What is the worst movie ever made?
It’s a question that has troubled humanity since the dawn of film; what is the worst movie ever made?
That’s a subjective question, of course. But, thanks to Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, we can now offer a kind of scientific answer.
Using data from both sites, we took some of the worst reviewed movies ever and calculated an average score out of 100 based on critic and audience reviews.
Some movies scored surprisingly high using this methodology. Take Plan 9 from Outer Space: it’s generally considered the worst movie of all time, but it was actually the second highest rated movie in our research with 50%. Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic The Room scored 38%, while Birdemic: Shock and Terror scored 21%.
So the movies below really are the worst of the worst. Without further ado, here are the ten worst movies ever according to the internet…
Average score: 14%
Back in 2002, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were Hollywood’s hottest couple. They were so hot, in fact, that a movie starring both of them was practically rewritten to capitalise on their relationship.
The result was Gigli, a complete mess that’s kind of a romantic comedy but also kind of a crime drama. The jokes fall flat, the plot is bizarre and, worst of all, the chemistry between Ben and Jen is non-existent.
Gigli currently has 6% on Rotten Tomatoes and won six Razzies, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Worst Actress. Lopez and Affleck eventually bounced back, but the negativity surrounding the movie caused director Martin Brest (who was once nominated for an Oscar for his work on Scent of a Woman) to retire from filmmaking entirely.
9. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Average score: 13.3%
The first Baby Geniuses was destroyed by critics, although it made enough money to earn a sequel.
We kind of wish they hadn’t, because Baby Geniuses 2 is somehow even worse. The movie follows four babies who can communicate using baby talk and team up to foil an evil media boss planning to brainwash the world’s population.
With some seriously wooden acting, terrible action sequences and poor dialogue, Superbabies received awful reviews (it has a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes) and bombed badly at the box office. Baby Geniuses 3 was presumably cancelled soon after.
8. Disaster Movie
Average score: 13%
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer had made a career out of parodying movies, although we’re not sure throwing as many pop culture references and movie characters into a film and then having said characters bump their head/get run over/do a fart counts as a ‘parody’ really.
Disaster Movie is the nadir of the formula. It’s supposed to be a parody of films like The Day After Tomorrow, but it’s more or less an hour and a half of characters you’ve seen from other films showing up and bumping their heads, getting run over and… well, you get the picture.
Despite terrible reviews (it has 1% on Rotten Tomatoes), Disaster Movie still managed to turn a profit at the box office.
7. Battlefield Earth
Average score: 12.6%
Jon Stewart infamously described Battlefield Earth as “a cross between Star Wars and the smell of a**” and it’s hard to disagree. This bloated sci-fi ‘epic’, based on an equally bloated novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is laughably bad.
Battlefield Earth was a passion project for its main star John Travolta, a devoted follower of Scientology. He was apparently asked personally by Hubbard to adapt it into a film “like Star Wars” in the 80s, but he lacked the clout after a series of flops. However, his starring role in Pulp Fiction gave Travolta another shot at bringing Battlefield Earth to the big screen.
The film takes place in the year 3000, where an alien race known as the Psychlos rule the Earth and keep humans as slaves. The Psychlos look like giant cat people with dreadlocks and seem to be wearing the hands from a werewolf costume. They also talk like drunk Shakespeare actors.
Eventually, one of the humans is accidentally hit by some sort of laser that gives him super intelligence and begins an uprising and… well, you can probably guess what happens next.
Almost everything about Battlefield Earth sucks, from the acting to the terrible special effects to the near constant reliance on Dutch angles (which makes it feel like you’re watching the film with your head tilted slightly). Did we mention the script? Because that sucks too.
Unsurprisingly, Battlefield Earth flopped at the box office and was awarded with eight Golden Raspberry Awards. It later won another Razzie for Worst Picture of the Decade.
6. Manos: The Hands of Fate
Average score: 12.6%
In 1966, fertilizer salesman Harold P. Warren bet screenwriter Stirling Silliphant that he could make a film from scratch on his own. Silliphant took the bet, and arguably the worst movie ever made was born.
Manos: The Hands of Fate (which translates as Hands: The Hands of Fate) follows a family as they embark on a road trip, only to get lost and end up in the house of a crazed pagan cult led by a dude called the Master. Helping the Master is Torgo, who is supposed to be a satyr but looks more like a man with funny legs thanks to the actor wearing the costume backwards.
Torgo’s costume is the least of Manos problems, however. There’s also Warren’s camera, which could only shoot 32 seconds of footage at a time; the sound and dialogue being dubbed after the film was shot, with an adult woman voicing a seven year old girl; a character saying “it’s getting dark” when it’s clearly still day time; and a nine minute opening credit sequence… that doesn’t have any credits.
We could go on, but to be honest, just describing Manos doesn’t do justice to how bad it really is. The movie slipped into obscurity shortly after its premier, but a now legendary episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 made it a cult classic, a movie that’s so bad that it’s actually pretty entertaining.
5. Pledge This!
Average score: 12%
The National Lampoon series has given us some great movies over the years, including the classic Animal House.
Pledge This! is not one of them.
Marketed as Paris Hilton’s film debut (even though she was in House of Wax two years earlier), Pledge This! sees Hilton flexing her acting muscles as a spoilt, over-privileged sorority queen who wants to win the prestigious FHM Hottest Sorority in the Country Award. Haven’t we all at some point?
The pursuit of this award turns Hilton into something of a monster, to the extent that her fellow sorority members start to plan revenge against her. This is the jump off point for some terrible stereotypes, base level gags and copious amounts of nudity aimed firmly at the teenage boy market.
Hilton took particular offense to the last element, which was added in after the movie was finished. In fact, she was so offended that she boycotted the premier; a move that led to one of the investors trying to sue Hilton for not promoting the movie fully.
Hilton won the case after the judge ruled the movie lost money because of a “wholly inadequate marketing plan” and, in a piece of criticism more stinging than any of the reviews, declared the film was “hardly destined for critical acclaim”. Ouch!
Average score: 12%
On the face of it, Inchon should have been a success. It’s a war epic based on the Battle of Inchon, a turning point in the Korean War, and stars Laurence Olivier (one of the best actors ever) as one of America’s most renowned historical figures.
In reality, it was doomed from the start. Inchon was funded almost entirely by Sun Myung Moon, founder of the controversial Unification Church, who apparently interfered on several occasions with edits and rewrites. Terence Young, who directed Inchon, described the resulting picture as a “Korean propaganda movie”.
Despite a huge budget of $46 million, Inchon still looks pretty cheap (the airplanes are made of cardboard, for one). Part of the reason for that was Olivier’s huge $1 million pay packet, supplemented by weekly expenses of $2,500 to be delivered by helicopter. Another reason is a scene where MacArthur gives a speech to a crowd, which had to be edited to add more people in at a cost of $3 million dollars for a 3 minute scene.
All in all, Inchon is a mess of epic proportions. It won numerous Razzies, including Worst Actor for Olivier (giving him the rare distinction of winning both an Oscar and a Razzie), and has such a bad reputation that it’s never been released on home video.
3. Alone in the Dark
Average score: 11.3%
Video game adaptations have a bad reputation, and at least 50% of the blame for that lies at the feet of Uwe Boll. Boll has carved a career out of turning good video games into terrible movies, although Alone in the Dark is especially terrible.
Like the games, Alone in the Dark follows paranormal detective Edward Carnby (played by Christian Slater) as he investigates some spooky goings-on. Joining him is his archaeologist girlfriend Aline Cedrac, played by Tara Reid.
Unlike the games, which focus on evading the clutches of evil ghosts and choosing combat as a last resort, Alone is the Dark is filled with hyperactive action sequences showing Slater and co beating the living daylights out of aliens (!) and zombies who die quicker than a flower in a microwave.
Throw in some bad acting, gaping plot holes and criminally bad special effects and you’ve got one of the worst movies ever made, a movie that fully deserves it’s 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (don’t tell Boll we said that though; he has a history of fighting his critics!).
2. United Passions
Average score: 11%
Hands up who wants to watch a movie about FIFA? No, not the video game – the governing body. You know, the guys who run soccer. Anyone?
Well, it turns out some people did – but not many. United Passions, which depicts the birth and rise of FIFA, made just $918 in its US opening weekend. To this day, United Passions is the lowest grossing movie in American history.
So, why is United Passions so bad? Well, for one, it was partially funded by FIFA itself. The result is 110 minutes of reasons why FIFA and the men who created and run it are brilliant.
One of these men is Sepp Blatter, played by Tim Roth, who is portrayed as a passionate anti-corruption campaigner in the movie. Unfortunately for Sepp, the release of the United Passions coincided with a major corruption investigation into FIFA and he was banned from soccer for eight years soon after (reduced to six on appeal).
From start to finish, United Passions is a disaster, a corporate propaganda film gone very, very wrong. Even Tim Roth doesn’t like it; he admitted a few months after it came out that he only took the job so he could pay for his kids to go to college.
1. House of the Dead
Average score: 10.6%
Heeeeeeeere’s Uwe (again)!
With an average score of 10.6%, House of the Dead was the lowest rated movie in our research by some way.
Based on the legendary arcade game of the same name, House of the Dead bears all the hallmarks of a Boll production: lots of bad action sequences, cheap special effects and gratuitous violence and nudity.
Like Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead doesn’t bare much resemblance to the game that inspired it. Whereas the game follows government agents investigating a zombie outbreak (in a house), the protagonists of House of the Dead are a group of ravers on their way to a party island. Sure, they eventually end up in a house but by that point the damage has already been done.
Surprisingly, House of the Dead actually scored higher than some of the other movies in this post on Rotten Tomatoes (a ‘respectable’ 3%) but low user scores on RT and IMDB cemented its place as the lowest rated movie of them all.
What is your least favorite movie? Let us know in the comments!
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