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As more and more movies are released year after year, it’s impossible for every single major release to reach the high levels of quality hoped for, and in one way or another, fail to meet the mark. Some films manage to fail at their goals so much, that it wraps back around and accomplishes a completely separate goal, becoming a movie that can be considered so bad that it’s good.
While there are numerous iconic “So Bad, It’s Good” movies across film history, such as The Room and Manos: The Hands of Fate, there are still a number of these films being released in the modern era. The digital era’s increase in franchises, streaming services, and failed adaptations have resulted in a number of films that will go down in history as all-time “So Bad, It’s Good” legends.
10 ‘Artemis Fowl’ (2020)
Based on the young adult series of novels, Artemis Fowl follows the titular child, Artemis Fowl Jr., as he uncovers the secret world of underground fairies and other mythical creatures. Following the disappearance of his father, it becomes up to Artemis to crack the code and battle against the army of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
While the series of books have become fan favorites among readers, Disney’s attempt at adapting the series to the big screen failed to recapture any of the series’ magic and wonder. There are a cavalcade of issues and hilariously mismanaged moments throughout the film, turning what was supposed to be the start of a new big franchise into one big punch line. Especially for a film that had a massive $125 million budget, the amount of mismanagement and failure at all corners makes it an engaging viewing for those not emotionally attached to the novels.
9 ‘Dolittle’ (2020)
The most recent adaptation of the classic veterinarian who talks to animals, Dolittle sees Dr. Dolittle in Victorian-era Britain in a slump of sadness after the death of his wife. But when the young Queen Victoria falls ill under a mysterious ailment, it becomes up to Dolittle with a group of animal companions to set sail across the sea in order to find the cure.
For the first major role that Robert Downey Jr. had after leaving the MCU with Avengers: Endgame, moviegoers frankly were expecting just about anything other than Dolittle. While the film sets itself up to be a swashbuckling adventure, too much of its focus is placed on the childish low-brow humor that comes from animal companions and their own underdeveloped quirks. What truly tows the film over the “So Bad, It’s Good” edge however is Downey Jr.’s strange performance and voice, which makes every line of dialogue unintentionally feel like a wrong take.
8 ‘Chaos Walking’ (2021)
Chaos Walking takes place on a distant planet where all the men’s thoughts are displayed out in the open for all to see in hear, in a phenomenon referred to as “the noise”. When a ship crash lands containing a young girl, Viola (played by Daisy Ridley), it’s up to Todd Hewitt (played by Tom Holland) to protect her from the dangers of the planet and his village.
From the very first scenes of Chaos Walking, you can immediately recognize the rough production and reshoots the film received, as the final product truly does feel hastily cobbled together. While Ridley and Holland have both done exceptionally well in their own mega franchises, this film gives these young stars next to nothing to work with in terms of an actual character. The result is a strange, yet beautifully terrible sci-fi hodgepodge that draws up much more questions about its world than it does answers.
7 ‘Slender Man’ (2018)
Based on the classic internet horror story, Slender Man tells the story of four high school girls who perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the stories about the mysterious Slender Man. Things begin to go wrong however when one of the four girls goes missing, leading the other girls to suspect that she may have become the Slender Man’s latest victim.
The popularity of the Slender Man character peaked between 2012 and 2014, so 4 years after the fact, Slender Man was already released well past the character’s popularity cycle. Being late to the party was the least of this film’s problems, however, as it takes what should be a simple retelling of the original Slender Man stories and removes any real tension within them. The result is a basic horror movie that doesn’t understand what was actually scary about the Slender Man, resulting in him coming across much more hilarious than he theoretically should be.
6 ‘Tall Girl 2’ (2022)
The sequel to Netflix’s original height-based teen romcom, Tall Girl 2 shows the continuing school life of Jodi and her friends now that she’s become the popular girl with a boyfriend. Although popularity isn’t what it’s cracked up to be for Jodi, and she begins to start crumbling under the continuing pressure of living up to her reputation.
The original Tall Girl was already a hilariously tone-deaf film that equated “being tall” to be a massive burden that was weighing someone down during their high school years. The sequel only continues to bring more chaos and confusion into the mix, with cheesy acting and mismatched emotional moments continuing the “So Bad, It’s Good” beauty of this series. The fact that Tall Girl 2 was able to strike the “So Bad, It’s Good” lightning twice in a way so very few “So Bad, It’s Good” sequels manage to do is genuinely admirable.
5 ‘The Fanatic’ (2019)
Directed by Limp Bizkit’s own Fred Durst, The Fanatic tells the story of Hollywood Boulevard performer Moose (played by John Travolta), an autistic man with a love for film. Moose soon gets the chance to meet his personal idol and favorite movie star, Hunter Dunbar (played by Devon Sawa), but the interaction turns sour and Dunbar lashes out at Moose. The interaction causes Moose to suffer a breakdown, and he begins to dedicate his life to destroying the life of his once hero.
Travolta is no stranger to starring in a multitude of “So Bad, It’s Good” classics, but The Fanatic might just be his “So Bad, It’s Good” magnum opus. His performance perfectly toes the line between questionably problematic and miraculous confusion that the final result is a goldmine of unintentional hilarity. The film also sports hilarious editing decisions, and another great unintentionally comedic performance from Sawa, creating a singular experience that needs to be seen to be believed.
4 ‘Moonfall’ (2022)
Moonfall is the latest disaster film from director Roland Emmerich, where Earth is in danger after a mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit and is on a crash course with the planet. It’s up to a rag-tag team of astronauts and scientists in order to go to the moon and figure out exactly why the moon fell out of orbit, and hopefully save the entire planet from destruction.
Emmerich has been making these high-budget yet low-quality disaster movies for a long time now, yet Moonfall might just be his crowning achievement in absurd insanity. For a simple premise of “the moon is falling to Earth”, the twists and places that the plot goes in order to explain this are some of the most laughable explanations ever put to Sci-fi. On top of that, there’s an overall general feeling and tone from just about everyone on screen that nobody really cares about the final product, making for a great deal of comedic mileage.
3 ‘Morbius’ (2022)
The latest film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, Morbius provides the origin story to Dr. Michael Morbius, a scientist experimenting with bat DNA in order to save his life from a debilitating disease. The testing goes wrong however, and the doctor is soon transformed into a terrifying vampire who is forced to consume blood in order to survive.
Whether it was because of multiple delays and behind-the-scenes issues or just an overestimation of the interest in Morbius as a character, the end result quickly became an internet laughingstock. Especially in a time when superhero movies are everywhere, Morbius‘s usage of overused tropes and basic plot threads comes across as so benign and lazy that it becomes hilarious. The jokes around Morbius truly wrote themselves around its release, yet the only people not in on the joke were ironically Sony themselves.
2 ‘Serenity’ (2019)
Serenity tells the story of Baker Dill, a quiet and reclusive boat captain living on the isolated Plymouth Island who garners a growing addiction to catching a legendary massive tuna fish. His quiet life is soon shaken up when his ex-wife approaches him with the proposition of murdering her new husband out on a fishing trip in exchange for $10 million.
Like many great thrillers before it, Serenity is a film defined by its game-changing twist before the third act, a twist that completely changes the entire context of the film. Without exaggeration, the twist in Serenity might just be the most insane, nonsensical, and hilarious twist ever put to film. It’s a twist that by itself is already hilarious and jarring, as well as making the entire film before and after this point equally hilarious when considering the context at hand.
1 ‘Cats’ (2019)
Based on the world-famous Broadway play, Cats provides a glimpse into the world of Jellicle cats, a tribe of humanoid cats who love to sing and dance. Every year, the cats decide a single one of them to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and return to a new Jellicle life, and the performances begin underway when the new cat Victoria enters the fray.
While the original Broadway play was notorious for being strange, the film adaptation of Cats’ implementation of visual effects and animation is unlike anything else seen on film. It’s an experience that one would assume would lose its comedic value, yet the film manages and constantly continues to one-up itself in insanity and confusion. The amount of A-List stars and massive marketing campaigns placed on a film so visually unappealing only further added to this film’s intrinsic comedic value and legendary status.
NEXT: The 10 Best So-Bad-They’re-Good Animated Movies