The Worst Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated
FROM MOVIES WE LOVE TO HATE TO FILMS THAT ARE JUST UNWATCHABLE, THESE ARE THE WORST OF THE WORST.
We all have our favorite movies, along with a critical consensus around which films could be called the best movies ever made. But what about the ones we love to hate? There's nothing quite like a uniquely awful movie—from the "so bad it's good" to the utterly unwatchable. To celebrate the most notorious films ever made, we've compiled this list of the worst movie that came out every year, from 1960 to 2019. Our choices are subjective, so you might not agree, but we're confident we've hand-picked the most terrible turkeys and misguided messes. Read on to find out which film was the worst of the worst the year you graduated, and if you're looking for films on the other end of the spectrum, discover The Best Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated, According to Critics.
Read the original article on Best Life.
1960: The Sinister Urge
Ed Wood is one of the most notorious filmmakers of all time, and his take on Psycho doesn't quite live up to the Alfred Hitchcock original. And for more of the worst movies ever made, These Are the Movies on Rotten Tomatoes With 0 Percent Ratings.
1961: The Beast of Yucca Flats
Frequent Ed Wood collaborator Tor Johnson, a Swedish former wrestler, took on the titular role in this schlocky horror film where almost all of the dialogue is narration.
Included in the oft-cited 1978 book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time, Eegah starred Richard Kiel as a giant caveman before his role as Jaws in two James Bond movies. And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
1963: The Crawling Hand
The title pretty much tells you everything you need to know, along with the fact that this is one of the many films on this list lampooned by Mystery Science Theater 3000. And for movies that will actually scare you, check out The Scariest Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated.
1964: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Before The Nightmare Before Christmas gave us a Christmas-horror crossover, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians brought sci-fi silliness to the North Pole.
1965: Monster a Go-Go!
Rhino Home Video
Beloved splatter film director Herschell Gordon Lewis took over an unfinished film and spent years trying to make it into something good. He ended up with Monster a Go-Go! instead, and there's a reason his name's not on it. And for more horrendous horror, This Is the Worst Horror Movie of All Time, According to Critics.
1966: Manos: The Hands of Fate
A notorious disaster, Manos: The Hands of Fate might have gone completely forgotten if MST3K hadn't revived it in the '90s, helping it earn its current reputation as one of the all-time worst movies.
1967: Valley of the Dolls
20th Century Fox
A bad movie adaptation of a bad book, Valley of the Dolls has nonetheless developed an intense cult following in the years since its release, thanks in no small part to its unintentional camp excellence. And for more lousy films great actors wish you would forget, revisit The Worst Movies Starring Oscar-Winning Actors.
1968: They Saved Hitler's Brain
Mill Creek Entertainment
Another movie where the title tells you exactly what you're in for, They Saved Hitler's Brain is mostly notable for multiple references on The Simpsons and that infamous 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
1969: Change of Habit
This deeply well-intentioned Elvis Presley–Mary Tyler Moore musical drama about a doctor who falls in love with a nun—yes, really—had some fans, but most critics found it to be unbearable. And for films that critics fell for, These Are the Top-Rated Movies on Rotten Tomatoes.
1970: Hercules in New York
TriMark Home Video
A 22-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, then credited as Arnold Strong, made his acting debut in Hercules in New York (if you want to be generous and call what's happening here "acting").
The creature design for Zaat left a lot to be desired, and if you're making a monster movie, that's… kind of an important piece of the puzzle.
1972: An American Hippie in Israel
Another long-forgotten turkey, An American Hippie in Israel found a new cult audience when it was rediscovered and distributed by Grindhouse Releasing.
1973: The Day of the Dolphin
For what it's worth, some notable critics have actually praised The Day of the Dolphin, which peaked with its truly absurd tagline: "Unwittingly, he trained a dolphin to kill the President of the United States."
20th Century Fox
The late Sean Connery makes his first of a few appearances on this list—no shade to him, or his eclectic career—with the divisive Zardoz, in which he wears a post-apocalyptic outfit that wouldn't make it past our censors. And for more highs and lows from Connery's career, check out Ranking Every James Bond Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.
1975: At Long Last Love
20th Century Fox
A musical so misguided that director Peter Bogdanovich actually issued an apology. For what it's worth, many critics have come around on the film, and Roger Ebert was relatively kind at the time.
A movie about revenge following a brutal assault, Lipstick was panned by critics who felt its purportedly noble aims were just a cheap ploy to make an exploitation flick.
1977: Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist II: The Heretic can best be summed up in the infamous scene wherein Linda Blair's Regan casually tells a young girl, "I was possessed by a demon … Oh, it's OK! He's gone."
1978: The Swarm
Few of Irwin Allen's disaster movies reach the buzzy heights (read: relentless absurdity) of The Swarm. A star-studded cast and killer bees—what's not to love?
Trying to untangle the mess that is the production of Caligula is an exercise in madness. Suffice it to say, some people were attempting to make a historical drama that was also a biting political satire, and the other people were Penthouse.
1980: The Apple
Surrealist musical The Apple has a cult following of its own, but it's harder to sit through than movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
1981: Mommie Dearest
Mommie Dearest is one of the most famous bad movies of all time—so adored among connoisseurs of trash that even calling it a "bad movie" feels like wire hanger-level sacrilege.
20th Century Fox
Stuntman Hal Needham intended to start a franchise with Megaforce, and instead ended up with a few Golden Raspberry Award nominations and a 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
1983: Staying Alive
Don't mess with perfection, as this abysmal sequel to Saturday Night Fever—with direction and a script co-written by Sylvester Stallone—reminds us.
John Derek cast his wife, Bo Derek, in this movie about a young woman's pursuit of the man who would take her virginity. Sadly, it was more stale than steamy.
1985: The Slugger's Wife
Neil Simon has written many hilarious, highly acclaimed plays and feature films. The Slugger's Wife, as the critics noted, was not one of them.
1986: Howard the Duck
Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became one of the biggest franchises in movie history, the first Marvel movie was this tonally inconsistent, occasionally cringe-inducing nightmare about an anthropomorphic alien duck named Howard. And to find out how this one stacks up among the rest, check out Ranking Every Marvel Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.
1987: Jaws: The Revenge
The third sequel to Jaws, Jaws: The Revenge represents the low point in the series, not to mention Michael Caine's filmography. It did, however, give us the all-time great tagline, "This time, it's personal."
1988: Mac and Me
Yes, the film clip Paul Rudd uses to prank Conan O'Brien is from an actual movie, a shameless rip-off of E.T. that was also, in many ways, an overlong commercial for McDonald's.
1989: Dream a Little Dream
The Two Coreys—Corey Feldman and Corey Haim—made lots of movies in the '80s, some better than others, and few worse than Dream a Little Dream.
1990: Troll 2
It's not a sequel to Trolls—it doesn't even have any actual trolls in it. But Troll 2 is the kind of bad movie that needs to be seen to be believed, and its cult following inspired 2009's legitimately good documentary Best Worst Movie.
1991: Highlander II: The Quickening
For fans of the original Highlander, the biggest problem with the sequel was the way it completely destroyed the existing mythology. For everyone else, it was just plain bad on a number of different levels.
Photo 12 / Alamy Stock Photo
A strong cast led by Tom Selleck just didn't have high quality material to work with in Folks!, a film whose exclamation point feels like a threat.
1993: Look Who's Talking Now!
Another aggressive exclamation point, another mind-numbing comedy. John Travolta and Kirstie Alley returned for the third entry in this franchise, and you'll never guess who's talking now. (It's the dogs.)
North was a massive disappointment, especially for fans of Rob Reiner. At this point, it's probably best known for Roger Ebert's iconic pan: "I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it."
1995: Jury Duty
Frankly, most films from the Pauly Shore oeuvre could earn a spot on this list, but few are as maligned as Jury Duty, which critics found unbearable.
Amazingly enough, Ed is a real movie starring Matt LeBlanc as a pitcher who befriends a baseball-playing chimp, and not a shrug-worthy gag on Friends.
1997: Speed 2: Cruise Control
20th Century Fox / United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Take Speed, and subtract Keanu Reeves, chemistry between the leads, and the bus. Add a cruise ship. What could go wrong?
1998: The Avengers
No, not the comic book superheroes but rather the British secret agents, played here by Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes in outfits designed to make you forget how awful the movie you're watching is.
1999: Simon Sez
Simon Sez stars Dennis Rodman and Dane Cook—and you know what, we're just gonna go ahead and stop there.
2000: Battlefield Earth
A notorious disaster, Battlefield Earth was John Travolta's vanity project, and it was received accordingly. The movie, a sci-fi allegory with some heavy ties to Scientology, was the go-to bad movie punchline for years.
20th Century Fox
Another punchline? Glitter, Mariah Carey's attempt at an acting pivot. Hey, at least the soundtrack was solid.
2002: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
If you are the kind of person who believes a movie with the title Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever could be good, kudos to you on your open-mindedness and optimism. Sadly, this movie with that title is not.
2003: From Justin to Kelly
20th Century Fox
Following their massive success on American Idol, Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for this Grease-inspired musical. How apt is that comparison? Entertainment Weekly called it "Grease: The Next Generation acted out by the food-court staff at Sea World."
2004: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is often regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, thanks in no small part to its 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's a real shame people forget that its predecessor, Baby Geniuses, is also really bad.
2005: Alone in the Dark
Since Uwe Boll has kind of cornered the market on horrendous video game adaptations, Alone in the Dark hardly stands out among the rest. But it did manage to be the worst movie released in 2005, as far as we're concerned, so props there.
2006: Material Girls
Hilary and Haylie Duff did not do themselves any favors with Material Girls, in which they play seriously unlikable characters, and do so badly.
2007: I Know Who Killed Me
For the first time since her breakthrough role in The Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan played twins, this time in a bizarre thriller that has become something of a midnight movie classic for its unrelenting weirdness.
2008: One Missed Call
One Missed Call is not the only disappointing remake of a Japanese horror film, but how many of the others can proudly proclaim they didn't earn a single positive review?
It's kind of like Misery, if Misery were awful. The plot summary on Wikipedia does at least make for an entertaining read.
2010: The Last Airbender
It's hard to know where contentious director M. Night Shyamalan went wrong in his adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Scratch that—it's hard to know where he didn't go wrong.
2011: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Sony Pictures Releasing
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star is far from the first Adam Sandler-produced (and co-scripted) comedy to get terrible reviews, but it's still bad in a notable way. The AV Club called it "one of the ugliest, most misguided comedies in recent memory." And for more highs and lows from Sandler, check out Ranking Every Adam Sandler Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.
2012: A Thousand Words
A Thousand Words was delayed for several years, but anyone who has seen the finished product—a severely inept attempt at comedy and drama—probably wishes it had been delayed indefinitely.
2013: Movie 43
Emma Stone. Richard Gere. Kate Winslet. Halle Berry. These are just some of the award-winning actors who appeared in this anthology film Richard Roeper called the "Citizen Kane of awful."
2014: Saving Christmas
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Kirk Cameron is Kirk Cameron in Saving Christmas—also known as Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas—a movie about Kirk Cameron saving Christmas. Critics did not see the appeal. And for more stars from Cameron's era on Growing Pains, check out The Biggest '90s TV Teen Idols, Then and Now.
2015: The Ridiculous 6
During filming of The Ridiculous 6, several Native American actors walked off set because they felt the script was riddled with racist jokes. That tells you all you need to know about the cultural sensitivity you'll find in this much maligned Adam Sandler production. And for the movies you might not have realized were offensive, check out 10 Disney Classics That Have Been Called Out for Racism.
2016: Max Steel
Open Road Films
Much like many other film adaptations of toys, this bland, forgettable effort is significantly less fun to watch than the toys are to play with.
2017: The Emoji Movie
Sony Pictures Releasing
We spend enough time on our phones that we probably don't need weird animated propaganda telling us how fun emojis and apps are. Unfortunately, we got it anyway.
Distributed by MoviePass, Gotti might be the most embarrassing failure by that company, which is really saying something. The reviews were universally wretched, although some critics did acknowledge that Travolta—making yet another appearance on this list—was basically fine.
Digital fur technology, whatever that means, transported a lot of legitimately great actors into the Uncanny Valley, where director Tom Hooper made every wrong choice to produce a disaster so impressive that it was already becoming a midnight movie favorite when the COVID pandemic hit. And for the stars who've undergone impressive transformations on screen, check out 14 Actors Who Looked Unrecognizable in Major Movies.