Full-disclosure: When I sat down to write this article, I wasn’t as sure of its premise as I thought I’d be, so I began by defining the two pivotal terms. “Cliche” was easy. It’s objective and based on empirical evidence. “Terrible” is much more subjective and open to discussion. On more than one occasion, several people have tried to convince me Citizen Kane is actually terrible. And, depending on your mood, Plan 9 from Outer Space might be a more rewarding watch than The Maltese Falcon. This brings me to my point:
Every once in a while a terrible movie is great fun to watch.
In light of this, I’ve tried to treat the notion of a “terrible” movie as empirically as possible. The result, I hope, is a collection of films that are a joy to watch despite being tremendously flawed and cliched. Some of them are entertaining because they’re successful, others work accidentally because they are not.
Be sure to leave your favorite “terrible” movies in the comments if you feel I’ve left any out.
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