Predator 2

Weekend Roundtable: Bad Movie Guilty Pleasures

James Franco’s new bio-pic ‘The Disaster Artist’ celebrates one of the most infamous “So bad it’s good” movies ever made. In that spirit, what are some of your other guilty pleasure bad movies that you can’t help loving?

Shannon Nutt

I’m a huge Superman fan, so I’ve probably watched ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace‘ more than some of the people involved with the movie itself.

A horrible miscalculation by all involved, it’s hard to figure out what’s worse, the movie’s incomprehensible plotting or its awful F/X. The movie has Superman (Chris Reeve, in his final appearance as the character) addressing the nuclear arms race, which almost certainly must have sounded like a good idea, but the screenplay (if there ever was one) fumbles the concept and has the film’s best scene – Superman addressing the U.N. and declaring that he’s getting rid of Earth’s nuclear weapons – near the beginning of the movie, when it would have worked much better as the conclusion.

I hope Gene Hackman got a nice check for reprising his role as Lex Luthor, because he’s totally wasted here, given a moronic nephew (Jon Cryer) and an equally idiotic super-villain creation, Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow), to deal with. The movie only gives Hackman a couple scenes with Reeve, which is a true disgrace.

After being absent for all but a couple short scenes in ‘Superman III’, Margot Kidder returns as Lois Lane, but the movie doesn’t know what to do with her either, so it repeats the ‘Superman II’ storyline of Lois discovering who Superman is, only to fly around the world with him and then once again get a super-kiss that results in her forgetting everything.

Still, I can’t help watching ‘Superman IV’ every time I revisit the original films. To me, it had its heart in the right place but could never figure out a second or third act for its original premise, and the actors involved probably had no idea how awful the visuals would turn out.

Tom Landy

I don’t know of any bad movies more fun to watch than 1983’s ‘Yor, the Hunter from the Future‘. This movie has everything: action, adventure, romance, cavewomen, spacemen, dinosaurs, robots, a well-greased Reb Brown (in his Razzie-nominated role), and one of the cheesiest yet catchiest title intros you’ll ever hear. I’m not kidding, this song is a thing of absolute wonder and is sure to get stuck in your head:

Fact: ‘Yor, the Hunter from the Future’ will actually hit Blu-ray soon, and oh yes, it will be mine.

Luke Hickman

With a rotten 19% score (out of 157 reviews), I’m going with Cameron Crowe’s disasterpiece ‘Aloha‘. I am fully aware of how much hateful criticism the film has received. I’m also fully aware of how messy it is. I understand the criticisms and I can’t even argue that they’re not valid because I absolutely agree with them. Even so, I see two things in ‘Aloha’ that only 19% of the critics tracked on Rotten Tomatoes saw:

1. The studio screwed it up. Now, you may say, “Luke, the studio didn’t screw up ‘Vanilla Sky’ or ‘Elizabethtown’, so what makes you think Cameron Crowe didn’t simply make another bad movie?” My first response would be, “You’re crazy. Both of those are excellent films!” And my second response, which would actually answer your question, would be: “Because Sony’s leaked emails show that Amy Pascal hated ‘Aloha’ and wanted to bury it before it even started shooting.” Crowe has never come out and said how much control Sony took with the final cut, but as a student of his films, it’s pretty obvious that the cut we have most definitely isn’t his.

2. A whole lot of content actually works extremely well in ‘Aloha’ if you can manage to look past its flaws. Crowe is known for creating wonderful characters, the most charming, smart and witty dialogue that you’ve ever heard, and using music in the most perfect ways. ‘Aloha’ is loaded with all of that. In case you ever happen to give it a second chance (or see it for the first time), I recommend paying attention to the aesthetics of the following scenes: the time that Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone spend in the Hawaiian village; the awkward dinner scene at the home that belongs to Rachel McAdams and John Krasinski’s characters; and the scene with Bradley Cooper watching Rachel McAdams’ daughter at the dance studio. While the movie itself is a complete mess, those three scenes are beautiful.

Brian Hoss

I’m tempted to go with recent sci-fi bombs like ‘Chappie’ or ‘Passengers,’ but I may guiltily enjoy something more basic. I’ve previously mentioned some of my favorite Jean-Claude Van Dame movies, but I have to say that I’m really missing the Jet Li vehicles. One that pops to mind here is ‘The One‘, which has multiple Jet Lis traveling across the multiverse in order to kill each other and, not unlike the Highlander, become more powerful. Fortunately, there aren’t very many different parallel universes to visit, so becoming “The One” is pretty feasible. In addition to Li, the extended cast for the movie is tops, with Delroy Lindo and Jason Statham almost wasted in secondary roles.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

‘Tis the season and all that, so my Facebook feed is hopelessly cluttered with posts ranking the all-time greatest Christmas movies. Meanwhile, I’m still hung up on Thanksgiving. When conversation turns towards Turkey Day, people typically think of poultry, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. My mind, on the other hand, veers towards ‘Blood Rage‘. That’s the title of a movie, by the way, not red-eyed fury at the prospect of sitting down with my extended family for a meal. (OK, maybe that too.)

Just about every conceivable holiday was strip-mined for slasher fodder in the early 1980s. It was only a matter of time until some visionary combined stalk-and-slash with Thanksgiving, and, oh, what a bountiful feast it is. Thrill to longstanding confusion about which twin is the evil one. The cigarette-ravaged star of ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’, when she’s not busting out of her top, is spread-eagle on the kitchen floor stuffing her face full of leftovers and misdialing frantic calls for help for half the movie. Never before have you seen a slice of pumpkin pie mushed into a ball and thrown at a nuthouse wall this dramatically. Ted Raimi has a bit part selling condoms at the drive-in where the obligatory, grisly childhood prologue takes place.

I could keep droning on and on about how bonkers ‘Blood Rage’ is and why it’s perched near the top spot of my favorite guilty pleasures, but I think I’d rather show you instead.

Blood Rage

The fingers are still twitching too! Ridiculous from its first frame to the last, howlingly funny (sometimes intentionally!), drenched in imaginative splatter, and fat-packed with all the gratuitous sex and nudity you’d expect from the Golden Age of Slashers, ‘Blood Rage’ is what I’m thankful for this and every year. If you’re a cineschlock enthusiast who hasn’t gotten around to witnessing the awe and glory of ‘Blood Rage’ (under that or its seemingly dozens of alternate titles), you owe it to yourself to pick up Arrow Video’s outstanding Blu-ray release.

Josh Zyber

With so many possibilities to choose from, I hardly know where to begin. ‘Showgirls‘ is my usual go-to answer for this question, but I think I’ll take a different tack this time.

I was 16-years-old when ‘Predator 2‘ was originally released. As a big fan of the first film from innumerable viewings on VHS and HBO, I was very excited for the sequel. For some reason, I got to the theater a few minutes late and missed the entire opening action sequence which set up the new movie’s premise and storyline. Instead, I stepped into the screening room exactly as a gratuitous bit of nudity filled the screen. That left quite an impression on my adolescent mind.

It’s more than fair to admit that ‘Predator 2’ is nowhere near as good as the original. The movie is very corny and dumb, and Danny Glover isn’t a particularly convincing action hero. However, it’s plenty entertaining as sci-fi horror schlock, serving up lots of bloody gore and another memorable creature from the Stan Winston Studio. The sequel holds no pretensions of being anything more than it is. I enjoy the hell out of it every time I watch.

Tell us all about your favorite guilty pleasure flicks in the Comments.


  1. Oh boy, where to start?

    First..a bad movie that I think is actually excellent, is ‘Event Horizon’. Paul W.S. Anderson visuals are a character in their own, and Sam Neill is at his creepiest. It’s like ‘Resident Evil in Space’.

    A bad movie that I wouldn’t call excellent, but I enjoy from start to finish, and have seen countless times, is ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. I don’t consider it as bad as everyone else seems to, as I’m not hung up on the science. It also seems to be Roland Emmerich’s best movie.

    A bad movie that I can acknowledge has it’s flaws, and is a bit clunky, but I find oddly enjoy is another Sam Neill movie, ‘Memoirs of an Invisible Man’. It’s a fascinating Chevy Chase movie, where what doesn’t work is just as interesting as what does.

    A bad movie that is just straight up bad, and I can’t believe I watch it, is a 2nd Chevy Chase movie, ‘Nothin’ But Trouble’. Why do I like this movie?

      • Geez, I remember the dark days when Nothing But Trouble was in endless rotation on HBO.

        HBO introduced me to so many of the best worst movies. When I was in high school in the early ’90s, a friend of mine told me to tune into HBO at 9 PM or whatever, and all he’d tell me was “four words: double decker bologna sandwich”. Thanks to Hank, I was ahead of the Troll 2 curve by many, many years.

        I know I’ve talked about this here before, but there was one summer when I was visiting my grandparents, and HBO aired Ghoulies II, Howling III: The Marsupials, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space every day (and almost always in a row). I dutifully sat down to watch that triple feature daily for what seemed like the entire summer.

    • NJScorpio

      I saw ‘Mortal Kombat’ the Friday night it came out in theaters. I was at a large theater where it was easy to go from one show to another, and this was the last show of the night of ‘MK’, so it was packed. There was literally people sitting in the aisles.

      When the Mortal Kombat music came on, and the logo appeared, a bunch of people yelled with it “MORTAL KOMBAT!”.

      One of my favorite film going experiences.

  2. Csm101

    A lot of good ones up there. I’ll go with Samurai Cop. It’s more than a decade older than The Room and I think it might even be better.

  3. Les

    I would have to go with Killer Klowns From Outer Space. I would think this classifies as a bad movie that is good, at least for me anyway. Yes, it is a cult classic. It’s fun, it’s dorky, some or most of the effects are a little cheesy, the script is not very good but it has everything you need. Those Killer Klowns are still very cool. I have always wished someone would come out with an updated version.

  4. Chris Livingston

    I liked “Man’s Best Friend” with Ally Sheedy and Lance Henriksen and “Chopping Mall” directed by Jim Wynorski, which my school teacher used to give me crap about liking them. “Your wasting your life watching the garbage” (I seriously doubt my teacher ever saw them)

  5. Charles M

    Zombie Nation (2005) by one of the worst directors, Ulli Lommel (it’s not a Zombie movie. The film’s that terrible it doesn’t know what a zombie is). I’m surprised it’s so unknown and not more infamous. I get more enjoyment out of it than The Room, the so called “Citizen Kane of bad movies”. If you liked that movie, I highly recommend Zombie Nation. It’s such a bizarre, funny WTF film I’ve ever seen.

      • Charles M

        I did read your review before watching it. Redlettermedia’s best of the worst videos got me interested in watching some bad movies. I saw Zombie Nation listed on imdb’s top 10 worst movies and looked up for some reviews.

        Favourite moments: bad guy takes girl alone with him while his partner waits for him for hours. Bad guy comes back carrying heavy body bag that he dumps into the car only for the partner to ask where the girl is.

        The director playing a psychologist who asks “is it safe?” Over and over again.

        The random woman who, in the middle of the night and been waiting for hours, demands that the bad guy sells her a couch she ordered.

        And it has the most hilarious finishing lines I’ve ever seen: “Oh my god! We forgot to tell them!”

        There are lots more. And it’s not even a comedy.

  6. I like ‘The Phantom Menace’, ‘Kingdom of the Crystall Skull’, ‘Getting Even With Dad’ and ‘The Flintstones’. In fact, I don’t even consider them guilty pleasures, because I don’t feel guilty about enjoying them. I genuinely consider them good movies.

    So, a real guilty pleasure, then? Hm. Difficult. ‘The Room’, of course. Can’t think of any other examples. The movies I own and watch, are excellent movies in my book.

    • William Henley

      Truthfully, I think Phantom Menace and Crystal Skull are way underrated. I don’t think anyone would argue that they are as good as other movies in the franchise, but I also wouldn’t call them bad. If anything, I would call them disappointments, as the bar in the franchises were set so high. If both movies had of been the first in their franchises, we probably would have thought they were pretty good.

      The Flintstones may not be the best of movies, but its fun, and the movie never really takes itself that seriously, which says a lot for it. Everyone involved in it seemed to understand what it was, and had a good time with it.

  7. NJScorpio

    Oh…I discovered that ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ can be a guilty pleasure. The key is, you can’t watch it as a Die Hard movie. You have to watch it as a Mr. Magoo movie. I am 100% serious about this. Just pretend that Bruce Willis is trying his hardest to be a real life Mr. Magoo, in a live action comedy where Mr. Magoo goes to Russia to save his son. It’s gold. Pure gold.

  8. EM

    Like Julian, I don’t feel guilty about my guilty pleasures; I don’t think they’re bad, even if I recognize that they’re flawed. They’re not bad; they just have bad things in them.

    With that disclaimer out of the way, I hereby anoint Plan 9 From Outer Space the king of guilty-pleasure movies. Even when you frame it at around 1.85:1 as it was probably meant to be matted and lose a few of the boom mikes and such that audiences love to deride, you’re still left with a very ineptly made movie. Still…it’s an ineptly made masterpiece, brimming with icons of horror and science fiction. Yes, my heart can stand the shocking facts about Plan 9 From Outer Space…over and over again!

  9. Plissken99

    I’ve got a funny Predator 2 story. I had wishy washy parents lol, I was 9 when Predator 2 came out. I’d already seen the first one countless times.. it was dads favorite and he was too lazy to say no. Anyway they watched P2 first and thought it was even worse(nudity and more skinned bodies), so they actually made me a copy from the rental, but only the last 40 minutes, after the subway massacre!

    I think a month later I’d begged my older brother to rent it for me, he did and I dubbed the whole thing. Good times. 🙂

    Oh Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a solid guilty pleasure. Absolutely godawful film, however it’s got Rutger Hauer doing a scene chewing Dracula imitation, Paul Ruebens as a bored vampire and Kirsty Swanson in a cheerleading outfit.. truly unforgettable!

    • Csm101

      I remember everyone wanting to see Home Alone except me. I couldn’t stop obsessing over seeing Predator 2. I’m pretty sure I went with my brother and sister, after pouting and putting up a fight to see it. I don’t even think it’s a bad movie. It’s badass! I still have my VHS copy. I love the art for that one. The naked chick on that was porn star Teri Weigel, her schtick was screaming and groaning like she did in that scene.😁

      • Speaking of ‘Home Alone’, a Belgian multiplex will have a one-off screening on 18 December. So excited. First time since 1990 (and my parents didn’t take me back then). So, my first time seeing this modern holiday classic on the big screen. Hurrah!

  10. Nagara

    I’d have to go with M Night’s Avatar the last airbender.

    The acting is absolutely horrid and not much makes sense, it feels very rushed, but I still love to watch it all the time.

    It’s one of those movies I love but can’t really explain why.

  11. Opinionhaver

    Forget Rotten Tomatoes, how bout some Killer Tomatoes? “Attack” and “Return” are both brilliant in their own ways. Mannequin 2 is pretty good. No Holds Barred. Masters of the Universe has Frank Langella playing Skeletor which is so awesome of a performance that I don’t think people realize how awesome of a performance it is. Like you watch Frank Langella in every other movie, then watch his Skeletor and you’re like “Who is this guy with the same name as famous actor Frank Langella?” The rest of the movie on the other hand is, well…

    • Frank Langella loved played Skeletor, by the way. There are interviews that were conducted to promote ‘Frost/Nixon’, and Langella takes the time to profess his love for playing Skeletor. Totally awesome.

  12. I gotta go with “Dude, Where’s My Car?” It’s so bad, and yet…it makes me laugh every time. It’s power is surpassed only by its mystery.

    • Opinionhaver

      I can’t call this a bad film, as it seems like they made exactly what they wanted to make exactly how they wanted to make it. When I think of a bad movie, I think of clear and obvious failure, whether technical or creative or both. Dude, Where’s My Car? may not be to everyone’s taste but what else is bad about it?

  13. Dean Campbell

    I would go with Starship Troopers, so cheesy they made a sequel. They took the bug hunt extremely seriously with Doogie howser in charge. “do you want to know more?”

  14. William Henley

    To me, if we are going to go with “so bad its good”, I think we should go with movies that are fun to Riff on.

    Santa Claus vs The Ice Cream Bunny is without a doubt one of the worst movies ever made. I honestly do not know what they were smoking when they made this movie, but it feels like some kid got his first camera, got a couple of his friends together, and said “Hey, let’s go shoot outside of this amusement park! We will invent the script as we go!” This movie actually has a complete other movie spliced right into the middle of it, complete with its own title sequence.

    Santa Claus vs The Martians is another BAD movie that feels like it was written by some kid. Once again, its bad to riff.

    Mamma Mia – what is strange is that the more I see it, the less I riff it and actually enjoy it. The first time I saw this, my goddaughter and I just sat there in the theater cracking up and making jokes about it (which was fine as we were the only ones in the theater). But the movie has grown on me over the years, and now I actually quite like it. It’s not great, but the movie never pretended to be great.

    Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter – I don’t know if it is even right to call this a guilty pleasure. It was like they were given a B movie concept, and thought “hell, let’s just throw a ton of money at it, great special effects, get a great director, great actors, and hire great screenwritters”. It’s like no one in the production was told that it was supposed to be a cheesy B movie, and we got a great movie in return. As such, I am torn about classifying this as a bad movie or not. Its like throwing a bunch of crap ingrediants into a blender and to your surprise you get a culinary masterpiece. What are your thoughts – would you consider this a movie that is so bad that its good, or would you consider it to be a good movie?

  15. John Burton

    I’m fond of a movie called “Krull”. It was a big (big at the time) budget bust. Variety called it “Excalibur meets Star Wars” It had an arcade game attached to it as well.

  16. Art Ames

    With a tomato meter rating of 28%, I suppose this one is a turkey. Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown with Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and a tour de force for Susan Sarandon. There are so many reasons to despise this movie…too cute, cringe worthy acting moments particularly from Dunst, weird editing, but it has heart, and smile and a fantastic soundtrack. When I’m channel surfing, I just about always stop on it.

  17. Nick

    Lets see now…

    Plan 9 From Outer Space obviously
    Bride of the Monster
    Samurai Cop – so…bad it defies belief!
    9 Deaths of the Ninja – its terrible. And its amazing too! And its damn funny!
    Star Crash – has to be seen to be believed. Imagine Star Wars but really really bad. With extra disco lights!

    Now those qualify. Some of the “bad” movies quoted above arent bad at all. Predator 2?! Starship Troopers?! They are great!

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