For every celebrated film that has graced the silver screen over the course of the past several decades, there are plenty of duds and flops that have proven unsuccessful at the box office and unpopular with critics. While sometimes the quality of a movie is a subjective matter, there are some films which frankly just stink, no matter who is judging! The following list, in no particular order, includes some of the biggest disappointments and failures of all time in the cinema world.
1. The Conqueror (1959)
Box office flops are not only realities of the modern world. Way back in the 1960s, this John Wayne wasn’t distributed until 1974, as the producer Howard Hughes and Paramount had a massive disagreement. In addition to a poor plot line, the movie was plagued by the onslaught of cancer diagnoses for many of those who’d worked on the set, which was located close to a nuclear testing range.
2. Howard the Duck (1986)
While based on the Marvel Comic of the same name, Howard the Duck retains next to no resemblance to the comic book hero. Critics called the film a “mess,” with some referring to the movie as Howard the Turkey, due to its dismal performance. In spite of the film’s failure, it has gained a cult following in recent years.
3. Showgirls (1995)
Starring Elizabeth Berkley of Saved by the Bell fame, Showgirls was promoted for its racy content, which landed it a NC-17 film rating. Nevertheless, critics had nothing positive to say about the movie. Today the film is frequently seen in edited form on different cable stations.
4. Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
Written and directed by Tom Green, this bizarre movie also starred the comic as a slacker who claims to have been molested by his father. The content of the film was branded as vulgar, inappropriate, and insensitive. Roger Ebert famously gave the film 0 out of 4 stars, also including it on his “Most Hated” list.
5. From Justin to Kelly (2003)
Starring the runner-up and winner of American Idol’s first season, From Justin to Kelly was a huge flop, both critically and commercially. Popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an 8% overall rating. The choreography of the film won a Razzie Award, and it was called one of the wort musicals of all time.
6. North (1994)
The film that introduced Scarlett Johansson to the world, North earned just over $7 million at the box office. Roger Ebert wrote that he, “hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it.” It was nominated for four Razzie Awards, and has an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
This low-budget film revolved around a group of Pagans who kidnap a family. The movie was criticized for long shots with no dialogue, and for being poorly shot and produced. The main villain also walks awkwardly, due to a bizarre prosthesis he was required to wear.
8. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
This strange film documents martians who abduct Santa. As their young children have never been able to meet his in person, their parents decide to bring him to their home. The film was a part of the Fifty Worst Films of All Time.
9. Gigli (2003)
Featuring then-couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, the movie lost some $48 million at the box office. The movie has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and won seven Razzie Awards. Furthermore, it won the Golden Raspberry Award for “Worst Picture of the Decade.”
10. Mac and Me (1988)
Mac and Me features a young boy in a wheelchair who becomes friends with an alien. The movie was conceived as a marketing tool for Coca-Cola and McDonalds, and was made after the success of the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The final product was branded as “more like a TV commercial than a movie.”