5. Liza Minnelli (Arthur 2, Rent-a-Cop / Cabaret)
Liza is an icon. One of the biggest singers ever. I may not love her personally, but there is no denying that she has made a serious mark on pop culture. “Cabaret” is a classic. Rightfully so.
This is another case where an icon does something that isn’t great, so let’s take them down a peg or two for our own ironic enjoyment. It’s honestly just boring when they pull this crap.
4. Kevin Costner (The Postman, Wyatt Earp, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves / Dances with Wolves)
Costner is a good actor. Sometimes he can pull out something iconic. But one wouldn’t say he’s great. He has his lane and he can really kill it in that lane. But when he isn’t engaged or he’s in a role that shouldn’t have been given to him, he looks lost at sea. This may be another cheat, but “Dances with Wolves” winning Best Picture was a win for him as it was a vanity project that relied solely on him. Did he really deserve a Razzie for “Wyatt Earp”? Nah. It’s not a good movie, but he’s solid in it. He cared and it’s not like he’s in a role not made for him.
“Robin Hood” was bad, embarrassing even with that disappearing accent. “The Postman” is one of those really bad, career in a downward spiral movies. So he deserved some of these. He struck out in a big way, which is weird because it’s not like he swung for the fences in a wild fashion. He just got too big for his britches and went for stuff he really shouldn’t have.
3. Al Pacino (Jack and Jill / Scent of A Woman)
Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors to ever live. His work in the ‘70s helped change cinema. Just so many classic and iconic performances to his name. Very few performances from him could be considered bad, even in his old age where he may not have the same fire he had in his youth. But even then, he doesn’t embarrass himself in a way to be pointed out as one of the worst of the year.
Except for one. And it’s because he decided to run into the Adam Sandler-verse and sully his reputation in probably the worst movie Sandler has made, which is really saying something. It’s a cartoonish performance. It’s wildly bad. He’s just out of control and it doesn’t work.
Al is having fun, but anyone watching the movie are most certainly not. His Oscar win may not have been deserved for that role, acting more like an apology for not giving him a statue for earlier work that still stands strong as iconic pieces of cinema. But he most assuredly deserved to be in the running for the worst of this year.
2. Laurence Olivier (Inchon, The Jazz Singer / Hamlet)
Laurence Olivier is one of those actors who just defines what acting can be. He is one of the biggest and most influential actors of all time. His work is a direct refutation of the method style, as he very famously condescended to Dustin Hoffman on the set of “Marathon Man” because of Hoffman’s over-the-top antics to “get into the character.”
He himself has said he always preferred his work in the theater and loved that arena more than the big screen, but it still can’t be overstated how his work defined acting. His Shakespearean work is legendary for a reason. But in his old age, he really redefined not giving a damn. Would just stroll onto a set and lay down the crap with no regard or shame.
“Inchon” is an embarrassment of high regard, but “The Jazz Singer” is really just distasteful in its racism and its laziness. He doesn’t even try to make the role anything more than a Nazi-era propaganda piece about a Jew. The work on the two movies he was Razzied for really go to show that those who soar so high and fall so goddamn low.
1. Marlon Brando (The Island of Dr. Moreau/ The Godfather, On the Waterfront)
Marlon Brando was an icon who was also an immense piece of garbage. He made life on the sets he worked on a living hell, just a hurricane of nonsense almost everywhere he went. The man either lost his mind or saw that his success gave him free reign to be a monster and took it. Whichever it was, his behavior was poster child-worthy for the current changing attitudes in Hollywood about on-set behavior.
As great as he was in “The Godfather” and “On the Waterfront,” classic and iconic roles that helped the art form mature immensely, he just couldn’t be bothered to do the work at all after a certain point. None may be more emblematic of his horrible nature and the lack of preparation/care he would bring to a role than his work on “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” He was such a pain, such a goddamn monster that he destroyed this movie.
The behind-the-scenes madness of this movie is so wild that an entire documentary was made about the nightmare that was making this movie. And it’s not like the art was worth the pain. It’s a classically bad movie. Just outright terrible, a movie not even legendary director John Frankenheimer could salvage.
It’s just a melange of a horrible script mixed with bad editing and bad acting to form this stew of unmitigated crap. And Brando is the stinking void at the center of it, his apathy just stinking up the screen. Not only does he deserve the Razzie here, but he redefines what it means to truly be bad at this job. He is a precautionary tale. Don’t let success get to your head this much, otherwise you become a monster. And not just a monster. But a joke of a monster that embarrasses the profession you helped build.