There are great movies, good movies, bad movies and terrible movies, then there are guilty pleasures. There those endlessly rewatchable treats that appeal to some and are despised by others, usually nestled somewhere between bad and terrible.
Often in the horror or comedy genres, these movies have a rare ability to reward with sheer entertainment value in spite of quality, and its safe to say everyone has at least one that they fail to disclose through risk of embarrassment…
Here are my top 10!
For Eddie’s list click HERE
Plot summaries from IMDB. Reviews by Jordan
10. Doom (2005)
Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Starring: Karl Urban, Dwayne Johnson, Rosamund Pike
Space Marines are sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines.
Tagline – No one gets out alive
Often used as a rarely disputed example as to why video games should never be translated into movies, I’ll admit that Doom has its downfalls… many downfalls… but believe that if you’re willing to deny your inner critic there is a Mars Station full of fun to be had here watching The Rock and Karl Urban face off and witnessing a fantastically accurate, one-take first person shooter scene.
9. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp
Hitman “El Mariachi” becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.
Tagline – The Time Has Come
Frequently referred to as convoluted, confusing and an anti-climactic end to a trilogy that began with the low-budget El Mariachi and continued with the cult action blockbuster Desperado, Robert Rodriguez’ stylistic epic is in fact an underrated and expertly crafted epic that features tremendously fun turns from Banderas and Depp, with strong support from such notable players as Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Enrique Iglesias and Eva Mendes.
8. Doomsday (2009)
Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Malcolm McDowell
A futuristic action thriller where a team of people work to prevent a disaster threatening the future of the human race.
Tagline – Survive this
It seems that cinema fans seem to forget that in between The Descent (2005) and Centurion (2010) Brit genre mastermind Neil Marshall made this relentlessly entertaining, brutal and brilliant throwback to the heyday of John Carpenter and other late ’70’s and ’80’s cult flicks. Doomsday may be patchy and ultimately strives beyond its means, but with the stunning Rhona Mitra leading the charge it never fails to hold my attention re-watch after re-watch.
7. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)
Directed by: Steve Oedekerk
Starring: Steve Oedekerk, Fei Lung, Leo Lee
A rough-around-the-edges martial arts master seeks revenge for his parent’s death.
Tagline – none
I’m not sure exactly how many times I’ve seen Steve Oedekerk’s parody of B-grade martial arts movies, but I’d comfortably say its more times than the number of dislodged eyeballs stuck to The Chosen One’s fingers in the above picture… it’s stupid, silly, immature and has aged horribly, but it’s also just so, so damn funny from beginning to ridiculous end.
6. Mallrats (1995)
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee
Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.
Tagline – Get Malled
Kevin Smith’s difficult second album wasn’t the step forward in his career that many hoped it would be, with him having to then go the serious route with Chasing Amy to prove his writing and directing credentials before further expanding the View Askewniverse, but for all slow-paced, video and comic book loving, pop-culture quoting and sneaker wearing every-day lads it’s a relatable haven in the form of a mall of (limited) possibilities. Then there’s the Stan Lee cameo, but I guess that’s not such a big deal these days. Snootchi Bootchies.
5. Bad Taste (1987)
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Terry Potter, Pete O’Herne, Craig Smith
The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.
Tagline – One thing the aliens hadn’t counted on was Derek, and Dereks don’t run!
Braindead (Dead Alive), made by Peter Jackson in 1992 is one of my Top 30 Films of All Time, and it’s also exceptionally easy to love the future Lord of the Rings visionary’s first passionate serving of New Zealand flavored gore and vibrant camerawork Bad Taste, in which an army of hideously ugly aliens kidnap and kill humans to serve as meat in their intergalactic fast food chain. If it sounds bonkers, that’s because it is, and it’s also one of the most enjoyable and memorable slices of schlock of its type.
4. Mother of Tears (2007)
Directed by: Dario Argento
Starring: Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno, Adam James
Part three of the “Three Mothers” trilogy which takes place in Rome and has to do with Mater Lachrymarum (The Third Mother).
Tagline – If she lives, we all die
It’s ridiculous, cheesy, nonsensical and as horrendously violent as you could possibly imagine. It’s shoddily acted, scripted and sometimes directed by an aging auteur attempting to conclude a classic Gothic horror series. Yet, for all its abysmal qualities, there is a manic energy here that when combined with Asia’s energy and the appearance of former Argento muse Daria Nicolodi produces a feverish watchability, concluding in a finale unearthed straight from the furthest recesses of the darkest imagination.
3. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
Directed by: Carl Reiner
Starring: Steve Martin, Kathleen Turner, David Warner
A Steve Martin comedy about brain transplantation.
Tagline – So funny you’ll laugh your head off
After The Jerk (a guilty pleasure favourite of non other than Stanley Kubrick) and the very clever Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, director and actor combo Reiner and Martin decided to tackle the then rarely seen mad-scientist sub-genre of the ’50’s with somewhat mixed results. The ill-conceived jokes fall flat, but the simple and ingenious ones, of which there are many, reach heights that solidified the pair as downright masterminds of the comedy genre. Still just as funny today.
2. My Name is Bruce (2007)
Directed: by Bruce Campbell
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe
B Movie Legend Bruce Campbell is mistaken for his character Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy and forced to fight a real monster in a small town in Oregon.
Tagline – Fearless! Unstoppable! Ready For His Close-Up!
I imagine this would be a guilty pleasure for all fans of The Chin, who can appreciate that as both a comedy and a horror comedy it fails to elevate itself above low denominators and eventually succumbs to it’s lowly ambitions with a playful strumming of the banjo and smarmy one-liners… much like the cult career of its star, writer and director. Self depreciating and chock full of absurd references, My Name is Bruce is a rare case of a film made specifically for a niche group of devoted fans; a thank-you from an icon to the audience that made him one.
1. Resident Evil Franchise (2002 – 2012)
Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution), Alexander Witt (Resident Evil: Apocalypse), Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Shawn Roberts
A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident (plot of the 2002 original).
Tagline – Survive the Horror
So, I may be cheating a little bit here, but couldn’t decide on just one chapter in the ongoing battle between super models and the rapidly improving in speed and intelligence zombies when they’re all so flamboyantly ridiculous and wondrously repetitive. I grew up playing the games, and love the movies for being an entirely different beast, lucratively existing in spite of popular opinion and continually growing more absurd and absent of plot. At the end of the day though, it’s Alice that keeps the masses coming back for more, her combination of heroism, vulnerability and determination rendering her an important figure in the history of female action heroes… seriously.
See my article on the series here.
Does this list make you cringe or smile with satisfaction knowing that someone else out there in the world likes your hidden favourite? Let us know in the comments below or let us know what are your recommended guilty pleasure treats!