Bad movies have plenty of cliches to discuss. Most involve poor film-making elements such as bad cuts, unclear action sequences, terrible acting or time and space having no meaning. Others involve stereotypes about genders or races. Those are no fun and need to stop so just ignore all those. We're here only to talk about the cliches in bad movies that we love and are always invited to the bad movie party. These are the bad movie staples that make us jump up in excitement or get rolling on the floor in laughter.
Our list was compiled after painstakingly analyzing thousands of bad movies over a span of 36 years. Please let us know your favorites by leaving a comment below. To hear us talk about our most beloved bad, cult and obscure movies, make sure to subscribe to Stinker Madness using your favorite podcasting platform! Enjoy!
10. Sobriety superpowers
Sometimes you gotta get good n' liquored up in a film. Its usually when all the chips are down and one of the main characters has given up or while partying in Brazil moments before zombies attack or at bachelor party before a massive earthquake hits. But then, by using the power to instantly sober up, you're able to draw up plans to defeat the bad guys or run without falling into walls or execute perfect martial arts moves. Just mind the puke on your shirt. Speaking of shirts.....
9. Better take our shirts off
When you've finally tracked down the villain to a deserted warehouse or scenic beach and he has no escape option and must finally face you in hand to hand combat, it's very important that you keep any blood or teeth or throats from getting on your pressed Banana Republic shirt, gi or tank top. So you take your shirt off. But the bad guy must think that its a tactical move and not wanting his opponent to have the upper-hand, decides he should also remove his shirt. Now its time to fight. Makes me wonder what happens to the bad guy's shirt after he gets kicked off the cliff or nun-chuked to Cleveland. Hey! Free shirt!
8. Not understanding how phones work
It seems that either a lot of directors and actors can't be bothered with picking up the phone and calling mom every now and again. The telephone has been a mysterious and little understood device in Hollywood since Alexander Graham Bell tried to explain it to Cecil B. DeMille while filming Missing in Action 6 (not a real event; that's called "satire"). Whether it is yelling at the phone without picking up the headset, replying to questions from the other end that were physically impossible to ask in the time given, or hearing the other person perfectly while they are falling from a plane at 10,000 feet, the telephone is maybe too much tech for anyone but Iron Man.
7. The bad guy is bad....because.
Hey, we know that sometimes when making a film you don't have time to explain why the antagonist is who he/she is. Sometimes you just have to let your audience trust in the protagonist to know who is evil and who isn't without knowing anything about what his opponent is doing to be so evil. Take our recent Road House episode. Dalton knows that Brad Wesley is the bad guy of the movie because, well...you know...I mean just look at him. He's all....uh....? Sometimes, you just know to poke the bear a little and then he'll send out Bigfoot to run some shit over and THEN look who was right!
6. The lifeless dummy
Oh how we miss the days before all dangerous stunts were replaced by CGI. The days of men almost losing an arm while crashing a car or having an exploding garage door hit a camera man in the face are long gone. But back in the day some stunts were too dangerous for actual men. So in came the fake actual men. There's nothing more fun to laugh at in film then the stiff rigid arms and spine of a stunt dummy hurtling from a highrise or through space.
5. Unlimited ammo
Lets face it, reloading is dumb. We should all live in the future with laser guns that don't need new bullets. Remember ejecting heat clips and picking up new ones in Mass Effect 2? It sucked and guess what; they cacked it from Mass Effect 3. Because having to take the extra 3 seconds to show a guy reloading is a waste of time. In that 3 seconds of film, he could have better spent his time by gunning down 6 dudes. Let Chuck, Ted Prior, Schwaz, and Stallone have their bottomless clips and keep that artsy-fartsy reloading crap for movies directed by John Woo. He's artsy-fartsy right?
4. Freezeframe, credits
Freezeframing and then going to credits immediately is a great way to say "Hey, the movie is over." It's an even better way of saying, "Our work here is done and now we want you to know how awesome the movie you just saw was by sticking this still image on screen while you see our names. Booyah"
This trope of bad movies is inescapable. I mean it. Start noting how many bad movies have some element of truckin' in it. Hell there's an entire genre of bad movies that don't just have truckin' in it, the whole damn thing is about truckin'. Whether it be a chase sequence with a big rig, or haulin' a heavy load to Amarillo by sundown, truckin' ain't just a job, it's a way of life. HONK HONK!
2. Leaving by unopened window
There's nothing like a solid window jump. It's gotta be someone going through a closed window on their own volition preferably from a high level without suffering any injuries. Added bonus points for doing it in a panic, while making a truly ridiculous expression. Double added bonus points for doing it while on fire. Just like #3, this staple is hard to avoid as it appears to be not just one of our favorites but well loved by stunt men and directors alike.
1. The Exploding Helicopter
You want to talk about pervasive? This staple is seriously in every damn movie ever made. Forrest Gump jump-kicked a chopper and exploded it, for crying out loud! Its everywhere!
There's many ways you can take down a chopper and make it 'splode but our favorite is definitely the one-shot-one-kill method using a tiny gun. Steven Seagal seems to have mastered this method as I can think of 3 films he does this in. Who knew helicopters were so fragile?
And just cause we know you love them too....