The most memorable movies are often some of the best. The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and so many more are classic films that have stood the test of time and are still famously known to this day. Some movies that are being released today will one day be mentioned in the same breath as these memorable films, but only time will tell which ones will be remembered. Any film creator’s dream is to find themselves among the company of iconic movies like these and to go down in history as one of the best movies in film, but that only happens very rarely, especially with the sheer amount of movie productions being made on any given day. And while everyone wants their movie to be remembered for being one of the best, some films go down in history for the exact opposite reason.
Whether it’s from a poor acting performance, bad writing, terrible production, or even horrible special effects, many films end up being remembered not for how good they are, but rather for how bad they are. Films like these go down in infamy and stand the test of time as an example of what not to do when it comes to making a movie. But hey, it’s better to be remembered for something rather than to not be remembered at all, right? Here are ten movies that are only famous simply because of how bad they are.
When your film is intended to glorify one of the most notorious and infamous crime bosses in American history, you’re already getting off on the wrong foot. And when the Teflon Don, John Gotti Sr., is portrayed by John Travolta in one of the most over-the-top performances that you can see on the big screen, 2018’s Gotti flopped unbelievably hard. Plus, Travolta’s performance wasn’t helped by the ridiculous wigs and makeup that he’s seen wearing throughout the entirety of the film. So, with a hard to watch leading performance around a crime boss that probably shouldn’t have even gotten his own movie, the film is made even worse by the fact that the score was composed by none other than Armando Christian Perez, more commonly known as Pitbull, Mr. 305. Overall, Gotti was a mess of a production that probably would have been better off never seeing the light of day. Why would viewers want to watch this when there are much better mob films out there anyway?
9 Troll 2
Considered by many viewers as one of the best bad movies ever made, Troll 2 has literally nothing to do with the first Troll film. Troll 2 doesn’t even have trolls in it, as the creators of the film decided to go with goblins instead. The film is so bad, in fact, that it completely overshadows the original film simply by being one of the worst film productions of all time. To make matters worse, the film was created by an Italian screenwriter while the film was intended for an American cast while the screenwriter was still trying to learn English, resulting in terrible dialogue. Combine the language barrier with the fact that the director’s wife had a vendetta against vegetarians, and you get a film that surrounds not man-eating goblins, but goblins who turn people into shrubbery and then eat them. Plus, on top of all of that, the effects and costumes didn’t do the film any favors either, making it look even cheaper than it actually was. Troll 2 really was the perfect storm for creating one of the worst movies ever.
Related: 10 Bad Movies That Are Fun to Watch With Friends
8 Plan 9 from Outer Space
Coming in as the oldest film on this list Plan 9 from Outer Space is a disaster of a film from the mind of Ed Woods. Sure, the history of movies have come a long way since this film was released, and it’s certainly not looked back on as horribly as it was in the past, but that doesn’t excuse the film from the litany of flaws and issues surrounding the film. First and foremost, the effects on the film are laughably bad, even for a film that was released in the 1950s. And secondly, the poorly written dialogue and narration along with sound equipment that you can clearly see makes the film feel truly amateur. However, with the film being as old as it is, Plan 9 from Outer Space can actually be looked back on quite fondly, and is a good watch if you’re looking for a bad movie to make you laugh.
7 The Wicker Man (2006)
A remake of the 1973 film of the same name, The Wicker Man is intended to be a horror film but is taken off the rails by Nicolas Cage’s wild performance. While Cage’s role as an undercover cop who has made his way into a pagan community in search of a missing girl is certainly over the top, it actually helps the film to be much more memorable than it really should be. In fact, many viewers consider the film to actually be funny, which is clearly not the intention of the film. When a film that’s intended to be a horror film about neo-paganism turns out to be hilarious for all the wrong reasons, someone clearly messed up along the way. Regardless of the quality of the film, however, The Wicker Man can still definitely be enjoyed simply for Nic Cage’s screaming about bees.
The only NC-17 film in history to be given a wide theatrical release, Showgirls’s gratuitous sex scenes, poor acting, and questionable dance numbers all contribute to why many viewers call it one of the worst films ever released. Director Paul Verhoeven didn’t do the film any favors either, as the directing was seriously criticized as well. As time has gone on and the film has reached cult classic status with some fans, some critics have called for a re-evaluation of the film, claiming that it actually has some smart satire in it. Regardless of what some critics think of the film now, Showgirls was a box office bomb that was overall just really, really dumb.
While most of the films were at least trying to do something legitimate as a film before ultimately failing, Sharknado was clearly intended to be a bad, guilty pleasure movie. Just take the name itself for crying out loud. Sharknado? A film about people being terrorized by a tornado that has sharks flying around in it? The premise and everything around it is just so ridiculous that it’s just a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what it was. An intentional B-movie that firmly places itself in the so-bad-it’s-good category, Sharknado capitalized on its insane plot that it was able to spawn SIX total movies that was so absurd it’s hard to believe that even one of these films made it into production. But, the sequels speak for themselves, and the Sharknado series ended up being way more popular than it probably should have been.
4 Howard the Duck
All you need to do is take one look at Howard the Duck’s live action design, and you can instantly understand its flaws. Without having any knowledge on Howard, you would think that the film is geared for kids with an anthropomorphic alien duck making his way to Earth. However, viewers will find that Howard nearly ends up having sex with Lea Thompson’s character in the film, which really confuses viewers as to who this film is really for. Based on the Marvel Comics of the same name, Howard the Duck has been criticized for its crude humor, back-and-forth tone, and obviously the ugly look of the titular character.
Related: Best ‘So Bad It’s Good’ Movies of All Time
3 Mac and Me
One of the most obvious rip-offs of another movie in all of Hollywood, Mac and Me is just another E.T., except with an absurd amount of product placement from McDonald’s. The titular character Mac’s name is “supposed” to be an acronym which stands for “Mysterious Alien Creature” but with all the McDonald’s product placement right in your face, you can’t help but feel like Mac really stands for something else. So not only is the film just a worse version of E.T., it’s also just one giant commercial disguised as a movie. The film’s creation was absolutely shameless and it lives on in infamy because of it.
2 Manos: The Hands of Fate
This 1966 no-budget folk-horror film is essentially the product of a dare, as the film’s creator Harold P. Warren, who was a fertilizer salesman, bet screenwriter Stirling Silliphant that he could make a horror film essentially by himself. Warren technically won the bet, as Manos: The Hands of Fate did end up releasing as a feature-length film about a family on a road trip who has a run-in with a Satanic cult, but the film is so bad that it almost proved Silliphant’s point that not everyone should be making movies. The film is so strangely bad that it actually ended up gaining a cult following, but it would be best to steer clear from this mess of a film.
1 The Room
Far and away the most iconic and memorable bad movie of all time, The Room is a product of writer, producer, director, and actor Tommy Wiseau’s brain and deep pockets. A plot that makes no sense, terrible dialogue, poor acting, and multiple sex scenes that had no business being in the film are all just a few components to this absolute disaster of a film. Speaking of disaster, The Room was so spectacularly bad that a biopic film was made about the creation of it, called The Disaster Artist. The Room hardly even feels like a real film, but it’s so hilariously bad that it’s worth watching at least one time, just to see if you can even follow was Wiseau was trying to go for. Seriously, it’ll be hard for any other movie to be this bad unless someone is actually trying to top it.