Funny movies are a dime a dozen. Practically anybody can string together a series of jokes, funny situations, and sight gags. But it can be a real treat watching a movie that is truly hilarious while not meaning to be funny at all. Some call it irony, others call it camp, still others refer to them as "so bad it's good." Whatever you call them, these unintentionally funny movies can scratch you right where you itch if the mood is right.
"Glen or Glenda" Bad moviemaker extraordinaire Ed Wood specialized in the art form of unintentionally funny movies. And this quasi-biographical film about the phenomenon of cross-dressing is his masterpiece. The sight of the broad-shouldered Wood (who also stars) walking around in an angora sweater and wig is funny enough, as are the incoherent opening remarks from Bela Lugosi. But the movie is filled with howlers from beginning to end, and all the Wood trademarks are here: stilted line readings, cheap sets, and a zealous and inappropriate use of stock footage.
"Project: Kill" This cheap low-budget thriller starring Leslie Nielsen (yes, that Leslie Nielsen, before he started working in intentional comedies) is a classic of the bad movie genre, but its funniest feature is probably Nielsen himself, who after years sending up his serious image in movies like "Airplane!," "The Naked Gun," and "Spy Hard," just seems ridiculous in a movie like this. The final karate fight between Nielsen and Gary Lockwood must be seen to be believed.
"The Room" Some people believe the art of the unintentionally funny movie is a dead one thanks to post-ironic comedies like "Airplane!" and shows like "Mr. Show" and "Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!" sending up unintentionally funniness with alarming accuracy. But director Tommy Wisseau proved all that incorrect when he made "The Room," a film so bad that audiences still haven't stopped throwing spoons at the screen. It's difficult to put what's so funny about the movie into words, but suffice it to say that the script and performances appear to be the product of aliens with little knowledge of how humans behave and interact. In other words, it's classic unintentional comedy.
"Birdemic" "Birdemic" takes the bizarre behavior and performance style of "The Room" and adds a few important factors. For one, the filmmaking style on display here is so rough and unpolished that it makes Wisseau seem like Stanley Kubrick. There's also a clumsily delivered message about the environment and some of the absolute worst special effects ever captured on film, attempting to depict a world in which birds are infected with a virus that makes them attack humans and explode. It might not change your mind about the issue of the environment, but it would be hard to see animated birds the same way again.