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Top 10 Movies that went wrong
Published on 3/21/2006
The Conqueror (1956): the movie that caused cancer
A Howard Hughes-funded box-office disaster featuring John Wayne as Genghis Khan and the redheaded Susan Hayward as a Tatar princess. The movie was filmed in Utah downwind from an atomic testing range in Nevada and is often blamed for the cancer deaths of many of the cast and crew, including both Hayward and Wayne. It appears in Michael Sauter's book The Worst Movies of All Time. Hughes thought the movie was so bad that he bought up every copy (which cost him about $12 million) and he refused to distribute the film until 1974, when Paramount reached a deal with him. This would be the last film that Hughes would produce.
Inchon (1982): an expensive inspiration from God
A story says that one day, Sun Myung Moon (Unification Church) began crying and could not stop. To raise his spirits he took a trip to the movie theatre and the crying stopped. He saw this as a sign from God and resolved to make his own motion picture. Moon remembered the UN forces landing at Inchon, and how the mastermind behind the landings, General Douglas MacArthur must have been inspired by God, so he invested his personal fortune on a movie about it.
A massive publicity campaign was launched but to no avail. Aside from the atrocious reviews, audiences were afraid that the film was being used part of a drive by the Unification Church to recruit new members. The New York Times said that Inchon "looks like the most expensive B-movie ever made." And it won the infamous Razzie Award as Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor and Worst Director. Inchon would end up costing $44 million and made less than $2 million at the box office.
Batman & Robin (1997): or how Batman became gay
The fourth installment of the Warner Bros. franchise that began with 1989's Batman and the lowest-grossing of the film series. This film is often billed as the worst superhero movie of all time, even to the point that star George Clooney said he would refund people's money if they stopped him on the street and said they had paid to see it.
Glitter (2001): Mariah Carey's vanity film
A semi-autobiographical movie about Mariah Carey. Critics universally panned it for seeming to be a vanity film intended only to enhance Carey's singing career. Carey had pushed for the project as early as 1997, but it finally came out on 2001.
Although the film has been generally panned, it has made a cultural impact and reached infamous levels of notoriety. New slang has been invented with a negative connotation of "pulling a Glitter" to indicate performing horribly.
Kolberg (1945): That Nazi movie that came too late
A 1945 Nazi propaganda film directed by Veit Harlan and Wolfgang Liebeneiner. It opened on January 30, 1945 simultaneously in Berlin and to the crew of the naval base at La Rochelle. It was also screened in the Reich chancellery after the broadcast of Hitler's last radio address on January 30.
Showgirls (1995): Not even sexy enough
A large amount of hype was put behind promoting the gratuitous sex and nudity in the film, but the results were critically derided. The frequent and gratuitous nudity and simulated sex in the film, and the writing did not lend itself to what might have been an enthralling film.
Gigli (2003): The end of Bennyfer
Originally a very dark comedy with no romantic subplot, the producers demanded script rewrites throughout filming. Some reviewers dubbed the film "The ultimate turkey of all time", referring to Lopez's character's sex talk to Affleck's character inviting him to commit an act of oral sex: "It's turkey time." "What?" "Gobble, gobble."
Battlefield Earth (2000): a "Travolting" Scientologist movieBased on L. Ron Hubbard's (Scientology founder) book of the same name, starring John Travolta. Hugely hyped by the Church of Scientology, it had the third worst 3,000-theater-plus opening weekend up to that time. Several describe the pain experienced while watching it: more than one reviewer gave their review as simply "Travolting." The Washington Post offered a rather pointed critique, stating in part: "A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth."
The film won seven Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture. In 2005, an eighth Razzie (for Worst "Drama" of Our First 25 Years) was awarded to the film.
Waterworld (1995): a sinked budget
It was co-produced by Kevin Costner and directed by Kevin Reynolds. Problems encountered during filming massively escalated its budget, and it held the unfortunate distinction of being the most expensive film ever made (at the time), causing some critics to dub the movie "Fishtar" and "Kevin's Gate" (references to the notorious flops Ishtar and Heaven's Gate).
Catwoman (2004): can't even say Me-ouch!
Ostensibly based on the DC Comics character and starring Halle Berry in a film that resembles next to nothing of its source material. Fans of the comic refused to call it by its given name, and instead dubbed it "CINO" (Catwoman In Name Only). It was declared "arguably the worst superhero film ever made" by the Orlando Sentinel. The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) put it more bluntly: "Me-ouch!"
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