The title of “worst movie” is completely subjective, so it’s impossible to make a list everyone can agree on. The movies on this list were generally given horrible reviews and are still tough to watch to this day. While you might be able to sit down with your friends or significant other and enjoy these trashy flicks, you can’t deny that the reason they’re “good” is because they’re so bad. With that out of the way, here are 9 of the worst movies to ever hit the big screen.
Troll 2 (1990)
Starting the list of the worst movies off strong is the sequel to Troll, which doesn’t feature trolls and instead has… goblins? Well, they’re kind of like trolls if you think about it without much thought. While some movies like VelociPastor are meant to be so bad that they’re good, Troll 2 is just plain awful.
The basic premise is that a kid named Joshua sees his dead grandfather everywhere, who is warning him not to let his family go to the town of Nilbog, where Joshua’s dad wants to take the family for a month-long retreat. The only problem is that Nilbog is infested with goblins that eat people after turning them into some sort of chlorophyll-human hybrid.
The bad acting, paired with the laughable grandpa that urges his grandson to use Molotov cocktails and urinate on the dinner table (you read that right), makes this film watchable, but not in a good way. We did get two amazing scenes that have been parodied, spoofed, and quoted all around the world, though. So it’s not all bad.
The Room (2003)
With Tommy Wiseau’s new flick, Big Shark, set to hit the screen later this year, we should all be reminded of what he’s truly capable of. The Room features clearly dubbed voice lines, horrible acting, a hopelessly confusing narrative, and just about every other movie mistake you could think of.
While it was only screened in a few theaters upon release and was given horrible reviews by critics and those unlucky enough to see it, The Room has somehow become a cult classic. The Disaster Artist boosted the movie to an even higher level of cult status, and now Wiseau is looking to hit it big, so to speak, with another ambiguously titled film.
Whether Big Shark is going to be a masterpiece, a cult classic, or another flop remains to be seen. If you’re a person that likes to make bets, you’d be wise to stay away from option 1.
Unless you’re an avant-garde film buff, you are almost certainly going to agree that this is a bad movie. You probably also will never want to watch this film after you hear the plot. Wavelength features virtually no action and perhaps ten total lines of dialogue. It is 43 minutes of pure torture if you’re not an avid consumer of avant-garde films from the 60s.
As you sit and watch, you realize that the camera is slowly zooming in over the course of the full 43 minutes. A man falls. A woman enters almost ten minutes later and makes a phone call. A buzzing noise is growing and getting louder and louder until it’s deafening. The camera closes in on a painting of some waves on the wall. The screen goes white.
You sit and wonder if you just wasted 43 minutes or if you can somehow appreciate it as a piece of avant-garde film like the others. You nod your head and agree; it is a masterpiece. Everyone else just doesn’t understand. A waste of 43 minutes? No, no, it couldn’t possibly have been a waste.*
*This is said as a playful jest while understanding that Wavelength is considered to be a hallmark of avant-garde films. Still, if you don’t enjoy the avant-garde like most people, Wavelength will be a boring 43 minutes that can’t seem to end fast enough.
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
It’s generally hard to get a whole fan base to agree on something, so when every Star Wars fan refuses to acknowledge The Star Wars Holiday Special, you know something must be wrong. That said, there must be something really wrong when the merchandising and entertainment giant that is Star Wars has refused to re-air or re-release the special ever.
If you weren’t lucky enough to watch it on TV when it debuted on November 17, 1978, tough luck. Unless you can get your hands on a bootleg/pirated copy taped from the original airing, you won’t be able to watch it. But let’s be real, do you actually want to watch a 2-hour special that has been described as being “ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine” by film critic Nathan Rabin?
Okay, I actually want to rewatch it now after reading that line, so I don’t blame you if you do, but the point still stands— this thing is hot garbage.
If you could combine two things to make the most deadly martial arts fighting style, what would they be? If your answer was anything besides gymnastics and karate, sorry, but you’re wrong.
Now that you’re aware of the best martial arts combination, the title probably makes a lot more sense. Gymkata is a terrible movie that was an attempt to push Olympic gold medalist and gymnast Kurt Thomas into stardom but failed miserably.
Gymkata’s plot revolves around the idea that a secret US government organization wants Thomas to enter a deadly competition in the fictional country of Parmistan. The competition is essentially an endurance race where local Parmistan warriors try to kill you while you compete. The winner is granted whatever they want by the King of Parmistan. The US wants Thomas’s character to train, win the race, and ask the king to allow the US to install a monitoring station so that they can better defend the US from nuclear attacks.
The movie also features a love interest in the form of the King of Parmistan’s daughter, who, for some reason, is fairly abusive towards Thomas in the name of making him better. Did I mention how he fights using a form of gymnastics-karate? Gymnastics-karate.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008)
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds received mixed reviews upon release but is now considered to be an extremely influential horror movie. Birdemic: Shock and Terror? Not so much. And it somehow still got a sequel even after being declared the worst movie ever by lots of critics.
On a budget of just $10,000, Birdemic: Shock and Terror tries to tell a love story about two young professionals in a small town that comes under attack by eagles and vultures. Sounds somewhat normal until you get to the part where the eagles and vultures shoot acid and explode into flames whenever they hit something. Why, you rightfully ask? Because of global warming, of course!
While climate change is a very real problem, Birdemic: Shock and Terror is not the best vehicle for bringing light to it. How it got not one, but two sequels is a mystery to everyone in existence.
Theodore Rex (1995)
Have you ever wanted to watch a buddy-cop movie featuring a talking dinosaur detective and Whoopi Goldberg? Well, today is your lucky day because you’re about to find out about the direct-to-video disaster that was Theodore Rex.
The film takes place in a world where dinosaurs and humans co-exist, but someone is killing dinosaurs. Theodore Rex (short for t-rex if you didn’t get the joke) is reluctantly joined by Whoopi and tasked with finding out who is responsible for all the “dinocides.”
The plot is generally weak, and the movie didn’t pan out well enough, causing executives to give it a straight-to-video release instead of putting it in theaters. This decision led to Theodore Rex being one of the most expensive straight-to-video films in the history of filmmaking, which is probably for the best since it isn’t exactly Whoopi’s best work.
If you want to enjoy this movie, you basically have to suspend all disbelief and then some. When you learn that this movie is based on a book by L. Ron Hubbard, the creator of The Church of Scientology, everything starts to make much more sense.
A quick plot summary is that aliens took over earth in 9 minutes back in the early 2000s, and these aliens have ruled earth since then. Humanity is essentially a few hunter-gatherer tribes living in hiding, and the rest are slaves to the aliens. The aliens live in domes because the earth’s atmosphere is toxic to them. The aliens also breathe a gas mixture that explodes when it comes into contact with radiation.
As you can imagine, those two weaknesses come in handy at the end of the movie, but how they didn’t come in handy throughout the 1,000 years the aliens ruled is a mystery to Mr. Hubbard himself. Between that and the 1,000-year-old fighter jets in storage that still somehow work, this movie really asks you to just forget all logic. Forgetting logic isn’t something fans of sci-fi do lightly, which explains it’s poor reception by the community.
Cats the musical was an absolute hit and loved by millions of theater fans around the world. In its 35 years on Broadway, it has played 7,485 times and is the fourth longest-running show ever on Broadway. So why, oh why, is the 2019 film adaptation regarded as one of the worst movies of all time?
Well, for one thing, just look at the CGI; it’s atrocious. The characters in the movie are in this weird spot of extremely creepy and slightly terrifying. The performers in the plays don’t look like cats that much, as the focus is more on the music and dancing, but that was lost in this film adaption.
The cats in the movie have human feet yet feature tails, cat ears, and whiskers. Sometimes, their faces feel like they’re floating, or the editors forgot to remove human hands and facial features. How Michael Meyers in The Cat in the Hat somehow looks better than a movie over a decade later is an absolute mystery.
Basically, the uncanny valley effect is in full swing here for a lot of people. Add in the fact that the musical doesn’t have that great of a story and is instead more of a performance art homage stuck in the 80s, and you’re left with a horrible adaptation that bombed harder than some of the other titles on this list.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of every bad movie out there, it’s definitely a list of movies to avoid unless you know what you’re getting into. As mentioned before, a bad movie is subjective, but these movies are typically either disliked by general audiences, critics, or both. Did we miss a movie you consider to be the worst film ever? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see if it should be included!