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Aug 13, 2008

That's right...I'm Guilty.

What the hell is wrong with people? What about the term "guilty pleasure" do they not understand? In doing research for this post, which will be featured in Invasion of the B Movies' Guilty Pleasures Blog-a-thon, I kept finding examples of guilty pleasures listed by denizens of the interwebs that couldn't (or at least shouldn't) be declared guilty pleasures by anyone. One listed The Goonies and Easy Rider, amongst other films that would qualify (K-9, Police Academy 3).

However, the worst offender was this list from "Unspun by Amazon" (whatever that is), which lists Titanic as number one of a neverending list of g.p.'s. Now, I can understand some homophobic males feeling shame at their love of this sap fest, but it's the number one box office hit of all time! Winner of 73 Academy Awards! It shouldn't be anywhere near a guilty pleasure list, much less topping it. Worse yet was seeing The Princess Bride come in at number twelve. Inconceivable!!

Folks, guilty pleasures are supposed to be bad movies and/or ones so embarrassing that you're ashamed to admit your love for them. This article from MSNBC (which features a number of fine choices) defines a g.p. as such:

"1) If it comes on cable do you sit down and watch the entire film even though you've already seen it 20 times? 2) Do you watch it even though you also own it on DVD or video?) And finally, would you ever admit to anyone that this film is one of your favorite movies? If the answers are, respectively, yes, yes and no, well then you've found your guilty pleasure flick."

Wikipedia declares a g.p. as "something one considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. Guilty pleasures can also be bad for you and ruin people if other people found out about it."

And finally, probably the most succinct definition, courtesy of one of my favorite writers, Chuck Klosterman: "A guilty pleasure is something I pretend to like ironically, but in truth is something I really just like."

Anyway, here are my Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies (in no particular order):

Road House - The hair. The yoga. The Double friggin' Duece. And Sam Elliott saying "'Migo" every five minutes.

Teen Wolf - Given ample love in this space many a time before.

The Karate Kid - No, inclusion of this and the previous two movies does not make me a Bill Simmons clone. Just because he writes for ESPN doesn't mean he gets to own the love for these movies. He can have The White Shadow, though.

Aspen Extreme - Just about any movie that can be summed up as "Top Gun on/in the __," as in "Aspen Extreme is awesome! It's Top Gun on the ski slopes!" is a movie I'm likely to love. If you're asking why Top Gun isn't in this Top 10 list, please re-read the first few paragraphs (and how dare you for thinking that).

Demolition Man - I can not tell a lie: this is one of my favorite Stallone flicks. I'm a sucker for glimpses into the future anyway, but when they include lines like "All restaurants are Taco Bell" and sequences that the three seashells bring, I'm just plain gung ho for it.

Billy Madison - Now, there's probably a group of you screaming about how this too shouldn't be a guilty pleasure. Well, maybe you're right, but it does rank amongst the dumbest Sandler flicks out there. Awesome, but dumb. It's the Mallrats of Sandler's career.

Bloodsport - Also covered here (and in the comments' section of a number of other sites) ad nauseum.

Double Impact - Two JCVD flicks? You're damn straight. One for each twin.

Crocodile Dundee - I hesitate to put this here, as I do think it's a well-made movie and is largely entertaining. The thing is...it's aged about as well as a meth head. Love that alphabet dress, though...

Hudson Hawk - The Bruce Willis-Danny Aiello crime caper earned universal scorn upon its release, but it's a much better film than you think. Yea, it's silly and kind of dumb, but it also has a touch of class, a deep cast (James Coburn! David Caruso! Andie MacDowell! Sandra Bernhardt?!? Okay, forget the last one) and some great tunes.

Barely missing the cut: Last Action Hero, Varsity Blues.


30 people have chosen wisely: on "That's right...I'm Guilty."

Nayana Anthony said...

Crossroads, Happy Gilmore, Wayne's World 2, Iron Eagle, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Neverending Story, Coyote Ugly.

But I'll admit those to anyone. Maybe I'm just shameless. Hey Fletch, is a shameless person by definition excluded from having guilty pleasures?

David Bishop said...

I don't mind listing guilty pleasue movies to people because I think I like enough 'good' movies to be allowed them. It's like I'm in excellent physical health, and there's no reason to hide the fact that I might eat a deep fried twinkee on occasion.

I don't consider Last Action Hero a guilty pleasure. I consider it an under rated film that more people need to give a chance.

I think UHF might be one of my favorite guilty pleasures. That applies to 'Weird' Al's music as well. I've actually seem him twice in concert.

Nayana Anthony said...

It's like I'm in excellent physical health, and there's no reason to hide the fact that I might eat a deep fried twinkee on occasion.

Totally.

David Bishop said...

I just thought of another: Batman Forever. I might be the only person in the world who chokes up during the line: "I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be, but because I choose to be."

Jess said...

Fletch, I LOVE HUDSON HAWK. Maybe we should start a support group if only to protect ourselves. And Demolition man can't not be watched when it comes on - watching Benjamin Bratt sing the jingle is priceless.

Great list - definitely going to make my own.

Jason Soto said...

Great list, Fletch! Thanks for participating! I think at least one of your picks is gonna show up on my blog in the coming week.

I've been wanting to see Bloodsport for some time now so I guess I'll have to get on that.
-Jason

Dead Pan said...

I think your idea of a guilty pleasure is a little limiting. Just because Titanic is the highest grossing film of all time doesn't make it good. If someone likes it but is embarrassed doesn't that make it a guilty pleasure?

Adam Ross said...

"OK USA!" (if I was at the Olympics, I would use that line at least 10 times a day).

Fletch said...

Nayana and David - yea, I'd admit mine to anyone to, but there are certain movies that you just know ought to be classified as guilty pleasures (aka "so bad they're good"). More on this when I respond to Deadpan...

Crossroads and Coyote Ugly would certainly fall into that bracket for me...if I liked them.

As for Last Action Hero, I agree - it is underrated. But you just know it's a movie that if you stated your love for, you'd get a bunch of shit in return.

If I could manage to sit through Batman & Robin (easily 50x worse than Forever), I might add it to this list. But I'm not so sure that it's badness is all that enjoyable. It's just painful bad.

Jess - I'm joining the group. Can we get a bunch of Wongs to join as well?

Jason - no problemo. But..what's that?? YOU haven't seen Bloodsport?!? The hell you say. Get on that stat, man!

Deadpan - I agree, box office and even Oscars doesn't automatically make everything good for you or me. But listing Titanic as a g.p. certainly goes against the spirit of what a guilty pleasure is, don't you think? If someone were somehow embarrassed that they liked Pulp Fiction and listed it as one, wouldn't you think that bizarre?

I feel like there should be a ruling committee on what can and can't be considered a guilty pleasure, and I want to head that committee. As one of my rulings, I declare that Bill and Ted (#1) can not be considered one. Likewise, I saw Something About Mary on someone's list - NOT a g.p. Mark it down.

Adam - a present just for you.

Dead Pan said...

I guess I kind of agree, but I don't know, if I enjoyed Titanic I would feel guilty. However I do agree that Bill and Ted is not a guilty pleasure. I adore BOTH of those movies with no guilt or reservations. So in essense I guess you are right, as usual Mr. Fletch.

"We're not worthy!"

Fletch said...

Are you mixing your Wayne' World with your Bill and Ted, or was that intentional?

Glad you see it my way.


j/k ;)

Anil Usumezbas said...

I am with Deadpan, Titanic is an internationally-uncool-to-like film despite the numerous awards it has received. Many people compare the worst examples of romantic films to Titanic in order to see how bad they really are.

Now I don't agree with that assessment (I have rated Titanic 6/10) but if you love this film, it definitely is a hard thing to say it out loud.

WampaOne said...

Karate Kid is an amazing and incredibly well done movie Fletch...not a guilty pleasure. Mr. Myagy is the Yoda of the mid 80´s.

Nayana Antohny put The Neverending Story. I would say that liking some movies that are clearly for kids, after you grow up brings that guilty feeling, but still, the movie is not guilty bad, is just that is made for kids. Maybe we can create a new category of guilt for that one: Nostalgia Guilty Pleasure, or something. That may be why some people put Goonies in there, but I think Goonies is a great movie, no matter what age you and at what point in time you saw the movie for the first time. Should not be a guilty pleasure at all.

I would be embarassed too if I felt I liked Titanic. Thank god, I think it sucks monkey jizzm. I propose a new category for bad movies that made bucks and statues, something like I go with the flow guilty pleasure, or whatever.

Now, about the rumours of a Jar Jar Binks type character in the upcoming Clone Wars Movie/Series...arrgghh! Luca$, the dark side I sense in you.

Fletch said...

Isn't Yoda the Yoda of the mid-80s?

Are you gonna give Luca$ your money and see Clone War$, Wampa? $ay it ain't $o.

As for Titanic...first of all, it was just an example. I could have gone with Pulp Fiction, which in fact is 14th on that list. But since I used it, here's why it can't be a g.p. - EVERYONE has seen it! If EVERYONE has seen it, what is their to be ashamed of? If we're all shamed, then no one can/should be shamed.

Nic Cage said...

I feel the Dark Side sucking $10.00 out of my pocket to see The Clone Wars...can't resist...must see it...arghhhhh. Damn Lucas. He is the Devil.

Top 10 Guilty Pleasures:

1. Hudson Hawk ("Fluffy, Ball-Ball" and "You made milk come out of my nose" are great quotes)
2. Road House (The Double Douche, as Sam Elliott calls it)
3. Karate Kid (No explanation needed)
4. Marked for Death (Any movie were you gouge someone’s eyeballs out then through them down an elevator shaft onto a large metal pole, is ok in my book)
5. The Man Who Knew to Little (Bill Murray at his best!)
6. Double Impact (The imaginary boat sex scene is awesome)
7. Red Dawn (WOLVERINES!!!!!! All star cast, at the time, guns, RPG’s & foolish Rambo type stand-offs…what more could you ask for?)
8. Stuck on You (No reason, it just makes me laugh every time I see it)
9. Cyborg (I always wanted to have the crazy blues eyes that the main bad guy Fender has, minus the horrible ‘angry scary yell scream’ thing that he does ALL THE TIME)
10. Red Sonja (Arnold, an attractive Brigitte Nielsen & swords…need I say more)
* Soon to be added: Bangkok Dangerous!

I could have provided thirty or so, but that would be overkill.

David Bishop said...

I love Titanic, and I don't care who knows it! I'll never let go.

WampaOne said...

Yoda - 80 to 83
Myagy - 84 till found dead shortly after filming KKII. Come guys, Karate Kid is the best, around! NOT A GUILTY PLEASURE!!!1!11

Not only I am going to see The Clone Wars, I am even planning to travel to a big town nearby (3 hour drive) to check it out on their THX theatre. I will only refrain from returning if I am utterly disgusted by that new crappy character that´s turning the internets upside down.

MTFBWY

Nayana Anthony said...

I love Titanic. AND Dances With Wolves. I know it's not cool. Whatever. They make me all weepy.

The Fraze said...

There are three rules that I live by:

never get less than twelve hours sleep

never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city

and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.

Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.

J.D. said...

One my guiltiest pleasures is 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND. What a trainwreck of a movie but there is something fascinating about it... all these movie stars in such a clumsy directed/plotted film. Plus, I read somewhere that both Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell came up with their own cuts of the film and Costner's won out. I always wondered what Russell's was like... I'm sure helluva lot better!

Fletch said...

Nic - excellent list. Guess I need to see The Man Who Knew Too Little.

Wampa, you've clearly moved to the dark side. Say no to Clone Wars!

Adam - you're damn straight. Coach Flinstock is one of my all time favorite characters.

J.D. - yea, I need to see 3k as well. Anything with that many Elvi can't be all bad.

WaywardJam said...

I have 6 of your gp's on my dvd shelf. Hudson Hawk rules.

THN said...

I would have no trouble admitting to liking any of the 10 of your "guilty pleasures." But I would never, ever, admit that I liked Titanic if I did.

In some respects, though, Karate Kid is kind of a guilty pleasure because the Sports Dork ruined it. But really, and Elizabeth Shue movie not be considered a guilty pleasure.

Buffett35 said...

Whoa wait just a minute... if Miyagi was found dead shortly after filming KKII, then how the hell did he show up in both KKIII & TNKK?? Did I miss the plot line where he died and came back to life?

Pat Morita just died a few years ago, and after perusing his filmography, it seems that pretty much everything he appeared in could be considered a guilty pleasure! Do sequels of guilty pleasures take it to another level of guilt? Besides the 3 KK sequels, Morita also appeared in Bloodsport 2 & 3, not to mention something called "Karate Dog" in 2004 (unfortunately not a Miyagi reprisal).

Doug said...

I'd have to say that Flash Gordon (1980) is one of my guilty pleasures. It's horrible, but great. My wife just suggested that I should admit to loving the Last Starfighter, but I argued that I'm not at all guilty for loving it. Should I be?
The Waterboy is also a movie that I've watched several times in a week and must watch it whenever finding it during channel surfing. No Colonel Sanders, you're wrong!

Doug said...

I pressed enter before I could admit to loving Crossworlds with Rutger Hauer. Something about Rutger saying "shut up" that kills me.

Paul Arrand Rodgers said...

Dude....DUDE. My mom is in the opening montage of Aspen Extreme, driving one of the trucks off the line. How friggin' badass is that?

Fletch said...

This is way late, but Doug, isn't The Last Starfighter the one with the video game and then the kid goes into space?

I think you should be ashamed of that one. The effects...so bad. The acting...so bad.

The Waterboy, however, is an excellent submission. Love the cajun guy (he even pops up in Joe Dirt, another great g.p.).

Haven't seen either Flash or Crossworlds.

Paul - that is terrific! I haven't seen Aspen Extreme in years (sadly, it's never on TV), but now I have yet another reason to. Does she watch herself all the time? Did she nail Peter Berg?

Uh-oh...I crossed the line.

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

Ever since "Waterboy" I have not been able to say the word "football" without hearing Kathy Bates' voice in the back of my mind going "FOOSBALL!" If I have to watch a dumb Adam Sandler comedy, I want Kathy Bates to be in it.

My ultimate guilty pleasure flicks are "Con Air" ("Why couldn't you put the bunny back in the box?") and "13 Going on 30." Please don't ask me to explain why I like the second one. Me and my shrink together couldn't figure it out.

Peter Eramo said...

Awesome list. So glad to see Roadhouse on here, which I actually just listed on my site as a guilty pleasure. LOVE IT!!! This was fun to read....