Sure, you can use Rotten Tomatoes to find the next Oscar contenders or brilliant indie films. Or, the Tomatometer can help you find the movies so horrible they transcend into something great. As you’re watching IFC’s “Too Rotten To Miss” movies every Friday, here are a few more spectacular failures to add to your “must see” list.
1. The Room
It’s hard to believe there was ever a time that Tommy Wiseau’s “so-bad-it’s-good” phenomenon was just a small low-budget film that played at a handful of theaters in 2003. The Room has since taken on a life of its own as a cult classic thanks to laughable acting, highly quoteable dialogue (“You’re tearing me aparrrt!“) and a director/writer/star who has been described as a “21st Century Ed Wood.”
2. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
If you can’t get the Beatles to play themselves, what band would be the next best thing? Why, the Bee Gees of course! This nonsensical disaster has Peter Frampton and the “Stayin’ Alive” group (as the Lonely Hearts Club Band) travel around to find their missing magical instruments. It also features a girl resurrected from the dead, Billy Preston playing a weather vane, and Alice Cooper as a floating head. But all that Beatles music must be great, right? Well, when it’s sung by Halloween star Donald Pleasence, Steve Martin, and a pair of robots, even the Beatles loses it luster. This movie is so crazy, it must be seen. Just have the original album of Sgt. Pepper’s at the ready to get George Burn’s rendition of “Fixing a Hole” out of your head.
3. Manos: The Hands of Fate
It’s not surprising to find this film came from the mind of an El Paso fertilizer salesman on a dare. The confusing tale of mysterious master with a coven of wives was written/directed/produced by Hal Warren. Warren, already familiar with working with poo, bet a screenwriter friend that making a movie was so easy, even he could do it. Luckily, he got a lot of help from his friend Tom Neyman, an artist and community theater actor. Neyman was so helpful, he created all the props and costumes for the film, got his daughter and dog to be in it, and had the perfect mustache to play the villainous lead. Made famous through Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, Manos: Hands of Fate has a cult following that recently funded a Kickstarter campaign to make Manos Returns. So, get your handprint mumus and enslaved wives ready, cause Manos’ hands are not done with fate.
4. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
This sequel to the 1984 holiday horror favorite has earned a cult following thanks to a hilariously bad performance from lead Eric Freeman. The moment when Ricky (Freeman) shoots a neighbor and yells “Garbage Day!” has taken on a new life as a popular Internet meme.
In the last 25 years, nothing has stopped careers in their tracks like Showgirls. Though it’s a film most known for the super high boobs-per-minute ratio, it’s actually very entertaining. Because it’s completely insane. Much of it is too obscene to mention here, but Showgirls at the very least is full of surprises. If nothing else, Google the pool scene to witness the majestic madness that is Elizabeth Berkley as “dancer”/stripper Nomi Malone.
6. The Legend of the Titanic
The Legend of the Titanic is an Italian animated film that tried to ride the coattails of the far more successful Titanic a few years too late. Instead of focusing on class issues at the turn of the century and a love for the ages, Legend tells the story of a bunch of mice and evil sharks, and ends with whales and a weird-looking octopus actually saving every single person on the sinking ship. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, please watch the clip above for one of the most abrupt and bizarre musical numbers of all time.
There have been a lot of vampire movies, but have there been any films about vampires that can ROCK? Sadly, yes. Rockula is a “comedy” about a vampire cursed to watch his love be killed over and over, but also he becomes a rock star. It has rare film roles for Toni Basil of “Mickey” fame and Thomas “She Blinded Me With Science” Dolby. Since it was made in 1990, it also features a horrible rap song. So, if you’re sad that True Blood and Twilight are over, you can settle for a rockin’, rappin’ Drac to haunt your dreams.
8. Troll 2
With a whopping 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Troll 2 has earned a cult following amongst bad movie aficionados thanks to its cheap special effects, amateurish acting, and bizarre lack of trolls. Ostensibly a sequel to the 1986 horror film Troll, Troll 2 inspired the documentary Best Worst Movie, which details the many production problems that can occur when you have an American cast and an Italian crew who doesn’t speak English.
9. Can’t Stop the Music
Another hit band of the ’70s makes the list with Can’t Stop the Music, the Village People’s one and only film. Starring Caitlyn Jenner back when she was known as Bruce Jenner and Steve Guttenberg, this movie features a lot of cut-off shorts and not a lot of plot. There’s a song that tells you how to make a milkshake and why milkshakes are great. This movie is so odd, you can’t look away and you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the Village People. Well, maybe not appreciation, but you’ll be able to name their repertoire outside of “YMCA.”
10. The Apple
The Apple is the movie that makes Xanadu look like Singin’ in the Rain. Made by the notoriously awful Cannon Films, this 1980 sci-fi musical brings us to the terrifying future of 1994. An evil music corporation runs the world and our heroes are lured into their scheme. The songs are perfectly bad/good with a Deus Ex Machina ending that literally falls out of the sky. If you love rotten movies, this is one of the all time greats. So, go ahead and take a bite of The Apple…if you dare!
Catch “too rotten to miss” movies every Friday on IFC!