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The 20 Worst Movies Ever Made

06 October 2015 | Features, Film Lists | by Ian Watson

14. Ax ‘Em (1992)

Ax ‘Em (1992)

Shot on a camcorder for $650, and endorsed by critic Michael Adams as “the sh**tiest movie I’ve ever seen”, Ax Em is a slasher movie from an African-American filmmaker whose father headed the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, which means it takes a dim view of the treatment of ethnic minorities in horror movies, right, gang?

No such luck – writer/director/producer/actor Michael Mfume sticks to every cliché and caricature possible, from gangsta rappers who have Yo Mamma fights to playas whose idea of a come on is, “You so fine ah could kiss yo daddy’s ass.” If you gave a camera to a 12-year-old boy and told him to make an ‘urban’ horror film, this is the movie he’d make.

For the first half of the picture nothing much happens, then suddenly a zombie with a machete appears and the uniformly terrible cast begin overacting wildly, literally unable to show their terror without running into walls and each other. Unreleased for a decade, the movie premiered in Washington DC in 2002 – to an audience of understandably perplexed NAACP employees.


13. Alone In The Dark (2005)

Alone In The Dark (2005)

Uwe Boll’s follow-up to House Of The Dead wants to be another good bad movie – look, there’s Tara Reid playing an anthropologist – but stumbles too many times to appeal to the connoisseur. Even Plan 9 From Outer Space veers dangerously close to coherence in a few scenes, but AITD is more interested in car chases and CG monsters than in having a comprehensible plot.

In a 2005 interview, screenwriter Blair Erickson explained that Boll wanted an action film with a mysterious central character not unlike Blade or The Crow, but after expressing his disappointment at Erickson’s draft in a harshly-worded e-mail (“your story is an author’s piece, a drama, where we spend time with people!!!”), the writer dropped out.

Boll eventually handed writing duties to producers Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer (who also scripted the in-name-only sequel), but they were unable to lick the central problem: rather than tell an origin story, the film had to follow on from Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare, the fourth entry in the videogame franchise. In other words, the movie was only ever going to appeal (or make sense) to hardcore gamers. It was setting itself up to fail.


12. Catwoman (2004)

Catwoman (2004)

Bearing no resemblance to Selina Kyle, the villainess who first appeared in Batman #1 (1940), Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) is a graphic designer (!) exterminated with extreme prejudice by Sharon Stone when she stumbles across a diabolical masterplan involving a skin cream with dangerous side effects.

This naturally leads to Berry running around in S&M gear with her midriff exposed, swearing vengeance on Stone and whoever greenlit a movie with cheesy effects, dreary action sequences and crummy logic. Throw in a ‘comic relief’ gay character and you have a movie that, had it been a hit, would’ve shaken Western Civilization to its foundations.

One of Roger Ebert’s most hated films, Catwoman received seven Razzie nominations and ‘won’ four, including Worst Actress. Collecting her $1.98 trophy in person, Berry thanked Warner Bros “for putting me in this piece-of-s**t, God-awful film.” Go, girl!


11. The Horror Of Party Beach (1964)

The Horror Of Party Beach

In the same year that Dr Martin Luther King received the Nobel Prize, audiences queued up to see Horror Of Party Beach, a movie where rubber-suited fish monsters are thwarted by an apparently uneducated black maid played by Eulabelle Moore.

You see, radioactive waste has created monsters that carry off bikinied starlets, attack drunks and invade slumber parties, and science can’t stop it. Fortunately for our scientist hero, his maid is given to “yessuh massuh” dialect humour and ignorant enough to ascribe events to superstition (“It’s duh Voo Doo! Dat’s what it is!”). With such a lowly role, we might expect Ms Moore simply to disappear from the proceedings, but her presence in fact proves crucial to the plot.

When she accidentally spills salt on a creature’s tissue sample, causing it to burn up (“I’se sorry! Oh lordy lordy!”), the doc gets the break he needs and the means with which to destroy the creatures. “That’s the answer we’ve been looking for!” he proclaims, and immediately sets about making the beach safe for booze hounds, promiscuous teenagers and white supremacists once more.


10. Zaat! (1971)

Zaat! (1971)

After a lengthy sequence where a narrator extols the virtues of the underwater kingdom, a mad scientist transforms himself into a fish monster so that he can take revenge on the colleagues who ridiculed his ideas (wouldn’t you?). After each killing, the rubber-suited fiend puts an X through another photo on his wall.

Meanwhile, two government agents (in red jumpsuits) are in lukewarm pursuit, and foil the Doc’s attempt to kidnap a skinny-dipping blonde he’d planned to mate with. “I cannot, I will not be stopped,” he thunders. “I will select a mate with the utmost care. Together we will create a new aquatic race!”

You’d think that a movie whose antagonist looks more like ALF than The Creature From The Black Lagoon, who uses the handrail to climb stairs and is photographed from the waist up because the actor was wearing tennis shoes would have a chuckle or two, but even though it was parodied on MST3K, Zaat! isn’t even good for laughs.


9. Mesa Of Lost Women (1953)

Mesa Of Lost Women (1953)

Somewhere in the Californian desert, Dr Aranya (Jackie Coogan) is turning spiders into beautiful women for world domination purposes, though it’s hard to see how Z-grade starlets in bad wigs (actually dyed mop heads) are supposed to take over the planet.

It’s also hard to care about a movie scored with a monotonous guitar and piano mix (also used in Ed Wood’s Jail Bait) that will set your teeth on edge every time you hear it. Supposedly begun as a different movie, the picture was left incomplete when original helmer Herbert Tevos took a hike after one too many arguments with the cast and crew, leaving director Ron Ormond to cobble something together from the existing elements.

For years afterwards, the resulting trainwreck was believed to be the work of Ed Wood under a pseudonym, what with its fractured narrative, bad acting and redundant voiceover. That gives you some idea of how lame the final picture is, but it differs from Wood’s oeuvre in one regard – it’s not bad enough to be funny.


8. Monster Island (1981)


When Jeff Morgan (Ian Sera) and his sidekick Artelett (David Hatton) are shipwrecked on the eponymous island, they encounter cannibals, giant centipedes and a rubbery monster that resembles a 50 foot tall Jar Jar Binks, but far more terrifying than the creatures is the film’s attempts at “comic relief.”

Actors whose light comic touch is exceeded only by the skills of Adolf Hitler attempt to get laughs by performing double takes, squealing their lines and generally overacting their way into Bad Movie Hell. Just when you think it can’t get any more shocking, along comes a coloured “native” who rocks an afro, slaps high fives and communicates with cries of “Inganga! Inganga!”

Equally shocking is the twist ending: the shipwreck was manufactured by Morgan’s Uncle (Peter Cushing), who wanted to strand him on an island he bought at auction (!?) in order to test his mettle. You see, the struggle to survive is the ultimate test to which a man can be submitted (or something), so Cushing populated the island with cannibals from central casting and rubbery monsters created by a “famous” toymaker, which would….oh, forget it.



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  • DesertSkyFan

    well some of these were made to be bad. i mean Birdemic wasn’t exactly trying to be a good movie. i don’t count disposable b-movies in my worst of lists. yea Howard the Duck is one of the worst films ever made.

  • Cristian Muñoz Levill

    The Room, Plan 9 from the outer space, 9 songs, Batman and Robin, anything form Michael Bay or Adam Sandler (except The Rock and Punch drunk love, of course), etc.

    • Snoopy – Your Friendly Neighbo

      The Room is one of those movies that if you watch it with an audience at a screening, it becomes hilariously unintentional black comedy, but on it’s own, it’s just a shitty, badly CGIed (if you count those terrible rooftop scenes) boring softcore melodrama. I didn’t really learn to love that film until I watched it as a Rifftrax. Same can’t be said for Troll 2. That movie is just…brilliantly bad.

    • Robert Karabetian

      The room was a fine movie

    • TheMovieDoctorful

      Little Nicky I find hilarious, and I refuse to apologize for that. Tarantino’s cameo alone is worth price of admission.

  • Pete Clark

    Dante’s Peak. It hits maximum ridiculous when the grandmother jumps into the lake of acid.

    • Snoopy – Your Friendly Neighbo

      I love that movie. Mainly because it’s so ridiculous. That whole scene is so stupid, especially with the Grandma dying in the lake of acid for no reason (and the heroic music that plays as she does)

  • Berfie

    #20 – Columbia Studios did not own Coca-Cola.Coca-Cola owned Columbia Studios.

    #18 – Ebert’s condemnation of this film is hardly an endorsement.

    #14 – The writer still doesn’t know the definition of ‘endorsed’.

    #13 – #1 – Can’t be arsed to read this shite.

    • Harris K Telemacher

  • OK, I wouldn’t put Disaster Movie in the list considering that it’s not really a movie. It’s far worse than that. It’s not funny nor does it do anything to be entertaining. It’s just nothingness and lazy filmmaking at its worst although calling Friedberg and Seltzer filmmakers is actually insulting. Porno filmmakers have more imagination and actually put more effort into these bullshit movies.

    Howard the Duck isn’t that bad. There’s far more worse films that are made than this.

    • Les In Co

      For me the best part of Disaster Movie was seeing Kim Karsahian killed off

      • I think it would’ve been better if that really happened.

      • Rhea Mahapure


  • “Warrior Queen” (1987) with Sybil Danning. I took craps more watchable than that movie.

  • KeepinIt Real

    Where’s Avatar?

    • Shadowfax

      Exactly my thought !

    • Rich G

      AKA Dances with Smurfs or Smurfahontas

    • Pedro Enrique Casique Duran


    • Wolfgang

      The fact that it’s plot has been done several times, doesn’t make it a bad film. It’s a regular

      • KeepinIt Real

        You’re right. There are plenty of films that have borrowed from prior material and have proved themselves worthy. Unfortunately, Avatar is definitely not one of them. Its poor distinction is the result of several missteps. Its plot, though, is still probably the foremost problem with the film altogether.

      • Medes

        Unobtanium, one dimensional characters and baddies who are just bad for the sake for no reason make a bad movie.

        • doug johnson

          “Unobtanium” is a well-used science fiction term. Cameron wasn’t making up a dumb name, he was referencing a literary trope and trusting audiences to catch it, but it went right over the heads of non SF readers. Avatar was a bad film, but not for that.

  • Paulo Carreira

    As i saw the title i immediately thought: “Birdemic” but i wasn’t expecting for it to actually be in the list. That’s hardly considered a movie xD

  • BSCC

    Wow. You didn’t mention MST3K on many movies that were on the show, but bring it up on movies that were not on the show. And no mention that nobody would have ever seen Manos without MST3k?

    Did you ever actually watch the show?

  • Dean Strohm

    just my opinion, but for me the worst movie of all time is 13 Seconds

  • Goran Mars


    • Christian Wiederwald

      I wouldn´t call it bad. We Europeans do have a soft spot for brutally “USA-USA”-yelling american film-making. The movie is so unbelievably corny it works on an unintentionally comedic level.

  • Alkis3

    “Balls of Fury”?

  • Javiera

    where’s movie 43 ?

  • “Freddy Got Fingered”…hands down. I also loathed “Pearl Harbor”.

    • Good thing nobody likes you either. 😀

      • Um…random. But okay…

      • Um. Wow. That really hurts my feelings. I really thought that everyone loved me. Then I snapped back into reality and remembered that nobody really knows me. So actually I’m OK. Thanks for such a delightful reply though. I hope it made your day. 😀

        • Rhea Mahapure

          your response gives me life . love you

        • Adrian

          The force is strong with this one.

  • Shadowfax

    Where is “2012” ? Worst movie I’ve ever seen..

    • doug johnson

      The effects are way too good.

  • Grace Skerp

    No Battlefield Earth?

    • Luka Mina

      Yeah! I know right? What about The Room? No offense but this list is a tad innaccurate…

    • TheMovieDoctorful

      Battlefield Earth and The Room are too funny to be the “worst movies of all time.”

      If I’m entertained throughout the entirety of a film (Even unintentionally, if the film is bad like those 2 certainly are) it can’t TRULY be “the worst movie ever made.” And let me tell you, Battlefield Earth and The Room are probably my 2 favorite comedies of all time.

  • Veronica Clarke

    ‘My favourite Martian’, ‘House of Long SHadows’, ‘The house that disappeared’, ‘The Ice Pirates’.

  • Jordynne Amethyst Rios

    How is Movie 43 NOT on here?

  • Rick Hoffman

    Not close. Where is ISHTAR???? Where is GIGLI Some good campy favs are panned here like Myra Breckenridge but nothing is worse then virtually anything in the Grind-house collection -6 discs of movies so bad its impossible to stay awake.

  • Rich G

    Gigli, Plan 9 from outer space

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  • Rich G

    Gigli, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Pearl Harbour

  • Pedro Enrique Casique Duran

    There’s a lot of bad movies… even more than ‘Striptease’ or ‘Catwoman’.. and you guys know it!

    • Those movies I think are in there because they had people who were talented doing them, and that makes them utterly worse 🙂

  • Anustatti

    Birdemic indeed almost made my eyeballs bleed. Even greater achievement than that of Troll 2, which was already bad enough.

    • Melissa Barbee

      At least Troll 2 is mildly entertaining and someone made some kind of effort. Birdemic is one of the most boring movies I’ve ever been tricked into viewing and tries WAY TOO HARD to be bad.

  • Les In Co

    The picture on the review of ‘Horror of Party Beach’ was NOT from ‘HoPB’

  • As

    Throw some Nicolas Cage movies in there like Bangkok Dangerous

    • TheMovieDoctorful

      Bangkok Dangerous isn’t even CLOSE to as bad as these others. It’s not great or a masterpiece or anything, but it’s not complete and total garbage. Actors acted. Characters developed. It was shot and directed with at least SOME degree of competence. Which is more than one could say for ANY of these films.

  • Camilo

    Alone in the Dark is probably the worst I’ve ever seen… also, no Battlefield Earth?

  • Patrice Drapeau-Bisson

    Where is The Room?

  • acgogo

    Anyone who is a fan of “Myra Breckenridge”, the book would understandably be greatly disappointed in the movie. Like most of Gore Vidal’s fiction, it was considered un-filmable. But there is something so awful about the movie that almost keeps you from turning away. Talk about a trainwreck!

    I think it was secretly directed by Russ Meyer who, by the way, should be on this list. I give you: “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” and “Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill”

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      Both of those films are technically adept, wittily written and vibrantly performed.

  • missannthrope

    Candy (1968) and Sextette (1978) really belong on this list. And as others have said, Gigli really belongs on this list.

  • Scott Plumer

    I live in Cleveland, and I remember how excited everyone was when Howard the Duck was coming out. Then people saw it…

  • Piquerish

    Now hold on. I absolutely INSIST that we make room for my all-time-highest-loathing-ever … GUMMO. Pyewwwww!

  • Gabriel Suki

    It speaks volumes on the depressingly stale, empty-calorie saturated generic pop-culture upbringing of the author of this winglessly flapping turkey of a bog… sorry… blog entry, that the only D-movie this Ian Watson seems to know and worship is Plan-9. He seems to have put a bit too much stock in the artifice of the “golden turkey award” so keenly described on it’s back cover. I stopped counting the references to it somewhere between the end of the first and beginning of the unnecessary, advert revenue driven need for a second page.

    As a side note, I wasn’t aware that these “connoisseurs” he rambles on about seem to spend so much time watching MST3K. While some of the movies on this list are certainly bad, none are anywhere near as bad as that mouldy barrel of out of date, forced jokes. Bad as in terrible. Gag voice-overs were tired and played out by the mid-70s for a reason. It’s a shame that the producer who exploited those clowns to revive his company’s back catalogue of vintage film stock wasn’t aware of this fact.

    Besides which; “Australia” is missing from this list. Now there’s a plonker. Someone wake Ian Watson and update his pop-culture credentials please.

  • Frankie

    Where is ” Junior”, ” Kindergarten Cop” and specially ” Jingle All the Way” with Arnold Schwazenegger? By far, my 3 worst films ever

  • Eduardo Rocha

    Transformers Saga

  • Vaz zy

    Locke.. The whole film Tom Hardy talking to himself.

    • TheMovieDoctorful

      You know, Tom Hardy is a good enough actor that I might even watch something like that.

  • afrangov

    Actually I think The Room is a pretty great film (in a weird way), so I’m glad it’s not on this list.

    Also, thankfully, I have only been tortured with just a couple of the titles in the list.

  • Will Wuorinen

    One word: Armageddon.

  • PB1978

    Battlefield Earth? The Room? Batman and Robin? 10,000 BC? These are all movies that deserve to be on this list.

  • lauramoreaux

    what about Huckabees ?

  • Abhishek Mondal

    I would add star wars a new hope

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    In my book the true worsts tend to be ones that have remained rather more obscure than any of these. Stuff like Night of Horror, Blood Lake, The Black Witch Project, Wrong Way and so forth, that are a real stretch even for anti-art enthusiasts that can take some surreal joy from say, Birdemic or The Room.

  • me

    hah, expected “Manos…” to be #1
    don’t think Howard the Duck was that bad. Or bad even.

  • Abhishek Mondal

    Why is star wars a new hope not here.

    • Jackie M

      Do you mean The Phantom Menace?

  • Zabriskie

    Atlantic Rim?

  • Gogzilla

    Robot Monster not on the list?

  • Athena Padgett

    Pretty much any Adam Sandler movie belongs on this list. But Plan 9 From Outer Space was genius. So bad I loved it.

    • Debb Morgan

      I like that one very much. As u said, so bad is good

  • Big Rigs, Limbo of the Lost

  • Freddie Trey McNabb

    Plan 9 from Outer Space, Batman and Robin, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead, Heaven’s Gate, Battlefield Earth, any move with Madonna, Pauly Shore, a plethora of slasher sequels, and Mark Wahlberg’s Planet of the Apes deserve to be in the worst twenty.

    • Debb Morgan

      Oh Lawrd, Pauly Shore XD

  • Sats Van Brand


    • TheMovieDoctorful

      That’s fanboyism talking. There’s no fucking way Batman v. Superman is even CLOSE to ANYTHING on this list.

  • Joe Montoto

    Even as young as I was, I knew enough to walk out of SHEENA, QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE the second I heard Tanya Roberts stumble her way and mangle the line “I am Sheena. [unnecessary pause] Queen of the jungle!”

  • Allister Cooper

    Field of Honor.

  • David Mika Egede

    troll 2

  • Terek Brajan

    Showgirls, Pompeii….

  • Predrag Grujic

    How is catwomen not sexy enough?

  • Edward Pickaxe

    Tehe, you forgot Son of The Mask.

  • Brian Gregory

    Battlefield Earth

  • Dawn Valley

    Manos is a “so bad it’s good” movie IMHO. I’ve even watched it without the robots!

  • Miguel Valdez-Lopez

    I’d add this one to the list:
    Autopsia de un muerto

    So sad that it’s Basil Rathbone’s last film.

  • neshobanakni

    Striptease is worth watching if only for Robert Patrick’s hilarious performance. Demi Moore’s strip scenes are only icing on the cake.

  • No “The Departed”

  • Binuriki Cliean Jay

    Where is Southland tales?

  • Olivier Jaminon

    Beowulf ft Christophe Lambert was pure boring pain in the ass… Same with Matrix 2,3 or Cube 2 and Cube 0.

  • Uncle Benny

    How could you leave out “Robot Monster” by the immortal Phil Tucker? Ed Wood’s “Glen or Glenda?” and “Bride of the Monster?”

  • Jacob Kilgannon

    No Troll 2? Or Darktown?

  • sen sei

    Plan 9 from outer space?

  • sen sei

    Halley Berry in black leather works anytime.

  • Nick Beard

    no Troll 2?

  • baba

    fast 5

  • mongoink

    Original “Gone in sixty seconds”

  • Molly Schaffer

    My personal worst films are The Last Airbender (especially in comparison to the excellent source material) and Shark Boy and Lava Girl, which was one of the only films I’ve ever walked out on.

  • ttt

    Hors Satan

    • TheMovieDoctorful

      Hors Satan and Batman v. Superman are fantastic films, putting them in the same context as Manos and the other schlock on this list is absurd.

      Hell, Cosmpolis and the Robocop remake weren’t good, but they weren’t absolute failures on every technical level like these other films.

      • ttt

        thats your opinion, for me all of those movies was terrible in every possible way

  • John

    Star Wars Rogue One…ha…

  • myname

    There are so many movies we could add.. but Avatar? NO WAY!!.. OMG Battlefield Earth was awful LMAO..i actually liked Howard the Duck when I was a child…lol… shame..

  • Enword Snowman

    You mean to tell me you really think there are 20 movies in existence better than Jack and Jill?

  • 15. Eegah! (1963) !!! Perfect. cult film. We watched together … OMG .. yearss…

  • WestSide_Ken

    I wanted to get on here and say “Hey …I like so-and-so”. Couldn’t do it. Well done to the author.

  • WestSide_Ken

    What about “Nothing but trouble” one of only three movies I’ve ever walked out of in my life.

  • Mick Swinnen

    The Underground Comedy, by far

  • Giuliano Gori

    Into the wild

  • Jackie M

    Where’s the Adam Sandler movies?

  • doktor_wankenstein

    “Yellowbeard” — half of Monty Python, Cheech and Chong, and the some of cast of Young Frankenstein, and it STILL sucked monkey balls.

    “Remo WIlliams: The Adventure Begins” — The audience was yelling at the screen that they wanted their money back, seriously!

    “Excalibur” — Thank FSM for a young and sexy Helen Mirren, ’cause that’s all it had going for it.

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  • some words

    What about ROBOT MONSTER? Extremely bad! You’ve got to see it to believe it!

  • Toby Smith

    Zombies Lake should be up there. The film is so bad it’s hilarious and should be considered a masterpiece. Another one is The True Game of Death, which has to be seen to be believed.

  • Brook Monroe

    The description of “The Beast of Yucca Flats” borders on the incomprehensible. Looks like someone missed an edit somewhere.

  • Biji M.

    dude, NO. these movies look HILARIOUSLY bad. the “worst” movies – in my eyes, i mean – are those that are brutally, soul-crushingly empty. “Disaster Movie” is a good start. “Catwoman”? one of the worst?? certainly for it’s intended purpose—a new superhero franchise to be taken seriously, but have you even SEEN that movie recently? it’s INCREDIBLY amusing in *all* the right ways. you’re picking on B-movie monsters – what about, like, “Transformers 2”? a film so cynical about it’s chances at international mega-success it didn’t both to have a script?? “Battleship”?? you know… the kind of movies that actively and enthusiastically look down on their audiences with “fuck you, pay me” as their only message.

  • ΨΧ

    I’ve watched Manos the hands of fate due to this list! Haha a monument to incompetence ideed! I enjoyed how useless it was though.

  • Where the hell is Plan 9?

  • Chump Trump

    What about Broke Back Mountain.

  • 314159265

    You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!

  • Will Wuorinen

    One word: Armageddon.

  • Adrian

    I recall really hating Blue Lagoon and Tomb Raider 2. Some of these movies have some entertainment value (for me at least).

  • Harry Dinkle

    Roller Blade, The Roller Blade Seven, hell 85% of Donald G Jackson’s filmography could sub for any movies on this list

  • Deadly_Moogly

    Well, I confess : I had a great lot of fun watching Howard the Duck when I was young.

    Clearly not a great movie, but some dialogues was hilarious!!

  • pedrosantos

    This is the worst movie of all time:
    Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson
    I am ashamed that someone directed this…

  • pedrosantos


  • G.I.Jew

    No Ghostbusters 2016????!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Howard The Duck is one of the best movies ever made!

  • Agario lol

    beautiful adventurous movie

    Agario lol

  • Agario lol

    a super movie that watched a lot of children

    Agario lol

  • Jose F Rios

    Charlie’s Angels.