The unthinkable has happened! You’re trapped on a desert island, the only female company is an enormous mountain gorilla with eyes for your rear-end, and your iPod has about half its battery left. Fortunately, before the plane crashed/boat sank, you’d just had enough time to grab a selection of DVD’s from somewhere (it’s not important) and jump out, a solar powered DVD player and TV with you. You look down, upon swimming to the beach, only to find yourself holding a selection of utter crap movies. Nearby, a volleyball floats on the waves, bobbing up and down with a weird sarcasm in its motion, and you have the temptation to call it “Wilson”. Throwing your arms up in despair, you realise that instead of choosing good movies to watch, you’ve accidentally raided the “Shit” cupboard, consigning you to spend the rest of your days on an island with films constructed of pure junk. Okay, our premise is shaky at best, but then, this is our Worst Film Week, so accuracy and quality don’t count for much!!!
This is simply a long-winded way of segueing into the content of this article, our Top 10 Worst Films Ever Made. We’ve selected ten of the most dire films, although out list does come with one caveat. The following are films that should have been good, not films that started out shite and stayed there. B-movie rubbish isn’t the order of the day: these are big budget, mainstream turkeys of the highest order, that shouldn’t have ever seen daylight. These are films we’d never want to see, never want to see again, or simply should be banned from display to anyone save terrorists in prison.
Dire, boring, stupidly conceived (although admittedly handsomely mounted) remake of the TV series, with Uma Thurman and Ralph Feinnes as the lead characters Emma Peel and John Steed respectively. Instead of a classy little film riffing on the uber-cool TV series, we get something that would be echoed by League of Extraordinary Gentlemen a decade later. The Avengers remains one of the worst of the TV series film-remakes ever, and probably resulted in director Jeremiah Chechick never making another feature…
Even George Clooney hates this one, and willingly admits he nearly killed the Batman franchise forever with this nipple-tastic entry into the series. A horde of heroes, a gaggle of villains, and a cameo by supermodel Elle MacPherson, add up to pretty much sod all as an entertainment: Joel Schumacher’s pulverising of the Batman franchise into a campy, over-the-top mess remains one of the defining moments of the 90’s. Perhaps best known for “nipplegate”, with the Bat-costumes being endowed with a representation of the aforementioned male anatomy (although, tellingly, not on the Batgirl costume worn by Alicia Silverstone), Batman & Robin isn’t even a so-bad-it’s-good film in the vein of Showgirls or Starship Troopers. Not even a stream of terrible one-liners from Arnold Schwarzenegger could save this crap.
Rightly condemned upon release, this Bennifer flick made to capitalise on the star power of it’s leading cast members (Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez, who, at the time, were married to each other), bombed big-time in a blaze of critical hatred and commercial darkness. Director Martin Brest had achieved success with Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black, however he up and retired after the mauling this film received. Slipshod tampering by studio executives demanding rewrites, Gigli tried to accommodate random story ideas and direction, ultimately confusing both the audience and the cast, reducing what should have been a sexy thriller (apparently) into a dire disaster.
Always a contender for the title of “Worst sequel ever made”, even Michael Caine has come out and said he only did it for the money. About as scary as a sleeping kitten, Jaws 4 has only the most tenuous links to Spielberg’s superior original, and has only the most tenuous links to being a film about a shark. Seriously, the concepts in this film are so silly it’s hard to see how the people who wrote the script can even call themselves “writers”.
Norbit. The Nutty Professor 2. The Adventures of Pluto Nash. The Haunted Mansion. Dr Doolittle 2. Showtime. I Spy. For every Dreamgirls, there’s a trio of crap films vying for your cinema-going dollar. None of which have any artistic or comedic merit at all. Most of Murphy’s recent comedy stuff has been dire flatulence-based humour, lacking the razor sharp sarcasm of his earlier post-Beverly Hills Cop material. His image has certainly taken a battering in recent years, as his films have slowly but surely scraped less and less money in theatrical release. Perhaps, rather then continuing to try mining a concept and persona that’s going backwards, he should try something new: like a serious drama. Jim Carrey’s managed it, so why not Eddie?
One of the earlier TV remakes-into-a-movie entries, and one of the worst. William Hurt’s badly miscast performance as the patriarch of the family searching for a way home, Matt LeBlanc’s deadpan delivery as the ship’s pilot, as well as teen-of-the-moment Lacey Chabert (from Party Of Five), and a confusing, dull storyline filled with inadequate family dynamics, makes Lost In Space nothing more than an eyeball spectacle of effects and explosions. A film surely designed to induce narcolepsy, Lost In Space is a star-studded failure.
As a previous entrant into our Worst Film Week celebrations, and reviewed as such here, Catwoman ranks as one of the modern era’s most appallingly bad comic-book films. Why Halle Berry ever decided to put her name to this, especially after the rather silly premise and execution of Sword Fish, is beyond me. Maybe after the nudity in Monster’s Ball and her subsequent twenty minute Oscar speech, she needed to let her hair down a bit. Boy, she chose wrong here. Poorly conceived, badly filmed and utilising some of the most tedious and obscure editing techniques ever devised, Catwoman is a bad, bad film on every account. The director, Pitof, seems incapable of developing things like tension, motive and character; all things required for a film are missing or underdeveloped at best.
The most recent addition to this list, watched only last month by yours truly, UltraViolet is a cinematic disaster of monumental proportions. You can read our original review here, as a part of Worst Film Week 2010, but in a nutshell, the film is devoid of everything required of something to be actually called a film. It has a story which is completely incomprehensible to any sane viewer, the characters are flat and beyond cardboard, and the effects so low-grade that for a moment you think you’re watching a badly developed computer game. Everyone linked to this film should hang their heads in shame.
You know the kind of film I’m talking about: Epic Movie, Scary Movie, Dance Movie, Disaster Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, et al…. unfunny shite spat out of the Hollywood pipeline like so much waste. These “movies” that purport to spoof other, more entertaining films, have links to the old Zucker/Abrahams comedies of old, like Airplane and Naked Gun, but can’t hold a candle to them. Filled with smutty innuendo, a fistful of half-witted “jokes” and dreadfully lame slapstick/boob/vomit/wee sight gags, it’s hard to understand just how films like these get green lit by the studio heads.
The granddaddy of awful films, I will admit I had the privilege of seeing this debacle in it’s original theatrical release. Yes, I know, I deserve to be flogged for allowing some of my hard-earned to go towards this film’s profits (or lack thereof, as it turned out), but I beg forgiveness on the grounds of immaturity and a somewhat sadistic interest after seeing the trailer. John Travolta’s love-letter to Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard plays like a cobbled sci-fi C-movie, with none of the novel’s depth and character development evident anywhere in the screenplay. Of all the big-budget turkeys that come out every year, this remains the biggest of the modern era. A debacle from start to finish, and a film that stands alongside Plan 9 From Outer Space as a genuine contender in the great Bad Films of All Time.