Poll: The Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen

I want to know what movies you absolutely loathed. What movies made you angry because you devoted time and/or money to watching them?

Here are my Top 2, disliked for differing reasons:

Mr. Wrong (1996)

mr.wrongSo. Wrong. I do not know how high the reviewer from Variety was to give the blurb on the poster, but I’m thinking it must have been something like a Valium-hash cocktail. And even then, I’d suspect that the reviewer in question actually passed out and dreamed up a much funnier movie.

The premise is this: Ellen DeGeneres plays Martha, an apparent spinster according to her family, who meets the ridiculously named Whitman Crawford (Bill Pullman) at a bar. They hit it off, then she decides she doesn’t like him, and he proceeds to stalk her. Comedy gold, right? Blerg.

I saw this in the theater because I was 13, and that’s what you do when you’re bored and 13 — you see whatever is playing when your parents are willing to drive you there and drop you off. My friend and I sat there, definitely not laughing much, pissed that we’d spent $5.50. (Oh, the ancient time when that was a nighttime price. Still way too much.) It’s not funny, but maybe I could have been more forgiving had I not spent my limited teenage funds.

Baxter (1989)

BaxterIn my defense, the box at the video rental place made it look like dark comedy. A bull terrier who dreams of killing the neighborhood animals? Who goes on misadventures? In French? Sure, why not. It’s only 49 cents to rent, being a nearly decade-old film at the time.

And then the friend who watched it with me almost banned me from picking movies ever again. We were in the dark ages of the internet then, you guys. I didn’t know! I. Didn’t. Know.

Okay. So it turns out Baxter is a murderous bull terrier who kills the old lady he lives with and leaves to find his “real” master. One prospective master is a kid who loves Hitler and kills his neighbor’s puppies. It is a fucking bleak and disturbing movie. Just skimming the Wikipedia entry is enough to make me shudder all over again.

Two questions: Who is this person at The New York Times who declared it one of the best movies of the year? And who puts a cartoony thought bubble on the cover of a horror movie? WHO?

Okay, let’s hear your awful and/or traumatizing film-viewing experiences. Meanwhile, I’mma pour myself a drink.


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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

24 thoughts on “Poll: The Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen”

  1. Least favorite movie ever: Hardware
    So SO horrible.
    I was hoping for a sci-fi flick and got a horror film instead. :(
    I still resent having paid to see it in the theater.
    Second least favorite: Event Horizon
    See all of the above.
    To be fair, I am biased as I do not like horror films, at all.

  2. Broken Flowers with Bill Murray. DULL. I remember making loud sounds of annoyance in the theatre after an at least 5 minute shot panning over a car driving away, slowly. And the whole movie was like that, and there were weird Lolita-type moments, and Bill Murray’s face didn’t move the entire movie. Awful.
    And then there was Brazil, which I watched at a friend’s house. Most of us hated the “genius” film, which caused a large friendship squabble because the dude who suggested it was very hurt that we didn’t see the magic in it.

  3. I’m going to go with the category of “movies that were well-received for some stupid reason”, and therefore ignoring trauma-inducing movies. Plus this way I don’t have to warn about triggers.

    -Scary Movie
    -Van Wilder
    -The Matrix: Revolutions

    Luckily, from this list I only saw The Matrix: Revolutions in theatres. When I came home from the showing, I told my father, “if you’re ever interested in seeing it, we’ll rent it so I can fast-forward through the really boring parts and just tell you what happens.”

    Seriously, Romeo & Juliet (the play; i still haven’t seen the John Leguizamo film) had a shorter death scene, and I’m counting from when Juliet initially fakes her death.

    Oh, and speaking of John Leguizamo, I didn’t have a problem with Super Mario Brothers by itself, but man, was there a lot in that movie that made no sense. *Nothing* in the movie suggests the king was going to be able to turn back to normal!

  4. A co-worker of The Husband recommended Bubba Ho-Tep. The basic premise is that Elvis is alive and living in a nursing home, and then something about a golden scarab and somethingsomething bring dead Pharaoh back to life. I still can’t believe we wasted a Netflix on it. It’s the only movie that we’ve turned off partway through. Husband is no longer allowed to take movie recommendations from said co-worker.

      1. Maybe…maaaybe if it had been presented as a schlocky movie, we would have been OK with it (or maybe not)-we would at least have known what we were getting in to! But, if I recall correctly, it was suggested more like “you should see this awesome movie!” But then, it sounds like it wasn’t a good introduction to schlocky movies anyway.

        (Husband and I both tend to enjoy movies more when we know what genre they’re supposed to be. There have been several dark comedies that we didn’t “get” until we found out they were supposed to be funny, then they made a lot more sense.)

  5. I really hated Steven King’s “Dreamcatcher.” It was a hodgepodge of every SK plot device he’s ever used. The cast was really good, too, yet it was unwatchable.

    My husband had to forcibly restrain me from throwing my shoe at the screen when we watched Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” Stone drew out the most annoying habits of 60s rockstars — the slow talking, the ponderousness, the pomposity — making it agony to watch. After that, I hated the Doors, Jim Morrison, Val Kilmer, and the 1960s for a good year.

    1. Dreamcatcher was pretty bad, yes. Also, our cat was mad at us for watching a scary movie (how she could tell, I’m not sure. Something about the sound effects, I guess), and she sulked the whole evening! ha

      You know, I remember watching The Doors, but apart from Val Kilmer, I remember very little about it, so it must not have made much of an impression.

  6. The last Airbender movie. The movie is objectively terrible for a lot of reasons (the monologue in the middle was a particularly grievous sin), but coupled with the fact that the source material was so good that movie was so frustrating. It didn’t help that I got talked into going to a midnight showing in 3-D my my superfan friend.

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