Movies That Are So Terrible They Became Awesome

Schadenfreude is the sense of joy that you feel after witnessing the misfortune of others, like when you watch Chris Farley fall on a coffee table in an old SNL sketch, or when you watch a filmmaker fail spectacularly at crafting a movie they thought was just the best. The result, as we're about to show, is often unintentional comedy gold.

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987)

Jon Mikl Thor is a former Canadian bodybuilder-turned-rocker. In the late 1980s, he unwisely decided to add acting to his resume, by starring in a few low-budget horror movies. Most notable among them: the ironically titled Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare. In it, Thor and his band sequester at a remote cabin near Toronto to practice their tunes. The only problem: the cabin is ... haunted? Possessed? Well, something is going on. If you love cheesy KISS-inspired rock and poor special effects, then Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare is for you. The undisputed highlight of the movie is the the climax between Thor and the Devil himself, one of the most hilarious scenes ever put to film.

The Giant Claw (1957)

Here's a classic from the heyday of giant monster movies. The Giant Claw is a fairly standard '50s monster flick, until you see the killer bird itself. The marionette of the Giant Claw is one of the worst special effects ever conceived. We're not sure what the filmmakers were thinking when they came up with the head of the beast. It looks like someone placed it too close to a heat lamp and melted it, but the director decided to just go with it and pray people wouldn't notice. People did.

Birdemic (2010)

Former software salesman-turned-filmmaker James Nguyen is a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock. He's such a fan, in fact, he decided to essentially remake Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) on a shoestring budget. The resulting effort, Birdemic, is incompetent on just about every level. The lead actor is so wooden, he may very well be a robot trying to mimic human emotions. The killer birds themselves fare little better, as they're essentially animated GIFs superimposed on the screen. For some reason, these birds also explode, spew corrosive vomit, and sound like fighter planes from World War II. Most obnoxious, however, is the pretentious (and misguided) environmental message that Nguyen included in the movie. Truly, Birdemic is so bad, it's almost art.

Sleepwalkers (1992)

Sleepwalkers is based on an unpublished short story by horror author Stephen King. After watching the movie, we understand why the story never got published. In fact, we're going to go out on a limb and conclude that King likely wrote this during a drug-induced haze. The titular sleepwalkers are a mother and son team, who are also shape-shifting cat-people. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. They're virtually immortal, but must feed upon the souls of virgins to survive. Also, the bites and scratches of normal cats are toxic to the sleepwalkers — in fact, domestic house cats actively hunt them. The whole movie is just brilliantly insane, including how the director somehow pulled cameos from high-profile actors like Ron Perlman and Mark Hamill, and horror author Clive Barker. King himself even makes an appearance. Why are any of them in this? Maybe they took drugs too.

The Uninvited (1988)

Want more terrible cats? Here's The Uninvited. The villain is seemingly a zombie cat that lives inside a large, orange tabby. The Garfield-wielding monstrosity escapes from a government lab, and winds up on a boat heading toward the Cayman Islands. In true horror movie tradition, the boat is filled with dumb teenagers who the poisonous cat picks off one-by-one. The movie also stars Oscar-winning actor, George Kennedy, who presumably had some major gambling debts to pay down. The best scene is when the cat kills two bubba-rednecks in a pick-up truck — if you look closely, you can see the puppeteer's arm as the cat reaches in to bite its victims.

The Room (2003)

The Room is theoretically a drama, but director Tommy Wiseau's incompetence turns it into a full-fledged comedy. Wiseau wrote, financed, and starred in the film as Johnny, whose life is seemingly great until he discovers his fiancee Lisa is cheating on him with his best friend Mark. It sounds like a pedestrian drama, but it turns totally ludicrous through bad acting, nonsensical scenes, and atrocious dialogue. Plus, Wiseau's heavily-accented English will elicit chuckles from even the most pensive audience members. This isn't even to mention the subplots that go nowhere, like the briefly-mentioned-but-never-followed-up-on revelation that Lisa's mom has breast cancer. Wiseau also subjects the audience to three excruciatingly long sex scenes. Personally, we've seen sexier episodes of The 700 Club.

Local arthouse theaters often show this movie at monthly screenings, for every reason you'd expect. We highly suggest that you check one out.

Miami Connection (1987)

Y.K. Kim is a motivational speaker and founder of a taekwondo school in Orlando, Florida. In the late 1980s, he tried to add to this success with a martial arts film, entitled Miami Connection. He didn't succeed, not even close. The movie is about a group of black-belt martial artists who play in a band called Dragon Sound. In between gigging at clubs around central Florida, studying for their college exams, and hanging out at the beach, Sound must defeat gangs of villainous bikers and ninjas from Miami. It's difficult to put into words how bad the movie truly is, which is why you absolutely must see it at least once. The above trailer is simply a tasty appetizer.

After a brief run in the Orlando area, Miami Connection was seemingly lost to time. Fortunately, Alamo Drafthouse picked up a copy of the film on eBay and turned it, much like The Room, into a midnight screening phenomenon.

Starcrash (1978)

Everyone wanted to ape the success of Star Wars after it broke box office records in 1977. One of the first (and worst) attempts was the Italian-produced sci-fi flick, Starcrash. If you ever wanted to see David Hasselhoff fight killer robots with a copyright-infringing lightsaber, then you've found the right movie. Despite the atrocious dubbing and equally bad special effects, the film's most amusing aspect has to be watching Christopher Plummer embarrass himself as The Emperor. When later asked about the role, Plummer stated, "Starcrash. Oh, my God ... [G]ive me Rome any day. I'll do porno in Rome, as long as I can get to Rome." We're not sure a free trip to Rome was worth adding this schlock to your resume, but we nevertheless empathize with Plummer's sentiment.