Sometimes its nice to know that even the best people can have bad days. I’m sure Michelangelo occasionally dropped his pizza onto whatever he was painting but those are the dangers of living in Italy. My point is – even the best artists can do something horrible which they should be ashamed of. Just ask Rolf Harris. So when one of the gifted artists fail miserably I can’t help but feel a bit better about myself. The Germans call this feeling schadenfreude and today we can all revel in it with my top 5 awful films made by great directors! Some of these guys started off great but aren’t as well respected today and others can do no wrong, mostly. Check out these stinkers!
5. Francis Ford Coppola – Jack (1996)
The obvious first choice would usually be The Godfather Part 3 for shitting over two of the greatest films ever made but instead I picked the travesty that is Jack. The movie features Robin Williams at his creepiest as a child who is growing old at an abnormal rate. The premise is disturbing and watching Williams play what he thinks a child behaves like is horrible. This is a sentimental, cynical, freaky, story that literally gave me nightmares. If you ever meet a 40 something man who claims to be a ten year old then please alert the authorities.
4. Ridley Scott – Prometheus (2012)
Much like millions of Alien fans, I was excited for Ridley Scott’s return to the universe he helped create in 1979. No one informed me that this would be a comedy. Packed to the gills with the stupidest characters ever committed to celluloid (run to the side Charlize!) Prometheus ruins an interesting concept with plotholes, strange edits, and a bad script. A few scenes hint at a movie that could have been great but that’s the equivalent of having a fine french cheese in the shit sandwich you’re being forced to swallow.
3. Steven Spielberg – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
I have two words for you – Shia Labeouf. I don’t even know if I spelled his name correctly but i really don’t care. They just couldn’t leave it alone could they? The Indiana Jones trilogy was pretty much perfect but for some reason Steven Spielberg just couln’t leave it at that. The alien plot isn’t even the worst aspect of Crystal Skull, that accolade should be shared by the cast, the script, the effects, and of course the aforementioned Shia Labouef. I’m actually angry typing this.
2. John Carpenter – Escape From L.A. (1996)
I’m a huge fan of literally every film John Carpenter made in the 80s. However for some reason as soon as we hit 1990 Carpenter’s movies took a turn for the worst. This is no more apparent than in this soulless sequel to the classic Escape From New York. The plot and characters are recycled but instead of Kurt Russell hanging with Ernest Borgnine and fighting Isaac Hayes, we have him surfing with Peter Fonda and playing basketball. It’s a misjudged nostalgia trip that misses what made the original such a cult classic. Not good Snake.
1. Tim Burton – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Tim Burton’s track record at remakes is what we movie watchers would class as ‘shit’. Planet of the Apes (2001) was an exercise in removing all the brains from a beloved franchise and dressing his wife up as the bastard child of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp bubbles. Charlie and the Chocolate factory is even more disrespectful. Continuing with the Michael Jackson theme, Johnny Depp plays Willy Wonka as The King of Pop’s corpse possessed by a particularly creepy serial killer. All the charm of the book is torn out and replaced with bad songs, bad performances, and a distinct lack of heart. How do you mess up a film where a fat kid gets stuck in a pipe?
The exception to the rule:
Paul W.S Anderson – Event Horizon (1997)
Famous for some awful films and being married to Mila Jovovich Paul W.S Anderson actually produced one stone cold classic in the form of Event Horizon. It’s the quintessential space-horror and tells the story of a haunted spaceship with a very horrible secret. Full of great performances and genuine scares Event Horizon showed a massive amount of potential in Anderson as a director. He then went on to make Alien Vs Predator and Pompeii cementing his place on this list as the exception to the rule.
Have you got any more suggestions? Maybe you like one of these films and want to defend it? I say ‘bring it on!’ and write your comments below.