The so-bad-it's-good genre has always been a staple with film fans. In recent years, filmmakers have begun to capitalise on people's ability to get in on the joke. The likes of Sharknado and the Aslyum Studio films have fully realised people's perception and are actively gunning for it.
It's a good idea, but we feel it's a little bit of a cop-out. The real so-bad-it's-good films set out to make something and, somehow, it all became a mess.
Here's ten of the best. Or worst. We're not sure.
10. THE WICKER MAN (2009)
On paper, this had some potential if for no other reason that the original was a seminal and influential film. Nicolas Cage, when he wants to, can be a damn fine actor. Just look at Bad Lieutenant or Leaving Las Vegas. What exactly was going on here, though? You had the basic premise of the original, but somehow, instead of musical interludes with a naked Britt Ekland, you had Cage punching women and screaming about bees. And since when can you pour bees?
9. FATAL DEVIATION (1998)
Nobody's really sure how Fatal Deviation came to be. Ask any Irish film fan about Fatal Deviation and the same thing will always crop up. "Isn't that the one with your man from Boyzone?" Yes, yes it is. A kenpo karate expert, who was sent to a reform school, returns home to find his town in ruins and decides to befriend a monk. But wait! There's drug barons. And a karate tournament! And boyband members trying to act! Everything about Fatal Deviation screams Jean-Claude Van Damme-esque action, right down to the cheesy score and leather jackets. The only problem is that it's set in Trim. And filmed on VHS. WHAT THE FOOK IS DIS.
8. THE NET (1995)
It isn't so much that The Net has aged terribly or that Sandra Bullock is the world's most unconvincing computer hacker since Alan Cumming in GoldenEye. It's more the fact that we all honestly believed that hacking looked like it did in the film. What's more, you could argue its ahead of its time - what with the whole cyberterrorism thing. This was in 1995, however. This sort of technology just didn't exist. It's only now that it's become relevant. It's still hilariously bad, though.
7. COMMANDO (1985)
Some of you might argue that Commando isn't terrible and that it actually is a great film. We'd tend to agree. But, look at it like this, there was no way director Mark L. Lester intended it to be so funny. Keep in mind that Walter 'The Warriors' Hill and Jeph Loeb from Heroes were all involved at some point in the process. What makes Commando so funny is that Lester must have been totally unaware of Schwarzenegger's inability to act at the time and just said, "Screw it, keep him in." Harking back to his earlier role in Terminator, Schwarzengger just lights up the screen with his physical presence. Favourite scene? Not the 'I lied' bit, incidentally - but this.
6. STREET FIGHTER (1994)
There's a surprising amount of crossover between Commando and Street Fighter, other than the obvious so-bad-they're-good connection. Steven E. DeSouza, who directed Street Fighter, reworked several scripts into what was used for the shoot on Commando. Videogame adaptations have always been a letdown, for sure, but they've never been so entertaining as Street Fighter. There's endless thinkpieces in how it doesn't accurately capture the reality of gaming, how the audience member feels disjointed, et cetera. That wasn't Street Fighter's problem. Its problem was casting Kylie Minogue as a British Special Forces agent. When she's Australian. Or casting a Thai warlord with a Costa Rican guy. And the fact that Guile, the all-American pilot, was played by a Belgian. Oh, and DeeJay was a computer hacker. And Bison was into videogames. That's meta right there.
5. ROAD HOUSE (1989)
Could you honestly imagine Patrick Swayze as a bouncer? Patrick Swayze with a mullet, mind. No. And neither can we. Nevertheless, that is the central beauty of Road House. It is all. SO. RIDICULOUS. Swayze plays a "cooler" who somehow thinks leaving New York for rural Missouri is a good idea. Who knows. All we know is that Dalton - what a name, like - has a secret past. Oh, and a mentor that looks like Sam Elliott. Obviously. Here's some trivia - Road House was allegedly used by NYPD for training on how to handle tense situations without the use of violence. If you're going to use Road House as an instructional video, it should be for roundhouse kicks and having great hair.
4. OVER THE TOP (1987)
A film about arm wrestling is called Over The Top. That alone should tell you everything you need to know about this. Sylvester Stallone received a whopping TWELVE MILLION to take part in this farce, not to mention co-writing the script. Yes, there was one. What was it about, you ask? A long-haul trucker named Lincoln Hawk - again, amazing name - sets out to win his estranged son's respect by winning $100,000 and a truck at the World Armwrestling Championship in Las Vegas. Over The Top has everything a cliched sports movie would have - montage, down-on-your-luck hero, inspirational music from Kenny Loggins, Giorgio Moroder and Frank Stallone and flipping your hat backwards so people know you mean business. The only problem was the matches ended after five seconds. How can you make drama out of that?
3. BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997)
During the filming of Batman and Robin, director Joel Schumacher would speak into his megaphone a phrase that would define the film. "Now, remember! It's a cartoon!" That's exactly what Batman and Robin was - a cartoon. Arnold Schwarzenegger was at his most punniest as Mr. Freeze. You had George Clooney, fresh out of TV stardom and ready to make a name for himself in films, and you had Uma Thurman throwing an unhealthy amount of sexual energy at a film geared towards twelve-year old boys. The hormones at screenings of this must have been toxic. Favourite bit has to be the pop-out ice skates or the Batman Credit Card. Come on, you think Christopher Nolan had the balls to do something like that? Of course not.
2. SHOWGIRLS (1995)
1995 really was a bumper year for schlockfests such as these. However, the greatest so-bad-it's-good-film of 1995, and indeed the '90s, was Showgirls. Written by Joe Eszterhas, a member of Hungarian royalty, and directed by the guy who showed the world Sharon Stone's vagina in Basic Instinct. It also starred a former teeny-bopper icon Elizabeth Berkley, who played Jessie Spano on Saved By The Bell. Eager to shed her origins and work in more adult fare, Berkley left it all open. Throw in Kyle MacLachlan riding high on the success of Twin Peaks and Eszterhas commanding a $2,000,000 pricetag for his screenplay and you had the perfect storm of utter awfulness. Showgirls, although panned widely on its release, gained a second-life as what we know for it now - a camp classic that's so unbelievable as to be hilarious. FIVE SIX SEVEN HUUUUUUUUU.
1. THE ROOM (2003)
The stories surrounding The Room are legendary and make up much of James Franco's adaptation of Greg Sestero's tell-all novel, The Disaster Artist. Tommy Wiseau allegedly raised the money from selling leather jackets he imported from South Korea. Others suggested it was a money-laundering scam. The more outlandish suggested Wiseau was a former arms dealer looking to go straight. It is confirmed that Wiseau had been shopping the story for several months as a novel and couldn't get it picked up. Whatever the story, nothing was more weirder than the film itself. The jarring tone, the unbelievably bad acting, the incredibly misjudged sex scenes that litter the film. All of it. Longtime fans often remark that the best part of rewatching The Room is seeing first-timer's reactions as they watch it. The range of facial expressions, from incredulity, to laughter, to brow-furrowing - it really does happen when you watch The Room.