Comic Relief: 5 Bad Movies You Can't Turn Off

A little "Comic Relief!" to help you smile through the trials and tribulations of mid-week. This week's topic: bad movies that we still watch.

Hey gang, Ted Glanzer, local editor of the South Windsor Patch, here to pinch hit in the Comic Relief slot for Jason Vallee, who is off doing things that are more fun than we are right now.


Anyhoo, we all have them. The movies that are universally panned by critics, but we still watch from start to finish whenever we see them on. Oh, and I’m not talking about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace bad, which I continuously watch merely to get upset, whereupon I punch myself in the face while cursing George Lucas and/or Jar Jar Binks at the top of my lungs.

No, these are movies that were made in earnest, tried to be good, failed, but still endeared themselves into our hearts. The only way The Phantom Menace endears itself in my heart is if it’s attached to a pacemaker. And that ain’t going to happen.

5. Swimfan (2002) - The description from Wikipedia says it all: Fatal Attraction for the teen set. I can only imagine the creepy scene when that was pitched to Hollywood execs. (“High schoolers who do it? When do we start filming?”) But Jason, on a call from New Hampshire, said that he can’t bring himself to pick up the remote and change the channel when this comes on. (Note: This does not make Jason Vallee creepy in the least. Move along. Nothing to see here.)

4. Anything with Patrick Swayze in it. OK, this is a total cop out, but let’s face it, of all the careers in Hollywood over the last 40 years, none is more vexing than Patrick Swayze’s. Indeed, the guy was in some culturally significant (at the time at least) productions, including “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing.” He’s also been in some cult classic movies like “Red Dawn,” “Point Break” and “Road House.” Wasn’t he also in The Outsiders? I dunno. I’m too lazy to look it up right now. But if he wasn’t in that movie, he should have been.

None of these movies, however, is any good, from the dialog (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!” “100 percent pure adrenaline!” “Ditto.” “Wolverines!”) to the acting to the storytelling. But man, I can’t turn off any of them. Heck, Patrick Swayze’s entire body of work could be a category unto itself. The guy’s like a Beacon of Badness.

But, oh how we love our melted cheese in America. And no actor delivered the limburger like Swayze in his heyday.

3. Con Air (1997). All right, I could have also written ‘Anything directed by Michael Bay’ as a header, too. But I have a rule of one cop out per article. It’s a rule that I just made up. Mazel tov for being the first to experience its implementation.

Anyhoo, one awful Michael Bay movie begets another awful Michael Bay movie, until we eventually have regressed to the point where Bay will subject us to one, long 2-hour explosion. Incidentally, that movie will gross $450 million globally and will spawn three sequels.

But Con Air really is the mothership of bad-but-good Michael Bay movies that we just can’t stop watching. Action? Check. Established stars to feed into the perception of credibility (in this instance, John Cusack, John Malkovich and Nicholas Cage before he self-immolated his career)? Check. Interesting setup? Check. Paper-thin script with even more anemic character development? Check and mate.

But try turning this movie off and your brain will, indeed, short circuit. It’s like celluloid crack.

2. Evil Dead II (1987) - Oh man, this is one of the greatest movies of all time. Directed by Sam Raimi, the dude who gave us the Spiderman trilogy before the unnecessary reboot, this masterpiece has way too many great, under-heard one-liners (“Give me back my hand!” “Chainsaw” “Toolshed” “Who’s laughing now?”).

Cheap under-budgeted, gory flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously and I love every minute of it.

1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - I almost just dismissed this out of hand because it has gotten so big, having inspired tens of thousands of midnight showings, a Broadway musical and a cottage industry of merchandising. But let’s face it, this is the mother of all bad movies that we refuse to turn off whenever we see it. And, for those of you who can properly call out what to say during a specific point in the movie (LIPS!), I can honestly say that I am torn between being envious of and sad for you. But mostly sad.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

It's only Wednesday, but it feels like the weekend should have been here two days ago. You have a full plate ahead, lots of work left to do, summer classes at or college to sit through or are just plain in need of a break.

We have you covered.


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