10 Genius Moments In Otherwise Irredeemable Films

Like diamonds in an extremely rough turd.

superman 3 bar
Warner Bros.

Most filmmakers don't set out to make terrible movies, but it still happens more often than most folks would prefer. (Unless you're one of those people who loves watching schlock in an ironic way. In which case...boy do I have a list for you!)

There's no one specific reason that a movie turns out terribly. Miscast actors, lazy directors, a rushed production schedule, or a poorly-written screenplay can all contribute to the derailing of a film before it ever gets into the editing room. Or sometimes - as is the case with many of the films listed here - it's a perfect storm of all those things and more.

But even the worst movies occasionally show flashes of potential. These are professional filmmakers behind the camera, after all. There can still be moments of genius buried under the rubble of bewilderingly bad movies. Finding them, though, is often an exercise in sadomasochism.

These scenes are so magnificent that they almost redeem the piles of hot garbage surrounding them. Like a neglected child, we just wish they could be picked up and transplanted into a better home.

10. Gamer - I've Got You Under My Skin

Masters Of The Universe Skeletor

From the creators of Crank comes another high-concept action movie, this time starring Gerard Butler as a death row convict being used as a character in a real life video game. If that premise sounds amazing, prepare to be woefully disappointed.

Gamer had boundless potential. The concept could have resulted in the perfect blend of 80s action flicks and postmodern psychological thrillers, but instead it bleeds into a kind of amorphous blob of incoherent action sequences and pseudo-dystopia, with neither aspect really getting its due.

The movie's worst sin, however, is wasting an opportunity to utilize Michael C. Hall - still in the prime of Dexter-dom - as the charismatic villain. Hall can absorb all the menace in the room and still come out the other end charming as hell, but the script didn't allow for that talent to find much breathing room.

Except in a dance routine/group battle that comes completely out of left field. Set to Sammy Davis Jr.'s snap-heavy rendition of "I've Got You Under My Skin", a silhouetted Hall introduces himself and his horde of underlings with exaggerated pantomimes and some appropriately old-timey dance moves. The fight scene that follows is the best in the movie by a mile.

More wonderfully strange moments like this could have saved Gamer from becoming the sluggish shoot-em-up it became.

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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.