Horrible Movies

Last night we watched “Identity Thief” on DVD, which was a truly horrible movie. That got me thinking of all the horrible movies I’ve seen recently, and trust me: there have been a lot. “Iron Man 3” was pretty horrible. So was “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” I’m pretty sure any movie based on a comic book is going to be horrible these days.

Hollywood: WTF is wrong with you?

So I wonder: what is the best most horrible movie you’ve seen recently?

By horrible I mean a movie that is supposed to be good, but isn’t. Movies with a strong cast or a good director or that even maybe got nominated for some awards for some inexplicable reason. I’m not talking true schlock like Saw IV or Friday the 13th Part 1,072. I’m talking a movie that everyone thought would be good until it all went horribly, horribly wrong.

I think by far the worst movie I’ve ever seen which fits that criteria is “Les Miserables.” Good lord, that was torture. Impossibly long, horribly overwrought, no one in the entire film looked like they’d taken a bath. Everyone looked like they smelled. I like musicals, but I didn’t like any of the songs in this one. And every time I thought we’d reached the end and I could finally go to the bathroom I’d find out nooooo! It’s not over yet! That movie was my Gitmo, it broke me, and when I was finally allowed to leave I crawled out of the theater ready to kiss the ground of the parking lot, amazed that I had survived. And you know, I have only myself to blame: after all, the word “miserable” was in the damn title.

The other horrible movie which runs a close second is “Incredibly Loud And Extremely Close.” I hated that movie so much I wanted to punch it. I could not believe it was nomninated for an Oscar. The little kid in the movie was incredibly annoying and unsympathetic, and I kept wondering, “where the hell is the mother?” And then when you find out at the end — spoiler alert ahead — that mom had been following along the whole time, unseen, clearing his path, softening the ground ahead of him like some kind of Holy Ghost, I just wanted to shout, “No fucking way!” I mean, it just defied credibility. Didn’t she have a job? I felt like that was the laziest, stupidest thing in the world — as if the movie wasn’t testing well and someone decided to tack on this 10 minute explanation at the end to make it seem more believable.

So, what’s your favorite horrible movie?


Filed under movies, pop culture

44 responses to “Horrible Movies

  1. Jim in Memphis

    I don’t get to the movies very often, so nothing is jumping out at me as being horribly bad lately. I disagree with you on Les Mis. Did you never see the live musical of it? One of my daughters has been hooked on the music (we have CDs of a live production that she listens too all the time). She was so excited to finally see the movie and she loved it. She saw it twice in the theater and we have the movie of DVD now. I thought it was a well done movie adaptation of the musical. The only thing i thought was wrong was the singing voice of Russel Crowe.

    Never saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but that just sounds bad :).

    • I really abhor most Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals. I make an exception for Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.

      • opiejeanne

        Les Miz is not ALW, it’s Schoenberg, and I agree with whoever mentioned it below, that there are few songs that are any good in it. The one I really like is I Dreamed a Dream, the Patti LuPone recording. (My girls were dancers and that particular recording made for one heck of a lyrical dance.) That said, I don’t plan to see it.

        I dislike of most of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s stuff, I much prefer Sondheim, but I was dragged to see Phantom in SF and really enjoyed it. The staging and the vocal performances were excellent.

      • Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote “I Dreamed a Dream” … I thought he wrote the whole thing but apparently not. Thanks for correcting me.

        What a wretched musical.

  2. Mark Rogers

    A strong case can be made that ‘Battlefield Earth’ is the worst movie ever made since Travolta knows better and there was no seeming limit on the money spent. Unlike disasters such as ‘Heaven’s Gate,’ it had turkey written all over it from the first but no one could stop the madness.

    Another thing about ‘Battlefield Earth’ is that it is based on principles of Scientology so one would think that the Church would have provided more oversight. Deprogrammers only need to lock up a Scientology convert in a quiet room and run ‘Battlefield Earth’ a couple of times and anyone would turn on Scientologists.

  3. I love Jesus Christ Superstar. We have a dvd of it, and I think I had watched it a million times. Haven’t watched les Mis, for the simple reason that it’s not my type. I did get to watch Abraham Lincoln, The Vampire Hunter, and I think it’s so-so. I should like it coz I like supernatural stuff, but this one, I don’t know… maybe because Abraham Lincoln is a freakin’ vampire hunter? I love WWZ , though.

  4. Since Travolta IS a scienscamologist why wouldn’t he be perfectly happy taking a fuckton of money for making that piece of shit?

    The beauty of Netflix is that you can watch a bit of a movie and go, “Holy fuck am I glad I didn’t pay $10-13 to see that crap.

    Basically, all of the Marvel/Stan Lee movies ARE comic books in action. the same ridiculously hyperbolic scenery chewing, improbable (impossible) scenarios and it’s never, Ever, OVER. You know that there has to be a prequel, sequel and anything else that they can pump out to goose the merchandising. I quit reading the comic books when I was twelve and am not convinced these 50+ years later that it was a mistake to do so.

    • Jim in Memphis

      I agree about the Netflix angle. We use Netflix streaming to watch just about everything in our house. No cable bill and at $10 bucks a month it is hard to beat. Combine that with a rare trip to a Red Box if there is something out that I really want to see and that covers most of our movie/TV watching in our house. Theaters are good if you want the really awesome sound effects, but with the newer digital TVs and surround sound at home you hardly have to go to a theater to get that anymore.

  5. Huh? “Identity Thief” …. “Iron Man 3” ….. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Especially Lincoln as vampire hunter—and you seriously expected something other than horrible? Maybe I’ve been lucky…..but usually by reading the various ‘reviews’ out there I get a pretty good sense of what’s going on in the film (can you call some of the cinematic crap that’s out there ‘film’ rather than ‘movie’? How about phlegm, rather than film?) I’ve passed on the various Saw films (thought they were ‘home improvement’ flicks at first), but have acquired taste for George Romero’s zombie efforts. And when David Denby praised World War Z, checked it out. And it wasn’t bad by any means. But….’Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter’—I had to laugh at the sheer stupidity of…the title. Maybe the sequence will be “Abraham Lincoln:Zombie Hunter” and I’ll HAVE to see it.


  6. ThresherK

    I was looking forward to the idea of Bateman and McCarthy together. Then I resigned myself to the fact that Hollywood can’t build a comedy around Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.

    SoBe, Les Mis has been around since the ’80s. You had every opportunity to find out how few good songs are in it before seeing the movie! But, on its own level I must state two things: The lyrics are translated from French, which never ends well. And it was filmed with live singing and exactly 1 1/2 singers in the cast. There’s a reason all the best movie musicals had prerecorded singing and even dubbing, but the Les Miz folks forgot that.

    I thought you’d be the kind of discerning lefty who recoiled at the idea of “Extremely Loud…”. Smacks of “Oscar Gold” level bad (h/t American Dad).

  7. I gave up on movies when Dog Day Afternoon was in first release. I’d seen so many awful movies before seeing that one, I figured I’d give up on a movie that still had something to be said for it. The only movie after that I remember paying to see was the very end of the first run of the original “Hairspray” movie when it got to the now long closed down dollar theater. I wasn’t expecting more than laughs and it delivered some. But it wasn’t what I’d call high art.

    • Dog Day Afternoon was the first “R” rated movie I ever saw. I think I was 13 years old and we got an older couple in line ahead of us to buy our tickets with money we gave them. On that basis alone it will stand out as a wonderful movie because it felt so great to sneak in.

      But that was, what, 1974? I can’t believe you haven’t seen a movie in almost 40 years. You know, there HAVE been some really good ones made in the past 4 decades. Honest!

      • I haven’t been to a movie theater in that time. I’ve seen a few, mostly involuntarily while visiting other people – had to sit there while they watched them. I did like Sweet Dreams but mostly it was watching stuff like the putrid late-middle aged male fantasy, As Good As It Gets, in which the putrid character played by Jack Nicholson not only gets the much younger, much better looking, much nicer much younger woman but also gets to turn down the much younger, much better looking, much nicer gay man too.

        I’d rather read a book.

      • Wow.

        Schindler’s List? Life Is Beautiful? Amadeus? Raging Bull? Blade Runner?

        Shawshank Redemption????

        My God, man. You’re missing out on some terrific filmmaking.

  8. Anaconda, hands down. Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, j-lo, Ice Cube and a big budget and still the silliest unintentionally hilarious movie I’ve ever seen. Voight’s ridiculous fake accent alone is worth the price of admission!

  9. cckids

    I’m not sure it was ever supposed to be “good”, but watching “The Day After Tomorrow” on TV always makes me laugh and/or throw things. The destruction of LA by several dozen tornadoes is kind of fun. The supposedly Mensa-level college students stuck in the NYC library who keep warm by BURNING BOOKS rather than the heavy oak furniture all around them aggravates me every time.

    And “A.L, Vampire Hunter” was kind of a fun, tongue-in-cheek send up of a book. The movie took itself too seriously & screwed it up. Ah, Hollywood.

    • GregH

      What about movies that every critic agrees are turkeys, but I personally found not to be “the worst movie ever made”??? I thought “John Carter” was pretty good classic SF fare (although I thought Taylor Swif–,er, I mean, Taylor Kitsch [AWESOME NAME, btw] was horribly mis-cast) and I thought “The Lone Ranger” was admitted loud & silly, but hey, what are you expecting from a movie like that is produced my Jerry Bruckheimer and stars John Depp as Tonto?

      • In the category of movies the critics hated but I loved: tops on that list is the Baz Luhrmann/Leonardo DiCaprio version of “The Great Gatsby.” I ADORED that movie. I wanted to see it again and again. I don’t understand why the critics didn’t get it.

  10. Mr Stagger Lee

    Rise of the Planet of The Apes, I wish OnDemand had a money back guarantee.

  11. Recently had to suffer through “The Purge” with my 15 yo daughter. Today an adult can buy a kid an R ticket but they have to be accompanied by said adult to the showing. Couldn’t figure what Ethan Hawke was doing in this pic. (Except for the obvious) Blah!

  12. Bitter Scribe

    Can I do a reverse here, and talk about a movie I expected to hate but really liked?

    I never cared for “Family Guy,” and that insulting “We Saw Your Boobs” number Seth MacFarlane did at the Oscars left me thinking of him as an odious punk. So when “Ted” came on HBO (which I don’t get at home–I was in a hotel room), I thought, OK, I’ll watch this until I can no longer bear (ha ha) it, which should take about five minutes.

    Surprise–I loved it! It had heart and was genuinely funny, even the gross-out stuff (which was mercifully minimal). He even pulled off the cliche of the long-suffering girlfriend, although Mila Kunis gets most of the credit for that.

    • I have a blog called “Crush Seth MacFarlane’s Nuts”. Mostly it’s dominated by reacting to his number two fan, other than himself, who is also number two, if you know what I mean. It enabled me to say, “Hey, Seth, those fans of yours, we saw your assholes.

  13. Kosh III

    David Lynch’s Dune. He gave a valiant effort but even at 3 1/2 hours it was much too short to do the story justice.
    I agree that John Carter was better than the critics thought. Maybe they should’ve read the novels……

    • greennotGreen

      I *did* read the Barsoom novels which is why I didn’t like it. I don’t remember Dejah Thoris being a brilliant inventor. The Therns are aliens bent on controlling Earth? Is that because the filmmakers thought audiences wouldn’t care about anything unless it threatens Earth or because they were cowards and didn’t want to make the anti-religion statement Burroughs obviously intended?

      • Mark Rogers

        Kosh, excellent point about ‘Dune.’

        greennotGreen, that would be a wonderful idea except that I don’t think Peter Jackson will leave the lush green world of New Zealand for a desert environment.

    • greennotGreen

      Ooh, ooh, ooh, I have an idea! Peter Jackson remakes ‘Dune”, parts I, II, and III!

      • greennotGreen

        There’s plenty of desert in Australia; he could commute.

      • Mark Rogers

        Fair point. And no one could do a better job with ‘Dune’ than him. But he seems devoted to New Zealand.

        It is amusing to think that much of New Zealand’s film industry importance owes to the Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules television shows.

  14. democommie

    “It is amusing to think that much of New Zealand’s film industry importance owes to the Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules television shows.”

    And she IS a warrior. She went to jail, last year IIRC, for an act of civil disobedience.

    I’m going to tell you about a movie which I had no intention of seeing, was basically snookered into and wound up liking it.

    A former serially significant other arranged a dinner “double date” for us and a friend and her prospective beau. He brought “Bob Roberts” and was really excited about watching it. About 5 minutes into the movie, I was thinking, “This is some kind of fucked-up–that country song them boys are singing is so bad that it HAS to be deliberate.”. Well, as the movie ground on it became apparent that it was, basically, a 2 hours or so, “Poe”. By the time it was over, I was laughing my ass off and the guy who had rented it (somewhere to the right, politically of the Shah of Iran, was all sad-faced. Icing on the cake.

    • Bob Roberts is a classic. I posted a clip of it over here when the Tea Party got started, and recalled how what was once satire is now reality. That is what has become of modern conservatism: so far off the rails they have literally become a parody. LITERALLY.

      • ThresherK

        It’s never a wrong time to laud Bob Roberts. Almost continually, even.

        I guess I’m still fantasizing the real-world equivalent of the scene where “Chief” from Carmen San Diego rips Bob a new cloaca on the faux “Today” show when Bob starts rewriting the ’60s. Yet when I turn on the news all I get are Peter Gallagher types.

        (From memory.)

  15. Bitter Scribe

    Red Dawn. The original one.

    I saw it in the theaters when it came out. I had to, because it was during the 15 minutes or so I was a movie critic. What’s interesting is that my pan of that movie garnered the only nasty letters I ever received as a critic.

    • GregH

      You panned Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen and C. Thomas Howell as highschoolers fighting the Russians and Cubans for America’s freedom!?!?! You must be *entirely* evil. LOL
      The scene with Powers Boothe as the downed jet fighter pilot is priceless.
      When the kids ask, “Who’s on our side?”
      Boothe: “800 million screamin’ Chinese”
      Kid: “I thought there are a billion Chinese.”
      Boothe: “There were.” and throws his cup of whiskey on the campfire.
      Finest Reagan-era propaganda EVAH!

      • “Shoot straight you army pukes.” *cough* *gasp* DIES.

        Every time I see Powers Boothe around Nashville (he’s here to shoot the TV show) I think of that line.

    • Mark Rogers

      The only interesting thing about ‘Red Dawn’ is that it reverses the conventional soldier vs guerrilla theme that originated with Vietnam movies.

      There is a great scene between Ron O’Neal as the Cuban officer and the Russian officer. O’Neal is advocating a more lenient strategy for dealing with opposition and the Russian is in favor of greater repression.

      O’Neal says something like “We need to do what the Americans did in Vietnam. Win their hearts and minds.”

      The Russian replies “They lost in Vietnam.”

      Now the realities of Vietnam are much more complicated but it is a compelling moment and it segues into the bombing of a building where troops are relaxing. It is like ‘The green Berets’ with John Wayne as the Cong leader.

      • We won the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese? I was just a kid back then, but that’s certainly not how I remember it.

        To me the only interesting thing about Red Dawn was that it was a foreign invasion of the American heartland. Which is something that we haven’t seen before.

        Recently caught the Australian version of Red Dawn on cable, called something like “Tomorrow When The War Began” or some such. I think it was a pilot for a TV show, had a decided TV vibe.

  16. kosh III

    Ooo, how could I forget.
    Inbred Rednecks, hilariously awful. The “electric fence” scene is hilarious.

  17. Min

    How could i have missed contributing to this one? For me, it has to be “The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover”. It scarred me for life. I stayed through it all, thinking that, after all this horror and betrayal and cruelty, there must be some sort of amazing emotional pay-off that made it all worthwhile. I was wrong. Ye gods, was I wrong.

    • OMG I still have nightmares about that movie. I know exactly what you mean!!

      • democommie

        I love Helen Mirren but that movie is like Fellini on acid.

        It’s interesting that in speedwatching a bit of it just the other night I was trying to figure out who the “Thief” was and while he was holding court at the dinner table I looked at the guy across from him and it was Tim Roth. I never even saw him the first time I viewed the film.