5 Insanely Ridiculous Movies You Need To Watch Right Now
There are many different kinds of "bad" movies. Some are just boringly, ordinarily bad. Others are really intentionally bad in an ironic way, and can be enjoyable as a winking, self-aware escape. But the most interesting kind of bad movie -- and this is a very specific distinction -- is a completely straightforward, earnest attempt at making an actual movie that ends up being hilarious and extremely watchable, often in spite of itself. Here are five of the best not-best movies you can watch right now.
Paul Verhoeven directed two of the most brilliant, subversive, and ultimately super-fun (and super-violent) sci-fi movies ever in RoboCop (1987) and Total Recall (1990). Then he took an abrupt hard turn into nudity-filled, critically maligned schlock with 1992's Basic Instinct and 1995's infamous Showgirls, which remains the only NC-17 film to receive a wide release. The movie bombed at the box office and was savaged by critics, and likely singlehandedly killed any attempts to ever make a mainstream NC-17 movie again.
In retrospect, everyone was pretty much right about this film. But it's an absolutely fascinating, hilarious artifact of mid '90s controversy. Elizabeth Berkley is a drifter who arrives in Las Vegas with big dreams of dancing in an exclusive fancy erotic hotel show (that classic character motivation), but has to work her way up through seedy clubs surrounded by seedier characters. But it's loaded with (probably?) unintentional comedy, from Berkley wowing everyone with her superhuman dance-learning ability (she's "The One" of strippers) to a pool sex scene that appears to defy the laws of physics (though it does involve Kyle MacLachlan, so maybe it takes place in some Twin Peaks-esque dream).
While the film certainly feels 100% earnest -- almost shockingly earnest, in some ways -- the presence of Verhoeven at the helm still leaves us wondering: Was this whole thing a big meta satire of the "actress with big Hollywood dreams!" story, the "sex worker with a heart of gold" trope, and our general cultural attitudes towards partaking in sexual entertainment? Or is it just dumb sexual entertainment? Better watch it a bunch of times to figure it out.
Demolition Man isn't Sylvester Stallone's most ludicrous movie. That title arguably belongs to Over The Top, the touching film wherein he wins over his estranged son's love by dominating an arm-wrestling competition (seriously!). But it's definitely the funniest one to rewatch in 2019.
The film features Stallone as a disgraced cop who gets frozen in a cryo-prison and thawed out in the year 2032 to help a declawed, helpless futuristic police force catch a vicious 20th-century criminal (Wesley Snipes) on the loose. The movie was clearly intended as an example of "What happens when political correctness gets out of hand?!" And the answer is, backwardly, a world of almost total peace and crimelessness? But of course, in this PC DYSTOPIA, swearing has been outlawed, all restaurants are now Taco Bell, crude rock music has been replaced with wall-to-wall commercial jingles, toilet paper has been replaced with "the three seashells," and the police are infantile unarmed cowards who can't deal with one loose criminal.
Inadvertently, the film that was clearly made to make fun of rampant political correctness makes the exact opposite point when you watch it today. Not only is it quaint to remember that people have been complaining about "PC culture" getting out of hand for 25+ years, but also, none of the slippery slope stuff came true, and we'd KILL to have most of the problems this movie is scared of. (A too-gentle, unarmed police force that's been relaxed into complacency by nonexistent crime? TERRIFYING.)
Throw in some very random shocking violence, some inexplicable future sex, and an ensemble cast rounded out by Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, and the warden from Shawshank Redemption, and you're in a futuristic-car on the way to Dumb Watchable City (aka "San Angeles").
Deep Blue Sea
Back before the oversaturation of calculating, self-consciously ridiculous CGI monster movies that populate half the Syfy viewing guide, there was Deep Blue Sea, a classic tale about sharks with enlarged brains that figure out how to get loose and terrorize a random grab bag of actors: Samuel L. Jackson, L.L. Cool J, Michael Rapaport, Thomas Jane, and so on.
It also contains what we believe to be the greatest scene in film history on the subject of omelette recipes.
The movie is mostly famous for one (legitimately effective!) plot twist, but beyond that, it's a truly genre-defying missing link between '70s/'80s B-movie horror films and current-day Sharknado irony, but played semi-sincerely, with a reasonable budget and legit actors. It also features one of the dumbest character deaths in movie history (spoilers), a smorgasbord of crappy CGI (move over, Jumanji and Anaconda), and it inspired a L.L. Cool J rap video called "Deepest Bluest," in which he brags about having a hat like a shark's fin, because why wouldn't you?
Follow-up question: How did the Academy overlook this film?
The first Michael Bay Transformers movie was a forgettable, boring affair that made a lot of money but left most Transformers fans feeling let down. It's not good, but it's not impressively bad, either. The sequels, however, went SO far off the rails SO quickly that if you watch them with friends in a casual setting and know what you're getting into, they're actually kind of impressive.
Revenge Of The Fallen, Dark Of The Moon, Age Of Extinction, and The Last Knight all feel like an omnipotent 12-year-old improvised them on the fly, with everything appearing with zero regard for everything that happened in the preceding scenes. Probably 20 times in each film, you will think to yourself "I CANNOT believe they put that in a movie," and you'll be ready to make fun of it as soon as it ends, but then something even more unbelievable will happen seconds later and you'll forget all about the previous thing. It's like a reality-defying perpetual motion machine of ridiculous filmmaking.
You've got robots humping Megan Fox's leg, John Turturro wearing a thong, Shia LaBeouf's parents accidentally eating a pot brownie, the legend of King Arthur being true, revised histories of the Moon landing and the Underground Railroad (seriously), McDreamy working in cahoots with the Decepticons, Dwight Schrute as a horny teacher, the pyramids getting destroyed, all of Chicago getting destroyed twice, and a product placement scene wherein a Bud Light truck in China gets knocked over and Mark Wahlberg picks one up and drinks it straight to camera. For starters.
Collectively, these sequels form an absolutely mystifying nine-hour compilation of the most baffling stuff you've ever seen, all Frankensteined together with no regard for coherence, or what any character is ever trying to do at any point or why. A+.
1990's Troll 2 is an entirely different class of "bad movie." The other films on this list are all mainstream motion pictures with luxurious extravagances like "actors" and "proper editing." Troll 2 was a zero-budget slapped-together fantasy (?) monster (??) something (???) movie that was originally called Goblin throughout its entire production, then got renamed "Troll 2" in a last-minute Hail Mary attempt to market it as the sequel to a 1986 film called Troll, which was completely unrelated in every way.
Troll 2 doesn't contain any trolls or ever mention trolls, and has literally nothing to do with the other Troll movie. What it does have is a lot of non-actors acting (including a dentist with no experience and who never acted again in a lead role), goblins in knockoff Halloween store rubber masks, poison ice cream, and a scene in which sexual tension turns corn into popcorn:
If that all sounds nonsensical, well, yeah, it makes no sense on any level. Obviously, this type of bad movie has to hit a higher threshold of "bad" to truly stand out, but Troll 2 clears that bar with PLENTY of room to spare. Its lead child actor grew up to make a 2009 documentary called Best Worst Movie to commemorate the film's production hazards and the growth of its eventual cult following. But start with the original right here.
For more, check out 5 Reasons Movies Keep Getting Worse:
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