Ah, the good bad movie. A topic near and dear to my heart. Obviously I would usually prefer to watch a good good movie. But a good bad movie just hits different. Whether it’s an absurd plot, over the top action, cheesy dialogue, or a glorious combination of all that and more, good bad movies offer a level of enjoyment actually good movies simply can’t match.
As arbitrary as this already is, it seems even more so to actually rank these movies, so here are some top choices, in alphabetical order.
No good bad movie list can be complete without at least one entry with Jean-Claude Van Damme. And Bloodsport, about the most well-known secret fighting tournament you’ve ever seen, fits the bill. With JCVD’s signature splits, (failed) attempts at real acting, and awesome, fun fight scenes, it’s a Damme good time.
What a glorious, beautiful mess Con Air is. It boasts some of the best over the top action, a full lineup of bad guys with unnecessary-yet-awesome nicknames, and of course the man himself, Nicolas Cage. A recipe for a bad movie, yes, but also one that leaves no shortage of entertainment.
Escape from L.A.
Three words: The basketball scene.
(Some minor NSFW language.)
Also read: Zack Snyder Movies Ranked
Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Folks, this is it. My all time favorite bad movie. Everything about it is terrible, and everything about it is hilarious.
Just watch this clip, and then picture that, but over the course of an entire movie.
Never Too Young to Die
Even star John Stamos realizes how big of an enjoyable flop this James Bond-esque action spy thriller was, saying years later in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s the perfect midnight-movie, where people can come and dress up. It’s — what’s the term I’m looking for? — the best worst thing you will ever see.”
Over the Top
Buddy, you better believe a Sylvester Stallone-starring movie about a professional arm-wrestling championship (in the midst of a custody battle, no less) is making this list.
Renowned bouncer (apparently that’s a thing in this universe) Dalton (Patrick Swayze) waxes philosophical with lines like “Pain don’t hurt” and “I want you to be nice, until it’s time not to be nice.” He also literally rips a dude’s throat out.
“You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”
The Room is the quintessential good bad movie, perhaps the exact definition of “so bad it’s good.” From the uneven editing, to the terrible dialogue, and bizarre acting choices, The Room has it all.
xXx/xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
A common hallmark of a good bad movie is the production team and/or lead actor taking the movie way too seriously. And Vin Diesel can’t help himself. Even in the Fast and the Furious franchise, everyone except for him seems to be in on the joke. But in the xXx series, he’s the unquestioned lead and star. Lots of action, quippy lines, and unintentionally hilarious plots, both are great watches. Forget xXx: State of the Union, though. That one’s straight up bad.
What are some other enjoyable bad movies not included here? Let us know in the comments!