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The 20 Worst Movies Ever Made

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

7. Myra Breckinridge (1970)

Myra Breckinridge (1970)

At its core, Michael Sarne’s film is essentially a $5 million homoerotic gag, though it’s hard to say whether the joke was at the expense of Gore Vidal (who wrote the source novel), backers Twentieth Century Fox or the audience.

Courtesy of a sex change performed by Dr John Carradine, Myron Breckinridge (Rex Reed) has transformed into Myra Breckinridge (Raquel Welch) and decided, for no particular reason, to teach “Cinema Love Making” at a phony dramatic school run by his/her uncle. Also around, for equally unfathomable reasons, is Mae West, who sings Hard To Handle and talks about establishing “a boy bank where credit is always good.”

Over the course of 94 agonizing minutes, Welch beds Farrah Fawcett and straps on a dildo to sodomize one male lover, during which she comments: “My goal is the destruction of the last vestigial traces of traditional manhood from the race.” She would’ve been better off quoting Shakespeare: “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”


6. Striptease (1996)

Striptease (1996)

Based on a decent novel by Carl Hiaasen, Striptease is a dumbed-down-for-the-masses vehicle for Demi Moore, who one doesn’t immediately associate with comedy, unless Indecent Proposal and The Scarlet Letter were supposed to be funny.

She plays Erin Grant, a chiselled, surgically enhanced single mom who strips at The Eager Beaver (a club whose logo features a Jessica Rabbit lookalike sitting astride a pink rocket) and just wants to regain custody of her daughter from slimy Robert Patrick, who steals wheelchairs to make a quick buck.

Even though she dances like Elizabeth Berkeley in Showgirls, Moore comes to the attention of Dave Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds), a Congressman with a weakness for titty bars and murdering his opponents, causing her to wonder aloud, “How did I get so popular?” (how, indeed?).

When Dave invites her to dance for him on her yacht, she storms out after he confesses to stealing (and making love to) her laundry lint, and if that sounds lame and silly, it’s just the tip of the iceberg in a film that mistakes shameless mugging for comic timing and often substitutes airless drama for jokes.

In fact, nobody gets an opportunity to raise any laughs, steal the show or even deliver a good line. There’s nothing to work with in writer/director Andrew Bergman’s script and he seems to know it, lingering on the strip scenes longer than is strictly necessary. It ends with the villains trapped in a sugar mountain with their heads sticking out, looking like The Three Stooges. One of them says, “You have a serious dandruff problem” and the last remaining audience member walks out.


5. Birdemic (2010)

Birdemic (2010)

Released in 2010, Birdemic came to the attention of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 fans for its laughably cheap effects, bad acting and corny storyline, which might be entertaining if watched with an audience, but anyone who’s ever sat through this turkey on their lonesome will see things differently.

Half the movie is given over to whether or not yuppie Rod will score with Victoria’s Secret model Natalie, and when he does, they suddenly find their small town overrun by crappy digital birds created in 5 minutes on the director’s laptop.

Taking inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (Tippi Hedren is seen on a TV at one point), writer/director James Nguyen has instead created a movie that ranks with the worst movies ever shown on MST3K – it’s cheap, sluggish and coma-inducingly awful.


4. Disaster Movie (2008)

Disaster Movie (2008)

If you ever have to choose between watching glaciers for a million years or seeing a film written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Date Movie, Meet The Spartans, Vampires Suck etc), here’s a helpful tip: watching ice melt is underrated.

An endless succession of references to 2008’s movies, TV shows and celebrities, Disaster Movie gives us 10,000 BC, Gladiators and Amy Winehouse ‘jokes’ before moving on to the likes of Juno, Superbad, Wanted, Hancock, Enchanted etc. Friedberg and Seltzer don’t actually satirize anything, they just reward their MTV-saturated, junk food-munching demographic for their pop culture knowledge.

Their films aren’t meant to be viewed by anyone out of their late teens which, given the level of wit on display, is just as well. If you can’t mock Hanna Montana or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, get a day job.


3. Howard The Duck (1986)

Howard The Duck (1986)

It’s going out on a limb to call any one film the flattest, clunkiest and most depressing picture ever released by a major studio, so here’s a compromise: Howard The Duck is the flattest, clunkiest and most depressing movie released by a major studio in the 1980s.

The tragedy is that Steve Gerber’s comic book character is loads of fun, a cynical, bad tempered duck from another world who’s angry at being stuck on a planet where Jimmy Carter can become President. In this George Lucas-produced megabomb, however, he’s the invention of a focus group, a special effect intended to appeal to a broad demographic. Now give us all your money and shut up.

Writing in Twilight Zone Magazine, Gahan Wilson called the film, “outstanding in its attempt to cater to an audience of remarkably low intelligence. I think it would be fair to say that the level of its aim could be described as condescending, even insulting, and it’s kind of awesome to try to envision what kind of theaterful they must’ve had in mind.”


2. Oasis Of The Zombies (1982)

Oasis Of The Zombies (1982)

It’s a sign of how mind-numbingly boring Oasis Of The Zombies is that its own producers attempted to enliven the proceedings by cutting in action sequences lifted from a different movie – and failed miserably.

Look up “Watching Paint Dry” in any film guide and you will find a review of this tale of WWII soldiers who encounter Nazi zombies in the African desert. Hiding under the pseudonym “A.M. Frank” is director Jess Franco, no stranger to plodding exploitation films, though here his direction consists of removing the lens cap from the camera.

No-name actors spout meaningless gibberish about finding themselves in a succession of sequences so interminable you’ll be convinced that Franco just set up the shot and walked away. On a side note, it’s perhaps worth noting that this film was his reaction to the similarly-themed Zombie Lake, another dreary film about undead Nazis. Compared to Franco’s efforts, though, it looks fantastic.


1. Manos: The Hands Of Fate (1966)

Manos The Hands Of Fate (1966)

A candidate for the most unwatchable movie ever, Manos looks like it began as a bet – and it did. When Hal P Warren, a fertilizer salesman from El Paso, told Stirling Silliphant, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, that any fool could make a movie, Silliphant said it sounded like a wager.

Warren eventually won the bet – it’s just the viewer who loses. From an opening travel montage over which the filmmakers forgot to add a credits sequence, through the blurry cinematography and horribly dubbed dialogue to the sleepwalking performers, Manos is the ultimate monument to incompetence.

Warren began shooting with a 16mm camera that could only capture 32 seconds of film, so that was the maximum length of any shot. The clapperboard is visible in one sequence, while a night scene has two police officers conduct a search by taking three steps back – as far as the lights would illuminate.

Author Bio: Ian Watson writes about film for one reason – to encourage people to watch films like Starcrash instead of that drivel where cars turn into robots and save the world. Every time one of those pictures makes money, an angel dies and falls from Heaven.



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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.