Films considered the worst ever  

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"I beg you, learn to see 'bad' films; they are sometimes sublime". --Ado Kyrou, Le Surréalisme au cinéma, p. 276

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Obviously, due to the subjective nature of "good" and "bad" judgments, there can be disagreement about what constitutes an "extremely bad movie". A movie usually garners an extremely bad reputation not merely for simply failing as drama, but failing to a degree out of all proportion to popular and critical expectation. Sometimes, excessive pre-release hype surrounding a film can build up expectations in viewers to an unrealistic degree; an example might be the Star Wars prequels, which, while performing extremely well at the box office, have caused great argument among fans of the series. And sometimes, audiences who are tiring of an overexposed celebrity will heap vilification upon a film starring that celebrity if it is in any way dramatically flawed; an example of this would be the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez vehicle Gigli or Guy Ritchie's Swept Away, starring his wife, pop music diva Madonna.

Among fans of low-budget cult films, the term "so bad it's good" is popularly used to refer to movies made by filmmakers who are either too inept or untalented to pull off their intentions (and seem clueless about their shortcomings), or who, despite possible latent talent, simply try too much with too limited a budget. An obvious example would be the filmography of Ed Wood or Coleman Francis, or any of the myriad obscure films featured on the television spoof show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Unlike more mundane bad films, these bad films actually develop an ardent fan following who love them because of their poor quality.

So-bad-they're-good cult films and camp classics

See camp and cult films

Many films enjoy cult status because they are seen as ridiculously awful, for example Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958). The critic Michael Medved characterized examples of the "so bad it's good" class of low-budget cult film through books such as The Golden Turkey Awards. These films include such financially fruitless and critically scorned films as The Lonely Lady, Mommie Dearest, Cool as Ice, Boxing Helena, Manos: The Hands of Fate, Fatal Deviation and Showgirls, which have become inadvertent comedies to film buffs. Movies have even achieved cult status by successfully imitating the awfulnesses of so-bad-it's-good movies (The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and Amazon Women on the Moon being just two examples.)

In other cases, little-known or forgotten films from the past are revived as cult films, largely because they are considered goofy and senseless by modern standards, with laughable special effects and corny plotlines. These include Breakin', The Beastmaster, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, The Creeping Terror, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and the works of Edward D. Wood, Jr. See also: Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Beastmaster is an example of the strange vectors which can lead to cult filmdom, as its reputation stems as much from ubiquitous cable-TV overplay as anything in the film itself. Clifford, a 1994 film starring Martin Short (during his thirties) as a ten year old boy has recently become extremely popular among high school age teens and is a source of laughter because of how badly crafted and irritating it is.

These films should not be confused with comedic cult movies like The Toxic Avenger, Bad Taste, Army of Darkness, and the films of John Waters, which purposely utilize elements from films "so bad they're good" for comedic effect. This can be seen as related to the artistic style known as "camp". The most recent film to gain widespread acclaim under this jurisdiction is Samuel L. Jackson's Snakes on a Plane (2006), because this movie has been cited as trying for "so-bad-it's-good" status.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Films considered the worst ever" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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