Bad Movies Are Best

I fucking love movies (and TV, but Dollissa seems to already have that on lock here at Sneer Campaign). My collection now numbers in the thousands. Movies have always been a great way for me to remind myself that I do actually have human emotions and that I’m capable of focusing on a thing for more than ten minutes at a time. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me feel connected.

But, there’s something I like even more than a good film, or any finely crafted piece of art. And that is some absolute garbage. Pure nonsense.

Drawing of a person in a darkened movie theater. The movie screen is of just a can of trash. Flies hover around it because it's stinky.

I traffic in rubbish. It nourishes me. Really, I only call these movies bad because society expects it of me. I actually secretly think they are triumphant works of pure genius. A truly “bad” thing is simply boring or forgettable. These movies defy simple binaries. Forget irony — even if these movies were intentionally made the way they are, they’d still be incredible. Except you could never intentionally make something that manages to capture this type of deranged, chaotic energy. I immediately thought of like twelve of these, but I’m making myself start with a Top 3.

Stone Cold

The world’s trashiest masterpiece. This feels like a fake movie written by the Always Sunny crew, or something The Simpsons family would’ve watched on cable. It is a film that wastes no time announcing what it is, opening immediately with a group of bikers just busting into a convenience store and shooting up a wall of Ritz crackers with machine guns. The buffest one weirdly licks at the air and shouts “I LOVE IT!” as they take hostages.

All of the patrons are cowering — all except for one man who casually continues his shopping, picking out a loaf of bread and sampling a cookie. He has the square face of a linebacker and his mullet is perfectly coiffed. One look tells you all you need to know about this man: he is the only one psycho enough to save the day.

The movie starts with him having already been suspended from the police force for being too much of a loose cannon. You don’t even have to see a gruff captain scold him. You’ve already gotten all the characterization you are going to get. The only other detail you learn about him for the rest of the movie is that he has a pet komodo dragon, which he feeds with smoothies made from a combination of orange juice, Snickers, and potato chips.

Illustration of a white komodo dragon -- or really a komodo dragon absent of any color -- in front of a USA Flag. Where the stars should be it just says "stone cold" instead.

Most of the film takes place in some kind of hellishly violent biker Burning Man, where men have fist fights in circles of smoke and flame, and women bathe themselves nude in the streets. At one point, a man walks into a baptism and shoots a priest through a stained glass window with a shotgun. It’s not clear who either of these characters are or why this has happened. The villain’s name is Chains.

Miami Connection

This movie also has bikers in it, but these ones are ninjas. The film primarily concerns a heroic group of black-belt Taekwondo college student roommates who are in a pop-rock band called Dragon Sound. Also, they are all orphans, I guess? But most importantly they are best friends. They love friendship, and sing about it a LOT. The film’s theme song constantly kicks back in over its montages — “Friends through eternity, loyalty, and honesty. We’ll stay together through thick or thin.” The song is performed by Dragon Sound themselves, and it is just titled “Friends”.

All of their songs are about friendship, except for the ones that are about ninjas. The ninja bikers are their rivals, and are somehow involved in disrupting the local cocaine trade, or have stolen some cocaine, or something. They are enemies of Dragon Sound for what seems like no reason other than that they hate friendship, and are thus enraged by how good of friends the bandmates are.

Honestly I’ve seen this a ton of times and I still have no idea what the plot is supposed to be. It’s just a lot of kung-fu fights interspersed with the band playing the most 80’s looking concerts of all time in a foggy bar.

Did I mention how many random kung-fu fights break out in this movie? At the very beginning of the movie, the owner of the bar has a kung-fu fight with Dragon Sound’s manager over whether or not their music is “for old people.” And I’ve barely even touched on the man who created and stars in this movie, a martial arts motivational speaker named YK Kim. He’s much better at Taekwondo (which he includes a whole lot of scenes of himself practicing) than he is at keeping a camera in focus or delivering his lines phonetically. The result of his attempts to blend 80’s American action cinema with his spiritual self-help philosophy is… well, let’s just say that Miami Connection ends with its heroes all maniacally slaughtering their foes with swords in a jungle, followed by a chyron that says, “Only through the elimination of violence can we achieve world peace.”

It does not take place in nor ever feature Miami.

Illustration of Y K Kim, devoid of color like the komodo dragon, grimacing in rage in front of the Miami Connection title screen, which is like a Miami Sunset.

The Room

Okay, yeah, I’m sure you already know about this one. You’ve definitely seen the memes. You’ve probably seen Tommy Wiseau’s weird face, and may even know about his bizarrely unplaceable accent and the unknown source of his mysterious wealth. This got big enough that James Franco starred in a movie about its making-of, a movie that was bad in a not fun way. Irritating people dress up to attend screenings of The Room in college towns.

For this reason, I think that there are now enough people who have avoided this movie due to its reputation that it is ready for a second wind. A whole host of people are ready to be exposed to the most delirious, strange, fascinatingly awkward 90 minutes ever committed to film. It’s earned its place here as the most insane and alien thing ever produced by a human. You’ll stare in disbelief. Every time you think you’re getting a handle on it, it will slip through your grasp. You’ll start to laugh at how little Wiseau seems to understand what women are like when they interact with each other, but then you’ll realize that he seems to have even less of an idea how men interact. Do they have footraces? Pass a football from a few feet away in suits?

This is the most I have ever been convinced a person is actually an alien being wearing a man suit. There is nothing else that exists that is like this movie. I’ll force every friend I ever make to watch this. Admit you’ve never seen it around me at your own risk

Illustration of three chairs in front of a TV that is playing a barely visible scene from the Room, the movie just mentioned. In two of the chairs are Amandoll and Dollissa, tied up with gags over their mouths. In the third chair is Rick, the author of this piece. He is happily eating popcorn and gladly watching the film.

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