We all have movies we enjoy that cross the territory of being so bad that we can’t help but laugh. Every Halloween it’s no different. We live for the horror, yet stay for the comedy. What makes a horror film particularly bad? What makes that film something we get invested in and watch each year? There are dozens of movies in our collections that we really love that critics can’t stand. No matter the biased against it, we keep coming back. Whether it be terrible costumes, horrible acting, or just insane setups. Why a leprechaun? Clowns, sharks, birds, and even a Gingerbread Man can be turned into homicidal maniacs apparently. We’re here to check out a few hilarious horror classics and give our thoughts.
A film having released in 1993 titled Leprechaun is one of the first to be admired. It’s a bit corny, over-the-top, and a lot of fun. It starts off well enough, with a man and his wife living in a small house along the countryside. The leprechaun, played by Warwick Davis, is attempting to get his gold back by any means. He is a killer leprechaun. Every time that guy is on screen, you know someone will either get hurt badly or killed in some way. The leprechaun is not that scary and it looks as if he wasn’t really supposed to be. There’s a death by pogo stick, as well as the leprechaun riding a tricycle with bell and all. At one point he gets in a miniature car and flips a full-sized truck over. That’s only the first film. They had 5 sequels and a reboot in 2014.
Leprechaun is one that we can’t help but respect the silly and embrace the dumb. It’s cringe in some cases, but a majority of it sort of crossing the so bad it’s good territory. Is it a good film though? Not by a long shot. It’s bad and very campy. A movie like this is unlikely to get the attention of someone expecting a pure horror film. Having seen most critic reviews, most expected pure horror. You never get that sense. Leprechaun looks like something the director just had fun with. It’s basically asking the question, “what would a leprechaun do if he had his gold stolen?” Apparently he murders everyone he sees! It’s definitely one to check out, and it is so bad that it’s good.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Released in 2010, Birdemic: Shock and Terror was made to be a serious horror film. Birdemic is anything but serious. With a budget of just around $10,000 it didn’t have the financial backing to make it a serious film at all. Horribly created CGI (at least it looks like CGI) terrible acting, and yet it’s an overall hilarious mess. What’s funny for this film above all others is it actually has a sequel, above all odds. Leprechaun had sequels, but it also had the backing of a million dollars. This movie cost a couple of plane tickets around the world and it has a sequel. The best PC builds cost more and could probably render better CGI.
Birdemic took 4 years to produce over the course of several weekends, with a masterpiece like this. The behind-the-scenes are actually far more interesting than Birdemic itself. Instead of getting permits to film, the people involved just showed up. They got kicked out of a few places, yet managed to make a film. It’s really interesting just to see how this film even made it off the ground. It’s so bad it’s good. Really! Check this movie out for yourself! It’s a hilariously terrible horror film to see at least once in your life. The trailer is just as amazing to watch. You won’t be disappointed!
Jaws: The Revenge
What isn’t said about a sequel to one of our childhood classics? Jaws: The Revenge came out in 1987 with an overwhelmingly negative response from critics and the audience alike. For a horror film, it really didn’t do much for the genre. It’s funny how bad the setup was too. How can a shark even conceive getting revenge? If that’s even the first question on your mind, you have not seen the endings of all three previous films. Somehow it comes back, and it comes back for more. This is not a movie to get angry over by any means, but you might. It shouldn’t make you question reality, but it does. You shouldn’t like this film, yet you feel drawn to it.
The main actor of Martin Brody unfortunately doesn’t make a return in this film. They kill him off due to a heart attack attributed from a fear of the shark. Doesn’t make any sense, but neither does this sequel among sequels. Roy Scheider didn’t even reprise his roll in Jaws 3-D, going as far as to agree to another film. Blue Thunder, the movie Roy Scheider agreed to, had become #1 upon its opening weekend. This guy was smart! Even while being a bad film, it gets a lot of laughs. It has terrible acting and pointless dialog. The shark teleports. The shark is not even the primary focus, it’s a relationship between two people. This Jaws movie also ends out of nowhere. With all the flaws, there are elements of how bad and poorly made it is that keeps us coming back.
Why do we watch?
We keep watching these movies every year and nothing changes, they’re still bad. It’s how bad they are that make them worth watching. In one movie you have a leprechaun that has a tick for shining shoes, and it’s not that funny. With another you have poorly rendered birds and laughable dialog. Another film in which a shark is not the focus of its own movie! Why do we keep watching? They’re fun. Any one of these movies you can watch with friends or family. You can watch any and all of these alone or in a theater setting. It’s just so fun to watch a train wreck of a movie unfold. From the very first scene in Birdemic, you knew you got your money’s worth. These films are so bad that they strike a chord with us. These horror movies are so bad, they’re good!