Worst Movies Ever

[2.5] Horror maestro Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream) tackles voodoo and zombification in The Serpent and the Rainbow. Bill Pullman (Spaceballs) stars as an anthropologist sent to Haiti by a pharmaceutical company seeking the ingredients of a powder that is thought to give the living every appearance of being dead. Victims are buried alive while still hearing, seeing, and feeling everything. Along …

[2.0] Peter Cushing stars in this Amicus production about a collector of supernatural antiquities who comes into possession of the Marquis de Sade’s skull. Christopher Lee (in a cameo) warns him that the skull has the power to possess its owners and force them to do evil things. Cushing poo-poos the notion at his peril and ends up fighting the skull’s intentions for him to …

[2.5] John Travolta returns under the curious direction of Sylvester Stallone for this sequel to the mega-hit Saturday Night Fever. But whereas Saturday Night Fever was a sincere story about a young man with big dreams and lessons to learn, Staying Alive is just a plodding procedural love-triangle that climaxes in an over-the-top music number of camp proportions. Travolta’s Tony Manero character seems to have …

[2.0] Dennis Quaid stars in this remake of a 1949 thriller about a literature professor who has 24 hours to live, and he spends that time trying to figure out who poisoned him and why. I like Dennis Quaid a lot, but nothing can save this movie from the fact that it was made by pretentious film school hacks with an absurdly improbable screenplay. Quaid’s …

[2.5] The days become unnaturally long in the town of Centerville, where two cops played by Adam Driver and Bill Murray drive around protecting the community. But when zombies begin roaming the streets, they find themselves in over their heads with only a strange new Scottish mortician (Tilda Swinton) to help them… or not. In any case, as Adam Driver’s character says throughout the movie, …

[2.5] James Spader and Keanu Reeves star in this tired, busily boring, and wretchedly made thriller about a serial killer who likes to play games with the FBI agent on his trail. I can’t fault Spader for doing his best here as the agent, now retired and in psychotherapy with Marisa Tomei. Tomei, who I think is underrated, has precious little to do. It’s clear …

[1.0] When I heard Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, screenwriter behind Lethal Weapon) was directing and Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad) was cowriting, I thought The Predator would have the right ingredients for a successful relaunch. I don’t know to what extent studio interference played a part, but if I were Black or Dekker I would have had my name removed from this film …

[2.0] A giant radioactive lizard terrorizes New York City. There are probably at least 100 different ways this could have been more interesting and exciting, but producers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) instead opt to make their Godzilla movie two hours and twenty minutes of  implausible, joyless tedium. The characters (if you could call them that) have no spunk, no personality, nothing to …

[2.0] Thrashin’ is the quintessential bad ’80s movie. There’s an anemic plot involving two warring skateboarding gangs and a boy who falls in love with the sister of a rival gang member. It’s a goofy Romeo and Juliet on tiny wheels, where none of the kids have parents and most of life’s mysteries are answered with a good musical montage. Thrashin’ is really just a …

[2.0] John Carpenter has given us a handful of gems over the years, but Ghosts of Mars is not one of them. The movie’s too exotic for its own good. It starts with some quick but tedious exposition, then plops us off in a confusing, alienating environment with little to latch onto. The story has something to do with ghosts and a bunch of leftover …

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