10 Terrible Movies That Were Actually Groundbreaking

Sometimes awful movies do something amazing.

Jason X
New Line

Hollywood understandably loves nothing more than pushing the boundaries of what movies can show us, because there's an awful lot of money in big-screen experiences you can't get anywhere else.

And when filmmaking ingenuity combines with captivating storytelling, you get all-timer groundbreaking works of cinema like Star Wars, Terminator 2, The Matrix, and yes, even Avatar.

Yet not all films which helped push cinema forward in one way or another can necessarily be great movies in of themselves.

Sometimes they break new ground in one way but don't have the basic narrative chops to back it up, ensuring that the films are really only relevant because of their innovations.

And so we come to these 10 films, each of which were received with indifference-at-best from most critics and viewers, and yet were vital in helping Hollywood carve its technological path forward to the present day.

For as bad as these films might be - and gee, a few of them really suck - they can't be entirely written off because they pulled off something truly ingenious and worthwhile, as was then adopted by the wider industry at large...

10. Howard The Duck Featured The First Digital Wire Removal In Cinema History

Jason X

Even accepting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a fair effort to "redeem" Howard the Duck, 1986's George Lucas-produced movie based on the character continues to be regarded as one of the worst movies of all time.

Yet it should get some flowers for pioneering a facet of modern filmmaking which we as audiences take completely for granted, and yet played a vital part in the production of classics such as Back to the Future Part II, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and The Matrix.

Prior to 1986, there was no visual effects process for removing wires, and so common techniques involved either painting wires to be the same colour as the background or shining a hard light on them to make them close to invisible.

But of course, this is far from a perfect process, and on higher-definition re-releases of older movies it's often quite easy to see said wires regardless.

Yet Howard the Duck was the first film in history to erase wires digitally. For the opening sequence in which Howard (Ed Gale) is launched out of his apartment, Lucasfilm created a program called Layerpaint which allowed them to paint out the offending wires frame-by-frame.

An arduous process, for sure, but the end result is absolutely seamless, no matter the film's overall quality.

As such, the technique was quickly adopted by countless other big-budget Hollywood movies, and digital wire removal is trivial enough today that it can be easily carried out on home computers.

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Jason X
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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.