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The Best of the Worst: 7 movies so bad they're good

Bruce Campbell Evil Dead 1981
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Amidst the Oscars and Golden Globes chatter are cheers and rants over the year’s best flicks. Then of course, there are the Razzies, the seedy underbelly of the film community. Quite appropriately the awards were handed out by Adam Sandler. The choice of using Sandler two years in a row may in fact reference the actor’s declining reputation and increasing appearance in one-dimensional roles.

The list included some horrific blockbusters such as “The Lone Ranger,” “After Earth,” and Sandler’s own “Grown Ups 2.” Most wouldn’t dispute the exceptionally abysmal nature of these cinematic duds. We celebrate the great cinema and recognize the not-so-great movies alike. Unfortunately the so-bad-it’s-good category gets glanced over. Curious about the best of the worst films of all time? Check out the list. Comment below or tweet @mitchellclong with your favorite flick in the genre.

"American Ninja" (1985)
"American Ninja" (1985) IMDB.com

"American Ninja" (1985)

7. “American Ninja” (1985): As the name suggests, the plot revolves around a U.S. soldier (Michael Dudikoff) who opts for the army rather than prison. Naturally he’s deployed in the Philippines and battles ninjas. Acting is stale and predictable, the narrative is passable at most, and even the music emits a low-budget feel. Though it is a walking cliché, the jumbled story and proliferation of 80’s synth turn this from crapfest to laughfest.

"King Kong" (1976)
"King Kong" (1976) IMDB.com

"King Kong" (1976)

6. “King Kong” (1976): Think “The Dude” meets King Kong. Unfortunately, Dino De Laurentiis’ take on the well-known monster tale isn’t a 70s spin on the “Abbott and Costello Meet…” series. Starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange, “King Kong” blunders about with lackluster special effects, an eardrum irritating score and uneven acting. Bridges seems like El Duderino transplanted into the King Kong universe, and he’s pretty entertaining but Lange ruins the picture. Arguably the worst Kong adaptation, it’s pretty funny though a six pack may be necessary for viewing.

"The Lost Boys" (1987)
"The Lost Boys" (1987) IMDB.com

"The Lost Boys" (1987)

5. “The Lost Boys” (1987): Vampire movies epitomize hit or miss. You’ve got “Blade,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and “Nosferatu,” and then there’s “Twilight.” 1987 cult classic “The Lost Boys” hits the wooden stake on the head dancing the fine line between comedy and horror. It’s incredibly campy, and well worth watching. A highly quotable production, “The Lost Boys” inspires genuine laughs.

"Running Scared" (2006)
"Running Scared" (2006) IMDB.com

"Running Scared" (2006)

4. “Running Scared” (2006): Starring the late Paul Walker, “Running Scared” isn’t nearly as well known as the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. And there’s a reason; the 2006 action flick is unbelievably outlandish. Ok, so most entries in the genre aren’t quite realistic, but “Running Scared” pole vaults the shark. A rapid-fire sequence of zany events, it’s unique in the eccentric, cartoonish plot and setting.

"Commando" (1985)
"Commando" (1985) IMDB.com

"Commando" (1985)

3. “Commando” (1985): Picking the best bad Schwarzenegger flick is a daunting task considering the wealth of material. “Commando” puts the competition in a sleeper hold on with an appalling excess of puns and fight scenes. Likely you’ll find yourself laughing at Arnie, but nevertheless the movie provides a better ab workout than the Bowflex from constant chortling. “Total Recall” and “Predator” are honorable mentions, falling short by a few puns and redeemed by stronger acting.

"The Evil Dead" (1981)
"The Evil Dead" (1981) IMDB.com

"The Evil Dead" (1981)

2. “The Evil Dead” (1981): “Army of Darkness” may be the most outlandish entry in the Evil Dead trilogy, but the 1981 original wins for unintentional comedy. Claymation special effects swarm the screen, while Bruce Campbell battles demons. The entire production retains a low-budget warmth, continued in “The Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness.” An absolute gorefest, “The Evil Dead” may not instill fear, but it incites uncontrollable hilarity, egged on by Campbell’s delightful delivery.

"Big Trouble in Little China" (1986)
"Big Trouble in Little China" (1986) IMDB.com

"Big Trouble in Little China" (1986)

1. “Big Trouble in Little China” (1986): John Carpenter carved a name for himself with innovative horror flicks such as “Halloween” and “The Thing.” His 1986 creation “Big Trouble in Little China” deserves recognition as well, though for differing reasons. There’s a story involving a resurrected Chinese sorcerer David Lo Pan (James Hong) but don’t expect the plot to make much sense. Luckily master of cheesy lines Kurt Russell swoops in as trucker Jack Burton. Russell lampoons macho heroes in his role, spewing corny lines and biffing bad guys. You may continue scratching your scalp long after the credits roll, but the side-splitting laughter is worth the experience.