10 Cringe Worthy Performances That SAVED Bad Movies

November 6, 2020
Posted in SM Presents
November 6, 2020 Scarlett.Media

Scarlett Media presents Ten Times Bad Acting SAVED Bad Movies

Sometimes when you sit down to be entertained you want cinematic genius, and other times you’re more in the mood for pure garbage. Who knows why humans love to hate bad movies so much, but once you surrender to this, hate-watching can become one of the most fun activities. Many things can make a movie hilariously bad from awful scripts to poor editing, but here we will focus on the beauty of bad acting. This is a list of acting that’s so fun to make fun of, it keeps you coming back for more no matter how bad the rest of the movie may be.

10 Times Bad Acting Saved Bad Movies

Today, Scarlett Media presents 10 times bad acting saved bad movies. Don’t forget to emote on the like button if you agree or overdramatically smash the dislike button if you disagree and don’t mind being wrong.

Spoilers Ahead

#10 Faye Dunaway in Mommy Dearest

Kicking it off with an oldie but a goodie, Mommie Dearest is a prime example of how a line in a movie can be so wonderfully awful, it can become more famous than the movie itself. Though the heavy-handed script might be mostly at fault, we are honoring Faye Dunaway for her portrayal of Evil Joan Crawford. During the infamous scene where Joan Crawford flips out at her sleeping children over their use of wire hangers, Faye Dunaway goes so hard we’re left worrying she’ll pass out before the scene is up. She’s serving us Psychotic Break Chic and we are loving it. Perhaps it’s so loveable because everyone wants a chance to let loose and trash a bedroom (minus the child abuse, of course). 

#9 Kristen Stewart in Twilight 

Twilight can be a great guilty pleasure movie due to its over the top teen romance vibes and insane action scenes, but it’s Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of the vampire loving Bella that seals the deal. Dumb dialogue aside, Stewart adds extra flair to the performance with strange faces and even stranger outbursts. She delivers all emotional lines as if she’s trying not to throw up. It’s as if she can’t decide between holding something in and yelling something out, so we’re presented with a truly incredible combination of shutting up and shouting, all while she’s scrunching her face as if in severe pain. It should really be its own Oscar category.

#8 Peter Fonda in Escape from LA

There are a lot of bad choices that make Escape from LA uniquely enjoyable, but today we are going to focus on Peter Fonda. Fonda plays a character called Pipeline: a surfer dude who rides the waves through the streets of post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. They give him the surfer dude lingo, the long hair, and the getup, but far from looking and sounding like a convincing beach bum, he just looks like Peter Fonda in a wet suit. The more he says “bitchin” the more we hear “I’m a rich old white man and I don’t very much like being wet,” and it is great. We’ll watch him surf a tsunami with Kurt Russell down Wilshire Boulevard while Steve Buscemi pursues them by car any day.

#7 Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City 2

The second attempt to translate the wildly successful Sex and the City TV series into a movie series is so universally panned it’s baffling they tried so hard to make a third one. While critics might be relieved the experiment will end at the second movie, viewers who found the beauty in the cringeworthy performance of Sarah Jessica Parker will forever wonder what they could have had. What makes SJP’s performance so great/terrible is a bit more subtle: she gives the exact same performance she gave as a young 30-something, but in the body of a 45 year old. Carrie’s antics were immature even in the television series, but couple that with her obvious age and married lifestyle and her performance becomes hilariously stupid. She brings the weight of a death scene to a conversation about wanting to go out for dinner and acts like she got caught with a dead body when she quickly kisses her ex-boyfriend. Viewers can’t help but enthusiastically yell at her through the screen until they realize they’re actually engaged in this catastrophe.

#6 Hayden Christensen in Revenge of the Sith

Poor Hayden Christensen has had to take flak for what essentially boils down to horrendous writing. He deserves praise for having to make any sense of George Lucas’ prequels fever dreams, but he also deserves recognition for how incredibly terrible his performance is as a fallen Anakin. Just as Ewan McGregor finishes an emotional speech about the choices Anakin has made and the audience starts to think there’s cinematic merit to this movie, Hayden responds by screaming “I hate you!” the way a bratty toddler might scream from the corner of a room during time-out. You’re about to be Supreme Commander of the Imperial Military – get it together, man!

#5 Jackson Rathbone in Breaking Dawn Part 1

Jackson Rathbone has a fairly small role in all of the Twilight movies, but boy does he make use of his screen time. In Breaking Dawn Part 1, Rathbone delivers a line so terribly he made it onto this list with just one word. In this scene, the Cullen family and Bella are discussing what to do about Bella’s paranormal pregnancy, as it’s slowly killing her. Some argue to kill the fetus while others argue that the baby deserves to live. Questions arise as to whether the fetus will even be human and not demonic, and when Rosalie yells “It’s just a little baby,” Jackson replies with much intensity yet somehow no emotion “Maybe!” The way he says it, you’re nearly certain he’s doing it for laughs. There are so many different ways one could choose to delivery that line, yet he chose this, and for that we thank him.

#4 Nicholas Cage in Wicker man

Nicholas Cage’s ability to serve up both great and terrible acting performances is so notoriously confounding there’s an entire Community episode about it. He’s no stranger to “Worst Of” lists, but one of his “worsts” is so delightfully cringy it had to be included here. Cage knocks it out of the park with terribleness so consistently in this movie, there are compilations of his most notable deliveries that are so long they could be movies of their own. He basically just repeatedly screams everything from the exact same volume, like “how’d it get burned, how’d it get burned?!” or “Pete, Pete, help us, help, please! Please help!” to the evergreen “Oh, no, not the bees!” His poor vocal chords. What with the bear suit and the absurd delivery of just about every line, it’s truly baffling why Wicker Man wasn’t just marketed as a comedy.

#3 Ian McDiarmid in Revenge of the Sith

There’s a lot of trash to be talked about the Star Wars prequels (and a lot of trash has been talked) but one of the things that keeps us coming back to Revenge of the Sith is the bizarre performance of legend of both stage and screen, Ian McDiarmid. It’s always a bit shocking when an established, talented actor gives a “bad” performance, but sometimes it is pure gold.

Ian’s portrayal of Darth Sidious throughout the series is as incredible as you’d expect from such an experienced actor, but there are some moments during Revenge of the Sith where he seemingly forgets he’s performing for a camera and not the back rose of Royal Albert Hall. The experience of course peaks with the now famous delivery of “No, no, no! You will die!” where he sounds more like Fat Bastard than Galactic Emperor.

#2 Darren Ewing in Troll 2

Troll 2 is so famous for being so wonderfully terrible that people end up wondering “Wait, is there a Troll 1?” (quick backstory: there is a Troll, but Troll 2 has no actual connection other than the studio thought it would do better if it were marketed as a sequel to an unrelated film, because that makes sense). It’s a truly horrendous script and some actors manage to do their darnedest given the circumstances, but others really, really don’t and we thank them for it. Darren Ewing’s delivery of one of his lines is possibly more famous than the movie itself, and for good reason. As he watches goblins (not trolls) consume a woman he just met, he stares with completely blank eyes and talk-shouts to no one in particular “They’re eating her. And then they’re going to eat me. Oh my gooooooooodddd.”

Next up, our number one example of how two negatives can make a positive, but first, don’t forget to subscribe to this channel for weekly videos about who or what ruined or saved some of our favorite movies. 

#1 Tommy Wiseau in The Room

What can be said about Tommy’s opposite-of-sublime performance in The Room that hasn’t already been said? From his painfully transparent failed attempt to emulate Brando with “You are tearing me apart, Lisa!” to his casual laughter in response to a story about domestic violence, Tommy’s bizarre acting choices are a huge part of why The Room is the best worst movie of all time. Most of the time, Tommy seemingly doesn’t understand the script which we might be able to understand if he hadn’t literally written it himself. When he’s not laughing inappropriately or emoting emotions we didn’t even know existed, he’s gratuitously overacting while clearly thinking “This’ll show everyone in Hollywood!” We are forever in Tommy’s debt for this incredible experience. I guess all that’s left to say is “I did not hit her. I did not. Oh hi Mark.”

Did we forget anything? What other Tommy level performances made bad movies worth watching? Are there good movies that were ruined by single actors hamming it up? Let’s discuss in the comment below and thanks for watching.

Writer: Arielle Andreano
Editor: AB Scarlett
Voice: Scott Tunnix
Video: Cheenie Equinan & Angel Gustanski

#Saved #ScarlettMedia #BadActing

Scarlett.Media productions are for commentary, criticism and parody. All media samples are for transformative and fair use.

See Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, 276 F.Supp.3d 34 (S.D.N.Y. 2017); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2015).

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