We all have our secret list of really bad films that we dare not tell a soul we love, and here’s my little obsessive list — the best of the worst.
Horror films, as much as I would like them to all be classics, sometimes fail. I’ll stop and watch something else at home (if I pay to view it at a theater, I’ll muster through, I’ve endured some awful films). However, I feel guilty to admit, during the excuse of late night watching, I covet some of these little stinkers. Therefore, I’ll admit having seen each of these films at least ten times.
And while none of them ever or will win an Oscar, they all have given me innate glee or a severe case of repulsion, and yet I can’t ever turn away from them. They’re my lost children with either a permanent hangover or temporary madness. Stop staring, we all have some.
1. Nurse (2013)
Nurse is a horrible and a sleazy film where the film’s star, Paz de la Huerta, sued the director for ruining her career! The film’s tone is in that 1980s predictable style, death scenes telegraphed a mile away, where our villain, Paz, gets away with murders that would make Freddie Krueger have a hearty laugh and take notes. But the film keeps you intrigued. The sexuality is so overt, but it isn’t the attraction. The one thought you’ll have throughout is, how the hell is this movie going to end? Paz gives it her all, bless her heart. It’s an over the top, flip your wig kind of goofiness.
2. The Skin I Live In (2011)
This is a Spanish film about a plastic surgeon who takes revenge on the man who raped (allegedly) the doctor’s daughter, and she commits suicide because of the event. Now, being a great plastic surgeon opens your options, like kidnapping your suspect and giving him the ultimate in role reversals. High on the mind f**k, and on the “what is going on here” scale, the film tackles topics like sexuality, gender, and ego. I watch it a few times a year and take notes — theorizing what Pedro Almodóvar is trying to tell us. Perhaps I’ll blog over it someday.
3. Motel Hell (1980)
Yes, we all have viewed films where deranged people who own hotels attack their victims. But after watching the creepy owner of a fritter company in this gem, utter the words, “The entire county has eaten my fritter,” it makes Soylent Green look workable. I labor through the film until the fight scene between our hero and villain, just for the pig head battle — I can’t get enough of that scene. People wearing pig heads make all fighting scenes must-see viewing. I’m not implying all presidential debates mandate candidates wear a pig’s head, but…
4. The Car (1977)
I have a warm spot for this film, set in Arizona! The best of all demon controlled cars (they don’t make them as they used to), this black behemoth was built by famous car developer George Barris (he made the Batmobile for Adam West’s TV version of Batman). I live for the scene where the brave school teacher meets her demise at the hands of the car, which makes mincemeat of her house and her while ignoring traffic laws and roads — and physics. Damn, I know those Arizona roads. I love the fitting 1971 modified Lincoln that’s the real star of this film.
5. The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
This 1970s low budget film has given me the chills ever since I first saw it, back thirty some odd years ago. An astronaut comes back from outer space to develop skin lesions that signal an enormous reaction to space radiation. He spends the majority of the movie dissolving in front of the camera and killing those he blames for his demise. The killer ending is so disheartening, I get sick after watching the film. I avoid my broom for a while after viewing.
6. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Yes, I said it. Okay, I know there are quite a few who marginalize this film. Let’s be frank, it displays Megan Fox’s best acting, which I hope doesn’t infer something about her. The story isn’t high brow horror (whatever that means). It’s predictable, straight in your face horror where a demon takes control of a sexy girl who then goes on a killing spree. Maybe it’s me, but the post-demon Jennifer feels much more liberated, focused and dominant. Maybe turning into a bloodthirsty cannibal does that for a person. Regardless, this film always forces me to smile. Call it me living through a character, though I’m not saying I yearn to be a bloodthirsty demon — at least not out loud!
7. Deadly Friend (1986)
The film itself is silly, predictable and low budget. But damn it, I love it. Okay, I obsess about one scene, the part I’ve watched, over and over. I laugh every time I observe this incredible bull of a high order. Just tell me the basketball to the head scene isn’t the best scene of all time? I can view it a million times.
8. The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
No, not a Frank Miller redux of Superman — I’m going old school on this one, featuring hippy psychedelic effects as Ray Mill develops super X-ray vision and overdoes it, just a tad. The ending is one of the greatest self-mutilating finales of all time. Wear welder goggles instead. Maybe two at the same time. Another reason you shouldn’t overuse those eye drops. Pluck it out.