…that should never have been made.
Now I’m not talking about B-movies.
Oh, sure, there are plenty of crappy scifi B-movies that probably shouldn’t have been made – basically anything starring shlock scifi movie king, Michael Pare, other than maybe The Philadelphia Experiment for example – but those movies were never expected to be anything special. Hey, if you’re Stuart Gordon and you crank out Space Truckers, where Battle Beyond the Stars meets Billy Ray Cyrus, you never expected it to do anything but go straight to video. The MST3K guys will lampoon it, the critics will ignore it, it’s good for a few laughs, it didn’t cost diddly, and the studio makes a few bucks.
Those movies are a different post altogether.
No, what I’m talking about here are movies that cost millions, that starred big time Hollywood names – and made direhard scifi fans like me run from the theater holding their noses from the stench. What I’m talking about here are movies that the genre (and the world) would have been better off without. I’m talking about movies that when the idea was shopped to a major studio you have to wonder why in the hell nobody stood up and yelled for security. You have to wonder if there was some mind altering drug in the water during the pitch meeting with the producers. I’m talking about movies that may actually have hastened the heat death of the universe and lowered the collective IQ of the human race by a significant fraction.
I’ll bet you scifi fans can guess the first one.
- It’s the ultimate in cinematic disasters: Battlefield Earth. Remember all those Irwin Allen epic disaster movies of the 70’s? Battlefield Earth is like being trapped the Towering Inferno wearing a polyester one piece disco suit – you want to jump flaming from the upper windows and splatter on the pavement below just to make the pain stop. This movie was supposed to be a triumphant telling of L. Ron Hubbard’s novel – but it’s just like cooking folks, you can’t make Cordon Bleu from rotten ingredients. The novel is a thousand pages of endless suck, but it is brilliance personified compared to the movie. Battlefield Earth is the perfect storm of suck. The script sucks. The acting sucks almost beyond belief. The dialog, which mostly consists of Travolta’s maniacal laughter, Ahahaaaa Ahahahahaa Ahhaaha, brings suck to a whole new level of sucktastic. The cinematography sucks. The special effects suck. But with the force of the Church O Scientology behind it, directing it, acting in it, writing it, producing it, and advertising it nobody bothered to say, Hey waitaminute, this just plain sucks! This is why incest is a bad idea – eventually you’re going to end up with a hydrocephalic, hemophilic, cross-eyed, six-toed, retarded trick baby that looks a lot like John Travolta’s character in Battlefield Earth. The production company went bankrupt, hell they couldn’t even give the DVD away to scientologists. And Travolta? Well, see he thought it was going to be such a hit that he planned a sequel, two of them actually. Be damned grateful those never saw the light of day.
- Starship Troopers: Scifi fandoms needs to take out an open ended restraining order against Paul Verhoeven, a binding legal document that prevents him from ever getting within a thousand yards of another Robert Heinlein book, or one of Phillip K. Dick’s either for that matter. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, Verhoeven has done some decent, if not particularly profound, work. But, Troopers is like being forced to watch your beloved sister get raped to death by a gang of drunken Hollanders.
- Nightflyers: Most of you have probably never heard of this movie. Good for you. No really, good for you. Because it stinks. Based on one of my favorite George R.R. Martin tales, Nightflyers was supposed to be a summer blockbuster in 1987 – instead The Bobs, Robert Collector (director) and Robert Jaffe (screenplay) turned it into Zombies In Spaaaaace!
Unnecessary Sequels: Some sequels are great, better than the original – especially if you can get James Cameron to make them. But as soon as you start calling the idea a “franchise” the quality goes downhill fast.
The Star Wars Prequels: Lucas needs somebody to stand behind him with a mallet and smack him on top of the head every time he gets the urge to fiddle. George, seriously here buddy, go check out what happened with Frank Herbert’s Dune series, that’s you, Jar Jar. Please don’t let your kid start writing sequels. Thanks.
Alien Resurrection: Question, how in the hell did the producers of this piece of shit live with themselves? No, seriously. After watching Alien and Aliens and then seeing this and knowing I was responsible for it, I think I’d let the facehugger kill me. Alien 3: Alien Chicks in Prison, was bad enough, but at least it preserved most of the aspects of the originals, even if the GCI creature was a major letdown and the love scene with flea infested bald Sigourney Weaver made you want to barf up your jujubees. At least it had the fantastic Pete Postlethwaite in it. Resurrection? Resurrection should have been flushed out the airlock before a single frame was filmed. My pal, Eric, is right. Josh Whedon is overrated.
The Matrix Sequels, The Matrix Regurgitated and The Matrix Revolted. P.T. Barnum said, “Always leave ‘em wanting more.” Great advice from a master showman, and a formula that has worked for centuries. Too bad the Wachowski brothers never heard of it.
The X-files: I want to belive there’s a couple of bucks more we can squeeze out with this turd. To bad Chris Carter never heard of old P.T. either.
Terminator Rise of the Machines. Wouldn’t it have been easier and cheaper to let the guys from Jackass the Movie drive around LA in a firetruck and a cement mixer? Was there actually a plot to this movie?
Star Trek Generations. Three words: Oh God, why? Say the first two words like a man just punched in the stomach, and the last one around a horrified sob.
- Johnny Mnemonic: Even Dina Meyer naked couldn’t save this, just as Dina Meyer naked couldn’t save Starship Troopers up there in position two. And really, if Dina Meyer naked doesn’t offset the level of suck in your movie, you should seriously consider a straight to DVD release. Straight to the dumpster would have been better for this abomination.
- The Bicentennial Man: Somebody, and I don’t care who, should have gone to jail for this. Show of hands, how many of you think Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy (and I’m not even going to mention Pluto Nash, no I won’t) should retire and open a bar or a bike rental stand in Key West? Actually, you know, it occurs to me that this just might be the sequel Travolta had in mind for Battlefield Earth.
- The Core: I’m in this movie. Yep. In the final scene, when the Navy comes to rescue the Terranauts stranded on the bottom of the ocean after returning from the center of the earth in their unobtainium ship. That’s the Constellation Strike Group. I’ve got the deck on the bridge of USS Valley Forge. I’m so ashamed.
- A Scanner Darkly: First rule of special effects: if the special effects are the whole movie, you don’t have a movie. You have a music video. And in this case A-ha did it better with Take On Me two decades ago. With a much cuter girl.
- Solaris: This movie should be sent to our enemies. I swear on Issac Asimov’s polished yellowed skull (I got it on eBay), if this movie doesn’t suck the soul right out of your body and destroy your will to live, I don’t know what will.
- Saturn 3: They spent millions on this for one little reason and one tiny little reason only, as vehicle to show fading pin-up girl Farrah Fawcett’s tit. And just to rub salt in the wounds, you got a ten minute, ulp, love scene between Fawcett and Kirk Douglas’ old wrinkled ass. Seriously, it was fifteen years before I could watch 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea again.
and last, movies based on comic books: Look not all of them are X-men,
some are Judge Dredd.
And some, well, some, my friends,