Announcing: The Worst Movie Golden Bracket

By Hampus Eckerman: The Golden Turkey Awards. The Golden Raspberry Award. Awards given to the worst of the worst movies. So this will be The Worst Movie Golden Bracket.

This is about chosing the worst movie ever made. A bad movie is not a boring movie. It is a movie that creates feelings. Astonishment that the movie could ever be made. Fascination over who could create it. Anger over those who participated in it. Enthusiasm over the brilliance needed to make something so bad.

A truly bad movie is the kind where you continue to watch in the same way as at an oncoming train crash.

* * *

The bracket is done in the same way as previous movie brackets. These are the steps of the nomination phase before the brackets begin.

STEP 1: Nomination Phase

I have created a short list of movies considered to be the worst ever made. In the comment section, you will write movies you think should be added to the list. Also write if you want to nominate a movie already listed.

STEP 2: The Finalizing Phase

I will compile all movies mentioned in a separate post. There you will have the possibility to add your nominations to the movies listed (and only those listed at this stage).

STEP 3: The Final List

I will count all nominations and decide which movies has made into the brackets. The list will be published in a separate post. And after that the brackets will begin.


So without much ado, here is my list of truly bad movies.

  • At Long Last Love (1975)
  • Attack of the Mushroom People (1963)
  • Batman & Robin (1997)
  • Battlefield Earth (2000)
  • The Black Gestapo (1975)
  • Catwoman (2004)
  • Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
  • Eegah (1962)
  • Empire of the Ants (1976)
  • Frankenstein Island (1981)
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
  • The Giant Claw (1957)
  • The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
  • Glen or Glenda (1953)
  • Heaven’s Gate (1980)
  • Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991)
  • The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964)
  • Ishtar (1987)
  • Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
  • Leonard Part 6 (1987)
  • Maniac (1934)
  • Mommie Dearest (1981)
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
  • Monster a Go-Go! (1965)
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
  • Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966)
  • Reefer Madness (1936)
  • Reptilicus (1961)
  • Robot Monster (1953)
  • The Room (2003)
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
  • Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973)
  • Showgirls (1995)
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
  • The Terror of Tiny Town (1938)
  • They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1968)
  • The Thing with Two Heads (1972)
  • Troll 2 (1990)
  • The Food of the Gods (1976)
  • The Wicker Man (2006)

What movies can you add?

106 thoughts on “Announcing: The Worst Movie Golden Bracket

  1. I think most of the Skiffy and Fanty Torture Cinema movies are worth considering, but the one that first comes to mind is Mazes and Monsters (which I see someone else has already proposed).

  2. I forgot Viva Knievel! (1977)

    The most 70s movie to ever 70s a 1970s? Possibly.

    Another Marjoe-Gortner-featuring film (along with the aforementioned Food of the Gods (1976) and Star Crash (1978), of course).

  3. I have never seen The Giant Claw, nor do I expect that I ever will, but I’ve seen many stills from it. The monster from this film has become the mascot for a diary series on Daily Kos, “Books So Bad They’re Good”. It is usually referred to as the GTPOD, short for the Giant Turkey Puppet O’Doom.

    The worst movie I think I ever paid to see was Jabberwocky.

  4. Master of Disguise

    Never saw it, but based on the trailer that ran so often I had highly-honed mute button reactions, I second its nomination.

  5. After reading the comments, I’m pretty sure I’m not qualified to vote. But I thought Heaven’s Gate was very good. Could the Suck Fairy have been after it since I saw it in the 80s?

  6. I would honestly say that Heaven’s Gate’s reputation has only increased – particularly after the directors cut became widely available.

  7. Transformers (2007)
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
    I haven’t watched the rest but by carefully extrapolating the rapidly increasing awfulness (starting at a very high level of awful), I am confident that the more recent Transformers films must be far beyond any level of awful listed above.

  8. I’m clearly the wrong person for this bracket. Of the movies in the original list, I’ve only seen two. I liked one of them. I was 13.64% owner of the most complete known print* of the other. I really ought to look up the guy who was majority owner and who had it the last time I asked, when I borrowed it for a fundraising showing. And yeah, it was bad.

    *At that time, according to someone who’d seen a lot of copies, so I wouldn’t put too much weight on it.

  9. “I’m clearly the wrong person for this bracket. Of the movies in the original list, I’ve only seen two. I liked one of them.”

    Or I am the wrong person organizing the bracket. I like several of the movies that people have nominated in the comments. 😉

  10. I would have nominated Sound of Näverlur (1971), but I guess no one but me have ever heard of it.

  11. Myra Breckenridge
    Hillary’s America
    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
    Do direct to video movies count? The Prince and Me 3: A Royal Honeymoon (I was bored)

  12. Could the Suck Fairy have been after it since I saw it in the 80s?

    It’s much more of a legendary production disaster than a bad movie in itself.

  13. I don’t see anyone mentioning Hawk the Slayer yet, so I will throw it in. Also Blade III. (Not that the original Blade was anything much to write home about, and its first sequel was pretty dismal… but Blade III could not have insulted its audience’s intelligence any more if it had had continuous scrolling subtitles saying “Hey, audience’s intelligence! Screw you!”)

  14. I’m starting to see a problem, we’ve all seen a lot of really bad movies. We haven’t seen the same bad movies.

    Proposed. Gather all nominations into a list. Ask people to list which they’ve seen. Bracket the most seen bad movies.

  15. I’ll nominate Gonks Go Beat (1965), if only because I watched it on TV a few days age for some inexplicable reason.

    An early 60s pop musical, where an incompetent alien ambassador has to stop a feud between the residents of Beatland (where they only play rock and roll) and Ballad Isle (where, surprise, they only play ballads). A Romeo and Juliet situation ensues, thereby saving the ambassador from being exiled to the Planet of the Gonks (sixties soft toys — sort of like a cross between a Furby and a Cabbage Patch Doll).

    The only redeeming features are the catchy title song by Lulu and a drum session featuring Ginger Baker and eight other drummers, while they are incarcerated in Drum Prison (don’t ask).

  16. I mentioned it in the Scroll, but I’ll again point out the Dungeons & Dragons movie, whose “plot” made less sense than a 12 year old hyped up on Red Bull telling you about his awesome D&D campaign.

    Am also tempted to point out both Twister and Armageddon as genuinely terrible blockbusters.

  17. A strong -1 on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was just what it said on the tin. Pride and Prejudice. And Zombies. And for my money, it hit that very elusive target, “campy goodness”, dead-on. (Bad movies are just bad. This was self-aware bad and played up to it, which made it hilarious. I saw it in the theater and bought it on DVD when it came out.)

  18. @Cassy B I have to disagree as a Pride and Prejudice fangirl, it was just and zombies. I loathed it even more than I did Passengers.

  19. I admit that The Black Hole is objectively terrible, but I still love it and will probably watch it again soon.

    Has anyone mentioned Starcrash?

  20. Iphinome, de gustibus… is fun to dispute, actually. <grin>

    I enjoyed it, but I can see P&P&Z wouldn’t appeal to everybody.

  21. Joe H.

    Starcrash has Caroline Munro in skimpy clothes, that puts it way ahead in entertainment value over many of the movies mentioned so far.

  22. @Magewolf — Fair point. Although if I want to see Caroline Munro in skimpy clothes in a genuinely good sffnal movie, there’s always Golden Voyage of Sinbad.

  23. Rev. Bob – If you’re looking for a Frank Zappa movie, there’s 200 Motels. I think it’s one of those movies that you have watch while under the influence. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option for me.

    It’s interesting that these lists usually bring out suggestions for movies that I really like. Kevin Smith has suggested that no matter how much you hate a movie, it’s someone’s favorite film.

  24. I agree with Kevin Smith on this point. I enjoyed, even liked, even would quibble with calling “bad,” several of the movies others have listed. But I recognize that not everyone has my sweet tooth for bad comedy.

    Incidentally, I recommend for viewing (if not necessarily this bracket) the movie “Escape From Galaxy 3,” which is a sequel-of-sorts to Star Crash. It doesn’t have any of the same writers, or actors, or director, nor does it follow anything in the original story. But it reuses all the special effects. And the bad guy (who also wrote the score) clearly suffered a horrible glitter accident when he was a child. Plus it features the line “You have nothing to be afraid of … now go hide among the rocks!”

  25. @Camestros Felapton ~

    I haven’t watched the rest but by carefully extrapolating the rapidly increasing awfulness (starting at a very high level of awful), I am confident that the more recent Transformers films must be far beyond any level of awful listed above.

    You are not wrong about that. At all. This past summer I was unfortunate enough to pay AMC first run prices to see Transformers: The Last Knight in the theatre because a small child of my acquaintance begged for it and the experience was so mindnumbing I seriously thought I was being attacked by an intellect devourer. The best part about it was the amazingly awesome reclining theatre seat-couch because the movie itself contained not a single redeeming quality and somehow made attempted visual spectacle painfully boring.

  26. The Navy vs the Night Monster. no kidding.
    Also, something about a forest of avocado trees and native women… forget the title, but Conan was the hero.

  27. @Nate —

    The best part about it was the amazingly awesome reclining theatre seat-couch because the movie itself contained not a single redeeming quality and somehow made attempted visual spectacle painfully boring.

    Those fancy new seats are truly amazing, aren’t they? My mom and I go to see most of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD broadcasts, and it is SOOO nice to recline in comfort while watching. We both have bad knees, and sitting with bent knee for a few hours at a stretch as in the old seats was never a really good idea!

  28. I know I’ve seen fragments of some Transformers movies, so I went to Wikipedia to try to work out which ones. Unfortunately just reading the plot summaries has eaten more brain cells than I can afford, so I gave up.

    There are many measures of bad, but on the ratio of budget to worth they must be amongst the worst.

  29. There’s Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, but that’s one of those movie where they deliberately came up with a catchy title. I think the whole trend was started with Surf Nazis Must Die. Other notable titles include Chopper Chicks in Zombietown and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama.

    It seems we should have a Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal movie in the bracket.

  30. @Bjo

    I remember “The Navy vs the Night Monster.” The Night Monster was along the same lines as the monster in “From Hell It Came,” but less stupid-looking.

  31. Iphinome: I’m starting to see a problem, we’ve all seen a lot of really bad movies. We haven’t seen the same bad movies.

    Proposed. Gather all nominations into a list. Ask people to list which they’ve seen. Bracket the most seen bad movies.

    Not a problem, more a feature.

    In previous brackets were many works new to many commenters. It was the spirited defenses of favourite works that led many of us to seek them out (granted, given the nature of this bracket, that is a much less likely outcome, but de gustibus etc.)

    I think it’s the nature of the brackets that some works will lose out in knockout voting because they’re obscure.

  32. Worst movie: “H.G. Wells’ The Shape Of Things To Come” (1979), which has very little to do with the original “Things To Come” of 1936, or the H.G. Wells book of 1933, and DOES have Jack Palance as the villain.

    Or:

    “The Private Files Of J. Edgar Hoover” (1977), directed by Larry Cohen of “It’s Alive” fame and starring Broderick Crawford, who did a guest shot on the early “Saturday Night Live” to plug the movie (I remember he played the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover in a sketch with Dan Ackroyd as Pres. Jimmy Carter). Forget that other more recent Hoover movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, this one is the entertaining one, with lots of unlikely casting choices, and a we-know-but-won’t-tell approach to Hoover’s sexuality

  33. Aww, I liked Batman & Robin. Admittedly I haven’t watched it in years, and my less-than-ten-year-old-self might have had different priorities…

    Beowulf (2007)
    Waterworld
    Serenity
    The Black Cauldron
    Max Payne
    Alien vs Predator
    Dracula 2000

    Seconding:
    The Phantom Menace
    Wicker Man (2006)
    Star Trek Into Darkness
    The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
    Prometheus
    Godzilla (1998)
    Transformers. In general. All of them.

  34. @Jim Meadows

    When I first watched “The Shape of Things To Come,” there was a dramatic (slow-motion) SFX-filled sequence where I burst out laughing because it reminded me of the Spaceballs line “She’s gone plaid….”

    Of all the movies I have seen “based on” works by HG Wells, I think that one is the least true to source material. Food of the Gods, FotG 2: Gnaw, Empire of the Ants, Village of the Giants were all so much more faithful.

  35. Ice Pirates. An awful movie with a few little bits of amusing in it and one weirdly interesting pocket of Anjelica Huston playing a pirate named Maida who cuts off a guy’s head in a barroom brawl.

  36. Oh, +1 to Waterworld.

    If it would help, I can try to dig up links to some of the more… memorable… clips from some of my more obscure nominations. YouTube and such. Nobody has the time to watch all of these, but I can try & capture what made this movie terrible.

  37. I’ve been waiting until other people had mostly posted their picks, so I could include any I’d missed.

    2012 (2009)
    Battlefield Earth (2000) 
    Central Intelligence (2016)
    The Happening (2008)
    Howard the Duck (1986)
    Ishtar (1987)
    A Knight’s Tale (2001) (absolutely, utterly, atrociously unwatchable)
    Mazes and Monsters (1982)
    Prometheus (2012)
    Signs (2002)
    Son of the Mask (2005)
    Star Trek V (1989)
    Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
    The Village (2004)

    And I will second
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
    That movie is so bad that I was shocked when the TV series was greenlit — and I never was able to bring myself to watch it, because blech, vampires.

    Also, pretty much every Shyamalan movie except The Sixth Sense.

  38. I am also willing to set up an account somewhere in the wilds of the web for the hosting of clips (if they are unavailable on youtube, etc). Short clips, for purposes of review, strictly. If Hampus (and others) would find that useful/helpful.

    (I am prepping for our big 25-year-review bad movie awards show, and such thoughts are at the forefront of my mind right now).

    @JJ:

    I’d mostly repressed “The Happening.” That movie is my favorite example of how a director can make decent actors look terrible.

  39. One year when I stayed in the dorms over spring break, I ran an A-Z move marathon with the worst movies I could find. The worst one I remember was Lady Terminator (1989) – “I’m not a lady, I’m an archaeologist!”.

  40. Iphinome:

    “I’m starting to see a problem, we’ve all seen a lot of really bad movies. We haven’t seen the same bad movies.

    Proposed. Gather all nominations into a list. Ask people to list which they’ve seen. Bracket the most seen bad movies.”

    More or less ending after the nomination phase? Lets see how many nominations different movies get before we decide.

  41. “I am also willing to set up an account somewhere in the wilds of the web for the hosting of clips (if they are unavailable on youtube, etc). Short clips, for purposes of review, strictly. If Hampus (and others) would find that useful/helpful.”

    I think that would be a great thing! My period of bad movie watching ended 15-20 years ago, so I’m quite out of date.

  42. Nate Harada on September 8, 2017 at 10:27 am said:
    You are not wrong about that. At all. This past summer I was unfortunate enough to pay AMC first run prices to see Transformers: The Last Knight in the theatre because a small child of my acquaintance begged for it and the experience was so mindnumbing I seriously thought I was being attacked by an intellect devourer. The best part about it was the amazingly awesome reclining theatre seat-couch because the movie itself contained not a single redeeming quality and somehow made attempted visual spectacle painfully boring.

    The way I see it – the movies are objectively terrible and yet have the otherwise overwhelming advantage of giant robots, so REALLY they are *even* worse than they appear to be once you subtract the giant-robot factor.

  43. Without looking at the others yet:
    The Black Hole (1979)
    Knowing (2009)
    The Humanoid (1979) (This is my personal worst movie)
    Queen of the damned (2002)
    Vampires suck (2010)

    My brother just phoned in with Congo (1995)

  44. I think the idea of supporting clips is a good one, so I’ll start. This was the only barely-redeeming moment from Naked Space:

    (Oh, I’m sorry. Did I forget to mention that it was a musical?)

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