There are some action films that end up achieving beloved status because they are truly great movies (such as Die Hard and Terminator 2) and some that are fondly remembered because they are lovably awful (Commando, for instance).
Demolition Man falls somewhere in the middle. If you’re analyzing it from a critical perspective, you’ll struggle to find many redeeming qualities. Most of the actors are clearly giving it their all, but there is some truly awful dialogue in this film that hinders their efforts. The action, meanwhile, is surprisingly forgettable.
The one thing that Demolition Man has going for it is its premise. This film portrays a unique take on the future where political correctness and pleasantry have been taken a step or two too far. What’s left is a happy-go-lucky utopia that doubles as hell for some.
It’s just a shame that idea isn’t attached to a better movie.
Raise your hand if you knew that the Indian character in Short Circuit was actually played by a white guy named Fisher Stevens. Now put your hand down because you’re on the internet and nobody can see that you’re raising your hand.
Even if the gross “brown face” aspect weren't present, Short Circuit would still not be a good movie. It’s like a children’s adventure film minus the children. Instead, we get a robot that was created with the best technology that ‘80s movies had to offer. Which is to say that the technology was very, very bad.
If there is a tangible appeal to Short Circuit, it can probably be traced back to just how purely ‘80s the movie really is. Nothing defines a decade of cocaine-fueled creativity like Steve Guttenberg hanging out with a robot.
9The Mighty Ducks
Years ago, movie studios went through a brief obsession with the “children playing sports” genre. Angels in the Outfield, Little Giants, Rookie of the Year...if it had kids either playing or involved with sports, there was a good chance that a studio was going to throw a few million dollars at it.
The Mighty Ducks is typically remembered as one of the better examples of this trend. Sure, it was no The Sandlot, but compared to a legion of awful sports movies that came out around that time, Mighty Ducks is generally considered to be pretty great.
It’s not, though. Mighty Ducks is about as “good” as all the other sports movies that came out at that time, which is to say that it’s average at best. Why is it so fondly remembered, then? Because Ducks fly together.
8Masters of the Universe
Masters of the Universe is one of those movies that you first see as a kid and are shocked to learn later in life that it really, really sucks.
When you’re a child, it’s really easy to overlook certain... negative aspects of the movie. For instance, we never used to appreciate that this film is such a blatant copy of the original Star Wars.
What Masters of the Universe lacks in almost everything, though, it makes up for by being the kind of bad movie that’s just competent enough to be entertaining. This is a horribly misguided movie studio’s take on that He-Man thing that seems to be making a lot of money, and we’ll always kind of love it for its status as such.
Road House should have been a slam dunk blockbuster - instead it was a major let-down. It starred Patrick Swayze at the height of his Patrick Swayze game and promised to provide a good ‘ole fashioned action movie experience. Instead, Road House proved to be a bizarre little movie filled with Eastern philosophy, Western violence, and a whole lot of Southern charm.
What’s funny is that Road House has almost always been considered a “so bad, it’s good” movie. Upon release, critics like Roger Ebert pointed out that they couldn’t quite tell whether or not Road House’s awfulness was too much or just enough. Given how beloved the movie is, we’d say it’s an example of the latter.