back to article So what's the worst movie NEVER made?

Our hunt for the worst movie ever proved highly popular with you, our beloved cinema-going readers, and the list of nominees makes such chilling reading that we began to wonder if it would be possible to shoot a film so atrocious that it would prompt audiences to run screaming from the cinema vowing never again to badmouth …

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Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

However, you risk going over the top and becoming hilariously funny. The simpler method would probably be simply giving Michael Bay a very big budget and whatever you do do not interfere with his decisions. The man has an unerring instinct in getting it wrong. He could be considered the Bergholt Stuttley Johnson of cinema.

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JDX
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Re: Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

If your metric for "getting it all wrong" is making huge piles of cash, then you're right.

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Holmes

Re: Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

I think the OP meant getting it all wrong in reference to Art vs Commerce.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

Actually, if you strip away the shouty twin and comedy jar-jar bits, there's a lot of potential in the basic idea of a retelling of Heart of Darkness in a post-apocalyptic future SF setting. It could be done seriously well if someone wanted to try.

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Happy

Re: Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

Indeed. One part of the book that wasn't in Apocalypse Now was that the Marlow asks his listeners to consider the plight of a Roman sailor, navigating his way up the Thames. Surrounded by mists, grey skies, no wine... amongst savages. Entering the heart of darkness.

For the futuristc remake, this same framing juxtaposition could be Coppola's Apocolypse Now, and the main story (with Kurtz) could be told from the point of view of a South East Asian Marlowe, moving deeper into what had once been the USA, but now a savage wasteland. Asian trading Companies ('The Company', or the 'East India Company'!) have been sponsoring expeditions to the North American wastelands for profit, in the form of scrap metals and other resources.

Hey AC, let's get together with some pens and paper

: D

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Re: Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

An upvote Sir for the reference to Bergholt Stuttley Johnson, or as he is know to discworld fans, "Bloody Stupid Johnson".

One of Bloody Stupid Johnson's inventions is the great organ in the at Unseen University, which like some of Bay's films, have caused 'acute bowel discomfort' in a significant proportion of the population.

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retelling of Heart of Darkness

> there's a lot of potential in the basic idea of a retelling of Heart of Darkness in a post-apocalyptic

> future SF setting. It could be done seriously well if someone wanted to try.

I can't think of an example off the top of my head, but most likely it has been (tried, not necessarily done well). _Apocalypse Now_ is on the edge of "post-apocalypic future SF"; there's little thematic difference between the contemporary-guerrilla-war setting of AN and many visions of the post-apocalyptic. _Escape from New York_ has elements of the central HoD trope, though it's essentially a different story (closer to Kipling's _Kim_, for example). And so on.

HoD and its analogues reiterate a standard dichotomy of European imperialism from the 19th and early 20th centuries: the dominant middle class, fearing that its powers are waning, wants to consume (destroy / enslave / learn from / screw) "native" peoples, whom it fetishizes as energetic / spiritual / etc; but it's also worried that it will find them too attractive and "go native". It shows up in any number of novels of the period. In James' _The Ambassadors_, you have the HoD plot except the tempting-woman figure is French (but spoiled by having been married to some Eastern European aristocrat) rather than Congolese. In Trollope's _Barchester Towers_, she's English (but spoiled by having been married to some Italian aristocrat). In Wharton's _The Age of Innocence_, she's American (but spoiled by ... you get the idea).

A great many of our SF tales are just imperialist nostalgia.

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FAIL

Re: Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!

Anybody that can watch the dreaded Manos and Monster A Go Go 1960's matinee from hell is a true masochist. And watching the MST3000 versions is cheating, kind of like reading Chaucer in modern English.

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Re: retelling of Heart of Darkness

"This too was one of the dark places of the world"

That start of storytelling by Marlow is just great. It is very hard to top. Then there is the crazy case of the lone French cruiser shelling the amorphous jungle while its crew members are dying at a rate of fifteen a day from disease. They still keep to their task of shelling the "enemy" who is totally invisible.

So my question has to be: Does Heart of Darkness need retelling? I am not against retelling and reshaping stories (that has been going on through history). Even great stories can grow in retelling, and retelling can get people to read the original. The original in this case is very powerful indeed. Much as I liked Apocalypse Now, I still prefer reading Heart of Darkness. Does it need retelling in SF?

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Re: retelling of Heart of Darkness

@Michael H.F. Wilkinson

Perhaps it doesn't need retelling, but it is this idea of the framing ( 'we were once the savages') not present Apocalypse Now which would be fun to play with. Only from our Western perspective, it will be 'We WILL be the savages' in the proposed retelling, since the protagonists will be Asian.

I am glad we have both Conrad and Coppolla, just as both Seven Pillars of Wisdom and Lawrence of Arabia are remarkable in their respective mediums.

On this subject, the director of the Royal Shakespeare Company was on Midweek on Radio4, IIRC, addressing the issue of updating the Bard's stories.

Of course, the opposite arguments has its merits: some would ask 'Why bother even pretending you've come up with an original plot when the Greeks are bound to have already done it? - Just retell it!'

@Wojcik

Agreed.

But colonialism is as old as the hills. It gives you mixtures of cultures, battles and exotic maidens... ie box office gold! When Isaac Asimov laid down some tips for sci-fi writers, he said to read up on your history. Being a professor of the Old Testament (and of bio-chemistry) gave him a head start, though! A lesson not lost on Ridley Scott, it seems.

Now, where did I put my copy of Nostromo?

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Avatar-enders

2 solid hours of blue beings arguing. Nuff said, innit.

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Re: Avatar-enders

Isn't that the Smurfs movie?

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FAIL

Re: Avatar-enders

Pocahontas with 9 feet smurfs.

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Devil

OMG!

I had thought about suggesting "9/11 - the Musical" - that had to be a favourite.

But guess what...

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/its-a-movie-a-rock-musical-and-its-rooted-in-911/

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Devil

Re: OMG!

The PFY then suggested "Titanic - on ice". How we laughed.

Till we found this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_zey8IaIoM&feature=related

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Re: OMG!

Beware the 'Springtime for Hitler' situation: If you really really try to make it bad, it might end up brilliant.

Mel Brooks' The Producers.

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Pint

Re: OMG!

perfect, so in order for it to be bad, it NEEDS to be an accident. Hmmmm........

I've got it! We'll get every commentard to play 1 big game of chinese whispers and thats how'll we'll wright the script. We just need 1 script to start with then, chinese whisper it, and POOF! Instant pure accident for a script. Then we need a near infinit budget for the catering department but no where else, guaranties it wont get anywhere near breaking even.

And then we all get piss drunk and assign ourselves the roles of director, actor producer etc. And then do all the CGI in MSPaint!

WE CANT WIN!

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Meh

skewed

These polls are highly skewed by what kind of viewer responds. For example, I saw 'The Room' with a bunch of rabid fans and even tho it's the worst movie I've ever seen, I laughed until I cried. What a great experience! I wish I'd dressed in red cocktail outfit and brought an American football to toss around between scenes. On the other hand, wild horses could not drag me into a cinema to see Twilight: Waking Dawn or any film by Michael Bey.

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Totally agree

Snakes on a plane is hardly Oscar bait, but it's not that dreadful. It depends on how you approach it, it just happened to have Samuel L Jackson in it so people saw it expecting more.

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Holmes

Re: skewed

"These polls are highly skewed by what kind of viewer responds."

The hell you say.

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Mushroom

Say what you will...

But I can think of no worse movie than one co-produced by Michael Bay and Uwe Bolle.

[shudder]

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Rocky XXXVIII

Title says it all

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Re: Rocky XXXVIII

I think this may have some legs..

Picture

A necromancer who conjurs up an undead army to take over the world.

A 'good' wizard gets permission from on high (that is, whilst high) to resurrect ONE dead hero - switch to Rocky's grave and some special wizardry effects.

Up pops zombie Rocky to kick arse. If he gets hold of a bow and arrow with explosive tips then it could also double as a Rambo zombie film.

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Re: Rocky XXXVIII

... and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the corner holding a toy helicopter rocking back and forth chanting "get to the chopper....." over and over

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Trollface

Monica Lewinski: Straight from the Horse's Mouth.

'Nuff said.

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JDX
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Quentin Tarentino...

...to write a film about the holocaust.

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Trollface

Re: Quentin Tarentino...

staring Mel Gibson

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Re: Quentin Tarentino...

a better version of schindlers list where gibson asks each person in turn "are you jewish?" and if so, adds their name to his list

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Re: Quentin Tarentino...

Or Steven Spielberg directing one! Or Roberto Benigni starring in one!

So many possibilities....

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Anonymous Coward

Titanic II

This time it's unsinkable!

[Insert current US bogeyman] plans on sinking the US built liner Titanic II; only [insert Hollywood actor], the ships cook (who was a Navy Seal), can stop them! After much violence (but not much bloodshed so as to get a 12 rating) the Titanic II limps home with the hero (wearing a tattered vest) at the wheel.

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Re: Titanic II

Nice try, but there's already a spoof trailer for a titanic 2. "Too the surface" or something. The plot involves defrosting Leonardo's character in the modern day. Trailer is great, but I suspect an actual film would be pretty bad.

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Meh

Re: Titanic II

sure I noticed Titanic 2 being advertised on SCI-FI channel the other day...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Titanic II

> sure I noticed Titanic 2 being advertised on SCI-FI channel the other day...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1640571/

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Re: Titanic II

Yeah, but it wouldn't be as bad as the one where the same ship's cook helps some Native Americans fight an oil well.

Steven Seagal Juice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IId64OJdCKM

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Re: Titanic II

Too late, The Asylum already did that one. It involves a *literal* Titanic II, which gets smashed by an iceberg traveling at supersonic speeds.

No, I didn't pull that script out of my ass, I actually watched it. They ripped off not only Titanic, but also Poseidon (the crappy remake that is) and The Abyss...

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Anonymous Coward

Not the absolute worst

Surely these are the Worst of the Best, rather than the absolute worst? There must be countless thousands more really terrible films no-one's ever heard of - straight to DVD or worse (student efforts). At least these are well known enough to have disappointed viewers!

How can Avatar be so terrible if you look at what it pulled in? This is ridiculous!

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Facepalm

Re: "How can Avatar be so terrible .... ?"

"There's a sucker born every minute"

-Attr. to P. T. Barnum

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The money a movie makes is not correlated to its quality

It's more a function of marketing budget. Just look at "The Rescuers Downunder" or "The Secret of Nimh".

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Gimp

Re: Not the absolute worst

Agreed. Some of these (eg Titanic, War of the Worlds) are simply films that people have seen relatively recently and did not like. They are no-where near the league of the worst 10 ever made.

It is accepted by most film buffs that the worst ever film was the 1959 "Plan 9 from Outer Space", not even in this list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space

It was a combination of corny Sci-Fi and horror, directed by the cross-dressing and fetish expert Ed Wood. It is laughable both for the plot, the painful slowness of the action and the childishly obvious cardboard-and-string props. "Best" of all, the elderly star (Bela Lugosi) died during the production, so Ed Wood filled in with bits of home [silent] movies of Lugosi wandering around in his garden.

The film helped to get Ed Wood awarded the title of "Worst Director of All Time". You have to see Plan 9 to believe it - try to find a copy. It has cult status, giving its name to a Unix operating system and a rock band, among other things.

Fetish Icon

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Re: Not the absolute worst

Thought I should add that another film well worth watching is Tim Burton's eponymous biopic of Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp of course but, for once, wonderfully cast for the ham he is! I loved the scene where, dressed in a frock and wig, he bumps into Orson Welles - hilarious!

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Happy

Have none of you ever been here : http://www.badmovies.org/

This place really does list all the moves that are "so bad, they're good".

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Re: Have none of you ever been here : http://www.badmovies.org/

Love that site. And now I have a sudden urge to watch Hawk the Slayer. Truly the zenith of all cinema!

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zenith - I do not think that word means what you think it means

I assume you meant 'nadir'. But I suppose you could be living in the antipodes. That would work, right?

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Re: Have none of you ever been here : http://www.badmovies.org/

If you like bad movies, may I recommend the Ruthless Guide to 80s Action Movies:

http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/the-ruthless-guide-to-80s-action/

One of the many wonderful movies it put me on to is "McBain". Christopher Walken is "McBain", an ex Vietnam POW who decides to invade Nicaragua with 4 of his buddies with guns they nicked from some drug dealers. Whilst flying a single prop into Nicaragua, McBain shoots down a jet, with a revolver, from inside his cockpit. Mad props!

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Hawk the Slayer

A masterpiece of cinema.

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Re: Have none of you ever been here : http://www.badmovies.org/

Blind Fury anyone?

A blind Vietnam vet (Rutger Hauer), trained as a swordfighter, comes to America and helps to rescue the son of a fellow soldier.

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Alert

A live-action remake of Akira with adult, white actors in the role of young Japanese teenagers. Perhaps Keanu Reeves as Tetsuo and Micholas Cage as Kaneda? Surprisingly, Michael Bay will not direct. Lars Von Trier will be at the helm.

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I believe the objective is to go for films not made/being made.... it's been in the works a long time with WB having the rights.

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Yes...but I added I've upped the bad to unfilmable levels.

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re: live action Akira

Hmm,

that is a terrifying combination combination, you are probably going to be getting a selection of bad movies soon.

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