There’s nothing I love more than a good film. Wait, that’s totally not true. Don’t get me wrong; while I enjoy the works of the true artists—the Tarantinos, Coens, Malicks, and Godards, if you will—the truth is that when I flop down on my couch to watch a few movies on a lazy weekend full of June gloom, I don’t want to be challenged, unless that challenge is to come up with the best heckles and pot shots I can for whatever terrible movie I happen to be screening.
My boyfriend doesn’t really get this, I think. I’m pretty sure he thinks I actually like Burlesque. Why else would I watch it twice? Because if you blink you’ll miss a movie cliche, dude. Gotta catch ‘em all! The film brilliantly manages to include pretty much every a-star-is-born trope in the history of films featuring small town girls who dream of seeing their names in lights. Add to that the “I’ve Still Got It!” Cher number unapologetically shoehorned into the third act, Cam Gigandet’s constantly exposed abs, and Christina Aguilera’s unique talent for making a pair of $2,000 shoes look cheap, and you’ve got pretty much the perfect movie to heckle. It’s second only to the best bad movie ever: Showgirls.
I will watch the shit out of Showgirls every time it’s on, even if it’s on a basic cable network – nay, especially when it’s on a basic cable network. Somehow, the powers that be managed to make the perfect bad movie in more perfecter by pasting computer generated bras over the exposed boobs in every shot while punctuating Elizabeth Berkley’s, uh, nuanced performance with obvious and inartful overdubs to replace her crasser dialogue. The only thing that makes the safe-for-basic-cable version inferior is that it does not include the World’s Unsexiest Pool Sex Scene. Both versions, however, include my two favorite parts: the one where Berkley eats french fries angrily, and the one where she says Versayce.
However, not all bad movies are fun to watch. I recently sat down to deliberately watch Sucker Punch. Having read numerous reviews panning it, I was more than a little delighted to fire off a bunch of hilarious tweets to my tens of adoring fans. Yet, about 20 minutes into the film, I realized that its existence was too appalling to even joke about. Weeks later, I still can’t articulate what it is about this film, but it ended up being the most depressing bad movie experience I’ve ever had, except that one time I sat down to hate on Life As We Knew It with Katherine Heigl.
I wish I could say I have landed upon the formula for the perfect bad movie, but it’s mostly trial and error. I will say that Sarah Jessica Parker films are usually really good for this, especially both Sex and the City films and the epically bad I Don’t Know How She Does It. The entire Twilight series is a gift from the heckler gods (who look suspiciously like The Muppet Show‘s Waldorf and Statler). Recording artists’ vanity films like Prince’s Purple Rain, Madonna’s Swept Away, and Britney Spears’s Crossroads (and, I guess Xtina’s Burlesque fits in this category as well) are also a good bet. And I have a very special spot in my heart saved for any movie where Keanu Reeves tries to convince the world that he’s, like, a rilly good actor.
I know I’m not alone in this pastime. For example, MamaPop’s own Sweetney and kdiddy also enjoy heckling bad movies in their spare time. And so, dear readers – have any favorite bad movies I can add to my queue?