The Best Movies Made from Bad Concepts
A very special breed of movies exists. Many flicks take a great concept and do their best to live up to it…but usually ones with a bad concept just end up being bad. However, in rare cases, the execution is so great a bad concept ends up being entertaining. This isn’t a “so bad it’s good” list, because those are about laughing at the culmination of numerous failed factors. These are the times the impossible has been done: turning sh*t into gold. And yes, these are in order.
A man falls in love with a woman who is actually a mannequin that comes to life, and he happens to have been the artist who made it. There’s a strange sexual fantasy undertone, that he created his perfect woman from the drawing board…which is further made odd by the fact he’s sort of her father. It’s like the plot of a porn version of Pinocchio, but it works. Next, let’s make a movie about a pedophile who creates his own perfect boy lover.
So this one could’ve used some better editing at times, and the reverse-blackface melded with cross-dressing theme may be disquieting for some. The plot is essentially two jokes of cops investigating the abduction of a Paris Hilton knockoff. Even writing this, it’s hard to believe anything good came of this concept. Really, the joy is it didn’t take itself seriously at all, nor try too hard to be funny, which makes it stand above most Wayans’ material, almost giving it an old-school Eddie Murphy quality.
These ones, believe it or not, struck an extremely delicate and artistic balance in crafting Ernest, though it may not have been intention. Ernest, unlike most other annoying dorks, always found the ability to bring out the best in the worst of characters with his childlike innocence, whether they are bratty kids, evil trolls, or vicious prisoners. That and, as with most charming bad-concept movies, it managed to not be too heavy-handed with the comedic or serious elements.
The premise here is just goofy. To fight Alzheimer’s, sharks brains are made bigger for enzyme harvesting. The sharks then become superintelligent and begin attacking people while destroying the facility. Bigger brains does equal more brain matter/chemicals, but not intelligence. Still, none of that really matters, because few horror movies about sharks work within any realm of accuracy, because sharks really aren’t that big of a threat to anyone who isn’t swimming with starving, trapped ones.
So what redeems this movie? It knows just how silly it is, but still uses it’s implausible plot to set up cringeworthy scares now and then.
Martians coming to destroy the world sounds quite bleak. It could’ve been War of the Worlds all over again, but this brings in nostalgia from old, silly thoughts about what aliens would be like. Sixties Martians come to wage war against rednecks, politicians, soldiers and the elderly. The absurd aliens pose a real threat, killing off the likes of Michael J. Fox, Jack Black, Jack Nicholson and others no one would expect to die. Even the ways people die via disintegration rays, as silly as it looks, is so blunt and heartless the viewer has no choice but to keep watching, if anything to decide how (s)he feels about the movie. Reviews are notoriously mixed, but a memorable experience is provided to all.
At this point, the balance these movies need to strike is obvious, and this one does it, albeit with a darker tone than most on this list. Aside from a great take on hilariously creative kills, we get to see Christopher Titus flip his lid. I also live about an hour North of where it was filmed, so it gets extra points there as well. That and it makes light of a common fear of clowns. Enjoy.
This one has a shockingly low 4.5 on IMDb and isn’t quite as hokey as the other concepts on the list. Really the plot isn’t the off part, but rather how the star appeal was cooked into the concept. We have two musicians, Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube on a mission to find a deadly, giant snake. Jon Voight comes in to add some dramatic credibility, but we can’t take his hammed-up role seriously here. Then we get Owen Wilson and Danny Trejo. The whole mix of them all gives us a movie we can’t take seriously, but it’s so effortless to enjoy guessing who will die next and how.
The governator made an odd choice to star in Ivan Reitman’s trilogy of child-rearing comedy flicks whith Danny DeVito, but it works because Schwarzenegger made such a joke of himself in cheesy action movies. With Junior, the concept is funding used to research miscarriage-preventing drugs is plugged, hence the male scientist impregnates himself through scientific implausibility. Just sit back and enjoy the absurd ride!
F*ck it, let’s toss in Mrs. Doubtfire as well.
A slacker’s hand gets possessed, because apparently marijuana makes it easy to devil to get into your system (Reefer Madness, anyone?). Once he cuts it off, it goes around killing everyone, including the frontman of The Offspring. This is perhaps the only movie to every try and mix stoner comedy with genuine horror. I have no idea how it worked, but it did.
This here is the epitome of absurd plots. Santa is actually a demon, and so many years after losing a bet with an angel, he’s back to kill Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan, Saul Rubinek and a bunch of hos. While this is standard b-movie dribble of a plot, but this one pulls it off even better than Jack Frost with its sheer brutality.
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