First off, what is a B-movie? Usually, B-movies consist of low-paid actors and don’t have a far reaching budget to meet the standards of today’s film standards. Incidentally, this has become a staple in the film making community wherein directors will take up the task to deliver what they believe to be the worst movies ever made. While sometimes it ends up being an absolute crap shoot, even the worst B-movies can end up being the best. There’s a specific charm about the low budget camera work and actors that have never actually acted that bring these movies to a whole new level.
I’m part of the fan base that will recommend titles like The Room or Sharknado before I even think to recommend movies like Deadpool or Captain America. In this day and age, it’s not out of the ordinary for people to think the same way because more people are starting to branch out and are wanting to see something they haven’t seen before, instead of the usual fighting scenes or gratuitous sex scenes that are displayed in movies nowadays. So I’m here today to outline the B-movies that I honest to God believe are worth watching.
With Halloween coming up, B-movies are a sure fire way to impress your guests or to satisfy that terrible horror movie fix that you may have around this time of year. Some of these are god awful while some are truly great works of art. Let’s just get right into it.
15. Hercules In New York
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t need to convince anybody to watch a movie that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only is he ridiculous enough as is, he just makes the worst movies so much worse, in a good way. Hercules In New York is a 1970s B-movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie follows Hercules as he gets sent away by Zeus to live among the men and women of New York City. Due to not being known at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that in this day and age, he now regrets ever being featured in Hercules In New York due to its poor quality and hilarious nature. Although this movie features a well known actor today, and has been regarded as one of the most hilarious movies made in that time, it still has received popularly negative reviews for its off the wall plot line mixed with an overly muscular, unknown actor. On the contrary, those same reviews urge people to watch the movie only to bask in its hilarious nature.
14. Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Judging by the name and image I’ve provided, you can only imagine what this movie has in store. The basic gist of Birdemic: Shock and Terror is somehow, a bird plague has taken the nation by shock and terror ensues as the film progresses. Birdemic: Shock and Terror is based off of The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and was directed and produced by James Nguyen, whom also became responsible for the sequel Birdemic 2: The Resurrection. As far as budgeting goes, the movie was made with less than $10,000 and was received with mostly negativity in regards to its acting choices, poor sound quality, and off the wall plot. Although the reviews don’t favor this movie, when it comes to “so bad they’re good,” this movie is a staple and has become one of my most recommended films for people looking for something so cringe worthy, that they’ll prefer Twilight over it. Given its nature, you can’t go into Birdemic: Shock and Terror expecting something great, unless you have a low threshold and are willing to give stupidity a chance.
13. Double Down
Double Down is a thriller and adventure movie released in 2005 starring Neil Breen who not only starred as the main character but also wrote and directed it. The movie follows Aaron Brand as he takes control of Las Vegas during a terrorist attack while simultaneously dealing with his love affairs and depression. The movie starts off with a drawn-out, self influenced monologue that evidently leads to nothing of value. Although this movie is as cringe worthy as they come, you can’t help but wonder what Neil Breen was thinking as he directed this film. Through an interview, he had many things to say to its defense, but nothing can save it. Although it is one of the worst films out there, it’s worth watching due to the excessive amount of charm piled on top of some over the top ridiculousness and obnoxious camera angles. On the contrary, the overall critical consensus of this movie was that it’s poorly made and deserving of its poor ratings.
12. Hobo With A Shotgun
Hobo With A Shotgun fits into several different categories alongside being considered a “great” B-movie. While the overall consensus of Hobo With A Shotgun was generally positive, it didn’t do well in box office at all. Beginning with a $3 million budget, the movie only brought in around $800,000. Much like most B-movies, Hobo With A Shotgun has brought together a cult following bringing it a decent amount of success, but a lot of that has to do with when the movie was available for home viewing. Upon its initial release, the movie was unsuccessful due to not being shown in too many theaters at the time. The movie is a mixture of black comedy, thriller, and horror all mixed up into one. The reason it was received so well was not due to how smart the movie was, but more due to how it takes the genre of gore, and uses it to its advantage.
B-movie directors are undoubtedly famous for a number of things, but one of the many things they are famous for is taking an idea that nobody would ever feel is deserving of a movie and turning it into a movie. Killdozer is just that; a movie that serves no purpose, but exists solely for the purpose of existing. Hopefully evident by the name, you follow a number of characters who attempt to fight and kill off an alien energy influenced bulldozer. The formerly stagnant bulldozer begins to acquire a taste for human filth and will stop at nothing to ward off the humans attempting to fight it off. The only redeeming quality of this movie would have to be the saving grace of Clint Walker who not only performs phenomenally in such a bad film, but also becomes the reason behind the fall of Killdozer. The movie has gained a cult following since its debut, and rightfully so.
10. The Room
Talking about cult followings, we move onto The Room. Not necessarily fitting into the B-movie genre, it still fits into the man made genre of “so bad it’s good.” The Room follows director and writer Tommy Wiseau as he goes through life dealing with love affairs and job-related issues. There’s been an ever growing cult following behind this movie that has kept it supported for as long as it has been around. The reason behind people’s interests in this film result to the over the top acting of Tommy Wiseau, mixed with the out of sorts plot and characters that serve little to no purpose. While the film is not good by any regard, it has become so popular in the “so bad it’s good” genre that it’s nearly a sin to not watch this movie if you’re interested in that style of film. There’s uncertainty just how long this film will remain relevant, but as long as the cult following keeps strong, The Room will be going nowhere.
9. Plan 9 From Outer Space
Directed and written by Ed Wood, Plan 9 From Outer Space is a black and white science fiction horror film from the late 50s. The movie consists of some well known actors by the names of Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon and Duke Moore. The plot consists of extraterrestrials seeking to stop humanity and you follow them as they try to stop them from creating the ultimate weapon that could end humanity. The movie was made with a $60,000 budget and to date is considered one of the worst movies ever made. Contrary to the popular consensus leading to be named the worst movie ever made, it has created a legacy in film history that has spawned remakes, revisions, and has become a classic B-movie. According to Rotten Tomatoes, it’s gathered an approximate 66% overall rating praising its over the top hilarious features mixed with taking the “so bad it’s good” concept and pushing it to its maximum level.
8. Attack of The 50 Foot Woman
Ever been curious to know what it would be like if a 50-foot woman decided to destroy Earth? Well, there’s a movie for that. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman follows Allison Hayes as she deals with her own emotional issues coped by alcoholism and the like. Incidentally, she makes contact with an enormous alien that caused her to grow. The movie was made back in 1958, directed by Nathan H. Juran, known for other movies such as Jack the Giant Killer and The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. It was made on a strict $89,000 budget but unsurprisingly made a huge profit by bringing in nearly $500,000 in box office. The overall critical consensus of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is pushing more towards the positives praising its enjoyable nature mixed with being one of the worst made science fiction films ever made. Much like other B-movies made in that time, Attack of The 50 Foot Woman has spawned remakes and sequels. However if it were me, I’d go back to the original to enjoy the movie for what it really is.
7. Planet Terror
One of the few movies on this list that was released as a double feature is Planet Terror. Being released alongside Grindhouse, Planet Terror follows a group of people as they attempt to survive a zombie onslaught. This movie being released in 2007, the American zombie genre wasn’t necessarily a secret, even though the popularity of the genre grew as the years went on. Although Planet Terror was released in 2007, the overall look of the movie was made purposely to mimic movies that were made back in the 70s with the use of special effects and the like. The general consensus of the movie reaches more towards the positives praising its over the top thrilling nature mixed with zombies. Evidently being a box office success with bringing in nearly $11 million, you can guarantee that this movie will be falling on people’s lists of “to watch” for the Halloween season specifically.
Something rare that can occur with “so bad they’re good” movies is the case where a movie is received so well, that the sequels make the original idea that much better. Sharknado takes the cake for not only being one of the most over the top comedy disaster films, but for also being one of the most successful and well received where it had no reason to do so. Hence its name, Sharknado is about a tragedy taking place in Los Angeles where man-eating sharks are taking the skies through tornado to wreak havoc on unsuspecting individuals. It was given a $2 million budget and spawned multiple sequels such as Sharknado 2: The Second One and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! It has been known to be one of the most enjoyable films in its genre, so if you’re looking for something way over the top, Sharknado is your go to movie.
Thankskilling is a horror comedy from 2008 written and directed by Jordan Downey. The story is told through events on Thanksgiving involving murders by none other than a tomahawk wielding, evil, demonic turkey. These events are told through college students attempting to put a stop to the madness. The budget was very tight with only $3,500 to support the film, and was received generally favorable commending its entertainingly terrible value. Given that it was only made on a $3,500 budget, the movie was never shown in theaters, but instead released straight to DVD for home viewing. While this movie hasn’t necessarily brought in a cult following much like other B-movies of the same caliber, the movie did spawn a sequel titled ThanksKilling 3 and was made successful through the means of Kickstarter giving a nearly $113,000 budget. ThanksKilling 3 was met with generally negative reviews giving it a solid 3.4 star rating on IMDB.
4. The Blob
Potentially being one of the most successful B-movies ever made, The Blob takes the cake for being one of the most well known and over the top ridiculous movies ever made. Back in the late 50s, Irvin Yeaworth took the torch and directed The Blob with no more than $110,000 for a budget. The movie follows a blob-like creature from space that has a hunger for human flesh in a small community in Downington, Pennsylvania. Although most critics discuss the cheaply made nature of this film, it excelled in box office by bringing in $4 million, making it a tremendous box office success. The Blob has also created a cult following that still exists today and is as strong as ever. It also goes down in history as being one of the most successful B-movie classics ever made and much like others has spawned play reenactments, sequels, remakes, and the like.
3. Troll 2
Troll 2 is not only the one movie that everybody talks about, but it is heavily regarded as being the absolutely best-worst movie ever made. Back in 1990, a man by the name of Claudio Fragasso decided to take this idea to the big screen, and thus Troll 2 was born. Under a pretty strict $200,000 budget, Troll 2 attempts to follow a family who are pursued by vegetarian goblins. It stars big names like Michael Stephenson, Connie McFarland, and Deborah Reed, to name a few. Troll 2, upon its release, was met with generally negative reviews with most commenting on its exceptionally poor quality mixed with the terrible acting jobs and poor dialogue choices. Although Troll 2 was never considered anything but terrible, multiple events have occurred to show respect for the movie, as well as a release on DVD and Blu-ray so that you can enjoy the movie in the safety of your own home.
Back in 2012, we were all gifted with maybe one of the best low budget films that year ever saw – Rubber. The movie is an English-French independent comedy horror film directed and written by Quentin Dupieux. The movie was brought to life with the budget being $500,000. Rubber was met with generally positive reviews, claiming the movie does a great job at being odd while maintaining a sense of time management. Regardless of its favorable critical reviews, local news articles stated that the movie stretches on for way too long with very little story and pointless dialogue. Alongside its overall positive reviews, director Quentin Dupieux was also mentioned by The Huffington Post saying that he does an excellent job of turning a spoof into something silly and smart, and does a good job delivering a sub-par or trashy B-movie. Speaking from experience, Rubber is most definitely worth a watch or two.
1. Attack of The Killer Tomatoes
Without even knowing it, Attack of The Killer Tomatoes was the first low budget film I’d ever seen. This movie was made back in the late 70s and it took place in the musical horror comedy genre. It was directed and produced by John Debello, who’s known for Return of the Killer Tomatoes and Killer Tomatoes Strike Back. In my personal experience, this is one of those movies where you’ll never look back with regret as its got so much going for it that allows it to thrive and the potential for that thrive to grow even today. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was created with roughly $100,000 and brought in nearly $600,000 during box office. Although it was well received as far as money is concerned, the movie has actually been rated fairly poorly with some critics stating that its not even worth writing about, let alone commenting on its horrible features. It is one of those B-movies that has brought together a cult following, something I’m not particularly surprised by.