Movies That Are Just as Bad as People Say They Are


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Many movies don’t get a fair shake upon initial release, often times for reasons having nothing to do with their quality. Luckily for these films, there’s a chance for people who avoided them in theaters to decide for themselves whether these movies are deserving of fates. For example, Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy” never received a major theatrical release, but thanks to streaming services, it’s a beloved classic today.

Then there are some movies that are exactly as bad as everyone says. If they’re mentioned as part of the “so bad it’s good” film club, they have been wrongly and egregiously grandfathered into this category. Please, we beg of you, read the following list of movies that are so bad they’re sheer agony to sit through. Avoid them, as you would avoid eating a pound of expired shellfish.

Image Credit: IMDb.

‘The Room’


“The Room” has been widely hailed as one of the worst movies ever made, and its earned that title. Written and directed by lead “actor” Tommy Wiseau, it’s jarringly and awkwardly subpar from the first line of dialogue. Everything about the filmmaking is so inept that it stops being funny pretty quickly. You will probably sit through the whole thing anyway out of pure fascination that so much can be so wrong with a single movie, but never before in cinematic history have 99 minutes passed so slowly.

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‘Battlefield Earth’


“Battlefield Earth” is also widely hailed as one of the worst movies ever made, but just saying it’s bad doesn’t fully capture the physical agony required to survive all two hours of it. It was co-produced by John Travolta, who also stars as Terl, the main bad guy and leader of the alien race. 

The movie is based on a book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and since Travolta is himself a Scientologist, some were concerned that the film might amount to religious propaganda. Well, this thing is so incorrect in all its filmic instincts that you can barely even tell what’s going on. Every single shot in the movie is at a 30-degree angle at a minimum, which will drive you completely nuts after five minutes.

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‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’


Listen, we understand that after Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, the story of the Caped Crusader was still believed to be fertile ground for comic book fans. Unfortunately, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was directed in the most ham-fisted manner possible by Zack Snyder, a filmmaker who seems to believe that all movie dialogue must be yelled. He also appears to think that all movies must exceed at least two and a half hours in length, presumably to fit all that yelling in. 

Batman is portrayed by Ben Affleck, who completely stinks up the joint in the role, and the whole enterprise seems to go on forever. If that sounds like fun to you, watch the extended cut, which goes on for a further half-hour, because clearly, you haven’t suffered enough.

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‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’


“Plan 9 from Outer Space” has been declared the worst movie of all time from many quarters by countless cinephiles, leading some to check it out purely out of curiosity. As we all know, curiosity is not always rewarded; in the case of this movie, it’s actively punished. 

Director Ed Wood had shot a few minutes of footage with the original “Dracula” actor Bela Lugosi, who passed away before the movie was completed. “Plan 9” is the reverse-engineered monstrosity that resulted when he tried to finish it anyway. The effects are absolutely terrible even by 1957 standards, and the acting has been bested many times over by third grade school plays. Then there’s the dialogue, which contains proclamations like “Inspector Clay is dead, murdered, and someone’s responsible!” 

You can watch the film on this Wikipedia page, but we urge you to watch the 1994 biopic “Ed Wood” instead, which many people have managed to watch for the last 30 years without complaint.

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‘The Man Who Saved the World’


“The Man Who Saved the World” is a Turkish science fiction movie known to many as “Turkish Star Wars.” This is not because it’s a groundbreaking epic reminiscent of the visionary work of George Lucas. Rather, this is because they took the original 1977 movie “Star Wars” and inserted whole sections of it into this movie, the remainder of which gives a new meaning to the word “shoddy.” It is impossible even to explain what this movie is about, but if you must see it, we recommend inviting a couple of friends over to watch it. You can have a contest to see who has the sheer willpower to tap out last. It’s on YouTube, so knock yourselves out.

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You would think that making a movie adaptation of one of the most popular stage musicals of all time would be a no-brainer; follow it faithfully, don’t muck it up too much and you’ll probably do fine. Well, the people who made 2019’s “Cats” clearly didn’t see it that way. Despite having a cast that includes Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, and Taylor Swift, it seems as though extra effort went into making sure nobody would enjoy this movie, even people who saw the original Broadway show 20 times. The most entertaining thing about it was that it was released to theaters with unfinished CGI effects, leading the studio to provide them with an updated effects package that had to be downloaded.

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‘Armageddon’ (1998)

Perhaps 1998’s “Armageddon” was an influence on filmmaker Zack Snyder when he made “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” because this Bruce Willis space adventure can also be rightly categorized as two-and-a-half hours of yelling. Unlike some movies on this list, “Armageddon” was a huge box office success and became the highest-grossing movie of the year worldwide when it was released. However, please heed the warning of the great Roger Ebert, whose utterly scathing one-star review characterized the movie as “an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”

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Before the current two-part incarnation of “Dune” directed by Denis Villeneuve, director David Lynch took a crack at it. Despite the large cast of respected actors such as Patrick Stewart, José Ferrer, and Max von Sydow, Lynch was absolutely the wrong director for this movie. To be fair, he was denied final cut by the studio, so we’ll never know what might have been. As far as what emerged, it’s a complete mess, and it was not helped by the fact that movie theaters left a glossary of “Dune” terms on every theatergoer’s seat, a tacit that the movie made zero sense.

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‘The Postman’


Sometimes, winning an Oscar is the worst thing that can happen to a filmmaker. Kevin Costner’s 1990 film “Dances with Wolves” won a bunch of them, including Best Picture and Best Director for Costner. Thus emboldened, his next movie was 1997’s “The Postman,” a three-hour endurance test. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in which the United States is in the cruel grip of militia groups. Thankfully, Costner’s character finds a bag of undelivered mail and distributes it, which three hours later results in (SPOILER ALERT!) the good guys winning, somehow. All of it is terrible and stupid, right down to musician Tom Petty’s extremely ill-advised cameo in the film, in which he plays himself. None of this needed to happen.

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Again, stop giving people Oscars! It makes them go mad with power. This is the fate that befell director Ang Lee after 2000’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” won the Best Foreign Film Oscar. He chose to follow it up with his adaptation of Marvel Comics’ “The Incredible Hulk,” renaming it simply “Hulk.” Lee, sadly, was too high-minded in his approach to the material, which he tried to turn into a serious character study, making it both too clever and too stupid. The resulting movie was such a mess that Marvel rebooted the property five years later with 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk,” which also had a lot of problems but was at least mildly entertaining.

Image Credit: Amazon.

‘The Godfather Part III’


1972’s “The Godfather” and 1974’s “The Godfather Part II” are considered two of the greatest movies ever made. Sadly, in the 1980s director Francis Ford Coppola’s career began to hit the skids, so he returned to the well and made a completely unnecessary third entry in this saga. You don’t watch it so much as react to it like you’re seeing a loved one in their last days of hospice care. Coppola’s daughter Sofia was drafted at the last minute when female actor Winona Ryder dropped out. Sofia received 100% of the critical blame for this terrible movie, despite the fact that no actor on earth could have saved this pointless mess. Sofia Coppola, thankfully, went on to be a very successful and admired director which is the only thing resembling a happy ending to emerge from this train wreck.

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