful will happen. Unfortunately that was their plan for the entire movie, not just this single second.