I was watching a perfectly fine documentary on History International about April 1865 and the close of the American Civil War when, during a commercial I flip around and end up on one of the worst movies ever made, right during the scene that hurtles the movie from improbably imbecilic down towards the depths rancidity. I mean, of course, Live Free or Die Hard and the scene featuring perpetually cursed hero cop John McClane, a tractor trailer, a section of highway and a Harrier Jump Jet. I can't find the scene on youtube (I guess because they have to draw the line somewhere) and words just can't do it justice but its horribleness must be seen to be believed. I just can't in good faith recommend anyone to see it.
So this got me thinking of some of my favorite worst movies, and in no particular order...
Big Trouble in Little China--a favorite on VHS when I was 13 or 14. I saw this again not so long ago. I knew it was bad when I was a kid, but I had no idea it was this awful. Kurt Russell at least seems to know he's in a terrible movie and appears just to have fun with it. Mr. Russell will show up again.
Rambo movies--First Blood kind of kicked ass. No sequels should ever have been made. I haven't actually seen any of the sequels in their entirety, but I think I'm on solid ground here. We will see Mr. Stallone some more.
Rocky III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa--OK, so I haven't seen Rocky Balboa, but I did see the others. The first Rocky is an all-timer, and the second doesn't suck. The rest do. I can't see there being any appreciable improvement.
Red Dawn--I absolutely loved this movie when I saw it on Prism as a kid. Then I hadn't seen it for over twenty years. Again, through the magic of cable and programmers desperately needing to fill time, I saw this again recently. One of the ways to stick your landing on this list is for the movie to laugh haughtily as it zooms past improbability. Like John McClane facing down a Marine in a jet with a truck. The US is invaded by a consortium of rogue states including Cuba(!). These ne'er do wells infiltrate all the way into Michigan(!) and then get thwarted by earnest, pubescent, poorly acted patriots. NORAD failed us, but the senior class held us together.
Roadhouse--Yes, there is a network of bouncers who, like the A-Team, can be called to rescue your bar from summer-toothed local goons who act at the behest of an improbably wealthy overlord who likes breaking things. The bouncers call themselves "coolers." This movie has all of the senseless fighting of a Clint Eastwood orangutan movie, but without the nuance. My brother loved it because Dalton was a philosophy major. I bet you didn't know there was a sequel (straight to video, of course).
Smokin' Aces--I've always liked Jeremy Piven. Take PCU as the period piece it's meant to be and he's an OK actor. He has truly come into his own as Ari Gold on Entourage. It was on the heels of my enjoying that show that I looked forward to Smokin' Aces. About a year ago it was on HBO. Ryan Reynolds is today's Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Patrick Swayze rolled into one, but without the pecs. In the penultimate scene which takes place in a hotel hallway he reads some lines. A slightly better dramatic effect would have been to have a production assisstant read directly from the script, it was so terribly done. Ray Liotta really doesn't seem to care at all about the fact that he's in a movie. The best part is the use of a .50 caliber rifle in a hit attempt--a .50 caliber rifle that, at times, has no recoil. Andy Garcia is in this movie. Sometimes he has an accent, sometimes he doesn't, but it doesn't matter because he's Andy Garcia. Jeremy Piven is in the movie, but plays a strung-out magician turned FBI informant against the mob. Just let that last clause marinate in your head for a bit.
Tango and Cash--Just. Fucking. Awful. Even at the time I first saw it (yes there was a second viewing, to verify the awfulness) I knew it was terrible. Teri Hatcher was kind of cute when this movie was made, and it didn't help. Laughable Improbability Moment: Stallone plays the smart cop.
This Movie--I think it's called Deadly Prey, I don't know because I'm dumber for having watched it. I haven't seen it. I won't see it. I've only recently seen the trailer. It's odd that I've never seen or heard of this movie before--one of my buddies growing up had a sick movie collection. His dad rented everything and copied it (two VCRs with 2X2 cables). His dad rented and copied stuff he never had any intention of watching, but we watched just about all of it. Never heard of this one. You just have to love the guy hitting another guy with his own arm after it's cut off.
This is a spur of the moment list and certainly not exhaustive or complete. I know I've missed some doozies and I retain the right to add to it from time to time. Thoughts, comments, additions &c are welcome.
Also, sequels have never been made to Caddyshack or the Blues Brothers. Period.