List of films considered the worst
The films listed below have been cited by a variety of notable critics in varying media sources as being among the worst films ever made. Examples of such sources include Metacritic, Roger Ebert's list of most-hated films, The Golden Turkey Awards, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, Rotten Tomatoes, the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the Golden Raspberry Awards ("Razzies").
Reefer Madness (1936)
Reefer Madness (originally released as Tell Your Children and sometimes titled or subtitled as The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness) is a 1936 American exploitation film and propaganda work revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana—from a hit and run accident, to manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, and descent into madness. The Los Angeles Times has claimed that Reefer Madness was the first film that a generation embraced as "the worst." Leonard Maltin has called it "the grand-daddy of all 'Worst' movies." Las Vegas CityLife named it the "worst ever" runner-up to Plan 9 from Outer Space, and AMC described it as "one of the worst movies ever made." The movie has inspired a number of parodies, including an off-Broadway musical satire and a 2005 film based on the musical.
No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948)
No Orchids for Miss Blandish, a British gangster film adapted from the novel by James Hadley Chase, received a very hostile reception from the press. This was mainly due to the film's high (for the time) level of sexual and violent content, but also because its attempt to portray Americans using a largely British cast (including an early role for Sid James) was seen as unconvincing. The British film journal Monthly Film Bulletin called it, "..the most sickening exhibition of brutality, perversion, sex and sadism ever to be shown on a cinema screen." The Sunday Express film reviewer called No Orchids for Miss Blandish "the worst film I have ever seen." The Australian newspaper The Age also gave a harsh review: "No Orchids for Miss Blandish is not only a disgrace to the studio that made it, but it also reflects on the British industry as a whole...the entire production is unpardonable." Cliff Goodwin, discussing No Orchids For Miss Blandish's initial reception, notes it was "unanimously dubbed 'the worst film ever made'." Later reviews of the film were equally antipathetic. No Orchids for Miss Blandish was described by British film historian Leslie Halliwell as a "hilariously awful gangster film...one of the worst films ever made." Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide states "No Orchids for Miss Blandish misses by a mile."
The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
The Babe Ruth Story is a 1948 baseball film biography of Babe Ruth, starring William Bendix. The New York Times describes it as "The Plan 9 from Outer Space of baseball biopics." It was rushed into release while Ruth was still alive. The final scene is notable for Ruth delivering on a promise he made to a young cancer patient that he would hit a home run. Not only does Ruth succeed in fulfilling the promise, but also the child is subsequently cured of his cancer. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe claimed the film was the worst he had ever seen, while the Washington Times stated that it "stands as possibly the worst movie ever made." The film has been called one of the worst sports films ever by Newsday and The A.V. Club, and called one of the worst biopics by Moviefone and Spike. Michael Sauter included it in his The Worst Movies of All Time book and Leonard Maltin called it "perfectly dreadful."
Glen or Glenda (1953)
A semi-autobiographical quasi-documentary about transvestism, Glen or Glenda starred and was directed by Ed Wood. After a nightmarish dream sequence, Glen undergoes psychotherapy to help cure his affliction. Bela Lugosi appears in this film, as he did in several other Wood films toward the end of his career. Leonard Maltin insists this was far worse than Wood's later Plan 9 from Outer Space and considers it "possibly the worst movie ever made." Richard Barrios describes Glen or Glenda as "one of the funniest and worst movies ever made." In his book Cult Movies 3, Danny Peary suggests this is actually a radical, if ineptly made, film that presents a far more personal story than is contained in films by more well-respected auteurs. The film currently has a 32% rating on review website Rotten Tomatoes. In 1994, Tim Burton directed Ed Wood, which includes some material about the trials and tribulations of making Glen or Glenda.
Robot Monster (1953)
Robot Monster, a science-fiction film, originally shot and exhibited in 3D, features an actor dressed in a gorilla suit and what looks almost like a diving helmet. The film, produced and directed by Phil Tucker, is listed in Michael Sauter's book The Worst Movies of All Time among "The Baddest of the Bs" and has a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is also featured in The Book of Lists 10 worst movie list, in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. The Golden Turkey Awards confers on its main character the title of "Most Ridiculous Monster in Screen History" and, listing director Tucker among the runners-up to "Worst Director of All Time" (the winner being Ed Wood), states, "What made Robot Monster ineffably worse than any other low-budget sci-fi epic was its bizarre artistic pretension." It was featured in an episode of the movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000, and was fondly remembered by author Stephen King, who quotes, and agrees with, a review in Castle of Frankenstein magazine ("certainly among the finest terrible movies ever made," "one of the most laughable poverty row quickies").
Bride of the Monster (1955)
Bride of the Monster was an ultra-low budget monster/detective film written and directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. is about mad scientist Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi, in his last speaking role), a Hungarian-accented German who aims to take over the world by creating a race of supermen in his isolated house located in a swamp in California, and kills all those who displease him via crocodiles, octopuses and his large, stealthy henchman Lobo (Tor Johnson). Police lieutenant Dick Craig (Tony McCoy) and journalist Janet Lawton (Loretta King) set out to stop him. The film was featured as #3 on Paste Magazine's The 10 Worst Films Ever Featured on MST3K, and the publication spoke that "this film was made famous by Tim Burton’s Ed Wood because of the use of a lifeless giant octopus that actors would have to fruitlessly thrash around with to try and make it look like, you know, it was alive and attacking them. This is emblematic of the movie, and of Wood as a filmmaker in general." Leonard Maltin called this film "another hilariously inept Z grade piece of trash from the king of bad cinema", and Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World of Movie Reviews said "it's more fun than its ridiculous story and brutal acting and incompetently designed sets would indicate." The film was also featured in a 2004 DVD 50 Worst Movies Ever Made, and in Michael Medved's book The Golden Turkey Awards: Nominees and Winners, the Worst Achievements in Hollywood History.
The Conqueror (1956)
Howard Hughes funded The Conqueror, an epic film featuring actor John Wayne as Mongolian chieftain Genghis Khan and the redheaded Susan Hayward as a Tatar princess. The movie was filmed near St. George, Utah, downwind from a nuclear testing range in Nevada, and is often blamed for the cancer deaths of many of the cast and crew, including Hayward, Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, Pedro Armendáriz, and director Dick Powell. In addition to filming near the testing range, truckloads of the red sands were transported back to the studios for interior scenes. The film made the 10-worst list in The Book of Lists, appears in Michael Sauter's book The Worst Movies of All Time, and was among those listed in Michael Medved's book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. Originally written for Marlon Brando, The Guardian called the choice of Wayne for Khan "..one of the worst casting decisions of all time."
Hughes, one of the richest people in the world at the time, had previously produced the popular dramatic films Hell's Angels, Scarface, and The Outlaw. After seeing The Conqueror himself, Hughes bought every existing print for $12 million and refused to let the film be seen on television until 1974. Reportedly, he felt guilty over the decision to shoot at such a hazardous site. By 1980, 91 of the 220 cast and crew members had been diagnosed with cancer. This was the last film Hughes produced.
Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1956)
Fire Maidens from Outer Space, a low-budget British space opera film (known in the US as Fire Maidens of Outer Space), is about a group of astronauts visiting an all-female society on a Jupiter moon. This film developed a negative reputation for its poor special effects (including a scene on the alien planet, where a modern car can be seen driving past). Leslie Halliwell described Fire Maidens from Outer Space as "a strong contender for the title of the worst movie ever made, with diaphanously clad English gals striking embarrassed poses against cardboard sets." British film historian I.Q. Hunter included it in his list of candidates for "the worst British film ever made." The DVD Talk website's review claimed it "may be among the worst-ever professionally produced science fiction films." In November 1992, the film was featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space was labeled the "Worst Film Ever" by The Golden Turkey Awards. This movie marked the final film appearance of Bela Lugosi. Wood shot only a small amount of test footage featuring his idol Lugosi before the actor's death. Following Lugosi's death, the character was played by Tom Mason, the chiropractor of Wood's wife (Kathy O'Hara) at the time, who played his scenes holding the character's cape in front of his face. Wood was apparently undeterred by the numerous physical differences – such as height and build, and the fact that Mason was nearly bald while Lugosi retained a full head of hair until his death – that distinguished Mason from Lugosi. Years later, video distributors such as Avenue One DVD began to make light of this, adding such blurbs as "Almost Starring Bela Lugosi" to the cover art. Numerous critics also pointed out the cheap, hardly believable special effects and kitschy dialogue.
Shot in 1956, the film was not released until 1959 because of difficulty in finding a distributor. It has played at the New Orleans Worst Film Festival. In 1994, Tim Burton directed Ed Wood, which includes some material about the trials and tribulations of making Plan 9. Phil Hall of Film Threat calls it "far too entertaining to be considered as the very worst film ever made." Likewise, John Wirt of The Advocate goes as far as to call it "the ultimate cult flick," and Videohound's Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics states, "In fact, the film has become so famous for its own badness that it's now beyond criticism." Ian Berriman of SFX commented about the unintentional comedy, "Some things are best watched at 3 am, wrapped in the warm glow of drunkenness... Plan 9 From Outer Space is one of them." The Radio Times Guide to Films described Plan 9 as "the worst film ever made" and "tediously depressing." However, Plan 9 has a rating of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)
The Beast of Yucca Flats by Coleman Francis, shot silently with added narration, concerns a scientist (played by Tor Johnson) who is exposed to radiation from an atomic blast, which turns him into a monster. The film opens with a scene of implied necrophilia that has nothing to do with the remainder of the movie and does not fit anywhere into the film's chronology. Leonard Maltin's TV and Movie Guide calls it "..one of the worst films ever made." Bill Warren said, "It may very well be the worst non-porno science fiction movie ever made." It was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where members of the cast state it is by far one of the worst films they have seen up to that point.
The low-budget shocker Eegah features Richard Kiel as a prehistoric caveman emerging in early 1960s California who finds love with another teenager. Arch Hall, Jr. performs musical numbers, with lyrics widely considered terrible. The film's notoriety was enhanced as a result of being featured on episodes of Canned Film Festival and Mystery Science Theater 3000, where the cast of the show stated in The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide (ISBN 0-553-37783-3), that they consider the shaving scene (where Eegah lolls his tongue around and laps up shaving cream) one of the most disgusting things they have seen. It was also one of the films listed in Michael Medved's book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.
The Creeping Terror (1964)
The science-fiction/horror film The Creeping Terror was directed, produced, and edited by Vic Savage (under the pseudonym A.J. Nelson, but he keeps his name when credited as an actor). The movie is about a large slug-like alien that lands on Earth and terrorizes an American town. The film is memorable for its use of some bargain-basement effects: stock footage of a rocket launch played in reverse to depict the landing of an alien spacecraft, and the "monster" appears to be composed of a length of shag carpet draped over several actors. Notably, the creature's victims inexplicably stand perfectly still as the slow-moving monster approaches them. Scott Weinberg of efilmcritic.com simply summarizes the movie with "You've seen clips of this one in those 'awful, awful movies' documentaries." The movie was featured in the sixth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The Horror of Party Beach (1964)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured The Horror of Party Beach in 1997, and the film was listed in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. Del Tenney directed it, and the plot mainly consists of sea monsters attacking young women at slumber parties on a beach, who keep returning even after a few murders. The New York Times film review stated, "The most to be said for him is that he has not stinted on the gore." Thomas Lisanti in Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959–1969 called it "..by far the worst of the sixties beach films," and Stephen King called it "..an abysmal little wet fart of a film." Joe Meyers in the Hearst newspaper blog for the Stamford Advocate said on Dell Tenney's passing: "Connecticut had its own Ed Wood, an actor, director and entrepreneur named Del Tenney who made a series of truly awful pictures in the Stamford area during the 1960s, the most notorious of which is Horror of Party Beach, a 1964 drive-in quickie about an atomic mutation that terrorizes Stamford ('Party Beach' was actually Shippan Point)." It is also listed in Michael Sauter's book The Worst Movies of All Time.
The Incredibly Strange Creatures (1964)
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies?!! (sometimes billed as The Incredibly Strange Creatures) is a 1964 American monster movie written and directed by Ray Dennis Steckler. Steckler also starred in the film, billed under the pseudonym "Cash Flagg". In the film, three friends visit a carnival and stumble into a group of occultists and disfigured monsters. Produced on a $38,000 budget, much of it takes place at The Pike amusement park in Long Beach, California, which resembles Brooklyn's Coney Island. The film was billed as the first "monster musical", beating out The Horror of Party Beach by a mere month in release date. The 2004 DVD The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made listed this film as the worst film of all time. The rock critic Lester Bangs wrote an appreciative 1973 essay about Incredibly Strange Creatures in which he tries to explain and justify the movie's value: "this flick doesn't just rebel against, or even disregard, standards of taste and art. In the universe inhabited by The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, such things as standards and responsibility have never been heard of. It is this lunar purity which largely imparts to the film its classic stature. Like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and a very few others, it will remain as an artifact in years to come to which scholars and searchers for truth can turn and say, "This was trash!"" It currently has a 20% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 2.2/10 rating on imdb.com.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
The sci-fi movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was the creation of Nicholas Webster. Because Martian children only get to see Santa Claus on TV signals beamed from Earth, their parents decide to abduct Santa to make them happy. The film was initially criticized for its oddity and poor special effects. Like many others in this category, it has been featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000. The film is cited on a 10-worst list in The Book of Lists and in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. It is also known for starring a very young Pia Zadora. In addition to being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Cinematic Titanic (a spin-off of MST3K) revisited the film in 2008.
A remake was rumoured with David Zucker as producer, and Jim Carrey attached to play Dropo. An estimated release date was announced as 2002, though it was then believed to have been in development hell.
Monster a Go-Go! (1965)
Monster a Go-Go! began as Terror at Halfday by Bill Rebane. The production ran out of money and the film was abandoned. Herschell Gordon Lewis, who reportedly needed a second feature to compose a double bill, purchased and completed it for a minimal amount of money. Several of the film's actors were unable to return, so Lewis simply replaced their parts with new characters who mysteriously appear and fill the roles of the missing characters. One of the actors Lewis managed to rehire had gained weight, gone bald, and grown a goatee, so Lewis recast him as the brother of the original character. The picture consists mostly of lengthy dialogue sequences concerning the apparent mutation of an astronaut into a monster. Poor audio quality makes much of the dialogue unintelligible, and when the film is overexposed, several characters' faces appear as bright white, glowing circles. At one point, when a phone supposedly rings, the sound effect is obviously a person making a noise with their mouth. During the climax of the movie, as soldiers prepare to confront the mutated astronaut, he abruptly vanishes and the narrator informs the audience, "there was no monster," and that the astronaut has, in fact, been in the Atlantic Ocean the entire time. All Movie Guide calls the film a "surreal anti-masterpiece." It was also featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where writer Paul Chaplin called the dialogue "garbled beyond recognition." The entire cast of the show later stated it was officially the worst movie they have ever seen.
Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
The low-budget horror film Manos: The Hands of Fate, made by El Paso insurance and fertilizer salesman Hal P. Warren, concerns a vacationing family kidnapped by a polygamous cult of pagans. The film was conceived after Warren bet Academy Award-winning screenwriter Stirling Silliphant that anyone could make a horror movie. Warren was convinced by the film's cinematographer and stunt coordinator that most of its glaring mistakes could be fixed in a Dallas post-production studio, when in reality the two wanted to quickly wrap the production because they were not being paid. Several technical gaffes made it into the film, including scenes filmed out of focus, a marking slate being seen in one shot, the scarf on the female lead's head disappearing and reappearing, and an insect bumping the camera lens. The film was shot with a camera that could not record sound and had a 32-second maximum shot length. All dialogue was later dubbed by Warren and four others, including a grown woman who dubbed the voice for a seven-year-old girl. It opens with a nine-minute driving scene that the filmmakers intended to use for cast and crew credits, but failed to do so. The movie includes dialogue spoken while all characters are facing away from the camera, a character complaining about it getting dark while the sun is brightly shining, and the character Torgo, a satyr with overly large thighs, that three women attempt to massage to death. The film gained notoriety and cult popularity by being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and was the show's most popular episode. The film has a 0% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and Entertainment Weekly says the movie is "widely regarded as, quite simply, the worst movie ever made." Even Warren himself would later admit his film was one of the worst ever, suggesting it might make a passable comedy if redubbed.
A Place for Lovers (1968)
A Place for Lovers is a French-Italian romantic film directed by Vittorio De Sica and starred Faye Dunaway, as a terminally ill American fashion designer in Venice, Italy, and Marcello Mastroianni, as a race car driver who has a whirlwind affair with her. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it the "most godawful piece of pseudo-romantic slop I've ever seen!" and Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times referred to it as "the worst movie I have seen all year and possibly since 1926." Leonard Maltin noted Ebert's comments in his review and offered that the film was "low points for all concerned." A Place for Lovers was included as one of the choices in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
The comedy Myra Breckinridge, based on the book of the same name by Gore Vidal, directed by Michael Sarne and starring Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Mae West, John Huston and Farrah Fawcett, provoked controversy due to a scene in which Welch forcibly sodomizes a bound man while clips from various classic films play onscreen. The film was initially rated X before edits and an appeal to the MPAA brought it down to an R. It also used the technique of inserting clips from Golden Age movies in such a way that the dialogue took on sexual undertones. Several stars whose films were featured objected to the gimmick, and some (such as Loretta Young) sued to remove the footage. The film was a critical failure, with Time magazine saying "Myra Breckinridge is about as funny as a child molester". Leonard Maltin gave it a BOMB (the lowest score possible) and stated that it was "as bad as any movie ever made". The Miami News critic Herb Kelly nominated Myra Breckinridge as the worst film ever made. The film is also cited in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. It also was included in The Book of Lists' worst movies of all time, claiming there was something in the movie to offend absolutely everyone. Gore Vidal disowned it, calling it "an awful joke", and blamed the movie for a decade-long drought in the sale of the original book.
Zabriskie Point (1970)
The second of three English-language films commissioned by producer Carlo Ponti to be directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, Zabriskie Point was said by one critic to be "the worst film ever made by a director of genius". Amidst rumors of obscenity, the use of underage actors, and possible violations of the Mann Act, Zabriskie Point was roundly panned by critics and was an overwhelming commercial failure. The New York Times reviewer Vincent Canby and film critic Roger Ebert were equally negative about the film. It was included in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time, and 20 years after its release Rolling Stone editor David Fricke wrote that "Zabriskie Point was one of the most extraordinary disasters in modern cinematic history."
Directed by Don Barton, Zaat was also known under various titles including Hydra, Attack of the Swamp Creatures, Legend of the Zaat Monster, and The Blood Waters of Dr. Z (the name under which it was lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000). The film follows a Nazi mad scientist who injects himself with a formula that turns him into a mutated catfish. Florida Times-Union critic Matt Soergel quipped Zaat "could very well be the best film ever made about a mutated catfish." Critic Jeffrey Kauffman said, "This is the sort of film Ed Wood Jr. might have made—on a bad day" and added, "Lovers of fantastically bad films rate Zaat one of the worst." Patrick Naugle of DVD Verdict stated, "The acting in Zaat is below subpar. Actors seem to be whispering their lines and trying hard not to fully comprehend that they're in one of the worst films ever made," while Michael Rubino of DVD Verdict also claimed, "Zaat may be one of the worst films ever created." NPR called it a "sci-fi fiasco" when it became the "The winner — er, loser —" on IMDb's Bottom 100. Zaat appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which gave it significant exposure, and was also featured on RedLetterMedia show Half in the Bag where they called it one of their favorite "so bad it's good" films. Total Film included it in their list of the 66 worst films of all time.
An American Hippie in Israel (1972)
The Israeli An American Hippie in Israel is about an American hippie traveling to Israel after being involved with the Vietnam War, befriending Israeli flower children, and encountering "menacing" mimes along the way. The film was presumed lost, but after resurfacing 38 years after its production, it became a "midnight sensation" in Tel Aviv and developed a cult following akin to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was then released internationally on home video by Grindhouse Releasing. Gil Shefler of The Jewish Daily Forward described it as "perfectly awful", offering that it "probably is the worst Israeli movie ever made, and a serious candidate for the worst movie of all time". Ben Hartman of the Jerusalem Post stated the film was "surely one of the worst films ever made in Israel, or beyond." Nana 10 said it claims the title of "worst Israeli film and most amusing."
Bat Pussy (unknown, possibly 1973)
A loose spoof of the 1966 Batman television series cited as one of the earliest examples of a pornographic parody film, the presumably-1970s pornographic film Bat Pussy has been "widely described" as the worst pornographic film ever made, on account of "some incredibly unarousing sex and a general attitude of awfulness". Possessing no credits or copyright information, there is no known record of Bat Pussy's existence prior to the mid-1990s, when it was discovered in the storeroom of an adult movie theater in Memphis, Tennessee and subsequently released on home video by exploitation film distributor Something Weird Video. Gawker Media's io9 proclaimed the film to be "the absolute nadir of pornography, period. Not just Batman-themed pornography. ALL pornography", deriding its "obese redneck" cast as rendering the film "wank-proof". PornParody.com, a website dedicated to pornographic parody films, acknowledged its status as "the worst adult movie of all time", describing Bat Pussy as "renowned for its technical ineptness and anti-eroticism" due to its "physically unappealing" actors. AV Maniacs contested Bat Pussy's categorization as pornography on the grounds of the lead actor's visible impotence and instead labeled the film "anti-porn", asking "How else do you categorize an adult film that completely and utterly fails to elicit even the minutest amount of arousal in its viewers?". The book The Many More Lives of Batman by William Uricchio and Will Brooker also labeled Bat Pussy "the worst porn film ever made", criticizing its poor adaptation of the source material, while Tim Lewis, the general manager of Something Weird Video, selected Bat Pussy as the one film "so nuts it has to be seen to be believed" out of the company's entire catalog, saying it was "only for the truly jaded adult film viewer".
At Long Last Love (1975)
At Long Last Love was renowned director Peter Bogdanovich's musical homage to great 1930s Hollywood musicals. It features songs by Cole Porter and stars Cybill Shepherd and Burt Reynolds. Upon release, it received very negative reviews. CNN noted it was once considered "the worst musical extravaganza in Hollywood history." Esquire film critic John Simon said, "it may be the worst movie musical of this – or any – decade." Buffalo News film critic Jeff Simon wrote, "About 45 minutes in, it became apparent to one and all that this was one of the worst and most embarrassing major-talent turkeys of all time." Film critic Jay Cocks has said the film was "regarded as the great white elephant catastrophe of its time." Hollis Alpert stated, "This failure is so dismal that it goes beyond failure." It was included in the book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time and Michael Sauter's book The Worst Films of All Time. It is also included in the Golden Turkey Awards Nominees and Winners, the Worst Achievements in Hollywood History. Bogdanovich, who was also the screenwriter, sent press releases to newspapers across the country apologizing for this film.
One defender of the film was Roger Ebert, who stated, "The movie's no masterpiece, but I can't account for the viciousness of some of the critical attacks against it." He continued, "It's a light, silly, impeccably stylish entertainment ... if [Bogdanovich] doesn't go spectacularly right, at least he provides small pleasures and great music." In a recent documentary on his career, Bogdanovich lamented being influenced by studio previews to cut the film before its theatrical release. He subsequently recut it again before it debuted on cable TV the next year. A fan of the film, a studio editor who preferred the director's first cut, secretly saved that original version and quietly put it in place of the others. When news of this version streaming on Netflix reached Bogdanovich, he contacted Fox, made a few finishing touches to said version, and the result was a director's cut, making its debut on home video in 2013.
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Exorcist II: The Heretic is the sequel to William Friedkin's Academy Award-winning 1973 film, directed by John Boorman. While British film critic Mark Kermode called the original film his favourite film of all time, he believes the sequel to be the worst film ever made. The Golden Turkey Awards named it the second-worst film ever made, after Plan 9 from Outer Space. Critic Bill Chambers stated it was, "Possibly the worst film ever made and surely the worst sequel ever made." It also appeared in The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst book. Friedkin has stated this sequel diminished the value of the original and called it "one of the worst films I've ever seen." Eventually, the film garnered so much hate that Boorman disowned it. In an interview with Bob McCabe for the book The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows, he confessed, "The sin I committed was not giving the audience what it wanted in terms of horror."
The Swarm (1978)
The Swarm is a horror film about a killer bee invasion of Texas, directed and produced by Irwin Allen. Despite its all-star cast (including Michael Caine, Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark and Olivia de Havilland), it was a box-office failure and was excoriated by reviewers. On its UK release, the Sunday Times described The Swarm as "simply the worst film ever made." Leslie Halliwell described it as a "very obvious disaster movie with risible dialogue." The Guardian article on The Swarm stated, "You could pass it all off as a sick joke, except it cost twelve million dollars, twenty-two million bees, and several years of someone's life." Barry Took, reviewing it for Punch, stated, "the story is of a banality matched only by the woodenness of the acting." Time Out magazine called The Swarm a "risibly inadequate disaster movie." The Swarm is included in several "worst movie" books, including the Medved brothers' The Golden Turkey Awards, and John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide, as one of the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
I Spit on Your Grave became controversial for its graphic violence and lengthy depictions of gang rape. It was initially unable to find a distributor until 1980, when it received a wider release. Luke Y. Thompson of the New Times stated, "defenders of the film have argued that it's actually pro-woman, due to the fact that the female lead wins in the end, which is sort of like saying that cockfights are pro-rooster because there's always one left standing." Critic David Keyes named it the worst film of the 1980s. Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club called it "one of the era's most abhorrent pieces of exploitation trash" and Patrick Naugle of DVD Verdict stated, "it's one of the most soulless, vile, and morally reprehensible things I've ever had to sit through." Roger Ebert gave the film no stars, referring to it as "a vile bag of garbage...without a shred of artistic distinction," adding, "Attending it was one of the most depressing experiences of my life." Ebert also included it on his "most hated" list and considered it the worst movie ever made. Gene Siskel also considered it one of the worst films ever made. Author James Livingston wrote in The World Turned Inside Out that I Spit on Your Grave was the second worst movie ever made, Film Racket featured it as their first entry in to their "Worst Movie Ever?" series, and Flavorwire named it the eleventh worst movie ever made. Despite the intense negative reception from some critics, the film currently has a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics arguing that "it shows us the raw, shocking reality of rape, in all its bloody viciousness."
The erotic/historical drama Caligula, directed by Tinto Brass, about the infamous Roman Emperor was in part financed by Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. The film, featuring a prestigious cast (Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, and John Gielgud) is notable for its explicit scenes of sex and violence, including six minutes of hardcore porn footage filmed by Guccione and another editor. Caligula earned some prerelease controversy after Gore Vidal, who had written the script, distanced himself from the film. When Caligula was released, it received strongly hostile reviews, reviewers criticizing its extreme scenes of sex and violence and lack of narrative coherence. Rex Reed of New York Magazine called the film "a trough of rotten swill." Roger Ebert gave Caligula a zero stars rating, dubbing it "sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash," accusing it of being artistically vulgar in its depiction of sex and violence, and of having technically incompetent direction and structure. Caligula was one of the few films Ebert ever walked out on (two hours into its 170-minute running time), after describing himself as feeling "disgusted and unspeakably depressed", and he also placed it on his "Most Hated" list, later declaring it the worst movie he'd ever seen. Jay Scott, reviewing Caligula for The Globe and Mail, stated, "Caligula doesn't really work on any level" and the film and its production "constitute a boondoggle of landmark proportions." So negative was its initial reception, Australian newspaper The Age stated that Caligula was being "billed by critics everywhere as one of the worst films ever made." Leslie Halliwell dubbed it "a vile curiosity of interest chiefly to sadomasochists." The Hamilton Spectator later referred to Caligula as "possibly the worst movie ever made." Joe Holleman, in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discussing historical films set in Ancient Rome, argued, "two of the worst movies made in the 20th century were ancient Rome pieces...Cleopatra and Caligula." Christopher Armstead, reviewing Caligula for the website Film Critics United, stated, "Dollar for dollar, this could very well be the worst movie ever made."
Heaven's Gate (1980)
The Western epic Heaven's Gate, loosely based on the Johnson County War in 1890s Wyoming, was plagued by massive cost and time overruns, largely due to director Michael Cimino's extreme attention to detail. He demanded 50 takes of at least one scene, and refused to start shooting for another until a cloud he liked rolled across the sky. It cost over $44 million, but brought in only $3.5 million at the box office. The original version ran at nearly four hours, but was yanked from release after only one week due to scathing reviews. It later resurfaced in a 149-minute version, but by then the damage was done. Vincent Canby famously called it "an unqualified disaster," among other things. Roger Ebert called it "the most scandalous cinematic waste I've ever seen."
After word of his grandiose spending and defiant nature toward studio United Artists got out (detailed in Final Cut by Steven Bach, a studio executive involved with the film from the beginning) Cimino was awarded the 1980 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director, and the film was nominated for four more Razzies, including Worst Picture. In February 2010, the readers of Empire voted it the 6th-worst film of all time. That same year, Joe Queenan of The Guardian also called it the worst film ever made, saying that much of it was "beyond belief." Cimino was initially considered a director on the rise after directing The Deer Hunter (which won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director), but his reputation never recovered after Heaven's Gate. The production is also notorious for the cruelty to animals that occurred both on screen and on site, including deliberately killing a horse with explosives. The film effectively ended not only the existence of United Artists as an independent Hollywood studio (its parent firm sold the company to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where it still operates), but also, largely, Cimino's career — he would not direct again until 1985's Year of the Dragon.
Despite the vicious reviews, the film's reputation improved over time. In fall, 2012, the New York Film Festival, the venue for its infamous opening, premiered the restored director's cut. In stark contrast, the Times called the restored version "...a modern masterpiece" and its 1980 cut "one of the greatest injustices of cinematic history." The film has also been released on Blu-ray and DVD by the Criterion Collection, a home video label that specializes in critically acclaimed and "important" films. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times said that the movie "has been called a disaster and a disgrace, yet also anointed a masterpiece." Kris Kristofferson has consistently defended both the film and Cimino, stating at one point that he hoped Cimino would "get the chance to sin again" by being hired to direct an ambitious, big-budget project where his talents would be more successful.
The Apple (1980)
A disco rock opera set in 1994, The Apple (also known as Star Rock) focuses on a young pair of singers, Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart) who become entangled with the corrupt Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal). The Apple was directed by Menahem Golan, who hoped the film would imitate the success of other music-oriented films such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Upon release in the US, The Apple was critically savaged and was a commercial failure. One "Hollywood legend" states that the audience at The Apple's premiere were so angry at the film that they threw their promotional copies of the film's soundtrack at the screen. Sean Burns in the Philadelphia Weekly gave the film a very negative review: "The Apple isn't just the worst disco musical ever made; it could very well be the worst movie ever made, period." Bill Gibron of DVD Verdict described The Apple as "a gamy glitterdome of outrageous kitsch passing itself off as a futuristic fable". Gibron criticized the film's musical numbers as being inept and added "The Apple should be a celebration of all that is camp. Instead, it's just seriously disturbed." Eric Henderson of Slant magazine gave The Apple one star out of four and said "every song in the goddamned movie sucks". Henderson added that The Apple's "relentless bad taste is sure to appeal to the same audience that won't even realize they're being slapped in the face". Nathan Rabin of The AV Club reviewing The Apple for his "My Year Of Flops" series, said "The peculiar genius of The Apple is that every time it appears that the film cannot get any crazier, it ratchets up the weirdness to almost indescribable levels. It belongs to the curious subset of movies so all-consumingly druggy and surreal that they make audiences feel baked out of their minds even when they're stone-cold sober." In 2013, The Apple was released as a video on demand from RiffTrax. This edition features a satirical commentary on The Apple done by the former stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett.
The war movie Inchon, directed by Terence Young and starring Laurence Olivier as General Douglas MacArthur, was meant to depict the Battle of Inchon during the Korean War. Producer Mitsuharu Ishii was a senior member of the Japanese branch of the Unification Church, whose leader, Sun Myung Moon, claimed he had the film made to show MacArthur's spirituality and connection to God and the Japanese people. Its eventual production cost of $46 million resulted in a $5 million box office gross, and the New York Times review written by Vincent Canby calls the movie "the most expensive B-movie ever." The Washington Post described Inchon as "one of the biggest commercial disasters in film history." Every conceivable kind of problem plagued production, including labor issues, the U.S. military withdrawing support due to the film's Unification Church connection, weather and natural disasters, customs difficulties, expensive directorial blunders, and the original director (Andrew McLaglen) quitting before the start of production. Olivier's performance was roundly panned and he was awarded the 1982 Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actor. The film itself took the 1982 Razzies for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay, and Young's direction earned him a tie for Worst Director of 1982. A number of reviewers at various media outlets described Inchon as the worst film ever made, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, TV Guide, and the Canadian Press. Inchon was later profiled in multiple books on worst in film, including The Hollywood Hall of Shame by Harry and Michael Medved, and The Worst Movies of All Time by Michael Sauter. To date, Inchon has never been released on home video in the United States.
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981)
The adventure film Tarzan, the Ape Man, loosely based on the novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, stars Miles O'Keefe in the title role and Bo Derek as his partner Jane Parker, and is told from Jane's point of view. Despite being a box office success, it was widely panned by critics upon its release due to its poor screenplay, bad acting, and unintentional humor. Leonard Maltin, writing for his Movie Guide, stated that the film "lacks action, humor and charm," and considered it so bad that it "nearly forced editors of this book to devise a rating lower than BOMB." Leslie Halliwell was equally harsh; he described Tarzan, the Ape Man as "certainly the worst of the Tarzan movies and possibly the most banal film so far made; even the animals give poor performances." Writer Thomas S. Hischak described it thus: "Produced and directed without a shred of talent by John Derek, Tarzan, the Ape Man often ranks high in the lists of the worst movies ever made." Film critic John Nesbit considered it "my pick for worst film ever," while Matt Brinson of Creative Loafing wrote, "this cinematic atrocity truly is one of the all-time worsts." Tarzan, the Ape Man was nominated for six awards at the 2nd Golden Raspberry Awards, winning one for Worst Actress (Derek). It currently holds an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 19 reviews.
Mommie Dearest (1981)
Mommie Dearest was based on the memoir of the same name by Christina Crawford about her upbringing by Joan Crawford. It was the first film to sweep the Golden Raspberry Awards nominations, winning a total of five Razzies out of the nine nominations, including "Worst Picture" and Worst Actress (Faye Dunaway, shared with Bo Derek). The same organization also named it "Worst Picture of the Decade" in 1989/90, and was nominated for "Worst Drama of Our First 25 Years" in 2004/05. The film is part of the "100 most awful" in the book The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Entertainment writer Michael Sauter included the film in his book The Worst Movies of All Time. It earned, as film critic and television host Richard Crouse put it, "some of the nastiest reviews ever." Eric Henderson of CBS Minneapolis named it at the top of his "Best 'Worst Movies Ever'" list. Roger Ebert wrote of this film, "I can't imagine who would want to subject themselves to this movie. Mommie Dearest is a painful experience that drones on endlessly, as Joan Crawford's relationship with her daughter, Christina, disintegrates from cruelty through jealousy into pathos." Of the performance of Faye Dunaway, Variety said "Dunaway does not chew scenery. Dunaway starts neatly at each corner of the set in every scene and swallows it whole, co-stars and all."
Despite the reviews at the time, the film was a box office success, grossing $39 million worldwide on a $5 million budget. It currently has a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In its summary Rotten Tomatoes wrote, "The 1981 film version of this tome was evidently meant to be taken seriously, but the operatic direction by Frank Perry and the over-the-top portrayal of Joan Crawford by Faye Dunaway (whose makeup is remarkable) has always seemed to inspire loud laughter whenever and wherever the film is shown."
Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saved the World) (1982)
The Turkish science-fiction adventure Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (also commonly known as Turkish Star Wars), was directed by Çetin İnanç and starred Cüneyt Arkın. It is notorious for illegally using footage from well known science fiction films and shows, most notably Star Wars, along with stealing the music score from films such as Moonraker and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film is also criticized for its nonsensical plot, badly written dialogue, and crude special effects. Jos Kirps of ArticlesBase called it "The Worst Movie Ever," and stated, "There are many bad sci-fi movies, and for many years movie addicts even considered Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space the worst movie of all times. But Plan 9 is still a pretty good movie when compared to Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam." Sabah called it the "world's worst film." Hürriyet described the film as "sitting on the throne of the king" when compared to other "so bad it's good" cult films. Toronto Standard called it a "dollar-store Star Wars" and compared it to the works of Ed Wood. After a strong worldwide cult developed around the film, a sequel, The Son of the Man Who Saved the World (Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam'ın Oğlu), was shot in 2006 and featured many returning members of the original cast and crew.
Howard the Duck (1986)
Produced by George Lucas and based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Howard the Duck received overwhelmingly negative reviews from film critics. Orange Coast Magazine writer Marc Weinberg and Leonard Maltin criticized the decision to shoot the film in live action. Maltin described it as a "hopeless mess…a gargantuan production which produces a gargantuan headache." The appearance of Howard was criticized as being unconvincing due to his poorly functioning mouth, drunkenness, pervertedness, and expressionless face. Reviewers also criticized the acting and humor and found the film boring. Jay Carr of The Boston Globe claimed that "They Don't Get Much Worse Than Howard," Glenn Heath Jr. of Slant Magazine wrote that it "has a rightful place in the canon of worst films ever," and TV Guide states it is "one of the worst big-budget movies ever made." Film website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 15% based on 32 reviews, making it the lowest-rated Lucasfilm production of those reviewed on the site. The site's consensus states: "While it has its moments, Howard the Duck suffers from an uneven tone and mediocre performances." It received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations in 1987 including Worst Supporting Actor (Tim Robbins), Worst Director (Willard Huyck) and Worst Original Song ("Howard the Duck"). It won four trophies for Worst Screenplay, Worst New Star ("the six guys and gals in the duck suit"), Worst Visual Effects, and Worst Picture, tied with Under the Cherry Moon. The movie won also a Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for Worst Picture. Howard the Duck was also featured in Empire's poll of the 50 worst films ever made. The negative reaction to the film took its toll on the cast, who found themselves unable to work on other projects as a result.
Ishtar was written and directed by Elaine May and starred Academy Award-winning duo Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as Rogers and Clarke, two untalented lounge singers who travel to Morocco in hopes of finding a gig. Due to unanticipated problems with filming in the desert—which resulted in numerous reshoots—the film ran over budget by $30 million. While its final budget cost was $55 million, Ishtar earned only $14,375,181 at the North American box office leading Ishtar to become synonymous with "box office flop." It was also subject to harsh reviews from critics. Roger Ebert stated that "Ishtar is a truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy"; Gene Siskel called it "shockingly dull" and "dim-witted"; and together they selected it as the worst film of 1987 on Siskel & Ebert & The Movies. The film was nominated for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay in the 8th Golden Raspberry Awards, winning one for Worst Director. San Jose Mercury News claimed that "Time has not improved this film's reputation as being one of the worst ever made." Time Out suggested it was "so bad it could have been deliberate," and called it "one of the worst films ever made," while Hot Air referred to it as "The Citizen Kane of big-budget, A-list vehicular homicides." It was included in Michael Sauter's The Worst Movies of All Time book and Richard Roeper included it on his list of the 40 worst films he had seen. In 1999 Time placed the film on a list of the 100 worst ideas of the 20th century.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was the last film in the Christopher Reeve series of Superman films and co-starred Mark Pillow as the villain Nuclear Man. Panned by fans and critics alike, it is the lowest-grossing film in the franchise, only taking in $15,681,020 at the North American box office. Many critics pointed out the film's poor screenplay, acting, and special effects (such as a scene in which Superman repairs the Great Wall of China with his super-vision), while some have criticized it for its lack of attention to the comic book source material. Such special effects led Rita Kempley of the Washington Post to call it "one of the cheesiest movies ever made." Film critic Jeffrey Lyles voiced similar hatred, claiming that the film "isn't just one of the worst comic book films, it's one of the worst films ever made." Currently, Superman IV holds a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 41 reviews. It appears on Empire's list of the 50 worst movies of all time, as well as the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list. The film was nominated for two Razzies at the 8th Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway) and Worst Visual Effects.
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is a live-action adaptation of the then-popular trading card series of the same name, itself a gross-out parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. The title characters are depicted by dwarf actors in low budget costumes, with poorly functioning mouths and expressionless faces. The film is often criticized for its gross-out humor, nonsensical plot, poor explanations, bad acting, and the creepy appearance of the Garbage Pail Kids. It has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Caryn James of the New York Times said the movie is "too repulsive for children or adults of any age" and is "enough to make you believe in strict and faraway boarding schools." Carlos Coto of the Sun-Sentinel called it "one of the worst ever made." Much of its content is said to be inappropriate for children, its intended audience. Throughout the movie, the Garbage Pail Kids steal, get in fights, bite toes off people, fart in people's faces, threaten others with switch blades, urinate upon themselves, and run over cars. In addition to scatological behavior, the movie has several scenes that feature sexual images, violence, and drinking. Offended parents launched a nationwide protest of the movie that successfully resulted in the movie being withdrawn from circulation. The shortened release contributed to the movie's poor gross of only $1,576,615. It was nominated for three Razzies at the 8th Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Visual Effects, Worst New Star for the Garbage Pail Kids collectively, and Worst Original Song.
Leonard Part 6 (1987)
Leonard Part 6, starring (as well as written and produced by) Bill Cosby, was intended as a parody of spy movies. Leonard Parker, a former CIA spy, is brought out of retirement to save the world from an evil vegetarian who brainwashes animals to kill people. It has also been cited as one of the worst movies of all time, earning Golden Raspberrys for Worst Actor (Cosby), Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay. It was also nominated for two more Razzie Awards, for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst Director. Cosby himself disowned the film, and when it was released to theatres he publicly advised people not to see it. Rita Kempley at the Washington Post noted the large number of Coca-Cola product placements and said "The only good thing about Bill Cosby's Leonard Part 6 is that we didn't have to see Parts 1 through 5." Scott Weinberg at DVD Talk noted the film as "truly one of the worst movies you'll ever see...movies this bad should be handled with Teflon gloves and a pair of tongs." Kevin Thomas at the Los Angeles Times said "There's virtually nothing to laugh at in this film, and too much of everything else." Total Film included Leonard Part 6 on their list of the "66 Worst Films of all Time."
Hobgoblins, by Rick Sloane, is widely considered a blatant rip-off that capitalizes on the popularity of the 1984 film Gremlins. It gained popularity in 1998 after being featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. MST3K writer Paul Chaplin later commented on Hobgoblins, saying, "Oh, man. You have no idea the torture it was to watch this movie several times in the space of a week. It shoots right to the top of the list of the worst movies we've ever done." Specific points of the film that were lampooned was the extreme misogyny and atrocious treatment of women, the film's technical incompetence and repetitive scenes, its moronic, very poorly conceived plot, its dreadful acting, its ugly look and its preference towards rather needless vulgarity, particularly in regards to its characters and subject matter. Greg Muskewitz at Efilmcritic.com called it "Jim Henson's worst nightmare," while David Cornelius of DVD Talk stated, "There's not one aspect of this movie that isn't the Worst Thing Ever." After seeing the MST3K episode himself, Sloane was inspired to direct a sequel, which was released in 2009.
Mac and Me (1988)
Mac and Me is about a young boy in a wheelchair who meets and befriends an alien who has crash-landed on Earth. The decision to make it was based on the success of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (the title itself, Mac and Me, comes from the working title for E.T.—E.T. and Me), as well as to serve as a marketing vehicle for Coca-Cola and McDonald's. One scene in the film is a large, impromptu dance-off with the alien (dressed in a teddy bear costume), a football team, Ronald McDonald, and various other people inside and outside of a McDonald's restaurant. The film's cast list states "and Ronald McDonald as Himself." Mac and Me has a rating of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Leonard Maltin referred to it as "more like a TV commercial than a movie." Scott Weinberg of eFilmcritic.com called it "Quite possibly one of the worst movies of the past 435 years" and Marjorie Baumgarten of the Austin Chronicle called it a "shameless E.T. knockoff." Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock asserted that "It's the worst, worst, worst, worst, worst thing you'll ever see in your entire life." Spurlock also cited the film as the most egregious example of product placement. It was nominated for four Razzie Awards including Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay and won two trophies, Worst Director for Stewart Raffill (tied with Blake Edwards for Sunset) and Worst New Star for Ronald McDonald in a small cameo.
The Canadian low budget, independent, horror exploitation film Things was written and produced by Andrew Jordan & Barry J. Gillis. It cost approximately $35,000 in total to make and marked the mainstream film debut of porn star Amber Lynn. It was ostensibly made as homage to horror icons and films, such as George A. Romero and his Night of the Living Dead. They Came From Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema author Caelum Vatnsdal described Things as "the worst Canadian horror film ever made." Critic Online called it "definitely one of the worst atrocities ever committed to film." Severed Cinema announced that "a new generation of horror fans and people who have been desperately seeking this glistening turd for years can now experience this infamous abomination." Cinema Sewer magazine has repeatedly proclaimed that "this is the worst movie ever made." Robin Bougie, its founder and editor, wrote "I don't mean ["bad"] like the way Troma makes bad movies. I'm talking about bad with the best of intentions, like all of the best "bad" movies. You like tormenting yourself with hilariously trashy, moronic, gory, idiotic bad films?? Things is the fucking king of bad movies. This is the movie you put on when you have a get together of pals — and just blow them away. Trust me, you have never seen anything like this in your life. It's absolutely astonishing in how it is able to mentally wreck anyone who watches it." Jeff Kirschner of Dread Central has also named it the worst movie ever made. Things was covered in an episode of RedLetterMedia show Half in the Bag; during the discussion Jay Bauman stated that Things was "probably one of the worst movies ever made," to which Mike Stoklasa replied "I would remove 'probably'."
Troll 2 (1990)
Despite its title, Troll 2 is notable in part for not featuring any trolls (the antagonists are actually goblins) and having no relation to the original Troll, which was also critically panned. Released in relative obscurity, was re-taken by the public in later years; NPR claims that it is "known as the worst movie of all time" while The AV Club calls it "a popular candidate for the worst film ever made". Rumsey Taylor of Not Coming to a Theater Near You opined that it was "one of the worst films I’ve ever seen". Ken Hanke of Mountain Xpress gave it one-half star out of five, and famously stated in his review, "There are movies that are bad. There are movies that are so-bad-they're-good. And then there's Troll 2—a movie that's so bad that it defies comprehension." In addition, TV Guide proclaimed that "Troll 2 is really as bad as they come." As of 2014, the film had a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nearly twenty years after its release, the movie's child star, Michael Stephenson, made a documentary about its production and fanbase titled Best Worst Movie, released to critical success in 2009.
Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991)
The French-British film Highlander 2: The Quickening is a sequel to the cult film Highlander, which transitions the fantasy franchise into science fiction and retcons the mystical warriors of the first film into aliens, was met with harsh criticism by both critics and audiences. Based on 23 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 0%, "Rotten" rating, all 23 reviews being negative. Common criticisms included the lack of motivation for the characters, the blatant disregard for established characters and background set in the first film (such as the new and seemingly incongruent origin for the Immortals), the massive amount of gigantic plot holes, the film's messy, non-sensical story structure, the filmmaker's inability to balance out the number of the rather unrelated plots and subplots involved, the unexplained resurrection of Ramirez, and rampantly apparent contradictions in the film's internal logic. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a score of 0.5 stars (out of four), saying: "Highlander II: The Quickening is the most hilariously incomprehensible movie I've seen in many a long day—a movie almost awesome in its badness. Wherever science fiction fans gather, in decades and generations to come, this film will be remembered in hushed tones as one of the immortal low points of the genre." He continued, saying "If there is a planet somewhere whose civilization is based on the worst movies of all time, Highlander 2: The Quickening deserves a sacred place among their most treasured artifacts", naming it the worst film of 1991. Giving the film a score of 2 out of 10, IGN's review said: "How bad is this movie? Well, imagine if Ed Wood were alive today, and someone gave him a multi-million dollar budget. See his imagination running rampant, bringing in aliens from outer space with immensely powerful firearms, immortals who bring each other back to life by calling out their names, epic duels on flying skateboards, and a blatant disregard for anything logical or previously established—now you are starting to get closer to the vision of Highlander II." Awarding the film one star out of five, Christopher Null of Filmcritic.com said, "Highlander has become a bit of a joke, and here's where the joke started. ... Incomprehensible doesn't even begin to explain it. This movie is the equivalent of the 'Hey, look over there!' gag. You look, and the guy you wanted to beat up has run away and hid."
In 1995, the film's director Russell Mulcahy made a director's cut version known as Highlander 2: Renegade Version and then later released another version simply known as Highlander 2: The Special Edition for its 2004 DVD release. The film was reconstructed on both occasions largely from existing material, with certain scenes removed and others added back in, and the entire sequence of events changed. The reconstructed film's reception was far better than the original's; it was elevated to a mixed reception.
Intensive Care (1991)
The Dutch action/horror/slasher Intensive Care starred the then-popular Flemish singer Koen Wauters, in hope of attracting more people to the theaters. The plot centers around a surgeon (George Kennedy) who survives a car accident that leaves him horribly burned and puts him in a coma for seven years. When he awakens, he starts a murdering rampage for no particular reason. He stalks the film's protagonists – a young girl, her brother and her boyfriend (Koen Wauters) – and tries to kill them, once again without the audience ever being informed what his motivation is and how he manages to survive numerous attacks that would horribly injure any normal person. To top it all off, Kennedy is obviously replaced by a different actor.
The film failed to make a huge profit and was demolished by the critics. De Volkskrant reviewed it as: "A movie where every aspect goes so disastrously wrong that it almost seems like a parody." Yet it quickly gained a cult following due to its bad acting, unconvincing special effects, poor English pronunciation, and a hole-ridden plot. In one of the most infamous scenes, the girl's boyfriend lies on the floor, bleeding due to stab wounds, which causes her to remark, "Moet ik een pleistertje voor je halen? Jeetje mina!" (Translation: "Shall I get you a little band-aid? Golly gosh"). The picture is traditionally shown during each edition of the Dutch-Belgian B-movie festival Nacht van de Wansmaak and has frequently been called "the worst Dutch movie ever." Due to this reputation it has been honored in the "Hall of Shame" of the festival.
Cattive ragazze (Bad Girls) (1992)
The Italian erotic thriller Cattive ragazze (Bad Girls) was directed by gossip columnist Marina Ripa Di Meana, and stars Eva Grimaldi as a recently divorced woman falling in love with a male stripper, alongside a cast of big names such as Anita Ekberg and Burt Young. The production received bad publicity, as it was made using money from the country's Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. Paolo Mereghetti in his film encyclopaedia Dizionario dei Film described the film as a "..vapid mess that can only serve those incapable of understanding what cinema is," and considered it able to "..compete for the title of worst film in cinema history and win!" G. Giraud wrote in Il Lavoro, that Cattive ragazze "does not resemble anything in a real movie, or even recall anything previously seen at the cinema, even in its worst." Film critic Marco Giusti refers to it as "one of the pillars of Italian trash cinema." While Cattive ragazze was Ripa Di Meana's directorial debut, she has not made another film since.
Frozen Assets (1992)
Frozen Assets, an American comedy released in 1992 starring Corbin Bernsen and Shelley Long and directed by George T. Miller, concerns a Los Angeles banking executive (Bernsen), who gets a new job at a bank in Oregon, revealed to be a sperm bank. After some initial confusion, the executive and his nurse (Long), deal with a shortage of donations by holding a contest where citizens abstain from sex to save themselves for bank "deposits," much to the protest of a local brothel. The film was roundly panned, and was notoriously slammed by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, on their TV program At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert, with the former stating, "This is one of the dumbest movies I have ever seen" and "watching this film was as depressing an experience as I've ever had going to the movies"; and the latter calling it "the worst comedy ever made" and, in his newspaper review, "a children's film with a dirty mind; every character in this movie is dumber than the average roadkill. This is a movie to watch in appalled silence. To call it the year's worst would be a kindness." The film was a complete bomb, only grossing $376,008. Alonso Duralde stated that it is "[c]onsidered by many to be the worst film of the 1990s".
The Rob Reiner film North is an adaptation of the novel North: The Tale of a 9-Year-Old Boy Who Becomes a Free Agent and Travels the World in Search of the Perfect Parents by Alan Zweibel, who also wrote the screenplay and has a minor role in the film. North, which was also Scarlett Johansson's film debut, was a critical and commercial failure, earning only $7,138,449 worldwide. It was widely criticized for its plot, its all-star cast of insensitive characters, lack of humor, references to pedophilia, and portrayal of numerous ethnic stereotypes. It has a 15% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave it zero stars and, in his review, infamously wrote "I hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it." He continued saying "North is a bad film – one of the worst movies ever made," and it is also on his list of most hated films. Both Ebert and Gene Siskel named North as the worst film of 1994. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said in his review that "North is director Rob Reiner's first flat-out failure, a sincerely wrought, energetically made picture that all the same crashes on takeoff. It's strange and oddly distasteful, at its best managing to be bad in some original and unexpected ways." Richard Roeper named North as one of the 40 worst movies he has ever seen, saying that, "Of all the films on this list, North may be the most difficult to watch from start to finish." The film was nominated for the following awards at the 15th Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Bruce Willis, also for Color of Night), Worst Supporting Actress (Kathy Bates), Worst Supporting Actor (Dan Aykroyd, also for Exit to Eden), Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay (Andrew Scheinman and Alan Zweibel).
Dis – en historie om kjærlighet (A Story About Love) (1995)
The Norwegian romantic film Dis – en historie om kjærlighet was directed by Aune Sand. The film follows different couples and their love stories around the world, in Cairo, Normandy, Oslo and New York City. Dis received universal panning by critics and has been called the most critically panned Norwegian film in history. Critic Harald Kolstad of Dagsavisen gave it a score of zero, refused to acknowledge Dis as a film, and claimed to have never seen anything worse. Aftenposten referred to the film as "the largest turkey" and "the most reviled film." Despite being a critical disaster it became a commercial success, gaining cult film status with a following akin to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with fans embracing its "so bad it's good" qualities. Director Aune Sand insists that Dis is a masterpiece.
A large amount of hype of Showgirls was put behind promoting the sex and nudity in this NC-17 French-American film with a $45 million budget, but the final result was critically derided. Most of the hype revolved around the film's star, Elizabeth Berkley, who only two years before had been one of the stars of the Saturday morning teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. The film won seven Razzie Awards, a record at that time, and received 13 nominations, a record that still stands. It received an additional award at the 20th Golden Raspberry Awards, where it was awarded Worst Picture of the Decade. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called it, "..a film of thunderous oafishness that gives adult subject matter the kind of bad name it does not need or deserve," while Rob Gonsalves of eFilmCritic.com stated, "Even the grossest porn is more cheerfully sexual than this movie." Michael Dequina of TheMovieReport.com also panned the film, claiming that it was "the best bad filmmaking Hollywood has to offer." Stephen Lynch of the Knight Ridder/Tribune named it the worst movie ever made, calling it "so bad it may be brilliant." Rotten Tomatoes selected it as one of 25 movies that are so bad they're unmissable while Empire featured it on its poll of the worst films ever made. Showgirls was also featured in Michael Sauter's The Worst Movies of All Time book as well as The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. The edited R-rated version, which director Paul Verhoeven developed for video outlets that would not carry NC-17 films, deletes about three minutes of the more graphic sex scenes. TBS has broadcast the film on television in its prime time schedule, but this version adds digitally animated solid black underwear to hide breasts and genitalia. This version has also been broadcast by VH1 as part of its Movies That Rock series. It currently holds a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 47 reviews.
A comedy-drama directed by Andrew Bergman, based on a novel by Carl Hiaasen, Striptease centers on a woman (Demi Moore) who becomes a stripper in order to fund an appeal for custody of her daughter. The film was criticised as boring and humourless, and was also accused of being a vanity project for Moore. Daniel P. Franklin, discussing Striptease in his book Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States stated "This is the worst film ever made." Joe Queenan cited Striptease as an example of what he considered the poor quality of contemporary Hollywood cinema: "One thing that I admire about films like Striptease is that they serve as powerful reminders that on any given day, Hollywood has the potential to release the worst film in history." Richard Schickel in Time, also criticised the film: "Bergman... misses Hiaasen's strength: setting mean-funny characters spinning through lowlife milieus... the crazy, nothing-to-lose anarchy of people living below the margin and beyond the fringe is not within Bergman's fastidious reach." Leonard Maltin stated that Striptease was "Not funny enough, or dramatic enough, or sexy enough, or bad enough, to qualify as entertainment in any category." Brian D. Johnson of Maclean's stated "While Showgirls was honestly sleazy, Striptease is tacky, pretentious – and boring. Trying to be a comedy, a morality tale and a titillating sideshow, Striptease fails on all counts." Striptease was awarded six Golden Raspberry awards, for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actress (Moore), Worst Original Song ("(Pussy Pussy Pussy) Whose Kitty Cat Are You?"), and Worst Screen Couple (Moore and Burt Reynolds).
Le Jour et la Nuit (Day and Night) (1997)
The French romance film Le Jour et la Nuit was directed by philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. It follows a French author who fled to Mexico for a quiet life and an actress who is willing to seduce him to get a part in a film adapted from one of his books. Before its release, Le Jour et la Nuit was heavily promoted in many French newspapers and magazines. When the film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1997, hundreds of journalists walked out of the screening and those that stayed audibly ridiculed it. Following its release, Le Jour et la Nuit was very harshly criticized by the French media. Gérard Lefort of Libération described the film as "BHL pedalling through guacamole", and it was also panned by Le Monde and Le Nouvel Observateur. The film also did poorly commercially, with only 73,147 seats for Le Jour et la Nuit having been sold two months after its release. Le Jour et la Nuit was considered the worst French film since 1945 by film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, and considered as a possible "worst film in history" by the French version of Slate. Variety claimed that the film was "..[l]augh-out-loud awful without touching the cult realm of 'so bad it's good'," Françoise Giroud stated that "[i]t's a bad movie, there's no question," and L'Humanité called it an "Absolute debacle." An original documentary, Anatomy of a Massacre, was released with the Le Jour et la Nuit DVD, and focused on its intense negative reception and failure.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman & Robin is a superhero film based on the DC character Batman and is the fourth and final installment of the Burton/Schumacher Batman film series. It is directed by Joel Schumacher and stars George Clooney as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, Chris O'Donnell as Robin/Dick Grayson, Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl/Barbara Wilson and Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth. This film was panned by critics and was largely criticized for its toyetic and camp approach, Mr. Freeze's approach and one-line jokes, as well as its possible homosexual innuendo. As of May 2013, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 11% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 85 reviews, certifying it Rotten with an average rating of 3.7/10, and the consensus: "Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin, resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for." By comparison Metacritic collected an average score of 28/100, based on 21 reviews. International Business Times included it on its list of Hollywood's top five worst movies ever made. Michael J. Nelson, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, wrote of the movie in his book, Movie Megacheese, "Batman & Robin is not the worst movie ever. No, indeed. It's the worst thing ever. Yes, it's the single worst thing that we as human beings have ever produced in recorded history." Batman & Robin also came in first in an Empire poll of the 50 worst films ever. Joel Schumacher apologized to disappointed fans on the 2005 DVD release of Batman & Robin.
The Avengers (1998)
An adaptation of the popular 1960s British series of the same name, The Avengers starred Ralph Fiennes as John Steed and Uma Thurman as Emma Peel, with Sean Connery as their antagonist, Sir August de Wynter. It was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. The Avengers began to receive negative publicity after Warner Bros., the film's distributor, refused to allow any early press-screenings for movie reviewers. After early test screenings, The Avengers was heavily edited by the studio. On its release, The Avengers was savaged by film critics, with The Birmingham Post stating "The Avengers is being slated by critics as the worst film ever made" and adding that one reviewer had joked the film was such a "turkey" that the makers should have handed distribution to the poultry chain Bernard Matthews. Several reviewers disparaged The Avengers for lacking the wit and excitement of its source material. Janet Maslin strongly criticised The Avengers: "With pseudo-suave repartee that would make Austin Powers blush and with so many shades of Howard the Duck that one scene depicts man-size pastel teddy bears sitting around a conference table, it's a film to gall fans of the old television series and perplex anyone else. I can't remember another Friday morning show where I heard actual cries of "Ugh!" on the way out the door" and finished her review with, "At a pared-down, barely rational 100 minutes, The Avengers is short but not short enough." David Bianculli said "This Avengers film is so horrendously, painfully and thoroughly awful, it gives other cinematic clunkers like Ishtar and Howard the Duck a good name." Alan Jones in The Radio Times stated "The cult 1960s TV series gets royally shafted by Hollywood in this stunningly designed blockbuster that's stunningly awful in every other department... Terrible special effects and zero chemistry between Fiennes and Thurman make this notorious disaster a total waste of everyone's time and energy." The Avengers also shared a Razzie Award for "Worst Remake or Sequel" with the 1998 adaptations of Psycho and Godzilla at the 19th Golden Raspberry Awards. Total Film magazine later voted Fiennes and Thurman in The Avengers as "The Worst Movie Double Act Of All Time".
Cinderela Baiana (Bahian Cinderella) (1998)
The Brazilian film Cinderela Baiana was directed by Conrado Sanchez and stars former É o Tchan! (at the time called Gera Samba) dancer Carla Perez in the lead role. It is a heavily fictionalized biographical account of Perez's early life and how she came into fame. Despite starring an all-star cast, including Alexandre Pires, then-Perez's boyfriend and a very popular singer in Brazil at the time, the movie was criticized for its campy dialogue, badly written script, numerous plot holes and ludicrous acting, to the point of Perez herself disowning the film years later. It was a box office bomb, and it was some time later banned from circulation by request of Perez herself. It was also the debut of a then-unknown Lázaro Ramos, who used his salary to pay for acting classes. On March 15, 2010, Brazilian magazine Veja made a Top 10 list of the worst Brazilian movies of all time, and Cinderela Baiana was featured in first place. The reviewer, Pollyane Lima e Silva, called the film "a shame." Author Renzo Mora included it in his 25 Movies That Can Ruin Your Life book, while Luis Nassif claimed that, "For me this is the worst of all."
Parting Shots (1999)
The British black comedy Parting Shots was the last film directed by Michael Winner. It starred rock musician Chris Rea as a man who, told he has only six months to live, begins murdering people who have wronged him. Parting Shots was accused of being poorly acted, filmed and scripted, as well as treating murder flippantly. Andrew Collins took a very negative view of the film: "Parting Shots... is going to set the course of British film-making back 20 years. It is not only the worst British film produced in this country since Carry On Emmannuelle (quite a feat in itself), it is a thoroughbred contender for the crown of Worst Film Ever Made." Christopher Tookey was even more harsh, stating: "Parting Shots is not only the most horrible torture for audiences that Winner has ever devised. It is also profoundly offensive, even by Winner standards" and later called Parting Shots "the most tasteless, abysmal comedy of all time." Tookey also stated that Winner had "established himself, over his last dozen films, as beyond doubt the worst director of all time." In an interview about the film, Charlotte O'Sullivan, the Independent's film editor, claimed Parting Shots was "the worst film I've ever seen." O'Sullivan also criticised it for glorifying vigilantism: "It's Michael Winner and you know, he doesn't have any sense of irony. He seems to be saying it is okay to go and kill people." The journalist Miles Kington later claimed "Parting Shots...was directed by Michael Winner and despite the glittering cast, was possibly the worst film ever made." I.Q. Hunter listed Parting Shots as one of the candidates for "the Worst British film ever made." Parting Shots was also featured in a poll of Empire magazine readers' "50 Worst Movies Ever" poll.
The Underground Comedy Movie (1999)
The comedy The Underground Comedy Movie is based on a cable access show from 1988. Director and lead actor Vince Offer constructed the film out of a series of tasteless, lowbrow skits (including Gena Lee Nolin loudly using the restroom and a superhero named Dickman who dresses in a giant penis costume and defeats his enemies by squirting them with semen). In 1999, Offer filed a suit against 20th Century Fox and the co-directors of There's Something About Mary, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, claiming that 14 scenes in Mary were stolen from his film. The Farrellys released this statement: "We've never heard of him, we've never heard of his movie, and it's all a bunch of baloney." In a review in The Village Voice, Rob Davis called the film a "..listless, laughless attempt," and "lunkheaded and amateurish," and stated that it was "for masochists only." Likewise, Lawrence Van Gelder of the New York Times referred to it as a "wretched film" and stated that "'The Underground Comedy Movie' stands as a monument to ineptitude and self-delusion." Rod Dreher of the New York Post said it "may be the least amusing comedy ever made." Christopher Null of filmcritic.com called it "a crass, disgusting, and vile re-creation of a late-1980s cable TV access show, [with] small bits of film that cut in and out haphazardly and without any sense of pacing," referred to the "only conceivably funny point in the movie as "..more pathetic than hilarious," and wrapped up his review by stating, "If you're looking for the ultimate movie to clear your house of partygoers who don't know when to leave, look no further than this DVD." Thom Bennett at Film Journal International, wrote "Anyone offended by unbearably bad films, jokes that are not funny and wasting 90 minutes of their lives is, as promised, guaranteed to be offended. In fact, to even call this mess a comedy is giving it far too much credit," and "The Underground Comedy Movie may well be the worst film I have ever seen." Offer stated in 2004 that "almost 100,000" DVDs of the film had been sold.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
Battlefield Earth is based on the first half of L. Ron Hubbard's novel of the same name, and stars John Travolta, Barry Pepper and Forest Whitaker. Although a sequel covering the second half of the book was planned, the critical panning, poor box office performance and financial ruin of Franchise Pictures killed off such plans. It was criticized for a poor script, hammy acting, overuse of Dutch angles, repetitive dialogue, and several inconsistencies. The movie's distributor, Franchise Pictures, was later forced out of business after it emerged that it had fraudulently overstated the film's budget by $31 million. It has a 3% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and it was included in their Top 100 worst-reviewed movies of the 2000s. Roger Ebert predicted that the film, "...for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies." Ebert also wrote, "the director, Roger Christian, has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras, but he has not learned why." It is also on his "most hated" list. It won seven Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture and Worst Screen Couple (John Travolta and "anyone on the screen with him"). In 2005, an eighth Razzie (for Worst "Drama" of Our First 25 Years) was awarded to the film, and in 2010 it won a ninth Razzie at the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture of the Decade, the most of any film in the history of the awards at the time, before Jack and Jill surpassed its record with ten wins in 2012. The movie appeared on Metacritic's list of the all-time lowest-scoring films, and is on the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list.
Honest is the directorial debut of Eurythmics member David A. Stewart, and starring three members of the British/Canadian girl group All Saints (Melanie Blatt, Nicole and Natalie Appleton). It received a large amount of media criticism following its release. The Scottish newspaper Daily Record described Honest thus: "This turgid tale of Sixties London isn't just bad – it's quite probably the worst film ever." Peter Bradshaw noted that Honest "subscribes to the usual credulous fictions about the charm, glamour and wit of violent criminals, and leaves out these qualities in spades" and added "However silly and implausible, it would be all right if there was the slightest hint of brio or fun in the script, written by comedy giants Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. But there isn't." Alexander Walker called Honest "An ugly, ratty-looking load of jazzy cliches buried in flashy has-been styles, including slowmo frolicking in the Trafalgar Square fountains, strobe-lit druggy sessions and accelerated action on the mattress." British film historian I.Q. Hunter later listed Honest as one of the candidates for the title of "Worst British film ever made."
Rancid Aluminium (2000)
The British film Rancid Aluminium was directed by Edward Thomas and based on the novel of the same name by James Hawes. Despite a cast that included Rhys Ifans, Joseph Fiennes, Tara FitzGerald, Sadie Frost, Steven Berkoff, Olegar Fedoro, Keith Allen and Dani Behr, the film received highly negative reviews. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said that it "succeeds in getting its cast – some of the brightest and best of British character actors, young and old – to give the worst performances imaginable… The plot is all over the place, eventually incomprehensible, and very, very boring." Cosmo Landesman, writing in The Sunday Times, also gave it a negative review, describing it as "…a stupid, unfunny and self-satisfied film that should be avoided at all costs." Anne Billson of The Sunday Telegraph found it confusing and derivative: "I couldn’t even work out where the film is supposed to be set. Isn't that Portobello Road? Why is Tara Fitzgerald talking about Exeter? And how in hell did we get to this cricket pavilion? Director Ed Thomas appears to have been aiming for the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels crowd, but misses by several billion miles."
Discussing Rancid Aluminium in an article on British cinema, Jacques Peretti gave an equally harsh assessment: "In many ways, Rancid Aluminium is beyond criticism because it is very hard, even after several viewings, to work out what the hell is going on" and that it was "incomprehensible and deeply lacklustre in all departments." Noting the film's negative reception, Peretti went on to argue: "By universal consent, it is the worst film ever made in the UK."
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
The comedy film Freddy Got Fingered stars Tom Green, who also wrote and directed it, featuring largely gross-out and shock humor similar to that featured in The Tom Green Show. In the film, Green stars as a 28-year-old slacker and cartoonist who falsely accuses his father of child molestation when he questions his son's life goals. Freddy Got Fingered received overwhelmingly negative reviews, with CNN critic Paul Clinton declaring it "quite simply the worst movie ever released by a major studio in Hollywood history." Warren Epstein of The Gazette described Freddy Got Fingered as "the worst movie ever made." A review in The Washington Post said: "If ever a movie testified to the utter creative bankruptcy of the Hollywood film industry, it is the abomination known as Freddy Got Fingered." Robert Koehler of Variety called it, "One of the most brutally awful comedies ever to emerge from a major studio." Film reviewer Roger Ebert included the film on his "most hated" list, gave it zero out of four stars, and wrote: "This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels." Freddy Got Fingered was nominated for eight awards at the 2001 Razzies, and won for Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst On-Screen Couple. Razzies founder John J. B. Wilson called it "offensive, stupid and obnoxious" and said it had "no redeeming value." Green accepted his awards in person, traveling to the ceremony in a white Cadillac, wearing a tuxedo and rolling out his own red carpet to the presentation. The movie has an 11% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In 2010, the film was nominated at the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture of the Decade, though it lost to Battlefield Earth. Freddy Got Fingered also appeared on Metacritic's list of the all-time lowest-scoring films, was featured in Empire's list of the "50 Worst Movies Ever" poll, and is on the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list.
Mariah Carey starred in the lead role as an aspiring singer; Glitter was intended to be her breakthrough role but was a critical failure and a box office bomb. Hindustan Times claimed that Glitter "was slammed by almost all critics for being the worst film ever." Fade In stated that "Glitter isn’t just one of the worst music-themed films ever — it’s one of the worst films ever made, period." Author Bob McCann wrote in Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television that it's "rightfully in the running as one of the worst films ever made". News.com.au, Hi, Flavorwire, and Empire are amongst those who have listed it as one of the worst films ever made. Glitter received six Razzie nominations and Carey won for Worst Actress. It was also featured in John Wilson's The Official Razzie Movie Guide, and in 2005, it was nominated for "Worst Musical of Our First 25 Years", but lost to From Justin to Kelly. In an interview in 2010, Carey stated that she believed that the film's failure at the box office was largely due to the soundtrack's release date being September 11, 2001, the same day as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. It has a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 87 reviews.
The Master of Disguise (2002)
The comedy film The Master of Disguise was produced in part by Adam Sandler and stars Dana Carvey as Pistachio Disguisey, an undercover Italian waiter who must save his father Fabbrizio (James Brolin) from the evil Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner) by using his inherent skills in disguise. Although the film was a box office success, it received scathing reviews from critics upon its release, many of which pointed out its sophomoric plot, unfunny humor (in particular, its flatulence gags) and disguises that would clearly not be recognized by children (such as Tony Montana from Scarface). Many critics also pointed out the short running time, consisting of 72 minutes of the film itself and over ten minutes of end credits juxtaposed with outtakes. Roger Ebert gave it one star out of four, claiming, "The movie is a desperate miscalculation. It gives poor Dana Carvey nothing to do that is really funny, and then expects us to laugh because he acts so goofy all the time." Alan Morrisson, writing for the film magazine Empire, proclaimed that The Master of Disguise was "the worst film ever made: a film about idiots, made by idiots, for idiots," while Matthew Turner of ViewLondon remarked, "This is a serious contender for the title of The Worst Film Ever Made." In addition, Chris Parry of eFilmCritic.com stated, "Quite honestly, I've never seen anything less competent. And I mean that." The film currently holds a 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 103 reviews, and was featured on the site's list of the top 100 worst-reviewed films of the 2000s. It also appears on Metacritic's list of the all-time lowest-scoring films, and is on the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list. A cameo appearance by Bo Derek landed her a nomination for Worst Supporting Actress at the 23rd Golden Raspberry Awards, but she lost to Madonna for Die Another Day.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
The action film Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever stars Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu as opposing secret agents. Critics panned it, generally regarding it as having no redeeming features, not even the unintentional comedic value normally associated with bad films. They variously described the film as "A picture for idiots," "Boring to an amazing degree," "A fine achievement in stupidity and dullness," "Dreadful," "[Giving] new meaning to the word incoherent," and "bad on just about every level." One critic suggested an alternate title as "Simplistic: Bullets Vs. Humans." Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post wrote, "You could run this film backward, soundtrack included, and it would make no less sense." Roger Ebert, who included the film in his "most hated list," called the movie "…a chaotic mess, overloaded with special effects and explosions, light on continuity, sanity and coherence," In addition to being lambasted by critics, it was a disaster financially, recouping just over $19.9 million of its $70 million budget. International Business Times included it on its list of Hollywood's top 5 worst movies ever made. In March 2007, the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes ranked it #1 among "The Worst of the Worst" movie list, with 108 "rotten" reviews and no "fresh" ones.
Ben and Arthur (2002)
A low-budget 2002 American romantic drama film about a gay couple who come into conflict with the brother of one of the partners, Ben and Arthur was written, directed, produced, edited, and scored by Sam Mraovich, who also played the character Arthur. Ben and Arthur received strong criticism (especially from the LGBT community) for its low budget and poor plotting. The gay popular culture site Queerty described Ben And Arthur as "unintelligible" and ended its review by calling it the "Worst. Movie. Ever." The gay movie review site Cinemaqueer likewise stated: "Ben and Arthur is so terrible that it has awoken the dormant Bette Davis in me. It is so painfully bad that it wouldn't even make good fodder on Mystery Science Theater 3000. This just might possibly be the worst movie I have ever seen… Unless you get a kick out of mocking bad films, avoid this one at all costs." Michael Adams, reviewing the film for his book Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies, describes it thus: "Ben & Arthur is as over-the-top insane as it is ludicrously executed... the production values, from biscuits on plates comprising the main course of a candlelit dinner to a church literally having a cardboard cross and a cartoon Jesus on the wall, are as bad as anything I've seen." A Rotten Tomatoes' article ranked Ben and Arthur #15 on their list of "Films So Bad They're Unmissable", saying "If Tommy Wiseau's The Room is the over-wrought, melodramatic and self-pitying heterosexual camp classic of choice, then Sam Mraovich's Ben & Arthur is its gay equivalent." Rotten Tomatoes also stated "Every scene, every line, every hissy fit is simultaneously hilariously amateur and hysterically fever-pitched." Total Film ranked Ben and Arthur at #58 in their list of the 66 worst films of all time.
From Justin to Kelly (2003)
The romantic-comedy musical From Justin to Kelly stars Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, the winner and runner-up, respectively, of the first season of American Idol. The film was a critical and commercial disaster, earning only $4.9 million at the North American box office and achieving a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 63 reviews. Josh Tyrangiel of Time Magazine described From Justin to Kelly as "a monstrous Idol movie musical that in the most generous light is the worst film so far this century," while The Free Lance–Star referred to it as "the world's worst movie." Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club, reviewing the film for his "My Year of Flops" series, stated, "All films require suspension of disbelief. From Justin To Kelly requires something more like a temporary lobotomy. Nothing about the main characters or their relationships makes sense." It won a special Razzie—"Governor's Award – Distinguished Under-Achievement in Choreography"—at the 24th Golden Raspberry Awards. It was nominated for eight additional Razzies (including a second special award, "Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie"), and a year later it won for Worst "Musical" of Our First 25 Years. Total Film included From Justin to Kelly on their list of The 66 Worst Films of All Time, and International Business Times included the film on its list of Hollywood's top 5 worst movies ever made. In a later interview, Clarkson expressed regret over From Justin to Kelly, stating she only did it because she was contractually obligated to do so: "I knew when I read the script it was going to be real, real bad, but when I won, I signed that piece of paper, and I could not get out of it."
The Room (2003)
The independently produced The Room, about an amiable banker whose friends betray him one by one, has been called "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" by some critics. Though the film's star, writer, producer and director Tommy Wiseau, has claimed it is a black comedy and its numerous flaws are intentional, other actors involved in the production have denied this, saying that Wiseau intended it as a melodramatic romance. The Room has been noted for its bizarre and non-sequiturial dialogue, protracted sex scenes, various subplots that are inadequately resolved or simply disappear altogether (most notably, a character announces that she has breast cancer, but this is never mentioned again), and infamous use of green-screen for "outdoor" rooftop scenes. In contrast to almost all of the movies on this list, The Room has a rating as "high" as 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. It made its broadcast premiere as an April Fools' Day special in 2009 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, edited down from its original R rating to a TV-14/DSLV rating. The day after its appearance, its DVD became the top-selling independent film on Amazon.com. In June 2010, The Room started playing at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett produced an audio commentary track to accompany the movie through their site RiffTrax.com. In 2013, the book The Disaster Artist, written by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, was published; the book is Sestero's memoir of his involvement in the production of the movie. The book will be adapted into a film called The Masterpiece, directed and starring James Franco as Wiseau and his brother Dave Franco as Sestero.
The Martin Brest movie Gigli features Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, with appearances by Al Pacino and Christopher Walken. Gigli was originally a black comedy with no romantic subplot. The producers demanded script rewrites throughout filming, hoping to cash in on the Lopez-Affleck romance that was big news in celebrity-watching publications of the time such as Us and People. This film cost $54 million to make but grossed only $6 million, making it one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. The Times gave the film a zero making Gigli the lowest scored film review in the publication's history at that time. International Business Times, which included Gigli in its list of Hollywood's top five worst movies ever made, described reviewers calling it "the ultimate turkey of all time." The Wall Street Journal stated that it was "The worst movie—all right, the worst allegedly major movie—of our admittedly young century," while Roger Friedman of Fox News claimed it was "The worst movie ever made." It was also the winner of seven Razzies (including 2005's Worst "Comedy" of Our First 25 Years), and in 2010 the film was nominated at the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards for "Worst Picture of the Decade." It is in Rotten Tomatoes' Top 100 worst reviewed movies of the 2000s, where it has a 6% rating. It was also featured in Empire's poll of the 50 worst films ever made.
Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004)
The British sex comedy Sex Lives of the Potato Men is about a group of potato delivery men. The film received strongly hostile reviews from the British media. Reviews claimed Sex Lives of the Potato Men was unfunny, disgusting, and depressing. Writing in the Daily Mirror, film critic Kevin O'Sullivan called Sex Lives of the Potato Men "one of the worst films ever made." Novelist Will Self, in his review for The Evening Standard, called Sex Lives of the Potato Men "mirthless, worthless, toothless, useless." The Times reviewer James Christopher dubbed Sex Lives of the Potato Men "one of the two most nauseous films ever made...a masterclass in film-making ineptitude." The Sunday Express film critic, Henry Fitzherbert, also strongly condemned the film: "Sex Lives is so awful it left me slack-jawed in disbelief...it must be one of the worst British comedies." Catherine Shoard, in a critique in The Sunday Telegraph, stated "It's hard to know what to say to this – it's like finding the right words at a nasty accident... Sex Lives of the Potato Men is probably the lewdest Brit-com since Confessions of a Window Cleaner, and certainly the worst." Shoard also described the film as "Less a film than an appetite suppressant." Alan Morrison in the Scottish Daily Record described it as "puerile smut of the very worst kind...Sex Lives of the Potato Men should never have been made." The Irish Times later noted that "Sex Lives of the Potato Men attracted some of the worst reviews in living memory." The Birmingham Post described Sex Lives of the Potato Men as "quite possibly the worst film ever made," while The Independent on Sunday stated that the film was "a strong contender for the title of worst film of all time." It was also featured in Empire's 50 Worst Movies Ever poll. The film currently has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes out of 13 reviews.
Nominally based on the DC Comics character, Catwoman stars Halle Berry as the titular character. It bears little resemblance to the Batman antagonist: the cinematic Catwoman has superpowers, unlike in the comics, and leaps from rooftop to rooftop in stiletto heels. The character's signature lycra catsuit was replaced with slashed leather trousers and matching bra, and a mask that also acts as a hat. She also has a different name, Patience Phillips, than the established DC Catwoman character, Selina Kyle. As the movie character differs so widely from her comic book source, the character, as portrayed in this film, has been cited as "Catwoman in Name Only." The film was the result of various rewrites by a total of 28 different screenwriters, though only four were credited after arbitration with the WGA. It has a 9% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and was declared "arguably the worst superhero film ever made" by the Orlando Sentinel. Jean Lowerison of the San Diego Metropolitan said in her review that Catwoman "goes on my 'worst' list for the year, and quite possibly for all time." The Village Voice summed up reviews of the film under the title "Me-Ouch." The movie was the winner of four Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director (Pitof) and Worst Screenplay. Berry arrived at the ceremony to accept her Razzie in person (with her Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball in hand), saying: "First of all, I want to thank Warner Brothers. Thank you for putting me in a piece of shit, god-awful movie... It was just what my career needed." It is on Roger Ebert's "most hated" list and International Business Times included it on its list of Hollywood's top 5 worst movies ever made.
Daniel – Der Zauberer (Daniel – The Wizard) (2004)
The German film Daniel – Der Zauberer was directed by Ulli Lommel and stars pop singer and ex-Deutschland sucht den Superstar contestant Daniel Küblböck, who appeared as a fictionalized version of himself. The title is inaccurate as it implies that Küblböck is "Der Zauberer" ("The Wizard"), while the sorcerer is actually a different character (played by Ulli Lommel, the writer/director of the film). The website filmstarts.de states that Daniel – Der Zauberer was "unbearable for non-fans of Küblböck", adding that "the performances of the actors were some of the worst in the history of German cinema", and alleging that Ulli Lommel and producer Peter Schamoni had "damaged their reputation". The film became the lowest-ranked film on the IMDb Bottom 100, where it remained for a considerable amount of time, and wieistderfilm.de stated it was fair to call it the worst German film ever made. It appeared on Total Film's list of the 66 worst films of all time. In an interview conducted several years after its release, Daniel Küblböck admitted that, in retrospect, "[Y]ou have to say this is the worst movie of all time really".
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)
The family-oriented comedy Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 was the last film directed by Bob Clark before his death. It is a sequel to the 1999 film Baby Geniuses and like its predecessor, it received negative reviews from film critics, earning 0% positive rating on review website Rotten Tomatoes. Following the plot of the first film, four babies can communicate with each other using 'baby talk', and have knowledge of many secrets. The "baby geniuses" become involved in a scheme by media mogul Bill Biscane (Jon Voight), a notorious kidnapper of children, who intends to use a satellite system to brainwash the world's population and force them to watch television for the rest of their lives. The film was a box office bomb, only receiving $9 million from its $20 million budget. Tom Long of The Deseret News said "It is perhaps the most incompetent and least funny comic film ever made." MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Philosopher said in her review "To call this immeasurably terrible movie 'stupid and nonsensical' would be an insult to stupid and nonsensical movies." Eric D. Snider wrote that, "Superbabies couldn't be worse if it had been written and produced by actual babies, and I mean babies who are retarded and who hate movies," and Nathan Rabin at The A.V. Club called it "The most perversely unnecessary sequel in recent memory." Rotten Tomatoes ranked it 6th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 0%. It was nominated for four Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Director (Bob Clark), Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight) and Worst Screenplay (Steven Paul (story) & Gregory Poppen). Eric Henderson at Slant Magazine wrote that "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 had the rare distinction of briefly unseating the obstinate Manos: The Hands of Fate—the film that MST3K single-handedly popularized as the 'official worst movie of all time'—from its perch atop the IMDb's list of 100 worst movies" and David Cornelius at efilmcritic wondered "Why would anyone want to make a follow-up to what is universally viewed as one of the very worst movies ever produced is a mystery for the ages."
Alone in the Dark (2005)
Loosely based on a series of video games by Infogrames and directed by Uwe Boll, the German-Canadian-American film Alone in the Dark was panned by critics for a multitude of reasons, including poor script and production values, quick cuts to optimize the gory content, almost no connection to the game, and bad acting. The movie has received a 1% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and was included in their Top 100 worst reviewed movies of the 2000s at number two. It appeared on Metacritic's list of the all-time lowest-scoring films, and is on the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list. Roger Moore of The Orlando Sentinel stated: "Alone in the Dark shows just how tenuous Plan 9 from Outer Space 's hold on that 'worst movie ever' title really is." Likewise, Peter Hartlaub, the San Francisco Chronicle's pop culture critic, called the film "the best Ed Wood movie ever made...a film so mind-blowingly horrible that it teeters on the edge of cinematic immortality." In 2009, he named it the worst film of the decade. Jeffrey Lyles of The Gazette considered it so bad that, "…other legendary bad films...await a film of this magnitude because it gets awfully lonely on the island of misfit movies," while Scott Nash of Three Movie Buffs dubbed it "one of the worst movies ever made." Screenwriter Blair Erickson wrote about his experience dealing with Boll and his original script, which was closer to the actual game itself, and Boll's script change demands on the comedy website Something Awful. It received two 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards nominations for Worst Director (Uwe Boll) and Worst Actress (Tara Reid), and won three 2005 Stinkers Awards, for Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Special Effects.
Aag is a remake of one of the most successful Bollywood films, Sholay, directed by Ram Gopal Varma. This film was widely panned, with critics such as Rajeev Masand giving it a zero out of five. Times of India stated that Aag "destroyed Bollywood's greatest film" and acknowledged that some "consider it the world's worst film." Hindustan Times awarded it the "Lifetime's Worst Ever Movie Award." It came in first in a FHM India list of the 57 worst movies ever made. Total Film included it in their list of the 66 worst films of all time. Amitabh Bachchan, who appeared in the original film and returned for the remake, later admitted that the film was "a mistake."
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008)
An independently produced film that is an apparent homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, Birdemic: Shock and Terror tells the story of a romance between the two leading characters, played by Alan Bagh and Whitney Moore, as their small town is attacked by birds (which do not appear until 47 minutes into the film). Written, directed, and produced by James Nguyen, it was intended as a "romantic thriller" but is notable due to its poor quality, with reviewers calling out its wooden acting, bad dialogue, amateurish sound and editing, nonsensical plot and, in particular, its special effects, consisting primarily of poorly rendered CGI eagles and vultures that perform physically awkward aerial maneuvers and explode upon impact with the ground. The film, which cost $10,000 to make, was called by the Huffington Post "truly, one of the worst films ever made" and by The Village Voice as "one more in the pantheon of beloved trash-terpieces." Flavorwire named it the worst movie ever made, Slate deemed it among the worst movies ever made, while Salon referred to it as "a cult hit among bad-movie fans" and Variety stated that the film displayed "all the revered hallmarks of hilariously bad filmmaking." Following the home media release of Birdemic, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame produced an audio commentary track to accompany the movie through Rifftrax. They later riffed upon the film again theatrically. In response to the cult status of the first film, a sequel—Birdemic 2: The Resurrection—was released in 2013, and included many returning members of the cast and crew.
Disaster Movie (2008)
Disaster Movie is a parody film written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, spoofing films in the disaster film genre. The film, like most films by Friedberg and Seltzer, received extremely negative reviews, and has a 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 70 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Returning to their seemingly bottomless well of flatulence humor, racial stereotypes, and stale pop culture gags, Friedberg and Seltzer have produced what is arguably their worst Movie yet." It was ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as one of the worst reviewed films of the 2000s. Jason Solomons of The Guardian stated that "Nothing can convey the grimness of Disaster Movie, which would be the Worst Movie Ever Made were it actually a movie at all." Adam Tobias of Watertown Daily Times claimed that "I just don't see how anyone could not find Disaster Movie one of the worst films of all time." Tobias went on to write that the title was appropriate because the film is "a disaster." It was featured in Empire's 50 Worst Movies Ever poll, Total Film's 66 Worst Movies Ever list and the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list (where it holds a score of 17, the lowest score on the site). Disaster Movie became the lowest ranked film on IMDb's Bottom 100 list days after its premiere. The film is also notable for being the motion picture debut of Kim Kardashian, whose performance garnered a nomination for Worst Supporting Actress at the 29th Golden Raspberry Awards. It received five additional Razzie nominations.
The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)
This romantic comedy The Hottie and the Nottie starring Paris Hilton, Joel Moore, Christine Lakin, and The Greg Wilson opened to poor box-office takings and strongly negative reviews with a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The British newspaper The People, reviewing The Hottie and the Nottie, claimed "Paris Hilton is the world's worst actress and she's starring in the worst movie ever made." Nathan Lee of The Village Voice called it "crass, shrill, disingenuous, tawdry, mean-spirited, vulgar, idiotic, boring, slapdash, half-assed, and very, very unfunny." Online film critic James Berardinelli described the film's comedy as "about as funny as the anal rape scene in The War Zone." Richard Roeper called it "excruciatingly, painfully, horribly, terribly awful," and argued that "nobody in this movie really should have a career in movies." Connie Ogle in the Miami Herald described The Hottie and the Nottie thus: "Imagine the worst movie you've ever seen. Got it? Now try to think of something worse. That something is this movie – wretched, embarrassing and a waste of the time and energy of everyone involved."
The Last Airbender (2010)
The Last Airbender is a fantasy/adventure film written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and is based on the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Upon release, the film received extremely negative reviews, with critics panning the bad acting, numerous plot holes, screenplay, poor special effects (despite its reported $150 million budget) and especially M. Night Shyamalan's directing. It was also ridiculed for the poor quality of its post-converted 3-D, which was described as barely noticeable. Further criticism came from fans of the original cartoon series, who said the film differed tremendously from its critically acclaimed source material. It garnered nine nominations at the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards, and won five: Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor, and a special award, "Worst Eye-Gouging Mis-Use of 3D." Roger Ebert wrote "The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that." When asked if Last Airbender had been the worst film he has ever seen, Mike Ryan of Vanity Fair answered, "Yes." Hi highlighted the film in their "The Worst Films Ever" series, and David Onda of Comcast wrote "this film has also been called one of the worst ever made. The movie was universally panned by critics and failed to make back its production budget domestically. Although director M. Night Shyamalan reportedly wrote a rough draft for the second film, it is highly unlikely it will ever get made. Very, very unlikely." The film currently holds a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 183 reviews, and appeared in the top ten of a poll of the worst movies of all time conducted by RiffTrax.
The casting of white and Indian actors to portray characters who were East Asian or Native Inuit in the source material triggered negative reactions from some fans marked by accusations of racism and whitewashing, a letter-writing campaign, and various protests. Richard Corliss of Time, speaking of the controversy, wrote "The actors who didn't get to be in The Last Airbender are like the passengers who arrived too late to catch the final flight of the Hindenburg." Corliss also stated that this was the worst movie epic in 32 years. Shyamalan responded to critics, saying, "Anime is based on ambiguous facial features. It's meant to be interpretive. It's meant to be inclusive of all races, and you can see yourself in all these characters...This is a multicultural movie and I'm going to make it even more multicultural in my approach to its casting ... The irony that [protesters] would label this with anything but the greatest pride, that the movie poster has Noah and Dev on it and my name on it. I don't know what else to do."
Jack and Jill (2011)
Jack and Jill is a comedy film starring Adam Sandler as Jack, a commercial director, who is visited by his "identical" twin sister, Jill (played by Sandler, in drag), during the holidays. Salon stated that Jack and Jill "received some of the worst reviews of any movie ever" upon its release. In the film, Jill is wooed by Al Pacino, whom Jack wants to be in his Dunkin' Donuts commercial. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times noted the irony of Pacino's presence, as the actor is best known for playing Michael Corleone in The Godfather, which is widely considered one of the best films ever made, in this film, which he called "...one of the worst movies in the history of cinema!" Ramin Setoodeh of The Daily Beast and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone reviewed it together in an article entitled "Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' Is the Worst Movie Ever Made." After an hour-long critique, RedLetterMedia claimed that it was "so egregious that it ceased to be a film," and the site also later called it "the worst thing in the world." Mike McGranaghan wrote, on his website The Aisle Seat: "Howard the Duck, Gigli, Showgirls, From Justin to Kelly. What do they all have in common? They're all widely considered among the worst big studio movies ever made. You know what else they have in common? They're all better than Jack and Jill." Jack and Jill was featured in the top ten worst films of all time poll conducted by RiffTrax. Jack and Jill won a record 10 awards at the 32nd Golden Raspberry Awards, sweeping every category. It broke the record previously held by Battlefield Earth for having the most Razzies earned by a single film and is the only film to win every possible award. The film currently holds a 3% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 105 reviews.
That's My Boy (2012)
Another comedy film starring Adam Sandler, That's My Boy concerns a middle school student named Donny Berger who has sex with his teacher, gets her pregnant, and in turn, earns a lifestyle of a minor celebrity, something he never intended to happen. Years later, Donny (played by Sandler) crashes his now-adult son's (Andy Samberg) wedding and bachelor party to get his money so he can pay his taxes, therefore avoiding prison. The film has been widely panned due to its comedic portrayal of incest, ephebophilia, statutory rape, and gerontophilia, with film critic Andrew O'Hehir of Salon stating, "[Sandler's] new movie about a rape survivor and his estranged son is supposed to be funny, but radiates pain and rage." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times proclaimed, "To say That's My Boy is one of the worst movies of the year is to insult 2012. This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen," while Richard Haridly of Quickflix called it "one of the saddest and most exhausting" films he has ever seen. MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher outright panned the film for its inability to generate laughs as well as its depraved content, calling it "a disgusting excuse for a comedy" and possibly "the most repulsive movie I've ever seen," and Jonathan Lack of We Got This Covered declared, "That's My Boy isn't just the worst film of 2012, it's one of the most morally reprehensible comedies of all time, a disgusting movie you should stay far, far away from." Furthermore, Ed Whitfield of The Ooh Tray stated, "It may be the worst film, in any genre, ever made," while Chris Sawin of Examiner.com called it "..the equivalent of recreational brain trauma with a slice of shoving a railroad spike through one of your eyes just to pass the time," and said that, "Gargling paint thinner is better entertainment." In addition to the movie's overwhelmingly negative reviews, That's My Boy earned eight nominations at the 33rd Golden Raspberry Awards, such as Worst Picture and Worst Director, and won the awards for Worst Actor (Sandler) and Worst Screenplay. It holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of July 29, 2015 based on 113 reviews.
Run for Your Wife (2012)
A British comedy film based on the stage farce of the same name, Run for Your Wife starred Danny Dyer as John Smith, a bigamist, and Denise van Outen and Sarah Harding as his wives. Run for Your Wife was directed by the author of the play, Ray Cooney (who also makes an uncredited cameo appearance). Upon release, Run for Your Wife was savaged by film critics, with the South African newspaper Daily News saying "Run for Your Wife could be the worst film in history", the Studio Briefing website reporting that "Some writers are making the case that the British comedy may be 'the worst film ever'", and The Daily Mirror claiming Run For Your Wife "was branded the worst British film ever." Run for Your Wife met with such overwhelmingly negative reviews upon release that the reviews themselves were widely reported in the UK media. The film was variously described as "a catastrophe", "as funny as leprosy" and "30 years past its sell-by-date", with The Guardian reviewer Peter Bradshaw saying that it "makes The Dick Emery Show look edgy and contemporary". The Independent's Anthony Quinn wrote, "The stage play ran for nine years – it [the film] will be lucky to run for nine days. Perhaps never in the field of light entertainment have so many actors sacrificed so much dignity in the cause of so few jokes... From the look of it, Cooney hasn't been in a cinema for about 30 years". The cast featured numerous British celebrities in cameo roles, which was commented upon by several reviewers. The Metro commented that "no one emerges unscathed among the cameo-packed cast that reads largely like a roll-call for Brit TV legends you'd previously suspected deceased". The Daily Record described the film as "an exasperating farce containing not one single, solitary laugh. Comprised of people losing their trousers and falling over, the film looks like a pilot for a (mercifully) never-commissioned 70s sitcom". An article in the Independent described Run for Your Wife (along with the similarly panned Movie 43) as contenders for the title of the "worst film in history". The Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette reported "critics have being queuing up to batter recent release Run for Your Wife, with general agreement that it ranks among the worst British comedies of all time". Run for Your Wife was also a box office bomb, earning only £602 in its opening weekend at the British box office to its £900,000 budget. Run for Your Wife has a "0%" rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of July 29, 2015.
Movie 43 (2013)
Produced and co-directed by Peter Farrelly among others, Movie 43 is a comedy film consisting of several vignettes each by a different director and a sizable cast of recognizable actors and actresses including Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Stephen Merchant, Terrence Howard, Elizabeth Banks, and Julianne Moore. Several critics have called it one of the worst films ever made, including Peter Howell of the Toronto Star, who said "There's just one use for Movie 43, apart from it being ground into the landfill that it deserves to become sooner rather than later. It provides me with a handy new answer to a question I'm often asked: 'What's the worst film you've ever seen?'" Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News also considered it the worst movie she ever saw. Brady Murphy of Murphy Reviews wrote, "A world where a film like this can exist only reminds me of the other contemptible acts performed by human kind since the dawn of time, and is rather eye-opening in that respect. That probably wasn't intentional, though"; he went on to say that "The idea that anyone could think that this would be in any way humorous is simply unbelievable." He concluded his review by saying the movie "had no heart," and gave it the site's first zero out of ten rating. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times voiced similar hatred, calling it "aggressively tasteless" and "the Citizen Kane of awful." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post stated, "If you mashed-up the worst parts of the infamous Howard the Duck, Gigli, Ishtar and every other awful movie I've seen since I started reviewing professionally in 1981, it wouldn't begin to approach the sheer soul-sucking badness of the cringe-inducing Movie 43." Movie 43 is on the MRQE's 50 Worst Movies list. It currently holds a 4% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 76 reviews, averaging out at a 2.3/10 rating. It won three awards at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. In the worst director category all 13 directors won the award.
A Bollywood comedy film directed by Sajid Khan, Humshakals featured Indian actors Saif Ali Khan, Ram Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh. Mihir Fadnavis wrote in his Firstpost review, "...sexual tomfoolery, shrieking and hamming aside, there's much more to hate about this 'family movie'. It's disturbing to see such an atrocious, regressive, misogynistic, sexist, homophobic cinematic product force-fed to paying audiences. I can understand that a comedy need not be 'safe', but what goes on in Humshakals is simply too horrifying to bear." Critic Sonia Chopra of Sify.com wrote "there are bad movies, and then there's Humshakals. The worst film of 2014 so far, in my book". Saurabh Dwivedi of India Today stated "for Sajid Khan, I can only say that Humshakals will be listed in one of the worst films of the century." Dainik Bhaskar rated the movie as one of the worst films of the decade. Sweta Kaushal of Hindustan Times rated the film 0.5 out of 5 and stated "With no story or comedy on offer, even Riteish and Ram are unable to save the day for Sajid Khan." Mohar Basu of Koimoi gave it 1.5/5 stars and said the film was "[l]oaded with indecipherable dim wit" and "an odd mishmash of pathos and drudgery." Writing in Emirates 24/7, Sneha May Francis claimed that it succeeded Khan's previous endeavor, Himmatwala, in becoming the worst Bollywood film ever. The film received five Golden Kela Award nominations, and won for Worst Film. It also won two Ghanta Awards; the film won Worst Picture and Ram Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh shared the Worst Actor award.
Several of the cast members also lamented their involvement in the film. Despite being the film's leading actress, Bipasha Basu didn't participate in the film's promotions because she was "extremely disturbed by the end result" and stated that "Humshakals was the worst experience of my life". Another cast member, actress Esha Gupta, warned her family to not watch the film. After the release of the film, leading actor Saif Ali Khan lamented that "I've been introspecting a lot and will never repeat a mistake that was Humshakals."
United Passions (2014)
A 2014 English-language French drama film about the origins of the soccer world governing body Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), United Passions starred Tim Roth (as FIFA President Sepp Blatter), Gérard Depardieu and Sam Neill, and was directed by Frédéric Auburtin. United Passions' release in the U.S. occurred simultaneously with the 2015 FIFA corruption case, in which several current and former members of FIFA's executive committee were arrested for charges of corruption, and Blatter himself resigned following repeated accusations of corruption at FIFA under his leadership. United Passions was accused of ignoring these long-running claims. London Evening Standard's Des Kelly wrote that United Passions was "the worst movie ever made" and "the most extraordinary vanity exercise; a vile, self-aggrandizing, sugar-coated pile of manure where Blatter and Co. manage to make North Korea's Kim Jong-un look self-effacing". Daniel Gold of The New York Times claimed "United Passions" is "one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitizing that’s no good even for laughs", later stating it would make the top three of his list of all time bad films. Several critics noted the irony of the film's depiction of Blatter as an anti-corruption campaigner. Paul Field of the Daily Mirror said that this created "unintentional comedy gold", while Sara Stewart of the New York Post described it as "hilariously ill-timed". The soccer website Goal.com said of United Passions: "The portrayal of FIFA is farcical from start to finish", and added: "Films believed to be among the worst of all time are watched by thousands of people eager to see just how bad they are. This piece of cinematic garbage belongs to that list." On Rotten Tomatoes, United Passions currently has a rating of 0%, based on 16 reviews, while on Metacritic, the film currently holds a score of 1 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".
United Passions was also a box office bomb, becoming the lowest-grossing film of all time in American history (with $918), surpassing the previous record held by I Kissed a Vampire ($1,380) in 2012, while going straight to DVD in France and lacking any distribution in a number of other European countries. Several of the people involved in United Passions later expressed regret over the film. Director Auburtin called United Passions "a disaster" and added "Now I'm seen as bad as the guy who brought AIDS to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis ... apparently I am a propaganda guy making films for corrupt people." Tim Roth apologized for taking part in the film and admitted that he took the job in United Passions for the money.
- List of films considered the best
- Box office bomb
- List of box office bombs
- List of films with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
- List of television series considered the worst
- List of music considered the worst
- List of video games notable for negative reception
- Stemme, Joe (September 4, 2005). "What's the Worst Movie Ever?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- Maltin, Leonard (2003). Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2004. Signet. ISBN 0-451-20940-0.
- Stemme, Joe (September 24, 2009). "What's the Worst Movie Ever?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- "Reefer Madness (1936)". AMC (TV channel). Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- Goodwin, Cliff (2011). Sid James: A Biography. Random House. pp. 67–68. ISBN 0-7535-4682-5.
- McFarlane, Brian (1999). "Outrage: No Orchids for Miss Blandish". In Chibnall, Steve; Murphy, Robert. British Crime Cinema. Routledge. pp. 37–50. ISBN 0-415-16870-8.
- Halliwell's Film Guide. HarperPerennial. 1994. p. 781. ISBN 978-0-06-273318-4.
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