[WARNING: potential spoilers] This isn’t necessarily a list of the worst movies of all time, although a lot of them would probably make that list, also. This list has more to do with being crappy, escapist garbage that appeals to the lowest-common denominator. That isn’t to say that you should feel bad if some of these movies are personal favorites of yours– Actually, yes, you should feel bad if some of these movies are personal favorites of yours.
You will notice a lot of Jan de Bont, Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay on this list. This is because they are awful. But you know what? I still go see their movies. I think Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, but will that stop me from seeing Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Of course not.
You may be asking yourself: “But where is Independence Day?” To that question, I have no answer. It’s one of those crappy movies that I have some sort of nostalgic love for. I cannot bring myself to publicly ridicule it.
Now, allow me to don my snobby black beret and stroke my skinny, pretentious goatee as I list, and insult, some of the worst movies ever made.
The cold chases Jake Gyllenhaal down a hallway. That’s right, the cold. Chases him. Down a hallway. Also, in order to create some sort of quasi-deep commentary on survival, the characters discuss the merits of burning books in a library to stay warm, while being SURROUNDED by wooden tables and chairs. This movie made me wish that Global Warming would hurry up and put us out of our misery already.
This guy sums the plot up much better than I could, so, take it away hilarious, random internet movie snob:
“So, Billy Bob Thornton is, like, the Boss of NASA or whatever (LOL), and he is like “we have got to fuck up this asteroid,” and some guy is like “we’ll just nuke it,” and Billy Bob Thornton is like “we can’t nuke it because of some made up reason,” and so they decide that the only way to destroy the asteroid and save the Earth is to talk to Bruce Willis, the Best Oil Driller in the World. Oh boy, here we go. Meanwhile, out on the oil rig, Bruce Willis is hitting golf balls at a Greenpeace boat because he is a MAN. It’s hilarious and stupid how you work to make the world a better place based on deeply held personal beliefs when you should be shooting at Ben Affleck with a shotgun because he is having sex with your daughter, Liv Tyler. The army is like “Mr. Bruce Willis, please come with us, asteroid time,” and Bruce Willis is like, “Ben Affleck is fired.” And I don’t even know what the big deal is anyway, because if we learned anything from Deep Impact it’s that when the asteroid hits Earth you just need to run up a tall hill.
So, NASA is going to send a team of astronauts into space to land on the asteroid (sure) and drill a hole in it (yes) and fill the hole with a nuclear device (absolutely). But Bruce Willis is like “you guys are so stupid, the only way to do this is to send me into space.” OH, HOLD ON, WHAT? Nevermind, because it gets so much better a few seconds later when Bruce Willis is like “and I want to take my own team with me.” Take your own team with you? Into space? To land on an asteroid? And drill a hole in the asteroid and put a nuclear bomb in that hole? Better bring Daniel Farraday with you. You don’t want things to get ridiculous.
So, Bruce Willis hires all his pals, and surprise: they are so wacky and out of control! Oh, and he hires Ben Affleck, even though he just fired Ben Affleck? Also, Ben Affleck already has his own oil company but it has been literally 24 hours since he was working for Bruce Willis? How did he get an oil company so fast? These are the types of questions we might have time to wonder if that asteroid wasn’t coming straight for us! Of course, it’s hard to imagine a group this ragtag going into space, but they are the only chance we have. Most astronauts train for years to go into space, but these oilmen will only have 12 days. Insert 45 minute training sequence. Now they are ready to go into space! First stop is the international space station where there is a kooky Russian cosmonaut who has space cabin fever and then there is another 45 minute sequence involving fuel lines and space fires and oh no Ben Affleck almost dies but then he doesn’t die at all phew but then a few minutes later he almost dies again but he still doesn’t die. But some people die. Because his ship (one of two!) gets hit by a meteor and crashes on the asteroid. (You know how things in space are always crashing.)”
-courtesy of Gabe from videogum.com
Waterworld won 4 Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actor (Kevin Costner) and Worst Supporting Actor (Dennis Hopper). It cost something like $200 million to make back in the mid-90s which, adjusted for inflation, is about $45 billion today (I think my math is right). Kevin Costner was coming off the huge critical and commercial success of Dances With Wolves, so the studio was going to back him on any crazy-ass idea they came across, including Mad Max with Jet-Skis.
Battlefield Earth is consistently ranked as one of, if not THE worst movie ever made. Unfortunately for science fiction, it was based on a classic novel, so anticipation was fairly high when the bomb dropped. It went on to be nominated for 8 and win 7 Razzies, in 2000. It won for worst picture, director, screenplay, actor, actress, etc. It also won for Worst Screen Couple, which they gave to “John Travolta and anyone sharing the screen with him at any given moment.” And then, to put the icing on the cake, in 2010 it won the Razzies coveted “Worst Movie of the Decade” award.
Boy that trailer looked promising. It was, perhaps, the most incongruous movie-trailer-to-actual-film relationship in history. This one was nominated for 8 Razzies, including worst picture, worst actor and worst director for Michael Bay, who decided to make a national tragedy into another one of his super slo-mo action movies. I think Team America: World Police sang it best – the clip is above and the lyrics are here:
I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark,
When he made Pearl Harbor.
I miss you more than that movie missed the point,
And that’s an awful lot .
And now, now you’ve gone away,
And all I’m trying to say,
Is Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you.
I need you like Ben Affleck needs acting school,
He was terrible in that film.
I need you like Cuba Gooding needed a bigger part,
He’s way better than Ben Affleck.
And now all I can think about is your smile,
And that shitty movie too,
Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you
Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?
I guess Pearl Harbor sucked
Just a little bit more than I miss you.
If you want the perfect example of the unnecessary Hollywood remake, look no further than Wild Wild West. This movie managed to take two otherwise great actors (Kevin Kline and Will Smith) and drain them of any joy or talent for 2 hours. You can almost see them NOT wanting to be in the movie while you are watching it. It won 5 of the 9 Razzies it was nominated for in 1999, including, hilariously, worst song. That picture nicely captures Will Smith likely thinking, ‘what the hell am I doing in this movie’?
What did we learn from Twister?
1) Hold on to a water pipe and a tornado can pass directly over you with no physical consequences.
2) If you are only feet from a tornado, but you have something really dramatic to say, wind will not affect you or your ability to hear.
3) It rarely rains near tornadoes.
4) Mentioning an f-5 will cause everyone in the room to go silent and spill their drinks.
5) Bill Paxton can predict where tornadoes are going to hit by picking up a hand-full of dirt and letting it fall through his fingers.
6) Jan de Bont is a terrible director
David Sheega from CultureLab.com does a nice job of describing this disaster of a movie:
“…A car speeding through a city in the grip of terrible earthquakes makes insanely unlikely maneuvers, one after the next, then drives straight through an office building as it crumples and emerges unscathed. This sets the tone for the film. We learn not to worry too much for the characters’ safety. We know that if they get on a plane, it will always manage to take flight just as the runway collapses. The unlikely occurrences continue so relentlessly that we are numb to later scientific offenses, among them a tsunami that overturns a ship in the open ocean despite the fact that real tsunamis are tiny before reaching shore, and tropical animals that miraculously avoid freezing to death as they are flown through snow-covered mountains while suspended from helicopters.”
This movie was just so ridiculous I was completely distracted for the entire thing. The part where the mountains mysteriously MOVE to EXACTLY where they need them before crash landing was one of the most forehead-slappingly stupid things I’ve ever seen in a movie. This actually works much better as a comedy.
Jan de Bont strikes again with this horrifying movie. They decided to take the same premise from the first movie, and apply it to the SLOWEST form of transportation imaginable. This was like a really long SNL skit, or like that scene in Austin Powers when the stream roller is slowly approaching the screaming guy. I loved the 10 minute crash scene into the cardboard village at the end. Speed 2: Cruise Control was nominated for 8 Razzies, but, astonishingly, only won a single one, for Worst Sequel. But to be fair, that particular year saw perhaps the worst stock of blockbusters in history; it was up against The Postman, Anaconda and the #1 WORST BLOCKBUSTER OF ALL TIME, I give you…
Nominated for an earth-shattering 11 Razzies, this movie sucks so much that it will actually give you a headache if you attempt to watch it all in one sitting. It has been voted the worst movie of all time by Empire Magazine, and deservedly so. It actually received 3 times as many votes as the #2 selection (Battlefield Earth). There is really nothing I can say to do it justice, so, instead, watch the 3 minute clip above, it’s hilarious.
This list is courtesy of Chris Rau.
There have been a few lists already in this particular category, so I thought I would make mine a little different from the others. All the movies on this list are readily available for hire from my local DVD store, unlike a few in the other lists which have been banned in various countries. Some of these movies are disturbing due to their explicit violence, whereas, for others, it’s the subject matter of the film itself.
Based in a time when Japan’s unemployment rate is at a record high, the government devises a plan to take action in the form of killing off rebellious high-school students in hopes the survivors will be appreciative of their lives and contribute to society. Every year a class is chosen at random and, whilst in the comfort of their school bus, the students are drugged and kidnapped, only to awake in their worst nightmare on an island in the middle of nowhere. Each is given a weapon and fitted with an electronic collar, which will explode in three days unless all but one person is dead. This “winner” will then be allowed to return to society and carry on a “normal” life. Lucky them.
Beautifully written, directed and acted, “Hard Candy” seems so realistic it can be difficult to watch at times. When 30-something Geoff meets 14 year-old Haley online in a chat room, he can’t believe his luck. She appears to be putty in his hands and when she agrees to meet in person and go back to his house, he thinks he can’t go wrong. Haley is not like the other girls; she is sweet, smart, sexy. So smart in fact, that when they arrive at Geoff’s house she refuses to let him mix her drink. If only Geoff was so smart. He wakes up tied to a chair, trapped in his own house with a sociopath who is convinced he is a pedophile who murdered a young girl in the area. The psychological and physical traumas she inflicts on Geoff are disturbing, to say the least, especially when you, as an audience, are unsure whether or not he deserves it.
A movie that should be watched by all. Highly disturbing content, but all based on real events in the hideous world of trafficking. The film follows the lives of three trafficked individuals:
Helena is a single mum living in Prague who meets a handsome young man who invites her for a holiday in Vienna, where he lives. When they approach his majestic mansion, Helena can’t believe her luck! They enter the house and ascend up the massive stone staircase to a giant room where about twenty girls are lying on mattresses, drugged and distressed.
Ukrainian teenager Nadia secretly wins a modeling competition in hopes to earn some money to support her father, who is struggling with money since her mother died. The modeling company supply her with a passport and transport to the US where she is taken directly to a brothel.
In Manilla, 12 year-old Annie is abducted from a market place, just meters from her browsing parents. She is then locked in a cellar with another young girl, who was sold to the traffickers by her very poor family.
The movie captures the girls’ struggles as they are raped, drugged and beaten into submission, whilst a US policewoman heads a task force in the hopes of saving them.
And this is where the list begins to get into the shock/horror/gore section of disturbing. “Hostel II” is probably one of the more well-known movies on this list, but still deserves a place. From accidentally wedging a circular saw into a girl’s scalp, to surgically removing the skin from a man’s legs without anaesthetic, to chopping a man’s penis off with a pair of shears: this movie has it all. Eli Roth claims he was inspired by a Thai website advertising a ‘murder holiday’, where a person can pay to kill another person; whom has been sold by their very poor family. Considering how poor some people are in the world, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono teamed together in Los Angeles, in 1977, to begin ruthlessly raping, torturing and murdering 10 women. They became commonly known as “The Hillside Strangler” as police originally believed it was all one person’s doing.
The two started out by keeping two girls captive in their home; acting as pimps by forcing them to have to sex with “clients” who visited the house. When the girls escaped, the men’s crimes began to escalate before they killed their first victim: a prostitute named Yolanda Washington. Together they murdered 10 women aged 12-28.
When the two separated, Bianchi went on to kill another two women and was also a suspect in the, still unsolved, Alphabet murder case where three people were killed in his hometown of Rochester.
Because these movies serve as prequel and sequel to one another, I have included them both as position five in my list. There’s not a lot to say about these movies except that if you like gore, you can’t go wrong. The movies are based around the “Firefly” family; of which each member is just as certifiable as the next. They prey on innocent people, torturing them with all kinds of gruesomely original practices which have stemmed from the fathomless mind of the writer/director Rob Zombie. Basically if you like people being skinned, scalped, slit, shot, stabbed or sliced, these movies are for you.
“The hills have eyes” is one movie that can never be ‘un-watched’. Once you see it, some of the imagery will never leave you. Set in a hilly desert region in America, a family consisting of a mother and father, their two daughters, son, son-in-law, infant grand-daughter and two German shepherds, become stranded when their camper breaks down. It just so happens that where they are situated was once a small town used for nuclear testing, resulting in the towns people becoming horribly mutated and hungry for blood. This movie has no shame, resulting in some of the most distressing scenes a film could portray. Members of the family are burned alive, raped and shot and what makes it even more awful is the presence of the infant and wondering what is going to happen to her. Definitely a must-see for the deranged!
Presented in reverse, with the last scene as it’s first, “Irreversible” can be a little confusing and it’s probably best to watch it a couple of times so you fully understand what is happening. Therein lies a problem: getting through this movie once is an epic challenge. At least two scenes in this movie are so graphic and realistic, I’m pretty sure even Rob Zombie would leave the room.
A young and beautiful girl named Alex has an argument with her boyfriend at a party and decides to walk alone under a subway to get home. There she meets a sadistic rapist who sodomizes and beats her to a pulp. (There is another notable scene involving a head and a fire extinguisher for those who enjoy feeling ill.) She is near death, in a stretcher with paramedics, when her boyfriend encounters her and seeks revenge; rampaging around the city in a state of hysteria.
Although this movie is intensely violent and crude at times, it is well made and a lot of thought has gone into it. Irreversible won “bronze horse” at the Stockholm Film Festival and competed for the Palm d’Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival as well as the “Best Foreign Language Award” by the Film Critics Circle of Australia. It was also voted “Best Foreign Language Film” by the San Diego Film Critics Society.
Something a little extra:
1. Many scenes, including the 9 minute rape scene, were shot with multiple takes that were then invisibly edited together using digital processing.
2. Some of the film is recorded using extremely low-frequency sound (3 Hz from memory) to create a state of disorientation, unease and even nausea within the audience.
This movie is absolutely shocking from beginning to end. And when I say beginning: I was literally screaming for the T.V. to be turned off in the opening credits. The movie opens with footage of dogs that have been skinned alive and are still writhing in agony (which I eagerly fast-forwarded through).
Seed takes pleasure, as most psycho-murderers do, in watching things die. But with a difference: he doesn’t lay a finger on them. He puts a living being in a room with a video camera and watches them over a period of weeks as they deteriorate, starve, die and decompose. He begins with a cockroach, then a dog, then a baby and finally a woman. The police find him and sentence him to the electric chair, where he is electrocuted. However, he survives and, after being buried alive, is furious and goes on a killing rampage. For those who like the sound of the fire extinguisher scene in “Irreversible”; there is a similar hammer scene in this film, which may take your fancy.
1. “Seed” won Best Special Effects at the 2007 New York City Horror Film Festival, which is pretty good considering it apparently took under a month to film and was funded with Boll’s own money.
2. The opening “skinned dogs” scene is real footage, provided by PETA: whom Boll donated 2.5% of the films profits to (however with acting this bad, I doubt that was a significant sum).
When two American girls get a flat tyre and have to traipse through the bushlands of the Netherlands at night, they are relieved to come across a house in the middle of nowhere. Although the occupant, Dr Heiter, is not particularly hospitable, they have little choice but to wait in his house until help arrives. Sadly, help does not arrive, and, instead, they end up waking tied to hospital beds in a make-shift surgery in the Doctor’s basement. Not long after their arrival, Dr Heiter locates himself a Japanese tourist to occupy a third bed. The Doctor then sets up his over-head projector and very casually explains that he is going to use the three to complete his life-long dream of creating a human centipede. Firstly, he will cut the tendons in their knees so they can’t walk, only crawl, and then he will graft skin from the backside of one individual to the mouth of another to create one complete gastric system:
Although Tom Six claims to have worked with a Dutch surgeon in the production to ensure the film was 100% medically sound, it fails to explain how the middle and end position of the centipede can survive on a diet of feces without dying of sepsis. Although the film is full of holes (pardon the pun), you have to admire Six for his originality.
1. When attempting to get funding before the film’s production, Six simply told investors the film was about conjoining people. It wasn’t until the film’s release that the investors saw how they were joined.
2. Dieter Laser, who plays Dr Heiter, stayed in character throughout the making of the film. He separated himself from cast and crew between shots to preserve an awkwardness between himself and the other characters.