5. Venom (Spider-Man 3)
When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films started, everybody who loves the franchise waited for the moment that Eddie Brock and his Venom persona would finally be a part of the series. The result was a Venom that many were wanting to quickly forget. First off, Venom has so very little to do with the story that he was included just to sell toys (clearly). His origins near the end of the film are appallingly lazy. He happens to be in the church where Peter Parker is fighting off his symbiote suit and a few drops land on him? Boooooo.
Secondly, Topher Grace was Venom. I have no problem with bizarre casting choices, because these bold risks sometimes lead to the kinds of performances you get from Heath Ledger as The Joker (can you remember a time when that decision was maligned well before “The Dark Knight” came out? Almost seems like it never happened, right?) and the surprising turn Harry Styles gave just recently in Dunkirk.
Grace, unfortunately, confirmed everyone’s bad suspicions. He was barely threatening and more grating. Everything Venom in this film was rushed, from casting to execution. That’s no way to treat one of the best villains in the Spider-Man catalog. This result was so bad that I’m sure there are many of us that are apprehensive of it being attempted from here on out.
4. The Master (Manos: The Hands of Fate)
It will be dark soon; there is no way out of here. You know what happens when it’s dark? You are lured into a home where an awkward painting stares at you. That painting is of ‘The Master’ (someone so powerful that they don’t even have a name). His minion Torgo (a captured prisoner who is under his spell) seems way creepier in comparison. That’s because The Master is boring, dull, and about as haunting as the pineapple from Téléfrançais (I take that back, the pineapple is way scarier).
The Master invites women into his home to turn them into wives he can sacrifice. He also brings in men to then lure more suspects to become his wives, and men who lure more suspects. It’s a vicious cycle, especially since The Master is only the master of being nauseatingly unimaginative. He looks like a Pokemon gym leader with his weird get-up, and his pornstache doesn’t help either. This character may be the only character in film history to be both unforgettable and completely forgettable at the same time. I’ve seen “Manos” three times, and while his presence is a riot, his every move has been blocked out of my memory.
3. Terl (Battlefield Earth)
John Travolta’s seventh career revitalization resulted in his eighth career death when he acted as Terl in “Battlefield Earth”. For being such a “smart” alien, he has to be one of the stupidest villains in existence. His race has enslaved humans and have apparently figured us all out. Yet, he doesn’t quite get the concept of dogs (he and his colleagues believe dogs mastered humans as we “chauffeured” them around).
To stop picking at all of the mistakes (we will be here for decades), we will look at the more glaring faults of Terl and his pathetic race. Terl decides to not use the device that translates his language into that of humans except in very rare cases. Would that not help with, I don’t know, giving them instructions? Wouldn’t that have made the whole slavery thing easier? You have a translation device and you don’t use it? As well, Terl and his compatriot imbeciles know extremely little about humans despite having taken over their kind for a very long time.
This isn’t just silly, it’s a gargantuan plot hole (how exactly did he and his kind take over humans?). The list of mess ups is endless. What makes Terl stick out above the rest of the cast is the fact that John Travolta’s acting is reminiscent of a grandfather yelling to his wife through three floors of a house. He yells and projects way more than necessary. For a being that is so critical on how smart humans are, Terl is quite the dolt.
2. Mr. Freeze (Batman and Robin)
Ah, yes. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the perfect person to play the Batman baddie Mr. Freeze. This is because he is one of the most frigid actors of recent memory. If you thought that pun was bad, do yourself a favour and stay the freezing hell away from “Batman & Robin”, because almost every single line he delivers is a cold-related joke. He even repeats a joke if no one is listening (he says “everyone chill” three times at a public gathering), despite the fact that his audience has been turned into ice cubes.
If his quick wit wasn’t enough to convince you that Mr. Freeze is the worst, his stupidity (despite being a scientist) may do that. He has the chance to kill Batman while Robin (or “bird boy”) is frozen, yet he walks away and declares that he will be back later (I’m still not quite sure if this is a Terminator reference or not). He then goes on to conduct his gang with his own versions of Christmas songs. He dons polar bear slippers and hides away in a snowman ice cream shop.
Everything about Joel Schumacher’s Mr. Freeze is an insult to the torture the original character faced, because Schwarzenegger’s take is a blue buffoon that loves everything cold. You almost forget that his wife is dying and is barely being kept alive, and that he himself is dependent on the very cold out of which the film has made a gargantuan joke. Mr. Freeze is an insult bad enough to make kids never want to play in the snow ever again.
1. The aliens (Signs)
Only one thing could be worse than Mr. Freeze. The aliens in “Signs” were a multitude of things (but none of them useful). They were first an early indication of the awful direction M. Night Shyamalan was heading toward with the rest of his films. They were a huge disappointment throughout the film as well. When you get your first glimpse at one of these creatures, it’s some chap in a costume walking through the streets.
If this scene scared you as a child, watch it now. Your neighbor’s corgi is more terrifying. You wait so long to get this poor reveal. So, the aliens look like basic aliens that every three-year-old can come up with. What they cannot come up with is the stupidest weakness for these aliens. They cannot deal with water, as we learn toward the end of the film. Water burns their skin like corrosive acid. So, these schmucks terrorize a planet (by strolling through the streets, apparently) that is mostly covered in their one main weakness?
Hey, at least they aren’t cowards, apparently. These aliens like to linger around as well, as one holds the child, Morgan, and stares at the rest of the family as if it told a joke and is awaiting everyone’s reaction. You can argue about this whole water-weakness thing (believe me, people have), but these aliens are pathetic even without that problem. They hang around boringly, are less menacing than recess, and don’t know what to do with themselves on a planet they are trying to experiment with.
A very close second that can only match the ridiculousness of the “Signs” aliens was also created by Shyamalan: plants (and not the Trolls 2 kind, sadly, but the The Happening kind). But at least plants aren’t easily killed by bloody water.