At Screen Rant, we love movies. Even bad ones. Sometimes, especially the bad ones. Who would ever want to go back to a time before we knew of The Room or Birdemic? Not us. We have a certain infatuation, bordering on obsession, with finding bad movies and dissecting them, trying to get the bottom of what went wrong, while simultaneously asking ourselves, “If this movie is so bad, why does watching it somehow feel so good?
Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t just convert scores into numbers and average them together (like Metacritic); it gathers the total number of reviews of a film and calculates which percentage of said reviews were positive. If absolutely no professional critics write a positive review of a film, then the movie winds up with the dreaded 0% rating, and a spot on this list.
Here’s our sampling of the worst of the worst, 12 Movies With A 0% Rating On Rotten Tomatoes.
12. Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws 3-D has a tepid 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s a downright masterpiece compared to Jaws: The Revenge, which features a Great White Shark following Lorraine Gary’s character from the original film, Ellen Brody, from her home in Amity, New York, to The Bahamas. Why? For revenge, of course! The late and great comic Richard Jeni referred to the plot of the film as, in a word, “stupid.”
The film begins with Chief Brody’s off-screen death by heart attack, and one of her sons being killed by a shark. The legend goes that Roy Scheider was offered the chance to cameo as Chief Brody and get killed by the shark in the first scene, but he found the film’s plot so ridiculous that he turned it down. He also is said to have taken offense to the fact that, just days after her husband is mauled to death by a shark, Ellen Brody starts shacking up with Michael Caine. So much for a mourning period!
11. One Missed Call (2008)
Remember the Japanese Horror Remake fad that swept cinemas about a decade ago? The Ring, The Grudge, Dark Water, and a whole bunch of other mediocre remakes of better films? Well, about three years after the trend had run its course, One Missed Call limped its way into the multiplex, a sorry excuse for a horror film loaded with unintentional comedy and terrible special effects, which wound up being the worst-reviewed film of 2008.
A very special mention has to go to the absurd and hilarious CGI baby doll with a cell phone. I’d say it makes more sense in context, but it really doesn’t. Seriously, the dancing baby from Ally McBeal is a more convincing computer effect. The film actually did some decent business at the global box office, but the audience reaction to the film was so universally cold that while J-horror remakes still pop up from time to time, the genre has yet been able to retain a major foothold in Hollywood the way it once did.
10. Death Wish V: The Face of Death
Death Wish is one of the most beloved films of the ’70s, a gritty examination of a tortured man who stalks the streets, dispensing righteous and graphic justice on the criminals of his city. Death Wish and its first sequel were moody dramas with bursts of bloody violence, and parts three and four turned the series into over-the-top action flicks, with Charles Bronson’s Paul Kersey as the middle-aged personification of testosterone, mowing down gangsters with grenade launchers, Browning machine guns, and other exotic weapons while spouting one-liners like The Terminator.
Death Wish V, on the other hand, is remembered as the one with a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Bronson, at 72 years old, appears bored with the role, and the reduced budget of the film means the explosions are fewer and farther between, with a cheap and by-the-numbers script failing to inject any heart into the proceedings. Death Wish V is nothing more than a tired rehash of what the series had already done multiple times, and possesses no redeeming qualities of its own.
9. The Ridiculous 6
Adam Sandler is critic-proof. A great many of his films were huge box office successes, and in a groundbreaking deal, his production company, Happy Madison, struck a deal to develop four original movies exclusively for Netflix. The first of these films is The Ridiculous 6, an all-star “comedy” with no jokes beyond “What is this actor doing here?”
Somehow (probably with big bags of cash), Adam Sandler’s movies are able to summon huge and impressive casts, and The Ridiculous 6 is no different; the supporting talent includes Harvey Keitel, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, and John Turturro, with the rest of Sandler’s usual suspects (David Spade, Rob Schneider, Nick Swardson, Jon Lovitz, etc) and some other well-known faces filling out the rest of the cast. Netflix has reported that The Ridiculous 6 has been very successful for them, so, regardless of what critics think, it appears that Sandler and company are having the last laugh.
8. Cabin Fever (2016)
We know what you’re thinking: “2016? I thought Cabin Fever came out in 2002?” That’s true, but this beat-for-beat copy by Travis Zariwny answers the question, “What if Cabin Fever was terrible?” Indeed, the answer is this film, the pointless remake to end all pointless remakes.
The original Cabin Fever isn’t a particularly beloved piece of cinema, but it is a cult favorite with a pair of direct-to-video sequels. Nothing about the film warrants a remake, especially a pitifully low-budget one with cheaper special effects than its unimpressive progenitor. That is, unless this whole affair is some kind of post-modern performance art intended to criticize the endless deluge of redundant remakes, in which case, well played, Eli Roth. Well played.
7. The Nutcracker in 3D
Earning just $16 million off of its irresponsibly high $90 million budget, The Nutcracker in 3D (The Nutcracker: The Untold Story on home video) is a certified box office bomb. A bizarre mix of good and bad ideas thrown together in a blender with no regard as to how things will turn out, The Nutcracker in 3D was utterly thrashed by critics, who criticized the terrible CGI, corny lyrics by Tim Rice, hammy acting (from John Turturro and Nathan Lane, no less!), Nazi rats and other family-unfriendly imagery, and the lack of ballet in a musical based on a ballet.
6. InAPPropriate Comedy
In descending order of stardom, Adrian Brody, Michelle Rodriguez, Rob Schneider, and Lindsay Lohan star in InAPPropriate Comedy, a sketch comedy film which was written and directed by Vince Offer, also known as The Shamwow Guy. Yes, the obnoxious and memetic informercial salesman behind the Schticky and the Slap Chop is a writer/director with two films under his belt.
InAPPropriate Comedy started out as a sequel to his earlier film, 1999’s equally unwatchable The Underground Comedy Movie, but eventually became its own brand, possibly because nobody had ever heard of The Underground Comedy Movie, and those who did know of the film had thrashed it for being unoriginal, stupid, and unfunny. We suppose that InAPPropriate is a good title for this farce of a farce, since it is decidedly inappropriate for anybody with standards, class, good taste, or a basic understanding of the meaning of the word “funny.”
5. Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever
2002’s Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever has two titles. They could have named the film either “Ballistic” or “Ecks vs Sever,” but why both? In fact, the film has a videogame adaptation with the same title (minus the superfluous “Ballistic” subtitle) released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, a full ten months before the film would eventually come out, and is considered superior to the movie in nearly every way.
Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever is directed by Wych Kaosayananda (credited simply as “Kaos,” because the movie isn’t corny enough already), a man whose goal is to make wall-to-wall action sequences boring. There are tons of explosions in Ballistic, and each is more boring than the last. Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas are utterly lost in a needlessly complicated script which is riddled with plot holes, inconsistencies, and downright idiotic characters. The final icing on the cake? After the film released, a second Game Boy Advance game came out, which, like the first game received universally more positive reviews than the movie upon which it was based. Ecks vs Sever: The Game is something of a cult classic. Ecks vs Sever: The Movie is strictly for the MST3K crowd.
4. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Don Johnson and Christina Ricci are in this film, so it can’t be that bad, can it? To be fair, it really isn’t as bad as many of the other films on this list, and is certainly a step above most Happy Madison productions, though that really isn’t saying much.
Nick Swardson plays a farm boy with a nearly microscopic penis. After he discovers that his parents were legendary 1970s pornstars, young Bucky Larson travels to Hollywood to follow in their footsteps and become a porno legend himself. To put it lightly, the concept did not resonate with critics or general audiences. The film was so unpopular with movie-goers that it was pulled from theaters after only two weeks, during which it made a paltry $2.5 million.
Nick Swardson defended the movie, claiming that critics were on a witch hunt because of the track record of Happy Madison Productions, and perhaps he was right… But that doesn’t mean the movie is a classic, by any stretch of the imagination.
3. Atlas Shrugged: Part III
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s celebration of greed and selfishness (virtues or vices, depending on who you ask) was adapted into a trilogy of films, with each subsequent entry being even worse than the previous over-hyped and underwhelming installment, culminating in Atlas Shrugged: Part III, which audiences greeted with a collective “shrug” of dismissal. Beyond the fact that each movie recast every role and was helmed by a different director, Part III ends the series, which had failed to captivate any significant audience, with a pitiful whimper.
Part III had the smallest budget of them all, even after mooching for funds on Kickstarter, but still has the production design of a high school student film. Leaving judgement to the free market resulted in a complete lack of interest from audiences, as the film was unable to scrape together even one million dollars in box office receipts, making Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star look like a bona fide blockbuster in comparison.
2. Staying Alive
Staying Alive, the ill-advised sequel to the 70s classic Saturday Night Fever, isn’t quite as bad as some of the other films on this list… Which isn’t to say that it’s a good movie, just that much of its critical reception was based on how completely unnecessary the film’s very existence is. Let’s just say that it’s due to the collective effort of John Travolta and director Sylvester Stallone (!) that the movie is as interesting and watchable as it is.
Despite being a futile exercise in making the ultimate pointless sequel, and with a complete misunderstanding of how Broadway shows work, Staying Alive actually has plenty of decent character moments. When Tony goes back to his old stomping grounds in Brooklyn and finds that the neighborhood has changed, he learns that he himself is not the same man he was during the first film. You can’t go home again. Fine, so it’s not Shakespeare, and critics agreed that Saturday Night Fever would have been better left alone. Staying Alive has since become the poster child for needless sequels, and for admittedly good reason.
1. Manos: The Hands of Fate
No “bad movie” list would be complete without the true worst of the worst, the once and future king of cringe, the ultimate film to hate-watch with your closest friends. Of course, we’re talking about Manos: The Hands of Fate, which, when translated from Spanish, means, “Hands: The Hands of Fate.”
It’s a title indicative of the unadulterated lunacy which awaits anyone bold enough to actually watch the film. A pure masterpiece of good intentions and flawed execution, Manos is easily the best and worst film on this list. Watch it today. Watch it with someone you love, and then gift it to someone you hate. The film was recently restored from the original 16mm workprint and released on home video in October of 2015, which includes the unrestored feature, warts and all, as a special bonus for the old-school purists.
Also, doesn’t The Master look suspiciously like Frank Zappa?
Movies with a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes are usually awful and borderline unwatchable, but they can sometimes be beautiful wastes of time. What other awful movies do you hate, or love to hate-watch? Sound off in the comments below!