All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun – Jean-Luc Godard.
Most movies are pretty bad.
The average rating of all the movies on IMDB.com is 6.4 out of 10.
And that’s for the more popular movies with over 1000 views.
There are hundreds of Señor Spielbergos for every Spielberg out there and dozens of Kristen Stewarts for every Patrick Stewart.
Bad movies are bad, yet incredibly bad movies can be quite compelling and well worth watching for comic effect.
There are many notoriously bad films which have gained a following over the years and have become cult classics containing Memes.
Thanks to MST3K and its heir Rifftrax, watching these Turkeys is a real hoot and comes highly recommended.
First of all, a distinction should be made between the worst Professional movie and the worst Amateur one. Most of the worst movies ever were created by wannabe filmmakers with no prior experience in the industry, a glimmer in their eyes and a measly budget. A professional worst movie would be one made by someone with real talent, on a massive budget and featuring brilliant actors and still stink. The difference is like having a lousy meal at a roadside cantina and having one at a luxurious restaurant, at least you expect the first one.
The worst professional movie of all time.
“I have ten commandments. The first nine are, thou shalt not bore. The tenth is, thou shalt have right of final cut.”
God aka Billy Wilder
Heaven’s Gate, Michael Cimino’s epic western from 1980, smashes these commandments to bits. It is an overtly long and exceedingly boring picture with no memorable scenes or dialogues. The whole affair is shrouded in a blanket of dusty photography and tiresome editing that induces sleep. This bloated monstrosity is inexcusable, especially considering the talent and funds involved.
Written and directed by the same person who was responsible for the classic The Deer Hunter it featured a great cast: John Hurt, Jeff Bridges, Kris Kristofferson , Christopher Walken and Joseph Cotten among others. The original budget was a very respectable 7.5 million dollars which ballooned into 44 million dollars due to the megalomaniac director’s perfectionism/hubris.
Heaven’s gate proved to be a box-office bomb, bankrupting United Artists and turning Michael Cimino into a Hollywood pariah.
Worst non-professional movie of all time.
Like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, these four calamities appear together, heralding a new age of disaster.
Plan 9 from outer space: Ed Wood’s clunky Sci-fi/horror flick.
Manos, The Hands of Fate: A horrid horror movie.
The Room: A Romantic Drama, but only in the eyes of its maker.
Birdemic: Hitchcock’s The Birds meets the Atari 2600.
But which of this cream of the crap is the absolute worst?
I recently watched (and re-watched) all four movies and here is my take on the subject and my ranking from worst to worst.
These reviews do not contain spoilers, as the films featured can not be spoiled.
Famous for: The quintessential bad movie by the quintessential bad director, Tim Burton’s best movie.
Synopsis: Aliens in flying saucers raise a handful of the earth’s dead, humanity fights back.
Worst movie due to: Incompetence of everyone involved.
Fun fact: funded by a baptist church in return for having several cast members baptized.
Plan 9 is the classic ‘so bad that it’s good’ movie.
Rescued from obscurity in 1980 by being dubbed the worst ever was the best thing that ever happened to its director, producer and visionary Ed Wood who sadly passed away two years previously.
This is not nearly as bad as you’d expect it to be.
In fact, this movie is way better than the other three.
Yep, way better.
The plot has zombies and aliens plus an anti-nuclear message and just generally more plot than all the other movies.
Dialogues are entertaining, some even intentionally so and it features some genuine actors. Overall the movie is endearing rather than annoying, like watching first graders put on a Harold Pinter play. From the incomprehensible police inspector to the clearly gay aliens, this is a feast for lovers of camp and will make you feel good about yourself because no matter how much you suck at your job, you are still better than this stuff.
Famous for: 10,000 dollar budget. Max. In 2010 money.
Synopsis: Boy meets girl meet angry birds.
Worst movie due to: Computerized special effects, production values, protagonist’s lack of charisma.
Fun fact: Director James Nguyen made three movies featuring a software salesman protagonist falling in love with a beautiful blonde, he is a software salesman in real life.
Let’s start with the bad stuff first: This is the least technically accomplished feature film ever made. The overall budget was less than 10k and it took 4 years to make it, meaning it cost a BLT sub per day.
Not a good start.
Sound quality and volume change from and during every scene and soundtrack music taken straight from fisher price toy. Photography is also problematic.
See the screen light up!
every time someone opens a door or window.
The characters are unbelievable in a bad way. Our software salesman hero Rod has the charisma of a black hole and the personality of a tofu jar. He even looks goofy walking down the street on his own. The fact that a very hot girl who possesses the powers of sight and thought falls for him is implausible. Just as implausible is her promotion from aspiring model at a 1-hour photo shop to (drum-roll please) Victoria’s Secret cover girl!
The worst and most famous feature are the computerized birds.
Mr. Nguyen, being a computer guy, does not trust such non-scripty things such as motion-capture, scaled models or a midget in a bird suit. The eagles and vultures are less realistic than Office’s paperclip and infinitely less threatening. There was no way he was gonna get realistic looking killer birds for the crumbs he had, so he just went for the cheapest possible solution- animated GIFs.
Now for the good part: There is a plot here. Sure, it’s a very basic one, but it’s still a narrative. There are different locations and weapons, characters fall in love and die, the basic ingredients of a popular movie folks.
I didn’t mind the preachy speeches by the scientist and the tree hugging guy. We do need to take better care of this planet, if only to make this kind of people shut up.
The best part for me was Whitney Moore as Nathalie, the Victoria’s Secret model who dreams of becoming a real-estate agent.
She is hot, cute and has acting skills and looks that could make her an actual film star or at least an internet hit.
Seriously, how can a movie with a frame like the one above be considered the worst of all time?
Famous for: MST3K rescuing it from total obscurity.
Synopsis: Couple plus daughter stumble upon a weird demonic cult led by the evil master, their dog dies.
Worst movie due to: Being as Pointless as a Charles Manson parole hearing and far less entertaining.
Fun fact: The second highest paid member of the crew and cast was the dog. He received a bag of dog food. The little girl got a bicycle. The rest received “shares of the profit.”
Let’s start with the good stuff. The cut from the master’s dramatic waking up of his brides to his reaction shot (as seen on the youtube link) is unintentionally hilarious.
That is all.
It is not surprising that this movie is a result of a bet.
What is is surprising is that none of the parties involved in the bet was Satan (or was he?)
In 1966, fertilizer salesman Harold P. Warren made a wager that he could produce a complete horror film on his own. Investing a sum of roughly 130k in today’s money, he produced a lesson in cinematic awfulness.
Unlike the other movies on the list, there is virtually no fun to be had watching this for the first time without a sarcastic audio track.The plot is as clichéd as they come, family gets stuck, weird house, unsettling lackey, evil master, devil worship bla bla bla. It’s not exactly an epic at 74 minutes, yet the action onscreen drags on and most of the time is spent driving or just failing to establish suspense. This turd was filmed in black and white, with no sound, using a camera that could only record 32 seconds at a time, starring a non-star cast, two canines and a Disney stock-footage snake which looks much better than anything else onscreen.
This is probably the only horror movie where no character actually dies. The little girl’s poodle dies offscreen of unknown causes, but that is compensated for by the master’s demonic hound being an obviously sweet doberman.
The film’s gala premiere in El Paso, attended by the mayor and sheriff, ended up with the audience throwing their shoes at the screen and the cast and crew fleeing. Did I mention it was also a cerebral palsy fund raiser?
Famous for: Tommy Wiseau.
Synopsis: Tommy Wiseau.
Worst movie due to: Tommy Wiseau.
Fun fact: The second sex scene is a rehash of the first one. Allegedly, the actress playing Lisa refused to let Tommy Wiseau near her to film another one.
“It is something that man was not meant to disturb. Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this earth.”
Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
What would you do with 6 million dollars?
A sensible person would spend some and save some for a rainy day.
A reckless person would blow through it all quickly.
A bird would use it to build a nest.
But there is only one organism in the solar system who would use it to make The Room.
That organism’s name is Tommy Wiseau.
He’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma within a bad haircut. No one knows where he came from. He claims to be an American, yet his unholy accent and limited command of the English language suggest a Croatian space vampire. His origin story is one of the world’s great mysteries: How could this guy get a hold of so much money and blow it on writing/producing/directing/starring in this pile of crap? Is this an actual film, or is it an alien artifact our primitive minds can not grasp?
Unlike all the other movies on the list, this movie had a monster budget. Unlike all but poor Birdemic, it was made in our time. A time when people are supposed to know better. Ours is a time of Internet and Memes, of IMDB and The Onion. I guess people don’t ask too many questions as long as they are paid well.
The two things that push this movie beyond all others are the sex scenes and the way the characters talk and act.
The bed scene(s) between TW as Johnny and the actress portraying Lisa are nauseating. Imagine a tumble between an over inflated sex doll and an Uruk-hai reject and you start getting the picture. TW’s muscular physique is compromised by his Iggy Pop “skin”, seemingly devastated by drug abuse. All the scenes are accompanied by the cheesiest make-out music possible and will make you want to pluck your eyeballs out and shove them in your ears.
The characters in The Room talk and act like no other characters before or since. Time and time again we get to hear how Johnny is a “wonderful person” and a successful banker when he is clearly a mockery of God’s loving creation. Interiors all resemble bus stations in that people just walk in and out without reason or rhyme, seemingly constantly surprised to see each other. This was supposed to be a drama, yet it’s more out of touch with reality than all horror and science fiction flicks.
At least the humans in Manos/Plan/Birdemic have some semblance of rationality and emotions. Hand any group of homo-sapiens since the dawn of time a camera and teach them how to operate it and the end result will have better acting and dialogues than this abomination.
As the 8 second YouTube clip above shows, The Room is the absolute worst movie ever created.
You need to watch It!