Best Forgotten Movies of the 90s: A Shameless Clickbait List

best forgotten 90s movies

Intro

Ahh, the 90s, a time that is slowly becoming as nostalgic and fuzzy as the 80s. Fingers crossed that numetal doesn’t see its ironic revival anytime soon.

This is a little-known fact, but there are actually movies from the 90s that weren’t Disney animated films.

We went down to the Hall of Records and dusted off some big tomes and whittled down a list of 7 of the best forgotten movies of the 90s.

Here they are now, along with some brief commentary on why they’re still worth watching.

Tremors

Is this Kevin Bacon’s best movie? Nah, Super is pretty fantastic. Come back again sometime and we’ll talk about Super. Easily better than either of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

A small desert town slowly realizes that folks are being killed off by giant underground snakes.

Long story short, the monsters respond to vibrations in the ground.

Boom. Simple premise, clear stakes, and a few likeable characters. That’s all you need, really. It’s also one of the only monster movies I can think of that manages to stay funny while also respecting the danger present.

Babe

I never expected to say that Babe is kind of a spectacle of seamless special effects, but I will say it: Babe is kind of a spectacle of seamless special effects.

This movie was the peak entry in a very niche genre that was popular at the time: live-action talking animal movies where computers made the lips move on the animals.

The Eddie Murphy Dr. Dolittle movies just don’t stack up at all.

That said, there are plenty of times when this movie doesn’t feel like a children’s movie in the least. I think most kids would find it boring, and probably more than a little scary.

‘Forgotten’ is the operative word here. I don’t think that Babe has continued to live on in the memory of the public as much as a few other great kids’ movies from the 90s.

And that’s a little sad, even if only because the movie is unique, and doesn’t fall into the traps that so many children’s movies fall into.

Four Rooms

What a weird little movie. It’s one of those things where people might recommend it as a movie they grew up with, and they tell you it’s great, and you put it off for a few months, or maybe a few years, and then you only watch it because you’re tired of fighting.

But it’s absolutely worth it.

Four Rooms consists of four individual short films from four different directors. Each story takes place in the same hotel, and the only connection point between the stories is the bellhop, who is apparently the only working employee this particular night.

It also indulges the 90s gimmick of featuring cartoon violence in a live-action movie. Think of anything by Sam Raimi for examples of the style.

The last segment was directed by Mr. Quentin Tarantino, and also stars Mr. Tarantino. And it feels like a Tarantino movie through and through. It’s one long conversation and then there’s tension and then it’s over.

This is also the best short of the bunch and seals the movie off nicely.

It doesn’t quite feel like a movie, but it’s still worth watching in its entirety.

Gummo

Harmony Korine, for those who don’t know much about this weirdo, was kind of a wunderkind for a while, at least in the realm of punk/fringe filmmaking at the tail end of the 20th century.

He was about 24 years old when he directed Gummo, a movie about some people who live a poor community in the Appalachian region of the United States.

There are scenes that feel like they’re meant to be faux documentary footage. And there are also scenes that feel overwritten and pretentious and pointless.

Somehow, all of those factors combine to make an entertaining movie that’s occasionally painful to watch.

Korine claims that cinematography on the film wasn’t that difficult: everything was so ugly, you could just point the camera everywhere.

This movie makes the list for being one of the strangest and subsequently most original movies of the decade. And it has a title sequence you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Shallow Grave

This is a movie from Danny Boyle. He’s from the UK and he makes some pretty interesting movies.

He’s also the guy who made Trainspotting, a mindblowingly funny and somehow beautiful film about a gaggle of Scottish heroin addicts.

Shallow Grave came out two years prior to Trainspotting. It tells the story of three housemates who receive a visitor one day, a visitor who dies in their house and also happens to be carrying a whole bunch of money.

They do their best to hold onto it and split it between the three of them, but they start to unravel in the process.

Overall, it sort of has the fun twists and turns of a Soderbergh-style heist movie, but it also makes you feel like trash.

And if you ask me, that’s a much more entertaining combo.

Ed Wood

I didn’t come across this movie until watching Red Letter Media’s re:View episode on it.

It’s a Tim Burton movie, it turns out, and it’s a stylish biopic about the B-movie director Edward D. Wood Jr.

Ed Wood is the famed director of some very bad movies, the most famous being Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Johnny Depp plays the title character as he struggles to gain footing in Hollywood.

It’s overly optimistic, hammy, and over-the-top, and that’s why it works. A hard-hitting ultra-realist movie about the difficulties of young independent filmmakers would be depressing, excessively so.

But Ed Wood isn’t depressing at all. It makes you feel like you’re a moviegoer from the 1940s, seeing a simple movie that just wanted to make you happy for a couple hours.

It’s one of the best Tim Burton movies, and definitely one of the best forgotten movies of the 90s.

BASEketball

Trey Parker and Matt Stone created South Park, and once the series aired, they could basically do whatever they wanted in the world of entertainment.

So they made some movies. Some of these movies are pretty good. And some of them are pretty bad.

BASEketball is pretty bad.

But that’s also what makes it lovable. There’s ska in this movie. There are bad comedy movie cliches. There are celebrity appearances that mean next to nothing 20 years after the movie’s initial release.

The saving grace is that the movie itself is fun. It’s the kind of basic concept you might have thought up with your middle school buddies.

It’s just that Parker and Stone happened to have the money, the power, and the balls to actually make it.

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About Michael J. Schuck

Michael J. Schuck is an LA-based writer, animator, and musician. He watches too many movies and then writes about them for this very website. His first novel, The Incredible Superfets, was published in 2015.

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