The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Movies So Bad…They’re Good!

Movies such as The Room and Cats need little introduction to film buffs. They are the prime examples of movies that are so bad…they’re good. They’re perfect for a drunken night with friends, right? But here are some movies that deserve similar praise and have not been enjoyed ironically enough by cinephiles 

Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010)

From Wakaliwood comes the Ugandan action movie Who Killed Captain Alex? Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey Nabwana, nicknamed Nabwana IGG, wrote, produced and directed the movie in the slums of Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. The movie follows the war between Ugandan soldiers and the crime organization Tiger Mafia. 

The movie’s reported budget is $200…and it shows. It’s riddled with terrible special effects, toy guns and repeated use of extras. Nabwana IGG even had to delete the previous movie he made on his computer in order to make room for this one and then repeated that for his next movie. So it’s a miracle that Who Killed Captain Alex? has been seen outside of Uganda. 

Another unique aspect of this movie is the “VJ,” or video joker that makes jokes throughout the movie. Think of it like a live commentary, except this movie’s video joker, VJ Emmie, just screams and says nonsensical jokes loosely connected to the action. While his comments are mostly insane, it sometimes helps the viewers understand what is going on in the movie. 

The film also has one of the most bizarre soundtracks. At several moments throughout the film, viewers can hear the playing of panpipes over scenes. If they listen closely, they will recognize the panpipes as a cover of Seals’ hit song “Kiss From a Rose.” 

Yet all of these combine to make Who Killed Captain Alex? a charming movie. The creators know they are not capable of making Citizen Kane, so they try to make the most entertaining movie they can with their resources. The movie clocks in just over an hour long, moving at a quick pace to hold the attention of both sober and drunken viewers. 

During that runtime, the movie is filled with balls-to-the-wall action to make for a great ride. Some of the best action scenes are sped-up hand-to-hand combat that is more entertaining than many fist fights in your average Hollywood blockbuster. What makes these scenes even more impressive is that the actors self-taught themselves martial arts. 

Who Killed Captain Alex? is a terrible film by almost every metric: acting, writing, production value. However, the fact that this movie was made on such a low budget in an underdeveloped country is commendable. And the filmmakers just wanted to make a ridiculously fun ride for viewers to enjoy, and they did just that. 

Killer Bean Forever (2009)

This computer-animated film tells the story of Jack “Killer” Bean, an assassin on a mission to kill a crime boss while he himself is pursued by law enforcement. Sounds like your average action movie, right? However, in this movie, all the characters are beans. Yep, talking, walking coffee beans. 

The opening scene immediately lets you know what you’re in for as Killer Bean breaks into a warehouse and kills all the gangsters inside it just because they were playing their music too loud. The scene has plenty of action, weird-looking animation and terrible voice acting, a common occurrence throughout the rest of the movie. 

A movie starring beans should not be afraid to hold back, and this movie delivers with ridiculous action. Killer Bean handles a grenade as if he was doing an under-the-legs dunk before killing an enemy with it. Killer Bean ignores physics by dodging bullets and jumping around like Spider-Man. All the beans killed throughout the movie turn into weightless ragdolls the second they die. 

The film pummels viewers with terrible accents. The voice actor of the crime boss hunting Killer Bean does a terrible Scarface impression. What makes it even better is that this character is named Cappuccino, a nod to the great Al Pacino. There are also characters with hilariously heavy Asian and English accents that. Viewers can’t help but laugh at. 

Killer Bean Forever is as ridiculous as it sounds and it’s for the better. Like Who Killed Captain Alex?, the movie’s ridiculous action scenes and terrible production values don’t take away from its entertainment value but instead adds to it. 

The Fanatic (2019) 

This “thriller” comes from the mind of Fred Durst. Yes, Fred Durst, the lead singer of the 90s’ rap-rock band Limp Bizkit. And this movie shows that this musician is out of his depth. The Fanatic tells the story of a movie fan named Moose who has an unhealthy obsession with his favorite movie star and tries to get his autograph. 

The movie’s script is about what you would expect from a bad movie: a generic plot, terrible dialogue, nonsensical plot twists, etc. If anchored by a boring lead performance, this film would have been forgettable. Yet, The Fanatic’s entertainment value is saved by John Travolta’s performance as Moose. 

As the mentally ill loner, Travolta tries to bring his awkwardness to life. Yet, Travolta’s only way to do this is to use a ridiculous voice. Along with the movie’s terrible dialogue, Travolta turns this character into a joke. His first line in the movie is, “Can’t talk too long, gotta poo,” so he isn’t exactly doing Shakespeare. 

Travolta also isn’t aided by the ridiculous costumes he wears. He usually wears a dreadful Hawaiian shirt throughout the movie, but also dresses up as a British cop during his street performing or as Jason Vorhees during his stalking. But what tops it off is Travolta’s godawful hairdo, preventing viewers from ever taking this character seriously. 

Unlike the other movies on this list, The Fanatic completely misses the mark of what it is trying to be. Instead of the psychological thriller that addresses toxic fandom and mental illness, it becomes a disaster. And it’s a hilarious disaster you can’t look away from.