Guilty Pleasure Movies

  1. Real Art

  2. The Big Lebowski - duh!
  3. Pulp Fiction
  4. The Lady from Shanghai

  5. Arguable Art

  6. Reservoir Dogs
  7. Meet The Feebles
  8. Dead Alive
  9. Evil Dead 2
  10. Pee-wee's Big Adventure
  11. Better Off Dead

  12. Everything Else!

  13. The Room - perhaps the greatest unintentional comedy of all timez
  14. The Goonies - the perfect childhood entertainment
  15. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - spielberg at his crowd pleasing best
  16. Commando - even if you don't like Arnie, this is unbelievable lulz
  17. Office Space
  18. Army of Darkness
  19. Meet The Parents
  20. Bad Santa
  21. Kill Bill Vol. 2
  22. Idiocracy
  23. Dumb and Dumber
  24. Half Baked
  25. Animal House
  26. Clue
  27. Body Double
  28. Street Trash - thanks AsColdAsIce, this was great!
  29. Billy Madison
  30. Up In Smoke (Cheech & Chong)
  31. Escape from L.A.
  32. Death Wish 3
  33. Porky's
  34. Silent Night, Deadly Night
  35. Deadly Prey (1987) -- Check this out.

  36. Individual Scenes

  37. Infamous Rampage in Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. If that's too much, here's the meme heard round the world.
  38. I'm sure you guys know this one from Troll 2

  39. Shorts

  40. Forklift Driver Klaus: The First Day on the Job - again, much thanks to AsColdAsIce. 9 minutes of comedy gore gold!

Author Comments: 

I'll think of more.

Jean Luc Godard's Alphaville is pretty lulzy actually.

I assume you're being as starched as possible when discussing what's "real art" (I mean that in the best possible way yo!) so I gotta ask -- how does Pulp Fiction fit in that category? A film I dig a lot, Tarantino smartly quoting/reinventing his favorite films both visually and verbally (with bizarre juxtapositions between the two) -- it adds up to being a ton of fun. That said, I don't think it really engages with life (my qualification for real art). He's definitely entertaining as hell though, just not a lot of truth to his work.

Oh, Marquee, do you really have ONE qualification for real art? Pulp Fiction is art for all the reasons you describe there. As a post-modern exercise, it's lovely. Now, it may not engage with life on an obvious level, but I think there's something there (and in other Tarantino films). This is basically the imagination of the juvenile/immature/maybe even wild man (or woman, though I think it's primarily men, at least from my experience). I think he captures the type of storytelling that men enjoy, at least during some parts of their lives, when they are being real dogs with each other. In fact, there is this "pulp fiction" throughout the movie, with the characters telling wild and absurd stories to shock or impress. These tall-tales are not exactly rooted in reality (plenty of exaggeration and embellishment); they are more rooted in emotion and desire. Considering this, I don't think it's a big surprise that Tarantino is such a fan of melodrama. It's an intriguing comment on that phenomena that is a real part of life. It might be an illustration of people not facing life (up for debate, a moral question ultimately) but it's one of the ways some people deal with life, and I think that counts for something.

I wonder, why do you think men have that sort of artful way of talking to each other? and women less so (who seem to have a more natural, down to earth interaction)? As for Pulp Fiction, I do love the realism of the characters and the situations. Granted, it's rooted in the crime-genre, and is stylized and structured, like just about any film; but the way the characters talk, the mundane topics they discuss, the awkward moments they have; I think it gives a quality of realness often lacking in genre-films. Tarantino doesn't really deal in "big ideas", but he is great at capturing little moments of truth, a lot like Casavetes actually. I think an endearing quality of his work is the pulpy aspect, the sort of flimsy paper-back novel mentality, which presents a simplified world view, surely, but one that deals in archetypes - strong characters and situations, that are bold and stark. And I think when he strays from this, he more or less fails. Jackie Brown for instance, I think was a little too real for it's own good. It wasn't entertaining enough.

"Realism" is about the last label I'd apply to Tarantino. Dialog that's winking, knowing, decadent, smug, mannered and hyper-stylized is far from realism, simply talking about nothing isn't enough. Of course realism is far from a qualification for real art, but I think it's a category Tarantino is exempt from. I think the enduring quality of his work is his humor, which when combined with the above adjectives adds up to a lot of fun. His "little truths" must be lost on me, but regardless I have a blast whenever I see the film.

Cabbage -- I misspoke, I'm decidedly not an essentialist. Some works that don't make any attempt for engagement with reality (Pulp Fiction, Fourth World, Asterix) are infinitely better than those that do (Optic Nerve, Banksy's walls, Schindler's List). Sure, Tarantino's characters glide above life, but the way it's done is what I take umbrage with. I think Chekhov's writing is significantly better when it comes to people seeking shelter from reality.

No worries, Marquee. Nice citation to Asterix. I still love that comic so much. I have not read any Chekhov, but I don't doubt that Tarantino has sizable competition from other writers when it comes to "people seeking shelter from life," among other themes :-)

I'm speaking more from my own experience, rather than attempting any broad gender categorization. I'm sure there are women out there who indulge in conversation similar to the one I have in mind. Certainly, you can find it in the conversations between the stunt girl and her friends in Death Proof. What interests me is this type of storytelling, more so than even the content or style of the banter. It's this peculiar blend of oneupmanship and shock value and definitely an emphasis on the "pulpy" aspects of life. The main function is to make life more exciting, more fantastic. Its drawback, perhaps, is to be focused on things that harden you, make you less compassionate, etc. That's where the "dogged" character of it comes in. It might be a symptom of arrested development, undying adolescent yearnings. Whatever it is -- it's fun.

Yeah, I tend to think it's rooted in aggression and hostility, and thus more of a masculine trait. It reminds me how the recruits talk in Full Metal Jacket, a kind of territorial pisings, a need to puff out one's chest. But it's really quite beautiful, this negative energy channeled into such an artful dance. And it's not as if only knuckle-draggers talk this way. Intellectuals engage in this type of sophomoric competition all the time - with biting polemics. I wonder also if this type of arrested development isn't actually a sign of maturity? I mean, as a man gets older, he toughens up. He is no longer the young innocent dreamer. I would think a Syd Barrett is the ultimate type of arrested development - somebody who never became a man.

Very interesting idea for a list, though I don't agree with this essentially bourgeoisie notion that we should feel guilty for liking certain films! Reminds me that I need to watch Bad Santa again. Used to watch that all the time with my buds back in the day, and as I recall it was one of the funniest movies ever. When was the last time you saw an Adam Sandler film? Particularly Happy Gilmore. That's one thing about these elite artists, they'll never be as hilariously charming as Sandler. Unless you can find some way to combine the two, like Zappa. There's more on here that I want to check out as well, thanks for posting. and I'll let you know if I can think of any more.

Well, I don't actually feel guilty watching any of these ... well, maybe Street Trash ;)

For me, "guilty pleasure" encompasses different things: movies I can watch on loop, movies that are really juvenile, movies that are pushing all ideas of good taste and political correctness, etc. Sandler is a great call. I think Billy Madison is still my fave of his and I shall add it to the list.

I like that you bring up Zappa because the man apparently had no delusions of grandeur regarding his creations. He thought they were entertainment -- albeit, "specialized entertainment" as he so aptly put it -- and didn't even seem too worried about being remembered. He just lived his life, made people happy, and made sure he did it well. I happen to think he was one of the great artists of the 20th century, but I respect his humility in that regard, or is it his interesting form of jaded idealism (maybe cynicism but maybe not)? I guess he didn't care for pretension and I can admire that.