Why Do We Love 'So Bad They're Good' Movies?

Oh hi, Fstoppers readers. Do you have any guilty pleasure movies — films you know are bad that you still enjoy anyway? Ever wonder why it is you enjoy them in spite of their questionable style, dialogue, acting, and/or execution? This great video essay examines why some movies are so bad they're good and how good films take advantage of their hilariously bad qualities.

There are bad bad movies, and then there are good bad movies. This video essay from Now You See It examines the idea of camp and how it (or elements thereof) can make movies that fly in the face of generally accepted technique and style actually good. In fact, you might be surprised to learn just how often good movies employ those techniques to their advantage. I personally find the effective usage of campy elements to be a demonstration of real mastery of the medium, because it takes such calculated precision to do so in a manner that doesn't inadvertently make a good film bad and yet still adds something that couldn't have been achieved with more traditional rules and methods. Do you have any favorite "so bad they're good" movies? Share them in the comments! 

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12 Comments

I don't understand the inclusion of a historical drama (The Princess Bride) in this video. They even explained in the movie, it's based on a non-fiction history, written by S. Morgenstern. ;-)

Alex Cooke's picture

Touché. :)

I love that movie! I've never seen any of the others. It would have been nice if they'd given titles but I guess everyone else is familiar with them. As you can guess from my comments, I don't get out or socialize much. :-)

Alex Cooke's picture

Definitely check out "The Room." It's the ultimate so bad it's good movie. :)

Umm... It's apparently about a guy's girlfriend cheating on him with his best friend and rated R. Can you recommend something a little more G or PG-rated? I've lived through enough misery. It isn't entertaining to me. :-(

Alex Cooke's picture

The misery is so campy that I would hardly call it misery-inducing in the viewer, plus I think the rating is mostly for sex, but let me think about PG campy movies. My guess is some 50s B stuff would be a good bet, maybe "Plan 9 From Outer Space"?

Okay. I'll try that. Thanks.

Alex Cooke's picture

Let me know if you like it!

Andrew Feller's picture

Pretty much any mid-evil fantasy movie on Netflix... there are a pair of them based of the Dungeon Siege video game... in fact to guarantee a bad movie base it off a video game

steve the lacky's picture

whats the movie with the guy with the long black hair that sounds like a dubbed over ???

Peter Mabli's picture

"The Room". It's marvelously awful. There's a new movie coming out about the creation of the movie called "The Disaster Artist".

Paulo Macedo's picture

Well, last saturday i saw this movie called The Fog.
At the end i was like "2 hours of my life wasted", but it was fun to watch lol one of the worst horror flicks i've ever seen.
The boat windows explode...later there's a shot of the boat, guess what, the windows even shine at the camera lol the main character, female, at the end becomes a ghost (spolers lol), but through the whole movie you just know that she has dreams about a person drowning, no hints whatsoever on what kind of relationship she has with the whole thing, kisses the ghost in the mouth and BAMMM a ghost lol
The old lady dies in this "clogged up kitchen sink commercial" scene, and somehow instead of being in shock, my girlfriend starts to laugh.
But The Room wins this Oscar category lol