Top 5: Movies So Bad, They’re Good

William Sikich

(5.) “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny” (1972)

This is an old holiday favorite of mine starring America’s beloved and totally sane Christmas mascot, the Ice Cream Bunny. You’ve heard of him, haven’t you? Haven’t you? Frankly, I’m not sure the director has, considering the Ice Cream Bunny only appears for about ten tractor-toting minutes at the very end of the film and seems to possess no meaningful connection to ice cream, Santa, or Christmas in general. I put this one at number five because, while adequately entertaining to appreciate with some easy going friends, I know some of our readers might have too much dignity to make it all the way through this marvelous medley of holiday confusion.

(4.)  “No Retreat, No Surrender” (1986)

Everybody likes “The Karate Kid”, right? Well, what about if instead of wise old Mr. Miyagi teaching Ralph Macchio how-to, on and off, the deceased Bruce Lee backflipped out of his grave to do the job? That’s right, this movie actually has some guy playing the ghost of Bruce Lee, who teaches a Macchio-like character to face off against the fully grown Russian man that drove his father out of the notoriously cutthroat strip mall karate studio business. This one’s a winner for me because, not only is it one of the strangest martial arts films I’ve ever seen, but it actually pulls off a somewhat compelling story. “No Retreat, No Surrender” is definitely worth giving a shot if you’re looking to have some laughs but not feel too disconnected from the film you’re watching.

(3.) “Hobgoblins” (1988)

This film is among the campiest and weirdest of the 80s horror movie knockoff genre. Clearly an attempt to ride the fame wave of “Gremlins,” “Hobgoblins” features one of the most unlikable casts of empty-headed characters I’ve ever witnessed and perhaps the fakest movie monsters of all time. The director clearly intended for some parts to land as comedic; that much is obvious. They don’t, but this makes the movie funnier than most comedies of its time, in my opinion. You’ll find love, puppets, and old men with sentient eyebrows in “Hobgoblins,” now temporarily available in its MST3K-treated form on Netflix and forever on YouTube.

(2.) “Space Mutiny” (1988)

Yet another fame-grasping knockoff from 1988, Space Mutiny hits home in a different way for me. I loved Star Wars as a kid and watching this movie actually brought back some favorable memories of those times. Still, it’s god-awful and deserves all the humorous appreciation you and your friends can dish out. While not meant to be a comedy, the film contains some real laugh-out-loud moments for me that never fail to make me cackle like Kalgan, the movie’s primary antagonist. I thoroughly enjoy myself each time I choose to watch this movie, and I hope you will too. The protagonist screams, the villain chortles uncontrollably, and plot collapses in “Space Mutiny.”

(1.) “Samurai Cop” (1991)

At the most prestigious top of my list of movies to watch with your funniest friends, I have placed the timeless classic, “Samurai Cop.” Every single scene in this movie fails miserably, and I can sincerely tell our readers that this is possibly my favorite movie of all time. “Samurai Cop” tells the story of Joe Marshall, a San Diego cop inexplicably working as a samurai in L.A., as he shoots and stabs his way through an entire gang of criminals, swiftly blowing the brains out of anyone who even vaguely opposes him. You know, like a samurai. In fact, not a single perp makes it into holding alive, as Joe’s honorable duties as a samurai and a police officer oblige him to murder every single criminal he encounters. Is he a samurai? Not really. Is he a cop? Not a very good one. And yet, I submit to you, dear reader, that you will love “Samurai Cop.”