AfterElton’s Trending Topics: Guilty Pleasure Movies

The big topic of conversation around the AfterElton employee break room this week — other than snicks stinking up the microwave with his damn tuna melts — was: “What is your favorite guilty pleasure movie?”

Some of the responses we heard were surprising, giving a disturbing glimpse into
the twisted dark souls of some of our writers. Meanwhile, some responses (like, you know, mine) just
stand as excellent movie recommendations. We thought we’d round up all the various answers in this new feature we’re trying out called “AfterElton Trending Topics.”

But we don’t want to just hear from the AE writers. As you might have noticed, most of them are blowhards. In the comments, we’d love to hear from our readers too. What is the biggest guilty pleasure in your DVD collection?


From the staff…


Ed Kennedy

OK, so this is going to date me fairly precisely, but if I’m flipping
through the channels and Heathers or Pump Up the Volume are on
cable, I’ll call into work sick. I guess I’m too ashamed to actually own
the things, but I’m completely powerless when faced with teenage angst
and destruction delivered by Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. It’s not
like I ever felt the need to murder my entire high school, but I always
felt like I would have been a more interesting person if I had. And woe
be it to anyone in my life for several days after I catch Heathers,
because I’ll just bust out those dated 1980s catchphrases at the weakest

Pump Up the Volume



Dennis Ayers

I confess, I have a collector’s copy of The Room
[2003], signed by triple threat Tommy Wiseau himself! He acts, he
writes, he directs! Though bless him, none competently.

In case you aren’t familiar, Wiseau is this generation’s Ed Wood and The
is an earnest masterpiece of insanely amateurish film making. Femme
fatale Lisa is cheating on boyfriend Johnny (played by Wiseau) with his best
friend Mark. Also, random people stand around tossing footballs in front of
greenscreen views of San Francisco.
Oh I love it so, but most sane people in my life really don’t understand why. Here’s a taste.

The Room



Michael Jensen

Death Becomes Her (1992) is one of those movies that on paper looked like it couldn’t miss. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) and starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis, this cautionary tale about vanity, envy and greed run amok, should have been comic gold. Alas, it turned out to be fool’s gold in many respects (Rotten Tomatoes has it at 53% fresh although it made $150 million worldwide) with a lot of bad writing and pacing that felt off. (Did I mention this was from the man who gave us Forrest Gump?)

And yet this is one of those movies that I find myself sucked into watching every time I run across it on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it is the gay boy in me, unable to resist the pull of Streep and Hawn who give fun, campy performances that belong in a better movie. And how can you not love a movie where the two leads great each other with their “pet” names Mad and Hell, short for Madeleine and Helen. (Ironically, Willis, the movie’s male lead, is a total turn off for me, though his performance here is a tour de force compared to the rest of his oeuvre.)

The movie also some wonderful sight gags that make it endlessly fun to watch. Goldie Hawn with a huge hole blown right through her middle, prompting Meryl Streep to cackle, “I can see right through you!” Then there is Meryl readjusting her head after her neck is broken, as well as the final scene — Madeleine and Helen’s decapitated heads still bickering to the bitter end.

Yes, it’s not a very good movie, but somehow it manages to be fun to watch anyway. And I guess it says something that Zemeckis directed another of my favorite guilty pleasure movies — Romancing the Stone.

Death Becomes Her




As an admitted fan of cheesy, well-choreographed action
films that are based on an existing, nerdy property with a female protagonist
(among them Elektra and the Resident Evil series), I have a
particular weakness for the Dead
or Alive
movie. Movies based on video games are, as a rule, not very
good, and I’d hardly call this one good per se. But something about the Charlie’s
vibe, the hokey humor, and the chicks in bikinis punching each
other is, to me, entirely delightful.

Dead or Alive

Also, sorry guys…I liked the Avengers
movie. No, not the upcoming Joss Whedon
superhero epic. The one based on the 1960s British spy show. The one everyone
hated but me. What can I say? Sometimes you just need to watch Ralph Fiennes
beat dudes with an umbrella.

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