Guilty pleasures: you know the movie sucks, but you love it anyway

Ice PiratesI’m not ashamed to admit it – I enjoy bad science fiction movies. In fact, some of my favorite movies of any genre are simply horrible. Awfully, even laughably, bad. In some cases that’s exactly why I enjoy the movies – they’re so bad that I can’t help but laugh at them. Others are fun even though they have no socially redeeming features of any kind, or have actors and/or directors acting badly.

For example, I recently re-watched The Core, a movie about a group of “terranauts” who are trying to save the world after the government accidentally stops the Earth’s core from spinning. The science is bad, it’s filled with stereotypes, the plot is totally predictable, and half of the spots that are supposed to be intense are lame if not downright boring. But it’s hard not to enjoy a movie where one of the hacker’s demands is for an unlimited supply of Hot Pockets and where the hull of the drilling machine sent to restart the core is made out of “unobtanium.”

Other bad movies that I love include Big Trouble in Little China, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, Hudson Hawk (“Bunny – ball, ball”), Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Krull, The Fifth Element, Rocky Horror Picture Show (best seen at midnight on Halloween night), Orgazmo, Ice Pirates (remember the space herpie?), Lost in Space, and just about any Godzilla movie ever made. Sure, some of these know they’re making high camp, and revel in it. That’s why I actually like The Mummy Returns more than the original – Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz know they’re being silly, they’re clearly in it to have fun, and the viewers are invited to come along for the ride.

I invite folks to add their own “guilty pleasure” movies in the comments below.

11 replies »

  1. I don’t know that these are really guilty pleasures, but if ANIMAL HOUSE or CADDYSHACK is on, I’m watching. While they’re relentlessly stupid in spots, they’re also inspired in a lot more, and they’re two of the most enduring comedies ever made.

    Also anything with the original incarnation (Curly-era) of The Three Stooges.

      • I didn’t mean to limit this to just bad sci-fi, though. I tend to watch lots of bad sci-fi because that’s what I like to watch, but there are certainly examples of bad romances, bad historical fiction, bad drama that other might still like to watch.

        I could imagine someone loving “You’ve Got Mail” or “Notting Hill” as a guilty pleasure, for example, even though I personally think it’s simply lame. So please, don’t limit yourselves to bad sci-fi.

        And my list is simply my list. I’m sure that everyone has their own personal favorites.

  2. I’ve watched Big Trouble in Little China at least 14 times…Red Sonja, Jason and the Argonauts, there are so many campy fun movies it’s hard to list them.
    One I really want to sit down and watch some day is Metropolis.

  3. Anything related to music: favorites include EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS, STILL CRAZY, THAT THING YOU DO! and one that guys like Frank, Wufnik and a few others may remember from those strange days of the late 60’s WILD IN THE STREETS….

  4. Doc Savage: Man of Bronze. I love this movie, though no one else in the world seems to.

    I also love those old hot rod and juvenile delinquent movies of the 1950s. Mostly made by American International Pictures.

  5. I’ve watched “Buckaroo Bonzai: Adventures Across the Eighth Dimension” more than 100 times. Never gets old. And the cast is brilliant.