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Bad Movie Drinking Games: The Basics

by Natalie McC 4 months ago in movie review
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My standard list of rules for bad movie drinking games

Bad Movie Drinking Games: The Basics
Photo by Studio Blackthorns on Unsplash

I love bad movies, and haven't met one yet that wasn't improved by a drinking game. My boyfriend and I have a weekly ritual: every Friday night, we gather beers or ciders, snacks, and sit down to watch a couple of bad movies or episodes of a bad TV show. For every single one we make a new list of rules tailored to the movie, but we also have a stock list that applies to every piece of bad media. Here it is: drink every time you feel/observe-

1. Cringe

This is the most basic rule of all: anything that makes you cringe, for whatever reason, is worthy of a drink.

2. Bad CGI

An often unfortunate-looking sign of cost cutting. Obviously this does not apply every movie, many of these rules won't. But it's a staple of bad action/adventure/superhero/fantasy movies.

3. Pop song

This rule started as "drink for '70s or '80s pop songs," but morphed over time to this broader category. The presence of a pop song doesn't make a movie bad, and they appear in good movies all the time. However, bad movies often rely on using the audience's favourite songs to inject the movie with energy and positive feelings, or to convey an emotion that the writing/acting/shot/editing failed to express.

4. An actor who is too good for the movie appears

This happens tragically often. Geoffrey Rush in Gods of Egypt, Emma Thompson in Dolittle (2020), Giancarlo Esposito in Maze Runner 2, the list goes on and on. Sometimes they're giving it their all and the performance is outshining everyone else on screen, and sometimes they're completely checked out.

5. Main character syndrome

"Average Joe/Jane protagonist, you're the only one who can solve this! Your unique inherent quality makes you so special, we need you to come along with us on our adventure!"

When my boyfriend and I began this tradition, we started out watching as many movie adaptations of young adult novels as we could: a genre that is rampant with this contrivance. This rule was mainly borne out of the plot conveniences and viewer pandering found in those movies, but you'll find it in others here and there too.

6. Exposition dump

A certain amount of exposition is to be expected in just about any plot-driven movie, but typically screenwriters will try to find an artful way of delivering that information. Bad movies often don't take the time to do that, usually with very funny results.

7. A prediction comes true

Throughout the movie, my boyfriend and I will make predictions about where the plot goes, how character relationships will develop, and anything else that comes to mind. If the prediction comes true, take a drink.

8. Something makes you laugh that was not intended to be funny

A tense action scene where someone zooms out of frame like a muppet. Editing so incompetent it's incomprehensible. Overwritten lines that are meant to be profound or badass but end up insane. This is one of my favourite rules, as it lets you really enjoy the absurdity that makes bad movies so much fun.

There may be more stock rules we've had along the way but forgotten, or some that will be added in the future. There are also some rules that just aren't applicable to enough movies to make it onto this list. Here are some of those honourable mentions:

  • Product placement
  • A location card appears on screen
  • Girlboss moment
  • Wink and nudge at current cultural/political events

This list is just a starting point. What really makes a bad movie drinking game fun is the list of rules created specifically for that movie. It's an art, figuring out what rules are funny, fair, and will result in getting just the right amount of drunk.

movie review

About the author

Natalie McC

Writer/editor/third thinger

My dream is to write something that will rival my one Google review that somehow got 10k views.

I'm on Letterboxd

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  • Emma Fischer4 months ago

    Oh my gosh I love this!!!

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