Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bad, Bad Movies

Blogger Jonco at Bits and Pieces posted a link to this story on UGO about the Worst Actors of All Time (which is limited to men and therefore doesn't include the truly dreadful Jennifer Aniston, but still manages to omit the even worse Gerard Butler). The post got me thinking about bad movies, in general. But not bad, cheap indies like Troll 2 or Manos: Hands of Fate, which exist in their own MST3K category. No, I'm talking about Major Studio, big budget stinkers that have no business existing.

Let's get started, shall we?

The first on my list is the 1976 Dino DeLaurentiis production of King Kong, starring Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin and Jessica Lange who makes a rather ignominious debut as an actress named Dwan, who is rescued an oil freighter that finds a giant gorilla instead of the oil it's looking for (huh?). DeLaurentiis notably said "Everybody gonna cry when my Kong die." We did, but they were tears of laughter.  He even campaigned to have make-up artist Rick Baker nominated as Best Actor for his performance in the ridiculous ape costume. Directed by John Guillerman (The Towering Inferno; Death on the Nile), the movie is most notable for its terrible acting and even worse special effects.Thankfully, both Bridges and Lange would survive this turkey and go on to Oscar-winning careers. Sadly, this was also the last movie my father, mother, sister and I ever saw as a family. We were all equally excited and disappointed by its cheesiness.

Of course, I've already discussed George Lucas' disastrous Howard the Duck, but a post about the worst movies ever wouldn't be complete without it. Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones and Tim Robbins star in one of Hollywood's worst stinkers, ever.

And since I'm already talking about genre movies, let's add Hugh Jackman in 2004's Van Helsing, a movie that held so much potential but which ended up being a ridiculous, noisy and over-used CGI pile of crap.

Good actors make bad movies on occasion, but it's truly sad when a good actor's last film is as terrible as Raul Julia's last movie, 1994's Streetfighter. Based a video game (never a good idea), Streetfighter features Julia as the dictator of a country named Shadaloo (that's sounds perfectly plausible) and Jean-Claude Van Damme as the hero. Pee-yew!

Of course, not all bad big budget films were made in the last 30 years, Take 1963's Cleopatra, starring acting legends Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison. Still one of the most expensive movies ever made when adjusted for inflation, Joseph L. Mankeiwicz' epic is an epic fail, by any standard.

And since we're talking Hollywood royalty and bad films, let's not forget Paul Newman's debut film The Silver Chalice, a completely crappy Biblical story for which Newman would later publicly apologize.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I'll talk more about these and other films during November's "Turkey Month" posts. And I'll be adding links to this post soon, so you see more of these films' crapitude.
More, anon.

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