100 Years, 100 Stinkers
The Worst Films of the 20th Century
our parody of AFI's "100 Years, 100 Movies" list
A bit of bad movie history:
On June 16, 1998, the American Film Institute announced its choices for the 100 greatest films ever made. The group called its list 100 Years, 100 Movies. To no one's surprise, just about everybody in America disagreed with the titles on the list. Anybody can make a list of great movies. We thought it would be helpful if a group had the guts to put together a list of the all-time worst films. So, about a month after the AFI announcement, the Hastings Bad Cinema Society announced that it too would be making an "end of the century" list, but the 100 movies it planned to "honor" would all be stinkers.
Between July 1998 and December 1999, visitors to this site were able to nominate titles for the worst films of the 20th Century. On January 1, 2000, the 300 most suggested titles were placed on a ballot in order to determine the final 100 candidates. On October 1, 2000, we started tabulating the votes and posted the final ballot on January 1, 2001.
For a ten week period beginning on January 1, 2001, visitors could vote for up to ten films. The top vote getter would be named the worst film of the 20th Century. That film, "Battlefield Earth," won by a landslide.
Presenting the 100 worst films of the 20th Century
as voted by the visitors to this site.
See this list without descriptive paragraphs
See the Top 20 vote getters
This list is presented in ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Reviews by Hastings Bad Cinema Society co-founder Michael Lancaster
Jim Carrey couldn't scare up many laughs in the quickly made "Ace Ventura" sequel.
1. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)
Director: Steve Oedekerk
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice, Simon Callow, Maynard Eziashi, Bob Gunton, Sophie Okonedo, Tommy Davidson
This tired and sloppy sequel to the marginally amusing "Ace Ventura Pet Detective" runs out of gas long before Jim Carrey even lands in Africa in search of a rare white bat. Produced solely as a quick cash-in after the surprise success of the first film. Winner: Worst Sequel - 1995 (The Stinkers). VHS/DVD. See the "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" teaser.
Eric Idle should have had his own name taken off of the embarrassing "An Alan Smithee Film-Burn Hollywood Burn."
2. An Alan Smithee Film-Burn Hollywood Burn
Director: Arthur Hiller (with unwanted assistance from Joe Eszterhas)
Starring: Eric Idle, Ryan O'Neal, Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Jackie Chan, Coolio, Joe Eszterhas
An incoherent and laughless comedy about a director of an epic motion picture who is so sure he has created the worst film of all-time, he wants his name removed from the film before it is released. In Hollywood, if a director wants his name removed, the pseudonym "Alan Smithee" is used in place of the director's real name to spare him/her embarrassment. This film theorizes what might happen if the offended directors' ACTUAL name were to be Alan Smithee. When Smithee is turned down by the studio to use another name other than Alan Smithee, he steals the film negative and threatens to burn it. Numerous cameos by big name film stars (playing themselves) and rap artists only add to the confusion. Even veteran Hollywood execs may not have gotten all of the "inside" references. In a bizarre episode of life imitating art, director Arthur Hiller was so upset with the final cut of this film that he had his name taken off of it, so "An Alan Smithee Film-Burn Hollywood Burn" is now directed by Alan Smithee. VHS only.
3. Anaconda (1997)
Director: Luis Llosa
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde, Kari Wuhrer, Owen Wilson
In this hokey film, a documentary film crew traveling the Amazon River is attacked by giant snakes. But the scariest moments in "Anaconda" don't come from the phony looking snakes, they come from the scene-munching Jon Voight, who is the group's guide down the river. For reasons still unexplained, Voight acquired a ridiculous drunken Spanish pimp accent for the role. "Mr. Cranky Rates The Movies" said, "Among other pathetic things, 'Anaconda' contains a performance by Jon Voight that is so awful and full of clichés that thirty years from now, 10-year-old bullies who happen to rent the film will be beating the crap out of Voight's great-grandchildren just for being related to him." VHS/DVD
4. The Apple (1980)
Director: Menahem Golan
Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart, Allan Love, George Gilmour, Grace Kennedy, Joss Ackland, Vladek Sheybal
"The Apple" isn't just bad, it is insufferable. Set in futuristic 1994, this musical from the dreaded team of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, is basically an excuse for some very bad actors to dress in campy outfits and sing really, REALLY bad songs. The whole mess looks like an outtake from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." The story: two innocents enter a worldwide songwriting contest, unaware that the "Star Search"-type global broadcast has been rigged by an evil music publisher named Mr. Boogalow. Boogalow wants to take over the world with his "BIM" music, an encoded music that brainwashes listeners. In short, THIS MOVIE SUCKED. When this awful film played at the Paramount Theater (now the El Capitan) in Hollywood for one week in November 1980, the film's distributor, Cannon Films, gave out souvenir soundtrack albums to the first 1,000 customers on their way in. After the first show they had to stop giving the records out because the few customers that paid to see this disaster started throwing their 12" vinyl LPs at the movie screen during the film. No rips in the screen, thank goodness, just big dents. Ushers then tried to hand the records out after the screenings, but most people refused to take them. This film was later promoted as "The Sensation of the 1980 Cannes Film Festival." Look for Finola Hughes as one of the dancers. Because so many people have requested, click here for a further description of the plot and "BIM Music." Not currently available on video. Wanna see "The Apple"?
5. Armageddon (1998)
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Keith David, Steve Bushemi, Owen Wilson, William Fichtner, Udo Kier. Narration: Charlton Heston
In standard issue Hollywood hokum, Bruce Willis and a crew of misfits try to stop an asteroid from crashing into Earth. Roger Ebert said, "'Armageddon' is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out. The plot covers many of the same bases as the recent 'Deep Impact,' which, compared with 'Armageddon,' belongs on the American Film Institute list." VHS/DVD
6. Arthur 2: On The Rocks (1988)
Director: Bud Yorkin
Starring: Dudley Moore, Liza Minelli, John Gielgud, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Stephen Elliott, Paul Benedict, Cynthia Sikes, Kathy Bates, Jack Gilford, Ted Ross, Daniel Greene
The laughs are few and far between in this disappointing follow-up to the surprise hit, "Arthur." Eight years after the original, Arthur (Dudley Moore) is now broke, his wife (Liza Minnelli) wants to adopt a baby and John Gielgud shows up as a ghost. Look for then-unknown Kathy Bates as the adoption agent. VHS only.
7. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1980)
Director: John DeBello
Starring: David Miller, Sharon Taylor, George Wilson, Jack Riley, Rock Peace, John DeBello, The San Diego Chicken
It's Man vs. Vegatable when a U.S. government experiment goes horribly wrong and giant tomatoes go on a killing spree. The film takes its one funny joke and tells it over and over and over and over and over and over again. This super low budget spoof was followed by three pointless sequels. VHS only.
Warner Bros. executives had such little faith in "The Avengers" they refused to screen it for critics.
8. The Avengers (1998)
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, Jim Broadbent
"The Avengers" is a dunderheaded miscalculation on every conceivable level. If the sign of a truly awful film is when its releasing studio doesn't screen the film in advance for critics, then what does it say when Warner Bros. refused to screen "The Avengers" for critics AT ALL? James Berardinelli of "ReelViews" said, "This film is an absolute mess - a cinematic abomination. 'The Avengers' fails in almost every possible way, from acting to writing and direction. Heck, the filmmakers couldn't even get the cameos right. This motion picture has been so badly mismanaged that it's hard to imagine anyone actually enjoying it (or, for that matter, understanding it). If it weren't for the A-list cast, this movie surely would have been a prime candidate for a direct-to-video release. It's not just sad; it's depressing." VHS/DVD
9. Baby Geniuses (1999)
Director: Bob Clark
Starring: Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Peter MacNicol, Kim Cattrall, Dom LeLuise, Ruby Dee
This incredibly inane film sat on the shelf for nearly a year before TriStar released it to almost universally bad reviews. Despite every major critic begging people not to see this trash, gullible American moviegoers lined up in droves, at least initially. There are no laughs - NONE - to be found in this headache inducing film about a child psychologist (Kathleen Turner) who believes it is possible to decode baby talk to learn the secrets of the ages. She hires a scientist (Christopher Lloyd) to figure it out. Through the "magic" of some especially shoddy special effects, we follow a baby genius named Sly who escapes from Lloyd's lab and tries to organize fellow babies in a revolt. Instead of funny, it is positively creepy when he and his cohorts "speak." To use a phrase from the film, this turkey is one big pile of "diaper gravy"! To be followed by "Baby Geniuses 2" later this year. VHS/DVD
10. The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (1978)
Director: John Berry
Starring: Tony Curtis, Jackie Earle Haley, Tomisaburo Wayayama, George Wyner
This third strike in the series about a hopeless Little League team sent this franchise to the showers. For those keeping score at home: the original "Bad News Bears" (with Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal) scored with some real laughs, and the second installment ("Bad News Bears in Breaking Training" with William Devane as the coach) was only occasionally funny. This lame entry (featuring Tony Curtis as the coach) took the boys all the way to Japan, but it looks like they forgot to pack a script. It pales in comparison to the original. A love interest subplot featuring Jackie Earl Haley and one of the local girls is almost too unbearable to watch. A true embarrassment for Paramount Pictures. VHS only.
11. Barb Wire (1996)
Director: David Hogan
Starring: Pamela Anderson Lee, Temuera Morrison, Victoria Rowell, Jack Noseworthy, Steve Railsback
In her big-screen debut, "Baywatch" bombshell Pamela Anderson Lee is a kick-boxing bar owner in the last free city in America. Set in 2017, Lee must fend for herself as a second U.S. civil war rages. Whatever you do, don't call her "Babe." VHS/DVD. See the teaser for "Barb Wire."
Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in "Batman & Robin."
12. Batman & Robin (1997)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone
The fourth Warner Bros. "Batman" film is the worst of the bunch. TV star George Clooney takes over the mask from previous Batmen Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer in this overlong and torturous sequel. This time the plot revolves around the villains with Uma Thurman and Arnold Schwarzenegger (as Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze, respectively) turning in the worst performances of their careers. Adding unintentional laughs is a chunky Alicia Silverstone as Bat Girl. Winner: Worst Film, Worst Director, Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone), Worst Screenplay - 1997 (The Stinkers). VHS/DVD
John Travolta in the ludicrous "Battlefield Earth."
13. Battlefield Earth (2000)
Director: Roger Christian
Starring: John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, Richard Tyson, Sabine Karsenti, Michael Byrne, Kelly Preston
In this inept futuristic epic adapted from the novel by sci-fi author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, a greedy security chief (the ridiculous looking John Travolta) enslaves prisoners to mine gold for him. When it was released, "Battlefield Earth" became an instant camp classic -- think "Showgirls" in outer space. The New York Times said, "'Battlefield Earth' is the worst movie of this century. Sitting through it is like watching the most expensively mounted high school play of all time. It is beyond conventional criticism and belongs in the elect pantheon that includes such delights as 'Showgirls' and 'Revolution': the Moe Howard School of Melodrama." Go to the official "Battlefield Earth" web site. VHS/DVD
Eddie Murphy in the 1984 flop "Best Defense."
14. Best Defense (1984)
Director: Willard Huyuk
Starring: Dudley Moore, Eddie Murphy, Kate Capshaw, George Dzundza, Helen Shaver
When Eddie Murphy became an "overnight sensation" after the Christmas 1982 release of "48HRS," Paramount knew it needed another "Eddie Murphy" project in theaters right away to capitalize on his fame. But during the next year, he was only able to complete one film due to his hectic "Saturday Night Live" work schedule. That film, "Trading Places" co-starring Dan Aykroyd, was a worldwide smash when it was released in June 1983. Desperate to keep striking while the iron was hot, greedy Paramount execs pressured the comedian to keep the projects coming as quickly as possible. He quit "Saturday Night Live" to concentrate on his film career and soon chose as his next project, "Beverly Hills Cop," a script that had originally been developed for Sylvester Stallone, but had been collecting dust at the studio for several years. Not content to wait until the Christmas 1984 opening of "Cop," the studio begged Murphy to appear in a film that would keep him visible during the summer months of 1984. He repeatedly declined until executives made him an offer he couldn't refuse: a reported one million dollars for just a few days work. The most suitable film in production at Paramount that Murphy could slip into turned out to be Dudley Moore's alleged comedy, "Best Defense." To his fans' outright dismay, Murphy's involvement would total less than 12 minutes of screen time. Seriously, a quick trip to the concession stand or the restroom during this movie and you'd miss half of Eddie's scenes! The film plot revolves around a defense industry technician (Moore) who discovers that a newly designed tank doesn't work. Moore's storyline takes place in 1982 and Murphy's scenes take place in 1984. Confused? You're not alone. Murphy is the tank driver who (under fire) discovers Moore is right. More of an endurance test than a comedy, the studio's biggest blunder was promoting Murphy as a "strategic guest star" on posters and in newspaper ads. The comedian's one- and two-minute segments were haphazardly dropped in every half hour or so to break up the monotony. Fans who blinked and missed Murphy literally booed this film off the screen. By Christmas 1984, the stench of "Best Defense" was a distant memory and Murphy's first starring vehicle, "Beverly Hills Cop," was setting box office records around the world. VHS only.
15. Best of The Best (1989)
Director: Robert Radler
Starring: Eric Roberts, Sally Kirkland, Christopher Penn, Phillip Rhee, James Earl Jones, John P. Ryan, John Dye, David Agresta, Tom Everett, Louise Fletcher, Simon Rhee
Instead of one hero, this shameless rip-off of "Rocky" set in the rough and tumble world of karate features five underdogs to root for. James Earl Jones takes on the Burgess Meredith role as the team's feisty coach. After spending the first half of the film bickering, the five men who make up the U.S. Karate Team realize they must learn to function as a team if they are going to succeed on the international level. Trust us, the ending will not come as a surprise to anyone over the age of four. Unintentional laughs come in the form of a chubby Christopher Penn who, despite his pot-belly and slow moves, actually makes the elite squad! Clearly, this film is not set in any reality we know of. Eric Roberts is the moody ring leader and Sally Kirkland plays the yoga teacher. Offering the only standout performance is Phillip Rhee, who dazzles every moment he is on the screen. The filmmakers even felt the need to include a rip-off of "Eye of The Tiger," Survivor's theme from "Rocky III." Moviegoers were left with one unanswered question: did James Earl Jones really need a paycheck this bad? VHS only.
16. The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Starring: Jim Varney, Diedrich Bader, Erika Eleniak, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Lea Thompson, Rob Schneider
A lifeless remake of the well-remembered 1960's sitcom about a hillbilly family that strikes oil and moves to a mansion in Beverly Hills. The only clever moment is the casting of "Hillbillies" star Buddy Ebsen in a cameo as his other TV alter-ego, detective Barnaby Jones. Winner: Worst Resurrection of a TV Show - 1993 (The Stinkers). VHS only.
"The Blair Witch Project" was one of the most overrated films of all-time.
17. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Directors: Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick
Starring: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams
Three film students shooting a documentary uncovering the truth behind the legend of the "Blair Witch" enter a deep forest in Maryland and are never heard from again. This film is supposedly their "found footage." Of course, it was all a clever marketing gimmick and wasn't real, but that didn't stop moviegoers from lining up for hours to get a glimpse. Some people called it "the scariest movie ever made." Unfortunately, the word of mouth was mostly bogus. While the hype would have you believe otherwise, aside from two things that are almost scary but turn out to be false alarms, there are no scares in "The Blair Witch Project." Unless you count the horror of discovering you've been ripped-off for $7.50 seeing one of the most overrated films ever made. I wondered where all the scares promised by the word-of-mouth were. What exactly was so scary it was keeping children sleeping with their lights on at night and so terrifying that adults who attended the screenings at night were too frightened to even walk to their cars? The first 20 minutes of "When A Stranger Calls" are about a hundred times scarier than the whole of "Blair Witch Project." Followed by a pointless sequel ("Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" on DVD) in 2000. Go to the official "Blair Witch" web site. VHS/DVD
18. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Director: Joe Berlinger
Starring: Stephen Barker Turner, Tristine Skyler, Erica Leerhsen, Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan
This disastrous follow-up to the megahit "The Blair Witch Project" features no "book" or "shadows" and even less plot than the first one. But it does offer incoherent direction, a dumb script and the least appealing group of young actors available. This is the kind of trash that wouldn't even make the grade as a "Friday The 13th" sequel. In fact, it's safe to assume that had the "Blair Witch" brand name not been strategically attached, this project would have gone straight to video, or in the best possible world, not been made at all. What little plot there is follows several unlikeable college students who take a tour of sites made famous in the first film. Unfortunately for all concerned, the results are unintentionally hilarious. DVD
19. Boxing Helena (1993)
Director: Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Starring: Julian Sands, Sherilyn Fenn, Bill Paxton, Kurtwood Smith, Betsy Clark, Nicolette Scorsese, Art Garfunkel
They say the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. You can experience living proof of this in writer/director Jennifer Chambers Lynch's excruciating film, "Boxing Helena." She is the daughter of bizarro director David Lynch, who takes the blame for such oddities as "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," "Eraserhead," and "Dune." Originally set to star Kim Basinger, this project was put on hold when the actress came to her senses and begged off the film. That supposed verbal agreement to star in this trash cost the actress $9 million when the filmmakers took her to court and amazingly prevailed. The strange plot had Helena (now, Sherilyn Fenn) hit by a car in front of the home of a prominent surgeon (Julian Sands). To save her life, he performs emergency surgery. Obsessed with his find, the deranged doctor cuts off Helena's arms and legs and places her in a box for safekeeping. Originally rated NC-17, with prudent cuts it was released to an uninterested world with an R rating. Notable only because of the publicity surrounding the Basinger lawsuit. VHS only.
20. Caddyshack II (1988)
Director: Allan Arkush
Starring: Jackie Mason, Dyan Cannon, Robert Stack, Dina Merrill, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Randy Quaid, Jessica Lundy, Jonathan Silverman, Chynna Phillips, Brian Doyle-Murray
This much too late in-name-only sequel to 1980's hugely successful golf comedy "Caddyshack" is a pitiful rehash of the first film. Unfunny comedian Jackie Mason is a millionaire whose daughter wants him to join a snobbish country club. When his membership application is turned down, he retaliates by buying the club and turning it into a tacky amusement park. Mason takes on the slob role perfected in the first film by Rodney Dangerfield with disastrous results. Unlike Dangerfield, Mason is neither likable or funny, and his on-screen love affair with Dyan Cannon isn't funny, it's sick. In supporting roles, Chevy Chase (reprising his role as the club Pro) and Dan Aykroyd (as a retired soldier) turn in career-ending performances. Thankfully, Bill Murray, so hilarious in the first film, steered clear of this train wreck, as did most moviegoers. Winner: Worst Film - 1988 (The Stinkers). VHS/DVD
21. Caligula (1980)
Director: Tinto Brass
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, John Gielgud, Guido Mannari
From the publisher of Penthouse Magazine comes the cinema's first big budget porno movie. Malcolm McDowell is the ruthless Caligula who specialized in rape, necrophilia, bestiality, emasculations, decapitations, and worse (you don't want to know) against a backdrop of full-tilt orgies. This violent, sickening and utterly worthless piece of garbage is not for the squeamish. Strangely, many of the actors had no idea they were making a porno film, as that footage was filmed at a different time and edited in before the release. "Caligula" played in Hollywood at one theater for more than a year at inflated admission prices. To gain a wider audience, it was later re-released theatrically and on home video in both uncut and R rated versions. Unrated DVD/R Rated DVD. Not currently available for purchase on VHS, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
22. Can I Do It ... Til I Need Glasses? (1977)
Director: I. Robert Levy
Starring: Victor Dunlop, Moose Carlson, Jeff Doucette, Walter Olkewicz, Deborah Klose
Very similar in format to "The Groove Tube" and "Tunnel Vision," this uninspired barrage of one-note sexual jokes and heavy doses of nudity was considered racy in 1977. The supposed "comedy" comes in the form of 58 dull sketches strung together end to end. Unfortunately, the jokes are on a par with the worst "Saturday Night Live" material. Skits start and then stop for no apparent reason, leaving many of the gags with no ending. You're halfway through the next scene when you realize the last line of dialogue in the previous scene could possibly have been its punch line! But even after rewinding to find out, you're still not sure. Lots of full frontal female nudity and crass sex jokes share cramped quarters with lame homophobic and racist humor that wouldn't generate even a giggle from today's average 4th grader. Whoever said "comedy isn't pretty" must have seen this film. After its initial release, the filmmakers discovered footage shot for the film but not used featuring then-unknown comic Robin Williams. In late 1977, he burst onto the national scene as Mork in the hit TV show "Mork and Mindy," and it didn't take long for the producers to reissue this awful film with Williams' two scenes included. They also prominently featured his name and photograph in ads and posters as if he was the star, although he is only on screen a few minutes. Williams cried foul and after a prolonged legal battle, won out. NOTE: There are two home video versions of this film. The version most video stores have in stock (Media Home Video #M143) advertises a running time of 72 mins., but is actually only 70 mins. 40 secs. It DOES NOT include the two Robin Williams scenes, although Blockbuster Video still erroneously lists him in the cast on its store-made video boxes. However, the more recently released - and harder to find - version from Comvidco Home Video (#102) DOES include the Robin Williams scenes. It also includes a hideous laugh track thoughout the film which makes it helpful to know when each unfunny skit has ended. To fast forward through the pain, Williams' scenes are at 34:23 and 49:27 on the tape. Not currently available for purchase on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
23. Can't Stop The Music (1980)
Director: Nancy Walker
Starring: Village People, Valerie Perrine, Bruce Jenner, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Sand, Tammy Grimes, June Havoc, Barbara Rush, Jack Weston, Leigh Taylor-Young
By the time this musical comedy (originally called "Discoland: Where The Music Never Stops") was delivered dead-on-arrival to theaters in June 1980, the disco backlash ("Disco Sucks") was in full swing. To salvage what it could of its multi-million dollar investment, the distributor changed the title and hoped for the best. Village People, Valerie Perrine, Steve Guttenberg, and a post-Olympics, pre-facelift Bruce Jenner (could the casting be more bizarre?) were in on the fun. The film featured the most blatant product placement ever seen in a film up until that time. Watch for the Village Person who can't finish his song unless he takes a big gulp of Dr. Pepper. Arghhh! Director Nancy Walker played the mother on TV's "Rhoda." CD soundtrack/VHS only.
24. Car 54, Where Are You? (1994)
Director: Bill Fishman
Starring: David Johansen, John C. McGinley, Grandpa Al Lewis, Fran Drescher, Nipsy Russell, Rosie O'Donnell, Daniel Baldwin, Penn & Teller, Tone Loc
This atrocious retread of the 1960's TV sitcom about blundering New York City cops was filmed in 1991 and collected dust in a film vault for three years before getting a limited release. Made virtually unwatchable by a lame script and a headache-inducing rap music soundtrack, it is notable only as the film debut of Rosie O'Donnell. Winner: Worst Resurrection of a TV Show - 1994 (The Stinkers). VHS only.
25. The Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986)
Director: Dale Schott
Starring: voices of Maxine Miller, Pam Hyatt, Hadley Kay, Cree Summer
This bargain basement musical cartoon is aimed squarely at the drooling infant whose idea of a good time is watching flickering bright colors and shapes on a TV screen. The action takes place in the clouds high above Earth in the Kingdom of Caring. Two Care Bears are sent down to Earth to help a confused little girl who has found herself in the clutches of the evil DarkHeart. DarkHeart wants to stop all caring and love on Earth. It seems the girl has promised DarkHeart she will help capture the Care Bears if he makes her popular for one day. Even suffering through a Barney video would be preferable to sitting through this. VHS only.
26. The Cheech and Chong Films of the 1980s
After a string of very successful records in the early 1970s, it was inevitable that the comedy team of Richard "Cheech" Marin and Thomas Chong would try their luck on the big screen. Their debut effort, the 1978 Paramount release (Up in Smoke) paid off huge dividends and set the stage for more films. But the political climate in America was changing. By the release of their second film (1980's "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie"), conservative Republican Ronald Reagan was about to enter the White House for an extended stay and drug humor was quickly becoming out of fashion. As the times changed, the duo's one-note humor became tragically unhip. Each of their films (there would be six in all) and records got progressively worse and found fewer fans. After "Up In Smoke," it was all downhill. We highlight in chronological order the four worst Cheech and Chong films of the 1980s:
Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980)
Director: Thomas Chong
Starring: Richard "Cheech" Marin, Tommy Chong, Evelyn Guerrero, Betty Kennedy, Sy Kramer, Rikki Marin
The appropriately titled "Next Movie" starts off with a bang, but quickly runs out of gas. By the midway point, many theatergoers spent more time looking at their watches than the movie screen. The plot takes the perennially stoned pair to a welfare office, a massage parlor and eventually to the desert where they have a close encounter with aliens, with very few laughs along the way. VHS only. View the "Next Movie" teaser.
Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams (1981)
Director: Thomas Chong
Starring: Richard "Cheech" Marin, Tommy Chong, Evelyn Guerrero, Stacy Keach, Jr., Dr. Timothy Leary, Paul Reubens, Michael Winslow, Sandra Bernhard, Shelby Fiddis (Chong), Rikki Marin
Cheech and Chong go down in flames in their third big screen adventure. This time the boys run an ice cream truck business that is really a mobile marijuana store. The 89-minute running time feels closer to 89 hours. Stacy Keach, Jr. reprises his role as their nemesis, Sgt. Stedenko (though he is never referred to by that name, the name plate on his desk is the giveaway). In his over-achieving efforts to bring the potheads to justice, Stedenko becomes addicted to the drugs they are selling out of their ice cream truck. There are a few laughs late in the game, especially from voice artist Michael Winslow, but no laughs are worth sitting through this kind of torture to get to. Avoid this one at all cost. VHS only.
Cheech and Chong's Still Smokin' (1983)
Director: Thomas Chong
Starring: Richard "Cheech" Marin, Thomas Chong, Hansman In't Veld, Carol Van Herwijnen, Shirley Stroker, Susan Hahn
This slight change of pace for Cheech and Chong has the marijuana-dazed duo playing themselves. The paper thin plot revolves around Cheech being mistaken for Burt Reynolds as the pair arrives in the Netherlands for a Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton film festival. There are lots of fantasy sequences and over the top gags, most of which are more tedious than funny. The best of the bunch has C&C tagteam wrestling the Invisible Man. Fans of Cheech and Chong's comedy records of the 1970s will be glad to see some of their favorite sketches brought to life on the big screen (Ralph and Herbie, Hey Margaret, Hippie and the Old Man, and Blind Melon Chitlin, among others), but for the uninitiated, this will be a very bumpy ride. As their final "stoner" film, "Still Smokin'" plays more like a contractual obligation than a heartfelt endeavor. VHS/DVD. View the "Still Smokin'" trailer.
Cheech and Chong's The Corsican Brothers (1984)
Director: Thomas Chong
Starring: Richard "Cheech" Marin, Tommy Chong, Roy Dotrice, Shelby Fiddis (Chong), Rikki Marin, Edie McClurg, Rae Dawn Chong, Robbi Chong
Loosely based on Alexander Dumas' swashbuckling saga, the sixth and final film from comedy duo Cheech and Chong features the boys as twin brothers separated as children and reunited as adults who literally feel each other's pain. This bizarre and ill-advised complete departure from the drug-inspired humor of their previous films - a costume period piece with no drug references - couldn't have been more dead-on-arrival. Set in pre-Revolutionary France and filmed entirely on location there, the film is really a poor excuse for the pair to play multiple roles badly, and put most of their family members on the payroll. Loyal fans deserved a better swan song than this. To get a real glimpse of Cheech and Chong at their best, rent their first film, Up in Smoke. "The Corsican Brothers" is not currently available on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies. (For even fewer laughs, see "Far Out Man," written, directed and starring Tommy Chong.)
Note: The pair broke up after "The Corsican Brothers" was released. Afterwards, Cheech thrived doing low budget movies, cartoon voice-overs, Children's Television, and made numerous TV guest appearances, Chong went into semi-retirement. The one 1980's C&C film worth a glance is 1982's Things Are Tough All Over. Thanks to heavy makeup, Marin and Chong also play a pair of Arab thugs who encounter the dazed duo while on a road trip to California.
The classic Cheech and Chong comedy albums are
27. Clambake (1967)
Directors: Arthur N. Nadel
Starring: Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, Will Hutchins, Bill Bixby, Gary Merrill, James Gregory, Suzie Kaye, Harold Peary
One of Elvis Presley's worst, and with him we're grading on the curve. Here, he is a millionaire playboy who decides he doesn't need his family's wealth to succeed. He trades identities with a young Miami Beach man and takes his job as a water-ski instructor in a swanky Miami Beach resort. While the young "new millionaire" is living a lifestyle of the rich and famous, Elvis signs up for the Orange Bowl Regatta and tries to win the heart of a young girl who we find out is more interested in a man's wallet than his singing voice. Wait 'til she finds out the guy she's been playing "hard to get" with is really loaded! Peppered with inane Presley songs, even die-hard fans had a hard time stomaching this one. Citing "Clambake" as a prime example, the Los Angeles Times said, "Elvis sang some of the most pedestrian songs ever to reach the big screen." DVD/VHS
28. Cobra (1986)
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Lee Garlington, John Herzfeld
This typically preachy Stallone explosion-fest has its heart in the right place, but fails in its execution. More monotone than ever, Sly is supercop Marion Cobretti, a one-man wrecking machine. He's the cop they call when all else fails to defuse a hostage situation. As expected, Sly is surrounded by the usual assortment of idiots who don't think much of his hot-headed way of handling things. When a fashion model (Stallone's then-wife Brigitte Nielsen) witnesses the aftermath of a murder by a serial killer and can identify him, Stallone is sent to protect and serve. This poorly paced and predictable action fare from Stallone does have one great car chase about 45 minutes into it (for those who wish to fast forward and literally "cut to the chase"). Despite having a short running time of 86 minutes, it feels hours longer. Produced by legendary bad filmmakers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. VHS/DVD
29. The Concorde - Airport '79 (1979)
Director: David Lowell Rich
Starring: Alain Devon, Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner, Sylvia Kristel, George Kennedy, Eddie Albert, Bibi Andersson, John Davidson, Andrea Marcovicci, Martha Raye, Cicely Tyson, Charro, Jimmie "J.J." Walker, David Warner, Mercedes McCambridge
The corporation that has just purchased the world's fastest plane (the Concorde) has been selling illegal arms to foreign countries and an executive within the corporation (Susan Blakely) has uncovered the secret. When documents proving the allegations are delivered to her prior to boarding the plane bound for Paris, the evil company president (Robert Wagner), who also happens to be the woman's boyfriend, decides to blow the plane out of the sky along with his girlfriend and the incriminating documents. Hopelessly inept and unbelieveable - even by "Airport" movie standards. Sample dialogue: stewardess offering copilots coffee: "Two cups black? You pilots are such men." Copilot: "They don't call it the cockpit for nothin'." This lame, final chapter in the "Airport" series boasted bargain basement special effects and the usual assortment of "Love Boat" rejects on board, each vying for the title of "most annoying passenger." Though it is arguably a 12-way tie, Charro "coochie-coochies" her way to the head of the list. The unintentionally hilarious "Airport" series was mercilessly parodied the following year in "Airplane!". VHS only.
Rap star Vanilla Ice didn't make much of an impression in his motion picture debut, "Cool As Ice."
30. Cool As Ice (1991)
Director: David Kellogg
Starring: Vanilla Ice, Kristin Minter, Michael Gross, Candy Clark, Sydney Lassick, Dody Goodman
This weak attempt to cash-in on the remaining seconds of white rapper Vanilla Ice's 15 minutes of fame came a few months too late to attract much of a crowd. Ice makes his big screen debut as a wandering rebel on a motorcycle in this cross between "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Wild Ones." When he and his rap posse get stuck in a small town because one of their bikes is "trippin'" (translation: breaks down), he quickly sets out to win the heart of a pretty high school honor student. The film opens with a nicely shot high energy dance number featuring Ice and crew, but it unravels quickly from there. No doubt about it, the boy has got all the right moves; unfortunately, he's no actor. And the script doesn't do him any favors. Sample dialogue: after he meets his new love's unhip boyfriend, the ghetto talkin', nursery rhymin' rapper encourages his new love to "Drop that zero and get with the hero." Dear Abby he's not. The finished product is patently unreleasable, but of course, that didn't stop the marketing geniuses at Universal Pictures from hurling it at theaters nationwide in a desperate attempt to sell a few soundtrack albums. And few they did. Insanely overpriced VHS only.
31. Crow: City of Angels (1996)
Director: Tim Pope
Starring: Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks, Iggy Pop, Thomas Jane, Vincent Castellanos
In this eerie and confusing follow-up to the ill-fated 1994 film, The Crow (which starred Brandon Lee), a mystical crow brings a murdered man (Vincent Perez) back to life. Wearing clown make-up, the man seeks revenge on the people that killed him and his son. Iggy Pop may be the most miscast and least scary villain since Bobcat Goldthwait "terrorized" the "Police Academy." LAME. VHS/DVD
32. Drop Dead Fred (1991)
Director: Ate De Jong
Starring: Phoebe Cates, Rik Mayall, Marsha Mason, Tim Matheson, Carrie Fisher, Keith Charles, Ron Eldard.
In this repellant fantasy, a little girl's imaginary "friend" wreaks havoc in her now grown-up life. Mean-spirited Fred may be the most unlikeable title character to hit the big screen since Howard the Duck. VHS only.
33. Dungeons & Dragons (2000)
Director: Courtney Solomon
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, Zoe McLellan, Thora Birch, Kristen Wilson, Richard O'Brien
This been there, done that fantasy actually sets the sci-fi film genre back about 20 years. A teenage princess (Thora Birch) takes the throne after her father's assassination. When she announces that all people on the planet should be equal, the ruling class (led by a wildly overacting Jeremy Irons) revolts and tries to kill her. A miscast Marlon Wayans is thrown in for comic relief (think Jar Jar Binks). Often unintentionally funny, "Dungeons & Dragons" is a camp classic along the lines of John Travolta's dreadful "Battlefield Earth." Ain't It Cool News said, "You will HATE this movie with every essence of your being." DVD
34. The Exorcist Sequels
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Richard Burton, Linda Blair, Louise Fletcher, Kitty Winn, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty, Max von Sydow, Paul Henreid
It's four years later and a priest (Richard Burton) is investigating the demon still inside head-spinning Linda Blair. This troubled film was recut by its director immediately following its premiere. It didn't help. VHS only.
Exorcist III (1990)
Director: William Peter Blatty
Starring: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, George DiCenzo, Viveca Lindfors
Gruesome murders lead to a suspect who was electrocuted the same night as Linda Blair's exorcism. George C. Scott is the detective on the trail of the serial killer. Blair smartly chose to sit this sequel out. Poorly written and directed by the writer of "The Exorcist." VHS/DVD
35. Far Out Man (1990)
Director: Tommy Chong
Starring: Tommy Chong, Shelby Chong, Paris Chong, Rae Dawn Chong, C. Thomas Howell, Martin Mull, Judd Nelson, Paul Bartel, Michael Winslow, Richard "Cheech" Marin
The charm and humor of the early Cheech and Chong films and records is nowhere to be found in this extremely unfunny and incoherent project written and directed by Tommy Chong. He plays a middle-aged hippie who is sent on a cross-country journey to "find himself." Let's hope he never comes back. Chong's wife and kids play themselves. Not currently available on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
36. The Forbidden Dance (1990)
Director: Greydon Clark
Starring: Laura Herring, Jeff James, Sid Haig, Richard Lynch, Barbara Brighton, Kid Creole and the Coconuts
A Brazilian jungle princess comes to America to stop an evil corporation from cutting down her tribal rain forests. When she is rebuffed by the company's henchmen, she hooks up with a hunky dancer and the two plan to get their message to the "people." Their lame-brained idea: They will enter a dance contest, win it and when accepting the first prize trophy on the live national television broadcast, she will make a plea to save the rain forests. Their secret weapon: She will teach him some of her sexy "Lambada" dance moves. Note: During a very short time in 1990, the Lambada was an international dance sensation and this film was released the same weekend as a competing "Lambada" project, the only slightly less moronic "Lambada," to cash-in on the craze. Former Miss USA Laura Herring is the princess. Fatal flaw: Herring has no apparent dance ability. VHS only.
Adrienne King gets a surprise visit from Jason Voorhees in the scary climax of "Friday The 13th."
37. The "Friday The 13th" Series (1980-1993)
Friday The 13th (1980)
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon
Paramount Pictures picked up this low budget feature and released it without much fanfare on (appropriately enough) Friday, the 13th of June 1980 and made a killing. A slew of sequels was to be our punishment for making this one such a big hit. A summer camp (Camp Crystal Lake) reopens after being closed for 20 years because of a series of "accidental" deaths. Six new counselors prepare for the onslaught of campers, unaware that the murders are about to begin again. Look for Kevin Bacon as one of the soon-to-be victims. This movie was the introduction of the seemingly indestructable character Jason Voorhees. VHS/DVD
Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)
Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stu Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney
Another group of camp counselors is about to be introduced to Jason. VHS/DVD
Friday The 13th Part 3 (aka Friday the 13th 3-D) (1982)
Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Larry Zerner.
Essentially the same thing as the first two. Thanks to the short-lived resurgance in popularity of 3-D (three dimensional) films in 1982, moviegoers who wore special glasses could see the knives and axes coming out of the screen toward them. Sadly, the home video versions are not available in the 3-D format. VHS/DVD
Friday The 13th - The Final Chapter (aka Friday the 13th Part 4) (1984)
Director: Joseph Zito
Starring: Crispin Glover, Kimberly Beck, Judie Aronson, Barbara Howard, Erich Anderson, Peter Barton, Tom Everett, Corey Feldman, Ted White, Bruce Mahler, Lawrence Monoson
It's too late to sue Paramount Pictures for false advertising as this was hardly the last "Friday the 13th" film. In #4, Jason escapes from the morgue and continues his killing spree. VHS/DVD
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
Director: Danny Steinmann
Starring: John Shepard, Melanie Kinnaman, Shavar Ross, Richard Young, Carol Lacatell, Corey Parker, Corey Feldman
More of the same, the only difference here is that the titles in the series started using roman numerals. VHS only.
Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Director: Tom McLaughlin
Starring: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagan, Renee Jones, Kerry Noonan, C. J. Graham, Tony Goldwyn, Ron Palillo
You were expecting something different? VHS only.
Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Director: John Carl Buechler
Starring: Lar Park Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Susan Blu, Kevin Blair, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Elizabeth Kaitan
A young camper with a talent for telekinesis accidently brings Jason back to life. Don't you just hate it when that happens? VHS only.
Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Director: Rob Hedden
Starring: Jensen Daggett, Kane Hodder, Peter Mark Richman, Scott Reeves, Barbara Bingham, V. C. Dupree, Sharlene Martin
A group of students from Crystal Lake High School takes its senior trip to New York on a dilapidated cruise ship and Jason comes along for the ride. Maybe next time they'll fly instead. VHS only.
Jason Goes To Hell - The Final Friday (aka Friday the 13th Part IX) (1993)
Director: Adam Marcus
Starring: John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Culp, Erin Gray, Rusty Schwimmer, Billy Green Bush
Completely ignoring the plots of most of the series, in #9 Jason is killed and his soul takes the body of an innocent bystander. Tragically, this is not the end of the series. VHS only.
Click the mask to go to the official "Friday The 13th" website.
In 2000, production was completed for "Jason 2000: Friday The 13th Part 10." Unfortunately, it didn't get distributed by the end of 2000, so a title change was necessary. "Jason X" will now hit theaters in late summer 2001. An eleventh installment entitled "Freddy vs. Jason" (which pits Jason against "Nightmare on Elm Street" bad boy Freddy Krueger) will come out in 2002
Nine variations on the same plot.
38. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
Director: Rod Amateau
Starring: Anthony Newley, MacKenzie Astin, Katie Barberi
You know you're in for a long afternoon when the "cute" characters in the movie have names like Valerie Vomit, Foul Phil, Nat Nerd, Messy Tessie, Windy Winston, and Greaser Greg. This group of rejects resides in a garbage can. Antique shop owner Anthony Newley is trying to keep this group of losers under wraps, but plucky MacKenzie Astin accidently lets them free to fart, vomit and basically stink up the joint. This abysmal entertainment is for the least discriminating child only. Not currently available on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
39. Glen or Glenda? (1953)
Director: Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Dolores Fuller, Daniel Davis (Edward D. Wood, Jr.), Lyle Talbot, Timothy Farrell, "Tommy" Haynes, Charles Crafts, Conrad Brooks
Legendary bad cinema titan Ed Wood dreamed up this autobiographical docudrama about a man who must tell his fianceé he is a cross-dresser. Wood plays the tormented Glen (or is it Glenda?) under the assumed name Daniel Davis. With wildly inept use of stock footage, inane script writing, and a totally out of place Bela Lugosi doing play by play commentary from a haunted house, it's easy to see why this is considered by some to be the worst movie ever made. VHS/DVD/An Ed Wood DVD Box Set featuring four of his worst films is also available.
40. The Gods Must Be Crazy and The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1984, 1989 in the US)
Director: Jamie Uys
Starring: Marius Weyers (1), Sandra Prinsloo (1), N!xau (1,2), Louw Verwey (1), Michael Thys (1), Lena Farugia (2), Hans Strydom (2), Eiros (2), Nadies (2), Erick Bowen (2)
Filmed in 1981 and released internationally in 1983, "The Gods Must Be Crazy" became the darling of every film festival it competed in and a favorite with critics in every country it was shown. "Gods" mania hit the United States like a tidal wave in 1984 with critics and the public flocking to theaters to catch a glimpse. It is the unfunny escapades of an African bushman who is hit on the head by a falling Coke bottle and assumes it is a gift from God, intertwined with an even less funny (and totally unrelated) plot featuring an annoying couple. Despite its status as an "international sensation," we are here to tell you, "The Emperor has no clothes." The dismal production values (it looks like it was shot on 16mm), the worst English dubbing in motion picture history and the tedious parallel plot derail any charm this film might have had. It is neither funny, charming or watchable. The very violent follow-up looks mostly like leftover footage from the first film mixed with newly shot scenes of a different, yet equally annoying, couple who seem to be making up their dialogue as they go along. In part two, the bushman's children get stuck in a water truck and spend the duration of the film trying to get out. Are you laughing yet? "Gods 1" is not currently available on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies. "Gods 2": VHS only.
41. Godzilla (1998)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Harry Shearer, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, Vicki Lewis, Doug Savant
This much hyped remake of "Godzilla" could have used less hype and more script. In fact, the amount of money Sony Pictures spent on advertising this film ("Size Matters" was the tagline) was probably more than the gross national product of many small countries. In the end, what we got for $150 million was proof positive that Matthew Broderick is no action star. Of course, Sony executives could have saved themselves a lot of money if they had just asked us our opinion about Broderick's acting ability. By no means the worst film ever made, "Godzilla" (or "Godawful" as it became known in some circles) makes this list because of Sony's relentless hype that no film could possibly have lived up to. For the reported $150 million this film cost to make and promote, a group of high school students could have slapped together a better film. The fact that the filmmakers couldn't seem to settle on what size the monster should be (Godzilla is either gigantic or small depending on the scene you're watching) didn't help either. Starting in early 1998, "Godzilla" billboards, posters, and TV/radio spots were everywhere. There was no escaping the media blitz. But in what is probably the quickest case of instant karma on record, after a titanic opening weekend, Sony's megahit played to mostly empty movie houses throughout America. In fact, in only its third week, Stinkers cofounder Michael Lancaster found himself to be the only customer at a "Godzilla" screening. What does it say about a brand new film when nobody even wants to SNEAK in? VHS/DVD
"Grease 2" was definitely NOT the word during the summer of 1982. Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the lame sequel to the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John mega-hit.
42. Grease 2 (1982)
Director: Patricia Birch
Starring: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft, Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Tab Hunter, Connie Stevens
Paramount Pictures returned to Rydell High School in hopes that greased lightnin' would strike twice. It didn't. This dead-on-arrival sequel to the 1978 surprise hit "Grease" was ignored by moviegoers upon its release. The lame comedy, extremely marginal songs and uninspired choreography couldn't possibly have made up for the absence of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Notable only as one of Michelle Pfeifer's early lead performances, this stinker was one of Paramount Pictures' biggest embarrassments. VHS only. CD soundtrack.
43. Gymkata (1985)
Director: Robert Clouse
Starring: Kurt Thomas, Tetchie Agbayani, Richard Norton, Edward Bell
Well, here's something you don't see every day. A martial arts film where the hero throws in a few gymnastic flips along with his karate kicks. Fresh from winning America's first Gold Medal for gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics, it was a sure bet that Hollywood would find something for gymnast Kurt Thomas to do. No, he's not sweeping up spilled popcorn at the local multiplex. In this epic, Thomas is not only a world-class gymnast, he also works for the government! He is sent to a small European country to be America's entrant in "The Game," a rigorous maze of certain death. If he makes it through in one piece, the foreign government will allow him to leave the country alive along with one favor. His favor if he wins: allow the U.S. to install a "Star Wars" satellite in their country to keep the world at peace. Now, most people would have asked for a few hundred million dollars - tax free, but not Kurt. It's a good thing for Thomas that every time he gets in a tight spot, a piece of gymnastics apparatus (like a pommel horse) just happens to be nearby. Hopefully, this film won't give other gymnasts the acting bug. Insanely overpriced VHS only.
44. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O'Herlihy, Ralph Strait, Michael Currie
This third entry in the lucrative "Halloween" money train almost derailed the entire franchise. Instead of following the exploits of slasher Michael Myers, #3 spins a completely different tale. There is no "season of the witch" and for series purists, this wasn't a real "Halloween" film, though original "Halloween" director John Carpenter produced it and added a nifty score. Instead of the usual bloody antics from Myers, we follow a madman as he hatches a plot to murder millions of children on Halloween night. The film takes liberally from the plots of "The Hand" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with unintentionally funny results. After this fiasco, producers feared moviegoers would never spend another dime to see a "Halloween" film, so they smartly subtitled the fourth film in the series: "The Return of Michael Myers" so there would be no confusion. VHS/DVD.
45. Harlem Nights (1989)
Director: Eddie Murphy
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Danny Aiello, Michael Lerner, Della Reese, Berlinda Tolbert, Stan Shaw, Jasmine Guy, Lela Rochon, Arsenio Hall, Robin Harris
There's a lesson to be learned here. Call it the "Sylvester Stallone Syndrome." It's what happens when you become a big star too fast and have your every whim catered to. Knowing that no studio executive in their right mind would dare say "no" to you, you decide to hire all of your friends and hangers-on to appear in your next multi-million-dollar vanity project which, of course, you will write, star in and direct yourself. Big mistake. Like Stallone's failures before it, you can add this big budget debacle, written and directed by Eddie Murphy, to the already sky-high junk heap of hard-learned cinematic lessons. For Paramount Pictures and Murphy, "Harlem Nights" was a disaster from the get go. Even Murphy's dream of working side by side with his comedy heroes, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx, turned into a nightmare. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in this film works and we all know who to blame. His name is mentioned numerous times throughout the credits: Eddie Murphy. His ho-hum script takes us to 1930's Harlem and a gambling club run by Richard Pryor and his son (played by Murphy). The pair tries to keep one step ahead of white mobsters out to take a piece of their action. What follows is a profane, violent, racist, rarely funny and utterly amateurish endeavor that even Richard Pryor, despite a valiant effort, can't salvage. It is without question one of Eddie Murphy's all-time worst films. But something good did come from Murphy's disastrous writing/directing debut. He promised never to direct a film again. VHS only.
Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters are robots in the painfully unfunny comedy, "Heartbeeps."
46. Heartbeeps (1981)
Director: Allan Arkush
Starring: Andy Kaufman, Bernadette Peters, Randy Quaid, Kenneth McMillan, Melanie Mayron, Christopher Guest, voice of Jack Carter
This disastrous 1981 Christmas Day offering from Universal Pictures featured Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters as robots (he's ValCom 89045 and she's AquaCom 17485) who fall in love in 1995. The couple even builds a baby out of spare parts! Comic relief is attempted but not achieved by a Henny Youngman-type robot called Catskil (get it?). Pure dreck. The only things this trash has going for it are a meager 79-minute running time and some inventive makeup designed by Stan Winston. VHS only.
47. Heaven's Gate (1981)
Director: Michael Cimino
Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif, Joseph Cotten, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Masur, Terry Quinn, Mickey Rourke, Willem Defoe
The biggest Hollywood flop of the 1980's, the title became synonymous for troubled and overbudget film disasters. Director Michael Cimino's hopelessly inept big budget western about the war between land barons and European immigrants in 1890 Wyoming looks like it was filmed with thick gauze covering the camera lens in some scenes and in a huge dust bowl in others. Cimino had just won an Academy Award for "The Deer Hunter," so United Artrists had every reason to believe he was creating magic on location in Wyoming. But after months of delays and unforgivable cost overruns, Cimino finally delivered his masterpiece - a 5-hour version of "Heaven's Gate." The studio balked and sent him back to recut it to a more managable length. His recut version was still a punishing 3 hours and 40 minutes. The Cimino version was pulled from release after only one screening; its premiere in New York on November 19, 1980. It surfaced six months later with 70 minutes cut by the studio in a desperate attempt to recoup some of its losses. But it was too late. The word was out on this debacle and it played to empty theaters across the country. The plot of "Heaven's Gate" is easy enough to follow. It just could have been told in less than 2 1/2 hours. The film opens up in 1870 as Kris Kristofferson graduates from Harvard and makes his way West. This seems to go on forever, and in the end has NOTHING TO DO with the rest of the story. That's about 30 minutes that should have been cut. The 1890 scenes which take up the bulk of the running time tend to show off everything including the kitchen sink. Especially annoying is a miscast Christopher Walken. But the real head scratcher is a four-minute epilogue which inexplicably cuts to 1903 and makes no sense. Cimino is smart to give us subtitles when non-English characters are speaking in their native tongue, but seems oblivious that some of the English dialogue is totally obscured by blaring music or sound effects. In the end, while this film certainly has its strong points (lush scenery topping the list) it should be viewed with its hefty price tag in full view at all times. Its then unheard of $40 million cost literally sent United Artists into bankruptcy. And after watching it, you'll ask yourself why they let it get so out of hand. VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
48. The "Highlander" sequels (1991, 1994, 2000)
Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991)
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Virginia Madsen, Michael Ironside, Sean Connery, John C. McGinley, Allan Rich, Phil Brock, Rusty Schwimmer
An environmental terrorist group sets out to sabotage the shield which protects the Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays and everybody's favorite 16th Century immortal Scottish warrior (Christopher Lambert) must save the day. The director's cut (called "The Renegade Version") doesn't shed much more light on the hard to follow plot and runs 19 minutes longer. Lambert is especially awful in this sequel, attempting to "act" elderly in some scenes. His bad make-up and worse vocal inflections are hilarious. Avoid this entire series if at all possible. 90 min. "Regular" VHS/109 min. "Renegade" VHS Widescreen/109 min. "Renegade" DVD
Highlander 3: The Final Dimension (1994)
Director: Andy Morahan
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Mario Van Peebles, Deborah Unger, Mako, Raoul Trujillo, Martin Neufeld, Michael Jayston
An even worse film than #2, this one opts to ignore the first sequel altogether and instead follows-up the original "Highlander." An out of place Mario Van Peebles is a sorcerer who wants to rule the world in present day New York City and Christopher Lambert is the only immortal who can stop him. VHS/DVD
Highlander 4: Endgame (2000)
Director: Douglas Aarniokoski
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Adrian Paul, Bruce Payne, Lisa Barbuscia, Donnie Yen, Ian Paul Cassidy, Peter Wingfield
In this incomprehensible sequel that few could have been clamoring for, immortal Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) teams up with his brother (Adrian Paul) to battle an old enemy. The Internet Movie Database said this was "probably the worst movie ever made." The Toronto Sun said, "Just in case this dog's breakfast of an action mess has some appeal to the adolescent generation, we forced a 10-year-old to attend 'Highlander: Endgame' with us. His take: 'This movie sucks.'" DVD only.
Lea Thompson shows Howard The Duck what a bad Earthling hairstyle looks like.
49. Howard The Duck (1986)
Director: Willard Huyuk
Starring: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Paul Guilfoyle, Holly Robinson, Miles Chapin, Virginia Capers, David Paymer, Thomas Dolby, voice of Richard Kiley
The totally ridiculous tale is about a wise-quacking, cigar chomping, fowl-mouthed duck from another planet who is mysteriously transported to Earth and is discovered by Lea Thompson, a singer in an awful pop-rock band. The film features one of the most unlikeable title characters to ever grace a movie screen, and some of the worst music ever recorded for a major motion picture. The title track sounds like warmed over Prince material. Universal Pictures should be ashamed for foisting this disaster on an unsuspecting world. Executive produced by George Lucas. One of the biggest embarrassments in motion picture history. Winner: Worst Film - 1986 (The Stinkers). VHS only.
50. Hudson Hawk (1991)
Director: Michael Lehman
Starring: Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Andie MacDowell, James Coburn, Richard E. Grant, Sandra Bernhard, Donald Burton, David Caruso, Frank Stallone, Leonardo Cimino
This poorly paced big budget vanity vehicle for Bruce Willis features the "Die Hard" star as a master burglar. The day he's released from prison, he's blackmailed by the CIA into doing several dangerous art heists. It starts out promising enough, but it's not long before Willis' wisecracks start to grate. VHS/DVD
51. The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1963)
Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
Starring: Carolyn Brandt, Toni Camel, Erina Enyo, Cash Flagg (Ray Dennis Steckler), Atlas King, Brett O'Hara, Gene Pollock
Director Ray Dennis Steckler (acting under the pseudonym Cash Flagg) is turned into a zombie by a gypsy fortune teller at a local carnival and goes on a killing spree. Oh, and it's a musical! Only the second feature from Steckler, who would later give us such Z-grade cinema as "Rat Pfink A Boo Boo," "The Horny Vampire," and "Teenage Hustler." Notable only for its "conversation piece" title and for the cinematography of soon-to-be-famous Vilmos Zsigmond. VHS only.
52. Independence Day (1996)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McConnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Harvey Fierstein, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox, Harry Connick, Jr.
This braindead sci-fi fiasco depicting a Martian attack on Earth has eye-popping visual effects, but when things aren't blowing up on screen, the slow moving, cliché-filled storyline is deadly. Numerous obnoxious celebrity subplots only tend to bog things down. You'll cringe at a miscast Bill Pullman as the President, walking Jewish stereotype Judd Hirsch, and an annoying Jeff Goldblum as the all-knowing scientist whom no one believes until it's too late. If you think you've seen this all before, you're right. It is similar in depth (or lack of it) to any number of Irwin Allen star-packed disaster films of yesteryear. Dazzling special effects and wisecracking TV star Will Smith (in a role that made him a box office titan) are the only reasons to sit through this bloated disaster of a film. There was unintentional audience laughter when a commander orders troops to "fire at Will." Showing their complete incompetence, the filmmakers didn't realize the comic possibilities of that line. The marathon running time of 2 hours and 25 minutes is also no blessing. VHS/DVD. See the "Independence Day" teaser.
53. Ishtar (1987)
Director: Elaine May
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Isabelle Adjani, Charles Grodin
Regarded as the "Heaven's Gate" of movie comedies because of its cost overruns and production delays, "Ishtar" stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as two untalented singer-songwriters caught up in international intrigue in North Africa. Even a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "Road" picture has more laughs than this. Paul Williams wrote the intentionally bad songs. Tragic. VHS only.
Marlon Brando gives one of his worst performances ever in "The Island of Dr. Moreau."
54. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, Ron Perlman, Temuera Morrison, Marco Hofschneider, William Hootkins
This very troubled production is the third screen version of H.G. Wells' story concerning a mad scientist (Marlon Brando) whose botched attempts to create the perfect creature have resulted in a species of half-human/half-beasts. We long ago stopped expecting very much from Brando on screen, but this film may be his all-time worst performance. Flamboyant throughout, wait until you see him playing a piano duet with one of his mutant midgets. That scene became the inspiration for the character MiniMe in Mike Myers' "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." James Berardinelli of ReelViews called "Island of Dr. Moreau" "disappointingly shallow and pointless." VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
55. It's Pat: The Movie (1995)
Director: Adam Bernstein
Starring: Julia Sweeney, David Foley, Charles Rocket, Kathy Griffin, Julie Hayden, Kathy Nijimy, Larry Hankin, Tim Meadows, Camille Paglia
Even as 3- or 4-minute sketches on "Saturday Night Live," the androgynous character "Pat" is hard to watch. Imagine the horror of sitting through 77 minutes of him/her! Thankfully, the film was barely released theatrically. Winner: Julia Sweeney - Worst Actress - 1995 (The Stinkers). Not currently available for purchase on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
56. Jaws 4: The Revenge (1987)
Director: Joseph Sargent
Starring: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Michael Caine, Lynn Whitfield, Mitchell Anderson
Lorraine Gray reprises her role as Ellen Brody, the widow of the sheriff (Roy Scheider) in the original "Jaws," who is convinced that the great white shark from the first film is deliberately stalking and killing off members of her family. The director seems to have forgotten that the shark was blown to bits at the end of that film, but maybe he thought no one would notice. This film was nothing short of a rip-off for "Jaws" fans who already had to contend with a lame 3-D sequel ("Jaws 3") in 1983. This film was especially exasperating for Michael Caine who was wasted in a supporting role. While filming "Jaws 4," Caine received an Academy Award nomination for his work the previous year in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters." Unfortunately, because the producers were rushing to meet a tight July 4 weekend release date, they would not allow him to take the days off necessary to fly in from the Bahamas to attended the awards ceremony, even though his appearance - win or lose - would have generated untold amounts of free publicity for "Jaws 4." As it turned out, Caine won the award and missed the ceremony needlessly, as the film wasn't finished in time for the holiday weekend, opening instead a few weeks later. The Washington Post said, "this one's pretty dismal. There's more suspense in 'On Golden Pond.'" DVD only.
Sylvester Stallone goes postal in "Judge Dredd."
57. Judge Dredd (1995)
Director: Danny Cannon
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Joan Chen, Jurgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow, Balthazar Getty
It's 2139 A.D. and Sly is a lawman ("The judge, jury and executioner," as he says) who is framed for murder by his brother. Not one of his best efforts. It is possible that even Stallone is embarrassed by this one. Winner: Sylvester Stallone - Worst Actor - 1995 (The Stinkers). VHS/DVD. See the "Judge Dredd" trailer.
58. Lambada (1990)
Director: Joel Silberg
Starring: J. Eddie Peck, Melora Hardin, Shabba-Do, Ricky Paull Goldin, Basil Hoffman, Dennis Burkley, Keene Curtis, Rita Bland
Another movie set in a high school where the students look old enough to be running a PTA meeting. By day, star J. Eddie Peck is a conservative teacher in a snooty Beverly Hills high school; by night, he's a sexy Latino dirty dancer in the East L.A. barrio. He sets up his own classroom (calling it "Galaxy High") and tutors ghetto teens toward their G.E.D. in a vacant warehouse. The predictable film (which borrows heavily from "Stand and Deliver," "Dirty Dancing," and "West Side Story," to name just a few recycled plots on display) is riddled with flaws, not the least of which is Peck's facial hair which changes every scene. Plot holes and story implausibilities aside, "Lambada" was an improvement over the other film trying to cash-in on the short-lived Lambada dance craze of 1990 - "The Forbidden Dance" - which opened the same day. Shabba-Do's spicy choreography is this film's only asset. VHS only.
59. Last Action Hero (1993)
Director: James McTiernan
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O'Brien, F. Murray Abraham, Art Carney, Charles Dance, Robert Prosky, Frank McRae, Tom Noonan, Anthony Quinn
Arnold Schwarzenegger is Jack Slater, America's favorite action hero. When a young movie fan is given a magic ticket while attending a private screening of "Jack Slater IV," he mysteriously finds himself IN the movie he's watching. In this movie-within-a-movie, the kid (Austin O'Brien) becomes Slater's partner and spends most of his time trying to convince Slater that he is really an action film star, not a real person. The few good action sequences and funny lines can't save this flop and the heavy metal song score makes the already long running time seem even longer. Columbia Pictures had no clue how to promote what became the big budget bomb of the summer of 1993. VHS/DVD
60. Leonard Part 6 (1987)
Director: Paul Weiland
Starring: Bill Cosby, Tom Courtenay, Joe Don Baker, Moses Gunn, Pat Colbert, Gloria Foster, Victoria Rowell
When a band of animals starts killing top secret agents, retired spy Bill Cosby is called back into action. Cinematic torture. Even Cosby told audiences to stay away from this disaster, which is pretty damning considering he wrote and produced it. VHS only.
John Travolta is in fine "collect a paycheck" mode in "Look Who's Talking Too."
61. The "Look Who's Talking" Sequels
Look Who's Talking Too (1990)
Director: Amy Heckerling
Starring: John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis, Elias Koteas, Twink Caplan, Gilbert Gottfried, voices of Bruce Willis, Roseanne Barr, Damon Wayans
The dismal follow-up to the surprise hit about a baby boy with an attitude (the voice of Bruce Willis) adds a wisecracking baby sister (voiced by Roseanne Barr) and best friend (Damon Wayans) to the mix, but comes up empty. This pointless film was rushed into production to cash-in on the success of "Look Who's Talking" and it shows. The plot has odd couple John Travolta and Kirstie Alley welcoming a baby girl to the family and then spending nearly the entire film fighting while their offspring offer very unfunny play-by-play commentary. It is especially unnerving to watch the childrens' mouths move and not be remotely in sync with the voice overs. To insure this film was as awful as it could possibly be, Gilbert Gottfried appears in a supporting role. VHS/DVD
Look Who's Talking Now (1993)
Director: Tom Ropelewski
Starring: John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis, David Gallagher, Tabitha Lupien, Lysette Anthony. Voices of Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton
This third installment literally went to the dogs. Now that the children were old enough to speak for themselves, the producers felt the same gimmick that had worked so well in the first film (hearing the thoughts of things you don't expect to speak) would work featuring the newly adopted family dogs. They were seriously wrong. As the dog voices, Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton seem to be competing to see who can be the most unfunny. Video stores should be required to check if potential renters of these two features are gun owners. By the midway point of #2, you may be inclined to want to shoot the TV screen, but by the end of #3, you may want to turn the gun on yourself. Watch with extreme caution and with the safety on. These sequels are pure torture to sit through. Let's hope there's not a fourth film featuring discussions between the family's kitchen appliances and fish. VHS only.
Jack Johnson is Will Robinson in New Line's pathetic remake of "Lost in Space."
62. Lost In Space (1998)
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Starring: William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert, Jack Johnson, Gary Oldman, Matt LeBlanc
Incoherent, ill-conceived, overlong and miscast, "Lost in Space" is the most horrific big screen resurrection of a TV show since the unwatchable "Star Trek The Motion Picture" in 1979. Fans of the classic '60s TV series about a space family, a robot and a reluctant stowaway will find little to celebrate here. Even the haunting theme music has been remixed into a '90s techo-mess sure to have fans leaving the theater in tears. We don't know what's more criminal: the finale's threat of a sequel or the fact that this film was made in the first place. The most expensive film ever produced by New Line Cinema, "Lost in Space" is a dismal blunder of epic proportions. Given the finished product, it would be hard to prove that the director, writers or stars ever saw an episode of the original TV show. VHS/DVD
63. Manos - The Hands of Fate (1966)
Director: Hal P. Warren
Starring: Tom Nayman, Diane Mahree, Hal P. Warren, John Reynolds
This nugget gained legendary status after its merciless treatment on "Mystery Science Theater 3000." The horrible acting and laughable special effects are a sight to behold in this film shot with a hand-held 16mm camera on a meager $19,000 budget. The plot revolves around a family confronted by a satanic cult. Get ready to laugh. VHS only.
A Martian pays Earth a visit in the unfunny satire, "Mars Attacks!"
64. Mars Attacks! (1996)
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Martin Short, Pierce Brosnan, Rod Steiger, Paul Winfield, Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox
A big name cast hams it up in this big-budget satire that is surprisingly short on laughs. This disappointing spoof of sci-fi, monster and disaster B-movies plays like a parody of the similarly themed "Independence Day," which was released six months earlier. "Mr. Cranky Rates the Movies" said, "What 'Independence Day' did for logic, 'Mars Attacks' does for creativity." VHS/DVD. Go to the official "Mars Attacks!" website.
65. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
Director: John Leonetti
Starring: Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, James Remar, Brian Thompson, Lynn "Red" Williams, Irina Pantaeva
Been there, done that yarn once again pits good versus evil. Hey, didn't we already win this battle? Countless fight scenes compete for screen time with dreadful acting and unintentionally hilarious special effects. VHS/DVD
Odd couple Juliette Lewis and Woody Harrelson are killers on the run in Oliver Stone's numbingly awful "Natural Born Killers."
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Rodney Dangerfield, Edie McClurg
Director Oliver Stone's bizarre and relentlessly ultra-violent film (from an original script by Quentin Tarantino) ignited a firestorm of controversy upon its release. It is a graphic and mind-numbing assault of violence, mayhem and blood and guts. For this film, Stone embraces the MTV-style of shaking and tilting his movie camera whenever possible. Viewers who attempt to stick out this marathon are best advised to bring along some Dramamine. If the picture shaking and tilting don't give you a headache, the constant incoherent cutting between color and black and white images will. The story centers around Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis), newlyweds who become media darlings after masterminding a flurry of senseless killings. As the trigger-happy couple travels around the country sizing up its next victims, the news media is in hot pursuit. It is tiresome watching the endless parade of flashbacks, needless animated sequences, artsy film collages, and punishing violence for nearly two hours. But if you are a real glutton for punishment, Stone released a "Director's Cut" of "Natural Born Killers" with an additional hour of previously unseen footage, including an alternate ending. Standard 119 min. VHS/Widescreen 182-minute Director's Cut. Not available on DVD.
Tami Erin has a bad hair day in "The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking."
67. The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
Director: Ken Annakin
Starring: Tami Erin, Eileen Brennan, Dennis Dugan, Dianne Hull, Dick Van Patten, George DiCenzo
Imported film versions of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren's allegedly popular children's books featuring Pippi Longstocking (usually low-budget and poorly dubbed) have never really caught on in the United States. This made-in-America version was meant to introduce the tyke to a whole new generation of English speaking children. But children of all ages showed little interest in getting to know precocious Pippi and her young pals. For the uninitiated, Pippi is a spunky 11-year-old, freckle-faced, pigtailed prankster who seems to always get herself and her friends into trouble. On the printed page, Pippi may be a whimsical free spirit, but as seen in this big screen adaptation, she is an annoying, self-centered pain-in-the-ass who refuses to follow even the simplest of instructions. Judging by the empty movie houses that greeted her arrival, most parents thought it best to keep their children as far away as possible from this little troublemaker. Knowing the film would be peppered with lackluster musical production numbers and the constant sight of Pippi's ridiculous trademark hairstyle probably didn't help matters either. This is one little misbehaving girl who needs to feel the business end of a leather strap, pronto. It was the final film from director Ken Annakin ("The Pirate Movie"). VHS only.
68. North (1994)
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Elijah Wood, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bruce Willis, Jon Lovitz, Dan Aykroyd, Reba McEntire, John Ritter, Faith Ford, Abe Vigoda, Kathy Bates
Convinced his parents don't love him, an 11-year-old boy goes to court and wins the right to choose new parents. A long parade of stars in mostly cameo roles are prospective parents. It is all absolutely dreadful and a real blunder from the usually dependable Rob Reiner. Roger Ebert put it best: "I hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it." Winner: Worst Film, Worst Actor (Bruce Willis) - 1994 (The Stinkers). VHS only.
69. Nothing But Trouble (1991)
Director: Dan Aykroyd
Starring: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Demi Moore, John Candy, Taylor Negron, Bertila Damas
A silly romp about a yuppie couple caught speeding through a tiny town who must face the judge. After being sentenced to death for their crime, the pair plots an escape. This cinematic torture is Dan Aykroyd's directorial debut. Winner: Worst Film - 1991 (The Stinkers). VHS/DVD only.
70. Penitentiary 2 (1982)
Director: Jamaa Fanaka
Starring: Leon Issac Kennedy, Mr. T., Leif Erickson, Ernie Hudson, Glynn Turman, Dennis Lipscomb
Inept filmmaking at its worst. They couldn't even get the opening credits right. It starts off with a "Star Wars"-style moving graphic telling the story of boxer Too Sweet (Leon Issac Kennedy) that scrolls too fast, is too light in places to be read clearly, and is at least five paragraphs too long. It gets worse from there. A loud underscore actually drowns out key dialogue. Only good lip readers will be able to understand everything that's going on. Then there are scenes that don't make sense. For example, Sweet ventures into a gym and has an altercation with a loud mouthed boxer. Sweet strikes the man, then tells him, "Don't make me have to hit you." With these flaws showing up in just the first ten minutes, it is hard to believe a director was anywhere near the set during filming. This pitiful rip-off of "Rocky" was a sequel to the surprise 1979 hit, "Penitentiary." Mr. T. (who would appear in "Rocky III" seven weeks after this film was released) is Too Sweet's trainer. The thin plot revolves around Sweet who has just been released from prison and is working his way up the boxing ranks in order to take on his archenemy, a fighter formerly incarcerated in the same prison as Sweet. Proving that studios (in this case, MGM/UA) will say ANYTHING - true or not - to get you to buy or rent their product, the video box claims that this film "packed" movie houses upon its release. We're willing to concede that movie theaters on Venus and Pluto might have had a few takers for this turkey, but on Earth, not many people were clamoring to see this poorly executed sequel. Cartoon characters are based in more reality than the one-dimensional characters on display here, who go by such dumb names as "Seldom Seen" and "Half Dead." Bad guy Ernie Hudson (who plays "Half Dead") would become a Ghostbuster two years later. Only Dennis Lipscomb scores some points for his funny play-by-play commentary. VHS/DVD
71. The Pirate Movie (1982)
Director: Ken Annakin
Starring: Kristy McNichol, Christopher Atkins, Ted Hamilton, Bill Kerr, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Gerry McDonald
Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" is updated for a new generation in this Australian-made film featuring appallingly bad pop songs and terrible performances from miscast leads Kristy McNichol (TV's "Family") and Christopher Atkins ("The Blue Lagoon"). McNichol falls asleep and dreams she is involved in high adventure and true romance with a band of pirates. While this may all have been a dream for Kristy, it is nothing short of a nightmare for brave moviegoers who attempt to sit through this unreleaseable film. It also contains some of the lamest choreography and worst original songs ever produced for the big screen. For a good laugh, rent it to hear such never-to-be classics as "Pushin' and Blowin'" and "Happy Ending." This really is amateur night at the Apollo. VHS only.
72. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
Director: Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Starring: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Duke Moore, Mona McKinnon, Dudley Manlove, Joanna Lee, Tor Johnson, Lyle Talbot, Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Criswell
A group of aliens think they can conquer Earth by resurrecting corpses from a cemetery. Bela Lugosi died after only two days of filming, but that didn't stop legendary bad movie maker Ed Wood from completing this project. He hired a taller, younger man to finish Lugosi's remaining scenes. The man disguised himself in every scene by holding a cape to his face. Considered by some to be the worst movie ever made. VHS/DVD
Pikachu and Ash in the substandard animated adventure, "Pokemon: The First Movie."
73. Pokémon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes
Director: Michael Haigney and Kunohiko Yuyama
Starring: Voices of Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart, Ikue Ootani, Philip Bartlett, Addie Blaustein, Ted Lewis
The Japanese "Pokémon" ("Pocket Monster") video game and trading card phenomenon hit the U.S. shores like a tidal wave in late 1999. Every child under age 12 had to have every product associated with "Pokemon." It was all one giant headache for helpless parents who were not only forced to accompany their little ones into the theaters only to be baffled by the substandard animation, bland songs, terrible dubbing, and impossible-to-follow story, but were then strong-armed to open up their wallets and purchase overpriced "Pokémon" merchandise. And with 151 characters (collect them all!), the bills added up fast. In what is possibly the most botched marketing job in motion picture history, Warner Bros. decided to wait to release the first "Pokémon" sequel. Most people would have rolled them out quickly to strike while the iron was red-hot, releasing #2 in February and #3 June 2000. But it wasn't to be. Even though the second "Pokémon" film was already released in Japan by the time this first movie came out stateside and the third was almost completed, Warners waited to issue "Pokemon The Movie 2000" until late July. By then, the franchise was considered unhip by fickle pre-teens who avoided it like a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" or "Mighty Morphin Power Ranger" doll. The error in judgment cost the studio millions of dollars. With characters named Pikachu, Raichu, Mew, Mewtwo, Squirtle, Vulpix, Pidgeotto, and Zubat, it's no wonder adults had a hard time keeping track of the story. "Pokémon 3" is scheduled for 2001. This first feature was preceded in theaters by the unintelligible short subject, "Pikachu's Vacation," which seemed to go on for hours, but in reality ran only 20 minutes. VHS/DVD. Go to the official "Pokémon The First Movie" web site.
74. The "Police Academy" Series (1984-1994)
Director: Hugh Wilson (1), Jerry Paris (2, 3), Jim Drake (4), Alan Myerson (5), Peter Bonerz (6), Alan Metter (7)
Starring: Steve Guttenberg (1-4), Bubba Smith (1-5), David Graf, Michael Winslow, George Gaynes, G.W. Bailey (4-7), Marion Ramsey (1-6)
There ought to be a law with mandatory prison time for any studio executive who ponders doing an eighth "Police Academy" film. The basic story of misfits who enroll in a big city police academy and make the force was beat beyond recognition through six numbing sequels. Steve Guttenberg had the good sense to jump ship after #4. Most audience members bailed out with him. If you are scoring at home:
#1 "Police Academy" (1984): A big city mayor removes the height, weight and age restrictions usually associated with becoming a police officer, thus allowing any citizen to join the force. Some hardcore officers go out of their way to undermine the motley crew of new recruits. In the end, the skills of the hopeless recruits (led by Steve Guttenberg) are put to the test when a riot breaks out in the city and they are called into action. Like "Porky's" before it, this alleged comedy was hampered by an M.P.A.A. rating system that slapped films with even the slightest amount of nudity or foul language with an automatic "R" rating. In the early 21st Century, "Police Academy" would have trouble garnering a "PG" rating. If you rent this film expecting lots of T&A and foul language, you will be disappointed. But those looking for laughs will be the most disappointed of all. Because "Police Academy" made so much money at the box office (an astounding $80 million in the US), it was inevitable that a slew of sequels would litter the landscape for years to come. VHS/DVD
#2 "Their First Mission" (1985): The commandant of the 16th precinct -- the worst in the city -- asks his dimwitted brother (Commandant Lassard at the Police Academy) to send over his six best new cadets to help him rid the streets of a notorious gang. The biggest comedy blunder in the script: Steve Guttenberg infiltrates the world's oldest looking gang, led by a very unfunny Bobcat Goldthwait. This entry was a serious miscalculation, but the worst was yet to come. Despite horrible reviews, it did a respectable $55 million at the US box office. VHS only.
#3 "Back In Training" (1986): Due to budget cutbacks, the state can no longer afford to fund both of its police academies. The two academies compete to see which one will stay open with six original cast cadets returning to help their alma mater. The unfunny Bobcat Goldthwait returns, this time the reformed gang leader becomes a cadet! The video box boasts, "You have the right to remain silent, but you'll end up howling." We'll assume they mean howling from pain. The film did a respectable $43.5 million at the US box office. VHS only.
#4 "Citizens On Patrol" (1987): The police force institutes a neighborhood watch program throughout the city. This film is notable only because it features then-unknown actors in large roles: namely Sharon Stone and David Spade (in his motion picture debut). This would mark Steve Guttenberg's final "Police Academy" appearance. The film series began to show its age with US moviegoers, only generating $28 million at the box office. VHS only.
#5 "Assignment: Miami Beach" (1988): Commandant Lassard is sent to Miami to receive the "Police Officer of the Decade" award. Of course, this film came out in early 1988, so it would be impossible for such a "decade" award to exist, but we all know better than to look for logic in a "Police Academy" movie. Lassard is escorted to Miami by six of the original cast cadets. Over the top villain Rene Auberjonois seems to be channeling Harvey Korman. Considered by most to be the worst entry in the series. The film series continued to sink like a stone. #5 grossed a meager $19.5 million at the US box office. VHS only.
#6 "City Under Seige" (1989): The cops are up against a criminal mastermind who is trying to buy large sections of property in the city and is willing to kill for what he can't get legally. This is Bubba Smith's final "Police Academy" appearance. The only foul language in this tame PG rated film was the word "crapola." With only $11.5 in US box office, few moviegoers seemed to notice this film was even released. VHS only.
#7 "Mission To Moscow" (1994): Beginning in 1984, a "Police Academy" film had been released each spring. That stopped with #6 in 1989. It took five years for the producer of the series to go forward with another lame script. For the seventh installment, Lassard is summoned to Moscow to consult with an old friend on the finer points of law enforcement. What remains of the original cast of cadets joins him on the trip to stop the Russian mafia. Since the beginning of the series, Michael Winslow (the human sound effects machine) has mostly annoyed audiences rather than entertained them. Here, Winslow plays it straight, for the most part, keeping the stale sound effects to a minimum. Look for Claire Forlani (as a translator) in her American film debut. Released 10 years after the original, "seven" was definitely an unlucky number for Warner Bros. This nail in the "Police Academy" series coffin only generated a tepid $126,247 in US theaters and probably would have ended up costing the studio less money just going straight to video. VHS only.
75. Popeye (1980)
Director: Robert Altman
Starring: Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston, Paul Dooley, Bill Irwin, Paul Smith, Linda Hunt, Richard Libertini
The chance to see red-hot comic Robin Williams (TV's "Mork and Mindy") in his first starring film role was not enough of a draw to keep this poorly executed musical comedy afloat. Heavily promoted by Paramount Pictures -- it was the big holiday film of 1980 -- this rare collaboration between Paramount and the Walt Disney Company was ignored and left for dead by an uninterested public who could smell the stench a mile away. Knowing they had a bomb on their hands, nervous Paramount executives (who handled the domestic distribution) refused to screen the film for critics ahead of time (always a sure sign of trouble) and it just got worse from there. Those who mustered the courage to sit through this live action version of the old "Popeye The Sailor Man" comic and cartoon heard some of the worst original songs ever included in a major motion picture. Many audience members also had trouble understanding what Williams and company were mumbling throughout this travesty, which was filmed at great expense entirely on the island of Malta. Winner: Worst Film - 1980 (The Stinkers). VHS only.
76. The "Porky's" Trilogy (1981 - 1985)
Director: Bob Clark (1, 2), James Toback (3)
Starring: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson, Kim Cattrall, Scott Colomby, Kaki Hunter, Nancy Parsons, Chuck Mitchell, Edward Winter
We were certainly willing to dismiss the awful box office sensation "Porky's" as simply a harmless collection of stale teen sex jokes. But when a film makes the fortune at the box office that this film did and then spawns two sequels that are worse (if that is even possible), we must draw the line. "Porky's" is the sophomoric tale of a group of teens who try to sneak into an 21 and older strip club. When they gain entry only to be kicked out by security, they scheme to blow the place up. It remains one of the most overrated films ever made. But as we learned from "The Gods Must Be Crazy," "Friday The 13th," and "Police Academy," when bad films make huge amounts of money, there will be sequels. The first sequel, the appropriately titled "Porky's II: The Next Day," stunk up theaters in 1983 and was a misfire in every conceivable way. That film opens promisingly enough with a 4-minute montage of debatably funny moments from the first film, considered by some (certainly not us) to be a classic of the teen gross-out comedy genre. It doesn't take long for things to go downhill very rapidly from there. It is safe to say "Porky's II: The Next Day" is really a drama marketed as a wild comedy. In the era before the PG-13 rating, any kind of nudity or foul language was slapped with an automatic "R" rating. Video renters in the 21st Century who discover the "Porky's" trilogy will surely wonder what all the supposed "R rated" fuss was about. If any of the "Porky's" films were released today, they would barely rate a PG, that's how tame they are by contemporary standards. True to its title, the action in "The Next Day" shows the aftermath of the destruction of Porky's strip club by a group of high school students who appear to be well into their late 20's. This film is simply dreadful and actually worse than the third and final installment, "Porky's Revenge," which was released in 1985. In that clunker, most of the action takes place on the basketball court. The gang at Angel Beach High School (all of whom now appear to be in their early 30s) find out that Porky has cut a deal with their coach to throw the big game. Will they be able to turn the tables on him? This film has more laughs than the drama "Porky's II: The Next Day," but it's still a rather pointless excursion.
"Porky's" (1981): VHS/DVD
"Porky's II: The Next Day" (1983): VHS
"Porky's" and "Porky's II: The Next Day" together on: DVD - BEST VALUE!
"Porky's Revenge" (1985): VHS only.
Kevin Costner delivers the mail in "The Postman."
77. The Postman (1997)
Director: Kevin Costner
Starring: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo, Daniel Von Bargen, Tom Petty, Scott Bairstow, Roberta Maxwell
A pointless and overlong saga about a post-apocalypse survivor who passes himself off as a postman in order to give hope to the ravaged communities. Most critics advised this film be "returned to sender." VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD. Go to the official "Postman" web site.
78. Red Dawn (1984)
Director: John Milius
Starring: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Ben Johnson, Harry Dean Stanton, Ron O'Neal, Powers Boothe
Eight teens head for the hills when their sleepy Colorado town is occupied by foreign nationals and become guerrillas as World War III breaks out around them. The kids hilariously take the name of their high school mascot, the Wolverines, and scream it whenever possible. The plot flaws are plentiful in what is considered by many to be one of the worst war movies ever filmed. For example, it is highly unlikely that a group of eight untrained teens could singlehandedly bring Russian and Cuban troops to their knees. Also, the group seems to have an endless supply of ammunition and artillery at its disposal. And after six long months in the freezing Colorado winter, none of the kids seem to have lost any weight. Finally, throughout the ordeal, the group walks in and out of heavily secured enemy areas seemingly at will without a scratch. The absurd script is only made worse by some blatant overacting served up by Patrick Swayze and company. "Red Dawn" was very early film work for most of the cast, and it was Jennifer Grey's film debut. Swayze and Grey would team up again three years later in the megahit "Dirty Dancing." "Red Dawn" is notable also as the first film released with a PG-13 rating. (Historical note: While "Red Dawn" was the first film released with a PG-13 rating, the first film to actually receive the rating was "The Flamingo Kid," which sat on the shelf for five months waiting for a release.) VHS/DVD
79. Rhinestone (1984)
Director: Bob Clark
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Dolly Parton, Richard Farnsworth, Ron Liebman, Tim Thomerson
A country singer (Dolly Parton) bets she can turn anyone - even a New York City cabbie (Sylvester Stallone) - into a country singer. There are no laughs, but there are some awful songs. VHS only.
80. Rocky V (1990)
Director: John G. Avildsen
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Sage Stallone, Tom Morrison, Burgess Meredith
In this last gasp of the played out series, boxer Rocky Balboa is a broken down "has been." Now penniless and with lots of time on his hands, he decides to train an up and coming boxer as his protege. Unfortunately, a greedy promoter has other ideas. In 1999, rumors were rampant that Sylvester Stallone, desperate for a career comeback, would make a sixth "Rocky" film, but it was all talk. Not currently available for purchase on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
81. Sextette (1978)
Director: Ken Hughes
Starring: Mae West, Timothy Dalton, Dom DeLuise, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton, Alice Cooper, Keith Moon, Rona Barrett, Walter Pidgeon, George Raft
This final screen appearance for 1930's sex kitten Mae West is a real downer. Super soft focus close-ups (even fuzzier than Lucille Ball's in 'Mame"!) and several bad songs run this into the ground quickly. With a mouthful of false teeth, West can barely spit her dialogue out. The plot finds the well-past-her-prime West on her umpteenth honeymoon, this time with new young stud hubby, Timothy Dalton. The pair warbles the Captain and Tennille hit "Love Will Keep Us Together." Seriously. VHS/DVD
Peter Frampton (left) and The Bee Gees should have fired their agents after the "Sgt. Pepper" debacle.
82. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
Director: Michael Schultz
Starring: Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees, George Burns, Frankie Howard, Donald Pleasence, Alice Cooper, Billy Preston, Steve Martin, Aerosmith, Earth, Wind & Fire
An ill-advised attempt to bring the music of The Beatles to life in the age before MTV. The only performers who seem to have a pulse are Aerosmith ("Come Together") and Billy Preston ("Get Back"). Everyone else is on autopilot. Alice Cooper ("Because"), Steve Martin ("Maxwell's Silver Hammer") and a properly embarrassed looking George Burns ("Fixing a Hole") (he also narrates the story) opted to talk through their songs. The film was nothing short of a disaster. RSO Records shipped 500,000 copies of the film's soundtrack to record stores when the film was released, immediately earning a "Gold Record Award" for the producers and performers. But when retailers couldn't give the albums away and the film died at the box office, the Recording Industry Association of America (which issues the awards) asked for the awards back. The studio used the advertising slogan: "A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed For All." We think Universal shouldn't make promises it can't keep. VHS only.
Madonna is a missionary nurse in "Shanghai Surprise."
83. Shanghai Surprise (1986)
Director: Jim Goddard
Starring: Sean Penn, Madonna, Paul Freeman, Richard Griffiths, Philip Sayer, Clyde Kusatsu, Kay Tong Lim
Madonna is a determined missionary nurse in 1937 China who hires a dim-witted American fortune hunter (her then-real-life-husband, Sean Penn) to find a stash of stolen opium. She needs the drugs to help her patients, he sees them as a ticket out of China. The complete lack of chemistry between Mr. and Mrs. Penn is matched only by the sluggish plot, dopey dialogue, the sight of Penn's silly wig (used in some reshoots), and the awful songs written and sung by former Beatle George Harrison. Harrison was the film's executive producer and vowed after living through this very troubled production to stop making movies. The Cleveland Plain Dealer summed "Shanghai Surprise" up best: "Awesome in its awfulness, momentous in its ineptness, and shattering in its stupidity." Not currently available for purchase on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
Elizabeth Berkley puts a spit shine on a pole in "Showgirls."
84. Showgirls (1995)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon, Glenn Plummer, Robert Davi, Alan Rachins, Gina Ravera, Lin Tucci, Greg Travis
This coming-of-age tale about a young woman who lap dances her way up the show business ladder of success as a Las Vegas showgirl was really a sexy remake of "All About Eve." Huge doses of bad dialogue and nudity made this curiosity a titillating cult favorite. After its initial box office failure, quick-thinking MGM executives re-released the film, promoting it as a campy comedy. No one was fooled. Winner: Worst Film - 1995 (The Stinkers). R Rated VHS/NC-17 Rated DVD
85. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Director: Jan DeBont
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Brian McCardie, Christina Firkins, Colleen Camp, Lois Chiles, Bo Svenson, Glenn Plummer, Tim Conway
This poorly executed sequel to the box office phenomenon "Speed" was a washout. It was so bad that it should have gone direct-to-video. But 20th Century Fox had sunk so much money into this rudderless feature, they were forced to open it in theaters to recoup some of their losses. This floating disaster cost a reported $110 million to make and generated only $48 million in the US. Sandra Bullock and her new boyfriend (Jason Patric) board a cruise ship to the Caribbean and match wits with a maniac (Willem Dafoe) hell-bent on sabotage. The finale seems to go on for an eternity. Keanu Reeves smartly refused to have anything to do with this film and instead took a little vacation, toured with his band Dogstar, and made a little film called "The Matrix." Dubbed "Speed 2: Snooze Control" and "Die Hard on a Cruise Ship" by critics. The San Francisco Chronicle said, "There's not a single moment of drama or tension in any of the action sequences. And the film is made up almost entirely of action." VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
England's Spice Girls tested the limits of their 15 minutes of fame in "Spice World."
86. Spice World (1998)
Director: Bob Spiers
Starring: Victoria Adams (Posh Spice), Melanie Brown (Mel B.), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Mel C.), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Richard E. Grant, Barry Humphries, Meat Loaf, Mark McKinney, Roger Moore, George Wendt
"Spice World" is a most inauspicious beginning and end to The Spice Girls' movie-making career. It is a nightmarish 93-minute exercise in futility that seems to take an eternity to end. This devastatingly unfunny day-in-the-life of British pop group The Spice Girls is little more than a scene-for-scene pilfering of old Beatles romps like "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!." For his part, director Bob Spiers forgoes unimportant things like solid direction, steady editing and coherent dialogue, and instead serves up a warp speed menu of flashy MTV-style images and pointless cameos. But dreary dream sequences, boring choreography and remarkably unbelievable lip-synching can't camouflage the fact that this film isn't firing on any of its cylinders. Perhaps it's a blessing that much of the attempted dialogue is rendered inaudible by blaring music. In the end, the finished product is dead-on-arrival; a painful movie-going experience along the lines of the 1980 Village People tragedy, "Can't Stop The Music." On a filmmaking scale, "Spice World" barely elicits a pulse. To call it 'amateurish' would be exceedingly generous. It is really a direct-to-video project lamely masquerading as a major motion picture in order to suck what little allowance money is left from preteen fans' piggy banks. VHS/DVD. Go to the official "Spice World" web site.
87. Star Trek-The Motion Picture (1979) and the "odd numbered" original cast Star Dreck sequels
I: The Motion Picture (1979)
Director: Robert Wise
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Stephen Collins, Persis Khambatta, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig
Talk about stumbling out of the gate! Paramount's attempt to cash-in on the mega-success of "Star Wars" almost killed the "Star Trek" movie franchise before it began. Overlong, slow, and predictable, it's almost unforgivable that the home video version of this film boasts an additional 12 minutes of footage! It's an insomniac's dream. Unless you are a die-hard fan of the TV series, this reunion of the Starship Enterprise crew is pretty tough to sit through, even in small doses. Of the six original cast films released, #2 and #4 were exquisite, while the odd numbered films stunk to high heaven. The William Shatner-directed "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" is considered by most fans to be the worst of the series. In that epic, Walter Koenig has the most unintentionally funny lines. When this original Trek film was re-released as a special Thanksgiving matinee attraction in 1980, the marquee at our theater read: "See a real turkey this Thanksgiving..." until the district manager made us take it down. Some people have no sense of humor! VHS/VHS Widescreen
III: The Search For Spock (1984)
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Mark Lenard, Merritt Butrick, Christopher Lloyd
Did any one else notice that the 70MM prints of "Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock" were duplicated out of focus? In #3, Admiral Kirk and his crew risk their careers stealing the Enterprise to recover Spock's body. Lesson learned: You are not really dead if there are more sequels to make. VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Director: William Shatner
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, David Warner, Laurence Luckinbill
The crew of the Enterprise must deal with Spock's evil half brother who hijacks the Enterprise in an obsessive search for God. VHS/VHS Widescreen
The very unfunny character Jar Jar Binks ruined the long-awaited "Star Wars" prequel, "The Phantom Menace." Many fans started calling him "Jar Jar Stinks."
88. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Director: George Lucas
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz, Pernilla August, Terence Stamp, Ian McDiarmid, Hugh Quarshie, Ray Park, Ahmed Best, Brian Blessed, Sofia Coppola
This long-awaited prequel to the "Star Wars" franchise was a huge disappointment. The by-the-numbers story and effects were completely undermined by several unforeseeable obstacles. Meant to generate comic relief, the painfully unfunny antics of Jar Jar Binks (a creature that tags along with Neeson and McGregor as they try to negotiate peace in the galaxy) completely backfired on Lucas and now may be the most hated "Star Wars" character of all. Additionally, Jake Lloyd is woefully out of his acting league as the young Darth Vader. Fans started camping out in front of movie theaters a full month before the premiere. Most are still in denial that this film sucked. We'll break it to them gently. Invite a group of non-"Star Wars" fanatics over to your home to view this film on video. Stop the tape about 3/4 of the way through and see if anyone (besides you) is still awake or interested in finding out how the story ends. Rex Reed said, "It stinks. 'Phantom Menace' turns out to be the weakest, dullest and dumbest of them all. 2 hours and 15 minutes of stultifying tedium. The gibberish that passes for dialogue can only be described as numbingly idiotic, especially when mumbled phonetically by the worst group of actors ever assembled." VHS/VHS Widescreen. Go to the official "Star Wars" web site.
89. Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Estelle Getty, JoBeth Williams, Roger Rees, Martin Ferrero, Gailard Sartain, Dennis Burkley
This second and last of Sylvester Stallone's comedy vehicles runs out of gas before the first reel ends. As the title so aptly describes, cop Stallone is visited by his cantankerous mother (played by TV's "Golden Girl" Estelle Getty). When mom witnesses a murder, she demands to be put on the case in exchange for her eyewitness account. Your tolerance for the completely obnoxious Getty will make or break this only occasionally funny film. The same plot would be attempted again the following year in Burt Reynold's tepid "Cop and 1/2." Not based in any reality we know of. VHS only.
Demi Moore takes it all off in "Striptease."
90. Striptease (1996)
Director: Andrew Bergman
Starring: Demi Moore, Armand Assante, Burt Reynolds, Ving Rhames, Robert Patrick, Paul Guilfoyle, Rumer Willis, Frances Fisher
A single mom (Demi Moore) gets a job as a stripper to raise money to fight her ex-husband for custody of their child. Burt Reynolds plays a horny congressman and Moore's real-life daughter, Rumer, is the little girl. Coming less than a year after "Showgirls" didn't help this film's credibility. Winner: Worst Film - 1996 (The Stinkers). VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
91. Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Jon Cryer, Sam Wanamaker, Margot Kidder, Mariel Hemingway, Mark Pillow, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure
This time the "Man of Steel" goes up against adversaries more lethal than deadly kryptonite ... legendary bad filmmakers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus! What was Superman thinking? It's a battle he could never win. Couldn't he find ANYONE else to produce and distribute this awful film? The end result is a true disaster, and the death knell for the up-until-then lucrative "Superman" franchise. Bargain basement special effects litter this tale of Superman's attempt to rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Bad guy Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) has other ideas and creates a being called Nuclear Man to stop Superman. Laughable. Christopher Reeve received co-story writing and 2nd unit directing credits. VHS only.
92. Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981)
Director: John Derek
Starring: Bo Derek, Richard Harris, Miles O'Keefe, John Phillip Law, Wilfrid Hyde-White
This atrocious remake of the original Tarzan film was really a lame excuse to find reasons for show Bo Derek in various forms of undress. The frolicking scene between Bo and a lion during the end credits borders on bestiality and caused audible gasps from the audience. Not to be confused with the more watchable "Greystoke - The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of The Apes" from 1984. Winner: Worst Film - 1981 (The Stinkers). VHS only.
Dennis Hopper takes matters into his own hands in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2."
93. The "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Series
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Edwin Neal, Allen Danzinger, Paul A. Partain, Jim Siedow
Teenagers on a road trip (played by actors who appear to be well into their 30s) stumble upon a bizarre family of cannibals in rural Texas. Despite having very little gore (though word-of-mouth would have you believe otherwise), this movie became a sensation after its 1974 release and launched numerous copycat slice and dice films trying to emulate the same success. This snail-paced film features bargain basement production values, a terrible musical score, less than amateur acting, and a ridiculous story line. VHS/DVD
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)
Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Bill Johnson, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley
It took 12 years for the first of three "Chainsaw" sequels to emerge. Leave it to bad moviemakers Golan and Globus to produce an even worse film than the original. A disk jockey unknowingly records a chainsaw murder over her request line and she and a very over-the-top Dennis Hopper (he's the world's dumbest cop) try to solve the macabe puzzle. Siedow is the only returning original cast member. VHS/DVD
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
Director: Jeff Burr
Starring: Kate Hodge, Ken Foree, R. A. Mihailoff, Viggo Mortensen, William Butler, Joe Unger
The spotlight shifts to the chainsaw-wielding character "Leatherface" in this bloodless re-enactment of the original. This time, the production values are better, but unfortunately, almost all of the gore has been edited out of this film. Designated victim Kate Hodge spends the majority of her screen time screaming hysterically and running as Leatherface chases her through the woods with his brand new chainsaw which bares the inscription "The Saw is Family." Director Jeff Burr should have watched the first two films to get his story straight here. The introduction erroneously claims that none of the original family members were apprehended. The intro to #2 clearly states that one did go to jail. Cast member Ken Foree's name is also misspelled on the video jacket. Severe pre-release cuts made this very dull for fans of the series. Opt only for the unrated version. Unrated VHS/Unrated VHS Widescreen only.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1997)
Director: Kim Henkel
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks, Tonie Perenski, Lisa Newmyer, Tyler Cone, John Harrison
Shot in 1994 for the 20th anniversary of the original film under the title "Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre," this project languished in legal limbo for three years. It is yet another rehash of the original, but with a twist. It was written and directed by the co-writer of the original "TCM" film, Kim Henkel. This film is also notable because it stars two then-unknown actors in key roles (Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey). The film was grounded in legal entanglements for years with a powerful talent agency allegedly trying to halt the release after the two actors shot to stardom. Think of the embarrassment Zellweger would suffer if fans of her breakthrough performance in "Jerry Maguire" got a gander at this mess! McConaughey (who's last name is misspelled in the closing credits) is a terrifying psycho -- probably the series' best - and Zellweger also offers a strong performance, but the story is the same old stuff: A group of prom-going "teens" find themselves lost in the woods after a backroads car-wreck and get more "help" from the locals than they bargained for. Look quick for original film stars Marilyn Burns and Paul A. Partain walking through the final scene. The New York Times said "TCM4" looked like it was "filmed on what appears to be Dennis the Menace's weekly allowance." VHS/DVD
94. Titanic (1997)
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Frances Fisher, Kathy Bates, Davd Warner, Danny Nucci, Gloria Stuart, Victor Garber, Bernard Hill, Bernard Fox, Bill Paxton
When this epic disaster film about the sinking of the ship Titanic in 1912 was not finished in time for its scheduled July 1997 release date, it sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood. Could they have another "Heaven's Gate" on their hands? The two releasing studios (20th Century Fox had the international distribution and Paramount had the US rights) panicked. By the middle of 1997 "Titanic" had become the most costly film ever made (its reported cost hovered in the $200 million range) and the bills were still coming in. When director James Cameron finally delivered the film to Paramount, it ran over 3 hours and it was anyone's guess whether he would ever work in Hollywood again. But he stood his ground and threatened edit-happy studio executives with the cryptic message: "You will cut my film over my dead body." Moved to a crowded release date of December 19, 1997, the film opened with little promotion, but brought in a respectable $28 million in ticket sales for the weekend. Within a week, every teenage girl knew Leonardo DiCaprio's name and face and the gross tripled. By New Year's Day the film had hit $100 Million and showed no sign of slowing down. It held a virtual lock on first place at the box office for nearly four months and would become the highest grossing film of all-time with more than $1.6 BILLION in ticket sales worldwide. Of course, now the studio executives claim they knew all along the film would be big. Stunning special effects aside, many older moviegoers and non-members of the Leonardo DiCaprio Fan Club hated the sappy screenplay and found DiCaprio and especially Kate Winslet miscast as the romantic leads. What sent this film into the box office stratosphere were the 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. VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
95. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1993)
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Kyle MacLachlan, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, David Bowie, Eric DaRe, Miguel Ferrer, Pamela Gidley, Heather Graham, Chris Isaak, Moira Kelly, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Harry Dean Stanton, Kiefer Sutherland
The sleepy Washington town with "damn good coffee and cheery pie" and the oldest looking high school students in the world comes back to haunt us. This infuriating prequel to the bizarre TV show "Twin Peaks" moves at a snail's pace and is filmed in director David Lynch's usual unwatchable style. Seeing it will remind former fans of the series' first season why they quit watching the show. All the weird characters from the TV show are on display - Bob, The Log Lady, The One-Armed Man, and the Dwarf in the Red Room who likes to speak backwards - but the film makes little sense. Some dialogue amounts to little more than whispers and mumbles. Sporting such nonsensical lines as "I'm as blank as a fart," this over two-hour long nightmare will have you running in terror for the fast forward button. VHS only.
Kevin Costner is all wet in "Waterworld."
96. Waterworld (1995)
Director: Kevin Reynolds (with unwanted assistance from Kevin Costner)
Starring: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tina Majorino, Michael Jeter, Sab Shimono, Robert Joy, R.D. Call, Zakes Mokae, Leonardo Cimino, Gerard Murphy
The "Heaven's Gate" of the 90's is really a liquid version of "The Road Warrior." Nicknamed "Fishtar" and "Waterlogged" by industry insiders, this notorious film was Hollywood's most expensive flop upon its release. Probably not as bad as it was made out to be, the film never recovered from a pre-release swell of bad publicity. Kevin Costner is Mariner, a man with gills and webbed feet who navigates the seas of Earth after the polar ice caps melt and flood the planet. Dennis Hopper and his band of hooligans (called "smokers") are hot on Mariner's trail when they find out he may know where to find dry land. VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD
97. The "Weekend at Bernie's" Series (1989 - 1993)
Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart, Terry Kiser, Don Calfa
Two insurance executives get a rare invitation to a party at their boss's posh beachhouse, but when they arrive they find he's been murdered. In order to keep up appearances, they pretend the dead body is still alive. This funny premise might have made a good 5-minute "Saturday Night Live" sketch, but at a grueling 97 minutes you'll wish you suffered the same fate as Bernie. VHS/DVD
Weekend at Bernie's II (1993)
Director: Robert Klane
Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Terry Kiser, Barry Bostwick, Troy Beyer, Tom Wright, Steve James
This completely pointless sequel (written and directed by the original's writer) takes the boys and their favorite corpse to the Caribbean in search of Bernie's hidden cash. VHS only.
98. Who's That Girl (1987)
Director: James Foley
Starring: Madonna, Griffin Dunne, Haviland Morris, John McMartin, Robert Swan, Drew Pillsbury, John Mills
It's safe to say that the Material Girl probably didn't win over too many new fans with this unamusing screwball comedy. In her first starring role (she had co-starred previously in two films), Madonna is a just-paroled-from-prison tough gal who kidnaps a lawyer and goes in search of the crumb who framed her. Her attempts at wacky comedy fall flatter than a pancake. Armed with an atrocious New York accent and a bad attitude to match, she irritates rather than amuses. Overall, the carryings-on are a little better than her 1986 box office failure with husband Sean Penn, "Shanghai Surprise," but is that really a compliment? The soundtrack features four new Madonna songs. Madonna has since said this is her biggest film embarrassment. VHS only.
Feisty Bette Davis chained-smokes her way through "Wicked Stepmother."
99. Wicked Stepmother
Director: Larry Cohen
Starring: Bette Davis, Barbara Carrera, Colleen Camp, David Rasche, Lionel Stander, Tom Bosley, Richard Moll
It is the stuff of Hollywood legend. Allegedly, eighty-one-year-old film legend Bette Davis wanted the awful script of "Wicked Stepmother" changed. When producer/writer/director Larry Cohen refused to budge, she walked off the set never to return. Ironically, with the chain-smoking Ms. Davis having completed only one week's worth of work, Cohen was forced to rewrite much of the script anyway to explain her sudden disappearance. The confusing solution now had Ms. Davis (who plays a witch who romances elderly widowers, shrinks them to showbox size and then steals their money) turning into a cat while her sexy alter-ego ( Barbara Carrera) picks up the rest of the story. This sorry spectacle was Davis' final film appearance. She died before the film was released. VHS only.
100. Wild Orchids and Wild Orchids 2 (1990, 1992)
Director: Zalman King
#1: Starring: Mickey Rourke, Carré Otis, Jacqueline Bisset, Assumpta Serna, Bruce Greenwood, Oleg Vidov
#2: Starring: Nina Siemaszko, Wendy Hughes,Tom Skerritt, Robert Davi, Brent Fraser, Christopher McDonald
Zalman King's "Wild Orchid" gets points for wild eroticism -- it showcases about as much as a 1990 "R" rating can handle -- but the cornball dialogue, unbelieveable plot, and extremely loud musical score eventually sink this silly soft-core thriller. Mickey Rourke is a mysterious millionaire who shares his most private fantasies with supermodel Carré Otis in Rio de Janeiro. Jacqueline Bisset co-stars as Otis' boss. In the completely unrelated "in-name-only" sequel, newcomer Nina Siemaszko (little sister of actor Casey Siemaszko) gives one of the worst lead performances of the decade. The film is set in a whorehouse in 1958 California where Siemaszko plays a newly employed prostitute. There are numerous moments where you will cringe, but you may have to stop the VCR and recover from laughing when you see her classic "Scream" scene. It's one for the time capsule. Fast forward to 1:07:00 on the video to see it. Not currently available on home video, but most larger video stores have rental copies.
Roger Ebert on Warner Bros.' epic disaster "Wild Wild West": "You can see the money burning up on screen."
101. Wild Wild West (1999)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, M. Emmet Walsh
Critics and moviegoers alike seemed dumbfounded by this horrid resurrection of a 1960's TV show best left buried. Miscast leads Will Smith and Kevin Kline (who replaced the originally cast George Clooney) have no screen charisma together and are surrounded by lots of pointless noise and explosions as they try to save President Grant from an assassination plot. The film contains one of the worst title songs ever placed in a motion picture (Will Smith's silly rap, "Wild Wild West"). Roger Ebert said, "You can see the money burning up on screen." Winner: Worst Film, Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy, Worst Screenplay, Worst Resurrection of a TV Show (The Stinkers - 1999). VHS/VHS Widescreen/DVD. See an unfunny scene from "Wild Wild West." View the "Wild Wild West" trailer. Go to the official "Wild Wild West" website.
102. Xanadu (1980)
Director: Robert Greenwald
Starring: Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Michael Beck, James Sloyan, Dimitra Arliss, Katie Hanley, Fred McCarren, Ren Woods, Sandahl Bergman
Olivia Newton-John is Kira, the daughter of Zeus and a muse who is the inspiration for fine art everywhere. She descends on Earth to give it something it desperately needs: A roller skate dance club! No, seriously, that's her divine mission. Can you tell this disco dance fiasco came out the same summer as the Village People's "Can't Stop The Music"? Not many people ventured into the theater to see this train wreck, but they did gobble up the soundtrack album with songs by Newton-John, Electric Light Orchestra and Cliff Richard. In this excursion through cinematic hell, Newton-John comes to the aid of a talented artist (Michael Beck) and a former Big Band clarinetist (Gene Kelly in his final film) and helps them open their dream disco dance club. The plot is ridiculous and the special effects are shoddy, but Newton-John is drop dead gorgeous in every scene she appears in. Too bad the script wasn't as pretty. If you've ever wondered why Hollywood steers clear of musicals, rent this to see why. "Xanadu" was a huge flop for Universal Pictures. View the "Xanadu" trailer. VHS/DVD/Soundtrack CD
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