Six movies that stink
Everyone has seen movies that were a waste of time and money. How do they get made? Doesn’t someone on the set from the gaffer to best boy to caterer stop everyone and say, “Hey, what are we doing here? This sucks!” Someone has to know that the movie blows during the filming. Maybe by then it’s too late and everyone just wants to collect a check and go home. Studios often telegraph stinky movies by not letting critics review them or running trailers with rave reviews from people you’ve never heard of.
Of course, what constitutes a bad movie is subjective. I love the 1998 movie “Ronin” (7.2 IMDB, 80% Rotten Tomatoes audience) but one of my best friends saw it with a group of people who walked out because they hated it. So in listing my five most hated movies I’m also including each film’s 1 to 10 Internet Movie Database (IMDb) score and its Rotten Tomatoes critics/audience 1 to 100 score (higher is better.) So in no particular order, my five movies that sucked are:
BLANKMAN (4.7 IMDB, 13% critics 39% audience, Rotten Tomatoes): Having watched Damon Wayans on “In Living Color” in such skits as Homey D. Clown, HandiMan and part of the flaming, two-snaps-up Men on Film movie reviewers, I was expecting to be rolling in the theater aisles. The movie was as funny as a gallstone. It’s hard to believe someone can be so unfunny outside of skits. I saw it with a friend and we both sat speechless (laughless). To this day we accuse each other of being the one who chose the movie. I’d rather sit through Zamfir, the Master of the Pan Flute, opening for Gilbert Gottfried, than be subjected to a Damon Wayans movie like “Blankman.” Wayans’ funniest movie moments are in “Colors,” where he plays a Crip high on angel dust dancing in a diaper with a large bunny rabbit. Just watch “Colors” and forget “Blankman” ever existed.
KILL OR BE KILLED (4.9 IMDB, 60% audience, Rotten Tomatoes:) Some consider it a martial arts classic. (And some people liked Jim Varney enough for NINE Ernest movies to be made. NINE.) This turkey was filmed in South Africa in 1977 and released in the U.S. in 1980. The tag line was “The Greatest Hollywood Martial Arts Movie Ever Made.” Everyone wanted to see this movie. When my brother and I went to see it, the line was so long that the movie sold out. So we decided to just stand in line (along with the other suckers) in the freezing cold and wait the hour and a half until the movie ended to see it. Perhaps being miserable waiting in line unfairly prejudiced my viewing of the movie. But I can say at the end of this lame film, the bad guy killed himself and I imagine the majority of the theater audience would’ve too if there was a weapon lying around. You know a movie sucks when it ends and there’s a collective groan.
LEONARD PART 6. (2.3 IMDB, 24% audience, Rotten Tomatoes): Now everyone knows Bill Cosby is a comedic genius. Yes, kids, Bill Cosby didn’t always lecture black folks and sexually assault women (allegedly). His early albums were side-splitting. He even acted in some movies like “Uptown Saturday Night” and “Let’s Do It Again.” His Saturday morning show, “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” rivaled Bugs Bunny in my house among cartoons. Then came “The Cosby Show,” a critical and ratings juggernaut. In the middle of that series, Cosby dropped a turd called “Leonard Part 6.” Lest you think this mess of a secret-agent-saves-the-world stinkaroo was a fluke for first time director Paul Weiland, he went on to cement his cruddy credentials with “City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold” (which probably belongs on this list). “Leonard” is probably most famous for a scene where Cosby shamelessly holds a Coca-Cola bottle by his face in the most obvious product placement in cinema history.
THE BLACK DAHLIA (5.6 IMDB, 32% critics, 27% audience, Rotten Tomatoes): I’ve always been a true crime fan. So when I heard a movie was being made about the grisly 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short by director Brian DePalma (“Dressed to Kill,” “Body Double,”” Scarface”), I couldn’t wait. I should’ve waited. I should’ve never gone. I saw it with my girlfriend’s daughter and we sat there dumbfounded, wondering what the hell this movie was about and when it would end. The murder of Elizabeth Short seemed only tangentially related to the “plot.” It was like someone making a movie on the JFK assassination. but focused on a liquor store robbery that happened at the same time three blocks from Dealey Plaza. Ever since, I’ve always said if I ever met Brian DePalma. I would knock him out. And when he came to, I’m sure he’d look up at me, after wiping blood from his nose, and say, “Black Dahlia, right?”
THE THIN RED LINE. (7.6 IMDB, 79% critics, 80% audience, Rotten Tomatoes): Some might be shocked to see this war movie on my list. After all, the film marked the return of director Terrence Malick (“Badlands”) after twenty years and the movie garnered seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. The cast was unbelievable: Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, George Clooney, Adrien Brody, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly and John Travolta. Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, Gary Oldman, and Mickey Rourke were edited out of the movie due to length. Malick was somehow able to cut a film down from five hours to 171 minutes and have it still feel like five hours. It was like listening to someone read poetry in the most uninflected voice possible without being a robot while watching scenes of war intercut with the beauty of nature. That’s the point of the movie and it’s hammered home endlessly. If this is high brow, I’m happy to remain a Neanderthal.
FREDDIE GOT FINGERED. (4.5 IMDB, 11% critics, 57% audience, Rotten Tomatoes): Watching this skidmark of a Tom Green movie made me wonder how any intelligent person in Hollywood could’ve possibly greenlit this waste of film. I watched it after a night of drinking and found myself unable to look away, like when you see a grisly accident on the freeway. After seeing it, I wanted Tom Green blackballed from performing in anything even remotely related to show business. I’m convinced watching this film will shave at least 22 points off your IQ. It’s a big screen lobotomy. I get that Tom Green is one of the kings of gross out comedy. Comedy can be gross (see “There’s Something About Mary,” “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life”), but it still has to be funny. Green doesn’t bring the funny in this movie. This ocular assault cost $15 million to make. I would rather they used that money to make a sequel to “Blankman.”
HONORABLE MENTION: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. Don’t do it.