The worst films of all time – from terrifying CGI cats to Halle Berry’s Catwoman

The worst films of all time – from terrifying CGI cats to Halle Berry’s Catwoman

April 24, 2021

The Golden "Razzie" Raspberry Awards have long since been a stalwart in movie-making history.

Billed as an alternative to the Oscars, the Razzies celebrate the most ridiculous, disappointing and downright terrible films, acting and special effects.

Launched in 1996, the ceremony typically takes place the night before the illustrious Oscars, and fans have already seen a whole host of famous faces pitch up on stage to accept their commendation.

This year, Sia won the Razzie for the Worst Director for her film Music. It scooped three awards in total, including worst actress for Kate Hudson and worst supporting actress for Maddie Ziegler.

The movie has been heavily criticised for its portrayal of autism and for casting Ziegler in the autistic lead role.

Other celebs who have deigned to accept a Razzie are Hollywood legends Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

The nominations this year include Robert Downey Jr flick Dolittle, famed for his "terrible" attempt at a Welsh accent; Sia’s musical flick Music, which attracted backlash for its portrayal of an autistic character played by Maddie Ziegler; and erotic Polish drama 365 Days.

But, despite Dolittle and 365 Days racking up a whopping six nominations each, they’re a far cry from the worst films ever made. That honour goes to some of the selections from the list below.

Raise the Titanic (1980)

Though made before the Razzies even existed, Raise the Titanic certainly deserves a good few.

An adventure flick based on Clive Cussler’s 1976 novel, the film bombed at the box office.

The dire film grossed only $7million despite its whopping $40million budget, attracting a wry remark from producer Lew Grade, who said: "It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic."

Essentially, the film follows the story of a crew attempting to raise the wreck of the Titanic from the ocean floor.

The reason? Because it’s supposed to contain a mineral that can be used as part of a weapons system to take down any missile in US airspace.

Novelist Clive Cussler was so disgusted by how the film turned out that he refused to grant permission for any future movies to be made out of his books.

It’s even believed that the disaster of a film is part of the reason producer Lew Grade quit the film industry entirely after his last movie Something to Believe In in 1998.

Battlefield Earth (2000)

John Travolta had come a fair away from Grease when he starred in Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi flick Battlefield Earth.

The film details the story of a human rebellion against the alien Psychlos race, who have ruled over the earth for 1,000 years.

A Scientologist himself, Travolta was desperate to produce his hero’s 1982 novel, and eventually got it picked up by an independent film studio.

But the film was slammed by critics for everything from the acting to the musical score, and only grossed, on average, a total of $1,158 per screen it was shown in.

A review in The Washington Post said of the film: "A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth."

Since then, the film has attracted a wide array of accolades, including the Top 10 Box Office Failures according to MSN Movies, and has a Rotten Tomatos score of just 3%.

It even produced a parody in hit cartoon South Park, pitting the Scientologists against Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator.

The film also scored eight Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor for Travolta and Worst Screenplay.

In 2010, it was also awarded the coveted Worst Picture of the Decade award – though by then, film studio Franchise Pictures had been sued by its investors for overstating the movie’s budget by an incredible $31million.

The company went bankrupt, slashing Travolta’s high hopes of producing a sequel.

Swept Away (2002)

Madonna admitted in 2012 that her marriage to Guy Ritchie left her wondering if "perfect love" even existed.

One thing’s for certain – the "perfect film" might not, and if it does, it certainly isn’t Swept Away.

The adventure rom-com is actually a remake of the 1974 Italian film of the same name, and tells the story of Amber – the spoiled wife of a millionaire who embarks on a luxury cruise from Italy to Greece but instead washes up on a desert island.

The Material Girl songstress received biting criticism for her portrayal of Amber, with one reviewer saying she "seems constitutionally unable to achieve […] emotional control".

Swept Away scooped up five Golden Raspberries, including Worst Picture, Worst Director for Guy Ritchie and Worst Actress for Madonna.

It was also celebrated at the 2002 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, where it left with three accolades. The film wasn’t even shown in UK cinemas, and instead went straight to video.

The Room (2003)

Cult hit The Room might be universally adored by its niche following, but for many cinema-goers, the Tommy Wiseau flick is a bridge too far.

Its concept is difficult to pin down – it’s alternatively billed as a black comedy and a bizarre drama, centred on a love triangle between Johnny, his fiancée Lisa and his best friend Mark.

Originally written as a play in 2001, The Room was subsequently adapted as a 500-page book which Wiseau failed to get published. Not one to be put out, he decided to produce it as a film regardless.

And filming was a disaster from start to finish. From Wiseau forgetting his lines – which meant brief dialogue scenes took days to film – to blowing the budget on unnecessary equipment and extravagant sets, The Room was just not meant to be.

He even selected actors based solely on head shots – despite many of them having little to no acting experience, and fired the original Mark actor on the first day of filming.

Variety claimed the film caused "most of its viewers to ask for their money back—before even 30 minutes [had] passed."

But despite its failings, The Room still proved popular with its underground following, prompting live performances, parody musicals, and even Seth Rogen’s film adaptation The Disaster Artist in 2014.

Catwoman (2004)

Halle Berry is one of the few actors to hold both an Oscar and a Golden Raspberry Award.

The Catwoman actress made headlines when she broke tradition and showed up to accept her Razzie for Catwoman at the 25th award ceremony.

Having broke down at the 2002 Oscars for her award for Monster’s Ball, Halle parodied her on-stage sobbing fest for the Razzies, telling the crowd: "I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of s***.

"I’d like to thank the rest of the cast. To give a really bad performance like mine you need to have really bad actors," she laughed.

Catwoman scooped four Razzies in total, having been criticised over Catwoman’s "lack of connection" with superhero Batman – however, it managed to remain the highest grossing female-led superhero film until Wonder Woman was released in 2017.

The DC Comics flick even prompted Arizona Republic reporter Bill Muller to suggest Halle give back her Academy Award as a penalty for starring in it.

Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004)

Comedian Johnny Vegas starred in 2004 British comedy film Sex Lives of the Potato Men – constantly billed as one of the worst films of all time.

The bizarre movie focuses on the sex lives of a group of potato delivery men in Birmingham – and it’s as bizarre as it sounds. It has a staggering 0% rating on film review website Rotten Tomatoes.

Johnny Vaughan, writing for The Sun, said in his review: "The mind boggles as to how this movie actually got made," while BBC film journalist Mark Kermode described it as "absolutely, indescribably horrible, vulgar, stupid, tawdry, depressing, embarrassing, filthy, vile, stinky, repugnant, slimy, unclean, nasty, degenerative and mind-numbing".

Disaster Movie & Epic Movie (2007/2008)

Clutching the coattails of success from the Scary Movie films, Disaster Movie and Epic Movie come from directing and screenwriting duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.

The films parody a collection of blockbusters from the same genres, including everything from Cloverfield and I Am Legend to Harry Potter and Kung Fu Panda.

But the films definitely failed to impress critics, with The Guardian slamming Disaster Movie in particular. Jason Solomons wrote of the film: "Nothing can convey the grimness of Disaster Movie, which would be the Worst Movie Ever Made were it actually a movie at all."

Meanwhile, a San Francisco Chronicle journalist said Epic Movie was "so bereft of anything resembling wit or inspiration", adding: "What were the perpetrators, uh filmmakers, thinking?"

Epic Movie was nominated for three Razzies, including for Worst Remake or Rip-Off, while Disaster Movie received six, including Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Screenplay.

Kim Kardashian, who played Lisa Taylor in Disaster Movie, acknowledged her nomination for Worst Supporting Actress, writing on her blog: "It’s an honour just being nominated."

The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)

Poor Paris Hilton was officially named Worst Actress of the Decade in 2010, and she scooped two Razzies the year before for her portrayal of Cristabel in US rom-com The Hottie and the Nottie.

Focusing on the story of Nate, who is known for his disastrous romantic relationships, the movie delves into his crush on Cristabel. But Cristabel is still best friends with the "unattractive" June – who he eventually falls in love with.

Each cinema that showed the film averaged a profit of just $249, which allegedly represented just five people turning up per showing.

It has been criticised as being "crass, predictable and ineptly staged", and as serving "little purpose beyond existing as another monument to Paris Hilton’s vanity" by Rotten Tomatoes.

Mark Kermode included the flick in his top 10 worst films of the last 10 years in 2018.

It came away with two Razzies in 2009, including for Worst Actress, though Paris also secured the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress for her role in Repo! The Genetic Opera that same year.

All About Steve (2009)

Sandra Bullock is famed for her iconic comedy roles, but it seems she hit a roadblock while filming All About Steve.

Concentrating on a crossword puzzle writer who is set up on a blind date, Sandra plays stalker Mary alongside Bradley Cooper as Steve.

Like Halle Berry before her, Sandra rocked up at the Golden Raspberry Awards, carting a wagon full of All About Steve DVDs to give out to the 300 attendees.

She asked them to re-watch the film, and if they decided she wasn’t the worst actress, she vowed to come back the next year and buy everyone drinks.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – but the star hasn’t been nominated since, and scooped the Oscar for Best Actress in The Blind Side the following day.

The film itself was nominated for five awards, and won for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple.

Cats (2019)

The "CGI nightmare" that was Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has become notorious for its awfulness.

Even the actors who starred in Cats have gone on to slam the movie, with James Corden admitting he doesn’t plan on ever watching the film.

He and co-star Rebel Wilson went as far as to mock the film at the 2020 Oscars, turning up on-stage in a pair of terrifying cat costumes and declaring: "As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects."

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The film had to undergo a major overhaul when the special effects shown in the trailer faced backlash.

The derided musical received six Razzies, with James Corden named as Worst Supporting Actor and Rebel Wilson taking home the trophy for Worst Supporting Actress.

Dame Judi Dench, who played Old Deuteronomy, admitted she hasn’t watched the film all the way through, and giggled when she heard she’d been nominated for a Razzie.

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