Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
Sample Review Excerpt: “Horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible.” — Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
Why You Should See It — No movie will test your endurance for terribleness the way that Manos does. Turn it on a 2 a.m. with a group of friends. The first person who falls asleep gets bludgeoned. The only movie-viewing experience I’ve ever had that was more miserable was Zardoz.
Sample Review Excerpt: “Not even Zap2it likes Zapped!” Michael Szymanski, Zap2it.com
Why You Should See It: To see Scott Baio and Willie Aames team up before Charles in Charge in a terrible precursor to the Scary Movie parodies. It was a box-office failure, but Zapped! gained such a huge cult following as a bad movie that it generated a sequel.
Staying Alive (1983)
Sample Review Excerpt: — “So horrific are the musical sequences in this movie that you’ll swear you were having nightmares directed by Satan himself.” — Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide
Why You Should See It: — Because it was directed and co-written by Sylvester Stallone. Because it was the sequel to Saturday Night Fever. Because it’s actually worse than Battlefield Earth. Because EW has called it the “worst sequel ever,” and The Razzie founder named it one of the most enjoyably bad movies of all time.
Johnny Be Good (1988)
Sample Review Excerpt: “The people who made this movie should be ashamed of themselves.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Why You Should See It: Because of the absurdity of watching a FOOTBALL comedy starring Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey, Jr. and Uma Thurman (in her screen debut). And because it also stars Robert Downey, Sr. Also, it’s really not that bad. Judas Priest covers Chuck Berry’s “Johnny Be Good”! How can you not appreciate that?
Mac and Me (1988)
Sample Review Excerpt: “Quite possibly one of the worst movies of the past 435 years.” — Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic
Why You Should See It: Because it’s both an unabashed McDonald’s commercial and a terrible E.T. rip-off. Plus, you’ll appreciate Paul Rudd’s outstanding running gag even more.
Wagons East! (1994)
Sample Review Excerpt: “With credits that include such garbage as Hot Dog… The Movie, director and former hockey player Peter Markle displays an utter lack of comic sensibility.” — Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
Why You Should See It: Because it was so bad, it killed John Candy (too soon?) But seriously, it was the last movie that John Candy filmed, and any John Candy completist should muddle through out of admiration for him. Also, because it’s been named the worst Western of all time. Oh, and because Dr. Cox plays a gay cowboy bookseller.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
Sample Review Excerpt: “Sadistic: Gratuitous Vs. Arbitrary.” Todd Gilchrist, FilmStew
Why You Should See It: Because it is joyless and terrible, and there is nothing redeemable about it, even as a so-bad it’s good movie, and because you hate yourself. Also, because — among all the 0 percent movies on Rotten Tomatoes — it is by far the most sampled.
Surfer, Dude (2008)
Sample Review Excerpt: — “The film looks more like a collection of home movies as opposed to a professional piece of cinema.” Ben Lyons, At the Movies
Why You Should See It: Just for the juxtaposition of seeing Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson team up in one of the worst movies of the 21st century when, only five years later, they were starring in one of the best television dramas of the 21st century.
Sample Review Excerpt: “Undefeated” Palin did a fine job of making her fans feel like losers with this abortive trial balloon/infomercial. Losers and suckers.” — Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Why You Should See It: Schadenfreude.
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011)
Sample Review Excerpt: “This is the Tom Brady who made The Hot Chick and The Comebacks, not the Tom Brady who plays football, although who’s to say which of them is better at making movies?” Eric D. Snider, EricSnider.com
Why You Should See It: — Because, as A.O. Scott at the NYTimes notes, Bucky is so bad that it “may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in.” And because of the beautiful irony of Nick Swardson’s defense of the movie in the face of terrible reviews: “They go in with the mentality ‘fuck these guys for making another movie.’ They go in there to kind of headhunt. It makes me laugh because it’s just so embarrassing. It makes them look like such morons.”
Yes, Nick. It makes critics look like morons. In related news: Here’s 20 Things I Saw While Watching Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star That I Will Never Be Able to Unsee