For every good movie, there's likely at least two bad ones. And that's okay - because some of them are so bad that we fall in love with them in a whole other way. Remember Santa Claus Conquers the Martians? Plan 9 From Outer Space? Sharknado? And those are just the most famous films that were honestly less than stellar.
But there are plenty of other bad movies that are oddly worthwhile, and so we've gone looking for the ones that haven't gained infamy. Those terrible, yet somehow strangely endearing, movies that have somehow escaped mainstream notice. The ones we still talk about that might be a little harder to find. There are many, but these are the best of the not quite so publicly shamed worst.
In honor of this week's premiere of RiffTrax Live: Sharknado, here are ten of our not so well known favorite movies that are so bad, they're good. You've likely never heard of them - and that's a good thing.
1. Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
When star John Barrowman told Jonathan Ross he only did this film for the money, we thought it couldn't possibly be that bad. It is that bad. We're breaking the alphabetical order on this list just because this is the worst film we've ever seen. Not that we expected anything outstanding from a movie called Shark Attack 3, but even by B-movie standards, this is a disaster.
Barrowman stars as shark-fighting lifeguard Ben Carpenter, and his performance is the only thing in this movie that makes any sort of sense. You know you're in trouble when they can't even keep the font in the opening credits consistent. From then on, it's horrible special effects, a shark that can't decide what size it is, and dialogue that absolutely no one would ever say. You can make a game out of finding all the little things within the movie that have changed or disappeared.
Still, this is a movie so bad - and so fun to riff on - that you have to watch it at least once, if only to hear "the infamous line" that Barrowman ad-libbed, which is also the best line in the entire movie.
In 1991, Andrew McCarthy was in a fantastic film called Year of the Gun, in which he played a young novelist who got caught up in something much bigger than himself while in Rome. Fourteen years later, we have Crusader, which wants to be the same type of movie and just fails on every level.
Here we have McCarthy playing a frustrated, middle-aged news producer who steals a colleague's story and falls down the rabbit hole into a conspiracy in Spain. The first problem is that the conspiracy is in no way actually intimidating, not when we're watching an overacting Michael York and underacting Bo Derek. We're not scared, and worse, we don't care. Aside from McCarthy's Hank Robinson, none of these people are anyone you'd want to spend any time with.
The movie tries to cover for its uninteresting characters and flat dialogue with some bonus violence, and people do things that anyone with a modicum of common sense would know not to do. Go watch Year of the Gun and save yourself the headache.
3. Double Dragon
Video game films were in vogue in the 90's, and almost all of them were terrible. That includes Double Dragon, which paired Scott Wolf, who'd just started his Party of Five days, with Mark Dacascos, way before he was Wo Fat on Hawaii Five-0. The two of them had to take down a warlord named Koga Shuko; with a name like that, you'd think he's Asian, but nope, he's played by Robert Patrick with a horrible bleached-blond look.
This movie unanimously ticked off critics, film audiences and fans of the video game franchise, and it's not hard to see why. Absolutely nothing here really works. The plot is ridiculously easy even by video game movie standards, the dialogue is lifeless, the fights aren't memorable, and all of the actors would go on to do much better work in other projects. Then again, when a movie has Vanna White and Andy Dick in cameo roles, that sort of speaks for itself.
In all honesty, the Double Dragon animated series was better than this movie. But to be fair, it's also not the worst video game adaptation ever made. That's coming later on this list.