As we all know, not every creature feature is going to be Jaws. Sure, there was a time that they tried to be and failed. However, the more they failed, the more self-aware they became. The quality of a film is not linear, but rather circular. The polar opposites are bad and good, but there are grey areas present. There’s a reason that when films reach a certain level of bad that they become good again.
It is simply due to absurd comedy. These so-bad-they’re-good movies have things that are so insane or stupid that causes us to laugh harder than if we’re watching a traditional comedy. Bad CGI, cheesy dialogue, and ridiculous plot points contribute to this ultimate factor that makes these creature features guilty pleasures for majority of us. They are the movies we watch when we want to laugh and react in complete disbelief. So here are a few of those ‘bad’ films that are some of the most entertaining and hilarious watches to this day.
Yes, the villain is given away in the title. Zombeavers is exactly what it sounds like, and it is truly a delightfully stupid movie. It is self-aware, so it is comforting to laugh when you know the creators were in on the joke. This one is personally my ‘least favorite’ of the list, but it still is a fun time. The setup is typical–horny college students on vacation are terrorized by a sinister entity. This sinister entity just happens to be zombified beavers.
Not only is there zombified beavers, but there are also Werebeavers, which are actually disturbing. However, the zombie beavers are bloody, glorified hand puppets for majority of the movie. They also hint at zombie bees at the end, so there might be a sequel down the line titled ‘Zombees.’ These kinds of films can go on forever, but Zombeavers is in fact worth your time if you’re down for campy, raunchy fun.
You can’t mention so-bad-it’s-good films without mentioning this monstrosity. I personally grew up with the 1998 Godzilla, and much to my mom’s dismay, I loved this movie as a little kid. It was scary, but exciting–but I had low standards as a four-year-old. I watch it now, and oh boy, it’s terrible. However, the cheesiness in this film makes it watchable and more importantly, it makes it laughable. It’s a cinematic mistake that we should never forget as it is Hollywood’s first portrayal of the monster.
The odd choice of Matthew Broderick paired with the weird ‘fivehead’ that Godzilla has are some of the glaring issues. However, if you think about it in terms of Ferris Bueller fighting a T-Rex mutant, that’s the stuff dreams are made of. It is one of the most cliche action movies of all time, but there is a reason it remains on television to this day. It’s in the same category as Waterworld: you don’t seek it out, but you will watch the whole thing if you come across it accidentally.
Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
Wait, is that ScarJo? Why, yes, it is. Eight Legged Freaks is an oddball horror comedy that is exactly what it sounds like. Freaky spiders. In fact, freaky, HUGE spiders. This resided on Netflix for the longest time when they started Instant Streaming, so you may have watched it once upon a time. It demands a revisit however, because this film is highly underrated for what it delivers.
It’s genuinely creepy for arachnophobes, as the design of the spiders are borderline gross. However, with the Syfy style graphics and the ridiculous plot, it makes for an undeniably entertaining watch. It has a similar comedic timing to Tremors, so there is sure to be a few belly chuckles that the movie intends. It knows it’s a ridiculous creature feature and lives up with the rest of them on purpose rather than by accident. This one is hugely underrated in my opinion.
Lake Placid (1999)
This one is my personal favorite. Lake Placid is a fun film that has a stacked cast–not the main stars though. I’m talking about Brendan Gleeson and the late and more-than-great Betty White. Both of these actors steal the show and paired with an obnoxiously gigantic crocodile, you’re in for a hilarious treat. Lake Placid does suffer in dialogue and doesn’t explain where the thing came from, but it’s here and ready for some carnage.
Betty White is actually the instigator for a lot of the events in the film. So not only does she bless us with her presence, but she also blesses us with her badassery. I miss her. The effects here are actually not bad in comparison with the other films–which makes it stand out and make the future special effects engineer in me happy. Most importantly Lake Placid is the film that brought Betty White back into the mainstream, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
This is the film that comes to mind when I think of so-bad-it’s-good movies. Deep Blue Sea is hilarious and outrageous in all of the best ways. In fact, it’s insulting to even think that Sharknado is the top so-bad-it’s-good film. To start it all off, the cast in this film is fully loaded. I mean, we have LL Cool J, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, Saffron Burrows and Thomas Jane. Therefore, no matter how bad the writing is, we’re still guaranteed something entertaining because these people are known for acting their asses off–whether it be in a good or bad way.
It also has one of the most iconic speech scenes in film history, and we don’t even get to see him finish. Paired with some of the worst computer-generated sharks you’ll ever see, this film is a cheesy classic that is a rite of passage for any movie fan. This film paved the way for those SyFy films we all know but will most likely never watch. However, it’s a badge of honor to have this film on your shelf.
This concludes my summarization of the five creature features that come to mind. I know there’s plenty out there that I haven’t even touched on, but I would love to hear which creature feature is your favorite–both in the good and the bad way. Currently, The Void of Celluloid has been very active on TikTok and other social media, so if you prefer your daily dose of horror in small video shorts, go and check that out. Stay tuned for my review of M3GAN and hopefully Skinamarink this month as I seem to have a reason to go see a horror film in theaters in January. Maybe the curse has finally been lifted.
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