There’s a certain appeal to bad movies, especially bad horror movies that are impossible to defend. There’s a charm to the campiness, and even when people are fumbling their lines or just stumbling around the set in general, there’s an earnestness to them that’s hard not to appreciate.
Yet, for all the good-bad horror flicks, there are the ones that are just bad. Most of them fall by the wayside but some find their audience, and sometimes that’s understandable. People need to see a trainwreck every once in awhile. Everyone will slow down to get a glimpse of a bad car accident. You can’t help but watch.
It’s impossible to defend these horror features. Yet we’re still drawn to them on some level, for reasons we don’t understand and probably don’t want to.
As bad as the Leprechaun franchise could be, Leprechaun Origins is just an inexcusable mess. The last thing the filmmakers had any interest in making was a Leprechaun movie, and their very clear attempt to make it better only made it so much worse. The monster couldn’t be less interesting and there’s no one to root for because all of the characters are kind of awful, both in that they’re flat and that they’re bad people. Yet people still keep checking it out, despite all the warnings.
Silent Night, Deadly Night had to have a sequel, not necessarily on the grounds of its success, but the grounds of its controversy. It was huge enough to cement its popularity. So they wanted a sequel, but they really didn’t want to make one, so at first Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 was just going to be reused footage from the first. The director was just tasked with editing old footage into a new movie. That’s why the bulk of it is done in flashback, and the present-day stuff was shot with no money over just a couple of days. It never really had a chance to be that good of a film. While it’s worth watching for the “Garbage Day” scene, the rest of it is a pretty hard act to swallow.
On a technical level, Halloween: Resurrection isn’t the worst and there are some interesting things about it. But the things about it that don’t work, they just really, really don’t work. And that’s what makes it count for this list. The web show aspect, the idea of killing off Laurie Strode right in the opening, Busta Rhymes as the protagonist and making sure that he’s the one who takes out Michael at the end. All of that leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. Thankfully, there’s Halloween (2018) as a palate cleanser.
Next Generation is a really, really bizarre movie. Kim Henkel, who co-wrote the original, basically used this opportunity to remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and fix all the things he considered to be wrong the first time. The thought process that went into this thing is so insane, that I really wish I could go back and be a fly on the wall. Just to listen. Just to hear them bring in things like robotic legs, over-the-top parody of Leatherface’s gender identity, and of course the Illuminati. This one is total insanity, and while that makes it worth a viewing, it’s still a bizarre misstep in the legacy of the franchise that is impossible to defend.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Birdemic isn’t even the fun sort of bad. It doesn’t feel like the Asylum rip off of The Birds because that would probably be more interesting. I don’t know how this has gotten the following that it has. It’s about as bad as it gets and it’s impossible to defend. Even many no-budget horrors shot over the course of a day managed to be more interesting. The birds here are the kind of CGI that even Windows 95 would be ashamed of.
Troll 2 is absolutely worth a watch. It’s so bad that it’s a beautiful disaster. Nothing about it works, but everything fails in perfect harmony. No one scene is better or worse than any other. There’s synchronicity in Troll 2. The part where it gets inexcusable is when you consider not only how many people have seen it but how many times they’ve seen it. Troll 2 has fans. When you watch a bad movie over and over and over again, there’s a point where you have to admit to yourself that you might actually like something about it.