2018 has undeniably delivered a ton of great movies already: Annihilation was a total mind-f***, Avengers: Infinity War served up sublime superhero thrills, Hereditary traumatised everyone who saw it, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout was terrific escapist entertainment for those fed up with capes.
But alas, what would these incredible movies be without some utter dumpster fires to be compared to? After all, what is the good without the bad?
However, what prevents these 13 awful movies from being irredeemable trainwrecks, like The 15:17 to Paris and Show Dogs, is the fact that they have what it takes to endure in the circles of cult fandom.
Be it their trashy kitsch value, their impressive style or their sheer, overpowering weirdness, each of these critically-savaged movies has something to offer film fans, and whether the thrills and laughs are ironic or not, they’re still earned one way or another.
After all, no matter how bad The Room is, can the sheer joy and enrichment that film has given people ever be measured? While these movies can only wish for that level of esteem, they’re still sure to live on for years, and maybe even decades, as fiercely-defended cult classics…
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13. Truth Or Dare
Truth or Dare is exactly the kind of brainless, high-concept horror movie tosh that will endure forever thanks to drunken dorm room midnight screenings and the insatiable audience appetite for “so bad it’s good” cinema.
A big part of the reason the movie will eventually become a cult fave is because the titular game is such an amusing hook on which to hang typical slasher movie tropes.
Throw in some thigh-slappingly awful dialogue, a roster of self-absorbed douchebag teen characters you can’t wait to see die, some unintentionally hilarious CGI face-morphs and then you’re cooking with gas.
It is a terrible film in every sense of the word, one of 2018’s worst so far in fact, but its campy value to trash aficionados should keep it lingering around in the collective cultural consciousness for a long time.
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12. Fifty Shades Freed
What more even needs to be said about the Fifty Shades franchise, really? True devotees to the cause would put themselves through all three of these wretched “romantic” movies, but if you’re going to pick one, you may as well settle on the most sublimely garish and off-the-rails of the lot.
The third and purportedly final Fifty Shades movie brings Christian (a comatose Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia’s (Dakota Johnson) “epic” love story to an hilariously un-sexy, ahem, climax, as the pair partake in a series of risibly tame sex scenes involving ice cream and My First BDSM Kit, before it becomes a straight-up 90s D-list thriller in act three.
That’s right. What a franchise supposed to give sexless, middle-aged women their jollies needed was guns, kidnappings and near-murder. While it might not service its target demo well, it certainly cuts the mustard for those who love a catastrophic cinematic misfire.
If you’re not crying with laughter by the time the “touching” final franchise montage plays things out, you just might be depressed.
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11. A Wrinkle In Time
Ambitious, big-budget flops are always prime fodder for cult fandom, and truly, A Wrinkle in Time “succeeds” as the rightful heir to Tomorrowland’s crown as the King of wildly overblown, odiously ill-advised, can’t-look-away car crash entertainment.
It is a visually inventive film for sure, though those visuals are in the service of a weirdly generic adventure movie, directed with little aplomb by indie vet Ava DuVernay, and a cast struggling to survive amid a sea of trippy-yet-hilarious CGI.
After all, where else can you see a gigantic Oprah show up in someone’s back garden, or Reese Witherspoon turn into a giant leaf creature? And if that’s not enough for you, a terrible child actor ends up playing the avatar of the primary antagonist, and it goes about as well as that usually does.
Always baffling but also an utterly fascinating curio from a production perspective, almost all of A Wrinkle in Time’s creative choices will have you wondering how Disney ever gave it the green light, but you’ll probably be perversely glad that they did.
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The directorial debut of Kevin Connolly – yep, that’s E from Entourage – is a special kind of awful movie. Not only does it sport a nigh-on-impossible 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with almost 40 reviews, it’s a textbook example of a movie so cack-handedly executed it can be easily watched as a self-parody of exactly what it’s trying to be.
If someone told you Werner Herzog directed Gotti and it was a Bad Lieutenant-esque lampoon of the gangster genre, you just might believe it. Though there’s undeniably a biopic of iconic mobster John Gotti worth making, this clearly isn’t it.
In every fibre of its being, it’s trying to ape Goodfellas, completely ignoring how many other movies have also tried to do that over the last three decades and failed (though none perhaps as spectacularly as this).
Travolta’s swinging-for-the-moon performance is a ludicrously entertaining time, that much is clear, and the film’s shameless ticking-off of mob movie cliches does at least make it fine for some demented chuckles.
However, the brutal 110 minute run-time does dent its cult cred ever-so-slightly, though nobody will blame you if you sneak off mid-movie to make more snacks.
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