The 10 Worst Movies I've endured (or at least tried to)

I have a few friends who often ask, "Ooh, can you suggest a good movie to rent tonight!" Despite their seeming enthusiasm in asking, when I do come up with a suggestion some of them will invariably complain. They don't like the genre or they don't like the director or they are nervous about the rating. Then there are the oft-time observations about who stars in the movie I suggested. Like from a gal pal: "Yew, that slut's in it? Think of another one." Or from a guy pal: "He's in it? You do know that guy is gay, right?"

Sigh. It has become obvious that it would save a helluva lot time if my friends just asked, What's a really bad movie I shouldn't watch if my life depended on it -and yes, even if the rental comes with free popcorn, no late fees and my favorite actor/actress appears in it stark, buck neked? Not only would this save time on my part but theirs, too.

But since none of them have so far asked this pertinent question, I now present the following list. Categorically, it could be called The Ten Worst Movies of All Time. But since no one is the consummate knower-of-all-things and since my choices have changed over the years, I prefer just calling it The 10 Worst Movies I've Endured (or at least tried to).

*Special Note*: the horrendous Disney original, Camp Rock missed making this list solely for the fact it was a made-for-TV film. But potential viewer advisory: watching Camp Rock could prove detrimental to your intellectual health. If you just must see this movie I'd suggest doing so with a stiff drink in hand or better yet, with the television sound completely off.

Hopefully my friends will read this and not ask for elaboration or second-guesses. Because honestly, I don't get to rent or go out to see movies too often these days, but I'm happy to help as I can in sparing them a complete waste of their time and money on a downright bad movie. So here we go:

The 10 Worst Movies I've Endured (or at least tried to)


# 10 Dracula Rising

Viewer summary: Released in 1993, produced by Roger Corman and directed by Fred Gallo, this vampire film was an obvious attempt to cash in on the 1992 blockbuster Bram Stoker's Dracula made by Francis Ford Coppola. As with a lot of cash-in films this one sucks (pardon the pun). First you have a Vlad Dracul (played by Christopher Atkins) who could easily be mistaken for a young Mark Hamil. Unfortunately, Atkins has all the dark seductive charm of an Ewok. Ok, to be fair, a six-foot tall Ewok shaved of all his body hair. Then there's Vlad's love-interest, an American artist by the name of Theresa (played by Stacey Travis); a character with all the intelligence of a coffin nail. In their defense, however, the quality deprivation of this film doesn't begin or end with these lead characters.

Storyline summary: Theresa is hired by a dark, mysterious European old fart to supervise renovations at a dark, mysterious European old monastery. Subverting her attention on this huge time-consuming project is a cute blonde guy named Vlad. When not creaming her jeans over blondy, Theresa notices her employer has some kind of weird emotional issues with him. Soon -meaning soon as in time measured by an intellectual giant of Theresa's stature- she realizes the troubling dreams she's been having stem from events in a previous lifetime when she was in love with a certain Transylvanian named Vlad the Impaler. But being a brutal tyrant-turned-blood-sucking monster wasn't the Impaler's worst problem: he also had a domineering father with jealousy issues. And so when Theresa finally realizes her Vlad of today is the Vlad of yesterday she makes the wise decision to help him fight forces against Dad by volunteering herself up to be Vlad's next fledgling. Because love is never having to say you're sorry, you're mortal or clinging to the notion that thriving off the blood of innocents may just compromise your ethics.

The director obviously tried to give this movie a gothic feel, but unfortunately the mood was lost somewhere under a truckload of cheesy special effects. Then there's the poor acting and a script that would have better served humanity rolled over a dispenser inside a studio restroom. What's most unforgivable is that somewhere along the way the writers either intentionally or unwittingly confused the subject matter of Bram Stoker's Dracula with Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Emotional conflicts galore develop out of this unattractive melding of world building; emotional conflicts without a single shred of believability any intelligent audience could hope to identify with. Throw into the mess a dash of mobster noir and top it off with a love scene so slow and pubescent in nature that watching two turtles make out would be more erotically arousing. All in all Dracula Rising is a torturous excuse of a vampire movie. The best I can say for it is that it has the Roger Corman label to it, and for those into cheesy horror pulp as only Corman can deliver, this is surely a must-see. For everyone else: you're probably better off brandishing the biggest crucifix available and get thee self to the nearest monastery.

Christopher Atkins starred as "Vlad" in this the 1993 horrible horror, Dracula Rising
Christopher Atkins starred as "Vlad" in this the 1993 horrible horror, Dracula Rising

# 9 Mulan

From the vault of Disney's highly self-proclaimed "masterpiece"s, this film has everything a feminist could want for girls in an animated film. I allowed my own girls to see this only once, however, and once is enough.

Quick description: a young woman suffering from penis envy goes out to do manly things beside men to defend a proud, inhumane feudal system against an army of proud, inhumane enemies.

Short summary: Mulan is the tom-boy daughter of a highly respected Chinese warrior who happens to belong to a proud, well-bred elitist family. Alas, poor Dad is too old and feeble when called to active duty. The family ancestors decide it should be Mulan who goes out to fight (this family is expected to send someone or dishonor will descend faster than you can say Attila). But because old China did have some sense of chivalry before the communists came and put an end to that idea, women don't usually go out to fight, kill and massacre their enemies. Mulan is crafty, though, and disguises herself as a guy in order to combat those big bad evil Huns. Aided by a little dragon -what Disney movie would be complete without at least one talking animal?- Mulan eagerly enlists in the army and discovers how truly strong, capable, independent and utterly depleted of all feminine qualities a gal can be when she really puts her mind to it. Even as Mulan decides in the end to return to her family she has done everything a daughter could do to win respect from a family that puts honor, sacrifice, martial obsession and unquestioning blind obedience before anything else..

Now the moral of this story -that natural gender differences are just a fantasy- may appeal to some. But as a woman and a mother I want my daughters to embrace the tender qualities I believe are an innate part of being a female.Mulan plays like just another example of gender-neutral propaganda. For all the outcries from feminists to the princess stereotypes of yesteryear's Disney films, this one smacks of pure politics, the kind of politics that envisions a world where everyone is equal to serve a State that demands first allegiance. Such a vision cannot be accomplished without first castrating all ideals of complementary gender differences. And it is evident the makers of Mulan were all too willing to volunteer their talents to the propaganda campaign.

# 8 The Phantom Menace

I was never a big Star Wars fan. As far as the original trilogy is concerned I could take it or leave it. Despite the trite dialog and adolescent ambiance at least the storyline was interesting. And Hans Solo was kinda sexy and even with all those annoying muppets in Return of the Jedi there was Princess Leia, looking even hotter than Hans in her golden slave bikini. Not to mention that pretty cool climatic duel between Luke Skywalker and Vader that ended with the nasty emperor getting his just dessert.

One would have thought nice ending to a nice story and that would have been the suitable end to it. But oh no, years later George Lucas wanted to take fans (or more specifically paying fans) even further by going back in time with a prequel series that covered Darth Vader's rise to power. And for the first offering in this new trilogy he gave us the Phantom Menace. This movie addresses the pertinent plot & political issues going on for the Jedi council when Anakin Skywalker -Darth- was just a wee boy.

Story summary (as brief as I can hope to make it): a Jedi Master (Qui-Gon Jinn) and his apprentice (Obi-Wan Kenobi) have a confrontation with baddies on the planet of Naboo, make friends with a Gungan named Jar Jar Binks, save Queen Amidala and with her and Jar Jar in tow whisk off to safety to the planet, Tatooine. There they meet a slave woman who has a son by a virgin conception; the son's name is Anakin Skywalker. Mommy pleads with the Jedi's to rescue her son, and so the Jedi's along with Jar Jar, return with Anakin to the Jedi council. Obi-wan now begins to train little Anakin in the ways of the Jedi. Accordingly, Yoda (you remember him from the first trilogy, right?) doesn't think the boy is qualified, claiming he senses much fear in him. Anyhoo, despite Yoda's doubts the kid proves his stuff by competing and winning a Pod race and helping the Jedi's in an attack from mean old Sith lords. And so we can see why the wise old Yoda thought this boy was chicken, right?

Alright, the premise itself is good. What screwed the script here is the direction. Anakin (played by Jake Lloyd) could have been portrayed as the ordinary boy with some heavy if shrouded supernatural forces influencing his life. Instead, his dialog, his action and gestures come off as if squeezed off the Disney Channel storyboard assembly line. So we have an Anakin who is annoying, noisy, shallow and bothersome instead of an interesting normal kid whose life has been overshadowed by enslavement and plagued by forces he can't comprehend. I certainly don't blame Lloyd for the direction his character was directed to take, but geesh, the directors had a quality script and quality character here and blew it like so many tissues. Add to this the excruciatingly aggravating character of Jar Jar Binks.

Jar Jar by far beats out all competition in being the single most annoying character to ever appear in a movie. I mean it, he is the epitome of nuisance, the consummate example of the comic relief too stupid to be funny. From his high-pitched garbled language to his failed slapstick, this character should never have been allowed to exist. By comparison to Jar Jar Binks, Scrappy Doo comes off as likable and Orko from He-Man sounds like a damned intellectual genius. The first time I watched Phantom Menace I was praying for Super Grover to make an appearance and take this moronic p.i.t.a. out of my misery.

Alas, it didn't happen. The movie ended up being one of the biggest wastes of 135 minutes of my life. So, if you've not yet seen The Phantom Menace but still value your time, your safe bet is not to waste it on this piece of juvenile celluloid.

Jar Jar Binks - the most annoying character to ever appear in film
Jar Jar Binks - the most annoying character to ever appear in film
Super Grover! Where were you when I needed you??
Super Grover! Where were you when I needed you??

# 7 The Sound of Music

If an exception proves the rule, then Fiddler On The Roof, proved that sobering, life-challenging real events are rarely adapted well into a big musical production.Yes, it is an exception: a touching musical drama that was, and is, both respectful of the subject matter and entertaining.

On the other hand..Rogers and Hammerstein must have been oblivious to the exception rule. For they certainly didn't have a clue before writing the score for The Sound of Music and releasing it on the world of man. But to be fair, film director Robert Wise stands just as guilty for bringing this story to the big screen.

I know, I know, there's going to be fans of this movie who will instinctively get riled that I'm "picking on" or "diss'n" one of their most beloved classics. And what, they will wonder, is there not to like about The Sound of Music? It's wholesome, it's uplifting, it's beautiful, it's romantic, it's inspirational, ect., ect. But I beg to differ. How could that be? Hmm, let's see..

Plot summary from a general fan viewpoint: At the onset of the Third Reich's rise of power in Austria, Nun Sister Maria takes work as governess for privileged and austere Austrian widow, Capt. Von Trapp. Although Trapp is your normal everyday Hessian-style father he does take time away from his busy schedule to serenade his children to tunes from his boatswain whistle. While caring for Trapp's adorable seven children Maria manages to instill a sense of mutual respect between the siblings. She also teaches them how to sing, while at the same time giving them the maternal love they have desperately lacked. Her influence also softens Von Trapp and he falls in love with her. Von Trapp decides he wants nothing to do with the Nazi regime (Nazis apparently don't like whistles), but instead confesses his love to Maria. She gives up her virginal vows and the two are wed. The Nazis are now threatening Von Trapp, so the family leaves their ancestral homeland. Making a trip over the alps, they set off for a new life in America. A film ripe with memorable songs and chock full of moral values. And don't forget a happy ending.

Plot summary from my perspective: Sister Maria takes the position of governess for the seven children of austere Austrian widow, Capt. Von Trapp during the time Austria pledged away its soul by allying itself with the Third Reich. Although cold on the exterior Trapp has a warm side (he must have, anyway, as he likes to occasionally blow a boatswain whistle). While caring for this man's hungry, thin and love-deprived children Maria teaches them to sing. Her cheery disposition miraculously brings about order and general sense of affection within the household. Even as Maria has had little experience in the kitchen she also goes about to put some fat on Trapp's children, thereby ruining Trapp's dream to create the world's first league of Super Thin Runway Model action heroes.Hope isn't lost, however, as Trapp soon realizes how terribly they all sing. He notes this for reference, just in case the day comes he needs a subversive plan to escape the Nazis.

Meanwhile the nuns are secretly coaching Maria in their time-proven methods of seducing a man who ordinarily wouldn't look twice at a flat-chested woman with hair like a choir boy. Their methods had proven results with several members of interbred royal families and the nuns are just gosh darned sure these methods will work for poor Maria, too.

Capt. Von Trapp, who is used to courting women of privilege, is reluctant to pursue the virginal, plain-faced and simple Maria. However, Maria happens to be the skinniest tail around (apparently Von Trapp is really into anorexia) and what with the privileged (and rounder women) seeming overly interested in talking politics (a turn-off for worldly guys like Von Trapp) Maria is looking better all the time. And since Maria does enjoy a certain rapport with his kids along with a knack of keeping them fed but cheaply so, Von Trapps finally decides to fling convention to the wind and ask Maria to marry him. The two wed (with the blessings of the nuns). But the Nazis are planning trouble for Von Trapp (blowing whistles is frowned upon in Hitler's army, you know). The family pack their things and give the town a stirring rendition of Climb Ev'ry Mountain. Because, just as Trapp suspected earlier, nothing so quickly stops Nazi's in their tracks like an ear-splitting musical performance by untalented children. The Von Trapps escape Austria and flee over the Alps. Fortunately for them that last performance gave them all a case of laryngitis, thereby keeping them from singing and thus preventing any chance of avalanche.

I concede that the film adaptation of Rogers and Hammerstein's musical was helped by the choice of the talented Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the lead roles. I can't emphasis enough that word "helped". The basic storyline was inspired by the harrowing events experienced by the real-life Von Trapps, a family of singing performers who were popular in Europe before alighting to America. Although their story as picked up by Rogers and Hammerstein made for an inspiring tale, the inappropriate cheerfulness of the entire thing undermines the grim reality facing Austria during that time. It may have appealed to the real-life Maria Von Trapp who certainly was no goody-goody and capitalized on her step-children's abilities, but for the rest of humanity it is a trite and puerile production.Yes, there are a few tense moments when the Nazis are involved, but otherwise it is a fantasy depleted of any sophistication or modicum of realism. If you're going to make a film about encroaching evil forces you need to bring the grim factors forward to make it intellectually appealing. Wholesome ditties alone can't achieve it, and whitewashing such weighty subject matter isn't just banal, it is offensive. The Sound of Music travesties the very essence of human perseverance, and at it's very best can be called an annoying waste of creative potential.

# 6 The Dead Matter

Allegedly a horror film. Realistically, a film so bad and chock full of poor acting that it managed to knock out other films on my original list such as The Toxic Avenger 4 and C.H.U.D.

The plot (as I think the director intended it to be): friends go on a camping trip when they come across an object that separates mortal man from the evils of vampires and werewolves..or at least I think they're werewolves. It was hard to tell what with the elementary schoolish costumes. Anyway, the heroine of the story is a sort-of white witch, who becomes attached to the object. In turn, her interest fetches the attention of a bad-ass vampire stud and his attention for her leads to a great shred of the forces that protect mankind from all sort of paranormal nasties.

The plot as it appeared before my viewer's eyes: modern hippie-wannabe girl and her friends find something in the woods that hippie girl's extrasensory perceptions deem mysterious and important. It takes a hold of her psyche and all hell breaks loose. Thanks to the sacrifice of her innocent and very unimportant friends hippie girl survives an attack of lusty, sadistic vampires and their horde of things that look like werewolves but act more like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She is helped along through the growing body count of sacrificed friends and acquaintances by some swordsman from an earlier century. Well, it could be a swordsman from another century or it could be that blacksmith-cook from the Velveeta commercials. Anywhooo...hippie girl survives to liberate the earth of the nasty vampire menace and have an orgasm on the way to doing it, and surprisingly without hearing "liquid gold!" uttered once.

Unfortunately for hippie gal she can't act worth a damn, or anyone else in this shameless horror exploitation flick. But she does prove wickedly hot in that sweaty way only virgins and hippie princesses can be.

Now I have nothing against hot hippie princesses or even sex in a film. But I do draw the line on a ménage à trois of dumb plot, bad acting and hokey special effects. And this tryst was so blatantly wearisome that it is an utter horror in itself. A much more entertaining use of my time would have been re-watching the Velveeta "Liquid gold" commercials over at Youtube.

The film that made me long for Velveeta commercials
The film that made me long for Velveeta commercials

# 5 Delta Force II

Alright, I contend- most Chuck Norris movies are bad. Wait, to be perfectly honest they are all bad. But then most martial-arts flicks starring people who couldn't act if their life depended on it are bad.

Delta Force II certainly meets all the formula requirements of the routine bad martial arts flick: predicable plot, cardboard acting, overly instrumented and poorly executed melodrama, overblown special effects and complete lack of convincing dialog. So why shouldn't it be a charmer..if you're into that crap anyway? Yep, it should be at home on any Friday night in any respectable American man-cave. The problem here is that -for at least once in martial-arts flick history- all the ingredients that go into your customary man-cave hit was overly done even for the man-cave regulars. Yep, Delta Force II is that pitifully overplayed. And don't even get me started on the ridiculous scenery shots, supposedly shot in South America but in actuality primarily filmed in my own hometown. This flick, by any standard, just sucks a big fistful of benwa balls.

And if you don't believe me just ask my King of the man-cave. He'll tell you the same thing. As would one of his friends, who happened to have done Norris' stunt double work in this loser.

Delta Force II -sucking a fistful of benwa balls
Delta Force II -sucking a fistful of benwa balls

# 4 House of 1000 Corpses

This Rob Zombie-directed flick can be kindly described as a horror movie. In even more generous terms it could possibly qualify as a psychological thriller. But after watching it and surviving the night of nausea that followed, I just can't be that nice.

The premise is typical teenagey horror: two couples set across the nation in search of an urban legend luminary called Dr. Satan. Adding to the formula is a Godzilla-sized dose of Rob Zombie nuances. For along the way the couples get stranded in a redneck town and here become prey to a family of incestuous, murdering, sadism-loving, satan-worshipping psychotics.

In good -cough, cough- Rob Zombie fashion the film quickly descends from the predictable into the realm of outright disgusting. There's plenty of vulgar language. The sex is raunchy. The acting is overdone. The villains are stereotypical degenerate hillbillies. The blood, guts and viscera manages to multiple at every turn of the camera. And Zombie crowns the whole thing off with what can only be described as the sleazoid rocker's answer to a dreamy climax of Frederick Fellini proportions.

Zombie has made many films, all similar in substance (or lack of). If 1000 Corpses had just a little less of the trademark Rob Zombie staples it probably wouldn't have made my list here. But as it has these things in bucketfuls I had to include it.

House of 1000 Corpses - everything bad about bad horror flicks
House of 1000 Corpses - everything bad about bad horror flicks

# 3 Buffalo Rider

This movie used to be my choice of #1 Worst Movie of all times but more recent flicks and the unfortunate re-viewing of a couple of others moved it back a few notches. In retrospect I suppose this is cool, as I will give the film makers credit for at least trying to make a decent movie.

The premise is a story based on true-life events: a wild west frontiersman named Jake Jones rescues a baby buffalo from a pack of coyotes. He names the little guy Sampson and raises him as a pet and eventually breaking him into a beast of transportation. Sampson is more than just this to Jake, though, as the rough frontiersman comes to love Sampson like another man would love a faithful dog, and Sampson returns that affection.

A great deal of this story is told from the narrator's perspective, though there is a little dialog when Jake rides the buffalo into town and stirs up resentment from men who ride horses. Thankfully the emphasis is on little dialog as the actors in this film are only actors in the most rudimentary sense of the word. As the story progresses Jake and Sampson get involved in brawls and go off on long, meandering rides through the desert. There's a tense flood scene, too, made tense not because of any pertinent story development but tense in a way that makes you wonder where the Animal Cruelty Protection people were at the time. Throughout the movie we get the sense that the writers attempted to tell this story with a gentle sense of humor. However, this aim fails miserably as there is simply nothing humorous going on.

If you ever watch Buffalo Rider you'll likely come away wondering what happened to the worthy premise. It was worthy, actually, just ruined by many things: from the boring plot to the terrible acting, from the amateurish dialog to the amateurish direction and back again to the obvious discomfort of the poor animal star.The most irritating thing about Buffalo Rider is the narrator's voice: he tries to hard to sound gritty in a folksy, sage Denver Pyle-type way, but sans Pyle's level of thespian artistry. Yes, I say thespian artistry as I'm sure Denver Pyle could have made a more believable Othello than the pitiful storyteller in this film travesty.

Buffalo Rider takes movie watchers to a whole new level of discomfort
Buffalo Rider takes movie watchers to a whole new level of discomfort

# 2 the Billy Jack trilogy

Yes, this inductee includes an entire series, as these films are so painfully bad as to deserve the recognition. Starring Tom McLaughlin and Delores Taylor, this movie screenplay was written by Tom McLaughlin and Delores Taylor, and directed by Tom McLaughlin.

In the initial film we are introduced to Billy Jack, a disillusioned former Green Beret. Considering that the war in question was the Vietnam conflict his disillusionment is understandable. But Billy Jack is not your average former Vietnam combatant, for now home he has immersed himself completely in a philosophy of transcendentalist pacifism mixed with a heaping helping of Native American spiritualism and martial arts stoicism. This suits Billy Jack well as the only people he feels comfortable with are flower children, or more aptly, former hippies trying to make it in the real world in the sunset afterglow of the psychedelic sixties. Making it in the real world doesn't quite infer the usual connotations, as the flower children have chosen as their trade the creation of a school for runaways called the Freedom School. Here, the school staff promote the children's self-esteem through the arts, or at least a hippie-dippie answer to the arts; namely the making pottery, bead necklaces, planting vegetable gardens and the dipping tie-dye tee-shirts. The staff also teach a lot of folk music so the kids can break out in choruses of Arlo Guthrie tunes at any given moment. Most importantly, they teach the children the importance of pacifism and endeavor to instill in them a sense of self-reliance as can only come about by devoting one's self entirely to serving the interests of the school commune.

Billy Jack likes the school, he likes the kids -though he prefers breaking bread with wild animals, birds and spirits of dead Natives- and more so, he likes the administrator, a woman named Jean Roberts. As why a man who identifies strictly with his Native American roots is attracted to a frigid pale blonde like Jean we can only speculate on here. But I do think it has something to do with the fact the actor and actress are married to each other in real life.

Making for a challenge to the Freedom School's utopia are the citizens of the next town. This town isn't just full of ignorant, right-wingers, the citizens spend an inordinate amount of time harassing "red skins", "hippies", "coloreds" and any and every person who isn't a bigoted white person like themselves. In fact these townspeople stay so busy in the active pursuit of racist pursuits that it is a wonder they had time to build or run a town at all. The Freedom School staff, being the responsible caretakers of the young that they are, manage to incur the wrath of these bigoted townspeople time and again, for they realize the only way their wards can truly make their enemies love them is through annoying the hell out of them. Lessons from the wise teachers involve sending the kids into situations where they're likely to be bullied or injured, thrusting the kids between hunters and prey and by driving the hippie van twenty miles over the speed limit down the biggest hill around and straight through the middle of town.

Despite the children's sacrifice of near life and limb, the townspeople just don't react with the tolerant change-of-heart the teachers expected. The most politically influential of these townspeople continue on their deviant path of killing horses and raping teenagers, and with such fervor we fully expect them to start shooting teens and raping horses at any moment. Billy Jack, who has finally come out of an out-of-body experience, finds he's had enough of the kids being harassed and comes off his mountain seclusion to confront the powerful nasties. In doing so, Billy Jack incurs the disapproval of Jean, whose firm socialist beliefs squirm at the idea of a man using martial arts against corrupt hippie van haters.To relieve her stress Jean goes off to skinny dip in the nearest outdoor source of water. Even as she's perfectly aware of the threats from the local nasties, she skinnydips alone (remember she's an educated woman of the world!). But surprise of surprises, the most amoral nasties around happen to see her bathing and commence to raping her. Brutalized in the basest possible way, Jean is now even more convinced that tolerance and pacifism is the way to make friends. Billy Jack, however, isn't as persuaded and goes off to confront her rapists.

What follows is the stuff that legends are made of. For the unfortunate movie watcher here, it is the stuff of near comedic irony, too. For Billy Jack not only teaches the rapists a lesson with his skilled, deadly feet but after defeating them, he surrenders to the law. The film ends on a very pro-pacifist message that utterly contradicts with the avenging hero aspect.

This first film is BAD in a number of ways. The plot is stupid. The portrayal of white people other than the hippies is racial profiling at its purist. The acting is pathetic. The dialog is insipid. The themes are contradicting. The fight and rape scenes are contrived. The socialist rhetoric glitter-bombed into the dialog is sad. The near-constant barrage of folk singing is barbaric But the most unforgivable thing about this story is that was carried on into two sequels. Neither of the sequels were any worse than the original, nor were they any better. But I can honestly say the Billy Jack series is the most sadistically BAD and intellectually brutalizing movie trilogy I have ever seen. So much for the message of non-violence.

The intellectual-brutalizing Billy Jack trilogy - dear god, the humanity!
The intellectual-brutalizing Billy Jack trilogy - dear god, the humanity!

# 1 2012: Doomsday

My choice for #1 Worst movie of all time is 2012: Doomsday, and it should not be confused with the film 2012 starring John Cusack and directed by Roland Emmerick. No, my choice here is the King Daddy of Rotten Movies, directed by Nick Everhart and starring Cliff De Young and Amy Dolenz of Saved By the Bell: the College Years fame. The premise of 2012: Doomsday is summed up as follows in the IMDB summary: On December 21, 2012 four strangers on a journey of faith are drawn to an ancient temple in the heart of Mexico. For the Mayans it is the last recorded day. For NASA scientists it is a cataclysmic polar shift. For the rest of us, it is Doomsday.

As a viewer I think the word Doomsday is a definitive description of the experience I had watching this film. The story surrounds the ancient prediction of a global catastrophe as warned in the now-famous Mayan calendar.

The story is convoluted from the get-go, meshing a team of worried scientists who have noticed an impending polar shift with the finding of a monstrously huge crucifix wedged in the doors of an ancient Mexican temple by a group of missionaries. Quickly the story crosses over to the hit and run of some guy in the U.S. who refuses medical treatment as he insists it is God's will that he dies. While the medics stand flabberghasted by the dude's decision a concerned(?) passerby appears on the scene, who quickly puts in her two-cents worth about the negativity coming off the obviously godless paramedics. From here we have another missionary looking for help to get to a distant Central American village. She finds help in some poor dim-witted guy with much more looks than common sense and who escorts Miss Missionary to the village. Upon arrival the two find the villagers have disappeared without a trace. During their sojourn in the abandoned village the missionary's father keeps calling to beg his daughter to get on the first flight home because of all the drastic climatic and global changes going on. Did I mention Daddy is a bigwig with the U.S. government? No? Sorry about that. But he is -not exactly sure what department, but rest assured we are reminded over and over again by on-screen script reminders that Daddy is. Daddy's major concern is his daughter, but to his dismay Miss Missionary cares only about one thing: finding out what happened to the villagers and finding God's will in the turn of events. The movie continues with numerous scenes cutting back and forth between the missionaries and the govt. officials and the faithful who, while expecting doom to fall at any moment, believe their single purpose left is to warn the heathens and godless unbelievers to turn from their sinful ways before THE END descends. The story continues to a global disaster of Biblical proportions, culminating with a surrealistically ridiculous birth.

Now this movie has every major flaw a bad movie can have. But it has one thing every other bad film I've watched doesn't: it is preachy to very core.

I don't mind a pro-Judeo/Christian film per se, in fact I love Ben Hur, The Seventh Seal, The Seventh Sign and King David. A movie that is pro-something but that can give a message in viewer-respectful way is a piece of art I can appreciate. But what I don't like, in fact resent, is a sermon. Combine this offensive motivating concept here with the sorry-ass dialog, direction, acting, deliberate historical inaccuracies and the convoluted script this film is nothing less than propaganda. The only people who could possibly find anything redeemable about this consciously and overtly evangelical piece of crap are the already-converted.

The only conceivably positive thing I can say about 2012: Doomsday is that is has inspired some truly humorous and enlightening viewer reviews. This doesn't make up for the waste of time and money I sank in watching it, but at least I can warn others not to fall fool for its "disaster film" promotion. So I strongly recommend avoiding this film...unless you're the type who is tired of self-flagellation and looking for a new and novel way to torture yourself. And have no doubt, this movie will do exactly this.

2012: Doomsday - the worst of the worst,  unless you like torturing yourself
2012: Doomsday - the worst of the worst, unless you like torturing yourself

(Dis)honorable mentions

An Inconvenient Truth

Baby Boom

Beverly Hills Chiuaua

Blind Beast

Bringing Out The Dead

High School Musical

Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)

Kindergarten Cop

Junior

Plan 9 from Outer Space

The Terror of Tiny Town

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Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I completely agree about Sound of Music. It was so long and boring to me. I understand the artistic merits of the performances but it just wasn't working.

I've seen Mulan and I somewhat like it mainly because of the fact it's a different approach the typical Princess movie.

The others I have seen are Baby Boom which was a bad remake of a strange movie to begin with.

For me when I watch a bad movie, I try to forget it so I won't relive the hours of my life I wasted. Great hub Beth!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Alecia, thanks for leaving the insightful comments!

JFYI, I used to work professionally as a movie reviewer, so have had to re-live the bad experience a few times, lol.


hawkdad73 profile image

hawkdad73 4 years ago from Riverside, Iowa

Oh, my wife would be heartbroken. She absolutely loves this trilogy and has attempted to get me to watch them.

Amusing.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

hawkdad73, she's not alone. I have a family member who loves them, too. But I mark it down to them having a much higher pain threshold than me LOL

Thanks for dropping by!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

Many of your worst movies are my personal favorites...the Billy Jack movies were more about countering racism than anything else - these movies brought to life the very real issue of racism against Native Americans. The acting wasn't the best, but considering the series made over $40 million and that this was largely because of the efforts of Tom Laughlin in promoting the movies, I would say it made an impact. For such a bad movie it really did a great job in spreading the message it intended to send.

Mulan was a movie that showed (shows) young girls that they can do what they want and what they need to do in life...it showed a girl with strength fighting for what she believed in. Just because a girl is strong doesn't mean she suffers from "penis envy."

It seems that many people would disagree with you about The Sound of Music since it grossed over $280 million.

Having said this, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and you do a good job of defending your choices...I just happen to disagree...


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Hey justateacher,

I'm not surprised the studio backed the Billy Jack films at the time as the mentality it was aimed at was still trendy. However, being married to a Native and having Natives in my own family I don't think it is out of line to see it as nothing more than an exploitation film geared at making a profit for a studio that was lusting after the post-hippie era dollar. If the studio really cared about making a film that would help expose racism it could have considered using a much less bubblegum story.

About Mulan but I think it is pure feminist hype. Just because a girl is strong doesn't mean she has to act masculine.

You're very right about TSoM. But while saccharin may have been popular in my parents' day doesn't mean today's movie crowd shares the infatuation.

And like you say we're all entitled to our own opinions. These just happen to be mine :)


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

You make a great point about the Billy Jack movies - they could have been less "bubble gum" and may have gotten the point across better if that were the case.

As I said before, you do a wonderful job defending your opinions. Because of this, I will go see more of what you write!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

A very interesting hub. I think many Sound of Music fans will be very upset about it being on the list....but I think you made some excellent points in that capsule. I have not even heard of #1 or #3, but I will have to avoid those movies if I ever have a chance to watch them. I strongly dislike Phantom Menace....the only good section of the movie is the pod-race and even that it filled with some of the worst acting I have ever seen. Voted up and very interesting....good job.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

You make a lot of good points and I agree with most of the list. I think you're absolutely right about "Mulan". I wrote an hub a few months ago called "Fighting Females: Fetishism or feminism" about the strange modern belief that woman can only prove themselves to be strong and independent through physically outfighting males and generally acting more like men. I think this movie trend appeals more to boys than to girls.

I like your list, except for "the Sound of Music". I do think its an over-rated film but definitely not one of the 10 worst.

Nice job,

Rob


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

justateacher, thank you for the feedback. I appreciate folks who can disagree but in a respectful way, that's cool :)


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Cogerson, thanks much for reading and commenting!

I have a daughter who is a HUGE Star Wars fan and I had really hoped to like Phantom Menace. But after watching it, even she was disappointed. I will say I thought the character of Darth Maul (Mawl?) was an interesting one.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Robwrite, you just made my morning! I'll have to go check out your Hub on that subject in case I've missed it. Thanks much for reading and commenting, too :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

And here I believed I was the only one who thought the Sound of Music was absurd.

I despised the stupid Billy Jack series!

Up and Awesome, Beth!


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Thankfully, I have not watched any of the films listed except TSoM. May be because I am a bit choosy and never watch films when they release. By the time I get a chance to watch them, I can familiarize myself with the storyline and read reviews. I find this method a time-saver, as I am not compelled to sit through boring movies.

TSoM is a cult film and was made for the audience of 60s. Attention-span of present generation is much less and so we are finding it a bit dragging. Julie Andrews is sweet in the movie, may be a bit too sweet for our taste. I love the songs too much.


Michael Brittan 4 years ago

What does Level # commenter mean?


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee Author

Michael, to be perfectly I honestly don't know. It may have something to do with how well rated you are at commenting at fellow members' individual posts. I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but the Hubpages About section may have the answer for you :)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Cute hub. The only one I've seen is The Sound of Music, and I do like it! I don't care for zombies or vampires or anything like Star Wars, so I probably wouldn't like most of the others. Interesting hub.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee Author

Hi Victoria. You're certainly not alone, in fact the truth is people who dislike TSOM are probably quite outnumbered by the fans.

Thanks much for dropping by to read :)


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 22 months ago

Interesting list, although I think there are some worse ones, not even mentioned on your (Dis)honorable mention list. I think the 70s was a good decade for awful movies. The Billy Jack movies was an excellent choice of yours.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 22 months ago from Tennesee Author

Hi Robert. You are probably right about that; in fact, I've seen a few since posting the list that would definitely make it on my update list. Thanks for reading and leaving the comments!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 22 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

bethperry,

Fantastic work. Love your style of writing. Keep it up.

Your friend,

Kenneth


bethperry profile image

bethperry 22 months ago from Tennesee Author

Thank you Kenneth :)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 22 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Feb. 1

bethperry,

You are most certainly welcome.

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