Here at ScreenCrave, we’re pretty fond of action movies. Just throw together some explosions, a couple people getting punched/kicked/shot in the face, a few quips, and blammo: instant entertainment. Sadly, though, there are some films that fail to follow this most simple of formulas.
Wait, did we say “sadly?” We meant “hilariously.”
8. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
The film follows an indestructible, emotionless Chinese assassin (Lucy Liu) on her quest to lightly kick people in the face and a greasy-haired FBI hitman (Antonio Banderas) in his attempts to mutter incoherently and explode everything ever made. OK, that isn’t actually the plot, but it’s much better than the real story about a kidnapped kid and a miniature robot. Unlike most of this list, Ballistic passes squarely over “So bad it’s good” territory into “So bad it’s just really, really bad.”
7. Game of Death
Game of Death is famous – or rather, infamous – for the fact that Bruce Lee died before filming was completed. They got around this inconvenience by using stock footage of his old films (including Chuck Norris for no adequately explored reason), real-life footage of his funeral, and even a cardboard cutout of Lee in one incredibly terrible scene. All in all, only around 11 minutes of Bruce Lee’s actual performance was used in this movie. Stay classy, Hong Kong.
The final fight scene has become legendary on YouTube for being one of the worst ever, but the rest of the movie is just as bad. You see, in the world of Undefeatable absolutely everyone knows karate, from mob bosses to random Asian guys to mechanics; unfortunately, they all seem to value grunting loudly and doing midair acrobatics instead of actually making convincing punches and kicks. The plot, which involves mafia street fighting and a mommy-loving psycho, only adds to the ridiculous-ess.
5. One Man’s Justice
It’s hard to believe, but Brian Bosworth found the one thing he sucked at more than football: acting. Originally called One Tough Bastard, this film follows the Boz on his quest for revenge; along the way he adopts a 13-year-old street-smart kid, snaps people’s necks, and acts more woodenly than Pinocchio, all pretty much what you’d expect at this point (except maybe for the adoption thing.) But what elevates OMJ to epic levels of terrible is the main villain: MC freaking Hammer himself, proving that you can indeed touch this.
4. Van Helsing
How do you combine Dracula, werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster, Wolverine, and Kate Beckinsale and not make the most awesome action/horror movie of all time? Van Helsing answers that question, and it’s as hilarious as it is awful. The film felt like an excuse to throw in as many monsters together as possible, and when you add some cheesier-than-deep-dish-pizza acting, mediocre CGI, and medieval versions of James Bond’s gadgets you have a movie that works much better as a horror parody than an action flick.
No, that isn’t a typo. Made by infamous rip-off studio The Asylum, Transmorphers bears more than a little resemblance to a certain Michael Bay blockbuster, along with Aliens, Blade Runner, and The Matrix. And while the awful CGI, dumb plot stolen from other (better) films, and inept acting is on par with other Asylum releases like The Terminators and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, this flick sets itself apart by including the worst catfight ever recorded on film. Mee-yow.
Combine gymnastics and karate and you get… a terrible, terrible movie. Set in the fictional Parmistan, a country inhabited exclusively by crazy people and arrow-wielding ninjas, Gymkata follows gymnast-turned-special-operative John Cabot in his efforts to win the most unfair competition ever. The film tries to shoehorn in as many gymnastics events as possible, including a parallel bars fight, the infamous pommel horse scene, and the end sequence where the hero snaps the villain’s neck with his legs a la Xenia Onatopp (without the sex appeal.)
1. Deadly Prey
A movie that makes Rambo look tasteful and refined, Deadly Prey is essentially a series of over-the-top action sequences that defy all laws of physics or reason. Protagonist and short-shorts enthusiast Mike Dalton racks up an impressive bodycount by the end of the film; some of his kills include taking on a tank all by himself, blowing up a soldier with a well-timed crotch grenade, and the crowning achievement of the film: beating a man to death with his own severed arm.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to yell pointlessly and punch random things for a few hours to correct our action imbalance.