8. The Hottie And The Nottie
Who in their right mind decided to cast Paris Hilton as the lead in a movie The Village Voice described as “crass, shrill, disingenuous, tawdry, mean-spirited, vulgar, idiotic, boring, slapdash, half-assed and very, very unfunny”? Ask Paris Hilton – that’s her production company listed in the credits.
The film’s big ‘joke’ is that Paris is, like, a total hottie, but her best friend is a nottie with tombstone teeth, a facial mole, an infected toenail etc. Because you can’t get into a hottie’s pants if her nottie doesn’t like you – yes, I am cringing while I type this – Joel David Moore spends the movie trying to do just that, leading to ‘hilarious’ sequences where prospective suitors gag in the nottie’s presence.
Exhibit A in the case against socialites being allowed to steal our oxygen, The Hottie And The Nottie exists for no reason other than to keep Paris Hilton in the public eye, and just like its star it has an aversion to depth and human feeling. You’d think someone who’d spent all that money creating their celebrity would at least invest in a second facial expression.
7. Movie 43
Here’s irony for you: a movie whose plot involves a picture that may (or may not) bring about the end of the World results in a picture so lame that it may (or may not) end the careers of everyone involved.
Destined to become a punchline among Bad Movie fans, Movie 43 casts too many Oscar nominees to count and hands the reins to directors including James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy), Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2) and Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary), but the results are so embarrassing that the film looks more like a shooting gallery than a comedy.
Among the segments: Hugh Jackman as a blind date whose scrotum is located under his chin (“The Catch”); Anna Faris does a coprophilia routine (“The Proposition”); Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant have plastic surgery to appear Oriental (“Truth Or Dare”); and Gerard Butler in a dual role as potty-mouthed leprechauns (“Happy Birthday”). Most nauseating is “Middle School Date” where alpha males laugh at a girl experiencing her first period. The girl is played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie), so someone suggests she use cotton wool to “plug it up”.
6. Jack And Jill
To paraphrase Roger Ebert, some movies are merely bad while others are evil and reprehensible. No movie that features Adam Sandler in a dual role, playing an advertising executive as well as his brash sister, was ever going to be merely bad, but Jack And Jill goes even further.
The film ropes in Al Pacino (as “Himself”) who’s clearly wandered off the reservation because he falls for sister Sandler, something her brother goes along with because he wants to snag Pacino for a Dunkin Donuts commercial. Only it’s not just any commercial, it’s for their latest product, the ‘Dunkachino’. Imagine if the Godfather walked into a store, told the staff to call him “Dunk”, and someone said, “Dunkachino!”, prompting him to extol the virtues of said product in song. It’d be hysterical. Not.
Unlikely to be the scene you’ll see when it comes time to do The Godfather’s TV obits, Pacino sheds some of that cumbersome dignity as he raps about donuts while surrounded (why not?) by dancing donuts. How does Sandler convince so many Oscar winners (see also: Christopher Walken, Susan Sarandon) to make fools of themselves?
5. Dirty Grandpa
“If Dirty Grandpa isn’t the worst movie of 2016,” wrote critic Richard Roeper, “I have some serious cinematic torture in my future.” Roeper can rest easy because this misfire took that honour, no small feat in a year that included The Do-Over and Fifty Shades Of Black.
Badly misjudged on every level, the movie mistakes its constant stream of profanity and sex references for wit so often that it’s difficult to find a single moment to highlight. Perhaps the scene where Zac Efron speaks to his Jewish girlfriend, unaware someone has drawn a swastika on his forehead? How about the moment when 32 year-old Aubrey Plaza and 73 year-old Robert De Niro have a child, and De Niro shows off his son’s wedding tackle?
Scratch the phallocentric humour, and there really isn’t much else you can say about Dirty Grandpa. The funniest thing about the movie is that the supporting cast includes Jason Mantzoukas, who co-hosts a Bad Movie podcast called How Did This Get Made?
4. Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star
Starring Nick Swardson in a role tailor made for Adam Sandler (who co-wrote and produced the movie), Bucky Larson could be the tackiest cinematic travesty since Showgirls, only without the laughs.
The plot is easily summarized: after discovering that his parents were famous porn stars in the 1970s, buck-toothed Bucky decides to leave Iowa for Hollywood and follow in their footsteps. Upon meeting porn star Miles Deep (Don Johnson), our hero makes a series of films and becomes a sensation when his inadequacies make viewers feel better about themselves. Tragically, the film’s “message” about losers finding stardom didn’t apply to the picture’s fate at the box office.
Released during the same weekend that marked the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Bucky Larson opened at #15 and made barely $2.5 million during its brief run. That might well be due to terrible timing, or it might be due to Time Out’s assessment of the film: “This movie is dire, soul-crushing stuff.”
3. A Haunted House 2
The Paranormal Activity films are so incredibly cheap to make that it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to send the genre up. Despite a barrage of negative reviews (Austin Chronicle said it was “like watching a snuff film, only it’s the audience that’s dying inside.”), A Haunted House made $60 million on a budget of $2.5 million, so economic sense dictated that co-writer/star Marlon Wayans return to the well.
Forget the law of diminishing returns: this sequel is so soul-suckingly awful that you’ll run back to Paranormal Activity 4 (or maybe even The Ghost Dimension) for some light relief. This time, the movie also mocks The Conjuring and Sinister, leading to a bizarre running gag about the doll from the former, which Wayans has mistaken for a sex toy.
To his credit, Wayans tones down the homophobic gags this time around, but makes up for it with a streak of animal cruelty gags, so dim-witted viewers with a streak of sadism and a penchant for mean humour will be in their element.
2. Scary Movie 5
When the talking apes that evolve from our species discover Scary Movie 5 amongst the rubble left in the wake of our demise, they will seal it in their Forbidden Zone so that nobody – not Charlton Heston, not Roddy McDowall, nobody – can witness the true horror of moviegoing in the 21st Century.
What’s a sure sign that a movie is going to suck? When it opens with a Paranormal Activity spoof starring Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. You see, they’re shooting a sex tape (uh oh) that turns sinister when it incorporates gymnastics, clowns and horse riding. Then Lindsay becomes possessed and yadda yadda yadda.
From such fumbled beginnings, Scary Movie 5 somehow manages to get even worse, attempting to spoof the Evil Dead (which hadn’t been released when this movie was in production) with Snoop Dogg. They’re not very funny parodies, so presumably the joke is in seeing what celebrities can be reduced to.
1. Disaster Movie
Described by one critic as “a plague on our cinematic landscape, a danger to our culture, a typhoon-sized natural disaster disguised as a filmmaking team”, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are the duo responsible for some of the most disposable (and unwatchable) films of the 2000s – Date Movie, Meet The Spartans, Epic Movie etc.
Friedberg and Seltzer don’t actually satirize anything, they just reward their MTV-saturated, junk food-munching demographic for their pop culture knowledge. What makes Disaster Movie so egregious? It’s basically more of the same, but it proves that even with a string of films behind them, they still haven’t learned the difference between satire and mimicry.
In the first five minutes, we get 10,000 BC, Gladiators and Amy Winehouse ‘jokes’ before moving on to the likes of Juno, Superbad, Wanted, Hancock, Enchanted etc. (Remember those movies? Because you’re in trouble if you don’t). Friedberg and Seltzer’s 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.