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.