America’s obsession with the automobile runs deep, from the wildly-successful NASCAR racing series to car-centric artwork, songs, and perhaps most of all, cinema.
Car fanatics have an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to excellent car flicks. Grand Prix (1966), Thunder Road (1971), and Rush (2013) are just a few must-see cinematic tributes to our four-wheeled friends.
But what if you fancy mock-watching campy B movies that just so happen to also be about cars?
Strap yourself in—here are nine of the best bad car flicks you simply cannot pass by.
1. Redline (2007)
Redline has all the trappings of a car movie disasterpiece—cheesy CGI street-racing scenes, inhuman dialogue, one-dimensional characters, and of course, more toxic masculinity than a 4-chan political discussion board. Did we mention that this clunker was produced by a slimy subprime loanshark? And Eddie Griffin actually legitimately crashed the starring Ferrari Enzo during a shoot? Redline is one of those rare uncannily awful movies that mesmerizes you with its sheer wretchedness.
2. Torque (2004)
If you’ve never heard of the gleefully ghastly film Torque before, then we seriously envy you. The moronic “plot” involves biker gangs, drug dealers, false accusations of murder, and a chronically scowling Ice Cube. Forget about all that though—what you really need to know about this absorbing epic is that a campy street bike-centric flick can be just as masochistically magnificent as any terrible car car-centric flick.
3. The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Critics and fans panned the third installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, but we think Tokyo Drift delivers the most distinctive plot line, cast, and setting of all the Furious films. Like all Fast and Furious flicks, the acting and dialogue are laughably bad, but there’s just so much mock-worthy fodder here that you’ll find yourself excusing all sorts of affronts to film making. An absolute cheeseball classic!
4. The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Dukes of Hazzard was a pretty rancid TV show, so we’re not sure why some enterprising individual decided to make a film adaptation about twenty years after the show was put out to pasture. You’ll get a sore forehead from all the involuntary facepalming that the sophomoric gags and staggeringly stupid car stunts inspire, but you’ll also enjoy every minute of it in a Schadenfreude kind of way.
5. Corvette Summer (1978)
Corvette Summer features one of the most outlandish plots of any car flick—a teenaged boy aptly played by Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame builds a boss tricked-out Vette in shop class, which eventually gets stolen. The vengeful lad eventually meets up with a hooker-in-training (riiiight) who then joins him on his quest to hunt down his beloved Corvette. If you haven’t caught this idiotic opus yet, then stop doing whatever it is you’re doing and watch it right this second—you’ll only be partially sorry!
6. Gone In 60 Seconds (2000)
Many hold the original 1974 Gone in 60 Seconds in high regard, so the 2000 remake featuring a bleach-blond Nicholas Cage had some pretty big driving shoes to fill—and fill with feces it did. Stilted performances, cringe-worthy dialogue, and worse of all, yawn-inducing car-chase scenes make for a real lemon of a car flick; which is all to say that you’ll have a hoot mocking it at every turn.
7. The Wraith (1986)
The Wraith can best be described as a supernatural teen action film about reincarnation, revenge, and romance. Without divulging too much, this hunk of low-budget Hollywood cheese is actually surprisingly satisfying in terms of automotive action. Plus, it features one of the raddest movie cars in history.
8. Need for Speed (2014)
If you’re just looking for an adrenaline-fueled car flick that’s heavy on the exotics but light on actual substance, then Need for Speed delivers. A trite revenge plotline and awkward acting slightly muddle the recipe, but the sheer amount of over-the-top auto antics makes up for it. Fun fact: Before production began, co-stars Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper learned to drive high-performance exotics at Willow Springs International Raceway in Kern County, California.
9. Days of Thunder (1990)
Days of Thunder essentially takes all the machismo swagger of Top Gun and applies it to a flashy stock car racing drama. How could you go wrong? Well, if you throw together a hamfisted plotline handicapped by goofy dialogue and cookie-cutter characters, and thrust Tom Cruise into the leading role, then you can go horribly wrong. And yet, all is forgiven once you watch Cruise pilot a sick Chevy Lumina stock car around a circuit at (literally) impossible speeds.