- Warner Bros.
- Whether they have a cult following or simply found new life as an unintentional comedy, many horror films are considered to be so bad, they’re good.
- “The Wicker Man” (2006) was panned by audiences as a thriller but appreciated as an unintentional comedy.
- “Maximum Overdrive” (1986) has been called bad and entertaining.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
From terrible-yet-earnest acting and poorly written scripts to low-budget effects and incoherent editing, some movies have gone so far over the line of being bad that they are actually masterpieces in the world of cult classics.
Here are nine horror movies that are so bad, they’re good.
“Pieces” (1982) is a Spanish-American slasher that’s been panned, but it’s also been called a “treasure.”
- Almena Films
One of the many tag lines for this Spanish-American slasher seemingly tells you everything you need to know: “It’s exactly what you think it is.”
The film starts with a boy putting together a puzzle of a naked woman. When his mother interrupts, he kills her and then hides until the police show up so that he can make up a story about a home invasion. Fast forward a few decades and there is a killer with a chainsaw on the loose, but who could it be?
Although the film was panned by critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, many appreciated it for being so terrible. As AV Club critic Alex McLevy wrote in his review, “Pieces” is an “underseen treasure.”
“Maximum Overdrive” (1986) has been called bad and entertaining.
- De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG)
Written and directed by famed horror writer Stephen King, “Maximum Overdrive” has been panned by critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
Loosely based on King’s short story “Trucks,” this horror film stars Emilio Estevez as a diner cook named Bill. A passing comet animates trucks and other machines, which then attempt to kill all humans. It’s up to Estevez’s character and a group of strangers who are stranded at a truck stop to find a way to stop the uprising.
“TerrorVision” (1986) has been panned by many … but it has a loyal following.
- Empire Pictures
“TerrorVision” is a film about an alien garbage monster that gets beamed to a family’s home thanks to their massive satellite dish. The film is over-the-top in every way possible and it features some seemingly out-of-place subplots about the parents being swingers and the kids trying to befriend with the creature with music and TV dinners.
Back when the film was first released, The New York Times‘ critic Janet Maslin that the film’s style was “smugly stupid” and said that as a whole it was “noisly campy without being the least bit clever.”
“Uninvited” (1988) has been dubbed “the ultimate good bad movie” by some.
- Heritage Entertainment Inc.
What’s scarier than a killer cat? A killer science-experiment cat that lives inside the throat of a normal cat and only comes out when it or someone it likes is threatened. Such is the premise of this film.
The movie’s practical effects by Debi and Jim Boulden have been praised and are often considered to be one of the only good parts of this cult-favorite film. That said, many audiences have called this flick the “ultimate good bad movie” and “so bad, it’s a hoot!”
“Silent Night, Deadly Night 2” (1987) has been celebrated for being awful.
- Silent Night Releasing Corporation
“Silent Night, Deadly Night 2” follows an individual as he explains how he became a killer after his brother died.
Dubbed a staple in the holiday-horror genre by some, this film has been widely celebrated for its “sheer awfulness.” For starters, it reuses a decent amount of footage from the previous film, which was released three years prior, making it seem more like a recap than an actual sequel.
In the years since its release, the film has garnered quite a cult following and its lead actor Eric Freeman’s famous line “It’s garbage day” has since become an iconic horror-movie quote thanks to his wide-eyed delivery of it.
“Leprechaun” (1993) has been called unintentionally hilarious.
- Trimark Pictures
The film stars Jennifer Aniston (much to her embarrassment) in her film debut and features Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun who is aggressively trying to get his gold back from someone who’s taken it. Along the way, he speaks in rhyme, occasionally rides a tricycle, and is a bit obsessed with cleaning dirty shoes.
“Seed of Chucky” (2004) has been dubbed absurd but entirely worth watching.
- Rogue Pictures
One of the lowest-rated movies in the “Chucky” franchise, this ultra-campy sequel to “Bride of Chucky” continues the story of the possessed killer doll and his bride as they welcome a new addition to their dysfunctional family: Glen.
Franchise creator and writer and first-time director Don Mancini has been complimented for tackling some serious gender-identity issues in “Seed of Chucky” but, alas, that wasn’t enough to save this film.
As critic Roger Ebert wrote, the film is “actually two movies, one wretched, the other funny,” adding that it is “a movie to be seen on television. Free television.”
“The Wicker Man” (2006) was panned by audiences as a thriller but appreciated as an “unintentional comedy.”
- Warner Bros
“The Wicker Man” is a well-received film from 1973 that critics and audiences praised. But the classic thriller about a girl who goes missing on a remote island was later remade in 2006, with actor Nicolas Cage as its lead.
Much to the delight and horror of audiences, this film was nothing like the original in terms of quality. The 2006 remake was ripped apart by critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes as a thriller but lauded as an “unintentional comedy.”
Its delightful terribleness has even sparked memes, including one about Cage’s character famously fighting against bees.
“Basket Case” (1982) is a cult-favorite film that many critics have said is “fun” to watch.
- Basket Case Productions
Frank Henenlotter’s “Basket Case” is a B-movie from the early ’80s that’s about a man named Duane who carries his deformed, formerly conjoined twin around in a wicker basket. He and his twin are on a mission to get revenge on the doctor who separated them and threw the monstrous brother away.
“I cringed at how shabby some of it is, but I also realize that it’s that shabbiness that audiences enjoy,” Henenlotter said about the film’s legacy in a 2014 interview with Westword.