Every movie can’t be a “Gone With the Wind” or a “Saving Private Ryan.” In fact, when compared to the total movies made each year, very few are ever nominated for a golden globe or an Oscar. Most movies fall in the middle. Maybe they’re funny. Maybe they make you cry. Or maybe they star a box-office draw like George Clooney or Angelina Jolie. Some movies target very specific audiences, like bikers or civil war buffs.
Each year, though, some movies make it to the big screen that shouldn’t even make it to the small screen. Some of these are so bad the whole package should have been left on the editing floor…or its digital equivalent. A few really bad movies (Friday the 13th comes to mind) somehow eventually rise to a cult status. These are so bad they become cool. Most, though, are destined for the bargain bin. If you’re curious, you can usually get a few for $1 during Black Friday and after Christmas sales.
Here are five movies I think should have never been made and why:
Amazon.com calls this “Melrose Place in Space.” I’ll just call it an over-acted accidentally funny drama with weak special effects. It’s also very believable. The handsome blonde becomes the hero and captures the lovely lady, even though both would have died in battle if justice were truly served. A group of friends graduate from high school and join the storm troopers to achieve the precious gift of “citizenship.” (Citizenship where is never fully explained, but it does seem like most planets are engaged in a war Captain Kirk himself could not contain.) These kids aren’t mature enough to be Melrose Place. Think of a co-ed Facts of Life instead. The enemy? It’s not the Klingons or even the Taliban. Its bugs. Big bugs. Bugs with eight legs and one eye. Bugs with superpowers and evil desires. Imagine my shock when I found the sequel in the bargain bin. If this looks tempting at Blockbuster, run the other direction!
Okay, I’ll admit animated fliks aren’t my favorite, but let’s first step back and examine the premise of this movie: a rat in the kitchen. This goes against everything our mothers have taught us about clean kitchens. It’s a front to our common sense. Now, about the movie itself…the characters seem to come and go very quickly and aren’t fully developed. The casting of voices is a little weak. I could see Michael J. Fox doing a better Remy to be honest. The movie tries to be one of those rare features that plays to both an adult and a child audience. Unfortunately, it falls somewhere in the middle, getting a few good laughs from both audiences, but it’s not a huge success for the seven-year-old or the adult. And then again, there’s the whole rats in the kitchen thing.
This movie was a big let down in 1997. Maybe it was the hype the preceded the actual movie. Maybe it was Jodie Foster. Maybe it was all of us who had watched “Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ while in middle school and thought a real encounter might one day be possible. Whatever it was, the ingredients in this movie did not turn into a great product. Contact was boring, perhaps a little too scientific without a good pace, or any pace. Sterile, lab environments don’t normally make for action unless those labs are exploding or maybe passionate scientists clear off the test tubes and beakers for a love scene. Jodie Foster is one of my favorites, so it hur placing this movie on the list. But “Contact” deserves to be here.
4. My Stepmother is An Alien
Perhaps the expectations were set too high on this one, too. Kim Basinger starred in this movie at the peak of her career. And Dan Akyroyd was still funny…but not in this movie. The fish-out-of-water is predictable, with Basinger showing up on Earth looking rather gorgeous, not the little green stereotype the hard working scientist (Akyroyd) was expecting. So, what follows is the alien’s attempt to fit into life in the suburbs. Just pass on this one…even if it is in the barbain bin at Wal-Mart. It’s that bad!
Many of my readers are way too young to remember this one. And the soundtrack would probably make most short lists of bad musical soundtracks. At the time, Olivia Newton-John was red hot both as a singer and an actress. She had just wrapped up “Grease,” one of the most successful movies of the 70s. So, I suppose, producers look at her with the idea of getting everything together to make the most money off the Australian beauty as soon as possible. The end result is so bad it’s funny. The plot is futuristic and the costumes are…well, let’s just say the costumes weren’t really in anyone’s future. Unfortunately for Newton-John, this was a flop she took very personally and, as a result, slowed down her acting career.