There will always been room for debate on which movies are bad and which ones are misunderstood. Everyone agrees that Arnold Schwarzenegger has done some bad movies—Eraser, Jingle All the Way, The 6th Day—but sometimes it gets a little more complicated, like with Total Recall. Paul Verhoeven fans, or to call them by their true name “apologists,” find merit in all of his crappy movies, lauding crap like Starship Troopers, RoboCop, and Showgirls—to be fair I thought his Black Book was one of the best of 2006. And I like some less-than-beloved movies: Club Dread, Daredevil, and the Jackass Trilogy. But what people can agree on is that a good scene is a good scene, regardless of where it shows up. In fact, sometimes being in a bad movie makes a good scene even better—like the excruciatingly boring Thomas Crown Affair remake that ends with all of the dopplegangers in suits with hats. So do not judge me if you disagree with my assessment of the movies at large, but do consider the following scenes:
Loc Dog (Marlon Wayan) brave in the face of a gun. © WB 1996.
10. Don’t Be a Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood – The “Do. We. Have. A. Prob-lem? scene. I provided a link to the scene in my review of the movie. I love the details in this scene, like the stencil of U.S.S.R. on the nuclear warhead. True, it should have said C.C.C.P., but I will take a threatened nuclear holocaust outside of a convenience store where I can get it.
Emmy Rossum in the foreground, © WB 2004.
9. The Phantom of the Opera. I hate Joel Schumacher as much, if not more, than the next moviegoer, and this was not a very good movie, but the sets were excellent and some of the songs were well sung. None more so the titular Phantom of the Opera. Way to go Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, and organs!
8. Step Brothers—The Catalina Wine Mixer. Or should I say, it’s the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer! There are an absurd number of t-shirt designs based on this scene. I cannot think of even one other Step Brothers based t-shirt that does not focus on this scene. It has everyone in it, a happy ending, absurd character interactions, and lots of prestige.
7. Contact—Pre-credits sequence. Regardless of how you feel about the film as a whole, going back through time by zipping further and further away from Earth, while seeing it shrink and shrink, was awesome. The usage of silence was excellent. Watch and listen here.
Blade and some fools who are about to die. © Fox 1998.
6. Blade—Rave Scene. Can you hear that music? I loved that song, well I loved it for the duration of the scene, the full version is 12 minutes long. It is actually a remix of a New Order song, Confusion. In some ways it was the first comic book scene in a comic book movie. It also was the peak of Wesley Snipes’ career. I could not find 1 full clip, so here are 2: part 1 & part 2. There is some overlap, but it has that awesome song, so it is even more awesome than just one awesome scene.
5. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier–Dr. McCoy’s speech. Usually considered a waste of a great title, there was one breathtaking and thought provoking scene therein. It talks about only being able to make decisions in the present, and not torturing yourself by using what happens after to blame yourself. McCoy mentions this because he took his father off life support three days before a medical breakthrough that would have brought his father out of his vegetative state. Deforrest Kelley was at his very best.
Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi take on Darth Maul. © Lucasfilm 1998.
4. Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace–the end fight scene with Darth Maul. Between this scene and John Williams’ score, America was fooled into thinking that this was a very good film. That song, Dual of Fates, still gets my heart pumping when it shows up on my Pandora channel based on film scores. Almost everything that was wrong with this film was gone from this scene—except the CGI environments, but they were actually pretty cool here. Even better is if you were to skip past the cuts to the Queen Amidala’s–Natalie Portman’s–story, and of course, to Jar Jar Binks—name withheld to protect Ahmed Best, oops.
3. Anchorman–Afternoon Delight. Sky rockets in flight. BOOM. Afternoon Delight. I cannot think of a better spontaneous song in the history of cinema. Who knew they could sing?
2. Star Trek: Generations–Kirk meets Picard. Horses and Star Trek? Somehow it works. Here is the 10 minute scene. It was everything that we had wanted from De Niro and Pacino in Heat, but didnot really get. Perhaps William Shatner and Patrick Stewart are no De Niro and Pacino, but they are two giants of their field. Shatner’s charm facing off against Stewart’s indomitable fortitude makes for a rewatchable treat.
Two of the three in the classic “Stake Scene,” © Castle Rock 1995.
1. Dracula: Dead and Loving It–The Stake Scene. And this is my favorite scene from a bad movie. I have been brought to tears from this scene. Normally in a Leslie Nielson movie that is usually his job, but in this one it is just Steven Weber as Jonathon Harker and Mel Brooks as Dr. Van Helsing. So funny, this scene belongs in the original Naked Gun.