Top 5 Most Awesomely Bad Surf Movies

Ryan BrowerContributor IIIOctober 29, 2012

Top 5 Most Awesomely Bad Surf Movies

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    Lets face it—for real surfers, Hollywood surf movies are mostly lame, stereotypical and wildly pathetic attempts at representing surfing to the greater public. There have been many horrid tries over the years, and most of the time, all we can do is laugh at them.

    With another Hollywood surf movie released recently (Chasing Mavericks), let's take a look at the five most awesomely bad surf movie offerings Hollywood has given us over the years.

    And yes, Gary Busey stars in more than one of the movies on this list...

<i>Surf Ninjas</i>

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    Synopsis

    One brother is a budding Los Angeles surf star, the other is a video-game addict. They both know martial arts and end up being needed to help save their tiny birth island in the Pacific from the force of a tyrant military leader.

    Cast

    Surprisingly stars Rob Schneider and Leslie Nielsen.

    Authenticity of Surfing Scenes

    Somewhere between passable and unbelievable.

    Top Quotes

    "Motosurf!"

    Best Awesomely Bad Thing at This Movie  

    Surf Ninjas is a guess at what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be like if it centered around surfing and human beings mixed with a video game. Hilariously awful, it's definitely one to check out. 

<i>In God's Hands</i>

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    Synopsis

    The movie follows professional surfer Shane Dorian (played by himself) and friends around the world in their pursuit of their passion for surfing the biggest waves imaginable.

    Cast

    Professional surfers Shane Dorian, Shaun Tomson, Brock Little and more.

    Authenticity of Surfing Scenes

    While the plot somewhat lacks in substance, the surfing scenes are actually some of the best ever put out by a Hollywood film.

    Best Awesomely Bad Thing at This Movie 

    In God's Hands is almost relatively unknown for some unexplainable reason. Surf scribe Matt George helped write the script, and this helped create a more realistic sense to the intensity of the film. Sure, it's got the super-cheesy 90s clothing and style, but this film offers the closest to real-life surfing experience of any Hollywood film.  

<i>North Shore</i>

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    Synopsis

    Featuring some of the most iconic surfers in history, North Shore delivers a mix of cornball comedy and far-fetched surfing realities. It's the story of Rick Kane, who wins a wave-pool surf contest in Arizona and decides to spend the prize money surfing the North Shore of Oahu—one of the most notoriously expert surfing areas in the world.

    Cast

    Matt Adler, Nia Peeples, John Philbin, Gerry Lopez, Laird Hamilton, Mark Occhilupo, Shaun Tomson, Christian Fletcher and tons more.

    Authenticity of Surfing Scenes

    Mostly quality stuff, but the reality of a kid who's never seen the ocean diving right into the beast's mouth at Pipeline reminds us that the concept is just ridiculously hilarious.

    Top Quotes

    "When the wave breaks here don't be there, or you're gonna get drilled."

    "I've seen bigger waves in a toilet bowl!"

    Best Awesomely Bad Thing at This Movie

    With cheese-ball comedy and spot-on pidgin slang throughout, it is a classic among all surfers and one of the most awful treasures Hollywood has ever put out. 

<i>Point Break</i>

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    Synopsis

    Southern California is home to a continual string of bank robberies. So the FBI puts Johnny Utah on the case and figures out that it's a group of surfers. He must entrench himself within the surfing world to bring the criminals to justice. But once Utah is in, there is no turning back.

    Cast

    Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze and Gary Busey.

    Authenticity of Surfing Scenes

    Pretty realistic, actually. They used Matt "Archy" Archbold for a lot of the surfing scenes, so that definitely helped. But the actuality of Utah becoming so good at surfing so quickly is extremely far-fetched.

    Top Quotes

    "Bodhi, this is your f—king wake up call man. I am an F-B-I agent!"

    "I caught my first tube today, Sir."

    "Wars of religion always make me laugh because basically you're fighting over who has the best friend."

    Best Awesomely Bad Thing at This Movie

    Aside from the Spicoli stereotype, the surfer image created in Point Break has done more to the discredit of surfers as a whole than anything else in history. We are not all risk-takers who jump out of planes and rob banks like the Presidents of the United States.

    But Bodhi going into the 50-year storm and Utah allowing him is one of the best scenes from a Hollywood surf movie ever. There is also useful life insights if you pay attention closely enough and ignore Keanu's terrible acting. 

<i>Big Wednesday</i>

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    Synopsis

    Three friends friends growing up in Southern California go through the tumultuous changes that the 60s and 70s presented. Despite how far they eventually grow apart, surfing is the one thing that bonds them together forever.

    Cast

    Gary Busey, Jan Michael Vincent, Gerry Lopez and William Katt.

    Authenticity of Surfing Scenes

    Pretty realistic, as they use actual surf footage and not a single green-screen shot.

    Top Quotes

    "Oh no...not me. I'm just a garbage man. See ya around."

    "Crashers!?"

    Best Awesomely Bad Thing at This Movie 

    Big Wednesday is easily the most under-rated of all Hollywood surf-movie efforts. Written and directed by John Milius, it's the truest to life movie revolving around surfing that there is. It's funny, a great story, and the surfing is all solid. It's probably not awesomely bad at all, but it's certainly the best Hollywood surf movie ever. 

Honorable Mentions: <i>Blue Crush</i> & <i>Surf Nazis Must Die</i>

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    Blue Crush

    Blue Crush is responsible for the largest swelling of girls to surfboards in the history of surfing. It made every girl believe she could one day win a surf contest at one of the deadliest surf spots in the world, Pipeline.

    False as false could be with lots of terrible green-screen scenes, at least the movie does feature a lot of Kate Bosworth in a bikini...

    Surf Nazis Must Die

    Sometime in the near future, Surf Nazis Must Die will still be an atrocious movie. When California goes apocalyptic, surf Nazis take over the water and the land. Which means a grandma must hunt them down to avenge her grandson's death.

    Add in awful editing and filming typical of low-budget 80s movies, and you get Surf Nazis Must Die. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? 

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