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Top ten favorite movies that are so bad they are good (cult classics)

Updated on January 13, 2017

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A Knight's Tale

Ah Heath Ledger. This is by far one of Heath's weaker roles, but he is so adorable as William Thatcher who can hate it? A Knight's Tale is the story of a peasant squire whose master dies and leaves he and his comrades without money or food. William makes the bold decision to become a knight. As the story unfolds, we are presented with the classic tale of a boy from the lowest class working to elevate himself and change his destiny. There of course is a love interest by the name of Jocelyn. She catches Will's eye and the flirtation begins. Inevitably, there is the conflict that arises that threatens to expose Will as a fraud and tear he and Jocelyn apart. The turning point comes and there is a reveal that we all wonder where it came from, but just happened to work in favor of the good guys.

Costumes are not even close to period (granted they are not supposed to be) and the music is not even from the same century. There is the truly awesome 'spontaneous' dance scene that Will rocks. He is showing what is supposedly a dance from his homeland. Oddly enough, everyone already seems to know it since they dance in perfect synchronization.

Overall the movie really is cheesy and predictable, but is so much fun to watch. Everything is so far out there that it really gives the film a certain atmosphere of charm and whimsy.

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Arsenic and Old Lace

This is certainly a lesser known film. Made in 1944 it stars Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane and is adapted from the stage play by Joseph Kesselring in 1939. The director transferred the play from the stage to the screen. He kept all of the over dramatic expressions and gestures used in the play to enhance the humor, but let's face it, the acting is totally over the top.

One of my absolute all time favorites, Arsenic and Old Lace is a dark comedy directed by Frank Capra. We are introduced to Abby and Martha Brewster, two sweet older ladies known throughout Brooklyn for their generous deeds. On the day of his wedding, drama critic Mortimer Brewster discovers that one of their charities is not quite as kind as people believe. We are then enveloped in a story of secrets, bad timing and stress which will keep you rolling on the floor for the entire movie.

This dark comedy is truly overacted and over dramatic which is one of the aspects that makes it so hilarious. There are very few dull moments and it is sheer entertainment. How could it not be with things like Frankenstein's monster, a fugitive, a marriage, Halloween, the police and Teddy Roosevelt? This is most certainly one to watch.

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Clue

For those of you who are like me and are not into scary Halloween movies this is one for you! Clue is so entertaining, but you do need to pay attention as some of the humor is rather subtle. You can find new things the first several times you watch it. Plus there are 3 different endings!

Clue is based off of the well known board game. it has a star studded cast with Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Christopher Lloyd, Madelyn Kahn, Michael McKeen, Martin Mull and Leslie Ann Warren. Though some of the humor will make you say 'wow that was bad' it will still make you laugh.

It focuses on six people who have been invited to a dark mansion for dinner by a mysterious host. Things begin to get out of hand when the butler, Wadsworth begins to read from a file left for him from the host. As the movie goes, the crazier the situation becomes and the more you will clutch your sides from laughing.

It is rated PG and is a good family movie for a family with children above the age of 9 who will be able to appreciate the humor. This is a Halloween staple movie for my family and it remains a tradition to watch it each year.

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Dude, where's my car?

Now I know some of you will read this and completely disagree that this is on the list, but when I need something to watch that will make me laugh without thinking, this is a great one. Starring Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott it has one of the loosest plots and absolutely no realism.

Roommates Jesse and Chester wake up from a long night of partying with no memory of what happened the evening before. They set out to unravel the mystery of their night which becomes extremely difficult because Jesse's car is missing.

This can only be classified as 'stupid humor' yet still is funny in its own enduring way. Kutcher and William Scott do make a great partnership and as we see in the extras play off of each other well. Another bonus is that there is no telling what they will do next keeping the movie very random and spontaneous.


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Labyrinth

Who can forget David Bowie's epic portrayal of the Goblin King Jareth in Jim Henson's Labyrinth? With music, puppets, crazy hair, fairies and dancing this film tells the story of Sarah, a fifteen year old girl. She has heard the story of the goblins and that they will take her half brother away if she wishes it. In a moment of anger, she wishes Toby away. She embarks on a journey where she meets many crazy characters, some helpful and some not so helpful, in her quest to find the goblin king and reclaim her brother.

There is singing, dancing and many other things that bring this story to life. As in any Jim Henson film, we are drawn into his world, crazy as it may, we always enjoy the ride and the creativity that fuels his work.

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Pie Iesu Domine, Dona Eis Requiem." Clunk


Ah the monk's chant. A great scene in one of what is without a doubt one of the lowest budget movies of all time. Six men play 37 different characters both male and female alike. Just with that fact how can this not be good?

King Arthur sets out on a quest to find the Hold Grail. Along the way he collects a band of knights with his faithful servant/horse Patsy. They join his quest and encounter many ridiculous situations along the way such as the Knights who say Ni, llamas, French guards and a very angry bunny.As the movie unfolds, things become more and more twisted and obscure.

This movie is full of laughs and there is never a dull moment. Despite the apparent lack of budget, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is without a doubt the funniest bad movie that has survived the test of time.

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Murder by Death

Starring Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, Maggie Smith, James Coco, Alec Guinness and Elsa Lanchester this star packed movie is one to watch again and again.

The world's five most famous detectives have been invited by a man named Lionel Twain for a dinner and a murder. Intrigued by this proposal all attend only to find that they are not the only detective to have been invited. A million dollars is offered to the detective who can crack the case before the morning.

All of these master comedians shine in their parts and make the movie the humorous roller coaster ride we know and love. There is very little plot but with each passing moment things become more twisted and confused with hilarious results.

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Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tim Curry's breakout film this is another extremely low budget movie, but stands as one of the best loved cult classics of all time. It has such a large following that there are live Rocky Horror Picture Shows still happening for the devoted fans.

Brad and Janet, a young engaged couple, finds themselves in a bit of a fix when their car breaks down. They find it fortunate that is near a house on a hill. When they arrive, they are greeted by Riff Raff, the handyman. He informs them that there is a party going on and that it is a very special occasion for the master of the house. The song "Time Warp" is from Rocky Horror as well as many others. They are introduced to Dr. Frank-N-Furter where things become more bizarre by the second.

This one is definitely not family friendly and geared towards adults. It does get a little tedious at times with all of the songs, but it is still hilarious and worth the watch.

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Spaceballs

A spin off of Star Wars, Spaceballs is hilarity from start to finish. The costumes are cheap, the ideas are cheesy and yet you can't help but roar with laughter at Dark Helmet and his cronies. Directed and written by Mel Brooks this is one that even Star Wars fans will appreciate.

Planet Spaceball has used up their supply of air and President Skroob has come up with the plan to steal the air from the neighboring planet of Druidia. They kidnap Princess Vespa on her wedding day and only Lone Starr and his faithful sidekick Barf can save the day.

Rick Moranis, John Candy, Bill Pullman and Mel Brooks star in this hilarious chase between Lone Starr and Dark Helmet. This not only parodies Star Wars but many other Sci-Fi movies as well. After watching this, you will never look at Star Wars or Sci-Fi the same way because you will be too busy laughing at the scenes from Spaceballs with which they coincide.

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Van Helsing

Alright so I'm a sucker for Hugh Jackman. Van Helsing has truly awful graphics, awful acting and not a very good plot, yet it is hilarious.

Van Helsing is a monster hunter employed by the church. His current mission is to help Anna Valerious destroy the creature Dracula. Dracula has hatched a sinister plan involving Frankenstein's monster. His brides assist him in his dastardly deeds and he controls werewolves to force them to do his bidding.

As I said, the graphics are tragic, the brides only appeal is that they are barely dressed and the plot continues to go from bad to worse. Despite all of this it is certainly worth watching and getting a bit of a giggle. Hugh Jackman's 'charm' and Kate Beckinsale's hair are definitely the high points though there is some humor mixed throughout.

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 23 months ago

      Yes, these are fun movies of questionable quality. Raymond Massey was great in Arsenic and Old Lace. He and Peter Lorre are what made that movie.

    • Passion for dance profile image
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      Passion for dance 3 years ago

      They sure did! That was one of my favorite parts was the coconuts :) Thanks for the feedback oldiesmusic and grand old lady!

      I have to say my favorite in Monty Python has to be the Black Knight. :)

    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

      Monty Python even used their lack of budget as part of the film's comic material, like knocking coconut shells together while the knights pretend to ride on the horse. My fave character is that French guy on the castle. Gonna check out the other movies in your list. Great hub! :)

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      This one looks like a fun list. I plan to watch two of them, namely, arsenic and old lace and Dude, where's my car (the latter because i love Ashton Kutcher).

    • Passion for dance profile image
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      Passion for dance 3 years ago

      Thanks for the comment! :) If you are a movie buff, for sure check them out...I think you will enjoy them. Most of them are similar humor to Spaceballs.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 3 years ago from Texas

      Great hub Passion for dance. I am a huge movie buff myself. Although I haven't seen most of the movies on your list, I too found Spaceballs absolutely hilarious, I enjoyed Van Helsing & Kate Beckinsale as well. However "Dude where's my car" is just a horrible movie. I really can't get into any of Ashton's movies since watching it. Thumbs up on your hub.