Top Ten Tuesdays: The Weirdest Mainstream Films of the 90's - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Top Ten Tuesdays: The Weirdest Mainstream Films of the 90’s

Each decade seems to have its share of strange films but the 90s seemed to blow all other decades out of the water.  For ten years, moviegoers were met with many strange films ranging from odd casting and weird special effects, hard to believe stories and random music.

The fact that someone in power actually greenlit these films thinking they had a hit on their hands should be celebrated.  So without further ado, the ten strangest (mainstream*) films of the 1990s.

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze- The whole premise of the turtles is a strange one to swallow but compared to the sequel, the original movie seemed grounded in reality.  In this movie (that I loved as a kid and still do care for) we had a bigger, badder Shredder who really seems to do nothing but knock a pier down on himself instead of actually going after the turtles, two new superfreaks that grow from little babies into giant monsters and of course Vanilla Ice rapping for the turtles.  To add to the strangeness, the movie also had Corey Feldman as the voice of Donatello.  When I was a kid, all of this made total sense but I can’t even imagine what my parents were thinking while watching it with me.

9. Super Mario Brothers- The movie that started the trend of awful movie adaptations of popular video games.  The actors in this film knew that the film was odd (and all kinds of terrible) and didn’t want to be there.  Bob Hoskins as Mario tries to hide in every frame of the movie and John Leguizamo as Luigi just seemed beaten down.  The only actor that let his freak flag fly was Dennis Hopper, who saw his role of King Koopa as an excuse to act like his character from Blue Velvet again.

8. Batman and Robin- The movie that killed the Batman franchise for about 10 years.  Yeah, this movie is awful but it is also really weird.  We have Bat-credit cards, a town that looked like what a kid would throw up after drinking a lot of neon paint, Batman and Robin sky surfing, Batman with hockey skates built into his shoes and Schwarzenegger not so much reciting dialogue but throwing out one liners like a Borsht-Belt comedian.

7. Romeo Is Bleeding- I am not even going to spoil anything about this movie for anyone who hasn’t seen this.  Just let this morsel sink in for a second:  This is probably the strangest Gary Oldman film that I have seen.

6. The Postman- Delivering mail is the answer to all of future humanities problems, who knew?

5. Mobsters- I could do a list on just weird Christan Slater films of the 90s (Kuffs, Broken Arrow, Hard Rain) but I have to single out this film.  Mostly, this film is just inert and bad, but the fact that some studio exec said after watching Goodfellas “I can make a better, bigger mafia movie, get me Richard Grieco on the phone” makes it a truly WTF movie of the 90s.   The film tried to make Patrick Dempsey, Christian Slater, and Richard Grieco into tough guys and failed miserably.  The movie ends up being as tough as Newsies was the following year and that is not a compliment.

4. Sudden Death- One of the many Die Hard clones from the 90’s, and one of the strangest.  Ex-fireman Darren McCord (Jean Claude Van Damme) must stop terrorists (and their leader Powers Boothe!) from killing the Vice-President and blowing up the Mellon Arena during the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals between The Chicago Blackhawks and The Pittsburgh Penguins.  Since McCord’s daughter is inexplicably caught up in the shenanigans, it is personal for McCord.  In the span of the film,  Van Damme fights a woman in the Penguin mascot uniform to the death, infiltrates the Penguins locker room, sneaks into the game as the goalie and stops a breakway goal opportunity saving the Pens' season, starts a brawl on the ice, saves the VP, gets the bad guys and helps crash a helicopter in center ice.  Sudden Death might be one of JCVD’s best (faint praise I know) but it ain’t winning any awards for realism.

3. Stop, or My Mom Will Shoot! – The one thing missing from Sylvester Stallone tough guy cop films was Estelle Getty packing heat.  Imagine 48 Hours or Lethal Weapon and replace Eddie Murphy or Mel Gibson with the mother from Golden Girls and you have an idea of how strange this film was.  The movie wasn’t funny, wasn’t thrilling, it was a long 87 minutes of you staring at the film in disbelief that people made the movie. While it might not be as strange as some of the other movies on the list, it is mindboggling that this got past the pitch stage.  Although it does feature the very amusing scene of Estelle Getty washing the gun in the sink singing “This is how we wash our gun, wash our gun, wash our gun.”

2. Theodore Rex- The plot summary from IMDB speaks volumes.  “In an alternate futuristic society, a tough female police detective (Whoopi Goldberg) is paired with a talking dinosaur to find the killer of prehistoric animals leading them to a mad scientist bent on creating a new armageddon.”  Nothing else needs to be said.

1. Deep Blue Sea- Let’s talk about the ways this movies is strange.

  • The movie is a cross between Jaws and Die Hard.
  • The sharks aren’t just sharks but “super smart sharks.”
  • These super smart sharks terrorize our heroes by throwing Stellan Skarsgard through a plate glass window while strapped to a stretcher and, what might be my favorite 90’s scene in any film, eats Samuel L. Jackson right after his inspirational speech.
  • LL Cool J shares many scenes with a talking parrot and raps the most awesome theme song.

I have watched this film numerous times and I still can’t fathom how it was greenlit.  I don’t know if this film is brilliant or awful but it is the strangest mainstream film on the 90’s.

Posted by Ryan

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. What, no 12 monkeys?

  2. That is a good one that I thought about putting on the list. While it did have Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, I still don’t know how mainstream it was ever going to be. But it did make close to $60 million so it probably did deserve to be on the list.

  3. Yeah, I think Terry Gilliam is cheating somehow.

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