It's always going to be a touchy subject whenever gender is mentioned, but that doesn't make the topic any less avoidable. The fact of the matter is, there have always been movies made for certain crowds. Studios need their green, so it's only natural that they'd create target audiences for certain movies. It makes the success of a movie that much less of a gamble.
This is where the eye-rolling "Chick Flick" subgenre stems from (as well as the less commonly referred-to "Prick Flick"). But if there had to be a single saving grace from these Stone Age gender politics, it has to be the fact that these subgenres tend to be the home of unquestionably terrible movies. For the most part, at least. So, whether you've had enough of genders and genres having the slightest bit to do with each other, or if you simply love your fair share of shlock entertainment, keep reading to check out 15 Terrible Movies Men Only Watch For One Reason.
15 Mortal Kombat
The early '90s were a simple time for kids. That is, unless you were playing Mortal Kombat — because then they were a bloody, spine-ripping, digitally fatalistic time for kids.
In an era of Pogs and Tamagotchi's, kids were especially caught up in video games. And whether they were playing at home or at an arcade, Mortal Kombat reigned supreme in terms of popularity. Hit some buttons, move some joysticks, and freeze someone into a block ice before roundhouse kicking them into a pile of frozen gore. What's not to love?
So, once a movie was inevitably adapted from the game, fans naturally expanded their devotion, shelling out dough for tickets and continuing to hold the film (though not necessarily the sequel) dear to their hearts. Were they willing to really take into consideration how poorly constructed the film was, and how low it happens to sit with the critics (34% on Rotten Tomatoes), maybe they could see past the nostalgia. But seeing as that's not likely going to happen, it seems as though this flick is safe from the fatality its critics believe it deserves.
14 The Purge Series
The horror genre is arguably one of the most experimental. Between monster movies, slasher flicks, whodunits, and hauntings, the sky is essentially the limit. Well, aside from when the genre actually goes to space, at least.
With The Purge, the genre puts another clever spin on horror, evolving the slasher angle and adding a dementedly political spin on things. However, though it might have worked in better hands, the entire series has been a bit of a mess from the get-go, failing to fully deliver on crafting a solid piece of filmmaking while also delivering on its promise to be genuinely frightening.
Still, it has its fans. Despite the mess that the series is, it has its supporters, though mainly because it allows its audience to vicariously act out the in-universe-legal violence happening on screen. This is all channeled via some aggressively pseudo-masculinity that hasn't been quite as present on film since perhaps Commando with Arnold Schwarzenegger — which itself gets a pass on account of actually being a solid action flick.
13 Battlefield Earth
It's safe to say that John Travolta made some interesting choices when he decided to produce and star in Battlefield Earth. The dialogue is frustratingly insane ("I am going to make you as happy as a baby Psychlo on a straight diet of kerbango."), the makeup department is pretty much made up of nothing more than dreadlocks and eyebrows, and neither Travolta nor Forest Whitaker have ever been worse. That said, it's still one of those throwaway action movies that some guys love to watch.
Why, though? Is it because they rightly understand that Barry Pepper should be the lead in more movies, or are they just having fun with the sheer insanity of it all? Whatever the case may be, Battlefield Earth hasn't been entirely buried in the grave it wholeheartedly deserves, though it's safe to say that that's only on account of the "so bad it's good" second life it's been given.
12 Æon Flux
Some guys have simple tastes. So simple, in fact, that a toned physique paired with a skin-tight black suit, acrobatic skills, and a proficiency with weapons will win them over. Which is exactly why Æon Flux (yes, it's a still a movie on some peoples' minds) is a fan-favorite among certain gentlemen.
Rocking a comfortable 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, Æon Flux is exactly the sort of post-Oscar garbage that so many Oscar winners inconceivably attach themselves to once awards season is over. It's as though someone just threw post-apocalypticism, crappy CGI, and some fancy stunt work into a blender, and then called it a day. That's how disappointing this movie is.
But it's not stopping the aforementioned gentlemen from paying their visits from time to time.
Trashy movies can be fun to watch. Especially when they're from a bygone era that didn't seem to know any better. The problem, however, is that some filmmakers try to copy their success (by copying their styles), and fail on account of one major flaw: inauthenticity.
Sharknado is one of those movies.
Now, you can definitely argue that audiences ought to just appreciate it for what it is (the filmmakers clearly weren't going for this generation's Lawrence of Arabia), but that doesn't change the fact that it is god awful. And it also doesn't change the fact that its god-awfulness just gets worse and worse with every one of its sequels. But that doesn't pardon the series from the crime of being unequivocally terrible. Because that's exactly what it is, no matter how much fun Ian Ziering and Tara Reid might be having...
10 Friday The 13th (Remake)
There are two types of people in this world: those who love remakes and those who hold sacred the original.
Most film enthusiasts tend to fall in line with the latter, but they don't seem to be making much of a difference in the eyes of most studio execs. Remakes make money. Therefore, remakes will never die — not unlike Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th franchise.
Now, even though the original films (we're talking parts 1 through 11) are by no means shy when it comes to gore and nudity, the 2009 remake cranks everything up a few notches, which would explain why it manages to keep so many guys tethered to its mediocrity. So, in terms of being a "guy movie," it makes sense. Also, aside from some fellas actually convincing themselves that this one is "better than the original," the Friday the 13th remake is essentially softcore porn. Especially if you happen to watch the extended cut.
Nothing like the dangerous world of pole-dancing, eh? In Showgirls, Elizabeth Berkley (aka Jessie from Saved by the Bell) plays Nomi, a young woman hoping to find success in Las Vegas as a showgirl. Naturally, she runs into trouble (what with the climb up the showgirl ladder being as difficult as we all know it to be), but that isn't why guys tend to revisit this '90s "masterpiece."
No, the reason they return is simple: the fact that it's about showgirls. Now, shallow though that may seem, it's not as though the people who made this movie had any other intentions for the final outcome. They clearly had a solid understanding of the sort of audience they'd pull in. But if they hadn't, then it stands to reason that nobody knew what the hell sort of movie they were making in the first place.
In some respects, Species is a solid sci-fi movie. The savagery is on point, the gore is solid, and the alien presence is appropriately creepy. But let's not look beyond the fact that the the focal point of the movie is sex.
From a survivalist's angle, the sex plot makes perfect sense, seeing as Natasha Henstridge's Sil is relying on reproduction for the sake of her, ahem, species. But from a producer's perspective, the sex plot may as well translate into dollar signs. This movie isn't a complete disaster, but there's no denying that the guys who revisit it are more likely than not coming back for the nudity — of which there is a lot. But the human nudity, not the alien nudity.
One would assume...
So, how do you convince the heterosexual male population to sit through a historical flick? You make it a porno.
Caligula is one of those movies that people may claim to have seen, but in reality only ever watched whatever pornography they could find from it online. Because, let's be honest, for most of the fellas showing even the slightest bit of interest in Caligula's pastimes, "group sex" tends to be the only genuine appeal. That, and maybe Helen Mirren. Because Helen Mirren.
This movie may have earned a cult status over the years, but not for lack of trying. Cult movies tend to be indulgent in one of three things: quotability, gore, or nudity — and Caligula is certainly brimming with at least one of these things.
With the '80s churning out action movie after action movie, it was only a matter of time before they all started to blur together. The "X fights X to save X" motif can only go so far until it starts repeating itself. And that's exactly why most action filmmakers had to get creative and why they knew enough to give their flicks something to set them apart, more often than not creating hybrid plot lines (e.g. combining cops and robots [Robocop], dystopia and racing [Mad Max], and even cops and moms [Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot!]).
But one movie stands above the rest, while also managing to be the worst of them all: Gymkata. And for the sake of this article, it's its hybrid concept that draws in the repeat viewings, despite its awfulness, combining gymnastics with martial arts.
This one may get a pass for being a guilty pleasure, but that hardly saves it from being labeled as a truly terrible film. Which it is.
Now, here's another movie that pretty much speaks for itself.
Demi Moore has always been known for playing strong characters (Ghost, G.I. Jane, and even Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle come to mind), and her character in Striptease is honestly no different. She works for the FBI, and she's doing whatever is necessary to give her daughter the life she deserves. Sadly, however, she had to do it in a film that hardly does justice to women anywhere.
No matter how much this movie may try to convince itself and its audience that it's by any means part of the feminist movement, Striptease is still just a movie clinging to this simple belief: sex sells. Added to the fact that the movie itself isn't very good to begin with, it's safe to say that guys only watch this movie for one reason: the titular stripping.
4 Basic Instinct
At its core, Basic Instinct is a solid mystery. There is a sinister atmosphere not uncommon in most Paul Verhoeven movies, and with the talent of Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone (who is especially on-point here), this flick understands its strengths and gladly runs with them. However, that doesn't exactly earn it any brownie points in the proficiency department.
Honestly, the only reason that guys revisit this movie is for the scene that made it famous to begin with. And as if it even needs explaining, Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell is using more than her clever mind to literally get away with murder — she's using her body. More specifically, she's using her lack of underpants.
Mediocre though the movie itself may be, there's no denying the footprint that it left on Hollywood in the early '90s. It wasn't just star power that earned this movie its success, but word of mouth concerning that particularly showy interrogation scene.
3 Die Hard 4 & 5
Once upon a time, a Die Hard movie was something worth looking forward to. Bruce Willis' John McClane may not have ever seemed particularly happy to be involved, but that's what made his character so alluring. He's the anti-hero. He's the average Joe who just so happens to have a knack for saving the day. So, for that reason (but not that reason alone), it's no wonder he's garnered such a solid following.
Sadly, however, this franchise took its own title a little too seriously and died hard. But did that stop the fanbase from flocking? Not exactly. In fact, even though the series could have easily called it a day as a satisfying trilogy, it went on to churn out two more sequels, and the fans still proved to be hungry for more. You can blame it on nostalgia or high hopes, but some guys still find themselves connecting to this maverick of an action hero, despite the fact that his past two iterations are a far cry from his former glory.
And it's safe to say that they'll be first in line for the next one, as well. Because, yeah, there's going to be a "next one."
2 Wild Things
Wild Things is one of those pre-Millennium movies that everyone was talking about back in the day. It was edgy and hip (aka very late-'90s), but most of all, it was "the movie with the threesome."
Matt Dillon was in his prime and Neve Campbell was in the middle of enjoying her success from the Scream franchise, so it made perfect sense from a producer's standpoint to pair them up in a movie that put sex front and center. Add in Denise Richards, and it's a teenage boy's dream come true.
Unfortunately, the movie wasn't particularly good. A forced and plodding storyline that only served to offer its eager audience with a threesome promised in the trailers, Wild Things is revisited for one of two reasons: '90s nostalgia and the aforementioned ménage à trois.
1 The Transformers Series
One person's opinion is one person's opinion, but when an entire film franchise's Rotten Tomatoes history looks like this — 57%, 19%, 35%, 18%, and 15% — the collective opinion tends to speak for itself. The Transformers franchise isn't a good one. It could be. The hate isn't aimed at the robots themselves. But under its current supervision, there is plenty to be desired.
That said, the creative flimsiness hasn't done much to detract audiences. Yes, the ratings may be low, but the franchise has pulled in over four billion dollars at the box office, so clearly someone is watching these things... Or some fellas just can't find it in themselves to let go of director Michael Bay.
The guy may have lost some credibility over the years (come on, man, you made The Rock), but he clearly knows what he's doing — even if "knowing what he's doing" simply refers to adhering to one simple formula: including models, mindless action, excessive amounts of explosions, and a plot too convoluted to even bother comprehending.
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