Normally, when a movie is marketed and released, the team who created it knows exactly what the movie is and what emotions they hope to elicit with it. For example, a romantic comedy is supposed to give people that “feel good” feeling, a horror is supposed to scare people, and a comedy is supposed to make them laugh.
The topic of this article will be looking at movies that were marketed as something else, but ended up being unintentionally hilarious. Some of these are so bad that we thought for sure they were intended to be funny or comical, but they weren’t. Check it out.
Bloodsport is a 1988 martial arts movie that was one of the first starring roles for Jean-Claude Van Damme. It showcased his brilliant athleticism, but while the film had great fight scenes and athletic feats, it was beyond hilarious in many ways. The biggest reason why this film is more funny than anticipated simply comes from the dialogue, which is so bad (or good if you like train wrecks) that it needs to be seen to be believed. Really, the fight scenes in this film are the only thing exciting, while everything else falls flat and is simply laughable.
9. Vampire’s Kiss
While this movie was marketed as a “horror comedy” some might question its inclusion on this list. But it deserves a spot solely for the fact that the parts that are most funny in the film are ones that weren’t intended to be. Take, for example, the now-legendary office freak out of Nicolas Cage. His wide-eyed speech made us burst out laughing while it was supposed to be serious. That, along with his angry reciting of the ABC’s towards his psychiatrist, was enough to warrant this film a spot on this list. This movie is testament to Cage’s ability to act using every inch of his face for and perform freak outs better than almost anyone else in Hollywood.
8. Troll 2
Despite its title, this terrible sequel doesn’t even feature a troll, and in fact has nothing to do with any movie ever called Troll. The villains in this film are actually vegetarian goblins who disguise themselves as humans in order to turn Earth into plant food. And in a film of this caliber it is obviously only a young kid who is the one to save the Earth, thanks in part to the ghost of his dead grandfather. Not only that, there’s also an erotic scene involving a corn on the cob and the worst spear throwing special effect you’ll ever see in film. Everything from the acting, to the premise, to the special effects in this movie is just laughable.
7. The Room
This melodramatic joke of a film could easily be mistaken for a spoof, with its unintentionally hilarious conversations and unneeded nudity from Tommy Wiseau. This film is full of gold to choose from, but perhaps the best part is that the film is chock-full of strange subplots that really have nothing to do with the film. And that’s all framed by a ridiculous amount of cutaways to the San Francisco landscape and editing that is more suited to the level of a particularly poor TV movie than an actually film release. Let’s be honest here, every section of the movie is bad, but it’s like watching a car crash — it’s hard to take your eyes off the disaster.
6. Batman & Robin
This is undoubtedly the worst Batman film of them all and is a real black mark on the franchise. It played out more like a spoof or comedy than an actual serious and dramatic Batman movie. The star of the show and the man who brings so many unnecessary laughs is none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role as Mr. Freeze. Poor old Arnie’s performance really is the dictionary definition of something that is so bad that it’s good. The puns he belts out in his signature accent are the stuff of legends.
5. Deadly Prey
Now this film is just so awful that it is side-bursting hilarious. This action movie plays out like a homeless man’s version of Rambo. It features Ted Prior who stars as Mike Danton, a Vietnam vet who finds himself in some sticky situations with a group of crooked mercenaries. The special effects in this film are laughable, and one scene in particular is so hilarious it seems unreal that it was intended to be serious. The scene features Danton somehow walk through a number of bullets unscathed, cut a man’s arm off and proceed to beat the man to death with it before scalping him. Really, that is what happened.
4. The Wicker Man
This film, which was marketed as a horror movie, is home to the most over-the-top performance of Nicolas Cage’s career (and that is a big title to hold). However, it isn’t just the craziness from Cage that qualifies it here. There’s just so many unintentionally hilarious and strange moments to choose from, including the fun little subplot with a flirty Lee Sobieski, which involves Cage kicking her into a wall and the infinitely meme worthy “Not the beeees!” line. And another head-scratching scene sees Cage knocks a girl out with a punch while wearing a bear suit. All of this plus Cage’s over-the-top screams and mumbles make this movie way funnier than it was intended to be.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Birdemic delivers more laughs than most comedies out there today, with virtually none of them being intentional. It’s something you would not expect from a Hitchcock homage made by a Vietnamese immigrant (James Nguyen) that looks as though it was shot in the ’80s, even though it was released in 2009. Taking his cue from the original Hitchcock masterpiece The Birds, Nguyen tells the tale of a romance that takes place during an unexplained bird attack in Half Moon Bay. This film has it all: bad writing, bad acting, bad sound, bad directing, bad casting, bad editing and more. But the most hilarious part of this film is that, in lieu of actual birds, Nguyen substituted badly done animated GIFs of birds throughout the film that look just awful.
2. Battlefield Earth
Now this is a legendarily bad movie. This film is based upon the first half of L. Ron Hubbard’s 1982 novel of the same name, but did you know that the people who created this unintentionally comedic classic were deadly serious about its important message? Battlefield Earth tells the tale of humanity’s bleak future. Earth has been conquered by dreadlocked giants called the Psychlos, who are somehow meant to represent the great demon that is psychiatry. When discussing his influence for the story, Hubbard stated he “was a bit disgusted with the way the psychologists and brain surgeons mess people up so I wrote a fiction story based in part on the consequences that could occur if the shrinks continued to do it.” Really.
1. The Happening
And coming in at number is The Happening, the M. Night Shyamalan masterpiece that announced himself as the king of the “so bad it’s hilarious.” Someone should have shut this down at the casting; it features Mark Wahlberg as the world’s most unconvincing science teacher. Not only is the acting subpar, but the premise of the film is simply laughable. How anyone greenlit a plot that involves the world committing suicide because mother nature felt mean is crazy to us. And the hilarity doesn’t end there, because humanity doesn’t just take a few pills and go to sleep quietly on the sofa to die… oh no, they throw themselves under lawn mowers. Every line in this film seems to be delivered with a dumb incomprehension, with barely anyone reacting with any sort of authenticity behind it.