Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts

Top 25 Guilty Pleasure Movies

Another month, another Top 25 list.

Do you know what makes a movie great? No, it’s not who’s in it, who directed or how many awards it garners. It’s about how fondly you remember it; how much fun you had or how it touched you. What is great is entirely subjective as it relates as to what is most memorable.

The movies below are not great.

Yet, they ARE memorable. They entertain us. They’re the movies we find flipping through the channels, realize what is and say “Yes!” as though we found some lost relic. These are "guilty pleasures" - movies that many people love to watch yet won't admit they probably have them in their own, personal "favorites of all time" lists.  So enjoy what are the best guilty pleasures of film, there's no need to feel guilty if it's something you (and I'm willing to bet someone else) loves to watch.

Oh, and sorry, ladies. Most of these are obviously guy guilty pleasure movies, but there might be a few that you would fall into as well.


25: Rocky IV

The first rocky was great. It even won Best Picture. The second one was good, albeit a retread at times. The third had some moments, and Mr. T steals the show. Then you have the fourth film, and all the 80s wonder that comes with it. It has the cold war plot. The little guy against the big guy underdog story. You have Sly, and who in the 1980s didn't like Sly? Hot Russian women as only Brigitte Nielson could deliver. The 80s soundtrack by Survivor. People in the 80s loved robots, so it even had that. Out of all the Rocky movies, it's without a doubt the most dated, firmly rooted in the 1980s bliss it built itself on. But let's be honest, it's Dolph Lundgren we all love in this movie. He's huge, and has the best lines.

I'm going to be doing this a lot in this countdown, because many Guilty Pleasure movies seem synonymous with quotable dialogue and one-liners. So here's a few from Rocky IV:

"If he dies...he dies." 

"I must break you."

"I win for me. FOR ME!"

"He's not human. He's like a piece of iron."

"You will lose."

Fun Fact: Dolph Lundgren holds a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering and a reported IQ of 160.


24: The Lost Boys

Long before "Twilight" made it popular, teenage vampires crashed onto the screen in 1987. Keifer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and oh-so-dreamy Jason Patric star, directed by Joel Schumacher when the man could make some good movies, and you have one of the best vampire movies ever. So what makes it a guilty pleasure? The Coreys, of course. These two teens in the 80s, and especially this movie, were what kids lived vicariously through. As a result, when we see it today, we are taken back to our childhood, and the 1980s, with this movie. While it's Patric's story, and Keifer just an all-around bad ass vampire, its the two Coreys that steal the show. As the tagline says, "It's fun to be a vampire."

"Are you freebasing, Michael? Inquiring minds want to know."

"My own brother a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire! Oh, you wait 'til Mom finds out, buddy."

"Maximum body count!"

Fun Fact: Corey Haim was the voice of Donatello in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.


23: The Wizard

This movie is one of the defining traits of many a childhood. It has everything you want. No, not characters and story, that's for good movies, but videogames, and lots of them. If you ever want to take a quick trip back 20 years and recapture your lost youth, watching this movie will cause you to which is probably why so many enjoy it (and so many probably don't admit to watching it repeatedly). A road trip movie about videogames, who thinks of this stuff? Unlike a lot of kids' movies, this isn't one today's kids will "get" like they would A Neverending Story of The Goonies. Those are timeless. This is strickly stuck in 1989 and won't budge, nor will the people who love it.

"50,000! You scored 50,000 points on Double Dragon?"

"Pick any game you want. I'm good at all of 'em. I've got 97 of 'em."

"I love the Power Glove. It's so bad."

"Hey, it's the wizard! I hope you don't get nervous like last time. We wouldn't want you to...”wiz" on someone!"

"Super Mario Brothers Threeeeee!"

Fun Fact: Jenny Lewis, the girl from the movie, formed the successful Indie Rock band Rilo Kiley with another former child star, Blake Sennet (Boy Meets World, Salute Your Shorts) and has opened for acts such as Bright Eyes, Coldplay and Snow Patrol.


22: Joe Versus the Volcano

One of the strangest romantic comedies you'll ever see. It's so absurd that even typing it out is difficult. A rich man tricks another guy to think he's going to die. The dying man (Joe) is offered this: a ton of money and the best last few weeks of his life as long as he sails out to this little island and jump into a volcano to satisfy the vengeful god. Joe is stuck in a mediocre job with nothing but a nice lamp to get by and is then thrust into a lot of people's fantasy. It's your last days...what will you do with it if you had all the money in the world? Much of the movie, though, is about Joe surviving on a raft-of-steamertrunks with all the useless crap he bought after his ship sinks and is stuck nursing Meg Ryan back to health all while playing the ukulele, practicing his putting and slowly losing his mind.

"So I'm not sick? Except for this terminal disease?"

"And Frank, the coffee. It stinks. It tastes like arsenic"

"Take me... to the volcano!"

"You mean you were diagnosed with something called a brain cloud and didn't ask for a second opinion?"

"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life." 

Fun Fact: The writer/director of Joe v Volcano went on to write the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Doubt.


21: Mortal Kombat

A guilty pleasure of a game was made into a guilty pleasure of a movie. Like the game, there's no story or characters you need to care about, just cheesy action and fighting with (at the time) fun special effects. What's great, though, is it's now more comedy than "cool action" yet still lets us relive our childhood. Unlike good childhood movies, like Ninja Turtles or Goonies, this one we can chalk up to "what the hell were we thinking....oh wait, quiet...Liu Kang fighting Sub-Zero."

"This is where you fall down."

"I'm in a hostile environment. I'm totally unprepared. And I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys who probably want to kick my ass... it's like being back in high school."

" Your soul is mine..."

"Fatality"

"Time to die."

"IT HAS BEGUN!!"

Fun Fact: Linden Ashby, the actor who played Johnny Cage, is now a regular on Days of Our Lives. Also, Cameron Diaz was originally set to play Sonya Blade before breaking her wrist a few weeks before filming began.


20: Con Air

Simon West's debut film, and really his only hit, not to mention often mistaken for a Michael Bay film due to the constant barrage of explosions and ludacris plot, has every element you would want. It's star-studded with John Malkovich, John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rames, Nicholas Cage, Dave Chappelle and Colm Meany. Am I forgetting anyone? Probably. One of the best things about the film is seeing all these great actors try and slog through the muck that is the script.

"Make a move and the bunny gets it."

"Put... the bunny... back... in the box."

"Beautiful? Sunsets are beautiful, newborn babies are beautiful. This... this is fucking spectacular!"

"And if you say a word about this over the radio, the next wings you see will belong to the flies buzzing over your rotting corpse!"

"I don't know how to tell ya this, Cyrus, but we are three white guys short. Or as they say in Ebonics, "We be fucked".

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I have the only gun on board. Welcome to Con Air."

"They'd call me Johnny 600 if they knew the truth."

Fun Fact: Colm Meany's keychain in the film is the Star Trek logo, in reference to his classic Trek character on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Miles O'Brien.


19: Rambo: First Blood Part 2

The first Rambo film (simply titled "First Blood") was a fantastic movie, both critically and commercially successful and had a lot to say about war and our own society. It was a deep film, more than just action, about a man returning from Vietnam and still treated horribly by his own people. It actually had a lot to say and very reflective. What does First Blood Part 2 have to say? Don't fuck with John Rambo, that's what. First Blood Part 2, now often just called Rambo 2, is what most people envision when someone says "Rambo." It's a jacked-up musclehead running through the jungle with a machine gun and knife and killing anything that moves. But wait...there's more. He also has explosive arrowheads and single-handedly dismantles a small army. What's not to like?

"Sir, do we get to win this time?"

"Murdock... I'm coming to get you!"

"I see you are no stranger to pain."

"I want, what they want, and every other guy who came over here and spilled his guts and gave everything he had, wants! For our country to love us as much as we love it!"

You know there's more men out there and you know where they are. Find'em. Or I'll find you."

Fun Fact: The director, Geore P Cosmatos, would go on to direct Tombstone, and that is just awesome. Let's not forget the writer of this little gem, either: James Cameron.


18: Half-Baked

A last minute entry and one I couldn't believe I forgot, Half-Baked is all about one thing: marijuana. That's it...nothing more. It has numerous cameos and the cast with Dave Chappelle, Jim Brewer and Harland Williams are just guys you can really relate to, even if you don't do drugs. This is one of those movies that is playing in the background at parties or people will always quote randomly and everyone gets a laugh. Yes, it does its job well as a guilty pleasure, I'd say.

"Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, and fuck you, I'm out!"

"No. NO. NO! Devil man! Devil 6-6-6, the mark of the beast! No! Naughty! Naughty jungle of love!"

"I used to suck dick for coke.Now that's an addiction. You ever suck some dick for marijuana?"

Abba Zaba, you my only friend. 

"I love weed, LOVE IT! But not as much as I love pussy!"

"I don't do drugs, though. Just weed."

"Yeah, get me a box of condoms, and, what was that thing we used to eat back in the day? What was it... oh yeah, pussy."

Fun Fact: Half Baked was directed by a woman. I know, crazy, right?


17: Universal Soldier

There were so many formulaic action movies in the late 80s/early 90s that it can get overwhelming. Many of these are fun and dumb, but what sets Universal Soldier apart is the total testosterone fueled combination of Jean Claude van Damme and Dolph Ludgren in one of the most insane performances that guy ever did. He collects ears, afterall. All in all, Universal Soldier is a product of its time, and post T2 was written off, but it's easily Van Damme's best film and Ludgren is so charismatic and demanding on screen that you can't stop watching. 

As for movie lines, you only need one, and you know from who:

"God damn it the whole fucking platoon's dropping like flies! What the hell are you staring it? Do you have any idea what it's like out there? Do you? Well I'm fighting this thing man, it's like kick ass, or kiss ass, and I'm busting heads! It's the only way to win this fucking war. And these shitheads, these yellow traitoring motherfuckers. They're everywhere. And I, Sergeant Andrew Scott of the US Army, I'm gonna teach 'em all."

Fun Fact: One of Jean-Claude's first roles was "background dancer" in the hit movie, Breakin'. By "hit" I mean "horrible," of course. It's a good thing there's no video of that, he sure would be embarrassed if that ever...oh.


16: Teen Wolf

Ok, so you have Michael J. Fox, a full body werewolf costume and the 1980s...what do you do? Make Teen Wolf. Teen Wolf is like a combination of An American Werewolf in London with a John Hughes brat-pack movie. It's your typical cliche 1980s high school dramedy...only this time instead of a kid with acne, it has a werewolf. In fact, the entire structure isn't that much different than most teen comedies of the 1980s...it just has a large creature that can kill you in a swipe of its paw. Our Michael J. Fox doesn't use his powers for that, though. He uses it to become an angry, hairy basketball player (that isn't named Vlade Divac). I suppose this movie called out to every kid in high school who wished he or she would turn into a monster and take on the more popular kids at school.

"Shoot it, Fatboy"

"Your mama used to steal chickens out of the backyard until I blew her head off with a shotgun."

"Give me...a keg...of beer."

Fun Fact: The writers of Teen Wolf would go on to write the script for #1 on this list. Of course one of those writers is Jeph Loeb, Eisner-winning comic book writer.


15: Predator

There's a lot of Schwarzenegger movies that can be dubbed "guilty pleasures." The Running Man, The Conan movies certainly, but Predator gets the nod here (although this wont' be the only Arnold movie on the list) for the sheer fact it's gory, cheesy, has Jessie "the body" Ventura, Carl Weathers and has the infamous "Get to da Choppah!" line. Predator is a sci-fi slasher movie at heart, with victims, this time burly strong men with large guns, getting picked off one by one. There are various degrees of death and gore and the whole thing ends with a nuclear explosion that apparently you can survive by just running away and jumping over a rock. At least Indiana Jones had a lead-lined fridge.

"If it bleeds, we can kill it."

"What...the fuck...are you?"

"You're one ugly motherfucker."

"I ain't got time to bleed."

"Come on in, you fuckers. Come in. Painless is a watin'."

"This is getting better by the minute."

"Run! Get to the chooper!"

Fun Fact: The actor, Kevin Peter Hall, who played the Predator in both movies also played Harry in Harry and the Hendersons.


14: Red Dawn

Soviets? Guns? Patrick Swayze? It's like ingredients needed to make the best dessert ever. Under most circumstances, Red Dawn would be considered a made-for-TV movie at best, but when you have excessive violence, it's like the perfect match up for a classic guilty pleasure and is probably on many people's own list. This is one of the biggest "What If?" scenario movies that was ever made. It's on a grand scale, depicting World War III and a Soviet invasion during the height of the Cold War in 1984 and has an intricate backstory of alternative history. It may be low budget (less than 5 million) the story works because the characters are relateable despite how melodramatic they are. Despite the cheesy nature of the whole thing, you get to like the likes of Jed, Matt and Robert and route for them against those Commies. Red Dawn is an example of a movie with a poor execution, but a lot of heart...and anti-communist propaganda.

"C'mon! We're all going to die, die standing up!"

"Wolverines!!"

"Boys! Avenge me! Avenge me!"

Fun Fact: This film was entered into the Guinness Book of Records as having the most acts of violence of any film up to that time. It was calculated that on average an act of violence occurs at a rate of 134 per hour or 2.23 per minute.


13: Independence Day

I would say it's about this point in this list where most of the movies are going to be universal for peoples' guilty pleasures. There is no better example of this than Independence Day, one of the biggest movies of its time yet one of the dumbest movies ever made. It's essentially a recreation of classic 1950s science fiction, but where those were often commentaries on technology and the Cold War, ID4 is pretty much about aliens blowing shit up. ID4 kick-started the Fresh Prince's movie career as well as the need for "big budget pointless action movies" during the 1990s in which the likes of Michael Bay and this films director, Roland Emmerich, thrived. Roland went on to do a ton of more movies like this, but none really were as popular (and Stargate, the film before this one, was easily his best) but the campy fun of ID4 is just as enjoyable today as it was 1996.

"Welcome to earth. "

I picked a helluva day to quit drinkin'. "

"All right, you alien assholes! In the words of my generation: Up Yours! "

"No, you did NOT shoot that green shit at me!"

"Payback's a bitch, ain't it?"

"No Sir, just a little anxious to get up there and whoop E.T.'s ass, that's all!"

"We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

Fun Fact: The White House interiors were originally built for the Michael Douglas film, The American President and were also used for the film Mars Attacks.


 

12: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

You know them, you love them, and for some reason we sink back to our childhood, ignoring the bland quality of the first movie and love every minute of it. Turtles, fighting, fantastic puppetry and costumes and a dark tone make the first TMNT movie far and away the best. As dumb as the story is, and as cringe-inducing seeing how dated it is, its all about seeing the Mean Green Machine in live-action and its still as great as ever. You really got the sense that these guys were real and living in the sewers, it really was a movie that hit all the right marks in bringing the Turtles to life, fanservice and all. There wasn't a whole lot of people who didn't like the Turtles growing up, I can even remember drawing the poster when I was 10 for an art project or the first time playing with the toys at Christmas, but it's also a pretty fun action movie for people who didn't even know who the Turtles were. It captured them perfectly on celuloid. 

"A Jose Canseco bat? Tell me... you didn't pay money for this."

"I made a funny."

"Looked like sort of a big turtle, in a trench coat."

"God, I love being a Turtle!"

"Pizza dude's got thirty seconds."

Fun Fact: In accordance with the dark nature of the whole movie, originally the boy the instructor Tatsu beats was to die. After the MPAA threatened a PG-13 rating, editors went back in and recut it, adding sound effects of him still breathing. TMNT went on to become the most successful independent film of all time. It cost 13.5 million to make and grossed over 200 million.


11: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey

A double feature like no other, you can't help but love the showcase of stupidity.  Long before it was popular today, these are the tales of two "dudes" chugging through and still coming out on top. You will relive the late 80s and early 90s through and through - the clothes, the music, the totally radical awesomeness. Bill and Ted were what every kid and teenager wanted to be: be a slacker through most of your life, listen to rock music all day, play music badly and then have George Carlin show up with a time-traveling phonebooth and more or less hand you your future-a future, mind you, that is entirely at peace becaues of you. The thing that sells Bill and Ted, though, are Bill and Ted themselves. It's hard not to like these guys and watching their adventure and journey is a novelty of its time, not to mention imaginative and just plain fun. I still think Bogus Journey's vision of Hell is one of the coolest yet disturbing things I've ever seen.

"69 Dudes!"

"Dude, you gotta have a poker face, like me."

"You killed Ted, you medieval dickweed!"

"As you can see, Genghis very much enjoys Twinkies because of the excellent sugar rush."

"I believe our adventure through time has taken a most serious turn."

"Bogus!"

"It's your mom, dude."

"Excuse me. When did the Mongols rule China?"

"Look him up. Oh, it's under So-crates."

"Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K."

"I am Bill S. Preston, Esquire.

And I am Ted Theodore Logan.

And we're... WYLD STALLYNS"

"How's it hangin' Death?"

"This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman's Sporting Goods"

"Be excellent to each other."

Fun Fact: Rufus (George Carlin) never tells Bill and Ted his name, yet they somehow know it.

Fun fact 2: The location where Bill and Ted are "killed" in Bogus Journey is the same mountain Captain Kirk scales and fights the lizard-like Gorn in the Star Trek episode "Arena." Bill and Ted are watching this very episode earlier in the film.


10: Weekend at Bernie's

Did your boss ever invite you to his multi-million dollar mansion, then when you arrive you find out he's dead? Then, instead of calling the police you pretend he's still alive through various puppet tricks and toss him around like a rag-doll? And nobody else seems to notice so you just roll with it? Well if you have shame on you, but if you haven't, you can at least watch two idiots try to make it work. Weekend at Bernie's is every overworked and underpaid person's dream-live off your dead boss as long as he doesn't start stinking up the joint. You have to give it up to Terry Kiser and his stunt double for putting themselves thorugh the ringer just to make us laugh...laugh at a flailing dead body that is shot, hung, buried, dragged, drowned, beaten and still gets the ladies.

"It's just Bernie!"

"What kind of a host invites you to his house for the weekend and dies on you?"

"I give it an 8.3!"

"How do you like that? The guy gets laid more times dead than I do alive."

Fun Fact: The director of Weekend at Bernie's also directed the first Rambo movie-First Blood.


9: Starship Troopers

A "B" movie with "A"-quality special effects. Starship Troopers is a cross between satire, tongue in cheek humor and just awesome badassery that is Casper Van Dien. Thousands of "bugs" get mowed down, brains get sucked out of skulls and, oh yeah, there's also Neil Patrick Harris. Surprisingly, this is one movie that still holds up really well, even with all the computer special effects, and is one that makes it hard to turn the channel when you stumble across it on the television. It's fun, plain and simple.

"I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say kill 'em all!"

"Join the Mobile Infantry and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more? "

"You're some sort of big, fat, smart-bug, aren't you? "

"One day someone like me is gonna kill you and your whole fucking race!"

"This is for all you new people: I only have one rule. Everyone fights. No one quits. You don't do your job, I'll shoot you myself. You get me?"

Fun Fact: Apparently, director Paul Verhoeven doesn't like Michael Ironside too much. In Troopers, he gets both his legs eaten off and in Total Recall he gets both arms ripped off.  Also, some of the sets were reused from Verhoeven's Total Recall as well.


8: UHF

For some reason, somebody gave "Weird Al" Yankovic his first (and only) film. The result? Well...It's like a montage of1980s randomness and pop-culture or, if you rather, a really long Weird Al music video (the director of the movie also directed many of his videos). There's a story in there somewhere about a guy who gets a UHF channel and takes on the big Network by putting out the most random and insane shows and movies such as Conan the Librarian, The Wheel of Fish and Ghandi 2, all while having lucid dreams about being Rambo. It was like a movie version of Saturday Night Live parodies.

"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

"This is my new mop. George, my friend, he gave me this mop. This is a pretty good mop. It's not as good as my first mop. I miss my first mop, but this is still a good mop."

"Lesbian Nazi Hookers Abducted by UFOs and Forced Into Weight Loss Programs - -all next week on Town Talk."

"For those of you just joining us, today we're teaching poodles how to fly."

"Gun control is for wimps and commies."

"You get to drink from... the FIRE HOOOOOSE!"

Fun Fact: A personal hero of mine, Joel Hodgson (creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000) was originally going to play the character Philo (the engineer). Joel is a personal friend of Yankovic's.


7: Top Gun

Cheesy action? Check. One liners? Check. Hot female lead? Check. Implied homosexual shirtless volleyball? Che....errrr.  A popular movie back in the 80s, often considered one of the best "Guy movies" of all time, we look back at Top Gun now and often ask "What were we thinking?" Sure it's got the man-friendships, Val Kilmer being smug, jet shooting action and Kelli McGillis, but it also has shirtless man-soaked volleyball with "Playin' with the Boys" blaring the background. The acting is the most laughable part of the movie, but it's also the part that makes it worth watching again and again. 

"You're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe. I don't like you because you're dangerous."

"That's right! Ice... man. I am dangerous."

"Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby."

"The defense department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid."

"I feel the Need....the Need for Speed."

"Son, you're ego is writing checks your body can't cash."

Fun Fact: Director Tony Scott was reportedly fired three times during the film's production.


6: Tremors

How did they make an entire movie, based on a kids game of "don't touch the ground, it's molten lava/bottomless pit/quicksand"....only now it's giant worms will come up an eat you if you make put on little foot on it? Still, on top of that, also have the amazing power of Kevin Bacon? From the writers of Short Circuit and Short Circuit 2 comes a horror movie (sort of) about giant alien worms that will jump out of the dirt and suck you under if you make one small vibration on the ground. Bacon's character is named "Valentine McKee" which only Kevin Bacon can pull off without laughing and, thus, making it the coolest name ever. Right up there with "John Matrix" and "Johnny Utah," but we'll get to those guys in the just a minute.

"That's how they git you. They're under the goddamned ground!"

"Run for it?! Running's not a plan. Running is what you do when a plan fails!"

"We killed it! Fuuuuuuck you!"

"Pardon by French!"

Fun Fact: Not sure if you caught it or not, but Burt Gummer, the crazy gun-guy married to Reba McIntyre in the film, is Michael Gross, also known as Steven Keaton from Family Ties.


5: Point Break

“Have you ever fired your gun up in the air and gone, ‘Aaaaaarrrhh!!!?’” -Danny Butterman

Point Break is to action movies what Def Leppard is to rock music: shallow but a hell of a lot of fun. It's like a greatest hits album of police action movies. Bank robberies. Keanu Reeveses. Lot of guns and shooting. Then you throw in surfing, sky diving and Patrick Swayze, Reeves and Anthony Kiedis and you end up with a movie that's 1/3 police action, 1/3 California surfer lifestyle and 1/3 bad acting. What can go wrong?

"Little hand says it's time to rock and roll."

"Listen you snot-nose little shit, I was takin' shrapnel in Khe Sanh when you were crappin' in your hands and rubbin' it on your face."

"22 years. Man, L.A. has changed a lot during that time. The air got dirty and the sex got clean."

"Back off Warchild, seriously."

"You crossed the line. People trusted you and they died. You gotta' go down."

"They only live to get radical."

"Yo, Johnny! I see you in the next life!"

"Bohdi! This is your wakeup call I AM AN F... B... I AGENT!"

Fun Fact: The beach spot where the football game is played at the beginning of the film is the same spot used for the soccer game in The Karate Kid.


4: Flash Gordon

What do you get when you take a bunch of no-name actors (although Timothy Dalton would become pretty famous in a couple of years), the writer of the 1960s Batman series and a soundtrack written and performed by Queen? One of the worst yet coolest things ever, of course. Flash Gordon is one of the campiest, cheesiest yet strangely charming movies you'll ever see. It does exactly what it sets out to do: recapture the original serials in big-budget form. Everything transitions over: obvious sets, bad acting, hilarious costumes and a dumb plot on top of it all. Throw in the excessive and flamboyant Queen music and you have magic.

"I like to play with things a while before annihilation."

"Flash, Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth"

"Bring me... the bore worms!"

"No! Not the bore worms!"

"It's what they call tears, it's a sign of their weakness."

"No one - but NO ONE - dies in the Palace without a command from the Emperor"

" Hawkmen... DIIIIIIVVE"

"Long live Flash! You've saved your Earth. Have a nice day."

Fun Fact: Kurt Russel originally auditioned for the role but instead it went to Sam J. Jones. Who is Sam Jones? Well, the mother-in-law of the producer saw Sam on The Dating Game and the rest is history...amazing, a producer who takes his mother-in-laws gameshow advice would go on to make the Conan movies, Army or Darkness and Maximum Overdrive (all of which are guilty pleasures in their own right).


3: Big Touble in Little China

One of the most prolific filmmakers in the 1980s was John Carpenter. Known for horror, he also made two kick-ass action movies. Escape from New York is a classic film -imaginative, action-packed, original...then you have Big Trouble in Little China which shares those qualities, but is a complete 180 in terms of how it's viewed. It's light, stupid, cheesy...and a whole lot fun. The story is so over-the-top and outlandish, Kurt Russel having so much fun with his character and the characters so varied and ridiculous, how can you not have fun with this movie? It's b-movie schlock at its best.

"I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things."

"Everybody relax, I'm here."

"Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?"

"Would you stop rubbing your body up against mine, because I can't concentrate when you do that."

"I was born ready."

Fun Fact: The film was originally written as a western, only changed to modern times after read-throughs.


2: They Live

John Carpenter again? In what is probably the dumbest, most absurd plot premise on this entire list, and that includes Tremors, They Live tells us the story of sunglasses that allow us to see aliens. Roddy Piper and Keith David, directed by John Carpenter, star in a sci-fi action movie that is half The Stuff and half Falling Down. Throw in those three guys and a (uncomfortably) long fight scene that is ridiculous in premise, and you’ve got gold. It's about sunglasses that allow you to see aliens disguised as human. One man finds them. That man is Rowdy Roddy Piper who, as he says, is here to “chew bubblegum and kick some ass... and I’m all out of bubblegum.” In fact, the whole movie is one-liner after one-liner. So let’s share:

“I'm giving you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eatin' that trash can.”

"Formaldehyde face!"

“You? You look like your face fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.”

“Mama don't like tattletales.”

“That's like pouring perfume on a pig.”

“There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't Daddy's little boy no more.”

“Brother, life's a bitch... and she's back in heat.”

Fun Fact: The fight scene between Piper and David is not only notorious for it's length, 5 minutes 20 seconds continuous, but the fact the actors were actually hitting each other. It was originally supposed to be 20 seconds, but Carpenter liked what he saw when they dished it out.


1: Commando

Every time this movie comes on, I expect a “Hell Yeah” from every person in the room. Commando was Arnold’s answer to the Rambo films, only more people die.  Arnold made a lot of guilty pleasure movies. Red Heat, Conan 1 and 2 even Kindergarten Cop can be classified not to mention others I've mentioned alongside Predator. Like a majority of guilty pleasure movies, this one is highly quotable with Schwarzenegger at his cheesy best. Simple plot: Arnold has a daughter, bad guys take daughter, Arnold kills bad guys. Really, that’s it, and that’s why it’s awesome. It doesn’t try to preach anything to us or show dramatic characterization. No. We have people getting killed with buzzsaws and garden tools. There’s no commentary on morals and rights and wrong. Arnold is pissed and he has a fucking machine gun and lots of grenades. He doesn’t get tired, this man casually carries trees in his spare time like they're baseball bats just to show the forest who's boss. He doesn’t even need to reload, God gives him bullets. It’s one man versus a small army, and the odds are against the army. Oh, and his name is John Matrix, so don't forget it.

Now the one man versus everyone thing is nothing new. Die Hard, any Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van Damme movie can get similar results, but they’re often taking on a small group of people. Arnold takes on everyone. Ah, I miss those days.

"You're a funny man, Sully, I like you. That's why I'm going to kill you last."

"Let off some steam, Bennett."

"I eat Green Berets for breakfast. And right now, I'm very hungry!"

"Come on, let the girl go, just between you and me, don't deprive yourself of some pleasure, come on Bennett, lets party!"

"I'll be back, Bennett."

"Come on, you piece of shit. Fly or die."

"Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired."                                  

Fun Fact: Arnold takes down 81 people in this movie. Keep in mind this is only over the course of a couple of days and the movie itself is only about 88 minutes long. That's over 40 deaths a day in the film and about one death per minute for the film's runntime. Way to go! You are the guilty pleasure winner of the month!

Movies can be artistic, thought-provoking and award-winning. When "Greatest Movies of All Time" lists are thrown around, it's usually the same titles and usual suspects each time. At their heart, though, movies are made to be entertaining. They're there to help us get away from reality, enjoy their stories and characters and overall have a good time for a few hours. The movies on this list may not be the best pieces of cinema and up for awards, but they do their jobs as movies ten-fold than most film that win Best Picture.

 

Supplemental: Other considerations that didn't quite make it, some were either too good of movies to be on it or not as widely considered a "guilty pleasure." Some just missed the list, I only could choose 25. Either way-Rent these now!

The Frighteners, From Dusk Til Dawn, Armageddon, BASEketball, Anchorman, Mars Attacks,Adventures in Babysitting,The Last Boy Scout,Hudson Hawk, I'm Gonna Get you Sucka, The Fifth Element, Highlander, Showgirls, The Stuff, The Rock, Krull, The Burbs, Masters of the Universe, Under Siege, Billy Madison, Tango and Cash, Revenge of the Nerds, Snakes on a Plane, Demolition Man, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Judgment Night, Road House, Cocktail,The Dark Crystal. Kindergarten Cop, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, Dutch, Army of Darkness , Judge Dredd, Dirty Dancing, Dumb and Dumber, The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds, Police Academy, Daredevil, The Replacement Killers, TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze, The Naked Gun, Feast, The Monster Squad, Ernest Goes to Camp, Wild Things, Earth Girls are Easy.

 

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