This weekend, Canadians from coast to coast are giving thanks on Thanksgiving, and possibly sitting down to watch a movie or two to pass the time.
In honour of Turkey Day, why not throw on a movie turkey for some hate-watching family fun? (For those who aren’t aware, a “turkey” is awarded to any movie that doesn’t get a single star when reviewed. Think: less than zero.)
There are plenty to choose from — just be sure to leave some room. You’ll only be able to take so much.
When this movie was made, it was a different time. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were a thing, and it wasn’t bizarre to see them together (see: Lopez’s music video for Jenny From the Block). Gigli may have ultimately tore them apart, and we wouldn’t blame them if it did. Embarrassing dialogue, a cliched plot and an offensive lesbian-turning-straight subplot (which also happens in Chasing Amy, another one of Affleck’s films) seal the deal. The allure of a man like Affleck is just too much to resist, right?
Long considered one of the worst movies ever made, it’s now enjoying a cult following. Featuring Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By the Bell) and Gina Gershon (Cocktail), the movie tells the story of a dancer trying to make it big in Las Vegas. Filled with go-nowhere side plots and some of the strangest dialogue ever uttered on film (“I love Doggy Chow.” “I used to love Doggy Chow too.”), it can actually be fun to watch in disbelief. It’s worth it for the pool sex scene alone.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
Doesn’t the picture say it all? Based on the first half of an L. Ron Hubbard novel, the movie is just as preposterous as most of Hubbard’s real-life assertions. Featuring Scientologist John Travolta in the lead role, the plot is simple: Earth is under the rule of aliens, and the remainder of humanity must revolt against them. It won eight Razzies (technically a Golden Raspberry Award, bestowed upon the worst in cinema), at the time a record for a single movie.
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
Canadian funnyman Tom Green certainly had his moment, and while this film was panned across the board upon release, it eventually turned a profit through DVD sales. Its famous moments include Green stooping to the lowest possible places: sucking on a cow udder, masturbating an elephant, ripping a deer’s skin off its body and wearing it like a coat… and it goes on. If slapstick disgustingness is your thing, then have at ‘er.
This story of a young singer trying to find her way to superstardom is portrayed like a candy-sweet soap opera, all sparkly with little substance. A movie about Mariah Carey’s life could have been interesting, but instead, it’s typical Hollywood schlock, never delving beyond one dimension. Amazing this is the same woman nominated for her performance years later in Precious.
Swept Away (2002)
Madonna has never been known for her acting prowess, and even the fact that her then-husband Guy Ritchie directed and wrote this slog of a film didn’t help. The iconic singer stars as Amber Leighton, an entitled impossible-to-please woman who ends up on a deserted island with the sexy first mate. Not kidding.
After Earth (2013)
It comes as no surprise that Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and her brother Caleeb Pinkett are all producers on this transparent vehicle for the Smith family. Starring father Will and son Jaden, the two crash-land on a future Earth and manage — through their deftness and genius — to survive. Even though the Smiths have denied any Scientology connection, this movie’s plot reeks of it and as a result, comes across as poorly produced propaganda.
Batman & Robin (1997)
When much of the ink dedicated to a movie is about the costumes, that’s never a good thing. To be fair, Robin (Chris O’Donnell)’s suit nipples are a big question mark. What a wasted cast, with the likes of Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and The Clooney himself as Batman. Considering the weight of the Batman franchise, this movie is especially egregious and better left forgotten.
Speaking of costumes, what were the producers thinking with this one? Whatever version of Catwoman came down the pipe was going to be inevitably compared to Michelle Pfeiffer’s depiction in 1992’s Batman Returns. Everything Pfeiffer did with her performance — sexiness, feline movement, power — is absent here, and the idea of Catwoman is reduced to a laughable joke, right down to those helmet ears.
From Justin to Kelly (2003)
At the height of American Idol‘s popularity, it’s not surprising the powers-that-be tried to transition from the small screen to cinema. At the time, this was an enjoyable musical romp about a boy and a girl who meet during spring break and end up falling in love to song. Now, the film is little more than a time capsule of an era when singing reality shows were still a novelty.
The Last Airbender (2010)
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this could have gone either way. The director is famous for his twists, and in this film, based on the animated series of the same name, he may have been out of his element. Barely any aspect of this movie escapes the “terrible” category, with its acting, plot and casting choices all over the place. A real shame for fans of the franchise, who rightfully expected more.