What started out as a joke, has turned into the column you are reading now. Out of all the ideas I have for future articles dealing with ‘The 4’ , this seemed to be the topic everyone went crazy for on Facebook and Twitter. People want the bad movies we love. The movies that are obvious turds, but we absolutely love them despite their crappiness. I’m not looking for the flat-out worst movies ever. That’s a subject for another day. I’m looking for the four movies that are so bad, they’re good. Domestic theatrical releases only! Sorry Drew Garabo from 102.5 The Bone, the cinematic treasure that is Sharknado does not qualify for this list. So let’s take a look at my four wonderfully flawed films that I just can’t look away from.
Starship Troopers (1997)
The earth has been attacked by extraterrestrial bugs, young men and women are dying and the human race is losing the war for existence. Yet Denise Richards is smiling through all of Starship Troopers in the face of death and devastation. She doesn’t even bother to get naked like everybody else in the film. Starship Troopers is our first example of “So bad, it’s good”. Don’t get me wrong. Starship Troopers is an action packed ride that’s very entertaining as Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) and his rough necks blast their way through bug guts on the other side of the Galaxy. The acting and writing makes Starship Troopers an easy pick for this list. Lines like “You’re some sort of big, fat, smart-bug, aren’t you?” still make me laugh out loud during all the insect carnage. I still want to know who thought it was a good idea to end the film with Neil Patrick Harris stating “It’s afraid. It’s afraid” while touching the big leader bug that looked like female genitalia. Despite the cheesy one liners and smiles from Richards, I still watch Starship Troopers every time it’s on.
Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
The title character is dead. Not like Beetlejuice or Ghost Dad where he’s living in the afterlife. Bernie Lomax is dead as a doornail, but that doesn’t stop him from partying his way through Weekend at Bernie’s with his two pals Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman. Yes, Weekend at Bernie’s is at bad as it sounds. Two guys carry their dead boss around Hampton Island Beach for the weekend and no one realizes the life of the party is dead. That being said, Weekend at Bernie’s is freaking hilarious. Seeing a dead guy get dragged around as a puppet by two imbeciles, buried in the sand multiple times and getting dragged by a boat hitting every buoy in the ocean tickles my funny bone. Also Bernie manages to be the only character to get laid in the movie and he’s dead. That scene alone earns Weekend at Bernie’s a spot on this list.
Back to School (1986)
Our second movie from the glorious decade of the 1980s to make the list is a classic. Back to School has such a dumb premise. A millionaire named Thornton Melon leaves his Tall & Fat clothing store empire to become freshmen at Grand Lakes University. The concept may seem dumb, but Rodney Dangerfield’s charm makes Back to School an awful treasure. There are so many classic scenes in Back to School including Professor Terguson’s intense class, the party Melon throws in the dorm and who could forget the Triple Lindy. Those scenes allow me to overlook the terrible portions including the blatant stunt double for Dangerfield in the diving scenes or the fact that Valerie immediately falls in love with Jason Melon with a snap of his finger. Is Back to School goofy? Yes. Did it win any Oscars? No. Is it one of the best college comedies of all time? Abso-freaking-lutely! It was Rodney Dangerfield at his best.
Howard the Duck (1986)
I know what some of you are thinking. Howard The Duck should be on the worst movies list. I understand your feelings about the addition of this film to this list, but you have to understand my reasoning. I’m a huge Marvel guy. That was my comic universe of choice to read when I was growing up. So many great characters from the X-Men to the Fantastic Four. Yet, we Marvel fans were stuck with one film from that universe for so many years. That film was Howard The Duck. I’m well aware of how awful this movie is about a space duck that was transported to Earth by an inter-dimensional laser, but it was all we had for big screen Marvel characters. So us nerds were stuck watching this dud and trying to defend it to no avail. The movie was so bad it took over 10 years (Blade) for another Marvel character to make the jump to the big screen. With all that being said, I still leave Howard The Duck on every time its on. Plus Lea Thompson was so hot back then and it had a naked lady duck.