All-Time Bottom 25

(theatrical viewing only)

Superman III (1983)
Richard Pryor plays a businessman who becomes extremely rich when he discovers a way to keep all of the half-cents (left over in the company's bank account during check printing after decimals are rounded down) and have that money transferred into his own account. Christopher Reeve plays Clark Kent, of course, but he also plays an "evil Superman" wreaking havoc due to the effects tobacco-tar-laced Kryptonite. Warning: watching this movie may be hazardous to your health and fatal to your afternoon.
Mausoleum (1983)
Marjoe Gortner (Earthquake) and LaWanda Page (Sanford And Son) are the only names I recognize when I reference the IMDB file on this turkey. It had something to do with a female descendant of an evil family possessed by a long-dead relative. That family name was (get this) "Nomed". Read that backwards and you've put as much thought into this film as the scriptwriter.
My American Cousin (1986)
This movie was nominated for 11 Genies (Canadian Academy Awards) and it won six of them. I blame the cold weather. The story of a young Canadian girl who, in 1959, becomes enamored with a cousin visiting from America. That's basically the whole movie, folks.
Short Circuit (1986)
Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg lead the rest of the cast off the proverbial career cliff in this dangerous-to-a-diabetic romantic comedy. After hearing Fisher Stevens' character mangle English and noting that G.W. Bailey's character was named "Skroeder", I knew it was only a matter of time before G.W. was called "Scrotum". Those rascal writers didn't disappoint me then, but they sure as hell did on everything else in this movie.
Howard The Duck (1986)
Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins have each done several very good movies. George Lucas has produced quite a few watchable films. Is there a reverse cliche to the one about the typewriting monkeys creating Shakespeare? So many guys wearing the million-dollar duck suit (eight) and so little good about this huge waste of time, money, and talent.
Shadow Play (1986)
The grand prize of a 1986 movie trade fair was a screening of this movie. Halfway through this movie, I was reading a newspaper. Dee Wallace-Stone and Cloris Leachman were the big names in this one. Stone plays a writer traumatized by the apparent suicide of her husband. She writes a story based on this and manages to get a local theatre group to act it out. Eventually, as she pieces together the events of her husband's last night, she discovers he accidentally fell and didn't kill himself. Cut! That's a wrap!
The Great Outdoors (1988)
Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and Annette Bening headlined this complete waste of time. Aykroyd's the stressed-out city guy and Candy's the obnoxious in-law ruining the city guy's vacation. Gee, how did the casting director manage to figure out who was going to play whom?
Phantasm II (1988)
First sign of a bad movie: The sequel comes out ten years after the first one. Second sign of a bad movie: a tagline like "The Ball Is Back!" The ball -- in this case -- sucks out people's brains. I was talked into seeing this movie. I'm sure I would've got more out of it if I'd seen the first one.
Whoops! Apocalypse! (1988)
I saw this movie on its second day of release and I was one of five people in the theatre. I guess that could be a third sign of a bad movie. Peter Cook (The Princess Bride), Loretta Swit, and Herbert Lom (The Pink Panther) pick up paychecks in this disaster. Loretta plays the President of the United States and tries to avoid World War III. She fails -- and so does this movie.
Big Top Pee Wee (1988)
Since May 1982, I figure I've made almost 950 trips to movie theatres. 26 years later, this movie is still the only one I've ever walked out of. I liked the first movie, but this one had so many unwatchable scenes that I just decided I couldn't handle sitting there in the dark with my hands over my eyes. I'd recommend this movie to blind people, but they'd still have to listen to it. Even Valeria Golino (Hot Shots, Rain Man) can't save this one.
High Spirits (1988)
Peter O'Toole plays the owner of an Irish castle and he tells American tourists the castle is haunted so he'll get more business. The tourists apparently bring real ghosts with them and Peter's character falls in love with one of them. This movie sure haunted me for a while.
The January Man (1988)
Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Harvey Keitel, and Alan Rickman...should all have known better. John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck, Five Corners) should have known better. Kline plays a bumbling detective that outsmarts the bad guys, his own department, and most, if not all, of the audience solving a serial murder case. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't like feeling dumber than the dumbest guy in the movie.
Heart Of Midnight (1989)
I've been a huge fan of Jennifer Jason Leigh since Fast Times At Ridgemont High and, by my count, I've seen 10 of her movies. This is the only one I didn't like. There's no one else in the movie worth mentioning. I didn't care what happened to anyone and the whole film unfolded like some low-budget haunted house.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
According to IMDb, one of the taglines for this movie was "Why Are They Putting Seatbelts In Theatres This Summer?". Well, I had one guess after I watched this bomb: to keep people from leaving early. The Enterprise is taken over by Spock's half-brother and his goal was to break through the impenetrable Great Barrier at the center of the galaxy (which took little effort and time) in order to meet God (who turned out to be Sybok's ego). Other highlights include: 1) Nichelle Nichols (age 65 when this film was released) doing a "dune dance" to distract villagers, 2) the word "Lost" added to the word "Paradise" outside of town -- as if anyone on the planet of Nimbus III had ever heard of Milton -- and 3) the age-old question: is Spock human enough to have the ability to flatulate? Add about 10 or 12 continuity errors and you can understand why Paramount showed Shatner-the-director the swooshing door.
Homer & Eddie (1989)
Director Andrei Konchalovsky (Runaway Train, Shy People) didn't get the hat trick with this head-scratcher about a sociopath (played by Whoopi Goldberg) hitching a ride with a retarded man (Jim Belushi) on a cross-country road trip to find his father. Thankfully, I've forgotten everything else about the film -- except that it was a date movie and we had a chance to see Blaze.
The Guardian (1990)
I saw this silly movie for free at a sneak preview. My condolences to anyone who paid to see it. Jenny Seagrove (Local Hero) plays a druid looking for small children to sacrifice to the tree gods. Miguel Ferrer (Hot Shots: Part Deux), Theresa Randle (three Spike Lee movies), Carey Lowell (License To Kill), and Xander Berkeley (Air Force One and 24) probably fired their agents after seeing themselves in this one. Brad Hall (SNL) was probably just happy to get the work. Where was Bush's forest management plan when this movie came out?
Nuns On The Run (1990)
This is one of those everybody-who-has-ever-been-in-a-British-comedy-gets-some-work movies. Eric Idle (Monty Python movies) and Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter movies) obviously have brighter days ahead of them. This film was Sister Act with men wearing the robes. Be sure to kick these habits when you see them.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
Just like Big Top Pee Wee -- and most other sequels -- if I didn't like the first movie, I wouldn't have bothered seeing any of its sequels. The first Die Hard movie was so much better than I thought it would be. Maybe that's part of the reason I was disappointed by this one. Also, I'm one of those people that has a standing rule about bad guys in movies: the worse they are, the "better" their death has to be. One of the main things wrong with this movie is that the main bad guy doesn't "die properly" and he only manages to die because Bruce Willis had some very good luck with his lighter and a trail of leaking oil from an airplane. One big continuity error: The airport is supposed to be in DC, but the phones clearly show "PacificBell" labels. C'mon, guys, for $100, I'll gladly do it myself.
Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991)
The first movie, released five years later had so many interesting elements. What would you do if you were told that you were immortal? How would your friends and significant others react when they aged and you didn't? What if there were a "prize" waiting for the last immortal? Well, forget all that because in this sequel, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and Juan Ramirez (Sean Connery) are actually rebels from the planet Zeist and their chosen "punishment" for being on the wrong side of a coup attempt is to live forever on Earth. Now it's 2024, MacLeod is an old man and Earth has a possibly-useless ozone shield. Plus, a General from Zeist is on Earth to inadvertently turn MacLeod into an immortal again. Sigh. There should have been only one.
Shakes The Clown (1992)
Bobcat Goldthwait (Burglar, Police Academy 2 & 3) "starred" in and "directed" this strange movie about a clown forced to go undercover as a mime to prove he didn't murder his boss. Florence Henderson appears as a woman who has a one-night stand with Shakes. In a drunken stupor, Shakes accidentally urinates on the former Mrs. Brady. That should have been enough to stop film production right there, but alas, no.
Mortal Kombat 2 (1997)
The first movie was entertaining, so I thought the second one would be at least as fun to watch from a martial-arts-fan point of view. Nope. The effects are way too cheesy. I can't buy James Remar (replacing a taller Christopher Lambert) as Rayden, the mentor of the good guys. Like Highlander 2, it's a case of "Hey, we won in the first movie. Why are we going through this again?"
Say It Isn't So (2001)
The Farrelly brothers (There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene) didn't direct this one and maybe that's why it never worked. Chris Klein (American Pie) plays a guy going out with a woman (Heather Graham) who might be his sister, but after he breaks up with her and then finds out he's not related, he has to travel across the country to stop her from marrying someone else. Orlando Jones is the only thing that keeps this film from being a complete disaster.
Austin Powers 3: Goldmember (2002)
The production company for a movie based on another one of Mike Myers' running characters from his Saturday Night Live days (the Sprockets guy) sued Myers because he backed out of the film. Mike didn't want to do the movie because he didn't like the script. If he didn't like that one, but he approved of the script for Goldmember, how bad could that other one have been? Everything that I thought was over the top in the second Austin Powers movie was sitting on the roof next to an old frisbee in this third movie. If Dr. Evil can't kill Austin Powers, another movie like this one should do the trick.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
Never played the video game, but I have enjoyed watching Antonio Banderas (Desperado) and Lucy Liu (Shanghai Noon) kick a little bad-guy butt once in a while. Well, now I know they shouldn't be in the same movie together. No chemistry, but lots of explosions. Despite the film's title, these two end up working together before the film is half over. By that time, however, I've spent too much time wincing at the dialogue to care any more.
Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat (2003)
It's probably a good thing that Theodore Geisel isn't around to hear about this one. It might have killed him. Mike Myers (Wayne's World) gets the run of the set and the script apparently because neither the producer nor the director of this colossal stinker saw Goldmember. Visually (and not counting the scene-chewing of Myers), there isn't anything wrong with this movie. The problem is that most pictures include sound these days. I guess there is a certain bit of symmetry with this film: John Travolta was the big star of Battlefield Earth. Now his wife Kelly Preston has something equally bad on her resumé.

 

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