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Member Name: MykReeve
Date: 20/08/00, updated on 21/08/00 (186 review reads)
Advantages: I suppose some of them could send you to sleep, and if you're drunk you could enjoy yourself laughing at them
Disadvantages: But they really are terrible
Somehow, I think it's somewhat easier to write a top 10 worst films of all time than it is to write a top 10 best films. I've gone through my ratings on the Internet Movie Database, tracked down the eleven films that I've given my lowest ratings to, and arranged them in order of how little I'd like to watch them again. Here is my celebration of the worst of celluloid. Enjoy!
10= The Astronaut's Wife (1999)
Johnny Depp has endeared himself to us over the years in a collection of superbly moving, and well acted roles, notably in 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape?' and 'Edward Scissorhands'. However, of late, he's let us down very badly, most recently by appearing in Roman Polanski's disappointing and illogical horror flick 'The Ninth Gate'. For me, this though is his most unwatchable film. He plays an astronaut, who loses contact briefly with NASA while on a mission, and upon his return his wife notices differences in his behaviour. His wife, played by Charlize Theron, who, it would seem, is destined to play paranoid and unstable wives in mediocre films (e.g. 'The Devil's Advocate'), becomes pregnant, and begins to suspect that the child inside her is not entirely normal… some sort of alien baby, perhaps. Familiar? It should be. This is 'Rosemary's Baby', but with a weaker plot, terrible dialogue, and some atrocious acting.
10= The Big Bus (1976)
In the early 1970s, there was a spate of disaster films, and consequently there followed a backlash of parody films, much as we're experiencing now with the teen horror genre. While the same disaster movie backlash brought us the entertaining 'Airplane!', it also threw up (almost literally), the 'The Big Bus'. So, the story, such as it is, is that a nuclear-powered bus is running from New York to Denver, and attempts are made by the oil industry to prevent it. For me, one of the essential as
pects of a parody is the inclusion of humour, and sadly, this film is almost entirely devoid of it.
9 Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)
You remember Hellraiser, don't you? Lots of weirdness surrounding some puzzle boxes, which seem to summon creatures known as Cenobytes? Meat hooks a plenty, people with pins in their heads, course you remember it. Well, they made a sequel. That wasn't too bad. However, this is. It really is. At the beginning of the film, Pinhead, pin-bearing head and all are trapped inside a block, which is bought with the puzzle box by a young rich kid. Pinhead then forces him to lure young ladies back to his apartment, so Pinhead can get their blood and use it to escape from the block. Once he achieves this, he sets out to destroy the puzzle box that would send him back to Hell. Yes, the plot is now contrived and weak beyond belief. The effects are ropey, and the script and acting are worse. Probably the lowlight is the introduction of a new Cenobyte, bearing a collection of CDs stuck in his head.
8 Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
What do you think of when I mention the name James Cameron? Perhaps 'Aliens'? Maybe 'The Abyss'? But most likely, you think of 'Titanic' and him yelling "I'm the King of the World" at the Oscars. What you almost certainly don't think of is the execrable 'Piranha II: The Spawning'. Where the first 'Piranha' film fell straight into B-movie territory, 'Piranha II' falls by aiming too high, and producing an atrocious movie, with even worse effects. So, what's the conceit that allows the events of the first 'Piranha' film to continue into a sequel? Well, this time the fish have wings and can fly. Unconvincingly too, it would seem. This is probably Cameron's worst film, unless you've seen his overlaboured director's cut of 'The Abyss', but that's another matter…
tephen King's Sleepwalkers (1992)
Words are his power? Really? Perhaps he should stay away from scriptwriting then, because there's some really bad mojo working in this celluloid suppository. A mother and son move to a small town. They have the ability to change shape, and steal energy from young virgins. However, the local cats hate them, and, upon seeing them, seem to turn into stuffed versions before flinging themselves at them. The story is as weak and predictable as you'd expect from Stephen King, and the film is incredibly badly acted throughout. The one entertainment this film provides is the chance to spot horror writers and film directors in cameo roles, including Tobe Hooper, Joe Dante, Clive Barker, John Landis and Stephen King himself. But they don't seem to be able to act any better than the real actors.
6 The Undead (1957)
Roger Corman is considered to be one of the best horror film directors in the world. He's certainly prodigious, having produced almost 300 horror films, and having directed over 50. However, watching this film should cause most right-thinking people to question his high standing. The film deals with two psychical researchers who hypnotise a prostitute in order to find out about her past life, as a woman about to be beheaded as a witch, and then send her back in time to experience it first hand. By doing so, she unwittingly alters the course of history, and one of the psychical researchers goes back in time to join her. Featuring a very camp devil, some witches that change appearance seemingly using sparklers, and a tone-deaf gravedigger (who sings inept songs about coffins and rats throughout the movie), this really is painful watching. And we're only half way through the list!
5 Police Academy 7: Mission To Moscow (1994)
OK, who thought this series needed so many movies? I don't see many hands up, and this could well be because you've seen this film. Mahone
y (Steve Guttenberg, the master of mediocrity) has already jumped ship from the series, but his co-stars, presumably unable to find work elsewhere, still plod on with increasingly unbelievable and unamusing adventures. The Russian police are having trouble with the Mafia, and so they enlist the help of Police Academy. Yeah right, like the Russian police aren't so corrupt that they're actually run by the Mafia already. It wouldn't matter if the premise weren't the only bad thing, but the film is profoundly unamusing from beginning to end, and is positively soporific. The one highlight is the lovely Claire Forlani, who plays Katrina, a Russian who attempts to help the Police Academy team. Mmm…
4 Guest House Paradiso (1999)
Now, don't get me wrong. I like 'Bottom'. Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson are immensely funny in half-hour doses. However, this film is an hour and a half long, and they've tried to spin out a weak plot, with feeble characterisation and some horrifically unpleasant sequences. If your idea of fun is seeing people poked in the eye with a candle or vomiting absurd quantities of green bile, or even seeing a nuclear power station in the shape of a penis, then this film might be for you. For me, though, this is truly unpleasant cinema. The one saving grace is the ever-hilarious Simon Pegg, but even he can't save the film, having been given some atrocious lines to work with.
3 The Silence of the Hams (1994)
When I mentioned earlier that one of the most important characteristics for a parody is the inclusion of humour, I had forgotten that this was a far worse offender than 'The Big Bus'. An Italian film, surprisingly filmed in English, this is a terrible terrible spoof of 'The Silence of the Lambs' and 'Psycho'. Killer Antonio Motel (a paper-thin corruption of Anthony Perkins and Bates Motel) is investigated by Jo Dee Fostar, played by a pre-Titanic Billy Zane
. He seeks the help of "Doctor Animal Cannibal Pizza". Oh dear Christ.
2 Battlefield Earth (2000)
There is little to be said here that hasn't been said so many times before. This is one of the most misconceived and poorly carried out film adaptations ever in the history of cinema. Based on Scientology-creator L Ron Hubbard's book, this adaptation was carried out by John Travolta, who has spent a lot of time and money on bringing it to the big screen. The entire cast overacts unbearably, there are plot holes you could fly a Harrier jump jet through, the cinematography is appalling and the script is impossibly weak. The film's even overlong and, most worryingly, the way is left wide open for a sequel. However, the special effects are passable… and I really had to struggle to think of a way in which this film was better than the number one worst film of all time in my opinon…
1 Wild Wild West (1999)
Never ever have I ever felt so bad. Never ever have I ever wanted to leave a cinema more before the film had ended. However, I'd paid good money to see the film, so I was determined to see it through to the bitter end. From the unbearable overacting of Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh, to the self-indulgent and penis-obsessed Will Smith, there's really nothing to recommend here. The plot is weak, the special effects are merely passable, the script is so unbelievably poor as to be unwatchable. The concept of creating a "steampunk" world is a great one, and the film completely fails to do it justice… and possibly this, more than anything else, is a disappointment to me. Barry Sonnenfeld, who previously toned Smith down to good effect in the entertaining 'Men In Black' seems to have let him run out of control, and this was a terrible mistake. Where a strong plot and ingenious inventions could have driven the film, it became a star vehicle for the increasingly self-obsessed Will
Smith. I'm not denying that he was very funny in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air', but fame has brought an embarrassing conviction of his own brilliance to Will Smith, and this is something that he still has to prove to me. There are some atrocious puns in the film too, and one of my least favourite comedy conceits; the "overheard-out-of-context-and-hence-misunders tood" conversation. Oh, my aching sides.
So, there we have it - my list of 10 celluloid stinkers. Feel free to post comments!