26 Terrible Films That 1986 Audiences Are Still Disappointed in Today

While 1986 delivered classics, including Stand By Me, Big Trouble in Little China, and Top Gun, it produced many doozies, too. Let’s take a look at some of the year’s biggest disasters. Do you remember them?

1. Crawlspace (1986)

Crawlspace 1986
Image Credit: Altar Productions.

In Crawlspace, Karl Gunther (Klaus Kinski), a troubled landlord, spies on his tenants from secret crawlspaces. This is a scary story. Lori (Talia Balsam), a young woman, becomes suspicious of him when his voyeuristic habits turn violent, and she tries to find out the truth. 

2. TerrorVision (1986)

TerrorVision 1986
Image Credit: Empire Pictures.

Sci-fi horror is explored in TerrorVision, in which a family’s new satellite dish unwittingly picks up a transmission from a space monster, setting off a chain reaction of carnage. The movie starred Diane Franklin, Gerrit Graham, and Mary Woronov, who tried to combine horror and comedy but didn’t find the right mix. As a result, the movie was confusing and unsatisfying to watch.

3. Rad (1986)

Rad 1986
Image Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

In the 1980s, BMX biking was very famous, and Rad tried to cash in on that. Cru Jones, played by Bill Allen, is a BMX rider who joins a dangerous race to save his small town. There were some exciting BMX scenes, but the movie had cliched characters and a predictable story, leaving viewers wanting more than flashy stunts.

4. Firewalker (1986)

Firewalker 1986
Image Credit: The Cannon Group.

In Firewalker, Chuck Norris and Louis Gossett Jr. play two adventurers who go to Central America to find wealth. The movie tried to be an action-comedy, but it didn’t work because it had weak jokes, boring action scenes, and a boring story. Despite having a lot of big names, Firewalker didn’t live up to its promise of being exciting and entertaining.

5. Deadly Friend (1986)

Deadly Friend 1986
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

In Deadly Friend, directed by Wes Craven, a young genius named Paul Conway (Matthew Laborteaux) puts his dead friend Samantha’s (Kristy Swanson) brain into a robot body. Despite Craven’s good track record, the movie had problems with tone and story choices that didn’t make the most of its interesting idea.

6. 8 Million Ways to Die (1986)

8 Million Ways to Die 1986
Image Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

In 8 Million Ways to Die, Jeff Bridges plays Matthew Scudder, a former cop who is now a private investigator after getting sober. Scudder faces danger and drama when he gets involved in an investigation of a prostitution ring. The plot was hard to follow, and the gritty story didn’t pull people in.

7. Shanghai Surprise (1986)

Shanghai Surprise 1986 Madonna
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The comedy-adventure Shanghai Surprise is set in 1930s China and stars Sean Penn and Madonna as a newlywed couple. The movie is about a preacher and a nightclub singer who go on a journey to find opium. Along the way, they face danger and fall in love. Unfortunately, the movie’s efforts to be funny and exciting fell flat, making it boring to watch.

8. Playing for Keeps (1986)

Playing for Keeps 1986
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

Through the story of a struggling college football program and its passionate coach (Daniel Jordano), Playing for Keeps aspires to depict the spirit of college football. Even though the movie was made with good goals, the characters weren’t well-developed, and the story didn’t capture the excitement and teamwork of the sports genre.

9. One More Saturday Night (1986)

One More Saturday Night 1986
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Al Franken and Tom Davis play brothers who want to have a fun night with their friends on a Saturday. Set in the 1960s, the movie tried to capture the counterculture spirit of the time, but its efforts at humor fell flat, and it didn’t have a storyline that tied all of its funny scenes together.

10. The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)

The Clan of the Cave Bear 1986
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

This movie is based on Jean M. Auel’s prehistoric book. It is about a Cro-Magnon girl named Ayla (Daryl Hannah), whom Neanderthals raised. The movie tried to show life in the Stone Age but had a confusing plot, uneven pace, and flat characters.

11. Club Paradise (1986)

Club Paradise 1986
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Club Paradise is about a Chicago firefighter named Jack Moniker (Robin Williams) who goes to the Caribbean to open a resort. The movie tries to mix comedy and romance as Jack learns to live on an island and meets strange people. Even though it had comedic actors like Peter O’Toole and Jimmy Cliff, the movie had trouble finding its comedic flow and didn’t have a clear story.

12. Howard the Duck (1986)

Howard the Duck 1986
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The Marvel Comics character “Howard the Duck” was famously turned into a science fiction comedy called Howard the Duck. When a talking, humanoid duck is brought to Earth, he gets caught up in a fight between a good alien force and a bad alien force. Even though the movie had a big idea, it didn’t work because it had a strange tone, old special effects, and a story that didn’t make sense.

13. Cobra (1986)

Cobra 1986
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Sylvester Stallone stars in the film Cobra, in which he plays the role of a tough police officer given the nickname “Cobra” after he pursues a serial killer who has been murdering innocent bystanders. The movie tried to be action-packed and thrilling, but it fell short because it had formulaic action scenes, a one-dimensional main character, and a story that didn’t rise above the usual action movie tropes.

14. Nomads (1986)

Nomads 1986
Image Credit: Atlantic Releasing Corporation.

In Nomads, Pierce Brosnan plays an anthropologist named Jean Charles Pommier, who becomes obsessed with a mystery group of nomads who have a dark secret. The premise was interesting, but the movie failed to mix horror and mystery with a complicated plot, confusing storytelling, and a general lack of coherence.

15. Soul Man (1986)

Soul Man 1986
Image Credit: New World Pictures.

Soul Man is about Mark Watson, a white student played by C. Thomas Howell, who takes tanning pills to look like a black student to get a grant for minorities. The movie tried to look at racial problems through comedy but was criticized for being insensitive to its subject matter. This made it hard for thefilme to find an audience.

16. No Mercy (1986)

No Mercy 1986
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

In the movie No Mercy, Richard Gere plays a tough Chicago police officer who works with a district attorney (Kim Basinger) to find a cruel criminal. The film tries to be both a crime thriller and a love story, but its formulaic plot, lack of chemistry between the stars, and uneven pacing make it hard for people to care about what is happening.

17. Quicksilver (1986)

Quicksilver 1986
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Kevin Bacon plays a stock broker in Quicksilver who loses his job and becomes a bike messenger. The movie tries to show what it’s like to be a bike messenger in a city, but the characters aren’t developed enough, and the story doesn’t live up to the promise of being exciting and emotional.

18. Blue City (1986)

Blue City 1986
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Billy Turner (Judd Nelson) is a drifter who returns to his birthplace in Blue City in search of the man who murdered his father. The movie could have been a good crime drama. However, the lack of originality in its story, character relationships, and action scenes made it hard to remember.

19. Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Maximum Overdrive 1986
Image Credit: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.

For his directorial debut, Maximum Overdrive brings Stephen King’s dystopian novella about a future where robots rise against humanity after a cosmic event to life. Even though the story sounded interesting, the movie was too campy and didn’t have the effective fear and suspense that King’s work is known for.

20. Link (1986)

Link 1986
Image Credit: The Cannon Group.

In Link, Elisabeth Shue plays a primatologist who gets close to chimps and finds out that one of them is becoming dangerously aggressive. Even though the movie had the potential for suspense and psychological horror, the way it was made and the lack of drama left people unimpressed.

21. The Delta Force (1986)

The Delta Force 1986
Image Credit: The Cannon Group.

The action movie The Delta Force stars Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin. It is based on actual events. In the film, a group of elite troops are sent to rescue hostages from a plane terrorists have taken over. The movie has some good action scenes, but the characters aren’t very interesting, and the plot relies too much on formulaic writing.

22. Pirates (1986)

Pirates 1986
Image Credit: Cannon Film Distributing.

Pirates, which Roman Polanski directs, is supposed to be a comedy adventure set in the Caribbean in the 17th century. Walter Matthau plays Captain Red, a pirate who travels on the high seas and finds excitement and treasure. Even though the actors were good, the film’s efforts at humor and adventure fell flat, making it a dull movie.

23. Raw Deal (1986)

Raw Deal 1986
Image Credit: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.

In the movie Raw Deal, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Mark Kaminsky, a former FBI agent who goes underground to take down a mafia group. The story was full of action, but the movie had a boring plot, flat characters, and action scenes that didn’t make it stand out from other action films.

24. Haunted Honeymoon (1986)

Haunted Honeymoon 1986
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

Haunted Honeymoon is a horror-comedy about a radio show host who wants to marry his girlfriend at a haunted house. It stars Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner. Despite having funny leads, the movie’s efforts at comedy and horror lacked the punch and wit to make it a memorable entry in the genre.

25. The Golden Child (1986)

The Golden Child 1986
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Eddie Murphy plays a social worker in The Golden Child who gets involved in a quest to find a magical child with special powers. The movie tries to combine adventure and comedy, but the tone is all over the place, and the story doesn’t make sense. As a result, the movie fails to engage viewers fully.

26. The Wraith (1986)

The Wraith 1986
Image Credit: Alliance Entertainment.

The Wraith is a supernatural action movie about a mystery person (Charlie Sheen) who returns from the dead to get back at the street racers who killed him. Even though the story was interesting, the movie wasn’t perfect because the characters weren’t well-developed, the pace was all over the place, and the action scenes weren’t fascinating.

26 Comedy Films That Cancel Culture Forbids You From Laughing at Today

The Jerk 1979
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Has cancel culture come for your favorite films? Several classic comedies were once considered hilarious that are deemed offensive today. Here are twenty-six of them.

25 Nostalgic Movies Everyone Needs to See at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Stand by Me 1986
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Take a trip down memory lane with this hand-picked list of classic films that have forever changed the face of cinema. These movies represent the spirit of different times and genres, from inspiring stories of friendship and adventure to terrifying suspense and beautiful romance.

12 Plot Points That Popular Movies Didn’t Bother Resolving for Audiences

The Karate Kid 1984 Daniel and Ali
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Do any of your favorite films have plot holes that were never resolved? You’re not alone. An entertainment community poster asked for examples of said plot holes. Here is what the forum volunteered. Did you notice?

Top 25 Longest Movies of All Time — Worthy of Every Minute

Image Credit: MGM.

Some stories in the world of film need more time to reveal their beauty. This collection recognizes the longest films that have captured our attention, hearts, and imagination. They range from epic sagas to deep dramas. Enter a universe where time is infinite as we watch movies that show that every second is a journey worth going on.

15 Famous Songs That Music Fans Voted as the Saddest — Do You Agree?

Fleetwood Mac
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

What is the saddest song you’ve ever heard? I’ll go first. Powfu’s song “Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)” will hit you right in the feelings. After someone polled a music forum for other examples of the saddest songs of all time, here are THEIR top-voted songs. Do you agree?