The Bottom Ten
- Transformers 2 – I went easy on this one when it first came out, calling it more mediocre than bad and awarding it 2 stars. This was a case of me over thinking a review, and in retrospect I should have just gone with my gut and given this 1 star. I can’t think of any movie I saw this past year that I had less fun watching. The most amazing thing about Transformers 2 is that
managed to make a 2 ½ hour movie without anything resembling an actual story. Michael Bay
- Land of the Lost – Unless dinosaur shit jokes are your thing, you should probably stay away from this alleged comedy starring Will Ferrell and Danny McBride. Even then, there have to be better dinosaur shit jokes than the ones in this movie. The only reason this ranks below Transformers 2 is that it’s about an hour shorter.
- Halloween 2 – Rob Zombie says he was given complete artistic freedom to make this sequel to his controversial reboot of the popular horror series. The film is a stupid, incoherent mess covered in wash of cheesy psychedelia that can’t hide the fact that every scene is an “homage” to some other, better movie. I’ve seen horror films made for 600 bucks with a camcorder by college kids that are more deserving of theatrical release than this was.
- Black Devil Doll – Somehow this amateurish bit of schlock managed to get all kinds of hype and a limited theatrical release, thus making it fair game. No doubt the makers of this film thought their politically incorrect racial humor was edgy. It’s not. But whether you find the film offensive or not, it’s still stupid and boring. It does have a good score by the band Giallo’s Flame, though.
- The Unborn – This Exorcist rip-off involves a creature from Jewish mythology known as a dybbuk. Writer/director David S. Goyer’s script is so bad it’s hard to believe this is the same guy who wrote Dark City and has story credit on both of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.
- The Fourth Kind – Yet another movie that tries to get by on the shaky premise that the audience is watching real footage of something unexplainable. Does anyone really fall for this gimmick anymore? The scenes in here that are supposedly re-enactments actually aren’t half bad, but the finished product is a complete mess.
- Knowing – The first and the worst of this year’s “end of the world” epics. There’s some fun to be had in Nicholas Cage’s over the top performance and the special effects, but ultimately it’s a pretty silly movie from a director (Alex Proyas) who has done much better.
- Precious – The more time passes from when I saw this over the top melodrama, the more I dislike it. It’s shallow, stereotypical, poorly directed and edited, and flat out ridiculous. The revelation that director Lee Daniels, influenced by John Waters and Pedro Almodovar, was deliberately going for over the top humor makes sense (read this article on Jim Emerson’s Scanners blog for more info). That doesn’t make this a better movie, though.
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: While they weren’t great, the first two Underworld films were at least entertaining trash. This prequel, however, is the sort of pointless minutiae best reserved for a cheap paperback book tie-in. Brit actors Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen make it somewhat tolerable, turning in their usual top-notch performances despite the cheesy material.
- Orphan: One of the few bonafide “so bad it’s good” movies on this list. Director Jaume Collett-Serra clearly has the style and talent to make a good horror movie, and leads Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard are no slouches, either. But the script is so ridiculous, especially its big twist, that the end result can’t help be anything but pure camp.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto: I know I said I wasn’t going to pick on straight to video movies, but I’m going to make this one exception. I really wanted to like this animated mix of horror and sleaze, but as with Halloween 2, but there’s nothing here but a bunch of nods and winks at other, better movies. Yes, we all know that Quentin Tarantino steals shit from other movies, too. The difference is, Tarantino takes those stolen elements and integrates them smoothly into a fresh concoction of his own. Zombie just throws a bunch of random shit he likes into a blender and throws it up on the screen.