Worse movies of the 20th century?
February 8, 2002 12:48 AM   Subscribe

Worse movies of the 20th century? I think not. There's lots of stinkers here, but including Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and ignoring such dreck as The Omega Man certainly has to be illegal somewhere. Let the "I thought this underrated movie was actually good" confessions commence. [via the null device]
posted by skallas (80 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

It cracks me up to see Armageddon there. It seems every technophile friend I have owns the Criterion DVD release. I love just picking it up, waving my head back and forth while asking "why?!" The responses are colorful, usually involving "dolby 5 channel DTS blah blah blah." It's always the technical details, never the movie's content.

If you want to see something great, open this AFI page, then go to Edit/Find on your browser's menu. Type in the search term "stallone" and count how many times it shows up (hint: it's a lot).
posted by mathowie at 12:54 AM on February 8, 2002

what do you call a woman with no arms and no legs in a box? Helena.

I love several movies on that list, but none as much as Boxing Helena. I really enjoyed watching that movie with my brother and several friends, all telling variations on the joke what do you guy a guy with no arms and no legs in the ocean? bob. as quickly as we could think of them.

okay, maybe spice world.
posted by palegirl at 12:57 AM on February 8, 2002

Oh, they missed two key movies from the 80s. Both were made into sequels: Mannequin and Short Circut.

Actually, they could have added a lot more Steve Gutenburg to the list.
posted by mathowie at 1:01 AM on February 8, 2002

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

It would have been worse to leave it without a backstory, methinks... Though it amuses to see both Blair Witches on there.
posted by j.edwards at 1:12 AM on February 8, 2002

Cool World didn't make the list? It wasn't even one of the nominees? Bah.

I guess that's what you get for having a list that is based on popular vote. It has to be made up of movies people have actually seen.
posted by Potsy at 1:13 AM on February 8, 2002

After getting the Twin Peaks Season One DVD a couple of weeks ago. I've been on a Lynch jag recently, and I have to say that not only do I like Fire Walk With Me a lot, but that it actually makes perfect sense, although you probably need to know the series to get much out of it. But so what.

It's certainly true that a lot of things work symbolically rather than as straightforward representations of things, but I don't see why that's supposed to be a problem - if you don't understand it, try harder, if you can't be arsed to try harder or don't think it would be worth the effort, watch another damn movie. Just don't suggest that because you don't understand something it doesn't make sense.

(End of deranged rant)

That said, i think Titanic is a dreadful movie, too.
posted by Grangousier at 1:14 AM on February 8, 2002

What is Mars Attacks! doing on the list? Granted, it probbly wasn't quite as funny as it should have been, but it was by no means a bad movie.
posted by salmacis at 1:23 AM on February 8, 2002

Gymkata ?!

Those pretentious pricks!
Gymkata ?!

posted by dong_resin at 1:34 AM on February 8, 2002

I actually liked "Titanic," even though I knew it had no script. I liked it best when the ship broke in half.

But no "Starship Troopers"? No "Dune"? And especially, no "Bingo"? I suspect I don't have to explain the first two, but the latter one is a bit more obscure. An alleged comedy, it's one of those movies where the dog is the smartest person in the family, even smarter than the NFL place-kicker dad who never wears a shoe on his kicking foot and paints his station wagon in his team colors. I wanted the dog to kill and eat them all, even the little boy, then throw himself off a cliff.

"Dune" would also top the list of the 10 most disappointing movies I've ever seen, along with "Star Wars Episode I," "Godfather III" and seven others I can't think of right now.

Oh, and "Dog Park" and "Sweet November" ought to be on the list, too.
posted by diddlegnome at 1:35 AM on February 8, 2002

CBG: "Worst movie ever."
posted by RavinDave at 1:55 AM on February 8, 2002

Not enough 50s and 60s MST3K kitsch on the list. Despite what people may think, the 100 worst movies of all time weren't exclusively made in the past 20 years.

No Santa Clause Conquers the Martians? No animated Lord of the Rings? What are Texas Chainsaw Massacre I and II doing on the list?

This thing doesn't hold water at all.
posted by Fahrenheit at 2:09 AM on February 8, 2002

RavinDave: Oh, god, yes, I forgot about that one. It's been more than 20 years, after all, but I tried twice to watch that mess, both times as the second half of a double feature with "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." I never made it more than about 45 minutes.
posted by diddlegnome at 2:11 AM on February 8, 2002

I can't believe they totally left out El Topo, which to my understanding, has won several Worst. Movie. Ever. awards, even from real awards groups.

And yes, I've seen it, and yes it's that bad.
posted by Su at 2:22 AM on February 8, 2002

Maybe it's worth mentioning that Dune was remade last year for the sci-fi channel, with William Hurt, and I think the new version is really good (I agree the other one was crap). And I liked Dog Park.

Problems I have with the list: I think Caligula is much more than a porno; although it's not exactly a film for the whole family. The Gods Must Be Crazy is also quite nice, and whoever wrote the synopsis must have really misunderstood it. Harlem Nights may be a B movie, but it isn't terrible; I thought it evoked a 30s world that was quite watchable, if not very realistic. Hudson Hawk, an intelligent slapstick comedy, never found its niche because it's so strange, but it's widely underrated. Ishtar, another quirky movie, was already at risk as a long comedy (really an epic comedy, if there is such a thing), and then Warren Beatty felt the wrath of a media that was irritated with his sudden interest in making the talk-show rounds that he had shunned before. It's strange and hard to watch sometimes because it defies some basic ideas of what a big studio movie should be, but it isn't bad. I also think that The Last Action Hero is misunderstood, and Red Dawn, for all its presumptiveness, made me feel more patriotic than schlock like The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, or Black Hawk Down. Rocky V was an unwatched but valiant attempt to restore integrity to the series: the character loses his money, glamour, and public interest, and the climax is a street fight; it was destined not to sell, it came at the end of a line of half-assed sequels, but it's good. I also enjoyed the first Weekend At Bernie's, which aims low but is quite well done, and the first Wild Orchid, which, excepting 9 1/2 Weeks and Henry & June, is probably one of the most character-driven softcore films ever made.

I know a writer who worked on Anaconda, which is dreadful, and I'm going to take great delight in emailing him a link to that list.

I respectfully await your flames.
posted by bingo at 2:57 AM on February 8, 2002

No movie is as horrible as Wing Commander. It's my gauge for movie crappiness, and I can't believe they forgot that one. Even Drop Dead Fred and Blair Witch Project rocked compared to it. I must have been the only one who went through the torture of sitting through it, although the audience seemed pretty full when I heard people laughing at the sad parts of the movie. It was that bad.
posted by lnicole at 2:57 AM on February 8, 2002

Inicole: If you live in the US, the theater was probably full because the audience went to see it for the Phantom Menace trailer that was attached to it. That's why I went, anyway (big mistake, due to both Wing Commander and what Phantom Menace turned out to be). I think it would have otherwise been destined for straight-to-video land.
posted by bingo at 3:01 AM on February 8, 2002

It's surprising how many of these I've seen!
Major gripes with the following:

59. Last Action Hero
This was Arnold's attempt as self-sarcasm. It flopped because it was too smart for action fans and not interesting enough for a general audience.

64. Mars Attacks!
Now come on. One of the 100 worst films of all times? I enjoyed it.

66. Natural Born Killers
No film this violent can be all that bad! It's not a great movie but it doesn't belong in this list.

93. The "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
The original TCM is a cult classic. It's so bloody weird it's a work of art.

95. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1993)
They must be kidding.

96. Waterworld (1995)
Average movie, no way does it belong in the same list with abominations such as "Armaggedon".

Also films like Manos and Plan 9 are so bad that they're great. The funniest movies ever made.
Plus it's unfair. I mean it's like listing the worse 100 authors and inluding your teenage nephew who writes bad sci fi for his high school news paper.
posted by talos at 3:50 AM on February 8, 2002

The only thing that *really* surprised me was seeing "The Gods Must Be Crazy" on that list. Everything else, by and large, I agreed with. But there is quite a bit of skewing towards films of the past 20-34 years; there were plenty of crap-a-ramas made before 1960, too.
posted by davidmsc at 4:02 AM on February 8, 2002

Mathowie: These are the people who appeared in more than one film in that list.

Sylvester Stallone: 6 appearences
Richard "Cheech" Marin: 4 appearences
Tommy Chong: 4 appearences
Bruce Willis: 3 appearences
Christopher Lambert: 3 appearences
DeForest Kelley: 3 appearences
James Doohan: 3 appearences
John Travolta: 3 appearences
Leonard Nimoy: 3 appearences
William Shatner: 3 appearences
Adrienne King: 2 appearences
Andrew McCarthy: 2 appearences
Armand Assante: 2 appearences
Arnold Schwarzenegger: 2 appearences
Betsy Palmer: 2 appearences
Catherine Mary Stewart: 2 appearences
Chevy Chase: 2 appearences
Danny Aiello: 2 appearences
Demi Moore: 2 appearences
Dennis Hopper: 2 appearences
Dudley Moore: 2 appearences
Eddie Murphy: 2 appearences
Evelyn Guerrero: 2 appearences
Jonathan Silverman: 2 appearences
Kane Hodder: 2 appearences
Kevin Costner: 2 appearences
Kim Cattrall: 2 appearences
Kirstie Alley: 2 appearences
Kyle MacLachlan: 2 appearences
Lea Thompson: 2 appearences
Madonna: 2 appearences
Mario Van Peebles: 2 appearences
Olympia Dukakis: 2 appearences
Sean Connery: 2 appearences
Temuera Morrison: 2 appearences
Terry Kiser: 2 appearences
Uma Thurman: 2 appearences
Will Patton: 2 appearences
Will Smith: 2 appearences
posted by vbfg at 4:18 AM on February 8, 2002

Too many recent films here, as if these were just on the top of their heads. "Anaconda," made sense, for instance, in its own cheesy sorta way, and any filmmaker who puts Ice Cube and Jon Voight in the same film is just nutty enough to get my respect. By contrast, "The Avengers" didn't make any sense at all to me, and I tried. I really tried. What the hell was up with the Grateful Dead bears every ten minutes? The old woman with the assault rifle? What were they yapping about? What did this have to do with the fabulous TV show, outside of the outfits? It had a pleasant look about it, but was curiously and utterly unwatchable, headache-inducing even.
posted by raysmj at 4:49 AM on February 8, 2002

Regarding "Boxing Helena": I actually watched this flick in a movie theater, along with 5 friends.

There's a scene where the wacko already boxed Helena, ie, he amputated both her legs and both her arms and put her inside a box so he can knee down in front of her and worship her.

It's supposed to be a very touching scene, where the guy lays his head on what's left of her legs and starts crying and begs "Please, please, DON'T LEAVE ME!!!!". Helloooooo, she doesn't have legs or arms anymore, how can she leave him? Using her eyelashes?

We started laughing out loud and it seems that we've disturbed the rest of the audience (8 people)...
posted by rexgregbr at 5:06 AM on February 8, 2002

"Cool as Ice" never got the Criterion DVD release it deserved, that's for sure...
posted by ph00dz at 5:13 AM on February 8, 2002

The Avengers : at least it had Eddie Izzard in it (although I've fallen alseep both times i tried to watch it.)
Boxing Helena : I liked it, but then I love Bad Boy Bubby
Caligula : I saw it because I thought it was a filmic version of Albert Camus play!
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies : How can you hate this film!
Judge Dredd : Chris Cunningham apparently crafted the Dredd's head-piece (Random factoid boy strikes again!!)
Mars Attacks! : Sacrilige. This does not belong here.
Additions that SHOULD be on the list: Red Planet

Too many recent films here, as if these were just off the top of their heads.

I completely agree. It is obviously a rather subjective list (I'm a passionate believer in the importance of subjective filmic experience, though.)
posted by Hypnerotomachia at 5:28 AM on February 8, 2002

Has no one here seen 'Blown Away'? Pretty much one of the worst big studio movies of the last 20 years. Who can explain the mystery of why a truly superb actor like Jeff Bridges continues to choose such abominable projects on occasion?
Favourite moment in Blown Away has Lloyd Bridges waving a small tumbler of vaguely reddish-pink liquid and yelling in a side-splittingly funny cod-Irish accent, "ah Guinness! Truly 'tis nectar ah" etc.
I add myself to the 'Fire Walk With Me' admirers.
posted by Dan Brilliant at 5:49 AM on February 8, 2002

I've seen Mars Attacks three times. So far.

The first Blair Witch movie was the victim of excessive hype. If you saw it the way the original festival audience did, never having heard of it, not knowing the background, not knowing for sure it wasn't real - it would have been scary as hell.

Where are the bad movies from the first half of the century?
posted by tdismukes at 5:49 AM on February 8, 2002

This list is rotten.

Where's Addams Family? Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas? The Fifth Element? All flicks I could not stand to finish.

And Howard The Duck? So bad it's good. Classic 80s shlock.
posted by owillis at 6:03 AM on February 8, 2002

All of you talking about how subjective this is, it appears to be based on a vote of some sort, which would explain the leanings towards more recent movies:

...throngs of teenage girls who saw it literally dozens of times because of heartthrob DiCaprio. It was inevitable that a "We Hate Leo" and "Titanic Sucks" backlash would start. Those are the people that voted for this film as the worst film of all-time. We disagree, but hey, we just count the votes
posted by malphigian at 6:16 AM on February 8, 2002

Showgirls is good! Who doesn't love Versayse?
posted by panopticon at 6:56 AM on February 8, 2002

Any list of worst movies that does not include "The Whole Nine Yards" and "Up Close and Personal" does not deserve to live. Easily worse than most of the movies mention. I'd rather watch Independence Day (which I thought was OK.) ten times than watch either of those pieces of crap. Oh, or First Knight. Way to turn Arthurian legend into cheap Harlequin-style stuff.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:06 AM on February 8, 2002

I genuinely enjoyed Drop Dead Fred, The Gods Must Be Crazy, Natural Born Killers, Titanic, Fire Walk With Me, and Waterworld when I saw them. And I think Ishtar is a misunderstood film.
posted by waxpancake at 7:17 AM on February 8, 2002

Mars Attacks is one of the greatest movies of all time. It's obvious this is a flawed document, because if it had any validity "Crash" and "Point Of No Return" would be included.
posted by mrbula at 7:19 AM on February 8, 2002

Has no one here seen 'Blown Away'? Pretty much one of the worst big studio movies of the last 20 years.

It redeemed itself with one great line: "We're talking about a guy who could make a bomb out of Bisquick!"

I sorta liked "Lost in Space" too. It's not like could do much damage to the original anyway.
posted by RavinDave at 7:30 AM on February 8, 2002

A Gnome Named Gnorm

The Dark Backward

Cutthroat Island

In an interview, John Romero cited The Dark Backward as his favorite movie. Having actually seen the movie, unlike the fortunate 99% of the world, I wrote and asked WTF he was thinking. "Sweaty Judd Nelson sums it up," was his response. Hmm...
posted by NortonDC at 7:32 AM on February 8, 2002

I can understand picking on The Gods Must Be Crazy II, but why the original? And I don't understand why it's so fashionable to pick on Altman's Popeye because it was a commercial failure. Am I the only person who went absolutely bugfuck over that movie? Altman's Popeye captures the spirit of the Max Flesicher cartoons at a time when cartoony movies were dismissed as junk. Ironically enough, twenty years later, every self-respecting film geek I know can't get enough of them. Methinks the "criticism" here is a bad memory gone awry.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Fun, claustrophobic, suspenseful junk, but viable in its own right. And Fire Walk With Me? This guy simply wants attention.
posted by ed at 7:32 AM on February 8, 2002

Listing Plan 9 From Outer Space as one of the worst movies is sooo predictable - hell, the video box readily admits it. It's camp. This list is kind of odd since most of the movies are all from 1990s.
posted by panopticon at 7:32 AM on February 8, 2002

Born to Be Loved (1959) and of course Cimarron (1931).
posted by shagoth at 7:33 AM on February 8, 2002

OK, there's at least a dozen on that list that I could defend, but I'll focus my attention on one: Ishtar. That movie is awesome! Sure, its a ridiculous and campy and silly fiasco, but it is one of those flicks that is so full of little details and in-jokes that it gets better every time you see it. Plus, if you've ever had any reason to rub up against the music business in your professional life, this flick will resonate with you on a whole other level too. And then there's the songs.... the SONGS! I have a homemade CD that has just the songs on it -- the BEST soundtrack album never released. Genius! But then again, 'telling the truth can be dangerous business...'
posted by spilon at 7:41 AM on February 8, 2002

"Hudson Hawk" has become a personal favorite of mine. Yeah, it's kind of a mess, but it's redeemed by inspired performances from Richard E. Grant and James Coburn. Also, its loose, episodic format and bright palette work really well with LSD.
posted by Ty Webb at 7:46 AM on February 8, 2002

While stating up front that all lists like this are inherently silly and subjective and pointless, I am genuinely surprised at all the support in this thread for Mars Attacks. I'm generally a fan of Tim Burton, but come on. Apart from the sporadically entertaining jabbering of the aliens, this movie managed to waste every single person involved with it, with the exception of people like Tom Jones and Sarah Jessica Parker, who are fundamentally useless to begin with. Yeeeuch.

Plus, speaking of incredible wastes of talent, where's Wolf?
posted by Skot at 7:53 AM on February 8, 2002

I vehemently disagree with the trashing of Popeye. The film was a little dark for the average audience, but that was the appeal. I was 10 when I saw it, and it made a huge impression on me.
posted by jpoulos at 7:55 AM on February 8, 2002

I can't believe nobody has mentioned Highlander II.
posted by spunkster at 8:04 AM on February 8, 2002

It's on the list.
posted by NortonDC at 8:09 AM on February 8, 2002

Does anyone else read the Filthy Critic? All his reviews are hilarious, and more importantly, I agree more often than not with his ratings.
posted by salmacis at 8:14 AM on February 8, 2002

No Ghostbusters 2?
posted by quirked at 8:16 AM on February 8, 2002

I was surprised when they made a Gods Must Be Crazy II - the first one never seemed like a movie that would be sequeled, to me. which is to say, I thought it was good. I also really liked Natural Born Killers. That scene of the fake family sitcom was disturbing and funny and sad all at once. Titanic was ok but definitely only made the box office it did thanks to millions of teenage girls in love with Leo. Ed wood is like john waters (well, early john waters anyway) - don't try to follow plots and make sense of things. Just enjoy the weirdness. Showgirls is hilarious.
posted by mdn at 8:17 AM on February 8, 2002

..i...ah...liked the omega man. 'Moscow On The Hudson' has gotta be on that list
posted by clavdivs at 8:20 AM on February 8, 2002

omega man rocked.
posted by jpoulos at 8:26 AM on February 8, 2002

Personally, I'm surprised that Battlefield Earth isn't higher on the list!
posted by PeteyStock at 8:40 AM on February 8, 2002

It's alphabetical.
posted by NortonDC at 8:43 AM on February 8, 2002

In terms of bad movies from the first half of the century, there are a shitload that never made it to video, and probably never will. But among those that did, one of my picks would be Detour.

I liked the Omega Man too. And I love The Addams Family. What's so wrong with Cimarron?

As far as John Waters and Ed Wood go...with Waters, the trashy campiness is on purpose...
posted by bingo at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2002

In terms of bad movies from the first half of the century, there are a shitload that never made it to video, and probably never will. But among those that did, one of my picks would be Detour.

I liked the Omega Man too. And I love The Addams Family. What's so wrong with Cimarron?

As far as John Waters and Ed Wood go...with Waters, the trashy campiness is on purpose...
posted by bingo at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2002

I am genuinely surprised at all the support in this thread for Mars Attacks.

Two words: James Brown.
Two words: Tom Jones.

Hmmm...maybe that's four words.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 AM on February 8, 2002

You can add me to the voices in support of The Gods Must Be Crazy (first one, I never saw TGMBC2) and Natural Born Killers (which would be among my personal top 50, and that in spite of the fact that I don't like most of Oliver Stone's movies!)

What would I add? I Know What You Did Last Summer. Entirely unsympathetic characters, entirely predictable plot. I presume the second one (which I still maintain should be called I Know What You Did Two Summers Ago) belongs there too, although I never saw that one--the first one did enough ennui-induced psychological damage.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:48 AM on February 8, 2002

ed is correct. "Popeye" failed to thrill me when I first saw it, approx age 16. Many years later, and with some insight gleaned from Experience and reading Eberts' review of the movie, it truly is remarkable. It *created* Popeye's world, not just actors on a set. Only flaw: not enough spinach-induced a**-whupping by the Popster. It remains the ONLY decent film that Robin Williams has ever done (although I haven't yet seen "What Dreams May Come" and have moderate expectations).
posted by davidmsc at 10:08 AM on February 8, 2002

Xanadu? Come on. My hormones were just kicking in when that came out, and Olivia Newton-John in an off-the-shoulder blouse was just the thing I needed. Plus, I still have the album, which is the first one I ever bought.

Tear down my adolescent fantasies, will they? (muttered obscenity)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:13 AM on February 8, 2002

There's a bit of a problem with putting comedies on a list like this. I'm sure a lot of the votes were from people who "just didn't get it" -- all the Cheech & Chong movies? Mars Attacks? They're not necessarily great, but worst 100 films, they do not belong. There are a lot of bad films out there - there are easily 90 bad horror movies that could pad out this list nicely. (but, that's what you get when you cross ignorance with voting, I suppose)

But I'm glad to see Highlander 2 made this list, and if nothing else, I now want to watch the other sequels. If they could be any worse than the baffling train wreck of Highlander 2, they're definitely worth watching.
posted by D at 10:17 AM on February 8, 2002

Oh, and how could they have missed the Smokey and the Bandit series? Even Bill and Ted got to make fun of the third one, and that's saying something.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:17 AM on February 8, 2002

I actually kinda liked the first Porky's movie, both for the hormonal reason's crash mention's above and the hilarious "Have you seen this prick?" scene.
No, I'm wondering why that horrible '80s kickboxing movie "No Retreat, No Surrender" didn't make the list, not to mention "Haunted Honeymoon." Bad drama can at least be unintentionally hilarious, but bad comedies are merely painful.
posted by jonmc at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2002

How 'bout ANYTHING Corey Haim has been in? I'd add Corey Feldman, but I liked "the Burbs".
posted by spunkster at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2002

Did anyone happen to see BATS...no? How about Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo? or even Disorderlies...and I couldn't leave out that great cinematic effort The Jerky Boys Movie. Now all of those deserve to be on the list in my book.

Have to agree with Cool as Ice...couldn't finish that one.
posted by Benway at 10:31 AM on February 8, 2002

Has anybody seen "Glitter"? I can't verify that it's one of the worst movies of all time, but I don't have to lick an ashtray to know that it tastes bad.
posted by spunkster at 10:34 AM on February 8, 2002

Ok, where was Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., and Wing Commander?? Everyone knows that video game -> movie == really bad.
(Luckily, I only saw one of the above three movies... but was told about the other two)

And what about "Starship Troopers"?

And they listed a number of Star Trek movies, but didn't list the New Generation ones excluding "First Contact."

And Leprechaun? How could there not be a Leprechaun there... it's many times worse than the Friday the 13th series.
posted by mkn at 10:45 AM on February 8, 2002

How 'bout ANYTHING Corey Haim has been in? I'd add Corey Feldman, but I liked "the Burbs".

"Lost Boys" still holds up, that featured both (vampires on motorbikes, dude). It's fun to watch the Coreys almost be killed several times, kind of draws out the pleasure. As it is, they live (clenches fists).
posted by Ty Webb at 10:54 AM on February 8, 2002

I'm sorry, but without "Zardoz" (Sean Connery stars) that list is incomplete.

I'm subjecting my brother to that horrendous movie this weekend.
posted by hadashi at 11:07 AM on February 8, 2002

Subjectivity. It's impossible to make any list like this without it. Which is what makes it fun, I think. Even a voting system though, you're gonna get screwed. Popular vote leads to majority rules, and no one's gonna agree on the results. It's why our American election process is such a hodge podge of higgledy piggledy.

Personally I enjoyed the first Blair Witch film. Saw it 7 times in the movie theater and I've lost count how many times I've reviewed it on VHS. I've watched Blair Witch 2 maybe twice, and it leaves me empty and disappointed: a great fun concept ruined by Hollywood's complete inability to comprehend what made the first one so great. There are people who would have the reverse opinion, thinking that if BW1 had been done like BW2 maybe it wouldn't have sucked. And there's people who think they both sucked. There's a very small minority of people who find something positive to appreciate from both movies. It's simply impossible to make a comprehensive worst films list. Which was the point of those who made this one because it was a parody, in response to AFI's best films list.

I thought about copypasting my own personal list of 250 worst movies of all time which I compiled years ago via IMDb, but I thought I'd spare you the pain. My list does include more films made in the 40s-60s than thestinkers.com list. However, I'm strongly influenced by MST3K. Besides, "worst" in my movie vocabulary doesn't necessarily mean unwatchable. I honestly enjoy terrible movies. Especially if Joel & the 'bots ever MSTed it.

I still haven't seen Battlefield Earth, but have thought about checking it out at Blockbuster. Just so I can drink beer and laugh at Travolta.

I'd be tempted to put 12 Angry Men on any "worst" list, even though it's well written and directed. The acting is intense and I really do enjoy watching the film. However, the whole thing takes place in a single room. It's a great stage play, but didn't carry over well to cinema. Actually 12 Angry Men would probably never make a "worst" list for most, but it also will rarely ever make anyone's "best" list either. It's well done, but it's slow and predictable. Is there some way to make a list of the 100 most average movies? Would anyone care?

There is one movie that is beyond "worst" and I don't even think Battlefield Earth beats it.

Zapped with Scott Baio & Willie Ames. That's just painful.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:05 PM on February 8, 2002

I question the sense of humor of anyone who thinks Ishtar and The Last Action Hero are among the worst movies ever made. They're both hilarious, especially Ishtar. That scene where they're wandering in the desert, leading a camel, trying to compose a terrible song? Priceless!
posted by Holden at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2002

I see a real dearth of Troma Studios pictures here...?

Toxic Avenger, anyone? If ONLY for the fight scenes.

And, lest we forget: I Spit On Your Grave. aka Day of the Woman, aka I Hate Your Guts.

Watch 'em both high, that'll learn ya.
posted by UncleFes at 1:10 PM on February 8, 2002

UncleFes, when I saw that list I noted the absence of I Spit on Your Grave, and I figured that no one else had ever heard of it or saw it. I watched it once when I was working as a movie theater usher. What I most remember is a scene where the rape victim drives a motorboat past a rapist swimming in a lake. She stabs him in the back. The camera cuts to a close-up of the hand plunging the knife in the guy's back, and looks like the moviemaker bought about 500 eggs of Silly Putty and mashed the Silly Putty into a mockup of a man's back and floated it in a swimming pool and had his actress plunge a knife into it. Gawd, it was funny. Because it was so, so bad.
posted by Holden at 1:25 PM on February 8, 2002

There was a segment of This American Life in which the idea was posed that the film "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" is the dividing line between good and bad films (apparently, it is neither).

How many of these films were well-received when they came out?
posted by ParisParamus at 1:51 PM on February 8, 2002

I nominate "St. Elmo's Fire". And "Booty Call"

But I liked Waterworld.
posted by culberjo at 1:52 PM on February 8, 2002

Gawd, it was funny. Because it was so, so bad

I did watch it high, and nearly laughed myself into an infarct. What I remember most? The bathtub-johnson-chopping scene. Bad filmmaking becomes Electra.

"The Truth About Cats and Dogs"

I kinda liked that movie. I got me a minor Jeanne Garafolo jones working.
posted by UncleFes at 2:05 PM on February 8, 2002

I'll agree with the people who voted for Mars Attacks but was disappointed not to see Cabin Boy on the list...
posted by kindall at 3:03 PM on February 8, 2002

Needs more '80s flicks. There's something about that decade's pop culture (music and movies) which is often less palatable than either '70s cheese or '90s irony.

It's as if '80s artists thought they knew better, and their work would actually be funny or entertaining:

The Goonies
Working Girl
Mad Max beyond Thunderdome
Short Circuit ("nice software!" ... guh)
Three Amigos

Even though (e.g.) "Megaforce" reeks of camp and trash, I still hated movies like "Twins" and "Cocktail" much more. Probably because the former wasn't trying to convince me how clever it was.
posted by kurumi at 5:42 PM on February 8, 2002

I'm late to the party here, but I think Anaconda was one of the funniest movies ever made. Jon Voight makes a face like he's caught scent of something awful through the whole film (maybe the script?). Eric Stoltz goes into a coma at the beginning of the movie, then "comes to"halfway through as if to say, "hey, where's my check?" then lapses back into his coma untill the very end. Combine this with Ice Cube and an actress who was a high school friend, and you've got my endorsement.

I also thought Showgirls was pretty funny. And I liked Lost in Space quite a bit. Battlefield Earth, though, big piece of crap. I'm not sure if it's the biggest, but it wouldn't fit in my house, that's for sure.
posted by kittyloop at 6:50 PM on February 8, 2002

The Green-Eyed Blonde is one of the worst movies I have seen. Totally strange.
posted by bjgeiger at 9:02 PM on February 8, 2002

While the voters seem to have been lacking an appreciation for camp, I can't argue with a lot of the choices. Not including "Johnny Mnemonic" is an egregious oversight, however.
posted by jess at 9:08 PM on February 8, 2002

Croc Dundee in LA??


"Hoges" deserves a gong here
posted by johnny7 at 12:26 AM on February 9, 2002

Another film I wached again recently. And no, it's not very good, but it does trundle along in a lo-rent sort of a way: it reminded me of Trancers for some reason, which is probably not what the makers intended.

Not that it shouldn't be on the list.

Keanu Reeves is probably the only actor who could be out-acted by his own 9" action figure.

Oh, and in my continuing personal David Lynch season, I watched Dune again last night and enjoyed it immensely - it's still one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, which must count for something.

What's the fun in knocking films like Dune, or 1941 or Heaven's Gate anyway? The huge amounts of money they lost made them noteworthy at the time, but hardly seem to matter now, and when you look at them you can see where the money went - each is a beautifully realised and individual world. They are certainly distinctive, something that ought to be valued more highly now that movies are Robert McKee'd into the ground before they can be made.
posted by Grangousier at 12:26 AM on February 9, 2002

The "other film I watched recently' was Johnny Mnemonic. Want to make that clear. Servees me right for trying to be a smart-arse.
posted by Grangousier at 1:02 AM on February 9, 2002

where the hell is myra breckinridge on that list?!
posted by pxe2000 at 7:31 AM on February 10, 2002

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