Horror movies have always been a staple of the box office, but that doesn’t mean they’re all great.
Have you ever been to see a movie or flipped the channel to a running film only to be greeted with some of the worst effects you’ve ever seen in your life? I’m talking bad—the kind of stuff that gets a movie the title “B movie.” We all know them when we see them; they’re the type of movies that no matter what the topic may be, it’s hard to be serious.
By their nature, many horror movies have fallen victim to the “bad special effects” curse. Early on we had movies such as “The Blob” that were utterly terrible. But they still exist today! Alongside movies with amazing effects and high budgets, you have the “others.”
You were warned! Here are some horror movies with terrible, horrible, no good, very bad graphics.
Every now and then a movie is made with a title that lets you know from the get-go just how bad the film is going to be. This is one such film. Not only is the premise of the plot bad (a serial killer come back to life as a giant gingerbread man), but the special effects are legitimately terrible.
Beyond the crimes, this movie commits is the unbelievable fact that this film was made in the 21st century. This isn’t a cheesy movie from the 70s or 80s. No, this piece of horror “gold” first debuted in 2005. But the fun doesn’t stop there.
“The Gingerdead Man,” rest its soul, produced two sequels with even more grating titles. The follows were titled “Gingerdead Man: The Passion of the Crust” and “Gingerdead Man: Saturday Night Cleaver.” Sure, the movies were probably made knowing that everything was done poorly intentionally, but that doesn’t mean I’ll forgive them!
This one is old enough to have some excuses for its bad effects. It was the 80s…1986, to be precise. Flashers were in full swing, and campy horror was the norm. But for goodness sake, “Maximum Overdrive” is a Stephen King movie! And he helped direct it!
The film is based on “Trucks,” and the entire plot is set around machines that have come to life after a comet passed by Earth. Given its “horror” nature, which also means the machines have only one goal: kill all humans (sorry Bender). And everything is in on the game, including hairdryers.
Perhaps the most memorable character of the film (aside from Emilio Estevez, who was nominated for worst actor in 1987) is actually the truck with the Green Goblin’s face on it. It’s the leader of the other trucks…if trucks can have a leader, anyway. Shouldn’t it have been Optimus Prime?
When I first heard they were making a House of the Dead movie, I was kind of excited. The old arcade games were lots of fun, so it was interesting to see them doing a movie about it. What I didn’t realize was that Uwe Boll was directing it.
For a 2000s movie (2003 to be exact), House of the Dead was so bad. Oh goodness, gracious was it bad. It had little to do with the games and had some of the worst zombies you’ll ever see on the post-2000 screen. And that’s accounting for the attempt to include nostalgia in a few of the movie’s scenes.
You might be surprised to learn that the film was a financial success (one of Uwe Boll’s few). This was probably largely due to the hype, which it deserved none of. At the end of the day, it rightly deserves the fantastic 4 percent it got on Rotten Tomatoes.
In one of Nicolas Cage’s best performances of 2006 (ah, who am I kidding), “The Wickerman” was an horrible movie with awful effects that paid a very unwelcome tribute to the original British version (which was much, much better).
In it, Nicolas Cage plays Edward Malus, a police officer who must locate his lost daughter on an island of pagans. As you might expect, he is not successful (it’s a horror movie after all); instead the film culminates in one of Cage’s most infamous performances when the bees are poured over his head inside a sealed container.
Interestingly enough, the bee scene was not actually featured in theaters (which is ironically the most remembered part). It’s worth noting that this film did not turn a profit at the Box Office like so many of its terrible counterparts.
If the line “the shark still looks fake” has any meaning to you (hint: “Back to the Future II”), you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Now I’m not saying Jaws was a bad movie; it does a pretty good job of creating a sense of panic and dread. The music is well done, and the acting isn’t half bad.
But man does Jaws himself look horribly, horribly fake. The animatronic shark that was created for the movie did not help with immersion; only clever editing and lighting tricks enabled audiences to let that pass. Future installments would have more realistic looking sharks, but the original will always be remembered for what it was.
In case you haven’t actually seen Jaws, it’s about exactly what you would expect. A giant shark menaces beach goers (eats them), and a small cast of heroes (Quint, Brody and Hooper) must put a stop to it. They succeed, but not enough to end decades of sequels.
Tip of the Iceberg
There will always be bad special effects in horror movies. For some, it’s a staple of the genre. And this list only covers a short few; dozens of B-movies are actually in the horror category and suffer from an eternal affliction of poor or non-existent funding.
Naturally, that doesn’t stop some of them from being good. As “Jaws” proved, writing and acting are huge elements for a great movie. “The Wickerman” paid no heed to this and paid the price for it.
Do you have a favorite horror movie that, visually speaking, looks downright terrible? Tell us about it in the comments! Let the B-ees flow forth!