back to article So, what IS the worst film ever made?

Our piece last week on Eddie Murphy's cinematic train-wreck A Thousand Words - a possible nominee for the worst film ever - had El Reg commentards queuing up to recount their celluloid nightmare experiences. And chilling reading it made, to be sure. Inspired by your litany of cinematic shame, we've decided to run a poll this …


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  1. dogged

    In before Battlefield Earth becomes undisputed champ.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Dynamite chicken - Richard Prior for worst video..not sure if it is a film, in which case my back-up choice is The Heartbreak Kid - Ben Stiller, I hoped it would get better, as some of his films are funny.. but it got worse...90minutes of my life I'll never get back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Worst

        An old movie, Killdozer, should rank among the worst.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward bad even John Travolta was laughing at one point!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BOXING HELENA or the remake of Day Of The Jackel.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Remake they ever made, please if you are able tell me any remake that was better than the original.

      1. Rich464

        Re: every

        Batman, Scarface, The Thing, Man on Fire? I quite liked those.

      2. The Unexpected Bill

        Re: every

        I can think of one...the 1999 remake of Gone In 60 Seconds.

        Not that the original film wasn't interesting, it just didn't have much of a story line.

      3. George Nacht

        Re: every

        OK, I´ll bite. The new Italian Job was way better than the confusing original. And no, I am not a troll. I love heist caper movies, in a sense that I want to see a handful of likable characters overcoming the odds. In the original I was treated to an army of anonymous,disposable thugs, that looked like they could pick up the armored car and simply carry it away. Michael Caine was simply a jerk in it. And do not get me started about the sickening ending...

        OK, this is about the vote for the worst movie.... Well, Pearl Harbor comes to mind very fast.

        1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

          Re: every

          BLASPHEMY! Kill the heretic!

          "New" Italian Job (I always make a point of adding that prefix) - decent movie, REALLY, REALLY badly named. It was like someone remaking The Shawshank Redemption or The Matrix or A Clockwork Orange with the EXACT same name (no sequel rider) and a completely different plot.

          The original wasn't brilliant but it was a cult movie that enjoyed good success and had a good following. Ruining it by some poor American Hollywood "homage" is not the problem, the problem was ALWAYS the name. You could have come up with a million different names that paid homage without trying to trounce the original and cash in on the name. Hell, Italian Job 2 would have been better. At least we could have just written it off as yet-another-sequel to bash.

          It was okay, at best. The first was brilliant at the time and still remembered 40+ years later. You can't judge both films simultaneously.


          Worst film ever? I could name a few dozen. There are thousands of candidates, certainly, but most are just "bad". I'd have to go for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", though.

          1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

            Re: every

            Oh. Forgot about From Dusk Till Dawn.

            Seriously, I'm not picking on George Clooney - he's done some great stuff - but that movie made me reach for the remote in a way I've never done before.

          2. big_D Silver badge

            Re: every

            Other remake bads:

            Borne (all of them), the origianl mini-series was good, the remakes had nothing to do with Jason Borne a la Ludlum. As a schlock spy film, they were okay, but ruined by taking the Borne name in vain.

            Get Carter. Stallone just can't play Michael Caine, end of.

          3. Evil_Medic

            Re: every

            Well Sir, I generally agree.

            However, "O Brother, Where Art Thou" was based on Homer's Odyssey-and if watched with that in mind, can actually be pretty hilarious.

        2. sabba

          Re: every

          You found the original Italian Job confusing? Bloody hell? I hope you are tucked warm in the care home and not allowed out alone. Watch out for the spittle on your keyboard.

          You're not American by any chance are you?

          1. TheRealRoland

            Re: every

            'You weren't supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'

            Nah, it was ok, both the original and the new one. I remember going to a viewing of the new one, with 249 other new minis. Fun!

            Horrible movies? I'm still wondering why Red Dawn was never Oscar material...

            Or any of the Stephen Seagal movies

            1. TheRealRoland

              Re: every

              I know, I know... The downvote was probably because I wasn't ready to stand guard against the Red Menace.

              Or the green one, for that matter... Or blue, yellow, etc.

            2. Def Silver badge

              Re: 'You weren't supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'

              Did you mean: "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"?

          2. George Nacht

            Re: every

            No, I am not American. And I really did not expected such an outrage, meaning, I did not expected to gain attention of and insult so much fellow commenters.Please, let me apologize, you are right, the new I.J. is not really a remake, and I should not have been such a ... well... my English is not up to correct word in this case.

            I am very well aware of the cult status of original Italian Job, and I love M.Caine all the way from "Zulu" to "Dark Knight".

            It is too late to remove my comment, so please consider me thoroughly corrected now.

            1. sabba

              Re: every

              Now. There you go. Bet you feel better for that. A cathartic experience I'll bet. Just one quick question: regardless of whether or not you liked the original, which bit did you find confusing?

          3. Alabama Amerkin

            Re: every

            Well umm uh proud Amerkin! So you just watch yer mouf!

      4. Graham Bartlett

        Re: every

        Casino Royale. Although when the original is a spoof featuring Woody Allen, Peter Sellars and David Niven, the only way is up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: every Casino Royale

          The original was a sort of camp spoof but the remake was just a bland action film, you could have renamed the characters including Bond and it would not change the film in any way as it had no soul.

          I prefer the psychdelic original.

      5. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: every

        The Maltese Falcon? The Wizard of Oz? Frankenstein? The Fly? His Girl Friday? The Man Who Knew Too Much?

        Admittedly I can't think of one from the last twenty five years.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: every

        Still no one has come up with a better remake yet, definitely not the Italian Job.

        1. robbak11

          Re: every

          Johnny Dep did a far better Willy Wonka than Gene Wilder's original.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: Re: every

            I'm sorry, but you are talking tripe. Jonny Depp turned an adequate performance as |Jonny Depp, as he always does. Wilder's Wonka was inspired.

      7. robbak11

        Re: every

        Johnny Dep's Willy Wonka was FAR better than Gene Wilder's.

      8. iLikeSushi

        Re: every

        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Boom.

        The opening sequence alone is one of the best things I've seen at the cinema in a long time.

      9. Squander Two

        Re: every

        The Thomas Crown Affair. At no point in the original did Steve McQueen manage to give the impression that he'd ever even met a businessman; his entire performance comes across as a hippy's idea of what a successful financier might be like -- which it was. The remake isn't just good; it's great.

        And The Talented Mr Ripley is way better than Plein Soleil.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Highlander II

    1. Ian K


      Not only because it's a dire film (which it is), but because first Highlander was such a classic; far greater heights to plummet from.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Indeed. In fact, can we have an award subcategory for "worst sequel in comparison to a really quite good original"? I'd like to nominate Lake Placid 2 as an outstanding example.

      2. GumboKing


        Thirded. I still remember before heading in to Highlander 2 saying "It's got Connery in it it will have to be good." After, "WTF, they are from a planet named Zeist?!? What a load of crap, It is bad enough you made them aliens, but even a 3 year old could have come up with a better name for a planet than that." Shudder.

        1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge

          Re: Zeist?!?

          I lived in the town of Zeist for 21 years.

    2. Dances With Sheep

      > Highlander II

      You utter bastard.

      I thought I had banished that abortion of a film from my memory.

      ... you have reminded me of the lowest point of the 1990's. A sequel so shite it makes the Matrix II look like Citizen Kane by comparison.

      1. jon 68
        Big Brother

        There IS no Highlander II they skipped that one

        repeat these words over and over...

        there is no...

    3. Graham Marsden


      ITYM "Highlander II - The Sickening"!

      I saw it on pirate video and thank the gods I did because it saved me having to queue up for my money back!

      Alternatively, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide Film: This film is bad. Really Bad. I mean you just won't believe how hugely, mind-bogglying bad this film was. You may have thought the Highlander II or Waterworld were bad, but that's just peanuts to this film. Listen...

      A film that takes Douglas Adams wonderful wordplay and either sets up the joke but then forgets to do the punchline or does the punchline without the setup meaning it falls totally flat. And as for the ludicrous Hollywood Meddling "Arthur and Trillian fall in love" sub plot? Belgium, man! Total swutting belgium!!

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: @SaveTheSharks

        Unfortunately, if you read about the project, you'll discover that most of the script was written by... Douglas Adams himself. (Yes, even the "Humma Kavula" scenes, and those 'spade-in-the-face' visual gags on Vogsphere. Douglas Adams himself really did write those.)

        I rather liked it myself. It's far from perfect, and relies heavily on a very British cynicism to make any sense out of it, but it's a pretty good attempt to squeeze a six-episode radio play / novel / TV series / text adventure (all of which differed substantially from each other, remember) into a mere 90 minutes of medium-budget movie.

        The original radio series was extremely episodic in nature and had very little by way of plot. It really is a rehash of the classic 1940's-era science fiction story template of "some guy gets a guided tour of the future / an alien world / etc. before being returned home (eventually)." That was already an SF cliché by the 1950s.

        Douglas Adams was very fond of chopping and changing the original to fit each medium. He was also very much a comedy sketch writer at the time, and it shows in the early Hitch-hiker novels; it wasn't until a couple of books into the series that he finally worked out how to plot. And I think he made the mistake of trying to shoehorn a plot into his screenplay. It meant cutting out lots of set-pieces and sketches in favour of moving the plot along, and this is probably why it doesn't work as well as it could have. But it's a pretty decent stab, all told.

        I'd have preferred the effort had gone into a TV miniseries instead as there's just too much material for a single 90 minute film—and Adams himself claimed to have been unsatisfied with the original BBC TV series, so a remake actually made sense. (Zaphod Beeblebrox's two heads proved impossible to create on-screen with the technology of the day, so we were left with a very obviously fake animatronic head that couldn't even move its lips and eyes realistically. CGI makes that sort of thing so much easier to do.)

        Adams' later "Dirk Gently" novels lent themselves rather better to the movie format, I think.

    4. Flat Phillip

      How to wreck the memories of the original

      I was going to nominate Freejack as it takes a good idea and stuffs it completely (Mick Jagger as the bad guy in a pink tank probably the highlight) but yes, Highlander II certainly beats that.

      How could they possibly get it so wrong?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh yes, Highlander II - the only film I've ever walked out on.

    6. zen1

      I do believe

      Highlander II was more of a pathetic cry for help!

      1. Graham Marsden

        Highlander films...

        ... there should have been only one!

        1. Chet Mannly

          Re: Highlander films...

          "... there should have been only one!"

          There WAS only one Highlander movie, just like there was only one Matrix movie, and one Blues Brothers movie

          - sometimes denial can be a force for good!

  3. irish donkey
    Thumb Down


    That's the most recent rubbish I started to watch..... do you need to watch it all to qualify?

    1. irish donkey

      Six down votes............ this is madness

      This is TRON: Legacy.

      a good film......... no way.

      There a lot of crazy people round here

      1. SoaG

        Re: Six down votes............ this is madness

        I'd guess the downvotes are related to your not clearly specifying you meant the new one. Haven't seen it, so no opinion myself.

        1. Aaron Em

          Re: Six down votes............ this is madness

          I have. It's atrocious, and not even pretty enough to make up for it.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: Six down votes............ this is madness

            Actually the original Tron is also pretty pants, even though it has some shiny for it's day FX. The sequel doesn't even have the excuse of groundbreaking FX it's just painful. But by no means the worst movie ever.

            The worst movie I have seen is some execrable kids movie which my brothers spawn dragged me to when I was babysiting it. Thankfully I forgotten it's name, but the scars will remain. And there was a perfectly good Harry Potter movie showing at the same time, but nooo, it had to see that piece of shit.. I don't think the other moviegoers appreciated me yelling "You've got a goddamn gun! Just shoot the fucking squirrel!" at the screen.

        2. Chika

          Re: Six down votes............ this is madness

          Madness? THIS IS SPARTA!!!

          Wonder if anyone has noticed the story that the BBC is running at the moment about Disney's latest turkey, "John Carter"? They go on to list in a side article quite a few worthy rotten tomatoes, including The Adventures of Pluto Nash.

  4. nichomach

    I've sat through some truly awful stuff...

    ...but I still maintain the one that takes the biscuit is "My Little Eye". "The horror....the horror..."; it truly was the most execrable abuse of a camera that it's ever been my misfortune to endure.


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