It turns out there are a lot of bad movies on Netflix and Amazon begging for someone, anyone to click on them. Given their awfulness, though, it’s sometimes hard to find a terrible movie to stream.
Amazon and Netflix’s algorithms mean that they (quite rightly) try and serve you with passable movies that you may like, based on the other movies you have watched. And, for the most part, you will have a modicum of taste.
This means titles such as Die Hard Dracula won’t immediately pop up in your recommendations. Nope, if you really want to pollute your eyeballs you really have to dig into the library and get your hands dirty in the process.
Or, you could just read Not On My Watch - here we showcase the frankly terrible movies that are available to stream right now. That's right – while all you lapped up GLOW, bathed in the beauty of Okja and the fantastic first episode of the second season of Preacher, I sat and watched a movie about Downing Street being placed under siege by a mouthy Londoner, a modern day Dracula with a flying coffin, a 300 rip-off that was shot for less money than a cup of coffee (presumably) and a turgid tale about a sex robot.
And with that, these are the movies st(r)eaming on a service near you right now.
Nightscape: Dark Reign of Thanatos
- Steaming now on Amazon Prime
The Premise: The god Zelos is bored. So, he decides to let his kids rule his kingdom. Bad move. Aevum and Thanatos are kind of dicks and Thanatos becomes evil threatening to destroy the world. That's just the prologue, the rest of the movie is set in the present day and focuses on a comic-book geek called Curian that has to do battle, I think, with a modern day incantation of Thanatos because reasons.
This is a student movie that managed to get a distribution deal. I've no idea why but that's the situation we are in and it means that anyone with Amazon Prime can watch this movie, even though I utterly advise against it.
It begins with a hint of promise that fades faster than the colour of your favourite shirt when a loved one washes it on a high heat by accident. It's low budget, sure, but once the opening crawl is out of the way - it's about a minute of an old man muttering stuff about gods, legends and destiny - there's some 'okay' fighting with a slow-mo 300 sheen, minus the abs and baby lotion. But then this ends and we are transported to a strange parallel present day world that is inhabited by bad actors who clearly look uncomfortable in front of the camera. And it's like that for about 80 long minutes.
Through the dark times watching this, there was a glimmer of hope. Like when a man appears in a hood and whispers stuff to another man. There's also a bit in a forest, where someone finds out their destiny, then some people fight with staffs and another old man appears only to disappear. He may have been Zelos, but I haven't really got a clue.
Oh, and at one point the hooded man says to Curian the classic line: “Your death was due five timelines ago.”
I wish I died five timelines ago.
The film feels like someone shooting a school play of Lord Of The Rings, then accidentally recording over most of it with an am-dram version of The Office.
Best watched when: sitting at a bus stop dressed as a wizard and you've missed the last bus to the wizard convention and have nothing else to do as your wizard stick isn't real and can't help you in this particular non-wizarding situation.
Die Hard Dracula
- Steaming now on Amazon Prime
I love Die Hard and I love Dracula. So there was a good reason why I choose to watch this film. Unfortunately it is so bad, I feel I will never be able to love again.
It's a spin on the Dracula myth that I've never seen before, where Dracula lives in the modern day and decides to terrorise an all-American teenager who has lost his girlfriend in an accident.
Now, don't get me wrong, this is a terrible, terrible movie. But, there is one scene that had me in tears. It's when Dracula, annoyed with all the praying he's been listening to for the last 300 years while he's been in a church in his coffin, decides to leave for somewhere new. This is shown by the coffin levitating (you can see the strings) and then we get a first-person view of the coffin flying through the sky to the tune of Flight of the Valkyries. It's awful, so brilliantly awful.
The rest of the movie sees Dracula take all sorts of guises, mainly that of a terrible actor who pronounces his double us as vs, in bad makeup pretending that the sun hurts his eyes.
Best watched when: you are having every inch of blood drained from your body and you're still conscious but barely so that everything you see blurs into pretty colours as your vision slowly but surely gives up.
- Steaming now on Netflix
The premise: Two teenagers find themselves in a (literal and figurative) car crash with what just so happens to be a top-of-the-range, bells-and-whistles sex robot. The problem is, she/it has a mind of her own.
I’ll give this much credit to the makers of Hot Bot – they managed to find two words that rhyme for the title of their movie. Good work, all. Good work. It’s just a shame that they didn’t put as much effort into making the script work, filming the movie and finding actors that can, well, you know, act.
Hot Bot isn’t bad good. It’s bad bad. There’s a bit in the movie where they are in a car and run over a sex 'bot not knowing that it is a real person.
The following conversation takes place:
Idiot stoner 1: “You ran over a girl and you knocked off all of her clothes.”
Idiot stoner 2: “Did I knock her socks off?”
*slow hand clap*
What you've done there, makers of Hot Bot, is take the idea of knocking over a person and making a snarky sex joke, instead of caring about the fact that YOU POSSIBLY KILLED SOMEONE, YOU ABSOLUTE IDIOTS.
What ensues is a deeply unfunny sex comedy that lacks both sex and comedy. Please, for the love of everything, just source Weird Science and watch that instead.
Best watched when: you have a hot bot(ty), so you spend so much time on the toilet you miss the entire film.
He Who Dares: Downing Street Siege
- Steaming now on Netflix
The premise: An ex-SAS soldier who left under a dark cloud is summoned to return when the Prime Minister is taken hostage in Downing Street by a mouthy Londoner who loves to blow the bloody doors off.
"He who dares, Rodders. He who dares." Sorry, I went all Only Fools And Horses then for some reason.
Compared to the rest of the movies on this list, He Who Dares: Downing Street Siege looks like a Picasso. It seems to have been shot by a real team of filmmakers. But this sheen soon wears off as the film progresses. The film is a mess, stuffed with people who think shouting loudly is acting, a screenplay that's been written on the fly (or by a fly) and camera person who has fallen in love with (or asleep on) the zoom button.
There's a fantastic moment when head bad guy Holt (played by Simon Phillips who just so happens to have written the movie as well) meets the Prime Minister for the first time and to show off how evil he is, he says the following:
"If this is the best the country has to offer, then bring back Maggie. I didn’t respect her but at least she commanded the room.
"I don’t respect you. You left your back door unlocked."
You left your back door unlocked. What is this a metaphor for, you ask? It is a symbol of the corruption of power, or that even the most powerful people in the world have some sort of vulnerability?"
Nope, the Prime Minister actually left the back door open.
Best watched when: you hanker for a Steven Seagal movie but need something that lacks the nuance, brains and acting prowess of said movie.
Marc Chacksfield is a former film journalist (and TechRadar's global managing editor) who is already regretting agreeing to watch terrible movies for the sake of his column Not On My Watch.
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