It’s gotten to that point in the year of quarantine again where there seems to be a distinct lull in the release of new movies and television shows. There is, however, an underrated genre known as awful films — No, not the ones that are painstaking to get through, but the ones that are so bad and poorly made that they end up playing as an endearing comedy of sorts.
Cult classics, b-horror movies, old films from when we were kids — the beauty of these productions is that they’re often overlooked or maybe haven’t been seen in some time. When finding something to watch is becoming a bit difficult, they’re a fantastic, if a bit unorthodox, alternative to turn to. So, if you’re looking to shut down your brain for a bit and throw your Oscars standards out the window, these are just some of the films that will get the job done:
A tire comes to life with the power to make people explode and then goes off on a killing spree in the desert. With that synopsis said, this film holds a special place in my heart as the cult classic of my high school friend group. We’ve watched this an unhealthy number of times and see it as the quintessential b-horror movie that never fails to make us laugh until our sides hurt.
If you’re looking for something a bit more down to Earth, may I also suggest Zombeavers. The title says it all.
Spy Kids (2001)
Let’s face it, a lot of films from our childhood don’t stand the test of time. And yes, looking back on Spy Kids from a grown-up perspective, it’s a poorly made movie. But where’s the fun in that? The greatest thing about films like the Spy Kids franchise is the nostalgia that comes along with them. Maybe we tortured our parents, and maybe we can now recognize their poorer quality, but they’ll always remain so close to our hearts.
Huge shoutout as well to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Where would the world be without mechanical George Lopez or young Taylor Lautner’s lullaby?
Terrible monster and disaster flicks hold that same kind of cultural relevance as b-horror movies. A midday browse on the Syfy channel is enough to prove that there are no shortage of films in this subgenre, but Sharknado and the movies that came after it had the honor of becoming an actual phenomenon. It’s the type of film that teeters on self-awareness and is stronger because of its ability to own up to its terribleness.
I also like to think that Deep Blue Sea walked so that the Sharknado franchise could run.
Billy Madison (1995)
This is just a matter of picking my personal favorite, due to the fact that Adam Sandler might just be the pioneer of making fantastically horrendous films. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky, Grown Ups, you find any one of his films that’s not trying to be good or a romantic comedy and you’re just going to be able to sit back and watch Sandler have stupid amounts of fun making dumb movies with his group of recurring actor friends.
The only other pioneer in the field that could give Sandler a run for his money is, of course, Nicolas Cage. From The Wicker to Face/Off, Cage is still owning his meme status in popular culture with the recent release of Willy’s Wonderland. Seriously, go check out the trailer at the very least.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Reality just wouldn’t feel right if the image of a pseudo-cool Tobey Maguire trying to dance on the streets of New York City didn’t exist. Was this film disappointing at the time? Yes, especially when it followed the absolute brilliance of Spider-Man 2. It has had the benefit, though, of getting better with age and becoming a film that’s fun to look back on, despite its troubled and over-bloated conception.
Bad superhero films, from Batwoman & Robin to Howard the Duck, also truly have that uncanny ability to turn campy films into feel-good ones post their days of release.
These are by no means all of the best of the worst — no, I’ve never seen The Room. The thing about great awful movies is that they’re entirely subjective. Something that’s unbearable to one person might be the funniest thing on the planet to another. It’s the curse and the power of these films. If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to watch, there’s always at least something for everyone to kill a few hours with in the odd gold mine that comes out of terrible filmmaking.
Jackson Horvat is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.