e. magill's                        

The Unapologetic Geek


Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies - Page 2


I didn't put a lot of horror on this list (or any comedy, really), because it's just too subjective. There are quite a few bad, low-budget horror movies that I enjoy watching, like Quarantine and Cube, but low-budget horror is a strange genre in that it rarely tries to take itself seriously. Horror is probably the most self-aware genre in all of cinema, so a horror movie almost by definition can't be objectively terrible. Most of the time, it embraces the things that make it terrible, knowing full well that it's doing so.

Having said that, I would have a hard time admitting in public that I am a huge fan of The Blair Witch Project, a movie that the Internet decided long ago to universally despise. Sure, it started a whole sub-genre of horror--the found footage thing that can be seen in everything from Paranormal Activity 47: Now with iPhone Cameras to Apollo 18, a serious contender for worst horror movie ever produced--but nobody seems to respect that, since it is generally agreed that found-footage horror movies are just cheap exploitation (as though high-budget horror like The Last Exorcism, Part II isn't, somehow). But you know what? I think The Blair Witch Project is really clever and effective, and it nails the psychology of horror like few other movies do, even though the acting is admittedly pretty bad. So I don't put The Blair Witch Project on this list because I think it's a terrible movie; rather, I put it here because I think it's a great movie, but I know my opinion is in the extreme minority.

Best scene:

I admit the acting is pretty bad, but really, this is how young twenty-somethings really behave


I recognize that this is the third Asian movie on my list. While it doesn't have the ridiculous clichés of Hard Boiled or the batshit schitzophrenia of Godzilla: Final Wars, Riki-Oh: The Story of Riki earns its place on this list, not because of its highly reduntant title, but because of how unapologetically gory it is. Some of you might know this movie for the very quick viral shot of a man getting his head exploded between the fists of another, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

One should not enjoy this movie without feeling guilty about it, because it is truly awful. I don't mean awful as in bad; I mean awful as in tasteless, though Riki-Oh: The Story of Riki is pretty bad too. The only reason this isn't considered an NC-17 snuff-style film is that the special effects are really fake, but no matter how unrealistic it looks, it's still shouldn't be pleasant to watch a man try to strangle another man with his small intestine. And yet, it is. Oh, it so is!

Best scene:

You've got a lot of guts, indeed, Oscar


That thing I said about horror movies being self-aware is readily apparent in Arachnophobia, a movie that accepts its own ridiculousness and runs with it. I think it qualifies as a guilty pleasure because, at the end of the day, even though it wants to be a low-budget horror comedy, this film fails and becomes a very effective horror masterpiece. Maybe it's because I hate spiders so much, but man, you just cannot make super-deadly spider hordes funny (unless you make them enormous).

This movie tries so hard to be cheeky, and its masterful inclusion of John Goodman as the questionably sane exterminator is the closest it gets to accomplishing what it wants, but by the climax, when you have a family trying to escape a house that is literally swarming with thousands of seemingly intelligent and malevolent spiders, you're shitting your pants out of terror, not laughter. I love this movie, but for days after watching it, I am hyper-sensitive to even a slight breeze against my leg, because I just know it's one of those damned killer spiders.

Best scenes:

This is a highlight reel, set to Nine Inch Nails, because why not?


The most recent movie on this list, Lockout still deserves my glowing review of it. Make no mistakes: this is a cheese-fest, full of stupid characters, bad effects, corny dialogue, and a story that was probably conceived by a ten-year-old. It's about a riot in a space prison that involves the president's daughter being taken hostage. The only thing that redeems this Sy-Fy-Channel-worthy plot is Guy Pearce's commitment to playing an amalgamation of every American action movie anti-hero from the last fifty years.

Ever since I bought the DVD last year, I've watched the movie at least half a dozen times, and I still love it just as much. The problem isn't that nobody else appreciates it the way I do, but that nobody else seems to have even seen it. I made my wife watch it, but other than that, I don't know of anybody on planet Earth who knows about Lockout. You owe it to yourself to see this wonderful, crappy movie.

Best scene:

If the opening five minutes don't sell you, I don't think the rest of the movie will


I know it's considered uncouth to use the word "retarded" in everyday conversation, but I can think of no word that more accurately describes the film adaptation of Resident Evil, a movie so bad it makes a cheesy Japanese video game about a zombie virus seem well-written by comparison. I don't just mean that the movie is stupid--it is, of course, but that almost goes without writing--but that it's so bad it crosses a boundary into a realm where you must ask exactly how much brain damage the filmmakers suffered from. It's like they wrote the entire script late one night after playing the first ten minutes of the game and then skimming the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, and then they burned it before the cast and crew could see their work.

It's more than that, too. The "acting" is overearnest and confused, like the editors picked the absolute worst take of every scene, and the "effects" are about as convincing as Ghost Hunters. Then there's the action scenes, full of overbearing music and oddly-paced slow-motion shots as people do physics-defying kung fu against zombie dogs for some reason. Oh, and did I mention the plot twists?! I mean, just wow. So why do I like this movie? I have no idea, but I do. I even like the objectively-worse-believe-it-or-not sequels, God help me.

Best scene:

He said "checkmate," because they're going into the "Red Queen Chamber," and I bet the writer thought this was clever

Page     1     2

-e. magill 10/29/2013


Copyright 2013 e. magill. All rights reserved.