Joe Reid January 23, 2013
As a certified Movie Awards Person, the Razzies push all my buttons. Dwelling on the awfulness of bad movies isn’t really my thing in the first place, and the Razzies always pick on such obvious, easy targets that it becomes even less fun. Usually, the Adam Sandler movies and crappy non-films that the Razzies go after are left to the trashbin of movie history. But sometimes, they go after movies that simply don’t deserve it. Sometimes, the movies are vindicated by time. Sometimes they were never that bad to begin with. Here are 13 of their worst calls.
13. “Anchorman,” 2004 (Worst Actor, Ben Stiller)
Sometimes the Razzies will just take an actor they don’t like and nominate them for every movie they appeared in all year. So it was with Stiller, who paid the price for being in “Along Came Polly” by being dragged down for everything he released in that 12 month period, including the pretty solid “Dodgeball” and the actually great “Anchorman.” That Stiller barely ranks as a cameo in “Anchorman” makes this all the more unjust.
12. “Fahrenheit 9/11,” 2004 (Worst Actor, George W. Bush; Worst Supporting Actor, Donald Rumsfeld; Worst Supporting Actress, Britney Spears)
One of the most hit-or-miss tendencies of the Razzies is to get cute with the nominations. Nominating Sean Young in Lead and Supporting for playing twins in “A Kiss Before Dying.” Tyler Perry nominated in Worst Actress for playing Madea. And on and on. In 2004, the Razzies took Michael Moore’s wildly successful “Fahrenheit 9/11” as occasion to take shots at the real people included therein. George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Britney Spears — sitting ducks, each and every one of them.
11. “Scarface,” 1984 (Worst Director, Brian De Palma)
This is one that time has vindicated, not only on the basis of every third dorm room in American having a Tony Montana poster, but because the film’s enduring popularity has led to countless critical revisitings which have found much to value in De Palma’s legendary excess.
10. “Wall Street,” 1987 (Worst Supporting Actress, Daryl Hannah)
I’m not going to lie, it took Daryl Hannah a long time to figure out what she was doing on a movie screen (watch “Kill Bill, Volume 2” to see what it looked like when she did), but her Razzie nomination placed Oliver Stone’s film in the same company as “Leonard Part 6” and “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.” Strange bedfellows indeed.
9. “The Last Temptation of Christ,” 1988 (Worst Supporting Actor, Harvey Keitel)
Martin Scorsese’s film was certainly controversial at the time, but nominating Keitel’s performance as Judas has forever placed the Razzies on the wrong side of history. Removed from the immediate outrage of the shocking notions of Jesus and Mary Magdalene OMG KISSING, and with its violence trumped (and then some) by Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” Scorsese’s movie has stood the test of time.
8. “War of the Worlds,” 2005 (Worst Actor, Tom Cruise)
7. “Batman Begins,” 2005 (Worst Supporting Actress, Katie Holmes)
Ah, here’s the Razzies getting cute again. The all-encompassing story of 2005 was the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes shocker of a marriage, and it made them an easy target for an organization that sustains itself on easy targets. I actually don’t love “War of the Worlds,” but there are some who value it quite highly among Steven Spielberg’s accomplished filmography, and there’s really nothing about Cruise’s performance that deserves a “worst” citation (Tim Robbins, on the other hand…). As for Katie Holmes, “Batman Begins” was a HUGE success with critics, and while her performance didn’t steal any scenes, it wasn’t Razzie material.
6. “Friday the 13th,” 1980 (Worst Picture; Worst Supporting Actress, Betsy Palmer)
Lord knows the slasher genre took a long time to get any kind of respect in Hollywood. But 30-plus years on, I would hope that the grimy charms of the original “Friday the 13th” are widely evident. Sure, it’s pretty junky, but it’s a ton of fun and influential as hell, and there are dozens of movies that come out every year that are neither.
5. “Mommie Dearest,” 1981 (Worst Picture; 9 nominations total)
Nothing is more tone-deaf than the Razzies trying to shame high camp like “Mommie Dearest.” A movie like this is practically begging for a Razzie nomination, so congratulations.
4. “Showgirls,” 1995 (Worst Picture; 13 nominations total)
It took a little while for “Showgirls” to cement its reputation as the apex of trash brilliance, so you can’t blame the Razzies for seeing low-hanging fruit like this and pouncing. But time has not been kind to the Razzies’ judgment, and now they end up looking like humorless prudes who didn’t know a camp classic when it was licking a stripper pole right in front of their faces.
3. “Truth or Dare,” 1991 (Worst Actress, Madonna)
Do the Razzies ever love to pick on Madonna. Six nominations for Worst Actress and another three for Worst Supporting Actress. And while you can’t exactly take issue with hating on her for “Shanghai Surprise” or “Body of Evidence,” the knee-jerk citation for “Truth or Dare” is just plain wrong. It remains a fascinating and compelling portrait of an international superstar who was determined to put every side of her personality on the screen. But, you know, ha ha ha, it’s a documentary, so we’re hating on Madonna for being herself. Hilarious.
2. “The Shining,” 1980 (Worst Director, Stanley Kubrick; Worst Actress, Shelley Duvall)
I’m not sure what was going on in 1980 that the Razzies felt like they had to target “The Shining,” or poor Shelley. With 30-plus years of hindsight, “The Shining” is viewed as a classic and Duvall’s jumpy, bug-eyed performance is considered integral to its success.
1. “The Blair Witch Project,” 1999 (Worst Picture; Worst Actress, Heather Donahue)
Remember back in 1999 when the cool thing to do to maintain your cred was to protest as loudly as possible that you were totally not even scared at “The Blair Witch Project”? And the bonus points if you also mentioned that the snaky-cam made you nauseous and you couldn’t stand that lead actress? I guess all those terribly cool people were Razzie voters. I’m sorry, I have no tolerance for “Blair Witch” deniers. One of the most exhilarating movie theater experiences ever and a legitimately great film. Shame on you, Razzies.
Anchorman, Batman begins, Ben stiller, Betsy Palmer, Brian De Palma, Britney spears, Daryl Hannah, Donald Rumsfeld, Fahrenheit 9/11, Friday the 13th, George W. Bush, Harvey keitel, Heather Donahue, Jennifer's body, Katie holmes, Madonna, Megan fox, Mommie Dearest, Razzies, Scarface, Shelley Duvall, Showgirls, Stanley Kubrick, The Blair Witch Project, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Shining, The twilight saga: eclipse, Tom cruise, Truth or Date, Wall street, War of the Worlds