After a couple of years of doing Zach On Film (at least four months of which were ‘Apocalypse Now’), even a grizzled old media veteran like me has learned a couple of new things, and I’m more aware of the language of filmmaking (than I have been since my college film courses. It can make things difficult for me, as with a recent cable showing of ‘The Black Hole’. It was still fun watching stop-motion robots, green screens and amazing orchestral musical work, but not one you can compare to ‘Citizen Kane’. Some would call it a bad movie, but its worst sin is in being derivative (Star Wars + 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea + The Old Testament) and perhaps trying too hard. Really bad movies need to be more than just muddled or ill-conceived, they need a certain malodorous je ne sais quoi, which leads to today’s cinematic query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is always suspicious of movies described to be “so bad they’re good”, as both ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’ are super-subjective concepts, asking: What’s your vote for the single WORST movie of all time and WHY?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Keanu Reeves’ “A Walk in the Clouds”
    The story is bad, the acting is bad. It’s simply horrible.
    My mother rented it and I begged her not to watch it. She wanted me to watch it with her and I walked out of the room. When she finally finished her lonely ordeal, she apologized for not listening to me.
    I’m surprised they don’t show it to the Guantanamo inmates on loop.

  2. Wow. That’s like asking “which cesspool smells the worst?” There are too many to choose from! If I had to pick one, it would be Santa Clause vs. the Martians. The Green Slime is so rank, it ranks down there, too. Just about anything sold “direct to DVD” qualifies also. But I’d also have to list “The Wild Wild West” which was not only dreadful, it completely disrespected the source material, and both the recent and 1980s versions of The Lone Ranger Movies for exactly the same reason. And let us not forget Star Trek V, of which I can state that the only good thing about it was that it killed William Shatner’s directing career, which is no bad thing. And then, in the TV realm, there is “I Love Lucy” which I believe they DID show in an endless loop to the Guantanamo inmates. Even though Desilu Studios went on to produce Star Trek when nobody else would touch it, that doesn’t make up for six years of I Love Lucy.

  3. Only one? (You guys should totally do the five worst movie ever as a Top Five!)
    Plan Nine From Outer Space is pretty painful. I love Ed Wood for trying, which almost makes it endearing, but still…. However that is just a classic worst movie.
    Manos, the Hands of Fate was excruciating even with the MST3K treatment.
    But my personal favorite is Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, which I remember as basically strung together situations that were excuses for the 3D. But what bugged me the most was that after endless hours (it felt like hours) of watching pointy things poke out of the screen, the movie ended and Jared-Syn was still there, not even close to being destroyed. I’m still cross about that, apparently! :)

  4. I’m going to skip the low hanging fruit of all the SyFy movies and Lifetime movies. And I’ll even give points to movies that are so bad their fun (Plan 9, Left Behind, etc). Their at least watchable. My worst would probably be The Avengers with Uma Thurman and Ralph Fienes. No wit, complete botch of everything from the series, absolutely wasted cast. Its like an unironic Austin Powers movie.

    Honorable mention goes to Leonard Part 6, Jack and Jill, and Glitter and Human Centipede. I don’t penalize low budget amatuer films like Manos or Beast of Yucca Flats. All of the above were made by major studios with professional writers and real honest to god actors. There’s no excuse and everyone involved should be punished. Severely.

  5. Super Bad.

    It stands as the ONLY movie I have ever walked out on and i have sat through some crap movies that I wish I had walked out on. There is NO plot, the video quality is poor, the audio sounds like it was captured using a microphone that was purchased along with a copy of Rock Band for the Xbox 360, and the acting was so wooden that i wanted to take an axe to it and use it to start the biggest bonfire that Conneticut had ever seen.

    Granted the title alone should have warned me that the movie was going to be “Super Bad”

    This movie is the whole reason I flat out REFUSE to watch anything with Michael Cera in it other than Arrested Development. It is because of Michael Cera being the lead in Scott Pilgim the movie that I REFUSE to watch it and because his name is associated with Scott Pilgrim that I to this day REFUSE to read the Scott Pilgrim series.

  6. Got to give it to Robocop 3 not because it’s an unwatchable train wreck of a movie (although it is) but because all the way through you keep seeing glimpses of the sharp funny satire that they could have made peaking out from behind the boneheaded kid friendly action fest they actually produced.

  7. I am going to qualify this as movies that I have paid money for. With out a doubt, Highlander 2 is the most retched, vile movie that I have had the misfortune of seeing.
    The plot was ill conceived, the characters one-dimensional and the acting phoned in.

    Running a close second is “Star Trek V: The Final Insult”. Shatner directed it. Enough said.

    • I’m a huge Highlander fan, but with the exception of Highlander: The Series, Highlander: Endgame and the anime movie (NOT the animated series), the sequels and spin-offs have all been pretty bad.

      But as much as I hate any version of Highlander 2, it isn’t nearly as awful as Highlander: The Source (the most recent movie), which is pretty sad when you consider just how horrific Highlander 2 was.

  8. A toss up between Waitress! (1981) and The Lonely Lady (1983) starring Pia Zadora. Don’t know then? Don’t bother trying to find them. You’re welcome.

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