The Best Worst Horror Movies: So Bad, They're Good

It's easy to make a bad movie, but it takes a fascinating blend of talentless-ness, dearth of judgment, ignorance of the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking, all-around bad taste and an inability to recognize any of these shortcomings to make a movie so bad that it comes full circle and actually becomes enjoyable. Consider this the Horror Movie Hall of Shame.

Biohazard: The Alien Force (1995)

Biohazard: The Alien Force
© Vidmark

What is it? A Z-grade sequel to the 1985 B-movie Biohazard about an evil corporation that creates an indestructble creature that of course escapes and goes around killing people, yadda yadda yadda.

What's so awesomely bad about it?

  • It's not an alien; it's a mutant.
  • The creature is one drop kick away from a Power Rangers character.
  • Tossing floppy discs into someone's face is as effective as hitting them with a brick.
  • A 10 mile-per-hour car collision causes the vehicles to become engulfed in flames.
  • Our hero's foreplay speech: "I like football, and I'm gonna sack this quarterback right now."

High/Lowlight: A woman inexplicably sculpts pottery while having sex.

Sample Dialogue: "Are you crazy? Don't die there!"

Trailer

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

'Birdemic' movie poster.
© Severin

What is it? A self-proclaimed "romantic thriller" homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

What's so awesomely bad about it?

  • Fascinating scenes of our hero driving to work and negotiating the price of a solar panel for his roof.
  • Birds that make airplane dive-bombing sounds and then explode on contact.
  • A scene that features 75 seconds of applause (with looped audio).
  • Eagles that can hover without moving their wings.
  • Entire scenes with no dialogue or meaningful action.
  • A star who acts like he has emotional paralysis.

High/Lowlight: Fighting off birds with coat hangers.

Sample Dialogue: "Hey, there's dead people on the side of the road. Let's go see if there's any survivors."

 

Black Devil Doll from Hell (1984)

Black Devil Doll from Hell
© Massacre Video

What is it? No-budget African-American fare about a virginal, church-going woman who buys a cursed ventriloquist's dummy that wants to have sex with her.

What's so awesomely bad about it?

  • Did I mention that the doll wants to have sex with her?
  • Did I mention that the doll does have sex with her? And she likes it?
  • Shot on an early '80s camcorder.
  • A Super Mario Bros.-esque Casio keyboard score.
  • 7-minute opening credit sequence.
  • A child was used as a body double in a movie about doll rape.

High/Lowlight: Close-ups of the puppet's fully functional tongue, covered in what looks like vanilla soft-serve ice cream.

Sample Dialogue: "Now that you have smelled the foulness of my breath, you may now taste the sweetness of my tongue!"

 

Creatures from the Abyss (AKA Plankton) (1994)

Creatures from the Abyss (Plankton)
© Shriek Show

What is it? Italian fright film that's basically Piranha on a ship with amphibious fish that can breathe air and fly.

What's so awesomely bad about it?

  • Ridiculous dubbed voices.
  • Moronic characters who utter lines like "This must be a refrigerator" and who think it's a good idea to taste a mysterious white powder they find in a lab.
  • The ship's self-destruct alarm actually says "Is anyone listening? I still hear footsteps. Evacuate! Evacuate! Stop screwing around!"
  • Claymation!

High/Lowlight: A woman gives birth to thousands of fish eggs (granted, she did have sex with a mutant fish).

Sample Dialogue: "Professor, how long have you been f***ing fish?" (The reply: "They were old enough!")

Trailer

Die Hard Dracula (1998)

Die Hard Dracula
© Miracle Pictures

What is it? Unfortunately, it's not Die Hard with vampires. Rather, an American travels to the Czech Republic and ends up defending villagers against Dracula.

What's so awesomely bad about it?

  • The Czech locals all have American accents.
  • No one suspects that the man walking around with blood-red lips and an ashen face is a vampire.
  • Our heroes storm Dracula's castle FOUR TIMES and every time end up running away.
  • A sensuous love scene suddenly cuts to sounds of bed springs rocking to Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker: Trepak (Russian Dance)".
  • Dracula visits a dentist.

    High/Lowlight: Dracula flies through the air while still in his coffin, to the tune "Ride of the Valkyries".

    Sample Dialogue: "I'm an American, and we're tough!"

    Clip

    Don't Be Scared (2006)

    Don't Be Scared
    © Urban Works

    What is it? Rapper Master P's attempt at a horror movie, featuring his son Romeo, about a murder victim who returns for revenge.

    What's so awesomely bad about it?

    • 40-year-old Master P plays a college student.
    • Extras look straight into the camera on more than one occasion.
    • Entire scenes of dialogue are drowned out by generic hip-hop music.
    • It's 44 minutes long. Including credits.
    • There's seven minutes of footage of Master P walking through some cheesy amusement park haunted house attraction.
    • One victim dies from being locked in the shower.

    High/Lowlight: A séance conjures Michael Jackson...three years before he died. (Cue the pedophile jokes.)

    Sample Dialogue: "He looks like he's straight from the hood or something."

    Trailer

    Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster (1965)

    Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster
    © Dark Sky

    What is it? Cold War-era fare about an American android astronaut ("Frank") battling Martians looking to breed with Earth women.

    What's so awesomely bad about it?

    • Spacemonster is one word.
    • The dandy Martian villain looks like a rejected Mike Myers caricature.
    • The "spacemonster" is basically a guy in a gorilla suit with rubber monster mask.
    • The Martians have a machine that appears to tell if women are virgins or not.
    • Scenes switch randomly between day and night.
    • Stock footage!

    High/Lowlight: In the midst of searching for Frank and stopping a Martian invasion, our heroes go sightseeing on a Vespa.

    Sample Dialogue: "This is a clear case of failure."

    Trailer

    Hellbound (1994)

    Hellbound
    © Canon Films

    What is it? Walker, Texas Ranger-era Chuck Norris plays a cop battling an ancient demon with only his fists, his feet and his beard.

    What's so awesomely bad about it?

    • Norris' character is named...FRANK SHATTER.
    • Shatter appears to shop for clothes at Don Johnson's yard sales.
    • Hollywood-standard police chief yelling about Shatter being a loose canon.
    • Hollywood-standard black sidekick comic relief.
    • The demonic bad guy has Kermit the Frog eyes.

    High/Lowlight: Shatter fires his gun wrecklessly in the air, then fights a criminal who's already in custody...because he can.

    Sample Dialogue: "Eat this!"

    Trailer

    Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985)

    Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf
    © MGM

    What is it? Abysmal sequel to the beloved werewolf film The Howling in which a werewolf hunter (a very embarassed Christopher Lee) travels to Europe to track down the werewolf queen.

    What's so awesomely bad about it?

    • Apparently, if you remove a silver bullet from a werewolf during an autopsy, the werewolf comes back to life.
    • Christopher Lee "blends in" at a punk night club by wearing sunglasses and jeans.
    • The werewolves do little more than have hirsute threeways. 
    • Mace-wielding dwarves!
    • The werewolf queen shoots lightning from her fingers.
    • Werewolf makeup = shag carpets and plastic fangs.

      High/Lowlight: Hero Ben tosses a dwarf out of a window.

      Sample Dialogue: "He plans to destroy me, but I will destroy him!"

      Trailer

      Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

      Manos: The Hands of Fate
      © Alpha Video

      What is it? A cheapo feature about a vacationing family that encounters a violent and annoying cult.

      What's so awesomely bad about it?

      • Endless scenes of driving past scenery...just scenery. 
      • Twitchy, limping caretaker Torgo talks like Twiki from Buck Rogers trapped in one of those old-timey vibrating belt exercise machines.
      • Scenes dissolve into...the same scene.
      • Torgo is kneaded to death.
      • The clapperboard is visible in one scene.

      High/Lowlight: Not one, but TWO all-female nightgown-clad, hair-pulling, rolling-in-dirt rumbles.

      Sample Dialogue: "There is no way out of here. It willl be dark soon. There is no way out of here."

      Clip

      Mega Piranha (2010)

      Mega Piranha DVD
      © The Asylum

      What is it? The SyFy follow-up to Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, about genetically altered piranha that -- shocker -- get out of control. (Mega Shark may have gotten more press, but for my money, Mega Piranha has more bad movie entertainment value.)

      What's so awesomely bad about it?

      • '80s pop singer Tiffany stars as a genetics professor.
      • Barry "Greg Brady" Williams plays the Secretary of State.
      • Stiff CGI critters that just move their tails; the only thing stiffer is Tiffany's acting. Zing!
      • Fish that launch themselves onto land to kill people...then proceed to die.
      • Abs of steel hero who's a combination between Jean-Claude Van Damme and a telephone pole.

      High/Lowlight: The bicycle-kicking scene.

      Sample Dialogue: "This just got real!"

      Trailer

      Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

      Plan 9 from Outer Space
      © Reynolds Pictures

      What is it? Long considered by many to be the de facto "worst movie ever," this notorious effort from cult director Ed Wood finds aliens attempting to take over Earth by animating dead bodies -- at least three of them.

      What's so awesomely bad about it?

      • Pompous narration that has to explain what's going on in every scene. 
      • Flying saucers dangling on strings.
      • UFOs are described as cigar shaped when they're clearly saucers.
      • Bela Lugosi died during production, and his stand-in tries to mask his identity by holding a Dracula cape in front of his face.

      High/Lowlight: The foppish alien leader throwing a hissy fit: "Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!"

      Sample Dialogue: "Future events such as these will affect you in the future."

      Trailer

      Ring of Darkness (2004)

      Ring of Darkness
      © First Look Pictures

      What is it? Homoerotic horror icon David DeCoteau brings us this tale of an undead boy band looking for a new lead singer.

      What's so awesomely bad about it?

      • People trying out for the lead singer LIP SYNC IN THE AUDITIONS.
      • Dated (even in '04) boy band performances cut into scenes that have nothing to do with them performing.
      • Thinly veiled homoeroticism.
      • Ryan Starr's mumble-mouthed performance is even worse than her singing.
      • Von Dutch product placements!
      • They're the biggest group in the world, but apparently they have only one song -- which they repeat ad nauseum.

      High/Lowlight: A 2 minute, 25-second scene of the band members walking. JUST WALKING.

      Sample Dialogue: "For someone in the music industry, you're pretty easily fooled."

      Trailer

      Rock 'n Roll Nightmare (1987)

      Rock 'n Roll Nightmare
      © Synapse Films

      What is it? Blame Canada for this entry from rocker Jon Mikl Thor about a band rehearsing in a house that's a portal to Hell.

      What's so awesomely bad about it?

        • What better way to start a film than with a four-minute driving montage? 
        • One character is named Roger Eburt.
        • Not-so-subtle pro-Canada bias: "Toronto's where it's happening, man: the music, the film industry, the arts!"
        • Satan's ultimate weaponry: Play-Doh starfish.

        High/Lowlight: Our hero strips to his studded leather codpiece to battle Satan.

        Sample Dialogue: "There's a creator's highest law that keeps you in your dark place and yet you and your brethren still insist on coming into this world and trying to steal a place in the world of the living. When will you ever learn?"

        Clip

        R.O.T.O.R. (1988)

        R.O.T.O.R.
        © Norstar Home Video

        What is it? Robocop meets Maniac Cop meets Frankenstein, as an experimental android cop dubbed R.O.T.O.R. goes on a killing spree.

        What's so awesomely bad about it?

          • Our hero is a wannabe Clint Eastwood-type named Aaron Coldyron ("Cold Iron").
          • R.O.T.O.R. looks like Tron Guy.
          • Punches that miss by two feet.
          • Random kung fu!
          • '80s style: Mullets! Shoulder pads! Crude racial stereotypes!
          • Lame attempts at comedy, courtesy of a whiny police robot that's a poor man's Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.
          • R.O.T.O.R.'s weakness: car horns?

          High/Lowlight: R.O.T.O.R. engages in hand-to-hand combat with a muscle-bound, skunk-haired she-man who shows up in the final 15 minutes.

          Sample Dialogue: "To combat pure will, you'll have to use pure illogic."

          Trailer

          Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)

          Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
          © Lionsgate

          What is it? Before any mega sharks hit SyFy, there was Megalodon, a name-only sequel about a prehistoric shark that makes the other Shark Attack movies look like Jaws.

          What's so awesomely bad about it?

          • The sharks roar.
          • Many of the actors seem to be learning English on the fly.
          • Laughable special effects that are the cinematic equivalent of cut-and-paste.
          • Random, inappropriate laughter during dialogue.
          • Papier-mâché shark's fin.
          • A giant shark is attacking your yacht, so you decide to...jump in the water?
          • Possibly the single worst line ever uttered in a film (see below).

          High/Lowlight: Shark smorgasbord.

          Sample Dialogue: "What do you say I take you home and eat your p****?"

          Trailer

          Troll 2 (1990)

          Troll 2
          © Polygram

          What is it? This unrelated Italian-produced sequel to 1986 film Troll -- in which a vacationing family falls victim to creatures who want to turn them into vegetables and eat them -- has received such a cult following that it has its own documentary, entitled Best Worst Movie.

          What's so awesomely bad about it?

          • There are no trolls; just goblins.
          • Vegetarian cannibals?
          • Continuity problems (dad's shirt is open, then closed, then open)
          • Halloween store goblin masks don't have moving mouths, so how can they eat anything?
          • None of the family members is wary of people trying to force-feed them green goo. 
          • "Oh my gaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwddd!!!"

          High/Lowlight: Goblins flee from a boloney sandwich.

          Sample Dialogue: "You can't piss on hospitality!"

          Trailer

          The Wicker Man (2006)

          The Wicker Man
          © Warner Bros.

          What is it? An unintentionally (?) campy remake of the renowned 1973 British thriller about a policeman searching for a missing girl in an isolated pagan community.

          What's so awesomely bad about it?

          • Nicolas Cage's manic performance.
          • Our "hero" threatens little children, punches two women in the face and karate kicks Leelee Sobieski into next week.
          • Additionally, he finds the decayed body of a man with his mouth stitched and his eyes and arm eaten by animals and proceeds to shake him to see if he's still alive.

          High/Lowlight: BEAR. SUIT.

          Sample Dialogue: "Killing me won't bring back your goddamn honey!"

          Trailer

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          Your Citation
          Harris, Mark H. "The Best Worst Horror Movies: So Bad, They're Good." ThoughtCo, Nov. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-worst-horror-movies-1873324. Harris, Mark H. (2017, November 19). The Best Worst Horror Movies: So Bad, They're Good. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-worst-horror-movies-1873324 Harris, Mark H. "The Best Worst Horror Movies: So Bad, They're Good." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-worst-horror-movies-1873324 (accessed December 11, 2017).