This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is so-bad-it's-good. We all know these films. These are the movies that are really, really bad... except that ends up somehow having the reverse effect, becoming entertaining because of how ridiculous they are. I've seen a few of those, so now I just have to put together a list of options.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
I'm not sure how much I have to explain here. It is a movie that literally revolves around Martians kidnapping Santa Claus because their children like our television programs. It is hard to get more ridiculous than that. Part of the fun, I found, however, is that the film almost seemed to be aware of its status as a b-movie. The filmmakers probably went into this knowing there was no way they could ever make a good movie, so they just worked to make it as ridiculous as possible. Between the terrible special effects such as the "polar bear" and the odd developments in the narrative, this is not exactly a film one should expect to find any deep interest in. The funny thing is that as bad as the rest of the movie is, they actually found a really good actor to play Santa Claus.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Out of the Indiana Jones films, The Temple of Doom is definitely the weakest as far as story goes. It is also the strangest in just how much it departs from the style of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The overall tone is actually ridiculous and over the top, even for Indiana Jones. As soon as you see the infamous dinner sequence, you can pretty much forget about taking the rest of the film seriously. (this is after all the film with a literal mine cart chase) Normally I would object to a character like Willie, but her distressed damsel qualities are so overdone it almost feels more like a parody of the archetype (even Indy gets frustrated with it). Then of course there's Short Round (Indy's "old friend" who is never seen or mentioned again after this film) whose acting is not up to standard either. The funny thing is that the film's problems almost become its greatest strengths, because it's hard not to laugh at just the insane directions the story manages to go.
The Room (2003)
Okay, I know this is a more obvious one, but it's hard not to bring up Tommy Wiseau's strange film when we are discussing so-bad-it's good. It is one of those movies where anyone watching it is left to wonder what kind of thought processes went into making it. Aside from strange technical decisions, most of the cast displays some very strange behavior, perhaps most obvious in the infamous sequence where they spontaneously decide to run into an alley and throw a football around while wearing tuxedos. Then of course, there are also the strange sub-plots that come out of nowhere and then get forgotten, such as Claudette's breast cancer or Denny's drug problem (both of which are randomly introduced once and then never mentioned again).