Another day, another 14 hours stuck inside the house before going to bed… also inside the house. It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 crisis has forced us all to adopt some new methods of entertaining ourselves. For me, one of the biggest methods has been reigniting my love of movies. I’ve been making my career out of video games and esports for the last few years, but anyone who knows me can tell you that movies and television are just as much my passion. While there are tons of lists of movies you should watch out there, I thought I’d create a list of movies you shouldn’t watch no matter what.
Before I dive into the top 10 movies that you shouldn’t watch no matter how long we’re stuck in quarantine, I need to make one thing perfectly clear. I love terrible movies. I unironically enjoyed Birdemic. I’ve watched Death Bed: The Bed That Eats more than once. This list is not going to be filled with movies that are so bad they’re fun. You won’t find Troll 2 or The Room on here. There’s no official designation to make this list, it’s not based on Rotten Tomatoes or anything. These are just the 10 worst movies I’ve seen that I would never want to see again.
10. Jurassic Park III (2001)
Let me start out by saying that I love this franchise. Jurassic Park makes my list of top 5 all-time favorite movies. Even in 2020, that movie holds up remarkably well. (except maybe for the strings you can see pull out the Dilophosaurus’s neck fringe. Sorry, you’ll never not see it now.) Either way, the bulk of the movie still looks incredible today. But we’re not talking about the first one. No, we’re talking about 2001’s massive disappointment that was Jurassic Park III.
After the mixed reviews, but incredible box office of The Lost World, a sequel was all but guaranteed. Sam Neill returned to the role of Dr. Allan Grant, and Laura Dern reprised her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler. And that’s the nicest thing I can say about it. The movie is just a mess of recycled plot concepts and hokey moments that don’t look great on screen. The characters not named Grant are annoying, and you don’t feel bad when anyone gets chomped by a dinosaur. In fact, you spend most of the movie rooting for the dinosaurs.
9. Jaws 3D (1983)
Okay, so I’m going, to be honest. It’s entirely debatable whether this slot should go to Jaws 3D or Jaws 4: The Revenge. They are both horrifically bad. Neither of them is remotely entertaining. But Jaws 3D gets the nod for the inclusion of god awful 3D effects. Yes, this movie came from the era where the third movie in every franchise needed a cheesy 3D gimmick. Ya know, the second time that was a trend in Hollywood.
Jaws 3D sees the setting shift to Seaworld. Awesome marketing campaign Seaworld, I’m sure that really brought in the customers. The Brody children from the first two movies are now working at the park when Jaws gets in and starts wreaking havoc. Kinda. The shark looks so incredibly fake in the third installment of the franchise that it’s laughable. The only redeeming moment of the movie is when Jaws crashes through the window in slow motion. It will leave you on the floor laughing, for all the wrong reasons.
8. Heaven’s Gate (1980)
This movie is not only offensively boring and incoherent, but it’s also way too long. If your movie is going to put people to sleep, at least have the decency to make it short. But no, this Michael Cimino directed bore-fest clocked in at TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN MINUTES. That’s right, it’s over 3 and a half hours long. I can’t help wonder what the financial backers would have thought back then if they had known this movie would end up on a list of movies you shouldn’t watch ever.
Heaven’s Gate also holds a distinct honor in being considered one of the last auteur-driven flicks. The movie went so wildly over-budget and lost so much money at the box office that Hollywood literally changed how they did business to make sure it never happened again. Seriously, the budget was 44 million dollars in 1980 and it only made 3.5 million at the box office. If you really want to watch an overly long, overly budget, disaster of an epic, then watch Caligula. At least you can watch Malcolm McDowell over-act for a few hours.
7. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Man, what to even say about Star Trek: Nemesis? It’s really a place holder for “all of the Star Trek TNG movies.” It’s hard to pick between Nemesis and Generations for which one is the worst. Star Trek: Nemesis was the last of The Next Generation movies and rightfully so. It was terrible. It features Captain Picard trying to negotiate peace with the Romulans when he learns that they have a clone of him running things.
I was a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I have no doubt I’ll eventually talk more about it here, but the movies were just painful. The effects were okay at best, the story was nonsensical. Usually these movies could fall back on solid acting, but even the acting in Nemesis was wooden. It was an all-around flop, and I hate that it plays into some of the story of Star Trek: Picard.
6. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
I really don’t have much to say about this movie. I can’t remember the story of it because like everyone else, I fell asleep while watching it. it was boring and did so badly that it tanked Squaresoft and forced them to merge with Enix. That’s two really good reasons for me to hate this movie. And I do. Next.
5. Son of the Mask (2005)
It’s not uncommon for sequels in Hollywood to not live up to the original. Every now and then you get one that is arguably better than the original. Looking at you Aliens and Terminator 2. But then sometimes, you get a movie like Son of the Mask. A film so vile and despised that I don’t even consider it a sequel to The Mask. While I think Rotten Tomatoes scores are vastly over-rated, this movie earns every bit of its 6%.
The movie stars Jamie Kennedy as Tim Avery, who is basically just a less funny version of Jim Carrey’s Stanley Ipkiss. Rather than being worried about being a loser, he’s more concerned about being a father. Little does he realize that some of the Mask’s magic has passed into his unborn son. When the baby comes, hilarity ensues. Or at least they would have liked you to believe that. The movie is frantic, not funny, and just unpleasant to look at. None of the visuals are appealing, none of the jokes lands, and you’re just happy when it’s over.
4. The Happytime Murders (2018)
Truly, I was torn between a few movies for this slot. It was either going to be this, Caddyshack II, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, or Halloween Resurrection. Ultimately, I went with this film for one very particular reason. Simply put, it holds the distinction of being the only movie I’ve ever walked out on in theaters. Mere weeks after its release, I literally had the theater to myself as I watched this dumpster-fire. I was able to sprawl out over a few chairs, check my phone at my leisure, and none of it helped.
I want you to remember that I’ve watched every movie on this list so far to completion, and this is the one that made me say “ya know what? My time is worth more than this.” It’s a failed comedy between Melissa McCarthy and a series of puppets created by the son of the late great Jim Henson. Theoretically, it probably should have worked. Instead, it’s an overly long, crass, unfunny train-wreck.
3. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
Now we’re getting back to my childhood. I was 8 years old when I saw this movie, fresh off the adrenaline of 1995’s Mortal Kombat. At the time, I believed Power Rangers was the epitome of high art just to give you some point of reference. And even then, I knew this movie was terrible. The original Mortal Kombat was far from a good movie, but it was a ton of fun. It was enjoyable from start to finish, paid pretty good homage to the games, and even had some decent acting.
Annihilation threw all of that out the window. The effects became horrific. Do you remember the animalities at the end? Most of the original acting crew abandoned ship, presumably moments after reading the script. The story really doesn’t make any sense, and you would only comprehend what was going on if you paid close attention to the game’s lore. As a kid, I gave it a pass because I got to see Cyrax, who was one of my favorite characters. As an adult, it gets no passes. Other than me passing on seeing it again.
2. The Master of Disguise (2002)
In all honesty, this is probably the worst movie on the list. It’s even worse than number 1 from a technical standpoint, but more on that later. Dana Carvey’s The Master of Disguise was an outright disaster. I know I’ve used that word on this list a lot, but there’s not a better word for it. Everything that could possibly have gone wrong, went wrong. It isn’t funny. It isn’t pleasant to look at. The characters are annoying. The story is stupid. And it doesn’t even have the decency to make me think they were intentionally trying to be bad.
Dana Carvey plays Pistachio Disguisey. That’s not a joke, although the movie would like you to believe it is. He comes from a long line of secret agents known as masters of disguise and must use his abilities to rescue his parents and bring down a criminal smuggling ring. I don’t really know how to convey how bad this movie is other than to say this. The funniest moment in this movie is a fart joke from Brent Spiner. That’s it. That’s the 1% it has on Rotten Tomatoes. Commander Data’s flatulence earned that 1%.
1. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2010)
And at last, we come to number 1 on the list of movies you shouldn’t watch no matter what. As I said in the last entry, this is not technically the worst movie on here. But here’s the problem. The Master of Disguise was awful, but it was an arguably original idea. Avatar: The Last Airbender had the privilege of drawing on one of the all-time great cartoons and still churned out this disjointed, bloated, fetid, wretched, vile, humorless, waste of time.
I’m not kidding when I say Avatar is one of the all-time great cartoons by the way. I grew up in the 90s, and I’d put Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender right up there with Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, Pinky and the Brain, Ed, Edd, and Eddy, and any other cartoon we all loved. Not only was it great, but it also spawned an awesome follow-up story in Korra. Unfortunately, it also leads to this uninspired piece of shlock. Don’t watch it. In fact, let’s all agree to just pretend it never existed. Deal? Deal.
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