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Top 25 Turkeys for Thanksgiving 2009

Updated on November 18, 2009

Halloween has it's monster movies. Christmas it's holiday movies. But Thanksgiving has the turkeys. Each year many of us who are not interested in college football and are looking for something to watch over the Thanksgiving vacation have our own marathon of some of the worst movies ever made. The following is a list for the top 25 Turkeys for 2009 compiled from an online survey. See if the movie you hate made the list.

#25] Hollywood Party ( 1933 )

One of two Laurel and Hardy movies to make this list. To be fair Laurel and Hardy are only in the last ten minutes of this movie and their scene is very funny. The rest of the movie is a mess. It was one of those all star extravaganzas where Jimmy Durante plays a Tarzan imitator who throws a party and invites everyone in Hollywood. The end result is a huge mess of a movie. But where else will you see Laurel and Hardy, Mickey Mouse, and the Three Stooges in the same film? This movie has been out of print in the U.S. for a while so finding a copy may not be that easy.

#24] Game of Death

Bruce Lee was working on this film before he died and only got as far as filming three fight scenes. The fight scenes are great. But the rest of the movie leading up to those fight scenes is a body double for Bruce wearing thick sunglasses about the size of a mask so you can't tell that it is not him. Occasionally the double is not wearing the glasses and you either see bad special effects where Bruce Lee's real face is superimposed over the double, or the double from the back, or a cut away to a close up of Bruce Lee from another movie.

#23] The Big Noise

It is a bit unfair that this Laurel and Hardy film keeps making the list. It is not really a bad movie, and in quality it is about as good as the average Abbott & Costello movie. But the legions of Laurel and Hardy fans hate the films they made for Fox studios, and this is the one they always pick by default as the worst one of the Fox movies. Laurel and Hardy are detectives hired to guard the man who has invented an atomic bomb. They then take the bomb on a train to Washington DC and end up using it to blow up a Japanese submarine. "The Big Noise" can be found in this box set...

#22] Wild Wild West

The remake of the classic television series remade into a dreadful movie with Will Smith and Kevin Klein. They play cowboys who are really secret agents. And despite the movie taking place in the old west everyone has these futuristic spy gadgets. Sound silly? It was a silly idea when it was a television show. The network knew that Westerns were popular and so was shows with secret agents and thought "hey, why not combine the two. Well, it was the 60's, wasn't it. You would think that years later studio producers would know enough not to remake this series into a multimillion dollar special effects movie. A bit of trivia. The western set that the producer destroyed with a giant robot was called the Silverado Set named after the first movie filmed on it. Kevin Klein was a star in both movies, so he was an actor on the first and last movie shot on that historic movie set.

#21] Robot Monster

3D movie from the 50's where the producer did not have enough money for a real robot costume and instead used a gorilla suit with a space helmet on it. The monkey-robot here is called Ro-Man, and he single-handedly kills just about everyone on the planet. Only eight humans survive, five of them a family, which Ro-Man spends the remainder of the movie strangling.

#20] Star Trek, The Motion Picture

 I must stress that you want to see the original theatrical release version of this movie and not the recently released director's cut. What makes this movie bad is the pacing. Studio executives loved the special effects so much that they made sure that special effects segments lasted about ten minutes. The problem is that while in later Star Trek movies special effect segments were space battles, the special effects in this movie are shuttle crafts slowly flying around a space port where the Enterprise is docked, or Spock in a space suit slowly flying through the insides of a giant space ship. The directors cut edits most of this out and the movie seems more reasonably paced. The people who voted this movie onto the list were thinking about the version that sucked.

#19] Kazaam

Saquille O'Neal is the rapping genie Kazaam who lives in a boom box. He finds a new master in a boy named Max who wants nothing more than to find his father who abandoned him and his mother when he was a baby. Daddy turns out to work for the mob and Max gets killed by his father's boss. And Kazaam can't do anything about it because he just signed with the boss to be a rap star. Nice movie, huh?

#18] From Justin To Kelly

The prize for the first season of American Idol seems to have been that the winner and runner up would get their own movie. This is one of those beach movies where Kelly Clarkson and Justin whats his name have a summer romance where everyone sings bad songs. Actually this is not that bad of a movie. I suspect most of the people who keep voting for this movie never saw it before, but just hate anything to do with American Idol

#17] Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

This was one of those bad movies that everyone gradually forgot about, but then years later it was announced that Pia Zadora was one of the Martian children. Who was Pia Zadora? Well, if you do not know then you do not need to know. In the 80's there was this huge media blitz to try to convince everyone that Pia was some sort of superstar. After a lukewarm singing career and a bunch of movies that were announced and never released she sort of faded away. But not before she became the butt of jokes for Johnny Carson as an example of an untalented celebrity. She was sort of the Paris Hilton of her time but without the sex tapes. It was just at the peak of what passed as her career that this movie was rediscovered and found it's way back to television as well as everyone's worst all time movie lists, eventually becoming immortalized on Mystery Science Theater 3000. The dopey plot has Santa Claus abducted by Martians and brought back to Mars to teach their children about Christmas, or something stupid like that. Then there are the evil Martians who do not want Santa infecting their culture and spend most of the movie trying to kill him. Half way through this movie you wish they would.

#16] Howard The Duck

A midget in a duck suit. There is a story here about an alien from a duck planet who gets sucked through an interdenominational portal and ends up managing an all girl Punk band fronted by Lea Thompson. Actually the second half of this movie has a pretty cool story of Jeffery Jones being possessed by an evil alien with supernatural powers who tries to destroy the planet, which turns the movie into a special effects extravaganza. But you have to get through the first half of this movie, that's the problem. This was one of the biggest box office bombs of all time.

#15] Jaws the Revenge

There were many bad shark and man eating sea creature movies made in the years after "Jaws" was released. It would take a pretty bad movie to be the worst with films like "Jaws of Death", "Devil Fish", "Tentacle's" and "Piranha II: The Spawning". And yet somehow Universal managed to do just that with their Jaws franchise. Another shark shows up to Amity to eat the Brodys and ends up following the family when they move to the Bahamas. It is not so much the story that is stupid here but moments in the movie itself, such as Michael Caine having his seaplane pulled under water by the shark and managing to swim back on the boat with dry clothes. Two different versions of this movie exist. Depending on which you get either Mario Van Peebles is eaten or slightly bitten and the shark either blows up for no reason or gets stabbed through the heart by the bow of a boat in one of the worst special effects known to motion pictures.

#14] The Wild World of Batwoman

How do you rip off the success of the Batman television series? You make a movie with a character called Batwoman. "D.C. Comics can't sue us, right? We're calling our character Batwoman. That's the opposite of Batman." D.C. had nothing to worry about. The only thing Batwoman had in common with the Batman television series was the deliberately campy script. There is no actual reason why the heroin of this movie is called Batwoman. She is the leader of some sort of cult of young women called Batgirls who have no crime fighting abilities and seem to be able to do nothing but Go-go dance. Batwoman is fighting an evil genius called Ratfink, a mad scientist in a black cloak and ski mask, who wants to steal a new experimental weapon. A really dumb and grating movie.

#13] Cannonball Run II

The movie is suppose to be about a cross country race. Most of the movie has the contestants foiling a kidnapping plot. The actual race does not begin until the final 30 seconds of the movie and is shown with a quick cartoon montage. Jacky Chan is put to waste this time made to sit in the back seat of the car while Richard "Jaws" Kiel drives. He is barely even in the final fight scene.

#12] Leonard Part 6

Bill Cosby's parody of sequels. The joke here is that it is the 6th movie in a spy movie franchise that has jumped the shark long ago. In other words it is deliberately bad because it is suppose to be making fun of bad movies. The problem is that the movie is not funny. So what you get is a bad sequel to a non existent film. Bill Cosby himself went to the media the week before this film opened and begged people not to go see it.

#11] Superman III

Probably not the worst Superman movie, but the most disappointing. After the series peaked with "Superman II" it had nowhere else to go. You already had Superman fighting three super villains, so what next? How about bringing in comedian Richard Prior. There is some sort of story here of Superman being turned evil by the movie's villains thanks to an invention made by Richard Prior. There is plenty wrong with this movie. My memories of it was that it seemed as if the studio at one point realized how bad the movie would be and decided not to bother finishing the rough cut. Scenes are missing sound effects and music cues. Special effects look crude or unfinished. Some more trivia. Margot Kidder refused to return to the series to reprise her role as Lois Lane. She was finally talked in to shooting a cameo where Lois announces she is off to cover a story before bolting from the movie.

#10] Tarzan the Ape Man ( 1981 )

This movie is about Jane as portrayed by Bo Derek. It is Jane in a white dress constantly walking through pools of water so that it becomes wet and see-through. It is Jane finding reason after reason to remove all of her clothes and walk around naked. It is Jane captured by the natives having her clothes stripped off and her body painted white for a ceremony. It is Jane romping nude on the beach with Tarzan. Great movie if all you want is a girl parading around showing off her tits. Rather bad movie if you want acting and plot.

#9] Godzilla's Revenge

Toho decided that they would save a little money by making a clip movie showing battles from past Godzilla movies. What they ended up making is the Godzilla movie everyone hates. A young boy is picked on by bullies. He has a dream where he goes to Monster Island and meets the Son of Godzilla who can talk. Together they watch Godzilla fighting with other monsters. As if Godzilla's kid was not annoying enough this movie gives him an extra annoying kids voice. And on top of that, reruns of old Godzilla battles.

#8] Water World

It is "The Road Warrior" in water. In the future global warming melts the polar ice caps, floods all of the land, and turns the Earth into one big ocean. The only humans left live on man made islands of junk that look like they were designed by the Little Rascals. Kevin Costner is a man with gills and despite being born at sea has a Midwestern accent. He shows up at one of these floating islands and ends up being their defender. There is, of course, Pirates in their own Little Rascal designed boats and everyone is looking for a legendary island which is the last bit of land that did not sink.


#7] Battlefield Earth

In the future a race of giant aliens, lead by John Travolta, has taken over the Earth and Humans are nothing but slaves. One of the humans finds an abandoned underground military base, and despite the weapons and aircraft being over 1,000 years old they still work. So the human trains an army to fight the aliens and using jet fighters blows up their city killing most of them. Then to make sure no more aliens ever show up they take a nuclear bomb and using a transporter send it to the alien's home world where their entire planet blows up. Based on a novel written by L. Ron Hubbard.


#6] Fists of Fear, Touch of Death

Another Bruce Lee movie created after his death. This time using clips from one of the films he made as a teenager re-dubbed into English and claimed to be a documentary of Lee at his home. It is intercut with footage from a Karate tournament to determine the successor to Bruce Lee.

#5] Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Once called the worst movie ever made, which I suspect was a publicity stunt to promote this low budget independent movie. My suspicion is that the makers of this movie deliberately made it bad in hopes of making it a cult classic on the midnight movie circuit, being shown weekly along side "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Eraserhead". It is an unfunny comedy about tomatoes coming to life and killing humans. Nothing can stop them and all seems hopeless when it is discovered that an off key love song called "Puberty Love" kills the tomatoes. Publicity that this movie was the all time worst helped it become a popular rental during the early 80's and three sequels and a Fox Saturday morning cartoon were made.

#4] Manos: Hands of Fate

A man takes his wife, daughter, and dog off for a drive in the desert, gets lost, ends up at a creepy hotel with a crippled desk clerk, and finds himself attacked by an evil cult leader who wants his daughter and wife to be his slaves. A real depressing movie with plenty of padding, mostly long drawn out sequences of driving around in the middle of nowhere.

#3] Batman & Robin

The movie that killed Tim Burton's "Batman" movie series and forced Warner Brothers to rethink and reboot their Batman franchise with "Batman Begins". The story has Batman ( George Clooney ) and sidekick Robin ( Chris O'Donnell ) taking on Poison Ivy ( Uma Thurman ) and Mr Freeze ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ). Alfred's niece drops over to visit ( Alicia Silverstone ) and after discovering Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson's secret identity decides to wear a Batgirl suit and join them. In other words an all star mess. What really hurt this movie was Warner Brother executives decision to turn the series into campy comedies. The first two movies directed by Tim Burton were dark dramas which were more like the original comic book character. Both movies were huge hits, but that did not stop executives from thinking that if the films were not so dark and followed the campy superhero formula established by the popular 1960's Batman television series then the movies would have sold far more tickets. It turns out they were wrong.

#2] Plan 9 From Outer Space

Aliens attempt to destroy mankind by raising the dead. The most notorious of the Ed Wood movies. When Bela Lugosi died while filming a vampire movie for Wood, the few minutes of footage he shot was used for "Plan 9...." by expanding it using another actor in the vampire costume and covering his face with the cape. Has the memorable bad acting moment when the head alien complains to the humans he invited onto his ship "Humans are stupid! Stupid!! STUPID!!!" Before getting punched out by one of those humans.

#1] Star Wars Holiday Special

Not an actual movie and never legally released on home video, but everyone insist on allowing this on the turkey list. Back in 1978 20th Century Fox talked George Lucas into allowing them to use his Star Wars characters for a Christmas special on CBS. Inevitably realizing that characters who live in a different universe would know nothing about Christmas and would not be celebrating it, nor would they be celebrating any other Earth holidays, a new space holiday was invented. CBS got a bit greedy and decided the special should be two hours long. With the cast members from the movie only committed to a half hour special the other hour and a half would have to be padding. The end result is unwatchable. Even when the regular Star Wars characters show up it is unbearable, such as when Princess Lea breaks out into a song to the tune of the Star Wars theme. George Lucas was so mortified by the special that after it aired he vowed that it would never air again. And it would have never been seen again if not for someone owning a video tape recorder and actually taping it, keeping it, and eventually years later making copies to sell as bootlegs. You can pick the bootleg up in just about any comic book shop or flea market. Others have downloaded free copies off the Internet.


And that is the 2009 list. For those of you interested her is the 2008 Turkey List

#25] Fists of Fear, Touch of Death
#24] Xanadu
#23] Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
#22] Star Trek, The Motion Picture
#21] Kazaam
#20] Game of Death
#19] Wild Wild West
#18] The Big Noise
#17] Jaws the Revenge
#16] Godzilla's Revenge
#15] Tarzan the Ape Man ( 1981 )
#14]Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
#13] Robot Monster
#12] From Justin To Kelly
#11] Superman III
#10] Howard The Duck
#9] Cannon Ball Run II
#8] Water World
#7] Battlefield Earth
#6] Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
#5] Leonard Part 6
#4] Plan 9 From Outer Space
#3] Manos: Hands of Fate
#2] Batman & Robin
#1] Star Wars Holiday Special


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