I hate movies, I really hate them. I also hate people that bang on about them – “Oh you should watch Paterson”, “Wow OMG Room is so good”, “Holy shit guys – I, Daniel Blake is the best film I’ve ever seen.” Leave me alone – I’m out here, hanging out in the lower regions of Rotten Tomatoes, having an absolutely great time. Surrounding myself with base shit, absorbing the pure, wondrous entertainment to be found outside the conventional. That’s where the proper stuff is.
Normally, when a film has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, people stay well clear, but actually, do you know what, there are some pretty good movies with that badge of honour (and it is a badge of honour). And do you know what else what, I’m going to tell you which ones are definitely worth your time. So sit back, pop your wetsuit on and bathe in this beautiful, rancid stream of actually great films that nobody likes apart from me.
(And hopefully you)
1. American Ninja
I’m genuinely offended that this film has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, like, actually gripping my chest and falling over offended. American Ninja is an absolute classic of B-movie action cinema. It’s got it all: martial arts fights, cars exploding for no reason, men running into battle wearing only sleeveless tops and a great socking load of ninja stars. It’s so much unabashed fun – just pure, unadulterated, shameless action.
While you’re at it, you might as well check out all the sequels too – they are all good.
2. Deadly Friend
There are two Wes Craven films proudly holding 0% on RT, they are this one and The Hills Have Eyes Part 2. The second one deserves it (there’s a scene in which a dog has a flashback, ffs), Deadly Friend does not. How can a film about a boy who implants his dead girlfriend’s brain with an artificial intelligence chip and she comes back as a murderous robot homicidally intent on protecting him at all costs, be rated 0%? How can a film that contains the following scene:
BE RATED 0%?
3. Only The Strong
This is probably even more of a travesty than American Ninja being on here – I’m typing this from the floor again. For what it’s worth, I reckon this is genuinely good – yeah, it’s cheesier than a date with that fit Dairylea cow, but it’s a right fun time because of it. Stupidly life-affirming almost-nonsense, you could call it, complete with actually-quite-good fight scenes. It stars Mark Dacascos, one of my favourite actors ever and star of the greatest film of all time, Drive (1997), and he’s doing a load of silly capoeira to somehow kick everyone’s arse in a rather fantastic fashion. Also, some more pretty impressive sleeveless tops in this joint.
4. Slaughter High
I don’t know about you, but I like nothing more than a horror film about a bullied teenager coming back years later to get violent revenge on his classmates. You’ve got Terror Train, Valentine, Tormented, 976-EVIL and a bunch more – it’s a pretty well-saturated market.
The thing most of these movies have in common is that they are Not Very Good, but purely by virtue of the revenge angle, they are regardless Very Satisfying. Slaughter High falls firmly into this bracket, and is therefore most certainly worth a watch, if you like being satisfied. It’s an’ 80s staple, so contains: needless sex, needless violence, a retro soundtrack and that sweet, sweet, oh-so-juicy refreshment that only revenge can truly bring. Quench me! QUENCH ME!
5. Jury Duty
OK, fair enough – your enjoyment of this film will entirely depend on your tolerance for Pauly Shore, who was an American MTV VJ that had a brief but rather large dalliance with the spotlight during the ‘90s. He was a bit like Jim Carrey, if Jim Carrey wasn’t famous anymore, essentially.
The reason I’ve put this film on the list, which came out near the end of his short stint in the limelight (just before Bio-Dome – 5% on Rotten Tomatoes FYI), is because I really like Pauly Shore films, and this is A Pauly Shore Film™. So yeah, it’s A-OK in my book. Really, it’s one of those un-reviewable films – if you like Shore, you’ll like the film; if you don’t, you won’t.
I do, so I do.
The annoying thing about cult movies, is that a lot of people change their mind about them. Often, a film will come out to terrible reviews, but will slowly gather a cult momentum as people discover and enjoy it away from the stuffy gaze of the original haters. Only thing is, sometimes those original haters reevaluate their opinion and pretend to like it. If you hated it, you are not allowed to like it all of a sudden. Hate it and keep on hating it, or like it and keep on liking it – don’t change your mind because it’s ‘cult’ now.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that TerrorVision is a cult movie – when it was first released, it was hit with abysmal reviews, but now everyone likes it. Ignore the Rotten Tomatoes rating, and watch it simply for what it is: a dumb, stupid, surreal slice of technicolour nonsense with a hilariously rubber monster. And who doesn’t like a hilariously rubber monster? I certainly do, because I have one in my [redacted].
7. Inferno (aka Desert Heat)
If we boil it down here, does any Jean-Claude Van Damme movie deserve 0% on Rotten Tomatoes? No, is the answer, but unfortunately there are currently three movies (none of which are Knock Off, aka the worst Van Damme movie) that can boast about it. They are: Derailed (should be at least 20%), The Order (maybe 21%) and Inferno, which actually deserves about 70%, if you’re asking.
It’s one of my favourite Van Damme movies, made in that weird period after his best films had been and gone, and before some of his recent bangers – the wilderness years, let’s call them. This one has it all: Van Damme in a hat, Pat Morita (Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid), Danny Trejo as a a character called Johnny Six Toes, Van Damme’s bare arse and more spin kicks than you can spin a kick at. I mean come on, Van Damme’s getting his arse out and you’re giving him 0%? Have some respect.
8. House III (aka The Horror Show)
Now, House II also has 0%, and although it doesn’t deserve it, I left it off the list because it’s a bit bloody silly – I like it, but it’s fucking dumb, mate. House III is also a bit dumb, like, but it’s Taste the Difference dumb, it’s Tesco Finest dumb, this… is M&S dumb.
Story-wise, this film has basically the same plot as the Wes Craven film Shocker, which involves a murderer being sentenced to the electric chair, but coming back to haunt the family of the cop who put him there. Shocker has 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is utter, utter shite, and House III has 0%, and is utter, utter gold.
It contains stupidly OTT gore, a talking Thanksgiving turkey and two of my favourite actors of all time: Brion James and Lance Henriksen. Did I mention the talking Thanksgiving turkey? I should mention the talking Thanksgiving turkey. I think I actually did mention the talking Thanksgiving turkey.
Also, it’s entirely unrelated to both House and House II so you can skip them and go straight to this big boy.
9. Kevin and Perry Go Large
Look, if Ali G Indahouse can have 56% on RT, then this equally dated but still funny comedy can have that, too. I’ve nothing but fond memories of Kevin and Perry Go Large, and although I haven’t seen it in a good number of years, the many viewings that I gave it as a teenager can’t have been for nothing. I’ve never gone back to a film I once liked and changed my mind – this has never happened. All those films I once liked, I still like. This is watertight reasoning. The only thing that’ll stop me liking a film is if the star or the director does something, you know, bad, but as far as I know, Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke are model citizens.
Please don’t @ me if they’re serial killers or something – don’t ruin this for me.
10. Leprechaun 2
Out of the Leprechaun series (that’s seven films including a remake), three have 0% on Rotten Tomatoes (somehow Leprechaun In The Hood, starring Coolio, has the highest rating of 33% even though it’s hell on earth). I have picked Leprechaun 2 as the one to stick on this extremely arbitrary list, because I believe it to be the better than both parts 3 and 4. Also, it’s the only 18 in the series, and if we’re looking at horror films here, then you’re probably going to want to go in that direction.
Look, it’s a film about a tiny leprechaun killing people with magic while speaking in riddles – I don’t know what you want from me. OF COURSE IT IS WORTH WATCHING.
Video game adaptations are often very bad, we all know this – not so bad they’re good, just bad. The problem is, they often try to do too much with the material – often, if they’d have stayed true to the spirit of the game and kept things simple, they’d have turned out alright. Like Mortal Kombat, for instance, the best video game adaptation of all time – it is a game solely about fighting and so they made the movie solely about fighting, therefore it worked.
This is why the Tekken movie is ‘good’. Tekken is a game about fighting, just fighting, lots of fighting, punching, kicking, flipping, fighting; and Tekken is a movie about fighting, loads and loads of fighting. By not attempting to imbue any of the characters with much personality, and by neglecting to introduce an overly-complicated storyline, proceedings are limited to fighting, and therefore do not become bogged down with their own self-importance. It’s basically like watching someone play the game, which is something I quite enjoy, actually. Fighting fighting fighting fighting.
12. The Stepfather II
Now, The Stepfather is a properly, actually, literally great movie with 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, and easily better than every other film on this list (see it, basically, it’s so good), but to drop a full 86 percentage points down to 0 for the sequel is way too harsh. It’s not as good as the first, but I still had a blast watching it – this particular type of home invasion horror-thriller is right up my street.
Re-shoots skewed the film away from the original director’s vision, so it’s a bit mixed-up in places, but it’s still a good ole time at the movies, and Terry O'Quinn (Locke from Lost) is just as terrifying as before. This in no way deserves such a low score. Everybody is an idiot.
13. The Dentist (and go on then, The Dentist 2)
If you’re not interested in watching a horror movie about a homicidal dentist, then I’m not sure what your prob is, buster. I mean, yeah, if the thought of drills boring into people’s teeth in lurid close-up detail makes your knees wet themselves, then OK, I get it, but other than that – what’s not to like?
The second one is even more disgusting, too, and only marginally worse – we’re talking 3 or 4% less on RT, here. So why aren’t you immediately watching it right now? Why are you still reading? WHY AREN’T YOU IN YOUR LOCAL VHS RENTAL ESTABLISHMENT ENQUIRING ABOUT COPIES? THE FILM ABOUT THE KILLER DENTIST PLEASE, YOU’LL SHOUT, THE DEATH TEETH-GOBLIN, DO YOU HAVE THE EVIL MOUTH-EXAMINER FILM, STAMP YOUR FEET, DEMAND THE HEINOUS HEALTH-PROFESSIONAL MOVIE, GIVE ME THE FOUL ENAMEL-BURGLAR MOVIE AND ITS SEQUEL, DO NOT STOP UNTIL THE PRECIOUS VIDEO CASSETTE IS IN YOUR HANDS, THEN TAKE YOUR BEN & JERRY’S AND LEAVE.