Some old films will remain timeless and wonderful forever; Casablanca, for example, is as good today as the day it was shot. But the vast majority aren’t so lucky, thanks to a combination of laughable special effects and ridiculous plots – and that’s where we come in. What the following films lack in dignity, they make up tenfold with unintentional humor.
9. The Brain from Planet Arous
The Trailer: So apparently having oddly shiny contact lenses gives you the power to blow things up and be a total asshole about it. Who knew? It also shields you from bullets, makes you laugh evilly, and gives you the ability to kill people with light. Also, judging by that weird face at the end, “Arous” is short for “Arousal.” Yeccch.
Best Line: “It’s true; I’ve discovered the power to become the most feared man on Earth” followed by creepy hug.
The Trailer: Sure, the alien ship looks hokey and the gratuitous shots of missile launches are, well, gratuitous. But that pales in comparison to the mighty destroyer of worlds, KRONOS, who appears to be a humidifier attached to a refrigerator (with all the stability that implies.) Bonus points for the cold-blooded yet pointless murder by electrocution.
Best Line: “You’ll have to be shock-proof to withstand the emotional assault!” Psychiatrist not included.
7. Terror from the Year 5,000
The Trailer: In the future, everyone is (a) totally evil and spooky, and (b) represented by about 20 spinning lights. Or at least that’s what this movie wants us to think. It’s admittedly a pretty grim depiction of the year 5,000 (in the future, we also put commas after the first digit for no reason), but it mostly just comes out as hilariously inept.
Best Line: “I was selected to lead you into our world of the future.” Don’t they call it the present where you’re from, lady?
6. The Astounding She-Monster
The Trailer: The only monstrous things about the Astounding She-Monster are that she can frighten woodland creatures and tickle men under their armpits until they die. Which is actually pretty monstrous in truth, but she’s also apparently no more evil than the bitch-slapping gangsters that make up the other half of this confusing flick.
Best Line: “This hand points to an experience no human eyes have ever seen” …while pointing at a wall.
5. The Cylops
The Trailer: Well, they clearly just threw two lizards on top of each other for no apparent reason there. Sure, they obviously put someone’s arm really close to the camera and pretended it was huge. And yeah, the Cyclops was just a guy with one eye covered. But actually… no, this is still a terrible movie. Sorry.
Best Line: “He’s… looking at her.” We can only assume he followed it up with, “Maybe he’ll eat her and leave us alone.”
4. The Blood of Nostradamus
The Trailer: Somehow, the makers of this film managed to confuse Nosferatu (creepy vampire extraordinaire) with Nostradamus (vague predictor of the future.) Add to that a witch who seems turned on by burning to death, a crazy guy who loves a rat, and a hobo dry-humping Nostradamus’s body and you have one messed-up movie.
Best Line: “…Nostradamus awakes from the dead to spread TERROR and MORE TERROR!” Not terror and licorice, as you might have thought.
3. Fiend Without a Face
The Trailer: The “invisible man” plot is usually interesting, but here it mostly consists of people grabbing wildly at their throats before plummeting to their doom. Also, the invisible man steals brains, presumably because he’s starting a collection. And why does an invisible man leave visible monsters?
Best Line: “I believe that it feeds off the radiation of your atomic plants… and it’s evil.” Way to jump to conclusions, gramps; maybe it’s just hungry.
2. The Giant Claw
The Trailer: The Giant Claw is what happens when you combine the body of a dead buzzard with the texture of chewed gum and then try to make people afraid of the resulting mess. To be fair, the Claw does attack such diverse places as a jet plane, the UN building, and a… swimming pool? Well, there goes any remaining credibility.
Best Line: “The bird is extraterrestrial; it comes from outer space.” Yes, that’s what extraterrestrial means.
1. Plan 9 from Outer Space
The Trailer: Plan 9 is infamous for being one of the best worst movies of all time, and this trailer certainly lives up to that. The vampires, zombies, aliens, and Frankenstein monsters that populate the film are apparently all immune to bullets, although that doesn’t stop the characters from firing guns constantly, while the cheesy narration somehow makes Year 5,000 look reasonable.
Best Line: “…the seductive Vampira!” Unfortunately, they then show what Vampira actually looks like.