A good laugh is hard to find, especially in motion pictures.
I’m a sore-headed old crank who hates on a lot of modern age crap, but I feel like my loathing for banal, modern day comedies is justified. Am I really expected to pay $15 to see Adam Sandler play a grown man acting like a child… again?
Luckily there is one avenue of comedy that will always flourish, due to creative ineptitude and downright insanity. I’m talking about those movies that are skull-shatteringly hilarious without ever intended to be. Rancid turds like The Room, cheap horror crap like Troll 2 and the epic, musical madness of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and it’s many rip-offs.
The so-bad-it’s-good category of cinema is not for everyone, but for those of us who enjoy flamboyance and expoilation, and have a taste for the bizarre, a good laugh will always be just one terrible movie away. So when Tromeric asked me to send him my top 10 yucks list, I decided to break bad.
THE TOP TEN UNINTENTIONALLY FUNNY FILMS
1. BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
This Russ Meyer vehicle is schlock cinema gone berserk – a boner inducing rock epic about a band of busty babes who end up in tailspins of drugs and murder. Rated X upon its initial release in 1970, this grinder has since found a hefty cult following with its screeching songs, bouncy breasts, and downright strange kill scenes.
Hilariously enough, this exploitation film, which is filled with graphic violence towards near-naked women, was written by future film critic Roger Ebert, who ten years later would go on a moral crusade against slasher movies like Friday the 13th for their depictions of graphic violence towards near-naked women.
2. THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY
Speaking of slasher movies, I don’t give a shit how many axe-wielding maniacs you’ve sat through – you have not seen the worst slasher movie of all time until you’ve seen the otherworldly feces hurricane that is The Last Slumber Party. From its blurry film quality, to its choppy editing, to its fucking awful plot, this steaming bowl of gorilla vomit is widely regarded as the absolute worst slasher film by hardcore horror nuts like myself. Its not just generic, it is downright fucking lazy, surpassing even its own cheapness with an incredible lack of effort and imagination.
While the elements of cheese here are enough to open a Velveta factory, that only does so much to add to the tolerability of this dick snot. But if you are a true veteran of the bad movie circuit, and consider yourself a videovore of the lost VHS craze, then this is the one flick that will truly test your fanboy limits. Most of you will come away with your brain melting out of your ear, but if you’re a sick man in need of medication (as I am), you’ll find some golden nuggets in this old turd.
Here is the poster for Invasion U.S.A. If you’re not laughing already, then you’re probably an asshole. Part Rambo and part Red Dawn, this one-man-army epic stars walking joke Chuck Norris as a denim clad, dual Uzi, truck driving, meat eater who single handedly saves America from every enemy we’ve ever had.
Check out this clip : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Milq4Z03s7U
Cannon Films: Always the mark of quality.
4. DEATH WISH 3
The first Death Wish film, starring Mandom legend Charles Bronson, was a stark social commentary on vigilante justice during New York City’s dangerous 1970’s era. The sequels, however, are pure exploitation cinema, and none are more over the top than Death Wish 3. This action romp boast an insane body count, some absurd punk hoodlums, a generic recycled score, and Bronson toting around a machine gun while another guy carries the box of bullets for him.
5. DEADLY PREY
Okay, so I have a thing for one-man-army movies. But if Bronson and Norris are just too high production value to tickle you, then go with the dollar store equivalent! The Prior brothers, who brought us such camp horror gems as Killer Workout and Sledgehammer, jumped on the Rambo bandwagon during the VHS boom and unleashed this hammy soldier flick. What’s not to love about muscle-bound, former Playgirl pinup Ted Prior running through the woods with a blonde mullet and nothing covering him other than a pair of jorts? Throw in a huge body count, bat-shit crazy action sequences, and some monologues that will have you on the floor, pissing a hysterical fit, and you have one quality bad movie indeed.
For more on Deadly Prey and its new sequel, check out my interview with Ted Prior here: http://tavernofterror.com/2013/09/ted-prior/
6. SHOCK ‘EM DEAD
From the moment the cheap video credits spin onto the screen and you hear “Purple Haze” being sodomized, you know you’re in for a shit-show. Shock ‘Em Dead is an enormously flawed heavy metal horror film, from its awkward juxtaposition, to its wretched acting, to its downright stupid storyline. But it serves as a time capsule for 1990, which was the tail end of the hair metal era. Also, it is so bad it is completely and utterly hilarious. The massive hair, the lame music, the cheesy effects, and all those outfits that put Cool As Ice and Twin Sitters to shame, make for one hell of a good time.
Shock ‘Em Dead, despite itself, is enormously entertaining. While the flick fails in the blood and guts department, it revels in gratuitous boob shots, giving you some double-D delight at six minutes in, and getting every woman in the movie to take her top off (except Traci Lords… sigh).
You can check out my detailed review of this stinker here: http://tavernofterror.com/2013/03/shock-you-like-a-hurricane/
7. SAVAGE STREETS
We’ve already covered busty babes and one-man-army movies, but Savage Streets magically combines the two to give you a one-busty-woman-army movie. Out for revenge for her raped sister (scream queen Linnea Quigley), a jiggly teen (scream queen Linda Blair) goes on a crossbow-fueled killing spree. Oozing sex in her leather jumpsuit, Linda spouts off corny dialogue that is only topped by her crusty principle (John Vernon).
“Go fuck an iceberg!”
The movie also has the greatest soundtrack on this, or any, list.
Just listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpx0gLdrlLA
Another hair metal shocker, this horror romp showcases the rock band Thor in a tale about a band facing off against demons (cheap puppets) in a remote cabin. This one was actually parodied by Mystery Science Theater, which in my opinion is pointless, because the film is hilarious enough all on its own.
Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPbzOKF55xE
9. STEELE JUSTICE
If you only see one bad action movie off of this list, make it Steele Justice. Starring Martin Kove of Karate Kid and King Cobra commercial fame, this one-man-army epic is about a Vietnam vet who was kicked off the police force for playing by his own rules, so now he is a renegade cowboy.
Even McBain from The Simpsons didn’t push it that much.
In this cheese wheel, said renegade cowboy turns vigilante after his former partner is killed by none other than his old enemies from Vietnam! Woah!
Filled with 80’s movie clichés and quirks (including a random dance video), co-staring Ronny Cox and Shannon Tweed, and bursting with post-war angst, this is a lost treasure that while hard to unearth is well worth the hunt.
Behold the rad trailer:
10. THE APPLE
Now we come to the alpha of bad movies - the single, most pungent, golden turd in the history of terrible fucking movies.
The Apple is a musical made in 1979 about the dark future world of 1994. It is also a retelling of the Adam and Eve story set to fucking disco music. It is also so flamboyantly gay that it makes The Rocky Horror Picture Show look like an episode of Dragnet.
Featuring bad actors reciting even worse dialogue, annoying songs you won’t be able to get out of your head with a master cleanse, and an ending so retarded that you will want to rip out your own eyes and somehow shit in the sockets, The Apple is my top pick for the best bad movie of all time.
Cannon Films: Always the mark of quality.
If you need more selling, there’s also a choreographed sequence to a song that is all about fucking.
HEY HEY HEY! BIM’S ON THE WAY!
Kristopher Triana is an author and the head of Tavern of Terror, the horror webpage that reviews scary movies and suggests what brews go best with them. He loves bad movies and 80’s metal more than is reasonably sensible. Follow him at kristophertriana.com and tavernofterror.com, and you cool kids can stalk the subsequent facebook and instagrams.