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30 Worst Films of the 1960s

A Place for Lovers (1968)

This film sees a whirlwind love affair between a terminally ill American fashion designer and an Italian racecar driver. The affair takes place in Venice, Italy, which is "a place for lovers." Critics hated it. Some called it dreadful trash while others said it was nothing but yawning prettiness with lethargy. Roger Ebert labeled this film the “most godawful piece of pseudo-romantic slop I’ve ever seen!” Seems fairly harsh, but that was for audiences to determine. While some people really liked the film, the majority of viewers agreed with Eberts assessment of the film. One thing is for sure – if it weren’t for the gorgeous location shots of the Italian Alps, the movie would have been even worse than it is in its current state.

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The Wild World of Batwoman (1966)

No, this film has nothing to do with Batman. It’s not even set in the same universe. It was made to capitalize on the success on the Batman television series of the time. It’s for that reason that the filmmaker, Jerry Warren, was sued for copyright infringement. He later re-released the film under the name She Was a Hippy Vampire.

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The Horror of Party Beach (1964)

This film largely revolves around young women being mauled by sea monsters during overnight beach parties. Making this movie convincingly scary today would be a tough task, so with the limited effects resources of the 60s, this movie fell flat. Stephen King went so far as to call it “an abysmal little wet fart of a film.”

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Eegah (1962)

A caveman waking up in early 1960s California sounds like a pretty shaky premise as it is, but throw in some musical numbers and you’re guaranteed to have a terrible film. Today, this film is considered by many to be one of the worst of all time, not just the 60s. It is, however, quite enjoyable in the sense that it’s so bad that it’s good. 

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Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

This film was made by an El Paso fertilizer and insurance salesman, which explains quite a bit really. The salesman, Hal P. Warren, bet screenwriter Stirling Silliphant that anyone could make a horror movie, so that’s what he did. The film is riddled with technical errors and poor directorial choices, which actually makes it quite fun to watch. The most hilarious production misstep is the choice to dub a seven year old girl’s dialogue using a grown woman.

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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

It’s hard to imagine anyone hearing this title and giving this film a green-light, but it was produced nonetheless. The plot sees Santa Claus abducted by aliens so their children can see Santa in real life and not just on TV. The title pretty much tells you how the rest of the story goes.

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The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

The basic plot of this film is pretty simple: guy gets exposed to radiation, turns into a monster. Straight-forward enough. However, the film starts with a murder scene in a shower that ends with implied necrophilia. This would be jarring enough if it actually fit into the story, but it doesn’t. Anywhere. There’s no connection to the main plot, no mention of it, and nowhere in the main narrative where it could have occurred. In an interview, the film’s producer revealed that the scene was added after the film’s completion because the director liked nude scenes.

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The Creeping Terror (1964)

This film is notable for its terrible effects, even by the standards of the 1960s. To show an alien spacecraft landing on earth, the filmmaker simply reversed stock footage of a rocket taking off. The titular monster is seemingly just a sheet of shag carpet draped over a few actors. While those scenes are sort of funny, the movie is ultimately not much fun to watch.

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Monster a Go-Go! (1965)

Re-cast characters in sequels are always disappointing. Re-cast characters in the middle of a film? That’s just ridiculous. But that’s exactly what happens in Monster a Go-Go. After the first half of the film was made, the production ran out of funding and it was abandoned. The rights to the film were bought by another director, who was unable to re-hire most of the original actors, so he simply had their characters disappear, and then had other characters inexplicably appear and fill their roles, played by different actors. The one actor he was able to bring back had gained weight, grown a goatee, and gone bald, so he was re-cast as the brother of the original character he played.

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The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964)

This film was billed as the first “monster-musical,” which is a genre that nobody asked for. It sees three teens stumble upon an occult conspiracy in an amusement park that involves carnies throwing acid into carnival-goers’ faces and turning them into zombies. Mixed-up zombies. Intercut throughout are musical numbers that take place in the carnival’s nightclub.

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The Sinister Urge (1960)

After the success of Psycho, which was released the same year, this film’s script was quickly re-worked. The end result was the same sort of villain (a sexually-motivated psychopath), but a much worse film. Today, the film holds a 13% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 2.4 stars out of 10 on IMDB.

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Red Zone Cuba (1966)

This film is also often called Night Train to Mundo Fine, but whatever you call it, it’s terrible all the same. The film follows an escaped convict and two ex-cons on a quest to find treasure in a mine. The story isn’t inherently bad or uninteresting, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. For that, this film is on many worst-films-ever-made lists and deservedly so.

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Fun in Balloon Land (1965)

Everything about this film is lacking. The plot, the execution, the special effects (if you can call them that). What’s best about this film is that its runtime is only 53 minutes, so your suffering won’t even last an hour. This film is pretty obscure however, with no credited actors or directors to be found.

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The Skydivers (1963)

Writer and director Coleman Francis made some pretty bad films in the 60s. This film is actually the most watchable film he made that decade, but that says more about him as a filmmaker than it does about this film, because The Skydivers is still terrible. What’s worse is that it loses that so-bad-it’s-good quality that his other films had. This one is just so bad it’s bad.

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The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969)

Not many people know just how expansive the Oz universe is. There are a myriad of books that are very entertaining and quite a few films too. Most people are only familiar with the first film, which is probably for the best. The other Oz films fall extremely short of the first, and this film is the worst offender. 

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Nude on the Moon (1961)

Apparently “nudist films” are a thing. They are commonly set in nudist camps, but as a gimmick, this film took to space. In it, two men venture to space and encounter a civilization of topless aliens led by the “Moon Queen.” They establish peace with the space-nudists and take pictures of them before returning to Earth. 

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The Astro-Zombies (1968)

The creatures in this film are so amorphous that the movie is also known as The Space Vampires. The plot sees a scientist fired by “the space agency” becoming disturbed and creating superhuman monsters by patching together body parts from murder victims. The creatures he creates eventually escape--though why would you create superhuman killing machines if you didn’t want them to escape and start killing? 

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The Starfighters (1964)

With a name like this, you’d expect the film to have some impressive visual effects. Instead, what you’ll see is a film that leans heavily on stock footage featuring actual jets in use by the Air Force and no actual starfighters. The poor effects coupled with the lackluster plot make this film nearly unwatchable.

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Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory (1961)

It seemed to be a common theme of 60s horror movies for the villains/monsters/murderers to prey on young women. This movie wore that trope on its sleeve, as shown by the title. To be fair, however, what makes this film most terrible are the elements lost in translation since the original production was in Italian. For example, the Italian title is Lycanthropus, which is a decidedly cooler name, and the English dubbing is just abysmal.

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Horrors of Spider Island (1960)

This film sees a group go down in what should be a fatal plane crash, all surviving somehow, and ending up on an island inhabited by giant spiders. Once bitten, the island's inhabitants start turning into spiders themselves. While the technical production of the film was well done, the premise just wasn’t enough to carry a full-length film.

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Catalina Caper (1967)

If the beach party film genre died in the 60s, this film killed it. The film blends comedy with crime-caper tropes, but it also adds elements of a musical, which makes the whole thing terribly shapeless. Nearly half of the film is just dance montages featuring adolescents in their swim suits. 

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They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968)

After WWII, Nazi officials remove Hitler’s still-living brain and take it to Mandoras, a non-existent South American country. When the time is right, they intend to bring him back to life and with him the Third Reich. Several intelligence agencies find out about the plot and attempt to stop it. It’s a pretty standard movie that’s just poorly executed and nothing unexpected.

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Walk at the Angry Beach (1968)

This film has many names: Walk at the Angry Beach, Hollywood after Dark, and The Unholy Choice. What it doesn’t have much of is actual drama or characters the audience can care about. The film follows a young actress in Hollywood who ends up being exploited by sleazy producers and has to become a stripper. There, now you don’t have to watch this terrible movie for yourself.

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The Sidehackers (1969)

This film is a biker film that explores sidehackers, or sidecars, that passenger tilt to one side during turns. While the concept of these sidecars is pretty interesting, it doesn’t seem so interesting you’d want to make a whole film about it. That’s why the filmmakers added a brutal but shallow storyline to show off these sidehackers in action. 

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Konga (1961)

This movie is like King Kong except worse in every way. The plot follows a doctor who uses a serum to enlarge a chimpanzee to the size of an ape. He then sends the beast to London to kill his scientist rivals. The chimpanzee is then given even more serum, turning him into the giant beast seen on the posters. 

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Ring of Terror (1962)

Ring of Terror is a laughably offbeat horror film, which wasn’t entirely intentional. It features some of the strangest hazing ever, as a med student is forced to break into a crypt and steal a ring from a corpse in order to join a fraternity. While the storytelling was poor enough, it didn’t help that these “students” were played by actors far too old to be convincing. The film received nearly universally negative reviews.

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The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)

Advertising material labeled this film a beach party film, but absolutely none of the film takes place with a beach in sight. Not even in the distant background. Instead, it takes all the campy elements of that genre and applies them to a pool party that takes place at a haunted house. 

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Invasion of the Neptune Men (1961)

This film isn’t just an alien film or a superhero film—it’s both. The plot sees a superhero defending his friends (who are mostly children, oddly enough) from aliens from Neptune. The film’s saving grace is that it’s actually so bad it’s good, so watching it isn’t a complete waste of time.

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The Eye Creature (1965)

This film was released amid many other, much more convincing monster movies. It suffered from terrible special effects, and the production is now known as one of the worst horror films ever made. There’s even an error in the movie’s title sequence, which reads Attack of the The Eye Creatures, with “the” appearing twice.

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The Deadly Bees (1966)

This film was a pretty transparent rip off of The Birds, which was hugely successful in the 60s. The Deadly Bees did not enjoy the same success, as it failed to deliver thrills in the same way that its inspiration did. In a review, the New York Times stated that “Mr. Hitchcock would never have sanctioned a sloppy, raucously framed little thriller like this.”

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