Piranha 3D opens on August 20th, and it is terribly exciting. The trailers are a bit misleading. While they do not make the film look bad, they do not show why I am so excited. Someone leaked 9 minutes of nudity laden, blood stained, cheese filled footage of the film and let me tell you, this thing looks horrible good. This is by no means an aesthetic masterpiece in the vein of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Rather it is an over the top gore fest that is designed to purely entertain as your summer draws to a close. Making a “good” bad horror film is an art form that can yield very satisfying results. On the flip side of that, when a serious attempt at horror goes awry, almost ironically, it can be quite terrifying. Here is a fine selection of films from both categories. I purposely excluded later sequels of popular franchises, as that would be far too easy.
5 GOOD BAD FILMS
Good bad, meaning a film that is delightfully enjoyable, despite its flaws. A film whose flaws may enhance the experience. You probably expected not to enjoy it, but were pleasantly surprised. Gore for the sake of gore but done well. Tongue in cheek.
If you haven’t seen it in a while, re-visit it. It’s better than you remember. Competent acting, a decent running time. It would be quite easy to make a crap film based on the premise of hairy space fur balls that like to eat and make bad jokes. Oh wait, they did do that. Critters 2 and 3. Side note: 4 isn’t that terrible, either.
2. Dead Alive (Braindead)
First time I ever saw zombie sex and procreation was in Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive. This movie is unbelievably over the top gory, but in such a good way. It’s also absolutely hilarious, which it almost has to be with the amount of bodily fluids in this thing. A very good time and a must watch for cheesy horror fans.
Winner of Project Greenlight’s 3rd season, Feast is remarkably clever. It pokes fun at the genre with character names like “Bartender,” “Hero,” and “Heroine.” You get quick on screen character bios so your time is not wasted with verbal exposition. Much blood is splattered and many body parts are severed. Very well done cheese fest, especially with only a $1 million budget.
The tagline for this film is “Old School American Horror,” and it delivers exactly that. You would almost have to expect that of a picture with Robert Englund and Kane Hodder. Hatchet improves a bit on the flaws of some poorly made films by having decent acting and lines that are funny rather than stupid, but leaves the successful elements of cheaply made gore films. Grainy photography, deformed killer, excessive blood. Adam Green is definitely a film maker with a strong grasp-hold of the genre. Over the top, but still very good.
5. Satan’s Little Helper
A masked killer on Halloween? How original. The killer in this film is so funny, and the acting is so poor, that I felt like this picture was intentionally bad. Some of the lines are hilarious: “Jesus is Satan!” and just the idea of a kid leading this killer around is awesome. The gore is pretty minimal, but there is a charm that keeps you watching, although right toward the end it does drag a bit. Pretty entertaining for a bad film.
5 BAD GOOD FILMS
Bad good, meaning serious attempts at making a solid horror picture, but failed. Films that were not meant to be cheesy or ridiculous, but were. Disappointments.
1. Diary of the Dead
No disrespect to George Romero, but I hate this film. The social commentary is fine, but let’s not cram this down my throat by repeating how if it isn’t on camera it didn’t happen, or how many hits a post has. Also, I hated every single character. I got tired of spending the Zombie Apocalypse with them.
2. Flesh Freaks.
If I had to pick the worst film I have ever seen, this is it. Don’t let the suspiciously Fulci-esque cover fool you. This is an abomination. About 20 minutes into it I started to doubt its classification as a “film,” but it has its own IMDB entry and everything. Pretend like you got your tax return in the mail. You go buy a camera from your local electronics store. You go to the local university and film stuff. You buy a plane ticket to Belize and film some stuff there. BAM! You have Flesh Freaks. Every single thing in the movie is crap. Bad audio, acting, directing, photography, effects, everything. You can hear the wind in the microphone. At some point in turns in to a show from animal planet and deviates from the zombie film it is attempting to be. Run from this film.
3. Friday the 13th (2009)
I am not sure what was accomplished with this reboot. It didn’t really show me anything new (other than neat iPods, glowsticks and GPS devices). I am not opposed to remakes at all (obviously, with my above adoration of Piranha), but I thought this was just poorly done. Jason’s origin wasn’t even really addressed in this, except for a mere black and white sequence during the credits. If I am not mistaken reboots are grounded in back story. Hell, the 1980 Friday the 13th was all back story, Jason wasn’t even the killer. I feel like this was a missing sequel that would have fit in between parts 7 and 8.
4. The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)
The gore might satisfy you, but the amazingly bad dialogue and simple rehash of the basic events of the first film will disappoint. The military outfit that go to the hills are near retarded, in a drunken college student sort of way. Worst dialogue of the film: “Who was that guy?” “Shitman the Barbarian, I have no idea!”
15 foot diabetic eel. I would say that this film was poor intentionally, but if that were the case, they couldn’t even make a bad movie well. The poster itself fails: No one ever calls the eel Razortooth, and the scene depicted was not a scene that occurs in the film. Again, poor acting, effects, etc. I would liken it to those SyFy films, but I think those are purposely made to be crap whereas Razortooth took itself seriously.
Top 10 Good Bad vs. Bad Good Horror Films