There's a thin line between horror and hilarity. Some film makers go stumbling across that line with such reckless abandon that they wind up crashing through a window on the other side of the room.
Here are 10 brutally violent scenes that are entertaining for all the wrong reasons:
Gary Busey has proven time and again that he is the cinematic equivalent of everything that has ever been awesome in the history of forever, molded into one semi-unstable, frightening man. Put him in a warehouse full of bad guys, and magic happens:
"Your worst nightmare, Butt-horn!" is how Busey introduces himself to the gang. To think that for many men in that warehouse, those were among the last words they heard before entering the afterlife. Including the dude at 1:30 who apparently gets shot in the anus. Worst nightmare, indeed.
We should note that Busey is playing a badass named "McBain" in that film, just like Christopher Walken did years before. Oh, if only the two could have wound up in the same movie. Though there's probably some international treaties against that.
The final fight in Marked for Death shows us Steven Seagal in all his egomaniacal glory. Every Seagal movie features his character as a humble, soft-spoken guy who just gets pushed too far, to the point that he has to go on an ass-kicking rampage, standing up for the little guy with each arm he breaks.
Marked for Death seemed to want to drive this point home by having Seagal beat the ever-loving shit out of some guy who looks sort of like Bob Marley and kill him no less than three different times.
Seagal first puts his fingers inside the man's skull, goes through a wall with him, breaks his spine over his knee, throws him through another wall, then down an elevator shaft onto some kind of spike.
Presumably in the director's cut he pisses gasoline on his corpse, lights it on fire, waits for it to burn out, collects the ashes, eats them, shits them into a blender before whipping them up with some mulch and planting roses.
A mid-'70s crime drama, The Streets of San Francisco was a show where future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made his TV debut as a bodybuilder (he didn't have a whole lot of range back then). He wasn't just any bodybuilder, though, he was the kind of emotionally unstable man-child you just didn't want to fuck with:
As Arnold flexes and perhaps shits himself, the woman with him bursts into uncontrollable laughter. "Ha ha, you giant man! Your intense muscle mass amuses me for no discernible reason!" she seems to say.
Arnold responds by giving her the fiercest case of Adult Onset Shaken Baby Syndrome ever, as the camera gives a nice close shot of his scrunched closed eyes and pained expression as he tries to shut out the terrible words of the heartless crone. Finally he storms out while muttering to himself, possibly in search of more women to savage. Clearly after this episode aired, no woman felt safe making fun of foreigners with D-cup pecs for many months.
The brainchild of Eli Roth, whose movies get the word "torture porn" tossed at them these days, Cabin Fever was a little horror flick involving college kids and horrible skin conditions, set in the kind of deep South location most of us have nightmares about getting stranded in.
It achieved some mild fame and notoriety, but didn't blow many minds. For the most part, anyway. One scene, however, stands out, a flower of awesome in a vacant lot of mediocrity:
This scene is akin to a religious experience: It can't really be explained in any satisfying or logical way. But it happened, and cannot be denied. A kid screams "PANCAKES!!!" and does some kung fu at the air. Then bites a dude.
Even the director Roth admits it was made on the fly. Apparently that kid with that hair just showed up one day during casting, doing some kung fu shit and Roth did what any man would have done: rewrite the scene to include him. Hell, if the kid had shown up to the set of Schindler's List, we like to think Spielberg would have done the same.
One of several million films that tried to cash in on the martial arts craze that Bruce Lee started in the '70s, Enter the Ninja already had several things working against it. First of all, the lead actor had no knowledge of martial arts whatsoever. And while, say, a thespian with no medical knowledge can play a doctor, one with no martial arts training trying to play a ninja is like a porn star with no anus playing the Mayor of Buggersville in the sequel to Back into Buggersville, a film that may or may not really exist.
What we're trying to say is it's a bad idea. But from the soil of that bad idea grows scenes of pure unintentional awesomeness:
Demonstrating the exact level of awesomeness that permeates Enter the Ninja, the white pajama-wearing ninja (a camouflage that indicates he was expecting a snowstorm in the brutally hot factory where he was fighting) takes out this thug with one single throwing star to the chest. The assault not only kills the man, but appears to make him lose faith in even trying to survive. After a moment's shock at the realization he's been stabbed in the heart with a ninja star, he just stares wistfully, shrugs and then kicks it.
We like to think the star was coated with some kind of special poison that just instantly makes a man not give a shit about anything.
There was a magical time around 1991 when you could take a Hannibal Lecter movie seriously; The Silence of the Lambs won 5 Academy Awards, after all. Then, things went downhill, fast.
We're not completely sure who to blame for what is arguably the most ridiculous scene ever to feature three award-winning actors, be it author Thomas Harris for writing it, or Ridley Scott for filming it. All we know is that it happened:
The tone seems to suggest this is frightening and gruesome and horrible. Unfortunately, what we're actually seeing is a sleepy Ray Liotta say his brain smells delicious then having a taste of it, making this pretty much what we'd expect to see in a live action version of The Itchy & Scratchy Show.
It turns out there's a fine line between looking cool and looking utterly ridiculous, and in Mission: Impossible 2, Tom Cruise jumped over that line on a motorcycle.
This movie came out right around the time when Hollywood passed a law saying every single action scene in every single movie had to look like The Matrix. This included several movies that didn't bother with the whole "computer simulation" plot point that explained why in that movie humans were able to jump for huge distances without breaking their ankles when they landed.
Thus, in 2000 we wound up with laugh-out-loud bullshit like this:
Indeed, those were two grown men simply leaping from moving motorcycles into one another in mid air. You may want to question why they didn't meld into a blob of Versace and flesh upon impact, or just how many ribs wouldn't have gotten crushed when they both fell off that cliff. We're afraid that in doing so, you would only find that some questions just don't have non-retarded answers.
James Cameron, before he directed Aliens or Terminator, taught the world a lesson in fear back in 1981 with the intensely awesome Piranha 2. How intensely awesome was it? The piranhas could fly. They fuckin' fly!
Working on the premise that a stupid movie needs an exponentially more stupid sequel, also know as the Deuce Bigalow Principle, the original horror movie about piranhas had to be followed by a movie about mutant piranhas with some kind of special ability, specifically the ability to soar through the air without the benefit of tiny motorcycles.
The government's Asinine Animal Experiment Division apparently had a breach in security. Something like this was bound to happen:
By far the saddest part of that clip is the very last shot of the bored-looking crowd behind the glass. It's like they waited there all day to see the new bitey-fish things, and at the sight of them devouring a screaming man were like, "Well ... that's pretty scary I guess. Hey, does anybody know if Lost is a rerun tonight?"
The original Star Trek TV show didn't have all the geek hype to live up to that modern franchise has. While we can assume JJ Abrams' new movie is going to have nothing but kick-ass fights between Syler and Klingons and probably some scenes of a young Captain Kirk engaging in intergalactic threesomes with blue-skinned women, the TV show had to make due with Shatner grappling with extras in rubber suits.
Unfortunately, rubber suit technology didn't actually allow the actor he was fighting to move in any way, so you had awkward, laughably slow fight scenes that actually inspired pity:
Seriously, that first part looks like they were fighting underwater. To make things worse, it appears that the actor in the rubber suit can barely see out of his mask. Thus we get the lowest point of the whole affair 1:19 in, when a Styrofoam rock is thrown at his midsection, and he is completely unaware of the impact until he hears it.
There is then a moment when he realizes he should have reacted to the rock in some way, but that the moment has now passed and that he might as well press on with the scene and think about how his career went so terribly wrong.
Nicolas Cage seems to be conducting some kind of experiment, wherein he intentionally takes only the best and worst projects offered to him, and absolutely nothing in between. For every Ghost Rider there's a Leaving Las Vegas, for every Con Air there's an Adaptation.
Well, there was. Until The Wicker Man, a movie so jaw-droppingly ridiculous that it has destroyed the delicate Yin-Yang balance Cage so carefully had maintained.
How many Oscars will Cage have to line up to make up for what we've just seen there? How does this even happen? We're picturing the director huddled with Cage, already in bear costume, saying, "OK, Nic, in this next scene, you're going to run up this hill in your bear costume, and punch that librarian lady in the face. Any questions?"
That of course seems like the point when most of us would say, "Yes, Mr. Director, I now have many, many questions." Not Cage.
"Great work, Nic. OK, let's head over to the house set, where you'll be spin-kicking Leelee Sobieksi across the room."
We know that many of you have seen the above highlights, as they've been quite a sensation on YouTube. We also know that most of you haven't actually seen the rest of the film, judging by its box office. So here's a fun project for you: Sit down and try to write the rest of the movie so that those scenes make perfect sense in context.
Keep a bottle of aspirin handy.