Favorite “bad” movie no one’s heard of?

Anyone else have a favorite movie that was considered bad that no one else seems to have heard of? Mine is a gem called “Get Crazy!” It’s from 1983 and is about a New Years Eve concert being held at an old theater. An evil real estate mogul played by Ed Begly Jr. wants to buy the theater but since the owner won’t sell he plans to destroy it. Needless to say hijinks ensue.

This movie has it all: sex, drugs, rock and roll. Lou Reed as an existential rocker trapped in a never ending cab ride. Daniel Stern before he went evil in Home Alone. A blues, punk, and rock version of the same song. And Malcolm McDowell as Reggie Wanker, a Mick Jaggeresque rocker with an exploding codpiece. I love it.

Why is it “bad?” It was unfortunate in that the producers made it as a tax write off and wanted it to fail. It got a very limited release and wasn’t advertised very well. Critics didn’t seem to like it much either. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a good print of the film because of this so there never was a DVD release of it. There was a VHS release a long time ago though. I have found the entire movie on YouTube now which is what prompted all this.

Does anyone else have a favorite “bad” movie?

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It is cheesy and nonsensical, but I have a peculiar fondness for it.

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I went to look for the trailer, and it turns out the full movie is on Youtube.

This is in no way shape or form a good movie, the leads were barely popular when it was made and were mostly replaced by “alternative comedians” on TV, so how they got a movie is baffling.

What’s even more baffling is the undeniable fact that I love this film, because we had it on VHS and it would always be showing when I was little.

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Even at the time you’d have been hard pressed to find anybody admit to liking Cannon & Ball, but they were bloody everywhere

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I remember preferring The Krankies over them, which is weird, because The Krankies terrified me in ways I cannot explain.

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The made-for-TV version of Pinocchio from 1976.

Really, it could be a lot worse. Mostly what strikes me now is how eye-bleeding the costume and set colors are, and how awful it is to see Danny Kaye constantly patting Sandy Duncan on her butt. o_0

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Even Rick is embarrassed by this movie. Saw this on Roku Channel and had a blast riffing this batsheit crazy movie. This is his Cool As Ice.

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Oh, yeah, that’s way better than it should be.

I guess mine would Nice Girls Don’t Explode. Wallace Shawn, Barbara Harris…laughed my hinder off when I saw it in the theater as a kid. It was during that magical time in the '80s when the home video explosion…exploded…and they started making 200 movies a year instead of 60-70.

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Star Crystal

I’ve run into only a few people who remember this Sci-Fi Channel original: Legion from 1998 with the all-star cast of Parker Stevenson, Terry Ferrell, Corey Feldman, Rick Springfield and Troy Donahue. “Call me Legion for we are many!”

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I went through a period of really liking Matthew Modine. Why? I’m not sure. I think he’s a pretty good actor, but I don’t know what made me start seeking out his movies. Anyway, here are two made-for-TV movies that he was in that I really enjoyed.

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Perhaps this one is too good to be a bad movie. There are some major coincidences and plot holes in it, but it also has an amazing cast with James Earl Jones, Bernadette Peters, Tom Skerritt and more. I wanted it to have about 5 minutes more to the end of the movie than it did, but overall, I liked it.


This one also has a pretty impressive cast but the story makes less sense and is a little more silly. Still, I liked this retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

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‘Naked Space’ also called ‘The Creature Wasn’t Nice’ from 1983 starring Leslie Nielsen, Cindy Williams, Garrett Graham, and Patrick Macnee.
Great actors staring in a very bad slap stick comedy directed by Bruce Kimmel who also starred in it…

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Is Solar Crisis very well known anymore? Blue-chip cast, conceptual design by Syd Mead, massive budget, and a complete mess for such a simple premise. Writing is paint by numbers, tone and cinematography vary wildly scene by scene. Granted, this is the US version which is a chop-and-reshoot job of a Japanese original cut I would very much like to see. Regardless, the US cut is a disaster on a level only attributable to incompetence or a cynical attempt to cut losses.

Edit: looks like the Japanese laserdisc version is floating around YouTube and elsewhere. I’m going to get right on that.

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Kneel before Gog…

Directed by the guy behind many episodes of The Veil (as seen on Rifftrax), this is one of a number of a sub-Hammer British films of the period. Directly affronting god by naming their robots Gog and Magog, scientists in an underground base desperately try to work out where the sabotage is coming from. The lack of suspense is heightened by the stock characters and robots so clumsy they make the Daleks look like members of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

Incidentally, while digging up the link for this one, I stumbled across this movie I have never heard of. It sounds like something that would have had Simon Pegg in it if were made a few decades later.

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Firefist of Incredible Dragon aka Revenge of the Shaolin Temple. I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll revisit it as it’s very obscure.

It should be noted that this film does not include any incredible dragons. It doesn’t even have any mediocre ones or firefists either so already we have a title writing a cheque that the film can’t cash. What we do have though is an utterly confusing mess that is truly fascinating as it is just so terribly made. To be fair there are clearly huge chunks of this film missing, especially near the beginning as I swear the first act is only about 12 minutes long. My DVD only has a 77 minute runtime but that is still 7 minutes longer than the version uploaded to the Wu Tang Collection’s YouTube channel. Even IMDB lists it as 82 minutes but there surely must be a lot more than that absent. The broad strokes of the plot are fairly straightforward though. Mr Liao is a Very Bad Man™, terrorising the local town and imprisoning women. A woman who was passing though went missing and her sister is now looking for her.

The film opens with Liao’s goons disposing of some of his victims in the snowy woods. The angry spirit of one of these women manifests itself as a disembodied, beating heart which then flies around and kills these men sending them flying into the trees. We’re then in the town with more of his goons harassing an old man and his daughter when the heroine of the film (whom I don’t actually know the name of) interjects, drawing their ire. Before things escalate though their boss stops them and pulls them out. He then reports to Liao that the woman looks like one of the women they were burying in the snow so Liao instructs them to go and check. Upon doing so they find her grave empty and the dead bodies of the men fall out of the trees. They report back and mention a suspicious man they were watching. The film then jumps to their compound in the middle of the night where a man and a woman in black are fighting off the guards and trying to escape. There’s also 2 men in a cave being killed by the killer heart and possibly the worst sex scene ever committed to film shoved in here (I don’t think this is in the Wu Tang upload though) and we’re still only about 10 minutes in. If you’re trying to follow the plot your head is probably starting to hurt by now.

Then the heroine is talking to the lead male hero in the film who has had no other introduction prior to this so who he is or what their relationship is I have absolutely no idea. Given the original title it’s possible he’s from the Shaolin Temple and tasked with apprehending Liao. It’s such a commonly applied word to Kung Fu films that that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. The old man from the beginning then realizes his daughter is missing so the hero goes off to give Liao a stern talking to but he fails and is captured instead. The heroine is then captured and is being carried in a sack through the haunted woods when the spirit of her sister and a man in black with white hair and profound scarring across half of his face save her. We then get some exposition over a campfire where he explains that her sister and her husband fell prey to Liao. She escaped and died in the snow along with her unborn child. There’s a shot that I think might be suggesting that the killer heart is supposed to be that of the baby. Later on Liao’s wife seems to be possessed by the heart and there’s a suggestion she might be pregnant but they never go anywhere with that [in my DVD version] so it really isn’t clear. The man in black also takes her to a cave where the heroine’s sister is buried so she can mourn her.

There’s some supernatural shenanigans as Liao is tormented by spirits so he instructs his goons to get a Taoist priest. A priest and his student are found but you get the impression they’re probably scam artists. There’s some more killer heart action as someone loses their face, another their hand while another is blown to pieces by the heart! The priest and his student perform a ritual but they’re clearly at it and then the student is then caught spying on Liao’s underboss getting frisky with Liao’s wife and is then beaten to death. The killer heart possesses the dead student who then beats up the boss and his thugs. The old man is also sneaking around the compound in a gorilla mask or something for whatever reason and is saved by the heroine when he’s rumbled. She saves the remaining imprisoned women including the old man’s daughter and then the hero whom you might have completely forgotten was even in the film at this point. They then confront Liao just as he’s torturing his wife for her adultery.

The last 10 minutes are incredible and are so badly put together are almost like a parody of Kung Fu finales. The fight starts in the house and after a brief exchange of blows cuts to the garden. They fight a bit more and then they’re running out the gate and fighting outside the compound. A bit more fighting and they run to the top of some stairs and jump straight up… and land smack dab in the middle of a field that is clearly nowhere near any houses. Again there’s a bit more fighting when Liao walks straight into the camera and the film then cuts to them fighting surrounded by trees. This woodland section lasts a bit longer but I swear that the background changes around so much that it takes place in at least 3 different woodland areas. Liao emits a deranged laugh and witnesses the spirit of the dead sister and is then walking into the dark cave where she’s buried. Hero and heroine are then running through a quarry trying to catch up with Liao even though he’s clearly just walking. He’s then confronted by the many spirits of women he’s killed and the man in black who stops Liao from escaping as the cave collapses on them. It turns out his white hair and scarred face were just a mask for no clear reason and the heroine realizes that he was her brother in law. The film ends with hero and heroine walking away before she turns around and reaches out in distress for the ending freeze frame which is an extremely common way for kung fu films to end… except the snow is still falling. It does eventually actually freeze but there’s a brief surreal moment that’s reminiscent of the ending to an episode of Police Squad! (in color) where she’s trying to stand as still as possible while the world around her is still in motion. The beating heart then fades in and EXPLODES and there’s a freeze on this explosion that is held for almost a minute while the music continues on. No text on screen just an exploding heart. These films don’t have credit rolls so what the purpose of this is I have no idea. Then it cuts to a red screen with “The End”.

This film is just so spectacularly bad in every way possible. The acting is terrible and the awful dubbing often just repeats the same word or phrase over and over. The story is incoherent -certainly on your first watch at least - but even with additional footage it would probably still be confusing as the editing is really bad. Have you ever checked your phone while watching a film and then realized you’re totally lost because you missed a vital plot point? You constantly have that sensation in this film even if you never take your eyes off the screen. Firefist of Incredible Dragon is truly, truly awful and I love it for it.

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One of my more recent favorites that I only watched earlier this year would have to be Champagne and Bullets. Written/directed by and starring John De Hart and featuring songs written and performed by John De Hart. Also featuring Wings Hauser who I am not at all convinced knew he was in a movie. I wish that I had words to accurately describe this movie. I’ll just let this clip from it speak for itself.

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Roger Corman’s Gas-s-s-s is mostly forgotten and that’s too bad, because it’s amazing.

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Instant Qualification unlocked. At the very least this should land in the Rifftrax catalogue.

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As I was watching the movie I kept thinking about how badly I would love to see Rifftrax do their thing with it. I think its a bit too risque for the likes of MST3K without some editing and nothing needs to be cut from this masterpiece of modern cinema.

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It has a strong Rifftrax vibe. Their film curation is markedly different than MST3K’s.

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