Underrated Movies That Are Worth A Watch

by sidekickllb | created - 26 Jun 2011 | updated - 26 Jun 2011 | Public

These films never made a really big splash, but they're still fun & entertaining.

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1. Dirty Filthy Love (2004 TV Movie)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

A man's life falls apart as a result of his affliction with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome in this touching and funny tale.

Director: Adrian Shergold | Stars: Michael Sheen, Adrian Bower, Claudie Blakley, Anastasia Griffith

Votes: 1,269

A British made-for-TV movie about OCD and Tourette's Syndrome. Michael Sheen plays Mark Furness, a man who has recently been diagnosed with both conditions. His family, friends and employer turn away from him, and all he has left is a support group led by a woman named Charlotte (played by Shirley Henderson, known best by American audiences as Harry Potter's "Moaning Myrtle"). Mark has to learn how to manage his conditions and try to lead a 'normal' life.

2. Bright Young Things (2003)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, War

64 Metascore

An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies", is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.

Director: Stephen Fry | Stars: Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily Mortimer, Dan Aykroyd, Simon McBurney

Votes: 4,941 | Gross: $0.93M

Reminds me a little of St. Elmo's Fire, if it were set in the 30's. My favorite character - Miles, a catty homosexual - is played by Michael Sheen. A love story, a tragedy, a comedy, and a statement on bigotry all rolled into one.

3. Cannibal! The Musical (1993)

R | 95 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

The sole survivor of an ill-fated mining expedition tells how his taste for gold was replaced by that of human flesh.

Director: Trey Parker | Stars: Trey Parker, Dian Bachar, Stephen Blackpool, Stan Brakhage

Votes: 11,393

Trey Parker and Matt Stone's film school submission, it is an extremely low-budget production which tells the story of Alferd Packer (the only American ever convicted - and whose conviction was later thrown out - of cannibalism). The songs are extremely well-written and catchy. Just watch out for the Cyclops!

4. Attila (2001)

Unrated | 177 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

A romanced story of Attila the Hun (Gerard Butler), from when he lost his parents in childhood until his death. Attila is disclosed as a great leader, strategist, and lover and the movie ... See full summary »

Stars: Pauline Lynch, Steven Berkoff, Andrew Pleavin, Tommy Flanagan

Votes: 9,834

The first movie I ever saw Gerard Butler in. He plays Attila the Hun in such a way that you don't see him as a ruthless, murdering warlord, but as a human being who searches for love. Historically inaccurate (grossly so), but Gerard Butler's hot, so who cares? Simmone Mackinnon (as his love interest, the red-haired woman) bears a striking resemblance to a young Raquel Welch.

5. Frankenstein (2004 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

Two hundred years after Mary Shelley's novel the brilliant but mad Doctor has sustained his creature and himself over two centuries through genetic experimentation. In present-day America ... See full summary »

Director: Marcus Nispel | Stars: Parker Posey, Vincent Perez, Thomas Kretschmann, Adam Goldberg

Votes: 1,721

Based on the series of books by Dean Koontz, this film is set in the present, with Deucalion (the 'monster') seeking to destroy his creator, Viktor Frankenstein (who now goes by the name Helios). The doctor has been using some of his scientific discoveries on himself, so both he and Deucalion are over 200 years old, but don't look it. Vincent Perez plays a very sexy and tender-hearted 'monster,' and Thomas Kretschmann plays a cold and monstrous doctor.

6. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988–1999)
Episode: The Killer Shrews (1992)

TV-PG | 92 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

A small town cowpoke straightens out some rowdy kids by making them put on a rodeo show in Junior Rodeo Daredevils (1949). A group of drunken scientists battle with dogs dressed as rabid ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Mallon | Stars: Trace Beaulieu, Joel Hodgson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy

Votes: 402

This episode of MST3K is so bad, it's good. Joel and the 'bots are forced to watch 'The Killer Shrews,' a film about a botched experiment that ends with shrews growing to the size of German Shepherds (which the director used to play them). The 'bots also reveal the recipe for a drink called 'The Killer Shrew,' which gives one a sugar-high just watching it. The movie stars James Best, who is best known as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane of the original 'Dukes of Hazzard' TV series.

7. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

43 Metascore

Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

Director: Stephen Chiodo | Stars: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon

Votes: 30,600 | Gross: $15.63M

Another 'so bad, it's good' film. Aliens who resemble clowns arrive in a circus-tent UFO, intent on harvesting humans as food. They capture people in cocoons made of a pink cotton-candy-looking material that liquefies the human within, and they have popcorn "seeds" that grow into multi-headed vine-like creatures with a nasty bite. The makeup and special effects are phenomenal - the Chiodo brothers really outdid themselves on this one. The script/dialogue is a bit kiddish, but it's still a good movie.

8. Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

GP | 89 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again.

Director: John D. Hancock | Stars: Zohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Kevin O'Connor, Gretchen Corbett

Votes: 6,540

This movie scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid. Vampire ghosts, drowned girls, hands coming out of the water ... it's a really freaky ride.

9. Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

67 Metascore

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham

Votes: 15,366

A kind of rock opera with music by Paul Williams, it is a combination of "Phantom of the Opera" and "Faust." Jessica Harper has a beautiful voice - I remember my friends and I trying in vain to emulate her 'sound.'

10. Suspiria (1977)

R | 92 min | Horror

79 Metascore

An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Votes: 73,035

A Dario Argento classic. A young girl gets a scholarship to a preeminent European school, only to discover that it's run by witches. It goes a bit slow, but the story is good.

11. Night of the Comet (1984)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists.

Director: Thom Eberhardt | Stars: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, Sharon Farrell

Votes: 17,357 | Gross: $14.42M

Back in the 80's, when the Cold War was still on, there seemed to be a desire among moviegoers for a resurgence of disaster movies. We'd already had burning buildings, overturned cruise ships and crashing planes in the 70's - now we needed something completely otherworldly. Enter "Night of the Comet" - a movie about a comet that last flew by Earth back in the age of the dinosaurs, and whose tail ends up turning 99% of all life on Earth into piles of dust. The remaining 1% either turn into zombie-like creatures (who die within days), or stay healthy and normal. Personally, I'd do like the girls in the movie and go shopping at the mall.

12. Knife Edge (2009)

R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

A successful Wall Street trader returns to England with her new husband and five-year-old son, but their new start together turns into a nightmare when they move into a country house which contains a terrible secret.

Director: Anthony Hickox | Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Natalie Press, Matthieu Boujenah, Miles Ronayne

Votes: 956

A creepy movie about a woman with psychic abilities who keeps saying she sees murders (and bodies) in her beautiful new home. Her husband thinks she's going insane, and wants to have her committed. There's a twist ending - you won't believe who is responsible for her visions!

13. Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008 Video)

R | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Johnny Rico is called back into action to defeat the bugs.

Director: Edward Neumeier | Stars: Casper Van Dien, Jolene Blalock, Stephen Hogan, Boris Kodjoe

Votes: 22,006

Unlike Starship Troopers 2, director Edward Neumeier went back to the winning formula of the original Starship Troopers film. This movie not only lampoons the propaganda campaigns used in wartime, but makes a statement about how government can manipulate both music and religion to justify their actions (quote: "God is on our side, and He's a Citizen!").

14. Return of the Living Dead II (1988)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

45 Metascore

Curious kids unearth the barrels that previously helped revive the dead, which proves the second time's an undead charm.

Director: Ken Wiederhorn | Stars: James Karen, Thom Mathews, Michael Kenworthy, Thor Van Lingen

Votes: 17,424 | Gross: $9.21M

The first one was campy enough, but this sequel really puts the screws to zombie films. Yes, the government (again) is reponsible for not securing barrels containing zombies, and the gas that creates the nasty buggers. And yes, they're looking to get some braaaaaaaains. Seems that this one is the funniest and most entertaining one of the series.

15. Blood and Roses (1960)

Not Rated | 74 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

A lonely and bitter young heiress - jealous of her cousin's engagement to another woman - becomes dangerously obsessed with legends surrounding a vampire ancestor, who supposedly murdered the young brides of the man she loved.

Director: Roger Vadim | Stars: Mel Ferrer, Elsa Martinelli, Annette Stroyberg, Alberto Bonucci

Votes: 1,047

An adaptation of the short story "Carmilla," about the so-called vampire of the infamous Karnstein family. The last remaining male member of the family, Leopoldo, is getting ready to marry a beautiful Italian girl, and his cousin Carmilla is jealous (must be a European thing, cousins wanting to marry each other). On the night of the engagement party, Carmilla is drawn to the tomb of Mircalla Karnstein (note that the letters are the same in both of their names), where the vampire's spirit possesses her. Mircalla sees Leopoldo as a reincarnation of her lost love from the 1500's, and she makes a plan to get rid of the fiancee so she can have him for herself. But will it work? Or will history repeat itself, and separate the two forever?

16. Murder by Death (1976)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

62 Metascore

Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery.

Director: Robert Moore | Stars: Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Eileen Brennan

Votes: 31,584

A hilarious lampoon of literary and film detectives with an all-star cast, written by the incomparable Neil Simon. In this film, a mysterious man invites the 5 most famous detectives in the world to his spooky mansion, where he tells them that someone was going to murder him at midnight, and whoever solved the mystery would be a million dollars richer, and have the book rights to the story. Red herrings, sight gags and innuendos ensue, guaranteeing a laugh-a-minute, entertaining experience. Bet you can't figure out who the murderer is, either!

17. Prince of Darkness (1987)

R | 102 min | Horror

50 Metascore

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong

Votes: 34,441 | Gross: $14.18M

Students of the paranormal discover a canister in a deserted church. Little do they know that Satan himself is trapped within, and he's ready to come out and play. An interesting mixture of supernatural and scientific themes.

18. Midnight Offerings (1981 TV Movie)

Unrated | 100 min | Horror

Vivian has magic powers. She doesn't hesitate to save her boyfriend David from failing in school by murdering teachers. However, David has gotten tired of her and is putting his charm on a ... See full summary »

Director: Rod Holcomb | Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Mary Beth McDonough, Patrick Cassidy, Marion Ross

Votes: 485

A TV movie in which new-girl Robin discovers she has magical powers, which only serves to enrage the school's VERY evil Hecate-worshipping witch, Vivian (played by Little House on the Prairie's Melissa Sue Anderson). Kind of like 'The Craft,' but 15 years sooner.

19. Ghoulies (1984)

PG-13 | 81 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

26 Metascore

A young man and his girlfriend move into an old mansion home, where he becomes possessed by a desire to control ancient demons.

Director: Luca Bercovici | Stars: Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance

Votes: 7,694 | Gross: $35.00M

Young Jonathan Graves learns that he's inherited a huge California mansion, owned by his estranged father, Malcom - who happened to be a devil worshipper that almost sacrificed him as a baby. Jonathan is drawn to the basement, where he finds occult books and supplies and (unbeknownst to his girlfriend, Rebecca) sets out to become a wizard in his own right, bringing small demonic creatures into our world. Unfortunately, a spell he casts to receive "all knowledge" ends up reviving his dead father (who still wants to sacrifice him).

20. Nothing But Trouble (1991)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy

A businessman and his friends are captured by a sadistic judge and his equally odd family in the backwoods of a bizarre mansion.

Director: Dan Aykroyd | Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Demi Moore

Votes: 21,608 | Gross: $8.48M

This movie was panned when it came out, but I thought it was hilarious. Billionaire investment author Chris Thorne (Chevy Chase) is invited to invest in some Atlantic City property, owned by lawyer/neighbor Diane Lightson (Demi Moore)'s ex-boyfriend. She invites herself to go with Chris to investigate (as well as to chew out the ex), when two of Chris' "Brazillionaire" friends go along for the ride. They take a detour for a picnic through the town of Valkenvania, where they meet a plethora of strange characters, including a sadistic judge who dishes out the death penalty for just about everything, a woman with a penchant for repairing heavy machinery, and giant twin babies who run around in diapers. The makeup in this movie is brilliant, and the "Mr. Bonestripper" machine is extremely scary and funny at the same time - whoever heard of a death machine with its own theme song???

21. Time After Time (1979)

PG | 112 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

69 Metascore

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.

Director: Nicholas Meyer | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner, Charles Cioffi

Votes: 14,529

HG Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) and Jack the Ripper are flung forward in time to 1979 America in Wells' famous 'time machine.' Will HG be able to save more women from a terrible fate at Jack's hand? And more importantly, will he be able to save his new girlfriend?

22. Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)

R | 117 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

55 Metascore

Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar, Billy Crawford

Votes: 10,026 | Gross: $0.25M

This is the REAL prequel to 'The Exorcist.' The one directed by Renny Harlin, "Exorcist: The Beginning," is a ripped-off, gore-ridden piece of garbage. William Peter Blatty wrote his book as a psychological thriller with supernatural undertones. Director Paul Schrader kept to that theme in his version, but the studio's financial backers wanted more "shock and gore," so they canned Schrader and brought in Harlin, which ultimately ruined the movie and made it (almost) as unwatchable as "Exorcist II: The Heretic." Thankfully, Paul Schrader raised some money and finished his version for private release. While some of the CGI is sloppy (the hyenas and cows, for example), the story is much closer to Blatty's, and is FAR more believable than Harlin's.

23. Arn: The Knight Templar (2007)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Arn, the son of a high-ranking Swedish nobleman is educated in a monastery and sent to the Holy Land as a knight templar to do penance for a forbidden love.

Director: Peter Flinth | Stars: Joakim Nätterqvist, Sofia Helin, Stellan Skarsgård, Michael Nyqvist

Votes: 20,527

This is a Swedish movie about Arn Magnusson, who helped to bring about the creation of Sweden. I originally watched it only because Vincent Perez was in it, but I found myself enjoying the rest of the movie very much. The cinematography is very well done, and while the movie has several languages in it, you never feel as if you're watching a foreign film. The story is a sad one - the whole reason he was sent to become a Knight Templar was because he fell in love (and slept with) the wrong girl, who became pregnant. The girl (Cecilia) was sent to a convent, where her baby was taken from her, and she was told it was stillborn (it wasn't). Arn fought in the Crusades, where all but he were killed in battle. When he returned home, hoping for a peaceful life with Cecilia and his son Magnus (now that his penance was done), he ended up having to go to war with neighboring countries in order to keep his homeland free.

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