Bad Movies that are Actually Good

Wrong circles is probably right. I grew up reading Leonard Maltin (Yeah yeah Mr. 2 1/2 Stars for Laserblast) and Roger Ebert in my youth. Along with watching Turner Classic Movies and absorbing many film books in the late 80s and 90s, The Thing From Another World (1951) was thought of highly. More so than The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Blob (1957), or The Fly (1958). Another World was HUGE!!! with film folks and scholars and still is.

The dialogue, the camradery between characters, the humor in a science fiction story. It’s the Rio Bravo (1959) of its type. A lark, memorable, and its pace is fast for its time. I never read much bad about it and I would argue the negative reaction to The Thing (1982) initially was partly the remaking of a film generally loved by critics. John Carpenter was a fan. It was used prominently in the background of Halloween (1978) and he remade it. That’s usually the highest compliment in Hollywood.

Note: The Thing From Another World impacted pop culture long before the remake. The “Watch The Skies!!!” line is its own punchline and The Fog (1980) even reworks it. James Arness as The Alien, the joking of what to do with a vegetable, Ben Hecht ghostwriting the script, Dimitri Tiomkin’s memorable score. This was one of the few Sci-Fi B Pics along with Forbidden Planet (1956) back then thought of as a classic by the film community. Invasion had nearly the same enthusiasm though it was slightly lower in the ranking. The 57 Blob and 58 Fly were so defined by their budget and their campiness they were popular movies with the public that gained regard with time yet were never the old school darling The Thing was. Screwball Comedy in disguise? Top notch script?

Another World gained a King Kong (1933) level of respectability. It’s even in The National Film Registry. Something the original Fly and The Blob don’t have. This speaks to its regard among scholars. Like Night of the Living Dead (1968) 20 years later, it resonated beyond the entertainment. Even with Carpenter’s Thing dwarfing it in recent years, the fans of the first remain. Many of them in the business. Same goes for Invasion 56 which is also in the Registry.


P.S. Appreciation takes all forms. With Monster Movie and B Picture fans, The Thing From Another World (1951) didn’t deliver the goods like later staples. It was too concerned with the characters and not the monster and it wasn’t goofy like The Blob (1957) or The Fly (1958). It also has some 40s qualities not found in most films made after. There is a sentiment towards the cast and they aren’t just bait for the slaughter. The formula of these pictures hadn’t formed yet and The Thing feels like an outlier compared to movies made a few years later.

Thus The Thing in fan circles isn’t what’s discussed. Unless it’s Carpenter’s. But in old movie circles, it’s in the same breath as The Wolf Man (1941) or The War of the Worlds (1953). Which is why it’s on my list. In my experience, it was very well thought of.


I already defended it below. You and I ran in the same circles. If you were exposed to a wide range of older films and loved the way they were made? Then The Thing From Another World (1951) is your oyster. Were you only interested in B Movies growing up? It’s not quite in that wheelhouse. It’s the B Movie non-B Movie enthusiasts love. This is why there’s a bit of disconnect in appreciation. Not that I care one way or another. It’s just what I see. I think B Movie lovers ought to check it out again. You might find a new favorite.


Turbo Kid really does it for me also. I think the soundtrack has a lot to do with it, but I love anythg post-apocalyptic. It has some hysterical moments.
The Equilibrium movie with Christian Bale is an overlooked dystopian gem. It’s like THX 1138 with gun-fu and fashions fro yh Matrix. I mean… what’s not to love here? I just realized it’s over two decades old, bt it holds up well especially in our thought police world.

I wll always love Krull. A James Horner soundtrack helps. Gotta love a flying bladed weapon inappropriately named after another weapon. Very quotable. Lots of good stuff there.


There is certainly a case to be made that the Hulk Hogan masterpiece, Suburban Commando, is a bad movie, but it’s a movie that tries to make you laugh, and for me, at 14 years old, it succeeded. I call that a win.


The Undead has a fascinatingly weird plot, oddball characters, and a great role for B movie favorite Alison Hayes. Not a bad low budget film at all.


The Corpse Vanishes is full of Gothic creepiness (even if much of it seems arbitrary) and it’s always great to see Elizabeth Russell dominate the screen.


I wouldn’t call it good by any means but I found this one oddly endearing despite its dumb premise: White Chicks.

You heard me right, and my reasoning isn’t solely for Terry Crews (though he’s still the highlight). I was just in awe that a legitimate friendship was formed out of rubbery drag disguises, and it didn’t fall apart at the end. :crazy_face:


I so can’t agree with this. One of the most painful memories watching something. The picture was horrific and painfully unfunny. I’d opt watching Manos (1966) over this.

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Ah, it seems we’ve stumbled across a new standard !

Movies that are so bad, I would rather watch Manos :

The English Patient

Any Hallmark movie that appears around the various holiday seasons…

What are some of yours?