The Hunt For The Worst Movie Of All Time: Round One

By Gabe Delahaye / May 13, 2008

Yesterday, I launched The Hunt For The Worst Movie Of All Time and I can tell already that it is going to be a long, and painful search. You have suggested so many awful, awful movies to choose from. Unlike most journeys which I’ve heard are not about the destination, this one is only about the destination, because the destination means I won’t have to watch this shit anymore.

The initial rules are simple:

  1. It cannot be intentionally horrible.
  2. It must have at least one A- or B-list movie star in it. (no “outsider art.”)
  3. It cannot be Glitter.
  4. It has to have had a theatrical release.

And here are the first round movies in competition, starting next week:

  • Battlefield Earth
  • Baby Geniuses
  • Lady In The Water
  • The Fountain
  • Southland Tales

With the television season coming to an end, we have basically until the new season of Lost starts to find TWMOAT. As always, please continue to nominate films in the comments, or send them to me. Some more detailed thoughts on what constitutes a horrible movie, and how the selection process will be conducted, after the jump.

No matter how horrible the actual movie, if it is enjoyable to watch it cannot be considered the worst (ex: Showgirls.) Furthermore, a movie will be awarded (or deducted) extra Awful Points if it thinks highly of itself or has pretensions of greatness (ex: The Hours.) A horrible movie is, by definition, considered to be something it is not. Of course, sometimes a movie will fulfill one horrible requirement, while simultaneously disqualifying itself by another. Neil LaBute’s remake of The Wicker Man, a popular suggestion, is a terrible film that laughably thinks it is a commentary on gender relations and the erosion of patriarchal domination when in reality it is a comprehensive argument for why Nicholas Cage should not be allowed in movies. But it’s so retarded that it’s great, and therefore not the worst. While I will consider movies like Baby Geniuses in this survey, obvious cash grabs and mediocre market manipulators seem, at least to me, to be very upfront about their intentions and to strive no higher than their callous greed. In this sense, they are more annoying than horrible. Besides, people clearly liked Baby Geniuses enough to warrant SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2. That’s on us, America. And finally, all nominees and their potential to be the Worst Movie Of All Time are subject to my discretion, as the boss of this.

That was a long paragraph. To summarize: the movies should be painful to watch, and the winner will probably be a surprisingly miserable failure, rather than as horrible as you might expect. And I am the boss of this.

Next week: Battlefield Earth.