Razzie winners are not “winners” at all. That has never been a secret in the world of Hollywood. Most award recipients of the officially titled Golden Raspberry Awards (aka “Razzies”) would rather not receive acknowledgement at all.
Some, like Sandra Bullock (pictured above at the 2010 ceremony), are good enough sports to actually show up, but usually the last thing you’ll see at one of these ceremonies is an actual nominee.
The Razzie winners typically represent the worst of the worst, at least as far as mainstream productions are concerned.
You could probably find a worse movie surfing the dregs of Hulu and Netflix, but never with the large budgets given to these nominees.
With the 2016 nominations now official — courtesy of ABC News — it’s time to look back on the 35-year history of these awards and rank the five worst Razzie winners of all time (Worst Picture only). So it begins!
5. Rambo: First Blood Part II
While sequels generally play it safe these days and give audiences exactly what they expect to an almost banal degree, they used to take big chances. Unfortunately, that’s also why said sequels developed a horrible reputation. The worst (high-profile) offenders were probably Rocky IV and this brainless follow-up to what was a thoughtful and intense First Blood. Here, it’s just Sylvester Stallone killing impossible numbers of bad guys all by himself.
4. Howard the Duck
George Lucas’ Star Wars troubles were foretold by a daring misfire in bringing the crass Marvel Comics character to the big screen. The production was doomed from the beginning due to Lucasfilm’s poor representation of Howard as a live-action character, something film critic Leonard Maltin criticized before concluding that the film was a “hopeless mess.”
3. Leonard Part 6
Before the rape accusations came rushing back to the forefront of Bill Cosby’s world, the only thing most audiences hated him for was Leonard Part 6, a superhero comedy that was criticized as being self-indulgent and unfunny. Cosby had a great deal of creative control over the film, but in the end, even he advised people to not go see it.
WARNING: Showgirls Trailer is NSFW.
Showgirls tested the theory that “sex sells.” Unfortunately for director Paul Verhoeven, writer Joe Eszterhas, and Saved by the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley, it sold a little too much with the MPAA giving it the dreaded NC-17 rating. That contributed partly to the abysmal showing at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, it lost at least $25 million. Both critics and users at Rotten Tomatoes also seem to hate it.
1. Battlefield Earth
In the annals of Worst Picture Razzie winners, few come with such unanimous support as Battlefield Earth. The John Travolta passion project adapts scientologist L. Ron Hubbard’s work. Travolta has been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1975, and BE exists as an example of what bad can come from an artist being too close to his material. The film was universally maligned and holds a whopping 3 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes website out of 148 reviews.
Perhaps none trashed Battlefield Earth more famously than Roger Ebert, who said it was “like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time.”
He continued, “It’s not merely bad; it’s unpleasant in a hostile way. I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies.”
Ebert was inarguably correct.
But what do you think, readers? Is Battlefield Earth the worst of the Razzie winners? Check out the rest of the competition at the official website and share your thoughts in the comments section.