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20 Bad Movies That Were Ruined By Weird High Concept

24 September 2013 | Features, Film Lists | by David Zou

high concept movies

High concept only works in movies when it’s well-executed, films like Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Groundhog Day and The Matrix are all based on successfully realized high concept. However, most of the time it will just ruin movies. Without these fancy ideas, those movies wouldn’t be made in the first place. Then those feel-good movie company executives thought they could sell the movies by the high concept along, they might even fool the audiences for a while, but these terribly made movies could never stand the test of time. Here are 20 movies with weird high concept that were made into low quality trash.

If you are into “too bad it’s good” cult movies, then you might be interested in some of them. After all, the concept is good. If you are not this kind of movie buff, just try to avoid them, they will absolutely waste your time.


20. Dead Heat


The High Concept: Two mismatched cops must work together, one of whom is a zombie…

The Weird: Treat Williams plays Roger Mortis (Geddit? Eh?), an LA cop who is killed whilst attempting to arrest some zombies. Brought back to life via the same technology that’s producing these undead crooks, Mortis joins forces with fellow cop Doug Bigelow as they try and find the master criminal behind it all…

How To Make It Weirder: By having Mortis munch through an enemy’s brain. We’re surprised this doesn’t actually happen…


19. Scary Hair


The High Concept: A cancer patient appropriates a haunted wig.

The Weird: This Korean oddity tells the tale of a young woman who buys her leukaemia-suffering sister a wig to boost her self esteem. Unbeknownst to her, the wig was made from the hair of an evil corpse, and it isn’t long before her ailing sister begins acting rather strangely…didn’t they do this in a Halloween special of The Simpsons?

How To Make It Weirder: By making the haunted hair take the form of a novelty moustache rather than a toupee.


18. Outlander


The High Concept: Vikings take on aliens.

The Weird: Described by star Jim Caviezel as a cross between Braveheart and Highlander, Outlander charts the story of Kainan, an intergalactic warrior whose spacecraft crash-lands into a Norwegian lake in 709AD. When a violent alien stowaway makes a break for freedom, Kainan must team up with the local Vikings to put a stop to his bloodthirsty antics.

How To Make It Weirder: Transporting Vikings into outer space would probably be marginally more daft.


17. Scarecrows


The High Concept: A gang of thieves take on a horde of evil scarecrows

The Weird: It’s heist movie meets horror slasher, as five paramilitary mercenaries rob three million dollars from the vault at Camp Pendleton before hiding out in an old country shack. Unfortunately for them, this shack just happens to be stalked by a troop of zombie scarecrows. And as the tag-line wittily puts it, “they only want a brain…yours.”

How To Make It Weirder: Whilst the scarecrows are distracted, a flock of zombie crows sweep down and help themselves to the crops. The cheeky gits!

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  • Mike

    Disagree, Crank 2 (and the first movie) were actually saved because of the ridiculously weird concepts. In that same vein as “it’s so bad it’s good” type of movie.