Top 12 Favorite Guilty Pleasure Movies

A guilty pleasure movie is like a big plate of comfort food, but with less mac and cheese and more John Travolta. It’s hard to logically judge anyone else’s guilty pleasure—I will not condemn your bacon fixation; please do not sneer at my Ritz and Cheese Whiz—but one thing’s for sure, everyone’s got them.

So, here are a few of mine . . .

Top 12 Favorite Guilty Pleasure Movies

*It’s written like a countdown, but honestly? I gave up trying to order them in any meaningful way about ten minutes in.

12. The Faculty

I love how Usher's the third biggest face on this poster. Usher's in this movie for, what? 15 minutes? At best? It's like Scream all over again.

Summary: Kids from different social castes are forced to band together when aliens take over their school. So, it’s basically The Breakfast Club meets a very tame Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

As a serious science-fiction horror film? Yeah, sure, this one fails. But as a tongue-in-cheek teen thriller? Come on, this is enjoyable. Admittedly, the end is so gooey that even I don’t really like it, but as with all of Kevin Williamson’s work, the dialogue is witty and unrealistic in the best of ways. Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett are probably the best of the “kids,” while Robert Patrick is clearly comfortable with being creepy, and Famke Janssen was born to play a hot villain. Even Jon Stewart is in The Faculty for about five minutes!

Unfortunately, this also appears to be the only Robert Rodriguez film where Danny Trejo didn’t make a cameo.

Most Insane Moment: When someone, previously decapitated, pops back up like his/her head never got chopped off in the first place.

Best Quote: “I don’t think a person should run unless he’s being chased.”

11. Basic

It's amazing, how a black and white, French movie poster makes this film seem so serious. Thankfully, that's not the case.

Summary: John Travolta interrogates an Army Ranger to find out what happened to his team and, more importantly, Samuel L. Jackson. Twists upon twists ensue. Then, those twists have mutant, twist babies.

This one starts out pretty well . . . it even throws in a couple of good plot twists . . . but then the twists never really stop, and they culminate in the twistiest of twisty endings that’s utterly ludicrous and yet . . . I just like it. It’s very hard to explain, although I do try a bit here.

If you don’t want to read the review, just know that this movie has a lot of gunfire, military inaccuracies, bad southern accents, and Samuel L. Jackson. What more could you possible want?

Most Insane Moment: Err. . . the whole ending.

Best Quote: “Those of you I find lacking will quit. And those of you who refuse to quit will have a training accident. This base suffers three training accidents a year. Unfortunate accidents that I will not hesitate to repeat if you cross me.”

10 and 9. Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle

Summary: Gorgeous women with crazy skills solve overelaborate mysteries and save the world for a man that they’ve never met (but hey! Drew Barrymore saw his back that one time!)

On one hand, both of the Charlie’s Angels movies are completely and utterly ridiculous. On the other hand, they are both extremely aware that that they are completely and utterly ridiculous, and a sense of humor goes a long way with me. The girls have good chemistry with one another; there are explosions a’plenty, Luke Wilson plays the Nice, Bumbling Guy that Luke Wilson always plays; Matt LeBlanc plays the Clueless Actor that Matt LeBlanc always plays, and Crispin Glover is both creepy and thin. Crispin Glover, my friends, is awesome.

If I had to pick . . . Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle is a slightly worse movie, not because it’s even more ludicrous than the original (although it is) but because Sam Rockwell and Tim Curry are not in the sequel. Oh, and Bernie Mac is no replacement for Bill Murray. Apologies to the late actor, but it’s true. The new Bosley just doesn’t work.

(Charlie’s Angels)

Best Insane Moment: I suppose the whole opening scene. You know, with the boat being in just the right spot to catch the people falling from the plane and whatnot.

Best Quote: (after having already shot her out a window) “Dylan. Thank God . . . you’re alive.”

(Full Throttle)

Best Insane Moment: Oh, how about that time the bad guy STROLLS THROUGH FIRE????

Best Quote: “Why be an angel when I can play God?”

8. Sorority Row

Summary: When a college prank ends up with someone dead (well, don’t they always) the sorority sisters swear secrecy . . . until somebody starts killing them off one by one.

It’s no surprise that I watched this film, but the fact that I actually liked it was surprising. On one hand, there are gaps in logic and editing, the bad guy is obvious, and it’s not exactly what you’d call original. On the other hand, the Good Girl and the Queen Bee Bitch are both so enjoyable that it more than makes up for the flaws in the film. And let’s be honest, here: who doesn’t enjoy watching the skinny, mean, popular girl take a tire iron to the throat? Or is that just me?

My review for Sorority Row is here.

Most Ludicrous Moment: Probably when a red herring decides to randomly start chasing after the heroines with a fire ax, even though (s)he’s shown no previous signs of insanity thus far. Oh, and the house is burning down around them as (s)he does this. But, hey, that’s not important. No need to leave and breathe oxygen or anything.

Best Quote: “I like being your friend because . . . it makes multi-cultural without having to do anything.”

7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Summary: An airhead cheerleader finds out that she’s destined to slay vampires for the rest of her life. And if you really needed that summary . . . we should talk because, apparently, you missed out on the biggest cultural phenomenon of the 90’s.

Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone’s necessarily heard of this movie. After all, this is not the beloved television show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. This movie is what that show was based on, and I’ve loved it since I was a little girl. This movie has all the cheese and silliness of the TV show without being burdened by the great acting or, well, the wit of its follow-up. If you talk to any serious Whedonite, this movie is what happens when stupid producers interfere with a genius’s vision . . . but I’m not backing down. As much as I adored the show, this stupid movie continues to have a place in my heart.

Why? Well, here’s a short list: Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland, Vampire Pee Wee Herman, VAMPIRE RUTGER HAUER, Pre-Oscar Material Hilary Swank, PMS as a vampire alert system, and the best vampire hunting outfit ever. Honestly, the early 90’s white prom dress and the black leather jacket? I’m wearing this to Comic Con someday. (Sure, the TV show did this too . . . but it’s way better in the original.) And I know I already mentioned him, but this is easily one of my favorite Donald Sutherland roles. Of course, when push comes to shove, I have to pick Giles because he’s awesome and he had seven seasons to develop that awesome to even new heights of awesome. But Sutherland rocks the role of Merrick with a very quiet humor, and I totally love him for it.

Most Insane Moment: When a certain vampire dies towards the end of film . . . it takes him about a minute to finish going, “Oooh, aww, owww, ahhhhhhhhhhh . . .” before he finally keels over and stays that way. It’s one of the best parts in the movie and can be seen here.

Best Quote: “All I want to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die!”

6. Deep Blue Sea

Summary: Genetically enhanced, super smart sharks demand freedom by eating everyone they can. Chaos ensues.

On one hand, the sharks are pretty bad-looking, the acting is so-so, and the whole thing ends up being pretty silly. On the other, there are some honest-to-god surprise moments in this movie, moments that show there’s no need for a B-movie to be completely predictable or boring just because it’s a silly action flick. And LL Cool J is hot and funny. Thomas Jane isn’t too bad himself.

For a mini review, go here: Fair warning, though, there are lots of SPOILERS.

Most Insane Moment: Well. I’m always impressed when a shark manages to take down a helicopter.

Best Quote: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, because I carry a big stick and I’m the meanest motherfucker in the valley! Two sharks down, Lord! One demon fish to go! Can I get an Amen?”

5. Mortal Kombat

My feathered hair allows me to defy gravity!


Summary: A select number of humans are chosen to compete in a tournament called Mortal Kombat. Their opponents? Oh, just some evil beings from another dimension that will take over Earth if they lose. How did we get involved in this tournament again?

I grew up enviously drooling over my friend’s Mortal Kombat games, so you might think I’d be a harsher judge of the movie, and I might have been . . . except that it came out when I was ten, and I think I was still watching Power Rangers at that time. Yes, I know. At least I didn’t like the fucking Pink Ranger. My point is, I have childhood nostalgia for the film . . . plus, it’s just incredibly cheesy fun that I love to watch and mock. There are actually a number of pretty funny lines . . . and then, there’s all the unintentional funny, of course, like Bridgette Wilson’s acting or the corniest “romantic” scene known to man.

Still, Christopher Lambert is in it! (Not that this saved Highlander 2, mind you, but he is awesome as Lord Rayden.)

Most Ludicrous Moment: You mean, besides the fact that I’m supposed to buy Sonya as badass? Probably Liu Kang’s thirty second bicycle kick in the air. Seriously, I think his hair allows him to levitate.

Best Quote: “The fate of billions will depend upon you. Ha ha ha . . . sorry.”

4. Broken Arrow

Summary: John Travolta tries to steal nuclear weapons and ransom America! Thankfully, Christian Slater is around to stop him.

This movie is a silly cheesefest of awesome. Mek and I already wrote a review on how much we love this film (read it here!) but highlights include John Travolta’s clenched teeth, Samantha Mathis’s bad acting, Howie Long’s bad acting, an overused boxing metaphor, Delroy Lindo’s awesomeness, pretty decent dialogue (I mean, considering the type of movie this is and all), and, well, the way that a certain villain bites it. Wow. Just wow. It’s incredible.

Most Insane Moment: Er. How that villain chooses to die. Seriously.

Best Quote: “Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?”

3. Disturbing Behavior

I'm wearing a leather jacket! That TOTALLY means I'm badass.

Summary: Teens are brainwashed into being perfect, with a few unfortunate side effects . . . . like hypersexuality, smashing their faces into mirrors, or homicidal tendencies. A few lone outcasts who don’t conform to letterman jackets and yogurt shoppes must try to stay alive . . . and more importantly, true to themselves!

Disturbing Behavior isn’t so much of a self-aware cheesefest as it is a bad teen horror movie . . . but I just can’t help but like it. Katie Holmes as a Bad Girl! James Marsden as a guy named Steve! The most clueless and useless parents ever known to exist! It’s ridiculous, but it’s also kind of harmless teen angst fantasy fluff, and that can be fun to watch. Plus, that’s where I first saw Nick Stahl, and somehow he kind of won me over as a paranoid little tweaker. I heart you, Nick Stahl.

Most Insane Moment: The device that’s supposed to ward off rats just happens to ward off the evil Blue Ribbons, instead. Gosh, that’s convenient.

Best Quote: “Appropriate sparks are flying. Somebody cue the power ballad.”

2. Mindhunters

Summary: FBI profiler trainees are left on an island to complete their final exam, but they’re forced into the real deal when they start getting killed off one by one.

I just wrote a review of this movie a few days ago (it’s here) so I won’t go into this one too much, but may I just repeat some of the cast again: Val Kilmer, Jonny Lee Miller, Christian Slater, and LL Cool J. Bad acting, ridiculous storyline, crappy heroine, silly dialogue . . . all the necessary ingredients for a so-bad-it’s-good movie. And I smile every single time I watch it.

Most Insane Moment: Probably when someone gets shot in the neck, then isn’t shot in the neck two minutes later, and then refers to being shot in the neck while they aren’t shot in the neck. Yeah. It’s special.

Best Quote: “This is awkward.”

And, finally . . . .

1. Jason X

Summary: Jason has been cryogenically frozen but oh noes! Pesky archeology students in the future unthaw him, and he gets to start killing people again, this time in space!!!

I have been mocked for liking this movie, even from people who like bad, campy horror movies. Jason in space? “That’s just too ridiculous,” they say. And I say, “Clearly, you’re a Communist, because this movie is awesome! Jason cuts off someone’s arm just by falling over! There are holographic girls offering premarital sex! This is great!”

Jason X is trash, but it knows it’s trash, and it’s funny as hell. And, frankly, this series wasn’t exactly high-brow to begin with, so . . . hell with it. I’m ready for more Jason space adventures, please.

Most Insane Moment: the time this guy (who should be dead), like, flies out of nowhere and tackles Jason off screen. In space. He tackles him in space.

Best Quote: “It’s gonna take more than a poke in the ribs to put down this old dog.” (gets stabbed through the chest again) “Yeah, that oughta do it.”

In Conclusion: Oscars, bah. These are the movies that make me happy.

15 thoughts on “Top 12 Favorite Guilty Pleasure Movies

  1. You know what? I can get behind every single one of these….except for Full Throttle.

    There is absolutely no redeeming quality in it. Not one. It’s just horrible, and not in the fun way.

    But your other 11 are great, so that’s a pretty good clip.

    • I still find Full Throttle fun, even if I like the first one better. I like that Demi Moore gets her whole, “Back when I was an angel, we used guns,” bit, since I always found it ridiculous that the good guys, apparently, can’t use guns. And I seriously crack up whenever I watch the “Irish” ex-boyfriend just stride right through the fire. It makes me giggle like a fiend, and always reminds me of this really bad movie I watched as a kid where the bad guy, COMPLETELY ON FIRE, starts running around screaming, “I’m on fire, and I like it!” I need to find that movie again.

      But, yeah. 11 out of 12? That’s not a bad movie compatibility score at all 🙂

  2. I’m disappointed that I have only seen one of these. They look like so much silly fun, but they’re just not in my wheelhouse of movies I usually watch.

    But anyways, heck yeah Mortal Kombat. It’s just fun seeing supernatural, hand-to-hand combat mired around an overly serious Earth-in-the-balance premise. If they recast this movie today, I think Ryan Reynolds would be perfect as Johnny Cage.

    If I were making a list of guilty pleasure movies, I know I would have to include Flash Gordon and a representative Jean Claude Van Damme film where he does split after split after split just because he can.

    • I would give my neighbor’s left hand for the chance to see Ryan Reynolds as Johnny Cage. Did you know they’re supposed to be making a webseries based on this Mortal Kombat short that was made, I don’t know, six months ago, maybe? You’ve probably seen it, but you haven’t, it’s up on youtube here:

      I have never seen Flash Gordon (though I’ve seen that it tops most people’s guilty pleasure lists, so I may have to watch it sometime). Strangely, I’ve never really watched a lot of JCVD movies either, only Street Figther, and that was roughly twelve years ago. Although I’ve been thinking about trying it out again, for Raul Julia if nothing else.

  3. I will never refer to Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a guilty pleasure, it is simply awesome!
    I also love the Faculty. I watched it a couple of years ago, for the first time in like 10 years, and I just enjoyed the shit out of it.

    Have you ever seen “Never Too Young To Die?” with John Stamos and Gene Simmons? It is A-MA-ZING, you might like it seeing you have a good sense of humor.

    ps “my hand is like a shark’s fin!” ll cool j deep blue see soundtrack

    • I had, up till a few minutes, never even hear of Never Too Young To Die. I have now just watched a trailer on youtube . . . and my mind has been sufficiently blown. Wow . . . that looks . . . special. I must watch it. 🙂

      • Seriously…I don’t know where you can get it. I stared at the VHS, at an old job, for like a year, before buying it. It turned out to be one of the greatest discoveries. The soundtrack, the acting, writing, everything is beyond rediculous(and fantastic), even Robert Englund is in it. I’ve shared this movie with many different people, and often take it with me to people’s houses & parties…it’s seriously always a hit.
        You’ve GOT to watch it, it’s so g-d stupid.

  4. “The Faculty” is NOT a guilty pleasure. No way, not at all.

    Meanwhile ZOMG “Deep Blue Sea” and “Jason X” – yes Yes YES!

    Personal guilty pleasures:
    Ultraviolet – Ridiculously stupid Milla Jovovich action movie. No plot. Yet I can’t help but carry on watching.

    Masters Of The Universe – I absolutely love this. It’s the He-Man movie, yet Courtney Cox appears. Frank Langella is absolutely amazing as Skeletor.

    • Hee, love The Faculty. I do. I’m such a sucker for wordy teen angst.

      I might have to try out Masters of the Universe sometime because Frank Langella as Skeletor sounds AMAZING. But I kind of hated Ultraviolet. Well, I didn’t hate it, really, but I was just bored.

  5. I’m ashamed to say I’ve only seen The Faculty and Buffy. The Faculty was very fun and it reminded me of Are You Afraid Of The Dark, which I loved when I was about ten, so there was a nice nostalgia factor there too. But Buffy… I understand why you like it, but I stop comparing it to the show while watching it, and naturally it came up short.

    My favourite guilty pleasures would have to be Doomsday and Hocus Pocus.

    • Oh, I used to love Are You Afraid of the Dark? when I was a kid. I haven’t thought of that show in awhile.

      Never seen Doomsday before, although that’s a very promising guilty pleasure movie title. Hocus Pocus is fun. It has little Thora Birch and little McGee (from NCIS.)

  6. Some of mine…

    Hackers – oh wow, all the computer stuff in there is HORRIBLE, but the actors all look super slick.

    Josie & the Pussycats – Blame Kaci. And Michael. Michael owns it, so now I kind of do, too.

    Demolition Man – is it weird that I had a crush on Dennis Leary after watching this?

    Hocus Pocus – no, really, I can’t describe how much I love this stupid movie.

    10 Things I Hate About You – self-aware AND Julia Stiles & Heath Ledger are too adorable for words.

    • Hee, love Hackers. I remember watching it for the first time at 12 and wondering . . . ummm, is hacking really that . . . colorful? Of course, I’m kind of in love with Jonny Lee Miller, so I can overlook a lot.

      Don’t worry about Josie and the Pussycats. I won’t mock you for that. The first ten minutes alone make that movie worth watching.

      And I don’t even count 10 Things I Hate About You as a guilty pleasure. I feel no shame in liking this movie. Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger ARE pretty adorable. (As is Joseph Gordon Levitt in the role of Helpless Puppy.)

  7. With the exception of Mortal Combat, these are all just guilty, as in not pleasure. Jason X is indeed one of the worst movies ever made and it is not a pleasure at all to watch, nor are any of the other movies except for Mortal Combat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.