Ten of the Worst Movies Ever Made
While Hollywood has made its fair share of movies that are headspinningly awful, this list is limited to films that were made outside of that system. The reason for this is that no matter how bad most big budget movies end up being, few can really reach the entertainment value that low budget and independently financed horrible movies can be. Each of the ten movies on this list was a labor of love for the people making it. They really believed in what they were making, and were making serious attempts at art and not just trying to cash in on some trend or make a lowest common denominator movie. As a result they are often more entertaining then most good movies and have developed cult followings of people over the years that have seen the the movie dozens of times.
Directed by James Nguyen, and i use that term loosely, this film seems to be an "homage" to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Like the Hitchcock's movie, this one spends a good deal of time developing the characters before the bird attacks take place. Unfortunately, the romantic plot features boring set ups, cringe inducing dialogue and acting so wooden it has to be seen to be believed. When the birds finally show up, the effects look like GIF files that have been added over the footage in post production. The actors (once again I use that term loosely) have said that they were assured that the effects would "look cool" after post production. Even as cheesy as some of the effects in Hitchcock's 1963 film were, they look absolutely masterful compared to this film. As unbelievable as it sounds there is actually a sequel planned in 3D.
BLACK NINJA (2003)
Written, Directed and Starring Clayton Prince, who credits himself as writer-director as "me" (?), this movie is the strangest vehicle any actor could devise for himself. Prince plays a lawyer who gets criminals off by day and turns into a vigilante by night. The plot has to do with the hero seeking revenge on the man who killed his family, but the dialogue is so nonsensical and the plot so weird that it is hard to take it seriously. The technical aspects of the film are either strangely misdirected or outright inept. Some scenes have multiple color temperatures and cuts that vary from night and day shots. What makes this movie such an enjoyable bad movie is that it half the time seems to be made by people who have no idea what they are doing and the other half of the time shows an arrogance by the director that suggests that he thinks he is making great cinema. Also Clayton Prince wrote and performed the movies theme song, which makes for one of the most fun aspects of the production.
THE CRIPPLED MASTERS (1979)
There have been a lot of horrible Kung Fu movies and this genre itself has developed a fan following that appreciate the cheesy camp aesthetic that these movies provide. But this movie from Taiwan is the oddest entry in that genre. Following the revenge quest of two men, one without arms and the other with withered legs, I'm not sure if this film was made with good intentions or raw exploitation in mind. It doesn't matter, because the result is utterly fascinating. The movie has the same poor dubbing and poor production values of other films of its type, but seeing the stunts performed by the lead actors, despite their handicaps, is a real jaw dropping experience. Few bad movies can keep you watching so enthralled.
THE GALAXY INVADER (1985)
Made in Baltimore, Maryland with a budget of about five bucks, The Galaxy Invader still manages to be much more fun than most big budget science fiction movies, thanks to its incredible badness. The director, Don Dohler, had made a name for himself in underground comics and this was actually his fourth film. (?) It has become his most famous one, thanks to a truly cheesy looking alien, an even cheesier soundtrack and the oddest bunch of actors (and oddest looking) that have ever been assembled for a film. Even four films into his caree, Dohler seems to know absolutely zero about film making, but what he lacks in talent and skill he makes up for in his enthusiasm.
MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE (1966)
Just a look at the title gives you an impression of how stupid this movie is going to be. Manos is Spanish for hands making the translated title Hands: The Hands of Fate. I, like many people, first saw the film on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where it made for one of the series funniest episodes and the worst film to probably be featured in the series. (which is saying something.) The plot follows a family on vacation who get mixed up with an Pagan cult. There is a ridiculous amount of driving footage at the beginning for apparently no reason and what passes for menacing is a satyr who looks like a guy with really wobbly knees and cat fights between a group of women in togas. The entire movie can be watched on youtube and the MST3K episode is also widely available.
ROCK 'N" ROLL NIGHTMARE (1987)
A vehicle for heavy metal musician Jon Mikl Thor and his band Triton, this Canadian horror film follows the rocker and his band on a night where they are besieged by a demonic presence and start to transform into monsters. The rubbery monster effects have a certain fun charm to them, so it is easy to see how this could have become a fun tongue in cheek classic if it were made by people with some talent. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the narcissism of its star obviously got in the way and it became one of the most unintentionally hilarious movies ever made. I think this clip says it all. I'm not sure what they were on while filmimg this move but I'd like to try it.
THE ROOM (2003)
This is one of those films that will make you ask many questions. Such as, Why is this movie called The Room? Why is there a framed picture of a spoon in their living room? Where the hell is star-writer-director Tommy Wiseau from and what is with that accent? Wiseau put this film together as a vehicle for his "acting" and his inability to write, direct and even act is put on display for all the world to see. The film has become a cult hit and Wiseau showed a great deal of marketing savvy but now he claims that the movie was always intended as a black comedy, instead of the drama it obviously wants to be. Subplots are begun and never followed up on, actors disappear and are replaced by completely new characters and the dialogue is so odd and stilted that you don't know whether to laugh, or try and figure it out.
SAMURAI COP (1989)
Trying to sum up Samurai Cop is pretty hard to do. It seems to be a film made by twelve year old boys, but yet was constructed by a group of B-movie makers who should have had at least a minimum level of skill. The movies dialogue seems to be a twelve year old boys idea of gritty and it is delivered by actors who sound as if they are reading it off of cue cards. The plot involves a cop who was sent to Japan to learn the ways of the Samurai and has come back to the police force just in time to take down some Japanese crime bosses. The movie also features B-movie actor Robert Z'Dar, who always manages to be a little bit better than the movie he is in, while at the same time not being very good at all.
Another film that would have probably have faded away if not for Mystery Science Theater 3000, Soultaker is a truly odd B-movie where nobody involved seemed to care that the script didn't make any sense. The plot involves a group of teen who are in a car accident and have their souls escape their bodies. Joe Estevez plays an angel whose job it is to collect those souls. Star Vivian Hilling, who also has apparently written a few novels, was also the screenwriter and her script shows a very tenuous grasp of logic and continuity. Director Micheal Rissi isn't completely inept but his direction doesn't help to distract from the fact that the script is complete garbage. Finding copies of the original film is a challenge but thhe MST3K episode is still widely available.
TROLL 2 (1990)
It is a toss up between this film and the Room for the most outrageously entertaining bad movie ever. The plot follows a family that is pursued by a group of vegetarian goblins who want to turn them into trees and eat them. The filmmakers were Italian and their grasp of English was not great. This led to some of the weirdest dialogue in movie history and the actors with their limited talents tried their best to handle it. The movie contains no actual Trolls and has no relation to the previous film Troll. A documentary was made about the movie and its cult following, Best Worst Movie, and it shows an affectionate look at the film's cast, crew and fans years after it was made.