The movies that are 'so bad, they're good'

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·6-min read
Batman & Robin, Dude, Where's My Car, Jupiter Ascending.
Batman & Robin, Dude, Where's My Car, Jupiter Ascending.

There’s nothing more enjoyable that settling back and enjoying a well-crafted movie. A great film has the power to transport you to another world, to experience another person’s life, to see things you people wouldn’t believe.

But consuming great films can be like ordering the best steak on the menu every day. You start off savouring every last bite, but if you spend every day eating prime beef, it soon loses its appeal, and you start craving junk food.

In celebration of cinematic junk, film fans on Reddit have been sharing their guilty pleasure movies, the films that are so bad they’re good.

Batman and Robin (1997)

American actors Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell on the set of Batman & Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actors Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell on the set of Batman & Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Joel Schumacher’s second Batman film starring George Clooney as Bruce Wayne and Arnie as Mr Freeze did well at the box office but was critically-derided, killing the franchise stone dead. It’s regularly named among lists of the worst movies ever made, but one fan on Reddit thinks it transcends its awfulness: “There are over 40 ice puns.

Read more: Disney’s most controversial songs

“That's all you need. But you also get Clooney as the worst Batman ever, Bane's mindless banter, Ivy's cringe-worthy monologues, Bat nipples, bat credit card, etc. So bad it's good.”

Mac and Me (1988)

This E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial rip-off homage, famous for its extensive McDonald’s and Coca-Cola product placements, has gained a cult following over the years since it flopped at the box office, despite often being named one of the worst movies ever made. Ant-Man star Paul Rudd is a fan however, as are many people on Reddit including one fan who wrote: “We got this film free with a pack of blank VHS tapes in 90s Ireland and we thought it was the greatest mistaken free gift of all time! We watched it until the tape wouldn't play anymore and it was only when I got older (literally when I went to college) that I realised ET was the main picture and Mac & Me was the rip off!!”

Anaconda (1997)

Jennifer Lopez reaching for Ice Cube as he's attacked in scene from the film 'Anaconda', 1997. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)
Jennifer Lopez reaching for Ice Cube as he's attacked in scene from the film 'Anaconda', 1997. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

Nominated for six awards at the 1998 Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen couple (for Jon Voight and the anaconda), this 90s creature feature has enjoyed a surprisingly long shelf life, earning four sequels and an upcoming reboot. It had a surprisingly high wattage cast, which adds to its car crash aura. “With the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson, Danny Trejo, AND Jon Voight all sharing the screen at the same time?,” a fan wrote. “That is the recipe for amazingly horrible and horribly amazing at the same time.”

Troll 2 (1990)

Another contender for the title of the worst movie ever made, this low budget comedy horror is the subject of the critically acclaimed-documentary Best Worst Movie. Conceived and produced as a film called Goblins, it was marketed as a sequel to 1986’s Troll despite having no connection and no trolls. “I discovered this movie on a bargain bin dvd an old lady gave me,” writes a fan. “I had never heard anything about it before putting it on. It instantly became one of my favourites.”

Super Mario Bros (1993)

The poster for Super Mario Bros.
The poster for Super Mario Bros.

Starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Nintendo’s platforming plumbers Mario and Lugio, this 90s action film set the template for all future video game movies by being completely dreadful. Weird, dark, ugly and confusing, it was a critical and commercial flop when it was released but somehow it retains a cult following. “It's barely a Mario movie at all, more like a sci-fi fever dream,” one of its defenders opines on Reddit, “Also enjoyed it as a kid and still today in a weird way”.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

The poster for Deep Blue Sea. (WB)
The poster for Deep Blue Sea. (WB)

Set fathoms below the ocean surface in an underwater lab, this schlocky 90s monster movie (not to be confused with the Terrence Rattigan play of the same name) saw a team of scientists terrorised by genetically engineered sharks.

Read more: The film toys that shocked parents

It features one of the all-time best screen deaths for Samuel L Jackson, and a second sequel was recently released, however it’s not one that will be studied in film class. It has its fans though including one who said “I f***ing love that movie, it’s the most baller s*** ever.”

Face/Off (1997)

Nicolas Cage and John Travolta aiming guns at each other in a scene from the film 'Face/Off', 1997. (Photo by Touchstone/Getty Images)
Nicolas Cage and John Travolta aiming guns at each other in a scene from the film 'Face/Off', 1997. (Photo by Touchstone/Getty Images)

Many would argue John Woo’s Face/Off is ‘so good, it’s good’ as the stylish body swap action film, starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, was a huge hit when it was released and has legions of fans. However, it’s definitely a film where you can switch your brain off for two hours, and just wallow in the schlock. “The two biggest hams in Hollywood doing their most overblown impersonations of each other is like watching two celebrity roasts at the same time,” writes one fan.

Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)

Starring Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott, this turn of the millennium stoner comedy was panned by critics at the time of release. The BBC called it “intensely irritating” while the New York Post called it a “chuckle-free mess”, however it has fans on Reddit who praised it as an endlessly quotable cult classic. “Despite the fact that it HAS NOT AGED WELL, there are just way too many hilarious bits in that movie,” argued one redditor.

The Core (2003)

Released at the tail end of the disaster move renaissance kickstarted by Independence Day, Twister, Deep Impact and Armageddon, The Core was a dunder-headed B-movie plagued by scientific inaccuracies. Scientists named it the worst sci-fi film ever and it even kickstarted a campaign in the scientific community to curb bad science in movies. It has its fans though who see the Aaron Eckhart-led film as a guilty pleasure. “I saw this steaming pile at the theatre with my then girlfriend, now wife. All of us in the audience kept laughing like it was a comedy,” one person writes. “It was gloriously terrible.”

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

The last film co-directed by the Wachowski sisters had aspirations of being the next Star Wars, but instead ended up being the new Flash Gordon. Admirably ambitious, but incomprehensible and overstuffed, Jupiter Ascending flopped at the box office, but has quickly attained cult-status. “It's like a 13yr old girl's deviantart fanfiction got made into a movie, and I adore it in all its absolutely bats*** glory,” one fan writes on Reddit. “The dialogue is so goddamn bad I was cry-laughing in the theatre,” adds another.