Worst films?

OK, by ‘popular demand’–well I can call it that if I want to!–and following on from ‘dullest authors’, here’s the latest list: what are the most boring, awful movies you’ve ever seen?
Of course there are many, many candidates for this, as the wide field for the Golden Turkeys awards shows. But laying aside those that are so amazingly bad they are good–like Francis Ford Coppola’s spectacular misfire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which inspired my younger son’s favourite parody, Dracula Dead and Loving it–and those that are hilarious in their badness, like Teenagers from Outer Space, or anything starring Steven Seagal–and those that are merely averagely dull or banal(Which leave the mind very quickly), what are the movies you’ve seen which have bored you to tears?
My provisional list (the ones that spring immediately to mind ):
Legends of the Fall
Escape from LA
In the Realm of the Senses
The Nugget
Purple Rain
Paint Your Wagon.
I’m sure you’ll jog my memory about many more, but those films provided twenty-four carat boredom for me, still remembered with a shudder of pleasure that I’ll never have to see them again. Legends of the Fall probably would take the Boredom Cake as far as I’m concerned.

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Guido
2022 years ago

Two most boring movies for me:

How to make an American quilt; and
The English Patient

dan
dan
2022 years ago

Heat

Tex
Tex
2022 years ago

– Phenomenon
– Backdraft
– Forrest Gump
– Evita
– Wild Bill
– the Steven Seagal movie about oil drilling in Alaska
– Eyes Wide Shut
– The Doors
– anything with Warren Beatty in it
– In The Bedroom

Mary
2022 years ago

1. Josie and the Pussycats
2. The Phantom Menace
3. Tomb Raider

I loathed Josie. It’s one of the very few times I’ve seriously considered walking out of a cinema. I can’t remember why now, but I’m not prepared to re-watch it and find out.

Tomb Raider really made me understand Drunken Movie Reviews [1] a lot better. I had a tequila buzz wearing off when I went into the cinema and really wished by the end that I’d had another drink.

[1] http://www.rockonaspring.com/?page=drunken_movies

Robert Merkel
2022 years ago

A piece of anime called Legend of the Overfiend was the worst film I ever saw – not so much for boredom (though its storyline made no sense at all – I later learned this was because it had been cut to shreds for a Western release), but because it was so revolting. I consider myself pretty damn broadminded, but this was just foul.

If you’re just looking for ludicrously stupid, two pieces of sci-fi that come to mind are Battlefield Earth, and the 1970’s Logan’s Run.

Glenn Condell
Glenn Condell
2022 years ago

‘The English Patient’

well, it comes from a book by Ondaatje, so no surprise. Then they cast that Fiennes fellow who should really have done something else with his life. In the same way that Kevin Costner will always seem to be what he is, a pampered, bigheaded and rather dim Hollywood ‘celebrity’ so Rafe will always be an uptight toff… makeup, accent, editing, quality of script notwithstanding.

But for a studio film that’s bad enough to laugh out loud at, Family Business with Connery, Hoffman and Broderick as three generations of a crime family takes some beating. The ending will have you throwing anything that comes to hand at the screen and the soundtrack is worse than Eric Jupp’s Mad Max.

Luis
2022 years ago

– Lost in translation.
– The English patient.
– Fanny och Alexander.

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2022 years ago

I hated ‘Japanese Story’ – more so because I was looking forward to it very much. The first of the second three Star Wars films I hated.

Can you have a most hated film wthout seeing it? ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’.

Did not mind ‘Family Business’ but that is not to say I disagree with Glenn’s arguement.

Rather liked ‘Paint Your Wagon’ when I saw it, but I am a Lee Marvin fan and Clint, of course.

Evil Pundit
2022 years ago

“Good Will Hunting”
“The Phantom Menace”
“In the Realm of the Senses”
“Rabbit Proof Fence” and “Fahrenheit 911” (hated without being seen, I’m not prepared to waste my time for the sake of sheer aggravation)
“Signs” was crap but I didn’t actively loathe it.
“Silence of the Hams” — worst parody movie ever.

Donnah
2022 years ago

Dune
The Neverending Story.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

some strange choices here by some commenters.
Good will hunting???
the english patient??? (beautiful film with a strong anti-nationalist message)
Forrest Gump??? (I know I should hate that film, it prizes dumb obedience over intelligence but I’m easily emotionally manipulated – I loved it)

grumpym
grumpym
2022 years ago

Fitzcarraldo – made by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski. Tedious and brutally unneccessary.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

the most dead boring film I’ve ever seen (I don’t usually put myself in such a position so I don’t have many) was the one where nicholas cage plays an angel. can’t remember what it’s called

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

Most boring:

Titanic – tedious, turgid, predictable, cliched, uninvolving, cardboard characters, dreadful dialogue. A Day to Remember was far, far better.

The Moon in the Gutter – such a disappointment after Diva, and what a waste of Nastassja Kinski and Gerard Depardieu.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – as David Stratton remarked, ‘What on earth could Sean Connery have been thinking of?’

Suspiria (Dario Argento) – supposed to be one of the scariest things ever but I never managed to stick around long enough to find out.

[Quick best list: La Jetee, Ugetsu Monagatori, Night of the Hunter, Les Enfants du Paradis, Taxi Driver]

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“It’s My Party.” A brain-numbingly awful piece of 1996 schlock starring Eric Roberts, Bruce Davison, George Segal and – bizarrely – Olivia N-J. It was ostensibly an AIDS movie about a self-obsessed HIV poz Hollywood homo who decides to take his own life before AIDs takes him. He invites all his friends around for a farewell party and takes a fatal megadose of hallucinatory laxatives or somesuch. But he leaves his departure much too late and in the meantime you’re forced to endure an experience resembling (presumably) a one tonne saccharine ‘n cliche, forcibly administered enema. The makers and the principals of this movie should have been hunted down like dogs by sharpshooters on gun-mounted trucks.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Oh and ‘Salo’ was pretty dire as well. Nice interior shots of Tuscan villas however.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

I like The English Patient too, Jason. Much better than the book, which is beautifully written but terminally boring after the first 50 or so pages. Also Forrest Gump. Edward Zemeckis is one of the few directors whose films I’d go to see just because he made it (e.g. Contact, Castaway, What Lies Beneath).

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

Sorry, that should have been A NIGHT to Remember. Silly me.

I liked Rabbit-proof Fence a lot but the dreaded Keith W. tore it to pieces in an article for New Criterion. Still think it has a lot of emotional truth though.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

Another one that bored me witless was From Dusk to Dawn by Robert Rodriguez (written by Quentn Tarantino).

yobbo
2022 years ago

Lantana.

Gaby
Gaby
2022 years ago

Godfather !!!. A total travesty of two of the best films ever made.

Appalling.

And for my money, Michael would never have had Frredo killed in GII. He was a broken man. And blood and family would have trumped. FFC’s only mistake in the first two instalments.

Don Wigan
Don Wigan
2022 years ago

I nominate “Hotel New Hampshire”. I normally suspend judgement on movies at the time, but this was woeful – neither funny nor dramatic.

The first Hollywood version of Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American” buggered around with the ending to give it an entirely different meaning to the original intention. Hope Greene was paid handsomely in advance as compensation.

The recent Canadian version with Michael Caine went a fair way to redeeming things, although I think they’re still trying to keep it out of the US.

Andrew Bartlett
2022 years ago

There’s probably many movies I’ve seen that are duller or technically worse, but for ones that generated a negative reaction and extreme aversion (as opposed to just torpor) I can’t go past:
Romeo + Juliet (still makes me shudder just thinking of it)
Natural Born Killers – I did walk out of this one

There was some other awful movie I can’t remember the name of that I only went to see because it had been banned, but I was half-expecting that to be crap so it didn’t generate the same strength of reaction in me.

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

I’m in the Forrest Gump detractors’ camp. It was by no means among the worst movies of all time, but didn’t deserve the hype. Its two distinguishing features, the wise fool character and the historic moments footage with him inserted into them, were done with a much lighter touch in ‘Being There’ and ‘Zelig’ repectively.

Tom Hanks was brilliant in ‘Castaway’, though.

The worst movies ever are ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Taipan’. I had to watch them both in succession on a coach trip once.

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

And I thought Evita was terrific, apart from the music, the acting and the script. The dresses and hairdos were a feast for the eyes.

Bill
Bill
2022 years ago

Phar Lap
About a stupid horse that commits suicide or something. I can’t remember.

Gummo.
Gets full points for bizarre, but that only lasts about 20 or so minutes.

Paris France
Pretentious pseudo art film

wen
wen
2022 years ago

My sister likes to remind me of how she was emotionally overwhelmed during a screening of ‘Out Of Africa’, which she’d only watched becaused I’d told her how wonderful it was. At the end she’d cried and cried, she says — but only because she’d waited and waited for something to happen — & it never did.

‘Japanese Story’ had the same effect on me.

James Lane
James Lane
2022 years ago

“The Horse Whisperer” (shudder).

Caz
Caz
2022 years ago

I completely related to Elaine in Seinfeld’s experience of The English Patient – I couldn’t wait for him to just hurry up and die and stop crapping on about Herodotus.

I also couldn’t wait for the damn boat to sink in Titanic either – that was just the pits.

The only movie I have ever walked out of was The Bodyguard in 1992.

Tony.T
2022 years ago

The Year of Living Dangerously.

Dumb & Dumber.

Raging Bull.

Shine.

Good Morning Vietman.

Eyes Wide Shut.

Amelie.

Trainspotting.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

Ooh, now I see we’re dissing the most plastic of the plastic arts. Goody. I’ll resist cheap shots at large and obvious freestanding turkeys like Battlefield Eart, or the latest round of the Star Wars franchise, or at fillums that ain’t offering more than what they offer like “Death By Seagal” or other V-movies.

Instead I’m gonna have a go at the films that explicitly or implicitly aim for the heights but end up in the depths.

Japanese Story/The Well/The Winter Dark etc, etc – half an hour of story packed into 90 minutes of meaningful looks and tortured landscape.
Captain Coreilli’s Mandolin – like eating warm ice-cream.
Planet of The Apes (Burton version) – killer premise, good actors, unlimited budget and one of Hollywood’s most original directors. Yet ended up as bonobo poopoo. Michael Caine was right. “Why don’t they remake bad movies instead?”.
Signs – artful and suspenseful allegory of lost faith and redemption or aliens spraying poison gas from within cheap bodysuits, taken down by an all-American, faith-based baseball bat? I’ve decided. And if these malevolent and covalent ETs are allergic to water, what are they doing invading a planet where the ecosystem and prime species are all water based?
The Village – even dumber and dumberer.
The Magnificent Ambersons – let’s face it, we’d all rather watch Touch of Evil again.
Persona – now if Cronenberg remade that Nordic phantom abortion gabfest…which brings me to –
Spider – yeah Dave we got the point halfway through the first act, and not surprised thereafter.
Last Year in Marienbad – Einstein was right, time is relative, It felt like a whole fuckin’ year watching the bloody thing and I want that year back.
Eyes Wide Shut – I’m a real Kubrick aficionado but that really stretched my patience. Mind you, I’m inclined to blame Cruise and Kidman. They were excruciatingly smug and boring together. OK, Stan cast them, so he should share the blame.
A.I. – and it’s a sad thing he’s dead, otherwise we could have been treated to some of the old ultra violence visited upon Spielberg after Artificial Idiot. Like Burton’s Ape Planet, all the ingredients were there but utterly cocked up. And like all bad Spielberg films, it ended with a cute kid staring winsomely into a bright light. I can see the Spielberg memorial now.
Reality Bites – a film that commodified youth culture to make the point commodifying youth culture is bad. Bad faith indeed.
Any John Irving, Cheever or Updike adaptation, full stop. Although Burt Lancaster in “the Swimmer” is an unwitting camp classic.
The Matrix series. Whether launched, refried or revolting, it’s still well worn old SF ideas, beautifully art directed though, lifted without credit to drive a mythos that just disappeared up it’s own Trojan Horse’s arse.
Catch 22 – surprised Milo Minderbender didn’t have an EP credit there.
Spinal Tap

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“There was some other awful movie I can’t remember the name of that I only went to see because it had been banned, but I was half-expecting that to be crap so it didn’t generate the same strength of reaction in me.”

Salo? Went for the same reason. Terrible.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

Salo? Picked up a video of it at Polyester Books and it put me in mind of the legendary (and yes, deliberately pickled tongue) review of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” that H. Zern snuck into in “Field and Stream” magazine.

“Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley’s Lover has just been reissued by Grove Press, and this fictional account of the day-by-day life of an English gamekeeper is still of considerable interest to outdoor-minded readers, as it contains many passages on pheasant-raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper. Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material in order to discover and savour these sidelights on the management of a Midlands shooting estate, and in this reviewer’s opinion this book cannot take the place of J R Miller’s Practical Gamekeeping.”

As Geoff said, Salo’s a nice look at Northern Italian mansion interior decoration, interrupted by extraneous material that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

I’m prepared to bet that both Lawrence and Pasolini will be remembered for other works.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

I went to see it with two friends. Later, one of them argued that it was a deeply political critique of Italian fascism. I wasn’t buying it…

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“Any John Irving, Cheever or Updike adaptation, full stop.”

Saw a preview for the latest Irving adaptation the other day. Aarrgghh!

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

I’d agree with Pier Paulo that Salo was was conceived as a more targeted version of the 120 Chapters of Sade, to show authouritian shitheads at their worst.

But yer were left with the impression that such monstering could be found, not just among failing facists, but also amongst radical Italian film directors.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

To move the theme of this post slightly sideways, I just got bit torrented with a couple of trailers and some test screening footage of the film version of “Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy.”

Judging from what I saw and from what my snouts told me, they seem to have done it justice. Pretty much stuck to the original Adams script and directed by a young English comedian and TV producer who grew up with the show,

And the casting seems spot on.One of the guys from ‘The Office’ plays Arthur Dent, I forget who played Ford Prefect but he seemed to have the hang of the role, Sam Rockwell plays Zaphod Beeblebrox (as brillantly offbeat as Johnny Depp as Cap’n Jack, from what I saw), Zooey Dockhand, or whatever her name is, makes a nicely sardonic Trillian and Bill Nighy IS Slartibartfast.

But what really cracked me up is one of the trailers where Stephen Fry, as the voice of the Guide, got into a bitch session with Marvin the Paranoid Android, voiced by Alan Rickman.

Needless to say the special effects are a quantum, if not improbability leap above the TV series. For starters, the Vogons look really vogan-like.

And they seem to have to retained the original humour and tone, despite massive infusions of Yankee dollars.

In short: Don’t Panic. It looks, feels and sounds good.

Stewart Kelly
Stewart Kelly
2022 years ago

Bill Nighy sounds perfect for Slartibartfast.

derrida derider
derrida derider
2022 years ago

And the winner is, by popular vote:
The English Patient

Never has a promising plot been so gratuitously ruined by pretentious acting, artificial dialogue and editorial indiscipline. Like Elaine, I couldn’t wait for the bugger to die.

Why oh why couldn’t Ondaatje have sold the rights to some vulgar Hollywood mogul who at least knows that the purpose of movies is to entertain? Come to think of it, a Bollywood mogul would have been even better.

Brian Bahnisch
Brian Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“Last Year in Marienbad – Einstein was right, time is relative, It felt like a whole fuckin’ year watching the bloody thing and I want that year back.”

Sorry about that Nabs. I thought of ‘Marienbad’ as perhaps in my top 10 ever. I asked my missus what she thought of it and she said “magnificent”. Since it wraps the present, past and future into a single point of the moving ‘now’ getting year year back shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. For any-one interested there is a good account of it at http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/7909/Marienbad.htm

They don’t make films like that anymore. Pity.

Some of my worst were ones I was forced to see by offspring. For example I’ve been allergic to Adam Sandler since seeing ‘The Waterboy’ (1998). Also could have done without ‘Godzilla’ (1998) AND the 1954 Japanese version (worst animation ever.)

I remember a NY cop movie Mark made us see about 25 years ago. His sister decided to count all the “fucks” since she had nothing else to do. She got to 87 and then fell asleep.

We possibly got one back when my wife and I took them to see ‘Tree of Wooden Clogs’ ( 1978) (simple peasant life beautifully told over 187 mins, Italian with subtitles.) My wife and I reckoned it was the best film we’d ever seen. Our youthful companions reckoned it was the worst.

The absolute worst was ‘Guest House Paradiso’ (2000) by Young Ones Brit brat comedians Adrian Edmonson and Rik Mayall. An unimaginably lobrow ‘Fawlty Towers’. Torrents of green vomit stick in the mind.

Yet the film I would least like to see again is a Japanese film my wife and I saw about 20 years ago. Sorry, can’t remember the title. It was based on a true incident where a young Japanese woman was found in a daze wandering the streets clutching a severed male penis. The film recreated the events that led up to this scene and was a full-on, explicit study of extreme nymphomania. No doubt it expanded my experience, but once was enough. Can’t imagine why we went. It must have been on in a film festival.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

Brian, definitely agree on Tree of Wooden Clogs. Fantastic film. Funny, my wife and I really liked it, but a friend with an Italian husband went to see it and came back complaining that it denigrated Italians. I just couldn’t see that.

Liked Marienbad too, but am afraid to say so in mixed company. I’m a big fan of Robbe-Grillet, in film and nouvelle romain. I remember seeing it on SBS when Stratton was there, and his comment: ‘Well, is it a masterpiece, or the ultimate arthouse wank?’ Tough one, but I’d go for the former.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2022 years ago

– Any of the more recent Wim Wender’s films (not the docos)
– It seems that someone mentioned the horror of coach travel. It is some atrocity to be forced to endure an Adam Sandler film, Eddie Murphy in “Daddy Daycare” and some lousy Miramax romantic comedy whose name aludes me (which had me wondering how Miramax can claim to be an arthouse distributor.)
– Talking of bad art-house, I just won’t see any of Burtolucci’s recent films after “Besieged”
– “Hurricane” was about 2 and half hours too long, just play the Dylan song and let us go home. Mind you this sort of film is probably Oscar gold.
– The Matrix and Star Wars sequels
– Whoever made the remakes of “Les Diaboliques”, “Wings of Desire” should be given a friendly Yanukovich prescription. It should be a serious crime to debase such wonderful foreign films with such shoddy productions.
– The Sound of Bloody Music, which was played several thousand times in my household. It is the only film in which you cheer on the Nazis – trying to get these silly exterminating neanderthals to notice the Von Trapps hiding in the corner was a continual frustration. You had to find some avenue to hope there was a plot device that would get the family’s trap shut, I would have settled for them all just catching the flue. Mind you there is redemption with Coltrane’s version of “My Favourite Things” so I shouldn’t wish this film into non-existence.

Spencer
Spencer
2022 years ago

I agree with practically all the above.
Add: Magnolia
Propose new category: “Unwatchable.” Viz.:
Entire Lord of the Rings series (I’m a grownup, didn’t read the books, don’t need to watch the movies)
Entire Harry Potter series (ditto)
Anything with Juliette Binoche or Meg Ryan
Or Kevin Costner or Robin Williams

Spencer
Spencer
2022 years ago

I agree with practically all the above.
Add: Magnolia
Propose new category: “Unwatchable.” Viz.:
Entire Lord of the Rings series (I’m a grownup, didn’t read the books, don’t need to watch the movies)
Entire Harry Potter series (ditto)
Anything with Juliette Binoche or Meg Ryan
Or Kevin Costner or Robin Williams

Spencer
Spencer
2022 years ago

I agree with practically all the above, did like Trainspotting.

Add: Magnolia

Walter Schmidt
Walter Schmidt
2022 years ago

Dead Ringers
Last Tango in Paris
Pulp Fiction
The Two Jakes
1900

Puzzled by the hostility towards “The English Patient” and find The Godfather films vastly overpraised.Much prefer “The Long Good Friday”.
Anyone out there who cherishes Von Trotta’s “Sisters,or the Balance—” and “Marianne and Julianne” as much as I do?